Monthly Archives: May 2012

And the Hiram Walker Margarita Madness Winner is…

As I’m sure you all know by now, Hiram Walker recently held a Margarita Madness recipe contest that ended earlier this month, right in time for Cinco de Mayo, (if you need a refresher just click ‘the Quest’ tag on the right side of the screen). Contestants were asked to develop and submit an original Margarita recipe that incorporated at least one of several Hiram Walker ingredients into the mix and the winner has been chosen! After what must have been a long, hard day of shaking up and testing out a wide-range of Margarita concoctions, one recipe was crowned the winner.

Drum roll please! The winning Margarita is…

… ‘The Diablita’ submitted by Frederic Yarm of the Cocktail Virgin blog. Curious to try it out for ourselves here at Cocktail Culture, Stephanie and I wasted no time mixing up a delicious Diablita for ourselves. This recipe was sweet, incredibly refreshing, and is a perfect drink for the summer months ahead.

Stephanie adding in the Hiram Walker Creme de Cassis — ginger beer in the background ready to add in!


  • 1 1/2 oz. Tequila
  • 1 oz. Hiram Walker Triple Sec
  • 1/4 oz. Hiram Walker Crème de Cassis
  • 3/4 oz. Lime Juice
  • 2 oz. Ginger Beer (or Ginger Ale)

Shake all but ginger beer/ale with ice and strain into a Highball glass filled with ice and containing the 2 oz of ginger beer/ale.  Add a straw and stir.

I highly recommend that you not only try out this tasty Margarita, but check out his awesome blog as well! Congrats to Fred, and enjoy everybody!


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The Great Memorial Day BBQ


Hiram Walker Citrus Peach Fuzzy-the perfect frozen treat for a hot summer day!

Memorial Day weekend is almost here, which marks the start of summer for many people. Even though it will still technically be spring, Memorial Day is when we all get our first smell of fired up grills cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, the unofficial scent of summer. Memorial Day is also when pools and beaches open up for the season, and wearing white pants becomes socially acceptable again (if anyone even follows that rule anymore).

If you’re like me, your weekend plans include at least one BBQ, and if your BBQs are like mine, then you’ll be looking for some great cocktail recipes to serve your friends and family.  Luckily you came to the right spot, here are some refreshing summer drinks that pair perfectly with cookouts!


  • 2 parts MALIBU® RED
  • 1 part lime juice
  • 1 part simple syrup or agave syrup
  • Salt rim

Combine ingredients in a shaker and strain into a rocks glass. Rim glass with salt and garnish with lime.



  • 1-1/2 parts MALIBU® Black
  • Fill with ginger beer

Serve over ice in a highball glass.

Lime wedge optional.

…and since it wouldn’t be a BBQ without dessert, here’s a nice boozy dessert you can drink!

Citrus Peach Fuzz

Pour all ingredients into blender; cover with crushed ice and blend until smooth. Pour into Hurricane glass and garnish with a fresh peach slice.

Mix up your drinks, kick back, relax and bring on the BBQs!


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Friday’s Feature Cocktail(s): Wedding Cocktails!

ZED Sparkling Moscato Rose – perfect on its own or in a bubbly cocktail recipe

Happy Friday everyone! With May coming to an end and June approaching fast, it’s time again for all of us to dust off our fancy suits and dresses in preparation for the lovely arrival of wedding season.  Here at the office, we’re all getting excited to watch one of our own tie the knot tomorrow!  I personally love weddings because they include three of my favorite things: dancing, cake, and of course, cocktails! Inspired by our wedding season theme, this Friday’s feature cocktails include ZED Sparkling Moscato Rosé!


  • 1 oz peach juice or peach puree
  • 3 oz ZED Sparkling Moscato Rosé

Pour peach juice or puree into a Champagne flute. Slowly add ZED. Sip and sigh.


  • 3 oz ZED Sparkling Moscato Rosé
  • 2 oz Fresh Lemonade

Build over ice in a highball glass, and garnish with a lemon wedge.

For those of you looking to finish off a drink menu at your own wedding, you should give these delicious cocktails a try. But if you’re like me and nowhere near planning a wedding of your own, don’t worry these cocktails are still perfect for any summer occasion!



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BarSmarts Wired for FREE!

Bartending enthusiasts rejoice! BarSmarts Wired, the online bartender training program, will be FREE throughout May and June! And, yes, it is halfway through May already, but there is still plenty of time to participate – and you don’t want to pass up on this opportunity!

Cocktail Culture has spoken plenty of BarSmarts programs (just click on the tag “BarSmarts” to read some of our other coverage), so here’s your nickel-and-dimed version: Pernod Ricard USA and Beverage Alcohol Resource, LLC, continue to team together to present the BarSmarts Wired and Advanced courses. Under the tutelage of the likes of Dale DeGroff, Paul Pacault, David Wondrich, Steve Olson, and Andy Seymour, bartenders in the program cover topics such as recipes, spirits tasting notes and tips, and alcohol history. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Much of the program also focuses on cocktail technique and best service practices for those in the bartending profession.

