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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Cocktails & Spirits

TIP OF THE DAY: Irish Coffee

Even if you don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parade-watching and partying, take the occasion to enjoy an Irish Coffee—a simply wonderful cup of coffee enhanced with Irish whiskey and whipped cream.

It will be especially welcome in our neck of the woods: Mother Nature is giving us a wind chill factor in the teens, and possible snow.

You might think that Irish Coffee is a centuries-old drink, enjoyed by generations of Irish folk around a hot fire at home or at the pub.

But truth be told, it originated in the era around World War II during the dawn of transatlantic plane travel, when air travelers from America to Ireland took an 18-hour seaplane to Port of Foynes in County Limerick.

In cold, damp weather, a hot cup of coffee or tea was offered upon arrival. When “something stronger” was requested, Irish Coffee was born.

The name purportedly was bestowed when an American asked if the beverage was made with Brazilian coffee. He was told in return, “This is Irish coffee.”

 

irish-coffee-rogers-cowan-230

Irish Coffee. Any glass will do. Photo courtesy Rogers & Cowan.

 
One passenger enjoying a cup was the owner of the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco. He brought the recipe home in 1952 and began serving the first Irish Coffee in the U.S.

Here’s the full story.

So get out the bottle of Bushmills, Jameson or Tullamore Dew. You don’t need a special glass handled pedestal mug that evolved to serve Irish coffee; any glass will do.

Here’s the original Irish Coffee recipe plus variations. And if you don’t like coffee, there’s a recipe for Irish Hot Chocolate.

Sláinte!*
 
*Pronounced SLAWN-cha, SLON-che or SLON-tih depending on the area of Ireland, it means “health!” in Gaelic.
  

Comments

RECIPE: Peppermint Paddy Martini

For those who like things minty, here’s a fun drink for St. Patrick’s Day: a Peppermint Paddy Martini.

The recipe is from McCormick, which uses its McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract to create the mintiness.

Note that Peppermint Paddy, not Peppermint Patty or Peppermint Pattie, is the right name for this drink.

  • Peppermint Patty, the Peanuts character, was inspired by a bowl of peppermint candy on Charles Schulz’s desk.
  • Peppermint Patty first appeared in the Peanuts comic strip on August 22, 1966.
  • The York Peppermint Pattie, no relation to Peppermint Patty, was introduced in 1940.
  •  
    And while we’re on the subject, it’s St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day. Here’s why.

     

    peppermint-paddy-martini-mccormick-230

    It may look like mousse, but it’s a Peppermint Paddy Martini. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    RECIPE: PEPPERMINT PADDY MARTINI

    Ingredients For 4 Cocktails

  • 8 ounces Irish cream liqueur
  • 2 ounces crème de cacao liqueur
  • 2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • Optional garnish: peppermint whipped cream (recipe below)
  • Optional rim garnish: coarse sugar*
  •  
    *Use sanding sugar or a raw brown sugar such as demerara or turbinado (Sugar In The Raw). You can find green sanding sugar, shown in the photo below, in baking supplies stores or online.

     online

    green-sugar-crystals-dressmycupcakeAMZ-230

    Green sanding sugar. Photo courtesy
    Dress My Cupcake | Amazon.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREPARE Martini glasses with optional sugar rim. Wet the outside rim of martini glass with peppermint extract. Dip glass in coarse sugar to lightly coat.

    2. FILL cocktail shaker 1/3 full with ice. Add first 5 ingredients; shake until well mixed and chilled. Strain into glass.

    3. TOP each with a dollop of Peppermint Whipped Cream, if desired.

     
    PEPPERMINT WHIPPED CREAM

    Ingredients For About 2 Cups

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract plus more for rim
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BEAT cream, confectioners’ sugar and peppermint extract in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed, until stiff peaks form.

    2. POUR in Martini, top with whipped cream and serve.

      

    Comments

    ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Irish Cereal Milk

    Irish Cereal Milk Cocktail-Lexington BrassNYC-230

    Cereal milk with a shot of Irish whiskey.
    Photo courtesy Lexington Brass | NYC.

     

    You might not drink this Irish Cereal Milk cocktail for breakfast; or then, you might. But it sure is a fun snack for after work, or even dessert on St. Patrick’s Day.

