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 Rum Day 2017

Pina Colada Old Fashioned

August 16th is the perfect time of year for National Rum Day. It is smack dab in the middle of the dog days of summer, where rum fits right in. Below you’ll find a number of cocktails for celebrating the occasion, some of which include a few unusual ingredients. You can find most on Amazon.

To round out our rum celebration, try out the Rum Curry Chicken at the bottom of the page. The chef recommends cooking up more than you think you’ll need because it is that good. Who wants to disappoint folks asking for seconds?

Bacolod Breeze

Bacolod Breeze
1 1/2 oz. Don Papa Rum
3 Tbsp. Nata de Coco (coconut jelly)
3 large ice cubes
1 dash of Calamansi juice (this typically used in Filipino cooking and is nice on grilled chicken or pork)
guava juice
mint leaves

Shake rum and Nata de Coco with ice cubes. Pour into a highball glass (including ice). Fill to the top with guava juice Add Calamansi on the rim of the glass and garnish with mint leaves.

Piña Colada Old-Fashioned
courtesy of Touro – a trendy bar and restaurant in San Juan
1 oz. Don Q Coco rum
¼ oz. spiced pineapple shrub
3 dashes Angostura bitters
dehydrated pineapple
shaved coconut
orange twist or peel, for garnish

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add both rums, pineapple shrub, and Angostura bitters. Stir until well-chilled—about 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange peel or twist.

Spiced Pineapple Shrub
courtesy of MotherWouldKnow.com
1 pound fresh pineapple, cut into small pieces About 2 cups
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Demerara (raw) sugar
4 cloves, crushed
3 cinnamon sticks, crushed
20 allspice berries
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
¾ cup red wine vinegar

Pour the pineapple pieces, the granulated and Demerara sugar together. Mix them, cover, and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator. Add the spices and let the mixture steep an additional day. Mix in the wine vinegar and refrigerate for another 3 days. When the mixture is done steeping, strain it into a pitcher or other container with a lid, pressing the pineapple pieces to get out all the juices.

Masskara

Masskara
1/2 oz. Don Papa Rum
4 fresh blackberries
1/2 oz. St-Germain Elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 egg white
grapefruit bitters
edible flowers

Shake all ingredients, except two of the blackberries, with ice. Garnish with blackberries and serve in a short stem wine glass.

Casa D’Aristi Banana Daiquiri
2 oz. Casa D’Aristi rum
½ oz. lemon juice
1 fresh banana
½ cup coconut milk
½ oz. simple syrup
3 cups of ice
Maraschino cherry

Shake all ingredients vigorously with the ice. Strain into a balloon glass filled with ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry on top before serving.

Sailor Jerry Sangria
1 ½ parts Sailor Jerry Spiced rum
½ cup sugar
2 parts dry red wine
1 part orange juice
1 lemon, lime, and orange

Chill all ingredients. Slice citrus into thin rounds and place in a large pitcher with Sailor Jerry and sugar. Chill for 2 hours to develop flavors. When ready to serve, crush fruit with a wooden spoon; then stir in wine and orange juice. Serve topped with lemon-lime soda.

Cruzan Crush

Cruzan Crush
recipe by Teddy Collins, Miami
4 parts Cruzan Vanilla rum
4 parts Cruzan Aged dark rum
6 parts pineapple juice
3 parts lemon juice
3 parts apricot simple syrup
fresh mint and thyme

Combine lemon juice, apricot simple syrup,and pineapple juice into a cocktail bucket or punch bowl. Lightly smack 10 mint leaves and drop into the bucket along with 2 stems of thyme and muddle softly. Add rums, crushed ice, and stir. Garnish with fresh mint, thyme and 4-6 straws. Enjoy!

To Make Apricot Simple Syrup
Over medium heat, combine equal parts sugar and apricot juice. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Set aside and cool.

