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Tag Archives: cazadores

When in Mexico I can only drink so many margaritas (even of the avocado variety) and palomas…so what to do?  At the house we were staying at we had both silver and reposado tequilas, along with Grand Marnier (for making margaritas).  So….one night after dinner and enjoying a fine Cohiba on the patio the inspiration for the Mexican version of the classic Manhattan hit me.  And it was soooo good, especially with the fine cigar I was enjoying with it (yes, it was Cuban).  So, without further adieu, the Mexican Manhattan.

  Mexican Manhattan

  • 3 oz reposada or anejo tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir.  Pour into a rocks glass.  No garnish needed.

Upon my return home I mixed this up using the Cazadores anejo that I brought home from Puerto Vallarta (oh, so smooth) and used Cointreau (I also don’t actually have any Grand Marnier at the moment).  The orange of the Cointreau is a very nice, slightly sweet complement to the Cazadores anejo. 

Another option if you have a really good reposada or anejo is to just add a couple of dashes of orange bitters instead of Cointreau.  This will give the orange flavor without the added sweetness of the liqueur.

So, when I need to escape winter I’ll be getting that bottle of Cazadores out and reliving the sun and sand of the beach at Puerto Vallarta!

Cheers!

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Day 362, Cocktails 361 & 362

…but it turned out I was mistaken.

So tonight’s mea culpa is that I had a miscount on my days.  I’ve actually been off by two days, and it’s two days the wrong way, meaning I have 2 less days to complete my journey.  Fortunately I was ahead of the count in terms of cocktails, so all is well.  However, I’m sure Andy will have something to say about all this!

Now, back to the fun stuff – the cocktails!  I did two last night, the first a recipe from Dale Degroff’s “The Craft of the Cocktail” that I selected for its ease of mixing and cool sophistication.

  Black Rose

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 dash grenadine

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill and combine.  Strain into a rocks glass over an ice ball.  Garnish with a flamed lemon peel.

For this drink I used Knob Creek bourbon and it was a winner!  The deep, charcoal flavor of the bourbon was mellowed ever so slightly by the grenadine and Peychaud’s.  It was reminiscent of a Manhattan, but without the sweetness and allowed the bourbon to still be the star.  I really liked this drink and will definitely be having it again!

Unfortunately, Gwen didn’t really appreciate the Black Rose.  She asked me to make something with cucumber, so here’s what I put together for her.

  Cucumber Mule

  • 2 cucumber slices, about 1/4″ thick
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 2 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1-1/2 oz Old Ballycastle ginger
  • Seltzer water

Muddle the cucumber and bar syrup in the bottom of a collins glass.  Add the tequila, lime juice and ginger and stir.  Fill the glass with ice and top with seltzer water.

Mmmm, a nice variation of the Monterrey Mule that lets the hint of cucumber compliment the ginger and tequila.  I thoroughly enjoyed this refreshing cocktail and can’t wait to have it on a warm summer evening – assuming summer does show up around here sooner or later….

Cheers!

Day 313, Cocktails 314 & 315

Two new cocktails were created at the Twilight Lounge last Friday night.  You’ll be welcome to have the first, the Pear Tequila, anytime that you come by.  This was the first of the night and was inspired by my simple desire to play around with the Old Ballycastle Ginger and tequila.  I have no idea what put that idea into my head, but it was there so I went with it.

The second drink of the night was the End Of The Line (pictured).  I decided to use Kajmir, the vanilla flavored brandy – vodka blend.  And why did I name it End Of The Line?  Well, I’m almost out of Kajmir, and since it is no longer made, when its gone, its gone…of course, freeing up a space for a bottle of something else (hehe).  So, I’ll get back to this in a minute, but first I want to go back to the Pear Tequila.

  Pear Tequila

  • 1-3/4 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1-1/2 oz Mathilde Poire liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Old Ballycastle Ginger
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice cubes and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist, if desired.

