Hey, everyone! Sorry about my forced hiatus recently! I had internet troubles whilst moving into a new house! I’m back up and running now though and just in time for New Years! So scroll on down and enjoy yourselves! Thank you all for your continued readership!
Enter the New Year in style with some fancy sparkling wine! Whilst you could go for an expensive bottle of Champagne, sometimes saving a little bit of money is a good shout…
Prosecco, generally speaking, is much cheaper than even a semi-good bottle of champagne. And if you head to a specialist wine shop, you’re more than likely to find a top end brand too!
The best example I’ve come across in the past few years is Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Prosecco Conegliano… It’s usually inexpensive and can often be nabbed when it’s on offer!
Below I give you 3 simple cocktails you can make for your new years eve party. At least to make it a bit more fun for your new-to-prosecco friends! The price detail really hits home if you have a party for more than just a few people!
Prosecco & St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
30ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Top Up TTD Prosecco Conegliano
Using a standard champagne flute, gently add the Elderflower Liqueur into the bottom of the glass.
The simply top up with the prosecco.
Usually used at Christmas this simply made cocktail is perfect to capture the sweetness of the prosecco and pump it up into a sweeter-than-usual mouthful. The St. Germain Liqueur adds a floral note and really does make the prosecco go down easier for those with a sweeter tooth…
I tried this very recently at an italian restaurant with my girlfriend. It was delicious and should be available for everyone to try! My well-known bias for Licor 43 aside, this is my favourite cocktail in this post!
Prosecco & Licor 43
30ml Licor 43
Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano
Pour chilled Licor 43 into a standard champagne flute.
Top up with the Prosecco and garnish with a twist of orange peel.
This cocktail is one I’ve wanted to try out for a long while and, thanks to my girlfriend, I was able to finally get hold of a full bottle of Licor 43. It’s a very sweet liqueur and can produce many a fine cocktail. But there’s something about this Prosecco & liqueur blend that captures my feelings for prosecco perfectly!
Prosecco, whilst sweeter than champagne, is still a little dry for my palate. But add enough of a sweet liqueur and you have the perfect balance of sweet and dry. Not to mention the addition of various subtle flavours (from the liqueur).
Licor 43 brings its blend of 43 different ingredients into the mix, but it mainly shows off the Citrus and Vanilla in this particular drink… Although there are some herbal undertones there for those with a keen nose…
Prosecco & Creme De Peche
25ml Creme De Peche
Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano
Gently pour the Peach Liqueur into a standard champagne flute.
Top up with the Prosecco Conegliano…
This cocktail is very much like a mimosa, only it cuts out the fruit juice and uses an alcoholic peach liqueur instead. It has certainly got more bite, but like the other 2 drinks on this list, you get a balance to the dryness of the wine with the sugary liqueur…
This is one of the fruitier of the 3 drinks, with the peach flavour being very, very prominent throughout. Give it a try, and if it’s too sweet, try cutting it back with a dash of fresh lime!
So you’re at a friends’ BBQ one summer’s evening and everyone is having a nice time, the sun is shining, there’s a gentle breeze rolling through the pine trees surrounding the pool, and although the kids are screaming, they’re having fun.
You’ve spoken to all your friends, caught up on gossip and everyone’s enjoyed the hosts’ BBQ skills. But now the temperature has chilled slightly and the sun has started to set. The Kids have gone home to the supervision of their child-minders and that leaves all you adults about with a choice: Lemonade and soft drinks… Or the hard stuff?
