Tag Archives: cognac

10 COCKTAILS YOU SHOULD BE DRINKING THIS SUMMER… PART 2, 6-10

Carrying on from last weeks Summer themed post, this post supplies you with 5 more delicious summer themed (and inspired) cocktails… Whilst they are all based on a different liqueur or spirit they are all refreshing, relatively simple and perfect for BBQ’s or Beaches. Whatever your fancy…

Recipe #6: Midori – Midori La Pomme

20ml Midori

30ml Cognac (Brandy)

15ml Lemon Juice

Top up – Apple Cider

Garnish: Apple wedge

Method:

  • Fill a tall glass with ice cubes.
  • Build the ingredients as listed in the glass.
  • Stir well and serve with a straw and garnish with an apple wedge.

This is one of the stranger cocktails on the list, as it combines Midori, Cognac and Cider… Whilst most people would assume Calvados would be a better fit, I find it to be too sickly combined with the Midori & apple cider. Using Cognac helped balance the cocktail and results in a crisper more refreshing cocktail…

Recipe #7: Cointreau – Cointreau Fizz

50ml Cointreau

25ml Lime Juice

Top up Club Soda

Method:

  • Fill a glass with ice and squeeze in (and drop in) 4 lime wedges.
  • Pour in the Cointreau and stir very gently so as to mix the ingredients with the ice.
  • Top with the Club Soda and garnish with a wheel of lime and a straw.

This cocktail is a new classic just waiting for the official nod. This became Cointreau’s signiture cocktail a few years back when they wanted to show off how versatile their spirit was, and that you could use it as a standalone spirit. “Much more than just a Triple Sec…”

As simple as can be, it just uses 3 ingredients, this cocktail delivers a crisp slice of summer in a glass. Whilst this particular blend might not seem very adventurous, check out the following link to see what other tweaks on this base cocktail Cointreau have created (I particularly like the Cucumber & Mint version)…

Cointreau Fizz Variations

Recipe #8: Whisky – Hard Water Presbyterian

This cocktail is a tweaked recipe from the Presbyterian, a classic whisky cocktails...
This cocktail is a tweaked recipe from the Presbyterian, a classic whisky cocktails…

2 measures scotch whisky

¾ measures Lemon Juice

½ measure ginger syrup

2 measures Club Soda

Method:

  • Fill a Collins glass with ice cubes and add the club soda – leave to one side.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker.
  • Shake well for around 5-10 seconds* and then double strain into the tall glass.
  • Garnish with a piece of candied ginger on a skewer and serve with a straw.

Recipe #9: Southern Comfort –Blackout Special

A Southern Comfort special, this cocktail is perfect for long summer evenings and keeping you sane during a genuine blackout...
A Southern Comfort special, this cocktail is perfect for long summer evenings and keeping you sane during a genuine blackout…

50ml Southern Comfort

12.5ml Fresh Lime Juice

25ml Sprite/7up

25ml Cranberry Juice

Method:

  • Build in a tall glass over ice, start with the SoCo.
  • Then add in the lime, Sprite and cranberry juice.
  • Garnish with a sprig of cranberries and a wedge of lime.

This refreshing cocktail is a little simpler than most, but it has that refreshing fizz to it that also has a little sugary hit. The Blackout Special is perfect for those long summer evenings and BBQ’s with neighbours.  Hell it’s even a fitting perk up if a blackout actually hits…

Recipe #10: Passoa – Passoa Rosa Fizz

This Passionfruit based cocktail is a perfect refresher for BBQ's and summer parties in the city.
This Passionfruit based cocktail is a perfect refresher for BBQ’s and summer parties in the city.

50ml Passoa

100ml Grapefruit Juice

Top up club soda

Method:

  • Combine the first 2 ingredients one at a time over ice in a tall glass.
  • Top up with the soda and garnish with a passionfruit husk float*.

This is another build-it-yourself cocktail and that means it’s brilliant for gatherings. You can make them in bulk and relatively quickly so it’s a perfect drink for BBQ’s, Parties etc… However if this drink is your own and you want to make it a little more special why not turn the garnish into a ‘bomb’ float?

Simply fill half a passionfruit husk with Triple Sec, or another similar liqueur (to be fair most liqueurs work here) and sink it just before drinking…

So there you go! 10 fabulous cocktails for your summer Party/BBQ/Evening… What’s more why don’t you try infusing some Vodka and try out a few tweaks on these classic recipes:

Vodka Summer Cocktails

Please remember to drink responsibly as you’ll want to be sober enough to try the cocktails on the next post!

Cognac… In a cocktail?!