This turned out to be pretty good.  The recipe above was the second iteration – I had too much tequila and not enough Mathilde and Old Ballycastle in the original attempt.  It’s a multi-layered cocktail, with the pear and ginger flavors both subtly intertwined and complimenting the Cazadores nicely.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

With my first effort under my belt, I turned my attention to my nearly empty bottle of Kajmir.  I really don’t know what led me to pull out … maybe it was just my desire to clear out a space for something new.  Whatever the reason, as I sniffed the now open bottle I started thinking about what else could I pair with this to create a cocktail.  I wanted to stick with the Old Ballycastle Ginger, but I’d need something else as well.  I finally settled on orgeat as my third flavoring ingredient.

  End Of The Line

  • 2 oz Kajmir
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/4 oz Old Ballycastle Ginger
  • 1/8 oz orgeat

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice cubes and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a rocks glass with an ice ball.  No garnish needed.

This is also a very nice cocktail…a hint of nuttiness from the orgeat, a bit of spice from the ginger and the smooth, slighty smokey vanilla of the Kajmir.  I added the extra shot of vodka (I used Sobieski) to give this drink at list a little heft since the Kajmir is only 40 proof.

I’d ask you to try this one out as well, but unless your one of the three people in the world who still have a bottle, you’ll have a tough time finding it.  Of course, if you get over to the Twilight Lounge soon, I still have enough for a couple more!

Cheers!

Day 281, Cocktail 280

Gwen was prepping to get the hell of out of Dodge ahead and down to Cancun with a bunch of her friends tonight.  They originally weren’t supposed to leave until Wednesday, but the “big blizzard” headed our way they moved their travel plans up a day.  So I figured that something with tequila was in order tonight.

Besides Gwen’s trip, the inspiration for tonight’s cocktail was a drink I saw on the Cooking Channel show Drink Up.  My inspiration was made with rum and cardamom syrup which I replaced with tequila and Old Ballycastle ginger.    The rest of the ingredients are in the original, although I played around a bit with the proportions.  Let’s see how it turned out.

  Mexican Hat Dance

  • 3 slices of cucumber
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz bar syrup
  • 1 oz Old Ballycastle ginger
  • 2-1/2 oz Cazadores tequila

Toss the three cucumber slices into the bottom of your shaker, then add 4-5 ice cubes.  Add the rest of the liquid ingredients and shake, shake, shake.  You need to work this hard because you are muddling the cucumber at the same time that you are mixing your drink.  To prepare your collins glass cut three more slices of cucumber.  Place an ice cube in the bottom, then a cucumber slice, then another ice cube…create a stack three ice cubes / cucumber slices high.  Strain the drink over the cucumber / ice stack in the glass.

I know the drink is good when Gwen asks for seconds and thirds (it’s probably a good thing Andrea wasn’t here).  The flavors are multilayered with cucumber and ginger playing together, supported by the Cazadores.  There is just a hint of spicy heat from the ginger and the syrup keeps the drink from being too tart.  As an alternative, you can just dump the contents of your shaker into a collins glass.  This gives you bits of cucumber mixed in with the drink.  But, you don’t get the neat effect of the layered ice and cucumber slices.

Cheers!

Day 132, Cocktails 132 & 133 

This post references back to last Friday, the 133rd of the journey.  It was dinner at home and Gwen was making burritos, so tequila seemed logical.  I pulled Mittie Hellmich’s Ultimate Bar Book down off the shelf (heck, who am I kidding, it resides right on top of the bar these days) and started thumbing through the tequila section.  Since I still had some pineapple juice left, the Matador caught my eye. 

 
                           A Pair of Matadors 

   Matador

  • 1-1/2 oz gold tequila
  • 3 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cube.  Garnish with a cherry.  

This turned out to be quite tasty and a very nice compliment to the burritos (which were spicy).  I also love the way this drink looks with the foam on top from the hard shaking that the pineapple juice recieved.  It adds a visual element to the cocktail that is very pleasing to my eye. 

Once dinner was over I was ready to try another cocktail and delved back into the tequila section of the Ultimate Bar Book.  This time it was the Blue Margarita that caught my eye. 

Blue Margarita

 

  Blue Margarita 

  • 2 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1 oz blue curacao
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes and shake, shake, shake.  Rim a chilled cocktail glass (you’ll need the 6 oz version for this cocktail) with a lime wedge and then salt the rim.  Strain the cocktail into the glass. 

