DIY Cocktails

Night on the Town

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Inspired by Cynar, I concocted this after-dinner variation on the Manhattan cocktail.

Cynar is a bitter liqueur made from artichokes and herbs, so this has a little bit of a vegetal flavor you don’t normally find in a Manhattan. It’s a digestif, meaning you drink it after a meal.

Don’t let the artichoke thing scare you! Cynar is a complex bitter that really adds some oomph to your drink. I imagine drinking it after a … Read more

Mojito and Collins Picks for the End of Summer

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Summer is on its way out but that doesn’t mean it’s time to whip out the hot drinks and sweaters just yet. The weather here hasn’t quite gotten the memo about the season change, so I’ve been inspired to drink collins- and mojito-style cocktails: tall, cool, light and sparkling.

Here are my picks for refreshing cocktails perfect for any season … but especially satisfying during this transition time:

Cucumber Basil Collins: Cucumber-infused gin and … Read more

Jalapeño Margarita

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Spice up your Margaritas with jalapeño-infused tequila!

Using a fresh jalapeño from my garden, I made a super-simple infusion that adds a little oomph to the basic Margarita. The spice level is moderate, so if you want a spicier result then add another pepper. Serve it with some chips and salsa, and you’re set.

Ingredients

2 oz jalapeño tequila*
¾ oz fresh orange juice
½ oz fresh lime juice
1 oz triple sec

Instructions

Add … Read more

Watermelon Jalapeño Slush

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My little jalapeño plant has been producing like a champ, so I’ll be sharing a few jalapeño-inspired cocktails. One of my favorite ingredients to mix with jalapeño is watermelon, and this frozen drink is the perfect thing for warm, later-summer afternoons. And this recipe is super easy, so you won’t have to wait long before you’re in sweet and spicy heaven!

Ingredients

    1 cup watermelon chunks, frozen
    2 oz silver tequila
    1 jalapeño, sliced
    1

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What’s the difference between a cream liqueur and a crème liqueur?

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Sometimes it seems to take a special dictionary to navigate the cocktail world. For instance, while it is true that crème is the French word for cream, a crème liqueur and a cream liqueur are not the same.

Cream liqueurs, such as Baileys or Carolans Irish cream, contain dairy cream. Crème liqueurs, such as crème de menthe and crème de cacao, have more sugar than other liqueurs and therefore a thicker consistency. They do not, … Read more

Watermelon Cocktails for Labor Day

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Happy Labor Day! If you’re blessed with beautiful weather like we are (or even if you’re not), here are some tasty watermelon cocktails that are perfect for the long weekend.

    Watermelon Mojito
    Watermelon Cucumber Refresher
    Watermelon Agua Fresca Margarita
    Watermelon Granita
    Watermelon and Cucumber Gin & Tonic

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Maple Bacon Bloody Mary

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I love Bloody Marys! Since it’s tomato season, now is the perfect time to make this cocktail with fresh tomatoes. It’s easier than you think.

This variation includes bacon and maple syrup, but it’s not just for brunch! Bacon makes such a tasty garnish and the maple syrup perks up the natural sweetness of the fresh tomatoes.

As far as garnishes go, the Bloody Mary is the most fun. Why stop with bacon? Add the … Read more

Sangria Basics

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Sangria is a DIY dream. It’s a wine punch with fruit and liquor in it. What kind of wine, fruit and liquor? That’s up to you.

Some people like to top off their sangria with ginger ale, lemon-lime soda or club soda. Some people like it room temperature, while others drink it over ice. It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t like sangria. It’s possible they wouldn’t be people worth knowing.

Using expensive wine is … Read more

Advanced Mixology: Margarita Sorbet

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If you’re feeling adventurous and looking for a challenge, this margarita sorbet made using liquid nitrogen could be your next undertaking! I had this at Tales of the Cocktail in July, and it has a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth texture and the familiar flavors of a margarita. I enjoyed the science-lab show as well.

Liquid nitrogen is dangerous! If you feel comfortable using it, please take all necessary precautions. Research its use thoroughly in addition to reviewing … Read more

The Awapuhi – Pau Hana Friday Cocktail

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Here’s our regular Friday cocktail from our friends at Hawaiirama as part of their regular Hawaii cocktail coverage.

Awapuhi is the Hawaiian word for a native ginger plant and this cocktail definitely has a nice, spicy ginger kick. The taste is fresh, complex and slightly sweet with a mild ginger heat. The Awapuhi is a signature cocktail at the The Red Bar, the boite located at noted Chef Bev Gannon’s Wailea joint, A Pacific View … Read more

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