But that decision is made for you; out comes the hosts’ and their stash of liquor. Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Triple Sec & plenty of other obscure, highly alcoholic elixirs that do not look healthy at all…
So in come the dedicated spirit drinkers, taking their share of their designated poison, rum, vodka – it doesn’t matter there’s plenty for everyone. What really gathers your attention is not the boring spirit drinkers, they can keep their Bourbon, Neat; you want what’s in that glass on the opposite table: A tall mountain of a glass, with sweeping curves and a cool orange nectar, swirling with a red syrupy surprise… Of course I’m talking about a Tequila Sunrise – the epitome of pool-side tropical cocktails…
But did you know that the cocktails available to you for your summer evenings are not restricted to generic boring simple cocktails. Sure they look great and every now and then they’re great to enjoy but if you really want to impress everyone you know, why not give these few recipes a little tipple…
Recipe #1: Limoncello – Limoncello Citrus Cooler
20ml Maraschino Liqueur
40ml Lemon Juice
1 scoop mandarin sorbet
1 teaspoon marmalade
2 dashes hibiscus bitters
Shake all the ingredients with ice.
Strain into a rocks glass containing a large ice cube (ice-balls work well here)
Garnish with a pair of maraschino cherries and an orange twist.
This cocktail blends sweet Limoncello with some other sweet, citrus flavours and creates a cocktail that is not as sweet as it looks to be. The ingredients blend well, as mentioned, but you can still separate the intricate flavours of a high quality limoncello and the maraschino liqueur. The hibiscus bitters lends a bitter, yet exotic fragrance to the drink. This is a great drink to have in your repertoire for a romantic evening date…
Recipe #2: Gin – Italian Collins
1 measure Sipsmith Gin
¾ measure Limoncello
¼ measure fresh lemon juice
4 measures Club Soda
Mix the first three ingredients together and shake well, over ice, for around 10-15 seconds.
Strain into a tall glass filled with ice.
Top up with club soda and garnish with a thin slice of lemon peel.
Recipe #3: Vodka – Wake County Cooler
Black Tea infused Vodka
(Sweet) Black Tea Vodka:
Combine 750ml Vodka with 150ml loose-leaf black tea and allow to infuse (should take around 2 hours).
Then, separately: Combine 60ml water with 60g sugar and mix into a sugar syrup.
Combine the sugar syrup with the vodka and mix well.
Half fill a Collins glass with crushed ice.
Add 50ml of the infused vodka to the glass.
Then add 12.5ml of lemon juice.
Top up with the club soda and garnish with a lemon wedge and mint sprig.
If you create the full amount above (750ml) you’ll have plenty to share (or keep for yourself).
One of the best things about this cocktail is that you have to infuse your own Vodka. As a home-taught cocktail maker one of my favourite hobbies is the infusing of neutral alcohol. Not only do you end up with something delicious and flavour-fuelled, most of the time you improve the original drink (obviously you don’t want to use top end Vodka for this sort of infusion). If you have enough forethought to purchase some nice kilner-jars (think along the lines of pressure topped bottles – like Grolsch beer) you can share out your good infusions for family gifts and even age some spirits…
Give it a go, you’ll be surprised what you can come up with!
Recipe #4: Licor 43 – Carta Marina
1 ½ measures Kraken Black Spiced Rum
¾ measures Licor 43
¾ measures Lemon Juice
¼ measure Aperol
2 dashes Cardamom bitters
Garnish: Vanilla Bean & orange twist.
Shake all the ingredients together over ice for 15-20 seconds (or until the tin ices over).
Strain into a coupe cocktail glass and garnish with a vanilla bean wrapped inside the orange twist.
This cocktail mixes two of my favourite spirits in Kraken & Licor 43. And boy do they blend well! This looks like an odd mixture of spirits and bitters but if shaken well (and properly) this drink elevates you to another level. When a drink can supply you with a mix of refreshment, great taste and an almost bottomless depth in quality you know you’ve hit gold; with the Carta Marina you have some good old US/Mediterranean Gold. If you only drink one cocktail of this list: Pick this one!
Recipe #5: Rum – Daisy De Santiago
40ml Bacardi Superior White Rum
20ml fresh lime juice
5ml sugar syrup
15ml Yellow Chartreuse
Garnish: fresh berries & a sprig of mint.
