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Posted by on Jul 29, 2013 in shaken | 0 comments

mexican mexican coke

mexican mexican coke

  This recipe features some of the tastiest ingredients from Mexican cuisine – cilantro, lime and jalapeño – resulting in a very refreshing and unique cola cocktail. All three of these ingredients are beautiful aromatics, and they complement and balance each other perfectly. You will notice (and appreciate) the delicate sweet, spicy, and green notes in both the aroma you get before taking a drink, and in the flavor of the drink itself. Mexican Coke (I’m talking about Coca-Cola here!) contains real sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup. Actually, most of the rest of the world gets real sugar in their Coke, and to me, it tastes better. You can find it at most Latin food markets and many superstores, and it comes in glass bottles, which some would argue makes it taste even better. If you can’t procure any, the American stuff will work just fine; you will just have to call it “Mexican American Coke” instead. And if you can’t find or don’t feel like buying Absolut Cilantro, you can muddle some fresh cilantro with the...

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Posted by on Jul 20, 2013 in shaken | 0 comments

my mai tai

my mai tai

  I love rum. A lot. A great local tiki restaurant here in Columbus, Ohio has a drink called Rum and Happiness, and for me that pretty much describes any drink that has rum in it. This drink has three rums, so according to my math, that’s three times the happiness. Coconut is one of the aromatics in this recipe: one of the rums is infused with it, and the coconut water (which is one of the unique modifications I’ve made to make it my mai tai) adds another dimension of tropical nuttiness. If you can find raw coconut water, such as Harmless Harvest, all the better. my mai tai 1 cup dark and/or spiced rum ¾ cup coconut rum ½ cup citrus rum ¾ cup triple sec or mango vodka 1½ cups mango lemonade (or ¾ cup mango nectar plus ¾ cup lemonade) 1 cup orange juice 1 cup pineapple juice 2 cups raw coconut water (also may use flavored, such as mango, peach, or pineapple) one can lemon-lime soda or sparkling lemonade Add all ingredients...

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Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in infused | 0 comments

infused simple syrup

infused simple syrup

  Most of us at one time or another have probably put sugar crystals into a tall glass of iced tea or other cold beverage, only to spend the next ten minutes stirring until all the granules have dissolved. There has to be a better way! There is. A simple syrup is sugar-sweetened water, which blends immediately and effortlessly with most any drink. (The Japanese have already figured this out, and you can get cute little capsules of simple syrup at any coffee shop. Meanwhile, we chumps here in the U.S. continue to have to stir the contents of sugar packets into our cold beverages. But I digress…) Your basic simple syrup recipe usually specifies a sugar-to-water ratio of 2:1. That will yield 3 cups of a nice sweet liquid that you can store in your refrigerator for up to a month. Very handy. But the possibilities go well beyond such a simple, simple syrup. You can add just about any aromatic (herb, spice, floral, tea, etc.) to flavor it, which opens up a vast range...

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Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in muddled | 0 comments

exxxtra-minty mojito

exxxtra-minty mojito

  The mojito may be my favorite cocktail. When the weather warms up, there are few things more refreshing than a tall glass of minty, sweet and tart goodness. I take an atypical approach to my mojito, however. If you’ve ever ordered one at a bar or restaurant, you’ve probably received a clear liquid with a few whole mint leaves swimming around. Tasty, but not nearly as tasty as it could be. When it’s made correctly, I consider the amount of mint, and the degree to which it gets muddled, to be entirely insufficient for my tastes. You’ll notice that my mojitos are green. Really green. In fact, the xxx in the name is because it’s obscenely minty. Don’t worry – it’s not toothpaste minty. Just really fresh, green, delicious minty, which is offset beautifully with sweet and tart elements. I use a lot of mint, and I muddle it really well. Seriously – I don’t just “bruise” it – I pulverize it. Don’t worry about those lovely little pieces of mint leaves floating around...

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Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in featured, infused | 0 comments

infused cocktails

infused cocktails

  I will never forgot my first herb-infused cocktail. It was a lovely white wine sangria at Chef Jose Garces’s Philadelphia restaurant Amada. Long before he became an Iron Chef, he was a very well respected Philadelphia icon. I didn’t know this at the time, however. All I knew as I walked by it while strolling through the Old City neighborhood was that this was a Spanish restaurant that I had to try. As I sipped the sangria, I wondered what was giving it such a uniquely refreshing quality. It was rosemary. That blew my mind. And it forever changed how I think about cocktails and new cocktail recipes. Seven years later, it now serves as the inspiration for this blog – and ultimately a book – about using aromatics to infuse cocktails in new and delicious ways. When talking about beverages, infusing just means that an aromatic – an herb, spice, fruit, tea, flower, etc. – is placed into a liquid and given time to impart its flavor. Heat speeds up the process, but is not always desirable or...

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