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Category Archives: Holidays

Cocktails inspired by the many wonderful Holidays we all know and love. Looking for just the right drink for the occasion? You are in the right spot.

Review: MargaritaFEST 2011

…..It was the best of times, it was the worst of times (for those that don’t know their limit), it was the return of MargaritaFEST to Orlando’s downtown district known as Wall Street Plaza. Was it hot as hell? Yes, after all this is Florida in the month of August with a block party atmosphere which means you’re standing shoulder to shoulder with people. Was it unbearable? Absolutely not, in fact it was a slightly breezy and very overcast day that threatened rain but actually held off until literally minutes after the event ended. If that wasn’t a sign from up above that we were meant to drink and enjoy ourselves I don’t know what was. As advertised their were two full bars, 10-15 booths serving unlimited classic and unique margaritas, and several tequila sampling tables both public and private. Oh and did I mention munchies and some great reggae cover bands? It was definitely a night to remember, and with the help of a bottle of “Last Round” hangover remedy, I was spared a rough Sunday morning. Below are a few of the margarita recipes I liked best. Some I tweaked a bit to my own liking. Cheers!

(Photos Courtesy of Whats2hot.com)

 Pomegranate Margarita

  • 2 1/2 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Herradrra Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
  • Splash Lime Juice
  • Splash Simple Syrup
Super Fruit Margarita
  • Half a (750 mL) bottle VeeV Açaí Spirit
  • 5 oz 901 Blanco tequila
  • 7 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 5 oz Simple syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water)
Classic Milagro Margarita
  • 2 Parts Milagro Silver
  • 3/4 Parts Agave Nectar
  • 1 Part Fresh Lime Juice
…..The best thing about a margarita is they are very hard to mess up. You can make them as sweet or as strong as you like. Make them as fruity or as tart as you prefer. These were some of my favorites, feel free to experiment with the basics of a margarita (Tequila, Lime, Sugar) and add in some of your favorites and see where it takes you. Until, next time; Class dismissed.
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Summer Cool Down: Frozen Drink Recipes

…..If you’ve survived this scorching Summer thus far, kudos, but even with July finally over, it’s only going to get worse. What better way to prepare for the brutal days of August then with some great frozen drinks to help you keep your cool. Everyone knows about the popular favorites: Classic Margarita, Pina Colada, and Daiquiri, but here are a few of my favorite frozen cocktails you might not know about.

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Blue Bayou

1 1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
1/2 cup of Pineapples
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 Cup of Ice

Add all ingredients in a blender and blend to your preferred texture. Pour into a Margarita glass and Garnish with a Pineapple slice/chunk.

Hawaiian Margarita

1 1/2 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Triple Sec
2 oz Fresh or Canned Pineapples
2 oz Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
1/2 oz Sour Mix
1 Cup of Ice

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until icy. Pour into a chilled margarita glass and garnish with a Pineapple slice.

Chi-Chi

2 oz vodka
1/2 oz blue curaçao
1/2 oz cream of coconut
1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple
1 scoop of vanilla ice cream
1/2 Cup of ice

Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled margarita glass and garnish with a pineapple chunk.

Hpnotiq Margarita

1 1/2 oz Silver Tequila
1 oz Hpnotiq Liqueur
1/2 oz blue curaçao
2 oz sour mix
1 oz pineapple juice
1 Cup of Ice

Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Rim a chilled margarita glass with sugar, and pour into the glass.