Add the rum, sugar syrup & lime juice to a shaker filled with ice and shake well – for around 20-30 seconds.
Fill a wine goblet with crushed ice and strain the mixed liquid into the glass.
Garnish with the sprig & berry bouquet and then float the yellow Chartreuse on top of the drink.
The Daisy de Santiago is possibly one of the freshest and most refreshing drinks I’ve had the pleasure of sipping in a long time. It’s got a lovely rum kick from the Bacardi yet it’s sweet and almost minty after taste compliments most summer evenings. A difficult drink to balance perfectly but one that is very much worthwhile mastering.
5 scalable sparkling drinks, perfect for your end of Summer BBQ…
This post is a bit pre-emptive. It’s not the end of summer just yet, but with the slightly cooler weather we are getting, it’s only ever around the corner. With these concoctions you can hang on to what remains of this weather for as long as you feasibly can. There is even a non-alcoholic one at the bottom…
Without further ado I present to you the 5 pitcher drinks you simply cannot be doing without this autumn!
1) Vodka Knockout
175ml Lime Juice
500ml Triple Sec
1L Cranberry Juice
1L Bitter Lemon(ade)
1L Classic Lemonade
Mix all of the still ingredients into a bowl/jug and stir well. Add your choice of slice/chopped fruit then cover and place in the fridge for 2-12 hours. Then top up with the carbonated ingredients and serve. If preparing without the 2-12 hours’ notice use large blocks of ice to keep the drink chilled.
2) Rum Juggler
500ml Southern Comfort
50ml Sugar Syrup
150ml Lime Juice
1L Apple Juice
1L Ginger Ale
Mix together the alcohol, lime juice and syrup. Then add your selection of prepared fruit. Cover and leave to chill for around 4-5 hours, then add the apple juice, cover and chill for up to a further 8hrs.
Serve straight from the fridge, and top up with the ginger ale. If prepared at short notice, again use large lumps of ice to chill the mixture, stirring in the ice to begin with.
3) Gin Garden
150ml Lemon Juice
1L Tropical/Passionfruit Juice
1L Soda Water
Mix together the alcoholic ingredients and lemon juice in your serving bowl/jug. Cover and chill for up to 5 hours. Then mix in the chosen fruit juice. Cover and chill for up to a further 7 hours. Serve straight from the fridge, topping up the drink with soda water, but only when it’s in their glass. DO NOT put the soda in the bow as, it will go flat extremely quickly.
4) Orchard Liqueur Especial
250ml Licor 43
250ml St. Germain Liqueur
350ml Plum Liqueur
500ml Apple Schnapps
350ml Cranberry Juice
1L Apple & Pear Juice
1L Ginger Ale
Pour all of the ingredients into a large serving bowl. Then stir in your selection of chopped/slice fruits and stir well. Cover and leave in the fridge to cool for 2+hrs. Then remove and add the fruit juice and stir again. Leave for another 2hrs and then serve, topping up with Ginger ale at the last moment.
If you have less time on your hands, put all the ingredients (except the ginger ale) in the bowl with large ice cubes. Then stir in the fruit, and add the fruit juice and stir again. Top up with the Ginger ale just before serving.
This mixture is perfect as it is, but should you like to tweak it try and stick to Orchard/Forest fruits. A selection of apples, pears, plums, peaches and various soft berries work wonders chopped up and served in the mixture.
5) Mocktail Monster
700ml POM pomegranate juice
350ml cranberry juice
350ml Apple Juice
150ml Lime Juice
1L Bitter Lemon
Mix all the ingredients up and serve with ice. The bigger the ice cubes the better, as they will melt slower. Serve with various sliced/chopped fruit and plenty of lemonade to top.
This recipe works well as a non-alcoholic alternative but can easily be made alcoholic if you wish; Vodka or rum make good bases, with liqueurs like SoCo and Cointreau working equally well. For a special little kick why not try adding 500-700ml of Tequila?
