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.

Recipes: 2016 Cinco De Mayo Cocktails

Tired of the same old margies every year for Cinco De Mayo? Check out some of these bad boys to twist the holiday in a different direction.

image001Mexican Martini
Developed by Garrett Flanagan for El Original
1.5 oz. lime juice
1.5 oz. simple syrup
3 oz. tequila
0.5 oz. olive juice

Shake with ice, pour into martini glass, garnish with olives. (Note: Chris grew up drinking these at the Cedar Door in Austin where they originated, and after trying one myself and home, I’m understanding why.)

image005Tullamore D.E.W. Margarita
1 ½ parts Tullamore D.E.W. Original
1 part Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
¼ part Montelobos Mezcal
¾ parts fresh lime luice
4 drops of Bettermen’s Burlesque Bitters

Fill shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

GavilanGavilán
2 parts Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
2 parts grapefruit juice
1 part lime juice
2 parts Jarritos de Toronja (grapefruit soda)

Build into a highball over ice, garnish with a salt rim and grapefruit slice.

Recipe: St. Patrick’s Day Cocktails 2016

St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t just have to be a shot of Jameson and a mug of green beer. Here’s a host of more elevated cocktails that can help you get your green on this Thursday.

precisionPrecision Pilot
1 part Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix
1 part Lillet Rosé
¾ part Campari
½ part Combier Pamplemousse Rosé
1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters

In a mixing glass filled with ice, add all ingredients, except for bitters. Stir well until chilled and well mixed. Strain into a cocktail glass, dash bitters and express grapefruit twist over the glass before discarding.

The Green Boxer
1.5 oz. 1800 Silver Tequila
0.5 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
0.5 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
0.5 oz. lime juice cordial
0.25 oz. Green Chartreuse

Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.

ShamrockShakerThe Shamrock Shaker
1 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz Green Chartruese
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz honey mixed with warm water
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients, shake over ice and strain into highball. Fill glass with ice and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with thin lemon peel.

The Smokey Aye
(created by mixologist Kate Bolton)
3/4 oz Baileys Original Irish Cream
3/4 oz Irish whiskey (NOTE: we used Redbreast, but any will do)
1/4 oz Campari
1 3/4 oz freshly brewed coffee
1 1/2 oz Zested Orange crème*
grated orange zest (for garnish)

*Zested Orange Crème Ingredients:
1 oz heavy cream
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 large orange zests

Combine heavy cream, simple syrup and orange zests in a chilled cocktail shaker. Shake well into whipped cream consistency. Combine Irish whiskey, Campari and coffee in a footed coffee mug and stir. Pour in Baileys Original Irish Cream. Top with zested orange crème. Garnish with grated orange zest.

Recipe: National Margarita Day Cocktails 2016

For reasons beyond understanding, the powers that be who invent these drink-idays decided it would be a good idea to plant National Margarita Day — February 22 — during the darkest weeks of winter. Perhaps it’s a “light at the end of the tunnel” situation where these recipes will help us all get through the miserable weather and slush and welcome in spring and summer. Either way, here are a few recipes for you to check out on this most festivious of days.

Smoke and Fire Margarita
¾ part Ancho Reyes
¾ part Montelobos Mezcal
¾ part Milagro Silver Tequila
1 part fresh lime juice
½ part agave nectar

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake, and double strain over fresh ice into the glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
(NOTE: This was the hands down winner of all the recipes we tried this year. Bravo!)

pearPerfect Pear Margarita
2 cups Sauza Signature Blue Silver Tequila
1 cup simple syrup
½ cup lime
½ cup lemon
2 peeled pears for garnish
8 rosemary sprigs for garnish

Add ingredients to a pitcher and stir. Pour over ice into margarita glasses. Garnish each with a pear slice and rosemary sprig. Serves 8.

twistedThe Twisted Margarita
(Created by Cody Goldstein)
2 parts Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila
¾ parts lime juice
½ part triple sec
½ part simple syrup
1 teaspoon mustard powder
mustard seed and sea salt rim

Rim glass with a slice of lime. Roll rim of glass in grounded mustard seed and sea salt mixture. Combine Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila, lime, simple syrup, triple sec and mustard powder into a shaking tin. Fill half way with ice and shake for 10 seconds. Strain over ice in a rimmed rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.

chipotleChipotle Cocoa Margarita
3 slices of orange
1 slice of lemon
1/4 oz. light agave
2 oz. Avión Añejo
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Chipotle powder

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass that has been rimmed with a mixture of cocoa powder and chipotle powder, and garnish with an orange twist.

