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cinnarum cider

Posted by on 1:46 am in infused | 0 comments

cinnarum cider

Autumn is when we start to crave apple and cinnamon more than other times of the year. Infusing apple cider with mulling spices (e.g., cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg) gives it that fall feel that we relish when the weather gets cooler. To make mulled cider, you can either purchase a mulling spice mix (available in most supermarkets and at Penzey’s Spices – my personal preference) or make your own using one of the many recipes available online. You also can use mulling spices in wine to create a cocktail similar to that Christmas classic called wassail. This cinnarum cider is a particularly perfect party cocktail, so ratios are provided to make it easy to mix up any size pitcher. This is a cold cocktail, but if you prefer to serve something warm in a cup, omit the ginger ale and make up the difference with more mulled cider – or more rum! cinnarum cider 1 part dark rum 2-3 parts cold mulled apple cider 2-3 parts cold ginger ale cinnamon sticks for garnish Steep mulling spices in apple cider in the refrigerator overnight. I prefer to use Martinelli’s cider, which comes in a 50-ounce glass bottle, with 2 tablespoons mulling spices. I use large Finum tea filters for the spices to avoid having to strain the mixture; their extra-long length make them perfect for this kind of infusing. Before serving, remove the filter bag (or strain the cider so no remnants of the spices remain). Combine all ingredients in a glass or pitcher. To serve, pour over ice in individual glasses, and garnish each glass with its own cinnamon swizzle...

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rosemary – st. germain slinger

Posted by on 7:20 pm in muddled | 0 comments

rosemary – st. germain slinger

When I visited Copenhagen, Denmark, I fell in love with the flavor of elderflower (my first taste was in Ricola cough drops, and I was hooked). When I realized there was an elderflower liqueur, I knew I had to buy some and start experimenting. I quickly found that it’s great with gin and lemon (together or separately), but I knew it could be even better with a little touch of brightness from a fresh muddled herb. The savory evergreen aroma of rosemary makes it a great winter cocktail ingredient, and a great companion for the beautifully sweet and floral flavor of St. Germain. Because St. Germain is very sweet, the acidic tartness of the fresh lemon juice, as well as the briskness of the gin, both keep this beverage refreshingly balanced. two sprigs rosemary juice from 1/2 a lemon one shot St. Germain two shots of gin one can lemon-lime soda Since it’s easier to juice a half rather than a quarter of a lemon, you might as well make two cocktails. Muddle the rosemary sprigs in the lemon juice inside a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake briefly. Add St. Germain and gin, and stir. Strain into two glasses with ice and add lemon-lime...

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winter sangria

Posted by on 2:31 am in infused | 0 comments

winter sangria

Sangria is a classic cocktail that sometimes gets a bad rap. If you order it in a restaurant, you never know what you’ll get – and it’s often disappointing. Some end up being too fruity and sweet, while others just taste like wine with a few pieces of fruit in it. A really good sangria has depth and complexity that belies its seemingly simple recipe. My sangria starts with a medium-bodied pinot noir. Its berry-like aromatic properties make it a great foundation for a fruit-studded cocktail. Next, it gets a tangy citrus infusion from fresh oranges and triple sec. Apples provide a nice crunch and add to the flavor (as long as they are flavorful themselves). Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown in the south of Spain, and it adds depth to this sangria. My favorite red wine infusions always involve cinnamon, to give a little kick and additional complexity. This prevents it from tasting like overly-sweet fruit juice or, even worse, like not much of anything. winter sangria 1 bottle pinot noir 2 oranges, peeled and cubed 2 apples, peeled and cubed (I like Kiku, Honeycrisp, or any other really flavorful and/or funky apple) 2 cinnamon sticks ½ cup sherry ½ cup triple sec Place ingredients in a container and refrigerate overnight. Chill the following ingredients overnight and add them before serving: 1 bottle of red wine, other than pinot noir (e.g., garnacha tinta, tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon) 1 bottle (12 oz) pomegranate, blackberry, or other dark fruit soda Makes 6-8...

