Recipes: Thanksgiving Cocktails 2016

Once again, the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. However, this year seems a bit more unusual for those of us accustomed to having our team serve as the butt end of football jokes: the Detroit Lions are sitting atop the NFC North in first place. Here are a few recipes we’ll be putting to good use while explaining to our 92 year old grandmother why everyone is so angry at Alexander Hamilton these days.

Also, be on the lookout for our annual Holiday Gift Guide arriving in short order. (Tomorrow, actually!) Check back to get the lowdown on our giftable selections on a wide range of libations!

appleshoneyApples & Honey
1 ¼ parts Drambuie
2 parts kosher pressed apple cider
¾ part lime juice
1 sm pinch kosher salt
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 part kosher sparkling white wine (for dryer cocktail, 2 parts sparkling wine)
Garnish with thinly sliced apples and mint

Combine liquid ingredients and salt minus wine into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain over ice. Top with Sparkling wine and garnish with thin apple slices and mint.

Spiced Autumn Mimosa
¾ oz Ciroc Mango
¾ oz champagne
¾ oz fresh orange juice
1 cinnamon stick

Garnish with grated cinnamon, orange wedge and pomegranate seeds.

star-of-autumnStar of Autumn
1 ½ parts Facundo Neo rum
1 part Laird’s Applejack
¼ part maple syrup
¼ part lemon juice
apple wheel (green or Granny Smith) for garnish

Shake all ingredients with plenty of ice. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a thin apple wedge or curled apple peel.

punchHippocras Punch
4 parts white wine
2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
1 part chamomile tea
½ pineapple chopped
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
4 orange peels
1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a small pot and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into a teapot and serve hot in teacups. Garnish with pineapple, cinnamon stick and orange peel.

chicagoLast Harvest
Created by Ben Schiller, The Sixth (Chicago)

2 oz. Campari
2 oz. apple brandy
1/2 oz. Cinzano 1757 Vermouth
1 oz. Wild Turkey bourbon
1/2 oz. walnut liqueur
4 dashes of aromatic bitters

Build all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice for 15 seconds, then funnel into cocktail bottle. Drop in a small apple slice for garnish. Serves two.

Recipe: Never Die

the-winning-cocktail-never-die

The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition recently completed its sixth annual installment in Guadalajara, Mexico, with challengers tasked with crafting a unique libation using Olmeca Altos Tequila.

We got a peek at the winning cocktail, Never Die, crafted by Kelsey Ramage of London’s Dandelyan. (Fortunately Olmeca Altos whipped up some mole orgeat for us in advance, but full instructions on the creation of the drink follow.) Warning: It’s extremely spicy!

Never Die
50 ml Altos Plata
15 ml pink pine nut/mole orgeat
1 dash Angostura Bitters
4 dashes piquin chili tincture

For mole orgeat:
100g pink pine nuts
6 allspice berries
2g cinnamon
6g cacao nibs

Stir all ingredients until chilled. Rim coupette with “soil” made from toasted leftover pine nuts, mulato chili and salt.

Mole orgeat method: Toast all ingredients in a pan until the pine nuts are toasted lightly. Add 500ml of water and flash blend. Transfer mixture back into a pan and keep over low heat until flavours in cinnamon and cacao come through. Strain through cheesecloth. Add sugar at 1:1 ratio. Retain spent nut/spice mixture for rim.

Rim method: Dry out nut/spice mixture left over from mole orgeat by toasting in a pan over low heat with some mulato chili. Once dry add salt to taste and blend into a finer texture.

Recipes: Halloween Cocktails, 2016

Halloween is upon us, and with it a weekend’s worth of costumed and themed parties. As always, we’d like to present for your consideration a pretty substantial list of cocktail recipes and ideas that will enhance any get-together you may be planning.

bloodhandThe Blood in Hand (Blood and Sand)
1 part Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey
1 part cherry liqueur
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part orange juice, freshly squeezed

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a rocks glass.

