A few weeks ago my sister-in-law, Becca, was in town and asked me if she could come over and make fancy cocktails for me to photograph (and drink). Ummm YES, duh, absofreakinlutely. Now let me explain, Becca doesn't just make a cocktail, she literally creates every single ingredient herself, on the spot from fresh ingredients, and it's always amazing. She's a freakin' wizard. Her cooking is the same way, she is the type of person that can just look at a kitchen and whip up a creative gourmet meal in no time. It's a gift. I keep telling her to start a blog, so until then, we are using my blog to share some of her fun creations.
Today Becca will share how to make 4 incredible cocktails (I had the pleasure of trying them all and trust me, you want to make these). First off my new favorite, a Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita, then a delicious Whiskey Sour (with homemade sour mix), a Pineapple Cilantro Jalapeno Margarita (my other fav, I'm a tequila lover), and finally a Cucumber Lemon Mint Martini (which is literally so insanely good it's crazy). ENJOY!!!
COCKTAIL 1: Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita
Spring means rhubarb season! Rhubarb is in season from about April to June and you can find the long red stalks at most nicer-end grocery stores (I saw Safeway, Giant, and Whole Foods all had it). Get a couple stalks and make some amazing drinks. Rhubarb is super sour raw but adds a really nice tartness to things like strawberry or raspberry syrups.
Fresh Lime juice
Strawberry rhubarb syrup
For the strawberry rhubarb syrup:
Chop up one large rhubarb stalk (should be about a cup) and about a cup of strawberries-you can use fresh or frozen. Add to a saucepan with 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the rhubarb gets soft. Stir it up well (no need to be gentle) so the rhubarb and strawberries release their flavors. Let cool a bit and strain into a container, pressing on the pulp with a spoon to get all the juice. If you are in a hurry, put it in a tall mason jar (let it cool some or the glass will crack) or plastic container and put that jar in an ice bath to speed up cooling.
For the margarita:
A traditional margarita is 1 part lime juice, 1 part triple sec, and 2 parts tequila. This results in a sour margarita, which is my favorite. So for this, I halve the triple sec and add about 1 part syrup.
For two (strong) drinks, mine looked like this:
6 ounces tequila
3 ounces lime juice
1 ounce triple sec
2 ounces rhubarb syrup
Garnish with strawberries and lime wedges. This is also good with a 1 part sugar 1 part salt rim with a little lime zest if you’re feeling fancy.
COCKTAIL 2: Whiskey Sour
Whiskey + Sour mix
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/8-1/4 cup fresh orange juice, depending on your taste
1/8-1/4 cup (or more) simple syrup, depending on your taste
This drink can be as sour or sweet as you like it when you make your own sour mix.
To make simple syrup, measure equal parts sugar and water and bring to a simmer on the stove. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and let cool.
To make the whiskey sour, mix about 1 to 2 parts whiskey with 3 parts sour mix, or adjust to your own taste.
PS- see that cute bracelet Becca is wearing? (pic above and below) She hand makes those with teeny tiny beads and they are incredible. Check out her Etsy page here. <3
COCKTAIL 3: Pineapple Cilantro Jalapeno Margarita
Fresh pineapple, about 1 cup
Fresh lime juice
This recipe uses the traditional margarita ratio as a base (1:1:2 lime juice : triple sec : tequila) with sweet fresh pineapple, a bit of kick from jalapeno, and some freshness from cilantro.
To make 2 drinks:
In a shaker or measuring cup, add 6 ounces tequila, 3 ounces lime juice, 3 ounces triple sec, ½ a seeded jalapeno (less if you don’t like much spice-but this amount is not flaming hot), about 1 cup of pineapple chunks, and a few sprigs of cilantro. Muddle the crap out of it so the pineapple releases a lot of its juice.
Strain and shake with ice. Add to a glass with crushed ice and add a sprig of cilantro and maybe a thin slice of jalapeno to garnish. Lime and pineapple are great on the rim-make a slice halfway down the center and perch it on the rim.
COCKTAIL 4: Cucumber Lemon Mint Martini
Watch out: this drink is delicious, but a bit dangerous.
Fresh lemon juice (from about 1 or 2 lemons)
To take this drink to the next level and if you have time, infuse your vodka first! To do this, add the vodka to a container with some cucumber slices, a lemon slice and a sprig of mint. Let it sit while you make dinner or for as long a week (or longer, but it never lasts that long for me).
To make 2 drinks:
Add 6 ounces infused vodka, the juice from 1-2 lemons (depending on how big/juicy they are), about 2 ounces simple syrup, cucumber slices (maybe 5-10), and a sprig of mint. Muddle well and strain. (You can add ice directly to the shaker if there is room, but the cucumber slices sometimes block the strainer of the shaker). Shake with ice and pour into chilled martini glasses. To get chilled glasses, stick them in the freezer while you make the drink, or if you don’t have space, fill the glass with ice and water then dump it once you’re ready to pour.
Garnish with a mint leaf (slap the mint leaf between your hands to release the oils first) and a cucumber slice.
Thank you Becca for coming over and making these amazing cocktails!! LOVE YOU.