Tag Archives: cocktail party

Finding Comfort with a Southern Elixir…

SoCo 1

Southern Comfort is one of those liqueurs people either like or dislike – I am of the former affinity.

Whisky based liqueurs, in my opinion, do not get better than this New Orleans superstar; with its’ dominant orange flavours and light-whisky aftertaste it’s perfect for cocktails or sipping neat.

Unfortunately it didn’t make my top 10 liqueurs list last year, but that was only because it was far more renown than at least 9 of the liqueurs featured in that list… Whilst it is rather renown in these parts of the world (Europe) and holds ‘superstar’ status in the USA (New Orleans – durh)…

So here’s the point of this post:

I work in a local supermarket and as you would expect from a typical Christmas time shopper they have questions all about alcohol (that’s where I step in). My colleagues always come and ask me questions about spirits as they know it’s what I’m interested in. This means I get all of the ‘I want something as a present, what do I buy?’ questions. For some reason everyone was after Southern Comfort (the significant reduction due to the special offer (£6 off) may have had a small part to play) but no one knew what to do with it, nor whether they should use the standard 35%vol  SoCo or the Bold Black cherry, which stands at a slightly higher (and surprisingly poignant) 40%.

My advice: Always start with the basics. Yes that means the standard, that’s not to degrade the black cherry as it is rather nice, but I find that sometimes the original works wonders; not to mention introducing you into the flavour Southern Comfort is globally renown for.

So what cocktails can you make with Southern Comfort?

Well it can be simply drank as a sour, with lemon and sugar or as part of an elaborate concoction like the Cherry Manhattan. Whether you prefer SoCo Original or SoCo Bold Black Cherry there’s sure to be a cocktail for you:

1. Slow Comfortable Screw against the Wall

Recipe:

1 measure SoCo Original

1 measure Vodka

1 measure Sloe Gin

3 measures Orange Juice

½ measure Galliano Liqueur

slow comfortable screw against the wall

Method:

–          Combine the first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well (until the tin ices over).

–          Strain into an ice filled Collins glass and then float the Galliano on top.

We start here with a bit of a concoction and one a few of you may have heard of, but never actually had. This cocktail takes its name from all of the ingredients and a couple of cocktails:

Slow & Comfortable are references to the Gin and SoCo whilst the Screw is in reference to the Screwdriver cocktail (vodka & orange juice) and finally the ‘Wall’ refers to the Galliano and is in reference to the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail.

Whilst this cocktail can be time consuming with all the individual ingredients but the payoff is something sublime. Whether you’re impressing friends at cocktail parties, or even if you have a BBQ or small chilled out gathering, it’s literally perfect for all of the above.

2. SoCo Hot Apple Pie

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo Original

5 measures Warm Apple Cider

SoCo hot apple pie

Method:

–          Stir the SoCo into the warm cider and garnish with an apple slice.

–          Sip with or without straws, but take care as the cider should be rather hot.

This is a simple recipe, and one for the budding home brewers out there. I’ve seen some recipes out there for mulled ciders but a good quality cider would work just as well. You’ll have to find your own mulled recipes, but here’s one to start you off…

3. SoCo Traditional Cherry Cola

Recipe:

1 measure SoCo Bold Black Cherry

¾ measure Pom, Pomegranate Juice

Top Up Cola

SoCo Cherry Cola

Method:

–          Simple pour technique: SoCo, then the Pomegranate juice and final top up with the Cola.

–          Use ice if you prefer your ‘Cuban’ style drinks chilled.

–          Garnish with a lemon wedge.

This is another simple recipe, and a rather fruity one at that. Great for the ladies as the Pom really adds a touch of fruity-flavour to the cola. This one works best with classic cola, but if you must use diet be prepared for some damage to the overall flavour!

4. SoCo Chocolate Covered Cherry

Recipe:

1 ¼ measures SoCo Bold Black Cherry

¼ measure Dark Crème de Cacao

Method:

–          Combine over ice and stir well.

–          Strain into a well-iced shot glass.

This drink is a great shot to have at parties no matter the weather. It’s warming and sweet but the alcohol really lends itself to the back of your throat. I particularly like its application to the various ‘shot-boxing’ style drinking game, either that or as a small tipple after a Sunday roast.

5. Black Cherry Manhattan

Recipe:

2 ¼ measures SoCo Bold Black Cherry

¾ measures Sweet Vermouth

Dash of Angostura Bitters

SoCo manhattan

Method:

–          Stir together all the ingredients and then strain them into a cocktail (martini) glass.

–          Garnish with a Cocktail cherry and a twist of lemon peel.

