Category Archives: Cocktails Recipes

The Calamity of the Eclipse

So the eclipse is coming up on Monday, August 21, and people are really f**king excited about it. Since we won’t be able to see the next one until April 2024, I guess I get the appeal.

Everyone is talking about the super small town directly in the path that will get the best “view” of the eclipse that’s been inundated with entirely too many people, the best eyewear, etc … but I really only care what libation will be in my hand when I “see” it.

That said, I’ve seen a lot of other recipes for cocktails with a dark liquor float on top, but I thought I’d go for the next level of gimmick. I created ice balls with activated charcoal in them to look like the moon, and I mixed up a riff on a traditional gin cocktail, the Bees Knees, that’s gold in color … ya know, like the sun. I chose to use Calamity Gin because it has delightful citrus notes along with light hints of juniper, rose, and cardamom. I also threw in just a bit of Ancho Reyes ancho chile liqueur to give it some heat. To make it festive, I made ice balls colored with activated charcoal*.

***Before using charcoal in your cocktails, or before ingesting activated charcoal at all, really, you should know the risks. Yes, risks. Charcoal is showing up now in juices and capsules to act as a health aid to do anything from reduce gas, improve digestive health and lower cholesterol to acting as a killer hangover cure. But, what people aren’t telling you is that, while it does all that good s**t, it also can mess with your medications. Since it’s a natural purifier/filter, it can render your medications ineffective. Meaning: DO NOT DRINK THIS IF YOU’VE TAKEN ANY MEDICATION LESS THAN TWO HOURS BEFORE, AND DON’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR AT LEAST ONE HOUR AFTER. That is, unless you’re ok with your birth control failing, ladies.***

CALAMITY OF THE ECLIPSE
2oz
 Calamity Gin
0.75oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
0.5oz honey syrup
0.5oz Ancho Reyes Liqueur
560mg activated charcoal (usually two capsules, do not use casing)*
5oz water

The night before, dilute the activated charcoal into 5oz of water. Stir, then funnel into a round ice mold. Freeze overnight.
Mix the remaining liquid ingredients together with ice until chilled, then strain into a rocks glass over the charcoal ice ball. Enjoy immediately.

 *If you’re not comfortable using activated charcoal, there is black food coloring! Or even purchase a pomegranate juice for a fruity take on this cocktail.

Calamity Gin was nice enough to give me a bottle of gin to play around with to find a fun recipe for the eclipse and sponsor this post.

National Bubbly Day

National Bubbly Day is June 3!

We’re obviously obligated to celebrating the effervescent elixir that has improved more than one wedding/New Year’s Eve/casual Tuesday afternoon and my health in 2017 (no kidding). While I’ll be hanging in my pool with some mini bottles of Segura Viudas to commemorate the day (screw the forecast that’s calling for rain), there are plenty of other ways to celebrate. Enjoy a chilled glass, boozy popsicles, sparkling sangria, or my newest creation, the basic girl favorite frosé (recipe below).

Visit my Instagram page (@susiedrinks) before Sunday, June 4 at 6pm for the chance to win a bubbly goody bag from Segura Viudas including a full size bottle of Segura Viudas Brut and two mini bottles, a portable Bluetooth speaker, a badass cava straw like the one in my picture, and some other goodies.


The frosé has been a recent favorite around town, but I decided to triple down on the booze by adding orange liqueur and vodka. (Because, I mean … it’s me.) Using frozen strawberries automatically chills the drink, so no ice is required that would eventually water it down.

Segura Viudas Frosé
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup of Segura Viudas Rosé
0.5 oz agave syrup
0.75 oz Cointreau
1 oz Reyka Vodka

Blend all ingredients on high. Pour into a flute, then top off with more rosé. Garnish with a strawberry half and a sprig of mint.

 

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Special thanks to Segura Viudas for providing the giveaway goodies!

Seersucker Gin Gin Juleps for the Kentucky Derby

Grab your gaudy hat and seersucker suits, boys and girl, it’s time to get to the starting line for the Kentucky Derby!

The traditional drink of the Derby is, as we all know, the Mint Julep. Traditionally made with whiskey, sugar, mint, and a touch of water. the well known cocktail has been the feature of bars at Churchill Downs for nearly a century. No kidding, it’s said that they serve about 120,000 of them each year!

