Cocktail Recipes for National IPA Day 2017

National IPA Day

On August 3rd, we celebrate our love of hoppiness with National India Pale Ale Day. Rather than review a few, since we do that throughout the year, we decided to focus on cocktails using IPA as an ingredient. When beer is used in cocktails, it’s typically the bittering agent, particularly when it’s an IPA. You can also boil it down into a syrup if you don’t care about the alcohol content but do want the hops to come through.

We’re sharing a great lemon bar recipe which has an IPA ingredient as well. Cheers and enjoy!

Coupe de Ville
from Marie Claire online
6 oz. Hornitos Reposado tequila
6 oz. orange juice
3 oz. Triple Sec
2 oz. fresh lime juice
6 bottles of your favorite IPA

Mix together the tequila, orange juice, lime juice, and orange liqueur. After it’s mixed, pour in six cans of the beer and you are ready to share with friends.

Sidewalker

Sidewalker
courtesy of edamam.com
2 1/2 oz. Applejack or apple brandy
2 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 oz. real maple syrup
1 ½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 cup chilled IPA beer
1 1/2 oz. chilled club soda (we used DRY Rhubarb soda)
1 lemon wedge

Dry shake all ingredients except the club soda and IPA. Pour into your glass and add the club soda. Gently stir. Top off with the IPA, garnish with the lemon wedge and enjoy.

Ca-IPA-irinha
courtesy of Craftedpours.com
IPA
Cachaca
Agave Nectar
Lemon
Lime
Mint for cocktail and garnish

Muddle mint and add the remaining ingredients except for the IPA to incorporate the agave nectar into the liquids. Pour into a beer glass; add the beer and garnish with a mint sprig.Albatross

Albatross
This is a fun recipe from bxbeerdepot.blogspot.com
1 oz. Brockman’s Gin
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. hop muddled simple syrup
6 oz. Lagunitas IPA
rosemary sprig for garnish

To make the hop syrup:
1/4 oz. of dried aroma hops (such as Cascade, Citra, Simcoe—we used 007: Golden Hops)
1 oz. of simple syrup.

Muddle to combine and strain through a fine mesh filter.

For the cocktail:
Combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a tulip glass and top with the IPA. Garnish with a Rosemary sprig.

Deuces Juice

Easier than a Sunday morning, Deuce’s Juice is the kind of breakfast beer cocktail that sneaks up on you. Deceptively sweet and savory, this brew matches the peppery flavors of a Belgian-style pale ale with a peppercorn punch and a bit of champagne to smooth things out. Topped with a bit of Aperol for a hint of citrusy bitterness, this juice is far from loose. The folks at Extra Crispy.com recommend paring it with chicken and waffles.

Deuce’s Juice
Courtesy of extracrispy.com
1 oz. Aperol
1 oz. tangergine juice
1 oz. champagne
6 oz. Bear Republic’s Apex IPA
Orange twist
A pinch of black peppercorns

Fill pint glass with ice. Add the first three ingredients, then top off with beer. Gently stir. Garnish with orange twist and crushed black peppercorns to get fancy.

Campari IPA
courtesy of bbcgoodfood.com
12 oz. Campari
10 oz. IPA
sparkling orange juice
orange peel

Take two rocks glasses and put two to three ice cubes in each one. Divide the Campari between the glasses and top with the IPA. Add a splash of sparkling orange juice (we used San Pellegrino sparkling blood orange) and rub a piece of orange peel around the rim of each glass before dropping into the drink.

Rebel Rhumba

Rebel Rumba
courtesy of Sam Adams
¼ oz. orgeat
¾ oz. lime juice
½ oz. Dry Curaçao
½ oz. dark rum
½ oz. white rum
3 oz. Sam Adam’s Rebel Juiced IPA

Combine all ingredients into a shaker and shake. Strain into wine glass, add ice, and garnish with fresh mango or pineapple and mint.

Wassail

Wassail gets its name from the Old Norse “ves heill” and Old English “was hál,” meaning “be fortunate,” which is how we feel when we drink it. Wassail is typically served at Christmas time. However this is a great drink for around the campfire or on the beach in the evening. You can make it up ahead of time and then let each person warm theirs over the fire in metal cups (be sure to use pot holders).

Wassail
courtesy of saveur.com
6 apples, cored
2 1/2 tbsp. light brown sugar
15 allspice berries
15 cloves
6 sticks cinnamon
1 cup Madeira wine (we used Rainwater variety)
1 cup Angry Orchard Summer Honey cider
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. ground ginger
3 bottles Deschutes Pinedrops IPA
3 ½ cups Angry Orchard Crisp Apple cider
peels of two oranges

Heat oven to 350°. Place apples in baking dish; place light brown sugar in center of each apple. Pour 1 cup water in dish; bake 1 hour. Toast allspice berries, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high, 2 minutes. Add Madeira, both ciders, nutmeg, ginger, ale, and orange peels; boil. Reduce to medium; simmer 1 hour. Add apples and any liquid; cook 10 minutes.

