Jul 202012

It’s the weekend, and it’s time for cocktails! For the past month, we’ve been exploring cocktails that contain fresh fruit and herbs.  So far, you’ve learned how to make a “Ten Grand,” a “Raspberry Refresher,” and Campari Cucumber Cocktail. This week, you’ll learn how to mix a “Mint Muse.”

You’ll need:

Eight mint leaves and one mint sprig for garnish

Juice from a half lime with peel finely chopped

Four ounces of fresh pineapple chunks

Three ounces of Lucid Absinthe

Sprite or 7UP

In a shaker, muddle mint leaves, lime juice, lime pieces, and pineapple. Add Absinthe and ice and shake briefly. Pour into highball glasses and top with Sprite of 7UP. Garnish with sprig of mint. Serves two.

Sounds pretty refreshing for a hot July day, doesn’t it?



Jul 062012

During the golden age of the cocktail, a bartender’s only option was to use fresh ingredients. Today’s mixologists are once again returning to fresh fruits and herbs.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing several wonderful recipes that I found in an USA Airways magazine. This week, we’ll make a Raspberry Refresher. With so many places around the U.S. experiencing record high temperatures, this drink promises cool relief.

You’ll need:

15 fresh mint leaves

24 fresh raspberries

Three teaspoons of sugar

Juice of a half a lime

Three ounces of Beefeater gin

1.5 ounces of Cointreau

Crushed ice

Cold soda water

Place mint leaves, raspberries, lime juice, and sugar in a cocktail shaker and muddle until it’s all mush. Add gin and Cointreau and stir with ice until two-third full. Stir well and add soda to tastes.

Serves two.




Jun 292012

During the golden age of the cocktail, the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a bartender’s only option was to use fresh ingredients. Today’s mixologists (don’t’ you love that term?) are once again returning to fresh fruits and herbs. While we can use fresh fruit year around, the summer is an especially good time to experiment with fruit.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing several wonderful recipes that I found in an USA Airways magazine. This week, we’ll make a Ten Grand.

You’ll need:

Two ounces of Tanqueray No. Ten gin

Eight ounces of cubed fresh pineapple (remove tough core and skin)

Four ounces of Grand Marnier

Squeeze of lime juice

Blend all ingredients. Pour into ice-filled shaker and shake well. Serve in a chilled martini glass.

Serves two.



Jun 222012

Wednesday was the summer solstice. It was the longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer. Let’s celebrate with a truly classic summertime drink. A first cousin to the Sea Breeze and Cape Codder, the Madras is cool and refreshing. Here’s what you’ll need.

One ounce of orange juice

Four ounces of cranberry juice

One and a half ounces of vodka


Mix the orange and cranberry juices with vodka in a highball glass with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.



Jun 152012

The Aztecs made a fermented beverage from the agave plan that they called Octli, but it wasn’t until the sixteenth century that tequila was officially established. Today, there are more than one hundred distilleries making over nine hundred brands of tequila.

Some tequilas are better than others. Choose a high quality one; it’s worth it (especially the next morning). I like Patron.

A great tequila is good straight up or mixed. One of my favorite mixed drinks using tequila is a Silver Dog. Why not try one this weekend?

You’ll need one and half ounces of silver tequila and three ounces of grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed is best, of course). Mix in a highball glass with ice and garish with wedge. I like a salted rim.





Jun 082012

About five times a year, I’m in Athens, Georgia teaching, and when I am there one of my favorite places to eat is the East-West Bistro. Not only is the food great, they have one of the best martinis in town. This week, another drink caught my eye—The Dixon. I’m going to try it this weekend. Do you want to join me?

Where a Mimosa is made with champagne and fresh-squeezed orange juice, The Dixon is made with champagne, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, and a sprig of rosemary. Doesn’t that sound refreshing?

Perhaps we’ve found the perfect cocktail for an elegant brunch.





Jun 012012

Growing up one of my favorite restaurants was Trader Vic, a Tiki-inspired restaurant known for some pretty wild cocktails. Its owner was Victor Bergeron, and one of “Vic’s” favorite cocktails was the Fog Cutter. Vic Bergeron once said, “Fog Cutter, hell. After two of these, you won’t even see the stuff.

The Fog Cutter is made with Orgeat syrup, a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose water. It has a pronounced almond taste and is used to flavor many cocktails including the Mai Tai. You can find it at some specialty stores and liquor stores, or there are several recipes online.

In addition to a third ounce of Orgeat syrup, you’ll need:

One and a fourth ounces of light rum

A half ounce of gin

A half ounce of brandy

One and a half ounces of lemon juice

One ounce of orange juice

One teaspoon of sweet sherry

Combine all ingredients except the sherry in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with sweet sherry.

Don’t forget, Vic promises after two of these you won’t be able to see the fog.

A special shout-out of Brian D. Murphy’s See, Mix, Drink: A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Crafting the World’s Most Popular Cocktails.


May 252012

Let’s celebrate this Memorial Day Weekend with an Americano. An Americano is made from one of my favorite aperitifs Campari. A bitters characterized by its dark red color, Campari is an infusion of herbs and fruit in alcohol and water.

Campari was created in 1860 by Gaspare Campari in Novara, Italy. In 1904, Campari’s first production plant was opened in Sesto San Giovanni, near Milan. Under the direction of Davide Campari, Gaspare’s son, the company began to export the beverage, first to Nice in the heart of the French Riviera, then overseas. The Campari brand is now distributed in over one hundred and ninety countries.

Here’s what you’ll need to make an Americano:

One ounce of Campari

One ounce of sweet vermouth

Three ounces of club soda

Fill a highball glass with ice, add Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda, and stir.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!



May 182012

Last week, I shared the recipe for a Cuba Libre. This week, we’ll continue with a Cuban theme.

The Mojito is considered to be the Mint Julep’s Cuban cousin. It originated in Havana and was one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite cocktails.

While the origins of the drink are subject to debate, Sir Francis Drake is often credited with creating a similar cocktail using aguardiente, a primitive predecessor to rum, in the sixteenth century.

To make a marvelous Mojito, you’ll need:

Two ounces of light rum

Fourth of an ounce of simple syrup

Half of an ounce of lime juice

Two and a half ounces of club soda

Mint leaves

Place mint leaves and simple syrup in to a highball glass with the juice of half of a lime. Muddle the ingredients. Add ice and light rum and stir well. Top with club soda.

A special shout-out to Brian D. Murphy and his book See, Mix, Drink: A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Crafting the Worlds’s Most Popular Cocktails.


May 112012

Some friends recently returned from Cuba. When I asked them about the food, all they could talk about was the “Cuba Libres.”  “What’s a Cuba Libre?” I asked. It’s a fancy name for a rum and cola they explained.

I haven’t drank a rum and cola since highschool, but I have to admit it’s sounding pretty darn good to me today. Here’s how to make one.

Mix one and half ounces of light rum with six ounces of cola. (Of course, I’m from Atlanta, the home of Coca-Cola, so that’s what I’d recommend.) Pour in a highball glass with ice, stir, and garnish with a lime wedge.