Not being one for tradition, I wanted to put a twist on the usual Mint Julep recipe. Luckily, Seersucker Southern Style Gin challenged me to come up with a cocktail that I’d serve at my Derby party using their brand new spirit, so I had a fun starting point and a unique spirit to work with.

To highlight the botanicals in Seersucker (citrus, coriander, juniper, mint), I paired it with a genever (the father spirit of gin) and ginger syrup. (So, really, this should be a called a “Gin Gin Gin Julep”!) The flavors play nicely together and make for a unique take on the well known recipe.

GIN-GIN JULEP
1 oz Seersucker Southern Gin
0.5 oz Bols genever
0.25 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz ginger syrup
~5  mint leaves
Top with Club soda
Garnish with a piece of candied ginger.

 

Seersucker itself is proud of its riff on the traditional julep, the Gin Julep. (They added citrus to bring out the botanicals and reserved the water.)

GIN JULEP (Recipe courtesy of Christopher Ware of Azar Family Brands)
2 oz Seersucker Southern Style Gin
0.25 oz of lime juice
0.25 oz of lemon juice
0.5 oz of simple syrup
~5 mint leaves + more to garnish

Combine gin, citrus juices, mint leaves, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker, then muddle mint lightly. Strain into a julep cup over crushed ice. Garnish with more mint.

 

SEERSUCKER SOUTHERN STYLE GIN
seersuckergin.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

~$26 for 750mL
Available in 200ml, 750ml, and 1.75L

Pictures by @JureeGoode.

Sweat Out the Chill with a Marker’s Mark Hot Toddiablo

Y’all … this weather is weird.  30º one day, 60º the next … it’s enough to give anyone a sniffle.  The best cure?  A hot toddy.

The Hot Toddy (or tottie or “hot whiskey”) is traditionally made using a dark spirit (usually whiskey, rum, or brandy), hot water, sugar, and some spice.  Typically, we see lemon added to make it … you know … more “medicinal”.  And while they’re said to be a good way to mitigate cold symptoms, I’ve found that I enjoy them whether I’m sickly or not.

The word “toddy” itself comes from the Hindi work tārī, which was a drink they made using the toddy palm.  The British adopted and adapted the drink (as they do), and then it made its way to America’s deep south and they did the same using rum and local spice and sugars, but these drinks were served cool.  The more well-known HOT version is thought to have come from Scotland and was used as a cold cure.  

Wherever it came from, I’m a fan.  That said, I came up with a version that will add some (literal) spice to your holiday …

Hot Toddiablo
1½ oz Maker’s Mark
1/4 oz Ancho Chili Demerera Syrup*
1 bag Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea
3 oz hot water
2 dashes Orange bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, then stir until combined.
Glass: hot drink glass

Garnish: orange slice and cinnamon stick (and slice of ancho chile if desired)

Ancho Chili Demerera Syrup
2 cups demerera sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
1 cup water
2 ancho chilis, stemmed and seeded

Bring ingredients to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes.  Strain through a find sieve, and let cool completely.  Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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Maker’s Mark: ~$30/750mL
Tea: Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, $2-$24
Cup: Crate and Barrel, $1.95

***Maker’s Mark generously provided me with product to create this recipe.***

#SusieDrinksClassics: the Boulevardier

With the classic cocktail resurgence that has been seen over the last couple decades, I realized recently that I didn’t know how to make many of them.  That said, we’re all going to learn together with my new series, #SusieDrinksClassics.

Our first less is the Boulevardier.  This cocktails is the whiskey version of an Italian favorite, the Negroni.  Since the whiskey warms the cocktail, it makes it a perfect transitional cocktail for the fall.

BOULEVARDIER
1.5oz rye whiskey
0.75 Campari
0.75 sweet vermouth

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, then stir with a bar spoon until well chilled.  Strain into a glass of your choice.

Garnish: orange peel
Glass: coupe or double old fashioned glass (if served with ice)
Ice: none if chilled, or over ice if desired

Next Week: the Whiskey Sour


Items featured:
Wigle Rye Whiskey (Pittsburgh, PA), Campari, Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
Gold jigger: Cocktail Kingdom, $22.95
Mixing glass: Courtesy of Absolut Elyx
Coupe: Crate and Barrel, $12.95
Marble Slab: Crate and Barrel, $49.95

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico annually on November 1 and 2 to honored loved ones that have passed.  (Catholics celebrate a similar holiday, All Soul’s/Saint’s Day.)  Celebrants prepare altars (ofrendas) and decorate them with flowers, candles, sugar skulls, and more along with pictures of the deceased and offerings to them (food, drink, candies, etc.)

