So Cinco De Mayo is here! It might be nearly over here in the UK but over in the USA it’s just about time to prep your drinks and start upon your drinking night…
My addition this year is a simple yet often overlooked tweak to make your lovely cocktail a little more… punchy.
Recently I was out for a meal at Chiquito’s (a Mexican/Southern American themed chain restaurant here in the UK) and my tipple of choice whenever visiting this particular branch is their exceptional Dark N’ Stormy. They use Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and of course Goslings ginger ale – What you have to use to create a Dark n’ Stormy, and call it so.
Well I finished my first one and, sporting my Mexican sports jacket (I purchased it during the 2014 world cup – it’s a delightful shade of green) I asked the waitress if she would mind asking the bartender to make me a Dark N’ Stormy, but with a tweak… She told me they can if they have the means, so I asked for a Dark N’ Stormy but for Tequila instead of rum, I said I wasn’t too fussed on what tequila, just whatever the bartender thought would work best.
Now I don’t know what tequila the bartender used, nor did I remember to ask on my way out (a mistake on my part – although I’d had a few and was with friends). All I know is that it tasted fantastic, and worked wonderfully! So whilst I do not know what tequila was used (I’ve left that to your own tastes) I have included a recipe I know to be pretty accurate to what I had:
Cinco De Mayo Special: Mexican Storm
50ml Tequila (your favourite)
150ml Ginger Ale/Beer
15ml Fresh Lime Juice
Pour the ginger ale/beer into a half filled tall glass.
Squeeze in the lime juice and top up with the large slug of tequila.
Garnish with a slice of lime and serve with a couple of straws.
This cocktail is so simple it’s a wonder it isn’t used more often in the world of cocktails. Supplementing tequila for rum in this case means your drink packs a little more of a kick, as well as making it instantly Mexican themed…
So next time you order a Dark N’ Stormy, switch out the rum for a nice quality Tequila, preferably your favourite, and you may never go back. I know I’m sold!
So I just got paid, and I promised myself that I’d spend around £10-£20 on some quality fresh ingredients for some lovely little infused simple syrups; you know fresh rhubarb, quality oranges, some ripe figs etc…
Whether they’re used in cocktails or simply as an ice-cream topper is up to the consumer but I started with something I’ve been wanting to recreate for a long time…
The Grapefruit Simple Syrup
100g granulated sugar
2 tbsp finely grated red-grapefruit zest
Combine the zest and sugar in a bowl and mix vigorously.
Combine with water in a tall sided saucepan.
Simmer on a medium-low heat for around 10 minutes, stirring well the entire time.
After around 10 minutes the sugar should have dissolved. If not leave for another 5 minutes.
Once the sugar has dissolved, turn down to a low heat and leave to thicken a little.
Once thickened, remove from the heat and pour into a metal bowl. Cover and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes. Go away and enjoy a nice episode of your favourite TV show.
Once cooled, fine strain (using a muslin cloth if possible) the mixture to remove the grapefruit zest.
Funnel the liquid into the required amount of sterilised stopper bottles (see the picture above for the bottles I used).
Label and store in the fridge. If this is done right, it will keep for 1-3 weeks, although you should use it within 3-5 days after first opening. Tip: split high volumes up into smaller amounts so you don’t have to throw a lot away.
This syrup is a little bitter, but bursting with flavour. It really packs a grapefruit kick and is lovely on a dessert (ice-cream, rice pudding etc…), breakfast (porridge anyone?) and of course beverages including cocktails!!!
Here’s the reason I made this syrup in the first place; my long way around Paloma…
Build ingredients one by one in a tall, ice-filled, Collins glass.
Top up with the soda water and stir gently, to mix the ingredients.
Garnish with a lime wedge/slice and serve with a straw (or two).
For an added twist though why not try out a Cointreau Bomb: Using a mexican elbow; Squeeze the lime juice out of a lime half and then turn the lime the other way around and press the elbow together again. Tie the elbow and leave while you prepare the drink. Once the drink has been prepared the fun begins. Sit the now ‘hollowed-out’ lime half on top of your drink and fill with Cointreau.
