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Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Make a Pink Rose Cocktail for Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2012

Floral rose notes, Pink Pigeon Rum and sparkling wine make for a romantic combination in my Pink Rose Cocktail – it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.

There’s something incredibly alluring – and delicious – about the combination of roses, raspberries and sparkling wine. The flavor of roses and tart raspberries meld so well, and the bubbles are like an atomizer that bring the gorgeous scent floating out of the glass.

I’ve made plenty of rose and raspberry cocktails over the years, but when Valentine’s Day come around, I like to revisit it to see if I can invent anything new. I love the way the combination of rose and raspberry is a beautiful shade of pink and it’s intensely flavored enough to work with a variety of spirits.

(For some of my favorite pink wines, check out this Valentine’s Day rosé post on Williams-Sonoma’s Blender blog.)

This year I was inspired by the release of Pink Pigeon, a Madagascar vanilla-scented rum from the African island of Mauritius. I used a rose syrup in my cocktail, but it also works with a Tea Rose Petal Jam like this one from Harvest Song. I balanced the fruity and floral flavors in this cocktail with a splash of Campari. Like love, a good cocktail is bitter and sweet.

Pink Rose Cocktail
1 ounce Pink Pigeon Rum
3 raspberries, fresh or thawed frozen ones, plus one for garnish
1/2 ounce rose syrup (or 1 tsp. Tea Rose Petal Jam)
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon Campari
2 ounces sparkling wine, brut, brut rosé or blanc de noirs
fresh organic rose petal

Add the rum and raspberries to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add the rose syrup (or jam), lemon juice and Campari. Shake until well-chilled, then double strain into a champagne coupe. Top with chilled sparkling wine, then garnish with a rose petal and the remaining raspberry.

©By Maria C. Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Punch up Your Next Party: A Sparkling Spring Recipe

February 26, 2011

If you’ve been to a popular mixology bar in the past six months, you probably already know that punch is the hip drink on offer right now. The vintage concoction that your grandma or Aunt Gert loved making is having a Renaissance of sorts.

Of course, a certain sort of punch never really lost its appeal at kids birthdays or coming out parties, but that’s not the drink I’m talking about. The punch that’s popular again takes its cues from the circa 1740s mix of fruits, spirits, spice and wine that Esquire’s Dave Wondrich writes about so ably in Punch: The Pleasures & Perils of the Flowing Bowl.

My sparkling cocktail recipe book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Clarkson Potter, 2009) features several punch recipes, including the popular Framboise Apricot Punch which features three kinds of spirits plus bubbly.

The March issue of Sunset, the fabulous circa 1889 magazine of Western living, features a spring punch I created in the front of the book.

I paired strawberries, the first fruit that comes on strong in spring with juicy winter pineapple and fragrant Meyer lemon zest and juice. The potency came from aromatic Zaya Rum from Trinidad and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, which adds a most delightful floral note and sweetness. Then I tamed it all a bit with some jasmine green tea. The last step is adding some ice.

It’s best to do this in a large chunk, so it melts slowly and dilutes the punch, an important key to not having a bunch of sloshed guests, as they will find your punch irresistible. I made a decorative ice ring in a bundt cake mold, decorating it with strawberries, lemon slices and mint.

Make a pretty ice ring for your punch by decorating it with fruit and herbs.

Make a pretty ice ring for your punch by decorating it with fruit and herbs.

You can serve a punch in anything, but they look more dramatic in a punch bowl. The fashionable style right now at punch-friendly mixology bars like Craft & Commerce in San Diego, where they mix punch with fine Raventos i Blanc Cava, Clyde Common in Portland or Rickhouse in San Francisco is the opaque, milk glass or ceramic bowl from the 1950s and 60s.

If I’ve whetted your appetite for a a punch recipe that you can try right now, check out the intoxicating Framboise Apricot Punch recipe.

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Strawberry Smash Cocktail Recipe

January 31, 2011

Strawberry Smash

This variation on the mojito lets you mix strawberries with your favorite herb such as mint, basil, lemon verbena, cilantro, rosemary or thyme. Be sure to try the drink out before serving it to friends so you get the amount of herbs dialed in to your taste buds. It’s tasty with the alcohol or without; for a totally non-alcoholic drink, use sparkling water instead of the prosecco.