Or you can go for a more elegant touch and swap the lemonade out for Sparkling Wine/Champagne. It’s all up to you!
I’ve tried to make these recipes as crowd friendly as possible, you’ll notive that I’ve refrained from the use of Orange and Pineapple Juices, this is because I’ve found more people than you may think are allergic to them. That’s not to say you cannot add them in at all, just find out who’s allergic beforehand! – we want everyone to get the most enjoyment out of your drinks after alll!
These recipes are easy to prepare in bulk, and show clear volumes of each ingredient so you can scale them up (or down) to order.
All recipes are my own creation, so please ask me if you would like to use them on your own websites/blogs. Otherwise feel free to use them at your events , and even play with the ingredients to suit your tastes. The ingredients used are such that there is a certain amount of tweaking allowed before they taste unbalanced. Hopefully you enjoy them as much as we do here at the Fervent Shaker Co. Your BBQ’s will never be the same…
I finished work early today, and when I did my customary stat check on the blog and I was met with a notification symbol, the likes of which I’d never seen before. It was in the shape of a cup, not a tea cup, but one of those ‘takes two people to lift it’ football sized trophy cups…
Anyway I immediately clicked on it to find out what sort of prize awaited me, some glorious honour from my fellow bloggers? No? What about a special delivery, a message or gift from some famous alcohol company? – Too good to be true! Instead I was met with this message:
“Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!”
“You registered on WordPress.com 1 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!”
Now to me nothing says happy anniversary like a nice bottle of Havana Club, or a sneaky ‘pushing the boat out’ bottle of Prucia Plum Liqueur. But whilst this message is a bit of a ‘well done old chap’ tap on the back, it does lead me onto a reflective train of thought…
It’s been a whole year since I signed up to my blog, granted I did take a couple months to publish the first blog, but I’ve still come a long way.
I started out with the small hope that I could grow my online presence and help get the UK more enthusiastic about cocktails (by celebrating ingredients, cocktails and bars wherever I find them!). Now having looked back at the stats, I’ve been blown away at just how many people have actually read a post on my blog. Let me share a few figures for you:
1) Total Views since I started (and counting): 6,430
2) Total months I’ve been posting not including this month (august): 10
3) Total months where the blog has grown in views 10
4) Top 3 Countries by views:
United States of America: 2,508
United Kingdom: 1,397
5) Total Countries reached: 108
6) Number of spots on a leopard: 176
Ok so that last one was a red-herring (ha-ha I’m full of animal puns today), but just look at the countries reached: 108… Now when I set out that was a number that hadn’t even crossed my mind. I was aiming to hit the U.K. solely and start my way on the U.S.A. at a later date. As it turns out, the North Americans (USA/Canada) are up there in my top 3. The only other places in the world I wanted to hit this early on were Australia and New Zealand (both of which are inside the top 20 (with 149, and 43 respectively).
Now I hope you can understand that to me these figures are mind boggling! I would never have dreamed that over 6,000 people would’ve read my blog, not to mention commented on it.
And this is where we move onto my followers…
I have 30 WordPress followers (as well as 200+ on twitter and Facebook) and, well to be totally honest, I don’t think I’d be where I am today without you all. Thank you all for reading/sharing/re-posting the contents of my blog. I’d like to think I could call a couple of you pals. Something I certainly never thought would happen!
At least I’d like to think some of you guys are at least on common speaking terms: here’s looking at you;
My last post: ‘The Fervent Shaker’s Top 10… Liqueurs’ was an apt blog on which to have this little number follow. University for me was as much about discovering cocktails and furthering my love for them as it was about getting my degree in Geography & Geology.
