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.


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' CajunRagin’ 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 TuesdayTequila 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 ShotBaileys 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

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.)

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.

040Vieux 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.

032French 75
1.5 oz cognac
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp simple syrup

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.

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.

071Doctor’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

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 /

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.

image014Chandon 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.

image008The 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.

image002Carpe 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 FIGarden Of Eden
.75 oz gin
.75 oz Berentzen Apple
.25 oz lemon juice

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

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.

Rose Colored Glass multiple petalsRose 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.

AllstarThe 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.

LimeofScrimmageLime 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.

EndZoneEnd 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.

touchdownpalomaTouchdown 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.

dimebackThe 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!

vortexVortex 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.

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.

camusHot 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.

toddyHot-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.


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.


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.


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.

Recipes: 2013 New Year’s Eve Cocktail Ideas

While it’s already January 1st in some parts of the world, we’re still awaiting the stroke of midnight in our part of the world. Here are a few last minute cocktail recipe ideas for your gathering. Happy 2014, and may this coming year bring you every resolution accomplished!

1 oz. Ciroc Red Berry
0.5 oz. simple syrup
0.5 oz. lemon juice
sparkling rose
1 Strawberry

Muddle fruit with Simple Syrup. Add remaining ingredients, shake and strain. Top with sparkling Rose. Garnish with strawberry slice.

CirocCoquito Ciroc
1.5 oz. Ciroc Coconut
0.25 oz. pineapple juice
0.5 oz. coconut cream
1 oz. milk
1 egg white
1 Dash cinnamon
1 Dash nutmeg
1 Dash allspice

Combine all ingredients. Shake, strain.

1942 Legendario
1 ounce Don Julio 1942 tequila
0.5 ounce Grand Marnier
Splash of lime juice
Splash of orange juice
Orange Peel for Garnish

Combine Tequila Don Julio 1942, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice, and ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain contents into a martini glass. Garnish with orange peel.

Recipe: Christmas Cocktails, 2013 – Part II

And now we present round two of our Christmas cocktail round up, starting things off with an incredible concoction!

IMG_4002Art In The Age Sage Cobbler
(via Art In The Age)
1 part SAGE liqueur
3 parts cranberry juice
1 part simple syrup

Combine ingredients and top with club soda and a wedge of lime.
(Author’s note: I realize full well that we’ve been showing lots of Art In The Age Sage love lately, but out of all the cocktail recipes I tried this season, this might very well be my favorite. I could do these up year-round and never tire!)

6522830331_9ef879e79b_bNcredible Mistletini
(Courtesy of Ingrid Hoffmann)
2 oz Skyy Infusions Blood Orange Vodka, chilled
1 oz frozen passion fruit pulp, thawed
1 oz orange liqueur
1 oz rosemary infused simple syrup, cooled
3 oz ginger ale, chilled
Rosemary sprigs and raspberries for garnish

For the rosemary simple syrup: In a small saucepan, boil the water, sugar, and 3 rosemary sprigs. Remove from heat and let rest until it cools. Remove the rosemary sprigs and strain. Refrigerate until ready to use. In a cocktail shaker, mix the vodka, passion fruit and rosemary infused simple syrup. Pour in a martini glass and top with ginger ale. Take a raspberry and skewer it with a 3-inch rosemary sprig and garnish drink with it.

Christmas Clementine Pomander
(courtesy of KTCHN Restaurant, NYC)
4 tsp clementine chopped
2 tsp brown sugar (muddled)
2 oz Mescal Vago Espadin
0.5 oz orange juice
0.5 oz lime mix
3 mint leaves
top with 1 oz. club soda

Muddle 4 tsp of chopped clementine and 2 tsp of brown sugar; then add 2 oz. of Mescal Vago Espadin, 0.5 oz. of orange juice, 0.5 oz. lime mix, 3 mint leaves, and top with club soda in a highball glass. Garnish with a clementine slice studded with cloves.

Knob Creek Ol’ Fashioned Holiday Maple
(Created by Chef Michael Symon)
1 pinch of raw sugar
1 orange peel
3 dashes Bitters
1 1/2 parts Knob Creek Smoked Maple bourbon
1 part Calvados Boulard apple brandy

Drop a pinch of raw sugar, orange peel, and 3 dashes bitters into a rocks glass and muddle. Add Knob Creek Smoked Maple and Calvados Boulard apple brandy. Stir with ice.