This twist on a margarita is more visual than flavor changing since the curacao has an orange flavor, not unlike the Cointreau or triple sec.  The blue is dramatic, and I’ve used it in several other cocktails in the past.  Just check out the Cocktail List & Index page for a complete list of drinks that I’ve done with blue curacao (or any other liquor or liqueur for that matter).  With the extra shot of orange flavored liqueur the tequila is not quite as up front and center like a margarita usually is, but it is still there. 

So there you go, a nice pair of tequila drinks to try out the next time you have Mexican, or any thing else for that matter! 

Cheers! 

Day 127, Cocktails 125, 126 & 127

Whew, what a day!  We had planned to swim and grill out this afternoon and invited our friends Greg and Patty to join us.  When they arrived we all got into the pool and cooled off from another hot day (at least hot for us !) and got caught up with all the news.  About mid afternoon it was time to try out our first cocktail of the day (fortunately, I don’t have to twist Greg and Patty’s arm very hard).  I decided to give a drink recipe sent to me by a high school classmate Mary Sheldon Hyatt a try.  It’s called the Dia Del Amore (which is what Valentine’s Day in Mexico is known as).  As best I can tell, this recipe comes from the fine folks who produce St. Germain, so it should come as no suprise that it uses…ta da…St. Germain.

Dia Del Amor

  • 1-1/2 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1 oz St. Germain liqueur
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 2 dashes Tabasco

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes and shake, shake, shake.  Prepare a rocks glass by salting the rim.  Add 4-5 ice cubes and strain the drink into the glass.  Garnish with a lime twist. 

This drink was fantastic!  Mary, thanks for sending me the recipe.  We all enjoyed it!  The sweet, elderflower of the St. Germain was a terrific compliment to the tequila.  I was pleasantly suprised by this as I have not worked with tequila and St. Germain before.  The tabasco added just a hint of smokey, pepper flavor, but really no heat at all.  This cocktail is really a great substitute for your typical margarita, and really blows away nearly any typical restaurant ‘rita made with overly sweetened mixes. 

While we were on the patio enjoying the Dia Del Amor, I handed Greg my new copy of The Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich (and a huge thanks to Ashish for giving me this book – it is fantastic!).  Greg, not being one to miss an opporunity to drink my booze started flipping through the tequila section.  It didn’t take long before he started to quiz me. 

 “Do you have silver tequila?” 

“Of course.”

“Pineapple juice?”

“Actually, yes.”

“Angosturo bitters?”

“Yep.”

“Club soda?”

“Yes, why?”

“Because we should try a La Conga next.”

And try we did. 

  La Conga

  • 2 oz silver tequila
  • 1/4 oz pineapple juice
  • 3 dashes Agnosturo bitters
  • seltzer water

Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.  Add the tequila, pineapple juice and bitters.  Top with seltzer water, stir and garnish with a lemon slice.

This is an unusual cocktail in that it is mixed directly in the glass.  That said, it didn’t really catch the fancy of any of us today.  The bitters really dominate the flavor of this drink and I don’t think it really had enough pineapple juice since we didn’t catch any flavor of it in the drink.  If I were to try this again I would double the pineapple juice and cut the Agnosturo to 2 dashes and see how that goes.

We took a break from cocktails to have some dinner, but it didn’t take long to head down to the Twilight Lounge and try our third tequila cocktail of the day, also from The Ultimate Bar Book.

  La Bomba

  • 1 oz gold tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1/8 oz grenadine

Combine the tequila, Cointreau, pineapple juice and orange juice in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add the grenadine. 

The grenadine ends up sinking to the bottom which gives the drink a very nice visual appeal (it’s the cocktail in the picture above).  It also adds a layer of flavor as you work your way through the drink.  This was another delicious drink that was very well balanced and enjoyed by all of us today. 

So, to paraphrase Meatloaf, two out of three ain’t bad.  Give these cocktails a try and let me know what you think.

Cheers!

Day 111, Cocktails 110 & 111

We arrived in Boulder yesterday for a mini family reunion to celebrate our Mom’s 70th birthday.  It was the first time we had my Mom, Cookie, my brother and all our kids and spouses together at one time!

