Tag Archives: Cocktails

Blackberry Margarita

BlackberryMargarita

Hey, remember when we made the Chicken Stuffed Roasted Pobalno Peppers yesterday? Well, you didn’t think we were just going to drink a soda with it. Did you? It’s berry season! In Colorado, that is a BIG maybe. At least they are showing up in the store and they are not five dollars a pint anymore. I love blackberries, and I just had to make a blackberry margarita. I chose to kick it up a notch and use Leopold Brothers Blackberry Liqueur, but you could always just puree some blackberries instead. Or make blackberry simple syrup. I like 100% Blue Agave Blanco Tequilas in my margaritas.  Herrdura Silver, El Corazon Silver, and Milagro Silver are all favorites of mine.

Blackberry Margarita

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients except blackberries to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Shake it like you mean it for at least one minute.
  4. Your choice as to whether you sugar, salt the rim, or leave it alone.
  5. Pour into a margarita glass.
  6. Garnish with three blackberries skewered on a cocktail pick.
  7. Sip immediately!

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Whiskey Bramble

WhiskeyBramble

My daughter has brought back another delicious cocktail from Portland, OR. The last time it was the Gin and Ginger. This time it is a Whiskey Bramble from the South Park Seafood Grill and Wine Bar. Of course there can be lots of variations here, but the one below is our favorite. We went all high end with the bourbon and creme de cassis. Just use your favorites. This is a great transition drink from winter to spring. The bourbon and fruit paired with the light taste of the elderflower liqueur makes a delightful springtime whiskey bramble.

Whiskey Bramble

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounce Four Roses Bourbon
  • 1 1/2 ounce Joseph Cartron Creme de Cassis
  • 3/4 ounce St. Germain Elderflower

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add one cup crushed ice.
  3. Shake it like you mean it.
  4. Strain into a chilled glass of your choice.
  5. Garnish with an orange peel.

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Caipirinha

Caipirinha

I finally bought a bottle of Cachaca. With me loving rum and limes, this was a must so I could try the national drink of Brazil. The Caipirinha is the national cocktail of Brazil made with Cachaca, lime, and sugar.Until recently, it was unknown outside of Brazil. But now it is so popular that the International Bartenders Association has designated it an Official Cocktail. It is very simple to make and very refreshing. I can definitely see myself drinking lots of these on the deck this summer.
Caipirinha

Ingredients:

  • ½ lime cut into quarters
  • 3 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces cachaca
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • Sugar Cane stick

Instructions:

  1. Get an Old Fashioned glass.
  2. Cut the half lime into quarters.
  3. Put the lime into the glass.
  4. Add the sugar.
  5. Muddle thoroughly until sugar is dissolved.
  6. Add the Cachaca and crushed ice.
  7. Stir with sugar cane stick.
  8. Leave in sugar cane as a garnish.

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Cucumber Cooler and Collins

Last week, we had dinner at the Bonefish Grill. One of their cocktails listed on their menu was a Fresh Cucumber Collins. We fell in love with its light fresh taste. The gin was listed as Hendrick’s Small Batch Gin. After having a very successful run with a bottle of Leopold Brothers Small Batch Gin and loving this refreshing Cucumber Collins, we decided to buy a bottle. After exploring Hendrick’s unusual and Monty Pythonesqe website, I found this cocktail recipe for the Cucumber Cooler. From the Cucumber Collins menu description, it looks like a very similar cocktail.  I would say they replaced the lemon juice for lime juice, and the mint leaves for basil leaves. Make both and see which you like best. Definitely pay the Hendrick’s Gin website a visit, it is highly entertaining.

Cucumber Cooler

  • 1½ ounce Hendrick’s Gin
  • ¾ ounce St. Germain
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • soda water
  • 5 mint leaves
  1. Place all ingredients but soda water in a tall collins glass.
  2. Muddle gently.
  3. Add ice and top with soda water.
  4. Add a cucumber garnish.

Cucumber Collins

  • 1½ ounce Hendrick’s Gin
  • ¾ ounce St. Germain
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • soda water
  • 5 basil leaves
  1. Place all ingredients but soda water in a tall collins glass.
  2. Muddle gently.
  3. Add ice and top with soda water.
  4. Add a cucumber garnish.

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Mezcal Cocktails

I love tequila, but lately have been reading about mezcal. Here is some of what I have learned about this smoky spirit. Mezcal, or mescal, is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant (a form of agave) native to Mexico. The maguey grows in many parts of Mexico, though most mezcal is made in Oaxaca. Mezcal is made from the heart of the maguey plant much the same way it was 200 years ago. In Mexico, mezcal is generally consumed straight and has a strong smoky flavor. Mezcal is not as popular as tequila, which is made from the blue agave plant, but its popularity is growing in the United States.

