Tag Archives | Alcohol

PARTY PERFECT BEER MARGARITAS

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Sorry, I had to do it.

The Super Bowl is a week away. Do I really care about the game? Not so much. My personal preference is for college football (UC Bearcats and OSU Buckeyes, if you’re wondering) and that season is over until the fall. George cares, but since he doesn’t have a team to root for he’s kind of on the “meh” side. BUT! We do love any excuse to host a party! And while I may not go bananas for pro football, I enjoy the sport and generally miss it once it’s over. Why not usher the season out in style, you know? It gives you a perfectly acceptable reason to stuff your face with chicken wings, Fritos, weird gooey dips, and other stupid food you normally don’t eat/won’t admit to eating in public. #yolo #noshame #i’mjustsayin’ Whether you love the game, you’re just watching for the commercials, or you’re getting dragged to a party by your significant other, it’s time to embrace the culinary aspect of one of America’s biggest sporting events. I’ll drink to that!

Speaking of drinks, let’s start there. Football means beer. But what if you’re not feelin’ the beer that day? What if that guacamole dip is staring you in the face saying “Hey man, doesn’t a margarita sound really good right now?” and secretly you’re like “Yes, guac. It totally does.” I got you covered, my friend. You can combine the two. And yes, it actually works.

Most beer margarita mash-ups involve a frozen can of limeade but I’m going to be honest with you. That kind of makes me cringe. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had great experiences with limeade? It kind of tastes like a cold Jolly Rancher in a weird way? Plus, it’s filled with high fructose corn syrup. Blech. Let’s go a different route. How about fresh limes and simple syrup (or agave nectar) like an authentic margarita? Whereas many margarita recipes add sour mix as filler, there’s really no need for that when using fresh limes. And if not fresh limes, then straight up lime juice from the bottle. A little tequila, a bottle of beer, and we’re good to go!

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The great thing about this recipe is that it’s very scaleable. The base recipe makes 4 beverages (7 oz each), but the measurements are easy enough to double or triple.

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Fresh-squeezed lime juice is best, which is about 6 large-sized limes.
The recipe gives a range for simple syrup amounts. Start with the lesser and test it out. You can always add more, but if it's too sweet it's hard to fix!
We used Corona for our beer. The lime-friendly, uncomplicated flavor is perfect for this.
For tequila, we used José Cuervo Especial, reposado. Now is not the time to break out your fancy, special tequila. This recipe is more punch-like in nature than it is "specialty artisan cocktail." Do you really want to water down Patron with Corona? I will note that reposado tequila gives a nice depth of flavor, since it has been aged in an oak barrel.

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: : : Party Perfect Beer Margaritas : : :

6-7 limes, + 1 extra if you want to garnish
*Note: you will need 1 cup lime juice if you rather use bottled lime juice
1/2 – 3/4 cup simple syrup
1/2 cup tequila
12 oz (1 bottle or can) of beer, like Corona
2 TBSP kosher or margarita salt
lime wedge (still juicy!)

1. Cut limes in half and squeeze using a citrus squeezer or reamer. You will need 1 cup of juice. Pour juice through a strainer to remove the pulp.

2. In pitcher, combine lime juice, 1/2 cup simple syrup (you can always add more), and tequila.

3. For margaritas on the rocks, pour in one bottle of beer then stir. For blended drinks, pour mixture into blender with ice BEFORE adding the beer. Blend until mixture is slushy with a fine texture, then pour back into the pitcher and add beer.

4. Place salt on a small plate. Run lime wedge over rim of glasses, then dip glasses into salt. If making on-the-rocks drinks, add ice to glasses.

5. Carefully pour margarita mixture into glasses. Garnish with lime slices on the edge of the glass.

6. Drink up!

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

As promised, here’s a recipe for homemade sour mix. I promise, using real citrus juices like lime and lemon juice taste a million times better. And if you don’t want to use refined table sugar, then use demerarra/turbinado/etc.

After trying this, I’m really excited for other variations I can make when summer seasonal beers are out. We became huge fans of Leinenkugel’s Orange Shandy this year, so I think an orange-lime beer marg is in our future!

We’ll be bringing you another Super Bowl party (or just generally life appropriate) recipe in a few days that’s perfect for a snacking crowd. Tell us, do you have any Super Bowl plans? What kinds of food or drinks do you like to make for crowds?

  • Yield : 1
  • Servings : 1

GOLDEN NIGHT COCKTAIL

You know what’s awesome/not awesome at all? Technical problems. I had this post COMPLETELY. WRITTEN. And then I hit “Save Draft.” And then it told me I have an error. The specific error said “Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again later.” Um, okay. You’re asking me if I’m sure I want to save? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I do (stupid jerk). So I was like “Okay, well, it usually saves periodically throughout the process so let’s see what I have.” I HAD NOTHING. NADA. It didn’t save ever at all. UGHHHHHHH. So. Here we go. I’m going to try this again.

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The weather outside may (or may not) still be frightful, but the good thing about January? It marks the beginning of Awards Season! Woo hoo! Tonight is the Golden Globes award ceremony, hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey—how can you not be psyched? I love any reason to celebrate, so I use the Globes as a perfect excuse to enjoy a good cocktail in front of the telly. If you want to break free of the typical plain glass of bubbly, then come along with me while I babble about Moët’s Golden Night cocktail.

The official cocktail of the Golden Globes is Moët’s Golden Night. It consists of champagne, pear brandy, and a cardamom simple syrup. Sounds delightful, no? However, who has pear brandy sitting around? We don’t, and we have some pretty rando stuff in our liquor cabinet. You probably do too, but is one of those items pear brandy? Yes? Well then you, my friend, are lucky and you may skip ahead to the recipe posted on People’s website! If you’re like us and you DON’T happen to have pear brandy (and you don’t want to break the bank just for this), then let’s try another route.

