Cocktail Advent 28: Winter Warmth

Image via Whiskey Blue at W Los Angeles

Image via Whiskey Blue at W Los Angeles


  • 2 oz Old Forester Bourbon
  • .25 oz Pomegranate Molasses
  • .5 oz Simple Syrup
  • .5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 dash of Angostura Bitters

Pour a splash of Absinthe in a rocks glass and then pour out (in and out repeatedly) and add ice. Pour all other ingredients into a shaker into the rocks glasses over ice with the interior of the glasses lined with the Absinthe. Garnish with a twist.

No, it’s not just the alcohol making that sentence seem wrong–I think something got lost in translation when it was sent to me. Try this, instead:

Rinse a rocks glass with Absinthe just to coat and discard the rest. Fill the rocks glass with ice. Combine the bourbon, molasses, syrup, lime juice, and bitters in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake vigorously. Strain the cocktail into the waiting rocks glass and garnish with a twist.

Why strain out the ice in the shaker when you’re just pouring the cocktail over ice anyway? Unless you’ve got an ice shortage going on, you always want to use fresh ice for your drinks. The ice that’s in the shaker has been agitated and is already starting to melt. That’s good for a prescribed amount of water mixing into the cocktail, but you don’t want to over-dilute the completed drink, either. The ice cubes in the glass will hold up longer since you’re pouring an already-chilled mix over them.

***This recipe was submitted by a representative of Whiskey Blue at W Los Angeles. I am not affiliate with the establishment, nor was I compensated for this post. As always, we encourage responsible refreshment and the use of the Designated Driver. No drunken monkeys, please!***

Cocktail Advent 5: Signal Fire


Would you believe how many times I’ve heard a fire truck in the last 2 weeks? Sure, they’re not always there to put out actual fires (they seem to share various paramedic duties and general emergency response, especially in smaller towns) but this time of year as people start to use their fire places more, turn on space heaters, and string lights on trees, making sure you remove the chance of hazard is a good way to avoid needing their services.

  • Always make sure flamable materials are kept away from open fires or space heaters.
  • Never leave said heat-sources unattended. Same goes for candles.
  • Keep your Christmas tree well-watered and healthy to reduce fire-risk.
  • Make sure all cords and outlets are in good shape.
  • Consider switching to LED or other low-heat light sources on trees and decoration to further reduce risk of conflagrations.

With that PSA out of the way, how ’bout we take a look at a different sort of fire, this one in cocktail form!

Image via Bow & Truss

Image via Bow & Truss

As you can see, this recipe comes from Bow & Truss, a North Hollywood restaurant and bar that I would probably never had heard of if it weren’t for these cocktail-related press releases. They didn’t include measurements, but from another cocktail by the same name, let’s go with the following:

Signal Fire

  • 2 oz Jalapeno-infused Gin
  • 1 oz Peach-Cilantro Syrup
  • 3/4 oz fresh Lime Juice
  • Orange zest and salt for garnish

Mix together fresh orange zest and kosher salt on a shallow plate. Rub the edge of the lime wedge around the outside of a low-ball glass and dip the prepared rim in the salt mixture. Set aside.

Combine gin, syrup, and juice in a shaker glass filled 3/4 full of ice and shake like a house on fire. Strain into prepared cocktail glass.

Now, in the interest of a) efficiency and b) the theory that the garnish reflects the food/drink it’s enhancing, I would have first zested the lime for the rim mixture before juicing it and left the orange out of the picture entirely. But that’s me.

To make the infused gin, chop up a fresh jalapeno (leave the seeds in for maximum heat) and add it to a small to medium-sized jar along with enough gin to cover plus a bit. Obviously how much you make is going to depend on how many of these cocktails you want to mix up, so adjust accordingly. Let this sit for at least overnight, a couple of days would be best.

To make the peach-cilantro syrup you can go a few ways. If fresh peaches are available (frozen could work, too, I suppose), combine the sliced fruit with an equal-ish amount of sugar and a good handful of rough-chopped cilantro leaves plus just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat and let sit for an hour or so to cool and infuse. Strain and store in the fridge. Alternately, you can get a can of peach nectar, combine it in equal amounts with the sugar, add a good amount of cilantro (again, chop ’em up a bit to help the process along), and cook as above. No extra water needed in the second option.

***This “recipe” was provided by a representative of Bow & Truss Restaurant and Bar. I am not affiliated with the establishment nor have I been compensated for the sharing of this recipe or image. As always, we encourage responsible refreshment and the use of the Designated Driver. No drunken monkeys, please!***

Cocktail Advent 1: The Cosmopolitan Pilgrim


To start off our Cocktail Advent, here’s a recipe that uses up a Thanksgiving leftover: cranberry sauce!

Now, it might sound odd, sure, but if you’ve ever used a syrup or preserve in your cocktail this isn’t all that different. Made your own cranberry sauce with, say, some orange zest and cinnamon? It could totally work! So will the canned/jarred stuff, just give it a whirl!