Just before drinking push the lime half under and then enjoy…
This ‘long-way-around’ version of a great tequila cocktail is a little more bitter than it’s more simple cousin but it’s also got a greater depth in flavour and allows the drink to come across a little fresher.
I also think that creating a drink like this also adds the sophistication that using canned grapefruit soda removes. A classy little cocktail made In a loving, yet sophisticated way.
Not to mention the self-satisfaction you’ll get from creating your own infused simple syrup!
Give both of these recipes a go and let me know what you think, if you’re feeling a like a party try comparing this version of the Paloma to one made with grapefruit soda and see which you prefer…
Spirits, as any good bartender knows, are the door to many a persons’ heart (buy me a bottle of rum and you’ll have a friend for life), come in many shapes and sizes and nowadays flavours. There is a lot of choice out there and even more so these days, the choice can be very difficult for those not up to date with the ‘in’ product. For instance do you know the best types of Dark rum to buy for your dark ‘n’ stormy? Or whether Smirnoff is the best UK vodka? (Hint: it’s not even from the UK).
Well the idea behind these valentines inspired cocktails is that they use spirits (as well as other ingredients) that can all be easily found in your local supermarkets (UK readers) or liquor stores (USA & other worldly destinations)…
So here we have 6 cocktails: 1 for each of the big 6 spirits: Whisky, Rum, Vodka, Tequila, Cognac & Gin. As I stated above; all the ingredients used can be easily sourced and in short notice too. So without delay let’s get started, with this wonderful Vodka cocktail:
Vodka Valentine: The Pomegranate Martini
1 measure Vodka
½ measure Cointreau*
3 measures POM Pomegranate Juice
Combine all the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake well (around 5-10 seconds – just enough time for the shaker to ice over).
Strain mixture into a well-chilled martini cocktail glass.
Garnish with an orange/lime peel.
This cocktail is a lovely little drink similar in hue (and length) as a cosmopolitan. It’s a girly favourite and that should make it a shoe in for any of you guys trying to impress a lady on a night in (or order them on a night out – always a winner).
*if you’re not a fan of the wonderfully sweet Cointreau Liqueur then you can always replace it with the same measurement of orange or lime juice. Equally if you want alcohol but want a less-sweet liqueur then try replacing it with Orange Curacao.
Rum Valentine: Cranberry Kiss
1 measure Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum
2 measures Sour Mix*
2 measures Cranberry Juice
1 wedge of lemon
Build the ingredients over ice in a Collins glass and stir well as you do so (you can mix this drink but it’s best built).
Drop in a lemon wedge and stir gently. Serve with a straw.
This is a lovely long-ish cocktail with a slightly sweeter-than-normal taste. Great for chilling out on a long night out (or in) especially if you need a slight pick-me-up, this cocktail is definitely perfect for intimate evenings with loved ones and will go down a treat.
*Sour mix is a fancy term for lemon & lime flavoured sugar syrup. It can be made by following the usual sugar syrup method and adding lemon & lime juice to the mix. Click on the Sour Mix in the recipe for the sour mix recipe itself. Again – all the ingredients can be found in your local shop(s).
Tequila Valentine: Phoenix Rising
2 measures Blanco Tequila (100% Agave)
4 measures Fresh Orange Juice*
1 measure Agave Nectar
1 splash (5ml) Lime Juice
5-6 fresh pitted cherries**
Muddle the cherries with a splash of lime juice and leave to one side.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake well (for around 5-10 seconds – or until the shaker ices-over).
Strain into an ice filled rocks glass and drop in the cherries for a garnish.
Serve with a straw, or straight if preferred.
This cocktail is what Valentines is all about: Sharing something special with someone special. Sure it’s only for tequila lovers as the tequila really shines through, but this cocktail, prepared correctly is a fantastic combination of flavour and kick.
