Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Year of Cocktails

This is turning out to be the year of cocktails. I was never much into cocktails before, generally dismissing them as too expensive. But lately I've learned the pleasure of sipping on something deliciously classy rather than filling myself with beer.

For the party I helped my boyfriend host last month, we set up a full bar with some quirky mixers. Evan made habanero infused tequila for margaritas following this recipe, sans grapefruit. Thank you to Rachel for inspiring a way to use the insanely spicy peppers from his grandfather's garden.

We prepared ginger simple syrup, which can be used in both whiskey gingers and moscow mules. The recipes out there for ginger syrup vary in their suggested ratios and time (Martha wants you to use A LOT of ginger, or maybe you don't need as much sugar OR ginger), so I haven't figured out the perfect proportions yet but below is a rough guideline. Peppercorns are definitely essential for a nice spicy bite.

We also made maple simple syrup to use up the crystallized dregs of a jar of maple syrup, but I'm not sure anyone took advantage of it. I myself was too busy trying out the drinks below. And of course I had an Old Fashioned again last Sunday for the Mad Men season premiere.

Yes, that is still a little Christmas tree in the background. We have been trying to keep a potted tree alive all winter until it is warm enough to go outside, but it is pretty dried out at this point, so it's unclear how it will fare.

Have any fun cocktail recipes you want to share?

Ginger Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 knob of ginger about 3 inches long

Peel ginger and cut into several thin slices. Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and steep for 30 minutes before straining out the ginger and peppercorns. Store in a jar for about up to a month.

Spicy Margarita
2 oz habanero-infused tequila
1 oz triple sec
1/2 oz lime juice

Old Fashioned
2 oz bourbon
3 dashes of bitters
1/2 tsp sugar
orange twist

Whiskey Ginger
2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz ginger simple syrup
2 oz seltzer

Moscow Mule
2 oz vodka
1 oz ginger simple syrup
1 oz lime juice
2 oz seltzer

1 comment:

  1. Rum punch (1 sour, 2 sweet, 3 strong, 4 weak):

    3 parts dark rum
    2 parts sugar syrup
    1 part lime juice
    Serve over 4 parts worth of ice
    with a dash of Angostura bitters