Categories
Cocktails

Christmas Party Cocktail Menu

Here's the drinks menu from our big Christmas party last weekend. The most popular were the Spiced Pear Margarita and Grand Cherry Tiki. The only one I had was a Poinsettia Punch, and it was delicious. I'll share the recipes later this week.

Tiki
Lounge
Christmas
Party

Today's
Specials

Tom and Jerry
A
19th-century variation on Egg Nog, served warm.
Brandy,
Dark Rum, Eggs, Milk

Hot
Buttered Rum
Sounds gross, but is quite
delicious!
Rum,
Sugar, Butter, Bitters

Spiced
Pear Margarita
Pear and spice, tastes real
nice.
Tequila,
Pear Liqueur, Spiced Pear, Lime, Sugar

Apple
Crisp
An autumnal twist on the
Sidecar.
Applejack,
Cointreau, Lemon

Poinsettia Punch
A
vibrant cocktail inspired by the holidays.
Gin,
Lemon, Cinnamon, Grenadine, Allspice Dram

Brandy
Old-Fashioned
Beloved by Wisconsinites around
the world.
Cognac,
Sugar, Bitters, Orange, Cherry

Grand
Cherry Tiki
The delicious flavors of the
islands.
Grand
Marnier Cherry, Lime, Orgeat, Pineapple

Maui
Mai Tai
A Hawaiian spin on the Mai Tai.
Gold
Rum, Curaçao, Pineapple,
Orange, Orgeat

Apple Cosmopolitan
Also available in caramel.
Stoli
Apple Vodka, Licor 43, Cranberry, Lime

 Classics
Always Available
Daiquiri,
Manhattan, Martini, Mai Tai, Assorted Highballs

 David
J. Montgomery, Proprietor

Categories
Gifts Mixology

Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Gift Guide: Non-Booze

Last week, we ran our holiday gift guide, with suggestions for spirits in different categories. We had posts with rum recommendationsbourbon recommendationsgin recommendations and other spirits recommendations. Today we're closing out the list with non-booze gift suggestions.

Professor Cocktail's Holiday Gift Guide: Non-Booze

You want to get that special tippler in your life a gift, but you don't want to actually give booze. Here are some suggestions that will get you started.



Pimento bittersDale DeGroff's Pimento Aromatic Bitters ($19)

The newest addition to the bitters landscape, crafted with the help of King Cocktail himself. These bitters really spice up classics like a Manhattan and are my new favorite for Tiki drinks.


Oxo jiggerOxo Double Jigger ($9)

One  of the keys to making great cocktails is precise measuring. For that, you need a good jigger. This is my favorite one.


Pdt cocktail bookJim Meehan's The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender's Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy ($16)

One of the best cocktail books to come along in recent years, this makes for both a useful guide and a fascinating read. Plus, it's a beautiful book.


Waring ice crusherWaring IC70 Pro Ice Crusher ($79)

I've been using this for over a year now and I still love it. If you want to crush ice in style, this is the way to go. (See our original review.)



Tovolo ice cube tray
Tovolo King Cube Ice Trays ($8)

Great for making big cubes, which are very useful in cocktails. Pop one into an Old-Fashioned or Manhattan and it will cool the drink fast, but melt slowly.

Categories
Gifts Liqueurs Spirits

Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Gift Guide: Other Spirits

This week we're running our holiday gift guide, with suggestions for spirits in different categories. So far we've offered our rum recommendationsbourbon recommendations and gin recommendations. We're closing the week with other spirits.

Professor Cocktail's Holiday Gift Guide: Other Spirits

Here is a variety of suggestions for booze that didn't fit into the other categories, but would make great gifts.


Grand marnier cherryGrand Marnier Natural Cherry ($40)

A limited edition flavor from the masters of orange liqueur. One of the most delicious cherry liqueurs you'll find. Buy some before it disappears from shelves. (The regular Grand Marnier always makes a great gift as well.)


Tequila avionAvión Silver ($40)

My favorite tequila, and the winner of our Tequila Taste Test. Makes brilliant cocktails or can be savored on its own.


Karlsson's Gold VodkaKarlsson's Gold Vodka ($30)

Vodka with flavor and nuance? Who'da thunk it! Made from seven different kinds of potatoes, this is primo stuff. Leave the Grey Goose on the shelf and give this instead.

