Tag Archives: southern comfort

10 COCKTAILS YOU SHOULD BE DRINKING THIS SUMMER… PART 2, 6-10

Carrying on from last weeks Summer themed post, this post supplies you with 5 more delicious summer themed (and inspired) cocktails… Whilst they are all based on a different liqueur or spirit they are all refreshing, relatively simple and perfect for BBQ’s or Beaches. Whatever your fancy…

Recipe #6: Midori – Midori La Pomme

20ml Midori

30ml Cognac (Brandy)

15ml Lemon Juice

Top up – Apple Cider

Garnish: Apple wedge

Method:

  • Fill a tall glass with ice cubes.
  • Build the ingredients as listed in the glass.
  • Stir well and serve with a straw and garnish with an apple wedge.

This is one of the stranger cocktails on the list, as it combines Midori, Cognac and Cider… Whilst most people would assume Calvados would be a better fit, I find it to be too sickly combined with the Midori & apple cider. Using Cognac helped balance the cocktail and results in a crisper more refreshing cocktail…

Recipe #7: Cointreau – Cointreau Fizz

50ml Cointreau

25ml Lime Juice

Top up Club Soda

Method:

  • Fill a glass with ice and squeeze in (and drop in) 4 lime wedges.
  • Pour in the Cointreau and stir very gently so as to mix the ingredients with the ice.
  • Top with the Club Soda and garnish with a wheel of lime and a straw.

This cocktail is a new classic just waiting for the official nod. This became Cointreau’s signiture cocktail a few years back when they wanted to show off how versatile their spirit was, and that you could use it as a standalone spirit. “Much more than just a Triple Sec…”

As simple as can be, it just uses 3 ingredients, this cocktail delivers a crisp slice of summer in a glass. Whilst this particular blend might not seem very adventurous, check out the following link to see what other tweaks on this base cocktail Cointreau have created (I particularly like the Cucumber & Mint version)…

Cointreau Fizz Variations

Recipe #8: Whisky – Hard Water Presbyterian

This cocktail is a tweaked recipe from the Presbyterian, a classic whisky cocktails...
This cocktail is a tweaked recipe from the Presbyterian, a classic whisky cocktails…

2 measures scotch whisky

¾ measures Lemon Juice

½ measure ginger syrup

2 measures Club Soda

Method:

  • Fill a Collins glass with ice cubes and add the club soda – leave to one side.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker.
  • Shake well for around 5-10 seconds* and then double strain into the tall glass.
  • Garnish with a piece of candied ginger on a skewer and serve with a straw.

Recipe #9: Southern Comfort –Blackout Special

A Southern Comfort special, this cocktail is perfect for long summer evenings and keeping you sane during a genuine blackout...
A Southern Comfort special, this cocktail is perfect for long summer evenings and keeping you sane during a genuine blackout…

50ml Southern Comfort

12.5ml Fresh Lime Juice

25ml Sprite/7up

25ml Cranberry Juice

Method:

  • Build in a tall glass over ice, start with the SoCo.
  • Then add in the lime, Sprite and cranberry juice.
  • Garnish with a sprig of cranberries and a wedge of lime.

This refreshing cocktail is a little simpler than most, but it has that refreshing fizz to it that also has a little sugary hit. The Blackout Special is perfect for those long summer evenings and BBQ’s with neighbours.  Hell it’s even a fitting perk up if a blackout actually hits…

Recipe #10: Passoa – Passoa Rosa Fizz

This Passionfruit based cocktail is a perfect refresher for BBQ's and summer parties in the city.
This Passionfruit based cocktail is a perfect refresher for BBQ’s and summer parties in the city.

50ml Passoa

100ml Grapefruit Juice

Top up club soda

Method:

  • Combine the first 2 ingredients one at a time over ice in a tall glass.
  • Top up with the soda and garnish with a passionfruit husk float*.

This is another build-it-yourself cocktail and that means it’s brilliant for gatherings. You can make them in bulk and relatively quickly so it’s a perfect drink for BBQ’s, Parties etc… However if this drink is your own and you want to make it a little more special why not turn the garnish into a ‘bomb’ float?