*You can use juice from a carton but the fresher the better: Long Life Carton < Chilled Carton < Fresh Squeezed. Hint: The middle option, whilst not the freshest is the best value without losing too much quality. Especially if you choose a nice brand or supermarket top brand e.g. Sainsbury’s TTD or Tesco’s Finest.
**The cherries, if muddled just right, will release their burgundy coloured juice and tint the cocktail a nice reddish hue that dances about your glass with every sip. It also adds a slight fragrance to the drink enticing you in…
Gin Valentine: Lady Killer
1 measure Hendricks Dry Gin
½ measure Cointreau/Triple Sec
½ measure Apricot Brandy*
2 measures Passion fruit Juice**
2 measures Pineapple Juice***
Combine all of the ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker.
Shake well (5-10 seconds or until the shaker ices over).
Strain into a champagne flute half filled with crushed ice.
Garnish with a cherry on a long skewer & serve with a straw.
*Apricot Brandy is an apricot flavoured liqueur and the most common brands (at least here in the UK) are: De Kuyper & Bols (surprise, surprise they’re both Dutch!).
** This can be found in long life cartons in the UK, as for the USA: you should be able to find it in a grocery store (failing that a large supermarket should sell what you need).
*** Whilst fresh pineapple juice is always better than pre-juiced products it is also extremely expensive. So go for the ‘not from concentrate’ pineapple juice available in almost all supermarkets (UK readers hint: use the supermarket own brand).
Cognac Valentine: Angel’s Shoulder
1 ½ measures Cognac (V.S.O.P.)
¾ measure fresh lemon juice
½ measure rosemary simple syrup*
¼ measure Amaretto
¼ measure Crème de Peche (Peach Liqueur)**
¼ measure Benedictine
Red wine (Cotes Du Rhone)
Combine all the ingredients (except the red wine) in an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake well (around 5-10 seconds – or until the shaker ices over).
Strain into a rocks glass containing 1 large ice cube.
Then float the red wine on top of the drink (best done using the back of a bar spoon).
This cocktail has a bit too it, but if you practice it before hand; surprising your date with this rather classy drink is certain to get you some plus points. Use a bar-spoon (a teaspoon will suffice) to layer the red wine and look like a real pro! – Don’t know how to do this little trick? Worry not; click here and you’ll master the technique in no time at all!
* Click here for a rosemary simple syrup recipe, and liven up your cocktails today!
** This is a peach liqueur and the most common brands are again the 2 big Dutch brands of Bols & De Kuyper. But failing that Archers peach liqueur is a very handy substitute.
Whisky Valentine: The Rob Roy
2 measures Blended Scotch
1 measure Vermouth
1 Dash of angostura bitters
Garnish: Lemon Peel Twist
Pour ingredients into a mixing glass full of cracked ice.
Stir well for around 30-60 seconds (stirring for longer helps chill the drink right down).
Strain into a well-chilled small rocks glass.
Garnish with the lemon peel twist and a cocktail cherry (optional).
This cocktail will be the focus of a whisky special coming soon, but for now it’s perfect for wooing those you truly care about. You may have to ask the drinker if they like whisky, but if they answer yes the chances are they’ll love this classic Scottish cocktail.
Top Tip: For the sharp eyed this cocktail will resemble a classic Manhattan cocktail almost exactly. Except the Rob Roy uses Scotch Whisky instead of American Rye whisky…
A new year, a new original Fervent Shaker cocktail recipe.
So then, The Super bowl ‘XLIXJNEH’ (or #49 as it’s more commonly known) is on this weekend (don’t pretend like you don’t know) and let’s face it: You Americans, when it comes to sport at least, do not need much of an excuse to drink. But the super bowl is like the British FA Cup Final, or like when Andy Murray finally won Wimbledon for us.
So I get it; it’s a pretty big deal.
