If we’re being honest with this one, we needed to use up some more bottles to clear some space on the shelves for new alcohol bottles! If you’re “struggling” to figure out what to create for your next cocktail hour, why not make The Struggle?
How to make: 1 oz. Cruzan Dark Rum 0.5 oz. Luxardo Apricot liqueur 1 oz. Mandarine Napoleon liqueur 0.5 oz. Brandy’s 5-year Bual 0.25 oz. lemon juice 2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters
On this particular night, we had a Madeira Zoom challenge with our Pennsylvania friends whose power was officially back on after crazy storms knocked it out! Jeremy decided to create The Trans-Atlantic to use up a few nearly empty bottles in our house.
He used: Blandy’s Bual Madeira 5yr, Cruzan Dark Rum, Cocchi Sweet Vermouth, Mandarine Nalpoléon liqueur, Lemon Juice and a splash of Topo Chico. And let’s just say—it’s both easy to make and incredibly delicious.
What you need: 2 oz. Blandy’s Bual Madeira 5yr 1 oz. Cruzan dark rum 1 oz. Cocchi sweet vermouth 0.5 oz. Mandarine Nalpoléon liqueur 0.25 oz. lemon juice Splash of Topo Chico
How to prepare: Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass and stir well. Enjoy. See? It’s really that easy.
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Some days, we had good reasons why we picked a certain cocktail or perhaps could offer a story behind our choice. But other days, we don’t remember how or why we picked the cocktail.
Please forgive us.
During our stay at home, it was often hard to even remember what day of the week it was. The rationale for Day 3’s concoction was the strawberries Jeremy bought on Day 2 were quickly spoiling. The most memorable thing about this cocktail was that it accompanied what became weekly Sunday evening Zooms with Andy’s son Zak and his girlfriend Alice in D.C. and Zak’s mother across town here in Dallas.
For people with previous disdain for FaceTime (or any video conferencing for that matter), we have found Zoom a fun way to keep connected with family and friends. We certainly used them a lot more often than we did during “normal” times.
2 ounces Tanteo Jalapeno tequila
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce lime juice
1/4 ounce agave nectar
Garnish: lime wedge
How to make:
Muddle strawberries in a shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake well with ice. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lime wedge. Optional: Add salt rim.
Our first trip to Southeast Asia started in Singapore at the legendary Raffles Hotel where we arrived late one balmy evening. Exhausted, we were greeted by the doormen and promptly shown to our suite. As we unpacked, there was a knock at the door, and our butler had two Singapore Slings from the Long Bar on a silver tray.
The trip took us on the Eastern & Oriental Express for three days through Kuala Lumpur to Penang and the River Kwai to Bangkok. It was a journey we’ll never forget as the devastating tsunami had ripped through the area the week before. It was an educational adventure for us. A trip full of wonderful people, food, and of course, cocktails.
It was such a generous, warm first trip to Southeast Asia that whenever we want to reminisce on that trip, we make Singapore Slings and pretend we’re back there.
1 1/2 ounces Aviation gin
1/2 ounce Luxardo cherry brandy
1/4 ounce Cointreau
1/4 ounce Ramazzotti amaro
1 ounce lime juice
4 ounces pineapple juice
Scrappy’s orange bitters (2 dashes)
Garnish: amarena cherry
How to make: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Garnish with cherry.
This cocktail choice was a no-brainer default! Day 33 was Cinco de Mayo, which meant two things: Tex-Mex and margaritas. Jeremy made a (fairly large) pitcher of margaritas and we ordered tacos for takeout and grabbed some plasticware. It happened to be a perfect evening with high clouds and a nice breeze to meet up with friends at White Rock Lake for a socially distanced picnic. As the sun set across the lake, we shared wedges of chilled watermelon. Now let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: orange juice in a margarita. Jeremy has always added a little OJ for depth of flavor and swears by it for a perfect ’rita!
How to make:
16 ounces Camarena blanco tequila
8 ounces Grand Marnier
3 ounces agave syrup
12 ounces lime juice
4 ounces orange juice
Pour all the ingredients in a pitcher with ice and stir well. Pour into an ice-filled highball glass (or plastic tumbler … you do you). If you want to add some extra flavor: add salt to the rim.
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What made this challenge more fun was hosting Zoom hangouts with friends and creating cocktails together. One of our favorite cocktails was created on Day 20: Beati Fumo di Nonino. A lot of it had to do with the drink, but even more so it had to do with the Zoom friends. While concocting this cocktail, the whiskey brought Jeremy and me back to our trips to Isle of Skye. The most recent visit was with Zak, who honed his axe-throwing skills (seen above—very impressive!)
How to make for yourself:
1½ ounces Amaro Nonino
½ ounce Lonach 10-year scotch whisky (distilled by Laphroaig)
½ ounce honey
½ ounce lemon juice
Garnish: lemon peel
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into martini glass, Garnish with lemon peel.
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It’s the drink that kicked off this wild adventure! Andy opened the liquor cabinet and his eyes landed on the bottle of Campari. While Campari and soda is a classic, we wanted more oomph for our first sip, so he took to Google and landed on the Americano.
How to make for yourself:
1½ ounces Campari
1½ ounces Cocchi sweet vermouth
Topo Chico mineral water
Mix Campari and sweet vermouth over ice in a highball glass and top off with the Topo Chico. Voila! Simple and easy.