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Halloween Party Cocktails

It's a question we get asked every year: What cocktail should I feature at my Halloween party? There are a lot different answers depending on what is important for your situation. We usually answer with a series of questions. How much work do you want to do ahead of time? How much work do you want to do during the party? Do you want to make something spirit-driven or citrus-based? How important is it for your theme to be represented (either in name or ingredients)? Your answers to these questions can be determining factors, so here's a list of possibilities with summaries and links to the specific details.

Batches and Bowls We usually always refer folks to large-volume solutions like Punch, Sangria, and Morganthaler's Gallon of Margaritas. We covered all of these in this post back in January. Even if none of them are for you, it's a good

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Montego Bay

During a recent visit to the Red Star Tavern in Portland, Oregon, Brandon Lockman—the creative genius behind the bar—shared his recipe for a delicious cocktail on the menu right now called the Montego Bay. On the page, the recipe itself is basically a Daiquiri variant at its heart. But as we will explain, this one is complex enough for it to land somewhere in Tiki territory alongside frightful favorites like the Zombie—although it's not described that way on the menu. The fact that it uses Banks 5 Island Rum was enough to captivate our interest, and now that we can finally make a proper Paddington with it, we were eager for another great recipe to share.

We aren't entirely certain why Lockman calls this the Montego Bay—perhaps geography plays

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St. Stephen's Sour

We're all about refreshing summer drinks these days—the easier to make them the better. Most of the time that means tall, simple cocktails without many ingredients. Warmer weather usually pushes us toward refreshing citrus and carbonation as opposed to spirit-driven sippers, but we'd be kidding ourselves if we didn't admit that exceptions do exist. For instance, we can't stop enjoying a strong Mint Julep, nor resist the temptation of more complicated drinks like the Mai Tai. These never fall out of rotation for us, but this month's Imbibe Magazine (July/August 2014 issue) has a great selection of recipes that we probably need to add to our repertoire. One of them stood out as both refreshing and easy to make while still retaining a some complexity and interest. It was

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Le Coco

We love the "hunt" for ingredients to reproduce something delicious at home. Even after amassing an embarrassingly complete inventory of possibilities, this drink forced us to collect a few things we were missing. We recognize that not everyone will have the ingredients to make this cocktail—in fact, most of you probably won't—but for those of you adventurous enough chase down a few items—even if it means making some creative substitutions—please join us and share what you think of this unique creation.

First, we need to credit the drink's inventor, Tom Lindstedt, bar manager at Little Bird Bistro in Portland, OR. There are so many fantastic places to eat in Portland that it's almost impossible to justify returning to the same place twice, but we keep going back to Little Bird. So far, we have never had a single bite that wasn't totally satisfying and delicious (the cassoulet is wonderful!).

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Shipwreck

Thanks to everyone who played along with our last post. April fun has become somewhat of a tradition at Summit Sips, and we look forward to doing it again next year. Shifting back to serious cocktails, we are finally featuring the Shipwreck. This one comes from Portland, Oregon's Jamal Hassan. From Ox Restaurant's Whey Bar, to Tasty 'n Alder or Kenny and Zukes Deli—this guy really gets around! You may recall a cocktail we made a while back called La Yapa which continues to receive high marks at our house. That drink alone is reason enough to follow Mr. Hassan wherever he happens to be tending bar in town. He has another winner with the Shipwreck, a simple drink that is something akin to a julep with dual base spirits. It's a perfect spring cocktail and one we plan to feature on our house menu throughout

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Republic of Jam Cocktail Club

This past weekend we were invited to participate in the quarterly Cocktail Club at Republic of Jam. Being asked to contribute recipe ideas was an honor, and it was even more exciting to be there to answer questions and provide details about each drink. Citizens in attendance were genuinely enthusiastic about the whole process. Many had questions about everything from ice options to spirit suggestions. It was a joy to see so many people excited to participate.

Each of the recipes were made in large batches and poured over ice to make service fast and smooth. This was a smart choice given the sample size of each drink, but if you make some of these yourself, follow the directions. Some of these drinks are designed to be served up, in a stemmed cocktail glass (chill glasses in the freezer ahead of time and serve without ice). Good shaking

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Beachbum

We've been enjoying Mai Tai cocktails with homemade orgeat syrup all summer long. As good as they are, sometimes you need a change of pace. Not wanting to stray too far, we settled on the Beachbum Cocktail. This tiki temptation has everything you might expect—multiple rums, multiple juices, delicious liqueur and homemade syrup—and yet it's so simple that anyone can make it. Despite the fact that it has six ingredients, none of them are hard to find, and you should already have your own orgeat, right? This drink was created by New York speakeasy PDT's John Deragon. It appears in Jim Meehan's PDT Cocktail Book with a note describing it as a tribute to Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, the modern mixology hero perhaps more responsible than anyone for bringing the Tiki genre back to life.

With so many countries of origin multiplied by all of the different styles available,

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