Bastille Day!

bastille

Yesterday was Bastille Day!  Many of you are probably wondering what that is, well it is the French National Day.  It not only coincides with the storming of Bastille, but also with the resolution of the modern government with the old monarchy (wikipedia.com).  In other words, this is the French Independence Day!  Just like America, they have parades and fireworks.  As a matter of fact, they have the largest parade in Europe around the Champs-Elysees (wikipedia.com).

parade

As far as I am concerned though, the best thing about Bastille Day is the shots!  Not only do you mix white wine and tequila, but you get to slam your cup on the bar and yell “Bastille Day!”  Now I understand that for most people this doesn’t sound like the most tasty drink, but trust me when I say that the ingredients are key.

To make a great Bastille Day shot you need a buttery Chardonnay, such as Louis Latour.  The tequila you choose will make or break your drink. My recommendation is an infused tequila, such as Tanteo Cocoa.  It is infused with jalapenos and cocoa to give it a rich and slightly spicy flavor.  This is a nice contrast to the sweet, savory, buttery Chardonnay.  If you like sweeter cocktails, try Patron Citronge.  It is an orange flavored tequila that will compliment the wine while making the shot sweeter.

I believe I’ve said this before, but working at a tequila bar I have come to realize that people who claim to not like tequila are the most fervent about not drinking it.  So, for those of you who are anti-tequila, try modifying the Bastille Day shot with a ginger-infused cognac.  To make the infused cognac just slice fresh peeled ginger and let it set in the cognac for at least 24 hours.

Now all you need is the ratio and the proper way to slam  your drink!

3 oz white wine

1 oz tequila or cognac

Make sure you can form a seal with the cup you make your drink in.  I recommend using a rocks glass.  Put all the ingredients in the glass with no ice, form a seal with your hand, and gently tap the glass on the counter while yelling “Bastille Day!”

By Krystle Turkington

@KrystleBar for HappyHourPal 

Happy Independence Day!

drink3

Independence Day marks the separation of the American colonies from Great Britain in 1776 (history.com).  It was debatable amongst the forefathers of this country if our Independence Day was the day the Continental Congress met and voted for independence on July 2nd ,or if it was the day the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th.  John Adams, for instance, believed that July 2nd would be celebrated by future generations with a “great anniversary festival” including “pomp and parade, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other” (history.com).

drink5

Although he may have gotten the actually holiday date wrong, our celebrations are carried out in a manner he suggested and begin as early as the 1st of July.  Despite the warm muggy East Coast weather or the dry and overbearing heat to the West, this seasons festivities are already in full swing.  Families and friends are already enjoying BBQ’s, fireworks, and parades, and everyone will need a patriotic way to cool down.  So toss in the red, white, and blue cordial shots for this frosty Rocket Daiquiri and toast to your freedom!

drink2

Just in case you need some fun facts for your party guests, see if you can stump them with this question.  Why are there always less blue fireworks than other colors?  Well the answer boils down to cost.  To make a blue firework it requires a copper compound, which is not only more costly than calcium found in orange or the lithium found in red, but it is also more unstable at high temperatures (chemistry.com).

Now bust out your blenders and enjoy!

1 oz light rum

¼ oz lime juice

2 oz strawberry puree or about 4-5 strawberries + ½ oz simple syrup

ice

Blend this until smooth and pour into the bottom third of a hurricane glass.

1 oz light rum

1 oz pineapple juice

2 oz coconut milk

ice

Blend this until smooth and pour into gently to layer for a third of a hurricane glass on top of the strawberry layer.

1 oz light rum

1 oz blue Curacao

2 oz sweet and sour mix

ice

Blend this until smooth and pour gently to layer on top of the pina coloda until the glass is full.

If you don’t have a hurricane glass, just use whatever large glass is available.  The effect will be the same and taste equally delicious!

drink1

By Krystle Turkington for www.HappyHourPal.com

@KrystleBar

Sangria

I have been feeling a bit guilty for not talking to my mom on her birthday.  Now before you start judging me, I did try to call her, and I have a card and gift for when I see her in a few days, but I still feel like I should do something to make up for not actually talking to her or seeing her on her birthday.  So, I thought I would make a drink up just for her.