    The recipe comes from Lexington Brass restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

    RECIPE: IRISH CEREAL MILK COCKTAIL

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces Jameson Irish whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces Cinnamon Toast Crunch milk (instructions below)
  • Garnish: Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
  • Optional garnish: cinnamon stick, or a sprinkle of
    ground cinnamon
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MAKE Cinnamon Toast Crunch milk: Soak the cereal in 3 ounces of milk for 30 minutes, then strain out the cereal (and eat it, if you like). (The cereal will absorb some of the milk, which is why we recommend starting with 3 ounces to end up with the 2 ounces for the drink.)

    2. FILL a rocks glass with ice; pour in whiskey and simple syrup. Top off with Cinnamon Toast Crunch Milk and stir.

    3. GARNISH with fresh Cinnamon Toast Crunch pieces and an optional cinnamon stick. Serve with a straw and a spoon.

      

    Comments

    ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Pot O’ Goldtini

    If you can’t find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you can drink a shot of gold from a bottle of Goldschläger.

    Goldschläger, created in Switzerland, is cinnamon schnapps with gold flakes of gold flakes floating throughout the bottle.

    While there are many Goldschläger cocktails, we think the nicest way to enjoy it is after St. Patrick’s dinner, with or without a cup of coffee.

    FLECKING YOUR DRINK WITH GOLD

    You can use Goldschläger to make a gold-flecked Martini, or you can buy gold flakes and make your own

  • Gold flakes, made from 24 karat edible gold, are available online. They’re pricey, $34 for a small container, so we have a “Plan B”: two different options that are far more affordable, and also edible (although not made of real gold)
  •  

    goldschlager-shot-230

    How about cinnamon shots: cinnamon-flavored Goldschlager liqueur with real gold flakes? Photo courtesy Goldschlager.

  • Wilton’s edible gold stars are far more affordable. A .04-ounce container is an affordable $5.39.
  • The most affordable gold flakes we’ve found—but haven’t seen in person, are these from CK Products. A full ounce is just $5.29.
  •  

    gold-flakes-martini-trendhunter-230

    A Pot O’Goldtini: a Martini with Goldschläger. Photo courtesy Trendhunter.com.

     

    The gold flakes can be used for any culinary purpose, from garnishing candy, chocolate and baked goods to pasta and risotto. How about gold-flecked sushi with gold-flecked saké?

    For drinks, think Champagne with gold flakes for a special toast; or a gold-flecked lemon-lime soda mocktail for the kids. If you’re in the chips, make gold flake drink rimmers.
     
    RECIPE: GOLDSCHLÄGER POT O’ GOLDTINI

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2.5 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Goldschläger
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice cubes.

    2. SHAKE and strain into a Martini glass.

     

    CLASSIC MARTINI POT O’ GOLDTINI

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2.5 ounces vodka or gin
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • Optional: dash of lemon, orange or other bitters (optional)
  • Optional: lemon twist for garnish
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice cubes.

    2. SHAKE and strain into a Martini glass.
     

    If you meet any leprechauns, invite them to join you.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Mardi Gras Colored Cocktails

    Mardi Gras is Tuesday, March 4th. You may not want to celebrate Mardi Gras in the traditional way, with Cajun and Creole cuisine, a King Cake and long strands of party beads.

    But you can serve classic New Orleans cocktails like the Hurricane, which has its own special hurricane lamp-shaped glass; or the Sazerac, the official cocktail of New Orleans; a combination of cognac or rye whiskey, absinthe and bitters.

    Or, you can whip up a menu of cocktails in Mardi Gras’ theme colors of purple, gold and green.

    The colors were suggested by the Russian Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich Romanov in 1872, during his visit to New Orleans:

  • Purple represents justice
  • Gold represents power
  • Green represents faith
  •  
    But when applied to colored cocktails, they represent a good time.

    Thanks to Hendrick’s Gin for providing this idea, along with a Purple Basil Gimlet recipe below.

     

    Purple-Haze-pomwonderful-230

    A Purple Haze from Pom Wonderful. In the background, a Midori “Cosmopolitan”. Photo courtesy Pom Wonderful.

     

    We’ve made suggestions for purple, gold and green cocktails; you can easily find many recipes online. We’ve made simple cocktail suggestions below, e.g. vodka with a green liqueur. But you can add more ingredients, as long as they don’t decrease the intensity of the color.
     
