Tag Archives: adult beverage

Harvest Margaritas


Holiday season is well underway. Thanksgiving came and went. Christmas Eve is tomorrow, followed by Christmas and then the New Year will be here before long. The foods and treats are plentiful, often heavier than other times through the year. And although I enjoy a good drink year-round, it seems that this time of year even the drinks are heavy. Eggnog or hot chocolate, perhaps coffee, laced with liquor. Creamy drinks, whose dairy and alcohol make my stomach hurt more than I desire. Besides, in my ripe old age I much prefer a less-sweet drink.

This margarita is an alternative to the heavy drinks of the season. The spiced simple syrup that is present in these margaritas is steeped with enough spice to leave this feeling more like fall or winter than an any-time-of-year margarita. Should you find yourself in need of a holiday party drink idea, the recipe can also be multiplied and made into a pitcher-style margarita for easy serving.


Harvest Margaritas

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay

Yields 2 margaritas

4 ounces good quality tequila (I like Don Julio Silver or Anejo)
1 1/2 ounces chilled spiced simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
4-6 dashes bitters
lime for garnish

For the simple syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 whole allspice berries
8 whole cloves
3 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KNOTEO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001KNOTEO&linkCode=as2&tag=forricblo-20&linkId=A35LNDHQYA56LUVC
1 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped



Prepare the simple syrup: Combine the sugar, water, allspice berries, cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cook until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour. Strain into a small bowl, cover, then refrigerate until cold.

Prepare the cocktail: Combine the tequila, cold simple syrup, lime juice, bitters and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Serve straight up or on the rocks with a lime wedge for garnish.


Homemade Ginger Ale and a Bourbon Ginger Cocktail

Let’s get real here. I love a cocktail. An adult beverage, if you will. I try not to keep an excessive amount of alcohol stocked up in our kitchen, though. If it’s easily accessible, I’ll make a drink while cooking. Then I’ll often have another with dinner. Perhaps after dinner, too. If it’s not there, that doesn’t become a daily habit. So far so good.

We also don’t drink a lot of soda. That’s an on-purpose-habit. I grew up with sodas always accessible in our house. I don’t remember asking to drink them before popping open a can, from elementary school well into high school. Easily, I probably drank two or three a day. I haven’t minded cutting out that unnecessary sugar in my adult life. On occasion I’ll buy a ginger ale if my stomach is feeling funky, but other than that I couldn’t tell you the last time I drank a soda just for the hell of it.

That said, I wanted a bourbon and ginger drink the other day, but realized that making my own ginger ale probably wouldn’t have as much sugar, it would be fresher tasting and with good quality bourbon, would probably make a delicous drink. There are two recipes here: homemade ginger ale that is fresh and easy to customize to your liking – more sweet, less gingery, more gingery and hardly sweet at all… it’s entirely up to you. And another recipe for the adult-version I’ve been drinking for the last couple days. It isn’t overly sweet, the ginger and bourbon work nicely together. I like the addition of fresh lime and bitters, which round everything out quite well.


Homemade Ginger Ale and a Bourbon Ginger Cocktail


For the ginger water:
1 cup fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced *
3 cups water

For the simple syrup:
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup water

club soda
fresh lime

* Once the ginger has been peeled, you can also use the smaller grating surface on a box grater to “mince” the ginger.


In a small saucepan, combine the ginger and 3 cups of water. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then turn off the heat and set the pot aside for 30 minutes to cool. (You can also make this ahead of time, refrigerate it, and find that the ginger taste is even more intense.)

While the ginger water is cooling, mix the one cup of sugar and one remaining cup of water together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil until all the sugar has dissolved (3-4 minutes). Cook for an additional minute, then remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool to at least room temperature. Congratulations, you’ve just created a simple syrup.

To serve the ginger ale by the glass, fill your cup with ice and then combine a ½ cup of ginger water, ½ cup of club soda, ¼ cup of simple syrup, and a small squeeze of fresh lime juice. Stir and serve.


Bourbon and Ginger Cocktail

Makes one drink.

¼ cup ginger water
¼ cup club soda
2-3 tbsp. simple syrup
2-4 oz. bourbon
2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
dash of Angostura bitters


Fill a tall glass (pint size) with ice. Combine the ginger water, club soda, simple syrup, bourbon, lime juice, and bitters. Stir well to evenly distribute everything. Serve immediately.