20160831

PINEAPPLE COCKTAILS

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Pineapple is a predominant flavor in the cocktail world. Second only to orange juice, pineapple juice is one of the necessary mixers to keep on hand for making cocktails. It's such a popular flavor that there are now several branded pineapple vodkas and pineapple rums on the market. There's even pineapple whiskey and tequila out there.

Pineapple is a main flavor in most Tiki drinks and it's an absolute necessity for Pina Coladas, but Pina Coladas are not the only way to enjoy pineapple in a cocktail. Rum is, of course, the first thing most people think of when mixing up pineapple cocktails, but it also stands up to beautiful whiskies and aged tequilas, not to mention playing nicely with vodka and gin.

If you're looking to finally branch out from that o.j. drenched drink, here's a great list of pineapple cocktails to help lead you astray.

PINEAPPLE COCKTAILS

ALIEN INVASION COCKTAIL
BEACH BUM BERRY PINA COLADA
BLACK EYED SUSAN COBBLER COCKTAIL
BLUE HAWAII MARTINI
BLUE MOON MARTINI
CANDY CORN MOONSHINE COCKTAIL
CASABRANCA COCKTAIL
CERSEI'S REVENGE
DRUNKEN BABY DOLE PINEAPPLE WHIPS
FLIRTINI
GRILLED PINEAPPLE MEZCAL SLUSHY MARGARITA
GRILLED PINEAPPLE MOJITO
GUMMY RUMMY HALLOWEEN SHOOTER
GUMMY WORM EDIBLE COCKTAILS
GRINNING SKULL
HIBISCUS COLADA FRAPPÉ
JIMMY BUFFET MARTINI
JUNGLE JUICE
KINGSLAYER TIKI COCKTAIL
LICUADOS DE MAYO COCKTAIL
LOST MAI TAI TIKI COCKTAIL
MANGO PINEAPPLE RUBBER DUCKY SLUSHY
MERINGUE ISLAND PUNCH
PINA COLADA MARTINI
PINA COLADAS ON THE BEACH (Edible Cocktail Gels)
PINEAPPLE MINT JULEP
PINEAPPLE ORANGE COLADA
PINEAPPLE PISCO SOUR
PINEAPPLE DRUNK SIDE DOWN SMASH
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN MARTINI
RASPBERRY PINA COLADA
SIMPSONS DUH-OH MARTINI
SNEAKY TIKI COCKTAIL
STRAWBERRY COLADA MARTINI
STRAWBERRY PINA COLADAS
STRAWBERRY TIKI COLADA COCKTAIL
TIPSY MISS COCKTAIL
TRIPLE RUM PUNCH
TROPICAL BREEZE RUM SMOOTHIE
ZOMBIE JUICE

ABOUT THE PINEAPPLE
The word "pineapple" derives from the Spanish word "piña", originally applied to pine cones, it was later adapted to the pineapple fruit when it was introduced to Europe. Discovered on the Caribbean island of Guadalupe in 1493, the Portuguese and Spanish introduced pineapples to Asia, Africa and the South Pacific. Pineapples were first cultivated in Hawaii in the 18th century and Hawaii remains the only U.S. state to still commercially grow pineapples.

The Pineapple is a member of the bromiliad family, one of the few bromiliads that produces an edible fruit. The fruit is composed of berries in the form of scales. Pineapple contains high amounts of vitamin C, thiamin, manganese and anti-oxidants as well as bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that breaks down protein (one of the compounds that can tenderize meat) which aid in digestion. Pineapple can reduce the risks of sinus inflammation, blood clots, macular degeneration, heart disease, osteoporosis and may also be helpful in reducing the risk of osteoarthritis and tumor growth.

Like anything else, too much of a good thing can be dangerous and pineapples are no exception. The bromelain can cause a tenderness in the mouth, the high quantity of vitamin C in pineapple could result in diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or heart burn if one consumes too much and, of course, there are pineapple allergies that can cause a rash, hives or breathing difficulties.

