- First, did you catch our post for Bastille Day? French wine and macaron towers can be enjoyed any day BTW.
- I don’t know if the French are better drinkers than us, but I do know that 3 tequilas equals floor.
- And since we have some bottles of wine open, here’s all the BBQ foods and their perfect wine pairings.
- Ice… has a history. Read all about it here.
- If you’re in LA soon, with your pup, here’s where you can drink!
- Boozy doughnuts for your breakfast!
- How the Cognac industry is combating climate change.
- Tales of the Cocktail starts tomorrow and Thirsty has some tips if you’re new to this event.
- Beer contracts allow you to sue flaky friends… and this isn’t even in the US!!
- And finally, here’s a great read on the science of sweetness in cocktails.
Search Results for: tequila
We are currently running through a pint of strawberries every few days at our house. Regardless of the weather outside, it doesn’t really feel like summer to me until the berries start rolling in. As per usual, I overbuy and then have to look for ways other than just straight eating them. So, for this month’s Make or Buy, we’re looking at strawberry liqueur!
Strawberry liqueur is super versatile, and I think especially tasty during the summer, but also nice to have on hand as summer turns towards fall. You can splash it into some club soda, flavor a multitude of cocktails, but my most favorite way is to use it in a Margarita (because of course!). If you make it, please let me know how you use YOUR bottle!
- Readily available online and in stores
- Long shelf life (6+ months)
- Consistent flavor and color
- Muted strawberry flavor and color
- Cannot change viscosity or sweetness level
- Alcohol is more pronounced than strawberry flavor
To Make: Strawberry Liqueur
- Short wait time to make
- Fresh strawberry flavor and strong strawberry aroma
- Bright, beautiful color
- Can adjust sweetness levels
- You must make the liqueur
- Not immediately available
- Flavor and color may not be consistent
- Bad batch of strawberries can ruin flavor of liqueur
And how do they compare in a cocktail? Well, of course I had to try both liqueurs out in my Strawberry Margarita recipe. Usually I would also add fresh strawberries in, but since I was testing out to compare side by side with the liqueurs I left them out (but I do highly suggest adding a few slices and muddling them in!). The store bought liqueur had a strong strawberry taste and slightly spicy flavor added to the Margarita. The color was significantly darker as well. The homemade liqueur Margarita was lighter in flavor, color, and body. Not necessarily a bad thing, just different. Both were definitely strawberry in aroma but each one on opposite ends of flavor and color.
1 pint (16 ounces) strawberries, roughly chopped
1-3/4 ounces vodka
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
- Combine the strawberries and vodka in an airtight jar. Shake to combine and let sit for three days in a cool, dark place. After three days, strain through fine cheesecloth or a nut bag (my preferred way!) and make sure all small bits are removed. Discard strawberries.
- Next, make the rich syrup by combining sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and let the mixture come to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature and combine with the strawberry liquid. Let sit an additional day to meld. Then liqueur is ready to use. Store in a cool, dry place or refrigerator up to three months.
1-1/2 ounces tequila blanco
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce strawberry liqueur
salt for rim
strawberry slices for garnish, optional
First, squeeze your lime juice and set aside. Using the spent lime shell, rub around the outside rim of the glass and roll rim in salt. Set glass aside. In a mixing glass filled 2/3 with ice, combine, tequila, lime juice and strawberry liqueur. Shake 20 seconds and strain into prepared glass. Optionally add strawberry slices to glass to garnish.
- First, get yourself one of these chairs. Now go find a pool and your friends.
- Would you like a frozen Negroni? The answer is YES.
- Taco calendars? With tequila? Double yes.
- And speaking of, here is more Margarita recipes than you need…but you’ll want to try them all.
- Now if Mezcal is your thing, and also watermelons… that are frozen. Try this recipe.
- I am on board for putting more glitter in cocktails.
- You stocked up on a bunch of booze for the summer. Don’t ruin it by storing it wrong!
- Oh what’s that? You’d like more frozen cocktail suggestions? How about a frozen Blood and Sand?
- Or maybe you’d like some peaches and rum frozen to perfection?
- I personally like a frozen cocktail with cookies.
- And finally, congrats to Kate from Drinking With Chickens for getting her own nationally celebrated holiday. Thanks for letting me hold your chickens.
- First, if you like vermouth cocktails, check out our latest recipe. You also have to like thyme too.
