Kumquat Whiskey Sour from Serious Eats
Sunny weather keeps tricking me into thinking it’s spring. But yesterday’s rain reminded me that winter ain’t over yet. Even though there isn’t as much fruit to choose from in these months, we have all manner of exciting citrus to fuel our cocktail creativity. Kumquats, the tiny yet delectable little sweet-and-sour guys, are amazing for shaking up your cocktail-shaking routine. Here are a few seasonal recipes to try.
Kumquat Mojito ~ You can get a lot of (delicious) mileage out of the traditional Mojito recipe by subbing in other fruits. Swapping in this unusual citrus really adds flair to an already great drink.
Strawberry and Kumquat Caipirinha ~ Caipirnha is a Brazilian cocktail that’s often compared to a Mojito. The Brazilian drink is made with cachaça—a spirit that is a lot funkier and more unusual than rum. This twist with strawberries and kumquats sounds like a winner.
Taste of Life Cocktail ~ This is a complex drink made with Aperol and Pimm’s (yum!) that combines sweet, sour, salt and a little bitterness for a truly original cocktail inspired by Asian flavors.
Kumquat Champagne Cocktail ~ Truly simple and truly tasty! Just slice up those kumquats and you’ve done all the work necessary for a sophisticated sparkling tipple.
Kumquat Whiskey Sour ~ A fresh new take on the Whiskey Sour that has all the solid appeal of the original while taking advantage of the uniqueness of kumquats.
Grapefruit is an ideal cocktail ingredient, so I don’t know why everyone (including me!) doesn’t pour it into the shaker more often. Savvy Housekeeping and I rectified that problem right away by mixing up this fantastic Grapefruit Margarita. Seasonal and delicious!
The drink is a nice bridge between a tart and strong traditional Margarita and the sweet and fruity Margarita variations, like a Strawberry Margarita. It’s lightly sweet with just the right amount of citrus kapow. Be sure to use silver tequila—an aged tequila will overpower the grapefruit and doesn’t have the same grassy flavor of the clear stuff. We couldn’t stop ourselves at just one.
1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
1 ounce Cointreau or triple sec
2 1/2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 ounce lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake thoroughly, then strain the drink into a glass. Optional: garnish with a grapefruit slice.
Photo by Savvy Housekeeping
Ginger-Kumquat Smash from the Kitchn
Ginger is an exciting and flexible cocktail ingredient. You can use fresh ginger, ginger syrup, ginger liqueur, or ginger beer. And this spicy ingredient complements the heat of spirits (especially rum and whiskey) while blending well with fruits and other spices. Ginger is an easy way to get exotic flavor in your cocktail. Here are a few ways to drink your ginger:
Moscow Mule or Dark and Stormy ~ The easiest way to make a ginger cocktail is to mix a spirit with some ginger beer and top it off with some lime. In the case of these two classsic highballs, it’s vodka in a Moscow Mule and dark rum in a Dark and Stormy. It’ll take you all of 2 minutes to make one of these, and you’ll end up with a balanced and refreshing drink with some ginger kick.
Park City ~ If you’re a Manhattan lover like me, this rye-based drink with ginger liqueur and Cynar is a great way to get your ginger fix. It’s bold with a bitter edge.
Ginger-Kumquat Smash ~ Ginger goes really well with citrus, and so if you want to do something unusual but not too risky, try it with kumquats in this fun rum cocktail.
Prince of Wales ~ A bit more elaborate, but worth the effort, this sophisticated drink has sparkling wine and pineapples along with rye.
Bufala Negra ~ Basil, balsamic syrup, and ginger beer combined with bourbon makes for a “tart and tangy” cocktail that layers flavors in a culinary way.
Amsterdam Hot Chocolate from 12 Bottle Bar
I must get cold around this time of year, because last year at this same time I rounded up some hot drinks to warm yourself up with. If you want even more options, here are some other delicious cocktails that are served warm for this cozy time of year.
Calientito ~ This hot pear cider with tequila that is perfect for fall. The recipe calls for Asian pears, which are possibly the best ones!
Trinidad Punch ~ Rum, chocolate, coconut milk, and vanilla … I don’t see how you can go wrong with that combination. (scroll to the bottom of her post for the recipe)
Blackberry Hot Toddy ~ This fruity twist on a classic hot cocktail is a beautiful color, so it’s great for a party situation. The tea and herbs sound like a great complement to the fruit and bourbon.
Amsterdam Hot Chocolate ~ Genever and Grand Marnier add a little extra oomph to already-delicious hot chocolate. Mandatory: top with whipped cream!
Hot Rum Cow ~ Rum and milk with just the right spices makes for a simple cocktail that’s reminiscent of all the creamy holiday drinks without all the heaviness.
The Chunnel from Chow
Even though it’s only March, the weather where I live has been sunny and warm! (I’m not bragging … or am I?) The bright days have left me in the mood for bright Spring and Summer cocktails. Since it’s too early for many of the fresh fruits I crave in my drinks, I can turn to winter’s own multi-purpose fruit: Meyer lemons!
Here are some great Meyer lemons drinks to sip in the sun (or as you dream of the sun):
Meyer Lemon Margarita ~ A simple winter-fruit twist on the classic Margarita is perfect for this unseasonably warm weather.
The Chunnel ~ Gin. Elderflower liqueur. Meyer lemon. You simply cannot go wrong here. (Also the recipe comes from Town Hall, one of my favorite restaurants.)
