I have added the hashtag #mocktailoftheweekend to the hashtag #cocktailoftheweekend and, since I’m in the adding mood, I also added #liqueurofthemonth! This coincides with a Facebook Live video that I made yesterday. You can follow me on Facebook @karenenglandsshop to see the videos that I am making to demonstrate the cocktails, mocktails and liqueurs that I’m am writing, blogging and instagramming about.
The cocktail of the weekend this week is the “Orange Blossom” which is equal parts gin, I used Nolet’s, Orange liqueur, such as Cointreau but I used Dry Curaçao and fresh orange juice. When a drink is simple I like to use a complicated garnish. When a drink is complex then I use a more restrained garnishing hand. This is me talking. This is not something I learned from books. So make of this what you will.
The mocktail is simply fresh orange juice in a beautiful chilled tumbler with a gorgeous garnish! No reason something simple can’t be served in style!
The garnish for each is a leaf of Kaffir Lime, a sprig of spearmint, a sprig of Vitex blossom, a Calendula blossom and a ‘The Fairy Rose’ blossom wrapped in a orange peel string that I demonstrated making in the FB live video.
(Note: I grow all my garnishes and I am certain they are pesticide free and edible. If you are not growing your own herbs and edible flowers then I encourage you to limit yourself to using what herbs are available from the green grocer and the farmers markets. Exact botanical identification is vital when serving foods and not all flowers are edible and some edible flowers grown in public spaces may have been sprayed with chemicals so foraging is discouraged unless you know absolutely what you are doing. Luckily grocery stores and fresh markets have a wide offering and you are not limited in creating lush garnishes from the store.)
The liqueur of the month is Orangecello which is Lemoncello but made with orange peels. I used the peeler on the right to make the peels for the liqueur and I used the zesting tool on the left to make the garnish string. If you don’t have these tools then a paring knife and some practice will work! I made part 1 of the Orangecello yesterday and in 20 Days I will proceed with the recipe and finish what I started. Hence why it is “liqueur of the month”. When it is finished (another 20 Days after that) I will make the Orange Blossom cocktail again but with homemade Orangecello instead of Dry Curaçao.
The recipe comes from a book entitled The Bar Cart Bible copyright 2017 F + W Media, Inc. I am doubling the original recipe that follows.
Zest from 7 organic thick-skinned navel oranges, well washed
1 (750 milliliter) bottle vodka (I bought an already “on sale” [cheap] brand that I had a $3 off digital coupon for, because vodka, unlike gin, is flavorless. As long as it’s 80 proof, and since I am flavoring it anyway, I see no need to buy expensive vodka.)
1 cup simple syrup (which is equal parts water and sugar) (fair warning: unlike the instructions, in 20 Days I intend to flavor the simple syrup with orange peels too!)
Pour half the vodka in a gallon glass jar and add the zest. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 20 Days.
Add simple syrup and remaining vodka, seal and let sit another 20 Days. Strain. Bottle. Enjoy.
I have been building myself a large cocktail library and I’m going to start sharing titles of the books that I use in case you are interested. When a review of a cocktail book is warranted I will do so, but suffice it to say, that if I’m using a recipe from a book that I show you then it must be a good book. If a recipe doesn’t work I will tell you. I promise.
Bonus tip no. One: I refrigerate my personal garnish after my drink is done and use it in my water or drink the next day.
Bonus tip no. Two: I drink all the icy water that is left in the cocktail shaker after pouring and drinking a cocktail or a mocktail. I call it the mixologist’s treat! The subtle flavors are still there in the cold refreshing water with only a hint of the alcohol and this treat is wasted in professional settings as it’s dumped out to make way for the next drink.
Bonus tip no. Three: make a tag for your liqueur with the date started, the name of the concoction and the recipe itself so that you know exactly what it is and what you need to do next.