Monthly Archives: October 2011

Friday’s Feature Cocktail – Golden Delicious

I like the Golden Delicious for its versatility as a drink to sip slowly or as a shooter to enjoy with a group.

Rounding out the apple craze that is October, I thought I’d share one more idea that you may find intriguing to incorporate into your upcoming weekend sure to be complete with Halloween festivities.

One of the trends most commonly associated with Halloween is that of bobbing for apples. And while the idea seems, well, kind of unsanitary at its best in hindsight, the game lives on.

To up the adult-appropriate level of fun for this Halloween classic, may I perhaps suggest the idea of invoking a group together taking a Caramel Apple-flavored shooter? Both involve jerking your head backwards with roughly the same amount of force, no? And both offer the same delicious prize upon winning — revelers get to enjoy a similar treat of caramel apple. I think I’ve made my tasty point. ūüôā

The Golden Delicious recipe is extremely easy to make and can be readily prepared for a group in a few moments time.

Golden Delicious Shot:

  • 1 part ABSOLUT Citron
  • 1 part Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur
  • 1 part fresh sour mix

Shake well with ice to chill and strain between two shot glasses.

Enjoy the shooter recipe and have a fun Halloween!

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Fall Inspiration for Halloween Cocktails

The Nutty Pumpkin Martini rocks with fall flavors such as pumpkin, hazelnut, nutmeg and vanilla.

Good news! I’ve got your last minute offerings for the Halloween party-goer assigned to bring the spirits (the pun, sadly, was very much intended, ha!).

Pumpkin continues to be in demand, particularly for this holiday weekend, and I have several other suggestions of variations and recipes to try for the Perfect Pumpkin Martini.

Pictured is the Nutty Pumpkin Martini, a tasty delight perfect for the fan of cream-based cocktails. But this drink has so many warming flavors, derived from the other ingredients and liqueurs thrown into the mix.   Take a look at the recipe yourself:

Nutty Pumpkin Martini:

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with your choice of a little whipped cream or grated nutmeg (if you’re¬† not a huge w/c fan like me).

If you’re possibly sick of Pumpkin already (gasp! Did you start on those Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes a bit too early?), here’s another earthy fall flavor to snuggle up with – port wine.

Oh yes. A ruby port such as Sandeman Founder’s Reserve actually makes for a wonderful, although probably unbeknownst, ingredient in a fall cocktail recipe. Of the many suggested methods for creating cocktails on their Facebook page, the Diavlo to me looks to be a cocktail worthy to make an appearance at a Halloween party. I’ll let you know how it turns out this weekend!

Have another recipe inspired by fall to share?¬† Feel free to share your recipe with Hiram Walker by entering the Fall Cocktail segment of The Quest, the brand’s search for the country’s most creative original cocktail recipes. You have until Halloween itself to submit your recipe for a chance to win an Apple iPad!

Wishing you a fun and festive Halloween!

Edit 10/28/11: Another great pumpkin cocktail recipe has come my way, the ABSOLUT 100 Pumpkin Martini. For an extra dose of pumpkin, check out this and the other recipes as featured on

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Friday’s Feature Cocktail – Highland Harvest

My my my…well, isn’t this convenient? Today is National Caramel Apple Day and I have JUST the product to fulfill the day’s request!

I know I’ve waxed poetic already about the newest product release by Hiram Walker but I don’t think I’ve really explained truly with how much ease this product delivers both on the nose and palate the beloved fall flavors of rich caramel and crisp red apples.

For an easy-to-build cocktail that delivers other hearty, earthy components of the cooler season ahead, try out the Highland Harvest cocktail, today’s Friday Feature Cocktail.

Highland Harvest: Created by Tobin Ellis, BarMagic

  • 2 parts The Glenlivet Scotch Whisky
  • 1/2 part Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

    Have a fall cocktail as delicious as the Highland Harvest? Enter your recipe into The Quest fall cocktail contest by Hiram Walker.

Build in a rocks glass with a large ice cube.

