Monthly Archives: January 2012

Prep for Port Day – Part III

Prep for Port Day charges forward at Cocktail Culture (too much alliteration? nahhhhh!) with a variation to a cocktail recipe that consumer just cannot get enough of – the Cosmopolitan.

But before I get to the recipe, let me just say a few things about celebrating Port Day today. There is a great EventBrite website where you can find a slew of Port Day tastings, cocktails, and educational seminars happening nationwide. And, even as I begin writing this at 9 am, there is a wild flurry of #PortDay conversations happening on Twitter and blogs. But if you are interested more in finding use for a bottle of Sandeman Founders Reserve at home, I’ll get back to the Cosmo recipe at hand.

Adding Sandeman Founders Reserve to this cocktail may deprive the drink of its primarily pink hue, but what it may lack in color is made up for with flavor. Here’s the recipe so you can try this winner of a cocktail recipe for yourself:

Sandeman Cosmo

  • 1 oz. Founders Reserve Porto
  • 2 oz. Absolut Vodka
  • .5 oz. Hiram Walker Triple Sec
  • Splash of lime juice
  • Splash of cranberry juice

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain and serve up in a chilled martini glass.

Also, please feel free to go back to find more Port recipes in Parts I and II of this series.

Cheers and Happy #PortDay to you!

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Prep for Port Day – Part II

For Port Day – Part Deux, I thought I’d change things up a bit. Previously, Cocktail Culture has discussed port on this blog from the perspective of the Ruby varietal. Today, we’re talking Tawny.

Tawny Porto varies from Ruby and here a few distinguishing factors. Tawny is lighter in both body and color when compared to Ruby, making it the slightly sweeter of the two varieties. Tawny ports are aged for much longer periods of time than the Ruby, which gives the varying levels of age different nutty characteristics.

For today’s Port Day cocktail I am using the Sandeman 20 Year Tawny, awarded 91 points by both Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator. The nutty and butterscotch notes, as described by WS, I believe pair well with the Chivas Regal in this Sandeman Royal recipe, with the Tawny Port being the star of the show. Check it out:

Sandeman Royal

  • 2 oz. Sandeman 20 Years Tawny Port
  • Splash of Chivas Regal 12-Year-Old
  • Orange twist for garnish

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 45 seconds. Strain and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

So today’s question of the day – which variety of Port do you prefer to mix in a cocktail, Ruby or Tawny? I look forward to hearing some of your responses.

There’s plenty more Sandeman cocktail recipes to view on their Facebook tab, so give it a glance when you have some spare time.


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Prep For Port Day – Part I

Sandeman Founders Reserve, a Ruby Porto at 20% ABV, can be a perfect companion to celebrate Port Day on January 27th.

Port primarily does not come to mind when one initially thinks of ingredients for a cocktail. But with Port Day slated for this Friday, January 27, I thought it ideal to showcase a few ways over the next couple of days in which port can really add a depth in flavors to your cocktail recipes.

After a week of mixed rain and snow, a hot drink seemed ideal to ease us into the port cocktail conversation, showcasing Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto. Here’s what you’ll need:

Sandeman Mulled Port Wine

  • 1 bottle of Sandeman Founders Reserve Port
  • 6 oz. Martell VS Cognac
  • ½ cup of Sugar
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 orange cut in small slices
  • 4 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a medium size sauce pan and bring to heat but not boil. Serve hot in traditional mulled wine glasses.

You can also find photos and many more recipes on the Sandeman brand Facebook page. Stay close by – there’s plenty more to come this week!


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Friday’s Feature Cocktail – Pit Stop

Pit Stop cocktail from Hiram Walker

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Friday’s Feature Cocktail on the blog, so let’s have at it today! The recipe I’ve chosen today from Hiram Walker is the Pit Stop, which sort of reminds me of those drinks that reminds everyone else of their grandparents. The all-natural flavors of the tart kirsch cherry are captured by Hiram Walker and smoothly rounded out with a bit of fresh lemonade.

Have at it, and be sure to regale us with stories by the fireplace about how you had to walk four miles in the snow – uphill both ways, of course! – to get to school as a child.

Pit Stop

  • ¾ part Hiram Walker® Kirschwasser
  • ¾ part Hiram Walker® Cherry Flavored Brandy
  • Dash of Hiram Walker® Amaretto
  • 2 parts Lemonade

Serve over ice in an old fashioned glass. Garnish with your choice of a cherry and/or lemon twist. 

Cheers to a great weekend!


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Next Hiram Walker Flavor Set for February Launch

Ready for today’s big news announcement? Ok, so the press release went out technically two days ago, but the news is still just as big! I actually got to taste the product for the first time earlier this week and I must say that Hiram Walker has done it again – they’ve made an aromatic, flavorful and all-natural liqueur that has consumers fired up! Without further ado, here’s the press announcement:


New York, N.Y., (January 11, 2012) –Hiram Walker, the classic, diverse line of all-natural premium liqueurs, schnapps, brandies, and triple sec, is pleased to announce the launch of its second new permanent flavor addition in the past six months, Hiram Walker® Watermelon Sour Schnapps.  Hitting retail shelves in February 2012, Watermelon Sour is a 30 proof watermelon schnapps that can be uniquely combined with a wide range of spirits and mixers to create cocktails, mixed or straight up, that are easy to drink and bursting with juicy watermelon flavor.

Flavored cocktails continue to gain traction in the on- and off-premise, making Watermelon a natural selection as the next permanent addition to join the wide and wonderful array of cordials in the Hiram Walker portfolio. “Watermelon continues to be a favorite flavor and adds an unexpected, summer-inspired twist to popular cocktails like cosmos and margaritas,” said Juli Falkoff, Brand Director for Hiram Walker, Pernod Ricard USA®.

