WRITTEN AND COMPILED BY PHILLIP D. JOHNSON/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
As you get ready to put the final touches on your upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration, you are probably looking for ways to pamper your guests, to spice up the atmosphere, to get away from all those “been there, done that”, boring cocktails and drinks you normally serve. The following fine spirits and liqueurs are sure to make your party that much more exciting and leaving your guests wanting more. And if you can’t incorporate them into this year’s party, don’t worry. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Enjoy.
As a child growing up in the Caribbean, I had long enjoyed Sorrel as a non-alcoholic drink and as a “cure-all” for what ails you.
Likewise, natives of the various Caribbean islands have long known the hibiscus plant to be a potent spice, as well as for its other uses. Famous for its curative properties–and as a powerful aphrodisiac–the flower leaves are fermented, and served on festive occasions. Each island enjoys slight differences in their recipes, relative to their indigenous horticulture but one thing remains the same: It’s a damn good drink in every shape and form. So imagine my surprise and delight when I encountered JACK FROM BROOKLYN SOREL LIQUEUR (www.jackfrombrooklyn.com) at the Spring/Summer 2013 New Fashion Week Shows in September! It was like going home again and revisiting my childhood. So, what is “Sorel”? It is basically a sophisticated, hibiscus-infused liqueur inspired by the sorrel drink that is popular in the Caribbean. But it’s more than just hibiscus because it has complex background notes of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg.
JACK FROM BROOKLYN “SOREL” LIQUEUR is expertly handcrafted in small batches from Brazilian clove, Indonesian cassia, Nigerian ginger, Indonesian nutmeg, Moroccan hibiscus, pure cane sugar, and organic New York grain alcohol. A modern twist on an exotic classic, Sorel offers a unique aromatic profile and a distinctive flavor, creating vast new options for both consumer and professional mixologists alike. Below you will find two drink recipes from the JACK FROM BROOKLYN website, but you will find even more at www. http://jackfrombrooklyn.com/allrecipes/.
SOREL LUQUEUR is just beginning to gain major traction and distribution around the country. If you can’t find it locally, look for online retailers like DrinkUpNY to purchase a bottle. At around $33, this is a must-have addition to your liquor cabinet; it’s just that good. Add Sorel to your favorite drinks and recipes, and you’ll see why I—and so many others are so excited about this new product!
THE IVY LEAGUE
Introducing the IVY KIRZHNER SS 2013 FOOTWEAR COLLECTION required creating a celebratory libation that reflects sophistication, delicacy, and New York grit. It was with this aesthetic in mind that we crafted THE IVY LEAGUE: the perfect potable to reflect the depth and intrigue of this eclectic designer’s world vision.
- Serves: 1
- Prep time: 2 minutes
- Cook time: None
- Total time: 2 minutes
- .5oz SOLERNO ORANGE LIQUEUR
- 2oz Sorel
- 3oz Prosecco
- 1 dash Chocolate bitters
- 1oz Cranberry juice
Step 1: Combine SOLERNO, cranberry juice, and chocolate bitters
Step 2: Shake
Step 3: Add Sorel
Step 4: Top with Prosecco
- Serves: 1
- Prep time: 2 hours
- Cook time: None
- Total time: 2 hours
- 2 cubes Sorel
- 2oz Gin (We highly recommend NY DISTILLING NAVY STRENGTH GIN.)
- 1oz ELDERFLOWER LIQUEUR (The ineffable ST. GERMAIN is the only choice!)
Step 1: Fill an ice cube tray with Sorel, freeze.
Step 2: Place frozen cubes of Sorel into a highball glass.
Step 3: Add gin and elderberry liqueur; as Sorel ice cubes don’t float, they will sit at the bottom of the glass, dissolving slowly.
Step 4: Enjoy a cocktail that is as visually stunning as it is delicious.
