Tag Archives: cointreau

Dia De Los Muertos – A Mexican Celebration

Tequila is, undoubtedly, the spirit of Mexico. Tequila’s sophisticated and continuously increasing quality is the result of blending native agricultural techniques and modern technology, all held together with tradition.

Being Mexican, this traditional backbone inevitably includes one of the most spiritual celebrations in the human world: Dia De Los Muertos.

Dia De Los Muertos, or the day of the dead (DOTD), is a celebration that grips the entirety of Mexico on the 1st & 2nd of November. To pay homage to this spiritual celebration I’ve gathered three of the best 100% agave tequilas available to me here in the UK.

 

day-of-the-dead-204541_960_720.jpg
Dia De Los Muertos is tradition across Mexico!

 

Taking one cocktail from each brands’ website, I will recreate them, aiming to not only showcase brand used but to really help you get a traditional Mexican celebration going this Dia De Los Muertos.

But, before we delve into the recipes, let’s take a little look a what Dia De Los Muertos is, and why it is so widely celebrated across the country Tequila calls home…

Whilst predominantly celebrated in the central and southern regions of Mexico, DOTD has spread to most of the northern regions as well, no small part due to the Mexican Government declaring it a national holiday.

DOTD takes place on the 1st & 2nd November every year and even though this coincides with the catholic holidays of All Souls and All Saints day, the Mexican population has managed to blend both religion and tradition together, culminating in this very spiritual event.

DOTD rests on the belief that, for the 1st of November, the spirits of deceased children will be allowed passage to Earth, from heaven. During this 24hr period, the children return to their loved ones and enjoy the festivities laid out for them by their friends and families.

On the 2nd of November, adult spirits also return down to their loved ones, enjoying the singing, dancing, and other festivities laid out especially for them.

Almost all houses will contain a homemade altar decorated with marigold flowers, candles, sugar skulls, and pictures of the deceased loved one(s) along with their favourite food and drink. This is all done by the deceased’s families and friends and can come at a great personal expense. But, as this holiday is all about celebrating the lives of their loved ones, the economic cost is not a driving factor – it just serves as an example of how important to the Mexican people this tradition is.

On the 2nd, festivities are taken to the cemeteries and there the individuals will sing, dance, and care for their loved ones’ gravestones. Stories are told of their loved ones and families, friends, and others, all gather to celebrate the lives of their deceased.

Dia De Los Muertos is an upbeat celebration that captures the spirit of joy and ultimately shows a true acceptance of death in everyday life. This tradition celebrates the life of the deceased rather than simply mourning the dead.

Dia De Los Muertos is such a celebration that tequila brands jump at the chance to share it with the world. Of course, it acts as a great selling point for their brands but, ultimately, they also share this celebration with the world.

Simply put, Tequila brands make Mexico’s most famous alcoholic beverage and they make it in the traditional way. Part of this tradition is celebrating Dia De Los Muertos. That is why most tequila brands (especially the 100% agave ones) will really kick things up a notch around the end of October…

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for, the 3 gloriously delicious Dia De Los Muertos cocktails…

Patron – Fresas En Fuego

20161029_140226

Recipe:

(45ml) 3 measures Patron Silver

(15ml) 1 measure Ginger Liqueur

(15ml) 1 measure Fresh Lime Juice

(15ml) 1 measure Sugar Syrup

4 x Hulled Strawberries

2 x Jalapeno coins (slices)

Garnish: Strawberry & Jalapeno Skewer.

Method:

  • In a shaker, muddle the strawberries, jalapeno coins, and sugar syrup.
  • Add the tequila, ginger liqueur, and lime juice.
  • Shake well over ice.
  • Double strain into a chilled coupe cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with the strawberry & jalapeno skewer.

Patron Tequila is as beautifully crafted as they come. It is a premium brand in that it does cost a small fortune to sample some of their high-end products but, as with all alcohol brands, you pay for what you get. All their products are handmade, from Pina to Cork, and this is evident in the high quality taste their products are renown for.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: If you love spice in your cocktail, try infusing your Patron Silver tequila with some sliced Jalapenos.

Herradura – Agave Seco

20161029_141852

Recipe:

1 measure Herradura Silver Tequila

1 ¼ measure Cointreau

½ measure Campari

1 measure Fresh Orange Juice

1 measure Fresh Grapefruit Juice

Garnish: 1-2 slices Kiwi, 1-2 slices strawberries, and 1 sprig Mint.

