Category Archives: Alcohol Specials

Tequila: why 100% Agave is always better…

Tequila comes in two main types: Mixto (blended) and 100% agave. The former is the type you’re likely to find at a college party. It’s cheaper than 100% agave and can leave you with a nasty pile of regret in the morning. The latter, on the other hand, is as pure as tequila gets…

That said, here are three reasons you should always reach for 100% agave tequila…

#1: No hidden surprises:

100% agave tequila is pure agave and nothing else. Mixto, on the other hand, contains up to 49% non-agave ingredients. These usually consist of sugar cane, or other distillable products, but can include additives such as flavourings and colourings.

What makes things worse is that producers are not required to tell you what they use! So you’re never going to know, completely, what is in your bottle. If you’re the sort of person who likes to know what they’re drinking, always choose 100% agave!

#2: No hangovers:

When you drink a mixto tequila you’re literally mixing your drinks from the very first sip. With only 51% agave, mixto tequilas have a range of other ingredients, including various distillates. That means you’re consuming more than one type of alcohol at the same time, which is why mixto tequila has earned such a bad reputation.

However, if you choose 100% agave tequila, your hangovers will be a thing of the past. This is because they are made using only the Blue Weber Agave and nothing else!

Responsible drinking clearly speaks for itself; but if you were to swap your mixto tequila for 100% agave tequila, you’d notice the different immediately – especially when you have work in the morning!

#3: Better taste:

There are more premium tequilas than ever before and for good reason: It simply tastes better than its mixto counterpart.

Each brand has their unique flavour profile, which creates a vast array of great tasting tequila. Whilst the species of agave used in tequila has to be the Blue Weber by law; the location of the distillery in which it is made will drastically affect its flavour.

Whether you prefer yours fruity, spicy, or earthy, there’s a 100% agave tequila out there for everyone!

As outlined here, premium tequilas are superior in taste and quality, but that doesn’t mean mixto brands haven’t played an important part in the 100% agave boom coming out of Mexico. This boom has been made possible, in large part, thanks to the path laid down by mixto brands, with the industry rethinking its method and creating some truly stunning premium products.

There are strict regulations in relation to both Mixto and 100% agave tequilas. If you’d like to know more about these, information can be found here.

Now you know which tequila to choose, why not check out these 100% Tequila Paloma cocktail recipes I made? 

Re-Blog: Cointreau Summer Cocktails

The year is 2013. It was a summer of love and torrential downpours – what do you expect? I live in England!

On one rainy afternoon (or two) I sat down and went through some great cocktails that all had one ingredient in common: Cointreau.

This delicious liqueur, seen below, is a stunning, zesty little number that has been used to create some of the most celebrated cocktails ever imagined.

Cointreau, in a grasp at a perfect USP that is craved by most spirit companies these days, created their own style of cocktail: The Cointreau Fizz. The idea was to show the world the versatility to this rather fragrant French liqueur.

I worked. So brilliantly that 3 years on people are still enjoying Cointreau Fizz’s out and about. However, this post, first published by me 3 years ago, aimed to celebrate all that

However, this post, first published by me 3 years ago, aimed to celebrate all that was is classic about this traitionally out of the box liqueur…

Image


So summer is on its way, albeit in the traditional British ‘stealth mode’ way. As I write this it’s a slightly overcast day. The trees are rustling and yet my hand is cold… It’s because I have a fantastic “Cointreau fizz” cocktail (see below) in it! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, summer is here and that can mean only one thing: Cointreau cocktails rule supreme!

The following are, in my opinion, the best Cointreau cocktails you can order:

10. Kamikaze

20ml Cointreau

10ml Lemon Juice

40ml Vodka

Strong and volatile in the wrong hands, this cocktail should be feared as well as enjoyed. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.


9. Daiquiri

15ml Cointreau

15ml Lime

45ml Mount Gay Rum

10ml Agave Nectar

A slight tweak on the classic recipe. The Mount gay rum lends its golden hue to this delicious drink. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass for the best results.


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Combining Cointreau & Chardonnay; this cocktail is a little more refined…

8. Cointreau Cobbler

50ml Cointreau

80ml Chardonnay White Wine

2 orange slices

1 lemon slices

Shake all the ingredients and strain into a wine glass. Top up with a bit of Prosecco if you fancy a touch of class.