  • 3 ripe organic strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 6 leaves of one fresh herb such as mint, basil, verbena, cilantro OR 1-inch section of fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 1 ounce good white rum like 10 Cane or clean white gin like Bombay Sapphire
  • 1 ounce all-natural sour mix (see note)
  • 2 ounces prosecco

Add the strawberries and your selected herb to a rocks glass. Smash the strawberries and herbs gently with a muddler until the berries are a pulp and the herbs smell strong. Add the rum or gin if using and sour mix to the glass and give it a stir. Fill 3/4 full with ice. Top off with the prosecco. Garnish with a sprig of the herb you used.

Note: To create my all natural sour mix, mix 1 cup lemon and or lime juice with 1 cup sugar in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Heat over a low-medium flame, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When cool, pour syrup into a sterile glass bottle and refrigerate. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.

By Maria Hunt, author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Raspberry Mojito Float

January 31, 2011

Raspberry Mojito Float

Raspberry Mojito Floats

6 fresh raspberries, plus 1 extra

3 fresh mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish

1 ounce Zaya rum

1/2 ounce simple syrup

1 teaspoon lime juice

3 ounces prosecco

scoop lime sherbet or sorbet

Muddle six raspberries, 3 mint leaves, rum, simple syrup and lime juice in a cocktail mixing glass. Strain the contents into a small flute. Top with the prosecco and add the lime sherbet or sorbet. Thread the mint sprig through the raspberry to make a garnish and serve right away.

Cocktail Recipes

Cocktails to Crave: The Old Cuban

November 19, 2010
This delicious Old Cuban was mixed at Rye, by co-owner Jon Gasparini.

This delicious Old Cuban was mixed at Rye, by co-owner Jon Gasparini.

After doing a little event for a group of women attorneys at The Bubble Lounge last week, I went out for drinks with Heather and Marie, a pair of new foodie friends.

As we scanned the menu at a hip vintage style watering hole in the Financial District, Heather was disappointed that the Old Cuban — her favorite new drink — wasn’t on the menu. I told her to ask for one anyway. It’s my new favorite too and a modern classic that any bartender worth his salt knows how to make.

Apparently not. The waiter brought over two pale cocktails that looked like mojitos. Close — since the Old Cuban is a variant of the mojito. Both are made with lime, mint, simple syrup and benefit from a good golden or dark rum with some age, like Zaya, Smith & Cross or El Dorado 12.

But what makes an Old Cuban really fine and so appealing is the Angostura bitters. A proper Old Cuban — as created by the brilliant Audrey Saunders at Pegu Club in New York — has a few dashes of Angostura bitters in the mix.

I’ve read that some bartenders are making their version of an Old Cuban sans Angostura bitters. An Old Cuban without bitters isn’t an Old Cuban, it’s a Hemingway Mojito, which gets finished with a slug of champagne instead of club soda. Plus, it’s a huge mistake in terms of flavor.

Angostura bitters are made in Trinidad from a secret blend of roots and herbs.

Angostura bitters are made in Trinidad from a secret blend of roots and herbs.

Bitters aren’t a garnish here, like they are atop the foam on a Pisco Sour. In an Old Cuban, Angostura bitters make the cocktail. Bitters turn the drink the desired shade of reddish brown — think of an Old Cuban cigar. And they also bring the drink’s flavors into sharp focus while imparting a mysterious, complex quality that makes an Old Cuban so beguiling. And since Angostura bitters were originally created as a digestive aid, I can’t think of any better way to begin a meal.

One can find a good Old Cuban in the Bay Area at Rye in the Tenderloin and  Beretta in the Mission.

But since not much tastes better — especially in winter — than a fine cocktail from your home bar, here’s the recipe:

Old Cuban
5 fresh mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 to 3/4 ounces simple syrup
1-1/2 ounces tasty rum
2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
2 ounces brut cava or champagne

Muddle the mint leaves, lime juice and simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass or cocktail shaker. Add the rum, bitters and ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a smallish footed cocktail glass or vintage champagne coupe and top with the sparkling wine or champagne. Garnish with the mint sprig. Repeat.