    PURPLE COCKTAILS

  • Juice. Mix a clear spirit with currant juice or grape juice. Drinks with pomegranate juice (e.g., a Pomtini) can work, but they made need a touch of blackberry liqueur or blue Curaçao to make them more purple than red.
  • Liqueur. Add a touch of blackberry brandy, Black Sambuca, crème de cassis, grape schnapps, liqueur de violette or Parfait Amour, a purple liqueur based on Curaçao.
  • Soda. Add your favorite clear spirit to grape soda (one of our college favorites was Purple Passion, vodka and grape soda).
  • Vodka: Check out UV Purple Vodka, colored purple.
  • Food color: Color anything clear or white with these formulas from McCormick(25 drops equal 1/4 teaspoon food color: purple = 150 drops neon purple + 30 drops neon blue, gold = 100 drops yellow + 5 drops red; green = 150 drops green, 6 drops black. Make mocktails with lemon-lime or club soda.
  •  

    vip-cocktail-delfrisco-230s

    The VIP is the signature cocktail at Del
    Frisco’s Steak House. Photo courtesy Del
    Frisco’s.

     

    GOLD (YELLOW) COCKTAILS

  • Bellini & Mimosa. Almost everyone will be happy with these two famous yellow cocktails: Bellini (peach purée and sparkling wine) and Mimosa (orange juice & vodka), both bright and opaque.
  • Juice. Blend any clear spirit with mango juice, orange juice, peach nectar or pineapple juice.
  • Liqueur. Blend any clear spirit with Limoncello or Galliano; the most famous Galliano drink is the Harvey Wallbanger. Other yellow liqueurs include Chartreuse and Strega.
  • Martini. Try a Lemon Drop Martini (1-1/2 ounces vodka, ideally citrus-flavored; 1/2 ounce orange liqueur, 1 teaspoon superfine sugar, 3/4 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice).
  • Vodka. UV Vanilla Vodka has a light yellow hue.
  •  

    GREEN COCKTAILS

  • Grasshopper. This minty chocolate cocktail classic consists of 3/4 ounce cream, 3/4 ounce white creme de cacao and 3/4 ounce green creme de menthe. Shake with ice and pour into a Martini glass.
  • Liqueur. Anything with Midori melon liqueur or apple schnapps, both of which have a bright green color. Other green liqueurs include absinthe, green chartreuse, green creme de menthe and TY KU liqueur.
  • Martini. An appletini with sour apple schnapps. The more schnapps, the greener.
  • Vodka. UV Apple Vodka, which is made with a bright green color.
  •  
    GARNISHES

    Add a garnish in a different Mardi Gras color from the cocktail.

  • Purple Garnish: blackberries or blueberries on a cocktail pick; a cube of purple Jell-O (make gelatin in a pan, cut in garnish-size squares, place on picks and freeze).
  • Gold/Yellow Garnish: cape gooseberry, lemon curl, orange peel, pineapple, yellow Jell-O cube.
  • Green Garnish: basil leaf, mint leaf, rosemary sprig.
  •  
    RECIPE: PURPLE BASIL GIMLET

    Ingredients For 1 Cocktail

  • 2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 4-6 leaves purple basil
  •  
    Preparation

    Press purple basil leaves with simple syrup and fresh lime juice, add Hendrick’s Gin and shake well, strain up into a stemmed glass, garnish with a sprig of purple basil.
     
    It’s party time!

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Margarita Day

    What’s your idea of the perfect Margarita? In anticipation of National Margarita Day, February 22nd, Milagro Tequila asked 100 Margarita drinkers, 51 men and 49 women, to share their preferences.

  • Ninety-one percent of them prefer Margaritas made with fresh ingredients over those made with a pre-packaged mix.
  • One third of respondents prefer drinking their Margarita in a rocks glass rather than a big Margarita glass (which actually was invented for frozen Margaritas—see more below).
  • Nearly 2/3 of the survey participants prefer salt on the rim.
  • Seventy percent of respondents prefer drinking from the salted rim rather than through a straw.
  • More than half of respondents take their Margaritas blended, which is the industry term for a frozen Margarita.
  • The majority of people prefer a classic Margarita to a fruit-flavored one (guava, passionfruit, peach, strawberry, etc.).
  • Forty percent like having an extra tequila shot mixed into their Margaritas.
  • Two-thirds of respondents prefer a Margarita made with blanco/silver tequila rather than the lightly aged reposado.
  •  
    Here’s more 411 on Margaritas:

     

    chili-rim-richardsandovalrestaurants

    Something different: a chili powder rim instead of salt. Or, mix the two. Photo courtesy Richard Sandoval Restaurants.

     

    WHAT’S A MARGARITA GLASS?

    A Margarita glass (see photo below) is style of cocktail glass used to serve Margaritas and other mixed drinks. It is also repurposed as tableware, to serve dishes from ceviche, guacamole and shrimp cocktail to sundaes and other desserts.

