Tag Archive | "The Brooklynite"

Let’s Raise a Toast to National Repeal Day

National Repeal Day, the day Prohibition ended, is celebrated each year on Dec. 5. It may not be as widely known as Christmas, but it’s worth raising a glass or two in recognition of our liquid freedom.

A Boulevardier at Biga on the Banks.

A Boulevardier at Biga on the Banks.

This year, I’ll be drinking a Boulevardier.

Never heard of it? Don’t worry. Not too many bartenders in San Antonio have either, even at a couple of our tonier watering holes.

But it’s a simple recipe because it’s the bourbon version of my summertime favorite, the Negroni. You simply stir bourbon, sweet vermouth and Campari with some ice. Garnish with lemon or orange peel. Drink. Repeat — if you have a designated driver.

Don’t have any fresh vermouth or Campari on hand? Or you simply don’t want to bother making one yourself? Head to the Brooklynite, 516 Brooklyn Ave., where the bartenders know exactly what a Boulevardier is and how to make one that’ll cause your toes to curl in delight. I also had an excellent version at Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., recently.

I know that not everyone’s a Campari fan, so here are a couple of other bourbon drinks to keep you warm this National Repeal Day and all winter long.

The Boulevardier

1 1/2 parts bourbon
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari
Orange or lemon peel for garnish

In an ice-filled rocks glass, add bourbon, vermouth and Campari. Stir vigorously until drink is cold. Twist an orange or lemon peel over the top. Stir once more. Garnish with peel.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From John Griffin

Kentucky Corpse Reviver

This cocktail, meant to tame the hair of the dog on the morning after, is another variation on a gin classic. And that’s OK with us.

1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
1 1/2 tablespoons Cointreau
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Lillet Blanc
Thinly sliced lemon for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the bourbon, Cointreau, lemon juice and Lillet Blanc.

Shake until your cocktail forms a nice frost on the exterior.

Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe or wine glass. Top with the lemon and enjoy.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From “The Cocktail Club” by Maureen Christian-Petrosky


This cocktail is a favorite in the West Indies, according to “The Savoy Cocktail Book,” a bible among cocktail aficionados. It’s also as easy to make for 20 as it is for one.

2 parts bourbon
2 parts dry vermouth
2 parts sweet vermouth

Pour into a shaker half full of cracked ice. Shake well and serve.

Adapted from “The Savoy Cocktail Book”

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Feast in the Autumn Air at Peeler Farm

Canadian Thanksgiving logo cropped

This fall there is a plethora of chefs from around Texas and San Antonio sourcing their ingredients not just from the farmers markets but at the actual farm.

Here’s one close to home.

On Oct. 12, Peeler Farm is hosting a first-ever Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. Chefs John Russ of Lüke Restaurant and Tim McDiarmid of Tim the Girl Catering & The Special Projects Social are creating a one-time Sunday afternoon feast at the fabulous farm of Marianna and Jason Peeler.

Tim McDiarmid, of Tim the Girl Catering and Special Projects Social. (Courtesy photo)

Tim McDiarmid

McDiarmid, a Canadian native, has high hopes for celebrating the bounty of this locally raised harvest with fellow chef Russ. Located in the idyllic countryside near Floresville, the menu is inspired by the land which hosts a vast range humanely treated animals, including chickens, cows, lambs and goats.

The evening also includes a farm tour upon arrival with classy cocktails crafted by Jeret Pena and The Boulevardier Group of The Brooklynite.

The seasonal, farm-inspired dinner will end with rustic desserts by Elise Broz of Biga on the Banks. Partial proceeds from this event will go to The Raul Jimenez Dinner, a group that provides a Thanksgiving dinner for seniors who would otherwise have nowhere to go for the holiday.

Tickets are $150 and can be purchased by clicking here.


