For a holiday that is all about drinking, most of the cocktails consumed during St Patrick’s Day are shockingly terrible! Some blame Irish whiskey as challenging to work with because of its strong flavor profile. Others point out that the day is often more fixated on extreme inebriation than it is on the best cocktails you’ve ever had. But I think they are all wrong. Irish whiskey is a fantastic spirit to build a cocktail with and can be infinitely drinkable if done cleverly. The most elegant cocktails often use only a few ingredients, perfectly balanced for a unique and satisfying experience. And the emerald is just a such a cocktail. The bonus of only using a couple ingredients? They remain simple cocktails to make, even when celebrating at the height of inebriation.
This fantastic cocktail is a great lead up to the infamous drinking holiday that is St. Patrick’s Day. With a healthy dose of Irish whiskey, this twist on a whiskey sour is sure to get you into the festive spirit. Even with the blizzards crushing the northeast of the United States. But how can this drink be celebrated on Tiki Monday? Well the answer lies in its source of sweetener: orgeat syrup. Orgeat syrup is a staple in the tiki world, providing a flavorful, almondy backbone to popular cocktails like the Mai Tai. And while the inclusion of orgeat syrup may not alone make this Cameron’s Kick truly tiki, we are going to let that slide in the interest of enjoying this amazing concoction.
Thanks to New Orleans, a city know for the debauchery that is Mardi Gras and its amazing cocktail scene, we have yet another rendition of the classic planters punch. This time, we throw rum aside for some good ol’ american bourbon and a bit of french brandy. Although it differs considerably from the original punch recipe, this Mississippi Planter’s Punch is a wonderful chance to explore a tiki cocktail with an old school New Orleans twist.
When it comes to beers, coffee stouts are routinely some of my favorites. Beer isn’t as cheap an ingredient as many liquors. But sometimes the flavor profiles just beg to be used in a cocktail. Like the seasonal 865cc Coffee Stout from the good folks at DuClaw Brewing Company. Hands down the best coffee stout I have ever had the pleasure of drinking, the smooth deep notes of coffee and malt blend beautifully with the oak from the bourbon and velvety smoothness from the inclusion of the egg. Eggs can be a controversial cocktail ingredient due to health risks, but the alcohol should kill off any bacteria that could cause you harm. In this case, the sheer brilliance of this cocktail and amazing flavor profile is well worth any risk you may incur.
In recent years, the moscow mule has become one of the most popular cocktails. The wonderful copper mugs that started as a marketing ploy by Smirnoff have become a requisite item for any home bar and ginger beer brands have flourished. But as it turns out, mules aren’t the only family of drinks that use ginger beer. The buck is a traditional American cocktail that is essentially a mule, but usually uses a brown spirit like whiskey or rum. This “Bulliet Bourbon” Kentucky buck is a wonderful and potent cocktail which is likely to become your new favorite ginger beer cocktail.
We covered the classic brandy crusta several weeks ago. The brandy crusta is a wonderful cocktail that many argue led to the creation of the more famous Sidecar. But as brandy is an oaked spirit, you may have wondered how it’s brown brethren like aged rum and bourbon might perform in the crusta. The verdict? The bourbon crusta is amazing! The sweet notes of caramel blend with the oak and fire of the rye to make a lovely twist on the crusta concept. Bourbon Crusta 1½ ounces Cognac 1 teaspoon Orange Liqueur 2 dashes Angostura Bitters 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon simple syrup rim with sugar garnish with 1″ curl of lemon peel Begin by filling a cocktail or coupe glass with ice. Then set the glass aside to chill. Now fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the bourbon, orange liqueur, bitters, lemon, and simple syrup. While Learn More
I often shy away from cocktails with grapefruit juice. The grapefruit has never been my favorite citrus and I find it often overpowering in cocktails. However some spirits are strong enough to stand up to the flavors of grapefruit. Tequila is perhaps the most popular accompaniment to grapefruit thanks to a classic Mexican cocktail called the paloma, but whiskey also works quite well. The original recipe for this cocktail was created in 1927. Back then, the cocktail was known as the “De Rigueur”and was made with scotch. Three years later, the recipe was included in the seminal Savoy Cocktail Book. While it still bore the same name, the recipe was shifted to using the more general “whisky” as its base spirit. By the mid 1930s, the cocktail became popular at the Vendome under a new name: the “Brown Derby.”* Brown Derby #2 1½ ounces Bourbon 1 ounce fresh red grapefruit juice ½ ounce Learn More
Mulled wine normally takes a while to make. To really infuse the wine with new flavors takes times, or at least that is what common rhetoric implies. However it is possible to still get great mulled wine in only a few minutes of prep time. So now you can more often enjoy this sweet and flavorful wine cocktail during the cold winter months. No matter what long hours you are working or how busy your schedule, this is a cocktail that is worth making ten minutes for. Last-Minute Mulled Wine 5 ounces Red Wine 1 ounce Brandy or Bourbon 1 star anise pod 5 allspice berries 1 cinnamon stick 2+ long pieces of lemon peel 2 teaspoons sugar garnish with a cinnamon stick or toasted lemon peel Add all of the ingredients except the brandy/bourbon to a small saucepan. Set the heat to low and cook for a couple of minutes. Do not let the Learn More
When it comes to celebrations in the fall, my go to dessert is always apple pie. Simultaneously sweet and savory, this american classic is a time honored favorite that is often mimicked, but rarely duplicated in other forms. There are dozens of products on the shelves at liquor stores that claim to be “apple pie” moonshine or liqueur, but they never capture the full depth of the dessert or its elegant balance. Sickeningly sweet, they often can’t even be mixed. So in honor of American Thanksgiving, I set out to create an apple pie cocktail that does the dessert justice, and without further adieu, I present to you the Apple Pie Smash! Apple Pie Smash 2 ounces Bourbon 2 ounces apple cider 1 ounce apple pie simple syrup garnish with a bruleed apple slice and fresh apple pie spices This cocktail is a lot of fun to make – anything that give Learn More
Election Day is here and whether your candidate wins or loses, there are few better days to drink and celebrate America – save maybe Independence Day. Since we only get to elect a president every four years, there are few better days to break out the good stuff and make a celebratory cocktail. When it comes to finding a solid all american cocktail to celebrate with, the simplicity and elegance of the Old Fashioned make it a most excellent choice. Checkout this recipe for the classic Old Fashioned or keep reading for some delicious and election-sized concoctions. The Corn Whiskey Old Fashioned 3 ounces Corn Whiskey 1 sugar cube 3 dashes cherry bitters garnish with a lemon slice and cherry Place a sugar cube in an old fashioned glass (also known as a lowball glass). Saturate the sugar cube with cherry bitters and let rest for a minute. Muddle the sugar, then add Learn More