Category Archives: Cocktails

The Pimm’s of Summer

Sorry for the notable absence from this here blog lately. I’ve been both working hard and enjoying the hell out of this summer we’re having down here in the South. Last night ended with a pretty amazing sunset swim in the ocean. In case you were wondering, yes, it’s pretty damn sweet living here.

ANYwho…speaking of summer, in my opinion, no summer is complete without a damn good Pimm’s Cup. And I think I’ve whipped up about the perfect one. So instead of rambling on here, I’m just going to get to it.

Perfect Pimm's CupPerfect Pimm’s Cup

*2 parts Pimm’s No. 1
*1/2 part gin (Hendrick’s, naturally)

*1/2 part brown sugar simple syrup
*Cucumber slices
*Lemon slices
*Dash of aromatic bitters
*2 parts ginger beer (Goya ginger beer is AWESOME)
*1 part seltzer

First off, for the brown sugar simple syrup, take equal parts dark brown sugar and water, and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Easy as pie.

Once you’ve made your syrup, slice up some cucumber and lemon and muddle. Then toss the Pimm’s, gin, simple syrup, muddled cucumber & lemon, and bitters together in a shaker with some ice.

Pimm's in Shaker

Shake that all up and pour into your favorite large-ish glass. Add the ginger beer and seltzer. And believe me when I say that Goya brand ginger beer is something special. It’s super spicy and entirely delicious.

Finally, make a few more cucumber and lemon slices, toss them into the glass, and give it a quick stir.

Now, most importantly, drink up! We had some on the beach last evening, and boy did they go down easy. It’s really the perfect summer beverage.

More soon, folks. Enjoy the weather!

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Lemons, preserved

Hey everyone! It’s Friday!! And it looks like people all over this country of ours are experiencing some pretty delightful weather. So let’s celebrate with a delicious beverage, shall we?!

I picked up this tasty treat when I was in Atlanta last week.

Preserved Lemon Syrup

The folks at Morris Kitchen in Brooklyn are really onto something here. I’m kind of in love with this stuff. It’s robust yet not overpowering, and it mixes pretty damn nicely with some Bulleit Bourbon.

Here’s a particularly delectable cocktail that’s super easy to make, as long as you’re able to locate the fine wares of this outer borough establishment.

Bulleit PreserveBulleit Preserve

*2 parts Bulleit Bourbon
*1 part Morris Kitchen
*Splash of lime juice
*Few dashes aromatic bitters
*1 part club soda

Shake up all that goodness, except the club soda, with some ice, pour into your favorite rocks glass, and then add the fizz.

I really like this one. It’s like a tart, citrusy Manhattan…and what could possibly be wrong with that?!

Now go out there and enjoy the weather, dammit! And have one of these while you’re at it. Until next time.

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Pisco de Mayo

Hello again, everyone!!

I’m back home and – gasp! – I’m actually here for a few weeks before my next jaunt. I promise many delicious recipes on a very regular basis, starting with this slightly altered take on the glorious, margarita-filled holiday that is Cinco de Mayo.

For my latest concoction, I’ve taken tequila out of the mix and replaced it with pisco…plus a little bit of bourbon thrown in for good measure.  Because, well…do I really need to give you an excuse for throwing some bourbon in at this point?

Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, pisco is a grape brandy that is produced mainly in Peru and Chile, and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. I’m honestly still struggling with how best to use it, but I think I’ve got a good thing going with this particular cocktail. And it’s perfect for the season! I highly recommend sipping one of these on a front porch or a rooftop sometime very soon.

So, without further ado, here’s my pisco-y take on the traditional margarita.

Grapefruit PiscoritaGrapefruit Piscorita

*2 parts pisco
*1/2 part bourbon (just a touch!)
*1 part fresh lime juice
*2 parts OJ (fancy!)
*2 parts grapefruit juice (fancy too!)
*Dash of orange bitters
*2 tsp Savannah honey
*Lime wedge (for garnish)

Shake all that goodness up with some ice (sans the lime wedge, of course) and enjoy! It’s light and robust at the same time, for which you have both the pisco and bourbon to thank. So go ahead and celebrate the 6th of May with one of these! After all, it’s Monday!

Until tomorrow, folks.

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Froth of the egg

Sometimes I forget that egg whites are COMPLETELY WONDERFUL in cocktails. Don’t let me forget this again, okay?!

Seriously though, they provide such an amazing frothiness to any cocktail that I’m actually pissed off at myself that I don’t use them more in my concoctions.

Well that changes today! Tuesday afternoon’s offering from the committee of one here at The Amateur Cocktailer is a tasty, fresh spring delight. And best of all, it gave me the opportunity to use my good friend Sage from the fine folks over at Art in the Age. I swear, you guys, you MUST go out and try all of their absolutely fantastic craft spirits. I really can’t recommend them highly enough.

Anyway, here she is!

Sage Citrus FizzSage Citrus Fizz

*2 parts Sage
*1 part Dolin Blanc
*1 part OJ (fancy, of course!)
*1/2 part fresh lemon juice
*1 egg white
*Dash of plum bitters

This one is entirely delicious. It reminds me of springtime without being too light and airy. Complex yet frivolous. Okay, that’s being a little too fancy, I suppose. But it’s one tasty cocktail that is perfect for the season. And in keeping with my obsession with brunch, this could also serve as a perfect brunch concoction to impress your friends.

