Monthly Archives: May 2011

Summertime in a Bowl

Summertime in a bowl, ain't it?

Summer is officially open for the season and with that come a few of my favorite things in the great outdoors: laying in the sun by the pool or at the park,  playing loads of tennis, or turning up the grill for some great seasonal grub (this weekend saw a collection of burgers and grilled asparagus and potatoes).  That great grilling component is of course made more complete with the addition of a beverage or two!

I posted this White Peach Sangria recipe on my own Facebook page over the weekend and had some overwhelming positive responses from friends to serve this big bowl of summertime joy over the coming months. So while I may have missed the unofficial start to summer this weekend, there are plenty more quintessential outdoor celebrations still to come this summer – best yet, this recipe fits the bill for them all!

White Peach Sangria

Combine all the ingredients in a large punch bowl filled with PLENTY of ice.



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Friday’s Feature Cocktail: Georgia Mint Julep

Grab the tin cups!

Perfectly timed to overlap the holiday weekend in the US, this coming

A classic sterling silver julep cup, waiting to be filled! What goes into your perfect Mint Julep recipe?

Monday happens to be National Mint Julep Day! It’s a perfect drink to be enjoyed outdoors in a festive summer atmosphere, complete with good food and good company.

I’m changing things up slightly from the original recipe, but this is would have to be my pick to celebrate this weekend in perfect fashion.

Georgia Mint Julep:

Place mint and simple syrup in a julep cup and muddle. Add other ingredients, fill with crushed ice and stir until the glass is frosted. Add more crushed ice and float a little Peach Brandy on top. Garnish with fresh mint.

What is your go-to Mint Julep recipe? What little variations make your version memorable and unique? I’d love to hear all the nuances of making the perfect Mint Julep! Feel free to leave me a comment or you can always email as well, from the About page.

Have a memorable Memorial Day weekend!


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A Wine Kir Kind of Day

On my radar today - a Wine Kir with Crème de Cassis

I’m not one to exclude any one type of alcoholic beverage – I’m all for equal opportunity drinking. I’m proud to say I enjoy exploring the craft beer category and have had fun learning to pair food and wine. So with today being National Wine Day (why not?!), it seems fitting to pair together two of our favorite alcohol categories: wine and spirits.

Wine and champagne cocktails  are continuing to see a growth in popularity, and the Kir is a fantastic starting point to explore these cocktails. The sweetness of the Hiram Walker Crème de Cassis I use in this recipe is toned down by the dryness of a favorite Brut champagne or chilled white wine. Together, they simply pair well for a light, refreshing cocktail.

Wine Kir

  • 1 part Hiram Walker Crème de Cassis
  • 4 parts chilled dry white wine

Serve in a wine glass with or without ice. Garnish with lemon twist.

Keep this recipe in your personal cocktail reservoir for Memorial Day weekend coming up – it’s perfect for sitting outside and sipping on a warm summer day!


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Send in the Highballs

A Peach Buck, with Hiram Walker Peach Brandy

Nope, not the clowns. Well, not this time at least.

Sorry for the gap between posts – a draining Manhattan Cocktail Classic experience coupled with not having a personal WiFi connection for the excessive train rides in and out of the city meant I didn’t get as much writing and posting done as I would have liked.

But a weekend in New York with some of the world’s greatest bartenders spirits professionals certainly is a call for inspiration.

With a highball glass handy, there are innumerable options and flavor combinations to make for a refreshing and fizzy cocktail. Here are two options to get you through the weekend. Or, better yet, stock up on the booze now and save these special drinks for an upcoming Memorial Day outing.

Raspberry Fizz

  • 1 part ABSOLUT Raspberri
  • 1½ parts Hiram Walker Raspberry Schnapps
  • 5 parts Lemon-lime Soda

Serve in a tall glass filled with ice, garnish with a lime wedge.

Peach Buck (pictured above)

  • 1½ parts ABSOLUT Apeach
  • 1 part Hiram Walker Peach Flavored Brandy
  • 1 part Lemon Juice
  • 5 parts Ginger Ale

Serve over ice in a tall glass, garnish with a lemon twist.



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MCC Kicks Off Tonight

Year 2 has dawned upon us and the action gets underway tonight in the Big Apple. I’m referring to the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, a five-day festival through the vast concrete jungle of New York City that includes a variety of educational seminars, tasting events and not-to-be-missed parties.

Tonight’s main attraction is The Gala, where the Classic will once again take over the sprawling main branch of The New York Public Library.  Encompassing four stories, two city blocks and over 25,000 cocktails, the Gala will once again be the starlet of the Cocktail Classic.

I’d love to hear what other events people will be attending so please share with me some of the highlights on your own calendars! I’ll most certainly be at the Gala tonight (and intermittently around the city for the rest of the festival) so tweet me up @stephaniejerzy if you’d like to say hello and share a drink.

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Got Warm Weather Recipes to Share?

