Category Archives: cointreau

The Cosmopolitan Story

Manolo Blahniks and Cosmopolitans are synonymous with “Sex and the City.” And given those strong S&C connections, we are obliged to celebrate the SATC pop cultural phenomenon up until our own Style in the City event on Friday.

You may have remembered from the first movie that our favorite NYC ladies closed with a round of Cosmopolitans. It went something like this:

Charlotte: This is delicious!

Miranda: Why’d we ever stop drinking these?

Carrie: Because everyone else started.

Four fabulous NYC gals brought the Cosmopolitan cocktail to widespread popularity. (photo courtesy of The Gnostic Gospels and Her Name was Lola)

It is true that the fab four of Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda are credited for bringing the Cosmopolitan cocktail to incredible popularity. But, the original Cosmopolitan actually pre-dates the TV series. Like most cocktail origins, the history of the cocktail is disputed, but it appears that the real story of the Cosmopolitan starts in the early 1990’s at an exclusive after-party for the Grammy’s, held at the famous Rainbow Room where Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff was tending bar. Madonna and her entourage settled in the VIP Lounge. When the songstress requested something chic and delicious, DeGroff whipped up a batch of Cosmopolitans – a delectable mix of top-shelf vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, lime juice served in a chilled martini glass, and garnished with a twist of orange.

Dale DeGroff has also created a modern version of his famous concoction – something for the more sophisticated lady of 2010. But, there’s no shame in ordering the original – at least this week. The  recipes below are courtesy of Cointreau.

The Cosmopolitan 2010

  • 3/4 oz Citrus Vodka
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz Cranberry juice
  • 1/4 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 2 1/2 oz Champagne

Assemble the vodka, Cointreau, and juices in a shaker with ice and shake well to chill. Strain into a coupe glass and fill with champagne. Garnish with a flamed orange peel.

The Original Cosmopolitan

  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Cranberry juice
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lime juice

Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a twist of orange.

posted by Ms. S&C

T’is the season–for clementines

Ms. S&C thinks there’s a lot to love about clementines. Those perfectly small, round citrus, with a deep orange color, pack a lot of flavor. (Not to mention they are so easy to peel and seedless.) And, how irresistible are those boxes at the grocery store this time of the year? But, when you’re a family of two, how do you make use of them all? Ms. S&C is here with a few cocktail suggestions so those beauties don’t go to waste. Think of today as a two-for-one special!

That delicious box of clementines can be used for a number
of delicious cocktails

Cocktail Number One: Ms. S&C came across an inviting recipe for an Old Fashioned over at Metrocurean. She tested a few batches, made a few minor modifications, and couldn’t have been happier with the end result. The infused simple syrup is pretty fantastic, and all the flavors mesh perfectly with bourbon. To conclude, this is an awesome cocktail.

Clementina Old Fashioned
adapted from Jaleo, makes 1 drink

For cinnamon apricot syrup:
(make one day in advance, preferably)

  • dried apricots (approx. 6)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • Peel from one clementine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water

Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon sticks, apricots (1 apricot for each drink you plan to make) and clementine peel. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Let cool and stand for several hours, or overnight (recommended). Use any leftover syrup to sweeten tea, or for other cocktails.

For the cocktail:

  • 1 clementine, segmented
  • 1 1/2 ounces Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon of apricot cinnamon simple syrup
  • zest of 1 clementine
  • A few dashes orange bitters

In a cocktail shaker, muddle apricot (from syrup) and clementine. Add bourbon, cinnamon apricot syrup, orange bitters and enough ice to fill a rocks glass. Shake well. Pour into a rocks glass and finish with a generous amount of clementine zest.

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Cocktail Number Two: Naturally, Ms. S&C has offered to make punch for New Year’s Eve festivities. Last year she whipped up a sparkling cherry sensation that was quite good. This year she plans to adapt a citrusy champagne punch from Epicurious. And, for Ms. S&C’s party purposes, this recipe will likely be tripled.