In Mid-October, French champagne house PERRIER-JOUËT teamed up with Japanese artist MAKOTO AZUMA for its first ever and only limited edition bottle, THE BELLE EPOQUE FLORALE EDITION. Out now, the bottle showcases a signature design element of PERRIER-JOUËT, WHITE ANEMONE FLOWERS. Azuma’s hand-painted, ethereal design is based on ART NOUVEAU ARTIST EMILE GALLÉ’s original artwork from 1877. For this limited edition, PERRIER-JOUËT’S CELLAR MASTER, HERVÉ DESCHAMPS chose the 2004 vintage as the perfect expression of an exceptional year, the absolute essence of PERRIER-JOUËT. After ageing for six long years, this vintage now expresses the elegant, floral, diamond-cut style of the champagne house. Additionally, this silky and stylish vintage has an exceptionally long finish and a taste that hints at flowers and white fruit before evolving into slightly spicy notes of fresh marzipan. MAKOTO AZUMA created a delicate composition that recalls the original design, an ethereal arabesque dotted with white Japanese anemones, flowers that are ‘as clam as they are beautiful’, representing truth and sincerity.
BELLE EPOQUE FLORALE EDITION BY MAKOTO AZUMA is also a reverential homage to EMILE GALLÉ famous Art Nouveau design, which was truly inspired by Japanese art culture. The floral artist states, “I wanted to make something extraordinary, taking inspiration from the sensation of champagne inside the mouth, and the delicate movement of the ivy and leaves with a special attention and tribute given to Emile Gallé’s anemones.”
PERRIER-JOUËT BELLE EPOQUE FLORALE EDITION BY MAKOTO AZUMA is available only in very limited examples in the exclusive worldwide outlets in the PERRIER-JOUËT main distribution market at an average price tag of $365.
EFFEN® VODKA is a Super-Premium vodka whose name means smooth, even and balanced in Dutch. EFFEN VODKA is based on a 125-year-old Dutch recipe from 100% premium wheat. Distilled by “continuous rectification,” the liquid circulates in giant stainless steel columns and is effectively distilled hundreds of times. It is then filtered through peat, which is more effective at removing impurities than charcoal. The water used for EFFEN Vodka is filtered through reverse osmosis to strip away all impurities. Since 80-proof vodka is actually 60 percent water, we take great care in creating the pure, clean water needed for world-class vodka. This process results in a silky, smooth liquid that creates a clean, crisp taste on the palette. The EFFEN product line includes EFFEN® VODKA, EFFEN® BLACK CHERRY VODKA, EFFEN® DUTCH RASPBERRY VODKA and EFFEN® CUCUMBER VODKA.
EFFEN® CUCUMBER VODKA, EFFEN VODKA‘s newest flavor option, is inspired by the essence of vine-ripened cucumbers and is made using all natural ingredients and premium spirits distilled from wheat, rendering a crisp, clean cucumber flavor without the use of sugar or artificial flavors. EFFEN® Cucumber Vodka also offers a refreshing twist for your next cocktail, including the classic Bloody Mary. It is crisp and clean, pairing well with melons such as cantaloupe and watermelon and provides a unique twist on traditional martinis.
One of my top two favorite flavors in the line is EFFEN® BLACK CHERRY, a contemporary flavored vodka inspired by the taste of freshly harvested black cherries with a hint of vanilla for a balanced flavor. It is made using natural ingredients and premium spirits distilled from wheat, resulting in a sweet, yet natural taste. EFFEN® BLACK CHERRY is smooth enough to enjoy on its own or as the base to traditional and contemporary cocktails. My other favorite, EFFEN DUTCH RASPBERRY VODKA, is similarly one of my all-time top five flavored vodka of any brand on the market. The complex yet deceptively simple combination of all natural raspberry and vanilla flavors in EFFEN DUTCH RASPBERRY make for a light, crisp taste you won’t find anywhere else. It’s refreshing, whether enjoyed straight up or in a cocktail.
Design matters to EFFEN® VODKA, that’s why it is the only vodka developed by bartenders for bartenders. The bottle is both visually appealing and functional with its unique, handcrafted, latex sleeve that allows for easy, non-slip handling and insulation to keep the liquid chilled and bartenders’ hands warm. Never mass-produced, the sleeve is carefully hand-affixed to each bottle, further demonstrating the brand’s commitment to providing a Super-Premium vodka with a handcrafted, modern design.
