Cocktails and Cake Recipes for Labor Day 2017

Where has the summer gone? It’s time for our last ditch grilling, hanging out, and partying weekend: Labor Day. After all, you have to love a holiday where people take the day off of work to celebrate work. Here are some great cocktails you’ll enjoy and an easy cake recipe to boot. Cheers!

Angry Cider Slushy

Angry Cider Slushy
courtesy of Angry Orchard
1/2 oz. Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
1 oz. white rum
3/4 oz. lime juice
2 ½ Tbsp. white sugar
4 strawberries (or any other seasonal berries that are available)
2 cups ice

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Serve in rocks glass and garnish with a strawberry.

Junior Buffalo “GDE”
by Clayton MacGregor, Pig & Pickle in Phoenix, AZ
1 ½ oz. Bulldog Gin
1 ½ oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 dash Orange Cream Citrate from Bittermen’s Bitters
1 ½ oz. house-made orange blossom soda

Fill a tall rocks glass with ice, koozie on glass is optional. Measure gin with a jigger and add to glass. Add fresh grapefruit juice and Orange Cream Citrate. Garnish with an orange slice, a hug, and a high five.

To make orange blossom soda, mix together the following:
2 oz. orange blossom water
6 oz. orange simple syrup
24 oz. water

Place in an iSi container (i.e. Soda Stream) and carbonate.

Kelimutu
courtesy of By the Dutch from the Netherlands
1 ½ oz By the Dutch Batavia Arrack
¾ oz. lime juice
½ oz. passion fruit syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon syrup
1 dash By the Dutch Classic Bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Over the Moon

Over the Moon
created by Mixologist Ben Scorah
1 1/2 oz. Tequila Don Julio Blanco
3 oz. fresh coconut
3 oz. coconut water
2 oz. fresh pineapple juice
1/2 tsp. activated charcoal
coconut flakes for garnish

Combine Tequila Don Julio Blanco, coconut, coconut water, fresh pineapple juice, and charcoal in a blender with ice. Blend for 30 seconds. Then pour contents into a highball glass and garnish with coconut flakes on top.

Note: activated charcoal is the element which turns this drink black and is currently a craze in foods and beverages around the world — most notably black ice cream and black lemonade. However, it is the same ingredient used in emergency rooms to help overdose victims because it absorbs the alcohols and other chemicals in the stomach. This means it can interfere with medications you are taking. If this is a problem, simply leave out the charcoal and enjoy the cocktail without it.

Rumosa Signature Cocktail
2 oz. Island Company Rum
2 oz. fresh orange juice
1 oz. club soda

Build in a champagne flute and garnish with an orange slice.

Bacardí Refresco Superior
2 parts Bacardí Superior rum
¾ part ginger syrup
1 part lime juice
1/4 part St-Germain
4 cilantro leaves

Shake all ingredients vigorously with plenty of ice. Double strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and fresh cilantro.

Margo Flips
2 parts Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky
1 part Chocolate Stout (We used Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout)
1 whole egg
4 dashes Peychauds Bitters
1/2 part brown sugar cayenne syrup

Add Auchentoshan Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Chocolate Stout, whole egg, Peychauds Bitters, and brown sugar cayenne syrup into a cocktail shaker. Shake until egg is broken down and drink is frothy. Strain into footed rock glass with fresh ice. Garnish with nutmeg.

To make the brown sugar cayenne syrup:
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Bring to a boil over medium heat. Bring to boil. Let cool and keep in refrigerator. Note: if you don’t want that much syrup, cut the proportions respectively. We made ours with ¼ cup brown sugar, 1/8 cup water and ¼ tsp. cayenne. It made enough for two cocktails.

Almande Horchata
courtesy of Baileys
2 oz. Baileys Almande
3/4 cup almond milk
1/4 tbsp. honey
1/4 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tbsp. vanilla extract
fresh nutmeg for garnish

Combine Baileys Almande, almond milk, honey, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain contents into a coffee mug over fresh ice. Garnish with fresh nutmeg.