Hang on I hear you say, a student that drinks? Surely not! Well I can tell you that I did further my knowledge of cocktails, the best way anyone can: by consuming them in vast quantities over the course of a few years…
Well, finally let me end this emotional drivel and just say; I intend to commemorate this 1 year’s anniversary by continuing my blog as it is now. Fear not for you shall continue to see Recipes, alcohol specials, event specials and my general musings for many more years to come! (Hopefully).
Again thank you all, and if you ever need a recipe for any cocktail, you know where I am!
For commercial purposes (i.e. what you’re able to go out and buy yourselves) I’ll only be including liqueurs you can purchase on the UK market. Although this does not really reflect the list, as I do come from the UK and therefore am limited to these myself…
Possibly the sweetest liqueur on this list, Chambord Liqueur has one of the most ‘Royal’ beginnings too. It is said that King Louis XIV (that’s 15th for anyone who doesn’t know) visited Chateau Chambord and was presented with a Raspberry Liqueur that he loved. Well it is this liqueur that has inspired the spirit we all know and love: Chambord Liqueur. This world renowned black raspberry liqueur is a favourite of many of the modern mixologists ingredients.
This raspberry liqueur screams quality, and even the process shows it:
Using only the best raspberries (among other raspberry like berries) the fruit is then double infused and married with the other ingredients (and cognac wouldn’t you believe).
If this doesn’t scream enough quality the shape and design of the glass it comes in certainly covers any excess. Let’s face it, the French do romance and beauty better than any other country in the world and this liqueur is no different. From the minute you open a bottle you’re hit with the strong ‘raspberry jam donut’ fragrance supplied by the black raspberries. This to me makes it one of the best liqueurs, not just in Europe, but in the world.
Cocktail O’Clock: The Chambord French Martini
50ml Raspberry Vodka
15ml Chambord Liqueur
100ml Pineapple Juice
1) Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a large martini cocktail glass.
2) Garnish with some fresh raspberries.
9)Agwa Bolivia (coca)
I make no secret about my love affair with liqueurs/spirits with great stories. And why should this one be any different? Hint – it’s not.
Agwa De Bolivia is a dangerous and controversial liqueur. Dangerous in that What makes it so controversial is what it is made from: The Coca Leaf (that’s right, Coca as in Cocaine). There is nothing illegal about the use of the leaf, nor the consumption of this liqueur, however when it first came to be, it’s safe to say there were some shamefully shaking heads. But ignore them, because this liqueur is something special indeed.
Hand-picked to extremely high standards, the coca leaves are then transported (by armed guard) to Amsterdam where they are processed and infused until we get this almost florescent bottle of magic.
This liqueur is just a little different, a little crazy and a little controversial enough to not only be an instant hit across the globe, but to also interest people into making cocktails with it.
And that’s why it makes it onto this list.
Cocktail O’Clock: Agwa Berry Kiss
45ml Agwa de Bolivia coca leaf liqueur
150ml Italian Prosecco
Fresh Lime Juice (1/2 lime or round-abouts)
Fresh black berries and raspberries
1) Fill a fancy champagne flute with the chilled Prosecco.
2) Shake the lime juice and Agwa in a shaker, over ice.
3) Strain into the glass, over the Prosecco, watching it ripple through the sparkling wine.
4) Garnish with some fresh berries however you prefer (we like to skewer them, slicing them and putting them on the glass’ rim works too!)
That cocktail was courtesy of someone who’s had the pleasure of sampling and reviewing the liqueur first hand… Liquor Chick.
As the story goesLeonardo Da Vinci’s apprentice ‘Bernardino Luini’ was commissioned to paint a picture of ‘Madonna of the miracles in Saronno’ and in return for choosing an innkeeper to model as Madonna the young maiden innkeeper gave him a bottle of ‘golden liqueur’. Then later on this recipe was rediscovered and eventually sold as Disaronno.
Today Disaronno is among the most recognized of liqueurs across the planet. With a sweet Almond taste (imagine concentrated liquid marzipan being loosed upon your tastebuds) Disaronno is both perfect for drinking as is, or in well balanced cocktail.