   

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Updated 3-2017

20160829

GINGERSNAP MARTINI

 
Inspired by my all time favorite cookie, my Mom's Gingersnaps, and my other Gingerbread Cocktails and Liqueur, here is the recipe for my
GINGERSNAP MARTINI
 
Purchase the GINGERSNAP MARTINI RECIPE CARD Here
  
It's my Mom's cookies in a glass. Different from my Gingerbread Cocktails in that this recipe uses Ginger Liqueur instead of Gingerbread Liqueur. If you're curious here's my other
GINGERBREAD COCKTAILS & LIQUEUR
   
You might also want to try out those cookies:
 
 



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20160827

GINGERBREAD COCKTAILS

 
Gingerbread is my favorite holiday flavor. Whether it's a simple gingerbread topped with cream, gingerbread men or houses, gingerbread cream in my coffee or my all time favorite gingersnap cookie, there is always some spicy, ginger flavored treat on hand from the start of fall through the end of the holiday season. And often throughout the rest of the year.
 
Naturally, this holiday favorite of mine ends up in happy hour. 
 
GINGERBREAD COCKTAILS
 
GINGERBREAD MARTINI
GINGERBREAD MAN MARTINI
GINGERBREAD LIQUEUR
GINGERBREAD MOCKTAIL
GINGERSNAP MARTINI
GINJA NINJA SLUSHY
 Then, if course, there's
MY MOM'S GINGERSNAP COOKIES:
 
 
 
 



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BANANA COCKTAILS


I always have bananas in the house so, if nothing else, I can make a banana cocktail. And you'll see below that I have done this quite often, not always because it's all I had in the house either. I love bananas, it's one of the reasons I always have them in the house.

Aside from being healthy, they bring their own natural sweetness to a cocktail as well as providing a good amount of body and flavor to a drink. The best thing is that a banana that may be too ripe to eat is sometimes perfect for a cocktail because of the extra sweetness and flavor.

Below is my full collection of banana cocktails. I encourage you to go bananas.

BANANA COCKTAILS

BANANA BREAD MARTINI
BANANA CHEESECAKE PARFAIT (VIRGIN)
BANANAS FOSTER BOOZY SHAKE
CHOCOLATE BANANA MARTINI PARFAIT
ELVIS SPECIAL PEANUT BUTTER & BANANA MARTINI
LICUADOS DE MAYO Cocktail & Mocktail Recipes
SLIGHTLY BANANAS, DEFINITELY COCONUTS, CHOCOLATE BOOZY SHAKE
SNEAKY TIKI COCKTAIL
SPICED BANANA DAIQUIRI

FROM THE ARCHIVES:

Banana Berry Coconut Martini
Banana Cream Pie Martini
Banana Daiquiri Martini
Bananas Foster Martini
Banana Fudgesicle Martini
Banana Split Martini
Chocolate Banana Martini
Chocolate Covered Banana Martini
Great Gorilla Coconut Banana Martini

Banana Day is April 20th, National Banana Lovers Day is August 27, National Banana Split Day is August 25.


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Updated 2-2017

20160826

COCKTAILS GO TO THE DOGS


  I made myself an Elderflower riff on a Salty Dog Cocktail and it got me wondering if there were any other dog inspired cocktails. Believe it or not, there are quite a few drinks inspired by man's best friend. I love canines of all kind so today we're going to the dogs for happy hour.


GREYHOUND
1 Part Gin or Vodka
4 Parts Fresh Grapefruit Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled highball or Collins glass.

SALTY DOG
Exactly the same as a Greyhound but with a salted rim.

ITALIAN GREYHOUND
A Greyhound where the gin/vodka is replaced with Punt E Mes.


SALTY CHIHUAHUA
Just replace the Greyhound's gin/vodka with tequila.

BLOODHOUND
1-1/2 Oz. Gin
1/2 Oz. Dry Vermouth
1/2 Oz. Sweet vermouth
1/2 Oz. Strawberry Liqueur
Shake with ice, strain into a martini glass, garnish with a fresh strawberry.

GREAT DANE
1 Oz. Aquavit
1/2 Oz. Cherry brandy
1/2 Oz. Cranberry Juice
Dash of Orange Bitters
Shake with ice, strain into a martini glass, garnish with an orange twist.


PINK POODLE
1 Oz. Vodka
2 Oz. Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice
1/4 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Oz. Grenadine
Shake with ice, strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lemon twist.