Like all Hiram Walker flavors, Watermelon Sour Schnapps is made with all-natural flavors, adding a fun and palatable twist to a range of mixed drinks and shot recipes. Watermelon Schnapps serves as an ideal partner with other Pernod Ricard portfolio leaders including ABSOLUT®, Avion ®, and Malibu®.

The launch of the new Hiram Walker Watermelon Sour Schnapps will be supported in both the on premise and at off premise retail through custom designed POS and table tents that will encourage trial of signature watermelon recipes. Falkoff added, “The addition of our Watermelon Schnapps rounds out the Hiram Walker portfolio with all the styles and flavors on-premise accounts most desire.”

Hiram Walker Watermelon Sour Schnapps will be available in 1L, 750ml and 50ml sizes. The suggested retail price for a 750ml is $9.99. Following are just a few of the many ways to enjoy/serve Hiram Walker Watermelon Sour Schnapps. For additional recipes visit

Watermelon Margarita

1 part Hiram Walker® Watermelon Schnapps
1 part Avion® Silver Tequila
¾ part Hiram Walker® Triple Sec
Fresh Lime Juice
Shake with ice. Strain into a margarita glass.

Watermelon Cosmo

1 ½ parts ABSOLUT® Citron
¾ part Hiram Walker® Watermelon Schnapps
Fresh Lime Juice
Splash of Simple Syrup
1 part Cranberry Juice
Shake with ice. Strain into a martini glass.

Watermelon Drop

¾ part Hiram Walker® Watermelon Schnapps
¾ part ABSOLUT® Citron
Layer Citron on Hiram Walker Watermelon Schnapps. Serve as a shot with a lemon wedge.



HIRAM WALKER® Flavored Schnapps. 15%-45% Alc./Vol. ©2011 Pernod Ricard USA, Purchase, NY

# # #

About Hiram Walker
Since 1858, Hiram Walker has pioneered numerous distillation and manufacturing processes that are now industry standards. For example, Hiram Walker was one of the first product lines to begin placing labels on its bottles.  Hiram Walker Schnapps, Brandies, and Bar Essentials are made with all-natural flavors, which is reflected in the real fruit photography that adorns the labels.
The line of Hiram Walker products consists of 39 Schnapps, Flavored Brandies, and Bar Essentials. Hiram Walker Schnapps and Brandies include the category leading classic Peppermint Schnapps, leading Blackberry Brandy, and lead the Flavored Brandy category.  Hiram Walker also boasts a complete selection of bar essentials, including Triple Sec, Amaretto, Blue and Orange Curacao, and a range of Crèmes.
Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA, which employs more than 18,000 people worldwide and is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI).
The company’s leading spirits and wines include such prestigious brands as Absolut® Vodka, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Malibu® flavored rum, Kahlúa® Liqueur,  Beefeater® Gin, Plymouth™ Gin, Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin®, Martell® Cognac,  Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Pernod®, Ricard® and Avión™ Tequila (through a joint venture with Tequila Avión); such superior wines as Jacob’s Creek® and Brancott Estate®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier-Jouët® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines.
Pernod Ricard USA is based in Purchase, New York, and has roughly 850 employees across the country.  Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit:

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National Hot Toddy Day – January 11th

A delectable Hot Cinn Apple Toddy, using bourbon and Hiram Walker Original Cinn

As I sit at my desk with the space heater purring at my feet, I can’t think of any fonder words to shout – Happy National Hot Toddy Day! Below are two of my favorite recipes that add a touch of liqueur to up the ante on the traditional flavor combination. I know I have featured them both en masse before, but I swear, you really can’t have too much of a good thing in this case.

Hot Cinn Apple Toddy:

  • 1 ½ parts bourbon
  • 1 ½ parts Hiram Walker Original Cinn Schnapps
  • ½ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • Fill with hot apple cider
  • Green apple slice dipped in hot caramel or cinnamon stick for garnish

Pour the bourbon, schnapps, and lemon juice into an Irish coffee glass or mug. Stir well. Fill with hot apple cider. Garnish with the green apple or a cinnamon stick.

For a bit milder of an offering, try this version below. The Caramel Apple Liqueur, with its lower proof, supports the flavor of the hot apple cider without offering powerful alcohol taste.

Hot Apple Toddy:

  • 1 part Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1 part Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur
  • Fill with hot apple cider
  • Green apple slice or cinnamon stick for garnish

Build in a warm mug and fill with hot apple cider. Garnish with the green apple or a cinnamon stick.

What is your ideal Hot Toddy recipe?

Cheers and Keep Warm!

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Cookies and Cocktails

My spin at making CocktailHacker's recipe for the Spiced Cider Old Fashioned

Happy New Year, Cocktail Culture fans! Another holiday season has come and gone, and with that, so did the annual Cookie Decorating Party, hosted by my good friend, Tiffany. My Cookie Party duties included bringing something boozy (as seems to be habit), and this year I was given a special assignment – bring other ingredients to mix an assortment of Applejack cocktails.

I showed up with booze bag in tow, ready to make two delicious Applejack cocktails. First, we went for the Jack Rose cocktail. Here’s the ratio I went with, as from my copy of the Cocktail Handbook.

Jack Rose:
2 ounces applejack
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce grenadine

Secondly, the other drink I chose to serve up for party guests was Cocktail Hacker’s inspiring recipe for the Spiced Cider Old Fashioned (I suggest you mosey over to his site to view the recipe for yourself). The verdict on this drink using Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur was one that was sweet, inviting, and reminiscent of mulled cider – perfect for a chilly winter evening while baking cookies.

Even if the holidays have left us for another year, both this drink and the Jack Rose definitely fit the bill as one for year-round entertaining. So put that Applejack to use and get mixing!


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