There are still more perks! Signing up for Wired will earn you a complimentary messenger bag and complete set of professional bar tools (as pictured above) give you access to an online plethora of resources, including a workbook, video library, 4 tests and a final exam. And did I mention it’s completely FREE? Dually for you cocktail enthusiasts, Wired is an exciting program in that you get to learn and practice the craft from the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule. It doesn’t get much more practical than this!

If you have more questions about BarSmarts Wired or Advanced, I encourage you to visit the FAQ page or feel free to leave your questions in the comments or via email, and our very own BarSmarts graduate (Miss Stephanie Jerzy) will be happy to help you out. As my initiation to the Cocktail Culture team, I will be signing up to try my hand at the program as well, and am very excited to get started, especially since it’s free!

Hope you all will join me in signing up for these amazing courses, for no cost at all, and good luck to all who participate!



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Pleasantly Punched!

Planning to host a summer soiree? One great tip I’ve learned in working with bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts is not to take yourself away from your own party by getting stuck behind the bar and mixing individual cocktails for your guests. Instead, plan to serve a punch!

Having a killer punch recipe on hand is a phenomenal way to impress your guests. Plus, the ease of being able to prepare the drink before your guests arrive and, in turn, have them serve themselves, takes some of the extra duties of playing host off of your shoulders.

Below are three new recipes from Pernod Ricard USA that are sure to leave you and your guests pleasantly punched! Enjoy!

Dre Masso’s Royal Jamboree Punch

Dre Masso’s Royal Jamboree Punch:
Dre Masso is a leading mixologist and bar consultant. Working with some of London’s best bars for almost 20 years,

Dre is internationally renowned for his cocktail recipes. His Royal Jamboree Punch is a fruity twist on the traditional recipe, a quintessentially English flavor perfect for the summer months.

  • 300ml Beefeater London Dry Gin
  • 5 tablespoons Strawberry Jam
  • 5 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 100ml Dubonnet
  • 300ml Red Grape Juice
  • Lemonade
  • Lemon wheels, fresh strawberries sliced in half and sliced red grapes

Pour all ingredients except lemonade into a punch bowl or jug and stir well, making sure the jam is mixed thoroughly. To serve, add ice and punch to a highball glass and garnish. Top with lemonade.

Beefeater Garden Party Punch
Celebrating the quintessential English country garden, the Beefeater Garden Party punch combines the best ingredients from the English countryside.

Beefeater Garden Party Punch

  • 3 parts Beefeater London Dry Gin
  • 3 parts Sparkling English Wine
  • 2 parts Good Quality Pressed Pear or Apple Juice
  • 1 part Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 part Elderflower Cordial
  • ½ part Sugar Syrup
  • Pear and apple slices

Stir all ingredients with a large ice block and serve with ice in a highball glass. For large ice block: filling a clean, empty juice carton three quarters full with water and freezing. When frozen, carefully cut carton away from the ice.

Sarah Sercia’s “Saas & Spice” Punch

  • 2 bottles of Hiram Walker Watermelon Sour Schnapps
  • 2 gallons of fresh watermelon juice
  • 1 gallon fresh lime juice
  • Pink peppercorn
  • Celery bitters

Add Hiram Walker Watermelon Schnapps and juices to punch bowl.  Stir.  Add about 45 dashes of celery bitters and stir again.  Add ground pink peppercorn on top.  Fill ice with glass and serve over ice.  Yields about 75. 


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Newest Member of the C.C. Team

Island Breeze: with Hiram Walker and Malibu

Hi everyone, I hope you had a wonderful Cinco de Mayo/Kentucky Derby weekend and that you’ve all fully recovered!  My name is Kayla, and as the newest member of the Cocktail Culture team, I’m writing this post to introduce myself and fill you in on some fun facts I think you all should know about me.

Fact number 1: I love the beach. Nothing says “perfect day” like a warm, sunny day by the ocean, preferably with a cool drink in hand (just please keep the jellyfish out of the picture, I’m irrationally afraid of them).

Fact number 2: While this makes me disliked by half of CT, I admit I am a big fan of the NY Yankees and the NY Giants (if any of you are unfamiliar they’re that football team that just won the Super Bowl).  For any Red Sox and Patriots fans we have reading, I promise to keep my posts about either team to an absolute minimum!

Fact number 3: I have been a New Englander my whole life, but I have a weird dream of moving to Nashville. Unfortunately, it’s not because I’m an aspiring country singer, I actually have a terrible singing voice that doesn’t even sound good in the shower (yes, it really is that bad).