Mezcal is handcrafted by small-scale producers using methods that have been passed down from generation to generation. Some still use the same techniques practiced 200 years ago. The process begins by harvesting the plants, and extracting the heart by cutting off the plant’s leaves and roots. The heart or piñas are then cooked for about three days, often in pit ovens, which are earthen mounds over pits of hot rocks. This underground roasting gives mezcal its intense and distinctive smoky flavor. The piñas are then crushed and mashed (traditionally by a stone wheel turned by a horse) and then left to ferment in large vats or barrels with water added. Each distiller impars their signature character to the mezcal by flavoring the mash with cinnamon, pineapple slices, red bananas and sugar. The mash is allowed to ferment and the resulting liquid collected and distilled in either clay or copper pots which will further modify the flavor of the final product. The distilled product is left to age in barrels for between one month and four years, and some aged for as long as twelve years. Mezcal is not as smooth as tequila, as it is generally distilled only once while tequila is distilled twice. Mezcal is highly varied, depending on the species maguey used, the fruits and herbs added during fermentation, and the distillation process employed.

So now we know how mezcal is produced. Mexicans traditionally drink it straight, but we are going to start with trying it in cocktails. We are going to start with a traditional margarita recipe, replacing the tequila with mezcal. Then we are going to try a cocktail with an additional fruit syrup. Finally, we are headed towards a tropical drink that still retains some tartness. Come along and drink with us as we explore mezcal.


Mezcal Margarita

  • 1 ½ ounces mezcal
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake it like you mean it.
  3. Rub a lime around the edge of a margarita glass.
  4. Rotate the outside edge of the glass in rock salt
  5. Strain shaker into a margarita glass.


Mexican Firing Squad
(from mezcalphd.com)

  • 2.0oz Mezcal
  • 1.5oz fresh lime juice
  • 1.0oz agave nectar
  • .5oz pomegranate molasses*
  • 3 dashes Angosturo bitters
  1. Mix all the ingredients into a shaker.
  2. Fill with crushed ice.
  3. Shake it like you mean it.
  4. Pour into a highball glass.
  5. Garnish with a lime wedge.
  6. ….and Holy Pancho Villa Batman!  Amazing mezcal cocktail!

*You can buy pomegranate molasses at grocery stores, but I find they taste a bit odd and, besides, they are easy to make.  Just buy a bottle of Pom, the bigger the better, pour it in a sauce pan, and simmer it down.  It can take more than an hour, but just as it starts to thicken a little, turn it off.  Let it cool, and then pour it into a container that you can keep in the fridge.  

Oaxacan Dream
(from an article in Imbibe Magazine)

  • 1 ½ oz. mezcal
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice (fresh, if available)
  • ¾ oz. cranberry juice
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz. agave nectar
  • Ice cubes
  • Crushed ice

 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake it like you mean it.
  3. Strain into a highball filled with crushed ice.
  4. Garnish with a grilled pineapple, optional.

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Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre or Rum and Coke, whatever you like to call it, is refreshing. First off, you need to get some Coca-Cola from Mexico. Its distinct taste we remember from our childhood is a must in this drink. And of course, please always use fresh lime juice. The final choice is the rum. I think white rum is the best choice here, but there is still a choice. Sweet or dry. Appleton White Rum from Jamaica is smooth with notes of vanilla, but not too sweet. This rum makes for a very mellow rum and coke. Flor de Cana Extra Dry is just that, and it plays well with the lime juice to make a lighter tasting rum and coke. Whatever your preference, this is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time.

Cuba Libre

  • 1.5 ounce white rum
  • .75 ounce fresh lime juice
  • ice cubes
  • 4.5 ounce Coca Cola from Mexico
  1. Add rum to a high ball glass
  2. Add lime juice
  3. Add ice cubes
  4. Fill with Coca Cola
  5. Stir

Sip and be refreshed!

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Gin and Ginger

I am not a big fan of gin. However, on the advice of the folks over at the 12 Bottle Bar, I bought some Leopold’s Gin. Being from Colorado, it seemed the right choice. I first used it in a Singapore sling and then in a Saturn. I was led to both of these cocktails by Beachbum Berry. They are marvelously complex and quite delicious. However, I have been looking for something a little more simple, but not a martini. My daughter is home from college this week for Thanksgiving. She told me about a cocktail she called Gin and Ginger so we made it to go with our Subway sandwiches for dinner. It is fantastic! The lemon juice does wonders for the sweetness of the Barritt’s Ginger Beer, and the Leopold’s Gin gives it all a nice depth of flavor. I highly recommend this cocktail, it is fabulously refreshing!

Build this drink in a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Add these components and stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
1.5 ounce Leopold’s Gin
1.0 ounce fresh lemon juice
4.5 ounce Barritt’s Ginger Beer

Enjoy!

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