EFFEN® CHOCOLATE COVERED BLACK CHERRY
1 1/2 parts EFFEN® BLACK CHERRY VODKA
3/4 part DEKUYPER® CRÈME DE CACAO DARK
3/4 part Half and Half
1 teaspoon BONNE MAMAN® CHERRY PRESERVES
1 dash ANGOSTURA BITTERS
METHOD: In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel and brandied cherries.
EFFEN® SPICED CHAI-TINI
1 1/2 parts Chai infused EFFEN® Vodka
3/4 part KAMORA® COFFEE LIQUEUR
1 part Half and Half
3 dashes Cinnamon
EFFEN CHAI INFUSION: Place 3 bags of TWININGS® INDIAN SPICED CHAI TEA into a bottle of EFFEN VODKA and remove after two hours. Agitate bottle every hour.
METHOD: In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients over ice. Lightly shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
EFFEN® CUCUMBER BLOODY MARY
- 2 parts EFFEN® CUCUMBER VODKA
- 4 parts Tomato Juice
- 2 Basil Leaves (torn)
- 3⁄4 parts BLOODY MARY SEASONING
METHOD: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake. Pour into a serving glass with ice. Garnish with a cucumber wheel and serve.
JÄGERMEISTER, which translates to “master hunter,” is made from a secret recipe of 56 premium ingredients from around the world. This herbal liquor was developed for and dedicated to hunters that have strong bonds with one another, as authentic as the history and heritage of the brand itself. Today, JÄGERMEISTER is the #1 selling imported liqueur in the United States and one of the top shot brands in the world. SRP for 750ml- $24.99 And for the man with the home bar? Raise the bar with the iconic Jagermeister Tap Machine http://www.tapmachineinc.com SRP $299.00
- 2 parts JÄGERMEISTER
- Root beer.
PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass with ice and stir.
BED OF ROSES
2 parts JÄGERMEISTER
½ part GRENADINE
½ part lemon juice
PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
GO GREEN FOR THE NEW YEAR. The company who created GREY GOOSE VODKA is at it again. AMERICAN HARVEST ORGANIC SPIRIT is an American made, organic vodka made from a proprietary blend of organic vodka and organic ingredients resulting in a distinctly smooth and silky spirit with a crisp, clean taste. Handcrafted in small batches from organic winter wheat grown on a family owned and sustainably managed American farm, AMERICAN HARVEST is distilled and bottled in RIGBY, IDAHO using water from aquifers deep beneath the Snake River plain and has been developed with great care for the quality, organic nature and sustainable growing practices of all of its ingredients. It has no artificial additives or preservatives and is
produced with a continuous column distillation process and charcoal filtration to ensure the integrity and purity of the spirit. The AMERICAN HARVEST DISTILLERY is USDA Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth. SRP for 750ml – $23.99.
2 parts AMERICAN HARVEST ORGANIC SPIRIT VODKA
1½ parts freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
¼ part EMPLOYEES ONLY® GRENADINE
PREPARATION: Combine American Harvest, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and grenadine in a cocktail glass filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
SEASONAL HARVEST BLOODY MARY
- 2 parts AMERICAN HARVEST
- 1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 small cherry tomatoes
- 3 thin cucumber slices
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2- 3 dashes of hot sauce
- 2- 3 dashes of WORCESTERSHIRE® SAUCE
- 3 sprigs of fresh dill, 3 fresh basil leaves and a sprig of fresh tarragon (or your own favorite fresh herbs)
PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail glass and muddle. Add ice and shake well. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass rimmed with hickory smoked salt and garnish with your favorite vegetables and herbs.