Version 1: Since the recipe calls for a cardamom-infused simple syrup, I’ll use that as my vehicle for the pear flavor as well. My original intent was to use Jumex Pear Nectar but you know what? It was not my day because I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE. Which was annoying b/c I’ve purchased it in the past, but neither Kroger nor Whole Foods nor Giant Eagle were feelin’ me on this one. Not even World Market. Pear nectar access denied! So I settled for canned pears in 100% juice. I use the juice from the can as my liquid in the simple syrup.

Version 2: While I may not have pear brandy, I do have pear flavored liqueur (see, I told you—random!). We can try this as an alternate. It won’t have the cardamom infusion, but that could be a nice comparison study as well. I happen to have Rothman & Winter’s Orchard Pear liqueur, but I’ve also seen Mathile’s pear liqueur at my local liquor store, and there’s also Absolut Pear vodka you could try. While you may not have this readily available in your liquor stash, I recommend considering pear liqueur if you’re a fan of the flavor. It’s really lovely with…well, lots of things. Gin? Yes. Whiskey? Why not. Rum? Yeah, sure. Vodka? Obviously. Just some club soda on the rocks? Knock yourself out!

Another note: if you look closely at the photo, you’ll notice the two drinks have slightly different appearances. One is clearer, while one is a little cloudier. That’s due to the two different recipes. The clearer drink on the left is Version 2, and the cloudier drink is Version 1. So with no further ado, let’s get to it!

: : : GOLDEN NIGHT COCKTAIL ADAPTATION, V.1.0 : : :
Simple Syrup
1 can halved pears in 100% juice
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 ground cardamom
— OR —
20 cardamom pods, cracked

1. Strain the juice from the canned pears. I had about 1 c of liquid. If you’re in the ballpark, you’re golden (Get it? Golden? Not that funny? Okay, fine). Heat the liquid in a small or medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Add the sugar and cardamom, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Let the liquid come to a simmer, then lower heat to medium. Let simmer for 7 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Strain using a fine mesh strainer. If you’re using ground cardamom like I am (because that’s what’s in my pantry), the sieve won’t catch all of the spice but it will get the larger pieces. Reserve in an airtight container.

Cocktail
1 oz cardamom-pear simple syrup
1 oz brandy or cognac
4 oz sparkling wine (I opt for brut, b/c the other ingredients are already very sweet)
Splash of lemon juice

1. In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, combine simple syrup, brandy, and lemon juice. Shake until cold, about 20 shakes.

2. Strain liquid into champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a slice of fresh pear, if you’re feeling extra fancy! Sip, and enjoy Tina & Amy’s opening dialogue!

: : : GOLDEN NIGHT COCKTAIL ADAPTATION, V.2.0 : : :
1 oz brandy or cognac
1 oz pear flavored liqueur
4 oz sparkling wine (again, I opt for brut due to sweetness of the above)

Follow the same steps as the first cocktail, but minus the lemon juice.

So my favorite of the two? It’s actually Version 1! The touch of cardamom is really nice and matches up with pear very well. It’s a bit sweeter, but that’s where the lemon juice comes in. It’s not a part of the original recipe, but I added it to help cut the sweetness and add a touch of brightness. Version 2 is good but much more subtle, so if that’s your thing then go for it! Otherwise, the flavors are much more prevalent in Version 1.

How about you? Are you a fan of awards season? Do you get out the bubbly/wine/gin & tonic/what-have-you and indulge in red carpet time? Whose dress are you excited to see (come on, we all know it’s about the ladies!) and who are you rooting to win?  I’m always a Jennifer Lawrence fan but then again, who isn’t nowadays?

STRONG DRINKS: BRONX COCKTAIL

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So. Here we are. Seven posts and a little over a month in and no drinks. Isn’t that part of the title? And no bevs? Where are the bevs? Well don’t you worry your pretty little face, I got your bev right here.

First, let’s talk about the word “bev.” Bev is my long-time term of endearment for an alcoholic beverage (beverage being the operative word here). Used properly in a sentence: “It’s 6:30 on a Friday night. It’s time for a bev,” or “Let’s go for a happy hour bev.”

It’s five o’clock somewhere, and I need a bev. Don’t you?

Now let’s talk about this fine tipple, the Bronx. It’s a classic gin-based drink that originates in the early part of the 20th century. It’s basically a perfect martini with added orange juice. What do I mean by perfect? Do I mean it’s perfectly awesome? No. “Perfect,” in cocktail world, means the drink contains equal parts of both dry and sweet vermouth.

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I was first introduced to the Bronx at a local fancy-pants restaurant with a great cocktail list. However, it wasn’t called a Bronx; they called it something more suitable to their brand’s personality, so it took me awhile to figure out what it actually was. Lo and behold, one magical day I stumbled upon this drink and was so excited to finally know there was an official recipe that could take me to this happy place. There’s a similar drink called the Minnehaha; it’s mostly the same ingredients but with a different proportions. Since the Bronx is the more classic, standard drink on the docket, we’re going that route.

I should note: a typical Bronx does not call for bitters, but I often like to add bitters to my drinks to deepen the flavors. But more about that on another day. Grab your cocktail shaker and let’s mix this drink!

::: BRONX COCKTAIL :::
2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce fresh orange juice
4-5 dashes Peychaud’s bitters (optional)

1. Grab a rocks glass and a cocktail shaker. Fill both with ice.

2. Pour the gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, and orange juice into the cocktail shaker. Shake for 20 seconds.

3. Strain into rocks glass. Add the dashes of bitters.

4. Sip. Smile. Enjoy.