You could always tell when my Grandma Effie's "tea" had a kick, you could hear the ice cubes clinking around her china cup as she sipped. I kinda always wanted to try that tea, it sure made Grandma happy, but Mom said it was grown-up tea and always shoved something less potent towards me.
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake and until chilled.
Strain into a teacup with a few ice cubes in it, garnish and serve.
Grandma's tea was usually just orange pekoe with a couple of fingers of bourbon, so why the rose and hibiscus? Because my grandma always smelled like rosewater, and the wallpaper in her house had giant hibiscus flowers all over it.
MAKES A GREAT HOT TODDY TOO
Yes, you can do this hot, it just happened to be an 80 degree day in December here in Tucson when I made this, I wasn't going with a hot toddy! Just don't cool the tea and leave out shaking and straining, which is primarily to strain out any ice shards anyway.
Cheers to you, Grandma Effie, I sure hope there's bourbon up there!
Long before I ever called myself The Martini Diva I was adding booze to my tea. One of my favorite combinations was Grand Marnier in Good Earth's spiced orange tea. I was also fond of flavored vodkas and rums with flavored teas, both iced and hot.
Homemade Tea Infused Vodka
I've even made tea infused vodkas by simply dropping 6 to 8 tea bags into one bottle of decent vodka. You allow this to steep for about 18 hours, strain through coffee filters (just to get the fine tea dust out) and you're ready to go. If you want Sweet Tea Vodka simply add simple syrup to taste.
You can also add spices, herbs and citrus zest as well as berries and fruits though you'll need to infuse those longer depending on what you've added.
Tea is a great way to add a little creativity to your craft cocktails. You can make a tea infused simple syrup to use in your tea or use it as a cocktail mixer, either hot as a toddy or mixed cold. There's a world of possibilities considering all the flavored teas out there.
You can also add a bit of booze to a classic Arnold Palmer:
International Tea Day is December 15th, Iced Tea Day is June 10th, British National Tea Day and National Tea Day are both April 21st, National Hot Tea Day is January 12th and January is National Hot Tea Month.
Lately it seems like gingerbread is surpassing pumpkin for the latest trending holiday flavor profile. I don't have a problem with that because I love gingerbread, and have created many Gingerbread Cocktails for past Christmas seasons.
I also love Coffee Cocktails and often pour a little of my Homemade Gingerbread Liqueur* into my evening cup of coffee for a quick coffee gingerbread tipple. Why I neglected to make an "official" coffee and gingerbread cocktail until now eludes me, but this drink recipe should solve that issue once and for all.
In ancient Greece ambrosia was considered the food of the Gods, and nectar was the drink of the Gods. Today Ambrosia is a fruit salad made up of mixed fruits, particularly orange slices, cocktail cherries (ugh!) and pineapple with whipped cream and/or cream cheese, coconut, marshmallows and sometimes nuts.
It's a Southern culinary favorite that originated around the mid 1800's, around the time fruits like coconut and pineapple, previously considered exotic, became more readily available in the U.S. The earliest print reference to Ambrosia is from an 1867 cookbook by Maria Massey Barringer called Dixie Cookery: or How I Managed My Table for Twelve Years.
There is an Ambrosia cocktail floating around that employs cognac, Calvados and lemon juice, but I'm going for the classic taste of that fluffy, sweet fruit salad so well loved by America. Primarily because that is what most of us associate with ambrosia.
Garnish: Mini Marshmallows, Coconut Flakes, Luxardo Cherry
Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Hawthorn Strainer, Bar Spoon
Rub some of the coconut cream on the rim and dip in coconut flakes then chill the glass in the freezer.
Add all the ingredients except the Grenadine to your cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled. Fill the glass with ice then pour the Grenadine in and gently strain the cocktail over the back of a bar spoon on top, garnish and serve.
