Tag Archives: kahlua

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

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The Black Russian – Strong and dark is how we like them…

The Russian cocktail brothers, white and black, are a little unbalanced in popularity. Purely because the classic white Russian (see: https://theferventshaker.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/the-white-russian-a-classic-cocktail-from-the-very-cold-east/) is slightly different; using light cream/milk which dilutes the alcohol and makes it more palatable..

Let me explain:

The original ‘Black Russian’ recipe is as follows:

1 measure Kahlua

1 measure Vodka

Serve over Ice, in a rocks glass.

And that’s it!

As you can imagine it’s a very strong, almost naked cocktail, when compared to the ‘slightly diluted’ white Russian (simply add 2 measures of cream/milk for a White).

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Using just Kahlua and Vodka, this cocktail is dark and mysterious… When you try it, you’ll find out why… (picture taken from http://www.kahlua.com)

This is not to say it is a bad cocktail, quite the opposite in fact; its flavours are perfectly balanced, especially if you use high-grade vodka (none of that paint stripper smelling kind – try Green Mark or Grey Goose).

However that’s not to say you cannot dilute a Black Russian to make it more palatable…

The best way to serve a Black Russian but in a slightly diluted state is as follows:

1 measure Kahlua

1 measure Vodka

Splash of fresh citrus juice (lime/orange/lemon/grapefruit)

Top up with Cola.

Serve over ice, in a Collins glass.

Top Tip: use just a splash of the citrus juice, and just before serving for the best results.

Now here comes the dilemma; as with all drinks using cola as a mixer, what cola brand do you use?

Well simply put, you use the brand you like best. In my experience I find that in drinks like this, longer more flavourful cocktails, Coke Cola works the best, and that’s said from someone who normally prefers Pepsi in everything.

That’s my personal opinion but I’m sure a supermarket brand cola would work just as well if you prefer that. Give it a try and let me know what your thoughts are below…

As a closing statement;

Whilst the White Russian is far more popular than its Black counterpart, they are both great drinks in their own right. Basically you just pick a side: Milk, or Cola. Milk = White, and Cola = Black… Regardless of your choice: Enjoy it 😀

The White Russian – A Classic Cocktail from the Very Cold East…

The White Russian, as it appears, is synonymous with well-to-do folks drinking at high-end soirees. Seen in movies such as: ‘How to lose friends and alienate people’, ‘the big lebowski’ and many others, the white Russian often comes across as a cool drink that upper-class/cool people tend to order.

This cocktail is a relatively famous thanks to Hollywood; like the Martini, it is only known as well as it is because of its movie tie-ins. Now i concede that the Martini would arguably be well just as mainstream without 007, but the white Russian, however, is a bit of an oddity and as such it may possibly have been overlooked by many…

The recipe explains this more than I ever could in words:

Classic White Russian recipe:

1 measure Vodka

1 measure coffee liqueur

2 measures Fresh Semi-Skimmed (2% fat) Milk.

This recipe straight away screams a warning: mixing milk and alcohol?! – But try it out and you’ll be suprisingly impressed! It’s sweet, creamy and delicious, a cocktail with something special going for it: it’s different.

Image
Before mixing, a White Russian certainly looks different, and once mixed its the flavours that mix with the milk that create something a little special…

The combination of cream and vodka, reminds one of a nice mellow alcoholic milkshake brand; Mudslides (Mudslides here in the UK were very popular once upon a time). And when you mix in the coffee liqueur you get an alcoholic café-latte-type drink, that will be pleasant for those not use to strong alcoholic cocktails.

This cocktail is forever a classic, one you will hear of at least once in your life and if that time is now, then I suggest that you try it whenever you next get the chance. The flavour of this cocktail will reward your wise choice ten-fold.

Give the recipe above a try, and if you are finding it a little difficult to get right take a look below for some tips:

Tips when making The White Russian cocktail at home:

–          Don’t restrict yourself to milk. Try single cream, double cream, or combinations of the three (single cream and milk works particularly well)…

–          I tend to stick to semi-skimmed milk (2% fat) but again try things for yourselves and find your preferred recipe (although try to keep away from skimmed (0.1%) milk, or the 1% (orange top) milk some supermarkets are selling now…

–            Try different Coffee Liqueurs. I always use quality where I can, but sometimes a small budget dictates a compromise. Here in the UK some supermarkets have their preferred ‘discount brands’, of liqueurs like Coffee, Limoncello and even Amaretto. Try some out. I prefer Kahlua out of all the brands I’ve tried but it is expensive at £15-20.

A Secret Soiree in Margate Old Town…

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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.