Tag Archives: st-germain

Prosecco – 3 ways to a New Years Party…

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!

Cocktail #1:

Prosecco & St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Ingredients:

30ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Top Up TTD Prosecco Conegliano

Method:

  • Using a standard champagne flute, gently add the Elderflower Liqueur into the bottom of the glass.
  • The simply top up with the prosecco.
  • Garnish with

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!

 

Cocktail #2:

Prosecco & Licor 43

Ingredients:

30ml Licor 43

Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano

Method:

  • 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…

 

Cocktail #3:

Prosecco & Creme De Peche

Ingredients:

25ml Creme De Peche

Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano

Method:

  • 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!

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Shaking things up in Battersea Park: Who let the Dodd’s out?

So I recently subscribed to Shaken Cocktails, and covered that in my post last week. After reading my post; Mark Jennings, one of the founders of Shaken Cocktails, invited me up to Battersea Park, or the nearby area to be specific, for a gathering of members and founders at the base of operations for Dodd’s Gin (The London Gin Distillery). Now this is the sort of event I’ve been looking forward to and the type of event I simply don’t get to go to enough.

From Left to Right: Mark Jennings, Darren Rook, Darren's Gin Still: 'Christine',  Sarah, Sophie & Fergus...
From Left to Right: Mark Jennings, Darren Rook, Darren’s Gin Still: ‘Christine’, Sarah, Sophie & Fergus…

Shaken bill the event as ‘A Shaken Lock-In’ and event where you go to meet like-minded people and, using the ingredients supplied in that specific months box, create 2 gloriously alcoholic cocktails. This event, at the London Gin Distillery in Battersea, consisted of meeting Mark Jennings as well as Darren Rook of Dodd’s Gin as well as several other members of Shaken Cocktails. It was a well organised and extremely down to earth event that was opened by Mark himself. Mark spoke very humbly about the event, Shaken and of course all those who attended. He came across highly passionate and very emotional when speaking about their recent successes at crowd funding (they’ve surpassed their original total and have since raised over £97,000… Congratulations to them!

congrats

It continued with a “15-minute” talk from the gin distillery’s main man: Darren Rook. Darren came across as extremely knowledgeable yet extremely down to earth and happy to talk about his work. Now you’d expect that from most people in his position but what’s refreshing is his openness and blatant passion for his craft. He’s humble yet highly knowledgeable.

Moving onto the cocktails and why everyone came: To experience Shaken and their cocktails…

So this month’s main cocktail was The Negroni, and was backed up with the Elderflower Collins.

Both cocktails used the Gin from the very establishment we met at: Dodd’s.

Check out the recipes below:

1) The Dodd’s Negroni

Recipe:

30ml Dodd’s Gin

30ml Cocci Torino Vermouth

15ml-30ml Cynar

1 part Dodd's Gin + 1 part Cocci Torino + 0.5 parts (OR 1 part) Cynar = One damn fine Negroni!
1 part Dodd’s Gin + 1 part Cocci Torino + 0.5 parts (OR 1 part) Cynar = One damn fine Negroni!

Method:

  • Into a rocks glass add the Dodd’s Gin and Cocci Torino Vermouth.
  • Then add the Cynar bitter liqueur. Try 15ml at first and then if you’d like it a little drier try add the other 15ml.
  • Add ice to the top of the glass and then stir for around 10-20 seconds.
  • Take a slice of orange peel and using your thumbs and forefingers squeeze the oils over the top of the drink.
  • Wipe the peel around the glass and then place it into the drink and sip away.

2) Elderflower Collins

Recipe:

45ml Dodd’s Gin

30ml Fresh Lemon Juice

15ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

15ml Sugar Syrup

Top up Soda Water

Blending Gin, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur and sugar syrup with a dash soda water results in a spritzy little number...
Blending Gin, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur and sugar syrup with a dash soda water results in a spritzy little number…

Method:

  • Fill the metal tin (from a Boston shaker) 2 thirds full with ice.
  • Using the glass part of the shaker add together the Gin, Lemon, Elderflower liqueur and sugar syrup.
  • Shake well, for around 10-15 seconds (until the tin ices over).
  • Strain into a tall, ice filled, and top up with Soda water.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve with 2 straws.

Now these cocktails are complete opposites and by Marks own admissions this was purposely done to cater for those who like their alcohol straight and for those who enjoy a longer crisper drink.

The Negroni, with its unusual mix of more exotic ingredients is both stronger and more abusive than the Elderflower Collins yet it also holds greater depth and its lighter dilution level means you get to experience all of the great flavours from each of the 3 spirits used in its creation.

However this doesn’t write off the elderflower as a lesser cocktail. Sure the Negroni is a classic, but let’s not forget that the Elderflower Collins, by name as well as nature, is a tweak on another classic cocktail: The Tom Collins.

