Archive for ‘Cocktails’

December 24, 2013

Orange Crush Cocktail

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I love a good cocktail. I only get to enjoy one on the weekends, but that’s because I fight the urge to make something snazzy to drink during the week. Maybe I should have lived in the 1950’s? Didn’t they have cocktails every night? The whole Mad Men thing? The obedient wife pours her man a scotch when he walks through the door after a hard days work?

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This definitely wouldn’t work for us. For starters, Alan never sleeps in his shirt and tie, and we don’t even own a bed tray.

If you’ve followed me, you might remember that I’ve been on a quest to find my signature cocktail. I’ve wanted to fall in love with a mature or shall I say, old-fashioned cocktail that I could be proud to order and would actually enjoy. My college friends are so cool. We went to dinner a couple of weeks ago and they strolled up to the bar and ordered Manhattans. Impressive!

For the New Year I’ve decided to give up on my quest and accept that my love of good rye whiskey and vodka is enough to offer lots of cocktail options. I should mention that I tried to make the Sazerac my signature cocktail, but surprisingly most bartenders don’t know what it is. What’s up with that? It’s a classic!

I wish I could remember where I found this cocktail. It does fulfill the few requirements I have. Not too strong, not too many ingredients and not too complicated. If you don’t like orange flavor, don’t bother. It’s intensely orange and a bit on the sweeter side. A friend mentioned making it in a pitcher to serve for the holidays. Genius! This definitely would make a perfect last-minute cocktail to serve to your guests.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Cheers!

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INGREDIENTS (Serves 1)

  • 1 1/2 ounces Orange Vodka
  • 1 ounce Rose’s Lime Juice
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • Orange Slices

Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Serve with a slice of orange. Delicious!

* The original recipe called for this to be enjoyed neat. I prefer it with a couple of ice cubes.

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July 29, 2013

The Village Whiskey Sazerac

Village Whiskey Sazerac

I’ve discovered a new favorite cocktail, the Sazerac from  Village Whiskey, a Jose Garces restaurant, with locations in Philly and The Revel Casino in Atlantic City. Created long ago in New Orleans, a basic Sazerac includes rye whiskey, 2 kinds of bitters, simple syrup (or crushed sugar cube & water) and a twist of lemon. A double old-fashioned glass is rinsed with absinthe, and then the cocktail is strained into the glass and served neat. I’ve been told whiskey should be stirred not shaken, the opposite of the James Bond martini. Here’s a little history, compliments of Esquire magazine if you’re interested.

What makes the Village Whiskey version outstanding is their orange and vanilla infused rye whiskey. Smooth and just a little sweet, this is a sipping drink, not to be thrown back like shots or enjoyed through a straw like other fruity cocktails. This is an old-fashioned whiskey cocktail meant to be savored like a good scotch.

When I was at the restaurant, I asked to speak with the bartender hoping to learn how to make a Sazerac at home. She was happy to share their secret. After visiting 2 liquor stores and placing a special order for the Peychaud’s bitters, I had everything needed. I gathered from the bartender that brand mattered, so I stuck to their specific instructions.

Don’t be turned off by the need to infuse your whiskey.  It’s super easy and when done, you’ll have it for a long time to enjoy. Kinda makes you feel like a mixologist.

Village Whiskey Sazerac

INGREDIENTS TO INFUSE THE WHISKEY

  • 1 bottle Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
  • 1 large navel orange, peeled in strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 decanter or decorative bottle

Slip the strips of orange peel directly into the bottle of whiskey. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds and the pod into the whiskey bottle. Put the lid back on the bottle and turn to distribute the orange and vanilla. Let sit for 48 hours to infuse.

Village Whiskey Sazerac

Line a funnel with a few layers of cheese cloth and place it over a decanter or other decorative bottle. Pour the infused whiskey through the funnel to strain out the orange and vanilla bean. That’s it! Store with your other liquor and enjoy.

Village Whiskey Sazerac

INGREDIENTS TO MAKE  A VILLAGE WHISKEY SAZERAC

  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz infused rye whiskey
  • Vieux Carre absinthe, to rinse the glass

Pour the first 4 ingredients over a couple of ice cubes in a glass and stir… no shaking. In a separate double old-fashioned, pour a few drops of the Vieux Carre absinthe and turn to coat the glass. Dump out any remaining. Strain the Sazerac into the glass. Garnish with a twist of orange.

HOW TO MAKE SIMPLE SYRUP

Equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. It’s great to have on hand for making all kinds of drinks. I usually make a 1 cup water to 1 cup sugar ratio, it makes the perfect amount.

And there you have a Village Whiskey Sazerac. Be careful, they’re deceivingly strong. Enjoy!

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