I’m on the road in Charleston and just had spectacular dinner at the highly-acclaimed FIG restaurant. While the food and service live up to the amazing reviews, the cocktail menu is equally inspired. The current menu pays homage to David Bowie and as a fan of the Thin White Duke and tequila, I could not pass up this refreshing citrus creation by FIG’s Nikki Anhalt.
To my friends in Pennsylvania, the state owned liquor stores may require that you make a few substitutions but if you can find all of the original ingredients, it will be worth the effort – it may just be easier and more enjoyable to jet down to Charleston and have Nikki or talented bartender Andrew King mix up a Life on Mars.
1 ½oz Espolon Tequila Reposado
¼ oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
¼ oz Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette
¼ oz Giffard Creme de Pamplemousse Rose
¼ oz Fresh Lime Juice
¼ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Grapefruit Juice
1 Luxardo Maraschino Cherry for garnish
Fill a shaker with ice and pour in Tequila, Maraschino Liqueur, Crème de Violette, Pamplemousse Rose and Fresh Juices. Cover and shake. Strain as you pour into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Top with a gourmet Maraschino Cherry. Oh man!
Many of you know I’m from Chicago where the river and beer taps run green and everyone is Irish this time of year. If you are looking for an Irish libation, this pink drink is a great alternative for your Saint Patrick’s Day celebration!
2oz Bushmills Black Bush or your favorite Irish Whiskey
½oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Lemon Twist for Garnish
Fill a shaker with ice and add Bushmills Black Bush or your favorite Irish Whiskey, Grenadine and Lemon Juice. Shake well and strain as you pour into a chilled glass. Top with Club Soda and garnish with a Lemon Twist.
About Grenadine. The cocktail ingredient (not the liquor) is sweetened pomegranate juice and can be found at major grocery stores. To make your own, pour two cups of Pomegranate juice in a small pot on the stove, bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down the stove and simmer the juice until reduced in half. Add one cup of sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Homemade Grenadine should last for two to three weeks refrigerated in an air tight container.
A delicious reason to break out my favorite copper mugs! While specialty barware is not required, you will want to celebrate this southern sipper!
2oz Maker’s Mark or your favorite Kentucky Bourbon.
Ginger Beer (4-6oz per cocktail)
Fresh Lime (one half per serving)
2 sprigs of Fresh Mint
You can make this drink right in your mug but to meld the Mint and Lime flavors, I prefer to mix in a shaker. Place one sprig of Mint in a cocktail shaker and muddle with a muddler or the back of a spoon crushing the leaves to extract flavor. Roll the Lime on your counter applying pressure to help break the juice capsules inside. Slice the Lime in half through the middle. Squeeze ½ of the Lime over the crushed Mint then drop it into your shaker. Add enough ice to the shaker to fill your glass and top with Maker’s Mark or your choice of Bourbon. Cover and shake hard. The ice will help macerate the Lime and Mint further enhancing the flavor. Pour everything into a copper mug or a chilled glass, top with Ginger Beer, garnish with Mint. Sip and enjoy!
What’s ginger beer? Ginger Beer is a fermented beverage made from ginger. Ginger Beer has a deeper flavor, cloudier appearance and frothier pour compared to its sweeter, bubblier carbonated cousin ginger ale.
Citrus Tip: When using lemons, lime or other citrus juice in cocktails or cooking, try microwaving your fruit for 20 – 30 seconds before slicing to aid in bursting the juice capsules inside.