Yesterday afternoon, I came across a Tweet from Bar Business that sparked my attention:

“Got any fun warm weather cocktail recipes to share? Tell us and we’ll post them on our Mixology page!”

I’m happy that a selection of Hiram Walker recipes were able to help answer the call for BarBiz, as most of us are starting to get summer, vacations, and Memorial Day drinking plans on the brain.

Here’s one to whet your appetite, but to see more Hiram cocktails, along with a plethora of other recipes, visit the Mixology page at Enjoy!

White Peach Sangria

  • 1 bottle Pinot Grigio
  • 1 1/4 cups Malibu Mango
  • 1 1/4 cups Hiram Walker White Peach Schnaaps
  • 12 lemon squeezes
  • 12 lime squeezes
  • 12 orange squeezes
  • 2 1/2 cups lemon-lime soda

Combine ingredients in a punch bowl 3/4 full of ice. Makes multiple servings.

– SJ

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Gin is in Full Bloom

The Bel Air Cocktail

While I’m one to happily sip on gin year-round, I’m finding that the juniper-based spirit is starting to see its place again on seasonally-influenced cocktail menus around town.

In the spirit of it all, I found these Beefeater-based recipes from the “Ultimate Little Cocktail Book”, written by bartender Ray Foley and decided to do some shaking at the office.

I mixed up the Bel Air cocktail, a hearty gin drink with the seasonally appropriate addition of the apricot brandy. The grenadine – could do with or without it – but I think it is necessary that part of this drink’s mixing instructions would be to serve chilled and drink only in the comforts of an outdoor patio after a day at the office. Don’t you feel more relaxed already just thinking about it?

Up close and personal...

Bel Air Cocktail

Shake. (I then strained and served in a chilled cocktail glass.) 

Another drink I found to look even more intriguing was the Copper Illusion Martini. I had all ingredients on hand but, um, the drink as I had found it has no measurements…

Back to the Internet I went and found a vast range of pour sizes and serving methods for this one cocktail. While the exact measurements are still TBD, it seems the resurgent theme is equal parts of Campari and Hiram Walker Triple Sec with a much heartier serving of Beefeater. So below would be my educated guess with that thought in mind (official taste test still to come).

Copper Illusion Martini

  • 1 1/2 parts Beefeater
  • 1/2 part Hiram Walker Triple Sec
  • 1/2 part Campari

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve with an orange twist.

If you have any further insights into this drink’s history or a more accurate serving method, I am all ears! Feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email.

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My Cinco de Mayo Menu

My margaritas at home. Oh yes, there will be plenty more of you come Thursday. Just you wait, my sweet...

For those of you who have been following Cocktail Culture for a while now have likely already seen pictures of The Dirty Bird, the 10-foot bar that resides inside my apartment. Come Thursday, it will be overtaken with friends celebrating Cinco de Mayo, with me leading the shift behind the bar.

In the hopes of keeping my drink-slinging simple, my ingredient list minimal and my tab at the liquor store budget-friendly, I’ve come up with the following collection of drinks that I think my group of friends will enjoy. I’m leaving the rest of the fiesta’s food and cerveza offerings up to my guests to bring on by.

Tequila Sunrise and Sunset: 

Both of these simple highball drinks call for 1 to 2 parts of tequila built with up to 4 parts of Orange Juice in a highball glass with ice cubes. What sets them apart? To have a sunrise, slowly add 3/4 part of Grenadine down the side of the highball or Collins glass. For a beautiful Tequila Sunset, I will be topping my tequila and OJ combo with 1/2 to 3/4 part of Hiram Walker Blackberry Brandy and a cherry garnish.

Classic Margarita: 

I’ve posted my at-home recipe of the Margarita before so won’t try to bore you with the same ol’ all over again. Let’s just say that my bottles of Olmeca Altos tequila (it’s in a limited number of markets now, but a great find if you can get your hands on it!) and Hiram Walker Triple Sec are sitting on the counter waiting for me. Now I just got to squeeze a bunch of lime juice tomorrow night to prep…


As if that won’t be a resounding amount of booze already, I’m thinking that, so long as we continue to use tequila for the base spirit in this recipe, that this would make for a very fitting nightcap.  Oh yes friends, it’s on.

Wishing you all a fun and festive Cinco de Mayo manana!

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Raspberry Tart Cocktail

There’s a Hiram cocktail to fit every occasion and today is no exception to the rule.

A perfectly balanced and slightly puckering drink is the Raspberry Tart Cocktail, a drink to usher in what finally appears to be spring weather. The combination of light ingredients in a simple-to-remember equal parts ratio makes this an easy go-drink for light weekend (or weeknight, take your pick!) drinking.

Raspberry Tart Cocktail:

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with a lemon peel.

I may find myself tinkering around with this recipe myself this afternoon to see about adding, not subtracting, to this slightly tart recipe by muddling in some raspberries I picked up at the store just recently. I’ll be sure to update with any pictures of a new recipe development I come across.

Until then, cheers!

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