IPA Lemon Bars

IPA Lemon Bars
recipe from thebeeroness.com
Crust:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
6 tbs unsalted butter
pinch salt

Filling:
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup flour
2 tbsp. corn starch
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup IPA beer
powdered sugar for dusting

In a food processor add the flour, powdered sugar, butter, and salt. Process until well combined.
Press into the bottom of a greased 8 X 8 pan (for a 9 x 13 pan, double the entire recipe).Chill for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to about room temperature, about 15 minutes—this will help the crust and the filling to stay in two distinct layers.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour and corn starch. Add in the lemon juice and beer, stir until combined. Pour the filling over the cooled crust. Bake until the center has set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating. Chill for 2 to 3 hours before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Boozy Popsicles Put Some Chill Into Your Summer Fun

Most of us have enjoyed a popsicle or two in the summertime ever since we were young. They’re just a part of being a kid — and if you have children, they quickly become a staple in your freezer.

Who says we have to outgrow these treats? Instead, just give yours an adult twist by spiking them with your favorite spirit. Here are five great boozy popsicles to give a try. We loved all five of them.

One note of caution: Because of the alcohol in these, none of them will freeze to rock-hard-ice consistency. Measure all ingredients carefully; they matter a lot here. Also, if needed, to release the popsicles from the molds, run the molds under warm water for a few seconds and they should slide right out.

Beer Popsicle: Cherry Lambic and Cream Popsicle
from A Cozy Kitchen
2 cups (about 1/2 pound) chopped cherries
4 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
3/4 cup cherry lambic beer
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream

Add the chopped cherries and 2 tablespoons of the sugar inside a blender. Blend until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Pour in the cherry lambic and pulse for 10 seconds, just until combined. Set aside to allow the bubbles to go away.

In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream and remaining sugar. Fill the popsicle molds with the cherry lambic mixture about 1/4 of the way. Next, layer with a few tablespoons of heavy cream and then the rest of the cherry lambic mixture. Pour the rest of the heavy cream into each of the popsicles and transfer to the freezer. At the one-hour mark add the popsicle sticks to each popsicle. Freeze overnight.

Campari Citrus Popsicles
courtesy of Thekitchn.com
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups grapefruit juice or orange juice (add a squeeze of lemon if using orange)
1/2 cup Campari

Mix the water and sugar together in a small pan over low heat, and bring up to a boil until the sugar dissolves. Allow the simple syrup to boil for 4 minutes, remove from heat. and cool (makes a little over 1 cup of simple syrup).

Combine the citrus juice and Campari; then add 1 cup of the cooled syrup. Adjust to taste (for the grapefruit pops, you may want to add a tablespoon or two extra syrup if you prefer them less tart). Remember, the mixture will taste slightly sweeter in liquid form than it does when frozen. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze at least 8 hours or overnight.

Sex on the Beach Poptails
courtesy of Endless Simmer
12 oz. pineapple (about half of a large pineapple)
3 oz. raspberries (about 13 regular-size raspberries)
4 oz. vodka
2 oz. Pama Pomegrante liqueur

Place the pineapple and vodka in a food processor or a blender and process until pureed and well blended. Set aside. Next, place raspberry and Pama Liqueur in the food processor or a blender and process until pureed and well-blended.

Pour 1/2 oz. of pineapple mixture into each popsicle well, then pour 1 oz. of raspberry mixture on top of it. Fill remainder of the popsicle wells with pineapple mixture. Use the narrow handle of a spoon or fork to gently drag raspberry mixture through the pineapple mixture and against the walls of the mold for a soft swirling effect.

Place foil on top of popsicle form and cut a tiny hole in the center of each well. Stick popsicle stick through the hole. Freeze for at least 6 hours or until frozen solid.

Raspberry and Kumquat Caipirinha Popsicle
courtesy of Endless Simmer
1 pint raspberries
4 oz. kumquats (if you can’t find kumquats or don’t like them, just use orange juice)
10 oz. limeade
5 oz. cachaca

Place raspberries and kumquats in a food processor or blender and process or blend until pureed, about 1-2 minutes. (Push through a medium strainer for a less pulpy popsicle). Add cachaca and process or blend until fully combined. If you find the mixture is more tart in flavor than you prefer, add 2 oz. of simple syrup to offset that.

Pour mixture into popsicle forms and freeze for about 2 hours or until mixture starts to solidify enough to hold a popsicle stick upright. Insert popsicle sticks and finish freezing popsicles overnight.

Strawberry Gin and Tonic Popsicles
from Donna Hay
6 strawberries, thinly sliced
1 small Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced
¼ cup sloe gin
1 cup tonic water (We used DRY rhubarb flavored sparkling soda.)
¼ cup lime juice cordial

Divide the strawberry and cucumber between eight 1/3 cup capacity popsicle molds. Place the gin, tonic water, and cordial in a jug and stir to combine. Divide between molds, cover with aluminum foil, and insert popsicle sticks. Freeze for 3 to 4 hours or until frozen.

