Tag Archives: grenadine

Halloween Cocktails: Spooky Shooters!

So my last post was geared more towards those who like their cocktails classic, simple, and giving them the opportunity to try something they may have overlooked before.

That is all well and good (I’m one of those people after all) but let’s not forget the important thing this weekend: It’s Halloween!!!

Halloween means over the top fancy dress, lots and lots of candy, and of course some great alcoholic beverages (for those of us over the legal drinking age of course!).

And that usually means shots! – Not just simple flavoured vodka shots either. I’m talking spooky, scary, and downright wrong looking shots!

So here below are 5 shots that tick all of those boxes and more! Just remember to enjoy them responsibly!


The Classic Brain Haemorrhage

brain hemorrhage shot

Recipe:

1 measure Peach Schnapps

½ measure Irish Cream liqueur

1 tsp Grenadine

Method:

  • Pour the peach schnapps into a shot glass and layer the Irish cream on top.
  • Drop the grenadine in on top of the Irish cream and serve.

Pumpkin Margarita

pumpkin margarita

Recipe:

2 measures Repsado Tequila

1 measure Lemon-Lime Mix

Splash pumpkin puree

Method:

  • Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a well-chilled, large shot glass.

Green Ghoul

green ghoul

Recipe:

1 ½ measure Anejo Tequila

½ measure Melon Liqueur

Method:

  • Pour the Tequila into a chilled shot glass, then drop the Melon Liqueur into the middle of the tequila. Down in one.

Candy Corn Shooter

candy corn shot

Recipe:

1 measure Banana Liqueur

1 measure Coconut Rum

1 measure Cream

1 measure Orange Curacao

1 measure 80proof Vodka

Whipped cream

Method:

  • Combine the vodka and banana liqueur with ice and shake well.
  • Layer into the bottom of the glass.
  • Combine the Cream, Orange Curacao, and Coconut Rum with ice and shake well.
  • Layer this on top of the first layer and top with whipped cream

Green Goblin:

green goblin

Recipe:

1 measure TY KU Premium Liqueur

1 measure Coconut Rum

Splash lemon-lime soda

Method:

  • Stir the rum and TY KU liqueur together over ice. Add into a shot glass and add a splash of soda.

There you go, 5 spooky Halloween themed cocktails that are perfect if you want to impress your friends and family this weekend. Some are scarily strong and will need to be handled with care – the 80 proof vodka should not be handled near an open flame – and as stated many a time: Please Drink Responsibly!

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Cocktails O’Clock: I WANT SPIDERMAN!!!

“He doesn’t want to be famous? Then I’ll make him infamous” – J. Jonah Jameson


Marvel Themed Cocktails: Spiderman

The soon to be Avenger (rumoured) and his token cocktail…

Spiderman has long been my favourite superhero. I grew up reading the kids comic-magazines, watching the 90’s cartoon (yeah the one where Spidey goes full mutant-spider). This is the first if my themed cocktail post’s and I wanted it to be special. To me the epitome of a superhero is Spiderman. He’s young when he first gets his powers and abuses them somewhat. However through various tragedies he learns the truth behind that famous marvel line “With great power comes great responsibility”. Some say that phrase has since been overused but to me it’s all about a boy becoming a man, a super-heroic man.

So this post needed to be special, and the cocktail needed to be special. So I through caution to the wind and tried to create something perfect for the summer…

Here in the UK we’re having a bit of a torrid time of things, that’s my opinion on it anyway. Whilst everyone loves the lovely skin-crisping heat the summer sun brings and given our position geographically, we tend to end up having a sweat-pouring muggy month or two. The best type of cocktail during summers like these is one pack with ice and flavour. Below is something that, prepared properly, will rock your Spidey-loving world!

This is a ½ & ½ cocktail and will take some preparation. You will need a food processor/smoothie maker/blender to create this cocktail in all its glory…

The Spectacular Spiderman

Combining alcohol with a child favourite: the slushy drink... Genius I believe!
Combining alcohol with a child favourite: the slushy drink… Genius I believe!

Recipe:

Blue half – Blue Margarita:

1.5 measures Tequila

1 measure Blue Curacao,

1 measure Lime Juice

Red half –Red Set Punch:

1.5 measures Grenadine

1.5 measures Raspberry Vodka

1.5 measures White Rum

Method:

For the blue margarita half:

  • Blend the Tequila, Blue Curacao & Lime Juice with ice until the mixture is like a slush-drink.
  • Pour this into a tall sling glass, filling it halfway.

