Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe: National Tequila Day, 2014 Edition

July 24th brings us another mid-week holiday we can all get together and celebrate: the 2014 edition of National Tequila Day. We offered some great tequila recipes last year, but here’s a few more that have come across our inbox you might want to check out.

Tequila thing 225x300 Recipe: National Tequila Day, 2014 EditionThe Garden Fresh Skinny Summerita
Created by Travis London, celebrity chef
1 oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 oz. Cabo Wabo Blanco
juice of half a lime
3 sprigs fresh cilantro
3 thin slices of fresh cucumber
3 thin slices of a fresh jalapeño pepper
cucumber wheel for garnish

(NOTE: We did not have any X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, nor did we have any of Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo styled tequila around, but we did have some tequila and other stuff, and things worked out just fine)

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker (except cucumber wheel) filled with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with cucumber wheel.

summerzap 177x300 Recipe: National Tequila Day, 2014 EditionBitter Summer Zapatista
Created by Borys Saciuk of 15 Romolo in San Francisco
1.5 oz. Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila
0.75 oz. Campari
0.75 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
0.25 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. agave nectar
Fresh Egg White
Pinch of Indonesian Pepper

Beginning with agave nectar and pepper, combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice into a tall glass. Garnish with long grapefruit peel.

Cherry Valance
1 ½ parts Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila
½ part applejack
½ part fresh lemon juice
1/3 part pomegranate syrup
Egg white

Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and shake extremely vigorously until egg whites are mixed well. Serve in a coupe glass.

Este Lado
Created by Mixologists Ben Scorah and Marshall Altier
1 1/2 ounces Don Julio Blanco
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Slice of English Cucumber
Mint sprig
Additional mint and cucumber (for garnish)

Muddle English Cucumber and mint sprig in simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice and ice. Shake well. Strain Contents over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with mint sprig and cucumber wheel.

rosemary Recipe: National Tequila Day, 2014 EditionBlushing Rosemary Margarita
2 parts Milagro Silver Tequila
1 part fresh lime juice
¾ part agave nectar
4 watermelon chunks
1 rosemary sprig
1 lemon wheel
2 dashes Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters

In a cocktail shaker, muddle fruit and herbs. Add remaining ingredients. Shake and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with Rosemary Sprig and Lemon Wheel.

charro Recipe: National Tequila Day, 2014 EditionCharro Negro
2 oz. Trianon Blanco Tequila
1 ½ oz. cola
Fresh lime juice
Sea salt
Lime wheel for garnish

Rim a glass with salt and fill with ice. Add lime juice, cola and Trianon Blanco Tequila. Add a pinch of salt and stir. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.

4th of July Cocktail Recipes, 2014 Edition

Once again we present a wide assortment of July 4th inspired cocktails for you to experiment with over the long holiday weekend. We received a ton for consideration of inclusion, but after sampling many of these over the previous week we felt the recipes below were at the top of the class. Everyone stay safe and enjoy the holidays!

Liberty Lemonade 4th of July Cocktail Recipes, 2014 EditionLady Liberty Lemonade
(created by Andrea Correale)
2 oz. triple sec
2 oz. limoncello
1 handful of raspberries
2 oz. mint leaves
A dash of grenadine for color
A pinch of raw sugar
Juice of two lemons
Club soda

Add raspberries and mint to the bottom of the glass and sprinkle raw sugar on tome. Muddle ingredients until it has the appearance of jam. Add the Triple Sec, Limoncello and lemon juice to your glass. Add a dash of grenadine for color, and then add the ice and top if off with club soda. Stir and serve with a sprig of fresh mint on top

Firecracker 130x150 4th of July Cocktail Recipes, 2014 EditionThe Firecracker
1 oz. strawberry vodka
1 oz. NOHO Gold energy drink
½ oz. peach schnapps
Splash of cranberry juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

Strawberry Fireworks
3 oz. Hornitos Plata Tequila
Handful of fresh strawberries
Juice from 1 lime
2 teaspoons superfine sugar
Fresh pepper
6 oz. club soda

Put strawberries in a small pitcher and mash to your desired consistency. Add juice, club soda, tequila and combine along with 4 good grinds from the pepper mill. Fill 2 glasses halfway with ice and divide drink among glasses.

Red Berry Sangria
1 oz. Red Berry Ciroc vodka
1 oz. rose wine
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
2 oz. berry tea

Combine ingredients, stir over ice in wine glass.

Yankee Doodle 4th of July Cocktail Recipes, 2014 EditionYankee Doodle
½ oz. Lucid absinthe
1 oz. Sobieski vodka
¼ oz. simple syrup
Splash of lemon juice
Drizzle of raspberry brandy
Ginger beer
Fresh blueberries and sugar cube for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, add fresh blueberries and simple syrup and muddle. Add absinthe, vodka, lemon juice and shake. Strain into a highball glass and top with raspberry brandy and ginger beer. Garnish with fresh blueberries and a sugar cube and serve.

Recipe: Father’s Day Cocktails 2014

On Father’s Day, most dads are just perfectly content with a glass of their favorite spirit, a can of their favorite beer or a glass of their favorite vintage. However, there are some fathers whose palate run a bit more refined. Here are a few recipes which show a bit more effort than just another tie or poorly designed ashtray.

image001 199x300 Recipe: Fathers Day Cocktails 2014Tart Daddy
1 part UV Vodka
3 parts grapefruit juice
1 dash of sour mix
Mix and serve over ice in a lowball glass.

