Category Archives: Melon Liqueur

I’ll Be Drunk for Christmas: Holiday Drinks

December is here, and that means you can’t get away from holiday themes and decorations everywhere — which has technically been true for the past three months. September, we hardly knew ye.

As it turns out, this blog is no exception to the rule, since I more than happy to welcome the extra traffic that will come in from search engine hits if I do a holiday theme.

So welcome to my post for the holidays! Hopefully most of these drinks will be somewhat non-denominational (I mean, Christmas doesn’t have a monopoly on peppermint, right?), but there might be a few drinks specific to one holiday. Maybe next year I’ll really get into the whole denominational thing, and do an eight crazy shots post or something. Sounds fun.

In any case, no matter what you celebrate this year, it’s a great time for family, love, kindness, and alcohol. Lots of alcohol. After all, you are going to be seeing your family, so it’s kind of a necessity. So while you’re giving your loved ones the gift of junk you wouldn’t buy for yourself, give yourself the gift of intoxication. Here’s eight drinks to enjoy this season.

 

Holly Berry
-1 1/2 oz Raspberry Vodka
-1/2 oz Triple Sec
-1/4 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
-3 oz Cranberry Juice
-Holly Sprig without Berries

The Holly Berry

The Holly Berry

I think the recipe book I got this from just decided to make a reddish drink and add a holly sprig to it to make it look relevant to the season. With that in mind, I encourage you to use this method to invent your own festive holiday drinks — just be sure to pluck off all the berries (they are poisonous) and wash the sprig. Hell, you can use a plastic replica for all I care. Just whatever you do, don’t die.

In any case, this drink is pretty good, even if its inventor was really lazy when thinking it up. Despite being mostly raspberry vodka and cranberry juice, it’s not overly tart at all. In fact, the flavor of the triple sec is very noticeable, making for a very nice orange taste. In the end, all the flavors of the drink work very well together, much in the same way that all the religions in America don’t this time of year.

To make this, shake the liquid ingredients with ice, strain the mix into a martini glass, and garnish with the holly sprig. Or, if you’re not trying to impress anyone, go ahead and skip this garnish. Your call.

Moving on…

 

Vanilla Dark and Stormy
-2 oz Dark Rum
-1 dash Vanilla Extract
-Ginger Beer
-Lime Wedge

Vanilla Dark and Stormy

Vanilla Dark and Stormy

So this is seasonal in that vanilla and ginger are both flavors associated with the season. Other than that, it’s not very special. However, it is pretty good. Just be ready for the ginger beer. If you haven’t tasted ginger beer before, it’s kind of weird, and it can be as shocking as waking up to cat butt, though definitely not as unpleasant.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of ginger beer, but it’s definitely not a bad flavor. It is weird at first, but it’s good. Unfortunately, the vanilla flavor isn’t all that noticeable in this drink, but you will get hints of it here and there. It’s nice when you do notice it, anyway. Either way, this is a good and easy cooler for the holiday season, so if you’re a fan of ginger, give this a try.

To make, just pour the liquid ingredients in a tall glass of ice and stir. Squeeze the lime wedge over the drink and drop it in. Not the most complicated of holiday drinks, but not bad at all.

Let’s make something a little more pretty.

 

Angel’s Delight
-3/4 oz Gin
-3/4 oz Triple Sec
-2 to 3 dashes Grenadine
-1 oz Cream

Angel's Delight

Angel’s Delight

Isn’t this drink pretty? The deep red is very appropriate for the season, and the cream on top looks like a mound of snow or the trim on Santa’s suit. It’s just… oh, so pretty. I almost didn’t want to drink it.

But drink it I did, and it was delicious. Grenadine and gin compliment each other very well, and the triple sec throws in a little bit of complexity for the occasion. The cream is wonderful and fluffy as it just sits on top.

So, it’s pretty, it’s yummy, and it’s alcoholic. I suppose not much else is required to make something angelic. Especially when I’m three drinks in.

