Move aside, Mai Tai. The tropical drink's got some competition with the Kon-Tiki Swizzle, a contemporary tiki creation that boasts some surprising ingredients, from Campari to coconut water. For this edition of Happiest Hour, Morgan Schick, bar manager of San Francisco's Trick Dog and partner at Jupiter Olympus, shows us how to swizzle our way to Summer refreshment. Watch the video to get inspired, then see the recipe.
Why choose between green juice and a margarita when you can have both in a spicy-savory jalapeño margarita? This one's made with celery leaves and lime juice.
This is the perfect drink for someone who tends to sway toward more savory drinks, like salty dogs or balsamic bloody Marys. However, a sugar rim could tone down the spice and acidity, so feel free to sub that instead of the salt. Serve it in a pitcher to make it fit for a crowd. To look at this picante Margarita recipe, read more
Spain's cheap variation of sangria, tinto de verano, is quite simply a red-wine spritzer. Refreshing and delicious, this concoction is my go-to drink when I'm in the mood for something light. This easily drinkable cocktail is a delightful alternative to beer and wine.
Choose a mixer that suits your taste buds (sparkling water, San Pelligrino Limonata, and Squirt are variations that I've made), and always garnish with a lemon wedge or wheel. Keep reading for the dead-simple recipe.
To infuse a little excitement into your life without living dangerously at 50,000 feet, whip up a batch of the Chamomile High Club, a beer and bourbon cocktail. Kate Bolton, bar manager at San Francisco's Maven, shows us how to make this bracing yet complex cocktail — verdant garnish included. Watch the video to see how it's made, and then snag the recipe just in time for happy hour.
When working with cocktails that could use a boost of citrus flavor, this often means adding a twist, wheel, or wedge, but it's high time we put citrus cutouts on the go-to list. Not only are they adorable, but they also suffuse drinks with a punch of aromatic oils.
We learned just how impressive yet easy this garnish is to make, thanks to an SF Chefs cocktail mixers seminar. The trick? Have a set of aspic cutters ($12) at the ready. Remove a swath of citrus rind using a vegetable peeler, stamp out shapes with the cutters, add a few to a cocktail glass, then ooh and aah at your handiwork as you enjoy your drink.
Once you've been bitten by the do-it-yourself cocktail bug, it's easy to get carried away with aspirations to stock your bar exclusively with homemade mixers. But look behind even the most serious bars and you'll notice that a variety of store-bought products are nestled in amongst the house-made infusions. Smart bartenders know it's better to expend efforts where it will be worth their while, rather than toiling away at prep work that won't pay off.
The question is: which mixers make the cut, and which ones are best left to the experts? That's where the collective knowledge of Michael Lazar (author of Left Coast Libations
), Neyah White (brand ambassador for Yamazkai and Hibiki Whiskies), and Camper English (journalist behind Alcademics) comes into play. The three broke it down at a DIY cocktail mixers seminar at this past week's SF Chefs. What's worth — and not worth — making, when you read more.
While you may be familiar with the Michelada, a beer-based cocktail from Mexico, you've probably never had the sassier Michelada Cubana. Danny Mena, chef-owner of New York's Hecho en Dumbo, stopped in to show us how to make this simple variation of a popular hair-of-the-dog drink, which calls for the umami-boosting ingredient known as Maggi seasoning. Watch the segment, then get the recipe.
While some cocktails are beloved for their crowd-pleasing nature — like the margaritas and dark and stormys of the world — others stand out for their assertive, potentially polarizing flavors. The aviation, a classic Prohibition-era cocktail, might not appeal to all, but its fans are of the ardent sort. Gin, lemon juice, crème de violette, maraschino liqueur, and cherries (no, not the glowingly red sort) mingle into an elegant, lavender-hued beverage that you'll likely either love or hate; the only way to find out is to try it for yourself!
Japanese restaurant Benihana may be known for its teppanyaki grill masters, but it also boasts some solid signature cocktails, among them a strawberry saketini. We learned how to make the drink, which melds unfiltered sake with fresh strawberry puree for a drink that's refreshing for Summer (we'd try pairing it with the chain's chicken fried rice!). Watch how it's done, and then get the recipe.
Next time you're in a bind over what to serve at your impromptu grill-out, don't fret — just serve sangria. It's easy to make in advance, calls for ingredients you likely already have on hand, and accommodates anywhere from one to 100. Best of all, everyone — college kids, parents, men, and women alike — gravitate towards it (don't be surprised if your guests fly through those pitchers you made ahead of time).
To see the easy red sangria recipe, keep reading.