Category Archives: Pumpkin Liqueur

Giving Thanks for Booze: Thanksgiving Cocktails

Let’s level, readers: What the fuck are you thankful for? No, you can’t answer with vodka — though that certainly is an understandable answer.

It’s okay, I’ll give you some time to think about it. Do think about it, though. You’ll need an answer when someone inevitably asks you this week. Or don’t worry about it if you’re not reading this in the United States.

In the meantime, let’s look at some drinks! Thanksgiving will be tomorrow when I actually post this, and that means soon all of you will be talking to relatives that you probably don’t like too much. Well, why not make it all a better experience with alcohol?

Or, maybe you do like your relatives, and you just want to impress them with some cool theme drinks. I guess that’s alright.

Whichever group you fall into, here are six Thanksgiving-themed cocktails to try with your family this year. Or try them alone while crying. To each their own.

Also, note that all six cocktails are featured today. There will not be a new post on Friday.

And now, let’s get to it!

 

Spiked Pumpkin Pie
-Sugar and Ground Cinnamon for rimming
-2 oz Vodka
-1 oz Pumpkin Liqueur
-1 oz Cream
-1 dash Vanilla Extract
-Ground Nutmeg

Spiked Pumpkin Pie

Alright, so there is no shortage of pumpkin pie “martini” recipes during the Fall. A million cocktail recipes are just a Google search away. Even I gave another recipe when I did my Halloween theme.

Clearly, that didn’t stop me from doing this drink. I got it from a cocktail book and tweaked it a little bit. Even though pumpkin pie drinks are a bit overdone, I’m glad I drank this one. It’s pretty much what you would expect from a silly theme drink like this — forgettable, but FUCKING DELICIOUS.

This must be made of the pumpkins of Olympus and the spices of Eden. If you want a crowd pleaser this Thanksgiving, this is a good one to whip up.

So, start by mixing the sugar and cinnamon on a plate. Then wet a paper towel, and use it to wet the rim of a cocktail glass. Then, run the rim of the glass through the cinnamon sugar so it sticks.

Now to make the drink. It’s pretty simple — just shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into the prepared glass. Sprinkle some nutmeg on top to garnish.

Let’s try something else.

 

Cranberry Sauced
-3 oz Dry White Wine
-4 oz Cranberry Juice
-Splash Club Soda
-Sugar Cube

Cranberry Sauced

Two things about Thanksgiving: wine and cranberry sauce. So let’s put those two things together! Hooray!

So, this is a really good cocktail — inoffensive and simple, as well as a good way to change up your wine. The tartness of the cranberry juice, the sweetness of the sugar, and the complexity of the wine all work well together. This is the perfect Thanksgiving toasting cocktail.

Of course, you’re free to drink your wine without enhancing it like this, but that’s the mark of an unimaginative and sad alcoholic. So, make your toasting time more interesting, and give your relatives something to talk about.

So, put the sugar cube in a wine glass and add the liquid ingredients. The club soda is included because the bubbles help the sugar dissolve. Feel free to replace the white wine and club soda with a sparkling wine. Either way, this is a good general-use cocktail

Moving on!

 

Maple Old-Fashioned
-2 ½ oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
-1/3 oz Maple Syrup
-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
-Ground Nutmeg

The Maple Old-Fashioned

Here’s the drink you can make for your crotchety grandpa, your uncle who refuses to drink anything girly, or your female cousin out to prove that she can drink all those stereotypically male drinks, too. It’s pretty easy to make, so if someone asks for a stiff drink, don’t hesitate to give them this.

This was an interesting drink for me, because — as regular readers may know — I’m not the biggest fan of whiskey. However, I have been known to enjoy an Old-Fashioned on occasion. So, I’m not completely opposed to whiskey.

However, maple syrup doesn’t seem to sweeten the drink as well as sugar or simple syrup. Because of this, the whiskey flavor is stronger than in other Old-Fashioneds (not that it’s a subtle flavor in the original recipe). And, in all honesty, the maple flavor doesn’t come out that much when you’re sipping. However, this version does lend a very strong maple aftertaste. If that appeals to you, then go ahead and try this. But don’t expect to taste the maple over the whiskey when you’re sipping.