For the red set punch half:

  • Blend the grenadine, vodka and rum together with ice until the mixture is like a slushy-drink.
  • Top the sling glass up with the red mixture and garnish with a gummy spider and serve with a straw.

This cocktail is a bit of a blend of two fantastic cocktails. The blue half of the drink is a tweaked margarita cocktail, the tweak being the replacement of the triple sec with blue curacao. Using Blue Curacao instead of the triple sec merely tints the colour an electric blue…

The second half is red and the grenadine is the obvious colour additive here. This mix of Raspberry vodka and rum, combined with the grenadine adds a slightly fruity edge to the top of the drink.

This cocktail, made from two halves, starts off fruity and sweet and is relatively easy on the throat. However the blue section hides the kick and as you progress through the drink you’ll start to taste the blue margarita more and more. This is no coincidence. The drink is built for you to drink from the top to the bottom. You can do the reverse, and the drink will get easier the more you drink – but where’s the fun in that!?

Flip to reverse it... This cocktail works well with either red or blue on top...
Flip to reverse it… This cocktail works well with either red or blue on top…

This cocktail is a great little number for themed cocktail parties or for impressing your friends on a night in…

Until next week, drink well but drink responsibly!!!

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

Cocktails O’ Clock: The Whisky Sour

Bourbon on the rocks, with the addition of sugar, lemon and a straw…

The whisky sour is another rather famous cocktail that is both simple yet effective. Utilising 50ml (2 measures) of Bourbon, this cocktail is a bit stronger than I’m used to, but it is a great tasting sugary cocktail.

This cocktail is the basis for several similar cocktails including both the ‘Boston Sour’ and Ward 8. The idea is that the combination of the sugar with the lemon juice supplies a sour taste to the whisky and that (obviously) makes it a whisky sour.

Here’s a classic but tweaked recipe, it’s how I prefer mine…

Whisky Sour Recipe

50ml Bourbon

15ml Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

2tsp caster sugar

1tsp vanilla syrup

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Image
Whisky cocktails done right: The Whisky Sour.
picture courtesy of BBCFood

Method:

Shake all of the ingredients over ice and strain into a tumbler filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon slice and maraschino cherry.

Top Tip: For a Boston sour, remove the vanilla and add 1 whole egg white to the shaker.

This is a great cocktail, and whilst I don’t usually drink whisky (I can’t say I like the flavours very much) this is one of the very few whisky based cocktails I actually like drinking.

Another version of this cocktail, known as the Ward 8, is based on the whisky sour, but couldn’t be more different flavour wise…

Ward 8 Cocktail

50ml Bourbon/Rye Whisky

20ml Fresh Lemon Juice

20ml Fresh Orange Juice

1tsp Grenadine

Image
A red sour is a treat indeed, this one may taste slightly sweeter but it’s still whisky at heart…
Picture courtesy of http://www.saveur.com

Method:

Mix all of the ingredients over ice and then strain the mixture into an ice filled tumbler. Garnish with a lemon and orange slice.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: for a splash of instant flavour, wipe a mint sprig around the rim of the glass. If mint is not your thing you can squeeze an orange twist over the glass releasing the oils for an intense flavour hit.

Interesting Fact: Ever tried a cocktail sorbet? They are rather popular and done right they are just as good as the cocktails themselves… Check out this post for a cosmopolitan sorbet I prepared recently…

Hopefully this will whet your appetite for more to come.

Cocktails O’ Clock: Touch of Venice

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

Image
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

Image
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.

Image
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.

Licor 43 International Cocktail of the Month

Sweden Sangreal

I’ve made no secret of my love for Licor 43 (aka Cuarenta Y Tres) and I’ll be honest once more: This is one of the best cocktail’s I’ve ever tasted. Recently I went to Bar Blue and tried a little number called a ‘Saigon Sling’. In some ways they were similar, although overall they are totally different – I know, I know, it all sounds a bit contradictory but just stay with me here… The similarities lie in the use of 3 of the ingredients; Ginger Ale, Lemon’s & a form of sugar syrup (Saigon sling uses plain sugar syrup, whereas the Sweden Sangreal uses grenadine – pomegranate sugar syrup).