Labyrinthe
Signature cocktail for Maison St-Germain
1 oz. Cazadores Blanco Tequila
1 oz. Kaffir lime infused St-Germain French elderflower liqueur
3/4 oz. Noilly Dry vemouth
1/4 oz. of fresh lime juice
5 dashes chartreuse (You could probably use absinthe as well)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake well, Pour into a coupette and garnish with kaffir lime leaf.

Rosé Affogato
created by Luis Hernandez at the Seamstress Rosé Bar
1/2 oz. strawberry-infused Campari
sparkling rosé
berry ice cream

Place one scoop of berry ice cream in a coupe glass. Pour in infused Campari and top with sparkling rosé.

To make Strawberry-Infused Campari, take 1 pound of strawberries sliced and cored per 750 ml bottle of Campari and let sit for 3 days to infuse.

Peachy Bear
from Kim Richards
2 oz. bourbon (we used Lost Republic, which is made in collaboration with Bear Republic)
2 oz. Van Gogh Cool Peach vodka
1 oz. amaretto
2 dashes orange bitters

Pour all ingredients in to a glass and stir with ice. No garnish is needed unless you just want to add a grilled peach slice.

Truly Italian Margarita

Truly Italian Margarita
created by Natasha David, Nitecap
1 oz. Casamigos Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz. Campari
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
4 oz. Truly Colima Lime

Combine all ingredients, except for Truly, in a shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a double rocks glass (14 oz.) and top with Truly Colima Lime. Garnish with a salt rim and lime wedge.

How about a nice dessert to finish off your holiday? At a recent visit to the Coppola Family Wineries, one of their employees mentioned this dessert as a family favorite.

Pound Cake with Grappa

Pound Cake with Grappa
1 slice of pound cake
2-3 blackberries (or raspberries)
Grappa

Place the berries on top of the cake slice. Use a pipette to drizzle the grappa all over the berries. We covered them twice. Dust with powdered sugar if you desire. Serve to your guest with a fork.

Momma’s Pound Cake Recipe
courtesy of Paula Deen
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, cream butter and shortening together. Add sugar, a little at a time. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to mixer alternately with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix in vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

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.

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.

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.

Cocktails for Mother’s Day 2017

The Queens Choice
Moms come in so many varieties — no matter their shape or size, all are sweet, pretty, and strong. We want to give each one a cocktail of their own and a dessert along side. Kick your feet up, Mom. You’ve earned it!

The Queen’s Choice
2 oz. Baileys Original Irish Cream
1 oz. Smirnoff Vanilla vodka
1/2 oz. butterscotch syrup

Combine Baileys Original Irish Cream, Smirnoff Vanilla, and butterscotch syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well; then strain contents into a coupe glass.

Lavender Collins
courtesy of elit Vodka
1.5 oz. elit vodka
¾ oz. lavender honey syrup
2 oz. sparkling water
2 drops butterfly pea extract
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice

Build all ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Do this next step in front of Mom so she can see the effect. Slowly add the lemon juice and watch the color change. Garnish with lavender sprigs.

Q Cucumber AppleQ Cucumber Apple Mule
3 parts Q Ginger Beer
1 part Milagro Silver tequila
1 part cucumber apple juice
½ part fresh lime juice
mint for garnish

Blend three 1 inch chunks of cucumber and half a green apple in a blender until liquid; then fine strain and discard solids. Add cucumber apple juice, tequila, and fresh lime to a shaker tin with ice and shake to combine. Strain over crushed ice into a tall Collins glass. Garnish with cucumber sticks, apple slices, and mint sprigs.

Ginger Éclair
courtesy of My Best Cocktails
1 oz. Stone’s ginger wine
1/2 oz. Bacardi rum
2 oz. chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz. chocolate syrup
1 oz. heavy cream

Rim a frosted cocktail glass by dipping the rim in chocolate syrup and then in cocoa powder. Shake all of the ingredients over ice and strain into the prepped cocktail glass. Garnish with a ginger slice and a piece of dark chocolate. Alternatively, you can use a dark chocolate liqueur.

Coralina MargaritaCoralina Margarita 
created by Riesler Morales of Mexico City, Mexico
1 ¾ oz. Patrón Reposado
¾ oz. Patrón Citrónge Orange
¾ oz. simple syrup
1 oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. Mexican red wine
¼ cup dried hibiscus
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup kosher salt
lime wheel

Pulverize the dried hibiscus in a spice grinder; add the sugar and salt. Pulse until combined. Use this mixture to rim a coupe cocktail glass.