7. Sidecar

30ml Cointreau

30ml Lemon Juice

30ml Remy Martin VSOP cognac

Pure class in a glass; Shake and strain the ingredients into a martini glass and enjoy thoroughly.


6. Cosmopolitan

Classic Cosmo:

20ml Cointreau

10ml Lime Juice

20ml Cranberry Juice

40ml Vodka

Cointreau special: Cointreaupolitan

50ml Cointreau

30ml Cranberry Juice

20ml Lemon Juice

Whichever recipe you choose one thing is certain: Enjoyment. Shake and strain the ingredients into a cocktail glass. Add ice if you wish.


5. Margarita

20ml Cointreau

20ml Lime Juice

40ml Silver Tequila

A classic cocktail for a classic liqueur; Shake and strain the ingredients into a coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel.


4. Cointreau Caipirinha

50ml Cointreau

Half a lime (quartered)

Crushed ice

A slightly sweeter take on a Brazilian classic; shake and strain all the ingredients into a small ice-filled rocks glass and drop in a couple of lime wedges for garnish.


3. White Lady

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Mixing gin with Cointreau; this cocktail is strong but fragrant…

20ml Cointreau

20ml Lemon Juice

40ml Gin

This classy little cocktail is extremely simple: shake and strain into a cocktail glass. For added class garnish with an edible flower (Try some different coloured rose petals).


2. Sunkiss

40ml Cointreau

50ml Pineapple Juice

30ml Yellow Grapefruit Juice

A deliciously sweet Caribbean cocktail; perfect for those summer evenings. Shake all the ingredients and strain into a long glass filled with crushed ice.


1. Cointreau Fizz

The reason this is my number one is for the pure versatility of the drink. If you head over to the Cointreau website, you’ll find a list of cocktails both famous and lesser known. If you look carefully you’ll find 9 different recipes for ‘Fizz’ cocktails. The only difference (generally at least) is the garnish. As many of you know the garnish is extremely important to the taste of some cocktails, and none more so than with the Cointreau Fizz.

With recipes such as; Strawberry & Mint, Mint Tea, Cucumber & Basil and Passion & Pepper, the Cointreau fizz is, literally, a cocktail for all tastes.

Here are my 3 favourite recipes:

Cointreau Fizz – Simple but stunning… 

50ml Cointreau

½ fresh Lime Juice

100ml Soda Water


Cointreau Fizz, Passion & Pepper – Spicy, with a splash of passion…

50ml Cointreau

15ml fresh lime juice

 2 fresh passion fruits

1 thin slice of thai chilli pepper

50ml soda water

Method: add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker (only use the juice of the passion fruits). Shake until the metal is frosted and then strain over ice into a glass. Top up with soda water.


cointreau_fizz_strawberry
A refreshing combination of mint and strawberry; this drink is one of the most refreshing drinks you’ll ever try…

Cointreau Fizz, Strawberry & Mint

50ml Cointreau

15ml Lime Juice

4-5 fresh strawberries

3 fresh mint leaves

50ml soda water

Method: Muddle the strawberries and mint leaves in a Boston shaker. Add the Cointreau and lime juice and shake until the metal becomes frosted. Strain into a glass, over ice and garnish with a strawberry slice and a fresh mint sprig.


Hopefully, these cocktails help you enjoy your evenings, summer or no. If you have a penchant for Cointreau then why not take a peek at my other Cointreau related posts? Click here to see more!

Disclaimer: All of the views and opinions on this post are my own and have not, in any way, been influenced by Cointreau or any other party.

A selection of the recipes in this post (as well as much more) can be found under the ‘cocktails’ section of the Cointreau website.

The Fervent Shaker: On being published

I’m now a published writer! Congratulations to me!


This month marks a very important moment for myself and this blog. As of June 1st, 2016 I am officially a published cocktail writer. Thanks to Sainsbury’s Magazine.

In this month’s issue, I have a two-page feature on summer drinks. These include 6 drinks, 3 alcoholic & 3 non-alcoholic – all of which are my own recipes!

The recipes include a non-alcoholic Ice tea, a beachside-themed rum cocktail, and several others.

