I am not one to turn down a good Michelada! On that note, there are a lot of bad ones out there. It takes a bit of practice to come up with the combination of flavors that makes you swoon with delight when you taste it, but it can be done. Finding a good recipe was challenging because every recipe out there was "the best damn Michelada recipe", but they can't all possibly be the best damn one. I mean, what would the odds of that be? After some trial and error, I found this little gem on chilipeppermadness.com. It's perfectly spicy the way I like it. Don't be fooled though, not all Micheladas have tomato or clamato juice in them. If you don't care for tomato/clamato juice, you can still enjoy the spicy delight that is a Michelada, and there are a lot of recipes out there that make it without the juice.
Michelada (this is spicy!)
6 oz. light Mexican beer - I used Corona Premier, but Sol, Modelo, Dos Equis, Victoria, Pacifico, or Tecate are all fantastic choices.
6 oz. clamato juice - just the regular juice, not the fancy stuff already made for a Michelada
1/8 cup of lime juice
1/2 tbsp. of worcesteshire
1/2 tbsp. soy sauce - I have used liquid aminos and coconut aminos with great success if you don't like soy
1 tsp. hot sauce - I used Tabasco, and it was delightful.
Mix all ingredients except the beer together in a mixing glass. Slowly add the beer and stir. Pour over ice into a salt or spice rimmed pint glass. Garnish with a lime if you feel like it.
Gotta be honest. Until I put the drink calendar together, I didn't even know there was a drink called a Gin Basil Smash. I took to diffordsguide.com to learn a little about it. It came about on July 10, 2008 when its creator Jörg Meyer blogged about his new cocktail. It originated in Hamburg, Germany, and was originally called the Gin Pesto. I am not a huge pesto fan, so I had my doubts. Since there is a day known for it, lets try it out. I used the recipe off Difford's Guide website, which has a wealth of information on all things alcohol.
Gin Basil Smash
12 basil leaves
2 oz. dry gin
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/3 oz. simple syrup
Difford’s lists specific brands, but I don’t have them, so there we are. Use what ya got.
Muddle the basil leaves and lemon in the bottom of a shaker. Add the other ingredients and shake with ice. Strain over ice into an old-fashioned glass.
This is a really good drink! In the pictures online, there are several bright green drinks, and for a moment I was disappointed mine didn't look the same. Upon reading a bit more, I found that people were making basil simple syrup which accounted for the color change. It was great the way I had it, so no changes needed.
Here's a video of me trying to make one for the first time.
Many people consider bourbon to be more of a fall/winter liquor, but since it's national day is in June, they are obviously dead wrong. There are many different bourbon cocktails out there perfect for summer! Mix up one of these bad bourbon boys and enjoy it on a hot day while sitting in your favorite shady spot. Several of these recipes recommended specific ingredients, many of which I didn't have on hand. But that's the beauty of cocktails, you can adjust and maneuver and create something fantastic with what you have.
Summer Breeze Cocktail by The Spruce Eats
splash of orange liqueur
2 oz. bourbon
2 oz. ginger ale
Muddle the orange liqueur and the orange slice in a cocktail glass. Add ice, bourbon, and ginger ale and stir until well mixed. I did not have a orange. I did, however, have some orange juice and used a splash of that instead of a slice.
This recipe recommended Cointreau and Maker's Mark bourbon. I had neither of these, so I used what I had on hand. It didn't suck, so I am assuming any orange liqueur and bourbon would do.
The Kentucky Derby may have been cancelled/postponed this year, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy its signature drink!
Mint Julep by Liquor.com
1/4 oz. simple syrup
8 mint leaves plus leaves to garnish
2 oz. bourbon
splash of bitters
Muddle the simple syrup and mint leaves (not the garnish ones) in a julep glass. Add crushed ice about halfway and stir until the glass is frosted. Add more crushed ice to fill to the rim. Garnish with a mint sprig and a dash of bitters.
The Brown Derby by Liquor.com
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. honey syrup - which is just simple syrup made with honey instead of sugar
Put all ingredients and some ice in a cocktail shaker and shake it like a polaroid picture. Strain into cocktail glass and consume while barbecuing on a hot summer day.