Method:

  • Add the tequila, Cointreau, Campari, and juices to an ice-filled shaker.
  • Shake well (10-15 seconds should do it)
  • Strain into a chilled rocks glass.
  • Garnish with the kiwi, strawberries, and mint sprig.

Herradura produce 100% agave tequila and they pride themselves on slowly aged uncompromising tequila. They barrel age their Tequila longer than the standard required and the quality of their products show through. I had the pleasure of sampling their range at Imbibe Live 2016 and believe me, they are sublime in their quality.

 

Ocho – El Diablo

20161029_144047

Recipe:

50ml  Ocho Blanco

25ml Fresh Lime Juice

10ml Fresh Ginger Syrup

10ml Creme De Cassis

Top Up Ginger Ale

Garnish: 2 x Lime wedges

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients over ice and shake well (again, 10-15 seconds should suffice).
  • Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge. Or two.

The El Diablo Is a cocktail I’ve been excited about for a long time. It’s simple, yet tremendously satisfying to drink. Its balance of heat and sweet is sublime and it brings out the playfulness of the tequila!

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: If you want a higher hit of heat to this drink, muddle some fresh root ginger in the bottom of the glass with the lime juice. It will add a little raw heat to the overall taste!

So there you have 3 stunning cocktails, using 3 rather eloquent 100% agave tequilas, and what’s more, they’ll all help you kick off your Dia De Los Muertos celebrations with a bang!

Do you have any parties planned for this spooky weekend? Try turning them into a celebration and revel in the spiritual togetherness Dia De Los Muertos stands for!

Disclaimer: the Herradura Tequila was provided as a sample by the grace of Mangrove, a drinks distributor here in the UK. The sample was free, but that in no way biases y statements. Any comments made in this post (or any other) is strictly of my own opinion and will always be so.

Are you a celebrator of the spiritual Dia De Los Muertos? If so, what is your cocktail of choice, if you choose to drink one?

If you enjoy your tequila in other ways this time of year, why not share them in the comments?

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.


Image
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

Image
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.

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.

Theme of the Month: Marvel – They have a Hulk!!!

This month’s theme: An Introduction…

Theme of the Month: What a Marvel Idea…

The idea behind this new theme system is that it should allow me to write more posts more often. Recent months, for one reason or another, have not been good for my writing. So to help me write, as well as schedule, posts better I’ve decided to restrict myself to a certain theme every month. This means every month you’ll get a post (like this one) that introduces the theme, as well as giving you decent selection of themed cocktails. You’ll also get another 3 or 4 posts spread over the month also themed to that particular topic. Using this month’s theme: Marvel Superheroes as an example; you can expect another 3 or 4 posts showcasing cocktail recipes themed towards a particular Marvel superhero. Depending on the theme, you may also get a few other themed posts about spirits or events. If, for example, the theme is pirates you could be forgiven for thinking a rum brand might get a little piece during that particular month.

Please understand that whilst 90% of the posts from now on will show a connection to that particular month’s theme, I will still continue to post about relevant events, spirit brands and other interesting things I come across.

marvel

Why superheroes? Why marvel?

I love cocktails, but I also love superheroes, and I’ve been a child of Marvel from the very beginning of my comic-hood (the first comic I ever read was Spiderman).

So to kick off this whole theme idea I thought starting with superheroes would be perfect. With the recent blockbuster success of Avengers: Age Of Ultron meaning Marvel have kept up their consistent strength-to-strength success of their avengers world films (films like Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and the soon to be released Ant  Man), I thought it would be a fitting tribute if I gathered up some great Marvel superhero themed drinks; perfect for those silly fancy dress parties or just a good old geeky Marvel film-a-thon. What’s more, these cocktails are all pretty simple to make, all you need is the ingredients.

As a pre-curser to these cocktails please note:

  • Most of ingredients for these cocktails can be found at your local supermarket or corner shop.
  • However some of the harder to find ingredients, like the Viniq or flavoured vodkas, can be found online through various merchants. I’ll leave a few links at the end of the post for those interested in having a look around some of the better sites (please be aware this is only really worth it for UK readers as the sites are UK based).