Combine Patrón Reposado, Patrón Citrónge Orange, simple syrup, and lime juice in a shaker tin; add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into the prepared cocktail glass. Carefully float red wine on the surface and garnish with a lime wheel.

Blackberry Thyme Champagne Cocktail
courtesy of Style Me Pretty
1/3 cup blackberries, plus 8 more for garnish
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 bottle of prosecco or champagne
4 sprigs of thyme

In a small saucepan, bring the blackberries, water, and sugar to a boil. Turn to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain blackberries and let syrup cool.

Add 2 Tbsp. of syrup to the bottom of each glass. Top with champagne and add in a sprig of thyme and 2 blackberries.

Sunday Morning HuesSunday Morning Hues
created by Lucinda—Mother of Zeta, 1 month old
1 oz. Creme Yvette
1 oz. Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur
1 oz. Caffe Borghetti
1 oz. Espresso
1 oz. Mascarpone

Mix all ingredients except Mascarpone with ice in an Irish coffee mug. Top with Mascarpone cheese and garnish with an orchid.

Glenfiddich’s A Scottish Lassi
created by Glenfiddich Ambassador Allan Roth
2 parts chamomile-infused Glenfiddich 12 Year
1 part unsweetened lassi (yogurt drink)
¾ part Orgeat
½ part lemon juice

To infuse the Glenfiddich, pour a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 and 2 chamomile tea bags to a pitcher. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain, rebottle, and label. Keep refrigerated. If you cannot find unsweetened yogurt drink. Add one part water to 4 parts unsweetened yogurt.

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a coupe. Garnish with dried chamomile flowers, if available.

Espresso TiramisuExpresso Tiramisu
Courtesy of Lavazza
Serves: 6
Lavazza Espresso or Mocha coffee
Paste di Meliga biscuits (recipe below)
8 oz. Mascarpone cheese
1 oz. powdered sugar
3 oz. heavy cream
1 oz. whole milk
¼ vanilla bean pod
cocoa powder

To make Mascarpone cream: place the mascarpone cheese in a mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar, whole milk, heavy cream, and vanilla bean paste (from inside the vanilla bean). Use an electric mixer to obtain a soft creamy mixture; then refrigerate. Brew Lavazza Espresso or Mocha coffee.

Place a Pasta di Meliga biscuit (We used 2.) in the bottom of a cappuccino cup. Add a generous helping of the mascarpone cream mixture. Pour hot coffee around the cream. Dust lightly with bitter cocoa powder and serve with a spoon.

Paste di Meliga Biscuits
recipe from Saveur.com
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/2 lb. plus 5 Tbsp. real butter, softened
2 egg yolks

Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add butter and egg yolks. Using your fingers, work butter and egg yolks into flour–cornmeal mixture until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a clean surface and knead 4–5 times until smooth (dough will be soft and tacky). Cover dough with a clean damp kitchen towel and set aside to let rest for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 300°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8 inch star-shaped pastry tip. Pipe 2 inch diameter spirals of dough out onto prepared sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges turn pale golden, 20–25 minutes. Allow cookies to cool briefly, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Salud! Cocktails for Cinco de Mayo 2017

Clarified Avocado Margarita
When the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo comes up, most of us automatically think “margarita” and “party.” We also love both of those; however, sometimes it’s fun to get outside the box. Here are several cocktails which are either margarita hybrids or inspired by the beauty and independent spirit of Mexico.

Give these cinco drinks a try and let us know what you think.

LageritaLagerita
courtesy Liquor.com
2 oz. tequila
¾ oz. Cointreau or Grand Mariner
1 oz. lime juice
4 oz. Mexican lager
1 lime wheel

Fill a highball glass with ice and set aside. Add the tequila, Cointreau and lime juice to a shaker and fill with fresh ice. Shake; then strain into the prepared glass. Top with the beer and garnish with a lime wheel.

This cocktail is inspired by the tamarind margarita served up at Casa Herradura. We turned it into something light and refreshing.