Due to its carefully smooth texture and taste it can blend well with both the Neutral vodkas and white rums, but also well with the more flavourful tasting spirits like aged rum, Tequila and Gin.
Now this is something you do not often find in liqueurs, at least not an amaretto. Usually they are just good for aperitifs or as the base of a cocktail (where the other ingredients work around them). This however is different, and it’s for this reason it is my 3rd favourite liqueur.
A drink worth trying disaronno out with would be:
Cocktail O’Clock: Disaronno Jazzy Hour
½ measure Disaronno
1 measure Vodka
½ measure Tangerine Liqueur
1 measure Pineapple Juice
¼ measure Lemon Juice (about 5ml)
Shake all the ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass.
Pisa Liqueur is one of my all time favourite drinks, and was discovered purely by accident. I remember it well, I was looking for a new amaretto I saw in a shop window (a luxardo one, but I couldn’t remember the name) and stumbled across this on the drinkshop. I fell in love with the bottle design and it sounded good, so I bought a bottle for around £13-£14. Since then it’s become no longer available on the drinkshop, but I’m sure that within the next year or so they will break back onto the international market.
How do I know this? Well as recently as January this year (2013) this liqueur was show during an American tv’s superbowl cocktail segment. This alone makes me think they are branching out and it shouldn’t be too long for them to hit the UK commercially again (if they haven’t already)… For all you American reading this: You lucky buggars you, I’m extremely jealous. And would appreciate a few bottles sent my way!!
Here’s what the Pisa Liqueur official website has to say about their history:
“Liquore Pisa was born long ago from a domain steeped in history, rich in flavour and character. Its flavours come from a distant past, a history of intrigues of the renaissance. Therefore Liquore Pisa is aged and wise and imparts the feel of another world. Pisa has been bottled since the beginning in Italy at two Italian owned companies; Franciacorta which exists since 1901, and Torino Distillati.”
Cocktail O’Clock: The Pisa Sour
1 ¼ oz measure Pisa Liqueur
1 ¼ oz measure Stetson Bourbon
¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 egg white (optional)
Fresh grated nutmeg for garnish.
1) Shake ingredients over ice and double strain into a coupe cocktail glass.
2) Garnish with a grating of nutmeg.
6)Prucia Plum liqueur
Prucia is a bit of an enigma when it comes to liqueurs. However whilst it may be half Japanese and half French it is, after all, 100% Plum. This wonderful liqueur is something I discovered after originally falling in love with Brentzen Plum Liqueur. After trying the Brentzen liqueur, I found Prucia and thought I’d spend out the extra £££ for a little extra quality (or so I thought at the time). What I received for my £26 was a liqueur that, quite literally, blew my mind. I cannot shout enough good things about this Liqueur. My only problem is it’s slightly higher price tag – then again you are quite literally paying for the quality of the product, after all the Japanese part of this liqueur cannot come cheap.
“When bored by a splurge of poncey spirit brands, it’s a relief to taste something different…” – The London Paper.
This Liqueur is something a little special, and I wish I could have placed it higher, this with a splash of pepsi cola is just sublime, it’s simple yes, but so good.
Cocktail O’Clock: Prucia Formula
25ml Prucia Plum Liqueur
20ml Antica Formula Vermouth
Top up Champagne
Cherry & orange twist to garnish
1) Shake the Prucia & Vermouth together over ice and strain into a chilled champagne flute.
2) Top up with the Champagne.
3) Garnish by dropping the cherry in the glass and squeezing the twist over the glass and dropping that in too.
Created jointly by Giffard, the mighty Liqueur Giants, and Simon Difford (author of Difford’s guide to cocktails), this curious but elegant blend of agave nectar and Curacao Triple Sec elbows its way onto the world market. It gives Cointreau a run for its money when it comes to a unique and rather floral triple sec brand. Clocking in at 40%, the same as Cointreau, this triple sec fills a niche some bartenders were craving: A triple sec that go toe to toe with Tequila.
