A few weeks ago we did a feature on the Tequila Sunrise. That was a fun article because the drink has these three great layers. The drink starts off sour with the lemon juice on top, then it becomes tangy with the orange juice, and then sweet and fruity with the Grenadine. Yum!
But there is one great way to improve the Tequila Sunrise; in fact, this can improve many of your mixed drinks. You can make your own Grenadine.
Real Grenadine is made from Pomegranates, but the stuff you buy in a bottle at the liquor store doesn’t have any pomegranate juice in it – which is why it isn’t nearly as good as homemade. Also, as with everything else, when you make your own, you can control the flavor. And in the case of making Grenadine, that means really pumping up the pomegranate flavor.
Here’s how to make it:
- 4 cups of Pomegranate Juice (you can find it on the juice aisle at your grocery store)
- ½ cup of Sugar
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
Stir all the ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil for about 45 – 55 minutes. You’ll want to test the consistency to make sure it doesn’t get too thick. Here’s how:
As you approach 45 minutes, use a spoon to get a little bit of the grenadine out. You only need a couple teaspoons to do the test. Put it on a plate and let it cool for a minute or so.
Once it is cool to room temperature, tip the plate and watch what it does. It should leave a nice coat of syrup as it easily slides down the plate. If it just sits there in a pile of purple goo, then it is way too thick. If it runs like water, then it’s still too thin.
A great comparison is to just use a little bit of the bottled Grenadine to see how the correct consistency looks. Although the bottled stuff doesn’t taste so great, it is the correct consistency.
The reason you need to get the consistency correct is that if the syrup is too thick then it will just pool at the bottom of all your drinks. Instead you want it to float on the bottom like a cloud.
You will notice that homemade grenadine is dark purple in color. It isn’t red like the junk in the bottle. It also tastes amazing!
Oh, and the other great way to improve your Tequila Sunrise is to squeeze your own orange and lemon juices. Simply outstanding.
You’re going to need a bottle of Light Rum, a small pile of lemons and some Creme de Menthe. That’s because this week’s Friday 5 o’Clock Cocktail is the Miami Cocktail. A delicious drink that goes well with Spring.
Here’s how to make a Miami Cocktail:
- 1 1/2 oz Light Rum
- 1/2 oz Creme de Menthe
- 1 dash Lemon Juice
Directions: Making this drink is easy. Just put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake it, strain it, and serve it in a cocktail glass. Fresh Lemon Juice is always best, but we’re drunks so we use whatever we have available.
There has been a lot of debate on the beer boards about whether beer is negatively affected if it is packaged in a can. The truth is, despite what some know-it-alls say, once you pour it into a glass you can’t tell the difference.
In fact, if anything cans are better than bottles for three reasons. First, cans are less prone to breakage. Secondly, they are lighter – so it costs less to move them around. Thirdly, cans protect beer from harmful UV rays better than glass. And fourthly … well, cans are just better ok?!
Ok, ok, so in the name of science I got a six-pack of bottled Pilsner Urquell and a four-pack of canned Pilsner Urquell. I poured them into glasses and tasted them both.
The result? They taste the same. I drank one, then the other. Then I tried it again. And again. And then one more time, just to be really sure.
My wife was walking by while I was doing this, and asked me what on Earth I was doing. I explained it to her, and she graciously volunteered to help taste. She drank my beer until it was gone and confidently announced there was no difference.
A part of me suspects she was just thirsty and wasn’t really all that interested in my little experiment. Sometimes she doesn’t share my zeal for this stuff.
Of course, there is another side to this. Glass is more enjoyable to drink out of than metal. Since many people drink out of whatever the beer is packaged in, this might also explain why many beer snobs prefer bottles to cans.
Not us. We’re civilized Drunks, so we pour our beer into a glass the way we’re supposed to.
Minty and sweet – that’s what we’re looking forward to this evening. The perfect drink to sip as you gaze out at your yard and think about all that mowing you are going to be doing tomorrow morning. Yeah, it’s spring alright. The yard work, the pollen, the Rum drinks!
Here’s how to make a Mint Daiquiri:
- 2 oz of Light Rum
- 1/4 oz of Triple Sec (or another kind of Orange Liquour)
- 4 Mint Leaves
- 1/2 oz Lime Juice
- 1 tsp Powdered Sugar
- 1 cup of ice
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend it until it’s smooth. Keep in mind a couple of tips:
- Try and get as much of the stems off the mint leaves as possible. They can make the drink a little bitter. It doesn’t hurt to use a knife to cut the spines out of the leaves.
- Make sure you blend it enough to really pulverize those mint leaves down so that they are just specks of green in the drink. If you don’t blend them enough they will get little green flakes caught in your teeth, and that isn’t cute.
So far, all of our reviews have been about beers. Now we’re going to start mixing it up a bit with liquor. This week we reviewed Canadian Club. A great value for the quality you’ll get.
Now, if you’ve tried the single malt whiskies and scotches then you know how wide the range of taste can be for whiskey (or, in this case whisky). The Canadians are smooth and drinkable, and for our money much better for mixing cocktails than most other types of whiskey.
Read our review of Canadian Club Whisky.
As the name suggests, this is a Martini that is made with Tequila. With Martinis, the supporting ingredients are there to bring out the taste of the primary liquor more than they are to make an impression of themselves.
The Cigar Smoking Man points out on his blog the importance of using bitters (sparingly) in this drink. He also makes a good point about bitters – that bitters are to cocktails as salt is to food.
True enough. Bitters do bring out an extra element in many drinks. Like salt, a little goes a long way. If you’ve put enough in your drink to be able to taste it, then you’ve probably used too much.
Here’s how to make a Tequini:
- 1 ½ oz of Tequila
- ½ oz of Dry Vermouth
- 1 Dash of Bitters (I used Angostura)
Directions: As with all martinis, the method of mixing is to STIR the ingredients gently with ice so you don’t bruise the liquor. Then strain the clear drink into a cocktail glass and garnish with lemon peel.
Also, when you get a chance, you should visit the Cigar Smoking Man’s blog. It’s a great read, even for non-smokers like me.
It turns out that this question has interested scientists and philosophers for thousands of years.
For most of human history, people thought that “spirits” inhabited the wine or beer. This is why we call alcoholic drinks “spirits” today.
However Louis Pasteur discovered yeast around the mid 1800’s, and that’s how we learned that actually it was the by-product of yeast cells that put the “spirit” (ethanol) into the drink.
Even so, it wasn’t until relatively recently that scientists learned how ethanol actually causes drunkenness. By understanding this, we have a better idea of how alcohol affects our health and steps we can take to enjoy alcohol with minimal risk.
If you consume alcohol regularly, then it is probably a good idea for you to learn a little bit about how it affects your body. Our article “What Causes Drunkenness” will give you a brief overview.