Cocktail: Margarita

IMG_2089In case there were any doubts that global warming is happening, it hit 90 degrees in New York this week. 90! After what felt like a week of beautiful spring weather, I guess it's already summer. Which is why you need this margarita in your life.IMG_2096 I made these a few weeks ago when it was still feeling rather wintery and after the first sip, said to Ari, "These should be drank on a beach." (And not in a small first-floor apartment.) While I still agree with that sentiment, margaritas taste equally good after a long day at work when you need something not too sweet that goes down easy–preferably accompanied by some guacamole.

Margarita (Makes 1, very slightly adapted from PUNCH)

1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila

3/4 ounce orange liqueur (preferably Cointreau, but I used triple sec)

3/4 ounce lime juice

Salt (to rim the glass)

Prepare a coupe, cocktail or rocks glass with a salted rim if desired (to do so: rub a lime wedge around edge of glass. Pour coarse salt onto a small plate, then twist glass rim in salt until evenly covered. Tap off excess.) Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into prepared coupe or cocktail glass, or over ice into prepared rocks glass.

Boulevardier

IMG_2074Crocuses and cherry blossoms are starting to bloom, and it's finally beginning to feel like spring. But since the nights will still be chilly for at least a couple of months, I love nothing more than kicking back to watch Netflix (we're currently burning through Deadwood) with a good cocktail. IMG_2078 This classic drink, which I first had at my favorite neighborhood spot, Long Island Bar, is a slightly bitter take on the Manhattan (my other favorite). I wasn't a big fan of Campari until recently, but now I'm loving the bitter, complex notes it adds.

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Boulevardier (makes one, recipe from PUNCH)

1 1/2 oz whiskey or bourbon

1 oz Campari

1 oz sweet red vermouth

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass or cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake well, about 10 seconds. Strain into a coupe or over ice in a rocks glass, and garnish with orange peel.

Cucumber-Mint Spritz

_MG_6431Ari and I are leaving tonight for a glorious 10 days in California (where I plan to have tacos in some way, shape or form at least once per day), but I wanted to share this very refreshing cocktail with you before I left. As you may have noticed, I'm having a bit of a love affair with gin at the moment, and I think that the herbal notes in the alcohol complement the mint and cucumber perfectly._MG_6432 _MG_6435

Serve this on a sweltering day as an alternative to a Tom Collins, and I'm sure I'll be wishing for one on the plane tonight.

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Cucumber Mint Spritz (makes 1 drink)

4-5 cucumber slices

5-6 mint leaves

1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice

1/2 oz. simple syrup

1 1/2 oz. gin

2 oz. club soda (or prosecco, if you're feeling saucy)

Muddle cucumber slices and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker until crushed. Add citrus juice, simple syrup and gin, then fill with ice and cover. Shake until very cold, about 1 minute, then strain into a lowball glass and top with club soda or prosecco. Garnish with a cucumber slice and mint leaf and serve immediately.

Rhubarb Gin Fizz

_MG_6280 Since it's almost Memorial Day weekend, I thought I would share a cocktail that you can make tonight – or for the next four days. Simple and yet impressive, thanks to the rhubarb-thyme syrup, and as boozy as you want to make it: you can make a non-alcoholic version with seltzer and the syrup on it's own, add gin, or use both gin and prosecco for the most fun alcoholic version of all. I didn't have any sparkling wine on hand when I made these (I know, terrible), so I stuck with seltzer and gin which was super refreshing.

_MG_6284Happy long weekend to you all – I hope it's filled with sunshine and barbecues, and of course, plenty of delicious cocktails!_MG_6291

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Rhubarb Gin Fizz (adapted from Baked Bree, makes 1 drink)

For rhubarb thyme syrup (makes about 1 1/2 cups):

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 1/4 cup rhubarb, trimmed and chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir and cook until rhubarb is very soft, about 3 minutes. Strain through a mesh sieve into a small pitcher or container, and let cool. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

For cocktail:

1 1/2 oz gin

1 1/2 oz rhubarb-thyme syrup

1/2 oz lemon juice

4-5 oz prosecco or club soda

Add gin, syrup and lemon juice to a highball glass and stir. Add ice, and pour over prosecco or club soda to fill.

 

 

Peach-Bourbon Smash

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_MG_4949You probably know from previous posts, that I enjoy a glass of wine every so often. But sometimes during the summer, nothing tastes better than a crisp cocktail. A good cocktail doesn't need to be complex (some of my favorites, like Mint Juleps & French 75's only have a few ingredients) but while produce is at it's best, why not switch it up a little and use those peaches for a before-dinner drink instead of a pie? I would recommend using especially ripe peaches, as they are the main flavor you taste (besides the bourbon, of course). Next time, I might try switching out the mint with basil, and adding a float of prosecco on the top instead of club soda for a little more interest.

And while starting off Monday morning with a cocktail recipe may seem like cruel and unusual punishment, doesn't it make you excited to go home and try it? Not a bad way to start off the week, in my opinion.

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Peach-Bourbon Smash (adapted from The Kitchn), makes 1 cocktail

1/4 - 1/2 peach, cut into thick slices 3 or 4 fresh mint or basil leaves 1 lemon wedge 1 ounce water 1/2 ounce simple syrup 2 ounces bourbon or whiskey 1-2 ounces club soda 1 peach slice, for garnish

Muddle all ingredients except whiskey in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and whiskey. Shake and strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass and top with club soda. Garnish with a peach slice.