Mai Tai Styles: Hawaii vs. California (with orgeat recipe)

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The Mercury News compares the Hawaiian and Californian versions of the Mai Tai … and comes to the conclusion they’re both delicious. I agree. The article includes the orgeat recipe from the DIY Cocktails book. Making your own orgeat (almond syrup) is easy, and it tastes great in coffee and other drinks, too.

Here’s my Mai Tai recipe. As a California native, I guess it’s no surprise it’s California-style. (Although I’ve had my share of Mai Tais at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki … and those are amazing.)

DIY Bottled Cocktails

Bottled Cocktails by Wendy Rose Gould

Bottled Cocktails by Wendy Rose Gould

Lots of bars have jumped on the trend of serving housemade cocktails that they’ve bottled. You can do this at home. (I haven’t, but it’s on my to-do list!)

Tales of the Cocktail has a great photo tutorial about how to bottle a cocktail (with recipes, of course). If you try it before I do, let me know how it goes!

DIY Grenadine

grenadine2Grenadine ain’t just for Shirley Temples. When made right, it can add more than sweetness and color to a drink. (Try a Jack Rose cocktail!) I like to add pomegranate molasses and rosewater to give the grenadine some depth and complexity. You can leave them out, but you’ll have a flatter, more one-dimensional syrup. (So, like, don’t leave them out, OK?)

Grenadine

2 cups pomegranate juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 teaspoons rose water

Cook pomegranate juice on medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and cook about 5 more minutes, until it forms a syrup. Add pomegranate molasses, cook and stir for 2 more minutes

After the syrup cools, pour into glass container and rosewater. Refrigerate for up to one month, adding vodka to preserve if desired.

The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column.

Meyer Lemon Cocktails for Winter

Blueberry-Lemon Fizz from Camille Styles

Blueberry-Lemon Fizz from Camille Styles

The tree outside my living room window is full of Meyer lemons, so I’m ready to turn lemons into lemon-flavored cocktails. I’ve documented my love of Meyer lemon cocktails before (more than once). But here are even more ideas for how to brighten a winter day with a Meyer lemon cocktail!

Meyer Lemon Lavender Mojito ~ If you’re already experiencing spring weather, like I am, this is the perfect cocktail to enjoy the sunshine and birds.

Pineapple & Meyer Lemon Margarita ~ If a Meyer Lemon Margarita is a good idea (which it is), then amping it up with a little pineapple can only make it an even better idea.

Cold Spring Cocktail ~ Cognac and maple syrup add dimension to the bright flavor of Meyer lemon in this drink. (If you don’t have rhubarb bitters, you can make your own DIY Rhubarb Bitters … you won’t be sorry!)

Blueberry-Lemon Fizz ~ This is another one for sipping on the patio on an unseasonably warm day. Light, refreshing and fun.

Four Winds ~ Mezcal and Yellow Chartreuse make for a sophisticated drink perfect for a night in.