Bat Magic

1.5 parts Bacardi Black
0.5 part fresh lime juice
0.5 part simple syrup
top with dark beer
2 dashes orange bitters

Combine Bacardi Black, lime juice, simple syrup and bitters in a shaker filled with ice, shake, strain into an ice filled pint glass, then fill with dark beer. Garnish with an orange slice.

pumpkin-spice-and-everything-nicePumpkin Spice and Everything Nice
1 oz Baileys Pumpkin Spice
1 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1 1/2 scoop vanilla ice cream
cola to top
sprig of mint for garnish

Combine Baileys Pumpkin Spice, Captain Morgan and vanilla ice cream in a highball glass. Top with cola and stir. Garnish with mint sprig.

witchesbrewWitches’ Brew
2 oz. dark rum
1 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. ginger liqueur
Sweet Cuveìe Cava

Please use caution and carefully light one end of a cinnamon stick and let it smoke. Place smoldering stick in glass with a plate covering the bottom to prevent overheating. In a cocktail shaker, combine ice and ingredients. Pour over glass with cinnamon stick and top off with Sweet Cuveìe Cava.

Bewitching Berry
2 parts Sauza Signature Blue Silver Tequila
1/2 part peach juice
1/2 part blackberry puree
1/2 part lemon juice
1 part simple syrup
peach slice and blackberry for garnish

Add ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain over ice into a coupe glass. Garnish by skewering a fresh blackberry and a slice of peach with a knot stick.

milagroMilagro Ofrenda
2 parts Milagro Reposado
1 part fresh mandarin juice
1/2 part fresh lemon juice
1/4 part orange blossom honey syrup
1/2 part egg white

Put all ingredients into a Boston shaker, add ice and shake until cold. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass/coupe. Garnish with edible marigold.

Fall Cocktail: Jardesca Fall Harvest Spritz

pear-and-basil

It’s getting downright cool in parts, so it’s time to break out some seasonally-appropriate ingredients.

Check out this offering from Jardesca aperitiva. (Note, you can also use white wine in this recipe if you want a more restrained experience.)

Jardesca Fall Harvest Spritz
3 oz. Jardesca eau de vie
3 slices ripe pair
bruised basil leaf

Add ingredients to a stemless wine glass, over ice. Stir once and top with a splash of soda water or sparkling wine.

Recipes: Labor Day Cocktails 2016

So for this, the 250th recipe post to Drinkhacker, we celebrate the unofficial arrival of summer’s end. However, with the continuous reports of record heat around the globe, it appears that summer isn’t going quietly this year. So until the arrival of everything pumpkin spiced and cooler temperatures, hang out with one of these this holiday weekend.

Midori Melon Oasis
Created Los Angeles mixologist Yael Vengroff
1 part Midori melon liqueur
1 1/4 parts light rum
1/2 part peach liqueur
3/4 part lime juice
3/4 part pineapple juice
6 mint leaves

Combine Midori liqueur, light rum, peach liqueur, lime juice, pineapple juice and mint leaves in a blender with ice. Blend on high and pour into a Hurricane glass. Garnish with mint, sliced peaches and a pineapple wedge.

Caitie McCabe PhotographyBaker’s Citrus Sazerac
1 1/2 parts Baker’s bourbon
1/2 part grapefruit liqueur
1 tsp of simple syrup
1 dash of Angostura bitters
1 dash of Whiskey Barrel bitters

Spritz a chilled Sazerac glass with honey whiskey liqueur. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir well. Pour into the spritzed Sazerac glass and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

(Note: Bourbon snobs hear me out. I know to use a higher quality bourbon like Baker’s in a mixed drink borders on sacrilegious, but it’s actually pretty great in this instance. Give it a shot.)

image008Drambuie Mixed Berry Sangria
3 parts Drambuie
1 part triple sec
1 cup Chardonnay
1 part orange juice
1 part lime juice
1 part honey
2 cups frozen berries
10 dashes cherry bitters

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with skewered berries with basil sprig.

unnamedFrozen Boulevardier
3/4 oz. Aperol
3/4 oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
3/4 oz. Bulleit bourbon
1 Quenelle of tangerine sorbet
Zest of lemon
Hand-Crushed Ice

Crush ice in a bag, pour into a rocks glass. In a mixing glass, combine Aperol, Carpano Antica and bourbon. Add fresh ice. Stir for 30-45 seconds, strain over crushed ice. Garnish with a scoop of tangerine sorbet and lemon zest.

(Note: Regarding Hand-Crushed Ice, you can totally use crushed ice if you have that setting on your fridge. And if you can’t be bothered with making a Quenelle, just use a regular scoop of sorbet. No need to get precious about this if you don’t want to. It’s just as good.)

