All posts tagged: Cocktails

7 Steps to Making a Successful Toast

It is an American tragedy, a weakness of our education system. We teach our children multiplication and division, a smattering of reading skills and how to use a condom, but never the ancient skill of the proper toast. Americans become tongue-tied when raising their glass at a colleague’s retirement dinner, a nephew’s graduation or a friend’s wedding. So let’s make 2017 the year we learn to make a toast. Of all the toasts in the toasting genre, the wedding toast is the most dangerous. It requires a bard’s wit and a magician’s sleight of hand. A wedding toast must be humorous and serious, spontaneous and heartfelt. It must celebrate our culture’s most sacred bond, marriage, with the most ephemeral of human emotions, love. Here is a handy guide to the steps of making a proper toast, using my own wedding from fifteen years ago as an example. Step 1: Establish the premise. As in any good story, from a dirty joke to David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, there is always a basic “hook.” It is same …

5 Champagne Cocktails To Send 2016 Off Properly

A little bubbly never hurt anyone, and Champagne cocktails are indisputably one of the more elegant ways to celebrate, especially during the holidays. But what could you add to Champagne to make it any better, you might ask? Well, fine Cognac for one — and why not? This year has been a doozy. Here are five bubble-driven drinks to set it right:   The French 75 Created around the time of Prohibition and ironically named after a WWI field gun, this drink packs a punch. When served in a flute, it can also make for an incredibly elegant and enticing toast. Though the French 75 was originally made with gin, I often prefer a rounder, richer choice of Cognac or, sometimes, bourbon. A lemon twist brightens the drink and adds a touch of class. Remember: Garnishes can make a room. French 75  1 oz Louis Royer Force 53 VSOP Cognac 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice 1/2 oz simple syrup Top with Champagne Directions: 1. Combine Cognac, lemon and simple syrup with ice into a cocktail shaker. 2. Shake …

12 Gifts for Aspiring Bartenders & Drink Lovers

Craft cocktails have skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade, moving some to try their hand at making these drinks at home for gatherings or for themselves; avoiding the $15 per drink cost. For those who want to revive the lost art of home hospitality and entertaining, or for those who just love the art of drinks, here’s a list of gifts that any expert or novice would love. 1. Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds  Ice is one of the most important things for bartenders to consider. If a stirred drink calls for a cube of ice or someone requests a whiskey on the rocks, a good bartender will reach for one solid hunk of clear ice both for appearance and to provide the slowest dilution rate possible — no one wants a watered down drink. Though bartenders in Japan will hand carve these spheres, these silicone molds are the easiest way to make them at home. $10, amazon.com 2. Cocktail Kit with Canvas and Leather Tote For those who love to travel and show off their …

Two Easy-to-Create Summer Treats — Perfect If You Hate Cooking

I’m so not a cook. Unlike my husband, I get no joy from poring over cookbooks, searching for spices, flipping steaks or stirring pots. But I do get a little glory now and then due to these foolproof, crowd-pleasing recipes I’ve learned to perfect. They’re guaranteed to wow summertime guests with very little effort. So if, like me, you’re not a culinary queen, try making one or both of these warm-weather winners. Blueberry Vodka Yes, you need to think ahead to conjure up this fruity cocktail, but it’s worth the two-to-three-week prep time, especially if you’re hosting a party. This drink is all about its color, so make sure you serve it in clear glasses to highlight the libation’s pretty hue. Serves about 10-12 (one cocktail each) Ingredients Blueberries (at least six pints) Vodka (750ml bottle). No need to spring for top-shelf stuff — any decent brand will do. We usually use Skyy. Directions 1. Place the blueberries in a large pitcher, then pour the vodka over them (you may need to split between two pitchers if you don’t have …

My System: How to Get More Juice From Citrus

Who: The Vamp Job: Food blogger for VittlesVamp.com System: “If I need to juice a lemon, lime or any sort of citrus fruit, I microwave the little buggers on medium for 45 seconds, so they’re warm and squishy inside, and are much more amenable to juicing.  I usually find I get more juice out of the fruit that way.” How much juice does this get me? ”One regular-sized lemon should produce about 2 tablespoons of juice, if not more.” Best use of this system? ”It’s particularly useful when you’re prepping cocktails for a large group.  It is amazing how much citrus you can go through when making a batch of drinks.” Favorite citrus-enhanced party cocktail?  Vamp’s all-time fave is the classic Gin & Tonic – served with a wedge of lime. Natch!  But she also recommends the Zombie as a great party drink. Here are Vamp’s Zombie particulars: The Zombie 1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice 1 oz. pineapple juice 1 oz. passionfruit nectar 1 tsp. brown sugar 1 oz. white rum 1 oz. gold …