Pimm’s Cup

pimms cup

Pimm’s is an interesting liqueur if you’ve never had it before. It’s essentially an English Amaro, with gin as it’s base spirit. It’s a touch bitter, a little sweet, and sort of herbal, earthy and gritty. There have been as many as 6 varieties of Pimm’s over the years, but the original “No. 1 Cup” is the one that has stuck.

Here’s how you make the simple and refreshing Pimm’s Cup Cocktail:

Pimm’s Cup

  • in a highball glass filled with ice, add:
  • 1 1/2 oz Pimm’s No. 1
  • top with ginger ale (or lemon-lime soda)
  • garnish with cucumber
  • serve with a straw

 

Simple Cocktails Podcast Episode 18

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Unlimited-budget home bar? Invasive kitchen hardware. Phraya Rum: Lisa says “warm but doesn’t burn.” It’s Greg’s favorite cigar rum. We fake like we’re smoking. We talk about warm cocktails, Lisa doesn’t have time for luxury, then we make a Mountaineer Punch. How to set up a self-serve hot cocktail for your winter party. The pressure is from Greg talking.

Download Episode 18.

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Black Martini

black martini

Last year, I made a Harry Potter-themed cocktail for Halloween: the Devil’s Snare. For several years, though, I’ve meant to make a Black Martini for Halloween, and now that I have a bottle of Sambuca, I can.

This is a two-ingredient cocktail that’s perfect for Halloween, though I will say, that if you’re not a black licorice fan, remember that Black Sambuca has a strong anise flavor, so if that’s not your cup of tea, maybe revert to last year’s cocktail.

Before you begin, you need to get a little messy. Make a small amount of Halloween sugar by adding some dashes of Angostura bitters to regular sugar.

halloween bitter sugar

Then wet your finger slightly with Sambuca (which is very sticky) and run that around the rim of the glass, then sprinkle the sugar on it. Let the glass sit while you make the drink:

Black Martini

  • in a mixing glass, combine:
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz black Sambuca
  • stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with “Halloween” sugar

Enjoy…and happy Halloween!

Cocktails with Ciroc Coconut and Peach

ciroc peach and coconut cocktails

Like I said in a post earlier this week, Ciroc’s flavors really caught me off guard. I was a pleasantly surprised that they weren’t sweetened (flavored vodkas almost always are). Since I liked them so much, I’ve been dreaming up some cocktails to use these Ciroc flavors with and so I’ve been digging around in recipe books for cocktails that would go well with flavored vodka. Here are some recipes I really liked with Ciroc Coconut and Ciroc Peach (pictured left to right):

Ciroc Coco Creme (by Greg Mays)

  • in a shaker, combine:
  • 1 1/2 oz Ciroc Coconut
  • 3 oz coconut water
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz half and half
  • shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

*frozen blueberries are jucier when they thaw and squish up in the shaker better than fresh ones.

Our Stanley (from the Bartender’s Bible)

  • in a mixing glass or pint glass, combine:
  • 1 1/2 oz Ciroc Peach (the original recipe calls for regular vodka)
  • 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz triple sec (orange liqueur)
  • stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Remember, you can get a free cocktail PDF book by registering for our email newsletter here.

 

Simple Cocktails Podcast Episode 17

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Naming things like the French. Scotland’s independence…we know nothing. A Simple Cocktails brand name? A new show idea for Oprah and Gail. We taste Mahon Gin, which is seasoned with lifestyle.  We make Lisas’s favorite drink-of-the-moment, an Amaretto Sour. “If we were cavemen, we’d have to lick this.”

Download Episode 17.