Recipes: National Rum Day, 2016

Tomorrow (August 16) marks the annual passing of National Rum Day, a holiday with an impressive longevity in comparison to other spirit-inspired festive occasions. Here are a few cocktails we pre-tested over this past weekend and which received our stamp of approval. Bear in mind: All of these cocktails are best served without listening to Jimmy Buffett.

East India NegroniEast India Negroni
2 parts Banks 5 Island rum
1 part Campari
1 part Lustau East India sherry
orange peel (for garnish)

Add all the ingredients but the garnish to a mixing glass, then add ice. Stir and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube. Garnish with the orange peel.

Mount Gay Rum’s Barbadian Rum Punch
1 part sour (lime juice)
2 parts sweet (simple syrup)
3 parts strong (Mount Gay Black Barrel rum)
4 parts weak (water or unsweetened iced tea) (Note: we used iced tea)

Combine all elements and stir. Let sit in fridge for 20-30 minutes. Serve.

image007Rum Babalu
2 parts Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Old Rum
¾ part fresh lime juice
½ part maple syrup
1 part ginger beer
1 dash of Angostura bitters

Add all ingredients in a shaker except ginger beer, add ice and shake well until chilled. Strain over fresh ice, top with ginger beer and garnish with an orange peel.

Pineapple-Mojito_Close-up-BestPineapple Mojito
(Recipe and photo by Cocina 214)
6 leaves of mint (no stems)
1 oz pineapple chunks
1.5 oz pineapple juice
1 oz simple syrup
.75 oz Malibu Pineapple Rum
.75 oz Bacardi Rum Coconut
1 oz soda water
0.5 oz diluted lime juice

Muddle mint, pineapple, diluted lime and simple syrup. Add ice. Then add Bacardi and pineapple rum. Shake well. Pour contents into a 16oz glass. Garnish with pineapple leaf.

Neo White Negroni
2 parts Facundo Neo rum
1 part Cocchi White Americano
dash of Maraschino liqueur
Lemon twist

Combine ingredients with ice. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Hint of SpiceCruzan Hint of Spice
(Recipe by Christian Guillén)
2 parts Cruzan Aged Light Rum
1 part D&D Shrubs & Syrups Co. Spiced Pecan Orgeat
1/2 part Allspice Liqueur
3/4 part fresh lime juice
5 dashes Angostura Bitters

In a cocktail shaker, combine rum, spiced pecan orgeat, allspice liqueur, and fresh lime juice. Shake and strain into a Collins Glass over crushed ice. Top with bitters and garnish with a mint sprig and lime wheel.

Recipes: National Tequila Day Cocktails, 2016

As is usual, National Tequila Day arrives on July 24th. Unlike similarly marketed holidays, this one has managed to endure and continues to gain popularity every year. Here are a few recipes for your consideration, and if anyone need us we will be recovering on National Hangover Day, Monday July 25th.

Watermelon Crush
Watermelon Crush(Created by Pamela Wiznitzer)
2 parts Tres Agaves Blanco
3-4 pieces watermelon
½ part hibiscus syrup (Boil hibiscus tea; once hot, add in equal parts white sugar to the tea and let dissolve)
¾ part lime juice
½ part coconut water

Muddle watermelon and combine all ingredients. Shake and strain into a highball. Garnish with a thin watermelon slice.

La Abejita
(Created by Omar Villavicencio)
1 1/2 oz Don Julio Blanco
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz fresh honey syrup
1 dash lavender bitters
fresh honeycomb (for garnish)

Combine Tequila Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice, honey syrup and lavender bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with fresh piece of honey comb.

CrushClementine Crush
1 part Sauza Blue Silver tequila
1 part clementine juice
1/2 part lime juice
1/2 part agave nectar
1 orange wheel

Add ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain over ice into glass and serve. Garnish with an orange wheel. Sugar coated rim is optional.

Recipes: 2016 Summer Cocktail Roundup

Summer is in full swing for most of the nation and with it the usual brush with unbearable heat and humidity for most of the nation. Along with upcoming July 4th cocktails and National Tequila Day celebrations, we’ve also received some pretty interesting recipes that don’t really fit under a theme or holiday. We’re rounding them up and presenting them to you here for your experimentation and enjoyment. Got any recipes you’d like to share? Drop us a line!