    The Margarita glass is a variation of the classic Champagne coupe, and was developed specifically for for blended fruit and frozen Margaritas. The capacity is larger than the rocks glass used for classic Margaritas, and the wide rim accommodates plenty of salt.

    There is no need to own Margarita glasses: rocks glasses are just fine for classic Margaritas, and the larger Collins glasses—or whatever you have—do well for frozen Margaritas.

    Why was a different glass created?

    From the Victorian Age until the Second World War, people of means dined very fashionably. Elaborately prepared foods were served on fine tableware with many different utensils—different fork and knife shapes for meat, fish, seafood, and so on.

  • Even in middle class homes, the “good silver” could include a dinner fork, salad fork, fish fork, oyster fork; dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife, butter knife; soup spoon, tea spoon, iced tea spoon, espresso spoon, grapefruit spoon; and so on.
  • Some were truly useful—a serrated grapefruit spoon spared the time of cutting each half with a grapefruit knife prior to serving; a lobster pick is an important aid to removing the leg meat.
  • Others were merely rationalizations, as those of us who eat meat, fish and salad with the same fork can testify.
  •  
    Along similar lines, cocktail, glassware was created for specific drinks.

  • In the tumbler category alone (not stemware) there are Collins glasses for a tall mixed drink; highball glass, taller but not as tall as the Collins; Old Fashioned glass for an “on the rocks” drink; the dizzy cocktail glass, a wide, shallow bowl like a champagne coupe but without the stem; the shot glass and the whiskey tumbler.
  • Then there are the stemmed cocktail glasses: absinthe, cordial/liqueur, Hurricane, Martini (a.k.a. cocktail glass), sherry, snifter and single malt scotch whiskey glasses.
  • Not to mention a dozen different wine glasses, three different shapes for Champagne and other sparkling wines; and ten or so different beer glass shapes.
  • How about non-alcohol glassware: water glass, iced tea glass, juice glass and fountain glass—oversized for ice cream sodas, malts, shakes and now, smoothies.
  • Whew!

     

    dual-margarita_1321375-230

    The Margarita glass, actually developed for
    blended fruit and frozen Margaritas. Photo by
    Eugene Bochkarev | BSP.

     

    WHO INVENTED THE FROZEN MARGARITA?

    The original Margarita began appearing in bars and restaurants along the U.S.-Mexico border in the late 1930s. The first elecric blender had appeared in 1922, and improved upon in 1935 with the invention of the Waring Blender. That device, which could efficiently chop ice, enabled the creation of “frozen” drinks”—a conventional cocktail made in a blender with chopped ice.

    By the 1960s, slushy soft drinks became the craze among kids and adults alike. The machine to make them was invented by Omar Knedlik in the late 1950s. The World War II veteran from Kansas bought his first ice cream shop after the war. In the late 1950s he bought a Dairy Queen that did not have a soda fountain, so he served semi-frozen bottled soft drinks, which became slushy and were immensely popular.

    This gave him the idea to create a machine that made slushy sodas, resulting in the ICEE Company. Yet no one made the leap to using the machine for frozen cocktails.

    At that time, frozen Daiquiris and Margaritas were made by bartenders in a blender with ice cubes. But it wasn’t a great solution.

     

    A young Dallas restaurant manager, Mariano Martinez, couldn’t master the consistency of frozen Margaritas to the satisfaction of his customers—who no doubt were comparing them to the Slushies from 7-Eleven. His bartenders complained that the blender drinks were too time-consuming to make.

    One day in 1971, Martinez stopped for a cup of coffee at a 7-Eleven and saw the Slurpee machine. The light bulb flashed on, and Martinez bought and retrofitted an old soft-serve machine, porting the technology to make frozen Margaritas. The rest is history.

    The frozen Margarita was responsible for the growth of tequila in America, as well as the growth of Tex-Mex cuisine to go with all those frozen Margaritas.

    According to Brown-Forman, in 2006 the Margarita surpassed the Martini as the most ordered alcoholic beverage, representing 17% of all mixed-drink sales. Martinez’ historically significant, original machine was acquired by The National Museum of American History in 2005.
     
    MORE ABOUT MARGARITAS

  • The History Of The Margarita
  • Margarita recipes: original, classic, frozen, non-alcoholic and more
  •  
    Finally, there’s no need to buy “Margarita salt”: It’s just coarse sea salt or kosher salt.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Simple Syrup Recipe

    simple-syrup-stirrings-230

    Why buy it when it’s so easy to make? Photo courtesy Stirrings.

