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Tag Archives: seltzer

Day 154, Cocktails 153 & 154

I was ready for gin when I got home last night.  I perused the Ultimate Bar Book under the gin cocktail section and came across the Cherry Cobbler.  What caught my eye was the two variants that were listed for it.  Great,  I thought, I can get two for the price of one!  The first version is just the basic ingredients served in a chilled cocktail glass.  The second variant is to use a rocks glass and top the drink with seltzer water.

  Cherry Cobbler

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 1/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup

Combine everything in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Wow, does the cherry heering come through on this one.  The creme de cassis is there as well, but the heering really dominates this drink, almost too much.  If you are not a cherry heering fan, you will probably not like this one.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon and college football on TV (go Arkansas!).  Time to try the Cherry Cobbler topped with seltzer.  I’ll call this the fizz version.

  Cherry Cobbler Fizz

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 1/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • seltzer water

Combine all the ingredients except the selzter water in a shaker with ice.  Stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled rocks glass with a couple of ice cubes.  Top with seltzer water.

The seltzer water helps tone down the cherry heering, but it is still there in spades.  I did find this version to be more drinkable, but you’ll still need to be a heering fan to really enjoy this one.  Let me know what you think!


The Explorer's Club

Day 135, Cocktail 134  

It’s been a fun and enjoyable Labor Day weekend around here, and I hope you’ve had a safe and enjoyable holiday.  There’s lots to report on that happened over the last three days, but for this post I decided to take you on a journey with me.  A journey through flavors and experiments as I search for just the right combination of ingredients to create a delicious and refreshing fizz to celebrate the holiday. 

My journey started today with my continued insistence that I find some way to use up the peppermint schnapps that I have behind the bar.  My first pass consisted of filling a collins glass with ice and adding 1/2 oz of peppermint schnapps and 1/2 oz of fresh lemon juice.  I then filled the glass with seltzer water, added a dash of maraschino cherry juice and viola!  My first attempt at the Mint Fizz.  Hmmm, at first blush this wasn’t too bad, but over the course of the 30 to 45 minutes that I was sipping on it the mint gradually took over.  Drinking several of these would not be an option, unless you like sucking on peppermint candies all day.  So, back to the drawing board.  

I need something that will counteract the mint without knocking my socks off.  Let’s try some Luxardo maraschino liqueur.  I went with the same amounts of peppermint schnapps and lemon juice (1/2 oz) and added 1/2 oz of Luxardo maraschino liqueur.  The maraschino stands up equally to the schnapps, giving me a minty, cherry flavor.  But it is still not quite right at this point.Round three had me leaving the peppermint schnapps and maraschino at 1/2 oz but increasing the lemon juice to 3/4 oz.  I also added 2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters to the drink.  Not only does the Peychaud’s impart a very light, pink color to the cocktail, but it adds a bit of binder to tie this whole thing together.  At this point, I have a pretty decent fizz that has a nice interplay between the schnapps and maraschino, without being too minty.  I could drink several of these in an afternoon (oh wait, I did, didn’t I?).  

  Mint Fizz  

  • 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • seltzer water

Fill a collins glass with ice cubes.  Add the schnapps, maraschino, lemon juice and Peychaud’s.  Top the glass with seltzer water.   

Try it out and let me know what you think!   


Day 112, Cocktails 112 & 113

The birthday bash for Mom continued today.  After a warm, sunny day at the pool something fresh and fruity seemed in order.  My brother Adam had been telling me about a gin, mango and ginger ale cocktail that he had recently had that sounded delicious.  Meanwhile, he was planning a seafood buffet for dinner this evening and I had told him about my Huiquin, a gin, sake and ginger flavored cocktail.  After some thinking, I asked Adam to pick up some mango when he went to the grocery store today.  My plan was combine the two cocktails we had talked about.  The result was the following two new cocktails.

  Momma’s Mangoes

  • 2 oz Chopin vodka
  • 1 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 1 oz dry sake
  • 2″ x 2″ slice of mango, peeled

In a shaker muddle the mango.  Really work the mango hard, nearly to a puree.  Add 3-4 ice cubes and the remaining ingredients.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktial glass.  No garnish required!

