Are you having a Halloween party? A Christmas party? Any other kind of party, in life, at any point in the future? Do you like booze? Do you like candy? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, listen up: you’re going to want to hear this*. Candy Cocktails, people. That’s right … cocktails that taste like candy. Cocktails that are MADE USING CANDY. Enter: “Candy Cocktails: Fun and Flirty Drinks with a Sugar-Kissed Twist“.
(*If you did not answer, “Yes,” to any of the above questions, do not read on. Go here, instead.)
I received “Candy Cocktails” just in time for Halloween, but this cocktail recipe book by the Good sisters (curators of Fashionably Bombed) is chock full of fun and inventive cocktails for every holiday (Candy Cane Martini, anyone?). Holiday-themed libations represent only a small segment of this gorgeous little recipe book, however; in its pages, you will also find cocktail recipes highlight just about any kind of candy you can think of. Forget everything you think you know about dessert drinks … until you have sampled a Liquid Candy Bar, a Candy Fishbowl (yes, it has Swedish Fish “swimming” in it. Shut. Up.), or a Pop Shot (yup, that would be a shooter integrating Pop Rocks), you know nothing. Just imagine preparing a custom cocktail for your boyfriend/girlfriend/brother/sister/bestie/grandma/mailman based on his or her favorite candy. How much do I love this idea? (A lot.)
Candy Cocktails is going to have you “mixing outside the box,” if you will. I can attest to this because I found myself preparing candy corn infused vodka early this week. One of the really awesome things about this book is the fact that it gives you directions on how to create variety of sweet liquor infusions using at little as 1/2 cup of booze. Gone are the days of having to spend $17 a pop on multiple, giant bottles of random flavored vodkas that you know are probably only going to use once or twice to make that one cocktail you just had to have, on a whim (I mean, I don’t know many people whose “go-to” drink features marshmallow vodka, do you?). This section of the book is really quite practical and useful (as candy infused alcohol goes).
I prepared two Halloween inspired “Candy Cocktails” in the Plano branch of the Susie Drinks Dallas test kitchen.
First, the Candy Corn Cocktail,- hence the candy corn infused vodka. This drink was so pretty and festive, and just BEGGING you to serve it at your Halloween bash. It was not sickeningly sweet, and really, it was incredibly reminiscent of a lemon drop, with a subtle hint of something different. (You guessed it, genius … CANDY CORN!!!)
Next, the Peanut Butter Cup Cocktail, which was every bit as rich and decadent as it sounds. Interestingly (and only mildly disappointingly), this cocktail does not contain actual peanut butter cups (aside from the garnish). As the sisters point out in their book, sometimes the point is for the drink to taste LIKE the candy, as opposed to actually containing the candy. This blended concoction was comprised of vodka, crunchy peanut butter, crème de cacao, and whole milk (omg). This was 100% dessert, and they really nailed the peanut butter cup flavor. Nom.
If you are looking for a collection of really fun, unique cocktail recipes, getchoself a copy of Candy Cocktails: Fun and Flirty Drinks with a Sugar-Kissed Twist, today!
Available at Barnes and Noble (check out their nifty in-store pickup feature!), or on Amazon, for just $13.68.
A couple weeks back, Reyka Vodka mixed things up with a night of delicious cool weather cocktails with National Brand Ambassador Trevor Schneider and Barter Beverage Director, Rocco Milano. We were treated to three delicious cocktails (recipes below).
Reyka Vodka is an Icelandic vodka that uses lava rock filtration (which is so much better than that Brita shit) and the process is all made possible using geo-thermal energy powered by a local hot spring. Reyka is made in small batches to ensure each bottle is up to snuff.
750 ml bottle: $19.99
1.75 ml bottle: $29.95
For more information about Reyka and additional recipes, visit www.reyka.com.
Autumn Harvest (Created by Trevor Schneider) 2 oz. Reyka vodka
2 oz. apple cider
1/2 oz. velvet falernum
1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 dashes apple bitters
Grated cinnamon for garnish (optional)
Lemon wedge for garnish (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with freshly grated cinnamon and garnish with lemon wedge.
Crimson Diamond (Created by Rocco Milano) 1.5 oz Reyka Vodka
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.75 oz Simple SyrupTop with red wine
Combine all ingredients except the wine into a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a champagne flute and using a bar spoon slow pour a red wine float.
Basil and Lime (Created by Rocco Milano and on tap at Barter) 1.5 oz Reyka Vodka
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz Basil Syrup
.5 oz Amer Picon
Combine all ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously. Fill an 8 oz footed Collins glass with crushed ice. Strain the shaker into the Collins glass. Smack a basil leaf to wake it up and add for garnish.