Unlike, my dad, she is not much of a drinker.  There are only two drinks I know she likes:  very sweet white wine and Captain and Coke.  Not exactly two drinks you can mix or alter, but then it hit me.  Sangria!  It is perfect for summer time too, it is the perfect drink to serve at a BBQ or while camping, or just to sip on at the beach.

beach

Sangria

1 bottle of sweet white wine (semillion or moscato works best)

½ a pineapple cut into chunks without rind

2 small granny smith apples cut into chunks without core

1 mango cut into chunks without skin

1 orange cut into chunks with rind

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup sugar

½ cup spiced rum

3 cups Sprite or other citrus soda of your choice

Add all the chopped fruit to a pitcher and pour the lemon juice over.  This is to prevent the fruit from turning brown so make sure it coats all the fruit well.  Add sugar and rum and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Add the bottle of wine and stir until everything is combined.  Let it set for at least an hour.  Once you are ready to serve add ice and soda.

sangria

By Krystle Turkington

@KrystleBar

http://www.HappyHourPal.com

Happy Hour Pal is available for Android and iPhone and support Hawaii, Portland, and The Hamptons!

The fountain of youth

granny

The Beverly Hillbillies loved their moonshine.  Miss Jane was the first to state that moonshine is the fountain of youth, and granny called her shine a cure all.   Since then there have been numerous accounts of “moonshine medicine” helping folks stay healthy and limber, such as, South Carolina farmer Perry or some of the Moonshiners’ forum writers.

fountain

Moonshine isn’t the only thing with infamous health benefits.  I think almost everyone knows the phrase an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  So, I got a brilliant idea to combine the fountain of youth with apples to keep the doctor away.  I have two recipes to stay healthy, limber, and young while still catching a buzz.

Moonshiner

1 ½ oz moonshine (nothing too smoky or flavored)

½ oz vanilla simple syrup

¼ oz all spice dram

Apple juice

Splash cranberry juice

To make the vanilla simple syrup you will need a vanilla bean, vanilla extract, sugar, and water.  One vanilla bean will make up to one cup of simple syrup.  Add equal parts water and sugar (no more than one cup) to a pot over medium high heat.  Once the sugar is dissolved and the vanilla extract and the vanilla bean cut in half lengthwise.  Let it simmer for about five minutes and then remove from heat.  Once it is cooled remove the bean and scrap all the vanilla from the inside.  If it gets clumped in the syrup just shake well in a sealed container.

Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice.  Use more apple juice than, almost a 3:1 ratio.  Pour into a glass and enjoy.  If you would like to garnish this, I recommend an apple slice.

Apples a la mode

1 ½ oz moonshine (nothing too smoky or flavored)

½ oz vanilla simple syrup

¼ oz all spice dram

Slice of leftover apple pie

A la mode is a French phrase that translates to “of the world.” So, although this recipe doesn’t include ice cream it is most definitely going to be a favorite way to consume your leftover apple pie.

Put all the ingredients into a blender.  Once smooth pour into a glass and enjoy.  I like to serve this with a wedge of cheddar cheese on the rim.  The salty cheese is a nice contrast to the sweet drink, and in some parts of America apple pie is served with cheddar cheese.

By Krystle Turkington for Happy Hour Pal

@KrystleBar

Happy Hour Pal is available for Android and iPhone and support Hawaii, Portland, and The Hamptons!

Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is tomorrow, June 16th!  Unlike Mother’s Day, you can’t just buy your Dad flowers and chocolates.  The trend nowadays seems to be to make him something personalized.  There are hundreds of websites dedicated to showing young kids how to make something for their dad that he can use almost every day, such as spoonful.com and enchantedlearning.com.  For those of us outside of grade school though, a personalized gift for dad can be a daunting task.

Let me use my dad as an example.  He is an enigma to me.  He is a gun slinging, confederate flag waving, moonshine loving redneck.  Now when anyone hears this they assume my father is a born and bred Southern, but that is not the case.  My dad was originally from North, he can talk like a New Englander, and he has a half Puerto Rican daughter.  So, like I originally said, he is an enigma to me.  I know he loves hunting, fishing, and playing in his band, which only plays two kinds of music:  country and western.  So, if you think your dad is hard to personalize a gift for, I feel your pain.

boardwalk

Thanks to the Boardwalk Empire, Moonshiners, and the progression from pre-prohibition to prohibition cocktails, though, I have developed a new and great plan that can work for almost any dad.  After taking him to enjoy his favorite activity, whether it is golf, watching the ball game, or fishing, you can surprise him with a signature cocktail inspired by him and named after him.

