Posts Tagged ‘cocktails’

Do you ever have a difficult time deciding what kind of wine to serve with Thanksgiving dinner?  Of course you do….more than half of your guests like red wine and we all know white wine is the appropriate wine to serve with fowl.  Should it be a strong Malbec or Cabernet?  Or perhaps a Pinot Noir or Zinfandel?  And what white wine should you serve?  Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc?   Well you can see it’s really a conundrum, so I suggest you stick to Apple Cider.

Apple Cider, the traditional Autumn harvest drink, is the perfect non-alcoholic beverage to accompany your Thanksgiving feast.  I see these cocktails being served before dinner because I think the traditional Thanksgiving meal is on the sweet side.  I try to keep the sweetness to a minimum; No marshmallows on my sweet potatoes, even my cranberry sauce is tart;  I make it with grated ginger and sherry vinegar.  

Which one of these cider concoctions will you be serving this year?

1. Cider & Pomegranate Margaritas:   Coarse salt,  1/2 oz. simple syrup,  1/2 oz. fresh lime juice, 2 oz. tequila,  2 oz. pomegranate juice,  4 oz. apple cider. Dip the rim of the glass in water, then in the salt.  Combine all ingredients and ice in a cocktail shaker.  Shake vigorously, strain.

2. Citrusy Cider Scotch & Lavender:  1 sprig fresh lavnder,  lemon wedge,  1/2 oz. simple syrup,  3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice,  2 oz. scotch,  4 oz. apple cider.  Combine main ingredients and ice in a cocktail shaker.  Shake vigorously.  Garnish with the lemon wedge and lavender.

3.  Cider Dark & Stormy: lime wedge,  4 oz. ginger beer, 1/4 oz. fresh lime juice, 2 oz. dark rum, 2 oz. apple cider.  Combine the cider, rum, and lime juice in an ice-filled glass.  Top with the ginger beer. Garnish with the lime wedge.

Don't Forget the Mint Sprig

Don’t Forget the Mint Sprig

4.  Gingery Cider with Tequila:  1 spring mint, 1 small piece sliced fresh ginger, 1 strip lemon zest, 1 TBS fresh mint leaves, 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp agave, 2 oz. tequila, 4 oz apple ciderMuddle mint leaves, ginger, lemon zest and agave in a cocktail shaker.  Add cider, tequila, and ice.  Shake vigorously.  Strain over crushed ice and serve with the mint sprig.

5.  Cider Shandy:  1 orange slice, 6 oz. lager, 6 oz. apple cider.  Combine the lager and cider.  Serve with an orange slice.

6.  Smoke & Spice Cider:  1 sprig mint,  3 slices jalpeno, 1 TBS fresh mint leaves, 1/4 oz. simple syrup,  3/4 oz. fresh lime juice, 2 oz. mescal, 4 oz. apple cider.  Muddle the mint leaves and jalapeno in a cocktail shaker.  Add remaining ingredients and ice.  Shake vigorously and pour into the glass. Serve with the mint sprig.

Apple Cider Champagne

Cider Bellini

7.  Cider Bellini: 1 spring fresh rosemary, sparkling wine like Prosecco,  1/2 oz. apple cider. Pour the cider into a champagne flute.  Top with sparkling wine.  Serve with the rosemary sprig.

8.  Fall Cider Sangria: 1 sliced apple, 1 sliced pear, 1 sliced orange, 8 oz, apple brandy, 1 bottle white wine, 32 oz. apple ciderCombine all ingredients in a large pitcher.  Chill at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

9.  Spiked Cider Tea:  2 thin lemon slices, 1 black tea bag, 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 2 oz. gin, 8 oz. apple cider.   Bring the cider and vanilla to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the tea bag;  steep 3 minutes. Remove tea bag and stir in the gin.  Serve with a lemon slice.

10. Rum & Pineapple Punch: 1/2 sliced fresh pineapple, 1 oz. fresh orange juice, 1 oz. simple syrup, 1 1/2 oz. lemon juice,  2 oz. brandy,  4 oz. rum,  16 oz. apple cider.  Combine the pineapple, cider, rum, brandy, lemon juice,  simple syrup, and orange juice in a punch bowl.   Chill at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

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More iconic cocktails from the past, don’t you love the names?  And of course each one has an interesting derivation.

Screwdriver Technically a highball – but such an interesting one that it transcends the category.  Like many vodka drinks, it is relatively recent, dating back to just the 1950’s.  According to popular lore, this drink owes its name to an American oilman in Iran.  When he found himself without a swizzle stick, he did the job with a screwdriver.  The catchy name catapulted the drink to mass popularity, making it a brunchtime and lunchtime favorite with all those who prefer a little nourishment with their o.j. taken from Vintage Cocktails.

orange juice and vodka, swizzle stick,


Sidecar Riding around in a sidecar can be a chilling experience!  There’s a lively dispute as to whether it was Harry’s or the Ritz in Paris as the place that a certain World War I officer ducked into and asked for a warming drink.  Over the years, this lovely cocktail has been corrupted by various bartenders who substituted Triple Sec for Cointreau and lime juice for lemon.   This one needs to stay pure to be fully appreciated.  taken from Vintage Cocktails.

motorcycle sidecar, Cointreau, brandy, Harry's, The Ritz, Paris

Sidecar Cocktail

Singapore Sling There are slings and then there are slings…so many recipes and no one seems to be able to agree on a single formula.  The most famous and certainly one of the earliest was created in 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon, barman at the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore.  The recipe, now nearly 100 years old is still spectacular.  taken from Vintage Cocktails.