So the title of this post may confuse some, after all Cognac is a common spirit used in cocktails. However it’s not a spirit I usually meddle with when creating cocktails, mainly because it’s not my favourite, although its slightly higher price tag (for a decent quality bottle anyway) is always a turn off.

So it was a refreshing surprise to see that the March Shaken Cocktails box came with a cognac theme! It meant that I had to use it to create, at least, the two cocktails in the booklet…

The box, as plain – yet slightly alluring, as always came with the main spirit: Cognac, a couple of minor spirits: Triple Sec & Kings Ginger Liqueur (41 %!!!) and then followed up with a couple of syrups: Cinnamon Syrup & plain sugar syrup. Whilst I had to go out and buy the fresh apple juice and fresh lemons*, creating of the drinks was simple yet fulfilling…

As always the two cocktails were different enough as offer a strong, short cocktail as well as a longer, more refreshing (and lighter) cocktail for those, like me, who like their alcohol a little more mixed in

I created both cocktails to the specifications sent with the box, before tweaking the recipes to my taste as and where needed. The stronger cocktail was, as thought, strong and quite hard to finish for someone of my persuasion.

The long cocktail, however, was near perfection, and the recipe helped blend the ingredients perfectly. Although I feel Cinnamon is a flavour that should rarely roam outside of autumn or winter, the longer cocktail is perfect for mild spring-time evenings out in the garden.

Every time a box turns up I get all giddy, I just love making cocktails, and better yet I love making new cocktails. There are only so many times you can make a mean Daiquiri before it gets a little old.

So every time one turns up the box is destroyed (then recycled) and the bottles are fawned over until I calm down and read the booklet… I’ve included the recipes, along with a little picture of each drink…

The recipes:

#1: Sidecar

Blending Cognac, Triple Sec & Lemon Juice perfectly: The Sidecar Cocktail...
Blending Cognac, Triple Sec & Lemon Juice perfectly: The Sidecar Cocktail…

Recipe:

40ml Merlet Brothers Blend Cognac

30ml Merlet Brothers Triple Sec

15ml fresh Lemon Juice

5ml sugar syrup

Method:

  • First rim a fancy cocktail glass with sugar, use lemon juice as an adhesive.
  • Shake for 20-30 seconds with ice, or until the shaker ices over.
  • Strain into the rimmed cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

This cocktail is based on a classic Sidecar with a few little tweaks. The original is a 3 ingredient special: A strong spirit, sweeter spirit & fruit juice [Cognac, Triple Sec & Lemon Juice]. Shaken say the taste of the original is a little sour, and they’re not wrong. Personally I like the original but I also love tweaking recipes so this version is right up my street.

Whilst I’m not usually a fan of strong cocktails the Sidecar, like the Daiquiri, is a strong, yet refreshing cocktail and therefore a little easier on your mouth.

Whilst I love tweaking cocktails, this recipe is pretty good and there was not much I could do with the other ingredients I currently have, so no tweaking here.

#2: Covet

This cocktail is perfect for what I like to call porch time: When it's a nice evening and you can just chill-out with a nice cocktail in your hands...
This cocktail is perfect for what I like to call porch time: When it’s a nice evening and you can just chill-out with a nice cocktail in your hands…

Recipe:

40ml Merlet Brothers Blend Cognac

15ml Kings Ginger Liqueur

15ml Cinnamon Sugar Syrup

20ml Fresh Lemon Juice

30ml Cloudy Apple Juice

Optional: Top up with Soda Water

Method:

  • Chill a tall glass in your freezer and fill a shaker half way with ice.
  • Combine all the ingredients in the shaker and shake well, for around 30 seconds (or until the shaker ices over).
  • Fill your tall glass ¾ full with cubed ice.
  • Strain your drink into the glass and garnish with a twist of lemon and a couple of straws.

This cocktail is perfect for a summers evening, and even better for the spring. Spring time is famous for trees flowering their blossoms, birds singing glorious songs and the weather, whilst unpredictable (here in the UK at least), is just starting to warm and if you luck out you might just get some porch time. This cocktail will be perfect for that porch time. It’s long, so it’s not too strong. It’s also going to keep cold enough to sip thoughtfully, as well as drink quickly. Its flavours are surprisingly fit for spring, despite the cinnamon being more of an autumn/winter spice.

Overall it’s a very good cocktail, that whilst I tweaked mine by adding some soda water (just to lengthen it a little), it’s got a bit of a kick to it without the soda so if that’s how you prefer your drink, leave it out.

These cocktails are a great addition to my repertoire and a wonderful selection by the guys and gals over at Shaken Cocktails. I’ll be enjoying a few more drinks using that Ginger liqueur too, at least until the next box turns up later this week!!!