Basil Hayden’s Dad’s Day Off
(Created by Zachary Brian Taylor, San Francisco)
1 ½ parts Basil Hayden’s bourbon
¾ parts Lemon Juice
½ part brown sugar syrup
1 sprig of Rosemary
Ginger Beer

Combine Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, lemon juice and brown sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker. Remove rosemary needles from the bottom 3/4 of the sprig and add to the shaker. Save the top of the sprig for use as a garnish. Add ice to shaker and shake. Double strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with the remaining rosemary sprig.

(Note: Didn’t have any Basil Hayden’s in the house, but tried this with Knob Creek Single Barrel and it worked just fine.)

image009 300x200 Recipe: Fathers Day Cocktails 2014Endless Days
1 ½ oz. Ketel One Oranje
1 oz. Aperol
½ oz. fresh orange juice
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
3-4 dashes rhubarb bitters
Club soda

Combine first six ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a long orange twist.

Recipes for National Cognac Day 2014

June 4th marks the arrival of the holiday we’ve all been waiting for: National Cognac Day!

A quick primer on Cognac:

- It is a variety of brandy.
- It is produced in the wine growing region of Cognac in France.
- Like bourbon, it has certain requirements in its distillation process. It must be made from a specific varietal of grape, twice distilled in copper pot stills, and aged a minimum of two years in French oak barrels.
- There are numerous grades and distinctions into which Cognac may be classified, including by age and geography.

Without further ado, we present two cocktails involving Cognac for your consideration.

Negroni Recipes for National Cognac Day 2014Negroni Française
1 ½ part Courvoisier VSOP
½ part Campari
½ part sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Combine the VSOP, Campari and Vermouth in a shaker over ice. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and add bitters. Garnish with an orange slice.

Pommes Recipes for National Cognac Day 2014Pommes et Raisins
2 parts Courvoisier VS
3/4 part fresh squeezed lime juice
½ part mint syrup
Top with hard cider

Shake and strained into a pilsner glass. Top with hard cider. Garnish with frozen white grapes.

Recipe: Memorial Day Cocktails 2014

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!

Ungava Negroni 300x300 Recipe: Memorial Day Cocktails 2014Ungava Negroni
1 ½ oz. Ungava Gin
1 ½ oz. Campari
1 oz. sweet vermouth
Orange twist for garnish

Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish
with an orange twist and serve.

HighTechPunch 224x300 Recipe: Memorial Day Cocktails 2014Hi-Teq Punch
3 parts Milagro Silver tequila
2 parts lemon juice
2 parts simple syrup
2 parts sparking water
5 parts Hibiscus Tea (1 tea bag per 16oz hot water)
1 part ginger juice
1 part Lillet Rose

Build ingredients in a punch bowl over a large ice block. Garnish with lemon wheels. Stir well for one minute to dilute. Serve to your guests in a rocks or punch glass and enjoy.

Spring Lemon Aide
(Created by Bobby “G” Gleason, Suntory-Beam Master Mixologist)
1 part Jim Beam Honey
2 parts fresh lemon sour
4-6 fresh blueberries
club soda
1 small (reasonable) splash of simple syrup
Lemon wheel for garnish

In a mixing glass, muddle the blueberries with a splash of simple syrup. Add the Jim Beam Honey, lemon sour and shake with ice then fine strain over fresh ice in a tall glass then top with club soda. Garnish with fresh blueberries and a lemon wheel on the rim.

Mint 200x300 Recipe: Memorial Day Cocktails 2014Mint Sparkler
1 oz. Lucid Absinthe
1 ½ oz. pear vodka
1 oz. peach schnapps
4 oz. lemon-lime soda
1 mint sprig

In a cocktail shaker, add Lucid Absinthe, pear vodka, peach schnapps, lemon-lime soda and ice. Shake
and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.

Recipe: 2014 Cinco De Mayo Cocktails

Whether you’re Mexican or not, it’s margarita time. Want something different? Try one of these…

Superfecta
Superfecta Recipe: 2014 Cinco De Mayo Cocktails2 ½ oz. Camus VSOP Elegance Cognac
dash of water
7 mint sprigs
1 tsp. sugar

Muddle mint, sugar and dash of water in a shaker. Add cognac and ice and shake. Strain into rocks glass. Garnish with mint and serve.

Pepinita 245x300 Recipe: 2014 Cinco De Mayo CocktailsPepinita
1 ½ oz. Trianon Blanco Tequila
1 oz. agave nectar
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
splash of orange liqueur
cucumber slices
chili powder

In a shaker, add ingredients and muddle cucumber slices. Add ice and shake. Strain into a chili powder rimmed glass. Garnish with more cucumber slices and serve.

Conquistador Recipe: 2014 Cinco De Mayo CocktailsConquistador
(created by Milagro Brand Ambassador Jaime Salas)
1 ½ parts Milagro Reposado
½ part Ancho Reyes
½ part crème de cacao
½ part Manzanilla sherry
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Chill coupe glass with ice and water and set aside. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled and diluted. Discard chilling ice from the coupe. Strain ingredients into chilled coupe. Using a vegetable peeler, remove a long piece of orange peel. Express the oil over the cocktail, rub the peel around the rim of the glass, and place atop the cocktail.

