Really? Pink Lemonade? Yes, but it’s a bit better than the syrupy fountain bubble from your favorite casual restaurant.
The appearance is similar to how you’d expect the common “virgin” version of the cocktail to be, but with a slightly darker color. On the nose it’s very clean and citrusy with not much else going for it. The cocktail starts sweet from the sprite/7up, moves to a clean mix of cranberry and citrus, then finishes with whatever liquor variants you used. The finish and in many ways star of this cocktail will all be about which vodka and which orange liqueur you add. For this evening’s recipe I went with my Boyd and Blair Potato Vodka and some Grand Marnier, the latter of which really classes up an otherwise simple (and frankly boring) recipe. Alternatively I think this cocktail could really benefit from a dash or two of orange bitters and/or some orange flower water to round out the flavor. Overall it’s a very simple drink, but a good starter if you’re new to mixing. A little extra attention to things like fresh juice and higher end spirits really can make this cocktail a bit better, but if you cheapen out on everything you’re going to get a mediocre experience.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 3/10 Overall Rating: 7.5/10
1 1/2 oz Vodka 1/2 oz Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur) 1 oz Cranberry Juice 1/2 oz Lemon Juice 1/2 oz Lime Juice 4-5 oz Chilled 7up or Sprite Lemon Wedge
Shake all liquid ingredients except 7UP. Strain into an iced collins glass and top with pop. Stir gently. Squeeze in lemon wedge and drop it in.
Today we’ve got a tasteful and tasty spin on the classic sidecar recipe. Although given your working set of ingredients you may have to substitute here and there (as I did). I want to start by highlighting my use of a VSOP Brandy in place of Metaxa (a Greek Brandy with a stronger “winey” flavor). You MAY be able to use both Brandy and some Sweet Vermouth to achieve a similar flavor to the Metaxa. The former being much easier to find than the later depending your your location, and that difference will give you a slightly different flavor profile. In addition my use of Cassis Syrup over Creme de Cassis will make my overview of it lean sweeter than it would be normally. A common variation also calls for Chambord rather than Creme de Cassis.
So, I love this drink for 2 main reasons. First is the use of the sugar rim (which is something I wish I saw in more cocktail recpies); and second is the incredible finish that keeps you going back for more. With its deep red color, you’re greeted with an incredible forward aroma of what almost smells of agave nectar. With a sip from the sugar rim you begin with a sweet and simple flavor, move to a subtle currant and lemon, then finish with a richly sweet and oaky finish. The finish is what really caught my attention with this drink. Early in your sip is just feels like a fruity sweet drink, but the complexity of the oak from the brandy to the subtle orange of the Grand Marnier makes this damn near perfect! I do wish there was more to the front and mid palette here, but I’m willing to compromise for something this good!
Alcohol Taste Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 9.8/10
Au Currant Sidecar
1 1/2 oz Metaxa (or VSOP Brandy)
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Creme de Cassis (or Chambord) 1 oz Grand Marnier
1 tsp Superfine Sugar
Rub the edge of a cocktail glass with the lemon wedge and rim with granulated sugar. Shake liquid ingredients and superfine sugar with ice (approx. 15 seconds). Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with a Lemon Twist.
Well this is one of those cocktails that can be described as “everything but the kitchen sink.” The drink actually doesn’t have much of an aroma which starts off very deceiving. The drink starts off like snow cone…sweet and icy, you’re then greeting by the wonderful mixing of rums, and you’re left with a complex mixing of juices, and liqueurs. The Grand Marnier and Amaretto are very subtle in this drink, but they are there. If you weren’t told about them you might just say “oh that tastes like spiced rum,” but when you recognize the flavors in the drinks aftertaste you’ll want to go back for more!
Alcohol Taste Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 9/10
1 1/4 oz Gold Rum
1 oz Spiced Rum
3/4 oz Amaretto
3/4 oz Grand Marnier 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Sweet/Sour
1 oz Coconut Cream Syrup
1 oz Pineapple Juice
Blend all ingredients with ice. Pour into a large pint, or 3-4 short glasses.
This week we’ve got a fantastic gold colored drink with a nice kick. I don’t do much with tequila, but this really hits the spot. It’s a nice balance of alcohol burn and a pinch of sweet. If you’re looking for something with tequila this is certainly worth a try. The drink’s jewel gold color makes for an inviting start in addition to the strong agave aroma. The drink starts sweet, moves quickly to the strong taste of Grand Marnier, then finishes with the familiar taste of Tequila. Overall this drink is a solid 7.5/10, it’s not perfect, but if tequila is your choice spirit, this could easily be an 8.5 for you. On the alcohol taste scale though you’re also looking at about a 7.5/10… this drink certainly has some kick!
1 1/2 oz Gold Tequila
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze lime wedge over the top and drop it in. (Note: I didn’t have a lime wedge at the time of making it, but I used a few drops of lime juice to compensate)
Today’s cocktail is a very interesting mix with some dark rum (then again it may depend on your choice rum). It’s dark sea foam green color adds intrigue and mystery as a start. It has a pleasant pineapple aroma and the lime garnish makes for a rather inviting mystery. It starts light and sweet, moves quickly to a citrus mix, then to a stiff spiced rum finish. It’s pretty good overall, but it is equally mysterious in taste and looks.
Alc. Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 7/10
1 1/4 oz Dark Rum 3/4 oz Blue Curacao 3/4 oz Grand Marnier 1/2 oz Rose’s Lime Juice 1 1/4 oz Pineapple Juice Lime Wedge
Shake and Strain into a chilled cocktail glass garnish with a lime wedge.
Today’s late night cocktail is a mildly aromatic and powerful drink. The Vodka Grand is bold both in appearance and taste. Strong and mildly sour you get a semi-sweet citrus start, then to a mid-range Grand Marnier on your main palette, finalized by the familiar sting of vodka. This drink is certainly a slow sipper, with a flavorful bite. Don’t take it lightly, but instead enjoy it’s tasty elegance.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 8.5/10
Overall Rating: 7.5-8/10
Make it again? Yes (It’s good enough to recommend, but not good enough for the menu)
1.5 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
1/4 oz Lime Juice Orange Slice
Stir and Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish by floating an orange slice in the drink.