SHINE

Moonshine is now being mass distributed in several states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Connecticut, and Hawaii.  It is now considered a trendy and hip liquor, so it can be enjoyed by more than just my pops.  I have listed three various recipe ideas based on personal style.

Old School:  Inspired by the Bees Knees

bees knees

2oz moonshine

¾ oz honey syrup

½ oz lemon juice

¾ oz orange juice

To make the honey syrup, take equal parts honey and warm water.  Put them in a sealed contained and shake until the color and consistency is uniform.

Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice.  Shake until very cold and strain into a martini glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist.  This drink is best made with fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice.  If you use a bottled orange juice make sure it is not calcium fortified.  This will give the cocktail and chalky taste.

For the sweet at heart

vanilla

2 oz moonshine

¾ oz vanilla simple syrup

½ oz orange juice

1 oz pineapple juice

To make the vanilla simple syrup you will need vanilla extract, a vanilla bean, sugar, and water.  One vanilla bean will make up to a cup of simple syrup.  Split the vanilla bean in half and add to a pot with equal parts water and sugar.  When it starts to simmer add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and simmer for about five minutes.  Remove from heat and cool.  Before you toss the vanilla bean, scrap the remaining black specks from the bean pod.  If it gets clumped just put in a sealed container and shake until the clumps break apart.

Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice.  After everything is mixed pour into a highball glass and garnish with a pineapple or orange slice.

For the wild and crazy

crazy

This applies to my dad so I’ve called this the Tommy Bomb

1 oz moonshine

Energy drink of choice, his favorite is Mountain Dew

Drop the moonshine into the energy drink like any bomb shot, and chug.

Have a great Father’s Day everyone!

By Krystle Turkington

@KrystleBar

http://www.HappyHourPal.com

Cheers to Candy Month!

Every month has a slew of abstract and unknown holidays.  For instance, every November 3rd is Sandwich Day and November is National Model Railroad Month.  Can anyone honestly claim they celebrate either of those?  June is no exception either.

candy

June is Candy Month, and today, June 8th, is Best Friends’ Day (holidayinsight.com).  Unlike sandwich day and model railroads, though, candy and best friends go together like two peas in a pod.  It is no surprise that when someone says candy most people think chocolate, and based on annual sales if chocolate had a best friend it would be peanut butter.  Reese’s peanut butter cups are ranked second behind M&M’s milk chocolate (businessweek.com).  So, what’s a better way to celebrate both of these abstract holidays than to make a Peanut Butter Cup Martini?

martini

Here’s the recipe:

1 oz vanilla vodka

½ oz Kahlua

½ oz white crème de cocoa

1 oz godiva chocolate liquor

¾ oz peanut butter simple syrup

Splash of milk/cream

Chocolate syrup

Reese’s peanut butter cup

To make the peanut butter simple syrup mix equal parts sugar and water over medium high heat.  When they start to dissolve add a glob of peanut butter and melt it down.  Once it is thoroughly mixed and begins to bubble remove from heat and cool.

Take a martini glass and swirl with chocolate syrup.  Depending on the size of your Reese’s either skewer or place on the rim.  Add remaining ingredients to a shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into your prepared martini glass.

By Krystle Turkington

@KrystleBar

www.HappyHourPal.com

Here’s to Another Stormy Season!

Hurricane season has just begun, so before it gets into full swing why not toast to the impending storms?

hurricane-season

In the 1940’s, Pat O’Brien’s bar in New Orleans became renowned for their signature drink the Hurricane (patobriens.com).  Since then there has been several variations on the cocktail, but it has still maintained its potent integrity.  I have listed two different mixes below to enjoy.  One that is dark and ominous like the winds right of the eye and another to savor after the worst has past.

hurricane

The Dark and Ominous Hurricane

2oz light rum

2oz passion fruit juice

1oz orange juice

½ oz lemon juice

¼ oz simple syrup

¼ oz grenadine

3 oz dark rum*

Add light rum, juices, simple syrup and grenadine to a shaker with ice.  Once mixed pour into a hurricane glass, like in the image above, and top with the dark rum.  You can choose to garnish this however you like.  I personally like to pick a fruit in the mix and pair it with a cherry.