But I’m not here to insult, undermine nor take away from the glory of several handfuls of hardened men battering each other for a proverbial pig-skin football (yes I know it’s not actually made from pig skin anymore) and the huge-ass trophy at the end.
I am, in actual fact, here to ask all of you NFL fans out there for help. Yes that’s right I a lonely cocktail maker, require you sports fans to make, try, enjoy, and then eventually, when the hangover of your teams loss/win wears off, feedback your thoughts to me on this page…
Are you up for it? Well I hope so as this is one of my very own cocktails, that’s right: a recipe created by the one and only Fervent Shaker that you can all share and enjoy…
The big thing to tell you is that it involves Tequila that wonderful spirit from Mexico. Alongside that is the Midori, a melon liqueur that literally oozes sweetness and then simply some triple sec and pineapple juice. The idea is that this cocktail will help brighten up the obvious dodgy weather that is currently plaguing both the USA and UK and help you think about all the fun to be had this coming summer…
So without further ado I reveal to you the first Fervent Shaker original cocktail of 2015:
El Martillo (The Hammer in English).
2 measures Silver Tequila (100% Agave only)
1 measure Midori Melon Liqueur
½ measure Triple Sec Liqueur (try to use a clear triple sec)
2 ½ measures Pineapple Juice (fresher the better)
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and then add ice.
Shake well, until the tin ices over (around 10-15 seconds usually).
Strain into a small coupe cocktail glass and garnish with a lime peel*.
For an added zing squeeze the lime peel, releasing the oils, over the drink, and then wipe the outside of the glass with it, before putting it in the drink. This will add a little crisp finish to an already very delightful drink.
Personally I quite like this drink and when you use good quality tequila you really get its balanced taste shine through. This cocktail was inspired by my local cocktail bars’ Melon Ball recipe which can also be found here.
So whether you’re going tailgating, spending the afternoon on the couch or just down the local watering hole; give this cocktail a try and please do report back. If you like it: Great, please share with everyone why and whether you’ll drink it again soon. If you don’t like it: Even better, please share why and how you think it can be improved…
I really want to get some great feedback on this cocktail recipe so my dear readers (old and new): Get drinking and experiment away!
I knew signing up to newsletters from The Drink Shop would help!
Today I received an email from them telling me about their next offer: Up to 20% off all their Tequila!
Whislt Tequila is not my most favoured method of poison I do enjoy a wonderful Paloma or a well seasoned Margarita here and there.
So I for one will be partaking in this event and snapping up a few miniatures of some rather expensive (but very tasty) brands. The main Samples i’ll be looking to get are the 3 they stock by Patron. Whilst relatively new over here in the UK (previous 2-3 years at the most) I know it’s pretty big in the USA. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try out for a while now so with Christmas only 1 month away I thought I’d treat myself!
Remember! – When buying Tequila always go for bottles that state ‘100% Agave’ on the bottle. This screams quality and will always taste better than Tequila not made in this way. Not to mention it’ll give you less of a headache*!
For more information on Tequila, or some great tequila cocktails check out the links to my previous posts below. If you want to get straight to the buying the first link takes you to their offer page!
*Like for like 100% agave will not cause as bad a hangover reaction as non-100% agave tequila. Of course this is negated should you drink far too much – which most of you will!
Today is the 4th of May 2014. That means Cinco De Mayo is literally around the corner! Whilst not usually a huge deal here in the UK, they revel in Mexican culture across the pond so it’s only natural they have a whole day set aside for a celebration of sorts.
Whether it’s Chocolate, Spicy Food or even a certain infamous Mexican spirit (or 2) Cinco De Mayo is a celebration and a time for getting together with friends and family…
So what are the 3 margaritas I have in store for you? Well let’s start with a classic recipe and tweak it a little…
Mi Casa Tequila:
Mi Casa Tequila is an extremely high quality 100% Agave Tequila, obviously from Mexico, and is unfortunately not readily available on the UK Market it can be found readily across the USA so if you plan on heading out there any time soon, be sure to pick a bottle up!