Welcome Hors d Ouerves: Chopped Chicken Liver, Grilled Focaccia, Watermelon Pickles; Texas Crab Deviled Eggs

Family Style Sunday Supper:  Grilled Broccoli Rabe with Preserved Lemon, Roasted Brussels Both Ways, Turnip ‘Puff’, Sweet Potato Hash, Smashed New Potatoes, White Boudin Stuffing, Herb Roasted Chicken, Cast Iron Fried Chicken, Fresh Cranberry Relish, Chicken & Tasso Jus

Dessert Stand: Fresh Fried Apple Cider Donuts, Mission Valley Grapefruit, Almond & Raspberry Trifle, Love Creek Apple Streusel



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Grab That Coconut — SA’s Texas Tiki Week Arrives

Tiki with Bartender cropped

All Tiki Photos Courtesy David Rangel.

This week, your favorite drinking and eating establishments want to interest you in fruity, boozy cocktails that are not only delicious, but comparable to a vacation in a glass.

Or – you know – a coconut.

In San Antonio, it’s time for Texas Tiki Week, going now through Sunday, June 29. (See Schedule below.)

These days, tiki is no longer considered tacky, and with the support of the United States Bartender’s Guild, high-end versions of these delightfully potent libations are appearing in your favorite craft cocktail bars in San Antonio.

In San Antonio, popular establishments doing tiki include Hot Joy, Bohanan’s and Blue Box at the Pearl.

Most notable, though, are The Brooklynite (a proponent of Tiki Tuesdays since its inception in 2012) and El Mirador (under new ownership); both of which are participating in this year’s Texas Tiki Week.

The Brooklynite will launch its new tiki menu this week. El Mirador will hold an educational seminar with Wahaka Mezcal before an Agave Tiki hour on the newly-renovated back patio.

The Esquire owners now own El Mirador, and bar manager Houston Eaves had the following to say about his excitement for Tiki Week:

Tiki with flame cropped“We are going to be hosting our event at El Mirador, instead of The Esquire. Texas Tiki Week is a way to involve our community in a lot of fun, educational, and philanthropic events (with rum!). It exposes consumers to a really fun part of American history that may be a bit misunderstood. Tiki drinks have gone full-circle. They began with fresh, tropical fruits, and a variety of rums, then got dumbed down to bottled mixes & sub-par rums. [Now] we are embracing the fresh and quality ingredients available to us, as well as innovative culinary technique. This is a week to celebrate the kitschy, contagious fun of Tiki!”

Jeret Pena owner of The Brooklynite adds, “Our focus is to go back to the basics of tiki vs. the modern flavors, weird colors and hyped out vibe.  The goal is to focus on the classics and still make them fun!”

Schedule for Tiki Week

The Esquire Tiki Week menu will be running now through Sunday featuring drinks like:

IMPROVED DAIQUIRI:  3-island rum, overproof Jamaican rum, lime, sugar, absinthe. WAKING THE DEAD:  bonded bourbon, espresso-fernet, italian vermouth, pineapple, lemon. MAI TAI: 3-island rum, jamaican rum, demerara 151 rum, curacao, orgeat, lime.  SINGAPORE SLING: dry gin, benedictine, cherry heering, lime, mineral water. SEA OF CONFUSION: Jamaican rum, demerara 151 rum, pear brandy, chartreuse, zucca rabarbaro, passion fruit, lemon, angostura bitters.

Wednesday (6/25) Agave-Tiki @ El Mirador (new concept)

3-5 p.m. Educational Seminar with Wahaka Mezcal for Industy only

5-7  p.m. Agave-Tiki Happy Hour

Texas Tiki Week croppedThursday (6/26 – 6/29)  Tiki Late Nite @ Hot Joy starting at 11 p.m.

Late night tiki menus (food & drink)

Sunday 6/29 – Blue Box

Bacardi Blender Bowl @ The Blue Box

Starting at 1 p.m. -3 p.m.

Bohanan’s will be hosting the closing SA party on Sunday (6/29) at 4 p.m. in their courtyard. With tiki snacks and guest bartenders making tiki drinks.

