Cocktail Spotlight: Spring Cocktails

I realize that many of you have been craving a post on just cocktails, so here it is for your enjoyment...Plus, it is "World Cocktail Week" so what better way to celebrate cocktails. There are some truly fabulous cocktails that are perfect for this time of year - summer...The latest craze are 'muddled' cocktails with the most famous being the "Mint Julep" and "Mojito", but there is so much more that can be made...What this means is that you taking a fruit, veggies, herb or spice and mashing it in the glass to release the oils, juice, and aroma with 'muddler' before preparing the cocktail. A muddler looks like a baseball bat with a flat bottom...Some are better than others...Look for a black muddler at the restaurant store in Camp Hill or Bed, Beth and Beyond...This one has spikes which enables you to really break up the product. The "hot" fruit right now is the blackberry, which is one of my personal favorites...It mixes well with just about every spirit, most notably Tequila, Rum, and Gin...The "hot" herb is basil, which mixes well with Bourbon and Gin.

I offer you the best of both worlds by introducing the "Thai Basil Blackberry Gin Fizz". This is a spicy one. You can always decrease the amount of Thai Basil you use..It also refreshing. Next, I go back to a spin on some classics and is a great refreshing summer drink sitting by the pool or on the deck.  It is called simply "Clementine Sour". The important aspect of any 'sour' drink is to make sure you prepare fresh lemon sour ahead of time...It makes a world of difference and is fresher. Stay away from that bottled junk at the liquor and grocery store. It is filled with preservatives, not fresh and is too sour. Remember to always store lemon sour in the fridge up to a month or so. I will give you the recipe for my lemon sour in this post. Lastly, I give you a very modern cocktail for all you vegetarians or veggie lovers out there aptly called "The Pickled Veggie". For a while, the international community was into the "Pickle Martini" using pickle juice and a pickle back. This cocktail is much better for you, but it will take a lot of prep time. It is well worth it though. It involves making veggie juice and using the brine.

Let me know your thought! Happy Mixing!


Thai Basil Blackberry Gin Fizz

  • 1.5 oz Bluecoat Gin
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz ginger ale
  • Fresh Thai Basil
  • One Lime Wedge
  • Six Fresh Blackberries

Preparation - Muddle large handful of fresh Thai Basil, one lime wedge, and six fresh blackberries in a mixing glass. Shake and double strain (using a small hand-held strainer), pour in an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with a Thai Basil blossom and a blackberry.


Clementine Sour

  • 1.5 oz Svedka Clementine Vodka
  • 1 oz fresh lemon sour
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz pomegranate grenadine

Preparation -  Build all ingredients in a highball glass over ice except grenadine. Mix well over ice with a bar spoon then pour grenadine down the side of the glass slowly allowing it to fall to the bottom of the glass. Looks like a Tequila Sunrise. Top with fresh pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate Grenadine is made simply by dissolving 1 part sugar in 1 part pomegranate juice. Fresh Lemon Sour is made by combining 2 parts freshly squeezed lemon juice minus the seeds and pulp to 1 part simple syrup (1 part sugar to 1 part hot water - shake). It is easier to use a juicer instead of hand squeezing. One lemon will yield about 1.5 oz of lemon juice. Shake well.


Pickled Veggie

  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1 oz pickled veggie brine
  • Black pepper for garnish
  • Pickled veggies for garnish

Pickled Veggies (makes a quart) -

1 cup champagne vinegar, 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pickling spice, 2 garlic cloves halved lengthwise, 1/4 julienned onion, 4 cups of veggies (baby carrots, green beans, wax beans, mushrooms, radish, turnips, cauliflower = your choice)

Combine vinegars, sugar, salt, pickling spice, garlic, and onion in a saucepan. Simmer for 15 mins. Meanwhile, put veggies in a jar. While liquid is still hot, strain the juice and pour over veggies. Let cool and sit for 48 hours. They will last up to 6 months.

Preparation - Add brine and gin to a shaker with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with pepper and pickled veggies on a skewer.








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