Of course the Saigon Sling, using gin and honey liqueur, does differ in taste, but the ideas for both cocktails lie along a similar path…

This cocktail, one of a whole host of cocktails Licor 43 are presenting (a new one each month) is perfect for the summer, both sweet and sour with a touch of crisp ginger to top. The addition of fresh grapefruit just adds that little extra ‘zing’ the drink needs to make truly special.

The recipe, along with a link to the website (and a lovely little video) can be found below…

Image
This is a Singapore Sling, as I couldn’t find a decent picture of the Sangreal (and mine went far too quickly to be photogenic), for the purposes of this drink, imagine the above picture with a couple chunks of fruit afloat…

Sweden: Sangreal

40ml Licor 43

2 chunks of Grapefruit (2 ¼’s)

2 chunks of Lemon (2 ¼’s)

Large dash of grenadine (around 5-10ml – to taste)

Top up with Ginger ale

Method:

1)      Drop the lemon and grapefruit in the glass and muddle well, releasing the juices (and oils in the skin).

2)      Add crushed ice, then grenadine and finally the Licor 43. Stir well, mixing up the fruit and ice.

3)      Top up with a little more crushed ice and finally top with ginger ale.

4)      Serve with a straw and a second helping (they’ll want another one).

 

So have a go, it’s a simple cocktail to prepare, with the best results coming from using a good quality ginger ale as well as proper grenadine syrup.

Licor 43 is one of those liqueurs that can cost a little bit more than the normal bottle of alcohol, but it will last a lot longer than your average bottle of Vodka (not to mention having infinitely more flavour).

The best place to grab a bottle is here. Unfortunately I still cannot find a bottle for sale any of the supermarkets (should this change I’ll have a massive party to let everyone know!). Until that day enjoy it where you can find it! Adios Amigos!

A Secret Soiree in Margate Old Town…

Image
A busy day at Margate Beach

Margate is a wonderfully quaint little seaside town on the eastern tip of Kent (a county in the UK – for all you non-UK readers) but for those of you who are not acquainted with this sometimes lovely little town here are a few photos, in the form of a Google search…

https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=margate,+kent,+uk&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.43148975,d.d2k&biw=1366&bih=643&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=gIIzUbHVJq2a1AWc_oHwDA

Once you’ve seen some of those pictures, imagine this:

                Walking along the Margate sea-front, box of cocktail equipment in hand, leftover tequila, white rum and even a bottle of Prosecco (which remained un-opened in the end) all included, I meander along the path, to be pleasantly surprised by my friend Dan (no relation) who was waiting for me after picking up a small mountain of ice for the Soiree. We both walked back to his house and as we walked in we were both met with a chorus of ‘Woos’ and ‘Dan!’ all from one of the other co-hosts excited to see the cocktail prep could begin. Now I would like to make it clear that at this point, it was around 5-5.30pm and the Soiree did not really get going until around 7-8pm.

Image
Like walking into a literal time machine, this part of Margate almost feels magical…

After the disappointment of the poorly organised wine and wisdom night (https://theferventshaker.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/wine-wisdom-cocktails-slight-distraction/), I had been looking forward to this event purely because I knew it had been planned well. I know the hosts well enough to expect an exceptionally well organised night both for me and the cocktail serving but also to maximise the enjoyment of the 40+ attendees.

Before I can do any prep work, I’m shown around the house. First up the main room; where I would be set up. This room also included interactive music, determined by the people in the room at the time (allowing for more personalisation of the evening for the guests – a great idea that really worked well). Then I was taken into the two-tier ‘rave’ cellar and considering it was just 2 brick built rooms the last time I saw it, the neon lights, fairy lights and luminous paint (along with the slightly later addition of strobes and lasers) made this the very club-vibe up beat part of the event.

This two level club-like look really worked and considering the 40+ people attending, was also necessary!

Onwards to the cocktails now:

I started prepping the cocktails and the ingredients needed from around 6pm. This included washing anything I hadn’t done at home, laying out my equipment (knives, strainers, shakers, jiggers etc.) and then of course the softening & cutting of the limes. The alcohol was kept in a make shift bar, an emptied bookcase worked surprisingly well, combined with a large unused table provided me with a sturdy work surface. With people not turning up (generally) until around 7-8pm I offered to make a few test cocktails for the hosts and the music suppliers.