Wow!  A terrific, perfect blend of flavors!  The Chopin provides a great base and the ginger flavor of the Canton and the sake work perfectly with the mango.  From the first sip to the last the layers of flavors worked well together.

The second drink was a fizz version using the same ingredients.

  Momma’s Mangoes Fizz

  • 2 oz Chopin vodka
  • 1 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 1 oz dry sake
  • seltzer water
  • 2″ x 2″ slice of mango, peeled

In a pint glass muddle the mango into a puree.  Add the remaining ingredients and a couple of ice cubes.  Stir to mix.  Fill the glass with ice and top with selzter water.  Stir and enjoy.

A larger, refreshing version, great of cookouts and afternoon sipping.  Because of the selzter the flavors are not quite as bold, but this still works very well.

The neat thing about today is that it shows how easy it is to adapt a basic recipe to multiple uses.  Give it a try yourself and let me know how it goes!


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!

Day 102, Cocktail 101

Nothing like a little plop plop, fizz fizz when you’ve overindulged, heh?

So my dad and step mom arrived today for a visit with us, and we’re glad they’re here.  I made my first cocktail – a gin and tonic – for my dad, oh, about 40 or so years ago.  He’d tell me to fill the glass with ice and then add gin to here, pointing to an imaginary line on the glass and then fill it the rest of the way with tonic.  I was on my way….

So, fast forward, and I decided to treat my dad to a twist on the ‘ol gin and tonic.  I found this recipe last week and it blends Wisconsin’s favorite (no, not bratwursts) with gin. 

  American Fizz

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz brandy
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz grenadine
  • seltzer water

In your mixing glass combine the gin, brandy, lemon juice and grenadine over ice.  Stir to chill and mix.  Strain into a collins or highball glass filled 2/3 of the way with ice cubes.  Top with seltzer water.

The brandy adds a “darker” flavor to the gin and lemon, providing an almost smoky or woody backbone.  The grenadine softens the lemon juice a bit and adds just the hint of pomengranate and sweetness to pull it all together.  And please, please, please, use real grenadine!  We both enjoyed sipping this refreshing cocktail as we got caught up with each other.

Over the next few days I’ll do a little more exploring of the fizz genre of cocktails.  Basically, a fizz consists of a base liquor, a citrus juice (typically lemon) and soda water.  Variants of the fizz have been around since the dawn of cocktails in the early 1800’s.  The Ramos Fizz may be the most famous in cocktail circles, but I’ll bet anything that the fizz you’re familiar with is the Sloe Gin Fizz (it sure worked for me at the Gear Ball).  Stay tuned!


Day 84, Cocktail 87

I’ve got a bumper crop of cucumbers going, so what better way to use them than in a cocktail.  Sure, I could make pickles, but really, which would you rather do?

Down to the Twilight Lounge I went and started experimenting.  I decided to make a cucumber puree so that I could add it to whatever else I came up with.  It was pretty simple to do.  I took a large cuke, peeled it and sliced in half lengthwise so I could remove the seeds (a melon baller works really well, or a spoon will work as well).  I learned the hard way last year that taking the seeds out and peeling are important.  If you don’t you end up with a really gritty puree that’s not much fun in your cocktail.  One good sized cucumber (8″ or so, and get your mind out of the gutter) will yield about 5-6 ounces of puree.

Now, what to mix this with?  Well, gin is a natural, so I stuck with that for today (although I’m betting tequila and cucumber would hit it off well…hmmmm….).  I also love St. Germain with gin and cucumber.  I’ve also had cocktails in the past that muddled cucumber, orange and lime with gin. 

Eventually, and after several tries, this is what I came up with.


  • 1-1/2 oz Hendricks Gin
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz cucumber puree
  • 1/2 oz lime juice

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to combine.  Pour into a collins glass filled with ice cubes.  Add 1-2 mint leaves, top with seltzer water and stir. 

This is a refreshing, cucumber flavored drink with just a hint of sweetness from the St. Germain.  Definately not your same old gin and tonic for those warm summer evenings!