Classic & Party Recipes

Classic Margarita

 

The perfect margarita is all about fresh, crisp flavors barely tempered by triple sec and sugar. 

 

Ingredients

 

  • Lime wedge, plus 2 lime wheels for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, for glass rims

  • 4 ounces highl quality blanco tequila 

  • 2 ounces Cointreau

  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh juice from 2 limes

 

Procedures

 

  1. Run lime wedge around the outer rims of two rocks glasses and dip rims in salt.  Set aside

  2. In cocktail shaker, combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice.  Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over).

  3. Fill glasses with fresh ice and strain margarita into both glasses.  Garnish with lime wheels and serve.

 

Mai Tai

 

If you've ever been to a luau-themed party or exotic bar, or sipped your way through a beach vacation, chances are you've been served a mai tai. 

 

Ingredients

 

  • 2 ounces Jamaican rum (Appleton Extra is a good choice; for a bit more authentic flavor, substitute 1 once of St. James 15-year Hors D’Age rum for 1 ounce of the Appleton)

  • Juice of 1 medium lime, about 1 ounce (save the shell for garnish)

  • 1/2 ounce curaçao

  • 1/4 ounce orgeat

  • 1/4 ounce rock-candy syrup (simple syrup with a drop or two of vanilla extract)

  • mint for garnish

 

Procedures

 

  1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well for 10 seconds and strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with lime shell and a sprig of fresh mint.

 

Cosmopolitan

 

The Cosmopolitan is a cultural touchstone because once upon a time, Dale DeGroff got one into the hands of Madonna at the Rainbow Room and it became the drink to be seen with. Then HBO and SJP, of course, made the drink ubiquitous and clichéd.

 

Ingredients

 

  • Ice

  • 1 1/2 ounces citrus-flavored vodka

  • 1/2 ounce triple sec (Cointreau, preferably)

  • 1/2 ounce cranberry juice

  • 1/4 ounce lime juice (fresh, fresh, fresh; no Rose's)

  • Orange twist, for garnish

 

Procedures

 

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, triple sec, cranberry, and lime, and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

 

Lucy Basilia

 

This cocktail from Lucy's Fried Chicken in Austin, Texas may not be super complex, but it does one thing right: refreshment. Made with fresh basil leaves and blackberries, tart lemon juice and honey to sweeten, it's spiked with vodka and lightened with fizzy club soda. You'll need this one as long as the weather stays warm.

 

Ingredients

 

For Honey Syrup:

  • 2 ounces honey

  • 1 ounce warm water

 

For cocktail:

  • 5 fresh basil leaves

  • 1 ripe blackberry

  • 1 1/2 ounce vodka

  • 1 ounce honey syrup

  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Club soda

  • Garnish: basil leaves, slice of lemon, blackberry

 

Procedures

 

  1. Mix honey and warm water to make honey syrup. You will have enough honey syrup for 3 drinks.

     

  2. Gently muddle the blackberry and basil in a cocktail shaker. Add vodka, honey syrup, and lemon juice. Fill with ice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain into a pint glass filled with fresh ice. Top with club soda, garnish, and serve with a straw.

 

Grapefruit and Mint Mojito

 

[Serves 4]

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish

  • 1 ruby-red grapefruit

  • 3/4 cup white rum

  • 3 cups ice

  • 1 cup seltzer 

 

Procedures

 

  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and add mint leaves. Let steep 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl, and discard mint. Let cool.

  2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove zest from grapefruit in long, wide strips. Place in a large glass, and add rum. Cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve intoa large glass measure, and discard zest.

  3. Cut away remaining pith from grapefruit. Cut between membranes to release segments. For each drink, place 2 to 3 segments in a glass. Top with 3/4 cup ice. Stir 3 tablespoons infused rum, 2 tablespoons mint syrup, and 1/4 cup seltzer in a glass measure, and pour over ice. Garnish with mint sprigs. 

 

Bloody Mary

 

The ultimate fully-loaded Bloody Mary. 

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 tablespoon celery salt or (plain kosher salt)

  • 1/4 lemon, cut into two wedges

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or less to taste)

  • Dash cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce 

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated horseradish (or 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish)

  • 2 ounces vodka

  • 4 ounces high-quality tomato juice

  • 1 stick celery 

 

Procedures

 

  1. Place celery salt in shallow saucer.  Rub rim of 12-ounce tumbler with lemon wedge and coat wet edge with celery salt.  Place lemon wedge on rim of glass.  Fill glass with ice.

  2. Add Worcestershire, soy, black pepper, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and horseradish to bottom of cocktail shaker.  Fill shaker with ice and add vodka, tomato juice, and juice of remaining lemon wedge.  Shake vigorously, taste for seasoning and heat, and adjust as necessary.  Strain into ice-filled glass.  Garnish with celery stalk and serve immediately.

 

Whiskey Sour
 

When you just want a nice, easy drink, one that's as loyal and friendly as an old dog, that doesn't mind if you pad around the living room in your socks or lie back on the couch watching shows you'd never dare admit you enjoy.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 2 ounces whiskey

  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 egg white (optional—use if you’re feeling mildly adventurous, or need a drink with a little more gravitas)

 

Procedures

 

  1. Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake for 10 seconds (if using the egg white, give it a little extra muscle and a little extra time). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, or into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry, a slice of orange, or everything or nothing at all. 

