One of the gifts I received this Christmas was the book: The United States of Cocktails by Brian Bartels. This book has a chapter for each state where is gives interesting information about each state in relation to their cocktail culture and history along with recipes for a couple cocktails the state is known for. I have decided to “visit” one state each week during 2021 with this book and try out at least one of their cocktails. The first state I will be visiting is Maryland since this is my home state.
The first cocktail on our Maryland visit is the Orange Crush. This cocktail was invented in 1995 at the Harborside Bar & Grill in Ocean City, Maryland.
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce triple sec
2 ounces fresh orange juice
2 ounces lemon-lime soda
Garnish: orange wedge
Stir ingredients with ice in chilled pint glass. Garnish with orange wedge.
Black Eyed Susan
The second Maryland cocktail is the Black Eyed Susan. This is the official drink of the Preakness Stakes horse race.
1 oz Bourbon
1 oz vodka
1 oz peach schnapps
2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
2 oz sweet and sour mix
Garnish: cheery and an orange slice
Shake ingredients in a mixing tin with ice. Strain and pour over crushed ice.
Tonight I decided to try a hot toddy. Since I love tea I had plenty to choose from. For this cocktail I decided to use the Tetley British blend tea. For the alcohol component there was a bottle of Dogfish Head Honey Barrel Rum on my shelf calling out to be used. This was definitely heavy on the rum, but it was delicious. I will almost certainly be making this again. Possibly even on January 11th to celebrate National Hot Toddy day.
The Christmas Cookie Cocktail was even more delicious than I expected it to be. Now, I personally am not a fan of Kahlua. This is because I do not like coffee and has nothing to do with Kahlua itself. But because of this the only bottle of Kahlua in my house is the Mint Mocha Kahlua so that is what I used in this recipe. I’m sure they expect you to use regular Kahlua when you’re making it. Regardless, the cocktail turned out great with the Mint Mocha Kahlua.
Recipe: 4 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream 2 oz Butterscotch Schnapps 1 oz Cointreau 1/2 oz Kahlua
Shake all ingredients with ice for 8-10 seconds. Strain into cocktail glass.
The Berry Smash cocktail is one of my 25 days of Holiday Cocktails recipes. I have to say that I was surprised by just how delicious this cocktail is. Plus it is super versatile. I can easily see me coming up with lots of combinations for this one. I’m thinking cranberries with peach vodka, strawberries with lemon vodka and so on and so on. The possibilities really are endless with this one. This recipe is definitely a 10/10 in my book.
Recipe: 1/2 cup fresh or thawed berries muddle berries 2 crumpled mint leaves 3 oz vodka 1 oz simple syrup club soda
Shake all ingredients except club soda with ice for 8-10 seconds. Strain into cocktail glass with fresh ice. Top with club soda or ginger ale.
I have been seeing the Bigelow Botanical Cold Water Infusion teas for awhile now and decided to go ahead and pick one up to try. I wound up buying the strawberry lemon orange blossom tea.
Pros: Super easy to make especially if you are out and about
Cons: Cold water doesn’t allow sugar to mix properly
Overall: This tea tasted like plain hibiscus tea. I did not really taste the strawberry, lemon or orange blossom. Those flavors were VERY mild. A look at the ingredient list shows hibiscus as the first ingredient so no big surprise there. For me it isn’t worth the money as I can get hibiscus tea that I like much better. I will use what I have but will not be buying this one again.
For day 3 of my 25 days of holiday cocktails I started with the White Christmas Mojito. This drink was not quite what I expected. From the recipe I expected a minty, coconut flavored cocktail. While the resulting cocktail definitely had both of those flavors, it wasn’t quite as coconut flavored as I personally would have liked. If I make this cocktail again I will definitely be making some adjustments to the recipe. Overall I would rate this recipe as a 7/10. It just needs a little tweaking to be something that I will fully enjoy.
White Christmas Mojito Recipe
Juice of one lime 1 Tbsp of sugar 6-8 mint leaves 1 oz white rum 2 oz coconut rum 1/4 cup coconut milk
In shaker add lime juice, sugar and mint leaves. Muddle and then add ice. Add both rums and coconut milk. Shake for 8-10 seconds and then double strain into cocktail glass. Enjoy!
This holiday season I will be celebrating with cocktails. Every day from December 1st through December 25th I will be posting holiday themed cocktails on my TikTok page. Be sure to check back daily for the new drinks. Here are the cocktails:
I must admit that I was a bit weary of this cocktail because it contains vinegar. While I certainly make use of vinegar in my house, I do not typically drink it. But I am trying to be more open and adventurous with my drinking so I went ahead and gave it a try. Here is the recipe for the shrub and the cocktail:
Cranberry Shrub 8 oz apple cider vinegar 1 cup sugar 1 cup cranberries
Heat the apple cider vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the cranberries and bring to a simmer. Smash the cranberries into the mixture as they soften. Simmer for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Let mixture cool and then strain into a glass container. Shrub can be stored in refrigerator for 5 days.
Cranberry Shrub Cocktail 2 oz cranberry shrub (above) 3.5 oz vodka Ginger ale (for topping off) 3 fresh cranberries (for garnish)
Fill highball glass halfway with ice. Pour in cranberry shrub, add vodka and stir. Top with ginger ale. Garnish with cranberries on skewer.
This cocktail turned out to be way better than I expected. It is definitely worth a try, even if you aren’t a fan of drinking vinegar.
Lemonades are one of my favorite Girl Scout cookies. I just really enjoy lemon because it reminds me of laid back summer days. This made it hard for me to settle on just one Lemonade worthy cocktail so I decided to try 4 different cocktails and see which one best matched the Lemonades cookies.
Lemonades Cookie Cocktail 1:
For cocktail option 1 I did a simple mix of RumChata and Limoncello. It was a good cocktail, but the RumChata spices were very prominent so it did not really taste like the Lemonade cookie.
Lemonades Cookie Cocktail 2:
This cocktail is more of a traditional Lemondrop cocktail. It contains lemon juice, vodka, Cointreau and simple syrup. It was absolutely delicious and very lemony. I loved this cocktail, but it was not like the Lemonade cookie because it was all lemon flavor and no shortbread notes to it.
Lemonades Cookie Cocktail 3:
The third Lemonade cookie cocktail option I had used the Tazo Iced Lemon Loaf tea, limoncello and amaretto cream. This cocktail was delicious and absolutely reminded me of the Lemonade Girl Scout Cookie. The version I made had a subtle lemon flavor that matched the cookie very well. However when I make this in the future I will definitely use more limoncello because I personally like more lemon flavor in my drinks.
Lemonades Cookie Cocktail 4:
For my final Lemonades cookie cocktail option I did a simple mixer of amaretto cream and Italian lemon soda. While this mix was delicious the lemon in the soda curdled the cream in the amaretto cream which made for a chunky drink. When I try this drink again I will use regular amaretto instead of amaretto cream to avoid the chunks.
Here are all the cocktails lined up together. You can see the curdling on the 4th cocktail. Otherwise all the cocktails were pretty normal looking. The best match for the Lemonade cookie is Cocktail 3. It was delicious and definitely something that I will be having again.