*Because this is such a sweet cocktail I prefer to use dark spiced rum, such as Kraken, that adds a depth to the flavor.

Hurricane

1 oz spiced rum

½ oz amaretto

3 oz light rum

2 oz pineapple juice

1 oz grapefruit juice

1 oz orange juice

½ oz lime juice

½ oz agave nectar

Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice.  Pour into a hurricane glass.  If you like to give your drink a layered effect, sink a splash of grenadine.  Again, you can choose to garnish this however you like.

If mixing all these juices is not up your alley and you would still like to make a delicious hurricane stop by patobriens.com and purchase their house mix.  Then all you have to do is add your choice of alcohol.

Or if fruity concoctions are not your favorite, then toast with a dark and stormy!  Here’s my recipe.

Dark

Dark and Stormy

2 oz dark rum*

½ oz lime juice

¼ oz elixir g

Press

Add rum lime juice and elixir g to a shaker with ice.  Pour into a highball glass and top with a press, which is equal parts sprite and club soda.  You could replace the press and elixir g with a good ginger beer as well, such as gosling’s or reeds.

*For this drink I recommend dark rum with vanilla and citrus undertones to add depth of flavor and compliment the touch of citrus in the cocktail.  I personal favorite is Koloa dark rum.  For information on where to purchase it go to koloarum.com.

SWAZILAND

So, no matter where you are, when the weather starts to look menacing, curl up with one of these cocktails that will guaranteed send your head spinning while you wait out to storm.

By Krystle Turkington

@KrystleBar

Airports Upgrade

airport

I recently flew across the United States, so I had a lot of layovers and plenty of time to scope the airport dining scene.  Much to my surprise, all the airports I stopped in had some excellent dining choices.  Airport dining has come a long way in the past four years.

houston

In Houston, TX I was shocked to see that Iron Chef Cat Cora had a restaurant in the airport.  Of course, it was a bit pricey, but for those traveling on a budget there was also a great BBQ joint right across the hall.  The smell was so mouthwatering I had to check it out, and I was not only shocked how much food they fed you, but also that it tasted good.

atlanta

In Atlanta, GA I wasn’t surprised by the amount of Southern comfort food joints I saw, but I was surprised by One Flew South.  It is a fine dining restaurant in the airport! There menu is a Southern Asian fusion that looked out of this world.  Unfortunately for me, it was closed because it was only 6am, but they also had a great French inspired bistro called French Meadow.  The croissant sandwich was fresh and delicious and they had a great selection of organic teas.

boston

By the time I made it to Boston, MA I wasn’t surprised to see a legit seafood house in the airport.  Legal Sea Foods has a menu full of New England seafood favorites.  You can even purchase live lobsters!

My favorite though, was in the SeaTac Airport in Seattle, WA.  Anthony’s has a menu full of local and Alaskan fish in a variety of dishes including tacos, sandwiches, fish and chips, or a full entrée.  What surprised me the most about this restaurant is not only the freshness and quality of food, but that they also make seasonal cocktails.  This month:  strawberry rhubarb.  This is my favorite combination, especially talking pies, so I was not shocked it made a delicious margarita.

So, for those of you not traveling through SeaTac International Airport any time soon, here is my version!

Seattle

Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita

2oz tequila

½ oz triple sec, Cointreau, or Combier

1 oz strawberry rhubarb puree

3 oz sweet and sour mix

For the sweet and sour mix I personally would use Minute Maid frozen limeade.  Make with a few ounces less water and add 1 oz of fresh lime juice.  This will make a sweet and sour mix that will not over power the strawberry rhubarb puree.  If you want to make your margaritas blended, switch the amount of puree and sour mix.  This makes for a better texture and more flavorful margarita.

Add all the ingredients to a shaker or blender with ice and mix.  Because this is a kind of sweet drink I personally skip the salt on the rim.

For the strawberry rhubarb puree:

Ingredients
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar, depending on desired tartness
1/3 cup water
1 pound rhubarb stalks, cleaned and diced
1 quart strawberries, cleaned, hulled and halved
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

(Foodnetwork.com)
Directions
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat combine sugar and water. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add rhubarb and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Add strawberries and lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes more. Allow mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.