Show them what real Irish Whiskey tastes like and serve up a bottle (or two) of the award-winning double distilled single malt and blended whiskeys named for the Irish legendary hero. MICHAEL COLLINS 10 YEAR OLD SINGLE MALT is double distilled (for more character) in small, long-necked copper pot stills, from both malted barley and peated malted barley and matured in small bourbon seasoned casks for a minimum of ten years. Clean and smooth, the medium to dry finish has a lingering light smokiness. SRP for 750ml- $39.99. A refined blend of malt Irish whiskey and grain Irish whiskey, MICHAEL COLLINS BLENDED IRISH WHISKEY is double distilled for proper balance of purity and character, and then matured in bourbon seasoned casks from four to twelve years. SRP for 750ml- $28.99
BIG MICK by Adam Schuman, NY, NY
- 1 ½ parts MICHAEL COLLINS 10 YEAR OLD SINGLE MALT
- ¾ part ST- GERMAIN ELDERFLOWER LIQUEUR
- ½ part LILLET BLANC
- ¼ part CAMPARI
- 2 dashes Orange Bitters
PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass. Stir well and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
COLLINS SLING By Bruce Kragen, San Diego, CA
- 2 parts MICHAEL COLLINS BLENDED IRISH WHISKEY
- 2 dashes PEACH BITTERS
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Splash Club Soda
PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients except club soda in an ice-filled shaker and shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass filled with fresh ice, add a splash of soda and garnish with lemon and orange twists.
BÄRENJÄGER HONEY LIQUEUR, the original honey liqueur, is a 70 proof honey liqueur made from neutral grain alcohol and 300 grams (per liter bottle) of pure premium natural honey –and my number one new favorite liqueur going into 2013. During the 15th century, the Eastern Prussian bear trap company, TEUCKE & KÖNIG, first introduced BÄRENJÄGER, which translates to “Bear Hunter.” In an effort to end the struggle between man and bear, this sweet concoction was the first professionally produced MESCHKINNES – mead-like moonshine made from honey by beekeepers and farmers – and was formulated to aid hunters attract bears and lure them from their dwellings. The alluring spirit’s recipe was slightly altered in the 18th century and continues to serve as the original honey liqueur enjoyed around the world today. SRP for 750ml – $27.99.
- ¾ part BÄRENJÄGER HONEY LIQUEUR
- ½ part brandy (optional)
- 2½ parts hot apple cider
PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients in a footed mug. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Your honey have a love for Bourbon? Familiarize him or her to the newly introduced BÄRENJÄGER HONEY & BOURBON – a delicious blend of premium honey liqueur and Kentucky bourbon whiskey (and my second favorite liqueur of 2012 going into 2013) made with generous amounts of pure honey and all natural ingredients. BARENJAGER HONEY & BOURBON has a balanced sweet bourbon taste with distinct lingering honey notes on the finish that goes well with a host of drink recipes. SRP for 750ml – $28.99.
- 1½ parts BÄRENJÄGER HONEY & BOURBON
- ½ part SWEET VERMOUTH
- 2 dashes orange bitters
PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, stir and strain into a martini glass. Rim glass with a lemon peel. Garnish with a lemon peel.
With so many holiday parties yet to come, don’t stress too much of the small stuff! Help is on the way with VnC Cocktails, the award-winning, naturally spirited, premium, all-natural, low-calorie ready-to-serve line of cocktails from New Zealand. VnC Cocktails are the perfect accessory at any holiday party/New Year’s party for those who like the enjoying bit better than the making bit. Celebrities such as JOHN HAMM, LADY GAGA, KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN, JENNIFER LOPEZ and MARIA MENOUNOS are all fans, as am I. VnC Cocktails are available in 8 flavors, including BANANA DAIQUIRI, MANGO DAIQUIRI, MARGARITA, PACIFIC MAI-TAI, PASSIONFRUIT CAPRIOSKA, POMEGRANATE COSMOPOLITAN, STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI and VODKA MOJITO. SRP for 750ml, $12.99.
BEAM INC.’s recent launch of JOHN DEKUYPER & SONS™ CRAVE CHOCOLATE LIQUEURS provides chocolate lovers (like myself) and cocktail enthusiasts alike with a new way to delight their senses during one of the most (chocolate) indulgent times of the year. Featuring three tempting flavors — CHOCOLATE CHERRY, CHOCOLATE MINT and CHOCOLATE CHILI, JOHN DEKUYPER & SONS™ CRAVE CHOCOLATE LIQUEURS is inspired by the universal desire for decadent and indulgent experiences and new unique cocktails options.