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Brooklynite, Stay Golden, Party Bus Tours — Plus Tiki!

Hitch a free ride on a high-end party bus from The Brooklynite, 516 Brooklyn Ave., to Stay Golden Social House and ending at TacoLand before circling back to the Brooklynite this weekend and next.
Brooklynite shark busThis bar-hopping, progressive bus-ride offer is brought to customers by collaborators-bar owners Chris Erck and Jeret Pena. They’re looking to  celebrate the start of their venture, Stay Golden Social House, in style.
The free bus rides start this Friday and Saturday nights (May 30, 31) beginning at the Brooklynite, and next week (Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7). They’ll run from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. and will leave each location every 10 minutes.  These high-end party buses have plenty of room and televisions too, to keep the party moving.
More fun at BKSA June 3
The first-ever BKSA Luau Party kicks off in great tiki-theme style on Tuesday, June 3, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Brooklynite, 316 Brooklyn Ave.
Tiki cocktail for BrooklyniteBe an early bird (at 9 sharp, not before!) because handmade floral leis will be passed out to the first 15 guests. Also, you might want to buy a new “Get Tiki With It” T-shirt.

Costumes are encouraged. Grab your bikinis, grass skirts, sunglasses, sombreros, and celebrate summer, tiki-style.

Tiki Tuesday drinks are on the bar all night long with killer music and stunning cocktails. And, food trucks will be outside to serve up sustenance.

For reservations, call (210) 444-0707.


Photos courtesy Dave Rangel






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Golden Gloves Social House Opens at The Icehouse

Bar owners Jeret Peña and Chris Erck have opened a new drinking concept at the entrance to the Pearl Brewery on Pearl Parkway.

aviation-cocktail2aExperienced bartenders Peña (The Brooklynite) and Erck (Swig, The Worm, TacoLand) are combining cocktails and craft brew in a concept they’re calling The Icehouse. It’s housed in a funky warehouse that’s being converted into a cocktail, craft brew heaven, a complex devoted to good drinking and snacking.

The first phase is open. It’s a cocktail bar called the Golden Gloves Social House, and it’s a place where Peña is offering drinks at affordable prices. The rest of The Icehouse will spring into life later this summer. Expect a beer garden as well as food from some of San Antonio’s capable food trucks.

Jeret Pena“People who just want a beer, don’t have to wait in line behind someone getting a cocktail, and someone getting a cocktail is afforded the time to consider your options,” Peña explains.

The concept is located at 401 Pearl Parkway at the entrance to the Pearl.

 From Emily Reynolds

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Anti-Valentine’s Day Party for Singles at Brooklynite

The Brooklynite wants singles out there to know Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the touchy-feely chocolate-covered strawberry types. Cupid’s arrow can hit you when you least expect it.
blue lovelight heartIf you’re a spirited single, who might want to look for someone else who loves cocktails (and who might like you, too), don’t miss the Brooklynite’s annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Party and see what happens.
After you try a few sips of the featured drink, Love Boat #2, which is made with Thai basil, fresh lime, gin, house-made made celery bitters and fresh cracked pepper ($6) you won’t want to leave alone.

There will be no red roses or candlelight poetry readings, just a big party for those who don’t have to be romantic just because it’s Valentine’s Day — but do love a party.

This pro-cupid party features $6 Love Boat #2 drink specials all night, a live DJ and plenty of other singles to mingle with.  The Brooklynite is at 516 Brooklyn Ave., all night (from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.).  For more information call 210-444-0707.


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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: Italian Holiday Treats, Brooklynite Party, More

Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden invites guests to an evening with gourmet Texas cuisine and craft beer from Austin’s Adelbert’s Brewery on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Adelbert’s is known for creating high-quality Belgian-style ales. Guests will enjoy a five-course menu created by executive chef Jeff White paired with craft beers from the Austin-based brewery’s portfolio. Both White and a beer master from Adelbert’s Brewery will be on hand to discuss each dish and its beer pairing. Don’t miss it!

