Topic: Cocktails

6 Tips + Techniques for Better Cocktails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you find your libations lacking? Are your mixed drinks mediocre? Well, you’re in luck because here are the top six tips to make your cocktails out of this world!

  1. Start simple.

Remember, you have to crawl before you can walk. Experiment with simple spirits and even simpler recipes until you’ve got your foundation.

  1. Use the right tools.

You don’t need an arsenal, but you do need some basic bartending tools at your disposal, including a graduated shot glass, cocktail shaker, and bar spoon. Also…use them! It might look cool to eyeball a concoction a la Tom Cruise in Cocktail, but if you want good results, always take the time to measure!

  1. Chill out.

Chill…your glassware that is. It minimizes dilution and can do wonders for your drinks.

  1. Opt for fresh.

It’s no surprise that fresh is better, and that goes for juice as well as mixers. For the best results, use your juice within thirty minutes of squeezing, and use a freshly opened single-serving mixer.

  1. Use the right ice.

Yes, there are differences in ice, and using the right ice matters to your cocktail (a lot). Rather than tap water, use filtered or boiled water, and always seal your cocktail ice in a separate bag. This minimizes unpleasant absorbed flavors from the freezer.

  1. Do your homework.

Knowing a bit about the world of cocktails can dramatically improve your products. For one, “cocktails” and “mixed drinks” seem interchangeable, but they’re actually two different animals. Learn what to stir, what to shake, and what to pour directly over ice.

Learning how to create the perfect cocktail doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice—lots of it—but with these six tips, you’ll be well on your way to cocktails that rival the best of ’em!

5 Killer Holiday Drink Recipes You Don’t Want to Miss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking to create some unique cocktails this holiday season? Here are five spins on classic holiday cheer that will have you…well, cheering!

  1. Mexican Egg Nog

Yield: one gallon

Ingredients:

12 large eggs
18 oz (by volume) granulated sugar
3 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
12 oz Pura Vida Anejo
15 oz Amontillado sherry
36 oz whole milk
24 oz heavy cream

Directions:

In a blender or stand mixer on low speed, beat eggs until smooth. Slowly add nutmeg and sugar until incorporated and dissolved. Slowly add sherry, tequila, milk, and cream. Refrigerate overnight and serve in small chilled cups. Dust with fresh nutmeg before serving.

 

  1. Pomegranate Ginger Paloma

Ingredients:

GINGER SYRUP

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 inch fresh ginger chopped
  • 8 leaves mint

PALOMA

  • crushed ice
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/3 cup grapefruit juice
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2-4 tablespoons ginger syrup
  • 2-3 ounces Pura Vida Reposado
  • ginger beer or sparkling water for topping

Directions:

GINGER SYRUP

Bring 1/2 cup water, the honey, and ginger to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, simmer 1-2 minutes and then remove from the heat. Add the mint, cover, and steep 10-15 minutes. Strain out the ginger and mint. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

PALOMA

Fill your glass halfway with ice. Add the pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, syrup, and tequila. Stir to combine and then top with ginger beer. Garnish with mint. Enjoy!

 

  1. Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Total Time: 10 minutes, plus freezing time 

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups water
  • 1½ cups Pura Vida Reposado
  • 1½ cups Pacific all-natural hazelnut chocolate beverage
  • ½ cup Naranja Orange Liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk all of the ingredients until smooth. Transfer to ice cube trays and freeze until solid, 4 to 6 hours. Transfer the cubes to a blender and purée until a smooth, thick slush forms. Divide between glasses and serve.

 

  1. Apple Cider Margarita

Yield: 2 cocktails

Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Rim:

  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar

For the Cocktail:

  • 6 ounces apple cider
  • 4 ounces Pura Vida Silver (Blanco)
  • 1 ounce Ginger Simple Syrup

(I have a bottle from World Market, but you can make your own by combining ½ cup water, ½ cut sugar, and a thumb size of ginger grated in a saucepan. Bring to boil until sugar dissolves, and let sit until completely cool. Strain and discard ginger.)

  • 1 ounce Naranja Orange Liqueur
  • Apple slice for garnish

Directions:

  • Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on a shallow plate.
  • Dip the edge of glasses into apple cider, and then dip into the cinnamon sugar to rim the edges of the glass. Fill the glasses with ice.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add the apple cider, tequila, ginger simple syrup, and orange liqueur. Shake until chilled. Strain into ice-filled glasses.
  • Garnish with an apple slice.