Sparkling Citrus Punch
makes eight servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice (preferably pink or ruby red)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau, triple sec, or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1/4 cup Cognac or other brandy
  • 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
  • 2 clementines, segmented
  • 1 lime, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 lemon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 bottle Champagne or other sparkling white wine, chilled

Stir together juices, wine, triple sec, Cognac, mint, fruit, and cooled syrup in a large pitcher. Chill, covered, until cold, about 1 hour. Stir in Champagne. Garnish with clementine, lime and lemon pieces.

Happy New Year from S&C!

posted by Ms. S&C

Lakebound

One of Ms. S&C’s favorite escapes of the year is just days away. Every August, (for the past six years or so), Ms. S&C joins some of her best friends in the world for an extended weekend getaway at Seneca Lake, Ny. Activities include: canoeing, horseshoes, lots of cooking, daytime drinking, nighttime drinking, trashy magazines, laughing, party games (Celebrity and Apples to Apples are faves), bonfires, plenty of shenanigans. Hell, it is just a lot of fun sitting on the dock or on the porch (both overlook the water).

Seneca-Lake-Bench.002

As you may expect, there is always a well-stocked bar at the lake. Last year, popular cocktails included Pimm’s Cup and S&C’s Watermelon Lemonade. Surprisingly, Ms. S&C has yet to drink a watermelon cocktail this season (though she did have a great watermelon agua fresca at Oyamel recently). So, she is going to bring back the-fruit-that-was-destined-for-cocktails (plus, a great option when serving a crowd of 10 or more), and make Watermelon Margaritas and Tequila-Soaked Watermelon Wedges.

Watermelon Margaritas
adapted from the Food Network recipe, serves four

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces Cointreau or Triple Sec (orange flavored liqueur)
  • 1 1/2 cups ice
  • Lime wheel or watermelon wedge, for garnish

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Garnish rim of glass with a lime wheel or a watermelon wedge and serve immediately.

Optional: For frozen margaritas, place cut watermelon in a plastic bag and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.

Tequila-Soaked Watermelon Wedges
courtesy of Martha Stewart, serves four

Ingredients:

  • 1 small seedless watermelon, red or yellow, quartered and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 2 limes, halved or cut into wedges
  • Flaked sea salt or coarse salt

Directions:

Arrange watermelon in a single layer in two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes. Bring sugar, water, tequila, and Triple Sec to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly. Pour syrup over watermelon wedges, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Remove watermelon from syrup, and arrange on a platter. Squeeze limes over melon, and season with salt.

Note: The longer the watermelon soaks, the more flavorful it becomes — one reason to save any leftover slices. Yeah right, leftover slices.

posted by Ms. S&C

Life is Just a Sling of Cherries

I have been having cocktail dreams about the Sour-Cherry Gin Sling since I read about it thisGin Slings spring over at FoodandWine.com. Being a gin fanatic, I love the idea of mixing a sour-and-sweet syrup with my favorite liquor and a splash of fizz. Doesn’t that sound intoxicating and irresistible? My thoughts, exactly.

The challenge with the Sour-Cherry Gin Sling is that sour cherries have a very short season – in fact, they’re exiting their peak as we speak! So rush to your local farmers’ market and pick up a few pounds of the intriguing fruit – you can make this easy cherry syrup and freeze it to reintroduce yourself to the sour cherry this winter when you’re in need of a pick-me-up.

The end result of this particular gin sling is eminently attractive – fizzy, pink and adorned by a fruity garnish. It’s the perfect cocktail with which to bid farewell to July.

Sour-Cherry Gin Fiz
From FoodandWine.com. Serves 12.

  • 2 cups gin
  • 2/3 cup Cointreau
  • 2/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 1/4 cups sour-cherry syrup (see recipe below)
  • Angostra bitters
  • Ice
  • Sparkling water
  • Lime wheels and fresh cherries, for garnish

In a pitcher, combine the gin with the Cointreau, lime juice, syrup and a few dashes of bitters. Stir well. Pour into ice-filled glasses and top with sparkling water. Garnish with lime and cherries.