Simply fill half a passionfruit husk with Triple Sec, or another similar liqueur (to be fair most liqueurs work here) and sink it just before drinking…

So there you go! 10 fabulous cocktails for your summer Party/BBQ/Evening… What’s more why don’t you try infusing some Vodka and try out a few tweaks on these classic recipes:

Vodka Summer Cocktails

Please remember to drink responsibly as you’ll want to be sober enough to try the cocktails on the next post!

Finding Comfort with a Southern Elixir…

SoCo 1

Southern Comfort is one of those liqueurs people either like or dislike – I am of the former affinity.

Whisky based liqueurs, in my opinion, do not get better than this New Orleans superstar; with its’ dominant orange flavours and light-whisky aftertaste it’s perfect for cocktails or sipping neat.

Unfortunately it didn’t make my top 10 liqueurs list last year, but that was only because it was far more renown than at least 9 of the liqueurs featured in that list… Whilst it is rather renown in these parts of the world (Europe) and holds ‘superstar’ status in the USA (New Orleans – durh)…

So here’s the point of this post:

I work in a local supermarket and as you would expect from a typical Christmas time shopper they have questions all about alcohol (that’s where I step in). My colleagues always come and ask me questions about spirits as they know it’s what I’m interested in. This means I get all of the ‘I want something as a present, what do I buy?’ questions. For some reason everyone was after Southern Comfort (the significant reduction due to the special offer (£6 off) may have had a small part to play) but no one knew what to do with it, nor whether they should use the standard 35%vol  SoCo or the Bold Black cherry, which stands at a slightly higher (and surprisingly poignant) 40%.

My advice: Always start with the basics. Yes that means the standard, that’s not to degrade the black cherry as it is rather nice, but I find that sometimes the original works wonders; not to mention introducing you into the flavour Southern Comfort is globally renown for.

So what cocktails can you make with Southern Comfort?

Well it can be simply drank as a sour, with lemon and sugar or as part of an elaborate concoction like the Cherry Manhattan. Whether you prefer SoCo Original or SoCo Bold Black Cherry there’s sure to be a cocktail for you:

1. Slow Comfortable Screw against the Wall

Recipe:

1 measure SoCo Original

1 measure Vodka

1 measure Sloe Gin

3 measures Orange Juice

½ measure Galliano Liqueur

slow comfortable screw against the wall

Method:

–          Combine the first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well (until the tin ices over).

–          Strain into an ice filled Collins glass and then float the Galliano on top.

We start here with a bit of a concoction and one a few of you may have heard of, but never actually had. This cocktail takes its name from all of the ingredients and a couple of cocktails:

Slow & Comfortable are references to the Gin and SoCo whilst the Screw is in reference to the Screwdriver cocktail (vodka & orange juice) and finally the ‘Wall’ refers to the Galliano and is in reference to the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail.

Whilst this cocktail can be time consuming with all the individual ingredients but the payoff is something sublime. Whether you’re impressing friends at cocktail parties, or even if you have a BBQ or small chilled out gathering, it’s literally perfect for all of the above.

2. SoCo Hot Apple Pie

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo Original

5 measures Warm Apple Cider

SoCo hot apple pie

Method:

–          Stir the SoCo into the warm cider and garnish with an apple slice.

–          Sip with or without straws, but take care as the cider should be rather hot.

This is a simple recipe, and one for the budding home brewers out there. I’ve seen some recipes out there for mulled ciders but a good quality cider would work just as well. You’ll have to find your own mulled recipes, but here’s one to start you off…

3. SoCo Traditional Cherry Cola

Recipe:

1 measure SoCo Bold Black Cherry

¾ measure Pom, Pomegranate Juice

Top Up Cola

SoCo Cherry Cola

Method:

–          Simple pour technique: SoCo, then the Pomegranate juice and final top up with the Cola.

–          Use ice if you prefer your ‘Cuban’ style drinks chilled.

–          Garnish with a lemon wedge.

This is another simple recipe, and a rather fruity one at that. Great for the ladies as the Pom really adds a touch of fruity-flavour to the cola. This one works best with classic cola, but if you must use diet be prepared for some damage to the overall flavour!

4. SoCo Chocolate Covered Cherry

Recipe:

1 ¼ measures SoCo Bold Black Cherry

¼ measure Dark Crème de Cacao

Method:

–          Combine over ice and stir well.

–          Strain into a well-iced shot glass.

This drink is a great shot to have at parties no matter the weather. It’s warming and sweet but the alcohol really lends itself to the back of your throat. I particularly like its application to the various ‘shot-boxing’ style drinking game, either that or as a small tipple after a Sunday roast.

