Archive for the ‘Tequila’ Category


The Grapefruit Margarita

May 20, 2013


Last Friday I posted about the appeal of the cocktail. And for real, I had full intentions of working on a few of my new ideas this weekend including some seriously spiced up spritzers, but the pull from one of my favorite and most simple drinks won the day. I figured I’d simply hold off on the next post thinking you’d be bored with a repeat and the basic, but then again, wasn’t I just the person who was touting simplicity?

The Grapefruit Margarita is one of the most refreshing cocktails out there. It takes the bright and delicious standard and adds some serious freshness and bracing acidity. It’s great for a weekend brunch or a summer BBQ and is surprisingly impressive to share with your friends and family. You see, we all claim to love margaritas, but the majority of us drink terrible versions of the margarita the majority of the time. The tequila and orange liqueur should be highlighted with the citrus and the sweetness should be balanced, dare I say subtle. No sugar bombs please!

So if you are still searching for your cocktail, the one that you can make your own, give this sucker a shot and try not to drink 4000 of them…

The Grapefruit Margarita

3 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice (or high quality bottled stuff, not from concentrate)

2 oz Tequila (I often lean on a silver tequila here but a reposado will work just as well)

1 oz Orange Liqueur (triple sec can work but if you haven’t tried some of the nicer options out there, I strongly suggest you do)

Lime Wedge for Garnish

Mix all of the above ingredients and pour over a rocks glass full of crushed ice. Yes, it’s that simple.


#StillSummer, Drink a Beerarita

September 7, 2012

Look, I get it. Schools are starting up again. Labor day is over. But come on! Why all the “boohoo, summer is over” stuff. We still have a few weekends of great weather (I hope) coming up and there’s no reason to get all bummed out yet. Like my buddies over at Immaculate Infatuation who just ran their #stillsummer instagram competition, I plan on taking advantage. I wouldn’t mind another St. John beach beer but I think I’ll be able to find some alternative solution to get my buzz on. Maybe a margarita will do the trick…

Now, there’s nothing better than a freshly made lime juice based margarita but all too often you find yourself out at a bar, or at a party where the dreaded bottled mixes are being served. We’ve all drank a few of these in the past and have all had the same immediate frustration. The mix almost always tastes artificial and most certainly supplies you with a wonderful headache. And a headache is not the best tool for enjoying your last days of summer. But here’s a tip mastered by my partner in crime, Emily, who discovered the secret to remedy this all too common scenario. You know that PBR or Tecate you’ve got in the cooler? Take the plunge and give yourself a few splashes in your overly sweet margarita, and this “beerarita” will blow your mind. The bitterness from the beer counterbalances the sweetness and works perfectly with the lime punchiness.

No more “end of summer blues”! Go drink a beerarita!


Anyone Need a Margarita?

May 31, 2012

At least 5% of my brain is constantly occupied with cocktail creation. Sometimes a name will come first and the ingredients simply follow, like the “Aspagrass” soon to be debuted. And in other cases, the drink is truly inspired by what’s delicious. But no matter how much I enjoy the art of drink making (I call making cocktails art because I suck at drawing), sometimes all you want is something simple. And today I want a damn margarita!

I’m here to plead with you. You, the person stocking up on margarita mix surely having something to do with Jimmy Buffett. The guy is a marketing genius, but you don’t need that clown to make yourself the perfect margarita. And in fact, you don’t need very much at all. I’ve tried tinkering with my own recipe here and there, but this unbelievably simple version I stole from the one and only Nancy Gordon, is damn near perfect. So while I won’t try to compete with her margarita making prowess, I’m offering up my slight twist on the classic lime margarita with the equally refreshing, slightly less ass-kicking grapefruit variety. Just like in the case of Nancy’s recipe, fresh squeezed juice is ideal but for my grapefruit version a high quality store-bought juice will do the trick. Plus it makes it easier to make a big batch for your next bbq. You can thank us later for never having to buy a pre-made mix again. Actually, you know what , you better thank us now, before you have too many of these and forget. Enjoy!

Classic Margarita

2 oz tequila (I prefer a good reposado)

1 oz cointreau or triple sec

Juice of half a lime

1 lime wedge

In a glass filled with shaved or crushed ice add and stir vigorously all of the ingredients. Garnish with a lime wedge and delete any and all Jimmy Buffett from your iPod.

