Sep 112010
 

Clear and almost as odorless as bottled water, vodka has little distinctive flavor of its own — making it the perfect ingredient for creating different cocktail recipes. When you mix vodka into cocktails, it elevates the flavors of other ingredients. Vodka can also come infused with other tasty ingredients like berries, spices, and even chocolate.

Originally from Eastern Europe, vodka was first documented in the 9th century, but the popularity of vodka was not seen in the west until the 20th century. Vodka can be stirred or shaken, and vodka cocktails are as easy to make as they are to drink. It’s no surprise that one in every four drinks sold contains vodka. With only a few ingredients, vodka can be used to make hundreds of distinctive cocktails.

However, the quality of your cocktails depends on the quality of the vodka you buy. A cocktail that was made with a $5 bottle of vodka will be different from a cocktail made with a $20 bottle of vodka. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but try to find a middle ground. Typically, vodka found on the bottom shelves of the liquor store is the cheapest and least likable when it comes to making cocktails. Rather then reaching for the bottom bottles, why not try investing in the bottles from the middle shelves?

A vital part of creating cocktails with vodka is learning about other ingredients. Creating cocktail recipes would not be the same without the other ingredients. If the vodka lacks the right taste or kick, you can improve its palatability by adding flavoring. You can use fresh ingredients like chili peppers, strawberries, apples, lemons, limes, or even herbs. Although the entire process takes about thirty days, it is well worth it. Simply add the desired ingredient to the vodka bottle and let it stand in a dark corner for about a month — or even longer, if you like. The longer the alcohol sits with the ingredient, the stronger the aroma and the flavor will be.

The last tip that is really useful in making cocktails that contain vodka, is to make sure that the cocktail glass is similar in temperature to the cocktail itself. When serving cold cocktails, your glasses should be cool. In the same regard, warm cocktails should be served in warm glasses. In order to cool down a glass, pour a bag or two of ice cubes in a portable chiller and place the glasses inside of it. Or, place the glass inside of a freezer for sixty to eighty seconds before pouring the finished cocktail. When you need a warm glass, simply pour warm water over the glass before pouring the warm cocktail inside.

Whether you’re new to mixing cocktails or an old pro, it is not hard to create tasty cocktails using vodka. All you need to do is use your imagination and you will be able to make a memorable drink that everyone will enjoy.

 Posted by at 10:50 pm
Sep 042010
 

Fruit has earned a huge place for itself in the world of cocktails. Many different types of cocktails have fruit in various forms listed in the ingredients. If you want to make the best fruity cocktails around, then you first need to learn about your ingredients and how they’re used in fruity cocktail recipes.

Along with alcoholic spirits, fruit can be used to make cocktails stand out in terms of taste, smell, and consistency. One way to use fruit in cocktails is to make fruity flavored spirits. This is done by placing fresh strawberries, limes, lemons, or apples (just to name a few fruits) into a bottle of vodka or rum. Then allow the fruit-alcohol concoction to sit undisturbed in a dark corner for about a month. During that time, the alcohol is actually flavored by the fruit, making the resulting spirit really unique.

Fruits are also used in cocktails as purees. A puree can complete a cocktail’s taste and improve the general aroma of the cocktail recipe. Purees can also counter-balance some of the negative characteristics of the alcoholic spirit. You can either purchase jars of fruit purees for the bar, or you can create your own fresh fruit purees on your own. To create a home-made fruit puree, all you have to do is add 1 tbsp. of sugary solution (or commercial sugar syrup) every time you make a puree. Pureeing the fruit is basically just removing the seeds, skins, etc. and blending it until the fruit is smooth.

Garnish is another way to use fruit in cocktails. A carefully chosen fruit garnish can make a cocktail seem even more exciting. In order to add a fruit garnish, you’ll need a piece of fruit that matches the general flavor of the cocktail. You can add the fruit in two ways. You can slice the fruits into chunks and drive a long toothpick through them to create an instant (and beautiful) skewer. Then place the skewered fruits on top of the glass, and you’re done. The second way is to add fruit to the cocktail by placing it on the side of the glass. Simply cut the fruit into a manageable piece, and cut a slit halfway through the fruit. Place it on the rim of the glass after the cocktail has been poured.

Because of the pressure to serve drinks quickly, some mixologists have abandoned fresh fruits in favor of canned fruits for their convenience. However, fresh fruits have many advantages. Fresh fruits infuse the cocktail with natural flavors and juices that make any cocktail more enjoyable. Plus, fresh fruits don’t have chemical additives and preservatives which could interfere with the balance in your perfectly mixed cocktail. If you’re looking to make cocktails that are really fruity, your best bet is to use fresh fruit rather than canned fruit. With fresh fruit able to give your cocktails both flesh and juice, they enhance those cocktails that require both the flesh of the fruit and its freshly squeezed juice.