5. Black Cherry Manhattan

Recipe:

2 ¼ measures SoCo Bold Black Cherry

¾ measures Sweet Vermouth

Dash of Angostura Bitters

SoCo manhattan

Method:

–          Stir together all the ingredients and then strain them into a cocktail (martini) glass.

–          Garnish with a Cocktail cherry and a twist of lemon peel.

So now for a twist on a classic whisky cocktail; SoCo being a whisky liqueur means this can still technically be considered a Manhattan (although many bartenders would argue that). This is simply a cherry flavoured short, but sweet, cocktail. I also have no qualms in stating that without the cherry this drink just doesn’t work for me. The cherry adds a subtle twist onto an otherwise tweaked cocktail and really carries it to another level. Give it a go and if the cherry flavour is too subtle for you; add a splash or two of cherry brandy.

6. Southern Hurricane

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo original

1 ½ measures Sweet & Sour mix

1 ½ measures Orange Juice

1 ½ measures Pineapple Juice

Splash of grenadine

soco hurricane

Method:

–          Shake together these ingredients and strain the mixture into a hurricane glass

Not exactly the most sensitive of drink, considering recent events, but it’s a cocktail under ‘New Orleans favourites’ on the SoCo website – so all is ok, right?! Anyway it’s a very refreshing, tropical tasting drink that really does make it perfect for summer evenings down south. Try blending all of the ingredients together with ice to make a frozen version of this cocktail. Just add a splash more of grenadine to add some colour.

7. Cajun Thunder

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo original

½ measure bourbon

Dash of Tobasco Sauce

soco spicy shot

Method:

–          Shake and strain.

Need a little fire in your life? Does someone in your little band of warriors need their feet grounding? – Well in that case this is the drink for you! The SoCo is sweet, but the Smokey bourbon should quell that, and the Tobasco sauce will be the silent poison (they won’t notice it until it’s too late). Now I do NOT applaud alcohol abuse, but I know all the students out there will appreciate this shooter cocktail (just treat it with a bit of respect, I like to think about how I’d feel if I were tricked into it myself).

8. SoCo Cherry Squeeze

Recipe:

1 ½ measures SoCo Bold Black Cherry

½ measure Orange Juice

3 measures Lemon-Lime soda (7Up/Sprite)

soco cherry squeeze

Method:

–          Build the ingredients in the order they are written.

–          Straw and enjoy.

A great twist on what I’m drinking right now; see no.10, this cocktail mixes together the legendary citrus of Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice with an orange-whisky liqueur – genius. The Lemon-Lime Soda is perfect as the final compliment to an extremely simple to make, refreshing cocktail. Serve over ice, sip and enjoy!

9. Alabama Slammer

Recipe:

1 measure SoCo Original

1 measure Sloe Gin

1 measure Amaretto

2 measures Fresh Orange Juice

soco alabama slammer

Method:

–          Shake all the ingredients over ice until the shaker ices over.

–          Strain into an ice filled Collins glass and garnish with an orange slice and cocktail cherry.

This cocktail is what many consider to be the actual Alabama Slammer, and I’ve seen many a recipe (al different) also claim that title; but for this post the name does its bit. This cocktail combines Sloe Gin, Amaretto and SoCo for a tad strong but very sweet cocktail. The fresh orange juice helps balance it out a little but I find for that something extra try a dash of lemonade or ginger beer, if you’re brave enough.

10. What I’m Drinking Right now: Deep South Steamboat

Recipe:

2 measures SoCo Original

¼ Lemon, freshly squeezed

Top Up Lemonade

soco lemonade

Method:

–          Build drink in order of ingredients, over ice and in a tall glass.

–          Serve with a straw and drink to be refreshed.

This last cocktail on the list is what I’m drinking right now, as I write this post. It’s kind of a twist on bitter lemonade, with the Fresh Lemon juice adding a little zing to the glass. The cocktail itself, although containing 2 measures of a 35% liqueur, is rather light and refreshing. Many call this the Steamboat cocktail (SoCo & Lemonade) so I shall dub this one the ‘Deep South Steamboat’… You can thank me later.

So there you go folks, a long thought out list of 10 Southern Comfort based cocktails… Whether you want a refreshing light spritzer cocktail or a strong shooter this list has something for you all. Hopefully you enjoyed having a look through! Until next time drinkers!

