Monthly Archives: June 2009

Drinks of Summer: To Top It Off

24 Montford SpritzThis post is part of Cocktail Culture’s Drinks of Summer series, in which we will feature light & refreshing warm-weather cocktails.

I’m going to pretend for a moment that I feel at all in the “summer” mood. It’s been tough around here lately—lots of rain and no sign of an end! But here’s the thing—you know we’re going to have to pay for all this rain later (and balance it all out) with a severe heat wave and drought conditions in July. And when that time comes….you’ll have the perfect drink in hand.

Once the warm weather hits, you can always count on finding a bottle of champagne in my fridge. And it’s not because I love to drink it as is (which, by the way, I sure do). I love topping off summer cocktails with a little bubbly to make it light and refreshing!

Here are a few from Beefeater. A brand-spanking-new Beefeater 24 cocktail by Dan Warner, and an old classic I will surely be partaking in while in New Orleans (French 75 bar @ Arnaud’s…here I come!). Keep these recipes on hand, and a bottle of bubbly chilled for when the clouds subside at last. Cheers!

Montford Spritz

1 oz. Beefeater 24 gin

1 oz. Noilly Ambre

1 oz. Aperol

2 dash peychauds bitters

2 oz. champagne

Build first four ingredients in a wine glass. Add ice & stir. Top with champagne and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

French 75

1 oz. Beefeater gin

½ oz. Lemon Juice

½ oz. Hiram Walker Triple Sec

Top with Champagne

Combine the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Two Things…

n48804683_31228557_3457Hello readers! Today I’ve got two quick notes for you.

1. I was first introduced to by Lance Mayhew awhile back, and have been enjoying some of the recent blog posts there. But it’s just come to my attention that they’ve got a search engine set up on the site specifically designed to search cocktails on only the most relevant sites. It’s the perfect tool for finding a new cocktail to serve your friends, deciding what you can make with what you have on hand, or figuring out if your new creation has already been created by somebody else. Check it out the next time you’re looking for a great drink (after stopping by Cocktail Culture, of course!).

2. Tales of the Cocktail is fast approaching. I can’t believe it’s been a year already! I’m so excited to return to the Big Easy and meet up with new friends and familiar faces. If you want to be privy to all the deets while I’m on the road, follow me on twitter, where I’ll be updating more frequently. I promise to be witty and hilarious. Well, no I don’t but I’ll try anyway.


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Drinks of Summer: The Margarita

MargaritaEtchPalmThis post was written by our wonderful new intern Kayla Joyce, as part of the Drinks of Summer series on Cocktail Culture.

With the first day of summer only 13 days away, and the warm weather soon to come (I hope!), it’s time to start thinking about those refreshing summer cocktails that bring us a taste of paradise.  A personal favorite of mine, also one of the most popular cocktails in the U.S., is the margarita.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the various tales of the origins of the margarita. I’m not going to pretend to know which story to believe, but the most common piece of information I found was that it was created around the 1940’s, making the margarita over 50 years old. Whether it was Margarita Sames in 1948 creating her own favorite concoction, or a bartender creating it for some girl named Margarita, I appreciate their work!

One of the great things about the margarita is that the possibilities seem endless. You can drink your margarita frozen, straight up, or on the rocks, and add any fruit flavor you desire.  If you’re looking for something new to shake up your old margarita (no pun intended), some common flavors are: Strawberry, Mango, Banana, Raspberry, Melon and Peach, but I give you permission to experiment further.

Classic Margarita: (This is where it all started folks)

1 ½ oz. Tequila

1 oz. Hiram Walker Triple Sec

¾ oz. fresh squeezed lime juice

¼ oz. simple syrup

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into an iced margarita glass (you can salt the rim if you prefer). Garnish with a slice of lime.

There are some cocktail purists who scoff at the idea of tampering with the classic margarita recipe & claim there is no such thing as a “Mango Margarita.” While that may be true to some degree, I think we’re getting caught up in linguistics, here.  Perhaps it would be more correct to call the drink “A mango cocktail that’s a take on a margarita” but that’s a mouthful, especially when you’re parched and begging the bartender for a refreshing libation.

Another point of contention for cocktail enthusiasts is the use of blenders with summer drinks (especially Margaritas). While the classic Margarita doesn’t call for blending, I don’t see anything wrong with whipping up an icy frozen cocktail with fresh fruit and good booze! The blender’s just gotten a bad reputation because it’s been used to create sickly-sweet concoctions made with poor-quality ingredients. The blender is back, baby. Just ask Tony Abou-Ganim.

Frozen Hawaiian Margarita:

1 ½ oz. Tequila

½ oz. Hiram Walker Triple Sec

2 oz. fresh strawberries

2 oz. fresh pineapple

¼ oz. lime juice

¼ oz. simple syrup

Pour the ingredients into a blender with a cup of ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled margarita glass. Garnish with a pineapple chunk & enjoy!

Triple Sec is obviously a main ingredient in most Margarita variations so if you don’t have any on hand, get out and grab some! Our triple sec has seen some wonderful reviews over past few months. Check them out!

Drink Hacker Review: Hiram Walker Triple Sec

Liquor Snob Review: Hiram Walker Triple Sec

Cocktail Hacker: Hiram Walker Triple Sec vs. Cointreau

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