Recipes: Cocktails for July 4th, 2017

Margarita Watermelon

Independence Day is upon us. We know you plan to celebrate, so we’ve got cocktails for you: Two of them make large batches, which makes them perfect for a fireworks viewing party. To finish up, we have recipes for boozy watermelon and then a favorite American dish — corn pudding. Both are easy and will go great with whatever you are cooking up on the grill.

We want you to have plenty of great beverages — but of course we encourage you to be safe when driving… or when handling those firecrackers.

Jacked SangriaJacked Sangria
courtesy of Alcomar restaurant, Austin, TX
8 oz. Jack Daniel’s
3 oz. Créme de Cassis
2 cups fresh mango puree
2 750 ml bottles of cabernet
6 oz. hand-squeezed lime juice
32 oz. Sprite

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher with ice. Serve and enjoy! This makes a gallon so you will have plenty to share around.

Dixie Daly
2 oz. Dixie Citrus Vodka
2 oz. sweet tea
2 oz. lemonade
4 mint leaves
sparkling soda
juice of 1/4 lemon
1 dash of Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients except the soda with ice; pour in ice-filled glass. Top with soda and serve. If desired, also garnish with mint leaves.

The Red Planet NegroniRed Planet Negroni
created by Leo Robitschek, The NoMad (NYC)
1 oz. Campari
1 1/2 oz. Cinzano 1757
2 oz. Bulldog Gin
clarified milk mixture (see below)

Follow instructions below to create clarified milk punch. Serve in a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with two star-shaped orange twists.

To make clarified milk mixture:
3 oz. milk
1 oz. lemon juice
1 1/2 oz. spice rooibos tea syrup
1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice

Heat up milk until just under a simmer. Take the pot off the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir slowly until the curds and the whey separate. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Pour all of the ingredients slowly through a superbag or nut bag until the punch becomes clear, and the repeat the filtering process.

The Curious BlueCurious Blue
1 ¾ oz. Brockmans Gin
½ oz. blueberry liqueur
½ oz. lemon juice
2 oz. blueberry puree
ginger beer

Shake all ingredients but the ginger beer with ice. Strain into a tall Collins glass filled with ice.

Rose and Strawberry Vino
1 1/2 oz. Barefoot Summer red wine
1 oz. strawberry vodka
rose basil seed drink
2 ice cubes
rose petals to garnish

Mix wine and vodka in a glass, stir; then pour into a cocktail glass over 2 ice cubes. Top; off with rose basil seed drink. Garnish with rose petals and serve.

Belle of the (Summer) BallBelle of the Ballk
courtesy of NYC-based mixologist Jaime Rios
1 1/2 oz. Belle de Brillet Liqueur
1 oz. light rum
3/4 oz. lime juice
3 raspberries
club soda
sprig of rosemary

Add raspberries, ice, and alcohol ingredients into a shaker. Shake and strain into a highball with fresh ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

The Marked Man
courtesy of Kegworks
2½ oz. blueberry-infused bourbon
½ oz. dry vermouth
½ oz. Benedictine
2 dashes peach bitters
3 fresh blueberries, for garnish

Fill a mixing glass ¾ of the way with ice and add infused bourbon, vermouth, Benedictine, and bitters. Stir well, until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with 3 blueberries skewered onto a cocktail pick. Enjoy!

To infuse bourbon:
There are several variations of this…adding lemon, vanilla, ginger, or blueberry tea. We’re giving you the simplest method so you can tailor it to your own tastes.
1 liter bourbon
1 ½ pints fresh blueberries
¼ cup honey

Put all ingredients in a blender and pulse. Then pour everything into a sterile jar (wash well and then boil in water to sterilize the jar and lid). Let sit in a cool place for three days. Fine strain with cheese cloth or a nut bag. It should keep for a few weeks.

The Gimme
courtesy STICKS Bar & Grill at The Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach Resorts
2 oz. Absolut vodka
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. blueberry agave syrup
3 oz. ginger beer
1 oz. club soda
4 blueberries for garnish
1 mint sprig for garnish

Add vodka, blueberry agave nectar, fresh lime, and ice to a 16-oz. glass. Stir to incorporate and chill. Add ginger beer and club soda, then stir again–this time, make sure to bring the bottom of the glass contents up through the carbonated mixers. Garnish with blueberries. Remove the lower mint leaves from stem. Bruise mint sprig to allow the mint oils and aromatics to be expressed. Add as garnish.