Shake all of the ingredients except the cream with ice and strain it into a champagne flute. Then carefully float the cream on top of the rest of the drink. You can also use a wine glass or a martini glass for this cocktail. I chose the champagne flute because it looks prettier.

 

Evergreen
-1 1/2 oz Gin
-1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
-1/2 oz Melon Liqueur
-1 dash Lemon Juice
-1 splash Blue Curacao
-Maraschino Cherry

Evergreen

Evergreen

Gin always did kind of taste like a tree, so this seems like a natural fit for it. This is essentially a Kyoto Cocktail, but with the addition of blue curacao and a cherry. It’s not bad, but in all honesty, the lemon juice really conflicts with the melon liqueur. The recipe is clearly following the sweet ingredient and sour ingredient blueprint, but I don’t think it works here.

Other than that, the drink isn’t bad. The melon is nice, the gin gives that slight tree-like taste, and biting into the cherry at the end is a great finisher. It is also pretty, so that’s worth something. Go light on the lemon juice, and it might impress some guests. Otherwise, this drink will overwhelm you, and that nice tree-like taste will quickly start to feel like that one scene from Evil Dead that Sam Raimi later regretted.

Shake the gin, vermouth, melon liqueur, and lemon juice with ice and strain it into a martini glass. Top it with a splash of blue curacao and drop the cherry in. It’s pretty, but not as good as some of the others on this list.

Now let’s look at peppermint, that ever-popular holiday flavor.

 

Candy Cane Twist
-1 oz Raspberry Vodka
-1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps
-2 oz Cranberry Juice
-1/2 oz Grenadine
-1 splash Lemon-Lime Soda
-Candy Cane

Candy Cane Twist

Candy Cane Twist

Yeah, we all have probably had enough of peppermint by now. But, alas, This list would be incomplete without a peppermint-themed drink. It’s not a bad flavor at all, but it is overdone this time of year. However, this fact apparently didn’t stop me from beating this dead horse with a comically large candy cane.

This drink is nice and smooth. It’s sweet without being too sweet, and it has that peppermint flavor without being overpowering. A note on that, by the way: The peppermint flavor is kind of subtle in this drink if you use the above proportions. It gives that cool feeling without being very strong. If you want to have a stronger peppermint flavor, increase the amount of peppermint schnapps a little at a time — maybe in quarter ounce increments. Be careful though, as peppermint schnapps is one of those ingredients that is very powerful, and can overpower whatever it’s in if you put in too much.

Shake the liquid ingredients except for the soda with ice and strain it into a martini glass.  Add the soda, garnish with the candy cane and enjoy. Also, if you want to put in the effort, you can crush another candy cane and rim the glass with it. I attempted to do this, but I couldn’t get the candy cane crumbs to stick to the glass. I’m sure there’s a good way to do this, but I didn’t figure it out. If you’re up for the adventure, be my guest.

 

Christmas Shooter
-1/2 oz Grenadine
-1/2 oz Green Crème de Menthe
-1/2 oz Cream

Christmas Shooter

Christmas Shooter

Turns out we’re not quite done with mint yet, because I wanted to do at least one shot for this post. I figured that the celebratory nature of the holiday season is perfect for shots, so here’s one with Christmas colors.

Often, layered shots are made to look pretty rather than to taste good. In this case, however, it works both ways. The flavors work pretty alright together (as long as you do it as a shot, rather than sipping it the way that assholes always drink shots), and the layering actually allows you to taste each ingredient individually and in order, giving you an enjoyable progression.

Plus, it does look very pretty. Especially if it’s in a clear glass, as opposed to the yellow-ish glass I used. Apologies. It will take a few minutes to layer them all correctly, but whip up a round of these at a holiday party, and people will really like it.

To make this wonder of alcohol and thick liquids, carefully layer each ingredient into a shot glass in the order given. Depending on the size of the glass, you may have to adjust the amounts. In order to layer the ingredients, pour the first one in, and then slowly pour in the next two, using the back of a bar spoon to break the liquid’s fall just above the surface of the shot.

