Summer may have come and gone but that doesn’t mean that entertaining at home has to end. Entertain and impress your guests throughout the cooler months with TRELORA’s handy list of little-known cocktail ingredients. This list is arranged from simplest to most complex, but even our number 5 only takes about 30 minutes of prep time.
1. COCONUT WATER
Coconut water adds a sweet, smooth finish to both dark and light spirits. Not only is it easy to freeze into ice cubes, it is also high in potassium. Your friends will appreciate your elegance as you pour a Whiskey Coco (1 part whiskey : 2 parts coconut water) or a coconut gin and tonic. Here are 8 Coconut Water Cocktails to garner inspiration.
2. MUDDLED HERBS AND FRUIT
If your kitchen or bar is not yet equipped with a muddling stick, now is the time to pick one up. (Alternately, if you're entertaining in a matter of hours, you can use a wooden spoon.) Muddling is the act of macerating fruit or herbs to release their juices or aromas, frequently combining these with sugar or liqueurs. It’s the basis of Brazilian beach classics like the caipirinha or the Kentucky-Derby-favorite mint julep. Experiment with about 1/3 cup of fruit or 5-6 leaves of fresh herbs for each drink. We at TRELORA especially love to muddle slices of Palisade Peaches (when they're in season) to mix with Bourbon. Your guests will experience bold and delicious flavors, while feeling refreshed.
3. EGG WHITES
In the 90's, many bars tended toward drinks from syrups and pre-made mixes, but with the return of the craft cocktail, egg whites are back in style, redefining classics with a frothy, rich texture. Maybe you were inspired to raise a clutch of hens after reading our article on raising chickens in Denver - what better way to put their eggs to use than a Pisco Sour or the gin-based Clover Club Cocktail? Simply give the egg whites a good shake before adding other mixing ingredients to the tumbler. Then shake thoroughly to ensure their complete distribution.
(Note: You can take several steps to ensure safety: ensure your outer egg shells are clean and that egg whites come into minimal contact with them. Alternately, buy pasteurized eggs.)
4. EDIBLE FLOWER AND HERBAL ICE CUBES
With a little planning, you can wow your guests with these elegant and flavorful additions. Denver Homeowners who wish to grow their own plants can consult Colorado State’s edible flowers sheet, which offers guidelines and growing suggestions. To create memorable bursts of flavor, blend and freeze mixes in advance like Martha Stewart’sCucumber Basil Puree. If you wish to freeze flowers, fill ice cube containers 1/3 full with flowers. Freeze, then fill another 1/3. Freeze and repeat. For the clearest ice, be sure to use distilled water or boiled water that has been chilled.
Give your guests a jolt of flavor this old-fashioned American classic vinegar tonic. Shrub flavor combinations are as bold and fantastic as your imagination allows - Fennel-Apple-Rhubarb, Red Beet and Peppercorn, or Peach Ginger. And they are easier to make than you might think! First, mix equal parts chopped fruit and sugar. Then, muddle the mixture until the fruit is pulpy and the sugar dissolves. Cover the mixture with a towel and rubber band and allow it to sit for 24-72 hours to ferment. Strain the fruit through a funnel and cheesecloth. Add an equal part of vinegar to stop the fermentation and - Ta-dah - you have a shrub. You can store this tangy sweet mixture the refrigerator for up to 6 months and use it for both homemade sodas and cocktails.
Let us know your favorite drinks that emerge from this list. TRELORA would love to hear how you are entertaining in your home! And if you are looking for a new place to call home and entertain, let us know how we can help.