Stay cool, Class Dismissed. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

 

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Celebrating National Pina Colada Day

……..With Summer in full swing, there is no better way to fight off the hot and sticky days of July than to cool down with a nice cold and icy drink. In search of the perfect drink, look no further than the Pina Colada, which celebrates it’s national holiday on July 10th. For years The Pina Colada has gained popularity and notoriety all in the same thanks to cheesy songs, over exposure in restaurant bars, and just plain bad bartenders, but for the sake of the classic cocktail we’ll share the proper ways to make one, as well as some delicious spins on the original recipe.
…..Pina Colada is spanish for “Strained Pineapple”, and has a bit of a muddled history. It’s creations dates back to the 1800’s where Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí, to boost his crew’s morale gave them a beverage or cocktail that contained coconut, pineapple and white rum. This was what would be later known as the famous piña colada. With his death in 1825, the recipe for the piña colada was lost.
…..The Pina Colada is then re-introduced in Peurto Rico on August 16, 1954 at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico by its alleged creator, Ramon “Monchito” Marrero. Apparently, the hotel management had expressly requested Monchito to mix a new signature drink that would delight the demanding palates of its starstudded clientele. Monchito accepted the challenge, and after 3 intense months of blending, shaking and experimenting, the first piña colada was born. But it doesn’t stop there, also laying claim to the invention is the Barrachina Restaurant in Peurto Rico which claims in 1963 that while on a trip to South America, Mr Barrachina met a bartender who he worked with to create a drink containing pineapple juice, condensed milk, coconut creme, and ice in a blender.
…..So obviously it’s questionable history has a lot to do with its various recipes now in circulation. In addition to the various recipes claiming to be the original, there are also several variations that are purposefully different replacing specific ingredients or adding in additional ones. These variations include:

Chi Chi – Substituting the Rum with Vodka
The Miami Vice – Half of a Strawberry Daiquiri poured over a Pina Colada
The Staten Island Ferry – Coconut Rum and Pineapple Juice over ice

Today, if you go into 10 bars you will probably taste 10 different recipes, and combine that with the ability to make them at home with “ready to drink” recipes sold at your local package store (I don’t recommend these), and you’ve got a lot to choose from. Here are some of my favorite Pina Colada recipes:

Pina Colada:

  • 1 1/2 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple, frozen
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces Coco Lopez coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • Pineapple slices
Put the ice, frozen pineapple, juice, coconut cream, and the white and dark rums into a blender. Blend until smooth and frosty. Pour the drink into 2 glasses and garnish the rim with pineapple slices.
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Banana Colada 
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and quartered
  • 18 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 4 ounces coconut milk
  • 3 ounces dark rum
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut
Place bananas and pineapple juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Add coconut milk, rum and ice and mix until frothy. Garnish with toasted coconut.
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Strawberry Colada (Miamia Vice)
  • 2 oz Frozen Strawberries (Or Strawberry Puree)
  • 1 oz Light Rum
  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • 1/2 oz Coconut milk
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/1 Cup of ice
In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until desired consistency. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a sliced Strawberry.
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Now if this doesn’t keep you busy this weekend than nothing will. Enjoy and remember to drink responsibly. Class Dismissed !

 

 

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4th of July Cocktail Recipes

Happy 4th of July ! Enjoy this Independence day by cooling off with one of these delicious cocktails.

The 4th of July Cocktail (Courtesy of Guy Fieri)

  • 1 oz watermelon schnapps
  • 1 big splash Cranberry juice
  • 1 very thin slice jalapeno or serrano pepper
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1 slice lime
  • 1 1/2 oz Tequila
  • 1/4 oz blue curacao
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • Watermelon wedge, for garnish (optional)

Mix the schnapps and cranberry juice in a shaker; pour into an ice-filled glass. Muddle the jalapeno pepper, lemon and lime slices, tequila, blue curacao and simple syrup (to make a batch, dissolve sugar in equal parts hot water and chill) in the shaker. Slowly strain into the glass over the red layer. Garnish with watermelon, if desired.
The Red White & Blue Cocktail ( Created by The Professional Drinker)

1/2 oz Ciroc Vodka
1/2 oz Ciroc Red Berry Vodka
1/2 oz Ciroc Coconut Vodka
3 oz Cranberry Juice
Splash of Lime Juice

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Have a Happy 4th of July and remember to DRINK RESPONSIBLY ! Class dismissed !

