Happy Hour – Classic Margarita

When your warmest day since last October falls on a Taco Tuesday, there’s really only one choice for Happy Hour – MARGARITA!!

The sun in shining. I have chips and salsa, and all the necessary ingredients to make the classic cocktail. Including the salt for the rim of the glass.

And I specifically asked for salt.

(Bonus points if you know what movie that kind of references – it’s not a direct quote, hence the bonus points.

Margarita + Chips N Salsa + Lovely Weather =
Perfect Backyard Happy Hour
  • 3 oz tequila
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • Ice
  • Salt for rim

Pour liquid ingredients into cocktail shaker. Top with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into salted cocktail glass.

Salting the rim: My daughter asked how this magic came to be. She asked if I put lemon on the edge of the glass to get the salt to stick to it. So close. Since she had no idea and couldn’t put the logic together even after the zillions of baking and cooking projects we’ve done during self-quarantine, I’m assuming someone else out there would like the mystery solved and appreciate some instructions.

It’s water on the rim. And since we are in a world where we either don’t touch anything or wipe it down with antibacterial wipes before and after touching it, you can use a touch-less method by filling a shallow bowl with water, and another shallow bowl with kosher salt. Dip rim about 1/8 of an inch into the water, then in the salt, and ta-da! salted rim.

Be careful not to strain your drink on the salted rim prior to presentation. That will ruin the effect. And the effect is good. And while we like salt on the rim of the glass, we do NOT like salt IN the glass.

Enjoy your margs. And tell me if you specifically ask for salt or NO SALT. 😉

Cheers!

Happy Hour – Whiskey Fizz

Whiskey. What can we say about it?

Seems like there’s a whiskey for you regardless of what your price point, place in the world or general dispensation. I was looking at the liquor store through Instacart (yes, this is the reality right now… that the alcohol shall be purchased through an app and brought to my door), and saw ALL KINDS of whiskey. Irish, Kentucky, Canadian, Japanese. There was a peanut butter flavored one. There’s one called Redneck Riviera Whiskey. Seems like if you need to identify with your drink on a deeper level, you absolutely can.

For my Whiskey Fizz, Jack Daniels was in the cabinet. Thanks for being here today, Jack. It’s been a pleasure.

Whiskey Fizz
  • 3 oz blended or other whiskey
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice (fresh is best, trust me)
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 3 oz chilled club soda
  • Lemon wedge

In a cocktail shaker, shake whiskey, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Top with club soda and stir gently. Squeeze lemon wedge over the drink, then drop it in.

I find that you can adjust the amount of club soda or whiskey to your liking. I prefer more flavor and less fizz, if you follow what I’m saying.

This is a refreshing drink. Great for a sunny day. Or a day when you need a reminder of the sun. See how I just made it appropriate for any day? I’m a wizard.

Let me know if you make this drink, like it or not. And if there’s a drink you’d like me to make, put my snarky spin on or critique, leave me a comment. I’m happy to oblige.

Happy Hour – Vodka Gimlet

Welcome to Happy Hour!

I had to rename my cocktail posts.

I committed to making a classic cocktail every day for 2 weeks. Why 2 weeks? Because that’s how long we were originally supposed to social distance and stay home. 2 weeks seemed reasonable – a commitment, but doable.

Truth be told, I had a feeling that it would be longer, but one day at a time, ya know?

I did my 2 weeks and took a little break. Breaks are good. Gives you time to rest and think about what just happened. Evaluate how to move forward.

And moving forward, there shall be HAPPY HOUR – where I make a drink, take a picture and post the recipe and all the little things I have to say when I get around to it. So probably not every day. Probably more often than every Thursday (because shelter-in-place and all… I have some time on my hands). It’s good to have something consistent to look forward to. But just not something you HAVE to do. It’s a fine line, and I’m riding it.

And before someone goes saying, “You could make all of your drinks and take all of your pictures on one day and then do the writing on another…”, think about those logistics. Who is drinking all that booze after I’ve made it? Certainly not me and my middle schooler. And no way it’s going down the drain. So, good thought, but… no. Happy Hour is gonna have to be a little more organic than that.

Vodka Gimlet
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz Rose’s lime juice (the signature ingredient)

Add ingredients to mixing glass with ice. Stir. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Ok… the instructions say to chill your cocktail glass. The likelihood that you’re going to do this is low. While a chilled glass may add an additional measure of enjoyment to your experienced, do not let the lack of chilling deter or delay your happy hour. EVER. A room temperature glass will do. I won’t tell if you don’t.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Happy Hour today, been inspired to try something new, and may you return for more Happy Hours to come.

Classic Cocktail Series Day 14: Cosmopolitan

2 weeks. 2 weeks of a different cocktail every day – well except for the day when I. JUST. COULD. NOT. and I poured a glass of wine. And the day I did bourbon on the rocks. But that was at least good bourbon. ANYWAY…

The Cosmopolitan- I think I’ve had one in my life at a bar once because I was like, “I want something fancy!” Not sure what made me classify it as fancy. I mean, I guess it is fancier than being able to pour wine in a glass.

I was surprised by how much I liked this drink. I don’t love a lot of citrus in a drink. But these proportions and good vodka make my mouth happy.

Cosmopolitan
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 oz cranberry juice
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • Lime or orange wedge for garnish.

Add liquid ingredients to shaker, top with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into glass. Garnish with lime or orange wedge.

Classic Cocktail Series Day 13: Irish Mule

I love all the mules. It’s the ginger beer.