 

  1. White Christmas Margarita Punch

Yield: Serves about 6

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces Pura Vida Silver
  • 8 ounces Naranja Orange Liqueur
  • 8 ounces lime juice
  • 8 ounces coconut water
  • 8 ounces canned coconut milk
  • 6 ounces coconut cream
  • 6 ounces coconut rum
  • 6 ounces simple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract, if desired
  • For garnish: sprigs of rosemary and fresh cranberries

Directions: 

Mix all ingredients together well. (For a large-scale drink like this, I find it works best to make anything creamy (the coconut) in a large measuring glass or bowl and whisk it all together as opposed to shaking it.) If desired, you can add 1 to 2 teaspoons of coconut extract for more island-y coconut flavor! Taste and add more syrup if you’d like more sweetness.

Note: to make the simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.

Sugared Holiday Cranberry Garnish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat before it starts to boil, pour the syrup over two cups of cranberries and refrigerate overnight. Drain the cranberries the next day and let them dry a few minutes until tacky. Roll cranberries in superfine sugar and let dry in a single layer for an hour to two. Use rosemary sprigs and orange slices to make your holiday cocktails extra festive!

Perfect for any Pura Vida Tequila cocktail!

SangriTa, Not Sangria…

 

Sangrita, Spanish for “little blood”, is the traditional Mexican potion with which those in the know pair with their favorite glasses of Pura Vida Silver or ReposadoTequilas. Those who are REALLY in the know, choose Pura Vida’s El Guapo’s Handmade Sangrita to create the magic of an authentic Mexican flavor adventure.

The origin story of Sangrita is debated as to the whom and the how of its beginnings, but many sources agree its popularity arose in Mexico’s Jalisco region around the 1920s as a method to cut the sting of earlier, homemade tequilas. As tequila evolved into a smooth and choice spirit of discerning palates, it’s pairing with sangrita advanced in sophistication, too.

Sangrita is made from the blending of tomato juice (or pomegranate juice – another long-standing debate), orange juice, lime juice, onions, salt, and chilies. The red of the tomato juice gives it its “blood red” color, while the rest of the recipe produces a complex and complimentary flavor partner to the sugars and spices of Pura Vida’s organically grown and carefully cultivated agave goodness.

Our El Guapo’s Handmade Sangrita secret family recipe was perfected with a tomato juice base to complement the nuanced flavors of our Pura Vida Tequilas. And earns its gourmet status by being prepared in small, boutique batches while only using the finest all-natural, organic ingredients.

So, next time you crave a “spirited” trip down to Jalisco, order up a Banderita (“little flag”) – a glass each of lime juice, your favorite Pura Vida Tequila (Silver or Reposado – recommend), and El Guapo’s Handmade Sangrita, the colors of your sips mirroring the colors of the Mexican flag. Enjoy a genuine Mexican experience… Sip the Good Life!

Cranberry Tequila Punch

Cranberry Tequila Punch
(The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook, 2016)

 

 

Ingredients:
6 cups chilled bottled apple juice, divided
6 cups chilled bottledcranberry cocktail, divided
1 large orange, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/3 cups fresh cranberries, divided
2 cups Pura Vida Tequila Reposado
1 cup NARANJA Orange Liqueur
2 bottles sparkling wine, such as prosecco
10-12 fresh rosemary sprigs

 

Directions:

Make ice ring: Pour 1 cup each apple and cranberry juice into an 8- to 9-in. bundt or ring mold. Add half of orange slices in a single layer and about 1/3 of cranberries. Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.

Set aside 24 to 36 cranberries for garnish. Pour remaining berries into mold, then add remaining orange slices. Fill with another 1 cup each apple and cranberry juices. Freeze until frozen sold, at least 3 hours or more.

Just before serving, mix remaining 4 cups of each juice with Pura Vida Tequila, NARANJA Orange Liqueur, and sparkling wine in a large bowl or pitcher. Remove mold from freezer and invert onto a plate. Run bottom of mold under warm water until it releases, a few seconds. Slide ice ring into a punch bowl fruit side up. Fill bowl with punch.

To serve, skewer each reserved cranberry with a toothpick to make a hole. Strip 2/3 of leaves from bottom of rosemary springs, then slide 2 or 3 cranberries onto each sprig. Fill glasses with punch and set a sprig in or across each glass.