Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Original Cocktail: Orchard of Alcinous

Naming cocktails was always the hardest part of maintaining a cocktail menu. But that's why we have the internet, right? To look up obscure literary references and sound totally clever. So if you're wondering, the name refers to a place in the Odyssey, an orchard where apple, pear, and pomegranates were grown. Aren't you glad you asked?

-Orchard of Alcinous-

1.5 oz Offley white port
.75 oz Pür pear liqueur
.5 oz St George Terroir gin*
.5 oz lemon juice
1 oz Clos Normand apple cider**

Shake all ingredients together, double strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a small piece of rosemary. 

*St George Terroir gin is made in my neck of the woods over in Alameda, and it's a fine specimen. What sets it apart from the rest is that it's crafted with Douglas fir, so you have a big blast of pine and bay leaf right in your face. That's also why I use such a small amount in the cocktail. A little goes a long way.

**This is a French apple cider that's low alcohol and quite refreshing on its own. The kind of thing they might serve by the carafe at a creperie in France. I like this particular one because it's balanced and is also a fantastic value.

Friday, July 8, 2016

How to Make a Frozen Strawberry Margarita (like an adult)

First, if you have any kind of pre-made cocktail mixers in your house, throw them away now. Next, follow these simple instructions. Remember kids, there's nothing to be ashamed of when you're using quality ingredients. Frozen dranks are baaaaack!

-Frozen Strawberry Margarita- 

(recipe serves 2 people, theoretically)

3 oz blanco tequila (I like Cimarron or Espolon)
1.25 - 1.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz strawberry rosé syrup (or sub in agave syrup**)
1 oz orange liqueur (I like Bauchant or Amara Amaro)
10-12 fresh or frozen strawberries

(If you know that your strawberries are tart, back down on the citrus rather than bumping up the syrup.)

1. Select your preferred receptacles for consuming the beverages, and fill both glasses with ice. This is how I get the best ice to slushy ratio.

2. Put all ingredients in a blender and add the ice from the glasses. Blend on high until you've got all slush and no big ice pieces. 

3. Pour immediately into glasses so it doesn't have time to separate. Drink immediately so it doesn't have time to melt. 

**If you don't feel like making the strawberry syrup, a simple agave nectar syrup will do in a pinch. I typically dilute 2:1 (agave to hot water) to loosen it up. If you don't want to dilute for whatever reason, use half the amount in the above recipe.