Tag Archives: Fun Times

Cocktails O’ Clock: Inspired by…

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Texans – A friendly bunch…

TEXAS – Margarita

Sparkling Citrus Margaritas

Recipe: Serves 8

750ml (1 Bottle) Champagne

250ml Fresh Grapefruit Juice

250ml Cointreau

250ml Tequila

65g Caster Sugar

8 Lime wedges

Salt

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Method:

1)      Combine the grapefruit juice, Cointreau, tequila and sugar in a bowl, cover and leave in a fridge to cool down.

2)      Rim the glass with the salt (use lime juice as an adhesive), and add the tequila mixture to the glass.

3)      Top with the champagne and serve right away…

This cocktail is not only inspired by a Texan, it was created by one. Sweet Life is a site by a Texan Girl called Vianney Rodriguez and covers not only cocktails but food too. This Recipe is one I found randomly a few weeks ago and, after testing it out at home, it is extremely refreshing and moreish. I find it is best made using with good quality champagne, although if using Sparkling wine, a Prosecco or Demi-Sec should do the trick.

Should you wish to check out the original article or even a few of her other recipes (they’re really good by the way) then head on over to Sweet Life and enjoy yourself a little…

Disclaimer: All photos (as well as the recipe & method for that matter) are the work of Sweet Life; I’m just sharing it because it was pretty darn good!

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Cocktails O’ Clock: Wild Mexican Mule (Margarita)

It’s alive! ALIVE I TELL YOU!

OK, so that may be a little dramatic, but this cocktail came to me recently in a vision I can only describe as genius… Combining two great Tequila based drinks (the Tequila highball & Margarita) this cocktail creates a balanced Mexican themed cocktail with a crisp finish to it.

There are those out there who will be sick at the prospect of changing a margarita so much and still use the name, and to them I say only this: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it…

Recipe:

1.5m Tequila

1m Fresh Lime Juice

½ measure Cointreau

Top up Ginger Ale

2 barspoons Cherry Brandy

7 drops Angostura Bitters

Garnish: Fresh Cherry, lime wedge & sugar rimmed glass…

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Made by me, photographed by me, enjoyed by me… The Wild Mexican Mule…

Method:

1)      Using the lime wedge, wipe the rim of the glass and dip in sugar. Place the cherry on the rim (leave the stem on and have it lean away from the glass.

2)      Fill the glass with ice.

3)      In a shaker combine the tequila, lime and Cointreau.

4)      Shake well over ice and double strain into the glass.

5)      Top up with ginger ale.

6)      Garnish (finally) with the Angostura and cherry brandy.

The brandy should drift gently to the bottom of the glass, but should also pull the Angostura down with it, creating a cascading effect.  The sweetness in this drink comes from both the Cointreau and cherry brandy, but what really sets it apart is that it’s lengthened by the ginger ale, adding a slight spice to the drink, not to mention the Angostura weighing in with its trademark flavour.

This drink is a great little fusion that may not win all of you over but try it with your favourite brand of ginger ale and try different cherry liqueurs (or even take out the cherry and try an actual brandy instead, either way that’s the bit that adds the richness to drink).

Hopefully you like this cocktail as much as I do, leave a comment should you have any about it.

Until next time here’s a little something:

Fervent Shaker Fact of the Day:

There is a significant different between Fresh Lime Juice and Lime Juice Syrup. The fresh lime juice is always freshly squeezed from the fruit (the fresher the better). Whereas the syrup is a blend of water, juice and sugar (kind of like a lime flavoured sugar syrup). The best known brand of lime juice syrup is ‘Roses’ and is popular both here in the UK and across the pond in the USA.

Cocktails O’ Clock: Wild Hibiscus Royale

A Kir Royale, with a flowery twist…

Carrying on from the product of the month post about Wild Hibiscus Flowers, this cocktail is all about class.

First served in 2006 at the Dorchester hotel, London; this cocktail remains one of the most popular champagne cocktails on their menu. This cocktail mixes some bold flavours to subtly build on the quality of the champagne used.