 Posted by at 10:47 pm
Aug 142010
 

Whether its popularity is due to its role on HBO’s Sex and the City or its light, fruity taste, the cosmopolitan has become one of the most popular cocktails at bars, restaurants, and parties. Most bartenders today know how to make a cosmopolitan, called a “cosmo” for short.

Making a cosmopolitan requires one and a half ounces of vodka, one ounce of triple sec, half an ounce of fresh lime juice, and one-fourth an ounce of cranberry juice. The cranberry juice should mainly be used to add color to the cosmo, and should not excessively dilute the drink. Plus, Cointreau or another high-quality triple sec provides a cleaner taste than cheaper triple sec, and is generally used in a good cosmopolitan. You simply pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake with ice, and then strain the liquid into a large, chilled cocktail glass, also called a martini glass. (Because the cocktail is served in a martini glass, the drink is sometimes mistakenly categorized as a type of martini.) Finally, garnish the drink with an orange peel or a wedge of lime.

There are hundreds of variations on the cosmo. Some use more or less cranberry juice and some include a citrus vodka. Actually, the original recipe is based on vodka citron, a lemon-flavored vodka. Making this cocktail is all a matter of personal preference — it’s up to you how courageous you want to be. One way that cosmopolitans are served is that rather than including the lime with the shaken ingredients, the lime is squeezed into the chilled cocktail glass. Another variation is to make a blue cosmopolitan by using white cranberry juice instead of the standard red cranberry juice, mixed with blue curaçao in place of the triple sec. You can also stir your cosmo in a mixing glass rather than shaking it.

If you’re planning to have a cocktail party, it’s a good idea to add cosmopolitans to the list of cocktails that you’re planning to serve. They are absolutely a crowd favorite. But, in order to really please your guests, you should follow this important tip: always serve your cosmopolitans in chilled glasses.

You can chill your glasses in two different ways. One way to keep your glasses chilled before you use them is to pour a bag or two of ice cubes into a portable chiller near the bar, and then place the glasses into it. When you need a glass, simply take one from the chiller just before the cosmopolitan is ready to be poured. The other way to keep cocktail glasses chilled before you use them is to place the glass inside your freezer for about sixty to eighty seconds. You should remove the glass once you’re finished making the drink and it’s ready to be poured. Putting your glasses in the freezer for sixty to eighty seconds is plenty of time to chill them sufficiently. Chilled glasses will impress your guests and give your drink creations a high-quality factor.

 Posted by at 10:43 pm
Aug 022010
 

Vodka is like the actor that never steals the spotlight, but always makes the other actors shine. Because of its almost non-existent taste, vodka goes perfectly with almost any ingredient that you can imagine. If you’re looking to create a sweet, sour, or spicy cocktail, vodka can fill the bill and be the perfect matching spirit.

Although there are plenty of cocktails that have vodka as a main ingredient — such as the Screwdriver, which calls for orange juice and vodka — some of the more interesting cocktail recipes containing vodka are the ones that will really make your party memorable. Most people have had vodka before to some extent, and are not adverse to trying something new with it as the main ingredient.

One recipe worth trying out is a cocktail known as a Minty Chocolate Vodka. First, mix 22 mls each of vodka, white cream of chocolate, and green cream of mint. Shake the combination well, strain, and pour the liquid into a single shot glass that has already been chilled. The Minty Chocolate Vodka is a cocktail that will have your guests coming back for more.

Everyone’s heard of a Bloody Mary, so why not try this unique variation at your next cocktail party? It’s called the Fresh N’ Fruity Bloody Mary. First, use a muddler to crush six to eight fresh raspberries in a cocktail shaker. Add 88 mls of vodka with orange zest, 66 mls of fresh orange juice, 55 mls of cranberry juice, and 22 mls each of raspberry-flavored liqueur and fresh lime juice, then shake. Add in three or four ice cubes and pour into a tall cocktail glass. Garnish your Fresh N’ Fruity Bloody Mary cocktail with a fresh raspberry.

The Melon Coconut Sensation is the perfect drink to serve when you’re relaxing by the pool, sunning at the beach, or just hanging out with a couple of friends. This tropical drink is made by adding 88 mls of vodka to 132 mls of fresh pineapple juice. Then add 22 mls each of melon-flavored liqueur and coconut rum liqueur. Serve it in a tall Collin’s glass and garnish the cocktail with a wedge of fresh lime. Your guests are sure to love this drink!

Try this next cocktail recipe on a beautiful autumn day. It’s called the Sweet Apple Vodka. First, press about 4 fresh ginger slices on the bottom of a cocktail shaker with a muddler or a pestle. Then add 176 mls of fresh apple juice, 66 mls of bison vodka, and 22 mls each of sugar syrup and apple schnapps liqueur. Strain the liquid and pour it into a Collin’s glass over crushed ice. Finish off the cocktail by grating nutmeg over the surface and garnishing it with a slice of fresh apple.