Have you had a chance yet to try Caramel Apple Liqueur for yourself? Did you

create a recipe you enjoy? There is still time to enter your recipe into Hiram Walker’s fall cocktail contest The Quest for your chance to win an Apple iPad! Entries are being accepted on the web through October 31st.

Cheers and have a great weekend!

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Midnight Martini Photo Shoot

Mouth watering yet? It should be. This “Friday’s Feature Cocktail” was among the top picks in our office happy hour where I stirred up a variety of Caramel Apple cocktails. To help whet your appetite a bit more, here is the cocktail recipe for the Midnight Martini, featuring Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur:

Midnight Martini:

  • 3/4 part Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur
  • 3/4 part ABSOLUT Vanilia
  • 3/4 part Kahlua Rum and Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 part Half & Half

Shake with ice and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Also, for garnish, I dusted a bit of ground cinnamon on top.

I highly recommend taking this one for a test drive at your own home bar!


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Send in the ‘Tinis!

Beauties, ain’t they? We had so much fun with the variety of martinis that we were able to mix here in the office using our new bottle of Hiram Walker’s Caramel Apple Liqueur. And these two packed quite the punch – one sweet, the other more acidic; as such, my coworkers and I seemed to be split down the middle favoring one of these drinks over the other.

The first drink I’ll mention was the Caramel Apple Cosmo. This cocktail takes its formula from the classic recipe, but the Caramel Apple Liqueur supplants the role of the Triple Sec.¬†¬† Here’s the recipe:

Caramel Apple Cosmo:

  • 1 1/2 parts ABSOLUT Citron
  • 3/4 part Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur
  • 1 part Cranberry Juice
  • 1/2 part Fresh Lime Juice

Build ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an apple slice.

I found this ratio to be the more pleasing of the two we tried, as it had a surprising citrus bite you wouldn’t expect from the sweet smell of caramel wafted from the glass. However, for those in our office who prefer their drinks on the ‘sweeter’ side, they enjoyed the Dale DeGroff formula I used a bit more that saw the amount of lime juice decrease to just 1/4 part. It also let the Hiram Walker liqueur shine through a bit more.

The second cocktail we mixed to be served up in a martini glass was the Hiram Walker recipe for the Pom-Apple Cooler. I think this cocktail has such a beautiful color, as achieved from the following recipe:

Pom-Apple Cooler:

  • 1 part Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur
  • 1 part ABSOLUT Vodka
  • 2 parts POMWonderful¬ģ Pomegranate Juice

The sweet drink fans in our office pleasantly fell in love with this cocktail. One coworker described it as having the flavor – without the texture or stickiness – of maple syrup. I, too, enjoyed the drink but would be far more inclined to enjoy this Pom-Apple Cooler as a round of shots, rather than an entire mixed drink.

So there you have it – two great new uses for that Caramel Apple fixin’! I hope you enjoy.


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How ‘Bout Them Apples?

October is National Apple Month and marks a fabulous time to test out that new bottle of Hiram Walker’s Caramel Apple Liqueur you’ve seen featured online and in your local retail stores.

Though this week has proven to be somewhat regarded as an Indian Summer here in Connecticut (please don’t let me have just jinxed it!!), I am finding a lot of uses for Hiram’s Caramel Apple Liqueur in what can be described as “fall-forward” cocktails. Photos and recipes will soon follow!

But don’t just take my word for it – the spirits reviewers as took a sip of Caramel Apple Liqueur and awarded it both a silver medal and a “Best Buy” distinction. Also, take a peek at what some other influential bloggers in the cocktail community are saying about this new liqueur:

  • Our friends at A History of Drinking simply state: “Definitely tastes like the name.”
  • Mutineer Magazine stirred up a signature Caramel Apple Liqueur cocktail that was “MUTINEER APPROVED!”
  • Over at Drinking in America, the team found Caramel Apple Liqueur to be a “perfect addition to autumn activities” – of note on their list of activities is bobbing for apples!!
  • Sporting a newly-redesigned website, Drinkhacker rates the “light and minimalist liqueur” from Hiram Walker
  • The rating system at Bob’s Brew and Liquor Reviews is pretty straightforward: Drink This “if you want a tasty, well-made, and not cloyingly sweet Caramel Apple Liqueur…”
  • Cocktails, 365 writes approvingly of the Caramel Apple Liqueur and offers several original cocktails, including the Turning Leaf Cider.