One of the best parts of product reviews is finding my next new drink obsession. I have to say, I have tried many flavored waters to try to kick my Diet Coke habit, but haven’t been successful until now. Cascade Ice Water was generous enough to send me a few bottles of their coconut mango water and coconut pineapple water. I originally was just going to use these as a mixer (which I did), but also drank them straight up. I will definitely purchase more from this line of naturally flavored water. All of the flavors are zero-calorie, sugar-free, caffeine-free, sodium-free, gluten-free, and zero carbs. They have a great, natural flavor with light carbonation.
I used these as mixers for an easy vodka drink. There are some very yummy looking recipes on Cascade’s website that you should check out.
I will be on the lookout for other flavors to try. There are twenty-one flavors in the zero-calorie line as well as a Sparking Organic, Sparkling Essence, and Sparkling Mixer line. In our local area, Kroger and Sprouts carry the organic line and Albertson’s carries the zero calorie line. Check this link out to find Cascade Ice in your local area.
The Flamenco (recipe by Javier de las Muelas) 3/4 oz. sherry (chilled)
1/2 oz. white crème de cacao
1/2 oz. white rum
5 oz. Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut
Add ingredients directly to a chilled champagne flute. Garnish with an edible flower or an orange peel.
PUMPKIN SPICE MARTINI (available at Olenjack’s Grill in Arlington)
1.5oz Herman Marshall Texas Rye Whiskey
1oz Domaine de Canton ginger liquor
1oz heavy cream
0.5oz simple syrup
1 teaspoon spiced pumpkin puree
garnish sugar/cinnamon rim and fresh grated nutmeg
KETEL ONE DAYLIGHT 1 ½ oz. Ketel One® Vodka
1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
1 oz. fresh orange juice
½ oz. rosemary maple simple syrup
Build in wine glass over ice. Stir for 10 seconds. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and a dusting of cracked black pepper.
Cider Tequila Hot Toddy 1 part Sauza® Blue Reposado 100% Agave Tequila
½ part JDK & Sons™ O3 Premium Orange Liqueur
8 parts apple cider
2 parts cranberry juice cocktail
Lime slice (for garnish)
Dash of cinnamon (optional)
Dash of nutmeg (optional)
In a saucepan heat the apple cider and cranberry juice just until steaming hot (do not let the liquid boil) and remove it from the heat. Stir in Sauza® Blue Reposado and liqueur. You can add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg if you want a bit more spice. Serve Hot Toddies in mugs, garnished with lime slices.
KETEL ONE FUMBLES & FOLIAGE 1 ¼ oz. Ketel One® Vodka
1 oz. Pimms #1
¼ oz. allspice dram liqueur
1 oz. fresh orange juice
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
¾ oz. ginger simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange slice and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
DECADENT GUINNESS 1½ oz. Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka
Guinness Stout, cold
Add ingredients to a pint glass.
Hot Pumpkin Spice Tequila 1 ½ parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
½ part Torani® Pumpkin Spice Syrup
3 parts cream
1 part sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
6 parts freshly brewed hot coffee
Whipped Cream and additional cinnamon (for garnish)
In a saucepan, combine cream with pumpkin syrup, sugar, vanilla, spices and coffee until hot. Pour into mug, add Sauza® Blue Silver and stir. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.
KETEL ONE ROSEMARY’S BABY 1 ½ oz. Ketel One Citroen®
½ oz. Meyer lemon simple syrup
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 rosemary sprig
Muddle rosemary and lemon simple syrup in a mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a lemon wheel and rosemary sprig.
Herradura Espresso 1 ½ oz Herradura Añejo ½ oz coffee liqueur
1 ½ oz espresso
½ oz simple syrup
1 ½ oz heavy cream
Place all ingredients excluding the heavy cream in to a cocktail shaker filled with cubed ice. Shake hard and strain over ice in to a chilled coupe glass. In a separate shaker place the heavy cream and cubed ice, shake hard to aerate then pour carefully over a bar spoon to layer the cream over the coffee. Garnish with 3 coffee beans.
Crisp Apple Cooler 1 ½ parts Skinnygirl® Bare Naked Vodka
¾ part apple juice
¼ part agave syrup
Green apple slice for garnish
Stir agave syrup with vodka in the base of a shaker until the agave syrup dissolves. Add apple juice and shake thoroughly with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a green apple slice.