Avion 171x300 Recipe: 2014 Cinco De Mayo CocktailsAvión (PO) Loma
1.5 oz. Avión Silver
½ oz. lime juice
¼ oz. lemon juice
3 oz. grapefruit juice
2 slivers muddled jalapeño
soda water
ancho chile salt, jalapeño, and grilled lemon wedge for garnish

Combine all ingredients and shake. Salt rim of glass with chile salt. Pour contents of shaker into glass and top with soda. Garnish with grilled lemon and jalapeño.

papaya smash Recipe: 2014 Cinco De Mayo CocktailsPapaya Smash
1 slice of fresh papaya
¼ oz. agave nectar
1 ¼ oz. Avión Añejo
½ oz. Aperol
½ oz. orange juice
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
garnish with fresh papaya

Add a slice of fresh papaya and agave nectar to your mixing glass. Muddle to release the papaya flavor. Combine ingredients in shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain over ice, and garnish with a fresh slice of papaya.

Recipe: 2014 Kentucky Derby Cocktails

For Kentuckians, having horses take 2 minutes to fly around a track at great speed is reason enough to celebrate for roughly two weeks leading up to the main event. This of course, can lead to a large consumption of mint juleps. That can get tiresome, believe it or not, so here are some twists for your consideration. Of course, if you’re looking for the real deal Julep, we’ve got you covered there, too.

Blackberry Recipe: 2014 Kentucky Derby CocktailsBlackberry Mint Julep Margarita
2 parts Milagro Anejo tequila
1 part lime juice
1 part honey syrup
5 blackberries
6 mint leaves

Muddle berries and mint. Add rest, shake and strain over ice in julep glass. Garnish with blackberries and mint sprig.

Reviver Recipe: 2014 Kentucky Derby CocktailsSpring Reviver
1 oz. rhubarb tea
1 oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1 oz. Lillet Rosé
.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
3 dashes absinthe
1 strawberry slice, mint sprig or edible flower (for garnish)

Shake ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass, garnish with a strawberry slice and a mint sprig or an edible flower.

Dewlep Recipe: 2014 Kentucky Derby CocktailsThe Tullamore Dewlep
2 oz Tullamore D.E.W. Original
½ oz vanilla sugar syrup
dash peach bitters
12 mint leaves

Pour all ingredients into a cup. Gently muddle mint, fill with crushed ice and stir gently to combine garnish with a sprig of mint and straw.

Bailey Recipe: 2014 Kentucky Derby CocktailsMajor Bailey
(by Jon Santer)
2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1 sugar cube
¼ oz simple syrup
8 mint leaves
1 spear cucumber (for garnish)

Muddle in julep glass. Top with crushed ice until a mountain peak of ice forms above the glass. Garnish with copious amounts of mint and a cucumber spear.

Recipes: 2014 Spring Cocktails

For a least some of the nation (sorry New England and Midwest!), the brutal, crushing cold of winter has passed and things are starting to warm up and become tolerable once again. With that we’ve had a plethora of cocktail recipes heading our way over the last few weeks, and we’ve culled and tested the best of the best for your consideration:

image003 1 200x300 Recipes: 2014 Spring CocktailsMayan Mule
1 part Milagro Reposado tequila
½ part fresh lime juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
3 parts Ginger Beer

Place 2-3 ice cubes in a Collins glass. Add fresh squeezed lime juice, Milagro, ginger beer and bitters. Stir. Garnish with mint sprigs and a lime wheel.

Presbyterian Revenge
(Created by John McCarthy of Bathtub Gin)
1.5 oz. Black Grouse Scotch
.75 oz. Cynar liqueur
.25 oz. lemon juice
.25 oz. simple syrup
1 dash grapefruit bitters

Shake and strain into a rocks glass with ice. Top with a splash of soda, garnish with a grapefruit twist.

BlossomMule 300x193 Recipes: 2014 Spring CocktailsBlossom Mule
(Created by Mulberry Project)
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. Maraschino liqueur
2 oz. sake
4 oz ginger beer
4 dashes of Pechaud’s Bitters
cherry blossom for garnish

Pour the lime juice/Maraschino/sake into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain contents over fresh ice, into a tall glass. Add the ginger beer followed by the the Pechaud’s Bitters, stir and garnish with cherry blossom flower.

Chandon Recipes: 2014 Spring CocktailsChandon Lavender
1 oz. lavender simple syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lavender florets)
2 oz. fresh lime juice
3 oz. Chandon Brut Classic

Simple syrup: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit 30 minutes. Strain the syrup into a clean container and refrigerate. Discard the lavender.

Cocktail: Pour the simple syrup and lime juice in a decorative glass and stir to mix. Add Chandon Brut Classic and serve.

Mo-Coco-Jito
6 fresh mint leaves
3 fresh lime wedges
4 ounces Amy & Brian’s coconut juice
2 ounces rum
splash of club soda

For a fresh take on a refreshing mojito, muddle together mint, fresh lime, and rum in a martini shaker. Pour in the coconut juice and a splash of club soda; shake well. Strain and pour into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with a mint leaf.

Original Recipe: Hot Buttered Holiday

hot buttered holiday 300x225 Original Recipe: Hot Buttered HolidayHiram Walker recently sent out to a bunch of drink writers and other industry types a package of three mystery products. The goal: Make a cocktail out of whatever you get, and see which one gets the most “likes” on the company’s Facebook page.