So, assuming that it’s time for you to put hair on your chest, let’s make this drink. Stir the liquid with ice and strain it into an old-fashioned glass. Sprinkle the nutmeg on top. You can add ice or not, depending on your own personal preferences. If you do add ice, the general rule is to use one or two large ice cubes instead of several smaller ones. Of course, if you’re a regular Old-Fashioned drinker, you probably already have ice cube trays to make larger chunks of ice, and you’re probably way ahead of me. If you’re not a regular Old-Fashioned drinker, I don’t know that I would start with this drink. But if you like whiskey, you might as well go for it.

With that behind us, let’s do something frou-frou.

 

Spiced Appletini
-1 ½ oz Vodka
-1/2 oz Spiced Rum
-1/2 oz Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
-1 oz Green Apple Liqueur/Apple Schnapps
-1 oz Apple Juice
-Cinnamon Stick

The Spiced Appletini

I’ll be the first to admit that the idea of the Appletini is a little silly. Well, maybe the name is just fucking ridiculous, no matter what John Dorian has to say about it.

Even so, the Appletini isn’t a bad drink at all, even with the numerous recipes for it out there. It’s fruity without being sweet, and just the right amount of sour.

This version is my own little creation. I wanted to figure out my own way of making an “apple pie” style drink. I think my endeavor was largely successful. The spices cut the sourness of the green apple liqueur, and the resulting flavor is pretty enjoyable.

However, this is quite a large drink, and the flavor just seems like it would lend itself more to a shot — it’s good, but you’ll get kind of tired of it after a while, just like most Mel Gibson movies. So, if you’re an enterprising individual, figure out a variation of this for a shot, and then proudly do shots with your older relatives. There’s no better family bonding experience than that.

Anyway, this is simple to make. Shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the cinnamon stick. You could also garnish with apple slices. Your call. Either way, this is a great non-standard cocktail with an interesting flavor to impress your family members with.

And so, we just did a manly drink and a frou-frou drink. Let’s see if we can combine the two.

 

Turkey Cosmopolitan
-1 ½ oz Wild Turkey Bourbon
-1/4 oz Lime Juice
-1/2 oz Triple Sec
-2 oz Cranberry Juice
-Lemon Twist

The Turkey Cosmopolitan

So, if this sounds like just a Cosmopolitan with bourbon instead of vodka, that’s because it is. If that sounds disgusting, it’s actually not. It works pretty well, and no one was more surprised than me. In fact, I found that the bourbon brought out the orange flavor of the triple sec more than the neutral vodka. That doesn’t make sense, and people will undoubtedly disagree with me, but there it is.

Also, I full-heartedly admit that the only thing about this cocktail that is turkey-like at all is that the bourbon has the word “turkey” in it. However, short of using turkey broth in a cocktail, this is probably the most turkey-like you’ll get with any cocktail. If you want to make a cocktail with turkey broth, be my rather unfortunate guest. Failing that, this is the best I can offer.

It also turns out that this is fairly appropriate for Thanksgiving not only because it uses Wild Turkey, but because it uses cranberry juice. Makes enough sense to me.

So, it sounds more disgusting than how Edward Cullen delivers his vampire child, but it turns out to work pretty well. It even manages to simultaneously make you a little girl (as all Cosmos do) and put hair on your chest (as all bourbon does), so that’s got to be worth something.

To make it, shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist to make it beautiful.

Let’s go on to our last drink.

 

Hazel Egg
-1 ½ oz Frangelico
-1 oz Crème de Cacao
-1 Egg
-Cream (optional)

The Hazel Egg

This drink might not be directly related to Thanksgiving, but I tend to think of hazelnut as a great Fall flavor. So, I decided to mix up a yummy dessert drink with the ultimate hazelnut liqueur, Frangelico. True, this isn’t a standard liquor-driven cocktail, but if you’re such an elitist that you can’t enjoy a hazelnut and chocolate dessert drink then you’re pretty much an asshole, and you’re welcome to have a good time with your straight whiskey. Jerk.