Blueberry agave syrup:
6 oz. fresh blueberries
1 oz. granulated white sugar
juice of ½ lemon
2 oz. water
6 oz. agave nectar

In a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients, except agave, and heat on medium low until the blueberries start to soften. Remove from heat and place in blender. Add agave nectar and blend until mixture is thoroughly incorporated in agave nectar.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale SangriaSam Adams Sangria
4¼ bottles Samuel Adams Summer Ale
2 bottles of light white wine, like a sweet Riesling
2 oz. soda water
½ cup of cognac
½ cup of apple schnapps
½ cup of simple syrup
2 honeydew melons, peeled, sliced and diced (we used a melon baller tool)
4 oranges, cut in to wheels

Mix all ingredients except soda water together in a large bowl, and refrigerate overnight. Add 2 oz. of soda water, and serve. Serves approximately 40 three-ounce servings.

This next recipe isn’t a cocktail per se, but fitting nonetheless.

Margarita-Soaked Watermelon Slices
courtesy of Divas Can Cook
1 small seedless watermelon
1 cup sugar
¾ cup boiling water
¼ cup lime juice
½ cup Hornitos Reposado Tequila
¼ cup Cointreau/triple sec
lime slices from 6 limes
¼ cup margarita salt

Slice watermelon into small triangles and arrange them on a large cookie sheet in a single layer. In a medium size bowl add sugar and boiling water. Stir until sugar has dissolved and let cool. Add in lime juice, tequila, and Cointreau. Spoon mixture over each watermelon slice and then pour on what’s left. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours—no longer than that or your watermelon will get rubbery. Serve slices cold on a platter with lime slices and a dish of margarita salt.

Many Americans consider corn one of our most important crops with its uses in spirits production, corn syrup, as a vegetable, and a grain. It’s only fitting that we share this corn pudding recipe with you. It is common in the Midwest, but we’re giving you a southwestern version. It’s great with any barbecue or to take to a pot luck. You can make the creamed corn from scratch; then roast, peel, and chop the green chiles by hand if you have the time and inclination. We’re going for a quick dish so are using the canned versions in this recipe. Trust us, it’s belly-pleasing either way.

Corn PuddingCorn Pudding
1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn
1 can of evaporated milk
¼ butter softened
½ cup chopped yellow onion
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can Ortega chopped green chiles
1 tsp each salt and pepper
2 Tbsp flour
2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs

Butter a casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix well all ingredients, including the remaining butter; then pour into the casserole dish. Bake uncovered approximately 30 minutes. You can top with more shredded cheese or bread crumbs if desired.

Bar Review: Teleféric Barcelona Restaurant, Walnut Creek, California

Teleféric Barcelona
Teleféric has three bars/restaurants in Spain. The one we visited in Walnut Creek, California is their first venture in the United States, having opened in January 2017. Their menu is filled with dishes from Barcelona, created by chefs from Spain. The pricing is a bit high, but worth it for a special luxury meal such as an anniversary or birthday dinner. What first drew our attention to this restaurant is a peek at their signature sangrias. They graciously gave us a recipe to share with you.

Everything done at Teleféric Barcelona is done with flair, from the friendly and talkative staff to elaborate garnishes on food and drink abound. First we were offered appetizers from a cart. In Spain they are called pinchos, meaning ‘little bites.’ The best of these was a chorizo bite. It was sweet and paired with a nice crema-like cheese and a pepper which we expected to be hot but was pleasant instead.

Pisco cart

To go with our pinchos, drinks were in order. First up was a cocktail called a Cortez, Teleféric’s version of a Manhattan. It was surprising to find mezcal in it because we typically think of that with more Mexican dishes. The signature smokiness was there but not overwhelming. Other ingredients included Carpano Antica, maraschino liqueur, and flaming sweet orange. Very nice.

We also had a cocktail served alongside dessert called In Spanish Fashion. Its ingredients include Bulleit Rye whiskey, brandy, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, bitters, lemon, and hand cut ice. This was a pleasant combination of ingredients and a great end to a wonderful evening.

But sangria is really the main event here: Our host explained how every region of Spain has their own signature style of sangria. We decided to try Teleféric’s three sangrias with our meal. They were kind enough to bring us small tastes so we could try them all.

First was the white sangria called Sangria Ibiza. Its light bubbly and mild dry taste came from Verdejo Wine and Pisco from Peru. The slight sweetness is from the addition of elderflower liqueur, Licor 43, peaches, and pineapples.

Next up: A pink sangria called Barceloneta. Among its ingredients are prickly pear juice, lemonade, and a jumble of fresh fruits such as orange, blueberry, and raspberry. It came garnished with a small sprig of rosemary. Its taste was reminiscent of a Grenache wine.

The third, and our favorite, sangria was the Sangria Teleféric. Right off the mint from the garnish tickles the nose. This sangria was also garnished with a cinnamon stick, blueberries, and raspberries. The cinnamon gave the drink a nice spiciness to it.

