I’ll admit it is getting harder and harder to preface these posts. Do I really need a reason or pretense to make myself a delicious alcoholic beverage once a week and share it with my friends? Who knows, I don’t make any of the “rules” around here. I just slavish obey them like I’m supposed to…
Anyway, it was hot this week. Hotter than it should be in September in Northern California. I keep waiting for people to decide to work together through the tool of government to do something about the ever increasing global temperature but nothing seems to happen… Must be why I keep drinking.
This week’s cocktail is a twist on the popular Italian aperitif, the Garibaldi, which may one day be a cocktail I make on this very blog. It doesn’t have whisky in it though so don’t hold your breath. This tweak of the recipe adds bourbon, grapefruit juice and honey. All things that make the serviceable Garibaldi into something sublime.
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Campari
2 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon honey
Combine all ingredients in an old fashioned glass. Stir gently until honey dissolves. Add a few ice cubes. garnish with 1/4 grapefruit slice.
I’m trying to remember where I first heard of this drink, so I could properly credit the source for enlightening me! The Grapefruit Garibaldi succeeds in juggling three very distinct flavors into something delicious without losing the uniqueness of each ingredient. A lovely blend of sweet bourbon, sour grapefruit, and bitter Campari. The only way this drink could be improved is if I was drinking it in a village on the north coast of Italy. Which, to be honest, would be a vast improvement…
Ice cream floats were fun but after three weeks of experimenting ice cream, soda, and liquor I’m feeling a little bloated. A little heavy. Time to go back to the simple pleasure of cocktails. This week’s is a delicious mix of sweet, bitter, savory, and spicy: Trouble in Paradise.
Trouble in Paradise
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Campari
3/4 oz. grapefruit juice
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. honey syrup
2 basil sprigs
Combine one basil spring, bourbon, Campari, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, honey syrup and pepper in shaker. Fill shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into rocks glass filled w ice. Granish with remaining basil sprig
When I saw this cocktail I was naturally apprehensive. Campari is not a liquor with trifle with. While the liquor has hints of cherry and citrus with an edge of spice the predominate taste is bitterness. The liquor is usually served as an aperitif with the herbal bitterness being used to prep the palate for the meal. The black pepper intrigued me though and lemon and grapefruit juice pack plenty of their own punch. So, I went ahead and tried it. I’m glad I did. Between the grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and honey syrup there’s plenty to counteract the bitterness of the Campari. The ground pepper? It adds a little kick and texture. This is a complex little cocktail that rewards slow sipping to capture all the subtleties and depths in this one!
You think with it being Cindo de Mayo, the cocktail of the week would be some sort of margarita. And, if I had spent any time thinking about the date or Cinco de Mayo at all it very well might have been. But, I didn’t. So, if you’re looking for the perfect pairing for your Cinco de Mayo party you’re just out of luck and will have to serve your guests Corona or Pacifico. Or you could click here. This week’s cocktail is a strong riff on the Greyhound.
2 oz. gin
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
3 oz. grapefruit juice
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Combine lemon juice and grapefruit juice in a shaker full of ice. Add gin, vermouth to shaker. Shake well. Pour over ice.
I really recommend that the first time you drink this you do so on the rocks. This is a boozy beverage! It tastes great though. Clean, refreshing. If you use good gin you might even miss the fact that there is alcohol in this drink! Maybe I can get D to sit out on the back porch with me while I sip at this and watch the dogs play in the yard?
Saturday was National Margarita Day (February 22) and so I decided to make a margarita despite featuring one recently. I couldn’t do just another plain ol’ margarita either. D had me covered though with this spicy take on the cocktail she had seen online. This take on the familiar cocktail used grapefruit instead of lemons or lime and substituted a simple syrup for triplesec. Not just any simple syrup though, this one has cayenne pepper in it.
I was skeptical when D described the recipe to me, but she prevailed on me to make it and now, after drinking it, I’m glad she did!
Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas
2 oz. tequila
1 oz. cayenne simple syrup (see below)
4 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
Rim glasses (this cocktail is not usually served in a margarita glass, we used mason jars) with either salt or sugar (I use a sugar cayenne pepper mix.) Place ice in glasses, add tequila, simple syrup, and grapefruit juice. Adjust juice and syrup for your desired level of sweetness. Stir well.
Cayenne Simple Syrup
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Combine the sugar, water and cayenne in a small saucepot and bring to a simmer. Stir so that all sugar melts then remove from heat and cool in the fridge. You’ll want to do this an hour or so before you make the drinks as you’ll want the syrup to be chilled before making the cocktail.
I love the colors of this drink a deep ruby red at the bottom from the grapefruit juice and pulp shading lighter as you approach the mouth of the jar. Through out are little flecks of cayenne pepper. This is a delicious drink. Perfect for hot afternoons or warm evenings (the kind we’re having right now in California, sadly…) The sourness of the grapefruit is perfectly offset by the spicy sweetness of the syrup. A lovely drink. I’m thinking I’m going to have to keep some of this pre-made in the freezer as well…