REGAL BEAGLE
1-1/2 Oz. Vodka
5 Oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
2 Lime Wedges
1 Tsp. Honey
Splash of Dry White Wine
Muddle the honey and limes in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add ice, pour in grapefruit juice and vodka and the wine, stir. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

ASTA COLLINS
2 Oz. Vodka
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1/2 Oz. Campari
1/2 Oz. Simple Syrup
Club Soda
Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass, top off with the soda and garnish with a lime wheel.


BULLDOG SMASH
2 Oz. Bourbon
1/4 Oz. Cointreau
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Half a Fresh Peach, Cubed
1 Tsp. Simple Syrup
6 Mint Leaves
Muddle the lemon, peach, mint, and simple syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice, pour in the bourbon and Cointreau, shake until chilled then strain into an rocks glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

POMERANIAN
1-1/2 Oz. Pomegranate Vodka
2 Oz. Grapefruit Juice
1 Tbsp Honey
Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a mint sprig.

PIT BULL
1-1/2 Oz. Vodka
1/2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 Oz. Grapefruit Juice
Splash of Lemon-lime Soda
Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass then garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

COLORADO PIT BULL
3 Oz. Spiced Rum
3 Oz. Coffee Liqueur
1/2 Oz. Cream
1/2 Oz. Cola
Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass and garnish with toasted filberts.

And we can't leave out the actual dogs, so here's my non-alcoholic
Bow Wow Martini

This post is dedicated to Pixel, my cocktail wingman for 17 years.


National Dog Day is August 26th. National Puppy Day is March 23rd. National Mutt Day is July31st.

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20160822

GINJA NINJA SLUSHY, A Frozen Ginger & Orange Cocktail


I was browsing through David Embry's "Fine Art of Mixing Drinks", looking for some inspiration for a cocktail challenge involving a Fernet Branca slushy, and happened upon the Toronto Cocktail. The Toronto is somewhat similar to a Boulevardier which is a Negroni-esque drink that employs Campari and sweet vermouth but with rye whiskey replacing the Negroni's gin. The Toronto recipe uses Fernet in place of the Campari and completely ignores the vermouth.

Since I love both a Boulevardier and a Negroni, I knew a riff on the Toronto was the direction I wanted to take. It was then only a matter of how to tweak the classic Embury recipe of "1 part sugar [simple] syrup, 2 parts Fernet Branca, 6 parts Canadian Whiskey and 1 dash of Angostura" for a unique frozen adaptation.

Slushy classic cocktails (who are we kidding here, a slushy is just another name for a frozen cocktail) are all the rage lately, especially slushy classic cocktails, like Negroni Slushies. While searching the ratios for doing a Negroni frozen I stumbled on a recipe for Fernet Branca Cookies that were nearly dead ringers for my Mom's Gingersnaps, my favorite cookies ever in the world! The Fernet Branca Cookies and my Mom's recipe for Gingersnaps were practically identical except the Fernet Branca Cookies used oil in place of the butter used in my recipe and, of course, they added some Fernet Branca.

Since I occasionally add a little orange zest to my Gingersnaps when I make them, that was my inspiration. I was going all ninja with ginger and orange flavors for my frozen twist on the Toronto, and I was making those Fernet infused cookies as a garnish!


I adapted my recipe because, well, butter instead of oil, and I love the spice balance. Then I added in a teaspoon of orange zest and simply replaced a tablespoon of Fernet for a tablespoon of the molasses in my recipe and added a small pinch more flour.


I ate nearly the entire first batch in a day. It was difficult to save a few aside for the cocktail shoot. Then I dunked the 3 left in the cocktail. 

The
GINJA NINJA SLUSHY
A Ginger & Orange Frozen Cocktail

Ingredients
2 Oz. Templeton Rye Whiskey
3 Tsp. Fernet Branca
1-1/2 Oz. Fresh Orange Juice
1 (+/-) Oz. Ginger Simple Syrup*
3 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
2 Cups Crushed Ice

Garnish: Crystallized Ginger, Straw, Fernet Infused Gingersnap Cookies

Tools: Snow Cone Maker or Blender and cocktail shaker

Glass: Mason Jar, Chilled

DIRECTIONS
If you have a snow cone maker, prepare your crushed ice according to the machine's directions then pack the ice into your chilled glass until it mounds over the top.
Shake the rye, Fernet, orange juice, ginger simple syrup and bitters in an ice filed cocktail shaker then pour over the mounded ice.
If you're using a blender, combine the rye, Fernet, orange juice, ginger simple syrup and the bitters in a baggie and place in the freezer for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight, if possible. Add the chilled cocktail mixture and the crushed ice to a blender and blend to a slushy consistency then pour into your chilled glass.
Garnish and serve, with the Fernet Branca infused cookies, of course.