Pisco portonPisco Portón ($35)

Pisco, the brandy of South America, is a spirit on the rise, and Portón is the best one I've tasted. Would make a great gift for the drinker who likes to try new things.


Carpano anticaCarpano Antica Sweet Vermouth ($27, 1L)

The champion of all sweet vermouths. Makes delicious cocktails, including perhaps the best Manhattan. It's pricey, so a lot of people wouldn't buy it for themselves. That's why it makes a great gift.

We've included links for each suggestion to K&L Wines (where available). K&L is a great spirits store, with impeccable service and a sterling reputation. You can order from them with confidence. Send them an email to see if they ship to your state. (Note: We're not being compensated for these links.)

Categories
Gifts Rum Spirits

Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Gift Guide: Rum

This week we're running our holiday gift guide, with suggestions for spirits in different categories. So far we've offered our bourbon recommendations and gin recommendations. Today we're doing rum.

Professor Cocktail's Holiday Gift Guide: Rum

Rum doesn't get the respect that whiskey does, but it's just as wonderful a spirit. Although it shines brightest in cocktails, the right rum is also delicious on its own.


Cruzan rumThe Bacardi Alternative: Cruzan Aged Light Rum ($14)

Both better and cheaper than the ubiquitous Bacardi, this rum is aged for two years and then filtered to remove the color. A very good all-purpose rum.


Appleton rumThe Best Jamaican Rum: Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year-Old ($35)

My favorite rum for a whole slew of cocktails, including the Mai Tai, this is also great all by itself. Everyone needs some in the cabinet.


El dorado rumSip, Sip Away: El Dorado 12 Year-Old ($26)

Rich, balanced and bursting with flavor, this is my favorite sipping rum. One of the best buys in all of spirits. Try finding a 12 year-old Scotch this amazing for under 30 bucks.


Banks rumThe Ultimate White Rum: Banks 5 Island ($26)

A great addition to any cocktail. It will make your Daiquiris, Mojitos and everything else sing.


Mount gay rumRum for Whiskey Fans: Mount Gay Extra Old ($40)

Convert the whiskey lover in your life to rum with this dry, complex spirit. Hailing from Barbados, the birthplace of rum, everything Mount Gay makes is good and this is probably their best.

We've included links for each suggestion to K&L Wines (where available). K&L is a great spirits store, with impeccable service and a sterling reputation. You can order from them with confidence. Send them an email to see if they ship to your state. (Note: We're not being compensated for these links.)

Categories
Gifts Spirits Whiskey

Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Gift Guide: Bourbon

This week we'll be running our holiday gift guide, with suggestions for spirits in different categories. Yesterday we offered up our gin recommendations. Today we're doing bourbon.

Professor Cocktail's Holiday Gift Guide: Bourbon

We're in the midst of a bourbon renaissance, with a plethora of fine whiskeys on the market. There are many wonderful brands you could pick, but I narrowed down my recommendations to these four.


Larceny bourbonA New Everyday Bourbon: Larceny ($23)

This new bourbon from Heaven Hill, introduced earlier this year, is now a favorite of mine. A variant of Old Fitzgerald, this is a delicious wheated bourbon that is great in cocktails or on its own.


Eagle rareFor the Connoisseur: Eagle Rare 10-Year Old ($25)

This was the second highest rated whiskey in our bourbon taste test. (The top rated has been discontinued.) Any bourbon fan would love to have a bottle, and the price can't be beat.

 Evan williams 1783For the Budget Shopper: Evan Williams 1783 ($15)

Evan Williams bourbon is always tough to beat, and this is one of my favorite expressions. It tastes so much more expensive than it costs. A wonderful bourbon that you can drink any time — pick up an extra bottle for yourself.


Four roses small batchFor the Collector: Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch ($87)

John Hansell said this was the best bourbon of the year. I wouldn't know, since it's almost impossible to find. But in case you do see it, this is the one to get. (Or if you can find a bottle of Van Winkle or the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, snap it up.)

We've included links for each suggestion to K&L Wines (where available). K&L is a great spirits store, with impeccable service and a sterling reputation. You can order from them with confidence. Send them an email to see if they ship to your state. (Note: We're not being compensated for these links.)