SoCo 2

Please remember to drink responsibly, a few of these drinks are created so you don’t notice the strength of the alcohol – but don’t let this fool you SoCo is a strong liqueur and should be treated with respect. 

A Pitcher Says A Thousand Words…

5 scalable sparkling drinks, perfect for your end of Summer BBQ…

Image
Everyone loves a BBQ, whether you’re British or American, it’s a universal food language! Picture courtesy of http://www.affordablecateringdenver.com

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

1L Vodka

175ml Lime Juice

500ml Triple Sec

1L Cranberry Juice

1L Bitter Lemon(ade)

1L Classic Lemonade

Method:

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

700ml Rum

500ml Southern Comfort

50ml Sugar Syrup

150ml Lime Juice

1L Apple Juice

1L Ginger Ale

Method:

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.

Image
Cocktail are refreshing, and they are perfect for BBQ’s too… Picture courtesy of http://www.vegasnews.com

3)      Gin Garden

700ml Gin

350ml Passoa

250ml Cointreau

150ml Lemon Juice

1L Tropical/Passionfruit Juice

1L Soda Water

Method:

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

100ml Chambord

500ml Apple Schnapps

350ml Cranberry Juice

1L Apple & Pear Juice

1L Ginger Ale

Method:

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.

Image
Not all cocktails have to be alcoholic, some of the best cocktails i’ve tried have been non-alcoholic… Picture courtesy of http://www.rachaelraymag.com

5)      Mocktail Monster

100ml grenadine

700ml POM pomegranate juice

350ml cranberry juice

350ml Apple Juice

150ml Lime Juice

1L Bitter Lemon

1L Lemonade

Method:

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.

Image
Always aim to try new things, this wonderful device is a brilliant day out. check out http://www.firebox.com for more information…

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 Entered a Competition!!!

“I hope I win…”

So recently I entered two competitions, whilst one involved coming up with 3 cocktails (one initially but 3 in total should you make it to their UK heats) the other was a screenplay competition. In my spare time (when I’m not working on my cocktails, this blog or my book in progress) I love coming up with Sci-Fi novel ideas. None of which I’ve had the time to write up in full yet.

However these competitions have given me something to focus on heavily (hence the abundance of shorter posts from me in recent weeks). The screenplay was only for a 3 minute scene, but I actually got some great ideas written down for my own novel, which I’ll be working on this week coming.

This screenplay competition is something I’m extremely excited about from a personal point of view; however this next competition is something I’m also proud about from a business point of view…

With London cocktail week coming up (October 7th-13th) I wanted to enter a proper cocktail creativity competition. Then I saw the Angostura Bitters Global Competition. An annual competition, Angostura looks for ways to showcase one of their flagship products: Angostura Bitters.

The prestigious Angostura global cocktail championships…

This competition calls for three cocktails:

1)      A Rum based cocktail containing 5 dashes of Angostura bitters. Rest of the ingredients were my own, as were the garnishes, glassware and methods.

2)      A freestyle cocktail: Can use any combination of alcohol but must contain 5 dashes of bitters once again.

3)      An Angostura Rum (1919, 1824, Reserva, 5yo & 7yo Rums) & bitters drink.

All 3 are allowed up to six ingredients as long as 1 is Angostura bitters (5 dashes). Now I think 5 dashes is far too much, but I set out to prove myself wrong and try and come up with something a little better than I have done before. Now straight away I singled out Ginger Ale as the obvious mixer for at least one of my three drinks…

The others are very orchard like, and what I feel to represent the best fusion of Angostura Rum/Bitters with the British produce. One is a soft berry & mixed berry themed punch (my signature one) and the other rum one is an orchard special (using apple and elderflower).

I won’t be sharing the cocktails just yet as, should I be invited to the heats, I want them to be a surprise (you never know who’ll read the post right folks?)…

With any luck I can make it to the heats, be told how my cocktails are, and either take the brutal criticism on the chin or revel in some great remarks (most likely a mixture of the two).