This turned out to be tougher than I thought. I received a bottle of Wiser’s Spiced Vanilla Whiskey, a bottle of triple sec, and a bottle of pumpkin spice flavored liqueur. What did I come up with? This festive, Thanksgiving-esque hot cocktail, adapted from my favorite hot buttered rum recipe. Not very seasonally appropriate, but what the heck else am I supposed to do with pumpkin liqueur???

But this is delicious:

Hot Buttered Holiday
for the batter (serves 10-12)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch salt

for each cocktail
2 oz. Wiser’s Spiced Whiskey Vanilla No. 5
3/4 oz. Hiram Walker pumpkin spice liqueur
1/4 oz. Hiram Walker triple sec
boiling water

In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Refrigerate until almost firm. For each drink, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into a small mug. Pour the whiskey, pumpkin liqueur, and triple sec into the mug. Top with boiling water to fill the remainder of the mug, stir well, and serve immediately. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a shake of ground nutmeg.

Recipes for National Iced Coffee Day

April 21st has been designated by those who designate such things as National Iced Coffee Day. One of these days we’ll design a calendar with all of these holidays for reference (unless someone already has, in which case please point us in that direction). As an alternative to the usual Frapuccino, we present a couple of boozy recipes to try out during your next lazy weekend.

Iced Coffee 248x300 Recipes for National Iced Coffee Day Guatemalan Iced Coffee
1 1/2 oz. Zacapa Rum 23
3 1/2 oz. Guatemalan coffee
1/2 oz. Demerara sugar syrup
cream (optional)

Pour coffee into a highball glass filled with ice. Add Zacapa Rum 23 and Demerara sugar syrup and stir well. Add cream if desired.

Boozy Biscotti Iced Coffee
(by Lisa Lavery at Yummly)

For the coffee:
4 1/2 oz coarsely ground coffee (about 1 3/4 cups)
3 1/2 oz cold water

For the cocktails:
2 cups cold water
8 ounces amaretto, chilled
2 ounces Pernod, chilled
ice and milk (for serving)

Place the coffee grounds in a 2-quart pitcher, add the water, and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let steep at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day. Line a fine-mesh strainer with a standard coffee filter and fit it over a medium bowl. Working in batches, slowly pour the coffee into the filter until all of the liquid has passed through the strainer (the coffee will pass through in a slow stream; don’t force it through); stop when you reach the solids at the bottom of the pitcher (don’t pour them in). Discard the grounds and the contents of the strainer.Wash and dry the pitcher. Transfer the strained coffee into the pitcher. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.

When ready to serve, add the water, amaretto, and Pernod to the strained coffee and stir to combine. Serve over ice, passing milk on the side.

(NOTE: This has been a staple in our household for quite some time now. We’ve tried to keep it around to see how long it will last in the fridge and still remain fresh, but it doesn’t last long enough. For the coffee, last week we used Gachatha AB from George Howell, but I’m certain any coffee of reasonable pedigree will serve the job well.)

Recipe: St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail’s 2014

Without question, one of the busiest recipe holidays of the year for us is St. Patrick’s Day. For those content in drinking watered down beer with green food coloring or a straight shot of Jameson, the answer is simple: Keep doing what you’re doing. However, for those desiring a bit more in their festivities and libations, we’ve collected the best of the bunch for you to enjoy.

NOHO Fresca 167x300 Recipe: St. Patricks Day Cocktails 2014NOHO Fresca
2 oz. gin (Note: We used Russell Henry Dry for this, but any decent gin will do)
1 oz. elderflower liqueur
1 oz. cucumber water
1/2 oz. lime juice
Float 2 oz. NOHO

Shake all ingredients with ice. Serve in Collins glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice (optional).

Herradura Green Agaveimage001 214x300 Recipe: St. Patricks Day Cocktails 2014
1 ½ oz. Herradura Silver
1 oz. melon liqueur
fresh lime juice

Shake tequila, melon liqueur and lime juice with ice for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a Shamrock carved lime (good luck!). Shake and pour into martini glass.


Honey Smash Recipe: St. Patricks Day Cocktails 2014Bushmills Irish Honey Smash
1.5 oz. of Bushmills Irish Honey
2-3 mint leaves
3/4 oz. simple syrup
2 pieces of lemon
1 oz water

Muddle the lemon, mint, water, and simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add Bushmills, shake, and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve.

The Montserrat
(courtesy of Irish Whiskey historian Tim Herlihy)
2 parts Tullamore D.E.W.
1 part cloudy apple juice
1 brown sugar cube
1 dash Angostura Bitters
large orange ‘Horses Neck’ twist

Muddle brown sugar cube, bitters and small amount of Tullamore D.E.W. in bottom of rocks glass. Fill glass with cubed ice. Stir to dilute, adding Tullamore D.E.W. slowly. Add more ice as necessary. Afterwards, add apple juice and garnish with an orange twist.

BloodyMaria 215x300 Recipe: St. Patricks Day Cocktails 2014Green Bloody Maria
2 oz Milagro Silver
1 tomatillo
1 oz lime juice
.5 oz agave nectar
4 cucumber slices
1 pinch cilantro
1 slice jalapeno
1 pinch minced garlic
1 pinch salt

Blend all ingredients without ice. Shake and strain into a tall glass with ice. Garnish with cucumber.