Raffles, Ngiam Tong Boon, Singapore, gin, brandy, benedictine

The Singapore Sling

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“It’s cocktail time.  Few phrases flood the senses with such unimpeded a tingle of delight.  The mind rushes to imagine the astringent whiff of gin, the ice-cold silver shaker, the first pleasant trickle accompanied by the certainty that the world will soon seem a  much  better place than it appeared to be a better just a few minutes ago.

Like Marilyn Monroe, the cocktail has become one of the great cultural icons of the twentieth century. “ from Vintage Cocktails, Authentic Recipes and Illustrations from 1920-1960, by Susan Waggoner and Robert Markel.

Between the Sheets This after-Prohibition after-dinner drink was meant to seduce as well as settle.

1 oz. cognac

1 oz.  Cointreau

1 oz. dry Gin

Juice of two lemons, strained of seeds

Put plenty of cracked ice in a cocktail shaker, add the ingredients, and shake briskly.  Strain into a cocktail glass

This after-Prohibition after-dinner drink was meant to seduce as well as settle.  It accomplishes both.

Cuba Libre – The first Cuba Libre was mixed in Cuba in August 1900.  All too often this drink is sadly  presented as Rum and Coke – the recipe will bear out the difference.

1 small lime

Bacardi rum, limes, Cuba, cocoa cola

Curbre Libre

1 1/2 oz. Bacardi Rum

Cocoa Cola

Cut lime and strain juice into a tall Collins glass. Scrape peel clean, cut in pieces, and add the peel to the glass.  Pour in the rum. Muddle, working so that the sides of the glass are coated with liquid. Then add ice and Coca Cola.

The Daiquiri – As the story goes, it was invented in a malarial swampland in Cuba.  Rum was added to the drinking water as a fever preventative.  It was introduced to America by Navy Admiral Lucas Johnson in 1909.

1 1/2 oz. white rum

1 tsp. sugar

juice of 1 1/2 small limes-strained of seeds

Place rum, sugar and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice and shake swiftly.  Don’t overmix, a good daiquiri should be ice-cold but not diluted in the least. Strain and serve at once.

Gimlet A real Gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else.

7 & 7 – A classic composed of Seagram’s 7-Crown Whiskey and 7-Up

Mai Tai – Tahitian in name, the drink was made Victor (Trader Vic’s) in California in 1944.

1 oz. light rum

Trader Vic's, pineapple garnish, maraschino cherry, light rum, dark rum. mint

My Mai Tai

1 oz. dark rum

1/2 oz. curacao

1 1/2 tsp. simple syrup

1 1/2 tsp. almond syrup

Lime peel and a Mint sprig

Place rums, curacao and syrups in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Shake, strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass, and garnish with lime and mint. Serve with a straw and a stirrer.

Classic Manhattan

1 1/2 oz. rye

3/4 oz. sweet Vermouth

2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Maraschino cherry

Place cracked  ice in a cocktail shaker and add rye or bourbon or blended whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add cherry.

Mint Julep Served at the Kentucky Derby around 1875, it became the official drink in the late 1830’s.

2 tsp. sugar

2 Tbs. water

6-8 sprigs of mint

6 oz. bourbon

Place sugar and water in a mixing glass and muddle until sugar is completely dissolved.  Add all but one sprig of mint and crush slightly to release the fragrance.  Let stand a few minutes, then transfer to a frosted Collins glass or silver cup like the traditional vessel for juleps. Fill the glass partially with crushed ice. Add bourbon, stir once, then add enough additional ice to fill the glass. Garnish with the reserved mint.

Pink Gin A favorite among British officers in India whose systems had difficulty with the food, climate and water.

4-5 dashes of Angostura Bitters

2 oz. gin

twist of lemon peel

Shake 4 or 5 dashes of bitters into a chilled cocktail glass. Tip the glass rolling from side to side until the bitters coat the inside of the glass.  Pour off excess. Gently pour gin into the glass, add a piece of cracked ice if desired, and garnish with a slim twist of lemon peel.

Rob RoyIt’s smokey auburn hue reminds us that Rob Roy’s real surname was Macgregor, with the nickname “Roy” given to denote his wild red hair.

1 1/2 oz. Scotch

3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth

2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Maraschino cherry for garnish

Pour scotch and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass with cracked ice.  Add bitters,stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass into which the cherry has been already placed.

Invite your friends over to watch Mad Men and serve some of these truly Retro Cocktails.

Drink Responsibly

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NO, it’s not a misspelled word!   Summer is here and it has been hot hot hot where I am- SO HOT who wants to eat?   But drinking, well never too hot for that.  Whether it’s a tall cool drink on the porch or a tall cold one in the backyard, summer is a great time to experience fruity delicious cocktails.



Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the bottom of a glass. Pour in a melted creamsicle (Good Humor) that you have whirled in a blender (I would just use a whip and use a small bowl).  Add sparkling water.


3 cups vodka

2 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup  plus 3 TBS superfine sugar

thin lemon slices halved for garnish

Combine vodka, lemon juice and sugar stirring occasionally.  Transfer to ice-filled pitcher and add lemon slices


3 TBS rum

1 TBS simple syrup

2 TBS fresh lime juice

8-10 mint leaves

splash of champagne

Place simple syrup and mint leaves-gently muddle.  Fill glass with cracked ice.  Add rum,lime juice.  Stir gently and top off  with champagne.


1 can pineapple juice

2 cups spiced rum

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (6-8 limes)

Refrigerate till chilled.  Serve over ice and garnish with lime slices.


Muddle 3 strawberries

3/4 oz lime juice

1 oz St. Germain liquor (has a lychee-like flavor

1 1/2 oz Cabana Cachaca (if you have to use white rum)

Shake and strain into a low ball glass.  Add ice and garnish with a strawberry lime flag.

mondrian hotel, good-bye summer drink, strawberry lime flag, Cabana Cachaca, St Germain liquor

Say Good-bye to Summer

Drink Responsibly

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