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!

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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).

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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!

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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!

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By Krystle Turkington for www.HappyHourPal.com

@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

Five ways to Cinco…Cont.

Since Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday you would think that it is celebrated to the utmost extent throughout the country, but ironically enough the largest celebrations take place in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. (history.com)  In Mexico, May fifth is just like any other day; federal offices, banks, and school are still in session.  The largest celebrations take place in Puebla where the battle was won.  These festivities predominantly consist of battle reenactments and military parades.

So, how did Cinco de Mayo become such a big holiday in the United States?  Civil rights activists during the 1960s used the holiday not only as a way to highlight their pride for their heritage, but also as an example of the local Mexican population overcoming European influence.

With that said here are two drinks, one for Mexico and one for the U.S.

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La Paloma

2 oz tequila*

1/2 oz lime juice

1 oz grapefruit juice

Grapefruit soda*

Salt

Salt half the rim of a bucket glass.  Shake tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice and ice together and pour into your prepared glass.  Top with soda and garnish with a lime wedge.

Ginger Jalapeño Margarita

1 1/2 oz tequila*

1/2 oz triple sec, cointreau, or combier

1/4 oz elixir g

3 jalapeño slices, about 1/4″ thick

~ 3-4 oz sweet and sour

Salt

Salt half the rim of a margarita or bucket glass.  If you want an extra spicy m margarita start by muddling the tequila with the jalapeños.  Otherwise, just add all the ingredients into your shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into your prepared glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

* when it comes to choosing your ingredients I recommend you use what you like.  Personally, I would use Hornitos silver or reposado and fresca soda.

By Krystle Turkington

Five Ways to Cinco

cinco

This iconic Mexican holiday is a celebration over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.   (Wikipedia.com)  Nowadays, just like St. Patrick’s Day, this holiday has become more a celebration of heritage and focused on partying.  There are numerous block parties throughout the United States every May fifth including Ann Arbor, Michigan, Chinatown, Hawaii, and Austin Texas, and it is no surprise that most will be pouring tequila.

From my experience working in a tequila bar, out of all the liquors it seems that one bad night with Jose Cuervo can scar some people for life.  If this is you, have no fear, I’ve come up with some inventive ways to bring a Latin flair to vodka and whiskey.  Instead of making a drink with the liquor of Mexico I have taken their herbs and love for spice and transformed them into delicious cocktails.

Firefighter

peppers

1 ½ oz Stoli Hot vodka

¼ oz simple syrup

2 lemon wedges

3 cilantro leaves (if big only use 2)

Club soda

Squeeze lemon wedges and throw into shaker.  Tear cilantro and add to shaker along with the vodka, ice and simple syrup.  Shake vigorously because you want to bruise the cilantro leaves.  Pour into a bucket* glass and top with club soda.

bucket glass

Note your glass doesn’t have to be an exact replica, the most important thing about your bucket glass is that it is somewhere between 10-12oz.

Speedster

1 ½ oz jim beam

½ oz combier

1 oz lemon juice

¾ oz simple syrup

Dash angostura bitters

½ oz perfect purees chipotle sour

Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice.  You may choose to serve this drink on the rocks (with ice) or up (like a martini).  I recommend serving it with a lemon garnish regardless.  Come back tomorrow for more drinks inspired by Cinco de Mayo!

cilantro

By Krystle Turkington

Whiskey Tea by Krystle Turkington

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It has been unseasonably cold this April.  Temperatures all around the United States have been rivaling all-time lows.  For instance, this April in Dallas, Texas the low 40˚F spring air might break the record lows of 1995 (dfw.cbslocal.com).  So, to help get through this chilly spring I’m posting a warm alcoholic beverage to sip on!

Whiskey

Whiskey Tea

1 ½ oz Jameson whiskey

½ oz honey

1 slice lime, lemon, and orange

1 black tea bag

1 cinnamon stick

Hot water

Steep the black tea according to the instructions.  Make sure you do not squeeze the bag when you remove it.  This releases lots of tannins from the leaves and will make your drink bitter.  Squeeze each citrus into the tea and drop the slices in.  Stir with the cinnamon stick and steep the citrus for about 3 minutes.  Remove the slices and if the water is not hot enough just reheat in the microwave for less than a minute.  Add honey and whiskey.  Stir and serve with the cinnamon stick.

Not only is this drink delicious, but this is also my family’s secret remedy to a sore throat and the common cold. So, if it isn’t cold in your home town safe this recipe for the next time you are feeling under the weather.

By Krystle Turkington

Hawaiian Rainbow Happening Now!

Rainbow over Hawaii’s state capital and palace!  #hawaii @happyhourpalhi http://t.co/n53AnAkhgK Photo: Instagram by @HappyHourPal

ʻIolani Palace, in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi, is the only royal palace in theUnited States used as an official residence by a reigning monarch and is a National Historic Landmark listed on theNational Register of Historic Places. Two monarchs governed from ʻIolani Palace: King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the building was used as the capitol building for theProvisional GovernmentRepublicTerritory, and State of Hawaiʻi until 1969. The palace was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1978. -wikipedia

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