It’s possible to come up with a completely original cocktail recipe that contains vodka all on your own. Learn as much as you can about popular ingredients for cocktails such as flavored alcoholic spirits and flavored syrups in order to experiment with combinations that will be all your own.

 Posted by at 10:40 pm
Aug 022010
 

Originally from Cuba, the mojito has been around for generations, and has become one of the more fashionable and popular tropical cocktails. Once known as the Cuban highball, the mojito calls for five customary ingredients: mint, rum, powdered sugar, lime, and club soda. When making mojitos, try to choose a premium rum like Cruzan, Appleton, or Mount Gay for a truly spectacular cocktail.

Mixing the mojito is very easy. The first step involves putting about 4 mint leaves into a cocktail shaker (also known as a Collin’s glass) and squeezing the juice of one lime over the leaves. Add one teaspoon of powdered sugar and then “muddle” the mixture. You can find a wooden muddle in almost any kitchen or general store. They can usually be found in the same section as the herbs and spices. The muddle is a very important part of making a mojito. It can mean the difference between a really amazing mojito or a drink that’s only so-so. The muddle releases the oil from the mint leaves — the oil is released when pressure is applied to the leaves. Muddling is an art form, and needs to be practiced. Applying the right amount of pressure is very important. You need to be careful not to mash, smash, pound, or grind the leaves. Once you’ve mastered the art of the muddle, you will experience the mojito at its best.

After you’ve muddled the mint leaves, lime juice, and the powdered sugar, add crushed ice to the cocktail shaker. Stir in 2 ounces of white rum and then 2 ounces club soda. Pour the mixture through the strainer, and then garnish your mojito with a mint sprig. Mojitos go down very smoothly, which can be a dangerous thing if you’re not watching how many drinks you’ve had that day. The club soda can be substituted with lemonade or mineral water, and the lime can be substituted, too. Doing this will change the taste of the drink, but you’ll still get the same overall effect. Technically, the mojito is not really a cocktail because the mojito has only one spirit-based component in it. But, to change things up and to give the drink a bigger kick, you can always add more clear spirits. This will also change the drink’s texture, as well. Using vodka rather than club soda is a good choice if you’re looking to change things up. Vodka has almost no taste on its own, and therefore will hardly change the taste of the mojito at all. You can also substitute rum for vodka instead.

The mojito is one of the most refreshing drinks you’ll find anywhere. Although it is most often associated with a sitting by a swimming pool, relaxing in the sun, and a tropical vacation, it can also be enjoyed in a club or a cocktail lounge. The mojito is renowned as a drink that people can imbibe all night long, but be cautious. The drink itself is rather powerful.

 Posted by at 10:35 pm
Apr 042010
 

Bloody Mary with Campari

Serve this cocktail in a tall cocktail glass like a Collin’s glass. Chill the glass before pouring the cocktail. Shake all ingredients, strain, and serve. Finish the cocktail with a fresh wedge of lime on top of the Collin’s glass.

Ingredients:

– 88 ml of Campari
– 44 ml of vodka
– 154 ml of fresh grapefruit juice

Fresh N’ Fruity Bloody Mary

Serve the Fresh N’ Fruity Bloody Mary in a tall cocktail glass. Use a muddler to crush the fresh raspberries. If you don’t have a muddler, any clean pestle will do. This should be done in the Boston shaker, not on a plate or mixing glass. Add the remaining ingredients and shake. Add three or four ice cubes before pouring the cocktail. Finish the cocktail by adding fresh raspberries on top.

Ingredients:

– 8 pieces of raspberries (fresh fruit is a must)
– 88 ml of vodka with orange zest
– 22 ml of raspberry-flavored liqueur
– 66 ml of fresh orange juice
– 55 ml of cranberry juice (commercial juice can be used)
– 22 ml of fresh lime juice

Quick N’ Feisty Bloody Mary

For this cocktail, you’ll need a tall, chilled cocktail glass like a Collin’s glass. Simply shake the ingredients in a Boston shaker and finish with a single, pickled bean garnish.

Ingredients:

– 88 ml of vodka
– 176 ml of ciamato juice
– 22 ml of fresh lime juice
– .35 ml of classic Tabasco pepper sauce
– 2.7 ml of Worcestershire sauce
– 2 pinches of salt
– 2 pinches of ground pepper

Bloody Mary with Sake

Serve this Bloody Mary variant in a tall cocktail glass and finish the cocktail with a single stick of lemongrass. After shaking and pouring the cocktail, simply place the lemongrass stick into the cocktail before serving.