Until then, enjoy the recipes and tweak away!

Valentines Day Cocktails – A gift from the Fervent Shaker

Valentine Day

Spirits, as any good bartender knows, are the door to many a persons’ heart (buy me a bottle of rum and you’ll have a friend for life), come in many shapes and sizes and nowadays flavours. There is a lot of choice out there and even more so these days, the choice can be very difficult for those not up to date with the ‘in’ product. For instance do you know the best types of Dark rum to buy for your dark ‘n’ stormy? Or whether Smirnoff is the best UK vodka? (Hint: it’s not even from the UK).

Well the idea behind these valentines inspired cocktails is that they use spirits (as well as other ingredients) that can all be easily found in your local supermarkets (UK readers) or liquor stores (USA & other worldly destinations)…

So here we have 6 cocktails: 1 for each of the big 6 spirits: Whisky, Rum, Vodka, Tequila, Cognac & Gin. As I stated above; all the ingredients used can be easily sourced and in short notice too. So without delay let’s get started, with this wonderful Vodka cocktail:

Vodka Valentine: The Pomegranate Martini

Lustful and Red, this 'Martini' might not be classic, but it sure is classy...
Lustful and Red, this ‘Martini’ might not be classic, but it sure is classy…

Recipe:

1 measure Vodka

½ measure Cointreau*

3 measures POM Pomegranate Juice

Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake well (around 5-10 seconds – just enough time for the shaker to ice over).
  • Strain mixture into a well-chilled martini cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with an orange/lime peel.

This cocktail is a lovely little drink similar in hue (and length) as a cosmopolitan. It’s a girly favourite and that should make it a shoe in for any of you guys trying to impress a lady on a night in (or order them on a night out – always a winner).

*if you’re not a fan of the wonderfully sweet Cointreau Liqueur then you can always replace it with the same measurement of orange or lime juice. Equally if you want alcohol but want a less-sweet liqueur then try replacing it with Orange Curacao.

Rum Valentine: Cranberry Kiss

Simple and extremely effective; This rum cocktail is perfect for stargazers and long movies...
Simple and extremely effective; This rum cocktail is perfect for stargazers and long movies…

Recipe:

1 measure Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum

2 measures Sour Mix*

2 measures Cranberry Juice

1 wedge of lemon

Method:

  • Build the ingredients over ice in a Collins glass and stir well as you do so (you can mix this drink but it’s best built).
  • Drop in a lemon wedge and stir gently. Serve with a straw.

This is a lovely long-ish cocktail with a slightly sweeter-than-normal taste. Great for chilling out on a long night out (or in) especially if you need a slight pick-me-up, this cocktail is definitely perfect for intimate evenings with loved ones and will go down a treat.

*Sour mix is a fancy term for lemon & lime flavoured sugar syrup. It can be made by following the usual sugar syrup method and adding lemon & lime juice to the mix. Click on the Sour Mix in the recipe for the sour mix recipe itself. Again – all the ingredients can be found in your local shop(s).

Tequila Valentine: Phoenix Rising

Not for the faint of heart, this cocktail packs a hell of a kick, but a flavour profile to match: Perfect for Tequila lovers and for something a bit different...
Not for the faint of heart, this cocktail packs a hell of a kick, but a flavour profile to match: Perfect for Tequila lovers and for something a bit different…

Recipe:

2 measures Blanco Tequila (100% Agave)

4 measures Fresh Orange Juice*

1 measure Agave Nectar

1 splash (5ml) Lime Juice

5-6 fresh pitted cherries**

Method:

  • Muddle the cherries with a splash of lime juice and leave to one side.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake well (for around 5-10 seconds – or until the shaker ices-over).
  • Strain into an ice filled rocks glass and drop in the cherries for a garnish.
  • Serve with a straw, or straight if preferred.

This cocktail is what Valentines is all about: Sharing something special with someone special. Sure it’s only for tequila lovers as the tequila really shines through, but this cocktail, prepared correctly is a fantastic combination of flavour and kick.

*You can use juice from a carton but the fresher the better: Long Life Carton < Chilled Carton < Fresh Squeezed. Hint: The middle option, whilst not the freshest is the best value without losing too much quality. Especially if you choose a nice brand or supermarket top brand e.g. Sainsbury’s TTD or Tesco’s Finest.

**The cherries, if muddled just right, will release their burgundy coloured juice and tint the cocktail a nice reddish hue that dances about your glass with every sip. It also adds a slight fragrance to the drink enticing you in…

Gin Valentine:  Lady Killer

This elegant cocktail oozes class and will help you charm her back for a second date.
This elegant cocktail oozes class and will help you charm her back for a second date.