In batches, if necessary, puree mixture in blender. Add water if mixture appears too thick. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, like a chinois, to get rid of the seeds.

By Krystle Turkington

Congratulations Class of 2013!

Grad1

It is graduation season, which means it is time to celebrate!  So whether you are hosting a party, BBQ, or just saluting yourself on a job well done, here are some drinks to help you along the way.

To me, champagne and celebration go together like peanut butter and jelly, but for such a momentous occasion it should be kicked up a notch.  For inspiration, who better to turn to than the French?  They have been making white wine cocktails for centuries. The most infamous is the Kir, a blend of white wine and cassis, named after the mayor of Burgundy who made this cocktail popular after World War II  (Wikipedia.com).  It has several known variations, including the champagne based Royal Kir, and now I have added a new version to the repertoire.

Grad 2

Festive Kir

½ oz ginger infused grand marnier

½ oz cassis

Top with sparkling wine

Orange twist

Soak peeled, sliced, raw ginger in the grand marnier for at least 24 hours.  The longer you leave the ginger in the cognac the stronger the ginger flavor will be.  I recommend storing the mixture in a sealed container and not stuffing the ginger down the neck of the bottle.  Once the ginger infused grand marnier is ready, add it and the cassis into a shaker with ice.  After it is chilled, strain into a champagne flute and top with a sparkling wine.  I personally like a sparkling wine with crisp, citrus flavors to enhance the orange in the grand marnier like a sparkling pinot grigio or prosecco.  The orange twist will also bring out the flavors of the grand marnier and add a beautiful pop of color to this celebratory cocktail.

If your graduate is not of the legal drinking age yet, you can easily turn this cocktail into a non-alcoholic beverage.  Just replace the sparkling wine with sparkling cider and the cassis with black currant juice.  You can choose to add a touch of ginger beer, no more than ½ oz, if you would like the same spiced effect.  This mock-tail can be made directly in the glass if all the ingredients are already chilled.

Enjoy and congratulations to all the graduates of 2013!

By Krystle Turkington

Mother’s Day Brunch

mothersday

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and it is entirely impossible to forget if you watch TV.  Every other commercial for the past week has been geared toward buying flowers and chocolates for the special woman in your life:  Mom.  From my experience though, my Mom always appreciates a gift from the heart.  So, for those of you who will see your Mom tomorrow; why not make her brunch at your place?

brunch

Of course, no brunch is complete without a cocktail, but you want to make your mother proud right?  What’s a better way than to make your concoctions with your fruits and vegetables?  I know as a kid my mom had two mantras when it came to food:  an apple a day keeps the doctor away and no leaving this table until you finish your veggies.  With that said, here are three cocktail recipes that include fruit and vegetable.

1-800-ACAI

acai

1 ½ oz 1800 coconut tequila

½ oz pama liqueur

Acai juice blend

To make the acai juice blend use one Sambazon blueberry acai and Sambazon strawberry acai with a splash of peach juice.  I personally used about 4oz of the peach juice, but you can adjust the amount until you get the balance you prefer.  Keep in mind that the peach juice will make the acai blend sweeter.  Once your juice blend is ready just pour all the ingredients into a bucket glass with ice and enjoy!

Granny’s Mojito

apple

1 ½ oz light rum

½ oz honey syrup*

1 oz citrus kombucha

½ oz apple juice*

5 mint leaves

Club soda

Muddle mint with honey syrup and apple juice, add rum and kombucha and shake.  Top with club soda. Serve in a tall glass like a pint, hurricane, or highball.  Garnish with an apple slice.  If you buy apple juice, make sure to purchase one without added sugar or cinnamon.  If you are juicing apples to make this cocktail, keep in mind that different varieties of apples have varying levels of sweetness.  I personally like to make this cocktail with granny smith apples because of the distinctive tartness.

*honey syrup:  equal parts honey and water.  Shake until the honey is completely incorporated into the water.

Cucumber Dill Fizz

fizz

1 ½ oz Uncle Val’s gin

½ oz dill syrup

3 cucumber (no peel) slices (English cucumbers work best)

Club soda

Muddle cucumber and dill syrup.  Add gin and shake.  In a Collins glass strain over fresh ice and top with club soda.  For added vegetables, garnish with a cucumber spear and dill sprig.

By Krystle Turkington: http://www.HappyHourPal.com Blogger