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SACC Starts at Majestic with a Splash (or Two)


The throngs on the first floor of the Majestic Thursday.

The throngs on the first floor of the Majestic Thursday.

By John Griffin & Bonnie Walker

Here’s a great way to ring in the new year (in case you didn’t do it quite right a couple of weeks back.)

Dress up, go downtown, then join several hundred other people at a historic theater, wander from cocktail table to bar to a balcony to catch some fresh air.

Then, go back inside and do it again.

That was the scene Thursday night at the Majestic during the opener for the third annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Hundreds of people wandered through the four floors of the theater, sampling everything from rum punches and French 75s while sampling bites from Feast, The Friendly Spot, the Monterey, GauchoGourmet, TasteElevated and Restaurant Gwendolyn. Jason Dady offered a sneak peak of his new restaurant, Umai Mi, by offering tamarind-glazed brisket with spicy peanuts and pickles. It’s supposed to open next week, Crystal Dady said.

Meanwhile, people were enjoying a host of cocktails, some elaborate and some simply delicious.

The Cointreau Rickey (recipe below) would be a perfect refresher on a hot summer’s day, and all you had to do to make one was mix the orange liqueur with fresh squeezed lime juice and soda. You could muddle your own additions to the drink, including cucumber, mint, raspberries, strawberries and basil leaves.

Treaty Oak Rum out of Austin mixed up a daiquiri, while Magellan’s Last Word was a voyage of sweet and tangy with its mix of Magellan’s Gin, Maraschino, lime juice and Chartreuse.

SACC 2014 Cigarmaker

Cigar-maker draws a crowd.

Out on the balcony a cigar-maker was flattening and cutting leaves of tobacco and fashioning smokes, trying to keep up with the audience of interested onlookers.

While munching on a cocktail cupcake from Gigi’s Cupcakes or snacks from the Art Institute, you could sip a Cutty Side Scuttle created by Benji Pocta of Chino Chinatown in Dallas. The winning drink featured Cutty Sark, lemon juice, simple syrup, ginger beer, Sandeman Port and Angostura Bitters.

Next to him, Ryan Sumner of Driftwood in Dallas was mixing up Judy Is a Punch cocktails complete with umbrellas and skewers of mint, lime and a marinated cherry. The drink featured Brugal Extra Dry Rum, lime, grenadine, Demerara, Allspice Dram and Herbsaint.

Of course, all of the fun was for a good cause. The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is a fundraiser for two children’s charities, HeartGift and ChildSafe San Antonio. Plenty of events remain from today through Sunday. For more information on the conference, click here.

For a Cointreau Rickey, use a siphon or club soda.

For a Cointreau Rickey, use a siphon or club soda.

Cointreau Rickey

2 ounces Cointreau
1 ounce fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
4 ounces club soda

Simply pour Cointreau and fresh lime juice into glass and fill with ice. Top off with club soda and stir.

Variation: For a Cucumber Mint Rickey, muddle 3 slices cucumber and 5 mint leaves in the bottom of your glass. Add the ingredients above .Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Cointreau

Judy Is a Punch

Judy Is a Punch

 

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Watermelon Margaritas Ice Down the Heat


Summer brings on the craving for watermelon, and we loved these  Watermelon Margaritas from Ambhar Tequila at one of Culinaria’s Grand Tastings.  These were very refreshing … potent, but refreshing.

Their recipe is below, plus another one from Emeril Lagasse.  The last recipe doesn’t have watermelon in it, but Blackberry and Fresh Thyme Margaritas looked intriguing, and blackberries are seasonal. (You can always garnish it with a nice, thick slice of watermelon, too!)

Watermelon margaritas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ambhar Tequila’s Watermelon Margarita

2 ounces Ambhar Platinum or other tequila
1 ounce Marie Brizard Watermelon Liqueur
1 ounce fresh orange juice
1 ounce fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour in a hurricane glass.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Ambhar Tequila

Emeril’s Watermelon Margarita

1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons coarse salt
1 lime wedge
1 cup watermelon purée (see note)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup premium tequila
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier or triple sec)
1 cup ice

In a medium saucepan, combine the lime zest, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature and strain out the zest. (Can be made in advance; keep in a covered container in the refrigerator.)