Lepearchaun Recipe: St. Patricks Day Cocktails 2014Lepearchuan
1 oz Berentzen Pear
1.5 oz Irish whiskey
(Note: While the recipe doesn’t call for an exacting brand, we used Tullamore D.E.W in this instance)
.25 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz ginger ale

Combine Berentzen Pear, Irish Whiskey and lime juice over ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Top with ginger ale. Garnish with slice of pear.

Ciroc 239x300 Recipe: St. Patricks Day Cocktails 2014CÎROC St. Patty
3 basil leaves
1 jalapeño
1 oz lime juice
.75 oz agave nectar
1.5oz CÎROC Vodka

Build in shaker, muddle, add vodka and ice. Shake and fine strain over a couple glass garnish with basil leaf and jalapeño.

Recipe: Booker’s Bourbon Cocktails

Bookers 450x1200 Recipe: Bookers Bourbon CocktailsWhen we approached Beam for a few ideas for mixing Booker’s Bourbon in a cocktail, they were caught off guard. Apparently, no one’s really requested them before. So Beam got together with resident mixologist Bobby G, who hit up a few friends to contribute some ideas. All of these recipes aside, we’re going to side with Fred Noe, who believes the best way to drink Booker’s is “any damn way you please.”

Clermont Smash
Courtesy of Tony Abou-Ganim
1.50 oz. Booker’s Bourbon
.75 oz. falernum syrup
10-12 spearmint leaves
3 dashes Fee Brother’s Peach Bitters
1.50 oz. fresh lemon sour

In a mixing glass muddle the spearmint leaves with falernum syrup, add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a double Old Fashioned glass filled with crushed ice and stir. Rub a wedge of pineapple around the rim of glass and garnish with pineapple wedge and a sprig of mint.

Dalton Cocktail
In honor of Jerry Dalton, Former Master Distiller Jim Beam
1.25 oz. Booker’s Bourbon
.50 oz. Laird’s Applejack
.25 oz Grand Marnier
1.50 oz. fresh sour
.25 oz. falernum syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice until well blended. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a burnt orange peel and drop a cherry into cocktail. Cut a small half dollar size piece of orange peel with as little pith as possible. Hold peel between thumb and forefinger about 4” above cocktail. Hold match between peel and cocktail squeeze peel sharply to release oils into flame.

The River Styx
1.50 oz Booker’s Bourbon
.50 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
4 1″ pieces of fresh pineapple
3” sprig of fresh rosemary (stripped of the bottom 2”)
.50 oz blood orange or pomegranate syrup

In a mixing glass muddle the pineapple and the rosemary. Add all remaining ingredients except the syrup and shake vigorously with ice. Double strain the cocktail over the ice in a double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a half moon slice of orange and the remaining 1” of the rosemary sprig.

Tangerine Julep
1.50 oz. Booker’s Bourbon
½ fresh tangerine cut and muddled with peel
6-10 fresh mint leaves
.50 oz simple syrup

Muddle the mint and tangerine with the simple syrup in a double Old Fashioned glass. Fill glass with cracked ice and add Booker’s Bourbon. Stir to combine, garnish with a mint sprig.

Kentucky Lemon Drop
1.25 oz. Booker’s Bourbon
.50 oz. limoncello
2.0 oz. fresh lemon sour
5-6 fresh spearmint leaves

Shake all ingredients with ice until well blended. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass with an optional sugared rim. Garnish with a lemon wheel. The little pieces of mint that should be floating around in the cocktail are little bursts of flavor that is considered good luck if you get one.

Booker’s Apple
1.5 oz. Booker’s Bourbon
2.0 oz. fresh pressed apple juice
1.0 oz. fresh lemon sour

Build over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Recipes: Mardi Gras Cocktails 2014

While a good portion of the United States is currently digging itself out from a rather harsh winter filled with ice, sleet, snow, power outages, and traffic accidents, the folks down in the Big Easy (where our intrepid Editor-In-Chief recently spent some time) are gearing up for Mardi Gras. We’ve collected a few recipes to help folks come in from the cold and celebrate the warmth that is Fat Tuesday. These drinks are best paired with your favorite flavored paczki — avoid the prune ones.

PurpleBasil 197x300 Recipes: Mardi Gras Cocktails 2014

Purple Basil Gimlet
2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
4-6 leaves purple basil
(Note: if you can’t find purple basil, regular basil leaves will do nicely. The purple adds a nice effect though.)

Press purple basil leaves with simple syrup and fresh lime juice, add gin and shake well, strain up into a stemmed glass, garnish with a sprig of purple basil.

Ragin Cajun 300x200 Recipes: Mardi Gras Cocktails 2014Ragin’ Cajun
1 part Hornitos Plata Tequila
2 parts lemonade
3-4 dashes of green hot sauce
Salt/smoked paprika rim

Rim shot glass with salt and smoked paprika. Mix chilled lemonade, chilled Hornitos Plata and hot sauce in mixing glass and pour into shot glass.

Tequila Tuesday 300x200 Recipes: Mardi Gras Cocktails 2014Tequila Tuesday
1 part Hornitos Plata Tequila
1 part concord grape juice
½ part lemon juice

Build over ice in a tall glass.

Recipes: 2014 Oscar Night Cocktails

This year Ellen DeGeneres hosts the 2014 Oscars, and thankfully Seth MacFarlane lowered the bar so low in the expectations game that DeGeneres has nowhere to go but up. In fact, she did a great job in 2007 and presuming no disasters she’ll be great again this year.