So now for a twist on a classic whisky cocktail; SoCo being a whisky liqueur means this can still technically be considered a Manhattan (although many bartenders would argue that). This is simply a cherry flavoured short, but sweet, cocktail. I also have no qualms in stating that without the cherry this drink just doesn’t work for me. The cherry adds a subtle twist onto an otherwise tweaked cocktail and really carries it to another level. Give it a go and if the cherry flavour is too subtle for you; add a splash or two of cherry brandy.

6. Southern Hurricane

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo original

1 ½ measures Sweet & Sour mix

1 ½ measures Orange Juice

1 ½ measures Pineapple Juice

Splash of grenadine

soco hurricane

Method:

–          Shake together these ingredients and strain the mixture into a hurricane glass

Not exactly the most sensitive of drink, considering recent events, but it’s a cocktail under ‘New Orleans favourites’ on the SoCo website – so all is ok, right?! Anyway it’s a very refreshing, tropical tasting drink that really does make it perfect for summer evenings down south. Try blending all of the ingredients together with ice to make a frozen version of this cocktail. Just add a splash more of grenadine to add some colour.

7. Cajun Thunder

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo original

½ measure bourbon

Dash of Tobasco Sauce

soco spicy shot

Method:

–          Shake and strain.

Need a little fire in your life? Does someone in your little band of warriors need their feet grounding? – Well in that case this is the drink for you! The SoCo is sweet, but the Smokey bourbon should quell that, and the Tobasco sauce will be the silent poison (they won’t notice it until it’s too late). Now I do NOT applaud alcohol abuse, but I know all the students out there will appreciate this shooter cocktail (just treat it with a bit of respect, I like to think about how I’d feel if I were tricked into it myself).

8. SoCo Cherry Squeeze

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo Bold Black Cherry

½ measure Orange Juice

3 measures Lemon-Lime soda (7Up/Sprite)

soco cherry squeeze

Method:

–          Build the ingredients in the order they are written.

–          Straw and enjoy.

A great twist on what I’m drinking right now; see no.10, this cocktail mixes together the legendary citrus of Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice with an orange-whisky liqueur – genius. The Lemon-Lime Soda is perfect as the final compliment to an extremely simple to make, refreshing cocktail. Serve over ice, sip and enjoy!

9. Alabama Slammer

Recipe:

1 measure SoCo Original

1 measure Sloe Gin

1 measure Amaretto

2 measures Fresh Orange Juice

soco alabama slammer

Method:

–          Shake all the ingredients over ice until the shaker ices over.

–          Strain into an ice filled Collins glass and garnish with an orange slice and cocktail cherry.

This cocktail is what many consider to be the actual Alabama Slammer, and I’ve seen many a recipe (al different) also claim that title; but for this post the name does its bit. This cocktail combines Sloe Gin, Amaretto and SoCo for a tad strong but very sweet cocktail. The fresh orange juice helps balance it out a little but I find for that something extra try a dash of lemonade or ginger beer, if you’re brave enough.

10. What I’m Drinking Right now: Deep South Steamboat

Recipe:

2 measures SoCo Original

¼ Lemon, freshly squeezed

Top Up Lemonade

soco lemonade

Method:

–          Build drink in order of ingredients, over ice and in a tall glass.

–          Serve with a straw and drink to be refreshed.

This last cocktail on the list is what I’m drinking right now, as I write this post. It’s kind of a twist on bitter lemonade, with the Fresh Lemon juice adding a little zing to the glass. The cocktail itself, although containing 2 measures of a 35% liqueur, is rather light and refreshing. Many call this the Steamboat cocktail (SoCo & Lemonade) so I shall dub this one the ‘Deep South Steamboat’… You can thank me later.

So there you go folks, a long thought out list of 10 Southern Comfort based cocktails… Whether you want a refreshing light spritzer cocktail or a strong shooter this list has something for you all. Hopefully you enjoyed having a look through! Until next time drinkers!

SoCo 2

Please remember to drink responsibly, a few of these drinks are created so you don’t notice the strength of the alcohol – but don’t let this fool you SoCo is a strong liqueur and should be treated with respect. 

Cocktails O’ Clock: Whisky Wednesdays…

Eclipse

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times; I do not like whisky. But recently I’ve been finding some that are quite bearable, including the one that happens to be the focal point of this post…

The book in which I found this recipe: “Pink Drinks” (published by Hamlyn) was a present from my sister, who thinks she is funny with Christmas presents like this, and is annoyingly full of some rather good cocktail recipes (hence this post).

Recipe:

2 measures Jack Daniels

½ measure Chambord Liqueur

½ measure fresh Lime Juice

Dash Agave Nectar

1 measure cranberry juice

1 measure raspberry puree

Garnish:2 Raspberries and a Lime wedge.

