Thursday, July 14, 2011

It’s Friday! The Hurricane, Mint Julep and Milk Punch. It’s Time for Southern Cocktails!

Mint Julep

Cocktail hour has always been a treasured tradition of  Southern culture. The long relentlessly hot days of summer led to a  summer ritual which included a cool, relaxing way to wind down with family and friends.

We have some old favorites as well as some new ones and all easy to make. Happy Summer!

The Hurricane…. Preferably served by the waiters at New Orleans Pat O “Brien’s.

11/2 cups pineapple Juice

11/4 cups fresh squeezed orange juice.

1 cup filtered (not cloudy) pomegranate juice

½ cup grenadine

½ cup simple syrup

½ cup fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice, plus more to taste

11/4 ounces light rum

11/2 ounces dark rum

2 ounces triple sec

Orange and lemon slices, maraschino cherries with stems.

Combine all ingredients except for the garnishes in a large pitcher and stir well. Serve in 16 ounce glasses over lots of cubed ice, adorned with the trip of garnishes.

New Orleans, LA

Milk Punch….de rigueur for any daytime soiree in the South.

3 quarts half and half

1 bottle bourbon or brandy

¼ cup pure Mexican vanilla or vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar

Grated nutmeg

Combine all ingredients except the nutmeg in a gallon size container. Cover and freeze until the mixture is slightly frozen.

Use an ice pick to make the mixture slightly slushy. Pour into a punch bowl or chilled pitcher. Add more powdered sugar, if desired. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Pour into a small cocktail glasses or wine goblets (not over ice). Garnish each drink with an additional pinch of nutmeg.

Classic Mint Julep….meant to the sipped from crushed ice, never cubed

6 or 7 fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon simple syrup

2 ounces bourbon

Mint sprigs

Combine the mint leaves, syrup and bourbon in a silver julep cup or cocktail glass. Using a bar spoon; crush the mint to release the essence into the liquid. Fill the cup with crushed ice. Gently press the spoon into the ice, shaking it to incorporate the bourbon syrup mixture. Add the garnish.



Creole Bloody Mary… adapted from the popular drink at the Under the Hill Saloon in Natchez Mississippi a 200 year old establishment.

6 cups tomato juice

2 cups vodka

¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon creole seasoning

1 freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Garnishes: pickled okra pod, long green bean, or carrot stick

Add all ingredients except the garnish to a pitcher. Stir well, and chill until needed. Pour the mixture into the 8 wide mouth glasses filled with ice. Sprinkle with extra creole seasoning, and garnish as desired.

Bloody Mary


See Through Sangria………beautiful white sangria for relief on a hot day.

1 bottle dry white wine

¼ cup orange liqueur

¼ cup sugar

1 unpeeled lime, thinly sliced

1 unpeeled lemon thinly sliced

1 unpeeled small orange, thinly sliced

11/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

11/2 cups halved green grapes

2 cups chilled sparkling water or club soda or more to taste

Combine the wine, liqueur, sugar and fruit in a large pitcher and refrigerate overnight. Pour the cocktail glasses filled with ice and top off with club soda. For the garnish, slice the strawberries partway. From the bottom up, and place one on the rim of each cocktail glass or wine goblet.

Sloe Gin Rickey….darling of socialites since the 1880s.

1 cup sloe gin

2 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice

11/2 cups simple syrup

21/2 cups sparkling water

6 dashes crème de cassis

Mint sprigs and lemon wheels

Combine the sloe gin, lemon juice, syrup and sparkling water in a pitcher and add cracked ice. Pour into wine goblets filled with cracked ice, and top each with a dash of cassis. Add the garnishes.

Memphis Belle….named for World War 11 most famous B-17 bomber, The Flying Fortress (now on display in Memphis).

11/2 ounces brandy

3 or 4 dashes Angostura or Orange bitters

½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

¾ ounce Southern Comfort

Add all ingredients except the garnish to a shaker filled with ice; shake well. Strain into a chilled martini or cocktail glass. Add the garnish.

Savannah, GA

The Roffignac………inspired by a drink popular in the days of Count Louis Phillipe Joseph de Rofignac, mayor of New Orleans during the early 1820s.

2 ounces cognac or rye whiskey

1 ounce raspberry syrup

Club soda

Pour the cognac and raspberry syrup into a stemmed cocktail glass filled with ice. Top it off with club soda and swizzle to blend. Add fresh raspberries for garnish

Ramos Gin Fizz…..developed by New Orleanian Henry C. Ramos.

2 ounces gin

1 pounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 egg white

1 ounce simple syrup

1 ounce orange flower or rose water

1 ounce half and half

Club soda

Orange wheel for garnish

Pour the gin, lemon juice, egg white, syrup, orange flower water and half and half into a cocktail shaker filled with a few ice cubes; shake for about a minute. Strain into a pilsner glass or tall slim glass with ice; top with club soda and stir. Add the garnish.

Southern Cocktails

Watermelon Crush ……ice cold fruit with a bit of rum.

8 cups seeded, cubed watermelon

11/3 cups light rum

11/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice or more to taste

½ cup orange liqueur

¼ powdered sugar or more to taste

2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice

Put the watermelon cubes in a plastic freezer bag; freeze for at least 8 hours. Puree the watermelon and the remaining ingredients in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. Combine the processed mixture well.

Serve in a large old pickle jar or a punch bowl and scoop the mixture into a mason jars, tin cups or other festive glasses.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Southern Cocktails by Denise Gee.

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