So let’s begin with some of the cast from one the biggest films of the year: The Avengers: Age of Ultron…

Age of Ultron

  1. The Hulk (From the Tipsy Bartender)
Taken from the Tipsy Bartender, this cocktail packs a delightful, yet refreshing punch...
Taken from the Tipsy Bartender, this cocktail packs a delightful, yet refreshing punch…

Recipe:

1 measure Viniq Vodka Liqueur

½ measure Grape Vodka

½ measure plain Vodka

½ measure Blue Curacao

1 measure Orange Juice

Splash Sprite (Lemon & Lime Soda)

Garnish: Black sugar rim

Method:

Purple Half

  • Fill a blender with cubed ice.
  • Add in the Viniq Liqueur, Grape Vodka & Sprite.
  • Blitz until the mixture is the texture of a slushy.

Green Half

  • Fill a blender with cubed ice.
  • Add in the plain vodka, blue curacao & Orange juice.
  • Blitz until the mixture is the texture of a slushy.

Garnish

  • Combine some granulated sugar with black food colouring and pile onto a plate.

Main Drink

  • Rim a tumbler glass with the black sugar.
  • Fill the tumbler half way with the purple slush.
  • Then top up with the green slush.
  • Garnish with the black sugar rim.

This cocktail is probably the most time intensiveCheck out the Tipsy Bartender for more great cocktails like this Hulk themed one.

  1. Iron Man
This Iron Man cocktail is a gold/red/blue combination inspired by the superhero's armour.
This Iron Man cocktail is a gold/red/blue combination inspired by the superhero’s armour.

Recipe:

1 measure Grenadine

1 measure Drambuie

2 measures Orange Juice

1 measure Scotch whisky

Method:

  • Build/layer the ingredients, in order, over ice in a tall Collins glass.
  • Serve with a glowing ice cube if you have one, use two straws either way…
  1. Thor – Shooter
Dropping the shot into a glass is a little like Mjolnir hitting the ground. It will hit hard and fast, but there's something strangely beautiful about it all...
Dropping the shot into a glass is a little like Mjolnir hitting the ground. It will hit hard and fast, but there’s something strangely beautiful about it all…

Recipe:

½ measure Whisky

1 measure Rum

1 measure Vodka

2 measures Orange Juice

Method:

  • Stir together the Whisky, Vodka & Rum.
  • Strain into a shot glass and set aside.
  • Pour a glass of orange juice and top it with soda.
  • Serve by dropping the shot glass in the glass of orange juice and enjoy…

Like the immovable Mjolnir itself, this cocktail will thump you like a hammer and then make sure you don’t remember it afterwards. Try sharing this serve with several of your friends, that way no one will think less of you, I promise!

  1. Black Widow
This cocktail, shown here with the bells and whistles, is the only hot cocktail in this post...
This cocktail, shown here with the bells and whistles, is the only hot cocktail in this post…

Recipe:

1 measure Kahlua

1 measure Vodka

2 shots espresso

Method:

  • Combine in a glass and stir in.
  • Serve Hot.

The only hot cocktail on this list, the Black Widow tastes amazing but let it and it will make you wish you’d never heard of it…

  1. Hawkeye – Purple Rain
Shown here as a shorter martini version, the Purple rain cocktail has been a classic across 100's of bars for the last few years...
Shown here as a shorter martini version, the Purple rain cocktail has been a classic across 100’s of bars for the last few years…

Recipe:

1.5 measures Vodka

1.5 measures Blue Curacao

3 measures Cranberry Juice

Top up Soda Water (Optional)

Method:

  • Build the ingredients over ice in a tall glass.
  • Top up with Soda water and serve with a straw.
  1. Captain America – Frappé
This cocktail is a primarily a shot. But follow the frappe method and you'll end up with something a little like this...
This cocktail is a primarily a shot. But follow the frappe method and you’ll end up with something a little like this…

Recipe:

1 measure Grenadine

1 measure Crème De Cacao

1 measure Blue Curacao

Method:

  • Layer the ingredients into a fancy shot glass in the order written above. Handy tip: Use the back of a spoon to slow the liquid down and allow it to settle on top of the previous liquid.