The picture below show all the colourful cocktails and their recipes. But if you want to really enjoy these drinks, you should head on down to your local Sainsbury’s and get your very own copy. The Magazine is only £2 and inside you’ll find an abundance of food and drink recipes.

 

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Left to Right: Beachside Rumba, Green Breeze, Berry-Basil Frosty, Ice & Peachy, Gin Cooler, Summer Lake Punch, Strawberry-Mint Mimosa.

 

Most importantly, though, you’ll find my recipes on pages 82-83!

I’m extremely proud of this as it shows that you can make it if you keep trying. Never give up and you’ll eventually reap the rewards of doing something you’re so very proud of!

In other news, I’m working on some spicy cocktail posts just in time for BBQ season and also working with a PR rep over at Monin to bring you all some posts that include some of their new products, as well as some of their lesser-known products… Keep your eyes peeled!

Cointreau – Revisited

I wrote a plethora of posts about Cointreau in my very first year of blogging, and even revisited the spirit when I attended a garden party back in 2013, further to that I also wrote a collection of summer cocktails themed on the orange beauty of a spirit.

Those posts have held their own with the latter mentioned consistently hitting high daily views. Because of this I thought I’d revisit one of my favourite liqueurs once more. This time I’ll share several collections of cocktails that are based on, or use as a focus, Cointreau.

With this post, I’ll aim to look at several original Cointreau cocktails, the new collection of Cointreau official cocktails, new summer cocktails, Cointreau classic cocktails, as well as a few little single recipe posts.

So with the above in mind, let’s look at 3 original, or different, Cointreau cocktails…

winter sun cocktail

1. Winter Sun Cocktail

Recipe:

45ml vodka

15ml Cointreau

60ml Clementine Juice

15ml Fresh Lemon Juice

Garnish: Sprig of Rosemary, Lemon Zest & Sugar

Method:

  • Moisten the rim of a large rocks glass with the lemon.
  • Grate the zest of a lemon into some sugar and mix. Upturn the glass and dip into the lemon sugar to garnish the glass.
  • Fill the glass with ice, add the ingredients and stir well.
  • Garnish, finally, with the rosemary sprig.

awaiting grace

2. Awaiting Grace

Recipe:

25ml Cointreau

50ml Absolut Vanilla

1 Tsp Brown Sugar

Top up Cloudy Apple Juice

5 basil leaves

Method:

  • Muddle the basil with the sugar in the bottom of a Collins glass.
  • Add a lime wedge and pour in the spirits.
  • Add ice and stir well.
  • Top up with the apple juice.
  • Stir once more and serve with a straw.

bourbonsidecar

3. Bourbon Sidecar

Recipe:

1m Cointreau

1m Lemon Juice

2m Bourbon

Method:

  • Shake ingredients, for around 10-15 seconds, over ice.
  • Strain into a well-chilled rocks glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist.

Jack Daniels – through the seasons: New Years

The last cocktail in my Jack Daniels through the seasons themed gift was one of my very own creation. It’s a cocktail that will be at home on any cocktail menu throughout the year but, due to the nature of some of its ingredients (specifically the cranberries), is better utilised during the new year period…

Please note that I use fever tree ginger ale in my cocktails, almost exclusively, so it may taste different to what I intended if you use other brands (just tweak it a little to better compliment the brand you use).

New Years’: The Fervent Shaker Tennessee Mule

cranberry mule fs own recipe

About the Drink:

Created in a top secret laboratory hidden away in an underground bunker, this cocktail has been slowly tweaked and re-tweaked for months. Like a strain of the cold virus, no two versions have ever been the same. Until today.

This cocktail has finally come to fruition and the depth in flavour is superb when compared to other similar mixtures. Its moderately simple combination of Jack Daniels Tennessee whisky, apple juice, lime juice, our in-house cranberry simple syrup, and a top of ginger ale, results in a well-balanced yet slightly sweet cocktail that should take the bite out of the whisky whilst keeping all of the flavours intact. The joy of this cocktail is, of course, its depth in flavour.

Using an in house cranberry syrup recipe we can control the flavour balance that is integral to the core of this drink. Thus the measurements are strict in that this recipe relies on the delicate balance between sweet and dry.

This cocktail is perfect for your new year celebrations but also for almost any other special occasion. Just bear in mind that the use of cranberries may restrict this to being a more seasonal tipple.