Recipe: Valentine’s Day Cocktails 2016

So here we are, just one day until Valentine’s. Got the last minute gifts of flowers and candy purchased, the Isley Brothers softly cooing on the stereo in the background, and maybe one or five of these cocktails ready and waiting at your disposal for a romantic night in, or whatever. Even if you hate Valentine’s Day, there may be one or two recipes in this carefully considered list that may do just the trick to make this a memorable Valentine’s Day — or one where you blacked out alone.

Either way, at least it will be in good taste.

CrushCourvoisier Crush
1.5 parts Courvoisier VSOP
0.75 parts Cruzan Guava rum
1.5 parts lemon sour mix
1 part pineapple juice
0.5 parts DeKuyper Strawberry Pucker (note: this is totally optional)

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice in a Hurricane style glass. Garnish with a pineapple/cherry stack on the rim.

Smoke Blossom Cocktail Shot_FINALHearts on Fire
1.5 oz Santera Blanco tequila
0.5 oz Campari
0.5 oz fresh grapefruit juice
0.5 oz fresh lemon Juice
0.75 oz sage simple syrup
dried sage (for garnish)

Smoke treat the glass with dried sage smoke. Combine ingredients except Campari in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Float Campari on top and garnish with a small bunch of dried sage.

The Smoked Blossom
Created by Dudley Delhagen, 2015 DeKuyper Cocktail Master
1 part DeKuyper & Sons Fleur Elderflower liqueur
2 parts Connemara Irish whiskey
1/2 part fresh lemon juice
1/2 part simple syrup
2 dashes orange bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

blood orangeBlood Orange Bellini
1 part Solerno Blood Orange liqueur
2 parts blood orange puree or juice
3 parts Prosecco or other dry, sparkling wine

Shake the Solerno and blood orange in a cocktail shaker with ice. Fine strain into a Champagne flute and fill with the Prosecco or other dry, sparkling wine.

Bloody Maria
2 oz Roca Patrón Silver
5 oz Bloody Mary mix, or build your own:
4 oz tomato juice
½ oz fresh lemon juice
dash each of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco
1 tsp horseradish, optional
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients in a mixing tin or pint glass and “roll” the drink by pouring it back and forth between the two. Strain onto fresh ice in a Collins glass — if you prefer, rim the glass with kosher salt or a specialty spiced rim of your choosing. Garnish with a lemon wedge and celery stalk.

Sex on the Marina
1 oz Grey Goose vodka
1 oz PAMA pomegranate liqueur
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz grapefruit liqueur
splash of cranberry juice

Shake and double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish glass with a rim of pink rock sugar, and place a pink rock candy stick to finish.

Recipes: Super Bowl Pre-Game Cocktails, 2016

Hailing from a city that hasn’t won a major professional football championship since Dwight Eisenhower was President, it can be difficult to get excited about this time of year. Drinking with friends certainly helps numb the pain during Super Bowl Sunday (with the exception of the trash talking and reminders of your home team), so here are a few cocktails we’ve selected for your consideration. Hopefully these will help you forget all of the painful attempts at doing the Dab your friends will no doubt be making.

BeertailKetel One Citroen Beertail
1 ½ oz. Ketel One Citroen
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. maple syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Belgian-style white ale

Combine first four ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with white ale. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

coin TossCoin Toss
1 oz. Twenty Boat Spiced Rum
1 whole egg
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3 oz. stout beer
In a cocktail shaker, dry shake (shake without ice) very well. Then add ice and shake again very well. Strain into a tall glass without ice. Optional: grated nutmeg and vanilla sugar for garnish.

blue pantherThe Blue Panther
2 parts Svedka Strawberry Lemonade
½ part blue curaçao
½ part pineapple juice
½ part fresh lemon juice

Pour ingredients into a blender, adding ½ cup crushed ice last, and blend at high speed. Pour into a Hurricane/Pilsner glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

PantherThe Panther Pounder
1.5 oz Dixie Southern Vodka
.5 oz Velvet Falernum
10 fresh blueberries
.5 oz blueberry syrup
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
Blenheim’s Spicy Ginger Ale

For the blueberry syrup: equal parts water, sugar and blueberries (make quantity as desired). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Strain off blueberry skins. Store in glass jar. Will keep for a week in the refrigerator.

For each drink: Muddle 6 blueberries, add vodka, falernum, blueberry syrup, lemon juice, ice and shake. Pour into mason jar, add ice to top of glass and top with spicy ginger ale. Garnish with remaining fresh blueberries, skewered, and a lemon slice.