The Cosmopolitan Pilgrim

In a shaker combine:

  • 1.5 parts American Harvest
  • 2 scoops of leftover cranberry sauce
  • 3/4 parts fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 part orange liqueur

Add ice and shake well, strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

This recipe was sent in by a representative of American Harvest, which is a vodka distilled in Idaho and certified organic. Never tried it, so can’t speak to how good it is or how it compares to others. Have you tried it? Let me know what you think!

I have an issue with cocktail authors who use “parts” along with some other nebulous measurement (in this case “scoops”), leaving the entire recipe up to anyone’s guess as to how much of anything to use! I would suggest a part is an ounce, and I’d suggest a barspoon or teaspoon as the scoop measurement.

And if I have to tell you to use Cointreau over something like Triple Sec you need to read more of my cocktail archives!


***I have absolutely no affiliation with American Harvest Organic Spirit and was not compensated for posting this recipe, not even with samples for review. As always, we support responsible refreshment and the use of the Designated Driver. No drunk monkeys, please!***

AlcoHOLidays | Labor Day | Cruzan Slowpoke Shandy



And just like that, we’ll close the book on another summer.

That’s right, another 3-day-weekend is upon us, the last of the season, and the fall and winter holidays are right around the corner. Football has started back up, school is back in session for many, and soon the weather will turn cooler with a decided nip in the air. (At least we can hope on that last one!)

I knew Labor Day (celebrated on the first Monday of September) was worker-related, but I didn’t know much more than that, I’m ashamed to say. For others in a similar fog, here’s the rundown.

It started in the 1880s after a member of one of the large Unions (there’s debate on whether it was the CLU or the AFL) may or may not have observed a similar worker’s festival in Canada. Oregon started the trend, first celebrating Labor Day in 1887, but it wasn’t until after the Pullman Strike in 1894 that it became a Congressionally-mandated Federal holiday.

I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a Labor Day parade, have you? Apparently the parade celebrating labor and trade unions was one of the major components of the original holiday, those these days it seems like barbecues and sales at the mall are the main “celebrations” of the day. I’ve attended conventions and camp-outs on this weekend in the past, but I’m looking forward to time spent at home this year. (I’d love to say I’ll be relaxing, but I have a feeling I’ll still manage to be busy!)

In honor of summer’s last hurrah, here’s a cocktail that uses the spirit of summer (rum) along with beer, lemon, and ginger for a slightly sweet yet perky finish. A shandy is shorthand for a beer cocktail, usually including a carbonated beverage of some sort; there’s none in here but if you really wanted to add a touch of authenticity, a good ginger beer could nicely substitute for the ginger syrup (but I wouldn’t go so weak as a ginger ale, and I’d use more of it, too).

Cruzan® Slowpoke Shandy

2 oz Cruzan® Single Barrel Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Ginger Syrup*
Wheat Beer to fill

Combine rum, lime and ginger syrup in a pint glass and slowly pour half of the beer into the glass. Add a few ice cubes and finish pouring the beer.

* Make a 2:1 simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water) with grated fresh ginger in the mix. Strain before using.

(recipe courtesy of Cruzan Rum)


And with that, something else is coming to a close: this is the last official post in the AlcoHOLidays series. We started last year with Brazilian Independence Day on September 7th, so we’ve covered a full year of holidays of all sorts! In a couple of weeks I’ll be starting a new “Meet the Wines” series, this time I think we’ll go for a bit of the bubbly (which should take us through mid-October or so). After that I’ll be taking a bit of an extended leave while I go off and get married and then do some shuffling up of my blogs once I get back. And I think I’m done with the weekly themed series for now, I want to go a little more free-form for a while.

Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to leave a trail of breadcrumbs–I certainly don’t intend to leave you guys off the guest list 😉


AlcoHOLidays | National Rum Day | Cruzan Pineapple Passion


Cruzan_Pineapple Passion

In honor of National Rum Day (August 16) I am delighted to share a recipe courtesy of Cruzan Rum, folks who have been so nice as to share with us several of their tasty libations this summer! (It’s also quite convenient as I am both up to my eyes in wedding projects and in the midst of a prolonged Internet outage right now.)

What could be more tropically-minded than drinking something fruity from a pineapple, hmm? Not much, especially if you happen to have a little umbrella to put in there as well.

Cruzan® Pineapple Passion:
2 parts Cruzan® Passion Fruit Rum
2 parts Pineapple Juice
1 part Lime Juice
1/2 part Honey Syrup
2 Pineapple Chunks
Fresh grated Cinnamon


Combine all ingredients in a blender with 1 cup of ice and blend for 20 seconds. Pour into a cored pineapple and garnish with fresh mint.

Note: Slice the top of the pineapple off a half-inch from the top. Core the inside of the pineapple. Don’t have a pineapple corer handy? Core your pineapple with an ice cream scoop! Make sure you don’t scoop all the way to the skin or your pineapple will leak.

We may be a bit more than a month away from Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), but I don’t think anyone would find it amiss if you donned an eye patch, the nearest copy of your favorite Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, and kicked back with a rum cocktail. Just remember to have a designated skipper to keep you between the navigational buoys.