Grapefruit Margarita

3 oz grapefruit juice (reposado or silver work well with this one)

2 oz tequila

1 oz cointreau of triple sec

1 lime wedge

In a glass filled with ice, add all of the ingredients and stir to mix. Garnish with a lime and enjoy! This one is obviously a little less strong so feel free to have a few more!



Daddy Long Legs! Daddy Long Legs!

May 3, 2012

With only two days to the derby, I’ve decided to let you in on my horse racing secret. When betting on a race, you may be tempted to follow the odds makers and the experts in making your selection(s), but not me. My strategy is simple. Pick the horse with the name you are most excited to scream! You can’t lose!

Well actually, you can. In fact, I’ve never won. But wouldn’t you take a few minutes of enthusiastic screaming over a lump sum of money any day?

Regardless of how you choose your bets this weekend, winning or losing will be made better by this cocktail mash-up. If you are still trying to figure out how to incorporate the Derby and Cinco de Mayo, rest assured, this guy gets it done. Grabbing a handful of the Kentucky state fruit and blending them with a little lime, honey, and of course tequila makes for a perfectly refreshing blackberry margarita. I’ve dubbed it the Daddy Long Legs because that’s what I’ll be screaming for those handful of minutes on Saturday. At 30-1, sounds like it’s a long shot but what a name to scream!

The Daddy Long Legs

2 oz tequila

1 splash of cointreau

3 oz blackberry/lime juice

1 oz seltzer

In a cocktail shaker, shake the tequila, cointreau, and blackberry juice vigorously with ice. Pour into a rocks glass and top with seltzer and a simple lime garnish. Start shouting for Daddy Long Legs!

Blackberry/lime Juice

1 pint of blackberries

Juice of 2 limes

4 tbsp honey

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. At this point it can be strained but I prefer to leave it as is. Refrigerate until ready to make some cocktails.


The PFD and the White Life Saver

March 6, 2012

Assuming you were so inspired by yesterdays post, that you leapt to your feet and purchased the nearest bottle of aquavit, this pineapple and jalapeno juice I referenced is going to be a welcomed addition to your cocktail repertoire. But for those of you who require more time to react to my suggestions (come on people!), and most likely have a bottle of tequila stashed away for Cinco de Mayo, this twist on the margarita will work just as well.

Spice is a difficult thing to incorporate into cocktails successfully but when it is done well, the outcome is fantastic. My ideal spice level for a cocktail catches you off guard initially but settles quickly into a baseline for flavor. Which is why balancing the spice with a subtle sweetness is so important. If you go too sweet, there tends to be a major clash. Pineapple, while certainly sweet, has a great tartness which adds that last and final component for cocktail completion.

You could use this juice for anything but the combination with tequila works great for a more familiar flavor and the addition of aquavit sets the whole thing off in a crazy delicious way. As was agreed on at the Nobler Gathering, the aquavit version sort of tastes like a crazy incarnation of a white Life Saver, which I’ve also decided is the candy I should have never forgotten about. Screw those overly sweet gummy whales I’ve been buying at the Tasti-d bulk candy section before the movies…bring on the Life Savers!

Pineapple Jalapeno Juice:

1 pineapple

1 small jalapeno

Juice of 1 lime

Peel, core, and chop the pineapple. Blend in a food processor with the jalapeno (seeds included) and the lime juice until thoroughly juiced. Pass through a strainer and store in the refrigerator, covered until ready.


The PFD (Personal Flotation Device)

2 oz tequila

1 oz triple sec

3 oz pineapple jalapeno juice

In a rocks glass with ice, mix the three ingredients and serve with a wedge of pineapple for garnish.


The White Life Saver

2 oz aquavit

3 oz pineapple jalapeno juice

2 dashes of lemon bitters

3 oz seltzer to finish

In a highball or tall glass filled with ice mix the first three ingredients. Finish with seltzer and relish in the deliciousness.



Another Whiskey Lover’s Gift Guide!