We wanted to make it ourselves — here’s the recipe:Signature Sangrias

Sangria Teleféric
Spanish red wine
orange juice
apple juice
4 oranges (chunks)
4 ripe pears (chunks)
4 big cinnamon sticks
Brandy de Jerez “Solera”
Nolet’s gin

There aren’t measurements because you can make these in large or small batches and mix everything to taste. Mix all these ingredients , except the red wine. Then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. The purpose is to obtain a balanced and unique flavor so neither the gin nor brandy will be overpowering. Throughout these 24 hours the pears and oranges release their flavors enhancing the fruity, but not too sweet flavors. Once the mix is ready, combine it with red wine. Let it rest for another 24 hours so the wine can absorb the sweetness and flavor of the fruits. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, berries, and fresh mint sprig.

telefericbarcelona.com

Memorial Day Cocktails, 2017

Spiked Cherry Lemonade Slushies
If you’re like us, this long Memorial Day holiday weekend is much anticipated. We want to kick off this holiday of remembrance and thankfulness with a set of cocktails to serve your veterans and those who honor them. What are cocktails without food to serve alongside? We’re sharing a chicken and chorizo dish you can cook indoors or out. Now, on with the drinks!

Playa Fortuna
created by Ryan Wainwright
1 1/2 parts Bacardi Superior
3/4 part lime juice
3/4 part coconut cordial (equal parts of coconut water and sugar)
1/4 part Falernum
4 drops tartaric acid (1 part cream of tartar and 5 parts water)
edible flower for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with an edible flower and serve.

Rose Basil MartiniRose Basil Seed Martini
The original Strawberry Basil Martini recipe came from foodandwine.com. However, we discovered a rose basil seed drink at a convenience store which also sells Indian food items and decided to give it a shot. The drink is sweetened so the simple syrup is intentionally omitted.
3 strawberries plus one slice to use as a garnish
3 fresh basil leaves
1 oz. gin (We used Brockman’s)
1 oz. vodka
2 oz. Rose Basil Seed beverage (you can add more if you want a stronger rose taste)
½ oz. fresh lemon juice

Put the strawberries and basil leaves in a cocktail shaker and muddle them. Add ice, gin, vodka, and lemon juice; then shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with the Rose Basil beverage, garnish with the strawberry slice, and serve.

Spiked Cherry Lemonade Slushies
2 oz. Blue Ice Vodka
1 tsp. Crystal Light Lemonade mix
1/2 tsp cherry syrup
3/4 cups water
1 cup ice
maraschino cherries

Add all ingredients , except the cherries, into a blender and blend until the drink has a smooth and slushy texture. Pour into 2 glasses. Garnish with maraschino cherries.

Auchentoshan Berry White
1 1/2 parts Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky
1/4 part fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 parts Shrub & Co. Strawberry w/ Meyer Lemon Shrub
3 1.2 parts Belgian witbier (wheat beer)
4 dashes rhubarb bitters

Build the drink in tall glass with ice. Then fill the remaining space with Belgian wheat beer. Garnish with a lemon peel before serving.

Laphroaig Back Yard CollinsLaphroaig® Back Yard Collins
recipe by Ivy Mix, NYC
1 1/2 parts Laphroaig Select
3/4 part Cherry Heering Liqueur
3/4 part lemon juice
1/2 part orange juice
1/2 part vanilla syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 vanilla bean split open; boil together and cool before using)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
light lager beer
lemon wheel (for garnish)

Combine all ingredients except the lager in a cocktail shaker; shake and strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice. Next, top with the beer and garnish with a lemon wheel.

Banana Beach
created by mixologist, Jane Danger
3 oz. Baileys Almande
2 oz. coconut puree
1/2 oz. agave syrup
1 1/2 ripe bananas
banana slices and grated nutmeg for garnish

Combine Baileys Almande, coconut puree, agave syrup, bananas, and ice into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the contents into a tall glass. Garnish with banana slices and freshly grated nutmeg.

Svedka's Imperial BlueSvedka’s Imperial Blue
1 1/2 parts Svedka Blue Raspberry Vodka
1 1/2 parts black tea
3/4 part fresh lime juice
3/4 part simple syrup
1 part sparkling wine
3 raspberries

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the raspberries. Then combine with the remaining ingredients, except for the sparkling wine. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Top with sparkling wine and stir. Garnish with raspberries and loose black tea.

Modelo Summer Crusher
cocktail by Betsy Maher and Austin Hartman, New York
12 oz. Modelo Especial
1 1/2 oz. strawberry chipotle syrup (recipe below)
1 oz. blanco tequila
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
Modelo Summer Crushersalt
ground chipotle
1 strawberry for garnish

Rim a mason jar with salt and ground chipotle pepper mixture about half an inch down the jar. Fill the jar to the top with crushed ice. Combine tequila, strawberry chipotle syrup, and fresh lime juice into a shaker with ice. Shake 18-20 times. Strain over the crushed ice and top with Modelo Especial. Garnish with a strawberry.

To make Strawberry Chipotle Syrup
12-15 medium to large strawberries
3 cups of water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground chipotle

Boil the water and add ground chipotle. Blend strawberries in a blender. Lower the water temperature and add the strawberry mixture. Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off heat, add sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Let cool before using.