Sour-Cherry Syrup

  • 1 pound sour cherries, stemmed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Strips of zest from 1/2 lemon
  • Strips of zest from 1/2 orange

In a large saucepan, combine the cherries with the sugar, water and zests and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes. Pass the mixture through a fine strainer, pressing on the solids. Yield should be 2 1/2 cups. Let cool.

For those inclined to match your footwear to your beverage, cherry_shoesI’d recommend something saucy, red and fun to accompany this festive concoction. My vote goes to these cagey red Michael Antonio Selma sandals over at Endless.com.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Heart’s Inspiration

My mother and I whipped up a batch of Cranberry Margaritas as our Christmas Eve pre-dinner drink. We liked them so much that we cranberrymargarita21repeated them again on Christmas day, and more recently for a Sunday evening get together. They’re tart and a tiny bit sweet, and they mix up quickly in a blender. Plus, they translate easily into a virgin-version for your pregnant sister-in-law (just add a bit more lime juice and a splash of OJ in place of the tequila and Cointreau)! Given their heart-toned hue, they make for a festive Valentine’s drink, too.

Cranberry Margarita
Recipe comes from cocktail.com

  • 1 1/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar (Miss M recommends substantially less sugar – start with 1 Tbl and taste frequently)
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh frozen cranberries, rinsed (freeze on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper)
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau (orginal recipe calls for Grand Marnier, but Miss M recommends this substitute)
  • Ice

Mix together the first six ingredients. Pour half of mixture in the blender and fill rest with ice. Blend. Repeat with second half of mixture. Makes about two blender batches – which is enough to meet 4-6 people’s margarita desires, depending upon individual thirst levels.valentinesbandolino

For a romantic, flirtatious and Valentine’s inspired footwear choice, this floral suede pair by Bandolino is calling my name. And the coral patent sandals from Banana Republic bring a smile to my face. valentines1

My heart-toned picks might be a bit clichéd and traditional, but isn’t that the point of Valentine’s Day, anyways?

 

posted by Miss Mojito

S&C advice–what to drink for the Globes?

Ms. S&C,
After two weeks of drinking champagne over the holidays I need something new for the Golden Globes on Sunday night.  I’m not having a party, so I truly don’t need an entire punch (although, it would be a challenge I’d have to accept).  Any suggestions for a fancy pants drink while watching the Globes?

Many thanks,
Looking for a little fancy

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Dear Looking for a little fancy,
I may have a cocktail for you.  While your bar might not be stocked with this spirit (mine isn’t, yet), St. Germain is definitely au courante.  A product of France, this tres stylish liqueur is made from handpicked elderflower blossoms.  I recently tasted it at EatBar, a place that serves of-the-moment cocktails with fine ingredients.  EatBar’s Alchemist Cocktail (I know the name makes it sound like a science experiment rather than a lavish cocktail) contained St. Germain, Sazerac rye and lemon, shaken thoroughly, strained into a martini glass and garnished with minced lavender.  It was aromatic and divine.  And, while I know you said you wanted a break from champagne, the signature St. Germain Cocktail contains champagne (or dry white wine, Prosecco or Cava) mixed and club soda.  Maybe you could think of it as a really fancy pants spritzer?

My second choice would be the Ritz Cocktail.  Aptly named for this occasion and another-fancy-pants-drink-because-its-French.  I really love it.

Hope this gives you some inspiration — let me know what you decide!

Happy watching (and drinking),golden-globes
Ms. S&C

P.S.  Which Best Actress Nominee do you think will wear the best knock-out shoes?  Anne Hathaway, Angelina, Meryl Streep, Kristin Scott Thomas, or Kate Winslet?  My money is on Kate.  After the show, we’ll have to dish about our fashion faves.  And more fun, the fashion faux pas.