     

    Granulated sugar does not dissolve easily in cold beverages. Simple syrup (also called bar syrup, sugar syrup or gomme, the French word for gum) makes it easy to add sweetness to drinks—cocktails, iced tea or iced coffee.

    Some people use superfine sugar (check out this nifty flip-top package). Others buy a bottle of premade simple syrup. (There’s also a sugar-free version.)

    Or, you can easily make simple syrup—the option bartenders prefer—and keep it on hand. You can also flavor it with anything from chile and cinnamon to lavender and mint.

    We make simple syrup on the stove top, stirring sugar and hot water until they combine into a syrup. But you can try this “shaking” technique (but not for most flavored syrup, which requires simmering in hot water).

    Both techniques follow.

     

    RECIPE: SIMPLE SYRUP, SHAKEN TECHNIQUE

    1. FILL. Using the proportion of 2 parts sugar to three parts water, fill a bottle almost halfway with sugar; add hot water.

    2. SHAKE. Cover the top and shake well. Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.

     

    RECIPE: SIMPLE SYRUP, CLASSIC TECHNIQUE

    Ingredients

  • 2 parts sugar
  • 1 part water
  • Optional flavor
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BRING the water to a boil. Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly until dissolved completely. (Do not allow the syrup to boil for too long or it will be too thick.)

    2. REMOVE the pan from the heat. Allow to cool completely and thicken.

    3. ADD optional flavor. For vanilla simple syrup, add 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract to cooled sugar syrup. If you want to infuse fresh herbs (basil, mint, rosemary), simmer them in the hot water for 20 minutes and remove before mixing the water with the sugar.

     

    iced-tea-230

    Tired of stirring and stirring until the sugar dissolves? Use simple syrup. Photo by Kelly Cline | IST.

     
    4. STORE in an airtight container in the fridge or the pantry.
     
    The following recipe employs the old-school, cook-it-on-the-stove approach to making simple syrup. Enjoy it in a cocktail or in hot or iced tea.

    RECIPE: GINGER SIMPLE SYRUP

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE ginger, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

    2. REMOVE the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Strain the syrup and refrigerate in an airtight container.

    Variation: For “adult iced tea,” add 1.5 ounces bourbon or whiskey.

    WHY DO THE PROPORTIONS VARY?

    Some bartenders use a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water for a thicker syrup. Others prefer a thinner syrup. Play around with the proportions until you hit on what’s right for you.

      

    Comments

    VALENTINE’S DAY: Chocolate Martini

    godiva-liqueur-cocktail-230

    A Truffletini with a chocolate syrup garnish.
    Photo courtesy Godiva.

     

    What better excuse for a Chocolate Martini than Valentine’s Day?

    We’re particularly fond of the Godiva Truffletini—so chocolaty that you can have it for dessert. It combines both the original chocolate and white chocolate Godiva liqueurs. But if you only want to buy one bottle, there are enough chocolate liqueur cocktail recipes to keep you mixing until next Valentine’ Day.

    RECIPE: GODIVA CHOCOLATE TRUFFLETINI

    Ingredients For 1 Cocktail

  • 1 ounce Godiva Original Liqueur
  • .5 ounce Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
  • .5 ounce vodka
  • Garnish options: chocolate cookie rim, shaved chocolate; a chocolate truffle, heart-shaped bonbon or strawberry notched onto the rim; a cocktail pick with raspberries; or a chocolate syrup garnish* as shown in the photo above
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE liqueurs and vodka in a cocktail shaker with ice.

    2. SHAKE and strain into a pre-chilled Martini glass.

    3. GARNISH and serve.
     
    *Use chocolate syrup in a squeeze bottle to swirl a pattern onto the inside of the glass.

     

    GODIVA CHOCOLATE LIQUEURS

    There is an entire family of delicious Godiva chocolate liqueurs:

  • Godiva Caramel Liqueur, which makes a delicious Carameltini (1 ounce liqueur, 1/2 ounce vodka).
  • Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, the original flavor.
  • Godiva Milk Chocolate Liqueur, sweeter than the original.
  • Godiva Mocha Liqueur, great in a cup of coffee or to amp up a White Russian.
  • Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, which is delicious by itself (all the flavors are!) or mixed with orange liqueur, alone or in a Martini or other recipe.
  •  
    HOW TO ENJOY GODIVA CHOCOLATE LIQUEUR

  • In cocktails
  • For straight sipping
  • In hot chocolate
  • In hot coffee and iced coffee
  • Atop ice cream
  • In a spiked ice cream soda or milkshake
  • In dessert recipes
  •  
    Time to get mixing!