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Cocktails with Ciroc Pineapple

cocktails with ciroc pineapple

I confess to being totally alarmed at how much I liked some of the the Ciroc vodka flavors on a recent podcast episode, and again in my review. Since that initial tasting, I’ve been dreaming up with some recipes that I think will taste great with these Ciroc flavors. Here are 2 recipes — one that I came up with and one from a recipe book – to try with Ciroc Pineapple (pictured left to right):

Purpina (by Greg Mays)

  • in a shaker, combine:
  • 2 oz Ciroc Pineapple
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • about 20 thawed, frozen blueberries*
  • shake vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  • garnish with a lime wedge

*frozen blueberries are jucier when they thaw and squish up in the shaker better than fresh ones.

Firefly (from the Bartender’s Bible)

  • in a highball glass full of ice, add:
  • 2 oz Ciroc Pineapple (the original recipe calls for regular vodka)
  • 4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • drizzle 1 tsp of grenadine over the top
  • do not stir
  • serve with a straw

Remember, you can get a free cocktail PDF book by registering for our email newsletter here.

 

Aperol Spritz

aperol spritz

I’ve been meaning to make this cocktail for quite some time, but because I’m a cocktail/liquor guy and not a wine guy, I don’t have as much access to Prosecco, an essential ingredient to the Spritz.

Prosecco is a popular Italian sparkling white wine, and I got a hold of a bottle of Mionetto Prosecco DOC recently (which runs about $15/bottle), and I made an Aperol Spritz right away. The Spritz is a refreshing, yet dry (not too sweet) fizzy cocktail. Here’s how you make it.

Aperol Spritz

  • in a balloon glass filled with ice, add in this order:
  • 4 oz Prosecco DOC
  • a splash of club soda (probably about 1/2 oz)
  • 2 oz Aperol

Because 2 of the 3 ingredients are bubbling, the cocktail basically stirs itself. Enjoy!

Simple Cocktails Podcast Episode 16

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How to make cocktails for people who don’t know what they want. “Are you a vegan? Are you an Episcopalian?” Greg name drops canon…again. The cotton-candy-to-wood-scale is established (remember this day)! A horchata liqueur shootout featuring RumChata and Chila ‘Orchata. Limp candy canes. Greg attempts an emergency bottle sabering for the first time because he forgot the corkscrew (here’s a photo of the result). We make an Aperol Spritz.

Download Episode 16.

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If you enjoyed the show, please write a brief review on iTunes. That would help us get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Thank you!

Chila Orchata

chila orchata

There’s no denying the RumChata has been a big hit in liquor stores over the last 2 years, particularly around the holidays. It’s no surprise then that a major liquor company – in this case, Sazerac – would enter the fray with their own Horchata liqueur.

Chila ‘Orchata is familiar, then: rum, cream, and cinnamon and spice, at a $20 price point, and at 14% alcohol. We decided to taste Chila side-by-side with RumChata, since those are likely to be side-by-side on your liquor store’s shelf.

We really like both these Horchata liqueurs. The rum in the Chila ‘Orchata stands out just a tad more, and makes it taste marginally spicier as a result. Going back to RumChata, it was a touch milkier, but to be really frank, they’re nearly identical, and they both taste very good, even drunk by themselves on ice. Take from this what you will, but of the group of us that tasted it, the guys leaned toward Chila ‘Orchata, and the gals favored RumChata a little more.

I made a tasty winter cocktail with Chila ‘Orchata. Try this one out:

It’s Chila Outside (by Greg Mays)

  • in a shaker combine:
  • 1 1/4 oz Chila ‘Orchata
  • 1 1/4 oz vanilla vodka (I used Smirnoff)
  • 2 dashes of Aztec Chocolate Bitters
  • shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Simple Cocktails Podcast Episode 15

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Greg’s favorite blog post ever. “I will teach you how to make cocktails if you promise to make them.” Drinking to get drunk is like….McDonalds. We taste black and white Sambuca and somehow undo all our preaching early in the episode. “My lips are going numb.” Greg mocks Lisa unfairly. How much does 1/4 of an ounce look like? We make a Captain’s Blood and don’t like it.

Greg mentions his Devil’s Snare cocktail in this episode.

Download Episode 15.

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