My 5 Favorite Cocktail Recipes
So nice you'll want to drink them twice (listed in no particular order)
Last week we talked about the best wines to drink during the summer, and it made me think about some of the cocktails that I have tried and, thankfully, enjoyed. Personally, I am not crazy about anything especially strong, and I tend to enjoy cocktails with a little bit of a fruit essence. With that being said, here are 5 that I enjoy most (plus a few honorable mentions at the end)
Not to be confused with a Kir Royale, which I don't care for as much as a Kir Imperial. The main difference between the two is that a Kir Royale usually calls for creme de cassis (a blackcurrant liqueur), while a Kir Imperial uses Chambord (a raspberry liqueur) As for the ratio between the liqueur and champagne; I normally fill the glass about 3/4 of the way with champagne and then put enough Chambord into the glass for it to have a rich magenta color.
The perfect marriage between the sweet and bitter cranberry juice with vodka and lime makes this an easy and delicious drink. Plus for some reason I like drinks that are pink and, unfortunately, I don't even think I can make a valid attempt at explaining why. (Check out my blog post on the perfect cosmopolitan recipe here)
To make a French 75 taste extra delicious it may take a little bit of time because it requires simple syrup, which you will likely have to make yourself. Two of the key elements are the use of fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup instead of table sugar, which would probably make the cocktail somewhat grainy. To make the syrup, boil equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is completely dissolved. All you need after that is Champagne (this is a French 75 after all) and gin and you are all set for a refreshing and light cocktail.
The first time that I had ever heard of a Kamikaze was when I was on vacation and couldn't decide what to order (typical), but I knew I didn't want something too strong. The bartender whipped me up a Kamikaze (although I'm pretty sure he made me a slighter lighter than normal version) and I was pretty much sold. The flavor is clean and light and the ingredients are simple: just put equal parts vodka, triple sec and lime juice into a shaker and strain into a glass.
I hate to be THAT person who is annoying about the way something should be done, but there is really only one way to make a truly delicious and authentic Bellini. Sometimes people make Bellini's by pouring peach schnapps into some variety of sparkling wine which, unfortunately, provides about 1/10 of the flavor of an actual Bellini. To get a real one, I suggest you head over to any of the Cipriani restaurants in the city to enjoy a real one. If I go, I normally head to Cipriani Dolci in Grand Central and sit at the bar for the sole purpose of ordering a Bellini. The Bellini's there are made with prosecco and a white peach puree, which has exponentially more flavor than just pouring peach Schnapps into sparkling wine. The only downside is that the Bellini's at Ciprianis are sort of expensive (a little over $15 a glass), but it is worth it for a once in a while treat.
Mojito - Another one that is a little bit of a labor of love. The key is using fresh mint leaves (which you have to muddle) and simple syrup rather than table sugar.
Rum Punch - One of my favorite vacation treats. Unfortunately rum punch can be somewhat deceptive considering it tastes like, well… punch. But as the name would also suggest, it also has rum. So easy does it or else you'll end up seeing stars, bugs, or other wide varieties of floating paraphernalia.
Margarita - Classic, simple and delicious. Doesn't even need an explanation.
Sangria - While I am a big fan of the classic red wine sangria, I actually went off the edge and made a tropical white sangria with Sauvignon Blanc the other day that was super refreshing and delicious.