Cocktails anyone?

Battle of the Citrus Cocktail Sippers

Written on June 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm , by

When the summer hits its peak and its so hot and humid that I’m sticking to my car seat, I always crave the most quintessential thirst-quenching summer drink–an ice cold, lip-puckeringly sour and slightly sweet lemon- or limeade. While sure, water is probably the best choice to hydrate, it’s the citrus fruit’s bracing acidity that delights my palate and makes these beverages so crave-worthy. To get into the Thirsty Thursday spirit, we’re ditching the innocent lemonade stand version and going for the more liquored-up libations. Check out the two classic cocktails featuring lemon and lime and leave a comment saying which concoction you’d prefer. Cheers!

 

 

Battle of the Citrus Cocktails:
Lemon versus Lime

Lemons Limes

Lemon

Lime

Clean with an intense and bright acidity.

Flavor

 

Sweet with a subtle, floral acidity.

Tom Collins

Cocktails

 

 

Gimlet

Tom Collins

Look

Gimlet
Gin, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup
or Sugar, Club Soda

Ingredients

 

Gin, Sweetened Lime Juice (or Lime Juice
and Simple Syrup), Lime Wheel
Created in the 1800s by Stephen Price of the Garrick Club in London, this drink was originally called a “John Collins” after the club’s pleasant headwaiter, John Collins. However, with the rise of English old tom gin–such as Hayman’s or Ransom–the drink’s name eventually morphed into the “Tom Collins,” paying homage to it’s signature ingredient.

 

History

 

 

First described in 1928 as a cocktail of gin, lime and soda, author Raymond Chandler described the drink as 50-50 Rose’s lime juice and gin in The Long Goodbye.

 

 

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Blackberry Cocktail

Written on May 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm , by

 

When I was little, I used to steal eat blackberries off of my neighbors’ bushes. Perhaps it was the act of rebellion or how glossy and shiny those just-picked black beauties were, but no other berry has come close to becoming my favorite since then. So in honor of peak blackberry season–which runs from June to August–we’re mixing up these berry delicious cocktail coolers!

 

 

 

Blackberry Cooler Cocktail

 

Blackberries are a great summer cocktail ingredient. Not only do these berry beauties add a dash of color to your concoction, but they’re also loaded with antioxidants and can satisfy your sweet tooth without adding any extra sugar. (For example, 1 cup of blackberries has 7 grams of natural sugar and is only 62 calories.)

 

 

While I’ve always considered the classic Bramble cocktail–gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, blackberry liqueur and berries–to be my go-to berry (cocktail) beverage, I’ve recently switched over to this Blackberry Cooler Cocktail. Indeed super similar to the bramble, this cooler cocktail–hah, get it?! Well at least I’m laughing–adds cooling mint leaves and elderflower liqueur. To make this cocktail even prettier, add in other colorful citrus fruits or berries and top with a dash of soda to add a hint of effervescence. Yum-o!

 

Get the recipe: Blackberry Cooler Cocktail

 

 

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Party Pitchers

Written on May 17, 2013 at 11:37 am , by

No one wants to get stuck playing bartender at their own party, but as the hostess with the mostest you still want a “signature shindig cocktail.” Ugh, what a dilemma. Enter our solution–drumroll, please–the party pitcher! Not only are these big-batch cocktails (and mocktails) perfect for any soiree, they’re also super-customizable and allow your guests to help themselves, freeing you up to have fun and par-tay! Take a look at five of our favorite concoctions below. Oh and did we mention that they’re all make-ahead too? Cheers!

Tropical White Sangria

Colorful and fruit-filled sangria pitchers are always a hit at parties, especially when they look as gorgeous and colorful as this one. Play around with different combinations of fruit and infuse for up to 6 hours before serving for optimal flavor.

Get the recipe: Tropical White Sangria 

The Original Bloody Mary

We had to include the Original Bloody Mary since some of the best parties start before noon–hey, no judgment! Impress your guests with an assortment of garnishes like celery, pickles, olives, fruit, shrimp or even oysters!

