Monday, May 17, 2010

Signature Cocktails

A very fun article I just had in my inbox was from Epicurious, a favorite recipe site I visit on a regular basis! They offered some unique Signature Cocktails I thought I would share today! At my wedding, we didn't do something like this - our bar menu was limited to beer and wine, but I know how popular having a Signature Cocktail can be so if you are lucky enough to incorporate this into your big day, here are some fun cocktails I wanted to share!

Eben Freeman, bartender of Tailor restaurant in New York City, created this Champagne cocktail. As you add the sparkling wine, note how the drink changes color from green to pink. Freeman uses frozen cherries to make a cherry purée, but you can also use all-fruit spread

1 teaspoon cherry purée (note: recipe below makes 3/4 cup)
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) vodka
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) simple syrup
5 fresh mint leaves
1 cup ice cubes
1/4 cup (2 ounces) dry sparkling wine, such as brut Champagne, chilled

To Make Cherry Purée:
In a bowl, purée frozen cherries or all-fruit spread with water. In general: 1 cup of frozen cherries (6 ounces) puréed with 2 tablespoons of water makes approximately 3/4 cup purée. To make purée using all-fruit spread, combine 3/4 cup spread with 3/4 cup water. Any extra can be used to make smoothies or sauce for ice cream.

To Make Cocktail:
Transfer purée to chilled martini glass. In chilled cocktail shaker, combine vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup. Tear mint leaves in half and add to shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Slowly strain into martini glass without disturbing purée, then top with sparkling wine and serve

A Caribbean spin on the 150-year-old classic, this version infuses pineapple into Pisco (a South American brandy) and uses fresh grapefruit and lime peels for added brightness
1 4-pound pineapple, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 750-ml bottle Pisco (If you live in Washington State - try Guacamayo Pisco)
2 cups Simple Syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel
1 1/2 teaspoons grated white grapefruit peel
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Ice cubes
12 pineapple leaves (optional)

Place pineapple pieces in large jar. Pour Pisco over. Cover and refrigerate 3 days, shaking occasionally. Divide Simple Syrup between 2 bowls. Mix grated lime peel into 1 bowl and grated grapefruit peel into the other. Cover and refrigerate both syrups overnight.

Strain Pisco into pitcher; discard pineapple.

Strain both syrups into Pisco. Add lemon juice; stir to blend. Fill 12 small glasses with ice, then add punch. Garnish with pineapple leaves, if desired.

Gin is big in the British Virgin Islands, as you might imagine. Here, it's combined with local soursop juice and curaçao. The name is a reference to the shade of the Caribbean Sea (It's BEAUTIFUL!) 

3/4 cup soursop (guanabana) juice* or pineapple juice
6 tablespoons gin
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons Simple Syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons blue curaçao liqueur
4 dashes of angostura bitters
Ice cubes
2 unsprayed purple orchids (optional)

Mix first 6 ingredients in cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Cover and shake well. Strain into 2 Daiquiri or Martini glasses. Garnish each with orchid, if desired, and serve.

*Soursop (guanabana) juice is similar to pineapple juice and is available at Latin markets nationwide. 

If you are already a Mrs. and had a Signature Cocktail at your wedding....please share with everyone in the comment section! Would love to hear about the different recipes and drinks!


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