Once you’ve made your shot, throw it down the hatch.

 

Menorah Cocktail
-1 1/2 oz Vodka
-1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
-1 splash Blue Curacao
-Sugar
-Blueberries

Menorah Cocktail

Menorah Cocktail

Jewish readers, I’m afraid I must apologize, as I fear I have let you all down. Not only is this a week late, but, as you see, finding a good Hanukkah-themed cocktail proved a challenge for me, especially given limited ingredients. If I could get every brand the Internet recommended to me, I could make a cocktail with nothing but Israeli spirits. However, most Hanukkah-themed cocktails proved to be nothing more than normal Winter-themed cocktails. That’s all well and good, but I wanted something a bit special.

But then I learned that blue is a big Hanukkah color, and I found this allegedly blue drink that some blogger or writer had invented specifically to celebrate the lighting of the menorah. On top of that, a sugared rim always looks frosty, so that adds a nice winter touch.

However, if the picture of this drink loaded on your computer and you’re not colorblind, then you already know the problem. This drink is green, not blue. You see, the sweet vermouth colored the drink too, and it simply came out green. I’m betting the person who invented this drink doesn’t know too much about mixing drinks and most definitely never actually mixed this drink. It still works for this post, since green is a Christmas color, but that just gives Christians another drink and robs the Jews of their rightful booze. I am sincerely sorry.

The taste is pretty good, in any case. Sweet vermouth and curacao play off each other in interesting ways. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it is an interesting thing. You could try making this drink with dry vermouth — which would probably help keep it blue — but that would also drastically change the taste. Try it if you so choose.

First, rim a martini glass with sugar. Then shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into the prepared glass, and garnish with the blueberries. I know blueberries are out of season right now, which is all the more proof that the person who invented this drink didn’t know what they were doing. I have frozen blueberries in my fridge, so that worked out for me.

 

Cinnamon Old Fashioned
-2 1/2 oz Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
-1/4 oz Simple Syrup
-2 to 3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Cinnamon Old Fashioned

Cinnamon Old Fashioned

I was going to end there, but I thought that this post would be incomplete without some cinnamon. I also wanted a stiffer drink, so I decided to whip up an Old Fashioned, but use Fireball in place of bourbon or rye. This was an on-the-fly decision, and I think it worked out well.

A note for you Old Fashioned enthusiasts, though: I know you probably think this drink is an abomination. I know that Fireball is very sweet, and is closer to a liqueur than a liquor. So, I understand how some of you will punch your screen right now, because “This isn’t a real Old Fashioned!”

Calm down, please. This drink is just for the season, and there’s no reason to get upset over a novelty.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me say that this drink works very well. It’s good, delicious, and alcoholic. What more do want from anything?

So, pour the ingredients into a rocks glass with or without ice (your preference), and stir. Also, Fireball is already kind of sweet, so feel free to reduce the amount of syrup.

 

Denouement

Happy Holidays. Be safe. Be responsible. Check back next week for a New Year’s post with champagne drinks.


Screw Drive Me Crazy

(Edit: We are now calling the Electric Screwdriver the “Bluedriver.” This is a superior term by far.)

Hello, glamorous and fanatical Internetland. I come to you once again bearing tidings of many libations, this time from the glorious world of Screwdrivers. Though I love this simple mix, this could spell certain doom for me, as once I’m sober I’ll have to think of a title for the post that isn’t some dumb “screwed” pun. I hope I come up with something good. You, of course, dear reader, know what I came up with. Is it good? I hope so. I hope it delighted you with whimsical charm. Wish me retroactive luck, in any case.

But back on track. As I just said, I love Screwdrivers. In fact, it was really the first cocktail that I got well-acquainted with — and thus a beautiful friendship was born. Hopefully, this little adventure into the unknown won’t ruin this friendship. I’d hate for such a wedge to come in between me and vodka. (Sober edit: That wedge pun was totally unintended, but still totally awesome.)

