Tag Archives: cordials

A Liquor-Free Cocktail

Miss Mojito recently returned from a short trip to the great commonwealth of Massachusetts, where the skies were blue, the seafood was plentiful, and the cocktails were a change of pace.

Massachusetts introduced me to a new concept: the 10-month liquor license. I can’t figure out the rhyme or reason, but some restaurants have two separate licenses: a 12-month license for wine, beer and cordials, and a 10-month license for liquor.

That means that the 10-month license holders have to get creative with their cocktail mixing for two months of the year. How do you make a liquor-free cocktail? Good question – and one that Massachusetts restaurants have tried to answer using their most imaginative mixology methods.

Wine or sparkling wine typically provide the base of these liquor-free cocktails, while club soda adds the fizz and fruit juice and cordials give some oomph to the flavor volume. Also known as liqueurs, cordials are sweetened spirits flavored with anything from fruits and herbs to roots and leaves. To make a cordial, you start with an alcoholic base – brandy, rum, or whisky, for example – which you then either distill, infuse, macerate or percolate to change the flavor profiles.

The kir would be a classic example of a liquor-free cocktail: white wine mixed with a dollop of creme de cassis, a sweet, blackcurrant flavored liqueur. (Sub champagne for the white wine and you have yourself a kir royale).

For a cocktail that’s a bit more modern and on-trend, look no further than Domaine de Canton, the ginger flavored liqueur. I’m thinking a mix of Cava, a healthy splash of Canton, a good squeeze of lime and some candied ginger for garnish would hit the spot.

Miss Mojito wants to know: What are your favorite cordials for cocktail mixing? And can anyone shed some light on the Massachusetts liquor licensing laws for me?

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Jumping on the Homemade Bandwagon

Ever since Miss Mojito started testing tonics and investigating the possibility of homemade tonic water, she’s experienced a growing interest in the make-your-own-ingredient movement. Expert mixologists are well known for creating their own syrups, cordials and the like, but more and more the trend is for at-home-cocktail-imbibers to adapt these techniques for their own kitchens.

In a May 19 article on San Francisco-based blog Yumsugar.com, the poster recalls her experience at a “House-Made Ingredients How-To” class, where instructors Jeff Holinger and Neyah White taught attendees about the value of experimenting with everyday kitchen items—pickle juice, for example—with a waste-not, want-not mentality. The end results are liquors with new and exciting flavors.

And in Michelle Maynard’s May 19 New York Times article, “Ginger Ale Without the Can,” Ms. Maynard has convinced me to try my hand at a homemade version of the soda to integrate into my home bar. A homemade ginger ale and bourbon sounds like it would literally burst with freshness.

Wikihow even provides an easy, 10-step method for creating your own cordials.  With summer upon us, I’m thinking that a cordial made from strawberries or raspberries might be the ultimate refreshment. I’d love to try a dollop in a flute of champagne.

And the prospect of homemade, pomegranate-flavored grenadine is truly exciting. The process of boiling and reducing a mixture of sugar and pomegranate juice couldn’t be more simple, although I might try replacing the two cups of sugar with agave nectar or Stevia natural sweetener. That’s the beauty of homemade ingredients, after all: you can adapt the recipes to suit your needs.

Miss Mojito is eager to know: do you have any home ingredient experiments to share?

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Looking ahead

I’m so not ready to let go of summer (I still have a Delaware beach trip to look forward to at the end of the month). But, I’m being lured to cooler weather by the delightful coffee mugs over at Anthropologie. I’m imagining a time when I’m no longer drinking ice coffee. A time when an after dinner café includes grand marnier, bailey’s irish cream, or kahlua. Mmmmm. I can’t wait for these vessels to improve my overall experience of drinking warm beverages.