     

    Skip Caplan ©2005 124 west 24th. street New York N.Y. 10011 212.463.0541

    White chocolate liqueur on the rocks, but any of the chocolate liqueurs is delicious this way, straight up or in coffee. Photo courtesy Godiva.

     

      

    Comments

    VALENTINE COCKTAILS: Strawberry Margarita & Vodka Shooter

    Margaritas are America’s favorite cocktail. Tailor them for Valentine’s Day with a homemade Frozen Strawberry Margarita.

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY MARGARITA

    Ingredients For 4 Drinks

  • 6 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 8 ounces frozen sliced strawberries in syrup
  • 4 ounces frozen limeade concentrate
  • Ice cubes
  • Coarse salt for rim
  • Garnish: 4 fresh strawberries
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FILL a blender with ice and crush. Pour in the tequila and triple sec. Add the strawberries and limeade.

    2. BLEND for 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour and serve.

     

    strawberry-margarita-haru-230

    Who needs Champagne? Photo courtesy Haru Restaurant | NYC.

     
    Want something smaller? Here’s a recipe from Polar Seltzer.

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY SHOOTERS

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1 oz Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka or vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 2-3 strawberries, chopped
  • Strawberry flavored seltzer
  • 1-2 whole strawberries
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: whipped cream
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the chopped strawberries and vodka in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and maraschino liqueur and shake.

    2. STRAIN into a glass, filling half way and then add additional strawberries. Top with Polar Seltzer and whipped cream.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Rose Cocktails For Your Valentine

    cocktails-with-flowers-chandon-230

    Toast your Valentine with a rose cocktail. If
    you can’t find organic rose petals for garnish,
    any edible flowers will do. Photo courtesy
    Chandon.

     

    In the Middle East, rose is a more popular flavor than chocolate. It’s used in beverages, candies, cookies and other baked goods, ice cream, jam and sorbet. The flower petals are turned into syrup. The flavor is quite glorious, and it’s a perfect pairing with sparkling wine.

    Beyond Middle Eastern and Indian markets, there’s not much rose-flavored food in the U.S. (we occasionally find rose marshmallows at fine confectioners). But rose is a flavor that fits right in with Valentine’s Day, and fashionable mixologists create menus of rose syrup-accented cocktails.

    WHAT IS ROSE SYRUP?

    Rose syrup is rose water with sugar added—essentially, rose-flavored simple syrup. Rose water itself is distilled from rose petals as a by-product of the rose oil (attar of roses) produced for perfumes.

    First distilled by Muslim chemists in medieval times, both rose syrup and rose water add a subtle rose flavor and aroma to sweet foods. You can use rose water and sugar in beverages, but for confections and baked goods you need syrup, which won’t dilute the batter, dough, etc.

     

    ROSE COCKTAILS

    Our favorite, easy rose cocktail is a Champagne Cocktail sweetened with rose syrup instead of the conventional sugar cube. There’s a Rose Martini recipe below. You can create other cocktails, or add the syrup to club soda for a mocktail.

    You can buy rose syrup in pink or clear hues, or make your own from rose water. You can whip it up in about 10 minutes and color it as light or deep rose as you like. If, after the first batch, you want even more rose flavor, exchange the tap water for more rose water.

    If you decide to distill your own rose water from rose petals (our friends with a large rose garden like to do this), note that only dark red roses impart much color; you may have to supplement with food color.
     

    RECIPE: ROSE SYRUP (ROSE SIMPLE SYRUP)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rose water
  • Red food coloring as desired
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BRING the water to a boil. Add the sugar and dissolve, stirring constantly. When completely dissolved, remove the pan from the heat. Do not over-boil.

    2. ADD red food color as desired.

    3. COOL, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

     

    RECIPE: ROSE MARTINI

    Ingredients For 1 Cocktail

  • 2 ounces gin or vodka
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon rose-infused simple syrup
  • 3 dashes bitters (especially grapefruit or orange
    bitters
    )
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: organic rose petals*, raspberries,
    strawberries or lemon twist
  •  
    Preparation

    1. ADD ingredients including ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

    2. Garnish and serve.
     
    MORE VALENTINE COCKTAIL RECIPES

     

    rose-simple-syrup-royalroseny.bigcartel-230

    Rose syrup. Photo courtesy Royal Rose Syrups.

     

    *Rose petals or other flowers used for garnish must be organic—not sprayed with chemical pesticides.

      

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