3 Boozy Hot Chocolate Drinks for Cold Winter Nights

Winter Nite

Snow is rolling in across the Northeast and some places are expecting to receive up to a foot or more of snow. After a long morning of shoveling your going to need something to warm you up. Or maybe you … Continue reading

PaQui Silver Tequila Review

PaQui Blanco Tequila

Pacqui is produced in small batches in the town of Tequila in Mexico. In the Aztec tongue paQui means “to be happy” and indeed drinking this small batch tequila is a pleasant experience.

On the nose the sweet and sugary agave aromas waft up to your nose. This is quickly followed by fruity aromas with fresh green grass and subtle minty notes dancing in harmony. There is nary a trace of burn.

On the palate it is smooth and velvety with rich agave notes. The grassy and slight herbal notes make their presence known on the mid palate followed by a light peppery note with a hint of palate cleansing citrus.

PaQui retails for about $35 for 750/ml.

While PaQui can easily be sipped neat it makes a wonderful addition to cocktails.
The first cocktail is one created by me.

Bright Lights at Night
2 oz Blanco Tequila (PaQui)
1 oz Lillet Blanc
Rinse of St. Germain
2 Dashes of Grapefruit Bitters
Rinse the cocktail glass with St. Germain. Add the tequila, Lillet, and bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice, stir for approx 25 seconds, and strain into the prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

For a slight variation on the Margarita try this drink from the Jones Complete Bar Guide.
1.5 oz of Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 Egg White
1/2 Maraschino Liqueur
Combine all ingredients and dry shake to emulsify the egg white. Add ice and shake for another 10 seconds then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Note: Maraschino Liqueur is not the juice from a Maraschino cherry jar.

Or for your dessert fix try the Frostbite cocktail a mix of tequila, cream, and creme de cacao.

Sweet Tea Sour

Sweet tea is a Southern institution. In the South it is more plentiful then water, however this was not always the case. In the late 1800′s and early 1900′s sweet tea was a luxury. Sweet tea was a way to demonstrate ones status and decadence. There were several reasons for this. During this time period, tea, ice, and sugar were expensive. Out of all these the biggest luxury item was ice which had to cut and shipped from frozen lakes often over great distances and then stored into the warm months.

The oldest known recipe for sweet ice tea was published in 1879 in a cookbook called the Housekeeping in Old Virginia by Marion Cabell Tyree. This original recipe bears a strong resemblance to the modern version including the long steeping time and massive amounts of sugar. The only glaring difference is the use of green tea. Prior to WWII green tea was plentiful in the US and most sweet tea during this time period was made from green tea. However because of WWII green tea was no longer imported from Japan and instead the US turned to India which was under British-control and produced black tea. After the War, America never looked back and now black tea, specifically Lipton is the hallmark of sweet tea.

While people from the North may balk at the sweetness of the tea it is a refreshing summertime staple. But sometimes you need a little extra kick in your tea. The following drink was created by Simon Gibson of the Brooklyn Star. I discovered this recipe in an article written on Complex.com

Sweet Tea Sour
2 oz. Four Roses Bourbon
1 oz. sweet tea syrup
1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. egg white

Tea Syrup: Steep two large Lipton iced tea bags in three pints of boiling water for 30 minutes. Remove tea and add 1 quart of sugar while the water is still hot. Stir to dissolve and allow to cool.

Note:
For a Southern secret, try adding a touch of baking soda while the tea is boiling to help smooth some of the bitterness. The egg white adds a real nice texture to the drink. There is a a nice balance between the sweet and sour components but in homage to sweet tea on my second go round I dropped the lemon juice by a 1/4 to up the sweetness of the overall drink. I did not have have any Four Roses so I used Old Weller Antique.

Sweet Tea Sour

Young’s Double Chocolate Milkshake

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Before any other frozen beverage such as the: slurpee or smoothie there was the milkshake. The earliest printed reference to the milkshake was in 1885, but the drink contained whiskey. Furthermore it was served as a health tonic as well as a delicious cold treat.
Ivar “Pop” Coulson is often credited as the inventor of the milkshake. In 1922 he added ice cream to the traditional malted milk and the milkshake was born. From there it’s popularity has skyrocketed and it continues to soar with new variations based on this same formula.
For this variation on the milkshake I decided to go back to the milkshakes roots and create an alcoholic version.

