Posts Tagged ‘muddling’

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


An Apple A Day…

Friday, October 8th, 2010

It’s Rocktober! A month filled with occasions for cocktails. In fact, I thought of calling it Cocktober, but that sounded a bit unseemly.

Since today is Apple Day in my kindergartener’s class, naturally I had to have an apple cocktail last night (we all mark events in our own way).  And just to mix it up, I went with a cachaca-based drink. Cachaca (pronounced ka-sha-sa) is made with fermented sugarcane juice in Brazil.

My first stop on liquor store visits is the mini bins. Granted, the selection can be limited, but sometimes I find a mini bottle that lets me try a liquor without the commitment of the big bottle. My discovery of the Novo Fogo cachaca mini allowed me to try the delicious Homecoming Caipirinha (pronounced kie-pur-reen-yah).

Drawer o' minis (I promise that it is neater than it looks!)

Homecoming Caipirinha

1 ½ oz cachaca
2 apple slices
2 lemon slices
1 oz unfiltered apple juice
½ oz agave nectar
Dash cinnamon

Muddle the apple and lemon slices in a cocktail shaker, and then add ice and the remaining ingredients. Shake to chill, and then strain into a highball glass filled with ice. (Note: I made some changes to the original recipe to simplify it.)

This is a great drink for fall, and would be easy to scale up for a party. The agave nectar can be found at most grocery stores in the sweetener or honey sections.  Perhaps it’s time to invest in a bottle of cachaca, or even to try this recipe with rum.

Halloween + Cocktails. Two of my favorite things together, so I’m going to have a fun month. Stay tuned!

Cheers, ICE


A Bright, Crisp Cocktail to Welcome Fall

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

You know how great it is when you introduce a friend to something new and they go all crazy for it? Well, it may not be in the same league as turning someone on to bungee jumping or roller derby, but I’m pretty psyched that I introduced “Ginger” to ginger beer. Now she’s a connoisseur of the spicy, non-alcoholic brews (think ginger ale but with more tang), and recently slipped me a bottle of Reed’s Spiced Apple Brew. Pretty tasty, especially when combined with rum, Chartreuse and mint!

I’m glad I spotted this recipe before winging it, because it wouldn’t have occurred to me to try the Chartreuse.  The apple-y ginger, Chartreuse and mint flavors dance really well here. I really couldn’t tease out the rum and I’m thinking that citrus vodka or plain rum wouldn’t make much difference. 

Say hello to fall with this bright, crisp drink:

Mid-Autumn Highball (original recipe)

6 mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish
¾ oz simple syrup (I omitted)
½ oz green Chartreuse
1 ½ oz citrus rum
3 oz alcoholic sparkling apple cider (I used 3 ½ oz Reed’s Spiced Apple Brew)

Muddle the mint leaves in a cocktail shaker, and then add ice and all ingredients except the Reed’s. Shake well to chill, and then pour into an ice-filled highball glass. Add the Reed’s brew and stir gently. Note: I substituted 3 ½ oz of Reed’s Spiced Apple Brew for the apple cider and omitted the simple syrup because I correctly suspected that the Reed’s would add enough sweetness. 

My variation of the Mid-Autumn Highball uses spiced apple ginger beer.

Autumn is obviously hitting the Pacific Northwest early this year, and now I have the drink to toast the season.  Thanks, Ginger! 

Cheers, ICE


I Likey the Lychee

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Do you know what a lychee is? I sure didn’t. It shows up in cocktail recipes here and there, often listed as “canned lychee,” but my grocery stores had no such thing in the canned fruit/vegetable aisle. I had written those drinks off as too obscure for my feeble cocktailing efforts when I found a container of lychees in the refrigerated fruit section at Trader Joe’s. Well, hello! Not one to resist a new drink ingredient, of course I needed to try them out.

Which presented another problem: How does one prepare or eat a lychee? They have thin but crispy shells that do not appear appetizing.  Once peeled, the fruit looks like an eyeball (and here I made a tactical error by showing my kids this, thereby guaranteeing that no way in hell would they taste it); a juicy, lightly fragrant eyeball, but still. And hidden in the center is a hard nut that looks like a black bean.

Lychee Rum Swizzle

Eventually I decided to just muddle the fruit part and strain out the juice, a pretty easy task. I stirred up this recipe for the Lychee Rum Swizzle, and it made me a lychee lover.

Lychee Rum Swizzle

1 1/2 oz rum
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz lychee fruit juice (about 3 lychees)
3/4 oz lime juice
1/4 oz simple syrup (my addition)
2 dashes Peyschauds bitters

Peel lychee fruit, then tear juicy fruit away from inner nut. Muddle fruit (about 3 lychees) to yield 1/2 oz juice. Add all ingredients to a highball filled with crushed ice, then swizzle with a bar spoon until glass is frosty. Note: I changed the original recipe slightly because I had only fresh lychee fruit and not canned with syrup, so I added the simple syrup to balance the lime juice.

Swizzle drinks hail from Caribbean islands, where bartenders rub the handle of a bar spoon in between their hands – much like a scout starting a fire with sticks – in order to rapidly mix and chill the glass. Velvet Falernum, also hailing from the Caribbean, is a sweet liqueur tasting of cloves and spices. It is also great mixed with club soda and lime for a quick refresher, and non-alcoholic versions of falernum are available.

After doing a little lychee research, I’ve learned they are from China and therefore more common in Asian cooking.  Fresh lychees are not typical around here, so in the future I might have better luck finding canned lychee in the Asian section of the store. If you find some, try out this drink. It is well worth muddling a few eyeballs.

Cheers, ICE