Cocktails for Father’s Day 2017 – Plus Bourbon Balls!

Diablito

Dads deserve to kick back with an action flick (or whatever their preferred genre) and a cocktail made just for them. Give him a break from the honey-do list this Father’s Day with these ten cocktail choices. And hey, we didn’t forget his sweet tooth either. Let’s say it together: “Bourbon Balls!”

Let’s start with a martini for the James Bond fans among our dads.

Golden Hour
created by Edwin Medina, No 8
2 parts elit Vodka
1 part Contratto Vermouth Bianco
¼ part Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
2 dashes of orange bitters
absinthe spray
edible gold flake garnish

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass that has been sprayed (or coated like a rinse) with absinthe. Garnish with edible gold flakes.

Diablito
courtesy of El Sapo, Austin, TX
1 1/2 oz. pineapple habanero infused El Jimador Reposado
1/2 oz. Juanita’s Homemade Chamoy (see below)
1 oz triple sec
1/4 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. hand-squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. agave simple syrup

Combine all ingredients in mixing tin with ice. Shake and strain over 2 X 2 inch ice cube into 8.5 oz mason jar rimmed with El Chile Group chile salt rim. Garnish with dried, chile spiced mango slices (horns) on either side of glass.

Homemade Chamoy
by Steve Cylka
2-3 morita or ancho chiles
1 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Soak the dried chile peppers in warm water for about 30 minutes. Once soft, remove the stems and the seeds. Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth. Serve as a dip for fruit and vegetables or as a glaze or barbecue sauce for meat.

Drambuie Elixir 
¾ part Drambuie
¾ part Milagro tequila
¾ part pink grapefruit
¾ part strong brewed coffee

Build into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a grapefruit twist and serve.

Man CandyMan Candy
from Cedar Grove bar in Dallas, TX
1 oz. Slow & Low Rock and Rye
1 oz. house brandy
1 oz. mint infused 1:1 simple syrup
Jamaican rum.

Add mint syrup, Slow and Low, and brandy, to a rocks glass with crushed ice. Give it a quick stir. Top off with additional crushed ice and spritz the top with several sprays of Jamaican rum. Garnish with a healthy sprig of mint.

Tequila and Absinthe Cocktail
courtesy of The Bone House in Guadalajara
2 oz. Herradura Ultra tequila
½ oz. agave nectar
½ oz. absinthe
lemon twist for garnish

Put all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Give it a good shake and then pour everything into a rocks glass. Garnish with the lemon twist before serving.

Nikolaschka
from Cocktail Recipe World
1 ½ oz. cognac
1 peeled lemon disk
1 tsp. powdered coffee sugar
1 tsp. powdered coffee

Pour the cognac in a brandy snifter or the short-stemmed glass and cover the top of the glass with the lemon disk. Place the powdered coffee on one half of the disk and the powdered sugar on the other half. No garnish is needed because of the lemon disk. The way to drink this is to eat the lemon disk—coffee an sugar included. Then drink the brandy. The flavor of the cognac will be enhanced by the sweet and sour combination of the lemon disk. This is recommended as an after dinner cocktail.

Lions TailLion’s Tale
recommended by CJ at Catelli’s
2 oz. bourbon
¾ oz. pimento (allspice) dram
½ oz. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. gomme syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail or coupe glass.

The Layover
courtesy of Cork and Plough restaurant
2 oz. Jameson Caskmates whiskey
¼ oz. Dubonnet
¼ oz. Agwa de Bolivia
2 dashes Angostura bitters
¼ oz. absinthe

Combine ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake 20 seconds, then strain into a tumbler with ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Mai Tai UnigroniMai Tai Unigroni
created by Josh Campbell at Leyenda, NYC
3/4 oz. Campari
1 1/4 oz. Appleton Reserve
1/2 oz. Cinzano Bianco
1/2 oz. Cinzano 1757
1/2 oz. lime juice
1 oz. Bonita Biz (a mix of mango, coconut, vanilla, and yogurt)
¼ oz. red wine
Butterfly Pea tea glitter ice

Ahead of time, brew two bags of Butterfly Pea tea. Let cool; then add edible glitter and pour into ice cube trays.