You might want this sweeter, considering it's a slushy. Start with a tablespoon of the simple syrup when you mix the cocktail. Once you add ice the sweetness will dissipate quite a bit so take that into consideration. I ended up adding another tablespoon of syrup during the final blend, but I have a major sweet tooth.

GINGER ORANGE SIMPLE SYRUP

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Ginger, Peeled and Chopped

DIRECTIONS
Bring the sugar, ginger, and juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir until the sugar 
has dissolved then remove from the heat and cool.
Strain into a jar, cover, and chill.
The syrup can be kept up to 2 weeks if refrigerated.

 





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20160814

MELON COCKTAILS


Summertime is when melons come into their glory. Those sweet, juicy globes of natural goodness are packed with nutrition and refreshment and just scream out to be paired with some spirits and poured into a cocktail glass for these hot summer days. 

So what are you waiting for?
 
MELON COCKTAILS
 
CANTALOUPE DAIQUIRI
CANTALOUPE MARTINI 
HONEYDEW MELON MARTINI
MELON CUCUMBER MARTINI
And, of course, ALL my
WATERMELON COCKTAILS
 
You can even keep it simple and infuse melons directly with your choice of alcohol.
 
MELON: From the Latin "melopepo", derived from the Greek "mēlopepon".
 
Among the earliest plants to be domesticated, melons are thought to have originated in Africa and Asia and are all members of the Cucurbitaceae family.
 
Though the most common and easily obtained in the States are watermelons and cantaloupes, there are dozens of varieties around the world: 
 
 
 
The Second Sunday in August is National Melon Day.
 
 
Updated August 2017
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20160812

The Hop SKIP & GO NAKED Cocktail, Updated


The (Hop) Skip and Go Naked cocktail is pretty basic. It's usually made with vodka, lemonade and beer served in a tall, ice filled glass. I've seen variations that use gin and sometimes pink lemonade is employed to give the drink some color. 

It's a refreshing little summer beverage but it's also a bit like a sixties surfer dude drinking beer bumped uglies with an eighties prom queen drinking her first pop cocktail while their drinks splashed together. Much like the millennial progeny that ugly bumping might produce, the drink is simple and not all that interesting.

I say we send the prom queen to go watch Carrie and point Surfer Dude towards the store to pick up some more innovative ingredients.

The
SKIP AND GO NAKED
for the 21st Century

INGREDIENTS


2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice


Ice


Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Collins

DIRECTIONS
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then pour in the bourbon, fresh lemon juice and ginger simple syrup.
Shake until chilled, strain into an ice filled, chilled Collins glass.
Top off with the Cherry Cola ale, garnish and serve.

P.S. I knew I'd find a way to use the rest of that Best Damn Brewing Co. Cherry Cola Ale I reviewed in a cocktail!






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20160810

An Adult Version of the S'MORES COCKTAIL


Everybody and their uncle has a S'Mores cocktail, myself included. It's one of those sweet drinks that appeals to the inner child in all of us. But sweet is kind of the whole flavor profile magilla in most recipes (my original one included) and today I'm going to revisit my recipe with the adult palate in mind.

Yes, I used chocolate liqueur and sweet marshmallow vodka, you kinda have to, but I'm using Pinnacle Vodka's Marshmallow Vodka which actually does have the flavor of marshmallows. I do have a chocolate coated graham cracker crust rim, but I mixed that with a bit of the Smoked Bourbon Salt that I used in the recipe which brings in that smoky campfire quality. Then I added a few dashes of The Bitter Truth's chocolate Xocolatl Mole Bitters to bring in a little spiciness that appeals to mature taste buds. Both can be found at Amazon (see links below).

It's time the S'More Cocktail grew up, right?