AND SO! Without further ado, here I begin my journey. Let’s start with a basic Screwdriver, but let’s make it a little bit more interesting than just the same old vodka and orange juice deal. We are, after all, the great explorers of our generation. Indeed, many people are counting on us.

 
“Fancy” Screwdriver
-2 oz Vodka
-Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
-1 Dash Orange Bitters
-Orange Wheel

The “Fancy” Screwdriver

Feel free to skip this “high class” version, and just mix your vodka and orange juice together, but I wanted to give you something a little bit better. And it is certainly better. I hardly ever use freshly squeezed orange juice, but I really should do it more — the difference is like the difference between drinking the nectar produced by a sweat shop of angels (which is good, even though sweat shops are bad) and drinking the stuff that a disgruntled bus driver gives to spoiled kids that he’s forced to drive around. Lesson: use the fresh stuff if you can. That being said, I’m going to be a true American hypocrite, and use bottled stuff for the rest of the evening.

Why is citrus always so sexual?

Also, the orange bitters (which can be hard to find — check specialty stores or the Internet, but don’t overpay) add an interesting dynamic to this otherwise simple drink. It cuts the sweetness some, and makes the flavor a bit unexpected. If you can find orange bitters, try it out, and see how you like it.

Anyway, fill up a glass with ice, pour in the vodka, and fill almost all the way to the top with the orange juice. Add the bitters, stir, and garnish with the orange wheel. This is definitely fancier than any other drink recipe on this list, which is a little sad. Like Lost after season one, it’s all downhill from here, folks.

 
Greyhound
-2 oz Vodka
-Grapefruit Juice

The Greyhound

This is like a Screwdriver if Screwdrivers were the worst drink imaginable. Grapefruit juice might just be the nectar that disgruntled bus driver gives to bratty kids that I mentioned earlier, but even those bratty kids wouldn’t deserve it. This is why I made the drink for my fiancee. Yes, I am a little bit of a terrible person for giving that to her, but she, for some odd reason, likes grapefruit juice. Yeah, that is a little sad, but to each their own.

Grapefruit juice. Not even once.

The Greyhound is like a more astringent and sour Screwdriver. If that appeals to you, go to a therapist and have yourself checked out. If it still appeals to you after treatment, go ahead and make yourself one.

Fill a glass with ice, pour in your vodka, fill with grapefruit juice, stir, and try, through a horribly grimaced face, to enjoy this monstrosity.

 
Sloe Comfortable Screw
-1 oz Vodka
-1 oz Sloe Gin
-1 oz Southern Comfort
-Orange Juice

The Sloe Comfortable Screw

Yeah, yeah, go ahead and laugh. Of course I had to do this drink, but I really kind of wish I hadn’t. If you’re the type of person that cares more about a drink having an amusing name than tasting good, then this drink is for you! Similarly, if you’re the type of person who has convinced themselves that Southern Comfort isn’t an awful, awful thing, then once again, this drink is for you!

It’s really a very odd concoction. It’s incredibly sweet and somewhat fruity (depending on how much orange juice you throw in there to make it bearable), but drinking one is like the first time you found a type of candy that you didn’t like as a child. Remember being a child? Remember liking all types of candy? (Unless you were one of those sickos that hated chocolate, of course.) Then, remember getting that one piece of something weird on Halloween, and not wanting to eat another bite of anything after that? This is exactly like that, except with a whiskey-based liqueur instead of licorice or mint or something, so it’s a lot worse.

This is worse than school lunches.

Southern Comfort is what happens when people who love whiskey are allowed to make decisions about how to make other drinks. Of course, we shouldn’t be letting people who love whiskey make decisions about anything, because they already don’t have the best track record. (Yeah, yeah, we all have our favorite liquors, and that’s all fine and groovy and we should let people like what they want. Whatever, hippie.)

The bigger problem is that, of course, while whiskey is at least enjoyable, a viable alcoholic choice and can be used to create a number of absolutely delicious cocktails, the best thing Southern Comfort is known for is the name of the particular cocktail in question. There are fry cooks with better resumés than that.