BrambleBudapest Bramble
(created by Nicholas Bennett)
1 1/4 oz Unicum Plum
1/3 oz Zacapa Rum 23
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/3 oz demerara syrup
2-3 blackberries
Quartered lime (for garnish)

Muddle blackberries and quartered lime in the bottom of glass. Add Unicum Plum, Zacapa Rum 23, fresh lemon juice, and demerara syrup and fill with pebble ice. Garnish with lime wheel and a blackberry.

Julio & Daisy
(created by Christian Armando Guillén)
1 1/4 oz Tequila Don Julio Blanco
1 oz hibiscus and passion fruit infused agave syrup
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 dash pepper bitters
Orchid (for garnish)

Combine Tequila Don Julio Blanco, hibiscus and passion fruit infused agave syrup, fresh lime juice and pepper bitters into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with orchid.

raspberryRaspberry Refresher
1 1/2 parts Courvoisier VS
3-4 fresh raspberries
1/2 part passion fruit puree
1/4 part lime juice
Ginger beer

Build in cocktail shaker shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass; top with ginger beer. Garnish with raspberry.

PM Kick
1.5 oz Tanteo Jalepeno tequila
3 oz fresh watermelon puree
.5 oz agave syrup
.5 oz fresh lime juice
3 sprigs cilantro

Build in a pint glass with ice. Shake, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with cilantro.

AmeliaThe Amelia
1.5 oz Grey Goose vodka
.5 oz St. Germain
1 oz fresh lemon juice
4 muddled blackberries
blackberries for garnish

Muddle blackberries with lemon and St. Germain. Add ice and vodka. Shake and strain into martini glass.

Review: Few Spirits Breakfast Gin

Few Breakfast Gin

Gin for breakfast? Well, brunch anyway.

With Breakfast Gin, Few Spirits is targeting some specific cocktails — including the Ramos Gin Fizz and the French 75, which are a little more appropriate before noon than, say, a Manhattan. Botanicals include juniper, lemon, and Earl Grey tea (among others).

Launched in Chicago in summer 2015, the gin was a local hit and is rolling out nationally now.

Thoughts follow.

The gin is light on its feet, at first a bit woody on the nose, but in time revealing more of the herbal notes driven by the tea element. On the palate, the gin is gentle at first, with uncomplicated juniper notes up front. These give way to more of those tea-driven notes, heavy on orange peel and grapefruit peel notes, before finishing with a brighter burst of citrus.

It’s got less going on than you might expect based on the unusual addition of tea in the botanical bill, but it’s definitely worth trying out in the above mentioned cocktails, or in one of the ones below.

84 proof.

B+ / $40 / fewspirits.com

And now, some recipes…

Madteani
by Sara McDaniel, MAD Social, Chicago
3 oz. Few Breakfast Gin
.5 oz. brewed Earl Grey tea
.5 oz. honey syrup (1 part honey, 1 part water)
3 dashes Bar Keep Lavender Bitters

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a Martini or coupe glass. Garnish with an edible flower.

White Lady
by Todd Elkis, Adele’s Front Room, La Grange, Ill.
1.75 oz. Few Breakfast Gin
1.25 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. lemon juice

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

The Spell
by Ergys Dizdari, SIP, Chicago
1.5 oz. Few Breakfast Gin
.5 oz. elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain)
.75 oz. lemon juice
.75 oz. Rose-Lavender Syrup*

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a spritz of rosewater and a rose petal.

*Rose-Lavender Syrup
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup dried rose petals
.5 cup dried lavender

Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and let stand until cool. Fine-strain and store in the refrigerator.

Recipes: Memorial Day Cocktails 2016

In some circles, it’s the official start of summer. In others, it is a time to pay reverence and salute those who have dutifully served in our United States Armed Forces. Whatever your occasion, we’ve taken the liberty to try out all of the cocktails suggested below and present them for your celebratory consideration. May you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Summer ThymeSummer Thyme
1 1/2 parts Aperol
1 1/2 parts gin
1 dash of Angostura Bitters
1 part Sparkling Ice Pink Grapefruit
thyme rub

Shake Aperol and gin with ice and pour into a chilled martini glass that has been rubbed with thyme sprig. Top with Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Ice. Garnish with thyme sprig.

