Tag Archives: cocktail

Drink of the Week: Vodka Sour

I think I mentioned before I am totally into sours. And so the love affair continues. I’ve blogged about a Tequila Sour and an Apricot Lady Sour. This week: a Vodka Sour.

The bitters make this drink.

I received a bottle of Luksusowa gluten-free potato vodka in the mail recently, which promted me to give this clear spirit another go. Truthfully, I’d been a bit vodka’d out, what with all the flavoured vodka martinis that were hugely popular when I first started writing about cocktails in 2010. But the Luksusowa, though rather flavourless as most vodkas are, is smooth. And it mixes gloriously with the other ingedients in this drink.

This Vodka Sour is all smooth lemony goodness. It would be nice with just the first three ingredients, but the bitters give it an edge and the egg white makes a smooth vodka even smoother.

Vodka Sour

2 oz Luksusowa vodka

1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 oz simple syrup*

3 dashes Angostura bitters

1/2 fresh egg white

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

*Make simple syrup by combining equal parts sugar and water and heating in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate.

— Recipe adapted from Cocktails Made Easy by Simon Difford

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Drink of the Week: Apple Breeze

Don’t be put off by the name. Though it sounds girly, the Apple Breeze packs a nice rum punch, softened by apple and cranberry juices. There’s also tart lemon juice; a perfect foil to the sweet apricot brandy liqueur, which adds warmth on a -22C evening.

Sip and start dreaming of warmer climes.

I used Havana Club rum because I’ve been dreaming about a Caribbean escape all freezing week long. Since Cuba was on the brain, I served my Apple Breeze in a Communist propoganda highball glass from Vietnam. I think it works. This drink will warm you up while vicariously transporting you somewhere — anywhere — sunny and sandy.

Apple Breeze

2 oz Havana Club light rum

1/2 oz Bols apricot brandy liqueur

1-1/2 oz apple juice

1-1/2 oz white cranberry juice

1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp simple syrup*

Apple wedge garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Garnish with an apple wedge.

*To make simple syrup combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate for up to one month.

— Recipe adapted from Cocktails Made Easy by Simon Difford

Drink of the Week: The Great Hall Classic

This week has been all about Jasper, so why not end the week with a warm apres ski cocktail from the Emerald Lounge at the Jasper Park Lodge? I gratefully sipped this drink next to a roaring fire after a morning ski at Marmot Basin and an afternoon snowshoe at Pyramid Lake. It helped thaw my toes and fill my cheeks with that rosy apres glow. Here’s to more winter family adventures followed by warm sips next to a fireplace!

This warm apres ski cocktail will bring a rosy glow to your cheeks.

The Great Hall Classic

1-1/2 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

1 oz espresso (or really strong coffee)

Steamed milk

Sugar, to taste

Build drink in a coffee mug and top with steamed milk. Add sugar to taste.

— Recipe courtesy Emerald Lounge at the Jasper Park Lodge

Drink of the Week: Rum Punch

While it’s true that rum punch is the go-to cocktail in Barbados — it’s refreshing and served on ice — it also makes a mean sipper on cold winter evenings. The dark rum is belly warming and the nutmeg adds a winter spice we usually associate with warm drinks such as eggnog. As our friend declared on New Year’s Day (after I mixed up a pitcher), “I could drink 10 of these!”

This cocktail is so good, I bet you could drink 10!

When I was in Barbados in 2010 I must have tried at least 10 different rum punches. What I found is every establishment and Bajan has their own variation on ingredients and exact ratio. In fact, in two stories I wrote for up! magazine, I included two different recipes, one from John Moore Bar and one from Chesterfield Browne, the Mount Gay rum global ambassador. I have played around with my own recipe, however, which I will share with you now — hope you like it as much as I do!

Rum Punch a la Calgary

2 oz dark rum

1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

1 oz simple syrup*

Dash Angostura bitters (or 1 or 2 more, to taste)

Sprinkle nutmeg

Shake all ingredients with ice then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

*To make simple syrup, combine equal parts water and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate up to one month. 

 

New Year’s Eve cocktail: a Goodnight Kiss

Let’s ring in the new year with a bubbly cocktail, shall we? I love the Goodnight Kiss recipe from Drinks Mixer, except I make it with Prosecco, Italy’s more affordable answer to Champagne. Besides, the cocktail calls for a splash of Campari — an Italian bitter liqueur — so it seems another reason to use Prosecco. The best part of this drink is the sugar cube, though. Not only does it add a sweet kiss to the otherwise dry and slightly bitter sparkling sipper, it doubles as a garnish. Happy New Year!

 

Go easy on the bitters or this kiss will leave you with an unpleasant pucker.

 

Goodnight Kiss

4 oz Prosecco

Splash Campari

1 sugar cube

1 drop Angostura bitters

Place a drop of Angostura bitters on a sugar cube and drop into a champagne flute. Add Prosecco and a splash of Campari.

— Recipe adapted from Drinks Mixer

Drink of the Week: Hot Toddy

If you have children, brace yourself for two weeks of sugared-up hyperactivity, toy mahem and general upheaval. To get your zen on in a hurry amid the chaos, try a Hot Toddy on an empty stomach. The nearly 3 0z of booze will immediately go to your head, and you won’t care that your kid is trying out his new Christmas gift marker set on the wall.

 The Hot Toddy recipe I like is from Mount Gay Rum. It’s an undeniably festive holiday cocktail that tastes rather like a hot Sidecar, with just a subtle hit of Earl Grey tea. The cinnamon stick garnish is a nice touch. I guarantee that drinking one will bring your back to your Christmas happy place, where sugar plum fairies cavort with magical snowmen. If the holiday hijinks continue, sip another. You deserve it Mrs. Claus (you too, Santa)!

Christmas stressing you out? Bliss out with a Hot Toddy.

Hot Toddy 

1 oz Cointreau

1-3/4 oz Mount Gay Rum

1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Blue agave nectar to taste

4 oz hot Earl Grey tea

Cinnamon stick garnish

Combine all ingredients in an Irish coffee glass, stirring briefly.

Drink of the Week: Apricot Lady Sour

Sours have been on my radar lately. Whiskey, tequila, and now this delish apricot sour using rum as its base. I love sours because they’re tart and because I love the way the egg white renders them foamy and smooth.
 

This sophisticated cocktail shakes rum with lemon juice and apricot liqueur.

 I came across the recipe for this Apricot Lady Sour while paging through Cocktails Made Easy by Simon Difford. The ingredients looked like they would shake up nicely and they did. Difford uses Bacardi Superior rum, but since my husband just came back from Cuba I subbed in Havana Club rum. I also used North American-style simple syrup (1:1 ratio sugar to water) instead of the sweeter U.K. style.

This drink’s subtle apricot flavour is complemented by the rum, and the lemon’s pucker is lessened by the simple syrup. It’s nicely balanced, and light, but substantial enough — thanks to the egg white and apricot brandy — to drink on a December night close to Christmas. Enjoy.
 
Apricot Lady Sour
 
1-1/2 oz Havana Club light rum
 
1 oz Bols apricot brandy liqueur
 
1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
 
1/2 oz simple syrup (1 sugar to 1 water)
 
1 fresh egg white
 
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
 
— Recipe modified from Cocktails Made Easy
 

Grab some rum, apricot liqueur and lemon juice and get ready to pucker those lips.