When you’re searching for inspiration for a new cocktail recipe, sometimes the ingredients are the first thing you put together, and sometimes the name of the drink presents itself and you build from there. I’ve been working to take RumChata from its place as a typically-wintertime liqueur to an ingredient I use year-round, and the name of the drink was there waiting for me: Red Summer.
Something bold and sexy, I figure, and I decided to go really crazy and use a “summer” ingredient I had never even considered with RumChata: gin. In this case, I added Caorunn Gin, a Scottish gin with a faint trace of apple flavor (part of the distillate, in fact).
Here’s the way I put it together:
Red Summer (by Greg Mays)
- In a shaker, add:
- 1 oz RumChata
- 2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz grenadine
- shake with ice until extremely cold
- strain into a cocktail coupe
- garnish with raspberries
I’ll be honest: I thought to myself, what’s the most summery and least likely ingredient for a RumChata cocktail, and gin was my answer. When I took the first sip of this drink, though, I realized I had come up with something very special. The cinnamon of RumChata plays against the sweet grenadine and the apples-and-spices botanicals in Caorunn. This is a great drink that you have to try!
Special thanks to our sponsor RumChata.
I designed this custom cocktail for 7 Delicious Creative Albuquerque Cocktails. There’s nothing about it that says you can’t be sippin’ on one outside of the Land of Enchantment, plus it’s refreshing as heck, so let’s get drinking!
- in a tall glass, add:
- 1 1/2 oz of gin
- 1/2 oz of fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2 cucumber slices
- muddle them together in the bottom of the glass
- fill the glass with ice and top with club soda
- serve with a straw and garnish with a thin cucumber slice
Recently, I’ve been finding a lot of good cocktail recipes in Old Mr. Boston’s Bartenders Guide. I’m usually able to find simple recipes with pretty classic ingredients in it. By classic I’m really referring to the presence of bitters, which are an essential element of a home bar and one of the key components of a cocktail.
If you’ve picked up many cocktail books, I may have noticed what I have. There are two types: the classic cocktail books (even if they’ve been published recently) in which many recipes have bitters, or the more modern (for lack of a better word) books, like one from my collection: The Complete Bartender. There are zero recipes with bitters in that book – it’s lots of vodka-and-juice cocktails, aka 1990’s cocktails (which is not a good thing, believe me).
Back to Mr. Boston, though. I found a fun recipe with gin, Chartreuse and sweet vermouth that has a really great flavor profile and looks really cool if you perch the cherry garnish right on the edge like I did:
- in a mixing glass, combine:
- 3/4 oz green Chartreuse
- 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
- 3/4 oz gin
- 1 dash of orange bitters
- stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
- garnish with a cherry
We’ve made the Jewel on the Simple Cocktails Podcast, too. Listen here.
Sometimes for Christmas, I whip up a cocktail that’s uniquely designed for that holiday – like when I put a red bow on one, or when I smashed up candy canes to rim a drink [video link].
Other times, though, the simplicity of a classic cocktail stands as a perfectly suitable Christmas gift, so that’s what I’ve settled on this Christmas: a ghostly white drink with an electric red cherry to garnish. Merry Christmas!
- in a shaker, combine:
- 2 oz gin
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
- dash of orange bitters
- shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
- garnish with a cherry
We made the Casino on the Simple Cocktails Podcast, too. Listen here.