- Since Mother’s Day is over, I’ll just have these cocktails for brunch, thanks.
- Come to NYC for the rare whiskeys, stay for the vegan BBQ at this new bar.
- Look, we’re never going to truly define what Tiki is, but I think we should at least start calling all the drinks rhum rhapsodies again.
- I just LOOOOOVE the illustrations in this book, almost as much as I love tequila.
- A few tips for next-level hospitality at your bar (whether you own it or just work there).
- Dave Stolte is an amazing illustrator and creator of the Home Bar Basics cocktail book. You might not know him if you’re outside of LA, but you should!
- California is taking on whiskey. Will it be good?
- Congrats to Pernod Ricard. More companies should have sustainability goals.
- And finally, fries… what you should be pairing with your champagne but haven’t tried yet.
- First, I was interviewed! The awesome Mo Herms chatted with me about cocktail blogging, my years DJing girl garage 45s, and themed tiki parties among other things. Give it a listen and check out the playlist I created especially for the episode!
- Second, like cocktail onions? Our latest Make or Buy gives our super easy recipe, plus one of our favorite brands to buy!
- Being a great bartender requires some amazing skills, so maybe our next president should be one?
- Put down that bottle of cooking wine and pick up the good stuff. And then cook with it.
- A few tips for interviewing people and getting the staff you want at your bar.
- If you absolutely have to drink that last sip of wine, don’t worry, that sludge in your glass won’t kill you.
- Thank you Japan for making Four Roses good again!
- Canada is getting serious about its cannabis booze.
- Houston, TX: it’s where you should drink next and here’s why...
- And finally, I’ll drink what the Rock’s been cooking.
It’s that magical time of the year where you have a weekend full of reasons to make bad decisions. Place your bets! And let’s make some drinks!
This post is brought to you by Tequila Cazadores.
Grab your cocktail shakers! It’s National Margarita Day folks!
Out of all the drink holidays out there, this is probably one of my favorites. Why? Well, who can say no to a Margarita?! Well made and they’re a perfect blend of sweet and sour, and as I mentioned earlier in the week… SO riffable. To help celebrate, I’ve teamed up with Cazadores Tequila, a recognized premium tequila since 1922, to bring you all one of my FAV variations, the Jalapeño Margarita.
Cazadores has been one of my go-to tequilas for quite some time. It’s super reasonably priced but it’s also 100% blue agave—not mixed! Cazadores has five types of tequila in their portfolio: Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, Extra Añejo, and Cristalino; for today’s recipe we’ll be using the Blanco (you’ll recognize the bottle by its hint of blue and the stag gracing the front). Because we’re making a mixed drink, the Blanco expression is the perfect product. It’s light, clean taste has a slightly sweet finish that highlights the agave. It also makes for a balanced cocktail so you taste all the components.
Now, I can take a bit of heat and I love the play of spicy and sweet here. That said, you can totally adjust this to your spiciness level. Want more spicy? Keep the seeds in the jalapeño slice and add two if you’d like. Just want a hint of spice? Take out the seeds and don’t garnish with a second jalapeño slice (the longer the garnish sits in your glass, the more spice it imparts to your drink! Remember that!).
Ok! Let’s shake up some cocktails! And remember, if you celebrate with one of these for #NationalMargaritaDay, remember to tag us so we can peep your creation!
Recipe Courtesy of Manny Hinojosa, Global Brand Ambassador
1-1/2 part Cazadores Tequila Blanco
1/2 part premium Triple Sec
1/2 part agave nectar
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 slice of jalapeño
Method: In a cocktail shaker with ice combine all the ingredients, shake, and serve over the rocks in glass.
Garnish: with lime, jalapeño slice and salt optional.
- First, we’re back with our Make or Buy series this month and we’re looking at Grenadine! Check out our results and let us know which one you choose.
- Your crockpot is better than just a way to get slow cooked meats on the table. It’s also a way to get cocktails there too!
- Ok, so one time in SF bar hopping I walked out of a bar still drinking my drink and thus left the establishment with their glass. It was not intentional but I still felt bad. I went to return it and realized I had lost my license so that ended up taking precedence that evening. I still feel awful about it. But these jerks...
- All things bourbon for 2019. Add these events to your calendar!
- Non-alcoholic bitters are a thing! But, should you really make the effort?
