If you like to drink green for St. Patrick's Day and want to do it naturally you can't go wrong with fresh, organic cucumbers, fresh mint, limes and a really great gin. This is almost a classic flavor profile as mint and cucumber are often paired together, especially in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. Add a little of that gin and you have the makings of a bracing, cool cocktail to enjoy.
I had a little fun with this one by slicing my cucumbers lengthwise and lining the glass with them before I added my large ice cubes. It made for a beautiful presentation.
If you have a set of aspic cutters with a shamrock shape it would be fun to cut some out of the mint leaves ahead of time for a great St. Patrick's Day touch. (I do and wish I'd thought of it before the photo shoot!)
The MINT GINCUMBER COOLER
INGREDIENTS 2 Oz Hendrick's Gin 1/2 Oz Dry Vermouth 2-1/2 Oz Cucumber Juice 1/4 Oz Lime Juice 4 Mint Leaves 1-1/2 Oz Mint Honey Syrup (* Recipe Below)
Additional Ingredients: 2 Large Square Ice Cubes, Cup of Regular Ice Cubes
Garnish: 8 - 10 Long Cucumber Slices, 3 Tall Mint Sprigs
DIRECTIONS Slice a fresh cucumber lengthwise with a vegetable peeler until you have 8 to 10 long slices. Press the cucumber slices against the inside of the glass mug then add the ice cubes. Trim the cucumber slices off at the rim of the glass with kitchen shears and chill glass in the fridge. Juice the remainder of the cucumber and the 4 leaves of mint together and add to the cooled mixing glass filled with ice. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing glass, stir for one minute then stain into the chilled, cucumber lined mug. Garnish with the mint sprigs and serve.
* MINT HONEY SYRUP Add 2 tablespoons of organic honey to 1 tablespoon of water and stir until the honey has completely dissolved. If your honey is stubborn, microwave the syrup for 10 seconds and mix until smooth.
Edible flowers are a beautiful way to garnish a cocktail but they can also a great way to flavor one as well. Every spring I grow organic, edible flowers for creating spring and summer cocktail recipes and Calendulas are always the most robust of my plantings. When I recently picked up a huge bag of Clementine oranges from the local farmers market the first thing I decided to make was a floral cocktail featuring these beautiful, bright yellow flowers. When I got home I grabbed my juicer, my garden shears and also my bottle of homemade limoncello liqueur* and some triple sec to round out the citrus base and got to mixing up a new drink recipe. Calundula petals have a spicy taste of pepper with a little touch of tang and bitterness which not only brought in floral notes but added the quality of a few drops of bitters so I not only garnished the cocktail with a Calendula blossom I also infused the simple syrup with some of the petals to bring in that peppery zing.
MY DARLING CLEMENTINICOCKTAILINGREDIENTS1-1/2 Oz. Limoncello1/2 Oz. Triple Sec2 Oz. Fresh Clementine Orange Juice1 Tsp. Calendula Simple Syrup(* Recipe Below)Dash of Orange Bitters Garnish: Long Clementine Twist, Edible Calendula Petals Tools: Juicer, Vegetable Peeler, Cocktail Shaker Glass: Cocktail (Martini) DIRECTIONSMake the Calundula Simple Syrup and juice the Clementines.Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well chilled.Stain into the chilled cocktail glass, garnish with the Clemetine twist, a Calundula flower and a few extra Calundula petals.Serve and enjoy on a beautiful spring evening. CALENDULA SIMPLE SYRUPRECIPEIngredients:2 C. Turbinado or Demerara Sugar1 C. WaterPetals from 3 Calundula Flowers Directions:Add the petals to a non-reactive bowl and set aside.Heat the sugar and water on medium while stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.Pour this immediately over the petals and allow to infuse until completely cooled.Strain into a sterile, lidded glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.If the syrup crystallizes you can heat it up to remove the sugar crystals. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
According to Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is "like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick." It was invented by the ex-president of the Universe, Zaphod Beeblebrox, and is said to be the "Best Drink in Existence." Beeblebrox himself advised "never drink more than two Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters unless you are a thirty ton mega elephant with bronchial pneumonia". Though it cannot be truly replicated on Earth I had to give it the old Arthur Dent try. It was an interesting experience as I attempted to substitute earthly ingredients for galactic ones and still come up with a good cocktail recipe that an earthling could enjoy. Both versions are below with my human interpretation annotated with my reasons for my substitutions. ThePAN GALACTICGARGLE BLASTER NON EARTHLY MIXING INSTRUCTIONS:Drape your towel over your shoulder then:Take the juice from one bottle of Ol' Janx Spirit.Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V (Oh, that Santraginean seawater! Oh, those Santraginean fish!)Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzene is lost).Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it, in memory of all those happy hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia.Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odours of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle, sweet and mystic.Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolian Suns deep into the heart of the drink.Sprinkle Zamphuor.Add an olive.Drink... but... very carefully...