Ingredients:

– 132 ml of sake
– 132 ml of tomato juice (pressed juice)
– 22 ml of fresh lemon juice
– .4 ml of classic Tabasco pepper sauce
– 3.6 ml of Worcestershire sauce
– 2 pinches of salt
– 2 pinches of ground pepper

Bloody Mary with Tequila

Serve the Bloody Mary with Tequila in a tall cocktail glass with a four ice cubes. Shake the ingredients, strain, and pour.

Finish the cocktail with two garnishes: the rim of the Collin’s glass must be lined with ground pepper and salt, and the final cocktail must also have a celery stick. For the modern take on this beloved classic, simply add 88 ml of vodka to this mix.

Ingredients:

– 88 ml of tequila
– 176 ml of tomato juice (pressed)
– 22 ml of fresh lemon juice
– .4 ml of classic Tabasco pepper sauce
– 3.6 ml of Worcestershire sauce
– 1.25 ml of horseradish sauce
– 22 ml of Tawny port
– 2 pinches of salt
– 2 pinches of ground pepper

 Posted by at 11:06 pm
Apr 022010
 

Sometimes you’ll have guests who will ask for cocktails
without any alcohol. No need to fret! Below are some easy cocktail recipes that don’t require alcoholic spirits. Serve one or two at your cocktail party, and you’ll have no problem with non-drinkers.

Taste of the Caribbean

1. You’ll need one fourth cup of the following: fresh orange juice, fresh pineapple juice, and some sweet peach nectar. Combine these juices first in the shaker.

2. Add four teaspoons of plain cherry juice to the existing mix, and a small amount of fresh lime juice (one eighth cup should do). Once the citrus flavors have combined, add four tsp. of cream of coconut.

3. For the finishing step, add half a teaspoon of grenadine. Shake the final mix for just twenty seconds before straining. Pour the cocktail over four plain or garnished ice cubes.

The Dragon’s Lair

1. For this cocktail, you’ll need one third cup of any fruit-flavored tea (you need red tea for this one), one fourth cup of blood-orange nectar, and four tsp. of freshly squeezed lime juice. Combine these ingredients in a tall mixing glass.

2. Add an additional two tsp. of cream of coconut and the same amount of light almond syrup. With a long handled mixing spoon, stir the resulting mix well until the creation is evenly blended.

3. Serve the Dragon’s Lair in a Collin’s glass or a tall, plain glass. Garnish with fruit or a citrus twist.

Fruity Surprise

1. For this cocktail, you’ll need a good, old-fashioned blender. You’ll need one fourth cup of cantaloupe, one fourth cup of papaya, one fourth cup of mango, and one fourth cup of fresh orange juice.

2. After mixing the first batch of ingredients, add one fourth cup of nectar of the passion fruit and just four tsp. of lemon juice. As a finishing touch, add four tsp. of light almond syrup to the concoction. Add the equivalent of three ice cubes worth of crushed ice.

3. Blend the creation for a few seconds and pour into a tall glass.

Ginger Delight

1. For this recipe, you’ll need just one piece of ginger that has been preserved in sugar syrup. Take one piece from the jar and dice finely. Add this to the glass.

2. Next, add one tsp. of fresh juice from a pear (use a juicer). Add the same amount of grape juice. (Use white grape juice for this recipe.)

3. Pour just enough ginger ale in the glass to fill it past the half-full mark. Add three to four ice cubes, stir a little, and serve.

 Posted by at 11:18 pm
Apr 022010
 

Creamy Alexander

Serve the Creamy Alexander in a heavy-bottomed, long-stemmed martini glass. Chill the glass before serving. Mix the ingredients in a Boston shaker, strain, and serve. No ice cubes are needed for this cocktail.

Ingredients:

– 66 ml of dry gin
– 44 ml of white cream of chocolate
– 33 ml of heavy cream
– 33 ml of fresh milk

Energizing Alexander

Serve the Energizing Alexander in a chilled, regular martini glass. Shake the ingredients, strain, and pour into the martini glass. No ice cubes are needed. Garnish the resulting cocktail with nutmeg. Grate the nutmeg on top of the finished cocktail — lightly move the grate across the cocktail to evenly distribute the grated nutmeg.

Ingredients:

– 66 ml of vodka
– 22 ml of coffee liqueur
– 22 ml of white cream of chocolate
– 55 ml of heavy cream
– 55 ml of fresh milk

Minty Alexander

Serve the Minty Alexander in any available martini glass. Garnish the resulting cocktail with a single, fresh mint leaf. The glass should be chilled before the cocktail is strained and poured.

Ingredients:

– 66 ml of dry gin
– 55 ml of white cream of chocolate
– 55 ml of heavy cream
– 55 ml of milk

 Posted by at 11:15 pm