Build ingredients in a shaker tin, and fill shaker with ice. Hard shake and double strain into a rocks glass filled with Butterfly Pea tea/glitter ice cubes. Float red wine on top and garnish with mint sprig.

Sugar East PistacioPistachio Cocktail
inspired by Sugar East Lounge
1 oz. Royal Elite vodka
1 shot pistachio orgeat (see below)
1 oz. matcha tea
lime wedge
nutmeg

Put all ingredients except the lime and nutmeg into a shaker. Shake well with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze lime juice into the cocktail and then toss the lime wedge in. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top to garnish. Note: you can rim the glass with sugar if you like.

Pistachio Orgeat
recipe by Imbibe Magazine
3 cups near-boiling water
7 oz. shelled, unsalted pistachios
2¼ cups granulated sugar
xanthan gum (optional, see note)
Ticaloid 210s (optional, see note)

In a blender, combine the water and pistachios; blend on high for 2 full minutes—the longer you blend, the more refined your finished syrup will be. Turn on a food scale; place the quart jar on the scale and zero it out. Fine-strain the nut mixture through a nut-milk bag or a fine- mesh strainer lined with multiple layers of cheesecloth into the jar on the scale and record weight. For every 500 grams of liquid, add 1.75 grams of Ticaloid 210s and .2 grams xanthan gum (stabilizer) to the nut milk and blend on high for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and blend again for an additional minute. Pour into a glass jar, cap, and keep refrigerated for up to 1 month. Makes 1 quart.

Note about Xanthan and Ticaloid: Together, these two powders work to create a smooth emulsification that keeps solids suspended and the syrup from separating. That said, they’re completely optional. If you decide to omit them, just be sure to shake the orgeat before each use.

Most dads love bourbon and chocolate, don’t they? Here’s an easy to make bourbon ball that everyone will love. Make two batches, so Dad doesn’t have to share his.

Bourbon BallsClassic Vanilla Bourbon Balls
courtesy of Maker’s Mark
1/2 cup Maker’s Mark bourbon
9 oz. shortbread cookies
1/2 cup of pecans, toasted
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup white chocolate chips

In a food processor, finely grind the shortbread. You should have 2 cups of crumbs. Add the pecans and  confectioners sugar and pulse until the nuts are chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a small sauce pan, bring the bourbon to a boil. Re move from the h at and add ¾ cup white chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Pour into the pecan mixture and stir until well-combined. Form into sixteen 1 1/2-inch balls.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips in a resealable plastic bag. Microwave in 20-second increments until melted, squeezing the chocolate in the bag to evenly melt. Snip a small hole in one corner and drizzle the chocolate onto the balls. Refrigerate in an airtight container until firm, at least 2 hours. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Review: Winc Wine Club

Winc subscription box wines
Winc is a monthly wine club from Northern California that, like most, works via an online subscription service. We had the opportunity to give them a try and were fairly impressed with the offering.

First, a bit about Winc. When you first sign up, you are asked several questions to determine your “Palate Profile.” They ask about how you like your coffee; your salt and citrus preferences; how much you like berry and earthy flavors; and how adventurous you are with trying new foods. The wine recommendations sent are based upon these questions. Most of their wines are around $13 a bottle but can be as much as $35. Rate the wines you get and you’ll improve the next set of recommendations. If you don’t want any wine this month, you can skip it.

A basic subscription includes three bottles plus a flat rate shipping. We received four bottles and a copy of the Winc Journal. The journal is particularly interesting. This one contained articles on terroir and an interview with winemaker Markus Bokisch. The journal talks about their featured wines with food pairing suggestions and rates the wines with regards to body, fruit, woodiness, earthiness, and sweetness.

Inside the journal are also cocktail recipes, using wines from your subscription box. Of our four, two were featured in cocktails in the journal and so we gave them a try as well. (See below.)

But first, on with the wines.