Frappé Method:

  • Fill a tall collins glass 1/3 of the way full with crushed ice and add in the Grenadine.
  • Now fill it another 1/3 with crushed ice and then add the Crème De Cacao.
  • Finally fill to the brim with the crushed ice and then top with the Blue Curacao.

This layered shot is stronger than most cocktails on this list, but not only is it fitting for the theme but it also shows off all that was great about the great Captain America: The United States of America, via their flag of course…

  1. Quicksilver – Kamikaze, Shooter
Sure, it doesnt look like much. But the Kamikaze shooter is some what of a legend around the circuit... Powerful, potent but highly refreshing...
Sure, it doesnt look like much. But the Kamikaze shooter is some what of a legend around the circuit… Powerful, potent but highly refreshing…

Recipe:

1.5 measures Vodka

0.75 measures Triple Sec

0.75 measures Lime Juice

Method:

  • Combine all 3 ingredients in a cocktail shaker and add ice.
  • Shake well, for around 10-15 seconds, and then strain into a fancy shot glass.
  • Serve with a slice of lime for a real kicker.

This cocktail is not so much a themed cocktail as it is a fitting cocktail. SPOILERS.

This suits Quicksilver’s character to a tee. Short, fast and it sure does pack a punch when it hits you. Share these out as they taste surprisingly great for a shooter.

Moving forward…

Keep an eye out over the next 3-4 weeks for more marvel superhero themed cocktails right here, on this blog!

This month’s theme is perfect for summer evenings with your mates because the cocktails are bound to be fun, bold and simply delicious!!!

So, regardless of whether you’re a DC or Marvel, suit up and be ready for anything. Enjoy the cocktails, have fun, but most importantly drink responsibly!

Links:

Tipsy Bartender: Youtube

TheDrinkShop: Website

Urban Drinks : Website

Viniq Vodka Liqueur: Official Website

Marvel: Official Website

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!

The Long Way Around: Homemade syrup and a cocktail to boot!

So I just got paid, and I promised myself that I’d spend around £10-£20 on some quality fresh ingredients for some lovely little infused simple syrups; you know fresh rhubarb, quality oranges, some ripe figs etc…

Whether they’re used in cocktails or simply as an ice-cream topper is up to the consumer but I started with something I’ve been wanting to recreate for a long time…

The Grapefruit Simple Syrup

Recipe:

100g granulated sugar

100ml water

2 tbsp finely grated red-grapefruit zest

Method:

  • Combine the zest and sugar in a bowl and mix vigorously.
  • Combine with water in a tall sided saucepan.
  • Simmer on a medium-low heat for around 10 minutes, stirring well the entire time.
  • After around 10 minutes the sugar should have dissolved. If not leave for another 5 minutes.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, turn down to a low heat and leave to thicken a little.
  • Once thickened, remove from the heat and pour into a metal bowl. Cover and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes. Go away and enjoy a nice episode of your favourite TV show.
  • Once cooled, fine strain (using a muslin cloth if possible) the mixture to remove the grapefruit zest.
  • Funnel the liquid into the required amount of sterilised stopper bottles (see the picture above for the bottles I used).
  • Label and store in the fridge. If this is done right, it will keep for 1-3 weeks, although you should use it within 3-5 days after first opening. Tip: split high volumes up into smaller amounts so you don’t have to throw a lot away.

This syrup is a little bitter, but bursting with flavour. It really packs a grapefruit kick and is lovely on a dessert (ice-cream, rice pudding etc…), breakfast (porridge anyone?) and of course beverages including cocktails!!!

Here’s the reason I made this syrup in the first place; my long way around Paloma…

Long Way Around: Paloma

The Long Way Around Paloma... Tequila, with a twist...
The Long Way Around Paloma… Tequila, with a twist…

Recipe:

50ml Aqua Riva Reposado Tequila

25ml fresh grapefruit/orange juice

15ml Grapefruit infused simple syrup

Top up Soda Water

Method:

  • Build ingredients one by one in a tall, ice-filled, Collins glass.
  • Top up with the soda water and stir gently, to mix the ingredients.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge/slice and serve with a straw (or two).

For an added twist though why not try out a Cointreau Bomb: Using a mexican elbow; Squeeze the lime juice out of a lime half and then turn the lime the other way around and press the elbow together again. Tie the elbow and leave while you prepare the drink. Once the drink has been prepared the fun begins. Sit the now ‘hollowed-out’ lime half on top of your drink and fill with Cointreau.

