Home 2018 Summer 2018 Bottoms Up– Mix up these craft cocktails to sip this summer and...

Bottoms Up– Mix up these craft cocktails to sip this summer and beyond

Craft cocktails aren’t just for the realm of professional bartenders. To inspire the mixologist in you, we sought tips and recipes from local experts.

By Ruthanne Johnson

PrevNext
TIP: Mint is easy to grow and a handy herb to have, says bar manager Kayla Ortiz. “It’s always the first to sprout after winter.” You can also grow rosemary, basil, cilantro and edible flowers, all of which are great garnishes and ingredients. (photo by Mtsaride)

11 Alley Mint Mojito

 

from Centro Latin Kitchen

Ingredients (serves one)

1½ ounces silver rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1½ ounces homemade simple syrup
(recipe below)
4 to 6 slapped mint leaves (hold leaves in one hand and slap them with the other to open their flavor)
Mix all ingredients and shake with ice (do not strain). Pour into a Collins glass and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Homemade Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Combine ingredients in a pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until syrup thickens (about 30 minutes). Remove from heat and strain into a glass container to cool. Homemade simple syrup keeps about two weeks refrigerated.

Alley Mint “No-jito”

popular on Centro’s “mock-tail” drink list 

Ingredients (serves one)

1 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce homemade simple syrup
6 slapped mint leaves
½ ounce fresh lime juice
Mix all ingredients and shake with ice (do not strain). Pour into a Collins glass and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge.

1. Alley Mint Mojito
TIP: Use non-GMO, locally sourced ingredients for optimal flavor, says Ian Reusch, Blackbelly director of operations. “And don’t be afraid to think outside the box.”

22 How Deep It Goes

From Blackbelly

Ingredients (serves one)

1 ounce beet-infused vodka (recipe below)
½ ounce Old Forester bourbon
¾ ounce lavender simple syrup (use the simple syrup
recipe on page 37, adding 3 tablespoons of fresh or
dried lavender)
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients and serve in a glass over ice.

Beet-Infused Vodka

Clean and chop one large cooked beet (skin removed) and blend with 1 liter of vodka in a Vitamix or blender. Strain mixture through cheesecloth into a glass jar. Refrigerate unused portion.

2. How Deep It Goes
TIP: Owner and head chef Dakota Soiffer says Spanish and Moroccan cuisine inspire Café Aion’s menu. To keep the sangria light and airy, he suggests adding a splash of Cava sparkling wine. (photo by Gosia Zet)

33 Aion’s House Sangria

From Café Aion

Ingredients (serves two)

1 liter Spanish red wine (can replace with nonalcoholic sparkling red wine)
2 tablespoons crème de cassis
2 tablespoons triple sec
2 tablespoons apple juice
1 small dried chile
½ cinnamon stick
½ bay leaf
¼ cup peach juice
1 lemon, halved
1 lime, halved
1 orange, halved
1 “secret ingredient” like sliced fruit, a spice or a liqueur (optional)

Combine all ingredients, except the citrus and secret ingredient. Squeeze the juice from the citrus into the Sangria and then add the secret ingredient, if using. Cover, refrigerate and let sit overnight. Strain and serve garnished with sliced fresh fruit.

3. Aion’s House Sangria
TIP: Bar manager DJ Reimer sometimes “fat washes” spirits with foods like bacon, butter, sesame oil and even peanut butter to create unique flavors. The technique involves heating the liquor and ingredient together, then cooling the mixture and straining out the solidified fat.

44 The Gold Standard

From 24 Carrot Bistro

Ingredients (serves one)

1 ounce Mezcal
1 ounce fresh carrot juice
½ ounce Grove Street Alchemy
Orange Liqueur
½ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
½ ounce fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients and serve over ice in a glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

4. The Gold Standard
TIP: Bar manager Giovanni Buonsante combines pineapple juice, spicy agave and tequila for tropical flair. Replace the tequila with alcohol-free sparkling wine, if desired.

55 Piña Picante

From Zolo Grill

Ingredients (serves one)

1½ ounces tequila resposado
¾ ounce chile agave nectar (recipe below)
1 ounce pineapple juice
½ ounce fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients, shake and blend with crushed ice. Moisten glass rim and dip in a mixture of salt and mild ground chile powder. Garnish with jicama slices and a lime wedge.

Chile Agave Nectar

1 ancho chile 1 cascabel chile
2 New Mexico Hatch chiles 3 arbol chiles
16 ounces light agave nectar 2 ounces fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon crushed 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
red pepper
½ tablespoon cayenne pepper

Pulse fresh chiles in a food processor. Simmer pulsed chiles and remaining ingredients on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Strain mixture through cheesecloth, cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

5. Piña Picante
TIP: This recipe is great for larger cocktail parties; just increase the amounts and infuse with blood orange juice overnight in a large jar.

66 Blood Orange & Basil Soda

From 24 Carrot Bistro

Ingredients (serves one)

6 to 8 fresh basil leaves
½ ounce simple syrup
2 ounces fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
1½ ounces spirit of choice for an alcoholic version
3 ounces seltzer water

Lightly press or crumple (but don’t tear) basil leaves and place in a glass with ice. Add remaining ingredients and gently stir to combine.

6. Blood Orange & Basil Soda
TIP: When creating drinks, bar manager Kayla Ortiz smells and tastes the spirit first. “They’re all unique, with different notes and textures like silkiness or sugariness,” she says. The Flavor Bible, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, can help you with ingredient pairings.

77 Grapefruit Rosemary Fizz

From Centro Latin Kitchen

Ingredients (serves one)

½ ounce Mezcal, tequila or vodka
(delete this for a nonalcoholic version)
¼ ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce fresh grapefruit juice
½ ounce rosemary simple syrup (use the simple syrup recipe on page 37, adding 5 large rosemary sprigs)

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, pour into a glass with ice and top with seltzer water. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and grapefruit slice.

7. Grapefruit Rosemary Fizz
TIP: Fall and winter call for warm drinks and spicier cocktails, says owner and head chef Dakota Soiffer. Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend of oregano, thyme, basil, dried sumac, marjoram, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and salt, serves cool-weather drinks well, he says. (photo by Viktor1)

88 Moroccan Mule

From Café Aion

Ingredients (serves one)

1½ ounces Pruf vodka
½ ounce cardamom simple syrup (Use the simple syrup recipe on page 37 and add 2 tablespoons crushed cardamom pods. Let syrup sit overnight, then strain.)
Top off with ginger-limeade (recipe below).

Mix ingredients and serve over ice in a glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge sprinkled with Za’atar.

Nonalcoholic Moroccan Mule 

2 ounces ginger-limeade 
½ ounce cardamom simple syrup
Top off with seltzer water 

Mix ingredients and serve over ice in a glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge sprinkled with Za’atar.

Ginger-Limeade

1 cup ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 cup sugar
1 quart water
1 cup fresh lime juice

Purée ginger, sugar and water in a blender. Let sit overnight, strain and add lime juice. Adjust lime/sugar to taste.

8. Moroccan Mule
PrevNext