First up is 2015 Forma di Vida Graciano, a Spanish style red wine. Light on the sweetness, this wine has fruit flavors like dark cherry and plum. If you like your wine with lots of body, you’ll want to try this one, though it may be too heavy for people who don’t like strong flavors like we do. A / $13Summer Water cocktails

Next, we have 2016 Summer Water Rosé, which is aptly named as it is so light the alcohol content is barely noticeable. The cocktail included using Summer Water would be nice for the warmest summer days ahead. It gives the impression it would be right at home poolside. B / $15

Summer Water Shim
½ oz. fresh tangerine juice
1 ½ oz. Jardesca or Lillet Blanc
3 oz. Summer Water
1 fresh Bay Leaf

Chill the cocktail glass. Fill a shaker with ice and pour in the tangerine juice and Jardesca. Shake until the shaker feels frosty to the touch. Then strain into the glass and top with Summer water. Garnish with a Bay Leaf before serving.

Our third wine is 2015 Field Theory Abariño, a white wine from Andrus Island Vineyard. This one is extremely fruity and a touch sweet, but not overly so. It might be a favorite of the ladies. B /$18Finkes Widow cocktails

The fourth wine is 2016 Finke’s Widow Sparkling White Blend. A little sweeter than the Field Theory, it has a slight earthy undertone (like mushrooms) which gives way to the fizziness. B- / $13

Avocado-Do Slushy
¼ avocado
1 oz. shiso syrup
1 oz. fresh lime juice
¼ oz. fresh cucumber juice
4 oz. Finke’s Widow
2 shiso leaves

Shiso is Japanese basil but has a mixture of basil, anise, and mint flavors with grassy elements. You can substitute fresh mint if need be.

This recipe called for cucumber juice in the ingredients but coconut juice in the instructions. We chose to make it with the cucumber and adjusted the instructions. You could probably substitute coconut instead.

Puree a cucumber in a blender and then strain to extract the juice. Then combine all the other ingredients, except the shiso leaves, with the juice and stir. Pour into a medium sized glass and garnish with the leaves.

Negroni Spritz
3 oz. Finke’s Widow
2 oz. Campari
splash of soda
1 orange slice

Fill a rocks glass with ice, along with the orange slice. Pour the Campari and sparkling wine into the glass and top with a dash of soda. Mix gently before serving.

Winc’s website includes a recipes section for great food to serve with your wine. Here’s one example:

Garganelli with Lobster and Caramelized Fennel PureeGarganelli with Lobster and Caramelized Fennel Purée
serves 4
1 lb Garganelli pasta
1 1/2 pounds of lobster meat
salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. red chili flakes
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup white wine
¼ cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¾ cup toasted slivered almonds
4 Tbsp. butter
½ cup torn basil leaves
lemon zest

Find a pot that is large enough to fit two live lobsters and fill it with water. Set the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Lightly salt the water. Add the lobsters to the pot, reduce the heat so that the water is gently simmering, and cook for 7 minutes.

Remove the lobsters and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Extract the meat from the lobsters—kitchen shears work great for this task. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Store the lobster meat in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil and the red chili flakes. Wait one minute while the skillet gets hot, and then add the onions. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the fennel. Season with salt. When the fennel begins to soften, turn the heat down to low.

Slowly caramelize the fennel and onion, transforming them into something very soft and sweet. When the vegetables are sufficiently caramelized, add the garlic and the white wine; increase the heat, and cook until the wine has almost entirely evaporated. Add the heavy cream and cook until the cream has partially reduced.

Transfer the contents of the skillet to a blender and add the lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Add scant amounts of water if the puree is too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. If you want, you can store this puree in the refrigerator for a day or two ahead of time before completing this dish.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package, except under cook the pasta by one or two minutes. While the pasta is cooking, set a large skillet over medium heat and add the fennel puree, stirring occasionally.

When the pasta is cooked, transfer it to the skillet with the fennel puree, making sure to reserve a cup of the pasta water. Add a little of the pasta water to the skillet and stir. Add the butter and the lobster. If you know how to flip the pasta in skillet with your wrist, do that now. Otherwise, keep stirring. Add the almonds and basil. If the pasta looks too dry, add more of the pasta water.

