Yes, I Did Make a Whiskey and Rosé Cocktail

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whiskey and rosé cocktailEarlier this week, I helped throw a little party to celebrate my friend Bev’s second season of her Food Network show, Mom Wins. The party was held at her (and my) favorite Kansas City home store, Golden & Pine, and even though Bev was already planning to show up with an entire case of rosé (because it’s her favorite) as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a party until I also show up with a cocktail. And since rosé is Bev’s fave, I decided I’d make a rosé cocktail. And since whiskey is my fave, I decided I’d make a whiskey and rosé cocktail.

So, yes. Yes I did that. I made a cocktail with whiskey and rosé. And you know what? It was fucking delightful. So delightful, in fact, Bev went home with, well, pretty much a case of rosé (#sorrynotsorry, Bev!).

The good news? It’s really simple! The not-as-good news? You do have to make a syrup on the stove, but you can make it ahead and store it in the fridge for a while. Oh, and use bubbly rosé for this because bubbles are the best.

Okay, so now I’m about to hit you with three recipes, but don’t panic. They’re all getting you to the same place (drunk!). The first actually won’t get you drunk, since it’s just for the strawberry syrup. The second is the cocktail for one, and the third is if you want to just use a whole fucking bottle of rosé and make a big batch of punch.

Strawberry Syrup

This recipe makes a lot of syrup. Six cups to be exact, except it’s probably not exactly six cups. But it will be close. Feel free to cut it in half if you’re not planning to make a few rounds of this in punch form.

INGREDIENTS

6 cups water
6 cups sugar
2-ish pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

DIRECTIONS

Add the sugar and water to a large saucepan or small stockpot and bring to a boil while stirring. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, add the strawberries and remove from the heat. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes then strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve (but don’t smush the strawberries to release more syrup — just don’t do it, OKAY?!). Let the syrup cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container to store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

how to make frose

Whiskey and Rosé Cocktail

INGREDIENTS

½ ounce strawberry syrup
½ ruby red grapefruit juice (or that stuff that’s called Ruby Red, but is made from a few different types of juice)
1 ounce whiskey (I used Old Overholt Rye)
2.5 ounces bubbly rosé
3 dashes angostura bitters

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients to an old fashioned or stemless wine glass, add a large ice cube or a handful of ice, and if you’re feeling fancy, garnish it with a strawberry.

Whiskey Rosé Punch

If you want to make a big-ass batch of this and serve it like punch like we did at Bev’s party (I mean, you’re already opening a bottle of rosé, so why wouldn’t you want to do that?!) I did some fucking math AND conversions for you. You’re welcome.

INGREDIENTS

150 mL (1 part) strawberry syrup
150 mL (1 part) ruby-red grapefruit juice
300 mL (2 parts) whiskey
750 mL (5 parts / a bottle!) sparkling rosé
A shitton dashes Angostura bitters

DIRECTIONS

Add everything to a punch bowl or drink dispenser, stir and enjoy!

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She Put the Lime in the Coconut

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put the lime in the coconut cocktail recipeI don’t know about you, but every time I hear “Put the Lime in the Coconut,” I think it sounds like the beginning of a really good cocktail recipe. So I finished it.

My version goes a little something like this:

She put the lime in the coconut (milk)
Then she added whiskey
She put the lime in the coconut
Then she added ginger (beer)
She put the lime in the coconut
And she drank them both up
She put the limes in the garbage disposal
And — oh, fuck! The kitchen is flooding!

Yeah, so if you watch my Instagram stories, you know I had to emergency install a garbage disposal on Wednesday. When I was taking this picture, I should have been on my way to my tire rotation appointment, so I regretfully poured both drinks down the drain. Then I threw the lime remnants in the garbage disposal because the sink was a little stinky. I squirted some dish soap on that shit, which I thought would help lube it up and hurry things along, then I flipped on the disposal. Then it started making an angry, sad whirring noise and soapy water started pouring out the bottom of the motor part under the sink. Needless to say, I did not make it to get my tires rotated. But I did race to Home Depot to buy a new garbage disposal, and I put it in all by my damn self — though not without some sweating and cursing.

Anyway, the drink is really good. And apparently, it can even relieve a belly ache. So there’s that.

P.S. It tastes even better when served in one of my friend Emily’s gorgeous ceramic tumblers.

Put the Lime in the Coconut Cocktail

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces whiskey
2.5 ounces light coconut milk (from a can)
.5 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
Ginger beer
Lime wheel, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Add the whiskey, coconut milk, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker (or wide-mouth mason jar) with a handful of ice. Shake the shit out of it and strain into a gorgeous ceramic tumbler (or Old Fashioned glass, or whatever). Add a handful of crushed ice, top it off with cold ginger beer, give it a quick stir, and garnish with the lime.

NOTE: When buying ginger beer, be sure to get a good one, like Gosling’s, Fentiman’s, Reed’s or Cock’n Bull, and definitely don’t try to substitute ginger ale — unless you like weak sauce or something.

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This is Not a Cucumber Mezcal Margarita

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cucumber mezcal margarita Confession: This drink was inspired entirely by cute things. I saw these ridiculous-but-also-kind-of-adorable cactus-stemmed margarita glasses on one of my many thrifting adventures this week, and decided I needed to make margaritas. But then I got home and thought: Wow, I’m glad those glasses didn’t break because the woman who rang me up did a really shitty job wrapping them. Then I thought: Haven’t I made enough margaritas lately? Plus, I remembered I had this cute lil’ bottle of cucumber soda in my fridge — which, yes, I bought mostly because it was cute but also because it sounded fucking refreshing on a hot day, okay? (So refreshing it’s been in the fridge for, like, two months.) And since I decidedly wasn’t making a margarita, I mixed that shit with mezcal, and lime juice, and a little Grand Marnier. So, yeah, some people might call it a Cucumber Mezcal Margarita, and honestly I don’t have a better name for it, so we’ll go with that.

mr q cucumber sodaAnyway, in addition to being refreshing and not at all too sweet, this drink is super easy — as long as you can find the Mr. Q Cucumber soda (no juicing cukes here!). My grocery store sells it by the bottle, and you can get an entire case on Evil Amazon. The best part? I learned totally on accident while mixing the second drink that one bottle is exactly enough for two cocktails!