Daiquiri

 

Two things you'll probably notice about this daiquiri:

1. It's not frozen.

2. It's not laden down with strawberries, bananas, mangoes or what have you.

No, this is the daiquiri at its purest, its original, its most authentic.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 2 ounces light rum (you can also use gold rum, but dark rum can be too heavy)

  • 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 of a lime)

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

 

Procedures

 

  1. Pour sugar and lime juice into a cocktail shaker and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the rum and fill shaker with ice; shake well for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

 

Concord Crush

 

This grapey gimlet from Gramercy Tavern is a perfect use of the fresh Concord grapes that you might find at the farmers' market. You can make a batch of the grape purée in advance and freeze it. Just thaw the night before you intend to make the cocktail. 

 

Ingredients

 

For the Grape Purée:

  • 1 pound Concord grapes

  • 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

 

For the Cocktail

  • 2 ounces vodka

  • 1 1/4 ounce grape purée

  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup

  • 2 lime wedges

  • 4 grapes

 

Procedures

 

  1. Pull grapes from their stems. Set aside 4 whole grapes. Place rest of grapes in blender with 1/4 ounce lime juice (to prevent browning). Blend to completely purée the grapes. Strain the purée through a fine-mesh strainer, pushing it through with the back of a ladle.

     

  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, grape puree, lime juice, simple syrup, lime wedges, and whole grapes. Shake vigorously and pour contents of shaker into an old-fashioned glass without straining.

 

Lavender Champagne

 

Offered as an apertif or for a toast, this aromatic drink evokes the romance of the South of France with each sparkling sip, and makes the perfect cocktail to serve to shower guests.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender

  • 4 bottles (750 mL) dry Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

  • Fresh lavender sprigs, for garnish 

 

Procedures

 

  1. Bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in dried lavender. Remove from heat. Let cool completely. Strain out lavender. Refrigerate syrup until ready to serve (up to 1 month).

  2. Pour about 6 ounces Champagne and 1 1/2 teaspoons syrup into each flute. Garnish each with a lavender sprig

 

Mint Julep

 

With a formula almost as old as the replublic, the mint julep is a product of an era in which things were done much slower.  A good mint julep can't be rushed.  

 

Ingredients

 

  • 2 to 3 ounces bourbon, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon sugar, to taste, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water (or use 2 tsp. simple syrup)

  • 8 to 10 leaves fresh mint

  • Mint sprigs, for garnish

  • Crushed ice

 

Procedures

 

  1. Place the sugar and water at the bottom of a julep cup or tall glass and stir until sugar is dissolved (or speed the process by using simple syrup). Add the mint leaves and gently bruise with a wooden muddler or a wooden spoon. Take care not to overwork the mint, but swab the sides of the glass with the mint's aromatic oils. Half-fill the glass with crushed ice and add the bourbon, stirring to combine. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir until the outside of the glass frosts. Add more crushed ice if needed to fill, and generously adorn the drink with sprigs of fresh mint. Serve with a short straw, so the fragrance of the mint bouquet will greet the drinker with each sip

Mojito
 

All we really know is that the drink originated in Cuba over 200 years ago, before being popularized by Ernest Hemingway and other celebrities who visited Cuba prior to the Revolution.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 10 leaves fresh mint

  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum

  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

  • Club soda

  • 2 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish

 

Procedures

 

  1. Place sugar and mint leaves in a serving glass, and gently muddle just until the leaves release their oils.

     

  2. Fill glass with ice. Add rum and lime juice. Stir to combine.

     

  3. Top with club soda and add mint sprigs and lime twist for garnish.

 

French 75

 

According to Ted Haigh (aka Dr. Cocktail), the French 75 is one of two cocktails named after the French 75-mm field gun, which was commonly used in World War I. "One barman in 1947," reports Haigh, "called it a Tom Collins with champagne instead of club soda. Vive la difference!" Here's Haigh's version of the recipe, from his wonderful book, Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 2 ounces gin

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • Champagne or sparkling wine

  • Garnish: long thin lemon spiral and cocktail cherry

 

Procedures

 

  1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Shake gin, lemon juice, and sugar in a cocktail shaker until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a champagne flute.

     

  2. Top with Champagne. Stir gently, garnish with a long, thin lemon spiral and a cocktail cherry. 

 

White Sangria

 

[Serves 6]

 

Ingredients

 

  • 6 cups Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc

  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar

  • 1 cup white grape juice

  • 1 ripe nectarine, pitted and cut into thin wedges

  • 1 tngerine, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup seedless white grapes, halved

  • 1 cup club soda

 

 

Procedures

 

  1. In a large pitcher or other container, combine the wine and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the remaining ingredients, excluding the club soda, and mix well.

  2. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and let the sangria sit for at least 1 hour (and up to 4 hours). The sangria will sweeten with time, so the longer it sits, the better.

  3. Just before serving, stir in the club soda and ice cubes.

 

Rose Punch

 

Concocted from sparkling lemonade, Chambord, raspberries, pineapple and, of course, rose wine.

 

[Serves 9]

 

Ingredients

 

  • 4 peaches, sliced

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) rose wine, chilled

  • 2 cups sparkling lemonade (we used Lorina lemonade), chilled

  • 2 tablespoons black-raspberry liqueur (we used Chambord)

  • 27 raspberries 

 

Procedures

 

  1. Place half the peach slices in ice cube trays, one slice per compartment; add water, and freeze.

  2. Mix wine, lemonade, and liqueur in punch bowl. Add peach slices and some of the peach ice cubes. To serve, place remaining peach ice cubes in cups, and ladle in the punch; garnish with raspberries. 

  3. pour over ice. Garnish with mint sprigs. 

 

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