Get the recipe: The Original Bloody Mary

Pineapple-Lime Cooler

This tequila-spiked cocktail is the perfect solution for a taco night sans the hassle of margaritas. Add in other tropical fruits like mango and passionfruit to make this Pineapple-Lime Cooler even cooler!

Get the recipe: Pineapple-Lime Cooler

Bourbon & Peach Sweet Tea Punch

Hey party people, this punch is for you! Dating back over 300 years, classic punch recipes have be known to feature dozens of ingredients from booze to fruit juices. We kept it simple though and cut off our ingredient list at five–sweetened tea, bourbon, peach nectar, lemon juice and sliced peaches.

Get the recipe: Bourbon & Peach Sweet Tea Punch 

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Don’t leave the kids out of the party pitcher fun with this refreshing non-alcoholic agua fresca (Spanish for “fresh waters”). Popular in Mexico and Central America, our special recipe features one of our favorite summertime fruits, watermelon.

Get the recipe: Watermelon Agua Fresca

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Pimm’s Cup, anyone?

Written on May 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm , by

For whatever reason, the majority of chick literature I’ve read is set in England where the women seem to drink two things regularly: tea and Pimm’s No. 1. So what’s the deal with this Pimm’s No. 1? I wondered. Is it light like a vodka or dark like a whiskey? Is is sweet like a Moscato or more bitter like other international aperitifs? And what the hell is a Pimm’s Cup? Well folks, with the weather warming up, it’s high time to get to the bottom of this spirit and say cheer’s as the British do!

 

 

 

 

Pimms

The Facts:

  • Pimm’s No. 1 has been around since the 1820s when London fishmonger and bar owner James Pimm created it as an oyster chaser.
  • Only “six people” are rumored to know the family’s secret blend of gin, liqueurs and fruit extracts.
  • After No. 1 became popular, the company rolled out five more numbered Pimm’s varieties. Each with a different base spirit, like scotch or brandy.
  • Flavor profile: Spicy, bitter and sweet with a dominant herbaceous character and a hint of citrus.
  • Appearance: Reddish brownish in color similar to tea.
  • Illustration by Alan Witschonke

 

Now, on to the fun part: The cocktails!

Pimm's Cocktail Recipe

Get the recipe: Pimm’s Cocktail

 

While Pimm’s No. 1 can (and should) be enjoyed all year-long, most people tend to enjoy it most in the spring and summertime and I can see why!

  1. At only 25% alcohol by volume, this is the type of spirit you can drink all day without feeling–how do I put this lightly?–rundown.
  2. The combination of sweet, bitter and spicy continually refreshes your palate so you don’t get bored.
  3. You can make a (lazy) Pimm’s Cup in less than 30 seconds, unlike other more involved cocktails like mojitos or juleps which require muddling or sangrias which need time to infuse.

 

Traditionally, a Pimm’s Cup simply consists of one part Pimm’s and roughly three parts lemonade, lemon soda or ginger ale in a tall glass over ice with a slice of cucumber. While the classic–some may say lazy–version of the cocktail is delicious, I challenge you to take it up a notch and add other ingredients like cucumber, ginger, lemon, lime, orange, mint and strawberry. (This list could go on, but I’ll stop there.)

 

Even though this may be more work, you’ll find it’s worth the effort as each new ingredient reinvents the cocktail and gives you something to snack on afterwards–hello Pimm’s-infused cucumbers! For instance, in my personal favorite combination, muddled cucumber imparts a cooling and refreshing sensation, ginger adds a hit of natural spiciness and lemon brings in a necessary hint of acidity and brightness. So refreshing! However you choose to enjoy your Pimm’s Cup though, make sure to say “Cheers!” to “Pimm’s O’Clock!

 

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Mix Up Your Margaritas

Written on April 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm , by

 

Once, in a moment of utter confusion, I asked my friends “So, when is the Cinco de Mayo happening?” to which they responded with only laughter until I figured out what I said wrong. “I meant, the party, people. When is the Cinco de Mayo party happening?!” With the “fifth of May” quickly approaching, we’re doing a round up of margaritas for this day of celebration!