Tweak note: The Ginger ale can of course be substituted for a lighter flavoured soda although please be aware that doing so can impair the intended flavour profiles.

Recipe:

  • 1 ½ measures Jack Daniels
  • 1 ½ measure Apple Juice
  • ¾ measure in House Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • ½ measure Fresh Lime Juice
  • Top-Up Ginger Ale*
  • Handful of fresh/frozen cranberries

Method:

  • Combine the all of the ingredients, except for the ginger ale, in an ice-filled cocktail shaker.
  • Shake until well-chilled or until the tin ices over. Around 15-30 seconds.
  • Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice until ¾ full.
  • Top up with the ginger ale and garnish with a skewer of fresh/frozen cranberries.
  • Serve with a straw and enjoy!

This was a really fun and interesting gift to create and put together and should be something you can all emulate for your friends and family!

Disclaimer: All of the pictures used across the previous four posts i’ve shared with you (links below) are from the Official Jack Daniels website and when you’re done here, why not check out their other recipes for a little inspiration?

Spring Cocktail

Summer Cocktail

Autumn Cocktail

Winter Cocktail

Please note: this post is in no way endorsed or supported in any way by Jack Daniels or any of their affiliates. This is all my own thoughts and words people! Go me!

Jack Daniels – Through the Seasons: Winter

The fourth cocktail in the Jack Daniels through the seasons is a Winter themed special.

You’ve all tried the Lynchburg Lemonade served at your local weatherspoons right? It’s a cocktail so easy to make and so refreshing that a lot of cocktail bars/pubs will serve it throughout the summer.

Well this next cocktail is similar in that it is refreshing and a great cocktail utilising the warmth of Jack Daniels but adds a nice seasonal twist to an otherwise standard cocktail…

Winter: Lynchburg Cider

Lynchburg Cider jack daniels

About the Drink:

Perfect for the winter months, especially the colder ones, this cocktail is a simple yet highly effective concoction suitable for most affluent drinkers.

The cider can be of any type but stick to your favourite or research which types work best with which types of whisky. This recipe is best followed by utilising your favourite hot cider mixture – if only so you know what to expect from the cider itself.

The cinnamon and lemon are purely for aesthetics and fragrance, although given enough time they’re sure to add their own imprints to the mix.

The Lynchburg Cider is a hard cocktail to get right but if you used the flavours you love and a good quality cider, there’s not much that can go terribly wrong…

Recipe:

  • 1 measure Jack Daniels
  • 5 measures Hot Apple Cider
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • Lemon Slice

Method:

  • Simple build in a mug (or coffee glass).
  • Garnish with the cinnamon stick and lime slice.

 

Jack Daniels – Through the Seasons: Autumn

The third cocktail in the Jack Daniels through the seasons is, of course, autumn.

This refreshing cocktail is perfect for the autumn, but tastes so good you can be sure to enjoy it all year round… Especially for those looking for an American escape sometime soon…

Autumn: New York Sour

new york sour jack daniels

About the Drink:

A classic sour cocktail is as simple as it can get: Spirit + Lemon Juice + Simple Syrup + Shake = Sour Cocktail. The spirit used can be anything from Vodka or Rum to Melon Liqueur or Limoncello (and everything in between).

When it comes to the New York Sour the classic whisky sour was taken, added to and sold on as an improvement, so to speak. Some see confusion and a strange muddle, whilst others see the genius in adding further depth of flavour. It’s an odd idea for sure, but once you’ve tried a whisky sour with the wine topper, no whisky sour without it will ever taste the same!

Arguably the most versatile aspect of this drink is its ability for tweaking where needed. When using different types of whisky (Scotch, Tennessee, Rye, Bourbon etc.) you can use different types of red wines to compliment the whisky and get the most out of the cocktail.

Recipe:

  • 1 ½ measures Jack Daniels
  • 1 measure Lemon Juice
  • ½ measure simple syrup
  • ½ measure Red Wine (Shiraz or Malbec)

Method:

  • Combine the Jack Daniels with the lemon juice, sugar syrup, and ice.
  • Shake until well-chilled or until the tin ices over. Around 15-30 seconds.
  • Strain into a small rocks glass.
  • Using the back of a spoon, layer the red wine on top of the sour-mixture…