Young’s Double Chocolate Milkshake
8oz chocolate stout (Youngs Double Chocolate)
1.5oz rum (Brugal Anejo)
.5oz port (Noval Black)
2 dashes chocolate bitters
2 scoops vanilla ice cream (Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean)
Combine all the ingredients an blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled pint glass or whatever you have on hand and enjoy

Notes:
The beer really shines in this drink. The chocolate and maltiness of the beer combine well with the creaminess if the ice cream. The rum gives a little extra backbone to the drink with the port adding a touch of fruitiness on very the backend leading to a dry slightly bitter finish. You can’t go wrong with this. Try it and let me know what you think.

Have you ever tried Young’s Double Chocolate Stout? What’s your favorite milkshake.

Mixology Monday – Tiki

Ever since I started blogging I have waited for Mixology Monday to arrive. February is Tiki Month and it is only fitting that this Mixology Monday be Tiki themed. This time it is hosted by the Pegu Blog.

My first drink for MxMo is a riff on Rum Dood’s Improved Rum Fizz which is a variation of Trader Vics Rum Fizz. After reading up on both drinks I decided to take Rum Dood’s advice and offer my own variation on the drink. Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was mix orange soda with International Delight French Vanilla Coffee Creamer which produced an awesome orange cream soda. I used this as inspiration for my Improved Rum Fizz #2

Improved Rum Fizz #2
2oz Banks 5 Island Rum
.5oz Curacao
.5oz Lemon juice
.5oz Lime juice
2tsps Vanilla Syrup
.75oz Heavy Whipping Cream
.5oz egg white
2dashes of orange bitters
1oz Virgil’s Orange Cream Soda
Pour all ingredients except for the soda into a cocktail shaker and dry shake for approximately 20 seconds. Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake for close to 1 minute. Pour the orange cream soda in the bottom of a glass then strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Express a orange twist over the top of the drink and discard.

Notes:
The rum comes through and makes itself known without overpowering the drink. The bitters, curacao, and soda dance along your taste buds providing them with an array of orange notes that awaken the senses. This combines wonderfully with orange aroma from the essential oils that are sitting on the egg white cloud. The dryness of the curacao and bitters help to cut down on the sweetness. The drink has a silky smooth texture with all the flavors playing in harmony.

My second drink was originally created for a friend of mine who really loves coffee. So I gave her the honor of naming of it and out came the Starbuck (named after the character from Battlestar Galactica, not the famed coffee spot).

Starbuck
2oz Gold Jamaican Rum
.5oz White Rum (10 Cane)
.5oz Coco Lopez (coconut cream)
.5oz Fresh Brewed Coffee (Yemen Mocha)
.25 Allspice Dram
1oz Banana Liqueur
1oz Lemon juice
2dashes of Angostura Bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice then strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime shell filled with coconut. Torch the coconut with a light flame to toast.

Notes:
The frutiness of the coconut cream and banana liquer combine well with flavor provile of the Blackwell Rum that I used. The coffee keeps it from being too sweet and adds a hint of chocolate in the background. The Angostura and the Allspice dram add a hint of spiceness throughout.


Frostbite

The Margarita is the classic and most well known of all tequila drinks. After that, the range of tequila drinks is extremely sparse compared to the range of other cocktails that exist for the other base spirits.

Frostbite
1 oz tequila (I used a repasado)
.75 oz creme de cacao
.75 oz heavy whipping cream (regular heavy cream will do)
Garnish with dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg
 
Combine everything into a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake hard for about 10 secs. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg
 

Notes:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This drink is simple and delicious. The cream and cacao work together to smooth out the fiery tequila while at the same time not overpowering it and letting the agave flavor come through. It is like a creamy milk chocolate shake with a spicy kick.