Rhubarb Martini

Fair warning – this drink takes more than the average amount of prep work – plan ahead. It uses homemade rhubarb syrup and homemade sour mix, both of which need to be made well in advance. But it IS very good, and worth the trouble. The secret is to make a LOT of the rhubarb syrup and sour mix at a time – it freezes well, and keeps in the refrigerator for quite a while.

• 1.75 oz sour mix (go ahead, make a double or triple batch)
• 4 oz rhubarb syrup
• 4 oz good vodka
• juice of a medium-sized lime
• lots of crushed ice

Dump all of the above into a shaker, shake like hell, and pour. Makes enough for two large martinis.

Notes: If you are like me, and don’t like really sweet drinks, use the juice from a large lime (or 1.5 medium limes), and/or add in a splash of club soda to the martini glass. It really helps cut down on the sweetness.

Pomegranate Martini

I got this recipe from our friend Jude – thanks Jude!

Shake the following in a shaker until mixed and cold:

  • 2 oz. pomegranate juice
  • 2 oz. citrus vodka
  • 1 oz. Cointreau (or other orange liquor if Cointreau not available)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ice

Pour a splash of soda – maybe a half ounce or so – into the bottom of the martini glass, and then pour the shaker contents to fill up the glass.

Notes: Regarding pomegranate juice brands: I have tried several brands, but the only ones that truly taste decent in this drink are POM or Odwalla (the Odwalla flavor name is PomaGrand). Make sure you are getting plain old pomegranate juice, and not the crap flavored with “berry” or “passion fruit” – it tastes horrible, and will make a rotten drink.

POMartini

Ozoner’s Rasta Reindeer

Well, I needed to come up with a new drink for Christmas this year… After much difficult experimentation, I came up with the following. It is a weird combination, but seems to work.

• 1.5 oz light rum (any decent light rum is fine)
• 1.5 oz Malibu rum
• Juice of half a large lemon
• .75 oz Midori
• .5 oz Grenadine syrup
• Cranberry juice

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a tall (16 oz) glass. Add ice, then fill with cranberry juice, and stir.

Mojito

My Classic Mojito

The Mojito has apparently become the new “in” drink over the past year or so. However, I think is is also one of the most bastardized drinks around – I have had some REALLY awful mojitos in some very nice bars. To my mind, a properly-made mojito is light, fresh, and balanced, without the overwhelming taste of rum, mint, or that awful “mojito drink mix”. If the drink is neon green in color, then it is NOT a real mojito; they used some crappy pre-made mix – probably margarita mix.

• 1.75 oz light rum (any decent light rum is fine)
• 1.75 oz simple syrup (preferably made with unrefined sugar)
• half of a good-sized lime
• 6-8 small mint leaves, 3-4 large
• crushed ice
• club soda

Fill a large (18-20 oz) glass about half-full of crushed ice. Cut the half-lime into 3-4 wedges, squeeze them into the glass, and then dump the squeezed wedges into the glass. Add in the fresh mint leaves, rum, and simple syrup (you can substitute cane juice for simple syrup if you happen to live in an area where it is available). Now muddle everything together, which basically means using a wooden spoon or muddler (available in bar supply stores – looks like a tiny baseball bat) to smash everything in with the crushed ice to combine the flavors. You don’t want to grind the mint leaves into pulp, but you do want to make sure they get a bit crushed. Fill to the top with club soda and stir.

Notes: This is very much a “to-taste” recipe. Some people like a little more lime, some like a little more sweetness, etc. Play around with it, and find what you like best.

Mojito

The Hurricane

This is one I have had a ton of requests for – the infamous New Orleans original Hurricane. This is a ‘batch mode’ adapted from a recipe found on Chuck Taggart’s amazing site The Gumbo Pages. Be forewarned that this drink exhibits the three dangerous “S” characteristics – Stealthy, Smooth, and Strong.

• 600 ml Dark Rum (Good rum – like Cockspur or Appleton)
• 600 ml Light Rum (any decent light rum – Bacardi is fine)
• 750 ml Orange Juice
• 1 liter Passion fruit nectar
• Juice of 9 fresh limes (don’t you dare use bottled lime juice!)
• 14 packets of Splenda (or use sugar or whatever to taste – see note below)
• Maraschino Cherry juice to taste… I used about 4-5 ounces of juice

Mix everything together in a large container (it makes 3 liters). Serve in tall glasses over lots of ice, and drop a maraschino cherry or two in each glass. If you have leftovers, it keeps well in the fridge for at least a week.

Notes: 

  • Any decent light rum will do, but for this recipe to turn out well you need to use a good dark rum – I suggest Appleton from Jamaica or Cockspur from Barbados – cheap dark rum will RUIN this drink!
  • Many better grocery stores will stock passion fruit nectar in liter bottles – usually under the brand name Looza. If you can’t find it, you can try substituting another tropical juice like mango or papaya, but it just isn’t the same.
  • I use Splenda for sweetener because it dissolves better in the mixture and because chicks dig the low-cal thing. Feel free to use good old sugar if you want, but you will have to stir it forever and you will still end up with a slurry of un-dissolved sugar in the bottom of your container. Please taste as you sweeten – the amount of sweetener needed will vary depending on the bitterness of of your limes, and you run the risk of over-sweetening the batch (plus it is fun!).
  • My original recipe called for 750ml of white and dark rum, not 600ml.  It was great, but people were dropping like flies. Try it if you want a drink that will make people lay down instead of party…

Hurricane

The Siren

This is a fabulous and unique drink – the recipe came via our good friends Max and Gretchen. I believe it originated at a restaurant downtown – not sure which one.

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • .5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 oz sour mix
  • 2-3 slices of fresh jalapeño
  • crushed ice

Dump all of the above into a cocktail shaker, and shake just enough to bruise the jalapeño slices (maybe 5 seconds), pour into martini glass, garnish with a floated jalapeño slice. You can sugar half the rim of the glass if desired.

Notes: The secret here is to use GOOD sour mix, not the stuff that you get in the “Mixers” aisle at the grocery store. Taste it – if it tastes “artificial” (like most bottled sour mixes), your drink is going to taste like crap. There are a few decent “gourmet” mixes, or you can easily make your own – see recipe here.

Enjoy!

Lemon Drop Martini

  • juice of one whole large lemon
  • one shot of triple-sec (Bols if you can get it)
  • three shots of good vodka
  • two packets of sweetener (you can use sugar if you want, but artificial sweetener dissolves better). Shake it a bit to dissolve the sweetener.

Now fill the shaker with ice, and shake like hell! Drink, repeat as needed or until unable to muster the coordination to shake. Make sure not to add ice until the sweetener has dissolved – it will not dissolve very well in cold liquid. Taste the first batch, and add or reduce sweetener from future batches. Some people like them REALLY sweet, and also you sometimes get lemons that are very bitter and need more.

LemonDrop