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Cocktails

Cocktails

Passionfruit Gimlet

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A few weeks ago I enjoyed this drink while celebrating a friend’s new job at Victor Tangos. I love passionfruit, and this cocktail was fruity and refreshing. I knew more of them would be in my future.

So when I found this recipe online I got really excited, and took a stab at making them at home. I’m sad to report that it’s not the same as the drink I had at the restaurant. This one was more pineapple than passionfruit, but it was still tasty nonetheless.

Passionfruit Gimlet

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons passionfruit puree (I found a package of this at Fiesta in the freezer section)
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs, divided

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker, place passion fruit purée, simple syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice, vodka, one of the thyme sprigs, and crushed ice. Shake the mixture, then double-strain (strain into a fine metal sieve to catch any ice chips) into a martini or coupe glass. Serve garnished with remaining thyme sprig.

Cocktails

Clover Club

This pre-Prohibition cocktail classic is believed to be one of Philadelphia’s contribution to cocktail history. It’s so beloved that there’s a bar in Brooklyn named after it.

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Clover Club

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce raspberry syrup (you can find the recipe I made here)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • raspberries, for garnishing

Instructions:

Combine the gin, raspberry syrup, fresh lemon juice, and egg white into a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously to froth the egg white, about one minute. Remove lid and add ice, and shake contents until they are very cold, about 30 seconds.

Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with raspberries. Serve immediately.

Cocktails

C’Bus 75

When life provides you with pears, make this Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet with them. When you have a less than amazing day, grab a coupe and add some Cognac and Champagne to it. Et Voila, the C’Bus 75. I found this recipe in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream At Home book and had to share. Who knew sorbet could be so good.

cocktail

C’Bus 75 Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 scoop Riesling-Poached Pear Sorbet
  • 1 1/2 ounces Cognac
  • Champagne

Instructions:

Cut the lemon into wedges and reserve some of the peel as a garnish. Scoop some of the sorbet into a coupe or a double old-fashioned glass. Pour Cognac over the sorbet, followed by a squeeze of one wedge of lemon. Top off with Champagne and add the lemon peel.

Cocktails

Mexican Firing Squad

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I’m talking about the classic cocktail here, and not the real thing.

This all started with grenadine. A few weeks ago, I made a pretty big batch of it (I used this recipe here and it turned out wonderful), and since then I’ve been trying to figure out ways to use it in drinks other than a Pink Lady. Don’t get me wrong, I love the drink, but I wanted to switch it up a bit.

I first read about this cocktail on Punch. For those of you who don’t know, Punch is an online beverage magazine. If you haven’t checked it out I highly recommend you do. It’s awesome. And did I mention that since it’s online it’s also free. Pretty sweet, right?

This cocktail is a classic, one of many originally published by American cocktail author Charles H. Baker Jr. in his drink book Gentlemen’s Companion, Volume II. He discovered this drink at La Cucaracha Bar in Mexico City in the late 1930’s.

Now this drink is on the tart side, and classically refreshing like a Gin Rickey. If you find yourself in a good quality grenadine surplus definitely consider giving this drink a try.

DSC_0030Mexican Firing Squad

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce grenadine
  • 5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • lime wedge

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks class over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Cocktails

Elderflower Gin and Tonic

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I first learned about Jack Rudy Cocktail Company on my trip to Charleston.

When I began making different types of bitters for my home bar, I debated making my own tonic syrup. I already had quinine in my possession, as it was often an ingredient in the bitters recipe I used, I just never got around to doing it.

While sitting at The Bar at Husk, I noticed a bottle of Jack Rudy Tonic Syrup on the counter, it was the second time I’d seen the bottle that day, so I finally asked the bartender about it. He poured me a taste of it straight, and said it was one of his favorite products to use, and there wasn’t a spirit it didn’t work well with.

He told me I should put as many bottles in my suitcase as I can and take some home with me. The following day I set out to bring some bottles back, one for my home bar, and a couple more for my friends as gifts.

The only bottle I could find that afternoon to buy was the Elderflower Tonic Syrup. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, so I picked it up anyway. Once I got it home I started messing around with it.

It makes a good tonic to mix spirits with, and I love using Topo Chico in cocktails. I really love the result of mixing it with spirits that are unapologetically floral, like Hendricks. Once I ran out of it, I bought a replacement bottle of Tanqueray for my bar. Not nearly as floral, but it gets the job done.

I had forgotten how much I loved Gin and Tonics. I plan to make this more often, especially since our two weeks of winter are now over.
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Elderflower Gin and Tonic

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Gin (G Vine or Hendricks would be great here)
  • 3/4 ounce Elderflower Tonic Syrup
  • 5 ounces Topo Chico
  • 1 lime wedge

Instructions:

Build over ice, stir, and serve.