The Sheriff
1 oz. bourbon
2 oz. orange curacao
4 oz. Natalie’s Orchid Honey Tangerine Juice ginger beer
ice cubes
orange peel and blueberries for garnish

Fill a glass with ice cubes. Pour bourbon, orange curacao, and tangerine juice in the glass and stir. Top off the glass with a splash of ginger beer. Garnish with a generous piece of orange peel and a couple of blueberries.

Recipes for National Hot Toddy Day, 2016

With the majority of the country already in or about to enjoy the depths of yet another bone chilling winter, we felt it necessary to provide a classic recipe for a freezing season on National Hot Toddy Day (today, January 11). We start off with the basic recipe and swerve off into two variations worthy of your consideration. Take heart: Spring is only 70 days away!

The Basic
1 ½ oz bourbon (note: I often use Bulleit here, but to each their own)
1 tablespoon honey
½ oz lemon juice
1 cup hot water
1 lemon wedge

Combine all ingredients in coffee or tea mug. Stir. Drink. Feel better.

image002Milagro Hot Toddy
1 ½ parts Milagro Añejo tequila
1 part agave nectar
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole anise star
4 parts boiling water
1 lemon wheel

Combine agave nectar, spice and tequila in a heat-resistant snifter or mug. Add the boiling water. Squeeze the lemon, drop it in, and stir until agave nectar has melted.

The Kurobin Hot Toddy
(by Heidi Merino of The Liquid Chef)
1 oz Iichiko Kurobin shochu
½ oz Grand Marnier
1 bar spoon agave nectar
½ oz fresh squeeze lemon juice
4 oz boiling water
1 cinnamon stick

Combine ingredients in a glass coffee mug and stir with a cinnamon stick.

Recipe: Southern Bourbon Holiday Punch

IMG_7083Who’s ready for some punch? If you’re in the neighborhood, here’s what we’ll be serving…

With props to Yankee Kitchen Ninja (which in turn adapted the recipe from Garden & Gun).

Southern Bourbon Holiday Punch
1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
4 cups brewed black tea, cooled
4 cups bourbon
2 cups spiced rum
2 cups brandy
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
6 cups water
lemon slices for garnish

In a large pitcher or punch bowl, add the sugar to the tea and stir to dissolve. Add all the remaining ingredients, stir well and chill. Serves about 30.

Recipe: New Year’s Eve Champagne Cocktails, 2015

Usually by the stroke of midnight, most partygoers are beyond being discriminiate in their choice of libation with which to ring in the new year. But not you, Drinkhacker reader. You value substance and style over slurred speech no matter what time it is. So here you go: some alternative cocktail ideas that go beyond champagne in a flute. May 2016 be most excellent to you and yours.

royalRoyal Buddha
1 oz. Hangar 1 Buddha’s Hand Vodka
0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz. honey syrup
2 oz. California sparkling wine

Add ingredients except sparkling wine in shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled Champagne Flute. Top cocktail with sparkling California wine. Garnish with an expressed long lemon peel.

Star Kiss
1 ounce Ciroc Apple vodka
.75 ounce pomegranate molasses
.75 ounce lemon juice
.5oz sparkling wine

Fill the cocktail shaker with ice, add all of the ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into Coupe glass. Top with sparkling wine.

image001Day Break
1.5 oz. 1800 Reposado Tequila
1 oz. blood orange liqueur
0.5 oz. blood orange juice
2 dashes orange bitters
1 oz. Champagne

Add ingredients except champagne in shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a Champagne Flute. Top cocktail with Champagne. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.

 

Recipe: Holiday Cocktails, 2015

No holiday season is complete without the insufferable relatives and the libations that go along with numbing the rage you may feel at the family dinner table. Here are a few recipes to help get you through those rough moments. For everyone who doesn’t have holiday headaches, well, just serve and enjoy! Happy Holidays from the Drinkhacker crew!

Winter WonderWinter Wonder
1 oz vodka
2 oz eggnog
.25 oz Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
.25 oz peppermint schnapps

Add Vodka, eggnog, Peppermint Schnapps and Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.

