Category Archives: liqueur

Angel Wings featuring RumChata

angel wings cocktail

I love challenging myself to come up with creative new ways to mix RumChata, and the cinnamon-and-cream deliciousness always mixes very well with other items in the bar.

Because Fall is coming soon, I’ve begun thinking about seasonal flavors I can mix with RumChata, and decided on a spiced concoction that turned out really beautiful and really tasty. I’ve named it the Angel Wings because of the deceptively pink-ness of the drink, which is surprisingly strong. Here’s how to make it:

Angel Wings (by Greg Mays)

  • in a cocktail shaker, combine:
  • 1 oz RumChata
  • 2 oz reposado tequila
  • 1/2 oz herbal liqueur (like Jägermeister)
  • 1/4 oz Grenadine
  • shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  • garnish with cherries

The spice and the tequila balance very well with the spices in RumChata and make for a bright, flavorful and tasty cocktail.

Special thanks to our sponsor RumChata.

RumChata Coffee Shake

rumchata coffee shake

RumChata’s a great liquor to splash in your coffee or hot chocolate, but don’t forget that it can also be enjoyed as part of an iced-coffee cocktail during the summer. I applied a little creativity on this recipe and came up with a delicious and refreshing drink. It’s really simple to make and RumChata’s cream-and-cinnamon flavor is at the forefront. Try this one out:

RumChata Coffee Shake (by Greg Mays)

  • in a cocktail shaker, combine:
  • 1 oz RumChata
  • 1 oz coffee syrup (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 1/2 ounce white rum
  • 2 dashes of whiskey barrel aged bitters
  • shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass
  • garnish with cherries or an orange slice

Special thanks to our sponsor RumChata.

MintChata

luckychata cocktail

I feel like with every RumChata cocktail I make here at Simple Cocktails, it becomes a challenge to be more creative and more interesting with the next recipe. Now that we’re on the brink of Spring, my focus has drifted to my mint plants, which are just starting to show signs of life.

So how to incorporate mint into a cinnamon-rum-and-cream liqueur like RumChata? It turns out RumChata was actually the perfect binding ingredient to the other two I chose to use in this cocktail: apple whiskey and creme de menthe! Here’s how I made it:

MintChata (by Greg Mays)

  • in a shaker, combine:
  • 1 oz RumChata
  • 1 1/2 oz apple whiskey (I used Tullamore Dew Cider Cask)
  • 1/4 oz creme de menthe (I used a natural one called Embassy Row)
  • shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  • garnish with a mint sprig

The result is a light, fragrant and fun cocktail with a great deal of familiar flavors that is absolutely delicious.

Special thanks to our sponsor RumChata.

RumChata Apple Snap

rumchata apple snap

Though we’ve spent the year proving otherwise, I don’t think there’s any doubt that RumChata’s real season to shine is the winter. With it’s creamy cinnamon and rum notes, there are a lot of opportunities to make some killer cold-weather cocktails with it.

I’ve been working hard to break RumChata out of it’s shell this year, though. It obviously plays well with coffee, chocolate and rum, but I’ve been working to pair with with spirits you wouldn’t necessarily think of using (like gin in the Red Summer).

So for our final RumChata foray, I’ve gone all warm and wintry with Calvados (a Spanish apple brandy) and a spiced liqueur. I call it the Apple Snap:

Apple Snap (by Greg Mays)

  • in a shaker, add:
  • 1 oz RumChata
  • 1 1/2 oz of Calvados or apple brandy
  • 1/2 oz of spiced liqueur, like Besamim or Snap (I used Besamim)
  • add ice, shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  • garnish with an orange peel and a sprinkle of nutmeg

Special thanks to our sponsor RumChata.

Coolchata Cocktail

rumchata coolchata

We’re no strangers to RumChata here at Simple Cocktails. It’s been my liqueur of choice for Christmas gifts, and here in the Southwest U.S., it’s a very hot seller on a regular basis. Here at Simple Cocktails, I was introduced to the product almost 5 years ago, when I made a Chata Café Cream.

While the RumChata really starts flowing in my house once Fall arrives, I’ve started to think about ways to use this horchata-rum-cream liqueur all year around, and the first time I’ve tried was a huge hit at our home cocktail parties: a fruit-salad-in-a-glass of sorts, a Tiki-friendly drink with a light green hue: the Coolchata.

Coolchata (by Greg Mays)

  • In a cocktail shaker, combine:
  • 1 ½ oz of RumChata
  • ½ oz banana liqueur (crème de banane)
  • ½ oz melon liqueur (like Midori)
  • 1 oz vodka
  • Add ice and shake until very cold
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  • Garnish with cherries

Special thanks to our sponsor RumChata.

Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial

black trumpet blueberry cordial

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Art in the Age family of spirits. Because of their recent expansion via Tamworth Distilling in New Hampshire, though, AITA has begun to produce some very interesting, small-batch liqueurs and infusions that are deeply rooted in their local agriculture.

Most recently, we tried AITA’s Tamworth-produced Sweet Potato Vodka on the podcast (episode #68), and now we have a new bottle to try from that partnership: Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial.

What you may do when reading the label is gloss over the black trumpet part of the name, which some of you will realize is a mushroom (I didn’t). The ingredient list includes lemon verbena and lavender, too. While initially this liqueur seems it may be very sweet and berry-forward (at least on the nose), tasting it reveals a very balanced liqueur, enough that you could enjoy sipping it on the rocks, or as a replacement for the sweetener in an Old Fashioned (see recipe below).