Tanqueray No. TEN Green Machine
1.25 oz. Tanqueray No. TEN
3 oz. green juice
mint sprig for garnish

Blend greens, apple, and lemon together to create green juice. Pour green juice into glass, add Tanqueray No. TEN and stir. Garnish with a celery stalk or mint sprig.

punchGrapefruit Summer Solstice Punch
10 parts Bacardi Grapefruit
4 parts Pineau des Charentes
4 parts orange liqueur
5 parts orange blossom honey syrup
7 parts lime juice
lemons, sliced as garnish

Mix all ingredients and place into a punch bowl with a large ice block.

Le Grand Fizz
1 1/2 parts Grey Goose Vodka
1 part St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
3 lime wedges
1 parts chilled soda water

Build in an oversized cabernet wine glass with plenty ice. Add Grey Goose vodka, then squeeze three lime wedges and discard. Top with St. Germain and chilled soda water. Garnish with two lime wedges.

Recipes: Mother’s Day Cocktails 2016

It’s been a while since we last offered an installment of cocktail recipes devoted entirely to celebrating Mom on her special day. Time for an update! Here are a few excellent recipes worthy of serving while she’s waiting for you to finish cooking breakfast or brunch.

image002The Ruffino Tuscan Cosmo
4 parts chilled Ruffino Prosecco
3 parts chilled cranberry juice
½ part triple sec
splash of lime juice

Combine triple sec and cranberry juice. Pour mixture into glass, filling ¾ full. Top off with Ruffino Prosecco and finish with splash of lime juice.

Mommie Dearest
1.5 parts Svedka Raspberry Vodka
2 parts Champagne
1.5 parts sour mix
1 part white grape juice

Pour all ingredients, except for champagne, into a cocktails shaker. Shake and strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with champagne. Garnish with a grapefruit peel and raspberries.

Coco TurinCoco Turin
Created by Revae Schneider
1 oz Baileys Espresso Crème
1 oz Cîroc Coconut
1 oz dark roast coffee
1 teaspoon simple syrup
2 oz hot water
coconut shavings for garnish

Combine Baileys Espresso Crème, Cîroc Coconut, dark roast coffee, hot water and simple syrup in a coffee mug. Stir well for 20 seconds. Garnish with coconut shavings.

Recipes: 2016 Kentucky Derby Cocktails

The annual running of the Kentucky Derby (preceded shortly by the annual running of locals out of town) is fast approaching (it’s Saturday). And aside from the traditional fare of bourbon-based Old Fashioneds and Mint Juleps served on every corner, here are a few alternative recipes that may liven up your get together.

image003Oaks Lily
1 part Grey Goose vodka
½ part fresh lemon juice
½ part simple syrup
3 part cranberry juice
splash of orange liqueur

Fill glass slightly above rim with cubed ice. Pour ingredients in order listed to ½ inch from top of glass. Stir slowly and present with a fresh blackberry and a slice of lemon.

unnamedMalt Julep
2 parts Glenfiddich 14 Years Old
bruised mint leaves
simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Build with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprigs in a traditional Julep cup.

Slow & Low Julep
3 oz Slow & Low Rye
1/2 oz simple syrup, preferably demerara
Lots of mint — 10 springs (reserve 1 sprig for garnish)
Crushed ice
Copper, steel or aluminum cup

Muddle whiskey and mint in a mix glass. Add 1 large cube of ice. Stir, but not so much as to dilute — a bakers dozen revolutions. Add liberal amounts of crushed ice to more than fill the tin cup. Fine strain contents of mix into a glass over crushed ice. Garnish with 6 mint leaves.

The Upbeat
0.75 parts Drambuie
0.75 parts Hendrick’s Gin
2 parts Darjeeling tea (cooled)
0.5 part rose simple syrup
2 dashes peach bitters
1 parts sparkling water

Combine Drambuie, gin, and simple syrup in a mixing glass filled 3/4 with ice. Stir for 30 seconds to combine. Pour into an Old Fashioned glasses with one large ice cube. Add 2 dashes of the bitters into each glass. Further sweeten with rose simple syrup to taste. Stir again. Finish with Sparkling water in each glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

The Grandstand
1 ½ oz. Cynar
¾ oz. Wild Turkey 101
½ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
12 mint leaves
2 oz. soda water
2 dashes Fee Brother’s Grapefruit Bitters

In a rocks glass add mint and all ingredients except soda water and bitters. Gently muddle, add ice then soda and top with bitters.