December 14, 2011

With less than 12 days to Christmas, it’s time for another Nobler Gift Guide:

It’s common for a whiskey lover to become committed and loyal to a particular brand; maybe from a Father’s influence or maybe from the epic stories of John Jameson. But while loyalty is most often a celebrated characteristic, in this case it may be detrimental. I was at a bar last night, stocked to the brim with bourbons and ryes. With at least 20 choices I had never had the pleasure to enjoy, I was overwhelmed and ultimately defaulted to my favorite, the Bulleit Rye. The good news is, the Bulleit is still fantastic. But on the other hand, who knows what I missed out on. Like this Hudson Baby Bourbon which I have been hearing quite a buzz about. Like in the food world, locality is also becoming a big hit for the liquor biz. Sure I like the notion of Hudson’s products being made from local produce (corn and grain harvested in NY state), but for liquor I think the local aspect is a bit more personal. They have a few different products including a rye and a single malt whiskey to try but I imagine you can’t go wrong with New York’s first bourbon.

So now you’ll be off trying all sorts of new whiskeys. And yes, while none of us like to admit it, you may even need to take a break at some point. Just a second to be clear: I’m not suggesting a break from the indulging.  Rather, sometimes even the biggest whiskey lover is looking for something else to consume. Which is why I suggest you pick up a bottle of Mezcal for another great gift idea. While tequila has taken off in a big way the last ten years or so, Mezcal has remained out of the spot light being produced in small villages throughout Mexico. It may be distilled from agave, but unlike tequila which is only made from blue agave, Mezcal is extremely nuanced from variety to variety. In addition, rather than roasting the agave cores in the oven like most tequila brands do, Mezcal producers use earthen rounds over a pit of hot rocks. Sounds pretty bad ass. I’ll admit I haven’t dabbled too much to suggest the perfect brand here, but I think that might be part of the fun; brand to brand, village to village.

But now back to the whiskey…much like in the last gift guide, where I suggested that the perfect glassware is a personal piece of the whiskey experience, a decanter can take your gift receiver to the next level. I caution: there is a delicate balance here. By no means am I suggesting you pick up the globe table and decanter from sky mall magazine. But a simple, sharp, and strong decanter can send a real deal message. I’ve been torn about this notion for sometime because more and more, the iconic bottles of my favorite brands seem strong enough on their own. But there is something special about pouring yourself a glass out of your very own decanter. Maybe you’ll even get a bit adventurous and work on your own “blended” whiskey. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next Johnnie Walker. As for specific options, again, I’d say its personal. This one is quite simple and understated which I prefer but unless you’re feeling thankful for my gift guide, I’m probably not going to be the receiver. Only you know your whiskey lover…

Lastly, I’ve got the perfect stocking stuffer for you. Angostura bitters help make the perfect Old Fashioned and even double as a good stomach settler. Trust me, a few dashes with seltzer beats a ginger ale any day of the week! But enough about stomach issues, and more about the bitters. Besides an Old Fashioned, the angostura brand is a great way to get creative in cocktail making. If your whiskey lover is feeling a bit more adventurous go for a more unique version like a celery or lemon bitters.

So that’s all I’ve got for now but who knows what the next few days will bring. What about you all? Any great gift ideas to suggest?


Either you are…

October 18, 2011

…Or you aren’t.

A few months back, a colleague of mine handed off a case full of liquor. Much of his collection had been collecting dust, and I’ve never been known to turn down a bottle….or in this case 12. Even more interesting, the case was packed with liquor I probably would never think to buy. A few rare rums and even my new favorite bourbon shared the case with that Cachaça and a few other clear liquors. But it was this bottle of barrel aged tequila, Jose Cuervo Black that caused the most intrigue. A tequila for a whiskey drinker? A whiskey for a tequila drinker?

Either way, there it sat in my liquor cabinet until last night. My interest was sufficiently sparked but after a stiff pour and a few tastes, those same questions remained. Not that the stuff is terrible…it just isn’t special. It certainly held true to it’s description; the barrel aging comes off rather quickly, but the aftertaste is all tequila. Unfortunately for Cuervo Black, it’s missing the depth a good whiskey brings to the table and missing the refreshing blast a good tequila offers. I think Cuervo Black needs to look itself in the mirror.

Or maybe I’m nuts…any Cuervo Black lovers out there?

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