Archive for the ‘St. Germain’ Category

Cocktails go from swell to gel

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Do you know what our cocktails need? A little wiggle and jiggle.

Most of us have Jell-o memories — 70’s potluck desserts, tonsillectomy recovery, college jello shots – but they are rooted in youth. It’s time to bring some fun into adulthood by making swell cocktails into gel cocktails.

Lovely, aren't they?  Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Bennett

Lovely, aren’t they? Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Bennett

My friend Liz and I spent a recent day test-driving some recipes from the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, a blog and a book featuring nothing but jell-o’d cocktails. Using silicone molds, we made bite-sized jell-o Elderflower Mojitos, French 75s, Watermelon Basil Martinis, and Pineapple Brandy Fixes. The fun was in the making and the sampling, I assure you.

I’m featuring our favorite, the Elderflower Mojito, here. I thought this one did the best job of bringing out the flavor of each ingredient. The Pineapple Brandy Fix was also quite tasty (however the two others were not our favorites, and our tester spouses and friends agreed). 

Elderflower Mojito Jelly Shot

50 mint leaves
1/2 c. white rum
1/2 c. St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/3 c.  fresh lime juice
1/3 c.  water
1/3 c.  simple syrup or agave nectar
2 envelopes plain gelatin (about 4 tsp gelatin powder)

Lightly muddle mint in a small bowl.  (Gently crush the mint with the back of a spoon if you don’t have a muddler.)  Add the rum and elderflower liqueur to the bowl and set aside. 

Combine lime juice, water and simple syrup/agave in a small saucepan.  Sprinkle with gelatin, and allow the gelatin to soak for a minute or two.  Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat. 

Strain the mint-infused liquor into the pan and stir to combine. We poured our mojitos into smiley face and square silicone molds, and these were set within an hour+ in the refrigerator.

IMG_8562

Through trial and error and even occasionally re-reading the book’s directions (oops), we discovered a few tips that made subsequent batches easier:

  • Do put the silicone molds on a cookie tray before filling them because it makes them much easier to place in the refrigerator.
  • Do make room in the refrigerator for the tray before filling the molds.
  • Spray the molds with flavor-free cooking spray and then wipe with a paper towel.
  • Use a funnel, batter pourer or other device to fill the molds for less dripping and spilling. Liz had this gadget and it was brilliant.
  • If you are making multiple recipes, label or otherwise mark which is poured where. Ours turned into a “box of chocolates” because we poured two clear cocktails into different spots on the same mold. Only tasting will tell us which each one is now!
  • Your cool little gelled cocktails will turn into blobs quickly if left at room temperature or even in an air conditioned car, so keep them well-chilled.

My most important piece of advice is to consider your audience: if there will be children around, keep these out of sight. Jell-o = kids, but jell-o’d cocktails are only for the young-at-heart. I kept mine on the highest refrigerator shelf out of reach of my two treat-craving kids.

With a few of these recipes under my belt, I am now incredibly curious about turning my favorite cocktail recipes into jellied versions. I expect some wiggle, some jiggle and no doubt some giggle.

Cheers, ICE

 

¡Salud to Cinco de Mayo cócteles!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Although we are far from the U.S.-Mexico border here in Seattle and my kids can speak more Spanish than I can, we do have a cat named Nacho Libre and I’m always happy to lift a glass in celebration.  I think that’s enough to get my tequila revved and ready for Cinco de Mayo.

 

El luchador mexicano dice: "Escucha al HIELO, este es un cóctel muy bueno!"(translation: The Mexican wrestler says, "Listen to ICE, this is a very good cocktail!")

This cocktail, the St. Rosemary by mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout, is another approachable tequila drink (more here) that is easy to make and chug, er, sip.

St. Rosemary

Leaves from a 1-inch rosemary sprig, plus 1 rosemary sprig for garnish
¼ oz fresh lime juice
1¾ oz  reposado tequila
¾ oz  St-Germain elderflower liqueur
1¼ oz apple juice, preferably unfiltered

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the rosemary leaves with the lime juice. Add ice and all of the remaining ingredients except the garnish and shake well. Double strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with the rosemary sprig.