Taste the pasta while it is still in the skillet and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Before serving, garnish the pasta with lemon zest.

winc.com

Recipes: Making Cocktails With Port Wine

Port wine is having a bit of a renaissance with bartenders and mixologists, as Facundo Rum has brought to our attention, sharing the Facundo Bishop recipe with us. It is indeed warming and lovely to relax with and we highly recommend it. The cloves spice up the orange, which hugs the warming rum and sweet port.

Here’s the recipe for the Facundo Bishop, plus four additional cocktails that include Port wine as an ingredient.

(Note: While making these, we used Graham’s Fine Ruby Port. You can use a white port in any of these, but we recommend reserving it for summertime.)

Facundo Bishop
2 parts Facundo Eximo Rum
1 part Ruby Port
1 teaspoon white sugar
3-4 whole cloves
orange wedges

Place port, orange wedges, and cloves in a small pot. Warm and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes, but do not allow the liquid to boil. Pour contents into a snifter or stemless wine glass. Add Eximo and stir. Add sugar and serve warm.

Red Dog MartiniRed Dog Martini
(Courtesy of Bar None Drinks)
3 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. ruby port
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. grenadine

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with cracked ice. Shake, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Port, bourbon, and maple syrup come together in the Second Circle. This one comes to us from Laura Sant who tells us astrologer/bartender Patricia Clark Hippolyte developed the drink especially for Scorpios as part of her “Mixstrology” series. Of the cocktails here, this is our favorite.

Second Circle
2 oz. bourbonSecond Circle
1 oz. ruby port
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
3 Luxardo or maraschino cherries for garnish

Combine bourbon, port, syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled champagne coupe; garnish with cherries, preferably pierced by a plastic sword.

New York Sour
(Courtesy of Eater.com)
2 oz. bourbon
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes peach bitters
4 bar spoons port (ruby or tawny)

Add bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters to cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into rocks glass with ice. Float port atop.

Ruby Port Cocktail Inspired by Picholine in NYC
(Courtesy of KitchenFiddler)
3 ounces port (ruby or tawny)
½ a lime
splash of ginger ale
additional lime wedge, for garnish

For each drink, fill a rocks glass with the cracked ice. Add the port, then squeeze the juice from the half a lime into the glass. Add a generous splash of ginger ale and stir, using the handle of a long spoon to mix it up. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge and serve. 

Recipes: A Duo of Belvedere Vodka Cocktails

These two cocktails from Belvedere Vodka are perfect for any party or get-together with friends. Both are easy to make and are very enjoyable.

We had trouble finding pear puree for this first Pear and Rosemary Cocktail. So many fruits and vegetables are seasonal, so don’t be afraid to adapt these recipes to what you have on hand or can currently purchase. We used peach puree and the orange simple syrup we made from scratch. The rosemary came from the garden but that one should be easy enough to find in the grocery store produce section.

The rosemary in this cocktail is a nice touch and makes this cocktail a great pairing for lamb or pork appetizers, which often have rosemary in their recipes. The lemon juice keeps the syrup and puree from tasting too sweet, creating a good balance.Pear and Rosemary Cocktail

Pear and Rosemary Cocktail
1.5 oz. Belvedere Vodka
3/4 oz. pear puree
1/4 oz. simple syrup
1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Gently muddle rosemary in the base of a shaker. Add the remaining ingredients and ice; then shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

The best thing about a Belvedere Polish Mule is the elderflower syrup. Although it is only a dash, the florals atop the ginger beer delight the nose and the tongue in a light way. One suggestion for changing it up is to use Burlesque bitters in place of the Angostura bitters. Overall, this is a wonderfully Belvedere Polish Mulerefreshing drink.

Belvedere Polish Mule
1.5 oz. Belvedere Intense Vodka
1/2 fresh lime (squeeze juice into the shaker – save the rest to use for the garnish)
1 dash elderflower syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 bottle of ginger beer

Shake all ingredients except for the ginger beer. Fine strain over cubed ice into a highball glass. Top with the ginger beer and garnish with a wedge of lime.

