Archive for the ‘Sparkling Wine/Champagne/Prosecco’ Category

Lavender Freshens Up a Mimosa…or Mocktail

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

A good friend of mine is having a baby soon (very!) and we mobilized to throw her a shower. Of course, she couldn’t drink alcohol and it hardly seemed fair to serve what the guest of honor could not drink at all. So I found a neat solution with two tasty drinks.

Several of my cocktail books also feature mocktails, although I admit they are the least used sections. One provided the recipe for a nice lavender drink and it was a simple matter to swap out the club soda with Prosecco for guests wanting a unique mimosa instead. The lavender syrup was ridiculously easy to make, as is the homemade grenadine I’ve mentioned before.

Lavender syrup:

4 oz sugar
4 oz water
1/2 teaspoon dried culinary lavender buds

 Heat sugar and water on the stovetop until sugar is dissolved to make simple syrup. Remove from heat and add lavender buds (I used a loose tea holder to contain the buds). Let steep for 25 minutes, then strain into an airtight container and let cool completely. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

 

Lady Lavender’s Mocktail or Mimosa (single), my variation:

3 oz fresh grapefruit juice (I used 2 oz lemonade and 1 oz Rio Star grapefruit instead)
¾ oz
Lavender Syrup
¼ oz grenadine
2 oz chilled club soda OR substitute sparkling wine for the mimosa
1 basil sprig
1 fresh lavender sprig (optional)

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the grapefruit juice, Lavender Syrup and grenadine and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled glass, stir in the club soda/sparkling wine and garnish with the basil and lavender sprigs.

Pitcher Quantity (makes 24 drinks):

6 c. lemonade (I used the Simply Lemonade brand)
3 c. pink grapefruit juice (I used Tropicana Ruby Red)
2 ¼ c. Lavender Syrup
¾ c. grenadine
Bottle each of club soda and sparkling wine

 Mix the first four ingredients prior to the event and chill well. Add the club soda or sparkling wine to individual glasses at serving.

In order to attend to other details and not babysit the drinks, we put out the pitcher of mocktail mix, ice, bottles of chilled club soda and Prosecco, and instructions for guests to top their drinks with either club soda or Prosecco according to their preference, so this drink gives hosts and guests great flexibility. It is also a variable mix as you can play around with the ratios of grapefruit juice, lemon juice or lemonade, and syrups to find the sweetness or tartness that suits you.

A great drink for an Easter brunch or other occasion. In our case, the drinks were pink and perfect to sip while anticipating baby girl Coco’s arrival!

Cheers, ICE

The original Lady Lavender Mocktail was created by bartender Gregory Best of Atlanta and featured as a Food & Wine cocktail.

As always, check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol and mixer definitions and details.

 

Aloha to Okolehao Liqueur and a Taste of Hawaii

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Torrential rain, snow and hail on the first day home from a Hawaiian vacation – that’s the worst way to re-enter reality, especially in April. Fortunately I have new booze to keep me cozy as my “tan” fades.

Ever heard of ‘okolehao?  Traditionally it was a form of Hawaiian moonshine (also called oke by Native Hawaiians) made from the ti root. After falling out of favor for a few decades, a Maui rum distiller has resurrected ‘okolehao as a liqueur, and I happened to run across it at a Big Island grocery store (this isn’t quite as random as it sounds, given that I’m frequently found scouring a liquor aisle).

Having now sampled it, I think the ‘Okolehao liqueur most resembles a spiced rum, though none specifically. It has that caramel-ly rum vibe, along with a bit of coconut and taste of Kahlua liqueur.  Most information online references Haleakala Distillery’s re-creation of ‘okolehao, but includes very few recipes. So I tried a Bali Hai for my first ‘Okolehao Liqueur cocktail and then dabbled a bit to create my own. Both make me glad I got this souvenir for my liquor cabinet.

Bali Hai (changed a bit from the original)

1 oz ‘Okolehao Liqueur
1 oz light rum
½ oz gin
2 oz lemon juice
2 oz lime juice
½ oz orgeat*
¾ oz simple syrup
Top with champagne

Combine all ingredients except champagne in a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with champagne. Note: I felt this drink was way too sour and so added the simple syrup. Reducing the amount of lemon and lime juices at the start would be preferable.

Oke would probably make a fine substitute in most recipes calling for spiced rum. If you pick up a bottle on your next trip to the islands, I suggest keeping it sealed until you return home. The bottle top is the cork-plug type and would probably leak in your checked luggage (and they won’t allow you to carry it on). If you score a bottle, give my new recipe a try:

Oke? Okay!

1 ½ oz ‘Okolehao Liqueur
¾ oz lime juice
¾ oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and water shaken until mixed)
Club soda
Scant dash of falernum (optional)

 Shake all of the above with ice, and strain while pouring into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.

Home may lack 80 degree weather and island breezes, but at least I can create a bit of vacation in a glass. Maybe I can make myself a lei when the Northwest rhodies bloom. Aloha!

Cheers, ICE 

As always, check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol and mixer definitions and details.

Aloha, Pina Colada. Our time together was far too brief...

*orgeat is a syrup made from almonds that is commonly used in tropical drinks. Commercial versions are available.