Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Confetti (Non-Alcoholic)

The Confetti is a non-alcoholic version of the Tutti Fruity and it is just as good. The trick with this drink is the non-alcoholic tart cherry cider and peaches, which can be bought in advance of summer fruit season. Then you need fresh peaches, pears and apples--no small feat. If you can't manage to find all the fruits, get canned fruit that is stored in its own juices, not sugar syrup.

You'll need a thick straw to slurp this one up completely. But it is so worth the effort. You've never had a smoothie like this!
  • 2 oz. fresh pealed peaches
  • 2 oz. sliced apples
  • 2 oz. pealed pears
  • 1 oz. orgeat, 
  • 4 oz. tart cherry cider
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a chille Collins glass or Hurricane glass. 


The name pretty much sums this one up. And I like this cocktail more than the Millon-Dollar Cocktail made with gin and pineapple juice. There's just something elegant when you use Pernod in an egg white cocktail. It gives the foam such an aroma of sweetness and spices. Grenadine gives the drink a slightly pink color, but not much compared to other pink foam drinks like the Love Cocktail.
  • 2 oz. bourbon (Cleveland bourbon used)
  • 1 oz. Pernod
  • 1/4 tsp. grenadine
  • 1/4 tsp. triple sec
  • egg white
Shake all ingredients in a shaker to create foam. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain with a gated finish into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Freefall (Tiki Version)

This is a great tropical scotch drink. I've done it many times to prove that scotch and pineapple juice are awesome together. This time, I went all out and used crushed ice and mint. A tall pilsner glass also makes a big difference with presentation.
  • 2 oz. scotch 
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. creme de cacao
  • mint sprig
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with crushed ice. Shake and strain with open gate into a chilled pilsner glass. Top with more crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig. 

Who Gose There? (Original Recipe)

What's this? A Margarita made with beer? Isn't that gross? No. Its gose--a type of sour beer with lots of lemon and lime flavors. You start with a typical Margarita recipe and top it with beer. Anejo tequila works better than silver, if you have it.
  • 2 oz. gold tequila
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • gose beer (Union Old Pro used)
Combine all ingredients except beer in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with salt. Top with beer.

Los Angeles Cocktail

If San Francisco gets a sour, so should Los Angeles! This cocktail can't decide if its a Sour or a Manhattan, though. First, it uses rye and is served with egg white in a sour glass (with ice, no less). And then there's sweet vermouth, just a small drizzle, so it's a little different than you'd expect. And it is also great! A whole egg is like a Flip, but it stays on the sour side.
  • 2 oz. rye (Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye used)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sweet vermouth
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • whole egg
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously. Add ice and shake again. Pour into a chilled sour glass. 

Washington Cocktail

You can tell the colonial style of this cocktail with its use of brandy and its outsized proportion of dry vermouth. Our founding fathers liked their brandy and fortified wines, and they combined them often. This still manages to be a lower ABV cocktail if that is your thing. It doesn't lack in flavor, though, with Angostura bitters and herbal vermouth.
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar syrup (demerara used)
  • dash Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Peach Buck

Man, I'm doing a lot of peach drinks this summer. I love that these cocktails are great with or without alcohol. I also am getting a lot of use of my peach syrup, which is a nice substitute for sugar when peaches are involved.

So a Buck is a class of drink that begins with vodka or gin and ends with lime juice and ginger ale. What you do in between is up to you and determines the outcome. This Buck uses artificial (and natural) peach flavors when you include peach syrup to sweeten it.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. peach brandy (peach whiskey used)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (1/2 oz. peach syrup used)
  • ginger ale
  • peach slice
Combine vodka, peach liquor and sugar or syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with the peach slice.


This is an oldie, but a goodie--at least when brunch is concerned. I made this cocktail for someone at work as a before-dinner drink. The recipe calls for peach nectar, which wasn't always easy to come by in the dark ages of cocktails. I like to add a dash of Peachtree schnaps to up the alcohol and flavor, since there isn't much room to work with when it comes to liquid that fits into a champagne flute.
  • 2 oz. peach nectar
  • champagne or sparkling water
  • dash Peachtree schnapps (optional)
Build drink in a chilled champagne flute with peach nectar and top with champagne.


Dropping a shot into a beer (A Boilermaker) is an old idea that achieves a singular end. You get drunk quickly. Still the Mexican variation of the Boilermaker is a good idea in itself. Mexican beer and tequila go great together, and it is easier to do a shot when it is watered down by beer. Try this pairing if you are looking for a little adventure.
  • 1 oz. silver tequila
  • Mexican beer
Fill a pint glass 3/4 full of beer and drop a shot glass full of tequila into the beer. 

Swamp Water

I thought I'd never make this drink for myself, so when a guest asked for it at the bar, I had to take a photo. I'm not surprised that a drink with an unappealing name like Swamp Water came from Florida or Louisiana, where it is still popular. But by now there's many recipes for this monster cocktail. All of them are so sweet that there's a danger of tooth decay as well as intoxication.