Whilst some of the ingredients can be hard to find, they should be available in most health food shops or failing that they are all available online…

Hibiscus Royale Recipe:

7ml Natural Rose Water

20ml Wild Hibiscus Syrup

4-6 Mint leaves

Top up Champagne

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Champagne and flowers are for everyone…

Method:

1)      Muddle the mint in the glass and discard.

2)      Stand a hibiscus flower upright in the glass.

3)      Add the rose water.

4)      Top up with champagne.

5)      Finally, pour the hibiscus syrup in and let it descend through the champagne.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: Feel free to remove the rose water and add a little flavour enhancer of your own, flavoured liqueurs always work, and not to mention flavoured sugar syrups…

This cocktail is just one of many available for you to read through on the Wild Hibiscus official site. From champagne cocktails to Daiquiris they have a wide selection worth checking out, especially if you are looking for something a little different for your party…

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Perfect for that special touch on a romantic soiree…

Cocktails O’ Clock: Catalina Margarita

It’s the Fucking Catalina wine mixer…

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Recognise this little party?
Picture courtesy of: http://www.seeing-stars.com

Tequila is something I’ve never been able to get my taste buds use to, and that’s probably because all I’ve ever been exposed to is Jose Cuervo and Sauza. Whilst both brands do produce high grade 100% agave tequila, supermarkets sell just sell the cheaper ‘impure’ products (they are cheaper and show better sales – trust me it’s how they think – which is a shame I know).

Recently however there has been somewhat of a boom in the tequila industry, with more and more focus on ‘craft’ and aged ‘pure’ 100% Agave tequilas (especially across the USA). Here in the UK there are plenty of good quality tequila’s available, if you know where to look. Sainsbury’s for one stock a couple of 100% agave brands; El Jimador (Blanco & Reposado) and, along with Waitrose, Aqua Riva (Reposado). Both brands can say they are 100% agave and therefore better for you than those products that are not so.

Fervent Shaker Funny Fact: Due to the purer filtration processes 100% agave tequilas will not result in as bad a hangover as those tequilas that are ‘blended’ (basically any tequila that doesn’t say 100% agave on it). This is because some chemicals (the ones that cause severe hangover symptoms) are reintroduced when the ‘blended’ products are mixed. This does not happen with 100% agave tequila’s as once the chemicals are removed, that’s it, and they’re gone for good. Huzzah.

So moving onto this evening’s cocktail: The Catalina Margarita…

Catalina Margarita:

(42ml) 1 ½ measures Tequila

(28ml) 1 measure Blue Curacao

(28ml) 1 measure Peach Schnapps

(112ml) 4 measures Sour Mix*

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The great looking Catalina Margarita, of course the Blue colour is governed by that timeless spirit: Blue Curacao.
Picture courtesy of: http://www.RhodyJoes.com

Method:

1)      Combine all the ingredients over ice in a shaker and shake until frosted.

2)      Serve straight (preferable in a chilled Margarita cocktail glass).

3)      Garnish with a lime twist.

Now a famous use of Catalina was the Catalina Wine Mixer…

The Catalina wine mixer is a fictitious event in the film Step Brothers. The film is hilarious, starring Will Ferrell as one of the brothers and he is the host of the wine mixer at the end… This cocktail as far as I can see, whilst not actually based on this reference, would have suited such an event perfectly. Sure it’s not a wine based cocktail, but Margaritas are literally perfect for any event. Keeping the recipe close to the original as possible (although this version is a lot longer than a classic margarita) this cocktail will wash away any shyness you feel at any event. It will help you forget your insecurities at any event you feel you don’t quite belong at. Whether that’s a good thing or not is a decision I will leave to you…

This slightly tweaked version I’ve created has taken its inspiration from the event. Who cares if it isn’t real, it’s the fucking Catalina wine mixer!

Catalina (Wine Mixer) Margarita:

(42ml) 1 ½ measures Tequila

(28ml) 1 measure Blue Curacao

(28ml) 1 measure Peach Schnapps

(56ml) 2 measures Sour Mix*

Top up Sparkling Wine

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This version is slightly longer and more of an evening drink compared to it’s sipping counterpart…
Picture courtesy of: http://www.redbookmag.com

Method:

1)      As the classic calls for shaking, this one does to; just don’t shake up the wine…

2)      Pour into a chilled margarita cocktail glass.