Peach and Chile

Rum and Peach Cocktail with Chile Syrup
courtesy of Nicky’s Kitchen Sanctuary
2 peaches, one chopped into small chunks, the other sliced into 6-8 wedges
¼ cup caster or superfine sugar
½ cup water
½ jalapeño chile
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup good quality rum
Fiery ginger beer (We used Cock and Bull Cherry Ginger Beer)
1 small slice of fresh ginger
1 tbsp caster or superfine sugar
crushed ice
½ red chile or jalapeño cut into small slices

Place the small chunks of chopped peach into a saucepan along with the sugar, water, and jalapeño. Bring to the boil; stir and simmer for 10 minutes, mushing the mixture with a fork every couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, dust the peach wedges in the brown sugar and grill/bbq or griddle each side on a high heat for 1-2 minutes until the sugar caramelizes. Remove from the heat and put to one side.

Take your two glasses and rub the rims of the glasses with a small slice of fresh ginger. Spread the one tbsp of caster sugar on a plate and dip the rims of the glasses in the sugar to coat. Fill each glass with crushed ice and pour 2 tbsp of rum into each glass. Sieve the peach-jalapeño mixture, squashing it down to get all the of the liquid out. Divide the liquid between the two glasses. Top with ginger beer and decorate the glasses with the caramelized peaches and chile slices before serving.

Flaming Volcano

The Flaming Volcano
courtesy of Thrillist.com
1 oz. Dixie Black Pepper vodka
1 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. falernum
lemon lime soda
¼ oz. blue curaçao
151-proof rum
½ fresh lime

In a hurricane glass, filled with crushed ice, add vodka, simple syrup, and falernum. Top off with lemon lime soda and blue curaçao. Using a manual juicer, hull out a lime half and fill it with 151-proof rum. Float it in the drink. When the tip is lit with a match, the top of the drink is engulfed in flames.

This cocktail is very simple but popular in times past. It was used in place of Navy grog by pirates in the Caribbean and was given to voters during election campaigns in colonial British America. Our own George Washington was reputed to “swill the planters” with bumbo.

Bumbo
2 ounces rum
1 ounce water
2 sugar cubes
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Mix rum, water, and sugar cubes in a rocks glass. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg on top and serve. Garnishes are optional. A related drink is the Traitor, made with orange juice, rum, honey, and nutmeg,

The Macua (The National Drink of Nicaragua)
courtesy of BarNoneDrinks.com
1 1/2 oz. Flor de Cana Gold Label rum
1 oz. guava juice
1 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/3 oz. simple syrup

Fill 3/4 of a cocktail shaker with ice and add Flor de Cana rum, guava juice, orange juice, lemon juice, and simple sugar. Shake well for 30 seconds, serve in a Tom Collins glass with ice and decorate with an orange slice. Raise your glass, hike through the rain forest, or surf down a volcano and celebrate Nicaragua’s National Independence Day on September 15.

Tshunk

Tschunk (a German cocktail)
courtesy of Tshunk.org
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 oz. golden rum or dark rum
1 lime
Club-Maté

Dice limes, put them together with the brown sugar into a high glass and crush both. Add crushed ice and pour the rum over it. Top off with Club-Maté and add a straw.

Club Maté is a caffeinated drink from Germany. It is hard to find in the U.S. Here are instructions to make your own. You can skip the boiling the tea steps if you buy Yerba Maté already brewed in bottles or cans. We’re including the complete directions in case you prefer to make it from scratch.

Club Maté Copycat
courtesy of instructables.com
3 Tbsp. Yerba Maté
2 cups hot water
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. citric acid
Refrigerated carbonated water

Fill the yerba maté into tea filter, add hot water and let it sit for at least 7 minutes. Then remove the tea filter, add the sugar and citric acid; stir until dissolved. At this point, the “maté base” may get a little cloudy and will taste way too sweet and sour at the same time. Don’t worry about that, as it will get fixed in the next step. Let the “maté base” cool down (add ice cubes if you’re impatient) and put it in the fridge for some minutes. Shortly before drinking, combine carbonated water and the cold “maté base” in a 1:1 ratio. This makes sure you always have a fizzy drink.