Notice the toxic blue-green of this drink. If that doesn't scare you, nothing will. 
  • 2 oz. dark rum 
  • 1/2 oz. blue curacao
  • 1 1/2 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an Old Fashioned glass full of fresh ice. 

Under The Boardwalk (Non-Alcoholic)

Wow! What a delightful beach drink that is delicious and non-alcoholic! Makes me think of a beach fruit smoothie tent at Atlantic City. If you have a blender and plenty of fresh fruit, you can make this drink during summer months when peaches are in season.
  • 2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 peach pealed and diced
  • fresh raspberries
  • sparkling water
Combine all ingredients except sparkling water and raspberries in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass (or Hurricane glass as pictured). Top with sparkling water and stir. Garnish with raspberries.

Peach Fuzz (Non-Alcoholic)

This is one of the more complicated non-alcoholic, "Smoothie," style drinks to make. And I can't help but think that it is flawed in some way. The good news is that you can get a quality fruit drink without needing a blender.

There must be a misprint in the recipe or maybe the drink is misnamed, because there's no peach in the drink besides the garnish. This is mostly a strawberry lemonade with cream.

There's a lot that can go wrong when you use two ounces of lemon juice and two ounces of cream--it tends to turn into a curdled mess. You can get around this by shaking all ingredients first and then adding the cream and shaking again. This makes sure the cream is cool and suspended amid ice and other non-acidic liquids.

One other addition that I made was using my peach syrup, which did in fact add peaches to this cocktail.
  • 2 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 oz. half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup (peach syrup recommended)
  • 5 fresh strawberries mashed.  
  • sparkling water
  • fresh peach wedge
Combine syrup, lemon juice and strawberries in a shaker. Muddle the berries until they are mashed into the syrup and release their juice. Add ice and shake. Add half-and-half and shake again. Pour into a chilled Collins glass and top with sparkling water. Stir and garnish with a peach wedge.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Peach Margarita

More than a Margarita with peach schnapps, this variation on the classic has real peach syrup made from cooked down peach nectar. But this is a 90s recipe, so it is basically the familiar Margarita with Peachtree Schnapps. Nothing to get excited about--until you taste it.
  • 2 oz. silver tequila (Sauza blanco used)
  • 1/2 oz. peach liqueur
  • 1 tbsp. triple sec
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. peach syrup (optional)
  • coarse salt
  • peach slice
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with salt. Garnish with a peach slice. 

San Sebastian

The San Sebastian is pretty much a gin drink with juices. Triple sec means that no sugar is needed, which makes this cocktail pretty dry and fruity. You only get a half ounce of rum in the recipe, so make a statement. Use a flavorful rum like Buzzard Point or Plantation 3 Stars so that it stands out and lends a tropical air to what would be only a gin drink.
  • 2 oz. gin (Strange Monkey used)
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec
  • 1/2 oz. light rum
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

San Juan

This blender drink has a lot of potential. You could make it with a flavorless white rum like Bacardi, and the coconut and brandy would carry the sweetness along. But when you have a lightly aged white rum like Buzzard Point, with a funky panela sugar base, you can enjoy the exotic taste of rum and grapefruit juice.

I fresh squeezed all the juice but used coconut puree rather than coconut milk. The flavor is sweeter and more intense. But it is still pretty natural seeming if you just use less coconut puree.
  • 2 oz. light rum (Buzzard Point used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1 tbsp. coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. brandy (Cognac please)
Combine all ingredients except brandy in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled wine glass. Float brandy on top. 

El Draque (Smuggler's Cove Recipe)

Cachaça is pretty new to the American cocktail scene. It wasn't there before prohibition, so the golden age cocktailists didn't use it. Its not in a classic book like The New York Bartenders Guide circa 1997. So I went to Martin Cate's book for a good cachaça recipe. 

This cocktail is much like the South Side, which is mint and lemon juice shaken with gin and double strained. El Draque is a tribute to Francis Drake's expedition to the Americas. The cocktail is a forerunner to the Mojito (AKA Old Cuban) with cachaça instead of unaged rum. 
  • 2 oz. cachaça (Avua used)
  • 3/4 oz. lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. demerara syrup
  • 5 mint leaves
  • lime slice
Combine all ingredients except lime slice in a shaker with ice. Shake to break up the mint and chill and double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lime slice speared with a cocktail pick. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Blended Comfort

So Southern Comfort is a peach liqueur, and peach is the dominant flavor of this SoCo inspired cocktail that resembles a Hurricane. It's good. Really good. Because bourbon--the actual base of the drink.

But since I had homemade peach syrup, it was fitting to use a sweetener that adds concentrated peach flavor, not just fake peach flavor found in Southern Comfort.

The result is a cool bourbon drink that tastes like summer. Here's the recipe.
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. Southern Comfort
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. bar sugar (1/2 oz. peach syrup used)
  • fresh peach slices
Combine all ingredients except peach slices in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Garnish with peach slices.

Kamehameaha Punch (Non-Alcoholic)

This is probably the most work I've put into a non-alcoholic drink. Between all the juicing--and I actually juiced a pineapple--and making the blackberry syrup, I probably put an hour of work prepping for this one drink. No one said that making tiki cocktails was easy.

