Summer is coming … and it’s going to be a rough one, so being poolside with a cocktail and something cold is going to be the way to cope. Since all day pool parties aren’t always conducive to mass amounts of liquor, I figured out a little less aggressive way to up my booze intake … and get some extra vitamin C while I’m at it–Orange Cava Popsicles.
Made with a few simple ingredients, the easy to make popsicles are a perfectly refreshing poolside treat. Just freeze overnight and, voila, a boozy treat to cool you off … and they look pretty damn cool, too.
Orange Cava Popsicles
1 cup Segura Viudas Brut Cava
1.5 cups orange juice
0.5 cups water
3 tablespoons agave syrup (or other flavored syrup to your liking)
Combine liquid ingredients and mix until the syrup is dissolved. Place an orange slice in each popsicle mold, then fill with the mixed liquid leaving a little room for expansion from freezing. Depending on your molds, either place sticks in the molds immediately, then freeze overnight, or let freeze for one hour before placing the sticks.
If you want to go full-tilt basic, grab some fresh juice (or some extra cava) and drop your popsicle in. The drink will change with every sip since the popsicle will gradually melt into it!
The Sidecar, another of the classics out of New Orleans, is perhaps one of the first cocktail I remember hearing about in my childhood. Incredibly simple–brandy, lemon, and triple sec–it’s none too sweet. Luckily, the sugared rim adds a nice amount of sweetness and plenty of sexiness.
The Sidecar has seen many offshoots, but is said to have come from the Brandy Crusta. It’s disputed to have been created at either Harry’s Bar in Paris or Buck’s Club in London–either way, it has been mentioned in just about every cocktail book since World War I. Wherever it came from, its ingredients have remained constant.
2oz brandy (I went with Hennessy V.S.O.P. Privilège)
1oz fresh lemon juice
1oz triple sec (like Cointreau)
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice then shake until very well chilled. Strain into sugar-rimmed glass.
If you’re looking to experience Dallas’s best Sidecars, join SDD Contributor Tiffany and I for a Sidecar Tour tonight, December 15, sponsored by Hennessy! We’ll start at Rapscallion at 6pm … join if you dare!
***Thanks to Hennessy for providing a bottle to create the cocktail!***
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.
The Whiskey Sour … the name describes it well enough that I don’t need to. While there are multitudes of ways to make it (with an egg white, garnished with a lemon/orange/lime, or with sour mix (blasmphemy)), the basics remain the same: whiskey, lemon, and sugar.
The first time the mention of a Whiskey Sour was written was in Jerry Thomas’s The Bartender’s Guide all the way back in 1862, but it came from an old sailor’s recipe to fend off scurvy … and get a little boozy in the process. Initially the egg wasn’t included, but in Dale DeGroff’s The Essential Cocktail, the egg white is first mentioned as an optional inclusion.
WHISKEY SOUR 2oz whiskey (your choice)
1oz lemon juice
1/4oz simple syrup (I use demerera syrup)
1 egg white (if a richer texture is desired)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until well chilled (and extra long if including an egg white). Strain over ice and garnish.
Garnish: whole cherry with orange/lemon peel
Glass: double old fashioned glass (if served with ice)
Ice: ice ball or cubes
NOTE: my cocktail turned out much lighter since I used egg white and a large cube.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
***Sauza Tequila and Bread Winners provided SDD with product for this write-up.***
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.
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:
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
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
Muddle grapes with other ingredients, then shake with ice until well chilled. Double strain into a chilled coupe.
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)
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).
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.
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.
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.
Push-ups: Lead with your chest and keep breathing. Do them slowly to increase the challenge in your upper back and arms.
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.
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.
What’s your favorite healthy meal? I am a huge fan of quinoa salads with tomatoes and cucumbers.
*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