Anyway, this turned out delicious, and I guarantee you that most people will enjoy it after a long meal. The raw egg might put off a few people, but in all honesty a pasteurized egg in an alcoholic mix poses little to no danger. As we learned last week, there isn’t a known pathogen that can survive in alcohol. The chances of you getting salmonella — especially if you use a pasteurized egg — is incredibly low. However, in the interest of you not suing me, there is always at least a slight risk when consuming raw eggs, so understand that. If you do get sick, it might be a rare occurrence, but it isn’t my fault.

While we’re here, let’s talk about eggs in cocktails. Generally speaking, an egg white in a cocktail is there to add frothiness and thickness. If you wish to do without it, you can generally omit it. However, an egg yolk is included for flavor, and you cannot simply skip it, and therefore you can’t simply skip a whole egg. Now, you could make this drink without the egg, but it wouldn’t be interesting at all. The egg really lends a lot to this cocktail, so if you’re willing to take the risk, you might as well try it. Otherwise, you’re just adding dairy to some sweet liqueurs.

So, start by dry shaking the egg for a few seconds — no more than ten. Then add ice and the liqueurs to the shaker. Shake it until it’s too cold to touch. Then, strain it into an old-fashioned glass filled most of the way with ice. We fill it most of the way so that there is room to top off with cream—so top it off with cream! Stir it with a swizzle stick, and enjoy.

The cream is also only there for body, by the way, so feel free to omit it. If you do, you can go ahead and fill your glass with ice. Your call, of course.

 

Denouement

I’ve talked enough. Go hang with your family and get drunker than Diane Sawyer.


Monster Mash! Halloween Drinks (Part Two)

And now I’m back! From outerspace!

It is officially Halloween weekend, which means it is officially not okay to be sober for the next 72 hours (my how things have changed since I dressed up as the red Power Ranger). So, let the ghosts and ghouls run rampant with booze, and try one of these fun Halloween-themed cocktails.

 

Bloody Sundae
-1 ½ oz Vanilla Vodka
-1 ½ oz Whipped Cream Vodka
-Strawberry Syrup
-Plastic Vampire Teeth (optional)

The Bloody Sundae

Here’s one of those candy drinks, which, I keep telling myself is appropriate because Halloween is all about candy. Yeah, some of you might scoff at whipped cream flavored vodka. But, as silly as it sounds, it’s delicious, and you’ll be missing out if you write it off. Certainly, it isn’t classy, but it sure is good, and you can find some great ideas for it.

Case and point: this silly little novelty drink. This isn’t something you’d ever want to drink on a fancy cocktail night, but it definitely is something you’d think about drinking anyway. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It’s alcohol-y, but not too alcohol-y. It’s just good. It’s no Martini, it’s no Manhattan, but it is a nice piece of alcoholic candy, which is the best you can hope for if you go out trick-r-treating.

So, first, you’ll want to put a little bit of the strawberry syrup into a cocktail glass and thoroughly coat the glass with it by turning the glass around so that the syrup coats the inside. Discard any excess syrup (or don’t if you want it extra sweet). Then, shake the two flavored vodkas together with ice, and strain it into the glass. If you have plastic vampire teeth, they make awesome party garnishes. Otherwise, just drink up, matey. It tastes like candy and gets you wasted. Best Halloween gift ever.

 

Black Widow
-2 oz Kraken Black Spiced Rum
-1 oz Coffee Liqueur
-1 oz Anisette
-Black Licorice

The Black Widow

Black Widow just so happens to be another one of those cocktails names (like “Jack-O-Lantern”) that gets used a lot, but without any standard cocktail. And, to be honest, I based this recipe on another “Black Widow” recipe that used vanilla vodka, black sambuca, and espresso (no licorice garnish). However, only clear sambuca appears to be available in North Carolina, so I was forced to change it up. I used generic anisette instead of sambuca (but use the kind of anisette you want), and swapped out the espresso with Kahlua (not too much of a flavor change, I hope). To keep it all good and dark, I decided to replace the vodka with a dark rum (let’s face it — the Kahlua couldn’t have kept is black on its own).