In true Susie Drinks fashion, I have some cocktail recipes using some authentic elements to celebrate the Day of the Dead.  The Margarita Muerto uses marigold-infused tequila because marigolds are the traditional flowers used on ofrendas–they believe that the bright color and scent guide the souls to the altar.  The Modelo Ofrenda Picante uses mezcal as it’s often offered to spirits.

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MARGARITA MUERTO
3oz marigold-infused Sauza tequila
2oz fresh OJ
1oz Cointreau
1oz fresh lime
dried marigold petals, ripped into small pieces

Rim glass by dipping it in lime and then dried marigold petals, then set aside in the freezer to chill.  To prepare the margarita, combine the marigold-infused Sauza tequila and other liquid ingredients in a shaker and shake until well chilled.  Double strain into chilled glass.

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Spicy Sandia
0.5oz Sauza tequila
0.5oz watermelon purée
Lime juice
Tajín® Clásico Seasoning

Rim shot glasses by dipping them in lime and then Tajin.  Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice until chilled. Serve with a lime wedge.

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MODELO OFRENDA PICANTE (Recipe by Andrés Chopite of Parra, Austin)
Negra Modelo Negra™
3/4oz Montelobos Mezcal
3/4oz fresh lime juice
1/2oz agave syrup
3 bar spoons Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes habanero bitters
4 slices habanero peppers
Tajín® Clásico Seasoning
Red chili slices
Lime wheel

Rim a Collins glass with Tajín using lime juice. Add all ingredients to a shaker, excluding Modelo Negra, Tajín rim, red chili slices and lime wheel. Shake and strain into the prepared glass. Top with Modelo Negra.

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***Sauza Tequila and Bread Winners provided SDD with product for this write-up.***

How to “Présoireé” for Dîner en Blanc

Planning to attend Dîner en Blanc?  If you didn’t attend last year, I can imagine the whole concept is incredibly exciting and romantic … with that nagging feeling of terror.  “Did they really say we have to bring in a TABLE and CHAIRS?”  Yes, you bring your entire party in our your back … and leave with it, for that matter.

The basics:

  • You MUST take yourself and a guest, a square table (28-32″ wide), chairs, and a white tablecloth.  (Keep in mind that not showing or breaking the rules could get you banned the following year.  Tough.)
  • You MAY take food, drink, tableware, table decor, flowers, a garbage bag, etc.
  • You CANNOT take anything that’s not white (woof) or alcohol (major womp).

Apothic Wine is this and last year’s wine sponsor, so if you were preemptive and ordered your wine beforehand for pickup at check-in … bravo you.  If not, sucks to suck because it’s not a BYO event bc of the grumpy old TABC.  But fear not, DEB attendees, I have some options for you.

Option #1: Don’t forget your opaque “water” bottles.  (It’s important to stay hydrated, right?)  ????

Option #2: Get your friends together before for a few drinks.  Last year we noshed on charcuterie and some snacks while throwing back a few before heading to the bus pickup.  Establish a solid booze situation and food base so you’ll have less to carry.  (And make sure to avoid anything that would be a problem for people wearing white.  Duh.)

Here are the drinks that I’ll be making at my DEB Présoireé this year:

SILVER 75
1.5 oz Patrón Silver
1 oz Elderflower liqueur
0.5 oz Local lemon juice
0.5 oz Simple syrup
2 oz Sparkling wine (I’ll be using Moët, the official champagne of DEB!)

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker except the sparkling wine. Shake vigorously and strain into a champagne flute. Top off the cocktail with some sparkling wine and finish with a lemon twist while making sure to twist the lemon over the cocktail to release the oils.

Recipe and image courtesy of Patrón International

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AGAINST THE GRAIN MARTINI (gluten-free martini)
3 parts Stoli® Gluten Free
Splash of Dry Vermouth
Garnish with an olive or cocktail onion

Shake or stir ingredients with ice.  Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish.

