Posts Tagged ‘mocktails’

Drinks With a Bite

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Ha, I’m betting my headline misled that I’m posting vampire-related drinks, what with the Twilight Eclipse movie releasing this week.  Given that I lean Team Jacob, any cocktail would have to have garlic in it – which sounds just gross — and a Bloody Mary seemed too obvious.  So instead the bite is about spicy…

As my liquid weekend in Portland confirmed, I love the drinks with heat. Not torched-mouth heat, just the kind with a nice burn in the back of the throat.  Apart from muddling a jalapeno or adding a little Serrano pepper juice, I haven’t worked much with peppers at home. After pulling this recipe out of my stash so many times, I decided to attempt both the pepper-infused syrup AND turning a single cocktail into a pitcher drink.  Ooh, this could have been dangerous.

**Ginger-Habañero Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
 1 seeded habañero
2 oz sliced fresh ginger

Heat to just before boiling and sugar is dissolved, and then remove from heat. After 5 minutes off heat, scoop out peppers. Allow remaining mixture to cool and strain out ginger. Keeps in refrigerator for 3 weeks in a sealed container. Makes 10 ounces.

Since I didn’t find habañeros at the store, I substituted two Serrano peppers per instructions on various Web sites about peppers and cooking substitutes. I also used 3 tablespoons of jarred sliced ginger because I have no idea how to cook with fresh ginger. These were fine substitutions because the end syrup was delish. It was also wonderfully easy to make.

Next came the challenge of scaling the cocktail recipe to pitcher proportions. The original recipe is The Chadwick and was created by bartender Adam Seger at Nacional 27 in Chicago.  Since I had only 10 oz of syrup and the original recipe called for 1 oz, I knew I had to multiply the other ingredients by 10 as well. This was easily done with this particular recipe, although I chose to add a little extra of this and that in the end. I also opted to use 3 ounces of lime juice rather than muddle 20 lime quarters.

Here is my pitcher version of The Chadwick:

30 large mint leaves
5 oz dark rum
7 oz light rum
12 oz pomegranate juice
3 oz lime juice
10 oz spiced syrup
33 oz club soda

Muddle mint leaves with lime juice, add in all ingredients except club soda to chill in refrigerator. Add club soda before serving.

In hindsight, I could have added all dark rum, as the original listed, and more of it. Considering how quickly the pitcher was drained, no one at the BBQ seemed to mind, though. I was left wishing I had doubled the syrup recipe so that I could have made a larger pitcher AND been able to try this non-alcohol Nojito from the same creator:

Pomegranate-Ginger-Chile Nojito

Sugar + 1 oz pomegranate juice for rim of collins glass
½ lime, quartered
8 mint leaves
¾ oz ginger-chile syrup
1 oz pomegranate juice
3 oz chilled club soda

Moisten the outer rim of a collins glass with 1 ounce of the pomegranate juice and coat lightly with sugar. Fill the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime quarters with the mint leaves and Ginger-Habanero Syrup. Add ice and the remaining 1 ounce of pomegranate juice and shake well. Strain into the prepared collins glass and stir in the club soda.

These drinks are sure to add heat and praise to your 4th of July function!

Cheers, ICE


Drinks that evoke, not erase, memories

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

For my latest cocktail experiments I went old school. It was quite by accident, but the results were pleasant.

When I was 11 or so, my family took ski trips in Germany and stayed in a WWII-era hotel where they served syrupy Shirley Temples heaping with maraschino cherries.  I have fond memories of slurping those down while playing Pac Man, Space Invaders and pinball in the tiny arcade. When I kept running into grenadine in various cocktail recipes, those tooth-achingly sweet drinks came to mind. Eventually I learned that real grenadine is actually made with pomegranate juice and only bears the color red in common with the commercial “grenadine” sold in the U.S.  And, it is ridiculously easy to make.

Tequila Sunrise with homemade grenadine

Easy homemade grenadine

1. Combine 1 bottle (16 oz) of pomegranate juice with 1 c. of sugar
2. Simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the mix coats the back of a spoon
3. Remove from heat and add a couple dashes of orange flower water (I found mine near the bottled grenadine at the grocery store – but don’t be tempted to buy that instead!)
4. Once cooled, pour into an airtight bottle and refrigerate. It will keep for 2-3 weeks and makes about 2 cups.

After I made my batch, I taste-tested it against a forgotten bottle of Rose’s brand grenadine …what a difference! They taste nothing alike. While both sweet, the homemade grenadine is a bit thicker, richer and has a slight tartness. The store-bought grenadine has high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and dyes red 40 and blue 1. It looked pretty going down the drain: I’m pretty sure my regular Diet Cokes give me all the liquid chemicals a body needs.

Now was the time for my kids to try their nick-namesakes the Shirley Temple and Roy Rogers drinks. I didn’t have any glowing-red maraschino cherries, but the drinks disappeared quickly anyway (I used about 4 oz each of 7-up and cola with 1/2 oz each of grenadine).

Moving on, I decided to try a classic with grenadine, the Tequila Sunrise. If I’ve ever had this iconic 70’s drink, I must not have been too impressed. But perhaps that was due to artificial grenadine or crud tequila in some college bar, because the one I mixed tonight was so very tasty.  So easy and no shaker required!

Tequila Sunrise

1 ½ oz tequila
3 oz orange juice
¼ to ½ oz homemade grenadine

Mix the tequila and orange juice over ice, then slowly add the grenadine to achieve the “sunrise” effect. This would be a nice party drink because larger quantities of the tequila and orange juice can be mixed in advance and each serving quickly finished with the grenadine.

Lastly, when patrolling for recipes to use my new grenadine (and there are tons à la Google), I ran into a drink that uses Jägermeister, that nemesis of shot-haters everywhere. I’m quite curious about this drink:

Bed of Roses    

1 ½  oz Jägermeister
2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz homemade grenadine syrup
½ oz fresh lime juice
Lime slice and cherry for garnish

Combine all ingredients and shake over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass, garnish, sip and then post a comment here to tell me how it is!

When I asked Red Hook if we had any Jägermeister (buried deep) in the liquor cabinet, his response was a weary, “I don’t know what’s in there anymore.” 

Yes, it’s probably better that way.

Cheers, ICE