3)      Top with the Sparkling wine.

4)      Garnish with a lime twist and candied Lemon peel.

This cocktail is a little lighter than the original recipe to make it a faster sipper. This version of the drink can be a little richer in flavour, if you pick a good quality of sparkling wine, but equally lesser so for the same reason…

Fervent Shaker Top Tips: For a really grand version of this drink try using Champagne instead of just any old sparkling wine. Also try using Grapefruit juice as well as Sour mix. If you prefer a still drink, replace the sparkling ingredient with grapefruit juice. You can equally substitute the win for grapefruit soda if you do like your drink carbonated…

*Sour mix is a mixture of lemon juice, lime juice and sugar syrup. See my Jericho Breeze post for the recipe…

Hopefully you like this slightly different take on a great cocktail. And of course another cocktail you can drink whilst watching a film, look at you all sophisticated and that…

Enjoy the drink, and should you want to find the original in its original place try my book of the moment: 365 cocktails, written by Brian Lucas.

Until tomorrow folks! Adios.

Cocktails O’Clock: The Paloma, a Mexican treat…

This is one of Mexico’s favourite cocktails. Forget the Margarita (that’s a common misconception) the Paloma combines tequila with some wonderful fresh grapefruit juice.

This particular recipe is a more craft like cocktail, instead of using grapefruit soda (which is a great choice should you have it) it requires sugar syrup, grapefruit juice and club soda instead.

This tweak creates a bit more depth in the drinks flavours and creates a more balanced cocktail (in my mind at least).

Note: I must say here that I strongly recommend using a high gradeTequila (see here) anything with the phrase “100% Agave” is what you’re looking for. Whilst the supermarkets stock the cheaper Jose Cuervo tequila’s consumption of these will result in worse hangover effects than those a little more expensive (the ones that say “made with 100% Agave”). A good example is the Tequila on sale at your local Waitrose Supermarket (or alternatively you could checkout Ocado’s online service)…

So remember: Cheaper is not always better! Always read the label and buy 100% agave – Tequila that does not say this clearly on the label will give you a worse hangover than those that do! (It’s a process in the distillation, one that I will share in post at another time but should you be interested in further reading try out this: Tequila Facts)

Yeah, yeah I know that was a bit of a lecture but here, check out this great recipe and enjoy you Tequila:

Phillip Wards Paloma

1 lime wedge

Salt

2 measures Blanco (silver/white) Tequila

1 measure Fresh Grapefruit Juice

¾ measures fresh lime juice

½ measure Sugar Syrup (1:1)

Top up club soda

1 lime wedge, for garnish

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The pinkish hue in this version comes from the use of fresh grapefruit juice. It gives it a greater flavour boost than just flavoured Soda…

Method:

1)      Moisten the rim of a highball glass with a lime wedge and lightly dust with the salt.

2)      Fill the serving glass and shaker tin with ice.

3)      Add the Tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, sugar syrup and shake wel.

4)      Strain the mixture into the serving glass and stir in the club soda to taste (you should only need around 1 measure for every 2 measures of tequila).

This cocktail is a Mexican classic, but has been tweaked to allow greater flavour and enjoyment. Whilst this is my preferred method of mixing up a Paloma, I know some of you would prefer the quicker, easier version…

So here it is (you can thank me later)…

Paloma, Classic

2 measures Blanco (silver/white) Tequila

½ measure Fresh Lime Juice

6 measures (top up) Grapefruit Soda

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This paler drink is the result of using just the grapefruit soda, if you want a splash of pink add a couple dashes of grenadine…

Method:

1)      Rim the highball glass with salt (using lime juice to moisten the rim).

2)      Combine the tequila and lime juice in a shaking tin and fill with ice.

3)      Shake well and strain into the serving glass.

4)      Top up with Grapefruit Soda and gently stir it in.

5)      Garnish with a lime wheel/wedge and a maraschino cherry.

So there is the classic recipe and Ward’s tweaked recipe. Either way I hope you enjoy them, remember: Tequila is not bad as long as you respect it. That being said please remember to drink responsibly!