It isn’t red from the sloe gin. It’s red from me coughing up blood afterward.

Anyway, fill your glass with ice, pour in your alcohol, fill with orange juice, and stir. However, if you’re the type of person to turn this into a go-to or, Arceus forbid, a favorite cocktail, then you’ve definitely made some bad decisions in life. This is a novelty drink and nothing more. Please treat it like one, and only give ti to that one guy at the party that you don’t like but you invited anyway because you’re a masochist or something.

 
Brass Monkey
-1 oz Vodka
-3/4 oz Light Rum
-Orange Juice
-1/2 oz Galliano

The Brass Monkey

Well, whatever else I can say about this drink, it inspired me to start listening to the Beastie Boys. Therefore, it has already immeasurably improved night.

BRASS MONKEY. THAT FUNKY MONKEY.

Anyway, this cocktail isn’t all that impressive, but it certainly isn’t bad. It’s kind of just a stiffer version of a regular Screwdriver. Well, okay, I’ll be honest. It’s a glorified Srcrewdriver. The rum adds a nice touch of extra liquory goodness, and the Galliano gives this faint licorice-y feeling that’s actually quite nice. In fact, it was the strongest with the last few sips, and those were the some of the best last few sips of any cocktail I’ve had. And I hate licorice.

BRASS MONKEY. THAT FUNKY MONKEY JUNKY.

This is what a Beastie Boys song tastes and feels like.

Just kidding. I’m listening to Intergalactic now. I LIKE MY SUGAR WITH COFFEE AND CREAM.

Man, if you’re not familiar with Beastie Boys songs, I must seem belligerent as hell.

So, fill your glass with ice, as always, pour in the vodka and rum, fill most of the way with orange juice, and stir. Now, carefully float the Galliano on top. The Galliano, by the way, is optional, but it pops up in most recipes, and without it, you’re just putting two types of liquor into (probably cheap) orange juice, which would make you an alcoholic. But, if you spring the money for a fancy liqueur like Galliano and throw it in, you’ve just upgraded from an alcoholic to a cultured and sophisticated motherfucker.

On to the next round!

 

Cordless Screwdriver
-1 to 2 oz Chilled Orange Vodka
-Orange Wedge
-Sugar

The Cordless Screwdriver. Also, Han Solo is the man.

And here we have a shot. And what and what can be said about shots? Well, what can be said about drinking a whole lot of straight vodka at once? Even with flavored vodka, it’s not a very good idea. Yes, I know, I should have used a better brand than Smirnoff, but, let’s face the facts. If you’re in the habit of regularly doing shots, Smirnoff is probably the most expensive brand you’ll ever buy. Therefore, I think of my use of it instead of something better as a touch of much needed realism. I’m kind of like Stanley Kubrick or Ridley Scott in that way. Only much less insane than Stanley Kubrick.

So, yeah. This is a shot of vodka, and, flavored or not, that’s really not a good thing. It’s kind of like mixing rubbing alcohol with some orange juice. By the way, you don’t need flavored vodka for this shot. Feel free to use regular vodka. But, if you’re drinking straight unflavored vodka and you’re not sipping it, then your night is probably already pretty bad, and it’s about to get much, much worse. (But, maybe after a few of these it’ll get better.)

So, pour your shot of vodka. It’s easiest to just let the vodka chill in the freezer beforehand, but you can also shake it with ice and strain it into the shot glass. You can also do it at room temperature, but that’s even grosser. Then, dip your orange wedge into the sugar so that the sugar covers both sides.

Seriously, I feel like there should be a censor bar over this.

Now, with your shot glass in one hand and orange wedge in the other, down the shot and bite into the orange. Let me tell you, there are few things as wonderful as the taste of that sugared orange after that shot of straight vodka. It was like watching Empire Strikes Back after sitting through Phantom Menace three times.

So, back to real cocktails.