The obvious thing that sets this triple sec apart is in the name: Agave Nectar. Using 100% Mexican agave nectar; this triple sec blends the Curacao orange peels, that triple sec are renown for, but without losing the quality in the process.
There are only two things that keep this ‘triple sec’ from bettering Cointreau:
1) Exposure: basically Cointreau has this triple sec beat on popularity. Cointreau has been around for hundreds of years and it has a brutal stranglehold on all things triple sec. I mean face it, would you swap out that Christmas favourite for something you’re not sure about? No me either (I would for this but hey that’s me).
2) Cointreau’s combination of bitter & sweet orange peels is still that missing ingredient from every other triple sec out there. Sure this one has Agave Nectar for sweetness, but Cointreau is still on another level. And rightly so, as said above, it’s been around for several hundreds of years, you’d have thought they’d done well in that time right?!
Cocktail O’Clock: The Agave Sec Margarita
40ml Tequila Blanco (choose your favourite brand)
20ml Giffard Agave Sec
20ml Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1) Combine ingredients in an ice filled shaker.
2) Shake well and strain into a margarita cocktail glass.
3) Garnish with a lime wheel.
Check out Giffards Agave Sec product page for a little bit more about its history and for some more cocktails, including:
Fun fact: “Agave Syrup is 90% fructose, which has a very low glycemic index – this means that it’s a much healthier alternative to cane sugar and you need far less to achieve the same level of sweetness.” – Mangrove UK
A list of my favourite liqueurs would not be complete without this beauty. It misses out on the top 3 by literally the smallest of margins. I couldn’t decide between this and the next and I had to flip a coin for it. Not very scientific but let’s face it: drinking rarely is.
As you know from the whole host of Cointreau blogs I’ve written before Cointreau is a premium grade Triple Sec made using both bitter & sweet orange peels (most other triple sec brands use just the bitter peels). I won’t go into too much detail as that will negate the point of all the other Cointreau post’s I’ve written. However below I shall leave link’s to all my other Cointreau posts.
Fun fact: Cointreau turns opalescent when added to water, it shows the liqueur is pure and of good quality.
Cocktail O’Clock:The Cointreau Fizz, Original
½ lime (cut into wedges)
100ml Club Soda
1) Fill your glass with ice.
2) Add in the Cointreau.
3) Squeeze the lime wedges into the glass and drop in when done.
4) Top up with Club Soda
3)Domain De Canton Ginger liqueur
Domain de Canton Ginger Liqueur is another one of those French enigmas (like Prucia), in that it uses an interesting process and flavour to create something that truly is unique.
I tried this liqueur at university, having more money than I knew what to do with, when I bought and tried several expensive liqueurs. At around £30, it’s quite expensive all though these days that’s not far off some of the more established liqueurs.
Using the best Vietnamese baby ginger macerated with a blend of herbs and spices, unlocking it’s fresh essence.
“Domaine de Canton made in small batches and by hand, therefore mass quantities are not possible.” – partial descritption from the Domaine de Canton website.
This liqueur blends a whole collection of ingredients, including:
– Fine Eau de Vie,
– VSOP cognac
– XO Grande Champagne Cognac
– Tahitian Vanilla Beans
– Provencal Honey
– Tunisian Ginseng
If these ingredients are not enough for you, this liqueur is made naturally without preservatives, or colourings.
It’s worth a try if you have the monies knocking about, or even if you find a bar selling it. It’s perfect for cocktails, but even better with champagne, not to mention its use in food recipes.
Cocktail O’Clock: The Canton Cocktail
2 ½ mesures Domaine de Canton
½ measure Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
8 mint sprigs
Top up Club Soda (optional)
1) Shake all the ingredients over ice.
2) Strain into a rocks glass.
3) To make this drink slightly longer, top up with club Soda.