Meanwhile, we’ve received a few recipe ideas for Oscar-themed cocktails, many of which will be served at several of the A-list after parties around town. Try them yourself tonight! (Meanwhile: Follow our sister site, Film Racket, with an evening-long live-tweeting of the entire affair @filmracket!)

Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon Glamour Shot 167x300 Recipes: 2014 Oscar Night CocktailsBaileys Glamour Shot
1 oz. Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon
1/2 oz. Goldschläger Cinnamon Schnapps
edible gold flakes for garnish

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled shot glass rimmed with edible gold flakes.
(Note: We don’t stock gold flakes in our arsenal, and this drink is just fine without them. You can also get creative like we did and crush up some Frosted Flakes.)

CÎROC Coco Light Martini
1 1/2 oz. CÎROC Coconut
1 1/2 oz. unsweetened coconut water
1 oz. pineapple juice
1/4 oz. fresh lime juice
lemon twist for garnish

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

The Patrón Red Rose
1 ½ oz. Patrón Silver Tequila
1 ½ oz. Patrón Citrónge orange liqueur
2 oz. mango juice
1 oz. watermelon juice
red rose (for garnish)

The Ultimat Blue Orchard
1 ½ oz. Ultimat Vodka
¼ oz. Patrón Citrónge Orange Liqueur
2 oz. fresh blueberry juice
1 oz. fresh raspberry juice

(Note: along with the Patrón Red Rose, we are being told these two recipes are on the menu for Sir Elton John’s annual after party.)

Johnnie Walker Blood and Sand 200x300 Recipes: 2014 Oscar Night Cocktails

Johnnie Walker Blood and Sand
3/4 oz. Johnnie Walker Black Label
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
3/4 oz. cherry liqueur
Orange peel for garnish

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an orange peel.
(Note: this recipe was created in homage to the classic 1922 silent film Blood and Sand which can be viewed in its entirety online for free.)

Tasting the Classic Cocktails of New Orleans

Ah, New Orleans… it’s not just the home of some of the best food in the world, it’s also the birthplace — a spiritual birthplace in some cases — of some of the most classic cocktails ever invented.

I had the good fortune to travel through Louisiana, particularly New Orleans, on the eve of Mardi Gras recently, with a specific goal of seeing how these classics measure up to more modern fare. Whenever possible, I went straight to the source where the cocktail was first created.

Without further ado, here’s a rundown of some of NOLA’s biggest and most noteworthy cocktails… recipes included. (Note: I skipped the Grasshopper, reportedly invented here at Tujagues’. Next time, I promise.)

Sazerac047 300x225 Tasting the Classic Cocktails of New Orleans
1 tsp. Absinthe liqueur (preferably Herbsaint)
1 1/2 to 2 oz. Rye Whiskey (preferably Old Overholt)
1 sugar cube
several dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Coat the inside of a cocktail glass with the Herbsaint and pour out the excess. Shake the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

I’ve covered this classic before. It’s one of my favorite drinks. It’s also the official drink of New Orleans, invented here in the 1850s. The Sazerac at the Roosevelt Hotel’s Sazerac Bar — as iconic a place to order one as you can find — isn’t the best I’ve had. Sweet and spicy, it was way too warm and — more importantly — absent of nearly any absinthe flavor, the quintessential part of the cocktail, in my opinion. Today the Roosevelt is better known for its Ramos Gin Fizz, another NOLA classic.

040 300x225 Tasting the Classic Cocktails of New OrleansVieux Carre
3/4 oz rye whiskey
3/4 oz Cognac
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1 tsp Benedictine
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

On the rocks with a lemon twist.

This is very close to the recipe that the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar — where this drink was invented — uses today. (Most others omit the Benedictine.) A powerful, bittersweet cocktail, the Vieux Carre (the French name for the French Quarter) makes for a near-perfect digestif, all the better while sitting at the Carousel… which actually rotates 4 times an hour as you sip your beverage.

032 300x225 Tasting the Classic Cocktails of New OrleansFrench 75
1.5 oz cognac
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp simple syrup
Champagne

Briefly hake the first three ingredients and strain into a tulip glass. Top with Champagne and a lemon twist.

This is the recipe used at Arnaud’s French 75 Bar. Arnaud’s didn’t invent the French 75 — but it’s become an iconic drink in NOLA either way. (It’s also one of the most refined, service-oriented bars in town.) I really love this cocktail, but there are myriad ways to make it… many of which use gin instead of cognac.

062 225x300 Tasting the Classic Cocktails of New OrleansHurricane
2 oz light rum
2 oz dark rum
2 oz passion fruit juice
2 oz pineapple juice
2 tsp lime juice
1 tablespoon grenadine

Mix in a Hurricane glass (what else) and serve on the rocks with an orange slice and a cherry.

OK, that’s a legit Hurricane, and as with many Tiki-style drinks, recipes vary far and wide. Just reading that recipe makes my yearn for the beach. Sadly, you won’t get that cocktail anywhere in New Orleans, especially not at Pat O’Brien’s, where it was invented. Sadly, this bar, just steps from Bourbon Street, is now focused on pushing out huge quantities of crude, Frankenhurricanes in plastic cups (see photo), designed to get you sloshed on the cheap. Pat-O’s, as it’s known, doesn’t even pretend any more, listing the official recipe of this Kool-Aid-like concoction in the brochure it places on the bar here as such:

Pat O’Brien’s World Famous Hurricane
4 oz. Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Rum
4 oz. Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Mix

A souvenir glass is 3 bucks. Popcorn is free, though!

