Archive for the ‘Cocktails’ Category

The Best Root Beer Float: Sweet, Spice, Naughty and Nice

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Anyone who knows me knows I’m an ice cream junkie. It doesn’t even need to be fancy ice cream, though I’ll never turn down the truly good stuff.  I’m the person who ate gelato 2 meals a day while traveling in Italy since a nice, fruity gelato was almost like having fruit and yogurt for breakfast. And it was SO HOT at lunch.  Naturally, if you’re addicted like I am, mixing ice cream with my soda never sounds like a bad plan.  When I was throwing a party with some good friends a few weeks ago we decided to really push it over the edge and make a boozy, sweet and spicy float that became the hit of the party. Seriously, This stuff is ADDICTIVE! It’s the best root beer float I’ve ever had!

Ingredients (for one float):

  • 1 shot ginger infused vodka
  • 1 small scoop vanilla ice cream
  • 1 small scoop cinnamon ice cream
  • 1 can (12 oz) rootbeer
  • 1 dash of bitters

As you can see, it’s not exactly a traditional ingredient list, but man, do the flavors in this sing. If you can’t find cinnamon ice cream, use 2 scoops of vanilla and a healthy sprinkle of cinnamon for a similar flavor.

Making the floats is pretty straight forward: Scoop the ice cream into a glass – we used Kilner jars – so cute when throwing an outdoor party. Add the bitters, then the vodka over the top. Top off with the root beer, pouring gradually. If you’ve ever had a root beer float, you know that it likes to foam up, so a gradual pour will keep you from making a mess. Serve your drinks with both a straw and a spoon for maximum deliciousness.

Want more float ideas? Here are a few more of my favorites – They’re delicious with and without the alcohol, so you can serve party goers of any age. Serving suggestion: Use one color straws for alcoholic drinks and another color for non alcoholic. That way, you can see at a glance if a kid picks up the wrong drink. Think of doing fun colors for kids and a more sedate color for adults, since kids are more likely to get possessive over a favorite color.

“Flipper” Creamsicle float – photo from 1BigBite, recipe adapted from 1BigBite

  • 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 1 shot vanilla vodka
  • 2 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice.

sparkling citrus float

Tropical Citrus Float – Inspired by CieraDesign. Photo Credit: CieraDesign/Lulu The Baker

  • 1/3 cup chilled, fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup chilled pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup chilled club soda
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1 Dash Bitters
  • 1 Shot rum

Turkey-Burgers-and-Beer-Floats__0103_flat.jpg

Bourbon Stout Float – Recipe and Photo credit: A Better Happier St Sebastian

  • 2 scoops caramel ice cream
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • Stout beer (if serving kids, try this with coke. Still delicious.)

Dark Chocolate Bourbon Cherry Soda Floats I howsweeteats.com

Dark Chocolate Bourbon Cherry Float – Recipe and Photo Credit : How Sweet Eats

  • 2 scoops chocolate ice cream
  • 2 shots bourbon
  • 1 bottle cherry soda

As you can see, float possibilities are pretty much endless, whether or not you partake in the alcohol consumption. Get experimental with yours – tag photos with #PMTCFloat on instagram to show off your favorites. We may share your photo or hook you up with a gift certificate!

Better than Maraschino Cherries: DIY Cocktail Cherries Recipe

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Let me tell you a story: Once upon a time, I was a 5 year old flower girl in a wedding. White dress, adorable, the whole nine yards. Well adorable until I, the 5 year old flower girl, got rip-roaring drunk. No, this is not a tale of bad parenting, but a cautionary tale.  You see, at the wedding they served a cocktail, and in those cocktails were maraschino cherries. You know, the bright red ones. Anyway, since maraschino cherries are somewhat gross to the adult palate, apparently, lots of the adults left them in their empty glasses. And since as a 5 year old child nothing tasted better than super-sweet candied cherries, I went from table to table, plucking the booze soaked cherries from the empty cocktails and eating them. A few dozen boozy cherries later, and I was tanked.  My parents were somewhat embarrassed and my pristine white dress was stained red from cherry juice.

homemade cocktail cherries

Cut to 25 year later. I STILL love boozy cherries, but I’ve learned to enjoy them more responsibly. Of course, at this point, in the age of craft cocktails, I’m not satisfied with the almost-glowing red canned maraschino cherries of my ill-spent youth. Instead, I generally make my own homemade cocktail cherries. These awesomely flavorful brandied cherries are perfect in a cocktail, incredible on ice cream, and delicious on their own. We’ve also mixed them in to sangria, syrup and all – SO good.  making brandied cherries from scratch

While it is very possible to buy high-quality cherries for cocktails (think luxardo cherries rather than maraschino cherries,)  those high-end bottles of cherries in syrup are expen$ive!!! And with it being cherry season, and cherries being so cheap, I thought, why not make and can some of my own? They’ll be just as good (even better) than store bought, significantly cheaper, and way less scary.  Bonus: they make awesome gifts or party favors. This recipe is really easy to multiply if you’ve got an abundance of cherries.  Ready for an awesome cocktail cherries recipe? Lets go.