EARTHLY RECONSTRUCTIONINGREDIENTS &DIRECTIONSFirst, drape your towel over your shoulder!*Take 1 ounce of Juice from a bottle of Hayman's Old Tom Gin.(I figured Ol' Janx might be much like our Old Tom Gin, once gone from Earth and now revived.)Pour in 4 ounces of Cucumber Flavored Soda Water.(I'm pretty sure Santraginean seawater tastes a lot like this because soda has a lot of sodium aka salt and cucumber because it works well with gin and mint.)Add 3 Large Ice Cubes to a chilled cocktail glass.Add in 3 ounces of ice cold Hendrick's Gin.(These two were my thoughts on how to recreate the Arcturan Mega-gin.)Add a straw at this point and blow bubbles into the drink.(Easiest way I could think of to inject your own marsh gas and has the added benefit of stirring the cocktail.)Pour 1/4 ounce of Green Creme de Menthe over the back of a silver barspoon.(If there's anything close to a float of Qualactin Hypermint extract on earth, this is it.)Drop in 1 Sugar Cube Soaked in 4 drops of Scrappy's Firewater Tincture.(I'll bet these bitters are at least as exotic and fiery as any old Algolian Suntiger teeth.)Sprinkle on a dusting of Zaatar Spice.(Well, it's the only earthly spice blend that starts with a "Z"!)Slide in a strip of cucumber.(Sorry, an actual olive mixed with that creme de menthe made me gag.) Enjoy your drink and DON'T PANIC, one or two of these aren't "the alcoholic equivalent to a mugging; expensive and bad for the head." * “A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.” ― Douglas Adams PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
I neither want it nor need it, but I should think it pretty hazardous to interfere with the ineradicable habit of a lifetime.~ Winston Churchill CHURCHILL'S LIFELONG LOVE OF DRINKING Much is said of Winston Churchill's drinking habits. It is acknowledged, by himself and others, he had a great fondness for drink. Whether he was an alcoholic or not is still up for debate, but his passion for spirits is not. He was so fond of alcohol that it added greatly to his debt and at one time he owed his wine merchant the equivalent of $75,000. His doctor even wrote him a prescription for alcohol when he visited the United States during Prohibition.
Originally a brandy and soda drinker, Churchill took to drinking scotch as a young man in India and South Africa, "The water being unfit to drink, one had to add whisky and, by dint of careful application I learned to like it." As a result his daily tipple was a nip of Johnnie Walker Red with a goodly amount of water, something his children called a "Papa Cocktail".
Scotch was just one of his favorite spirits, he was also fond of claret, hock, brandy and his beloved Pol Roger Champagne.I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it. In defeat I need it.~ Winston Churchill
Churchill also enjoyed Plymouth gin, though he did not personally care for vermouth, thus the Churchill Martini is basically a glass of cold gin.