And I have copper mugs. If you’re trying to get the cost per use down on your copper mugs, make ALL the mules. At least that’s my strategy.

The Irish Mule is made with Irish Whiskey (Jameson). And mint. Mint makes it extra tasty and gives it that fun green color you equate with St. Patrick’s Day. And who doesn’t love St. Patrick’s Day? I’m Chi-rish, so you know I’m down.

If you’re generally not a mule fan because of the lime, decrease the amount of lime juice or omit it altogether- of course you don’t have a mule then, but I won’t tell.

Irish Mule
  • 3 oz Irish Whiskey (I used Jameson)
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • Lime wheel and mint sprig for garnish
  • Ice

Muddle mint leaves. Add whiskey and lime juice to mug. Stir. Add ice. Top with ginger beer. Add sprig of mint and lime wheel for garnish.

I actually like how this tastes about 15 min later when the mint has had a chance to permeate the drink. Mmmmmm… minty.

If you try this, let me know what you think. And if you have a favorite mule that’s a variation of the traditional Moscow Mule, let me know – I’d love to try it!

Classic Cocktail Series Day 10: Sangria Mule

Yes, I know the Sangria Mule is not a classic cocktail. Yes, I know I haven’t exhausted the classics yet. However, the blackberries in my refrigerator need to be eaten and the red wine needs to be used up, so this is happening.

And given our current set of circumstances, we are using what we have and we won’t be wasting anything – not a single blackberry, and certainly not wine… the very thought!

I’ll start by saying I don’t gravitate toward tequila drinks. But this… this I could gravitate toward.

And it’s pretty. I like pretty.

Sangria Mule

Makes one cocktail

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce red wine (I use Pinot Noir), chilled
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 4 ounces ginger beer, chilled
  • blackberries and lime slices for garnish
  • fresh mint leaf for garnish (optional)

Fill glass 1/2 full with ice. Add tequila, wine and lime juice. Stir gently. Top with ginger beer. Add blackberries, lime and mint for garnish.

It’s good, people. You can sip this, close your eyes and envision yourself on a beach in Mexico with the sunshine and the waves and the heat. See… you can travel anytime with the right drink.

Now, go make yourself one and turn on a tropical beach screensaver. Play some island music. Enjoy your little escape.

Classic Cocktail Series Day 9: Tom Collins

It was SUNNY today. And I wanted something that tasted like sunshine for today’s cocktail.

Since lemon juice flavors a Tom Collins, it seemed appropriate. It’s like grown up lemonade… less sugar, more tart, and trust me, the sunshine is not far behind.

Once again, use what you have at home as far as ingredients. I once had a friend that made Vodka Collins and Whiskey Collins – taste preferences (and they were tasty). I’m sure those will show up in future posts. You’ll see I garnished mine with an orange and a lime. It’s what’s here. And it’s colorful. I’m all about the sunshine today – literal and figurative.

Tom Collins
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 3 oz chilled club soda
  • Lemon Slice (I used orange and lime)
  • Maraschino cherry (I omitted this)

Pour the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into an ice filled glass. Top with soda and stir gently (don’t want to lose all that fizz). Add garnishes.

Here’s to future sunny days, friends. Cheers!

Classic Cocktail Series Day 8: The Sidecar

Well, we find ourselves in interesting times.

Interesting, indeed.

I don’t know about you, but when the history books write about us hoarding toilet paper and social distancing, I’m gonna be like, “Yeah. Well, check my blog. I drank. And I drank some good stuff.”

Ok, maybe that’s a bit extreme. I literally made one cocktail a night. It was good. And that was all. Sometimes I shared with my husband. Sometimes.

And truth be told, I started this on my first night of “social distancing”. OMG – my predictive text fills in “social distancing” now. That’s messed up. Anyway… the evening of March 16, 2020 was the first night of my classic cocktail making. I figured, I have the booze, I have the time, and I have the internet. It’s the only responsible thing to do. I’ll add in all of those days later, but right now, it’s day 8.

And Day 8 is The Sidecar.

If you don’t like citrus, this is NOT for you. Lemon juice and Cointreau put this drink solidly in the citrus category.

I’ve read many variations on this recipe. It calls for congac or brandy. If you don’t have that, then bourbon. Apparently brown liquor is in the ingredient list.

I used bourbon because I don’t have brandy. And I can’t say I recommend doing that. I firmly believe that if you don’t know what you’re doing, you should stick strictly to the instructions. HOWEVER, these are interesting times, and that trumps (and I VERY much hesitate to use that word, but it’s what the English language affords me) having the perfect ingredients. We use what we have, so bourbon (my fav) it is. But I do fear I’ve adulterated my bourbon, and the recipe. So unfortunate.

Sidecar

Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz congac (or brandy) (or bourbon), 3/4 oz Cointreau, 3/4 oz lemon juice, ice, lemon peel

Pour all liquid ingredients and ice into cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over top of glass and place in glass.

That said, it’s a fun little cocktail. I’d love to don a “fit n’ flair“ fruit printed cocktail dress and have all my friends over and serve them sidecars from a perfectly shaped glass from my sideboard. Maybe when these interesting times are a memory.

I’ll be sharing Classic Cocktails days 1-7 as the spirit(s) move(s) me. People, there’s a lot going on from day to day. I have children e-learning, a doggo that suddenly thinks we’re here for her undivided attention, laundry piling up, stresses I didn’t know existed mounting. There’s a lot to process. I’m sure you more than understand. You, as they say, “get it”. Stay sane and well, my people.