 
Hairy Navel
-1 oz Vodka
-1 oz Peach Schnapps
-Orange Juice

The Hairy Navel

I’ll be honest with you: You might as well just drink peach schnapps. The peach flavor overwhelms this simple-but-enjoyable cocktail. It was made for ladies’ night — but it’s also not so incredibly sweet that you can’t drink it if your masculinity is one of your bigger concerns.

Orange you glad I made this drink?

Anyway, there is a hint of orange, and the vodka does give it that extra alcoholic kick. But it’s just very peachy, and that’s probably all you’ll notice, unless you’re like me, and you’ve dedicated yourself to noticing other things in cocktails on the off chance that some blog readers will give a damn that I noticed that there was “a hint of orange” in this drink.

So, fill your glass with ice, pour in the alcohol, and fill with orange juice. I shouldn’t have to tell you to stir it at this point, but I still will, because I love you.

By the way, if you subtract the vodka from this concoction, you get a Fuzzy Navel.

Onwards!

 
Bluedriver (Formerly the Electric Screwdriver)
-1 oz Vodka
-1 oz Blue Curacao
-Orange Juice

The Bluedriver

So, I may have made this drink up, or I may have seen it a while ago on some website. I’m not sure. Either way, it’s pretty alright. It’s not a flavor worth raving about, but it is a nice party drink. For whatever reason, adding blue curacao to a mix is like a shortcut to crazy funtimes, and everyone loves having a bright blue (sometimes slightly green) drink, because apparently we’re all in elementary school and are still impressed by pretty colors.

Blue. Somehow still much like my soul.

Also, you can use any other curacao, like triple sec, for this drink, but the point of the drink isn’t adding more orange flavor (curacao is an orange liqueur), but changing the color. So, yeah, you’ll technically make the same drink if you use triple sec, but when it comes to mixed drinks, aesthetics matter so it won’t be the same, man. Moreover, unlike in real life, it’s completely fine to be racist and judge things by color, as long as you don’t oppress your vodka. The point of this drink is the color. I don’t care if its superficial. Your mom lied to you, and true beauty is not on the inside.

So, make this like you would make a Hairy Navel, but replace the peach schnapps with blue curacao.

Final drink time!

 
Manana
-1 oz Vodka
-1 oz Melon Liqueur
-1/2 oz Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
-Orange Juice

The Manana

So, I invented this drink. I also had another, equally silly name for it. However, after tasting it, I had to change the name. Why? Because it magically tastes exactly like bananas. Well, slightly spicy bananas, which is where the manly part comes in, but bananas nonetheless. And not like artificial bananas, but actual bananas. Ladies and gentlemen, this is experimentation done right.

It’s not easy being this drink.

Anyway, I realized that most Screwdriver variations (including ones not listed here) were just Screwdrivers plus some liqueur. So, I decided I’d make my own, and make it a bit more interesting by throwing in Fireball, a cinnamon flavored whisky (they spell it without the “e” because they hate America or something) that I love but everyone around me seems to hate. Well, using it here was a good choice, and I must say, I am very proud of myself. If you like bananas, give this a try.

Fill your glass with ice, pour in the vodka, the melon liqueur, and the Fireball. Fill it with orange juice and stir. Drink it, and be covered in the incredible, slightly sexual bliss of banana-y flavor. I’m still amazed.
P.S. If you want to be awesome, you can call this the Orange You Glad I Taste Like Bananas instead.

 

Denouement

So, what have we learned? We’ve learned that thoughtful experimentation is rewarded. With bananas. Which is really the best reward.

We’ve learned that Southern Comfort has no use beyond novelty, and is best left on the shelf.

We’ve learned that the Beastie Boys kick ass. Screw you if think otherwise. (Damn it! I made it so far without saying that!)

We’ve learned that you should believe in your dreams. And that vodka should be a part of that dream. Because vodka is a good friend, even if you have some rough times. Vodka will always be there for you. And that’s what real friends do.

Happy (responsible) drinking! And remember: WWHSD?


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