 

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Summer Fun With Hpnotiq: Hpnotiq Cocktail Recipes

Hypnotiq, Hpnotiq, Hipnotic… However you spell it, years ago, I was a HUGE fan of Hpnotiq, so much so that at all times you could find a bottle in my cabinet, and usually find a hint of it in any cup I was holding at parties… and then I turned 22. That’s right, for my first legal age of drinking I fell in love with the cordial that was constantly mentioned on TV, always advertised at the club, and usually on the top shelf towards the front of the liquor store to catch your attention. But eventually I tasted other spirits and realize how over-hyped, and incorrectly used Hpnotiq was. The key word being INCORRECTLY used. Years later I have not only discovered a new found respect for the aqua colored cordial, but also found many new ways to PROPERLY mix the drink highlighting its pros and hiding its cons. I think it’s a GREAT summer mixer and with the help of a few other ingredients I’m going to show you some of my favorite summer cocktails to make with it.

Cayman Water Cocktail:
I actually discovered this drink while “researching” last summer in the Cayman Islands. It was a local favorite that I decided to put a but of a spin on and make it my own. Enjoy

1 oz Hpnotiq
1 oz Stoli Vodka
1 1/2 oz Fresh Passion Fruit Juice
1 1/2 oz Sweet N Sour Mix
Club Soda

In a 16 oz cup/glass filled with ice, add in ingredients in this order, Hpnotiq, Passion fruit, Sweet N Sour. Fill to top with Club Soda (Or to your preferred taste). Garnish with a Lime wedge.

Island Hpnosis
My own creation, another hit, try one at your next gathering.

1 oz Hpnotiq
1 oz Cruzan Coconut Rum
3/4 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
3 oz Lime Flavored Tonic Water

Combine ingredients other than the Tonic in a shaker. Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice. Add Tonic and enjoy. Garnish with an Orange Peel

Summer Blues
Another spin of my own on a drink originally crafted by the Hpnotiq Marketing team perfect for these hot summer days.

1 1/2 Oz Hpnotiq
1/2 oz Stoli Blueberry Vodka
2 oz lemonade (Substitute Pink Lemonade for another take on this)
1/2 Club Soda

Combine ingredients over ice, topping with the Club Soda. Garnish with a Lemon Wedge. Warning, QUITE TASTY!

Well there you have it, several delicious summer cocktail recipes using an old favorite that will take you back to your college days, minus the horrible hangover and dozens of regretful late night text messages/phone calls. Class dismissed. Don’t forget to Friend us on Facebook !

 

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Celebrating National Bermuda Day

Memorial day is less than a week away and for those of you who just can’t wait to throw on a bathing suit, catch some sun and enjoy an alcoholic beverage, I’ve got some good news for you. Today is National Bermuda day. For those of you unfamiliar with the holiday, it originated as a British holiday in 1902 celebrating the birthday of Queen Empress Victoria. It was recognized as Empire day, then changed to Commonwealth day, and eventually became known in Bermuda as Bermuda day during a period of civil unrest as a way to bring Bermudians of difference races together in harmony. Much like any holiday, the day includes loads of activities including the Bermuda Heritage Day Parade, a Marathon Derby, Cycling races, marching bands, dancers and of course RUM. What would an island holiday be without rum. If you can’t make it to Bermuda for the festivities and don’t have any celebrations near you don’t worry, you can start your OWN part by enjoying the National Drink of Bermuda; The Dark N Stormy. The Dark n Stormy has a special place in my heart and as far as I’m concerned National Bermuda day happens often in my house. So pour yourself a glass, sit back, and enjoy.

Dark N Stormy

1.5 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer

In a tall glass filled with ice add 1.5 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and top with Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer. Garnish with lemon or lime wedge (optional).

Don’t forget, while there are many great dark rums on the market, if it isn’t Goslings, it isn’t OFFICIALLY a Dark N Stormy. And you thought the only thing cool about Bermuda was that triangle. For more information and great recipes check out GoslingsRum.com. Class Dismissed!