Adelberts beersThe five-course menu includes: Baby Barbacoa Puffy Taco with beef heart and cheek with red chile and Achiote aioli on a puffy flour tortilla — paired with Black Rhino. Crab Stuffed Squash Blossoms with milk honey and pecan smoked bacon relish —  paired with Naked Nun. Spanish Black Mussels with red wine onion tomato broth, local Spanish chorizo, cotija cheese and grilled Lavain bread — paired with Gypsy Series.

Plus, Boiler House Surf and Turf: Corned Pork Belly and Cherry Stone Clams with corned beef-style cured pork belly, garlic butter roasted clams — paired with Scratchin’ Hippo. ABC Bread Pudding with apple, maple bacon, cheddar cheese and custard pudding with Tripel B caramel sauce — paired with Tripel B.

Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden is at 312 Pearl Parkway, Building 3. The dinner Tuesday begins at 6 p.m. and costs $65 per person, excluding tax and tip. Call for reservations and ticket availability at 210-354-4644.

You know you love that tacky holiday sweater: time to roll it out!

This isn't the ugliest we've seen. Photo credit to the Ugly Sweater where you can shop for more!

Really, this isn’t the ugliest we’ve seen! Photo credit to the Ugly Sweater where you can go shopping.

Cooler weather is slowly but surely rolling into San Antonio, and we find ourselves dusting off those old holiday sweaters.

This year, The Brooklynite wants to see the tackiest ones you own.  On Wednesday, November 27, The Brooklynite is hosting a Tacky Holiday Sweater Contest and Party, and the lucky contest winner will receive a gift card to The Brooklynite at midnight.

Imbibers will enjoy specials on cocktails from 5-10 p.m., including the new cocktail, Too Tall for Fall — a concoction of apricot brandy, house ginger beer, apple bitters, cinnamon and lemon, for $6. The Brooklynite is at 516 Brooklyn Ave., 210-444-0707


Holiday chocolate and coffee event our favorite present: a discount!               

GauchoGourmet, 935 Isom Road, is having a grand holiday chocolate and coffee event on Nov. 30. This event at their store at 935 Isom Road features 20 percent off  special on their wide selection of French produced chocolates by Valrhona and Cacao Barry as well as 20 percent off all organic and locally roasted Ferra Coffee.

Gaucho Gourmet chocolateCustomers will be able to taste the different types coffees paired with fine chocolate and sample delicious desserts made with the featured products. Take home simple recipes to create desserts for your own holiday feast and watch pastry chef Melissa Beverage demo how to make chocolate mousse at 10.30 a.m..

Also, Gaucho Gourmet’s holiday sweets have arrived. Choose from among artisan panettone, from Albertengo & Maina traditional, cioccolato, moscato, apricot and pandoro. Also, for great gift possibilities, pick up nougats: torrone, turron, panforte, marzipan and almonds. Finally, Italy’s great collection of holiday cookies will be generously represented, plus mantecados and polvorones, chocolate truffles, Perugina Baci and chocolate-covered breadsticks.

Gaucho Gourmet hours are Monday through  Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For additional info visit Call them at 210-277-7930.

wine whiteTaste a Tuscan Holiday at Luce

Wine is a very important part of an experience at Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, The Super Tuscan Wine Dinner includes the unique opportunity to sample the following World Class Super Tuscan Wines, Ornellaia & Ornellaia Masseto.  See all of the tasty details below.

Call 210-561-9700 for reservations; $100 per person. Luce is at 11255 Huebner Road.

A wine dinner at Luce is the perfect opportunity to make new friends and to have an elegant and relaxing night out with family, says owner Joe Buonincontri.

