I don't care if it's snowing outside, I'm thinking of spring. There have been glimpses here and there; a few hours of sunshine, a warm breeze teasing from the south. It will be here soon, and when it arrives, I will be waiting with a cocktail in my hand, ready to head up to the roof for sunbathing and some good times chillin' with my friends. (Or if you're not in NYC, the front porch, backyard, boat, beach, whatever.)
But let's be real, I'm not going for complicated cocktails. The most I'll do is pour a few ingredients and ice into glass and go. No muddling, measuring, or singing of peels is going to make it into my posts!
Luckily, there are a few haute and summery mixers out there to make the job easy. I'm not talking sour pucker margarita mix at Bed Bath and Beyond. I'm speaking of organic and natural mixers that look smashing on your cocktail cart (what, you don't have a cocktail cart?) and that would actually be healthy--if you weren't pouring alcohol into them.
The first classy mixer I got to try is Owl's Brew, "a tea crafted for cocktails." In these recipes, I use the Coco-Lada mix (black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, coconut, coconut water, agave, and pineapple juice concentrate) and The Classic (black tea, agave, lemon, and lime). The Coco-Lade pairs well with spiced rum, of course, but also champagne, prosecco and vodka. And The Classic pairs well with gin, tequila and vodka.
1 part Coco-Lada Owl's Brew
1 part champagne
- Pour Brew and champagne into a champagne flute
- Garnish with fresh pineapple or an orange peel
Owl's Pina Recipe
2 parts Coco-Lada Owl's Brew
1 Part Spiced Rum
- Pour over ice
- Garnish with fresh pineapple
It also helps to mix with a clean, organic liquor. My favorite is Prairie Organic, which--along with it's signature vodka--also has gin and cucumber-infused vodka now. Prairie is sold at hundreds of good liquor stores in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. Plus, you can ask for it at restaurants and bars like Back Forty, Empire Hotel, Forager’s City Table, Saxon and Parole, Soho Grand Hotel, and the Tribeca Grand Hotel.
Front Porch Classic
2 parts Classic Owl's Brew
1 part Prairie Organic Gin
- Pour over ice
- Garnish with lemon or lime
And finally, mixers from Organic Fair. This adorable little company from Canada makes syrups, chocolate, rubs, coffees and teas that are all Fair Trade and organic. The syrups I got to sample are for cocktails or sodas--whatever you're in the mood for. Clearly, I was in the mood for cocktails. I call this the "happy" cucumber ginger mule, because it's made with organic and Fair Trade ingredients.
Oh, and a trick I use: I use a shot glass for measuring. Shot glasses differ in size, so measure yours by filling it with water, and then pouring that water into a liquid measuring cup. Doing that, I found that mine is exactly one ounce.
Happy Cucumber Ginger Mule
1 1/2 ounces Prairie organic cucumber-infused vodka
1/2 ounce Organic Fair ginger syrup
2 lime wedges
A few slices of cucumber
Seltzer or tonic water, to taste
- Fill a rocks glass 3/4 of the way with ice.
- Over ice, pour vodka, ginger syrup, lime wedges and cucumber.
- Stir with a large spoon.
- Fill the glass the rest of the way up with seltzer.
What do you think of these recipes? Are you going to try them when the weather gets warm?