Fall Festival-tini 1 part Skinnygirl® Tangerine Vodka
3 parts apple juice/cider
½ part light rum
Lemon wedge for garnish
Mix ingredients in a shaker, and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
KETEL ONE MIDNIGHT SOUR 1 ½ oz. Ketel One Oranje®
¾ oz. vanilla bean simple syrup
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
3 drops fig bitters
3 drops mole bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with a float of red wine port.
BELGIAN BEAUTY (Created by Jonathan Pogash, the Cocktail Guru)
1 oz. Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka
½ oz. Fresh orange juice
½ oz. Honey syrup
Top with Belgian White Ale (such as Blue Moon)
Build ingredients directly into highball glass with ice. Pour beer slowly and garnish with an orange half wheel.
Ketel One Pumpkin Pie 1.5 oz. Ketel One Oranje
1 bar spoon of pumpkin pie mix
.5 oz. honey syrup
.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
Pinch of cinnamon
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake with ice and double strain into a martini glass.
Bohemia Spiced Cookies ½ oz lime juice
1 oz Creme Yvette
.5 oz Allspice liqour
1.5 oz Bohemia
Shake all ingredients except the Bohemia and strain in rockglass over ice coupe glass. Top with Bohemia beer and grate nutmeg on top.
Indio Canela 1 oz Tequila Añejo
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz cinnamon syrup
2 slices of fresh ginger
Place ginger slices, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup and añejo tequila into a cocktail shaker and fill with cubed ice. Add Indio beer and stir to combine, garnish with lemon discs or shaved ginger.
Sauza® Pumpkin Pie-tini 1 ½ parts Sauza® Blue Reposado 100% Agave Tequila
3 parts cream
½ part Torani® Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 part simple syrup
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Whipped Cream and cinnamon for garnish (optional)
Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon (optional).
IRISH SPICED CIDER 1½ oz. Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
½ oz. Thatchers Spiced Apple Liqueur
Kelleys Irish Cider
Serve over ice in a pint glass.
Cranberry Orange Margarita 1 ½ parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
½ part DeKuyper® Triple Sec
4 parts cranberry juice
2 parts orange juice
½ cup cranberries, frozen
2 tbsp. sugar
First make your garnishes. Freeze ½ cup of cranberries. Using a channel knife cut a long spiral from on orange (see if you can make it all the way in one try!) and cut into 6 inch pieces. Twist the peels around your bar spoon and reserve for garnish. Zest the other orange with a spice grater to remove just the peel and none of the pith and combine with sugar. Cut the zested orange into wedges. Rub a wedge of orange around half the rim of your glasses. Roll the glasses through the sugared orange zest. In a shaker, combine the rest of the sugar and orange zest mixture with the cranberry juice, orange juice, Sauza® Blue Silver, orange liqueur, and the juice from the orange. Twist the orange peel over the drink and place on the prepared glass. Top with frozen cranberries and serve your cocktail!
Pumpkin Spice Sipper 1 ½ parts Skinnygirl® Bare Naked Vodka
1 part canned unsweetened pumpkin
¾ part fat free sweetened condensed milk
¾ part unsweetened almond milk
½ tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Shake ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Turkey Day Toast 3 parts Skinnygirl® Prosecco, chilled
1 part grapefruit juice, chilled
1 part cranberry juice
1 part ginger ale
Grapefruit slice for garnish
Mix all juice ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Top with Skinnygirl® Prosecco and ginger ale. Garnish with grapefruit slice.
Wine & Vine (created by Philip Duff)
1 oz. G’Vine Nouaison gin
1 oz. dry vermouth
1 oz. dry white wine
3 drops orange bitters
Stir all the ingredients with ice and strain into the glass. Garnish with three fresh green grapes, speared.Put all the ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with a star anise.
1 ½ oz. G’vine Gin
1 oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur Dark
½ oz. Baileys Irish Cream
1 oz. Half & Half Milk
½ oz. Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Put all the ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with a star anise.
National Watermelon Day was on August 3rd, but in my world, it’s always watermelon day! (I love watermelon, especially in the summer. I’ve even started eating it like a Texan; by adding salt to it!)
What else pairs well with salt and watermelon? Tequila! I was sent a bottle of Sauza Blue Silver Tequila, made from 100% blue agave, to try it out and create a few cocktail recipes using it. Sauza Blue Silver Tequila is really great tequila, and I love tequila to begin with, so doing a product review was obviously a pleasure.