This is Not a Cucumber Mezcal Margarita (or Maybe It Is)

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces mezcal (I used Del Maguey Vida )
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
.5 ounce (1 tablespoon) Grand Marnier
3.5 ounces Mr. Q Cucumber soda

For the garnish:

Lime wedge
Sea salt
Cucumber slice

DIRECTIONS


Moisten the rim of a ridiculous thrifted cactus-stemmed margarita glass with a lime wedge, then gently roll the rim of the glass on a plate of sea salt and set aside.

Add the mezcal, lime juice, and Grand Marnier to a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake and strain into the salted glass. Add the cucumber soda (exactly half the bottle!), garnish with a slice of English cucumber grown in Mexico, and enjoy!

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Summer Session Coffee Cocktail

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montenegro coffee cocktail recipeI’m the first to admit that, most of the time, my drinks are gonna get you drunk. I mean, isn’t that — at least partially — the point of drinking alcohol? If we didn’t want to feel anything, we’d only chug water, and coffee, and white male tears. But we do want to feel things, it’s just that sometimes we don’t want to feel them as much, or as quickly, or as intensely. Or maybe we’re getting old and we have a toddler and we don’t have the energy to deal with a goddamn hangover the next day, okay!?

Enter session cocktails.

If you’re not familiar with a session cocktail, it’s basically a low-alcohol beverage that you can drink, and drink, and drink (and maybe even drink again) without getting turnt. Generally, the standard for a session cocktail is something made with a spirit that has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 20% or less. This coffee and Montenegro drink is close; the ABV of Montenegro (an Italian amaro) is 25%. But I’m going to say the cold brew counteracts some of the booze, and that this drink should definitely still fall into the “session” category. In fact, I’m just gonna drop it there, call it “Summer Session,” and walk away, quickly and awkwardly.

montenegro coffee cocktail recipeIn addition to the coffee and Montenegro, this three-ingredient cocktail recipe also calls for cream soda — and that’s it (well, except for an orange slice). Because you know how much I love mixing coffee and soda in the summertime. It’s a simple drink with a simple recipe that tastes like a million fucking dollars, or at least like a $14 cocktail you’d get out at a fancy bar. It’s good for a little pick-me-up in the evening, or as a little hair of the dog when you have a hangover. It’s also super easy to make, and you can even replace “ounces” with “parts” if you want to make a big batch for a party (or a big hangover).

The Summer Session

INGREDIENTS

4 ounces cold brew coffee
2 ounces Montenegro
3 ounces cream soda
Orange

DIRECTIONS

Add the coffee and Montenegro to an Old Fashioned glass and stir. Add a handful of ice, then top with the cream soda. Give it a generous squeeze of orange, and another quick stir. Garnish and enjoy.

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Fuck Russia, Drink a Horsefeather

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horsefeather cocktail recipeThis is the Horsefeather cocktail. And it’s the reason I write about drinks. I was introduced to it nearly a decade ago when I was working on my very first cocktail story for a now-defunct in-flight magazine (but long before I was actually considered a drinks writer). Five years later, with very little booze knowledge and no photography skills to speak of, I somehow managed to land a weekly column after sharing the recipe. I mean, sure, I incorrectly identified the Horsefeather as a “classic cocktail” at the time. But I guess technically it’s a classic here in Kansas City — about as classic as the Macarena or Nokia’s candy bar phone. The best any of us local drinks people can figure out is that it originated sometime in the 90s in the nearby college town of Lawrence, KS and according to Robert Simonson, it never really caught on anywhere else. (LOLZ to the time I drunkenly shamed a surly Brooklyn bartender for not knowing this “classic cocktail.” Oops.)

It’s kind of a shame the Horsefeather hasn’t gotten more love nationally, because it’s a damn fine drink. In fact, it’s like a Moscow Mule, but better. Instead of vodka, it’s made with whiskey (I usually opt for rye, but bourbon works, too), spicy ginger beer, a dash or four of bitters, and a squeeze of lime. Think of it like the Moscow Mule’s tastier American cousin — drinking it is an act of patriotism and a middle finger to Drumpf.

Depending on your bartender, the Horsefeather can be served in an old-fashioned glass, collins glass, or a copper mug. Since the ratios aren’t super strict, anything goes, really!

The Horsefeather Cocktail

INGREDIENTS

2 to 3 ounces whiskey
Cold ginger beer
Angostura bitters
Lime wedge

DIRECTIONS

Fill an old-fashioned or collins glass, or a copper mug at least halfway with ice, then add the whiskey and top it off with ginger beer. Add a couple dashes of bitters and a squeeze of lime, then give it a quick stir. Garnish with the lime wedge and enjoy!

NOTE: When buying ginger beer, be sure to get a good one, like Gosling’s, Fentiman’s, Reed’s or Cock’n Bull, and definitely don’t try to substitute ginger ale — unless you want your drink to taste like some, sad watered-down version of patriotism.

P.S. Regarding my headline: I have no ill will toward the good people of Russia. But that Putin — he’s a real dick, huh?

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