DEKUYPER was founded in Holland in 1695 by JOHANNES DEKUYPER & SON and has been the brand to turn to for fresh and original liqueurs for more than 300 years. It is the #1-selling line of domestic cordials featuring nearly 60 mixable and versatile flavors of cordials, liqueurs, crèmes, brandies and schnapps. Some DeKuyper flavors have inspired the creation of cocktails and are now synonymous with those drinks. For example, in the mid-80s DEKUYPER® PEACHTREE® SCHNAPPS inspired the creation of the FUZZY NAVEL, and in the mid-90s DEKUYPER® PUCKER® SOUR APPLE SCHNAPPS inspired the creation of the APPLETINI.
CRAVE CHOCOLATE CHERRY LIQUEUR delivers a smooth, rich tasting experience similar to that of the classic cherry cordial. The taste of sweet cherries takes center stage and is complimented by hints of cocoa. It leaves a sweet finish on the palate with notes of fruit, vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. CRAVE CHOCOLATE MINT LIQUEUR is ideal for peppermint lovers. The experience begins with the tastes of sweet chocolate and vanilla, which gradually introduces peppermint to the palate and finishes with an intriguing and pleasant cooling effect. CRAVE CHOCOLATE CHILI LIQUEUR offers a delicious and surprising twist with its hint of heat. The sweet flavor of milk chocolate, which is enhanced with notes of vanilla and caramel, slowly gives way to the tingly warmth of chili peppers and offers the perfect balance of sweetness with a subtle kick.
“Launching just in time for the holiday entertaining season, JDK & Sons™ Crave Chocolate Liqueurs provide chocolate lovers and cocktail enthusiasts alike with a new way to delight their senses during one of the most indulgent times of the year,” said GARY ROSS, DIRECTOR OF CORDIALS AND RUMS FOR BEAM INC. “Whether treating yourself to a decadent cocktail or looking to create a memorable experience at your next holiday party, each distinctive flavor delivers the rich taste of chocolate paired with a unique flavor for an enticing way to satisfy your cravings.”
CRAVE CHOCOLATE CHILI MARTINI
- 1 1/2 parts JDK & SONS™ CRAVE CHOCOLATE CHILI LIQUEUR
- 1 part EFFEN VODKA
CRAVE CHERRY MACAROON MARTINI
- 1 part JDK & SONS™ CRAVE CHOCOLATE CHERRY LIQUEUR
- 1 part CRUZAN® COCONUT RUM
- Splash of Soda
METHOD: Shake all ingredients (except soda) with ice. Strain into a martini glass and top with a splash of soda. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.
CRAVE LUSCIOUS MINT RUSSIAN
- 1 part JDK & SONS™ CRAVE CHOCOLATE MINT LIQUEUR
- 1 part EFFEN® VODKA
- Splash of Milk
METHOD: Build ingredients over ice in an old fashioned glass. Add a splash of milk to make it even more luscious.
CRAVE GROWN-UP CHILI HOT CHOCOLATE
- 2-3 parts JDK & SONS™ CRAVE CHOCOLATE CHILI LIQUEUR
- Hot Chocolate
METHOD: Pour Liqueur in a warmed coffee mug and add hot chocolate to taste. Top with whipped cream.
JOHN DEKUYPER & SONS™ CRAVE CHOCOLATE LIQUEURS is available everywhere at a suggested retail price of $17.99 per 750 mL bottle. More cocktail recipes and additional information can be found at http://www.dekuyperusa.com/crave.
Not sure if your party guests will prefers wine or spirits? Give them the best of both worlds with GEKKEIKAN SAKE, the world’s finest sake with nearly 400 years and 14 generations of sake brewing experience. Over the centuries, GEKKEIKAN has refined the sake brewing techniques to combine culture and tradition with innovation, resulting in a comprehensive line of sakes that are versatile, ideal for food paring and adaptable for various consumption methods. The product line boasts a comprehensive portfolio of 14 sakes and plum wines from their sake breweries in both California and Japan. SRP varies by kind.