Cocktails tried included the dark n stormy, sex on the beach and (because of a lack of gin/lemon juice) I also served up a tweaked version of the Long Island Iced-Tea (see below [cocktail no.9] for the recipe). This helped me ease into a sense of security and when people started actually turning up I was in my element. For all intents and purposes I had my own bar for the night. Working cleanly and efficiently (and under a great deal of pressure from almost all of the guests at one point) the cocktails started flying of the shelf (quite literally).

I had written the recipes down in one of my handy little notebooks and this allowed people to read what cocktails were available. This not only freed me up to concentrate on the cocktail making process, but also allowed the guests to have a good look at the ingredients and the name of the cocktails, helping them understand what was in each one. This was a little Idea I thought I’d try that also seemed to ease up some time for me to concentrate on the cocktails.

I had planned on serving 8 different cocktails, with a varying amount of flavours and tastes (sweet, sour, dry etc.). These cocktails were a combination of tried and tested recipes along with recipes that I knew would be well received and then one of my own (purely to see if was as well received as it was at the Shindig South of the Border – https://theferventshaker.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/the-songwriters-shindig-south-of-the-border/).

These cocktail were as follows:

1)      Dark ‘n’ Stormy

2)      Harvey Wallbanger

3)      Mojito

4)      Sex on the Beach

5)      Hawaiian Bay Breeze

6)      Tequila Sunrise

7)      White Russian

8)      Sonoran Iced-Tea

And the addition of:

9)      My tweaked Long Island Iced-Tea.

These cocktails, as you can see, are a combination of classic and contemporary recipes with a little variance in the themes. The mojitos are light and refreshing, whereas the white Russian is a creamier coffee flavoured cocktail. Whilst the Hawaiian Bay Breeze and Sex on the beach are similar in their ingredients, the simple addition/replacement of the ingredients drastically transforms the flavours…

Overall I feel this collection best suited the night and the guests that attended where full of compliments of every recipe. In hindsight the only changes would probably have been the removal of both the Tequila Sunrise and Hawaiian Bay Breeze. These would be changed purely because of a) the tequila sunrise didn’t work with the small opaque plastic cups and b) the Hawaiian bay breeze was too similar to the sex on the beach for the guests to order. Looking at the recipes available with the ingredients purchased the best move may have been to use some more Mexican themed cocktails (tequila and pineapple juice based recipes may have been a good call) to balance the collection out a little.

That put to one side, the overall feedback was good and everyone kept complimenting me on my cocktails, which is a fantastic confidence boost – as I knew pretty much nobody there, and the people I did know had not really seen me in action.

The event as a whole didn’t just benefit me from a networking point of view in that my confidence with serving quality cocktails is improving all the time. The cocktails served were not only great tasting, but well made, and that is great feedback to have.  

As a further more personal note, having cocktails at an event like this, in the way it was done at this event, supplies your guests with a focal point outside of the norm. This can become a conversation topic as well as a general form of interactive entertainment.

 

Now onto the real bread and butter of this post: The Cocktails…

As previously stated the cocktails are a combination of all different flavours. These are not necessarily themed but do share a general Caribbean trend (light fruity juice mixed drinks)

Dark ‘n’ Stormy

1 measure Dark Rum (I used White Rum)

5 measures Jamaican Ginger Beer

I used Sainsbury’s white rum for this cocktail as dark rum is generally hard to find at a reasonable price these days. The only thing the dark rum will give you over the white rum is a larger depth of flavour, but if you use a higher quality rum (let’s use Havana Club 3yo for example) then the flavour depth is automatically quite deep, negating the need for dark rum specifically.

Top Tip: when on a low budget always try to accommodate the supermarket brands, you’ll find that the quality is just as good as some of the more ‘famous’ brands especially when mixing in cocktails…

Harvey Wallbanger

1 measure Vodka

1 measure Galliano

4 measures Fresh Smooth Orange Juice

This cocktail is a classic version of a classic recipe. It was not tweaked in any way and I think this is by far the best way to serve it. If you do not like the vanilla then you can cut it out, but then it becomes a simple Screwdriver. Either way enjoy this cocktail over ice.