Yes, Kosher Cocktails. What, you think there's no drinking in the Hebrew culture? Well, think again. My Jewish friends love a good cocktail and, for those who follow the laws of kashrut (keep kosher) I always try to include a kosher drink in my party bar menu.
I may be a shiksa but I am also a good hostess who prefers every guest of mine be accommodated. Because I'm a shiksa though, my kitchen is not kosher so, technically speaking, the actual cocktails I serve in my home might not be for strict Orthodox practitioners. My Hebrew friends are not Orthodox so I'm able to mix up some cheer for them during their High Holidays and on Shabbat.
Every 5th of December the entire cocktail world celebrates the end of Prohibition and the 21st Amendment to the Constitution which repealed the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act.
1919 to 1933 was a dark era in the history of drinking in America, but it was also a time that gave meteoric rise to the modern day cocktail. Why? Because, despite the efforts of the temperance movement to eradicate booze from America's landscape, Prohibition instead fueled in Americans a love for cocktails and gave drinking alcohol glamour and sexiness by making it taboo.
Speakeasies sprang up all over the major cities in the United States serving "bathtub gin", bootleg whiskey and smuggled rums, most of which were pretty low quality and bad tasting, if not outright dangerous to drink. To make the low quality spirits palatable to their scofflaw patrons, bartenders would mix them with all nature of fruit juice, mixers and bitters to hide the bad taste of the booze. Their success is evident in the number for bespoke drinks that survived the dark ages of alcohol to live on in bars and cocktail parties right up to today's revival of vintage libations.
If you've never tried these cocktails, today is the day to give them some happy hour honor. Below you will find the classic recipes, as well as some some of my signature adaptations, for some of the survivors of those 13 years of a hoped for, but not accomplished, dry America.
Happy Repeal Day and may you Party Like It's 1933 Again!
Created by bartender George Williamson, per popular customer Joe Rickey's instructions, at Shoemaker's, in Washington D.C. during a particularly brutal heat wave in 1883. The Rickey was originally made with rye whiskey.
2 Oz. Gin
Fresh Lime Juice
Optional: Splash of Simple Syrup
Mix ingredients in a highball glass filled with ice.
Created by Ada Coleman at the American Bar in The Savoy in 1925.
1-1/2 Oz. Gin
1-1/2 Oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 Dashes Fernet Branca
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, strain into a chilled glass, express an orange twist over the top.
The LAST WORD
The first mention of this popular Prohibition cocktail comes from a 1916 Detroit Athletic Club menu.
3/4 Oz. Gin
3/4 Oz. Chartreuse
3/4 Oz. Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Shake with ice, strain into a child cocktail glass.
The MARY PICKFORD
Created for actress Mary Pickford at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in the 1920s.
2 Oz. White Rum
2 Oz. Pineapple Juice
1 Tsp. Maraschino Liqueur
1 Tsp. Grenadine
Shake ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnished with a cocktail cherry.
There's something about late fall that makes me want caramel apples. Maybe it's because my mother used to make caramel apples for the Trick or Treaters every year. I also happen to love caramel apples so when fall creeps around the corner my cocktail fancy often turns to this childhood favorite.
Ages ago I created a Caramel Apple Martini, long before there were caramel, apple or salted caramel vodkas on the market. When I discovered I had tucked a bottle of Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka on my bar shelf and forgotten about it, I decided maybe I'd try a new recipe.
The new recipe turned out great. It's absolutely perfect for a dessert drink!
2 Oz. Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka
1 Oz. Irish Cream Liqueur
3 Oz. Apple Juice or Cider
1/4 Tsp. of Sea Salt
Garnish: Rim glass: 2 Tbsp. Demerara sugar mixed with 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt, Dried Apple Slice
Tools: Cocktail Shaker
Glass: Rocks or Cocktail
Rim then chill glass in the freezer.
Add ingredients to the cocktail shaker and shake until chilled.
Strain into the chilled glass, garnish and serve.
If you love this cocktail you might also enjoy making my