Categories
Gifts Gin Spirits

Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Gift Guide: Gin

The holidays are upon us once again. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or all three, you want to find the perfect gift to give to those you care about. If that special someone enjoys a good tipple, your task is that much easier. Just give them booze!

This week we’ll be running our holiday gift guide, with recommendations for spirits in different categories. First up is gin.

 

Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Gift Guide: Gin

Gifting a bottle to a gin lover is simpler than with most spirits. There aren’t as many choices as there are with Scotch (for example), and most of the brands are damn good.


Tanqueray ginCan’t-Miss Gin: Tanqueray ($19)

One of the world’s most ubiquitous gins is also one of the best. The classic gin of the London dry variety, Tanqueray is always welcome.


Plymouth ginPerfect All-Purpose Gin: Plymouth ($30)

Virtually any cocktail that calls for gin can be deliciously made with Plymouth. Softer and a little sweeter than Tanqueray, every bar (and every gin drinker) needs a bottle on the shelf.


North shore ginThe Gift for the Gin Connoisseur:  North Shore No. 11 ($32)

A truly unique gin that most haven’t heard of, North Shore No. 11 has the classic flavors of a London dry, augmented with amazing herbs and spices. Makes a one-of-a-kind delicious gin and tonic.

We’ve included links for each suggestion to K&L Wines (where available). K&L is a great spirits store, with impeccable service and a sterling reputation. You can order from them with confidence. Send them an email to see if they ship to your state. (Note: We’re not being compensated for these links — but we should be!)

Categories
Gifts Rum Tiki

Holiday Gift Guide: Rum

Over on Liquor.com, Julie Reiner, owner of New York's famed Tiki Bar Lani Kai, shares her holiday gift suggestions for the rum lover in your life.

Her picks:

  • El Dorado 15 Year Old
  • Mount Gay Extra Old
  • Rhum J.M. White
  • Ron Zacapa XO
  • Santa Teresa 1796

 

Rum_gifts

I have four of these five rums in my cabinet, although the only one I've tried so far is the Mount Gay. Mount Gay Extra Old is an excellent sipping rum, dry and spicy. Not only is this a good pick for rum drinkers, but it would also make a great gift for someone who usually drinks whisky. (It's always struck me as the most whisky-like of the finer rums.)

I haven't opened my bottle of El Dorado 15 yet, but their 12-year-old rum is one of my favorites: smooth, sweet and delicious. El Dorado makes excellent rums.

All in all, some excellent suggestions.

Categories
Drink Recipes Rum

Recipe: Coquito (Puerto Rican “Egg Nog”)

Want to try something new for your holiday libation this year? Mix up a batch of Coquito! This is the traditional Puerto Rican version of Egg Nog, and it's muy delicioso.

 

Coquito (Puerto Rican “Egg Nog”)

1 can Coconut Milk
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (minus 2 ounces)
6 Egg Yolks
1 ½ Cups Rum
½ teaspoon Cinnamon, plus more for Garnish

Whisk or blend together the egg yolks and rum until well beaten.* Add equal amounts of the three milks, plus the cinnamon, and mix until combined.

Pour into glass bottles with stoppers and refrigerate. It should keep for at least a week. (And probably much longer.)

Sprinkle with freshly-ground cinnamon before serving.

Adapted from a recipe by author Sarah McCoy (handed down from her abuelita, Maria Esparra Norat).

*There is always some risk to consuming raw eggs. However, the risk is very small, and combining them with the alcohol in this fashion makes it even smaller.

 

This Coquito is very easy to make and delicious. I whipped mine up in the blender — the only drawback was that it was more liquid than the carafe could hold, so I had to do it in batches. Next time I'd probably do it in a bowl with the mixer.

You should probably make this with a Puerto Rican rum, just to be authentic. Either white or gold would work, although I think white is more traditional. I'm not a fan of Bacardi (the most common Puerto Rican rum), but you could try Don Q or Ron del Barrilito.

There are endless variations you can make with this same basic recipe. You could add nutmeg, vanilla, banana, more rum, whatever you like.

¡Salud, amor y pesetas!