Archive for the ‘Cocktails’ tag
The other night I had some friends over and we sampled the infused vodkas and schnapps that I made a while back. The first one we tried was the hot pepper vodka. Knowing what went into making it, I cautioned everyone to be careful when drinking it. Only one person listened to me. Two others decided to do the whole shot in one gulp. BAD IDEA! It was HOT!!! After the initial shock wore off, everyone was fine, but in preparing a cocktail with the pepper vodka I diluted it about 3:1 with regular vodka and added smoked okra. This resulted in a very delicious hot pepper martini with just the right amount of kick:
This cocktail is courtesy of my friend Morgan Tayloe. She arrived at the Cape two years ago with a jar of hibiscus flowers in syrup, and proceeded to make a delicious cocktail with Prosecco and hibiscus syrup, with a flower in the bottom of the glass to finish it off. This weekend I made a round for brunch, and here’s a shot of them in action. If you can’t find hibiscus flowers in your local market, you can buy them online.
To make: Combine 1 glass of chilled Prosecco with a drizzle of hibiscus syrup and one whole hibiscus flower.
Today’s taste test comes to us from the deserts of the Southwestern United States and Mexico: The fruit of the prickly pear cactus. This small, red fruit is commonly used to flavor drinks, candies, syrups and jellies since it has a lot of small, inedible seeds that make it tough to use whole. Not to mention the fact that the skin is covered in small, very irritating spines called “glochids” that need to be dealt with carefully before the fruit can be used. This is a plant that resists being eaten. All that aside, the fruit itself has a very pleasant, floral, sweet flavor and a bright, crimson color. It turns a regular margarita into something festive (and native, given that tequila is a cactus distillate).
I’m a big fan of ginger, in all of its forms. One of my favorite cocktails ever, for almost any occasion, is the original Dark ‘N Stormy (which can only be made 100% authentically using Barritt’s Bermuda stone ginger beer and Gosling’s black seal rum). It screams “I’d rather be out sailing!”, and if you are actually out sailing, it says “I am the perfect drink!”. The spicier the ginger beer, the better. Though it wouldn’t be considered “authentic”, I prefer Goya brand ginger beer to Barritt’s. It’s spicier and richer, and I think it’s superior. But I digress…
Ginger has a way of going well in cocktails. It is good for the stomach and digestion, as well as being tasty. This cocktail uses fresh ginger, candied ginger, and Stone’s Original Ginger, an English currant wine flavored with, well, ginger. You could very well convert it to a quadruple ginger cocktail by adding a splash of ginger beer, but I think “triple ginger” sounds better than “quadruple ginger”, personally.
Tonight I’m cooking a pork loin with shallots and pears, and the sauce calls for pear nectar. Naturally I had to come up with a cocktail using the nectar to serve before dinner:
The other night as I was cooking venison stew I was thinking about ways to incorporate rosemary into the dessert, which was going to be stewed cherries over ice cream. Chopped rosemary in a dessert doesn’t quite do it, so I decided to try infusing rosemary into a simple syrup. The result was very aromatic and very sweet, which was exactly what I was going for. Since I had a lot of this syrup, and I like an Old Fashioned every now and then, the obvious next step was to incorporate it into the cocktail:
Recipe after the jump…
I’ve had a batch of blood orange granita sitting in the freezer since I made it as a dessert for a dinner party last week. It is very easy to make, and it makes a delicious cocktail that looks like it is more work than it is:
Mix 1/3 cup of powdered sugar and 2 T of dark rum into 3 cups of blood orange juice (or any orange juice) in a shallow baking dish. Once the sugar dissolves, put the dish in the freezer, and break up the chunks of ice every hour or so until you get a nice, light, shaved-ice consistency.
I figured that this dessert lends itself perfectly to a cocktail, as a topper:
The bar Little Branch in the East Village here in New York has a rather unique take on making cocktails. You can order from their menu, or you can challenge their bartenders to make you a concoction based upon a theme, keyword or phrase, flavor profile, or general idea. We wound up at Little Branch after dinner at Ditch Plains, and decided to put the bartenders to the test….
Tragic hipsters on fire…