I’d love to hear what response you have had to trying the new Caramel Apple Liqueur. Leave me a comment or, if you feel your¬† cocktail recipe has the right stuff, enter your drink into Hiram Walker’s fall cocktail contest “The Quest” to be entered to win an Apple iPad.


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Happy Birthday John Jameson!

Today is the birthday of John Jameson, the legendary man behind the world-recognized Irish Whiskey of the same name.

By now, most of us are familiar with a variety of creative shots for toasting with Jameson – there’s the Pickleback, Car Bomb, Grand Slam, or the whiskey can be simply chilled on its own.

So what better way to celebrate Mr. Jameson himself than with a creative new shot using Jameson’s beloved whiskey – perhaps something sweet to go with some birthday cheer! Here’s a sweet drink to serve as a shooter:

Peach Toast:

Pour into shot glasses and serve each with a lime wedge. (Serves 2-3, depending on size of shot glass)

In further celebration, a new national TV campaign launches today that tells another tale in the series of legendary stories of John Jameson. Titled “The Hawk of Achill” – and inspired by the Celtic myth of the same name – you can discover more of Achill and John Jameson by clicking here. Also, below is the TV spot that you’ll find airing today:



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Your Perfect Pumpkin Spice Martini

Fall: 'Tis the season for mixing perfect Pumpkin Spice Martinis!

I was flipping through a copy of Hartford Magazine in the Restaurant Review section where one of the more recently adopted topics is featuring a signature drink on a local restaurant cocktail menu. Upon opening the October issue, I was thrilled to see featured a Pumpkin Spice Martini served up at Abigail’s in Simsbury, Connecticut.

And that got me thinking. Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Spice, call it what you may, there seem to be a lot of tweaks and variations to the classic pumpkin martini using pumpkin liqueur. And why wouldn’t they?! The ease of having a sweet, all-natural pumpkin liqueur on hand such as Hiram Walker that also envelops flavors such as vanilla and cinnamon is beyond useful if you don’t have the time yourself to make your own pumpkin syrup (though I have found online that Fred offers a very handy recipe if you want to take a stab at it yourself!).

So what is your ideal recipe for a perfect Pumpkin Spice Martini? Here are a few examples:

As Abigail’s manager Frank Ruffalo shared in the Hartford Magazine (the article isn’t online but you can read other content from the current issue here), his recipe for a Pumpkin Spice martini is as follows:

  • 1.5 oz Three Olives Vanilla Vodka
  • 1.5 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1.5 oz Hiram Walker Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
  • .5 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

Shake ingredients and strain into a martini glass rimmed with a mixture of crushed graham crackers, cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg.

Or there’s this one: Stephanie Kromat, a district manager for spirits and wine supplier Pernod Ricard, told Sauce Magazine early this year that equal parts of Kahlua, Hiram Walker Pumpkin Spice and Half & Half was her ideal recipe for the perfect Pumpkin Pie Martini, served chilled in a martini glass rimmed with crushed graham cracker.

And personally, I have grown partial to this particular Pumpkin Pie recipe for the handful of times I may stir up one of these bad boys each year. The addition of the Butterscotch gives it a real nice caramel-y flavor.

Pumpkin Pie Martini:

  • 1 part Hiram Walker Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
  • ¬†1/2 part Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1/2 part Hiram Walker Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1/2 part Half & Half

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Garnish and serve.

If you have a great Pumpkin Pie recipe to share, I’d love to see it shared here on the Cocktail Culture blog. Or, better yet, you can enter your recipe into the Hiram Walker fall cocktail contest of The Quest for a chance to win an Apple iPad – the contest is open to entries submitted before October 31.


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