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St. Germain Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts Champagne (or dry white wine, Prosecco or Cava)
  • 1 ½ parts St. Germain
  • 2 parts sparkling water or club soda
  • Lemon (for garnish)

Directions:
Stir ingredients in a tall ice-filled glass, mixing thoroughly. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Ritz Cocktail
This recipe is a variation from many I’ve seen, but I think it is much better (no need for orange juice).  Recipe by Dale DeGroff; presented by Phil Greene at the MOTAC Holiday Cocktails Seminar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Martell’s Medallion VSOP Cognac
  • ½ oz. Cointreau
  • ¼ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Champagne
  • Flamed orange peel for garnish

Directions:
To make one, shake cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice and maraschino liqueur with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, then top with chilled champagne.  To make a batch, multiply first four ingredients by the number of drinks you’d like to make, stir well in a pitcher, then strain into chilled cocktail glasses, about one-third full each.  Top each with chilled champagne.

For the garnish:
The aroma and flavor in citrus fruits is concentrated in the oil cells of its peel.  By extracting the oil, you can add the essence of the fruit to drinks.  Large, thick-skinned navel oranges are recommended for flaming.  Slice a piece of the peel about the size of two quarters, light a lighter (no butane) over the drink, and squeeze the peel over the flame.  The oils will catch fire as they fall on the surface of the drink.

posted by Ms. S&C

New Year, New Shoes

Miss Mojito is excited to make her debut post on Shoes & Cocktails! It’s a new year for new beginnings. . . and new shoes. 2008 was a good year for me, shoe-wise. I discovered a couple of pairs of uber-comfy boots; added some patent flats to my footwear arsenal; and expanded my peep-toe possibilities.

But my hopes for 2009 are even greater. And with that in mind, I bring you the shoes that I hope-err, resolve-to buy in the next 12 months.

strappy_sandals1

Extreme Strappy Sandals

Straps are going crazy for spring, and I have my eye on this pair from Corso Como in platinum. The heel is towering, the straps are strapping – this is one hot pair of shoes.

Platform Pumps

purple_platforms

Although the trend isn’t new, it’s one I’ve been toying with for a while now. And despite the fact that these shoes will leave me a bit less steady than my regular pumps, this year I’m resolved to take the plunge and step up to the platform. I hope to take that step in this purple pair from BCBG, with an exotic animal print to spice things up.

Sculptural Booties

mustard_booties1

I joined the bootie bandwagon with a safe pair of black ankle boots last winter, but I hope to take it up a level with an extra burst of color this year. Since it’s not a trend that will likely stand the test of time, I’m not inclined to invest too much of my limited fashion income in this particular pair. But just look at this open-toed mustard version from Gwen Stefani’s line, L.A.M.B. The skinny high heel! The scale-like mini ruffles! If it weren’t for the $400+ price tag, it might be a match made in footwear heaven for Miss M and these very special booties.

Metallic Mary Janes

metallic_maryjanes

I love the slightly unconventional flair behind the pairing of the preppy MJ with the edgy crackled pewter. This t-strap version from Urban Outfitters is swoon-worthy.

A few more straps, a bit more height, a little more edge — for me, 2009 is about taking it up a notch style-wise, while taking it down a notch budget-wise. And even if these picks don’t pan out to be my actual purchases this year, at least they’re a starting point for inspiration! My 2009 budget will likely (okay, definitely) not allow me to purchase all that my heart desires, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

So with such lofty aspirations, I’m turning to a truly dream-inspiring cocktail. I came across this Golden Dream Cocktail over at the kitchn, where it’s described as an adult version of a Creamsicle. Yum. The perfect escape from reality. I’m hoping this dreamy and rich cocktail will help keep my shoe dreams alive.

Golden Dream Cocktail
Serves 2

  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 2 ounces Galliano liqueur
  • 2 ounces orange juice (fresh-squeezed, if possible)
  • 1 ounce light table cream

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into cocktail glasses and serve.


posted by Miss Mojito