Cool Mule
1.5 parts Three Olives Cucumber Lime Vodka
.75 parts lime juice
.75 parts simple syrup
3 cucumber slices
10 mint sprigs
ginger beer

In a mule mug, muddle cucumber and mint. Add the remaining ingredients to a shaker and shake well. Pour into the mug and top with ginger beer. Use a cucumber slice or lime wheel to garnish. Serve!

Sweet and Smoky
We took a typical mezcal cocktail and changed it up.
3 oz. mezcal
1/2 oz. agave nectar
3 dashes Orleans bitters
2 maraschino cherries plus 1 Tbsp. syrup from the jar.
ginger ale

Place the two cherries inside a rocks glass. Then combine all remaining ingredients except the ginger ale in a shaker glass with ice. Shake well to thoroughly mix in the agave nectar. Strain into the glass and top with ginger ale. Note: if this is too sweet for your tastes, add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice.

Many of us fire up the grill for the first time of the year on Memorial Day weekend. Use an iron skillet with a lid or an iron Dutch Oven to roast this chicken dish on the grill. If your grill has three burners, light the outer two and place the skillet on the unlit center portion. Then you can sit back and enjoy your cocktails while it cooks.

Basque Roast ChickenBasque Roast Chicken
original recipe courtesy of Canadian Living.com; of course we put our own spin on it.
3 sweet red peppers, halved and cored
1 sweet onion, thickly sliced
1 28 oz. can of stewed tomatoes, drained (use whole tomatoes if you like your meal chunky)
5 oz. cured chorizo sausages, cut in chunks (We had problems finding chorizo in sausage form so used what was available. It worked but the chorizo blended in with the tomato sauce more than it should have; the taste certainly didn’t suffer.)
10 cloves garlic
¼ cup mezcal
8 small chicken breast pieces (half-breasts, thighs or drumsticks)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

On the grill, roast the red peppers, cut side down, until blackened. Let cool enough to handle. Peel off blackened skins and slice into strips. Then put the peppers, onion, tomatoes, chorizo, garlic, and mezcal into the skillet.

Toss chicken with oil to coat. Combine thyme, salt, sweet and smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper; rub all over chicken. Place on top of the vegetable mixture in the pan.

Cover with the lid and roast for about 45 minutes. If you prefer to cook this in an oven, then bake for the same amount of time at 450°F. Serve with flour tortillas.

Calling All Geeks: Cocktails for National Star Wars Day 2017

May 4th is here, and Star Wars fans are breaking out the lightsabers… and their booze bottles.

To celebrate “May the fourth,” we asked fans and a popular fan podcast for cocktail suggestions and then put our own spin on them. Many of the photos don’t do the drinks justice because some elements like smoke and edible pearl dust don’t show up well in the pictures — but trust us that they make a fantastic presentation in person, particularly under the right party light conditions. The Star Wars ice molds (which can also be used for chocolate) and light saber skewers can be found on Amazon. The edible stars and pearl dust are available where cake-making supplies are sold.

May the fourth be with you… and the hangovers not.

Pink NebulaPink Nebula
Courtesy of One Shot Podcast
1/2 oz. gin
1 oz. lemon
½ oz. grenadine
1/2 oz. strawberry syrup
1 dash peach bitters
1 small scoop silver or pink edible pearl powder
¼ tsp. edible star shaped glitter

Mix gin, lemon, grenadine, and strawberry syrup in a shaker and shake. Add the pearl powder to the glass and then pour the shaker contents into a martini glass. Dash with bitters and serve with lemon peel garnish.

Note: you can turn this into a “Black Nebula” with Mr. Black liqueur or black vodka; however, both of those are difficult to get in the U.S.

Greedo’s Last DrinkGreedos Last Drink
To be served over a discussion about whether Greedo or Han shot first. Original recipe by Sugarspunrun.com
1 oz. Midori
1 oz. whiskey
2 oz. tonic water
½ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass and serve.

Princess Leia
courtesy of Daily Dot
1 ½ oz. pear vodka (raspberry vodka is also nice)
3 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
edible gold glitter or pearl dust

Mix all liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a champagne flute. Sprinkle glitter/dust over the top of the drink and serve.

Jedi Mind Control
original recipe from completecocktails.com
¾ oz. Pama pomegranate liqueur
1 oz. vodka
1 ½ oz. Hpnotiq liqueur
½ oz. Falernum tropical syrup (any syrup made for tiki cocktails works fine)
2 oz. cranberry juice

Mix together and served in a chilled cocktail glass.

Kylo RenKylo Ren
original recipe by allmommywants.com
1 1/2 oz. cherry vodka
1 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. Fireball whiskey
1 Tbsp. Grenadine
1 Tbsp. ginger syrup

In a bar shaker add 3-4 pieces of ice, vodka, tequila, fireball, ginger syrup, and grenadine. Shake well to combine; then add to a 9 oz. glass and serve.