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calimocho con canela

Posted by on 1:39 am in infused | 0 comments

calimocho con canela

  The classic calimocho – cheap, red wine and Coke – originated in the Basque region of Spain, where it is popular among young drinkers because of its simplicity and low cost. My semester in Pamplona (which sits just outside of the Basque region) while I was in college afforded me plenty of opportunities to familiarize myself with cheap Spanish red wine, and this concoction definitely makes it more appealing. But could it be elevated to a party-worth cocktail you’d serve your friends? Almost no calimocho recipe will specify the type of red wine, except in a few instances, where it may say “the cheaper the better.” It makes sense that you would not want to use that $70 bottle of fine wine for an application like this. That is not how I would elevate a cocktail whose popularity is a direct result of its low cost and humble contents, and whose primary purpose is to get young Spaniards drunk. But could we give it a little more complexity and sophistication? When I think of red wine, for some reason I think of cinnamon (canela in Spanish). This infusion lends a nice little spice to this simple cocktail. It requires a little planning ahead, and it’s a little unorthodox, but the significant flavor boost is worth it. calimocho con canela 1 750-ml bottle of cheap red wine 2 12-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola (I prefer Mexican Coke because it has real sugar, and I think it tastes better) 6 cinnamon sticks Put the cinnamon sticks in the wine, seal and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, pour the wine and cold Coke into six glasses with ice. Place a cinnamon stick in each glass when serving the beverage, if desired. Makes six 8-ounce calimochos. (To make any quantity of servings, just keep the 1:1 ratio, and use one cinnamon stick per...

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hibiscus gin cooler

Posted by on 2:55 am in infused | 0 comments

hibiscus gin cooler

  Beautiful crimson-colored dried hibiscus petals are used in many countries around the world to create a refreshing beverage that’s full of vitamin C. I first encountered agua de Jamaica, the Spanish name for hibiscus-infused water, in Nicaragua, where it was served cold and slightly sweetened. The tart, almost cranberry-like flavor of this infusion, coupled with its attractive deep color, make it a great foundation for a cocktail. The flavor of hibiscus-infused water is delicate, so I’ve paired it with ingredients that help highlight rather than mask its aromatic qualities. This light, refreshing beverage is a beautiful and unique cocktail that’s perfect for entertaining during the holidays or any time of year. The quantities provided are easily multiplied for whatever sized pitcher you want to mix up! There’s another infusion in this recipe: bitters. Contrary to their name, bitters are typically not bitter. It’s simply a general term used for the many varieties of alcohol infused with various aromatic botanicals – herbs, spices, and/or other ingredients. The original bitters concoctions were marketed as cure-alls – and in fact most did have stomach-soothing and other health-supporting qualities. They are used by savvy bartenders who wish to add depth and flavor to their cocktails. (I promise you more – much more! – on bitters in future posts.) hibiscus gin cooler 1 part gin 2 parts hibiscus water 3 parts lemon-lime soda 4 dashes grapefruit bitters To make the hibiscus water, steep 1 Tbsp of dried hibiscus petals per 12 ounces of cold water overnight in the...

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ruby red rover

Posted by on 2:26 am in infused | 0 comments

ruby red rover

  Winter is when you want citrus – for staying healthy, and for a glimpse of bright, sunny flavors in the stark cold. The sweet and beautiful ruby red grapefruit is nearly as fragrant on the outside as it is on the inside, and it’s simply a shame to let all of those aromatic essential oils go to waste after you’ve finished consuming the fruit. If you don’t like grapefruit, that’s fine – but don’t confuse the tangy, acidic fruit inside with the sweet, almost floral notes of the zest on the outside. I happen to love grapefruit, but the Greyhound cocktail (vodka and grapefruit juice) is often too tart and harsh for my taste. So, I turned it inside out (or maybe outside-in?) and infused the vodka with ruby red grapefruit zest. This makes for a much smoother and more delicious cocktail that’s incredibly refreshing. This dog has much less of a bite. ruby red rover 1 shot ruby red grapefruit-infused vodka 4-5 ounces lemon-lime soda grapefruit zest for garnish To infuse the vodka, put the desired amount in a sealable glass bottle. Remove thin strips of zest from the grapefruit using a peeler or zester. Be sure to only get the colored part of the skin – that’s where all the intensely-flavored oils are. The white part is bitter and has no place in making vodka taste good. Pictured below are the tools needed – either a citrus zester or a peeler – and about a 13-ounce bottle. This particular batch had a beautifully pronounced flavor that only got better with...

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cinnapolitan

Posted by on 1:29 am in infused | 0 comments

cinnapolitan

  Cranberry is a favorite Thanksgiving flavor. So is cinnamon. Ever thought of trying them together? In a cocktail? A classic Cosmopolitan takes on a distinct late autumn feel when the lime is omitted in favor of a stick of aromatic bark. This is a pitcher-friendly cocktail that your holiday guests will enjoy sipping on while the turkey is roasting; just be sure each glass gets its own cinnamon swizzle stick! Instead of plain vodka and triple sec, I think orange- or other citrus-infused vodkas make a better Cosmo. For a subtle citrus flavor, use Absolut Citron or equivalent. For a more noticeable orange flavor, use Absolut Mandarin. Both are excellent in this version of the classic Cosmo. To make your own orange-infused vodka, remove strips of zest from a fresh orange and put it in a sealed container with vodka overnight. More zest and/or a longer infusion time will result in a stronger orange flavor. For my cranberry cocktails, I prefer the all-natural Northland brand because of its trueness of flavor. cinnapolitan 1 shot orange- or citrus-infused vodka 4-5 ounces cranberry juice 1 cinnamon stick for garnish Pour ingredients into a martini glass and stir gently with the cinnamon stick. Or make a pitcher using these ratios and let your guests serve themselves!...