Pink over ice. Perfect for those nights in with friends…

Method:

  1. Combine the whisky and other ingredients over ice and shake until ice forms on the outside of the shaker.
  2. Fill a highball glass with crushed ice and strain in the mixture.
  3. Garnish with the raspberries and lime wedge (use a skewer for the berries – it helps) and stick in two straws.

Combining a relatively sweet whisky with some lime juice and berries this drink creates a sweet-sour combination that really tingles on your tongue. The crushed ice both lengthens the drink and cools down the whisky.

“if you’re dreaming of that sparkly something that could take a long time in coming, then this is the drink for you. A divine mixture of raspberry puree, Jack Daniels and lime juice – it could be a long night” – Pink Drinks; Hamlyn books.

The best thing about this drink is that by tweaking two of the ingredients you can change the ‘girly’ pink hue of the drink whilst keeping the basic idea of the drink whole. Instead of using the raspberry ingredients try using a collection of darker berries:

–          Replace the Chambord with Crème de Mure (Blackberry Liqueur)

–          Replace the Raspberry Puree with a Blackberry & Blueberry puree.

–          Replace the Cranberry Juice with Pomegranate & Blueberry Juice.

This will result in both a darker shade of red, a deeper flavour thanks to the summer berries and a drink the men in your group will not mind (as much) being seen holding. Failing that just make them some whisky sours with the left over Jack Daniels…

Using Blackberries will darken the drink making it less girly; for all you blokes out there…

So there you have it, no excuses male or female, shake a few of these up for you and your friends and chill out with a good film or even a pizza.

Cocktails O’ Clock: Negroni

Reacting to a classic italian cocktail…

Image
Courtesy of badassdigest.com

The Negroni, in cocktail terms, is ancient. It is one of the pillars of the cocktail world, along with the Manhattan and the old fashioned…

A staple on the menus of most cocktail bars, the Negroni works well on several levels, from the floral Gin to the sweet vermouth and the bitter Campari, this drink blends all of the individual elements together into a tasty little glass.

Recipe:

1 measure Campari

1 measure Sweet Vermouth

1 measure Gin

Orange Zest

Method:

–          Build the ingredients in a rocks glass filled with ice.

–          Garnish with a twist of Orange zest and stir well.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: to make this drink drier, try using a splash more of gin, or even substituting the sweet vermouth for dry/extra dry vermouth.

This cocktail is a classic and you should all know how to make one for your friends, especially if you’re having a cocktail party anytime soon. This is a drink is one of the rare drinks that I think are better left short and sweet. Given my preference to longer drinks I did find it a little strange to begin with, but the strength this drink provides is matched by the flavour combination.

The Negroni can be dated back to around 1910 (if you believe the stories) and was apparently used to strengthen another cocktail; the Americano. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous then why not join the trend of using the Negroni as a base, and use these rules:

Base Spirit (your preference) + Bitters + Vermouth (your preference) = Your Negroni.

Various versions of these Negronis can be found HERE. Otherwise check out these 3 rather different versions…

Tequila Negroni

Recipe:

1 measure Reposado Tequila

1 measure Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth

1 measure Aperol

A mexican style earthy-tasting version of a classic italian cocktail: The Tequila Negroni.

Method:

–          Stir over ice for 20 seconds.

–          Pour over ice in a rocks glass and enjoy.

–          Use a Lime twist should you want a fruity kick.

The use of Aperol means this drink is a little less bitter than when using Campari, but it works well and the tequila adds a real earthy taste to this version.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: As always, you should only use 100% Agave Tequila, and my preferred brand at the moment is Aqua Riva, but any 100% Agave Reposado Tequila will suffice.

Negroni Sbagliato (Wrong Negroni)

Recipe:

1 measure Campari

1 measure Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth

1 measure Spumante/Prosecco (Sparkling wine)

Sparkling and refreshing this ‘Wrong Negroni’ cocktail will help lift your spirits…

Method:

–          Build over ice and stir the first 2 ingredients.

–          Pour in the sparkling wine and then garnish with an orange twist (expel the oils over the drink before dropping it in).

This version of the Negroni keeps to its traditional Italian theme, using a Prosecco or Spumante sparkling wine. This way the tradition is still there, only this drink is a little lighter, allowing for a more refreshing longer drink-feel.

Cucumber Negroni

Recipe:

1 measure Cucumber infused Vodka

1 measure Campari

1 measure Sweet Vermouth

Sweet, Crisp and refreshing, what could be better than that?

Method:

–          Stir all the ingredients over ice and pour over ice into a rocks glass.

–          Drop in an expelled lemon zest twist and serve with a straw.

This version simply swaps the cucumber Vodka in for the gin. The cucumber flavour adds a little flavour where the removal of the gin would leave a hole and supplies a nice crisp taste to the bitter and sweet of the Campari & Vermouth.

Links:

11 Awesome Negronis

Imbibe Negroni Special

The Hooch Life