Fortunately you can still make a good Hurricane for yourself… at home.

071 300x225 Tasting the Classic Cocktails of New OrleansDoctor’s Orders
2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/2 oz white creme de cacao
a few dashes Benedictine

Shake over ice and strain into a coupe.

And now for something new. Bartending legend Chris McMillan made me this cocktail at Kingfish on my last night in NOLA, asking what I liked to drink and whipping this up on a whim. (The measurements are estimates on my part.) This chocolatey-vanilla-honey drink hits on all cylinders, and it’s almost embarrassingly easy to make. Give it a go in your home bar and take the credit.

Review: Rekorderlig Swedish Hard Ciders

rekorderlig 3 Bottle Lock up USA Blended 525x525 Review: Rekorderlig Swedish Hard Ciders

Rekorderlig, Sweden’s hard cider, is available in myriad flavors, all clocking in at a low 4.5% abv alcohol level. Rekorderlig, popular in Europe and just now making its way to the States, isn’t made just for sipping straight. The creator also wants you to try it out in cocktails. A suggested recipe appears below. Meanwhile, we tried out the three varieties now available in the U.S.; thoughts follow.

Rekorderlig Premium Pear Hard Cider – Very sweet, with a long finish. The distinct taste of pears, bathed in a sort of vanilla cream, is especially heavy up front. As the cider fades it leaves behind a fizzy, more vaguely citrus finish. Refreshing, but the sweetness makes it a bit cloying. 

Rekorderlig Premium Strawberry-Lime Hard Cider – Very strawberry soda-like, with a little less sweetness and a bit less fizz than the Pear expression. The strawberry character is candylike, but in a tasteful way. The finish is actually more reminiscent of  real strawberries than candy. Fragrant and fun. B+

Rekorderlig Premium Wild Berries Hard Cider – Predominantly raspberry on the tongue, with more of a club soda-style foaminess that tends to mute the fruit. This is the least sweet but also the least flavorful of the bunch. B-

Recipe: Winter Fire
250ml Rekorderlig Pear
5-6 thin slices of ginger
20ml lime juice
30ml honey water (3 parts honey 1 part hot water) or squeeze tube honey
3 dashes Angostura bitters

Heat it up and serve, keep the ginger floating in the glass.

about $5 per 500ml bottle / rekorderlig.com

Recipes: Valentine’s Day Cocktails 2014

Along with bone-chilling temperatures for most of the nation, love is indeed in the air. And as always, we present a nice assortment of cocktail recipes to keep you warm and well-served during this most festive of holidays.

image014 Recipes: Valentines Day Cocktails 2014Chandon Rosebud
4 raspberries
1/3 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz gin
1/4 oz simple syrup
2 dashes rose water

Shake lemon juice, gin, simple syrup and rose water over ice. Pour into coupe and top with raspberries.

image008 Recipes: Valentines Day Cocktails 2014The Birds and the Bees
1 pt Solerno Blood Orange liqueur
.5 pt honey flavored vodka
2 pts plain almond milk
.5 pt fresh lemon juice
.5 pt fresh, organic egg whites
.25 pt honey syrup
1 bar spoon rose water

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and dry shake to emulsify the egg whites. Add ice and hard shake until frothy and chilled. Fine strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass and garnish with a single rose petal.

image002 300x276 Recipes: Valentines Day Cocktails 2014Carpe Dia
2 parts Milagro Anejo tequila
¾ part agave nectar
1 part fresh lime juice
5 blackberries
2 sage leaves

Muddle fruit and herbs in a Boston shaker. Add other ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice and garnish cocktail with a blackberry and sage sprig.

GM Raspberry Peach Cosmo
(Created by mixologist George Carney)
2 oz Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach
1 oz cranberry juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a twist.

Garden of Eden FI 225x300 Recipes: Valentines Day Cocktails 2014Garden Of Eden
.75 oz gin
.75 oz Berentzen Apple
.25 oz lemon juice
Champagne

Combine gin, Berentzen Apple, and lemon juice in mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a Champange flute and top with champagne.

TruLuv 225x300 Recipes: Valentines Day Cocktails 2014TruLuv
3 oz. Partida Reposado Tequila
1 1/2 oz grenadine
5 oz. sweet and sour
1 oz. orange flavored liqueur

Add two cubes of ice to 2 flutes and set aside. Mix all ingredients together in a shaker and shake over ice. Strain into flutes. Serves two people or one really thirsty person.

 Recipes: Valentines Day Cocktails 2014Rose Colored Glass
.25 oz. Angostura bitters
.75 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup
Crémant d’Alsace Rosé
Lemon twist or rose petals for garnish

Shake bitters, lemon juice and simple syrup and strain over ice into a flute or coupe glass. Top off with three ounces Crémant d’Alsace Rose. Garnish with lemon twist or rose petal.

Epic Chocolate Covered Cherry Float
5 oz. Root Beer
1 oz. EPIC cherry vodka
½ oz. Chocolate Liqueur
1 scoop vanilla (bean) ice cream
Maraschino cherries for garnish

In a large sundae glass combine the root beer, vodka, and liqueur with ice. Stir to mix. Top with one scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and garnish with cherries.