- Science read: where does the sugar in your wine come from?
- There’s a 26 ingredient cocktail out there. But should you actually drink it?
- I have a lot of questions about a death match to buy a bottle of $40 booze.
- Fighting in costumes to win a tequila competition. This must be a millennial thing.
- And finally, a follow up to last week’s story about getting banned from Walmart. Should you drink wine from a Pringle’s can? Why is this a story?
Hello and welcome to the second installment of our Make or Buy series. I’m so happy to have you here, especially in January when you can practically hear the crickets on this site.
Today we’re going to be looking at Grenadine. Yes, we already have a recipe here on how to make a basic one, but this version I’ve altered as a step up from the most basic way to make it and it’s how I currently make my home bar version.
Grenadine is one of those ingredients I think everyone buys and no one uses. I think in part because 1. it tends to be associated with that kiddie drink the Shirley Temple (and OH YES, that is what we’re going to make today to compare the make vs. buy options) and 2. the commercial products that have been available were full of super processed ingredients and food dye and just not very tasty. But here’s the thing, there are now some really great options out there for buying grenadine at the store, we’ve got one of those today in fact, and also, grenadine is super easy to make. And I’ll show you how.
First let’s talk about what you can buy at the store. I chose Small Hand Foods grenadine syrup as my pick. Why? Because it’s an excellent product and is my go-to when I don’t have mine own syrup on hand. Second, as usual in this series, let’s address the pros and cons. The pros here are great. All natural products, cane sugar, easy to buy (Amazon!), tastes of pomegranates. The cons here are that I find the flavor a bit muted, and because it is not dyed red, you are not going to get that bright red color that one expects grenadine to have in drinks.
If you decide to make your grenadine, you have two choices in regards to the pomegranate base: freshly bottled juice you can buy, or go crazy and juice your own pomegranates. Clearly this can be a pro or a con depending on YOU. Because I do not have the desire to juice 4 pomegranates (which would yield approximately the 2 cups you need to start with), I went with bottled fresh juice. For this version of the syrup I also finish it off with a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses which adds in a lot of zip and tang to the final product. So the pros here for me are that you get a fresher tasting product that you can alter the sweetness, volume, and overall flavor of. Using the fresh juice also means you’re getting a brighter red color in the final product (still not as bright as a food dye though). Also, I reduce the syrup in half resulting in a thicker, more viscous grenadine. On the con side, if you’re constantly switching up your formulas you’re not going to get a consistent product to make drinks with. Also, fresh juice is going to very from fruit to fruit so you might occasionally get a batch you don’t like the flavor of. It also is possible that getting fresh juice in your area is just not an option (nor would growing a tree be). And with all the “make” versions here, you have to make the product and if you’re short on time or inclination then that’s just not going to be fun for you.
So now the choice is up to you. Do you buy a tested and well-loved brand, or do you make your own batch? Or do you do both and have too many syrups in your house like me?
Well, before you decide let’s talk about how these two work in a drink. Oh, but it’s January and half of you aren’t drinking (but you’re lurking around on booze sites like this, huh?)! No worries! We’ll make what I consider the quintessential mocktail, The Shirley Temple.
My earliest memory of having a Shirley Temple was at some relative’s anniversary party or family reunion or something like that where there was a bunch of elderly people in a banquet hall. I was young, but one of these elderly people put a drink in my hand with a cherry in it and OH BOY did I feel like a fancy lady. In fact, I still feel like a fancy lady when I garnish my drinks. Anyways, I inquired as to what I was drinking and I was told it was a Shirley Temple. And really, if you want to feel even more fancy as a small child, make them a drink, without booze, and give it a name.
The other reason that I chose to use the grenadine here is that it is a pretty simplistic drink, you’ll taste the syrup, and you’ll see how it interacts with just one other ingredient. And just how do they do here? Both were fine! The Small Hand Foods grenadine is much lighter in both appearance and body, so you see that when it’s mixed with the soda. You get more of the soda and less of the grenadine, more like a hint of it. You can adjust here and add more though but I equalled portioned both grenadines out. The homemade batch of grenadine was a thicker syrup so that came across as a brighter red colored drink with more body. The grenadine was more noticeable here in the flavor as well.
And thus concludes this month’s make or buy. Let me know which way you decided to go and don’t forget to tag us in your posts! It’s always fun to see how you all experiment!
