Tag Archives: amaretto

Sweet & Sour: A tale of two liqueurs

This post is all about the ultimate sweet vs sour battle: Melon vs Almond, aka Midori vs Amaretto.

Of course there is ultimately only ever 1 winner this post will share 2 fantastic cocktails for you to decide. However for the sake of the battle I shall declare my winner at the end of the post…

So here are two refreshingly simple cocktail recipes you can make at home, recipes that when made correctly will freshen up this belated winter chill gripping us all.

So let’s get started with the Sweet in out Sweet & Sour battle:

SWEET: The Midori & Pineapple

Recipe:

50ml Midori

150ml Pineapple Juice

Garnish: Cherry

midori pineapple
As exotic as the colour and name infers…

Method:

  • Build the ingredients in a tall ice-filled glass.
  • Stir well and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

This cocktail is so simple you can make it whilst half cut; which, if we’re honest with ourselves, are the best type of cocktails. Blending the super sweet liqueur that is Midori (Melon flavour liqueur) with the ever-tropical flavour of fresh pineapple juice results in instant smiles all around. Make this for your friends and they’ll all be laughing off that rain-drenching they just suffered. Did I mention how easy it is to make?!

So drink up, and settle yourselves for the onslaught that is round 2…

SOUR: The Disaronno Sour

Recipe:

45ml Disaronno Liqueur

30ml Fresh Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon sugar

Garnish: Cherry

Amaretto Sour: a truly magnificent cocktail
Amaretto Sour: a truly magnificent cocktail

Method:

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and drop in 3-5 ice cubes.
  • Shake well and for around 5-10 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a small rocks glass. Think western whisky glass.
  • Garnish by dropping in a maraschino cherry on a cocktail stick.

And here is an old favourite: the amaretto sour. This cocktail has made the round over the last couple of years and gained extra exposure with Disaronno making it their flagship cocktail. Blending sweet almond flavoured liqueur with bitter lemon juice results in something a little tangy and rather sour. That’s not a bad thing though as this cocktail is surprisingly moreish and will have you addicted in no time. Best thing about them is how quick and easy they are to make. You can batch them too, just make sure you share out the contents equally, you may have trouble on your hands if not

This cocktail is a wonderful favourite of mine and yes I have used it in posts before but it really comes into its own when used in battle like this. Make a fresh batch of them up for you and your friends and you’ll be wondering why you disliked the rain in the first place. Rain is wonderful.

Ok so there it is your second and rather strong contender for the winner…

But it doesn’t stop there because there is a twist in this tale of two… In true soap-opera style these spirits find it hard to stay faithful to their own mixers and something terrible (or amazing) has happened… Disaronno has decided to cheat on its lemon/sugar mixer with its counterpart’s pineapple juice. But in a twist of fate Midori has also cheated but with the sugar lemon combination amaretto had come to love. I explain with these two bonus cocktails below:

The Midori Sour

Recipe:

45ml Midori

30ml Fresh Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon sugar

Garnish: cherry

Midori Sour - a classic twist on a classic cocktail
Midori Sour – a classic twist on a classic cocktail

Method:

  • Like the Amaretto sour, combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and add 3-5 ice cubes.
  • Shake well and for around 5-10 seconds.
  • Strain into a small rocks glass and garnish with a cherry on a toothpick.

This version of a classic liqueur based sour retains more of its sweet taste than the amaretto sour, but not so much that it overpowers the drinks base. A perfect blend of sweet and sour this drink is a little harder to knock back due to its sweet/sour complexity (it’s rather rich) but is worth just as much attention as its previous form.

The Tropical Almond

Recipe:

50ml Disaronno

150ml Pineapple Juice

Garnish: cherry

The Tropical Almond: When Amaretto met Pineapple Juice...
The Tropical Almond: When Amaretto met Pineapple Juice…

Method:

  • Build in a tall ice-filled glass.
  • Stir well and garnish with a maraschino cherry and a straw.

This cocktail looks and sounds like it shouldn’t work, but for some reason the flavours blend considerably well. The refreshing taste of pineapple hits your first but then swiftly makes way for the subtle almond flavours of the Disaronno. ‘Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it’ is the tag line I’d hit you with after the looks you’ve almost certainly hit your computer screens with…

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Cocktails O’ Clock: Touch of Venice

A Venetian inspired romantic cocktail, one for all the lovers…

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The wonderful Canal in Venezia…
Picture taken from http://www.made-in-italy.com

This cocktail is full of glamour and romance and will add a touch of class to any event where it’s served. Not holding a fancy soiree? Then why not include them whilst cooking for a loved one at home? Or better yet, serve them for friends over a late lunch?