I would like to observe the vermouth from across the room while I drink my martini.~ Winston Churchill REGARDING THE CHURCHILL COCKTAIL The recipe was first printed in Esquire in September 1939, nine months before Churchill became Prime Minister. Created at the American Bar in the Savoy hotel in London by bartender Joe Gilmore in honor of Winston Churchill, the Churchill Cocktail is a scotch variation of a Manhattan (traditionally made with rye whiskey), or like a Rob Roy with the addition of lime juice and Cointreau. It a fairly citrus forward drink with a bit of smokiness from the scotch. There is no mention whether Churchill ever enjoyed this particular drink, even though he was a patron of the American Bar throughout most of his life.
TheCHURCHILLCOCKTAIL INGREDIENTS1-1/2 Oz Johnnie Walker Scotch(I used JW Black, my preferred JW Scotch)1/2 Oz Fresh Lime Juice1/2 Oz Sweet Vermouth1/2 Oz Cointreau Garnish: Lime Twist Tools: Bar Spoon Glass: Cocktail or Coupe DIRECTIONSStir ingredients together with ice, strain into a chilled glass then garnish and serve.I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.~ Winston Churchill * While the discussions still abound regarding Churchill's sobriety, not one single person mentions his weight. At 5'6" Churchill was quite a sturdy figure and more girth equals more capacity for alcohol consumption. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
TheSPARKING HEARTCOCKTAIL TO A CHILLED FLUTEAdd 2 Oz Fragoli Strawberry LiquorDrop in 3 Frozen StrawberriesTap in 2 Dashes Lemon BittersTop off with ChampagneMist Orange Liqueur over TopGarnish with an Orange Twist For a mocktail version:Replace the strawberry liqueur with strawberry syrup.Use club soda instead of Champagne.Add a dash of orange bitters on top.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAYfrom The Martini Diva PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
While having a nosh at one of my favorite eateries, Prep And Pastry in Tucson, they served some homemade Strawberry Jam with my (delicious) Monte Cristo. I don't usually like strawberry jam but it was homemade so I tried it and got one heck of a surprise when I realized I loved that jam. I loved it so much I specifically mentioned it when the waitress brought the check. I told her it would be great in a cocktail and asked if I could have a couple tablespoons to try it out. When my change came back so did a small carton filled with the jam. In turn I promised Kevin, the owner, I'd post up the cocktail recipe featuring his strawberry jam. I knew immediately I was going to pair that jam with some premium whiskey in an Old Fashioned. A good Canadian Whiskey would be a great match for the flavor of the strawberries in the jam and the jam was a great way to replace the standard sugar cube and cherries used in a classic, muddled Old Fashioned. Good thing I love Prep and Pastry because I really liked this cocktail, it was easy to make, bursting with flavor and a great way to change up an Old Fashioned. I just wish Prep and Pastry was closer so I could mooch some of their strawberry jam more often.
STRAWBERRY JAMOLD FASHIONED INGREDIENTS2 Oz. Canadian Whiskey2 Tsp. Strawberry Jam2 Dashes Rhubarb Bitters Garnish: Orange Twist, Strawberry Filled Ice Cubes. Tools: Mixing Glass, Bar Spoon Glass: Old Fashioned DIRECTIONSChill glass.Muddle the strawberry jam in the bottom of the glass with the rhubarb bitters.Fill glass with strawberry ice cubes.Add 2 ounces of premium whiskey, stir to chill, garnish and serve. By the way, if you're in Tucson you definitely want to hit up one of Prep and Pastry's 2 locations. Not only is their food locally sourced and delicious, they are also pretty creative with their cocktails (try one of their fabulous Mimosas) AND, omg, those incredible house pastries!!
