Rum, Spice, and Everything Nice

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rum and chai tea cocktailSometimes a bottle of booze just appears on my front porch. I mean, usually I get an email from a publicist, or a text, or whatever, letting me know it’s coming. But a few weeks ago, my friend Brandon left a whole case of assorted bottles for me. And since I’ve been in non-stop house mode lately, I just got around to having a look inside. The first bottle I grabbed was rum, and even though I’m not a rum drinker (thanks, 19-year-old self who overdid the rum and Diet Cokes) I was intrigued.

I’ll tell you this: One way to get a whiskey woman excited about rum is to give me a bottle of the latter that’s been aged in a bourbon cask (or an ex-bourbon cask for three years and an ex-sherry cask for seven, to be nerdy!), like the Premise from Foursquare Rum Distillery I’d been gifted. Another way to get me excited about rum is to make a rum that tastes really damn good — and this is really damn good stuff.

Since it was in the 50s for the first time all season, and I was feeling all cozy and festive, I just kinda did what I’d do if it had been a bottle of bourbon: I went dark and spicy. After experimenting with a few seasonal flavors, I landed on allspice dram, chai tea, and bitters. The result is a four-ingredient, fall-AF lowball that’s cozy AND boozy. It’s basically Pumpkin Spice Latte’s cold, tan, drunk cousin.

And if you don’t have a bottle of allspice dram lying around (or, you know, standing upright on your bar like a goddamn civilized human being) just go ahead and pick up one to get you through the holiday season. In fact, consider it required reading for my classy-ass booze class this year. You’ll thank me later — especially if you’re into pumpkin spice; you know allspice is one of the five spices in pumpkin spice mix, right?

Everything Nice

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces double-strength* chai tea, chilled
2 ounces barrel-aged rum
½ ounce allspice dram
2 dashes Angostura bitters

DIRECTIONS

Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass with a handful of ice. Stir well and strain into a lowball glass with one large ice cube or a handful of normal-people ice cubes. Enjoy.

*8 ounces of tea brewed with two bags instead of one, or one bag per 4 ounces. Or, math. And a note: I have tried a few different brands of chai tea bags, and at this point, for cocktail mixing, I can only recommend the Bigelow Spiced Chai Tea. You should be able to find it at most grocery stores.

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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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