With 1,068 miles to drive Thursday and Friday I had plenty of time to figure out a cocktail to celebrate my Mom’s birthday.  A lot of different ideas rolled through my mind until I settled on a couple of final options.  When we finally did arrive it was great to back with the whole family.  A quick trip to the garden for basil and mint and then it was time to mix.

  Paula Anna (Basil Version)

  • 2-1/2 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 2 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lime slice
  • 2-3 small strawberries, quartered
  • seltzer water

In a mixing glass muddle the lime slice and basil.  Add the strawberries and lightly muddle to release the juice but don’t crush them.  Add 3-4 ice cubes and the tequila and Domaine de Canton.  Shake to mix and empty into a pint glass.  Add 3-4 more ice cubes and top with seltzer water.

This cocktail is a take on a Monterrey Mule and fizz style drinks.  The tequila and ginger of the Domaine de Canton is a great combination.  The fresh basil really accents the drink well and the strawberries add a touch of sweet.

For a second version, try this with fresh mint in place of the basil.  It gives a slighter sweeter taste to the drink.  Try them both and let me know what you think!

Happy Birthday Mom and Cheers!

Oriental Gem or Just Oriental?

Day 62, Cocktails 57 & 58

While this is day 62 of my adventure, these two cocktails are from earlier this week.  Several months ago I purchased a bottle of Ty Ku liqueur at my local Otto’s Wine and Spirits.  Otto’s is definately my go to place for liquor, liqueurs, beer and wine.  The selection is large, the staff knowledgeable and the prices good.  If you are in the Milwaukee area and enjoy a drink now and then, check them out!

So, back to the Ty Ku.  It was on sale, looked interesting, and based on nothing more than that, I bought it.  When I got home I opened it up, poured a small sample and took a sniff.  Hmmm, my initial reaction was not pleasant.  I took and sip and was not thrilled.  The closest thing I could liken it to was a distilled spirit that I had in China that smelled like sweat socks left in a gym locker and tasted worse.  While this was not that bad, it did seem to have the same origin.

I let it sit for a couple of months, during which time my liqueur cabinet has started to overflow.  Being the kind of person that cannot throw liquor away (no matter how unattractive it is) I endeavored to find a use for it.  My quest started at the Ty Ku website.  They are pretty non specific about the geography of its origin, but do give some information on what does make up Ty Ku.  The flavoring components are yuzu, a fruit that is somewhat of a cross between a lemon and a lime, honeydew melon (a flavor that I can detect in it), mangosteen (I have no idea what this tastes like as it is not generally available in North America), ginseng,  green tea, and goji berry.  I won’t even begin to get into the veiled “health” benefits that Ty Ku seems to think it possesses.  My interest is in what I can do with this 40 proof liqueur.

My first Ty Ku cocktail is from their website and is a bit of a twist on a margarita:

  Skinny Senorita

  • 1-1/2 oz Ty Ku
  • 1/4 oz tequila (I used Cazadores)
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • soda water

Combine the Ty Ku, tequila and lemon juice in a shaker glass with 3-4 ice cubes.  Stir well to mix and chill.  Pour into a rocks glass filled with cracked ice.  Top with soda water and garnish with lime slice.

This cocktail, I have to admit, was light and effervescent.  A hint of th melon flavor in the Ty Ku came through, which was very nice.  On their web site Ty Ku claims this is a 96 calorie cocktail, so Gwen appreciated that aspect of it as well.

My second effort with Ty Ku was last night.  The flavor profile (which by now has grown on me) seemed like it would work well with cucumber.  Did somebody say cucumber?  Hendrick’s gin immediately came to mind as a base spirit.  Then I borrowed a page from Chad Doll’s playbook and used my citrus juicer on an unsuspecting cucumber to get its juice.  After several trials, I settled on this little number:

  Melon Cukey Baby

  • 2-1/2 oz Henrick’s gin
  • 3/4 oz Ty Ku
  • 1/8 oz cucumber juice
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 cubes of ice.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and thoroughly chill.  Pour into a chilled, 6 oz cocktail glass.  Garnish with a floating cucumber slice.