A friend came to visit last night and, as always, brought a bottle of booze along. (Good friends who come to drink are the ones who bring booze with them.) I told him I would make him a Martinez since he had never tried one, but he brought vodka instead of the Old Tom style gin I'd asked for, killing off the idea of the classic Martinez. At least until I thought about it for a second and said, why not? Why not try the Martinez with vodka? Vodka is sort of gin without botanicals in it, the sweet vermouth has a goodly amount botanicals on it's own. I figured it was worth a try so I did. To balance out for the sweeter, botanical forward qualities of Old Tom gin I added a bit more of the sweet vermouth and an extra layer of bitters. I liked it, he loved it, but he's not a gin lover so he doesn't count. Also he didn't bring me the right gin so he still has nothing to compare it to. I still prefer the gin Martinez, but I can't deny the vodka was decent replacement and it made a great aperitivo before the pork tenderloin roulade dinner I'd made. I couldn't truly call it a Martinez, but then maybe all I needed to do was add Vodka in front. After all the Vodka Martini has made a name for itself, maybe it was time for the (so-called) father of the Martini to get a vodka version of its own.
TheVODKAMartinez INGREDIENTS1 Oz. Vodka, Chilled1 Oz Sweet Vermouth, Chilled1 Barspoon Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur4 Dashes of Orange Bitters Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherry, Orange Twist Tools: Mixing Glass, Bar Spoon Glass: Cocktail (Martini) DIRECTIONSStir ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice until very cold, pour into a chilled glass, garnish and serve. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
Yesterday was my birthday and I wanted a fun drink to go with the new wine glass my friend Melodieann sent me for my birthday, but I wanted a cocktail instead of wine. Something, probably the bright colors and playful designs on the glass, brought to mind a children's drink, the Roy Rogers. This classic non-alcoholic kid "cocktail" was a parental dining out appeasement for the kiddies made with cola mixed with Maraschino cherry syrup (or Grenadine) and garnished with that neon cherry the tykes loved for its bright red color and high sugar content. It was the boy's version of a Shirley Temple and, as a tomboy youngster who loved all the cowboy serials on TV, my preferred virgin cocktail choice. I figured why not try to recapture a bit of childhood at my advanced age? A birthday in the 60s deserves a little injection of youthful high spirits and joy. I could definitely use it and the wine glass was certainly large enough to accommodate a tall drink. The only difference between my new birthday glass and a typical Roy Rogers glass was a stem and, hey, I'm old enough at this point for the fancy glass, right?
However, because I'm not a kid anymore and I needed a tad more than just a sugar rush from the soda, I decided it needed a little bourbon, an adult upgrade of the maraschino cherry syrup and a few of drops of bitters to balance out the sweetness of the cola. Worked out perfectly. I almost feel like a kid again. Happy Birthday to me. Yippee-Ki-Yay.
TheROWDY ROY ROGERSCocktail INGREDIENTS2 Oz. Buffalo Trace Bourbon1/2 Oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur2 Dashes Cherry Bitters1 Dash Angostura bitters4 Oz. Cola Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherry DIRECTIONSChill glass.Add the bourbon, Maraschino liqueur and the bitters to a chilled glass filled with ice then stir.Too off with cola, garnish and serve. Happy Trails, Buckaroos!
English Toffee is a hard, crunchy candy typically made with sugar, butter and cream then topped with chocolate and chopped almonds. In the U.S. the candy is usually made with cane sugar while in the British Isles it's made with brown sugar or molasses.
These ingredients sounded like a pretty good cocktail to me so out came my cocktail shaker.
TheENGLISH TOFFEEMARTINIINGREDIENTS1 Oz. Caramel Vodka1 Oz. Dark Creme de Cacao1/2 Oz. Amaretto1 Oz. Half & Half Garnish: Dark chocolate rim dipped in crushed almonds, chocolate and caramel syrup drizzle inside glass bowl. Tools: Cocktail Shaker Glass: Cocktail (Martini) or Coupe DIRECTIONSMelt some dark chocolate, dip the rim of the glass in the melted chocolate then dip in crushed almonds.Chill the glass in the freezer for 15 minutes then remove and drizzle in the chocolate and caramel syrups and place back in the freezer. This will set the drizzles in place as well as chill the glass.Fill the cocktail shaker with ice, add the ingredients and shake until chilled.Strain into the chilled glass and serve. National English Toffee Day is January 8th. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
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