The recipe:

90ml Dry white wine

30ml Limoncello

½ teaspoon Amaretto

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

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Classy drinks for a classy night… Make them for your loved one, you won’t regret it… Picture courtesy of http://www.FoodNetwork.co.uk

Method:

1)      Shake the ingredients over ice in a shaker. Shake for 5 seconds.

2)      Strain the mixture into a large wine goblet.

3)      Garnish with a Lemon zest spiral.

I don’t particularly favour wine cocktails, but as far as they go, this one is rather nice. I prefer mine to come with a bit of a fizz… If you do too, remove 30-40 ml (to your own taste) of white wine and prepare like normal, but top up with a splash of Prosecco.

The best way to serve this cocktail is obviously chilled and prepared as above, but for that added romantic touch, drop in one of the following (use the one that suits your taste and colour):

Parfait Amour: Violet flavour and purple in colour, this will inject a touch of romance into your very own touch of Venice…

Angostura Bitters: For a dash of extreme flavour and a burgundy colour flowing through the drink choose this wonderful ingredient…

Green Chartreuse: Use a ½ teaspoon of chartreuse per glass here, and you’ll witness a slither of green run through you’re drink…

Blue Curacao: Like the parfait amour addition only it’s a lovely river of blue…

Grenadine/Sloe Gin:  This is a slightly fruitier choice, and adds a shade of red to your romantic evening.

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Venice is the city of Romance, this cocktail is your little touch…
Picture from http://www.isango.com

The choice is yours! Simply use ½ a teaspoon of the above, or just have it originale…

recipe and cocktail picture taken from The Food Network, pictures borrows from: isango  and made in italy.

My Favourite Liqueurs: Spoilers! Spoilers! Warning, Spoilers!

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What’s your favourite?

So everyone enjoys a cocktail (if you don’t? Leave! NOW!), and I’m no different. But when it comes to liqueurs I just love a story. It adds a bit of romance to the bottle your drinking from. To know where it came from, and where it is now. 

When I first started out on my journey up this cocktail brick road I met some truly wonderful liqueurs. There was the Tin Man looking for a heart: Disaronno, The Lion: looking for its courage: Southern Comfort and finally the Scarecrow searching for it’s brain: Cointreau.

Now let me briefly explain the above metaphors are by no means insults. They are just observations of where these spirits were, in my mind at least, around 8 years ago as well as their personal histories and challenges they faced…

The Tin Man: Disaronno

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Disaronno: An extremely famous Italian liqueur. Popular all over the world.

                Disaronno is a liqueur through and through. The company claims the recipe was given to an artist under the guidance of the Leo Da Vinci, by a greatful innkeeper, then rediscovered several decades later and produced it for family consumption. If you fancy reading more about the liqueur’s history then click here and enjoy the story. I’m not one to call their bluff as I don’t care if its a fake or real story; I love it when liqueurs like this have romantic stories behind them…

The Lion: Southern Comfort

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Southern Comfort: One of, if not the, leading whisky based liqueur from the States.

                Southern comfort, back in my teenage days, was a lowly bottle of whisky-based liqueur on the shelf for about £15 (yeah I know, cheap right?!), I knew of three or four people that drank it, and they always recommended it, but everyone else I asked had either never heard of it or never tried it… Now you look for it, and it’s one of the most famous liqueur brands full stop. When you think about liqueurs, SoCo will always be on someone’s tongue. And to further point out its heightened market share it has, over the last couple years, released both lime and black cherry flavours (going back to their fruity routes with the latter).

The Scarecrow: Cointreau

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Cointreau: without doubt the worlds leading triple sec liqueur, It’s quality speaks for itself…

                I cannot remember a time when Cointreau was not a Christmas favourite, but always I have thought of it as more – I mean think about some of the most famous cocktails in the world, they all include Cointreau (think Margaritas & cosmopolitans). Now in recent years they’ve really gone for the jugular when it comes to advertisement, they are plastering our T.V. screens, they are subtly creating an air of affordable exclusivity. As recent as June-July this year they have held 4 ‘Cointreau Fizz Garden’ Parties where they invited limited numbers to attend the specifically designed Magdalen house rooftop (with an amazing view of the Shard I might add).

 

So with those explanations out of the way I’d like to think you have taken away 3 things:

1)      My love for cocktails, doesn’t stop with the drinks, it extends to both the spirits and other ingredients.

2)      Nothing is straight forward when it comes to describing a spirit. I like to think of things a little more creatively and to me, the above 3 liqueurs bring all the things above to mind when I think about them.