Casamigos Tequila – Hollywood gone Rogue…

So I sit here sipping on my very last drops of Havana Club 7YO (Sad Face) and let’s be honest with ourselves, you all feel my pain. Let’s have 30 seconds of pause for a sad moment…

Enjoy the first 15 Seconds looking at this wonderful picture of a great Tequila…
Now spend the next 15 seconds enjoying this simplistic yet rather classy label...
Now spend the next 15 seconds enjoying this simplistic yet rather classy label…

Ok so with that over we can carry on (I’ll attempt to make this Cuba Libre last the entirety of the writing of this post). Recently I’ve had a bit of a fetish for tequila, and seeing as today (July 24th) is “National Tequila Day” in the U.S.A . it thought I’d celebrate it here in the UK with one of the newer Tequila’s on the US market: Casamigos.

Now I know what you’re thinking “we’ve all been there, and thrown up” well you’re wrong. I’m not talking about Jose Cuervo ‘Salt, tequila, lime’ (or however you prefer to take the three) Tequila.

I’m talking about the Cazadores/El Jimador/Casamigos style Tequilas; the ‘Craft Tequilas’ of our time period.

Now the latter of the three is a Tequila I want to focus on (for the remainder of this post anyway). Casamigos Tequila, if you haven’t heard, is something a little different to the norm.

Sure it’s distilled and created in Jalisco (Mexico) and to all the specifications it needs to be called Tequila, but there’s a bit of a Hollywood feel to this tequila. But enough teasing for now, that’s a little surprise for later!

Casamigos Tequila was formed by the common interest of two friends and originally meant for just them and their circle of friends & family (if you believe the stories anyhow) until they decided one day, for some reason or another, to share their gold with the world.

The mystery owners aside, this Tequila really is something a little special; although the company has only been distilling long enough to produce a small amount of their Tequila (by industry standards), they have still found the time and methods to distil a great spirit in a growing market (it’s expanding exceptionally fast – especially in the U.S.A.) that has various flavours and aromas you’d expect from a company distilling tequila for years.

It is (as I keep saying) something special. And this may be because of those mystery owners I mentioned earlier. Do any of you know who they are? Hell some of you may even know them personally… They may even be reading this as you do (in which case HEY GUYS!). Have you guessed? No? Well here’s a little picture to put you out of your misery…

Clooney & Gerber folks...
Clooney & Gerber folks…

That’s right folks, George Clooney & Rande Gerber are behind the new and emerging glass of pure, distilled agave gold.

With the addition of their long-time friend Mike Meldman they are surely a force to reckoned with. It would not surprise me if this time next year, they became one of the top 3 craft tequila’s in the USA. Let alone Europe, should they expand this far (I really hope they do – I’m dying for a sip!).

They are trying different things with both the cooking/distilling and the advertisement (albeit they are in a unique position to exploit their famous reputations). Whether it’s slow roasting the Agave Piña’s or using Gerber’s & Clooney’s star status to advertise both the product and their love for it; putting across the products quality – “if it’s good enough for Clooney it’s good enough for me” is a great slogan to use subconsciously (it’s worked on me at least).

So let’s sum up:

As I cannot taste it and review it that way, I’ll be pining (excuse the pun) over it instead… I want to try it. I want to test it. I want to make some Mexican Mules, Margaritas, Palomas & even sip it on the rocks. Until then I’ll suggest all you American readers jump on the bandwagon and give it a try. I know it’s about $50-60 per bottle, and not everyone can afford it, but if you’re in the market for a craft tequila, I suggest you give this one ago (and let me know what you think as well?!)…

Want to know more about Casamigos Tequila? Clooney? Or even just watch the cheesy but smart advert/trailer for Casamigos (watch out for the painfully good pay off at the end) then follow THIS link and enjoy. Or for a quick link to their Tequila Day blog post check out THIS.

Finally enjoy this picture of Clooney and Gerber enjoying themselves behind the classiest bar in the world:

2 Amigo's making that bar look the most attractive it's ever been...
2 Amigo’s making that bar look the most attractive it’s ever been…