An Adult Version of the
S'MORES COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1 Oz. Pinnacle Marshmallow Vodka
1/2 Oz. Bourbon
1 Oz. Dark Cream de Cacao
1 Oz.  Half & Half
Pinch of Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt
(You can use Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt instead.)
2 Dashes The Bitter Truth's Xocolatl Mole Bitters 
Ice

Garnish: Mini Marshmallows, Crushed Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers, Chocolate Syrup

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, 2 Small Plates for rimming

Optional Special Tools: Votive candle, Barbecue Skewers, Lighter

Glass: Old Fashioned

DIRECTIONS
Skewer several mini marshmallows onto the skewers and set aside.
Dip the rim of the glass in some chocolate syrup and then into the crushed graham crackers. Chill glass in the freezer.
Shake ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain into an ice filled chilled glass.
Garnish and serve.


Fun Garnish Tips:

Dip several of the mini marshmallows in chocolate syrup and then into the graham cracker and salt mixture.

Have your guests toast their own marshmallows over votive candles for their own drink. Make sure you are cautious when dealing with flames and alcohol!
National  S'Mores Day is August 10th.





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20160809

GRILLED PINEAPPLE MEZCAL MARGARITA SLUSHY


It's hot here in Tucson. Hot and muggy from the monsoon season.  You know what that means?

Time for a

GRILLED PINEAPPLE
MEZCAL MARGARITA
SLUSHY


INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. El Buho Mezcal
1/2 C. Chopped, Grilled Pineapple
3/4 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
3/4 Oz. Fresh Grilled Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz. Cilantro Syrup (Recipe below)
2 Dashes Cholula Chipotle Sauce
1 Cup Crushed Ice

Garnish: Pineapple Spear, Cilantro Sprig, Dusting of Smoked Paprika

Special Tools: Grill, Blender

DIRECTIONS
Prep:
Prepare the Cilantro Simple Syrup recipe below.
Trim pineapple, remove core, slice into spears.
Grease the grill then get the coals red hot.
Grill pineapple slices until caramelized, about 5 minutes per side.
Chill pineapple in the fridge.
Juice enough of the pineapple spears for the juice (3/4 ounce) for each cocktail.

For the cocktail:
Blend the ingredients until smooth, pour into a chilled glass, add a straw, garnish and serve up with some crispy beef and cheese taquitos!

CILANTRO SIMPLE SYRUP
Note: I used the stems of the cilantro, not the leaves. Why? Because the stems have just as much flavor and most people throw them away and waste them. You're going to strain out the cilantro, so why waste the leaves that you can use for other recipes when the stems work just as well? (P.S. I also make cilantro oil and pestos with the stems!)


INGREDIENTS
1 C. Sugar
3/4 C. Water
1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro Stems

Tools: Small saucepan, medium strainer

DIRECTIONS
In a small saucepan, add the sugar and water and heat until the sugar is dissolved. When the sugar is dissolved, remove your pan from the heat and add the chopped cilantro stems. I like to gently muddle them with a wooden spoon to sqeeze out more of the oils.

Cool the syrup then strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Discard the stems. The syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.






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20160806

ROOT BEER FLOAT COCKTAIL


Thanks to the onset of root beer flavored ales, there are several ways of making an easy root beer float cocktail. You can simply add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to any root beer flavored beer. Not complicated but not all that interesting either.

Another option? Back in the seventies we used to drop a jigger of root beer schnapps right into a pint of regular beer for an alcoholic root beer treat and all you'd have to do is add a scoop of ice cream to that. Pretty darn sweet, but it works as well.

However, my favorite root beer cocktail is now this version. Thanks to the addition of  Art In The Age's Root Liqueur and some bitters it is less sweet and has way more depth of flavor.

The
ROOT BEER FLOAT
COCKTAIL

Ingredients:
1-1/2 Oz. Vodka
1 Oz. AITA's Root Liqueur
1 Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream
2 Dashes Chocolate Bitters
Ice

Directions:
Shake the vodka and Root with ice until chilled.
Add the scoop of ice cream to a chilled mug.
Strain the chilled vodka and Root over the ice cream.
Tap the bitters on top of the ice cream, add a spoon and straw then serve.

National Root Beer Float Day is August 6th.






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