Menu: Antipasti: Salami Assortiti , or assorted Tuscan meats; Crostone alla Toscana (Toasted Bread topped with Sausage, Pancetta, Mushroom); Crespelle alla Fiorentina (Spinach Filled Crepes with Bechamel Sauce). Zuppa: Zuppa di Lenticche (Puree of Lentils, Carrots, Onions, Potato); Gran Piastre (Entree) Costolette di Vitello (veal chop); Dessert, Pannetone with Vanilla Gelato.

Wines included are:

  • Villa Sandi Prosecco
  • 2011 Frescobaldi: Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni
  • 2011 Ornellaia Le Volte
  • 2009 Frescobaldi Mormoreto
  • 2010 Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove 6
  • 2011 Coppo Moscato d’ Asti

Choco Patisserie closing

Choco Patisserie, 13523 Nacogdoches Road, is closing Nov. 27. You have a few more days to get some of their wonderful baked goods.

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Two Halloween Parties Promise to Scare Up Some Fun

Looking for some fun ways to celebrate Halloween this week? Here are two holiday-themed parties, and both are on Wednesday, which means you can have some more fun on Halloween.

jackolanternJason Dady is having a Halloween Eve dinner at Bin 555, 555 W. Bitters Road. The evening features five courses of fall fare, including Trout “Roulade” alongside local braised greens, lardons, and smoked tomato vinaigrette. Courses include wine pairings.

Reception is begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes wine and cocktails; dinner begins at 7 p.m. The price is $55 plus tax and 18 percent tip includes both dinner and wine pairings. It’s $25 extra for additional wine pours.

For reservations, call (210) 496-0555 or visit

The Brooklynite, 516 Brooklyn Ave., is having a costume party starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Spooky drink specials, available until 10 p.m., include Blood & Spice (Scotch, orange juice, Cherry Heering, sriracha syrup and a grind of cracked pepper) and the Sin Is In (Scotch, Sherry, maple vinegar, a local coffee cordial and chile de arbol) as well as some old favorites, such as the Corpse Reviver #2 (Gin, lemon juice, Lillet, Dry Curaçao, Absinthe), all of which are priced at $6 apiece.

Coinciding with the drink specials a horror movie marathon will be playing with seats available for reservation to get the best spot in the house!  A costume contest will be held at midnight with the winner receiving a gift certificate to The Brooklynite.

For reservations, call (210) 444-0707 or visit

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Learn the Art of Mixing Craft Cocktails from One of the City’s Top Mixologists

Jeret Peña

Jeret Peña

It’s a scary situation, one you’ll likely find in a Roy Lichtenstein cartoon. One evening, you’re making cocktails for your friends. Suddenly feelings of angst flood your system. Cue the theremin music. You stop, raise a hand to your chin and ponder: Should I shake or should I stir?

You’ll never have to face another cocktail conundrum again, if you learn from one of the city’s master mixologists. And Jeret Peña, owner of the Brooklynite, is ready to teach you.

He’ll be offering a technique and recipe seminar at his popular bar, 516 Brooklyn Ave., from 7:30 to 9 p.m. July 27.

So many possibilities. .

So many possibilities. .

In the 90-minute session, you’ll be greeted with a welcome cocktail, followed by the class itself in which you’ll get Peña’s recipes for seven craft cocktails. You’ll get three craft cocktail samples and some small bites to enjoy during the class. At the end, a closing cocktail will be served, and you’ll receive some take-home cocktail mix (just add liquor).

The cost of the seminar, cocktails, samples and recipes is $50.

Call the Brooklynite at (210) 444-0707 to reserve your spot. And call a cab if you stick around to enjoy a cocktail or two more after class.


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Syrup Doesn’t Have to Be Simple

You don't need fancy containers to store your simple syrup (left) and flavored syrup, such as Liberty Bar's hoja santa syrup (right).

You don’t need fancy containers to store your simple syrup (left) and flavored syrup, such as Liberty Bar’s hoja santa syrup (right).