In a medium saucepan, pour in pomegranate juice and sugar. Whisk and bring to a boil over high heat. Once at a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and let simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half. Remove from heat and add in orange flower water and pomegranate molasses. Whisk to fully combine and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, pour in vodka, if using (this would act as a preservative) and bottle in an airtight container. Store in a cool, dry place. If not using vodka, once bottled, store in the refrigerator up to one month.
The Shirley Temple Mocktail
3-4 ounces ginger ale or lemon-lime soda
1/2 ounce grenadine
maraschino cherry for garnish
In a collins glass, 2/3 filled with ice, pour in soda of choice. Top with grenadine and stir gently to combine. Garnish with a cherry.
This post is brought to you by Specialty Retailers, Inc. Recipes and ideas are my own.
Did you know that Margaritas are the most popular cocktail in the U.S.? Probably not surprising when you think of the amount of frozen, neon colored drinks you encounter walking down the main strip in Las Vegas. I’m sure those are being counted in this statistic. And that bottled drink mix with the svelte lady on the front; that’s probably being counted too. But here in my home bar, a Margarita is a solid, easy to mix drink with endless variations. And today we’ll be making them holiday ready for a little online party!
Today I’m taking part in Stage’s virtual holiday party and sharing my Cranberry Sauce Margaritas to help celebrate and #SetYourHolidayStage! I’m making them extra festive with an easy DIY rosemary sugar rim you can whip up in minutes and use all holiday season long. As my older readers know, I have an entire front yard full of rosemary. So when the Fall and Winter seasons are upon us, I’m sticking it in everything. Food, of course, but also in lots of cocktails. If you’re finding us through the Stages Holiday Party, a quick search through the archives will introduce you to a whole new world of using rosemary in cocktails; take a look!
We still have two whole weeks until Christmas and who knows how many parties we’ll be going to or hosting up to then. If you’re in charge of drinks, Stages has all the accessories you need to make prepping and decorating easy! We did a quick shopping trip online to get all our gear for our virtual party including glasses, those cute gold foil holiday napkins, a caddy to hold the napkins and straws, a chalkboard sign to write out the name of our Signature Cocktail, the containers to store the rosemary sugar, a dipping tray for all the ingredients for the Cranberry Sauce Margaritas, as well as some festive decorations like this teeny tiny lights and the nutcracker. Even my holiday sweater came from there! SO MANY GREAT ENTERTAINING OPTIONS.
Ok, so you set your holiday stage and are ready for guests. Let them feel in charge with a little DIY bar set up. This 3 cup dipping tray could hold snacks any other time of the year, but today it will hold all the components for the Cranberry Sauce Margaritas: cranberry sauce, lime wedges and the rosemary sugar. Put out some little spoons for the dishes and some shot glasses for the booze components. Holiday parties should be about coming together with friends and family, and having this little DIY bar lets guests mingle about with one another.
The recipe for the Cranberry Sauce Margaritas has just a touch of sweetness in it from the cranberry sauce and the Grand Marnier. You can adjust going up or down with either to your liking. I also think adding just a touch of the rosemary sugar into the drink doesn’t hurt either, just remember to shake it really well to combine it all! TIP: use the spent lime wedges from the cocktail recipe to help rim the glasses. Then you won’t need to waste additional lime wedges just for rimming. Also, when rimming your glass, use a shallow bowl or rimmed plate and push the sugar out towards the edges so that the sugar will evenly coat around the glass.
Let’s make some drinks!
Cranberry Sauce Margaritas
1-1/2 ounces blanco tequila
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon cranberry sauce
rosemary sugar (see recipe below)
First, rim a rocks glass with the rosemary sugar. Set aside. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled 2/3 with ice. Shake well to combine, about 30 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into the prepared rocks glass. Add additional cranberry sauce if desired. Optionally garnish with a rosemary sprig.
2 cups granulated sugar
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary, about 3 to 5 inches long, divided
Take one sprig of rosemary and remove all the needles. Finely chop them. Combine the chopped needles and the sugar in an airtight container. Mix well to evenly distribute the rosemary. Add a few extra sprigs to the jar, shake, and let sit overnight or up to a few days. Sugar may look clumpy but it will dry out and break down. Remove the sprigs, seal the jar, and keep in a cool, dry place up to three months.