Anyway I shall leave you with this, rather special, cocktail you should all try:

Open House Punch

750ml Southern Comfort

175ml Lemon Juice

175ml Fresh Lemonade*

175ml Fresh Orange Juice*

3 litres lemon-lime soda (7up/Sprite)

Perfect for large parties, this punch is soft enough but if you're not careful it'll kick like a Bucking Bronco...
Perfect for large parties, this punch is soft enough but if you’re not careful it’ll kick like a Bucking Bronco…

Method:

1)      In a punch bowl combine all the ingredients, and stir well.

2)      Chuck in some fruit you like (citrus works well, and so do orchard fruit, soft fruit & berries).

3)      Chill well if making in advance (cover and place in fridge for 2/3 hours) if making to order:

4)      Add ice and stir until cold. The bigger the ice cubes the less the dilution. A single large block of ice is best.

5)      Serve out with a ladle and enjoy.

Top tip: Try experimenting with fruit liqueurs and different fruit juices, it won’t be an ‘Open House Punch’ but you just might discover something a little special…

*these can be found down your local supermarkets fresh juice aisle. The original recipe calls for frozen 6 oz cans of both the lemonade and OJ but over here in the UK we don’t have those readily available. Should you also want something a bit fresher (I’m aiming that one at all you north Americans (USA & Canada alike) then fresh lemonade and (not from concentrate) smooth Orange juice work as a great substitute.

My Favourite Liqueurs: Spoilers! Spoilers! Warning, Spoilers!

Image
What’s your favourite?

So everyone enjoys a cocktail (if you don’t? Leave! NOW!), and I’m no different. But when it comes to liqueurs I just love a story. It adds a bit of romance to the bottle your drinking from. To know where it came from, and where it is now. 

When I first started out on my journey up this cocktail brick road I met some truly wonderful liqueurs. There was the Tin Man looking for a heart: Disaronno, The Lion: looking for its courage: Southern Comfort and finally the Scarecrow searching for it’s brain: Cointreau.

Now let me briefly explain the above metaphors are by no means insults. They are just observations of where these spirits were, in my mind at least, around 8 years ago as well as their personal histories and challenges they faced…

The Tin Man: Disaronno

Image
Disaronno: An extremely famous Italian liqueur. Popular all over the world.

                Disaronno is a liqueur through and through. The company claims the recipe was given to an artist under the guidance of the Leo Da Vinci, by a greatful innkeeper, then rediscovered several decades later and produced it for family consumption. If you fancy reading more about the liqueur’s history then click here and enjoy the story. I’m not one to call their bluff as I don’t care if its a fake or real story; I love it when liqueurs like this have romantic stories behind them…

The Lion: Southern Comfort

Image
Southern Comfort: One of, if not the, leading whisky based liqueur from the States.

                Southern comfort, back in my teenage days, was a lowly bottle of whisky-based liqueur on the shelf for about £15 (yeah I know, cheap right?!), I knew of three or four people that drank it, and they always recommended it, but everyone else I asked had either never heard of it or never tried it… Now you look for it, and it’s one of the most famous liqueur brands full stop. When you think about liqueurs, SoCo will always be on someone’s tongue. And to further point out its heightened market share it has, over the last couple years, released both lime and black cherry flavours (going back to their fruity routes with the latter).

The Scarecrow: Cointreau

Image
Cointreau: without doubt the worlds leading triple sec liqueur, It’s quality speaks for itself…

                I cannot remember a time when Cointreau was not a Christmas favourite, but always I have thought of it as more – I mean think about some of the most famous cocktails in the world, they all include Cointreau (think Margaritas & cosmopolitans). Now in recent years they’ve really gone for the jugular when it comes to advertisement, they are plastering our T.V. screens, they are subtly creating an air of affordable exclusivity. As recent as June-July this year they have held 4 ‘Cointreau Fizz Garden’ Parties where they invited limited numbers to attend the specifically designed Magdalen house rooftop (with an amazing view of the Shard I might add).

 

So with those explanations out of the way I’d like to think you have taken away 3 things:

1)      My love for cocktails, doesn’t stop with the drinks, it extends to both the spirits and other ingredients.

2)      Nothing is straight forward when it comes to describing a spirit. I like to think of things a little more creatively and to me, the above 3 liqueurs bring all the things above to mind when I think about them.

3)      Liqueurs are great. And to prove this I’ll be sharing my top 10 favourite liqueurs below…

And with luck, tomorrow evening you’ll be able to see (a) were I’m going with this. and (b) that all important top 10 of my favourite liqueurs… And believe me there are some wonderful liqueurs on that list…