Tag Archives: cocktails and drinks

Drink of the Week: Margarita

Please don’t hate me because I love margaritas. I know I tend to go on about them and recently blogged about a Prickly Pear Margarita, but they really are just the right combination of sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Plus, it’s Cinco de Mayo tomorrow — voted one of the Top 10 booziest holidays by Time magazine — so what better excuse do you need to rim a rocks glass with salt, juice some limes and shake up the best party cocktail ever?

It’s a party in a glass, but way classier to drink than shooting back tequila poppers all night.


  • 2 oz 100 percent agave reposado tequila (I like Casa Herradura)
  • 1 oz Cointreau (or Controy if, like me, you’ve recently returned from Mexico with a couple of bottles)
  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. (or to taste) agave nectar or simple syrup
  • Coarse sea salt to rim glass, if desired
  • Lime wheel garnish

Rim a margarita glass with sea salt and then fill with crushed ice. In a shaker, combine tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and syrup. Shake with ice then strain into the margarita glass. Garnish with a lime wheel. Repeat (they’re like potato chips: you can’t have just one).

Go ahead, dive right in! Mmmm … margaritas …

Drink of the Week: Mojito

Ever since I wrote a mint cocktails story for Easter, I’ve had the refreshing spring herb on my mind. So, I popped in to Mercato today and grabbed a bunch, then I stopped off at Zyn on my way home for a bottle of Mount Gay Eclipse Silver and voila! I had the makings for a mojito.

Spring, in a glass. I heart mmmminty mojitos.

I tried my first mojito at an all-inclusive resort years ago and got hooked. I love the way mint completes this cocktail. It would be good with just rum, sugar and lime juice, but add mint and enjoy another level of complexity. It’s no wonder Cuba quickly nabbed the mojito as its national cocktail and, incidentally, Ernest Hemingway couldn’t drink enough of them.

The secret to a good mojito is the muddling. Some bartenders will utterly pulverize the mint (I had the misfortune of sampling my first and last blended mojito in Mexico last month. Truly, it was awful), but that’s overkill. Bruise it just enough to release the oils and you’re gold. Enjoy!


  • 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 1-1/2 oz light rum
  • 1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup*
  • Top with soda water
  • Mint sprig and lime wedge garnish

Lightly muddle mint in the base of a Collins glass. Add rum, lime juice and simple syrup. Half fill the glass with crushed ice, then stir with a bar spoon to bring up the mint. Add more crushed ice and stir again. Top with soda water, stir again and serve with a straw to avoid mint-tooth.

*To make simple syrup, heat equal parts sugar and water in a sauce pan until sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate.

— Recipe adapted from Cocktails Made Easy by Simon Difford

Drink of the Week: Raspberry Mojito

It’s officially spring, which means we can start making cocktails with mint. A friend just informed me you can purchase seeds for “mojito mint” — as opposed to regular mint — so I’m thinking that planting a large container of mint with the kids will be an upcoming project. I love mojiitos because they’re refreshing, delicious and versatile — you can muddle different berries (strawberries, etc.) with the mint for a seasonal twist. Mojito party to follow later this spring.

I was in Banff on the weekend for a professional development workshop with TMAC Alberta. After eight hours of learning about social media, how to write travel pitches and take great photos, it was time for a cocktail at Earl’s. I wrote a column last June about how Earl’s has undergone a cocktail makeover by trading out their mixes for fresh ingredients, so I was eager to sample one. I ordered the Raspberry Mojito:

This drink is pretty and tasty too. But I would either make it using more rum, or serve it in a smaller glass. Hello, spring!

Lovely, isn’t it? It tasted good too — a nice balance between sweet (simple syrup) and sour (fresh lime juice). You could also taste the muddled mint and fresh raspberries. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact you couldn’t taste the rum, which meant I drank it way too fast. I would either increase the amount of rum to 2 oz, or make it in a shorter glass.

Earl’s Raspberry Mojito in Banff

  • 1 oz light rum
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup*
  • 10 mint leaves
  • Handful fresh (or frozen) raspberries
  • Top with soda water
  • Lime wedge garnish

Muddle the rum, lime juice, simple syrup, mint and raspberries in the base of a Collins glass. Fill half way with ice, then add half the soda water. Stir to bring up the mint and raspberries (so they won’t clog your straw), then top with more ice and soda. Serve with a straw.

*To make simple syrup, heat equal parts sugar and water on the stove in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate.

— Recipe courtesy Earl’s in Banff