On its own it has a smooth, clean, citrus finish. Also Sauza mixes wonderfully in cocktails. For those of you who aren’t huge tequila fans, you might like this one, because it is very smooth and easy to drink.
Sauza Tequila and Watermelon Cocktail Recipes
Do yourself a favor and get a watermelon and some Sauza tequila and try out some cocktail recipes like the ones below! I guarantee they will cool ya down!
Watermelon Sangria (makes 2) 3 ounces of Sauza Blue Silver Tequila
1-2 cups of watermelon, diced small
1 orange, squeezed
1 lemon, squeezed
1 lime, squeezed
Lemon and lime garnish Muddle the watermelon in a shaker, then add the tequila, orange, lemon and lime and add ice. Shake like there is no tomorrow. Strain into glasses over ice, top off with white wine and a splash soda water and garnish.
Watermelon Spritz 1½ ounces of Sauza Blue Silver Tequila
3 ounces of watermelon juice (to make your own … cube watermelon, quickly blend, and then strain)
1 lime, squeezed
1 lime, cut into wedges
Ice Fill glass with ice, add tequila, add watermelon juice, lime juice, and add cubed limes, top off with soda water.
Another SDD Blue Chair Bay giveaway! (LUCKY!) This time we’re giving away a bottle of Blue Chair Bay’s latest flavor, Banana Rum! Enter to win ye a bottle o’ rum, me matey, and check out some recipes Laura whipped up using the delicious banana rum (and only a few banana-related puns and catchphrases).
My take on Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum: In my experience, flavored liquors are very hard to do right… but Blue Chair Bay did it right with their Banana Rum. Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum has a rich flavor and a real banana taste. First, I tried it straight up, and it tasted exactly like Bananas Foster, evident by its buttery, caramel finish. It doesn’t taste artificially sweet either. I even tried it as a twist on the old standard rum and coke, and it was actually pretty darn good.
My Recipes: I’m not typically a dessert or sweet drink person, save for the occasional espresso martini, so I knew I’d be my own toughest critic. But not to toot my own horn (toot toot), but these turned out pretty darn delicious. All of them are best served ice cold, which should be pretty appealing since we are smack in the middle of a Dallas summer.
Not Your Nana’s Banana Crème Pie Martini
3 oz Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum
2 oz clear crème de cacao liqueur (I used Hiram Walker brand)
3 oz half-and-half
Garnish: Graham cracker rim (to make: first rim martini glass in honey and then in graham cracker crumbs)
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, and pour into graham cracker rimmed martini glass.
Frozen Chocolate Banana Martini
1½ oz Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum
1½ oz white or dark crème de cacao liqueur (I used Hiram Walker brand)
1½ teaspoons of chocolate syrup
1 cup of ice, add more if necessary
Maraschino cherry for garnish
Combine all ingredients (except for cherry) in a blender with ice, blend until slushy. Pour into martini glass, garnish with a cherry, add chocolate syrup for garnish or to make even more chocolate-ly. (Because … chocolate.)
1½ oz Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum
¾ oz coffee liqueur (I used Kamora brand)
¾ oz half-and-half
¼ oz of Icebox ice coffee concentrate (you can find this at Central Market or online) or CoolBrew Coffee
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, and pour over ice.
For a refresher on the rum recipes Susie came up with before with the Blue Chair Bay White Rum, click here.
Enter to win a bottle of Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum!!!
Win a bottle of your very own by doing any (and all) of the following BEFORE NOON on Sunday, August 10 and tell us which one of the recipe above that you’d like to try using Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum (or make up one of your own!!).
Comment on the Blue Chair giveaway picture on Instagram (@susiedrinksdallas) with #BananaYum
(One entry per platform per person will be accepted.)
Yo ho and a bottle of (banana) rum! Enjoy and good luck!
About Blue Chair Bay Rum: Blue Chair Bay Rum is born on the beach for the times you just want to let go and live in the moment.Blue Chair Bay Rum is a collection of premium-blended rums created on the shores of the Caribbean and inspired by multi-platinum singer-songwriter’s Kenny Chesney’s love of the island lifestyle. Each of Blue Chair Bay Rum’s four varieties, White, Coconut, Coconut Spiced and Banana is 100% beach-made and mellowed in casks at one of the oldest, most respected distilleries in the Caribbean. Imported from Barbados and bottled by Fishbowl Spirits, Rochester, NY. Blue Chair Bay White Rum 40% ABV, Blue Chair Bay Coconut, Coconut Spiced Rum and Banana 26.5% ABV. Available in 750ml and 1.75L bottles
Ok … wrap your head around this: ghost pepper simple syrup. Sounds weird as s**t, right? Well, as it turns out … it’s pretty freaking awesome.
