Author Archives: Greg

Cuba Libre

cuba libre with q drinks kola

When I started Simple Cocktails, I noticed that usually, the classic cocktails are the simplest. A balanced drink is often an issue of a bit of trial and error, too, to get the ratio of liquor and mixer just right.

I’m excited to have Q Drinks on board for this drink in particular, because I feel like soda’s become more and more sweet these days from it’s original makeup, which was a bit spicy balanced with sweet, with notes of clove, cinnamon and vanilla. Q Drink’s Kola is just that, though, a less-sweet traditional cola that makes a killer cocktail mixer because it allows you to make a balanced cocktail, and mixing Kola with rum, which also has some great caramel and cinnamon notes, is a match made in heaven.

This is a cocktail that’s pretty well-known, a slightly jazzed up Rum and Coke really. Just add a touch of lime juice and lots of limes for garnish, and you have the Cuba Libre cocktail:

Cube Libre

  • in a double old fashioned glass filled with ice, add:
  • 2 ounces aged rum (I used Havana Club)
  • 1/4 oz lime juice
  • top with Q Kola or your cola of choice (about 4-5 oz)
  • stir briefly and garnish with several thin lime wedges

Special thanks to our sponsor Q Drinks.

Podcast 120- Seersucker Gin and Bittersweet

bittersweet cocktail

“How do you do it at a cocktail conference?” Pork belly tacos. We taste Seersucker Gin. We make a Bittersweet Cocktail.

Download Episode 120.

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Podcast 119- “Whiskey right now is the place to be” (Jeff Arnett Interview)

jeff arnett interview

We make a Tennessee Manhattan and interview Jeff Arnett, Master Distiller of Jack Daniel’s.

Download Episode 119.

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Podcast 118- San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2017

SACC white square

Our San Antonio Cocktail Conference episode includes interviews with Qwesha Byrd plus Marco Montefiori and Elliott Montero of Amaro Montenego. Oh, and we ate gator meat sausages in a church. Cheers, ya’ll!

Download Episode 118.

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Podcast 117- Afrohead Rums and (Aged) Daiquiri

afrohead rum

We’re headed to SACC this week! Rum as beard oil? We taste Afrohead aged rums. Bringing your own Booze onto an airplane. We make Morgenthaler’s Daiquiri.

Download Episode 117.

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Podcast 116- Magnum Cream and Journalist

journalist cocktail

“If something tragic happens….” Greg mentions the lavender fiend treehouse. We taste (and hear) Magnum Cream Liqueur. Greg mentions the Savoy Cocktail Book. We make a Journalist Cocktail. When to shake and when to stir. Italy talk.

Download Episode 116.

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Podcast 115- Happy New Year 2017!

Chip and Shonna join us for a New Year’s celebration! We taste Tamworth Sweetlips Cherry Bounce Liqueur. We make the Orange You Glad it’s New Year’s? Cocktail. “It’s going to look like the Rio Grande.”

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Simple Cocktails!  

Download Episode 115.

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Podcast 114- Merry Christmas 2016!

silent night christmas cocktail

Steven uses sugar cookie body spray. What is Cognac? We taste Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac. Look for Greg’s pairings in Cigar and Spirits Magazine. Lisa’s got some tasting words. Last year we made a Casino Cocktail, and this year we make the very-simple Silent Night. Using booze in ice cream? A discussion about Daiquiri Ice.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Simple Cocktails! 

Download Episode 114.

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Podcast 113- Blade & Bow Bourbon and Disco Ball

steven westman simple cocktails podcast

We’re joined by Steven J. Westman. Steven mentions 505 Faces. We talk about Latitude 33. Letters from the Jack Daniel’s Distillery? We taste Blade & Bow bourbon. A shameless book plug for NM Cocktails. We also mention Shake. Stir.Sip by Kara Newman. We make a Disco Ball cocktail from her book. Greg talks Chartreuse. “I usually carry body glitter…”

Download Episode 113.

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Pierre Ferrand Cognac: 1840 Original Formula

Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac

We don’t see many cognacs at Simple Cocktails, probably because like higher-end scotches, cognac is rarely used in a cocktail. Because of some of my cigar pairing work, though, I’ve had the opportunity to taste Pierre Ferrand’s 1840 Original Formula Cognac.

The 1840 Formula is Ferrand’s base cognac, retailing at about $50. The flavor is subtle, sweet and fruity, with notes of pear and caramel – an excellent after-dinner drink. A cigar pairing with the 1840 Formula should be mild so as not to overpower the cognac.

I used Pierre Ferrand to make Sidecars at a cocktail party, and it made for excellent drinks that were very popular. Here’s the recipe I used:

Sidecar

  • in a shaker, add:
  • 2 oz cognac (or brandy)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with half the edge rimmed with sugar
  • garnish with a lemon wedge