Amaretto & Eve
1 oz. Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy
0.5 oz. Foro Amaro
0.25 oz. Disarrono Amaretto
top with 6 oz. hot apple cider

Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

eggnogJack Honey Egg Nog
4 oz. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
12 oz. virgin eggnog
Garnish with Cinnamon Stick option

Laphroaig Ginger[Bread] Man
Created by Tyson Buhler (New York, NY)
1 1/2 parts Laphroaig 10 Year Old
3/4 parts cantaloupe juice
3/4 parts lemon juice
1/2 part ginger syrup

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into coup glass.

coffeeCafé Maguey
1 oz. Milagro Tequila Reposado
1 oz. Del Maguey Crema
½ oz. agave nectar
2 oz. Lavazza Espresso Delicato

Stir with ice and strained into a double old-fashioned glass. (Note: ideal at breakfast with thick cut bacon)

Partridge and Pear Margarita
2 cups Sauza Signature Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 cup pear syrup
1 cup simple syrup
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup lime juice
Rosemary sprigs and pear slices for garnish (optional)

Combine the first five ingredients in a pitcher and stir. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Pour into margarita glasses and garnish each with a rosemary sprig and slice of pear. Serves 8. Enjoy! (Note: does not actually include Partridge)

unnamedPoinsettias In Pisticci
1.5 oz. Amaro Lucano
1 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. honey syrup
rosemary sprig for garnish

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into coupe glass and garnish with rosemary sprig.

The Peppermint Patty
(Courtesy of the 3800 Ocean at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa)
1/2 oz. peppermint schnapps
1/2 oz. vanilla vodka
1/2 oz. cream
1/2 oz. Frangelico
1/2 oz. chocolate liqueur

Build in glass with a peppermint rim. Top with whip cream and cherry

Original Recipe: The Dirty McLean

A little something I came up with at a neighbor’s holiday party (with limited stock) — for something “light, fruity and fizzy.”

The Dirty McLean
1 1/2 oz. pineapple rum
1/2 oz. Patron Citronge Mango liqueur
ginger beer
lemon wedge for garnish

Stir rum and mango liqueur in a tall Collins glass with ice. Top with ginger beer (to taste). Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Recipe: Thanksgiving Cocktails, 2015

Once again, the Thanksgiving holiday is here, and with it comes the assurance of a few things: the food will be good, the Lions will lose, and the drinks will be poured at a healthy and brisk pace. Here are a few recipes that we’ve received that we will be no doubt pouring in between the carving of the turkey and the fumbling of the football.

Winter_RespiteWinter Respite
2 parts Bacardi Gran Reserva Ocho Años
2½ parts ginger beer
1 part Carrot Eau de Vie
½ part lime juice
½ part smoked maple simple syrup*
grated coffee bean (for garnish)

Place all ingredients except coffee beans and ginger beer in a tumbler with ice. Stir and strain into a Collins glass with ice. Pour ginger beer over the top and finish with a bit of coffee beans grated on a microplane.

*Smoked Maple Simple Syrup – 1 cup Cold Smoked Maple Syrup and 1 cup water

Mix together and bring to a boil. To cold smoke the maple syrup, heat wood chips in a pie tin until they smoke, then put syrup in a bowl put them in a container and cover with foil for 35 to 45 minutes.

Sapphire_SpiceSapphire Spice
2 parts Bombay Sapphire gin
1 large heaping spoonful of pumpkin puree and/or pumpkin pie mix
1 tsb. dark brown sugar
dash of vanilla extract (7 drops)
2 dashes of Ground Cinnamon

Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice and strain into chilled martini glasses, then top with nutmeg.

Reserva Sparkler
1 oz. Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Tequila
splash simple syrup
5 oz. Champagne
garnish with chocolate shavings

Add tequila and simple syrup in champagne flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with chocolate shavings.

Sauza-Harvest-DrinkThe Sauza Harvest (serves 8)
2 cups Sauza Signature Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup pumpkin puree

Combine ingredient in pitcher and stir until thoroughly mixed. Serve over ice in brown sugar-rimmed glasses. Finish cocktail with a star anise for a festive garnish (optional).

Cranberry_SaucedCranberry Sauced
2 parts Owl’s Brew Pink and Black (fresh brewed Darjeeling tea with hibiscus, strawberry and lemon peel)
1 part vodka
2 dashes Fee Brother’s Cranberry Bitters
rosemary

Combine Pink and Black, vodka and cranberry bitters in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Chai, Spice and Everything Nice
1-1/2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 (note: I upped it to Wild Turkey 101. Either one will do.)
1/2 oz. cinnamon syrup*
3/4 oz. chai infused sherry*
3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
dash of cardamom bitters

Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake, and strain over ice into rocks glass. Garnish with grated cinnamon and orange slice.

*Chai Infused Sherry – Empty 1 bottle of sherry into a large bowl. Throw in 6 chai tea bags and squeeze to release oils. Steep for 3 hours. Give tea bags one last squeeze before discarding from the infused sherry.

*Cinnamon Syrup – Place equal parts sugar and water, plus crushed up cinnamon sticks (2-3 sticks per cup of sugar), into a pot and bring to a light boil. Reduce to a simmer and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cool completely and strain.