4) Garnish with a mint sprig and a slice of caramelised Ginger.
2)St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
What makes St-Germain my 2nd faviourite liqueur? Well apart from the heavenly taste, which by St-Germains own words “is a curious mixture that rivals Paris’ culture”, it’s all about the process St-Germain go through to create their signature liqueur…
Picking only the best fresh elderflower blossoms over the course of a few spring time weeks, the men that gather these blossoms then transport (by bicycle) the blossoms to the collection depot.
It is here that the fresh blossoms are then macerated using St-Germain’s secret method. Further to this the process they employ created the exceedingly fresh and complex elderflower liqueur we all know. With hints of pear, peach and even grapefruit zest, St Germain truly is a unique and superbly special liqueur. And it is for this reason it beats the other liqueurs in this list to 2nd place. The only liqueur to beat it, is one that holds a special place in my heart…
“Neither passionfruit nor pear, grapefruit nor lemon, the sublime taste of St-Germain hints at each of these and yet none of them exactly. It is a flavour as subtle and delicate as it is captivating. A little like asking a hummingbird to describe the flavour of its favourite nectar. Tres curieux indeed, n’est-ce pas?” – Exerpt from the St-Germain website.
Cocktail O’Clock: The St-Germain Cocktail
2 measures Brut Champagne (or dry sparkling wine)
1.5 measures St-Germain
2 measures Club Soda
1) Stir together the ingredients in an ice filled Collins glass.
2) Garnish with a lemon twist.
1)Licor 43 (aka Cuarenta Y Tres)
Repeat readers of this blog may or may not be surprised by this choice. Either way to me it was the easiest place to decide. I don’t think I could ever willingly go back to not knowing what this liqueur tastes like. Also I will not be going too much into its history or the cocktails, seeing as I have several posts dedicated to this…
A little re-cap of my introduction and history of this liqueur starts with my university life (once again, surprise, surprise). In my first year I was staying in halls which were situated 10 minutes walk away from the local Asda supermarket (a UK company owned by WallMart – a reference all you Americans will get). One time I went out with the intention to purchase a vanilla liqueur and was going to buy Galliano, until I saw this little Gem on the bottom shelf. It looked stunning in its unique little bottle, its black label and that golden liqueur.
So I gave in and spent the £16 (then, it’s around £18-£25 nowadays) and it was probably the best £16 I ever spent. I tried to find what it went best with, and strangely found that Pepsi (rather than coca cola) made the best mixer. Although it works well in plenty of cocktails, just look here for the best ones.
Another nail in the coffin of love I have for this liqueur was when I was on a Geography (University) Field trip to Southern Spain. At the hotel we stayed in, Licor 43 was one of most consumed liqueurs, and I got a lot of approving looks from the people at the bar for asking for it. Even the lady behind the bar seemed rather happy I’d asked for it (it probably helped me asking it using its Spanish name).
A little fact I want to end on it something not a lot of people know: Licor 43, also known as Cuarenta Y Tres, is a descendent of the Mirabilis liqueur made in the Cartangena region of the Mediterranean. And was originally founded by four Spaniards, and that company, Diego Zamora, is still completely family owned.
Cocktail O’Clock: The Power of Cuarenta Y Tres
7 measures Licor 43
1 measure Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
8 measures Cranberry Juice
4 measure Passion Fruit Nectar
1 measure Caramel Syrup
Fervent twist: Top up Ginger Beer
1) Shake all the ingredients into a shaker and strain over ice in a hurricane glass.
2) For a slightly longer drink, use our Fervent Twist and top up with Ginger beer.
3) Garnish with the in-season fresh fruit, and a lime wheel.
This cocktail is the one that, for me, really brings out what Cuarenta Y Tres stands for, both in name and taste.
Keep a look out for an on-going set of posts sharing (and celebrating) Licor 43’s current cocktail of the month initiative.
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…
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
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!