How to make your own maraschino cherries

Materials

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound Pitted Cherries (pit then weigh)
  • 1 cup brandy or maraschino liqueur (like luxardo, available at most well-stocked liquor stores)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • zest of one orange, in large strips (use a veggie peeler or knife)
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Brandied Cocktail cherries

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients except brandy and almond extract to a saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until cherries release their juice.
  • After about 5-7 minutes, turn the heat to low and add the maraschino liquor or brandy.
  • Cook on very low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When the syrup is very thick and sticky, remove the cinnamon stick and orange peel from the mixture and set aside.
  • Remove from heat, add the almond extract.
  • Immediately pour the cherry mixture to clean, sanitized jars. I like these kilner jars (or these!)for party favors or gifts, or these larger ones if I’m just keeping them on my bar cart.
  • Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  • When properly processed and sanitized, these cocktail cherries will stay good for up to 6 months at room temperature, or a month opened in the refrigerator. They won’t last that long.

There you have it – a simple, delicious way to preserve delicious cherries during the peak of the season. If you really want to show these beauties off in a cocktail, keep it simple. A Manhattan or an Old-Fashioned will do the job.  Other delicious ways to use up these cherries – drizzled over ice cream or yogurt, blended in to a milkshake, between layers of a black forest cake,  or strain and bake into your favorite chocolate dessert. Just don’t throw out that syrup! It’s delicious!

homemade maraschino cherries

Summer Cocktail Recipe: Kentucky Sunset

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Remember when you were 5 years old and summer break was a thing?  Whole months in the summer to play, relax and enjoy every moment of every day?  In an effort to reclaim that relaxed spirit of summer in adulthood, we sat down on one unseasonably hot afternoon and created this craft cocktail.  The plan:  with just one sip, the day melts away, you can relax and feel like a kid on summer break all over again.  We’re pretty proud of the way it turned out.   This drink is sweet with fresh squeezed strawberry juice, tangy from grapefruits and just the right amount of bitter.  The bourbon adds a rich note, bringing the whole thing together beautifully.  Ready?  Break out your bottles, or your summer cocktail set, if that’s more your style, and get ready to drink in summer. Literally.

cocktail with strawberries, served in jars

This recipe makes 4 bourbon cocktails. – a perfect summer cocktail recipe for sharing with friends or neighbors by the pool.  When we throw parties, we love putting our fresh squeezed juices, garnishes and bourbon out on the table in Kilner bottles so guests can mix their drinks to their own liking, kids can drink just juice, and everyone can pick the perfect umbrella to go with their outfit.  Because what’s an electric-pink drink without a cocktail umbrella anyway?

How to make a perfect Bourbon cocktail from scratchIngredients

  • 12 oz high-quality Kentucky Bourbon.  Maker’s Mark works beautifully.
  • 8 oz grapefruit juice
  • 12 oz strawberry juice.
  • Angostura Bitters (1 healthy dash per drink)
  • 1 liter club soda, tonic(if you want a sweeter drink) or champagne (if you want a stronger drink)
  • Ice
  • Fruit for Garnish – I like small strawberries and chunks of pineapple.
  • Festive umbrellas.

how to make a summertime cocktail

Instructions

  • Like so many craft bartenders, we make our own juices for this drink.  If you’d like to take a shortcut, buy good-quality, fresh squeezed juices at your local grocery store. If you’re making juices, feel free to do them ahead of time, transfer the juice into bottles, and take time to chill it. It’s summer – you want that drink to be as refreshing as a dip in the pool.
  • Add Ice to 4 glasses (I love the rustic look of Kilner mason jars for bourbon cocktails).
  • Quickly add 3 oz of bourbon to each glass. Yes, they’re strong drinks. Please remember that before getting in the car.
  • Add 2 oz of grapefruit juice and 3 oz of strawberry juice to each glass.  Throw in a healthy dash of bitters and give each drink a stir with a cocktail spoon.
  • Top off with an assortment of fresh fruit (ideally speared on a vividly colored cocktail umbrella.)
  • Kick off your shoes, relax, and enjoy your summer break. Remember, it’s a state of mind.

classic summery cocktail Fruit in Kilner jars - for garnish how to garnish drinks enjoying drinks in Kilner jars poolside

Shameless self-promotion time: All the glassware pictured above is included in our summer cocktail set.  It includes the 3 bottles, 9 jars (6 for drinking, 2 for garnish) and even a funnel to fill those bottles easily.  Basically, if you’re looking to stock a bar cart (for summer cocktails or for making and garnishing the perfect martini recipe.) The umbrellas are not included, but believe me, they’re pretty easy to find and TOTALLY worth having.


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