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sage screwdriver

Posted by on 4:23 pm in muddled | 0 comments

sage screwdriver

  The simplicity of the classic screwdriver is appealing, but I’ve always found it to be a tad harsh and slightly one-dimensional. With a couple of carefully selected aromatics, however, this drink takes on a pleasing, almost velvety – kinda like the sage leaf itself – flavor. Sage has been used since ancient times for warding off evil and a plethora of other maladies. Its unique flavor has countless culinary uses, including cocktails, and it – along with freshly ground nutmeg – turns this cocktail into a lovely autumn beverage. Another addition to this version of the screwdriver is Angostura bitters. Contrary to what the name implies, bitters are not at all bitter. They are simply an infusion of wonderful aromatics (including herbs, spices, and goodness-only-knows what else – the exact ingredients are not named) in an alcoholic base. While there are many bitters available, my favorite is Angostura (made in Trinidad and Tobago), because of its flavor. It was originally developed as a tonic, and still is known for its stomach-soothing properties. sage screwdriver 1 sage leaf 1 shot vodka 5 ounces orange juice 1 dash Angostura bitters freshly ground nutmeg Place sage leaf and vodka into a cocktail shaker and muddle the leaf well. Add orange juice, bitters, and ice, and shake. Strain over ice, and garnish with a few flecks of freshly ground...

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ohio-rita

Posted by on 10:00 am in shaken | 0 comments

ohio-rita

  A refreshing Midwestern twist on a timeless drink, the Ohio-rita features Columbus-based Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. This cocktail was developed specifically for the Patrón Cocktail Lab – Regional Pride Contest. Voting runs from August 31 – September 13 (click on “browse & vote”), so please check it out and vote for our creamy concoction that’s part cocktail, part dessert! Jeni prides herself on using locally and regionally sourced organic ingredients to produce her nationally renowned ice creams. Known for her innovative combinations, Jeni takes a standard lime frozen yogurt and adds a spicy note of cardamom in her summer specialty, Lime Cardamom Frozen Yogurt (available online and in some specialty markets and shops nationally). We paired it with Patrón Silver and added triple sec, lime juice and smoked sea salt to bring a little bit of Mexico to the Midwest. The sweet creaminess of the frozen yogurt balances the bite of the tequila, and Indian cardamom serves as a nod to the place Columbus was trying to find in the first place. The smoked sea salt provides a delicate earthy finish to this cool, creamy cocktail. ohio-rita 1 shot Patrón Silver 1 shot triple sec 1/4 cup Jeni’s Lime Cardamom Frozen Yogurt 1/4 tsp fresh lime juice 1/8 tsp ground smoked sea salt for garnish: lime slice, fresh lime zest, freshly ground cardamom Place all ingredients except garnishes into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well, until the ice cream and salt are fully incorporated. Strain into a chilled margarita glass and add garnishes. Enjoy! (And then please vote!) Jeni’s trademark used with...

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oranjack and coke

Posted by on 11:00 am in shaken | 0 comments

oranjack and coke

  Jack and Coke is a classic combination. It’s an easy go-to cocktail when you’re at a bar and don’t want to have to think too much or peruse a six-page cocktail menu. It’s simple. And it’s very tasty. But it’s a little… boring. I was staring at a half-full bottle of Mexican Coke (leftover from my mexican mexican coke experiment) and wondered what I could do with it. I opened the liquor cabinet, and the Jack Daniel’s jumped out at me. Okay, nice. But what else? How could I brighten this standard beverage and make it more interesting? I started looking around the kitchen, and that’s when I saw it. Sitting in a beautiful red wooden bowl, just waiting and hoping to be noticed. The humble orange. Orange zest takes this classic cocktail from boring to bright. From tasty to frickin’ terrific. Seriously, my first sip elicited a “Holy crap, that’s excellent!” (Actually, I don’t publish any recipe that doesn’t produce that reaction.) And it’s easy. Just grab a fine grater and take some of the outermost skin off the orange – that’s the zest, and it contains flavor-intensive oils. Yes, it’s more work than pouring Jack and Coke into a glass, but it’s well worth it. It’s amazing how incredibly well these flavors go together. Impress your friends with this stepped-up version of a timeless favorite. oranjack and coke 1 shot Jack Daniel’s (or your favorite whiskey) 1/4 tsp fresh orange zest 5 ounces cola Put whiskey and orange zest into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a glass with ice, and add cola. Stir very gently. Easy as...

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