Meyer Lemon Whiskey Sour ~ Meyer lemons add a nice sweet touch to this classic sour.
Meyer Lemon Pisco Sour ~ The lovely egg-foam top on the Pisco Sour makes the drink look fancy and adds a pleasant texture to the drink.
Meyer Lemon Blossom ~ Honey and celery bitters gives this light, Meyer lemon cocktail a garden-fresh flavor.
This recipe uses “The Life of the Party” cocktail ratio from my book (3 parts strong, 2 parts sweet, 1 part sour). It’s the same one you’d use to make a Margarita, but this drink is nothing like a Margarita! Bourbon, apples, and tea … it all sounds so Southern (as in The South and not South of the Border). The flavors combine well for a lightly sweet and herbal cocktail with the heat of bourbon.
Bourbon Apple Tea Time
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. honey-tea-apple syrup*
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
*Honey-Tea-Apple Syrup (enough for four cocktails)
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup honey
1 apple, chopped
1 Earl Grey tea bag
Cook water, honey and apples together in a pot. When it comes to a boil, turn off and steep tea bag in the mixture for five minutes. Pour in container and refrigerate until needed. When used in a cocktail, strain out the apples. You could even save the apples to use as a dessert topping.
Medicine Man on Serious Eats
Raid the spice cupboard and try these tasty winter drinks!
Winter Spiced Old Fashioned ~ Spice up your old fashioned with some cardamom and cinnamon. This recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon sounds just right for a winter night.
Boukman Daiquiri ~ For a twist on a classic summer Daiquiri, Imbibe uses Cognac and cinnamon syrup instead of rum and sugar. The lime stays in the picture!
Medicine Man ~ I trust Bourbon & Branch with my cocktail needs, so I’m intrigued by the combination of smoked paprika, maple syrup and sage in this bourbon cocktail they shared with Serious Eats.
Pranna Winter Spice ~ This recipe is like a mulled wine with cardamom and cloves. Perfect for sipping by the fire.
Green Tea and Ginger Cocktail ~ Whether you use store-bought kind or make your own ginger liqueur, this light gin cocktail with green tea over at Savvy Housekeeping is bound to be one of your favorites.
Cranberry Mojito from Serious Eats
It doesn’t have to be summer for it to be Mojito season. Here are some fabulous Mojitos made with winter fruits. Enjoy!
Cochon’s Satsuma Mojito ~ Satsuma mandarin oranges are sweet and delicious. They also seem to be everywhere during winter.
Cranberry Mojito ~ Do you still have a bag of cranberries leftover from the holidays? Use them in a Mojito!
Kumquat Mojito ~ Kumquats are exciting and exotic, so mix them up in a Mojito already.
Pomegranate Mojito ~ This drink will taste great as well as look gorgeously dramatic.
Apple Cider Mojito ~ A fun, cold-weather take on the Mojito.
Sardinian Blood Orange Mojito from Design Sponge
Blood oranges are in season right now, and their dramatic name matches their dramatic appearance. You know how in the opening of “Dexter” he’s making a murder breakfast and he squeezes orange flesh to death and it oozes out bloody juice? That’s a blood orange. Awesome, no?
Most people go for blood orange cocktails around Halloween, but actually they aren’t in season here in the US until November and December (depending on where they’re grown). So the ones around Halloween aren’t as flavorful, even if they do add a nice color to your drink.
Well here are some cocktails that take that deliciously diabolical fruit and turn it into a cocktail. Summer and Spring get all the credit for beautiful ingredients, but Winter is no slouch. Blood Oranges! Now’s the time!
Blood Orange French 75 ~ Who can say no to a Champagne cocktail? Hint: It’s not me.
Sardinian Blood Orange Mojito ~ I am also a sucker for Mojitos. This one on Design Sponge sounds delightful and looks gorgeous.
Winter White Sangria ~ Summer isn’t the only time for Sangria. This one from Backyard Bartender uses white wine and winter fruits, like pears and blood oranges … and St. Germain elderflower liqueur and pear brandy. Brilliant!
Winter Margarita ~ Infuse some tequila with blood oranges and jalapenos and you’ll make summer jealous of this new Margarita. Garnish with candied jalapenos! Say what? That’s right.
Blood Orange Gin Sparkler ~ This is a light and fresh cocktail from 101 Cookbooks, using sparkling water and rosemary to complement the gin and blood oranges.
Mexican Hot Chocolate from Food Woolf
Baby, it’s cold outside. Here are some delicious hot cocktails to warm you up. (And sorry for calling you “baby.”)
Mexican Hot Chocolate ~ I was obsessed with Mexican Hot Chocolate for a while, and this Food Woolf version that includes dark rum and maraschino liqueur was my favorite.
Verte Chaud ~ And while we’re on the subject of hot chocolate, it tastes pretty awesome with Green Chartreuse. Fine Cooking shares the totally simple recipe.
Scotch Hot Toddy ~ You don’t need cream or chocolate to have a good time (it’s true!). This variation on the Hot Toddy from Mary Queen of Scots is spicy and a little smokey
Irish Coffee ~ You don’t need to stock any fancy liqueurs to make good old Irish Coffee. This version from Chow sounds just right!
Hot Buttered Bourbon & Cider ~ I love Hot Buttered Rum, and this little twist from Epicurious incorporates something I love more … bourbon!