LAST YEAR’S WINNING RECIPE:  

THE INDIAN SUMMER
3 parts Hendricks Gin
1 part lemon juice
1 part St. Germain
Muddled grapes

Muddle grapes with other ingredients, then shake with ice until well chilled.  Double strain into a chilled coupe.

#DrinkingWithSusie: Melissa Rountree

With summer winding down and the impending arrival of cooler months (that can’t seem to come soon enough), pants are a very real thing in my future.  Since I want to fit into them when the time comes, I’ve started going to spin class, eating one less cookie, and walking Tully an extra time each day … but I thought I’d call in the big guns.  Meet Melissa Rountree, a friend that, when we met, I was immediately jealous of her because she was incredibly fit.  Well, turns out, when you sweat your butt off in your workouts and eat right, you can be fit.  (Who knew?)

I asked Melissa to take some time out of her busy day as a mom, realtor, fitness instructor, and business owner to show me some of her go-to moves to help me kickstart my workouts.  In return, I introduced her to a healthy (and delicious) cocktail.

KOMBUCHA MOSCOW MULE
6oz Salty Dog Kosmic Kombucha (or whichever you choose)
2oz vodka
1tsp agave
Citrus

Combine all ingredients over ice, squeeze in a wedge of citrus, and stir.  (Yeah … this one is that easy.)

So why kombucha instead of ginger beer?  Kombucha* has beneficial elements like probiotics, antioxidants, and amino acids that are meant to be good for your digestion and liver function (WOOOHOOO).  We chose Kosmic Kombucha’s Salty Dog with citrus (Vitamin C), ginger (inflammation), sea salt, and agave (deliciousness).

View More: http://madisonkatlinphotography.pass.us/susie-o--workout

And why Bellion Vodka?  It’s the world’s “first functional vodka” thanks to some magical element called “NTX Technology”.  While it’s super mysterious because the FDA hasn’t approved their claims, they say that the technology protects your liver.  I’ll take it.

View More: http://madisonkatlinphotography.pass.us/susie-o--workout

Now for the less delicious, but very important part … the workout.  Melissa walked me through a few exercises that she uses in her fitness classes–maximum results for minimal effort.

Side Lunges are a great way to stretch your inner thighs while gaining strength in your glutes and quad muscles. Start in a standing position and take a wide step out to the left and then back to standing. Do 10 times on each leg.

View More: http://madisonkatlinphotography.pass.us/susie-o--workout

Kneeling Seat is a way to stretch and open up your hips while defining your seat muscles. Start on your hands and knees. Raise your right knee up to hip height and back down to kneeling. Use your arms to support your balance. Do 10 times on each side.

View More: http://madisonkatlinphotography.pass.us/susie-o--workout

Pro Tips

Push-ups: Lead with your chest and keep breathing. Do them slowly to increase the challenge in your upper back and arms.

View More: http://madisonkatlinphotography.pass.us/susie-o--workout

Crunches: Keep them small. Large range crunches can be hard on your back. Raise your upper body high enough to feel your abs and then make small movements from there.

View More: http://madisonkatlinphotography.pass.us/susie-o--workout


How long have you been a fitness instructor? Off and On since college so most of my life.

Is there anything you do daily that changes your whole day?  I have to break a sweat everyday to relax my mind. I also love stretching because of the flexibility it gives me.

Tell us about your line of activewear, and where can we find it? It’s a limited edition brand. Currently it’s available at The Bar Method as well as online at level3active.com.

What makes your activewear stand out? All of our prints are in small quantities so you’re always going to stand out in the gym instead of wearing the same thing everyone else is wearing. Plus they’re all designed to work out or wear in your daily life.

View More: http://madisonkatlinphotography.pass.us/susie-o--workout

What’s your favorite healthy meal? I am a huge fan of quinoa salads with tomatoes and cucumbers.

MELISSA ROUNTREE (Fun, Fashion, Fitness)
level3active.com
Instagram: @funfashfit
Twitter: @MelissaRountree


Pictures by Madison Mentesana.

*Kombucha is a fermented tea made with yeast and bacteria that grows on top of the tea throughout the fermentation process. “After a short period, fermentation yields raw kombucha, a lightly effervescent tea with unmistakable notes of vinegar.” – Kosmic Kombucha