There is little chance that you’ll dig up old cocktail recipes that include Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial in the ingredient list, but, as with most of the recent farm-to-glass spirits that Tamworth/Art in the Age is producing these days, you’re likely to invent a lot of delicious cocktails as you experiment with their ever-growing line of unique spirits.

Blueberry Old Fashioned (by Greg Mays)

  • in an old fashioned glass, add:
  • 1/2 oz Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 2 oz bourbon whiskey
  • stir with ice and garnish with fresh blueberries on a pick

Fancy Grasshopper

fancy grasshopper cocktail

Recently, we made one of last century’s most iconic cocktails: the Grasshopper. A low-booze, sweet-as-hell, electric green cocktail that has since inspired cookies and cakes that bear it’s name. When people call a food or drink “Grasshopper,” we know it’ll be chocolate and sweet mint.

As I anticipated making the Grasshopper, though, I was reminded of a seminar I attended at San Antonio Cocktail Conference. I heard that some cool craft cocktail bars are taking over-sweet, 1990s or uncool cocktail recipes and redeeming them. Whether they’re just serving them tongue-in-cheek on their menus, or “upgrading” every ingredient to make them cool again, it’s fun to “craft-ize” some older, yuckier cocktails.

I began to imagine how one could make the bright green Grasshopper cocktail out of edgier, craftier ingredients. I stuck with the chocolate-and-mint flavor profile, of course, but stabilized it a little bit and made it boozier and more complex. Here’s what I came up with:

Fancy Grasshopper (by Greg Mays)

  • in a mixing glass, add:
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz Brancamenta (a minty amaro)
  • 3/4 oz brown Creme de Cacao
  • 2 dashes of black walnut bitters
  • stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

You end up with a Grasshopper that’s equally tasty, and nice and balanced in it’s flavors, and as you see from the photo, it takes on the color of the chocolate instead of mint green. You’ll discover it’s equally tasty and suitable for St. Patrick’s Day, though. 

Enjoy!

Grasshopper

grasshopper cocktail

The Grasshopper cocktail is a pretty interesting study in cocktail trends. It was invented by Philibert Guichet of Tujague’s Restaurant in New Orleans in 1910 for a cocktail competition, which it placed second in. Tujague’s still serves Grasshoppers by the dozens today.

Here’s why the Grasshopper has drifted in and out of “coolness” over the 115 years it’s been around: it’s seen as a starter cocktail, as training wheels, because it actually doesn’t have liquor in it. Now, the Grasshopper is an alcoholic drink, but it isn’t made with vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, etc, just 2 liqueurs (sweet and low-alcohol) and cream. It’s so sweet and creamy, and it’s basically more a dessert than a cocktail.

But that’s what makes the Grasshopper cool, too. It’s the only drink of its kind, really, especially when you consider its color (creamy electric green) and the famous chocolate-mint flavor. It’s light and ferociously sweet, and it’s just a fun drink. If you’re not having fun drinking, than what’s the point, right?

So here you go, without apology, the Grasshopper cocktail:

Grasshopper

  • in a cocktail shaker, add:
  • 1 oz of Creme de Menthe (mint liqueur)
  • 1 oz white Creme de Cacao (chocolate liqueur)
  • 1 oz half-and-half
  • shake well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Campari IPA

Campari IPA

I’ve heard about this drink for a while, but only recently decided to try it out myself. It’s meant to be a sort of bitter-on-bitter experience: a bitter liqueur with a bitter beer. We don’t make a lot of beer cocktails at Simple Cocktails, but if you want to explore some, check out the Caramel Guinness or the Merican Negroni, the second of which is really just a souped-up version of this very cocktail.

I suppose it’s a stretch to call a beer-and-a-shot a cocktail, but I’m going to call it that because I’m serving it already mixed (not a separate shot as a chaser). If you look around the internet, this drink is definitely a thing, but it goes by a variety of names, usually Beer Campari or Campari Spritzer. I’ve decided to settle on the most obvious name, one that will be specific enough that your bartender should know what you mean when you order it:

Campari IPA

  • in a frozen beer mug or pint glass, pour 6 oz of very cold IPA beer
  • add 1 1/2 oz Campari
  • top with the remaining 6 oz IPA (adding it incrementally like this helps the cocktail to mix itself)
  • optionally, garnish with an orange slice or serve on the rocks (especially if you don’t have an already-frozen beer mug)

In Albuquerque, you could argue that IPA is our king of craft beers. Our best IPAs here are the driest that I’ve had: when I try IPAs from other states, they usually finish too sweet for me. Adding Campari has this amazing effect on a quality IPA in that it increases both the bitterness and the sweetness of the beer, which to me is perfectly acceptable and the final product remains deliciously balanced. I will certainly be drinking more of these in the future!

 

Hardly Wallbanger

hardly wallbanger

November 8 is National Harvey Wallbanger Day. The signature cocktail of Galliano Liqueur,  and likely invented in the 1950’s in California, the Harvey Wallbanger grew in popularity throughout the 60’s (especially in California). The Sycamore Den bar in San Diego has given the original recipe a little twist in the Hardly Wallbanger. We also made this cocktail on our most recent podcast. Enjoy!

Hardly Wallbanger

  • in a shaker, combine:
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Galliano
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • shake with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with ice
  • garnish with a lemon peel “rose” (pictured) or a lemon wedge

 Special thanks to our sponsor Galliano L’Autentico