Chill a margarita glass in the freezer for 30 minutes. Place the coarse salt in a shallow dish or saucer. Wet the rim of the glass with a lime wedge and dip the glass into the salt, coating the top edge.

In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 tablespoons of the cooled lime syrup with the watermelon purée, lime juice, tequila, orange-flavored liqueur, and ice. Shake until frothy and well chilled, at least 1 minute. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Note: To make the watermelon purée, remove seeds from fresh watermelon and cut into large chunks. Place in a blender and process until smooth and well puréed.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Food Network/Emeril Lagasse

Blackberry Thyme Margarita

4 large, fresh blackberries
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 ounce tequila (Ambhar Platinum or your choice)
1/2 ounce Cointreau or orange liqueur
1/2 ounce agave nectar
Ice

In a glass shaker, muddle berries and thyme with the lime juice. Add the tequila, Cointreau and agave nectar. Shake then strain over ice and garnish with a fresh sprig of thyme.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Ambhar Tequila

 

 

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Scare Up Some Fun With These Halloween Cocktails


HolidayCoctails3

Wicked Witch Apple Punch

Halloween is fast approaching. If you’re looking to treat your adult friends to something with a little extra kick this year, try one of these cocktails, which are frighteningly good.

Wicked Witch Apple Punch

1 (750-milliliter) bottle SKYY Infusions Passion Fruit
1 (750-milliliter) bottle sparkling apple cider
1 (64-ounce) bottle cranberry juice cocktail
1 liter ginger ale
2 cups pineapple juice
Red apple slices

Combine vodka, cider, cranberry juice cocktail, ginger ale and pineapple juice in a large black witch’s cauldron punch bowl with ice and stir. Dry ice will create the steam floating off the top. Garnish with large slices of red apple floating on top.

Makes 24-28 servings.

From SKYY Vodka

The Great Pumpkin Martini

Splash of Cointreau or other good orange liqueur
Pumpkin pie spices
Sugar
2 ounces pumpkin-infused vodka

Swirl Cointreau in a chilled martini glass, then pour out. Rim the glass with a mixture of pumpkin pie spices and sugar.

Pour vodka in an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously, the pour into martini glass.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From redding.com

Red Devil

[amazon-product]1572840722[/amazon-product]1/2 ounce sloe gin
1/2 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce Southern Comfort
1/2 ounce triple sec
1 /2 ounce banana liqueur
1 tablespoon Rose’s Lime Juice
2 ounces orange juice

Fill a Tom Collins glass with ice. Shake sloe gin, vodka, Southern Comfort, triple sec, banana liqueur, Rose’s and orange juice in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From “Pink Panther Cocktail Party” by Adam Rocke

Black Widow

Raspberry Syrup
1 1/2 ounces SKYY Infusions Raspberry
1/2 ounce triple sec
2 ounces pomegranate juice
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Draw a spider web on the inside of a chilled martini glass with raspberry syrup.  Combine vodka, triple sec, pomegranate juice and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass.  Garnish with plastic spider.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From SKYY

Red Zombie

Red Zombie

Red Zombie

1 1/2 ounces vodka
3 ounces tomato juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated horseradish
1 teaspoon barbecue sauce
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped chipotle en adobo
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Generous squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of celery seeds
1 celery stick
2 large green olives
2 lychee fruits, peeled if using fresh

Combine vodka, tomato juice, horseradish, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, chipotle, salt, pepper, lemon juice and celery seeds in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass.  Garnish with green eye balls (see below), laid across the rim of the glass.

For eye balls: Cut the end of a stalk of celery so it measures 5-6 inches long and split the stick in half lengthwise.  Slide the green olives into two lychee fruits to make eye balls and push the thin celery stick through both as garnish.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From SKYY

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