The bartender at the opening of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference handed me an icy mixed drink and began to rattle off the ingredients. “Drambuie, pisco, lemon juice, Earl Grey simple syrup …”

Wait a minute there, I said. Earl Grey simple syrup. What’s that? Sweat tea?

Sort of, she laughed. Then she explained that it was a simple syrup flavored with Earl Grey tea, known for its bergamot flavor. She didn’t have an exact recipe for how to make this at home, since her container appeared to contain more than three gallons.

But she did suggest trying 4 or 5 tea bags added to your basic recipe for syrup.

Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener in which the sugar has been dissolved already, so you don’t get that gritty sediment at the bottom of your glass that happens when you add sugar to cold tea. The recipe is simplicity itself: Dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water over heat until the sugar crystals disappear. Cool. And use in your favorite cocktails.

With the Earl Grey, you’d steep those tea bags in simmering water for a few minutes before stirring in the sugar.

Of course, syrups have been a part of cocktail culture for a long time, from adding a splash of grenadine to finish off a Tequila Sunrise to stirring some ginger syrup (see recipe below) into a Moscow Mule for an extra kick. Back home in Kentucky, we add mint to simple syrup before making mint juleps for the derby.

Make your own flavored syrups for cocktails.

Make your own flavored syrups for cocktails.

More and more syrups are being incorporated into the world of handcrafted cocktails these days as a means of adding dimension as well as balance to drinks. And as with any cooking, the limits of what syrups you create are strictly those of your imagination.

They are also cost-effective, says Jeret Peña, owner of the Brooklynite, 516 Brooklyn Ave.

“Flavored simple syrups are the best way to add flavor to a drink without spending an arm and a leg at a liquor store,” he says. “Why buy a framboise when you can buy organic raspberries and muddle them into a bowl filled with simple syrup? Leave for a few days and — boom! — you have a traditional raspberry syrup.”

Not every flavor is so easy and not every ingredient is readily available, Peña says, citing several obscure items, such as “an elderflower, hops or certain spices.”

Why use a simple syrup instead of infusing an alcohol?

“Here is another way to look at infusions,” Peña says “I have a peanut-washed bourbon on menu. I can’t imagine it working with gin or tequila, so there is no reason to replicate it in anything other than the bourbon. The opposite to this theory is the use of certain items that can easily be used with multiple items. In this case, I love making hopped syrups because it can work with a multitude of spirits, such as gin, tequila and even Irish whiskey.”

The market is full of a number of infused vodkas, but you won’t find that otherwise flavorless liquor getting too much respect from makers of hand-crafted cocktails.

As Peña says, “Vodka seems to be far removed from my craft, and the thought of infusing it seems even further. I always tell people if they want a flavored vodka, try gin.”

Liberty Bar's Santa Pepin (left) and Ruby Menta.

Liberty Bar’s Santa Pepin (left) and Ruby Menta.

A friend of mine, Glenn Drown, has made a blackberry syrup for cocktails using a recipe that’s almost the same as making jelly, only you don’t cook it long enough to let it jell. He likes it mixed with vodka and lemon juice. He also said he’d like to use a bit of syrup to help rim glasses with either sugar or salt for cocktails.

To get started, think of flavors that you like in your cocktails.

Want something tart? Try a pomegranate syrup, which can be made several ways. One involves dissolving pomegranate molasses in a little boiling water, not to dilute the flavor but to dissolve any sugar crystals and to make it more liquid and easier to mix in a cocktail. Another involves using pomegranate juice, sugar and boiling water. These variations are different from many commercial grenadines, which can be made from any number of dark fruits nowadays, including black currants, or have unwelcome ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup added. So, if you’re a stickler for handcrafted cocktails, make your own pomegranate syrup the next time you make a pair of Fresh Pears (see recipe below) at home.

Almond syrup involves water, sugar and almond extract. A coconut variation would be made with, you guessed it, coconut extract. I could see myself going through my spice cabinet and hauling out everything from peppermint extract to jackfruit, and playing around with the resulting syrups. They don’t have to be sweet or fruit flavors either. Think of syrups infused with vanilla, basil or saffron.