Bourbon Sidecar by Acouplecooks.com
2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Cointreau (the website says triple sec won't work as well since it's not as smooth)
1/2 oz. lemon juice
Put all ingredients and some ice in a cocktail shaker and shake it til you make it. Strain into a cocktail glass and you know the drill.
2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. lemon juice
6 oz. ginger beer
Combine bourbon and lemon juice in copper mug. Add ice about 2/3 of the way up. Top with the ginger beer.
I used Jim Beam and Q Ginger Beer for this. Q is gorgeously spicy and mixes just perfectly with the bourbon.
Mezcal is amazing. If you don’t think so, you’re wrong. It, like it’s less mature cousin Tequila, is made from agave. Unlike Tequila, it can be made from more than the Blue Agave. There are laws about this. Another reason to love it.
Mezcal gets its smoky-ness by finishing up underground. Trust me, it’s amazing.
Sip it. Or shoot it. As J would say “You do you.”
Oh my. This is like a second birthday. Or second Christmas. Or second some other wonderful holiday where I get gifts.
According to nearly every dictionary ever (possible exception for naughty ones), a liqueur is a sweet, strong, alcoholic beverage that one typically consumes after dinner. Well, not always after dinner. Liqueur isn't just for dinner anymore. Liqueurs are liquors (distilled spirits) that generally have added flavor from herbs, spices, creams, etc. So, Bailey's? Yes. Absinthe? Yes. St. Germain? Yes. Hopefully you get the point. There's entirely too many to list. There's also entirely too many for us to be able to say we are in any way knowledgeable about it.
Peanut Butter & Jelly
1 oz. Framboise (blackberry liqueur)
1 oz. Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
Does this look like a shot to you? Probably, but don't drink it like one. Sip and enjoy.
Oh my hell. How is it that July wasn't National Rum Month with all the rum drinks that are celebrated in it? Well, I guess we need to make the best of a good situation. More rum.
While most of us think of rum as being made from sugar cane juice, according to Amy Stewart in her book The Drunken Botanist, "most of what we know as rum comes from molasses, not cane juice..." She discusses the history of this delight as well as its crazy ties to the British Navy.
Unlike the other big categories of liquor, rum is actually a drink of the Americas (Stewart, 103) - originating in the Caribbean. Another reason to love the Caribbean.
Need ideas for a rum drink to enjoy on this day? Try one of the recipes below!
Professor's Pineapple Pop
Harry Potter Mojito
Jerry Loves Ginger (spiced rum)
Ginger Spiced Negroni (spiced rum)
Ginger Old Fashioned (spiced rum)
Yay for National Scotch Day! A day for all us whiskey drinkers to pretend we know what we are doing. Scotch comes from Scotland, which you would think is obvious. Scotch has a truly loyal and loving following and a history of amazingness. There are also strong opinions about how to properly drink it. As D and I have stressed several times, you do you. It's your palate. Please it.
Most scotch is consumed in the following ways:
My favorite scotch is Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood. It's not smoky, and it is nutty and spicy and warm and takes me to my happy place. *sigh
Tequila is such an amazing spirit with a colorful history. Make sure you are buying the good stuff. It needs to be 100% agave - don't be fooled by the other crap. You know that salt and lime shit people do with a shot of tequila? It's only to cover the taste of lower quality booze. Don't use salt and lime if you have a good quality tequila. Unless, of course, you just really like salt and lime. Then, use away. Weirdo.
Add a shot of quality tequila to a glass. Add a splash of water or an ice cube. Sip with dignity.
Basic Margarita (taken from The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart)
1 1/2 oz. good, 100% agave tequila
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. orange liqueur - Cointreau, Patron, etc.
dash of agave syrup
Garnish if you feel the need. D likes green olives in her margarita. You do you.
Put all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake it like you mean it. Strain it into a cocktail glass (with or without the salt rim, you decide) and sip it straight up. Fug yeah. Honestly, the best margaritas are the most simple. Skip the syrups and HFCS filled sweet and sours.