3)      Liqueurs are great. And to prove this I’ll be sharing my top 10 favourite liqueurs below…

And with luck, tomorrow evening you’ll be able to see (a) were I’m going with this. and (b) that all important top 10 of my favourite liqueurs… And believe me there are some wonderful liqueurs on that list…

A Sonoran Iced-Tea Please… A Taste Of Mexico In Your Glass!

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A classic Mexican mix, but with a little electric twist…

At the party ‘south of the border’ (https://theferventshaker.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/the-songwriters-shindig-south-of-the-border/) I was tasked with concocting a drink at very short notice. Now given choice of alcohol was restricted to the party’s specific Mexican theme. I wanted to create something with a Mexican feel, but, at the same time, offered something a little different. So I tried mixing the coffee with cranberry. The combination of just those two flavours would have been too dry, but by adding the amaretto the drink has the sugar to balance the cranberry and coffee as well as that extra layer of flavour (with the almond).

Overall the drink balances out well, and is both crisp and refreshing in equal parts.

People would have you think that the cocktails we now call ‘classic-cocktails’ were well researched, highly thought out masterpieces. Whilst in some cases that’s true (and in my opinion they are all pretty much masterpieces) for the most part, they are a result of pure experimental work. And this is exactly how this one came about.

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A lovely refreshing cocktail. Give it a try and drop me a comment or two…

Im not saying this is a classic cocktail, im not that big headed, but it does have something a little different about it, something that I feel most classic cocktails have. In all my years drinking cocktails (I’ve had more than my fair share) I’ve never had a cocktail that tasted quite like this… The Sonoran Iced-Tea is a carefully layered cocktail that hits you in stages of flavour. First you smell the coffee liqueur, then you get hit with the fresh fruity flavours and the dryness of the cranberry. Finally you finish with the Tequila and Coffee liqueur. The main thing about this drink is that it makes you think. It looks like a normal summer evening drink, and it is, but it has a hidden flavour surprise and that’s what I strive for.  Give them a try and let me know what your thoughts are. It was very well received at the event, but always I look for feedback where possible!

The more perceptive of you, will notice that the recipe I included in the Mexican Party post did not include the tequila… This is because since then i’ve had time to refine the cocktail to help balance, as well as add to, the layers of flavour…

Sonoran Iced Tea

2 measures Coffee Liqueur

2 measures Amaretto

1 Splash (1 teaspoon) of silver tequila

½ measure Lime Juice

Top up with Cranberry Juice

Shake  the first free ingredients well (until the shaker ices up), then top up with the cranberry juice. Serve in a highball glass filled with ice.

Stilettos – Don’t get too excited ladies, I’m not talking about shoes!

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Looking rather classy, this potent but flavoursome cocktail is a female favourite…

Recipes online generally stick to two or three base recipes and tend to vary the ratios of their ingredients. The two base recipes, again, are the same except that 1 uses Lime Juice, and the other uses Lemon juice:

 

Recipe 1:

1.5 measures Bourbon

1.5 measures Amaretto

1 measure fresh lime juice

1 lime wedge, for garnish

Recipe 2:

1 measure Amaretto

2 measures Bourbon

1 measure Lemon Juice

Lemon twist to garnish

Now usually when you have citrus and bourbon, you would opt for lemon juice (as in recipe 2), and the amaretto in such a high amount would be far too sweet. However the tartness of the lime juice helps cut through the amaretto’s sweetness and works perfectly to marry the two alcohols together…

For a longer version you can top up either recipe with Ginger beer (not ginger ale – it just doesn’t work as well).

However the version I spent my early cocktail and university life drinking was completely different:

Stiletto, My way:

1.5 measure amaretto

¾ measure crème de banane

1 measure Pineapple juice

1 measure Orange juice.

Now my version is both infinitely smoother and a tad sweeter.

Now the first recipe made for a great cocktail, a tad too strong and I did need the ginger beer, but nice none the less. The second recipe is made ‘long’ already so it should go down quite well. If you need to tweak it to your own tastes then please do so. I find that to add a little depth in flavour, adding a dry curacao (or triple sec – but not Cointreau) works wonders.

Other recipes, not quite so well-known include the following (sources are credited where appropriate)

Recipe from http://partywithleah.blogspot.co.uk

1 measure Grand Marnier

1 measure cognac

Top up with champagne

3 dashes Angostura bitters

Spiral of orange zest, for garnish

Recipe from http://www.orlandosentinel.com/

1.25 measures Hendrick’s Gin

1 measure sugar syrup

0.5 measure fresh lime juice

5 fresh blackberries

Top up Ginger Ale

2 blackberries for garnish

 These two recipes were taken from their sources as they have the same name as the other recipes in this post. Whilst being made up of different ingredients their quality is as good as the original and of course my recipe. If you try them out let me know what you think, it would be interesting to see which Stiletto is the favourite…