White Russian

titos and starbucks white russians

I’ve been working up to this for a while, because it’s a great way to use coffee ice, which I made over several weeks and kept in a gallon bag in the freezer.  Next, I got my favorite vodka, Tito’s Handmade and my second-favorite coffee liqueur, Starbucks (Patron XO Cafe is my favorite by far).  Fill the glass with “coffee ice” and add:

White Russian

  • in a shaker, combine:
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz cream
  • shake well with ice and strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass

Mango-Ice Margaritas

mango ice margaritas

This recipe is a minor variation on the margarita for the summertime.  First, puree mangoes with a bit of water and freeze the results in ice trays overnight.  Using the “mango ice” instead of regular ice, build your margarita.

Mango Ice Margarita

  • 1 1/2 oz of tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • on the mango rocks in a salt-rimmed glass
  • no garnish (it distracts from the cool yellow cubes)

Now, recently, I’ve begun doing something to my margaritas that people say has made them even better.  I add 1-2 ox of club soda/seltzer water on top and give it a stir.  It mellows out the pungent nature of tequila and makes a more refreshing drink anyway, and in this one, it helps break down the mango cubes.  You’ll want to let this one sit at the table before your guests start sipping so that the mango can get all sloshy in there.  The mango flavor will be subtle, and not overpowering.

Viola:

mango ice margaritas

Gin Rickey

gin rickey

For several months, a Gin and Tonic has been a good go-to drink for me.  I always get my tonic water at Whole Foods to avoid the high-fructose corn syrup that swims in Schwepp’s.  They have their own 365 Every Day Value brand for $2.50 for a six-pack of bar-friendly cans. Now while I like the flavor of tonic water, I wish I could reduce the sweetness of it.

Tonic water is bubbly water with quinine, citrus, and sugar.  Club soda is bubbly water, nothing more.  Whole Foods has some of that too. I googled club soda, lime, and gin to discover it’s already a common cocktail that I have heard of several times: The Gin Rickey!  Here’s the recipe:

Gin Rickey

  • In a 10-oz glass filled with ice, combine:
  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lime (I like it with more)
  • top with club soda (about 3-4 ounces)

You’ll end up with a drier, more refreshing, more sour alternative to the Gin & Tonic!  Yum!

Pink Gin

1 1/2 oz gin
3 or more dashes of bitters

Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass.

About the simplest cocktail out there.  Clearly, you should use good gin and I recommend Angostura or Peychaud’s bitters.

Absolutely Perfect Margarita

margarita

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 oz of tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • on the rocks in a salt-rimmed glass
  • lime wedge garnish

So how’s that “perfect?”  The ingredient list is simple, but like I say in the book, quality is the key with all cocktails, so here’s what I used:

Lime juice must be fresh-squeezed.  I used course Himalayan Pink salt to rim the glass because it tastes really good and looks unique.  (Insert joke about manliness here)

hornitos reposado

I used Hornitos Reposado Tequila. A simple lesson in tequila types: blanco tequilas are unaged and so they’re the most pungent.  Reposado tequilas are aged 2-12 months to they are smoother, and anejo tequilas are aged from 1 to 3 years, so they’re smooth, the tequila equivalent to scotch.  Make sure it’s 100% agave tequila – that’s the only kind to use.

Hornitos Reposado is the best tequila I’ve tried so far, compared to Trader Joe’s brand 100% agave and 1800 Blanco.  It’s the smoothest and has the best flavor.

3 ingredients will help you make an absolutely perfect Margarita.  Simple!

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