Recipe: Lavazza Coffeetail No. 51

Lavazza Coffetail No 51

Lavazza is an Italian coffee, and its producer came up with this concoction — which makes an unlikely pairing of cold brew coffee concentrate and ginger ale. Let’s give it a spin!

Lavazza Coffeetail No. 51
3 parts ginger ale
2 parts cold brew coffee concentrate
2/3 part vodka
Lavazza Coffeetail No 51 ingredientssplash of Grand Marnier
splash of simple syrup
sliced lemon or orange and cucumber
Maraschino cherries
fresh mint if desired

Fill a 12 oz. glass with ice. In a shaker, combine cold brew, Grand Marnier, vodka and syrup; pour over the ice. Top with ginger ale. Decorate with wheel or slices of orange and/or a lemon. Skewer cherries and cucumber wedge. Garnish with mint.

This cocktail is light and refreshing with an immediate coolness from the ginger ale fizziness and cucumber. It tastes similar to a sweetened iced tea, though the coffee notes from the espresso we used came through in the middle. While perfect for an evening of glitz and glamour (it was designed for the recent Golden Globes), it would make an equally lovely cocktail for a summertime outdoor barbecue.

Recipes: Dessert Drinks with Kerrygold Irish Cream

Macchiato Martini

Kerrygold Irish Cream is the latest Irish cream liqueur on the market, and these two cocktails presented by the company are both delightful and worth checking out.

The Macchiato Martini will please those chocolate lovers among us. We like the idea of chocolate syrup because you can customize the chocolate to the imbiber — milk chocolate versus dark chocolate and how heavy they prefer either. A nice touch would be to add a dessert-like stick as a stirrer, such as a Pepperidge Farm Creme Filled Pirouette Rolled Wafer instead of the cookie crumbles. If you want to kick it up a notch, add an ounce of vodka.

Macchiato Martini
1 oz. Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur
1 shot espresso
1/2 oz. chocolate syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain the ingredients into a martini glass with no ice. Garnish with chocolate cookie crumbles.

The Butter Me Up cocktail will certainly butter up any fan of ice cream. Sweet and creamy, all it needs is a slice of cake on the side to turn it into a perfect birthday style celebration.

Butter Me UpButter Me Up
From The Blind Pig Speakeasy, Dublin
1 oz. Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur
1/2 oz. vanilla liqueur
1/2 oz. butterscotch liqueur
1 oz. fresh cream
1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Shake all of the ingredients with ice. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with 1/2 of a strawberry. (Why a half? Heck, go ahead and toss the whole strawberry in there, then enjoy!)

Recipe: Two Cocktails with Patron XO Café Liqueur

Patron Tequila is a favorite of many drinkers, so we whipped up a pair of their recommended cocktails featuring two tequilas from the Patron XO Café collection:  Patron XO Café Coffee and Patron XO Café Dark Cocoa. Both are luscious and would fit in as an after dinner drink or served with dessert.

The first is called Baby Stout. It is a very simple drink but packs in the flavor. The coffee flavors are sweet and strong like dark coffee, tasting like a creamy Irish cream espresso. Take a sip, roll it across your tongue to warm up the mouth and you’ll be ready for more.

Baby Stout
1 oz. Patron XO Café Coffee Tequila
.5 oz. Irish cream liqueur

Pour the Patron XO Café Coffee into a shot glass and chill. (You can also chill the Patron on its own first.) Top off with Irish cream so that it resembles a miniature glass of stout beer and serve.

The second recipe is Jalisco Coffee Swizzle. It calls for the Patron XO Café Coffee. Instead, we used Patron XO Café Dark Cocoa. Wonderfully sweet, the coffee tones blend through to the finish as the underlying chocolate joins in the pleasure. This one is recommended for the mocha lovers of the world.

Jalisco Coffee Swizzle
1.75 oz. Patron XO Café Dark Cocoa Tequila
1 oz. spiced sugar syrup  (We made our own with equal parts of sugar and water, then added cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg before boiling to dissolve the sugar. Be sure to let it cool before using.)

Add both ingredients to an old fashioned glass, add crushed ice, and stir with a cinnamon stick. You can also garnish it with orange peel before serving.