So enjoy! Until tomorrow, folks.

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Super Thursday

Wondering what happens when you move to a new, beautiful, slightly mysterious and ultimately captivating city? Well, high on the list is that EVERYONE YOU KNOW will want to come visit you in said new wonderful city. We currently have 3 lovely folks staying with us, on the heels of my Mom’s visit. Phew! It’s both amazing and exhausting, but I guess I should really just be thankful that we have an overwhelming amount of people who want to hang out with us. So what the hell – everyone, come visit!! 🙂

Anywho, I’m trying to be good and post even when we have visitors, and man, do I have a tasty treat for you today. It’s simple syrup, but with a lot of twists. So I’m calling it Super Syrup. Lame, perhaps. But that’s the name that’s sticking, so you’ll just have to accept it. Here she is:

Super SyrupSuper Syrup Jar

*1 cup water
*1 cup white sugar
*1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
*1/2 tsp sriracha
*1/2 tsp cinnamon
*1/2 tsp honey (Savannah Honey!)

Really, all you need to do is toss all of this together in a pot, put it over a medium-low heat and stir once in a while. Give it a good 20 minutes to simmer so that all that good stuff blends together.

I’ve got a wicked cocktail ready to go using this delicious concoction, but I’m gonna save that until tomorrow, mostly so you guys can have an extra happy Friday. Until then!

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Recycled ginger

In keeping with the theme of having an absolute slew of visitors here in the Hostess City, my mom is in town!! Which means I’m a little bit distracted, trying to convince her of the wonders of my newly adopted home. So I’m cheating a little bit today and recycling one of my favorite Friday cocktails here. I promise to be back on Monday with some brand new, completely delicious fair. But for now, enjoy an oldie-but-goodie.

I have to say, one of the joys of writing this blog is discovering random and fascinating facts about the things I’m writing about.

Take, for instance, ginger. In doing a very minimal amount of research on this delicious root, I’ve learned that ginger is a “rhizome” of the plant Zingiber officinale. What’s a rhizome, you ask?! Well, I learned that too! A rhizome is, apparently, a “horizontal, underground plant stem capable of producing the shoot and root systems of a new plant.” And did you know that ginger is also part of the same plant family as turmeric and cardamom? Awesome. I really do love compiling sort of useless bits of information about random things, if only so I can pull them out at social gatherings and mildly impress people.

But I digress. As you’ve probably guessed by now, today’s cocktail does, in fact, contain ginger. Or more accurately, ginger beer. And man, is it tasty.

I call it The LIC, in honor of my former place of residence, since I sort of took a traditional Manhattan and turned it on its head and gave it a spicy ginger kick in the behind. Perhaps I’m blaspheming one of our most beloved traditional cocktails, but honestly, I don’t really care. It’s interesting and delicious, and honestly, isn’t that what matters in the end?

The LICThe LIC

*1 part bourbon (I’ve been loving Bulleit in cocktails lately)
*1/2 part sweet vermouth
*1/2 part St. Germain
*A few dashes of aromatic bitters
*A few dashes of rose water
*Splash of lemon juice
*1 part ginger beer

Shake everything except the ginger beer together, pour into a nice, cool highball glass and then top it all off with that bubbly ginger beverage. Just the thing for that end-of-the-week celebration cocktail.

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A bloody twist

Honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t posted a bloody mary recipe on this blog yet. It’s shameful, really, considering it’s tied with a Manhattan for my absolute favorite drink in the world. And I mix a damn good one, if I do say so myself.

Well, that all changes today, dammit! As always, in the spirit of adventuring, I tried to put my own little twist on the traditional bloody, and it actually turned out to be sort of a big twist, considering I’ve ditched the vodka for something else entirely – gin and bourbon (yes, both!)

Before you start gasping in my general direction though, hear me out! This particular bloody concoction will not disappoint, I promise. And if you’re really that much of a purist, you could, technically, use vodka here instead of the gin and bourbon. And it would still taste delicious, yes. But where’s the fun in that?! Trust me – you’re gonna love this.

So, without further ado…

A Bloody TwistA Bloody Twist

*2 parts Hendricks gin
*1 part bourbon (Bulleit, please!)
*4 parts tomato juice
*1 part worcestershire sauce
*1 part creamy horseradish (more on this below)
*1 part olive juice
*1/2 part lime juice
*Cholula
*Tobasco
*Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
*Pepper
*Garlic salt
*Cumin

Alright, I know it’s a lot. But, unlike a lot of other drink recipes, I think bloody marys benefit from throwing a bunch of shit together.

A few notes here:
-The spices at the bottom are a little up to your discretion. I like mine really spicy, so I put a good amount of all of the hot sauce and spicy spices in there. And go easy on the garlic salt, but not the cumin.
-Honestly, I’m surprising myself my listing creamy horseradish here instead of the traditional horseradish. But over the years, I’ve come to accept that the creamy horseradish is superior in a bloody mary. It adds just a touch of sweetness, and it makes the drink a little less chunky. So just go with it.