It’s an estate-craft tequila from a family run business and has wone numerous awards for their utterly fantastic tequila(s). You can find their page here, but be sure to check out their signature margarita before you do:
Mi Casa Margarita
2 measures Mi Casa Reposado
1 measure St. Germain
¾ measure Fresh Lime Juice
– Mix with ice in a shaker and shake until the tin ices over.
– Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a Lime wedge and fresh sprig of elderflower.
This is a refreshing take on a classic margarita uses the best Elderflower liqueur on the market and awesome tequila to create something familiar yet refreshingly different.
Try it this Cinco De Mayo or any other spring/summer evening it will be a refreshing break from your normal cocktail intake…
3 Slices red chilli pepper
2 measures 100% Blanco Tequila
¾ measure Cointreau
½ measure lime juice
½ measure sugar syrup
1 pinch cilantro
– Combine all the ingredients over ice and shake until the tin ices over.
– After filling a small rocks glass with cubed ice (and a few slices of red chilli should you prefer*) strain the drink into the glass and garnish with a chilli slice on the rim of the glass.
*The fresh chilli in the glass will add an undercurrent of heat and is recommended for those who love their spicy flavours. Feel free to leave it out if, like me, you prefer a little less heat.
This drink is what it says: Spicy. It holds no punches and can bring a person to tears if they don’t respect it. Using a top quality brand of 100% Blanco Tequila (what else) this drink really is something a little spicy; just the thing to celebrate Mexican culture this Cinco De Mayo…
Roasted Blueberry Basil Margarita
2 measures Grand Marnier
1 ½ measures Blanco Tequila (100% Agave)
2 measures Lime Juice
2 ½ measures Blueberry & Basil Flavoured Sugar Syrup
Garnish: Fresh Whole Blueberries, Basil leaves & Sliced lime. And a Salt/Sugar rim (3:2 Ratio).
– Rim a large rocks glass with the salt/sugar mixture (use the lime as adhesive).
– In a cocktail shaker combine the Grand Marnier, Tequila & Lime Juice, shaking `until the shaker ices over.
– Fill the glass with ice and then strain in the drink.
– To garnish; add a blueberry & Lime peel skewer and a fresh sprig of Basil to the top of the drink.
– Serve with a straw.
This drink is remarkably balanced considering the blueberries are roasted, it’s very easy to over-do them and turn them too bitter for the drink. However done right, the basil and blueberry work wonders for the tequila.
It’s a special little recipe I came across a few months back, tried and loved. It’s perfect for Cinco De Mayo and has a refreshing summer evening feel about it, which means you don’t have to wait too long before you can have another one!
So there you go, 3 margaritas; 3 very different cocktails. The best thing about these drinks is that once Cinco De Mayo is over you can continue enjoying them time and time again. Whether you’re a thrill seeking Picante Margarita, or a sweet and slightly roasted blueberry margarita; there’s a drink here for you…
If you’d like to know how to make the Blueberry-Basil Sugar Syrup then click here and roast away…
Links for further reading, original recipes, pictures etc…
Here below are 5 of the best cocktails you’ll be drinking this Valentine’s Day. Some will open the door for you, others might just slam it in your face; pick wisely and, as always, enjoy in moderation…
Please note: These cocktails are so good you’ll be wanting more and more, so they are best used for the love of your life, and if you’re single why not invite a few friends over and celebrate an argument free life – after all you shouldn’t miss out. Right?!
1) Agave Kiss
2 measures VerySmooth Silver Tequila
1 measure Crème De Cacao
1 measure Double Cream
½ measure Chambord
Garnish: White Chocolate flakes & Fresh Raspberries.
– Rim a cocktail glass with the flakes of white chocolate (use some lime juice/water as adhesive)
– Combine the ingredients over ice and shake until
This drink is a mixture of pure bliss with a splash of Tequila. Blending chocolate, raspberry and tequila with the cream in this cocktail brings out the best of all the different flavours and then finishes it off with a smooth creamy texture that only double cream can supply. Hint: The smoother the tequila the better the overall taste of this drink.