Darth Vader
Fan inspired and also called a Black Jesus
2 oz. Johnny Walker Black Label whisky
1 oz. Jagermeister

Pour Jagermeister into the glass; then float the Johnny Walker Black Label on top and serve.

Yoda
1 ½ oz. vodka
1 ½ oz. Midori
3 oz. hard apple cider

Add vodka and Midori in a rocks glass with ice and stir. Top with the hard apple cider and serve.

Rey-tini
courtesy of Partida Tequila
2 oz. añejo tequila
3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. agave nectar
1 oz. Champagne

Build all ingredients except the champagne into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Top with one ounce of champagne and garnish with a long lime twist.

Dagoba Swamp SodaDagoba Swamp Soda
courtesy of GeekGirlBrunch
2 oz. rum
1/2 oz. peppermint schnapps
1/2 oz citrus vodka
1/2 lime
12 fresh mint leaves
3 oz. club soda (lemon-lime soda also works wonderfully as a substitute)
2 tsp. sugar

Muddle half the mint leaves in a shaker. Add all the remaining ingredients except the soda in a shaker with ice. Pour into a glass or canning jar glass; top with soda. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

We included this next cocktail last because it requires some advanced skill, or
at least some patience with learning the presentation process.

Death Star
cocktail inspired by GeekyHostess
1 oz. Jagermeister
1 oz. triple sec
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. whiskey
2 oz. sweet and sour mix (or mix simple syrup and lemon juice to make your own)

Place all ingredients into a glass with a Death Star ice sphere in it. Stir to mix theingredients and enjoy.

Smoking Death StarTo make the smoking Death Star ice sphere:
1 Death Star ice ball mold
1 stainless steel cooking funnel (make sure the hole isn’t too large or you will have problems with the cherry plug falling in)
Maraschino cherries (we used a small lime wheel because our hole in the ice ball was too large for a cherry)
drink skewer
stainless steel seasoning injector (with a solid needle, not the one with holes on the sides)
cooking foil
wood chips (cedar and oak work great but use what you have access too; you want to be sure the chips are not from wood treated with chemicals)
lighter
ice pick or soldering iron

Create a hollow Death Star ice sphere by filling the ice mold and putting it in the freezer. How long can vary depending upon the type of mold you have and your freezer temperature. We used a silicon mold and put it in for two hours, then flipped it over for another two.

Next, use a pick or a clean soldering iron to create a hole, large enough for the funnel spout to fit in, on the top and return the sphere to the freezer. Insert the skewer through the cherry and set aside. Lay out the foil on a heat resistant surface and pile the wood chips in the center. Use the lighter to burn the wood chips and place the funnel over top to capture the smoke. Pull the ice ball out of the freezer and place over the funnel, inserting the spout into the hole in the ice ball. You may need to tilt one side of the funnel to encourage the smoke to enter the sphere. Once filled with smoke, quickly plug up the hole in the ice sphere with the skewered cherry to trap the smoke inside. Then return the ball to the freezer while you mix up the Death Star cocktail.

When ready, carefully place the Death Star ice ball filled with smoke into a cocktail glass. Pour the cocktail over the ball. Then give the cocktail to your guest, along with a knife or small hammer so they can “destroy’ the Death Star, releasing the smoke. We used the information in a video on how to fill a hollow ice ball with smoke, and then used a Death Star Silicon Mold. The video from Cocktail Chemistry is here.

Recipes for National Gin and Tonic Day 2017

Spicy Tomato Gin and Tonic
When we were buying extra gin and tonic water to make the recipes below, the checkout clerk noticed our items and started singing. He said he belongs to a group that perform songs from the burlesque era and said many of them are about gin and tonic. So, in a way we celebrate a bit of musical history along with the cocktail on April 9th: National Gin and Tonic Day.

These six cocktail recipes are variations on the basic Gin and Tonic theme. We couldn’t resist adding two dessert recipes as well. All of them are perfect for a warm evening out on the porch, watching the sunset. We know you’ll love them as much as we do.

Pomegranate Gin & TonicPomegranate Gin and Tonic
courtesy of Distillery 209
2 oz. No. 209 gin
4 oz. Q Tonic
20 pomegranate seeds
2 sage leaves
2 whole cloves

Add ice cubes to a stemless wine glass. Add all ingredients and serve.

Spicy Tomato Gin and Tonic
courtesy of Sumptuous Living
2 oz. gin
2 oz. Q Tonic Water
½ cup yellow cherry tomatoes (halved)
¼ cup hothouse cucumber (wrapped in plastic at the market, sliced)
1 sprig fresh dill
1 thin slice jalapeño pepper
1 dash Tabasco sauce
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes celery bitters
1 oz. fresh lime juice
steak seasoning
2 whole cherry tomatoes (for garnish)
2 cucumber slices (for garnish)

Wet the rim of a highball glass with cut lime; then dip it in steak seasoning. Place tomatoes, cucumber, dill, and lime juice in bottom of glass; muddle for one minute. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, bitters, gin, jalapeño, and tonic water. Fill with ice and stir gently — be careful not to disturb rim. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices before serving.