As I was working this I dialed back on the cucumber juice and increased the gin and Ty Ku to get the balance right.  In the end I thought this was a tasty, summer cocktail with just enough sweetness to refresh but still allow the interplay between the melon flavor in the Ty Ku and the cucumber tones of the Hendrick’s.   Try it out and let me know what you think — and if you have a better idea for a name, please let me know!  I’ll mix you one if have the winning suggestion!

Cheers!

Day 24, Cocktails 23 and 24

It’s a two ‘fer post with a couple of variations on the same theme, always an interesting way to compare cocktails and their ingredients!

The first drink I have for you tonight came from the television show “Great Cocktails”.  It’s hosted by Steven Phillips, a long time bartender from New York.  It’s a decent show, with lots of good tips as well as fun facts and plenty of cocktail history.  You can catch it on Fine Living Network.  Check it out and see if you don’t learn something. 

The topic of this particular episode was vodka.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy vodka (heck, my last post was a vodka drink).  But I have a little bit of trouble taking it too seriously.  By itself, a good vodka is devoid of any flavor or character.  Which is why we have the proliferation of flavored vodkas on the market.  They make life very easy (too easy, if you ask me) for the mediocre bartender.  A really good bartender will rarely work with flavored vodkas – that’s what juices, liqueurs, bitters and other flavor adders are for.  However, I do admit that when I want to whip together a quick drink, vodka is sure easy to use because of the lack of flavor.  (Editorial note – potato vodkas do offer some distinct tastes, and I’ll get to those sometime this year.)

So, enough pontificating.  The drink that caught my eye was the Moscow Mule.  Here it is.

  The Moscow Mule

  • 1 oz Luksusowa vodka
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • ginger ale

Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.  Add the vodka, lime juice and top with ginger ale.  Stir to mix and garnish with a lime wedge.

With the vodka receding to the background the interplay between the lime and ginger ale is interesting.  It’s light, refreshing and pretty good.  I wouldn’t hesitate to have this one again or to serve it to friends.  It’s definately different.

So, as I was making this I thought, hmmm, I wonder how this would taste with tequila in place of the vodka.  I mean the lime and tequila go together like white on rice.  Fast forward several hours and I did just that.  Thus, the Monterrey Mule was born.

  The Monterrey Mule

  • 1 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • ginger ale

Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.  Add the tequila, lime juice and top with ginger ale.  Stir to mix and garnish with a lime wedge.

I have to admit that I’m not nearly as enamored with the result of this one.  To me, the tequila and ginger ale seem to be bickering amongst themselves while the lime sits on the sidelines.  Maybe a pinch of salt would help bring this together…if it does, I’ll let you know.  Until then, give it a try and let me know what you think.  It may be just me that doesn’t like this one.

Cheers!

 

A pair of Sagebrushes with their proud parents

Day 14, Cocktail 14   

Yesterday I posted the Sagebrush, a newly created recipe.  All day long today I just had this nagging feeling that I had rushed my post for it.  So when I got home after my Saturday Otto’s run for a few odds and ends for the Twilight Lounge I got to tinkering.  The result is the new and improved Sagebrush!  I replaced the ginger ale with a favorite of mine, Domain de Canton.  I also  added a pinch of kosher salt and a dash of Agnosturo bitters.  The addition of these two ingredients really helped to tie this cocktail together.  I do have to give a nod to Chad Doll for the inspiration to try the salt – see his post at http://thirdcoastcocktails.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/hey-bartender-misty-kalkofen/.   

   

  Sagebrush 

  • 2 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 1-1/2 oz cranberry juice
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters
  • 2 sage leaves (for muddling)
  • sprig of sage (for garnish)

    

Fill a mixing glass with 1 oz crushed ice, 2 sage leaves and 1/8 oz of bar syrup.  Muddle thoroughly.  Add the Cazadores, Domaine de Canton and cranberry.  Stir vigourously to mix.  Strain into a rocks glass over 4-5 ice cubes.  Garnish with the sage sprig.   

This version comes together as a more complete cocktail with a smoother taste and more body than the original.  Give it a try!   

Cheers!