We’ve never really been the type who alternates consistently between a “winter drink” and a “summer drink,” but 2011 might just be the year that that changes for good. As a pretty loyal bourbon/Scotch drinker, we’re happy to pour a whiskey sour or a mint julep during the Summer months, and warm weather is the perfect time to enjoy a Lemon Stick or a Veracruz but until we came up with the Democrat, we hadn’t found anything we could potentially stick with all Summer long.
When mixed properly, the Democrat will look similar to this.
We settled on the name not because we happen to be a Democrat, or because we regularly enjoy drinking with other Democrats, but because the Dems mascot is a donkey, and we fashioned this after a classic drink: The Moscow Mule. Virtually all existing recipes for the Moscow Mule call for ginger beer. While ginger beer is great, we’ve found a way to update and improve this classic, making it lighter without sacrificing that spicy bite of ginger, and making it at once more summery and more alcoholic.
- 3 parts vodka
- 2 parts ginger liqueur
- 1 part lime juice
- splash of simple syrup
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- club soda
Pour ingredients in that order into a rocks filled glass. Stir and top off with club soda.
Another upgrade we’ve made is nixing the traditional copper mug which is a hallmark of the Moscow Mule. A regular Collins glass will work just fine here. Similar to a generously poured Collins, this cocktail is strong enough to appreciate, but not so strong that you can’t drink several of them on a hot Summer day. We’ve found that they’re the perfect mix of the citrus we’d expect in a warm weather drink, and the rich taste of ginger which we enjoy year round.
Go ahead and mix one up, we think you’ll like it just as much as we do.
We would have liked to get this up before Christmas, when we were talking last week about ’tis the season for amaretto, but Christmas will sneak up on you quickly… like the Krampus. Anyway, this is the time of year when you seem to see bottles of amaretto floating around everywhere. Since taking that stuff straight is about as enjoyable as drinking maple syrup, you’ve got to know how to mix it if you don’t want that bottle to collect dust and become something of an annual holiday joke.
An obvious choice in dealing with amaretto is cranberry juice, which is very seasonal this time of year and which has the tartness to offset the overly sweet taste of amaretto. Although the folks at DiSaronno and their vaguely ethnic, very homosexual spokesman would have you think differently, cranberry alone is not a suitable mixer for amaretto. Mixing two things that are gross will never make something that is good. It’s going to take a little more mixing to come up with something drinkable. We did a little more mixing, and the result was the Père Noël cocktail.
If it comes out red, it's got too much cranberry in it.
The Chop’s Père Noël Recipe
- 3 parts bourbon
- 2 parts amaretto
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 4 parts cranberry juice
Pour ingredients in that order into a double old-fashioned or highball glass full of ice. Stir once or twice and sip.
It’s important not to use too much juice in this. It’s a cocktail and not a highball or juice mixer. When you get it right, it should taste surprisingly similar to the inside part of a chocolate-covered cherry. (Cherry cordials are one of the Chop’s favorite things about Christmas, by the way.) That said, this drink goes really, really well with dark chocolate, so if you’ve got some lying around after the holidays, mixing up one of these is a great way to complement it after dinner, or if you’re in a diet, instead of dinner.
Photo and more on amaretto at Liquor Snob.