I had a few of my writers (and some +1s) over Sunday for a cocktail before we went to gorge on Endless Appetizers and had decided to make Blueberry Lavender Mojitos (from Market-Fresh Mixology). Well … since I’m a goofball, I thought my homemade lavender gin was actually lavender syrup*, so they ended up being gin mojitos (if that’s a thing). To make things even more fun, we tossed some Torani Sweet Heatsyrup into the cocktails. (Recipe below.)
We each tried the syrup on its own first (both as a contest to see who would drink the most and to actually taste it … obvi) and it has some serious kick to it. Unlike most spicy flavors, this spice sticks in the back of your throat instead of burning your tongue. (Ghost peppers are said to be 125x hotter than jalapeños.)
I’m excited to try this syrup in more of my cocktails. While I usually hate margaritas, spicy margaritas are OK in my book, so I’m half considering smuggling some of this into the next Tex-Mex restaurant I visit. (No, Mr. Manager … this flask doesn’t have alcohol in it. Why?)
Buy Torani Sweet Heat online or at a retailer. (Call ahead to check since it’s one of their more unique flavors.)
BLUEBERRY LAVENDER GHOST PEPPER (GIN) MOJITOS
12 mint leaves
2oz lavender gin
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4oz Torani Sweet Heat Ghost Pepper syrup
Muddle the mint leaves, lime juice, blueberries, and gin in a tall glass. (Don’t over-muddle.) Add pepper syrup and stir. Add ice, top with club soda, and stir carefully with a bar spoon.
Here are some other recipes that Torani suggests for Sweet Heat:
HANDCRAFTED SWEET HEAT LIMEADE
½oz Torani Sweet Heat syrup
1¼oz fresh lime juice
8oz soda water
(Add a shot of vodka for a little more fun)
HANDCRAFTED HOT LEMONADE
1½oz Torani Sweet Heat syrup
1oz simple syrup
1¼oz fresh lemon juice
(Add a flavored vodka for a little more fun)
*For Christmas I made some of my friends infused liquors. To make lavender gin, I had to make lavender syrup. So yeah …
***Torani sent me a bottle of Sweet Heat syrup to try out.***
KETEL ONE CITROEN TRIPLE CCC
1.5 oz. Ketel One Citroen
.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
.5 oz. simple syrup
10 mint leaves
Lightly muddle the lemon juice, mint and simple syrup in a rocks glass. Add crushed ice and vodka and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge and sprig of mint.
KETEL ONE ORANJE CAIPIROSKA
1.5 oz. Ketel One Oranje
.75 oz. fresh lime juice
.25 oz. simple syrup
3 lime wedges
2 orange slices
Muddle two lime wedges and two orange slices in the bottom of a rocks glass. Fill with ice and add remaining ingredients. Top with lemon-lime soda. Stir. Garnish with a lime wedge.
KETEL ONE GLÜHWEIN(created by Jaren Singh – Nolet Spirits U.S.A. Mixologist)
750 ml. Ketel One Vodka
3 oz. Kirsch
1500 ml. grape juice
10 sugar cubes
1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
1 whole nutmeg
1 whole star anise pod
1.5 bags mixed berries (frozen)
1 orange, thinly sliced
Combine the sugar cubes, Ketel One, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and star anise in a saucepan. Heat over medium heatuntil the mixture begins to foam. Remove from heat and transfer to a Slow Cooker to keep warm. Stir in the frozen mixed berries and their juice; add the Kirsch and the orange slices. Strain out all ingredients.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve chilled in a glass mug.
KETEL ONE CLERICO
1 bottle BV Coastal Estates Sauvignon Blanc
6 oz. Ketel One Oranje
3 oz. Grand Marnier
3 oz. pomegranate juice
3 oz. orange juice
2 oz. white grape juice
3 oz. lemon juice
2 oz. simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher half filled with ice. Stir. Pour into a wine glass filled with ice. Garnish with raspberries and pomegranate seeds. Serves 8-10.
KETEL ONE ORANJE NATIONAL
1.25 oz. Ketel OneOranje
1 oz. ginger liqueur
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 barspoons orange marmalade
2 drops orange bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange peel.
KETEL ONE CLOCKWORK ORANJE 1.5 oz. Ketel One Oranje
.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. white crème de cacao
Add all ingredients to a Collins glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Use a swizzle stick to stir and blend ingredients. Garnish with an orange wedge.