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infused simple syrup

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

  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...

exxxtra-minty mojito

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

  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...

infused cocktails

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

  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...

shaken cocktails

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

  Using a cocktail shaker is much more than just a cool-looking way to mix a drink. It actually performs several important functions: Shaking with ice helps chill the mixture before pouring it into in a glass, so it’s ready to drink and doesn’t melt the ice in the glass as quickly. Shaking with ice also helps bruise or crush any herbs or other aromatics that you have added. This process helps release oils and other flavor-intense elements to produce a better-tasting cocktail. Most shakers have a built-in strainer in the lid that helps keep your drink neat by preventing the larger chunks of ice and ingredients from getting into the serving...

muddled cocktails

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

  My muddler and I have had a lot of good times together. It helps me get out some pent-up aggression and I get a tasty cocktail out of the deal. You might say it’s therapeutic. I bought my first muddler in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the House of Bacardi. I knew I would use it when I make my exxxtra-minty mojitos. I had no idea that I would use it as frequently as I do, and with many different kinds of herbs, fruits, and other aromatics. Muddling is the technique that inspired the name Crushed Cocktails. A muddler is a long, thin utensil, usually with teeth on one end. It looks kind of like...