The blackberry syrup is a non-alcoholic substitute for the blackberry brandy in the Kamehameaha Rum Punch, an alcoholic tiki cocktail that I might want to do again now that I have tiki mugs.

Make it by boiling a cup of blackberries in a cup of water. Use a potato ricer to crush the berries into pulp and strain them out with a fine mesh. Return the remaining juice to the heat and dissolve 1/2 cup of sugar by stirring continuously until the solution reduces to a thick syrup.

Then you have the cocktail: here's the recipe.
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. orgeat syrup
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. blackberry syrup
  • pineapple spear
Combine all ingredients except pineapple spear in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a grim-faced tiki mug. Garnish with pineapple and fruit. 

Peach Daiquiri

It's peach season and a perfect time to blend peaches into every drink, including a classic Daiquiri. I've used peach syrup to further augment this classic, to keep it tasting peachy when peaches themselves don't do the trick. I also used a stemless wine glass because it looks like a fruit when full of blended cocktail.

To make the peach syrup, heat 1/2 cup of peach nectar or juice in a saucepan and dissolve 1/4 cup of sugar in it while stirring. Here's the drink recipe.
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. bar sugar (3/4 oz. peach syrup used)
  • 1/2 peach, peeled and diced
Combine all ingredients in a blender with cracked ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled wine goblet.

Nutty Cola (Non-Alcoholic)

I don't think that Coke gets enough credit for popularizing a tropical drink made from the kola nut in the U.S. Now that kola is no longer an ingredient in cola, it is more citrusy with lime, lemon and orange notes, despite the artificial brown color.

A Nutty Cola does the trick of reminding us that Coke is tropical. Add lime juice and the balance goes way too sour to stand, so orgeat or hazelnut syrup are needed to add sweetness and nutty flavor.

  • 2 oz. orgeat or hazlenut syrup
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • cola
 Combine juice and syrup in a Collins glass with ice. Top with cola and stir. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rum Martini

The standard Rum Martini with 3 oz. of dry light rum and 1/2 oz. dry vermouth is very much like a vodka Martini. If you want your Rum Martini to taste more like a gin Martini, use 1/2 oz. of Cotton & Reed Dry Spiced Rum. This rum has a lot of botanicals similar to those found in craft gins like orris root, angelica root, and fenugreek. It also has clove, cumin, ginger, peppercorn, and nutmeg--a lot like the ingredients in orange bitters that is also called for in the original recipe.

This is the first cocktail I've used Cotton & Reed Dry Spiced Rum for, mostly because it is so unusual that it doesn't fit in typical boat drink cocktails or tropical recipes you find in old bar books. Use it as an amaro, though to spice up a Manhattan or Martini, and you have the right idea.
  • 3 oz. unaged white rum
  • 1/2 oz. Cotton & Reed Dry Spiced Rum (optional)
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • dash orange bitters (Hella used)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Little Princess

This is basically a Sweet Rum Martini. It has all the Martini characteristics right down to the glassware. So the trick to this drink is using an interesting sweet vermouth like Cocchi di Torino and a boring rum like Bacardi Superior. It is basically a vermouth drink that is made stronger by the addition of twice as many measures of rum.
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth (Cocchi di Torino used)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass full of ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Southern Bride

It's lightly pink and a bit like a dress turned upside down. The Southern Bride is lovely and tropical, another one of those southern gin cocktails, whether this is actually a thing or not.

It is like so many other grapefruit and maraschino liqueur cocktails like the previous post. Go with it when you don't have mint to make the Seventh Heaven.
  • 3 oz. gin (Strange Monkey used)
  • 2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1 tbsp. maraschino liqueur
 Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Seventh Heaven

I've had this drink before only it wasn't a gin drink. It was a dark rum or rye drink, like the Blinker, but the flavor is familiar and tropical. Strange Monkey gin makes it even fruitier with the mint sprig there as a whiff of class.
  • 2 oz. gin (Strange Monkey used)
  • 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur
  • mint sprig
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint sprig. 

Kolsch God

This is an original cocktail idea I had when I got this can of Fairwinds Kolsch. Grapefruit juice and grapefruit vodka are great with the hoppy and crisp taste of Kolsch beer. Do it on ice, because you want it as cold as possible, and use fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

The name comes from the DC entrepreneur, now incarcerated, who started a marijuana delivery business called Kush God. Check it out!   But definitely check out this recipe.
  • 1 1/2 oz. Absolut Ruby Red vodka
  • 2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • Kolsch beer
Combine grapefruit juice and grapefruit vodka in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a kolsch glass full of fresh ice. Top with beer. 

Peachy Melba (Non-Alcoholic)

It's peach season and I'm using fresh peaches and peach nectar to make the Peachy Melba. It's more tart than it looks and does not require additional sweetener, despite the listed ounce of grenadine. There's the feeling that it's a rich drink all the same and it would be better with a little sparkling water. That's a preview of what's to come in future posts.
  • 3 oz. peach nectar
  • 1 oz. grenadine (use just a dash or it will be too sweet)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice 
  • peach slice
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with the peach slice.