So now that we have that out of the way I’d like to make Stephanie proud and share with you a delicious cocktail recipe.  I know it isn’t summer just yet, but all that talk about the beach has put me in the mood for a nice Island Breeze.

Island Breeze

Shake and serve over ice.

Hope you all enjoy and I look forward to getting to know you!


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Cocktail Culture Goes Baking!

Cupcakes baked by sugar Sweet sunshine bakery in NYC with a Hiram Walker Watermelon Satin Buttercream icing. How can you not resist?!

I like to think I’m somewhat of a better than average cook and can hold my own in the kitchen with relative ease. But, humbly, I admit that I’m at a complete loss when it comes to the art of baking. Maybe it’s that I stink at math and can’t quickly calculate various ratios. Or that I’m one to veer far from the directions laid out in front of me.

But when I got wind that a New York City bakery chose to use Hiram Walker Watermelon Schnapps as an ingredient in a cupcake icing, I knew I HAD to have the recipe! sugar Sweet sunshine, a NYC-based bakery, developed a Watermelon Satin Buttercream cupcake icing for a Hiram Walker-hosted Happy Hour at Pernod Ricard USA’s NYC office.  And, according to Brand Manager Sarah Sercia, the cupcakes were a tremendous hit!

sugar Sweet sunshine’s owner, Peggy, was kind enough to share her hit recipe with Cocktail Culture and it’s featured in its entirety below:

Watermelon Satin Buttercream (yields enough for 2 dozen cupcakes)

  • 1 lb or 2 C unsalted butter
  • 2 C granulated sugar
  • ½ C water
  • 5 large egg whites
  • ½ + 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/3 C Hiram Walker Watermelon Sour Schnapps
  • 3-4 drops of pink food coloring

Using a standing mixer, beat 1lb butter until smooth and softened.  Set bowl aside in a cool place.

In a small saucepan combine 1-1/2 C of the sugar with ½ C cold water.  Cook on stovetop over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.  After sugar has dissolved and sugar syrup is bubbling, place a candy thermometer in the syrup and let simmer until firm ball stage is reached.  (248-250 degrees).

While sugar syrup is cooking, separate 5 eggs.  Place whites in another mixing bowl.  Beat until foamy, then add the cream of tartar.  Beat on medium high until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.  Gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.  Turn mixer off.

When syrup has reached the firm ball stage, remove from heat and carefully pour the liquid into a glass measuring cup to stop the cooking.

Pour a small amount of the syrup into the egg whites.  Turn mixer on and beat on high for 5 seconds.  Turn mixer back on and pour a larger amount into the egg whites.  Beat on high for another 5 seconds.  Repeat until all the syrup has been poured.  Beat on high another 10 seconds and then turn the mixer to it’s lowest speed and continue to mix until the mixing bowl is completely cool.

When mixing bowl is cooled, add butter one spoonful at a time,  mixing on medium high speed until each addition is incorporated.  When all butter has been added, beat on high.  Do not worry if the icing looks thin or curdled during the mixing process.  It will come together in a smooth silky texture.  Lower speed and drizzle in the liqueur and food coloring to desired shade of pink.

Are you drooling on your keyboard yet?

Please be sure to 1. check out sugar Sweet sunshine Bakery and like them on Facebook and 2. invite me over when you plan to make these desirable cupcakes yourself. You provide the standing mixer and I will bring the hooch! 🙂


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Friday’s Feature Cocktail: Hiram Walker Watermelon Daiquiri

Welcome to another edition of Friday’s Feature Cocktail! While there is a big cocktail weekend ahead for us all (best of luck, liver!) today’s featured cocktail is neither a Julep nor a Margarita. And while I kind of really do want to explore mixing up that Mint Margarita idea I pondered about yesterday, today I feature a beverage that already comes tested and approved from the Cocktail Culture bar. I introduce to you, the Hiram Walker Watermelon Daiquiri:

Hiram Walker Watermelon Daiquiri:

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

Cheers and I hope you enjoy mixing up this new cocktail for you and your friends!

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!

One of my favorite days of the year – Cinco de Mayo – is nearly upon us, as is the culmination of Hiram Walker’s “Margarita Madness” cocktail competition! I’ve written previously of the contest, the third chapter of “The Quest” series, but it’s now time to mention it’s down to the final stretch.

For your chance to win an Apple iPad, you need only submit your favorite Margarita recipe to “The Quest” through the Hiram Walker website or Facebook page by this Saturday, el Cinco de Mayo! So break out the tequila, Hiram Walker Triple Sec and your other go-to Margarita ingredients  and get mixing these next two days; it’s really all the preparation you’ll need for your fiestas this weekend!

Perhaps there’s even a Mint Margarita waiting to be developed — combining the best of both Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day! 😉


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