This tweak lightens the drink up a little and also adds a floral note, one that reminds you of the summer days gone, and makes you look forward to those to come. It’s an easy drink to consume and whilst perfect for a summer’s eve, I would state that it’s a pretty good all-rounder and something I would happily make myself when at home.

margate evening
Chill out, kick back and relax.

This event was a joy to attend and cocktails with Shaken & Dodd’s aside, meeting the other people like minded and enjoying both Shaken and cocktails in general.

Shaken is doing wonderful things and they’re headed up by Mark Jennings who not only believes in Shaken but passionately believes in what they’re doing. His sincerity and humble manner will take the company a long way and I’m proud to be a paying subscriber. I simply cannot wait for the next box to arrive!!!

The Shaken & LDC Folk: Left to Right - Mark Jennings, Darren Rook, Darrens Gin Still: Christine, Sarah, Sophie & Fergus...
So one big thank you to the team at both Shaken & LDC…

As a final note I’d like to add this:

I used to hate gin. A couple years ago I met the group over at Sipsmith and they turned me. And that’s all I’ve drunk Gin-wise since. Now, after meeting Darren Rook and experiencing the effort and quality that goes into Dodd’s gin (along with the actual gin itself – sublime) I can safely say that my self-labelled bottle will be treasured for a long time to come!

So from me here at The Fervent Shaker: Thank you Mark Jennings & Shaken Cocktails for the invite and event. And thank you to Darren Rook at Dodd’s Gin for hosting and sharing your knowledge with us all!

Cocktails O’Clock: Inspired by… France (#1)

The French Blonde

Recipe:

½ measure St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

1 measure Dry Gin

2 measures Lillet Blanc

2 measures fresh grapefruit juice

3 Dashes Lemon Bitters

A Perfect French Cocktail…

Method:

  1. Using an ice filled shaker, shake together all the ingredients for about 30 seconds (or until the shaker is iced).
  2. Strain it into a Martini glass and garnish with a twist grapefruit peel.

This cocktail is a great way to introduce France to both you and your cocktails; Using 2 of Frances well known spirits/liqueurs, this cocktail oozes class and all the subtlety the French are famous for…

Combining the sweet and fragrant St. Germain and Lillet Blanc with the tartness of the Grapefruit; this cocktail is well balanced and even emits a rather subtle juniper taste on the palate (from the gin).

Try this cocktail out at home and experiment with different grapefruits (I find golden & pink grapefruits work the best, but it’s all down to your palate).

A Pitcher Says A Thousand Words…

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

The Fervent Shaker Top 10 Liqueurs

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My top 10 liqueurs… Which one makes no.1? Is it this Beauty? Or another great liqueur…

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…

10) Chambord

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A great berry liqueur…

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

Method:

1)      Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a large martini cocktail glass.

2)      Garnish with some fresh raspberries.

9) Agwa Bolivia (coca)

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A great Coca Leaf based liqueur, it even gives you a little buzz when you drink it… What’s not to like?!

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

Method:

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.

8) Disaronno

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A great Italian liqueur, one of our faves here in the UK…

As the story goes Leonardo 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)

Method:

Shake all the ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass.

 

7) Pisa Liqueur

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A fantastic Amaretto-like liqueur from Pisa, Italy. One I hope to see in my cupboard again very soon…

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.

Method:

1)      Shake ingredients over ice and double strain into a coupe cocktail glass.

2)      Garnish with a grating of nutmeg.

6) Prucia Plum liqueur

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One of the classiest liqueurs I’ve ever had the pleasure in owning. It will not be long before I own another bottle, trust me!

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

Method:

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.

5) Agave Sec

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Another of the great quality Triple Sec’s, this one is blended with Agave Syrup for that sweet hit…

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

Method:

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:

The Nutcracker

The Caribbean Sunset

The Beautiful Apple

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

4) Cointreau

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Cointreau have recently started up a Fizz summer cocktail awareness campaign… It went rather well…

And here we are: Remy Cointreau’s crown jewel of liqueurs: Cointreau.

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.

Cointreau Fizz Garden

Cointreau Fizz Cocktails

Cointreau Summer Cocktails

The history of Cointreau Part 1

The history of Cointreau Part 2

The history of Cointreau Part 3

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

50ml Cointreau

½ lime (cut into wedges)

100ml Club Soda

Method:

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

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A great liqueur with the best of everything… You’re sure to love it!

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)

Method:

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

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A beautifully sweet and luxurious liqueur from France, where else?

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

Method:

1)      Stir together the ingredients in an ice filled Collins glass.

2)      Garnish with a lemon twist.

1) Licor 43 (aka Cuarenta Y Tres)

My all time favourite liqueur, this has a special place in my heart, and will never be beaten to that no.1 spot!

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

Method:

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.

Previous Licor 43 posts:

Licor 43 Jewel of Southern Spain

Licor 43 Summer Cocktails

International COTM: July

Until next time readers, fare thee well!