¡Salud, ICE

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

 

Sham-rockin’ on St. Patrick’s Day

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Get out the green and have a cheery St. Patrick’s Day. But just a warning: Leprechauns get thirsty, and you really don’t want to piss them off. Have one of these drinks on hand. Even if you aren’t delivered a pot ‘o gold, these drinks are still magically delicious.

The cilantro garnish almost looks like a shamrock clover, right? Right?

Sacred Silence

1 oz citron vodka
½ oz green chartreuse
1 cucumber chunk (less than 1″, peeled
2 cilantro leaves
4 green peppercorns
1 squeeze of lemon
½ oz simple syrup (I reduced to ¼ oz)
¼ oz Jones Green Apple Soda (optional; just bumps up the green)

Muddle cucumber, cilantro and peppercorns in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, vodka, green chartreuse, lemon squeeze and simple syrup and shake well. Double strain into ice-filled glass.

Note: while the picture shown on Grey Goose’s site makes this drink look very green, it wasn’t.  I added the Jones Soda to make it more appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day and adjusted the simple syrup accordingly. 

The Sparkling Shamrock for one day only.

I admit I was skeptical about the next cocktail, but gave it a shot. Red and I had the same, probably comically surprised reaction – this is a really good drink! Incidentally, I found this on the Grey Goose site when scrolling through their fabulous pictures looking for green drinks, but later saw the same recipe on other sites with an appropriate name change: The Sparkling Shamrock.

 Cucumber Fizz/Sparkling Shamrock

1 ½ oz pear vodka
½ oz St. Germain
2 oz juiced cucumber (peeled)
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
Top with lemonade or club soda

Shake all but club soda with ice. Double strain into ice-filled highball glass and top with lemonade or club soda. Garnish with mint, cucumber slices and lemon zest.

If you are looking for other green options, click on the “green_drinks” tag in the sidebar.  And, as a new feature, you can always check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol and mixer definitions and details.

Cheers! ICE

 

New Year’s Resolution: More Cocktails!

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

It’s time to untangle ourselves from the mania of Christmas and focus on the next big event: New Year’s Eve. That night will mark the first anniversary of my home cocktail craziness. Last NYE, armed with my new MixShakeStir cocktail book, I hit the liquor store with a shopping list of liquors culled from the tastiest sounding drinks… and returned to discover that I could really make only half of each drink (thanks a lot, Kirkland liquor store).

Fortunately, the year has been more fun than frustrating, and that deserves a toast. What’s the best beverage to raise high for that toast? You got it — champagne.

But let’s dress up that sparkling wine (because any will do – champagne, Prosecco, cava).  Here are a few recipes that add oomph without hassle.  As is the trouble with all recipes calling for wine or beer, unless a specific brand and year is listed, results may vary. Pop open your bottle and use the ratios below as a starting point and then tinker to preference. Oh, and use chilled ingredients.  All should be served in a champagne flute or coupe.

1. Although around just a few years now, the St. Germain Cocktail is nearly a classic. If you don’t have one of these beautiful St. Germain bottles, stop reading and hit the store!

St. Germain Cocktail

¾ oz St. Germain liqueur
2 oz sparkling wine
Slice of strawberry or a raspberry to garnish (optional)

2. This version of the classic Champagne Cocktail substitutes bourbon for brandy and omits the bitters.  My husband agreed that this would be a good drink for those who like bourbon but aren’t enthusiastic about champagne.  I did cut corners by using commercial vanilla syrup (commonly used in lattes) instead of making my own.

Bourbon Champagne Cocktail

 1 oz bourbon
½ oz vanilla syrup (I used DaVinci’s)
4 oz champagne
½ vanilla bean to garnish (optional)

3. Looking for another use for my Ty Ku (as featured here previously), I played around with recipes from other sites and came up with this:

NY Ty Ku

1 oz Ty Ku
1 oz Prosecco
¾ oz lemonade (I used Simply Lemonade)
Add agave or simple syrup sweetener if desired.

Shake Ty Ku and lemonade with ice, then strain into a flute glass. Add chilled Prosecco and stir gently. This is a light sipping drink.

Cheers to 2011!  ICE

Next: I’m going to take a blog-break for a few weeks to work on my cocktail resolutions. Stay tuned!