2) Love Potion
30ml Sipsmith Vodka
20ml Sipsmith Damson Vodka
2 fresh strawberries
½ a lime
10ml sugar syrup
35ml Pineapple Juice
20ml Mango Juice
1 shot of strawberry Champagne
– Muddle the strawberries and sugar syrup in a shaker and then add the rest of the ingredients.
– Shake well, over ice, until the shaker ices over and strain into a martini glass.
– Serve next to a shot of strawberry champagne.
This cocktail is a perfect fit for this year’s Valentine’s day; utilising one of the best gins in the world (and the only one distilled in London) as well as some fabulous creativity with the addition of a strawberry champagne shot.
If you can’t be bothered to stay in and make your own then make your way to the ‘Kensington Palace Restaurant & Fish Shop’ this February 14th as this is their valentine cocktail this year.
3) Frosted Rose
25ml Orange Juice
25ml Pineapple Juice
50ml Cranberry Juice
– Combine the ingredients over ice and shake well until the shaker ices over.
– Strain into a martini glass and serve well.
This cocktail is one of the lighter options on this list, using only the one measure of spirit – but that’s not to say it’s any less tasty. It’s similar to a sea breeze but with the added exotic flavour pineapple juice brings with it. If you want to tweak the flavours slightly then Peach Schnapps is a good addition (yes so it becomes more like a Sex on the Beach).
4) Cherubs Cup
1 measure St. Germain Liqueur
2 measure Vodka
¾ measure Lemon Juice
¼ measure sugar syrup
3 muddled strawberries
Top Up Rose Champagne
Garnish: halved strawberries
– Shake over ice and strain into an ice filled glass. Add in some strawberry halves here.
– Top with the rose champagne and garnish with a left over strawberry half.
The cherub’s cup is a cocktail perfect for those summer nights on the veranda, but seeing as the summers in the UK are nothing but a damp squib (no they really are rather damp) this cocktail becomes perfect for those romantic evenings with loved ones, so it kind of makes sense to include it on this list. Using the best the French have to offer (St. Germain Liqueur & Champagne) this cocktail really does spark things up when it comes to a romance. Looking the part and tasting delicious; if you hand your date one of these they will be readily impressed – just make sure they aren’t allergic to strawberries first…
5) Besame (Kiss Me)
50ml El Jimador Blanco (Silver) Tequila
2 lime wedges
Top up Passion Fruit Juice
1 teaspoon Chambord
– Muddle the lime wedges and raspberries in a highball glass.
– Add the tequila, stir and fill with crushed ice.
– Top up with the passion fruit juice and stir well.
– Top up with the crushed ice and float a teaspoon of Chambord on top of the drink.
For an added twist mix, shake the ingredients before added to an ice filled glass.
Aptly named, this drink is a colourful mixture again using tequila. Whilst not known for the abundance of female drinkers, Tequila can be a beautifully balanced spirit (if chosen correctly). Like other spirits the smoother the tequila the better and this drink utilises that fact. Smooth Silver tequila blended with some tropical flavours result in not only a stunning red hue, but also one of the better tasting cocktail on this list.
The Negroni, in cocktail terms, is ancient. It is one of the pillars of the cocktail world, along with the Manhattan and the old fashioned…
A staple on the menus of most cocktail bars, the Negroni works well on several levels, from the floral Gin to the sweet vermouth and the bitter Campari, this drink blends all of the individual elements together into a tasty little glass.
1 measure Campari
1 measure Sweet Vermouth
1 measure Gin
– Build the ingredients in a rocks glass filled with ice.
– Garnish with a twist of Orange zest and stir well.
Fervent Shaker Top Tip:to make this drink drier, try using a splash more of gin, or even substituting the sweet vermouth for dry/extra dry vermouth.