Cocktails Drinks

Ciderhouse Whiskey Cocktail

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Last fall, I reduced apple cider to make a glaze for these Apple Cider Doughnuts, and I did it again this year for a seasonal take on a Bourbon cocktail. Combining Bourbon and apples just feels right to me.

I found this rich take on a stiff whiskey drink on Saveur’s site. I added a few dashes of both Angostura and some homemade Apple Cinnamon bitters I had on hand, and I loved the results.

I’ll be sipping this drink tonight after consuming all the heavy Thanksgiving fare.

Ciderhouse Whiskey Cocktail

Ingredients:

Cider Syrup:

  • 1/2 gallon of Apple Cider

Cocktail:

  • 2 ounces Bourbon (I used Elijah Craig)
  • 1 ounce Apple Cider Syrup
  • 2 dashes Apple Cinnamon Bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions:

Apple Cider Syrup:

Gently reduce apple cider over medium-low to medium heat in a saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced and yields 1 cup of syrup. The mixture should be 1/8 of its original size. Allow to cool at room temperature for a few hours and store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Cocktail:

Combine Bourbon, Apple Cider Syrup, and bitters in a glass with ice. Stir cocktail until the cup is very cold to the touch, about 30-45 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into your favorite cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon wedge.

 

Cocktails

Fall Apple and Pear Cocktail

Snow Leopard Vodka-3

I consider vodka a gateway spirit. It’s neutral flavor lends itself well to mixing with just about any type of liquid, and this versatility allows cocktail enthusiasts to experiment while developing an understanding for balance.

A few weeks ago I received a bottle of Snow Leopard vodka in the mail, so I started playing around with it in different cocktails. Once I popped it open I tasted it alongside another Polish brand I often stock in my home bar, and I was surprised by the difference between the two. The nose was much cleaner, and I really enjoyed the creamy vanilla finish. A portion of its sales are also donated to The Snow Leopard Trust to help conservation efforts. If the snow leopard is your spirit animal, I have an idea where your vodka dollars can be spent.

Snow Leopard Vodka-4

I knew I wanted a fall themed cocktail, so I mixed it with some other beloved Portland spirits already in my bar: Clear Creek Pear Brandy and Imbue Bittersweet Vermouth. It seemed natural to muddle fresh apple slices, maraschino cherries, and a lemon wheel with some honey simple syrup. Topped off with some crisp pear cider, it was a light and refreshing take on classic fall flavors.

Snow Leopard Vodka-1

Fall Apple and Pear Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1½ ounces Snow Leopard Vodka
  • ½ ounce Clear Creek Pear Brandy
  • ½ ounce Imbue Bittersweet Vermouth
  • 2 maraschino cherries
  • 4 thin macintosh apple slices
  • 1 thin lemon wheel
  • 1 ounce honey simple syrup
  • 1 dash Regan’s orange bitters
  • 3 ounces Ace Hard Pear Cider

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the apple slices, cherries, lemon wheel, and honey simple syrup together. Add the vodka, pear brandy, vermouth, and orange bitters and fill with ice. Shake until the cocktail is cold and well incorporated. Double strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top off with pear cider and stir quickly to just combine.

Cocktails

Mint Julep

Mint Julep 2I think this post is out of season (I should have written about it sometime in May), but I spent most of my summer enjoying this cocktail over and over again. I felt compelled to tell you about it.

Now I know almost everyone has a recipe for this classic that they turn to. I never have. Up until recently, I was never a julep fan. I have since learned the error of my ways.

I followed this recipe from Epicurious, which was contributed by a bartender at Tailor Restaurant in New York City. Now I’m not sure if I should be looking north to a Yankee for a decidedly southern recipe, but I liked this so much I didn’t bother trying other recipes.

I recently purchased The Lewis Ice Bag for the Smash MxMo I hosted back in July. I love how the bag absorbs the extra moisture in the ice, which made it ideal for shaping. I used to crush ice the economical way, complete with a rolling pin and a Ziploc bag. Then one morning while cleaning leftover glassware I found a small piece of plastic in the bottom of one of my cups. I bought the ice bag the same day.

The only change I made to the original recipe is omitting the club soda and using a small amount of water to help with the muddling process. I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Mint Julep

Mint Julep

yield: serves 1 frosty beverage

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 15 fresh mint leaves, plus 5 small sprigs for garnish
  • 3 ounces of the best whiskey you own (I used Bourbon)
  • 2 cups crushed ice

Instructions:

In a julep cup or Boston shaker, combine a small amount of water and sugar just until the sugar begins to dissolve. Add mint leaves and gently muddle mint leaves until darkened but not crushed. Add whiskey, give a quick stir and then top off with copious amounts of crushed ice. Garnish with mint and a straw (completely optional).