 

 

 

Cinco de Mayo, not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. While only a minor holiday in Mexico, Mexican-Americans and Americans widely observe the day by celebrating Mexican heritage and culture through parades, music, food and parties (like the aforementioned)! So what cocktail would be a better choice to cheers with than a margarita featuring Mexico’s very own homegrown spirit, tequila? Take a look at a few of our favorite recipes below.

 

Beer Margarita Recipes

Beer Margaritas

Hey, don’t knock it, ’til you’ve tried it! This refreshing margarita-beer hybrid is a great way to kick-off brunch and ease into a day of celebrating.

 

Jalapeno Margarita recipe

Jalapeno Margarita

Get hot! Spicy jalapeno simple (sugar) syrup gives this margarita its kick of heat. To save time or make this drink on the fly, muddle seeded jalapeno slices in the bottom of the glass before building the cocktail.

 

Sparkling Margarita Floats Recipe

Sparkling Margarita Floats

This blend of cocktail and dessert is the perfect way to finish your fiesta! Get creative and mix it up with different flavor combinations like tangerine or raspberry sherbet.

 

5 News Ideas for Margarita Rims

5 News Ideas for Margarita Rims

There’s more than one way to top your tequila! Experiment by pairing your margarita with different sweet, spicy and savory rims and you’ll never drink the same margarita twice!

 

 

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Bloody Good Bloody Marys

Written on April 20, 2013 at 11:30 am , by

 

When I was younger, the idea of drinking tomato juice and alcohol, separately or together, seemed like some sort of method of torture. Somewhere along the way though–perhaps after a few college hangovers–I discovered how refreshing an ice cold, slap-you-in-the-face spicy and spiked tomato juice, also known as a Bloody Mary, can be.

 

 

Part of the fun when ordering a Bloody Mary is that everyone has their own special recipe or variation. From Mexican- to Asian- and Southern-inspired twists, you can find any variety of flavors in this boozy brunch staple. So whip up the original, first served at the St. Regis New York in 1934, then try four of our favorite variations from around the globe! Then, if you’re up for it, or still standing, make up your own version and share it with us in the comments!

Photograph by Jose Picayo

Get the recipes:

1. The Original Bloody Mary
Serve this on its own, or tweak to make the zesty twists like the ones below.

 

2. The Capitol Mary
This briny version–spiked with Old Bay Seasoning and clam juice–from the St. Regis Washington, D.C., tastes like an appetizer-cocktail combo!

 

3. The Bora Mary
The St. Regis Bora Bora adds a sweet and refreshing tropical twists: watermelon juice!

 

4. The Downhill Snapper
Served at the St. Regis Aspen, this springy, citrus-and-herb-spiked drink is inspired by the hotel’s verdant garden.

 

5. The West Paces Mary
Pickled okra juice gives a Southern spin to this tangy take from the St. Regis Atlanta.

Thirsty Thursday: Gin and Honey Champagne Cocktail

Written on April 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm , by

 

Take a deep breath, people, we’re almost to the weekend! So take a moment to mentally prepare and engage in–what college students often call–Thirsty Thursday. Unlike some college students though, let’s keep it classy by kicking back and relaxing with our April-inspired Champagne Cocktail instead of multiple Pabst Blue Ribbons (no offense). Read more about it and get the recipe below!

 

 

Gin and Honey Champagne Cocktail

In our “Year of Champagne Cocktails” recipe collection, we used the classic “Gin and Juice” as inspiration for our custom-made April concoction. We promise that once you taste how the gin’s herbal notes pair perfectly with the rose and red fruit flavors from the pink champagne, you’ll swear we took the spring season and put it directly into a glass. Sip on this cocktail when you’re ready to ring in Spring, which we so are!

Get the recipe: Gin & Honey Champagne Cocktail