Or think of the hoja santa syrup that Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St., uses in its Santa Pepin cocktail. “We dry fresh hoja santa leaves from the bush by the elevator,” says Katie McKee. “It is my understanding that dried hoja santa can be found, but we like using the fresh.”

If you make your own berry syrups, especially with the likes of seedy blackberries or raspberries, make sure you double strain the final product. You don’t want your guests to be picking their teeth because of your cocktail.

Of course, there’s chocolate syrup out there, which is used for Black Russians among other sweet favorites. If you are buying a prefab syrup, such as Hershey’s, read the label first and give it a taste. Be alert for chemical finishes and off-putting additives or flavor flaws that could be magnified when shaken into your cocktail.

Or, if you prefer, you could make your own chocolate syrup (see recipe below). It not only tastes better and the quality is not only higher, whether you’re using it in a cocktail or on ice cream (or both), it’s also less expensive. And that’s something not to overlooked when you consider the cost of a good bottle of tequila or bourbon these days.

Liberty Bar photos by Phillip Kent.

Liberty Bar's Ruby Menta

Liberty Bar’s Ruby Menta

Liberty Bar’s Ruby Menta

1 1/4 ounces Ilegal Mezcal Jovan (skanky mezcal will not do)
1 ounce fresh squeezed Texas Ruby Red grapefruit juice
Juice from 1/2 fresh squeezed lime
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Fresh mint leaves (3 big or 5 little)

Muddle mezcal, grapefruit juice, lime juice, syrup and mint well. Shake, strain and pour over ice or serve up in a martini glass.

Garnish with a fresh lime twist.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Nate Cassie/Liberty Bar

Liberty Bar’s Santa Pepin

1 cup dry hoja santa leaves, crumbled
1 quart simple syrup
Ancho chile powder
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
3 slices English cucumber
2 ounces Don Julio Blanco tequila
Cucumber slice, for garnish

Place the crumbled dry hoja santa leaves and the simple syrup in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes then remove from heat. Let it cool, then fine strain the mixture. It can be used immediately or refrigerated for later use.

Rim glass with ancho chile powder. Again, this specific touch makes a huge difference

Combine lemon juice, English cucumber slices, 1 ounce of hoja santa simple syrup and ice into a shaker cup. Muddle. Add Don Julio Blanco tequila, shake well and strain into ancho chile-rimmed glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Katie McKee/Liberty Bar

Chocolate Syrup

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 dash salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the water, sugar, cocoa powder and salt together in a saucepan over low heat; whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and begins to simmer. Remove from heat and stir the vanilla into the sauce. Serve warm or cover and refrigerate until serving.

Makes 1 pint.


Ginger Syrup

1 cup unpeeled, washed fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1 cups sugar
3 cups water

Process ginger chunks in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. Place in a large stock pot. Add sugar and water to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for one hour until a rich syrup is created. Strain the syrup twice through cheese cloth or a sieve into a large jar or bottle. Refrigerate.

Makes about 4 pints.

Adapted from Betty Fraser and Denise DeCarlo, Grub, Hollywood, Calif./Imbibe

Fresh Pear

1 medium Bosc pear
2 tablespoons citrus-infused vodka
1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoons pomegranate syrup
3 tablespoons hard apple cider
Pear slices

Shred pear; place pulp on several layers of cheesecloth. Gather edge of cheesecloth together; squeeze over a glass measuring cup to yield 1/3 cup juice. Discard solids. Combine pear juice, vodka, pomegranate juice, lime juice, and promegranate syrup in a martini shaker with ice; shake. Strain about 3 tablespoons vodka mixture into each of 2 martini glasses. Top each serving with 1 1/2 tablespoons hard apple cider. Garnish with pear slices.

Makes 2 cocktails.

Adapted from


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