 

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Made For TV: Avion Tequila Review

  • …..In the alcohol industry there are two things that will make or break your brand. One and possibly the most obvious would be great taste and the other, excellent marketing. Superior taste often goes unnoticed without the proper marketing tools to get the word out and likewise all the marketing in the world would be pointless if you’re pushing an inferior product; Enter Avion Tequila. Possibly the most genius marketing I’ve seen out of a liquor brand in quite some time. Though it may not be available in your area (yet), chances are you recognize the bottle and name because it was a mainstay on the popular HBO series “Entourage” for several episodes. And though it’s entertaining storyline on the show was a work of fiction, it’s existence and superior taste most certainly are not. So thanks to great advertising you’re already familiar with the tequila and hopefully with a little help from myself you can get to know it better.

Tequila Avion is handcrafted using only the finest Blue Weber Agave found in the highest regions of Jalisco. Though Mark Cuban would have been more interesting, Avion is the brainchild of Ken Austin, a former VP for Seagram’s who decided he wanted to take a shot in the tequila world. I recently was able to get my hand on a bottle of the Silver and was impressed with what I originally thought may just be a designer tequila throwing around big money in advertisements to make up for credibility. Boy was I wrong, not only with the taste but in my assumption they paid for their Entourage marketing. (It was Free product placement !)

Appearance: The bottle is nothing fancy and in fact a shape many are familiar with, short stubby and round. No knock here. One thing I do like is that they use a cork stopper which use to be common but is becoming more and more scarce with companies switching over to synthetic stoppers. Something about it makes it feel more authentic.

Aroma: Sweetness and floral notes hit you right on the nose. Also fruity tones of pineapple are apparent. Nothing gets you excited to eat or drink more than a great aroma enticing you to dig in.

Taste: At the end of the day whether you’re a expert or novice in the drinking field you want to know one thing; Is it smooth? One word, Yes. Smooth, balanced, and offers a bit of a bite to it that I was only prepared for because I was warned by a friend. It has a bit if a spicy/peppery bite to it which may scare some off but would most certainly make one hell of a Bloody Mary. If you haven’t tried a Bloody Mary with a super fine blanco tequila you are missing out by the way. This one is definitely a winner in my books and though I’ve only had the silver (not for long I hope), I think I can say with confidence this brand isn’t going anywhere anytime soon except in your cup. If you’re having doubts just ask yourself, has Vinny Chase or any of the Entourage boys every let you down? I think not.

Price: $40-$60

Grade: B

Avion Sunrise

  • 1 ½ oz. Tequila Avión
  • ½ oz. Gran Marnier
  • ½ oz. White Cranberry Juice
  • ½ oz. Fresh Sour Mix
  • Splash of simple syrup

Add Ice Build all ingredients shake and strain. Served in a Martini or Rocks Glass. Garnish with a Raspberry and Mint Lea

Fresh Start Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Tequila Avion
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 2 Lime wedges
  • 1oz. Agave nectar

Muddle lemons and Limes in a shaker (Should be approx 1 oz of juice). Add ice and all Ingredients shake until ice cold and serve in a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon Twist and Lime wedge.

Avion Bloody Mary

  • 1½ oz. Avion Silver
  • 1 dash celery salt
  • 1/2 dash ground black pepper
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • 2-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. horseradish (pure, never creamed)
  • Dash of lemon or lime juice
  • Garnish with celery stalk

In a highball glass filled with ice fill glass with tomato juice or clamato and add ingredients.

Recipes were provided courtesy of Tequila Avion. For more information on where you can purchase their products feel free to visit their website. Be sure to try a Avion cocktail this Cinco and make it a mainstay in your bar. If you’re looking for additional Cinco De Mayo suggestions check out the Blood Orange Margarita or Clase Azul Terquila Reviews as well. Make sure to become a Fan on Facebook and keep yourselves updated. Class Dismissed.

 

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