two winter cocktails

january 4, 2013

tangerine rosemary cocktail

When winter’s chill is in the air, your fireside alcoholic beverage of choice may be hot cocoa with a splash of Kahlua, mulled wine or hot spiced apple cider with a splash of rum.  I love to warm up with a hot drink but a chilled, tart and not-too-sweet cocktail hits the spot and whets my appetite for the piping hot dinner feast to come.  My favorite beverages live among the innovative cocktail offerings of Acacia Mid-town here in Richmond, Virginia.  Alas, evenings out on the town are limited, so if I have a hankering for a cocktail the mixologist must be me, or perhaps my neighbor Janie, who makes fabulous themed cocktails for dinner gatherings with friends.  For this autumn’s outdoor viewing of the film noir classic Gun Crazy, Janie prepared sidecars, the vintage mixed drink, authentic and refreshing, with her usual verve and enthusiasm.

 

This time of year pomegranate and citrus are my cocktail muses, and the array of citrus flavors makes me positively giddy : pink grapefruit, blood orange, tangelo, kumquat and Meyer lemon.  On The Good Eats Company winter menus citrus is the star in all categories, from savory to sweet.  Today’s drinks are perfect for last minute guests.  Ingredients for both store well – flavored simple syrup may be made days in advance, pomegranate juice keeps well in the fridge even after opening and citrus can be juiced and frozen for later use.  The recipes may be adapted for a crowd and they lend themselves to reinvention.

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You don’t need fancy equipment to whip up a nice cocktail beverage.  I use a chrome and bakelite shaker given to my parents in the 1940s, but a clean lidded jar works well.  A fine mesh strainer helps but if you don’t mind a little extra fiber in your drinks, you can skip the straining.  I do think a cocktail measuring cup comes in handy; you can guesstimate ounces, but certainty is always better.  Attractive glassware does not have to match.  If you are not entertaining frequently you can do as I do and shop thrift stores for charming mismatched gems that cost next to nothing and can easily be replaced if broken.  Always use a special glass even if your cocktails are a preamble to a simple dinner at home.  You will feel enveloped in luxury.  Salut!

 

tangerine rosemary cocktail

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

serves one

ingredients

1 1/2 ounces vodka - I like potato (Luksusowa), or grape (Ciroc)
1 ounce tangerine rosemary simple syrup
1 ounce strained fresh tangerine juice
rosemary spear and tangerine zest for garnish



Tangerine Rosemary Simple Syrup – bring to boil in small heavy saucepan one cup sugar, one cup water, 3 four-inch spears of fresh rosemary and the zest of one large tangerine (use vegetable peeler at an angle to avoid as much of the bitter white pith as possible).  Simmer for five minutes, then allow to steep in pan at room temp 2-4 hours (longer yields stronger flavor). Strain and store in refrigerator.

 

directions

  1. Combine ingredients (except garnish) with ice cubes in cocktail shaker or clean jar, giving a few good shakes.
  2. Strain mixture into glass and garnish with rosemary spear and tangerine zest.

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 pomegranate limoncello cocktail

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

serves one

ingredients

2 ounces pomegranate juice
1 1/2 ounces gold rum - I like Bacardi
1/2 ounce limoncello liqueur
lemon zest for garnish

      

directions

  1. Combine ingredients (except garnish) in cocktail shaker or clean jar with ice cubes, and give a few good shakes.
  2. Strain mixture into glass and garnish with lemon zest.

 

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