This cocktail is a classic and you should all know how to make one for your friends, especially if you’re having a cocktail party anytime soon. This is a drink is one of the rare drinks that I think are better left short and sweet. Given my preference to longer drinks I did find it a little strange to begin with, but the strength this drink provides is matched by the flavour combination.
The Negroni can be dated back to around 1910 (if you believe the stories) and was apparently used to strengthen another cocktail; the Americano. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous then why not join the trend of using the Negroni as a base, and use these rules:
Base Spirit (your preference) + Bitters + Vermouth (your preference) = Your Negroni.
Various versions of these Negronis can be found HERE. Otherwise check out these 3 rather different versions…
1 measure Reposado Tequila
1 measure Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth
1 measure Aperol
– Stir over ice for 20 seconds.
– Pour over ice in a rocks glass and enjoy.
– Use a Lime twist should you want a fruity kick.
The use of Aperol means this drink is a little less bitter than when using Campari, but it works well and the tequila adds a real earthy taste to this version.
Fervent Shaker Top Tip:As always, you should only use 100% Agave Tequila, and my preferred brand at the moment is Aqua Riva, but any 100% Agave Reposado Tequila will suffice.
Negroni Sbagliato (Wrong Negroni)
1 measure Campari
1 measure Martini &Rossi Sweet Vermouth
1 measure Spumante/Prosecco (Sparkling wine)
– Build over ice and stir the first 2 ingredients.
– Pour in the sparkling wine and then garnish with an orange twist (expel the oils over the drink before dropping it in).
This version of the Negroni keeps to its traditional Italian theme, using a Prosecco or Spumante sparkling wine. This way the tradition is still there, only this drink is a little lighter, allowing for a more refreshing longer drink-feel.
1 measure Cucumber infused Vodka
1 measure Campari
1 measure Sweet Vermouth
– Stir all the ingredients over ice and pour over ice into a rocks glass.
– Drop in an expelled lemon zest twist and serve with a straw.
This version simply swaps the cucumber Vodka in for the gin. The cucumber flavour adds a little flavour where the removal of the gin would leave a hole and supplies a nice crisp taste to the bitter and sweet of the Campari & Vermouth.
OK, so that may be a little dramatic, but this cocktail came to me recently in a vision I can only describe as genius… Combining two great Tequila based drinks (the Tequila highball & Margarita) this cocktail creates a balanced Mexican themed cocktail with a crisp finish to it.
There are those out there who will be sick at the prospect of changing a margarita so much and still use the name, and to them I say only this: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it…
1) Using the lime wedge, wipe the rim of the glass and dip in sugar. Place the cherry on the rim (leave the stem on and have it lean away from the glass.
2) Fill the glass with ice.
3) In a shaker combine the tequila, lime and Cointreau.
4) Shake well over ice and double strain into the glass.
5) Top up with ginger ale.
6) Garnish (finally) with the Angostura and cherry brandy.
The brandy should drift gently to the bottom of the glass, but should also pull the Angostura down with it, creating a cascading effect. The sweetness in this drink comes from both the Cointreau and cherry brandy, but what really sets it apart is that it’s lengthened by the ginger ale, adding a slight spice to the drink, not to mention the Angostura weighing in with its trademark flavour.
This drink is a great little fusion that may not win all of you over but try it with your favourite brand of ginger ale and try different cherry liqueurs (or even take out the cherry and try an actual brandy instead, either way that’s the bit that adds the richness to drink).
Hopefully you like this cocktail as much as I do, leave a comment should you have any about it.
Until next time here’s a little something:
Fervent Shaker Fact of the Day:
There is a significant different between Fresh Lime Juice and Lime Juice Syrup. The fresh lime juice is always freshly squeezed from the fruit (the fresher the better). Whereas the syrup is a blend of water, juice and sugar (kind of like a lime flavoured sugar syrup). The best known brand of lime juice syrup is ‘Roses’ and is popular both here in the UK and across the pond in the USA.