I love how the gin and bourbon complement each other here. The gin adds some bite, and the bourbon really deepens the flavor palette. All in all, I think it’s pretty spectacular. As with all of my brunchy cocktails, feel free to use this to impress friends.

Until tomorrow!

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Arresting brunch

I’ve written several times here on the ol’ blog about my intense love for sparkling wine, so I’ll save you the trouble of reading about my amorous feelings again, if only because I don’t want you, my loyal readers, to get completely creeped out. But dammit, it’s so good!

Anywho, in my continuing quest to make the perfect brunch cocktail – at least one that rivals bloody marys and mimosas which, are, admittedly, kind of perfect already – I really relish experimenting with prosecco. Clearly, I’ve spent far too many Saturday and Sunday afternoons of my life, wasting away the hours at any number of brunch places in New York. Actually, considering brunch is THE BEST THING EVER, I don’t consider those hours wasted at all, really. God, I miss brunch in New York.

But I digress. Below is my latest attempt to craft yet another brunch cocktail that you can use to impress your friends and loved ones. I’m awfully happy with these particular concoctions. And yes, there are two of them! And they’re quite similar while still being unique. I’ll explain in a minute.

For no good reason except that it’s the best comedy ever to grace our television screens, I’m naming these after some beloved characters from Arrested Development. And because Lucille sure does love her booze. This party is gonna be off the hook.

The Lucille (and The Buster)The Lucille and The Buster

*4 parts prosecco
*1 part Hendrick’s gin (**FOR THE LUCILLE ONLY**)
*1 part bourbon (**FOR THE BUSTER ONLY**)
*2 parts orange juice (the fancy stuff, naturally)
*Healthy splash of lime juice
*Splash of Jack Rudy grenadine
*3 dashes orange bitters

Really, all you have to do to make The Buster instead of The Lucille is to swap out the gin for the bourbon. The Buster is a little more bold while The Lucille is a little more crisp. And both are pretty outstanding, I must say.

That’s all for now. Back for more tomorrow. Just do me a favor – learn how to dance like a chicken, okay? And I’ll leave you with a nice wink, just for good measure.

lucille-wink

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Lowcountry connection

Yesterday, the fine folks at the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. actually found one of my cocktail recipes here on the ol’ blog that contains their absolutely delicious tonic. Amazingly, they seemed to really enjoy it! They’ve been having trouble coming up with a tonic/bourbon cocktail, and hopefully I’ve helped them crack the code, at least a little. Click here if you’d like to check that particular delicious concoction out.

I figured that, in honor of their discovery – and to make Friday a little extra celebratory – I’d come up with an equally delicious beverage using their other amazing product, grenadine.

Well, I think I’ve done the grenadine some serious justice. I whipped this up last night and, boyyyy, is it tasty. I call in “The Charleston” for, well, a number of reasons. First off, Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. is based out of that fine city, and it happens to be just a hop, skip and jump away from my current place of residence. Also, this cocktail bears a decent resemblance to a Manhattan, so I decided, in keeping with the spirit of location-based cocktail names, Charleston was a particularly good namesake.

Anywho, here it is.

The CharlestonThe Charleston

*4 parts bourbon
*1 part sweet vermouth
*2 parts Jack Rudy Grenadine
*2 parts orgeat syrup
*1 part rose water
*Dash of orange bitters

Shake all that completely delicious goodness together and pour it in a rocks glass over some ice. My friends, you now have yourselves a divine cocktail. Really, you should try it – and you should absolutely pick up any Jack Rudy product you can get your hands on. It’s well worth the impressing of your friends and their taste buds that you’ll be able to do.

Happy Friday to all of you working folks out there. As always, thanks for reading, and see y’all on Monday!

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Equal

Not to get too serious here on the ol’ lighthearted blog, but today is a pretty big day. A lot of us are anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision today on Prop 8 (and tomorrow on DOMA).

I’m not going to rant and rave too much, and honestly, there’s nothing I can really say that hasn’t been said already. But this is one of the BIG issues for me. I got chills and got all choked up when Obama announced his support of gay marriage. And I’m really hoping today and tomorrow are just the next step. This truly is the civil rights issue of our time. And I suppose Scalia is probably a lost cause, but I’m cautiously optimistic that this is all going to turn out in favor of what’s right and good.

Anywho…in honor of this extremely important moment in our country’s history, I’m making a cocktail in (hopefully) celebration.

The EqualityThe Equality

*4 parts vinho verde (click here for Wiki’s take)
*1 part Hendrick’s Gin
*1 part apple juice (fancy, naturally)
*Splash of lime juice
*Dash of plum bitters

Just a quick note about vinho verde – it’s DELICIOUS. In case you weren’t aware. It’s got just a hint of carbonation, it’s dry and fruity at the same time, and best of all, it won’t break the bank! I grabbed this bottle of Broadbent for 9.99 at my local wine store. Plus, the gays love white wine, right?!

I’m kidding!

Back for more tomorrow – let’s just all keep our fingers crossed that these next two days end up like they should.

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