Strawberry Gin and TonicStrawberry Gin and Tonic
by Alice Seuffert
2 oz. gin
3 oz. tonic water
2 Tbsp. strawberry syrup
2 sprigs of rosemary
¼ of a lime
1 strawberry

In a glass filled with ice add gin, tonic water, and strawberry syrup. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, a piece of quartered lime (squeeze in juice), and strawberry.

For Strawberry Syrup:
4 cups strawberries (32 ounces/2 lbs, stems removed, halved)
2 cups water
½ cup sugar (we used honey instead)
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook 10-15 minutes until strawberries are completely cooked–soft and light pink in color. Remove from heat and let cool. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl (ensure fit so mixture and liquid does not leak out the sides) and place strawberry mixture in the strainer. Allow juice to drain into bowl and lightly press mixture into strainer until syrup has completely drained. Chill strawberry syrup until ready to use. Store in fridge for 1-2 weeks.

The 25 Pounder25 Pounder
created by Mikha Diaz of Two Sisters Bar and Books, San Francisco
1 1/2 oz. Burnett’s Gin infused with Earl Grey Tea (To infuse, place 3 tea bags into 750 ml. gin and allow to steep for at least 48 hours.)
3/4 oz. bergamot orange juice
3/4 oz. honey simple syrup (2 parts honey to 1 part boiling water–stir until combined)
sparkling wine or tonic water

Combine gin, juice, and honey simple syrup into a pint glass. Fill with ice and shake. Strain into a 6 oz. flute and top with tonic water. No garnish is needed.

Blood Orange Elderflower Gin Cocktail
courtesy of The Little Epicurean
1 oz. gin
3/4 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz. lime juice
2 1/2 oz. ginger ale or tonic water (we used dry sparkling blood orange soda)
1 oz. blood orange juice (we couldn’t find just blood orange so used raspberry blood orange juice)

In a serving glass, combine gin, St. Germain, lime juice, and ginger ale. Top the glass with ice. Slowly pour in blood orange juice. Garnish with blood orange slices and fresh lemon thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve immediately.

Blackberry and Lemon Gin and TonicBlackberry Lemon Gin and Tonic
courtesy of RealHouseMoms.com
6 blackberries
8 mint leaves
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. simple syrup
6 oz. gin
tonic water
additional mint leaves and lemon wheels for garnish

Using two lowball glasses, place three blackberries in each glass. Add four mint leaves per glass, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp. of simple syrup per glass and muddle together. Fill each glass with ice, followed by 3 oz. gin. Top each drink with tonic water; then garnish with a lemon wheel and mint leaves.

Gin and Tonic Cake
by Jessica Merchant
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp. freshly zested lime rind
1/4 cup gin
1/4 cup milk
juice of 1 lime

Gin and Tonic CakePreheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add in sugar and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy–about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl if needed. Add in each egg one at a time, beating until fully incorporated before adding the next. Next add in vanilla and lime zest and mix. With the mixer on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients. Then add in gin, milk, and lime juice, mixing until combined and scraping the bowl if necessary. Add remaining flour and beat until just combined.

Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish, and bake for 35-40 minutes, until top is golden and center is not jiggly. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately poke holes across the top with a toothpick or fork. Pour gin glaze over; then let cake cool completely. While cake is cooling, mix up icing and once the cake has cooled, add the frosting. Note: you can sub tonic water in for the gin/milk portion of the recipe if desired.

For Gin Glaze
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. gin
juice of 1 lime

Mix ingredients together until a glaze forms, then pour over cake immediately while it is still warm. Note: start with 1-2 tablespoons of gin, if more non-gin liquid is needed, use tonic water.

For Gin Icing
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. gin
1 drop of vanilla extract

Mix ingredients together until a very thick but spreadable icing forms. Once cake has completely cooled, spread a thin layer of icing all over the cake. Note: start with 1-2 tablespoons of gin, if more non-gin liquid is needed, use tonic water.

Cucumber Gin and Tonic SorbetCucumber Lime Gin and Tonic Sorbet
by Kristen Olson
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
zest and juice from 2 medium limes
1 small cucumber, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups tonic water
3 oz. gin

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium low, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool completely. In a blender, mix together the simple syrup, zest, and juice from two limes, cucumber, 2 cups of the tonic water, and the gin. Blend until smooth. Strain the mixture into a baking pan or baking dish. Freeze for 2 to 3 hours or until slightly frozen. Break up and stir with a fork. Freeze another 2 to 3 hours or until almost solid. Spoon icy mixture into the blender and blend until lighter and smooth. Return the mixture to the baking pan and freeze until scoopable. Cover and store in the freezer for up to two months. When ready to serve, scoop the sorbet into glasses with an ice cream scoop; top with a lime slice and additional tonic water and gin if desired.

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