Top Tip: this drink is better built in the glass over ice than shaken. You want to create a layered feel to the flavours and shaking the ingredients works against this…

Classic Mojito

60ml White Rum

15ml Sugar Syrup

8-10 fresh mint leaves

1 ½ lime in ¼’s

Top up Soda water/Lemonade

Build the ingredients in the glass you serve it in. Start with the lime and sugar syrup and muddle well, then add the mint and gently muddle. Add the crushed ice and the rum. Top up with lemonade and garnish with a mint sprig.

This cocktail is a classic recipe ONLY when the soda water is used. However my recipe calls for lemonade purely because I have not found a soda water mojito that I like. And I am more comfortable making this slightly sweeter version. This drink is meant to be refreshing so you must use fresh mint leaves. This cocktail just does not work with dried mint at all.

Top Tip: Just before you put the mint leaves in the drink, place them in the palm of one hand, and clap your hands 1-2 times. This releases the oils from the leaves without making the drink bitter.

Sex on the Beach

1 measure Vodka

1 measure Peach Schnapps

2 measure Cranberry Juice

2 measures fresh smooth Orange Juice.

Another built drink. This drink is all about depth in flavour and the best way to do this is to loosely layer the ingredients as you make the drink (over ice of course).

Top Tip: if your guests are planning on drinking this cocktail quickly (or if it’s served in small amounts) then stir gently before serving so they get all the appropriate flavours.

Hawaiian Bay Breeze

1 measure Vodka

1.5 measures Cranberry juice

1.5 measures Pineapple juice

This cocktail can be served either built or shaken. Either way the pineapple adds some Caribbean flavour to an already fruity cocktail. The cranberry and pineapple work perfectly to create an almost punch like feel to this drink.

Top tip: if shaking, double strain the cocktail as you pour it into the glass, taking out the unnecessary foam (from shaking the pineapple).

Tequila Sunrise

1 measure Silver Tequila

4 measures Fresh smooth Orange juice

½ measure Grenadine Syrup

This drink is as simple as it sounds. Build it over ice with the grenadine being dropped from about 1cm above the glass. The grenadine syrup will sink to the bottom and gradually work its way up the cocktail as you drink it. The idea being that the more you drink it, the stronger/sweeter it gets.

Top tip: if you want a bit more culture in your tequila sunrise try using a quality Gold Tequila to add some depth. Jose Cuervo Reposado Gold Tequila is a good shout, but any quality gold tequila will do.

White Russian

1 measure vodka

1 measure coffee liqueur

2 measures Single Cream

This cocktail is a tricky cocktail to make. It may look like it is going wrong but just persist and as long as the cream doesn’t curdle it will be perfect…

Build it over ice and stir before serving…

Top tip: I used my preferred coffee liqueur on this, and the best thing about using coffee liqueur with cream is that you really can be flexible. Try it with Kahlua, but Tia Maria and Soiree coffee liqueur work just as well.

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Sonora is a beutiful part of mexico, and This sunset encapsulates everything The Sonoran Iced Tea represents… A Refreshingly different slice of Mexican culture…

The Sonoran Iced-Tea

1 measure Kahlua (coffee liqueur)

1 measure Disaronno Amaretto

½ measure Silver Tequila

Garnish: ½ measure freshly squeezed lime juice

Top up with cranberry juice.

I have both built and shaken this drink, for the best blend I find shaking makes it lighter and negates the need for ice in the glass, whereas building it requires crushed ice. But please find the best way that suits your taste.

At this event I served the lime juice as a garnish (adding just after pouring into the glass/cup). Shaking the rest of the ingredients negates the need for ice and also saves time as you can serve it straight away.

Top tip: you can add the lime juice to the drink and shake or pour it in at the end; I just prefer the crisp lime flavour at the beginning. Please feel free to experiment and find the way that best suits you.

Bonus cocktail recipe:

My forced-tweaked version of the Long Island Iced-Tea

1 measure vodka

1 measure rum

1 measure silver tequila

1.5 measures fresh lime juice

2 measures sugar syrup

Dash of amaretto

Top up with Coca Cola (original not diet)

This drink was born out of a lack of gin, triple sec and lemon juice. It was not one of my planned cocktails but I was challenged by one of the guests to make up what I could with what I had, using the L.I.I.T. as a base. It was rather sweet and as far as I’m concerned it worked. The guest was happy and it spread like wildfire throughout the event, becoming better than most of the cocktails on the menu.