Coquito

Coquito
courtesy of allrecipes.com
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 (12 fluid oz.) can evaporated milk
1 (14 oz.) can cream of coconut
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup white rum
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. real vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler, combine egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stirring constantly, cook over lightly simmering water until mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Transfer mixture to a blender, and add cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum, water, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into glass bottles and chill overnight.
Note: This also makes a nice addition to coffee, in place of normal creamer.

Curry Rum Chicken
courtesy of cooks.com
1/4 cup light rum
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. chicken bouillon (granules or cubes)
4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water

In a large frying pan, combine 1 cup of water, the rum, bouillon, garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium/low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Turn over chicken and simmer for 15 minutes more. Serve on a bed of rice or noodles. (The “sauce” is great over cooked noodles and you can easily double the sauce ingredients initially and have lots to pour over noodles or rice).

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.

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.

Making Cocktails with Fizzy Tickle Water

Tickle Water
We’ve all heard the jokes about wine being referred to as “Mommy’s juice.” Today, we’re bringing you a way to “adult” Tickle Water with cocktails to give your Mommy’s juice a sparkly spin.

Tickle Water is a carbonated beverage which is flavored naturally; it has no sugars or other preservatives. The label shows zero carbohydrates, calories, or sodium. It comes in five types: unflavored, green apple, watermelon, cola, and grape. The flavors are all very light, they don’t overpower your senses. We rate them all a B+. Cost is about $1.50 per 8 oz can.

Although Tickle Water is marketed as a kid’s beverage, don’t let that deter you from using it in adult cocktails. Right off it’s easy to say, “Hey, watermelon sounds like a margarita.” Or, “Unflavored makes as gin and tonic.” While those are true, we wanted something more. Here are several cocktail recipes we created with Tickle Water — with . But note, these are not sweet like a flavored soda. If you like your cocktails on the sweet side, then add simple syrup to give them more sweetness.

First is a Stengah, which comes from Britain and was popular in the early 20th century. Traditionally made from whiskey and soda water, we used the green apple Tickle Water for a nice effect. The recipe is pretty easy, too.

StengahStengah
2 oz. whiskey
2 oz. green apple Tickle Water

Pour both ingredients over ice in a highball glass.

This next cocktail is an original we’re calling a Watermelon Tickle.

Watermelon Tickle
3 oz. watermelon Tickle Water
1 ½ oz. pineapple rum
1 oz. coconut rum
3 oz. cranberry juice
½ oz. ginger simple syrup

Shake everything except the Tickle Water with ice. Pour into a tall glass with ice and serve. Who needs a garnish with something this yummy? If you really need one, then use a slice of candied ginger on a skewer.

Flowers and Fruits Refresher
4 oz. grape Tickle Water
2 oz. raspberry vodka
½ oz. crème de cassis
½ oz. crème de violet
3 dashes lavender bitters

Add all ingredients to a tea glass and gently stir. Add ice. Garnish with seedless red grapes.

Fluffy Duck
courtesy of 1001 Cocktails
1 oz. advocaat liqueur (see below)
1 oz. crème de cacao
1 oz. natural Tickle Water

Pour the crème de cacao into a chilled margarita glass one quarter filled with crushed ice. Next add the advocaat . Top off with the Tickle Water and serve. No garnish is necessary.

Note: We know advocaat is more commonly found around the winter holidays but don’t let that stop you. Here is the recipe we used to make our own.

Fluffy DuckAdvocaat
10 eggs
1 ½ cups brandy
1 1/3 cups sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. You won’t use the whites so feel free to use them for something else. Add the vanilla, salt, and sugar in a medium sized pot. Whisk well and then add the brandy slowly. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from forming clumps. Once the mixture coats the back of your spoon, then remove the pot from the heat.

Fill a large bowl half way with ice and water. Set the hot pot in the ice bath to let it cool. Once cool, strain out any lumps and pour the remaining liquid into a bottle. Refrigerate before use. It should keep for a couple of weeks.

The Dutch and Germans like to put advocaat atop their ice cream and on pancakes, as well as use it in cocktails.

drinkticklewater.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.

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