Tamarind and Tequila SodaTamarind and Tequila Soda
12.5 oz. bottle Tamarindo Jarritos (you can find this at a Mexican market or the ethnic section of a grocery store)
½ oz. ginger syrup
2 oz. añejo tequila
orange sliced, dipped in cinnamon powder

Shake syrup and tequila with ice. Pour into a tall glass. Top with half the bottle of Tamarindo and serve.

Spring Fling
courtesy of San Francisco Bartender Justin Blackwood (One Market Restaurant)
¾ oz. Crème de Violette
2 oz. Blanco tequila
½ oz. elderflower liqueur

Add ingredients to a rocks glass with ice and stir. Garnish with an edible flower before serving.

Margarita SangriaMargarita Sangria
courtesy of Completelydelicious.com
1 750 ml bottle dry white wine (like a sauvignon blanc or chardonnay)
1 1/2 cup blanco tequila
1 cup triple sec
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 orange, sliced
2 limes, sliced
fresh cilantro
crushed ice, for serving

In a large pitcher, combine the white wine, tequila, triple sec, orange juice, and lime juice. Add the orange slices, lime slices, and the cilantro. Chill for at least two hours and then serve over ice. Bear in mind the cilantro does get stronger as the pitcher sits so, if you have guests who aren’t fans of cilantro, then add it to individual glasses instead of the whole pitcher.

This next one makes a large amount and requires a bit of planning, but it can definitely be worth the effort.

Clarified Avocado Margarita
created by San Francisco Mixologist, Leon Vazquez
16 oz. Tequila Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro
6 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
4 oz. simple syrup
30 dashes orange bitters
1 avocado
2 serrano peppers
1 bushel of cilantro (approximately 40 leaves)
6 Tbsp. salt
40 oz. whole milk
lime twist for garnish

Combine 4 ounces lime juice, simple syrup, orange bitters, avocado, peppers and cilantro into an airtight container. Coarsely grind the peppers, avocado, and cilantro. Add 14 ounces boiling water and immediately cover so that no liquid evaporates. Let mixture sit overnight, then strain the mixture into a clean container and add Tequila Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro.

Bring whole milk to a boil. Add the boiling milk and the remaining 2 ounces of lime juice to the strained mixture, the milk will curdle. Strain the liquid slowly with cheesecloth. Pour liquid into a clean container, cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve neat with a lime twist.

No celebration of independence is complete without some thing savory to go with the drinks. This recipe comes to us from Brooklyn’s McCarren Hotel & Pool.

Spicy Chorizo TacosSpicy Chorizo Tacos
5 pounds fresh chorizo
1 Tbsp. olive oil
100 g Spanish onion, diced
10 g garlic, crushed
10 g fresh red Thai chile, sliced very thin, seeds intact
5 sprigs epazote (epazote has a distinctively sharp, herbal flavor, reminiscent of oregano and fennel with minty, pine notes)
½ cup cilantro leaves (save the stems and mince them fine to include in the meat mixture)
2 quarts Queso Fresco cheese
corn tortillas
vegetable oil
¼ cup pickled chiles
¼ cup Spanish onion, finely minced
lime wedges
sriracha hot sauce

In a large pot or skillet, brown the chorizo, onion, and garlic with the olive oil. As it cooks, add the cilantro stems, red chile, and epazote. Once the chorizo is done, turn off the pan. In a separate small skillet, heat up the vegetable oil on high. Then fry the corn tortillas until soft (1-2 minutes), with tongs, flip the tortilla over and fry the other side. How long you fry them will determine whether you get soft tortillas or hard ones…longer makes them hard. Put each cooked tortilla onto paper towels to soak up the vegetable oil. After frying the desired number of tortillas, turn off the skillet and remove it from the stove burner to avoid a fire hazard.

Queso Fresco cheese can be sliced or crumbled between your fingers. Either works for this recipe, though we prefer to crumble it. In the center of each tortilla, layer the chorizo mixture, pickled chiles, minced onion, cilantro leaves, and cheese. Squeeze a lime wedge across the mixture and add a dash of sriracha sauce. Fold the tortilla in half into a taco and serve with plenty of napkins.

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.

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