Recipe: Super Bowl XLVIII Cocktails

In America, the Super Bowl isn’t just a game, it’s close to being a national holiday. This year, the Broncos and Seahawks are getting ready to battle it out in the sunny, balmy climate of East Rutherford, New Jersey. While people usually gravitate to more traditional fare for game time (hello, Pabst fans!), here are a few recipes we’ve tried out that we think might spice up your tailgate/home parties.

Allstar Recipe: Super Bowl XLVIII CocktailsThe Allstar
2 parts Milagro Anejo tequila
1 part Italian amaro
½ part allspice liqueur
1-2 dashes Aztec Chocolate Bitters
Add all ingredients in mixing glass, stir with ice until well chilled. Strain into martini glass or coupe and garnish a flamed orange peel.

LimeofScrimmage 121x150 Recipe: Super Bowl XLVIII CocktailsLime of Scrimmage
2 oz Patrón Silver tequila
2 oz fresh lime-lemon sour
1 oz cranberry sauce
1 oz cranberry juice
1/2 oz grenadine
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a rock glass. Garnish lime slices/ dry cranberries.

EndZone 117x150 Recipe: Super Bowl XLVIII CocktailsEnd Zone Rita
2 oz Patrón silver tequila
1 oz Monin watermelon syrup
1 oz fresh sweet & sour
1 oz fresh lime juice
6 thin sliced cucumber slices
Shake all ingredients with ice, pour over fresh ice in rocks glass. Garnish with a watermelon slice.

touchdownpaloma 102x150 Recipe: Super Bowl XLVIII CocktailsTouchdown Paloma
1 1/2 oz Patrón Silver Tequila
1 oz Elderflower liqueur
3 oz pink grapefruit juice
2 oz club soda
Pour ingredients in a Collins glass filled with ice, then stir well and serve. Garnish with grapefruit.

The Bronco Bulldog
2 oz Crater Lake Hazelnut Espresso Vodka
2 oz Crater Lake Vodka
1 oz cola (note: diet works, but makes it a bit sweeter)
1 splash of half & half
Combine all ingredients over ice in a rocks glass.

dimeback 114x150 Recipe: Super Bowl XLVIII CocktailsThe Dimeback
3/4 oz Ciroc Amaretto
3/4 oz Ciroc Coconut
1 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz lime juice
Combine all ingredients over ice, garnish with slice of lime.

Cocktail Recipes To Beat The Cold

Make no bones about it: it is very, very cold out for a good percentage of the nation. The high for today in my neck of the woods is 9 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -7, and that was at 10am this morning. If you’re in the same situation, here’s a few quick and easy recipes to try for yourself and stay warm!

vortex 225x300 Cocktail Recipes To Beat The ColdVortex Coffee
2 oz. Sobieski Vanilla Vodka (note: I just used regular old vodka and put a bit of vanilla bean extract in)
1 oz. Irish cream liqueur
2 oz. hot coffee
Whipped cream

Add all ingredients to a mug and top with whipped cream.

icepresso 150x150 Cocktail Recipes To Beat The ColdICE-Presso
1½ oz. Sobieski Espresso Vodka
2 oz. creamer
1 ½ oz. Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal (note: any chocolate liqueur will do)

Serve over ice and serve in a tall glass.

The recipe supplied for this also suggested for fun using snow in lieu of serving over ice. I’d like to take a second to advise caution with this method, especially if you live with dogs or in wooded areas. No need to get any extra additional surprises this way.

camus 111x150 Cocktail Recipes To Beat The ColdHot CAMUS-Late
1 ½ oz. CAMUS VS Elegance Cognac
3 oz. hot chocolate
2 oz. milk
½ oz. heavy cream
1 tsp. maple syrup

Add all ingredients to a mug and stir.

toddy 100x150 Cocktail Recipes To Beat The ColdHot-Tea Toddy
1 oz. CAMUS VS Elegance Cognac
4 oz. hot tea
1 tbsp. honey
Lemon slice for garnish

Add all ingredients to a mug and stir. Add a lemon slice and serve.

Recipes: Golden Globe Cocktails 2014

This Sunday two of the funniest women in the history of comedy, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, will be hosting this year’s edition of the Golden Globes. A rundown and reviews of the best movies nominated this year can be found on our sister site, Film Racket. In the meantime, here are a few recipes inspired by some of the nominees in the Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy category, courtesy of Belvedere Vodka.

HerCosmo Recipes: Golden Globe Cocktails 2014

Her Cosmo
50 ml Belvedere Vodka Mango Passion
15 ml Domaine de Canton
10 ml fresh lime juice
20 ml cranberry juice

Combine all ingredients in a tin and shake with ice. Fine strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with an orange twist.

nebraskacrush Recipes: Golden Globe Cocktails 2014

Nebraska Crush
40 ml Belvedere Vodka Pink Grapefruit
20 ml pink grapefruit juice
15 ml cinnamon syrup
Dash fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a tin and shake with ice. Fine strain over crushed ice into a rocks glass and garnish a pink grapefruit wedge.

LlewynDavisManhattan Recipes: Golden Globe Cocktails 2014

Llewyn Manhattan
60 ml Belvedere Vodka
10 ml Dolin Rouge
2 dashes lavender bitters

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass and stir over ice until very cold. Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with a cherry.