Tequila is something I’ve never been able to get my taste buds use to, and that’s probably because all I’ve ever been exposed to is Jose Cuervo and Sauza. Whilst both brands do produce high grade 100% agave tequila, supermarkets sell just sell the cheaper ‘impure’ products (they are cheaper and show better sales – trust me it’s how they think – which is a shame I know).
Recently however there has been somewhat of a boom in the tequila industry, with more and more focus on ‘craft’ and aged ‘pure’ 100% Agave tequilas (especially across the USA). Here in the UK there are plenty of good quality tequila’s available, if you know where to look. Sainsbury’s for one stock a couple of 100% agave brands; El Jimador (Blanco & Reposado) and, along with Waitrose, Aqua Riva (Reposado). Both brands can say they are 100% agave and therefore better for you than those products that are not so.
Fervent Shaker Funny Fact: Due to the purer filtration processes 100% agave tequilas will not result in as bad a hangover as those tequilas that are ‘blended’ (basically any tequila that doesn’t say 100% agave on it). This is because some chemicals (the ones that cause severe hangover symptoms) are reintroduced when the ‘blended’ products are mixed. This does not happen with 100% agave tequila’s as once the chemicals are removed, that’s it, and they’re gone for good. Huzzah.
So moving onto this evening’s cocktail: The Catalina Margarita…
(42ml) 1 ½ measures Tequila
(28ml) 1 measure Blue Curacao
(28ml) 1 measure Peach Schnapps
(112ml) 4 measures Sour Mix*
1) Combine all the ingredients over ice in a shaker and shake until frosted.
2) Serve straight (preferable in a chilled Margarita cocktail glass).
3) Garnish with a lime twist.
Now a famous use of Catalina was the Catalina Wine Mixer…
The Catalina wine mixer is a fictitious event in the film Step Brothers. The film is hilarious, starring Will Ferrell as one of the brothers and he is the host of the wine mixer at the end… This cocktail as far as I can see, whilst not actually based on this reference, would have suited such an event perfectly. Sure it’s not a wine based cocktail, but Margaritas are literally perfect for any event. Keeping the recipe close to the original as possible (although this version is a lot longer than a classic margarita) this cocktail will wash away any shyness you feel at any event. It will help you forget your insecurities at any event you feel you don’t quite belong at. Whether that’s a good thing or not is a decision I will leave to you…
This slightly tweaked version I’ve created has taken its inspiration from the event. Who cares if it isn’t real, it’s the fucking Catalina wine mixer!
Catalina (Wine Mixer) Margarita:
(42ml) 1 ½ measures Tequila
(28ml) 1 measure Blue Curacao
(28ml) 1 measure Peach Schnapps
(56ml) 2 measures Sour Mix*
Top up Sparkling Wine
1) As the classic calls for shaking, this one does to; just don’t shake up the wine…
2) Pour into a chilled margarita cocktail glass.
3) Top with the Sparkling wine.
4) Garnish with a lime twist and candied Lemon peel.
This cocktail is a little lighter than the original recipe to make it a faster sipper. This version of the drink can be a little richer in flavour, if you pick a good quality of sparkling wine, but equally lesser so for the same reason…
Fervent Shaker Top Tips: For a really grand version of this drink try using Champagne instead of just any old sparkling wine. Also try using Grapefruit juice as well as Sour mix. If you prefer a still drink, replace the sparkling ingredient with grapefruit juice. You can equally substitute the win for grapefruit soda if you do like your drink carbonated…
*Sour mix is a mixture of lemon juice, lime juice and sugar syrup. See my Jericho Breeze post for the recipe…
Hopefully you like this slightly different take on a great cocktail. And of course another cocktail you can drink whilst watching a film, look at you all sophisticated and that…
Enjoy the drink, and should you want to find the original in its original place try my book of the moment: 365 cocktails, written by Brian Lucas.