Recipe:

1 measure Hendricks Dry Gin

½ measure Cointreau/Triple Sec

½ measure Apricot Brandy*

2 measures Passion fruit Juice**

2 measures Pineapple Juice***

Method:

  • Combine all of the ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker.
  • Shake well (5-10 seconds or until the shaker ices over).
  • Strain into a champagne flute half filled with crushed ice.
  • Garnish with a cherry on a long skewer & serve with a straw.

*Apricot Brandy is an apricot flavoured liqueur and the most common brands (at least here in the UK) are: De Kuyper & Bols (surprise, surprise they’re both Dutch!).

** This can be found in long life cartons in the UK, as for the USA: you should be able to find it in a grocery store (failing that a large supermarket should sell what you need).

*** Whilst fresh pineapple juice is always better than pre-juiced products it is also extremely expensive. So go for the ‘not from concentrate’ pineapple juice available in almost all supermarkets (UK readers hint: use the supermarket own brand).

Cognac Valentine: Angel’s Shoulder

Class redefined... This unique little cocktail is perfect for showing off your flair and a risky move - but done right it's a sublime master-stroke.
Class redefined… This unique little cocktail is perfect for showing off your flair and a risky move – but done right it’s a sublime master-stroke.

Recipe:

1 ½ measures Cognac (V.S.O.P.)

¾ measure fresh lemon juice

½ measure rosemary simple syrup*

¼ measure Amaretto

¼ measure Crème de Peche (Peach Liqueur)**

¼ measure Benedictine

Red wine (Cotes Du Rhone)

Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients (except the red wine) in an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake well (around 5-10 seconds – or until the shaker ices over).
  • Strain into a rocks glass containing 1 large ice cube.
  • Then float the red wine on top of the drink (best done using the back of a bar spoon).

This cocktail has a bit too it, but if you practice it before hand; surprising your date with this rather classy drink is certain to get you some plus points. Use a bar-spoon (a teaspoon will suffice) to layer the red wine and look like a real pro! – Don’t know how to do this little trick? Worry not; click here and you’ll master the technique in no time at all!

Click here for a rosemary simple syrup recipe, and liven up your cocktails today!

** This is a peach liqueur and the most common brands are again the 2 big Dutch brands of Bols & De Kuyper. But failing that Archers peach liqueur is a very handy substitute.

Whisky Valentine: The Rob Roy

A Scottish classic if there ever was one; this cocktail is for the Scots out there. Have a Scottish date that loves whisky? Then order them one of these...
A Scottish classic if there ever was one; this cocktail is for the Scots out there. Have a Scottish date that loves whisky? Then order them one of these…

Recipe:

2 measures Blended Scotch

1 measure Vermouth

1 Dash of angostura bitters

Garnish: Lemon Peel Twist

Method:

  • Pour ingredients into a mixing glass full of cracked ice.
  • Stir well for around 30-60 seconds (stirring for longer helps chill the drink right down).
  • Strain into a well-chilled small rocks glass.
  • Garnish with the lemon peel twist and a cocktail cherry (optional).

This cocktail will be the focus of a whisky special coming soon, but for now it’s perfect for wooing those you truly care about. You may have to ask the drinker if they like whisky, but if they answer yes the chances are they’ll love this classic Scottish cocktail.

Top Tip: For the sharp eyed this cocktail will resemble a classic Manhattan cocktail almost exactly. Except the Rob Roy uses Scotch Whisky instead of American Rye whisky…

Another great offer from the drink shop… Brandy & Cognac…

Today i received another offer related email from my favourite alcohol seller:

http://www.thedrinkshop.com

Last time it was Tequila, this time its all about the Cognac’s and Brandies they have in stock… ‘Up to 20% off all brandies and cognacs’ says the email. Hip Hip Hooray says me.

Any of you tried out any cognac/brandy cocktails before? No me either, but now might be the best time to try them! Give this link a look and see if anything takes your fancy!

http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/productlist.php?catid=13#

An Honorary note;

When the webpage loads up, there will be a link to ‘spirits on offer’ to your right, check this out too, as there are some great bargains to be found… Whilst you wont find many half price bottles, the £2-£3 they do take off really helps you save a few pennies. Let’s face it, you’re prepared to pay the price if you really want it, but a few quid saved here and there is no bad thing! Here’s the link in case you miss it:

http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/productlist.php?grpid=414

Also keep an eye out for the general beers/wines on offer! Bargains, Bargains Bargains!

Keep mixing and enjoy responsibly!