Just before drinking push the lime half under and then enjoy…

Ingredients, Left to Right: Lime Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Aqua Riva Tequila, Cointreau, Soda Water, Fresh Grapefruit & Grapefruit infused Syrup.
Ingredients, Left to Right: Lime Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Aqua Riva Tequila, Cointreau, Soda Water, Fresh Grapefruit & Grapefruit infused Syrup.

This ‘long-way-around’ version of a great tequila cocktail is a little more bitter than it’s more simple cousin but it’s also got a greater depth in flavour and allows the drink to come across a little fresher.

I also think that creating a drink like this also adds the sophistication that using canned grapefruit soda removes. A classy little cocktail made In a loving, yet sophisticated way.

Not to mention the self-satisfaction you’ll get from creating your own infused simple syrup!

Give both of these recipes a go and let me know what you think, if you’re feeling a like a party try comparing this version of the Paloma to one made with grapefruit soda and see which you prefer…

Offers on Alcohol: Calvados special…

Offers on Alcohol everywhere: You just need to know where to look…

Alcohol is getting more and more expensive, no better example than sharp increases that are showcased by Angostura Bitters & Cointreau, especially over the last 3 or so years. It’s averaged that the price of alcohol per unit has risen by 6.5% in comparison to last years’ prices (3.5% more than the 3% inflation rate). This information is taken from the WSTA an organisation for the wine and spirits industry here in the UK.

Image
Although the average price of alcohol has continuously risen, there has also been an increase in variety, especially in the Vodka & Rum categories over the same period…

Roll back a few years and you could buy a 70cl (700ml) bottle of Cointreau for around £14.99. That might sound like a bargain in today’s money (and it is) but you would expect a small increase. However what you really get is the fact that any bottle of Cointreau in a supermarket you try and buy will now be around £17-£20 at full price, and what’s worse is that the bottle will only be a 50cl (500ml) one! Not to mention Angostura Bitters have double in price over the last 12 months (although that’s a HMRC issue, not the company Angostura itself).

But where can you get good products at a cheaper price?

Basically anywhere that sells the things you want… I work at a supermarket and can tell you that offers are periodical, usually on 2-4 week rotations (depending on the products). Alcohol in particular is a range highly discounted on a regular basis. Whether you prefer the cocktail spirits, beer or wine there will always be a way of saving, as long as you don’t mind changing your choice every month…

Let’s use my shopping habits for example: I love rum, it’s as simple as that. I am willing to purchase and try any rum, as that’s the only real way to find the ideal style/product that suits me (or you).

The best way for me to do this, and spend as little as possible, was to only buy the rum on offer (there’s always rum on offer). This could be any rum, and is also part of the allure, but mainly the bigger brands (such as Havana Club, Mount Gay & Bacardi). So as you can see you can, sometimes, get a proper bargain.

The savings can be anything from £1-£10 depending on the product and time of year. So again I reiterate the importance to looking for a good deal where you can.

Image
Alcohol is always on offer, you just need to know where to look for the best savings…

Anyway moving on to the main point of this post; saving money on Alcohol.

The Drink Shop is a favourite online source of mine and along with the Whisky Exchange they offer several products at a discount price (like you’d expect a supermarket would). So here below are some links, allowing you to take full advantage of these offers, after all why pay full price when you don’t have to?

This weeks special offer on the Drink Shop is Calvados, which coinsides with National Calvados Week. Calvados, in simple terms, is an Apple Brandy made in the French region of Lower Normandy. Dating back to 1554, apple based distillation is an ancient tradition and can result in a wonderful spirit perfect for drinking straight, cooking with, or – you guessed it – cocktails!

The one thing key to saving money is not to be set in your ways. If you go looking for a particular brand of spiced rum but find it’s out of your price range, then look at other brands of spiced rum and find one that is. This method is compounded by you shopping around; if you’re lucky you’ll find the product you want cheaper somewhere else…  

Good luck and I hope these links serve you well:

DrinkShop: Calvados offer (for national calvados week)

DrinkShop: Wine offers

DrinkShop: Spirits offers 

DrinkShop: Beer offers

Whisky Exchange: Sale Items

Image
Picture courtesy of: http://www.DIYLOL.com