Archive for the 'beverages' Category

Gatherings: Mixed Drink Mix Tape (A Side)

mixed drink mix tape

It’s pouring rain outside as I write this, but we’re hoping for a sunnier weekend, and even if that doesn’t happen this week (and it likely won’t, due to the fact that we have both our community parade of garage sales AND W’s very first soccer tournament AND an outdoor birthday party to attend) inevitably there will be some sunny occasion over the next few months that calls for a cocktail. And so for our series of posts on easy/fun/totally doable gatherings, Jan and I decided to round up a few simple drinks that will make your stoop the one on the block to hang around on. (I’m trying hard not to resort to the phrase “easy summer entertaining”, but you get the gist.)

And speaking of casual summer parties, there’s a reason they call it a mixer – the idea is that you mix things up, and mix people up, and mix drinks up… right? and the same goes for the mix tape, doesn’t it? I miss the mix tape – in the eighties, we’d spend hours compiling mix tapes that conveyed how much we cared about our friends/boyfriends/friends’ boyfriends. Mike made me a few mix tapes – I think that’s how I knew he liked me. So since most gatherings involve music (at our house, anyway), I decided to look to our CD collection for cocktail inspiration and make a mix tape for you – of songs and cocktails to go with them. Why not?

Here goes:

Whiskey in the Jar by Thin Lizzy/Metallica: because who doesn’t love drinking whiskey out of a jar on the front porch when it’s hot outside? While you’re at it, fan yourself with a rolled-up newspaper.
(To make ginger syrup, simmer 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water and a few slices of fresh ginger. Chill.)

Whiskey Ginger

One Mint Julep by The Clovers (also Ray Charles): this song makes me want to invite a few friends over to lounge in the grass or swing in a hammock (if we had enough for everybody), drink blackberry mint juleps in bare feet, and eat pie.

Blackberry mint julep

Orange Crush by R.E.M.: here’s a dreamy sweet treat: squeeze a good juicy orange over a scoop of good vanilla ice cream (or use Orange Crush); add a shot of vanilla vodka for the grown-ups.

Orange float

Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) by The Doors: this is a good excuse to make a whiskey sour, which seem to be trendy these days. (Maybe it’s Mad Men?) To make one, shake 2 oz. whiskey, 1 oz. lemon (or Meyer lemon! or grapefruit!) juice and 1-2 tsp. sugar with ice; strain into a glass. Or mix them up by the pitcherful in the same ratio. Oh don’t ask why…

Whiskey sour

It’s Martini Time by Reverend Horton Heat: I’m not a big martini-maker, but now I’m wondering why that is. I acquired a pair of martini glasses at a second hand shop; now I must retrieve my shaker from the tub toy area and put it to proper use. For a raspberry-lime martini, muddle raspberries with sugar, then add 1 – 1 1/2 oz. regular or raspberry vodka, 1 oz. lime juice and a splash of raspberry or cranberry juice or soda. If you like, shake it all up first and strain it into a glass with a fresh raspberry.

Raspberry lime martini

The B Side is over at Rolling Spoon – Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys, Lemon by U2, Horchata by Vampire Weekend and Little Cream Soda by The White Stripes – with cocktails!

As always, Jan came up with a bunch of fun summer drinks – some not so boozy. They’re definitely worth perusing too – along with your own mix tape.

What’s your favourite summer cocktail? And song to go with it?

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May 29 2013 | beverages | 12 Comments »

Short and Sweet: Homemade Irish Cream

Irish cream 1

I’ve always wanted to make my own Irish cream – and now I have, thanks to the dregs of the whisky bottle left over from a pre-Christmas party. It took about five minutes, as I made dinner – you just dump everything into a blender and hit blend. A good thing to have in the fridge over the holidays to add to your coffee, or save to sip over ice on New Year’s Eve. May as well get that chocolate and cream into your system while you still can.

Irish cream 2

Irish cream 4

(Note: to be truly an Irish cream, this would be made with whiskey – the preferred Irish spelling – but here in Canada it’s spelled whisky. Same diff.)

Irish Cream 3

Blend. Chill. And chill. (And while the blender is all Irish cream-y, you could add a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream too…)

Homemade Irish Cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk
the empty milk can full of whisky
half a can full of whipping or 18% cream
1 Tbsp. espresso powder
1 Tbsp. cocoa
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract

Blend everything in a blender, then transfer into a glass jar, pitcher or bottle. Refrigerate for 2 hours; shake before serving.

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December 29 2012 | beverages | 5 Comments »

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