Okay, so, yes — the flavor takes a backseat to color and presentation here. But it actually doesn’t taste bad at all. The anisette dominates at first, but after a while the coffee liqueur begins to make itself noticed. The rum actually takes a background role, which is surprising because I chose the strongest and richest rum I have in stock. But, coffee and anisette are too very strong flavors, so it is understandable why vodka may have been used in the recipe I based this off of. Since vodka is neutral, it allows the two other flavors to duke it out on their own turf, with the base liquor taking a background role.

That being said, the Kraken is noticeable, it’s just not a power player in this mix. So, we focus on the coffee and anise flavors, which surprisingly work quite well together — a lot like Aerosmith and Run DMC. And that’s really the joy of mixology (still hate that word): you discover incredible combinations that otherwise you would have never tried.

Also, this looks awesome as all Hell thanks to the garnish. Given, the garnish is completely unnecessary, but that doesn’t stop it from being fucking sweet — which is the basic rule of thumb that bartenders have been using for garnishing Bloody Marys (coming next week), so why not try that rule with another drink?

Though, I still must admit, I broke my own rule, and didn’t eat all of the edible garnish. Licorice isn’t my favorite candy to begin with, but the sheer amount that you need to properly garnish this cocktail is overwhelming for those who don’t like licorice. I managed to eat two strands (while drinking) before giving up. So, the garnish is definitely worth the aesthetic value, but unlike the olives in the Martini, you probably won’t finish eating this garnish unless you like licorice a lot

One sidenote, though: It’s a lot easier to enjoy anisette than it is to enjoy licorice, so don’t let drink recipes that include anisette deter you. Including this one.

So, shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into a cocktail glass. Now comes the fun part: the garnish. You’ll need eight strands of black licorice to properly garnish this cocktail. Once you have eight strands, bend them, and arrange them four on each side, so that it looks like a spider is submerged in your drink. Bonus points if you can drink the whole cocktail without removing the licorice. I managed to drink about two-thirds of this drink before the licorice started falling out of the glass.

 

Pumpkin Pie Cocktail
-1 ½ oz Spiced Rum
-1 ½ oz Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur
-1-2 dashes Vanilla Extract
-Graham Cracker Crumbs

The Pumpkin Pie Cocktail

Alright, so this cocktail isn’t so much a Halloween cocktail as it is a Fall cocktail, but I have no plans to do a Thanksgiving post, so this is the only exposure this drink will get. And, even though it’s a novelty and extremely non-alcoholic at 25 proof, Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur is absolutely delicious. It’s like if eggnog and a pumpkin fucked, and had an awesome-yet-unholy baby. And not just any sex session, at that; they had dirty and deep anal sex with amazing spices for a condom (Sober edit: And apparently still managed to conceive. Good basic reproductive knowledge there, drunk Dave). So, yeah, scoff at it as a seasonal fad, but it tastes so good, and you will love it.

And even though the alcohol content of the liqueur in this is ridiculously low, this cocktail tastes fairly strong. I used Captain Morgan, which is awesome, but below proof for liquor at 70 proof (80 proof is the standard for all liquors, if you didn’t know), and yet this still tasted very alcoholic. And yet, even though it tastes liquory, it goes down really easy. It’s really a great cocktail to serve to your family during the holidays if your intention is to get drunk with your family, and maybe find out a few things you didn’t know. Two of these will get most aunts a little tipsy, I’m sure.

So, as always, shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into a cocktail glass. Garnish by sprinkling the graham cracker crumbs on top. Alternatively, you can rim the cocktail glass with the crumbs before shaking the cocktail. This method will keep the crumbs crispier, but it’s also a bit more effort. Of course, the crumbs will get soggy if you sprinkle them on top, which might turn some people off. I thought it worked very well with soggy graham cracker crumbs, but that’s not everybody’s thing.

Onwards to the last drink!

 

Bleeding Heart Martini
-2 oz HIGH QUALITY Gin
-1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
-Pickled Beet
-1 splash Pickled Beet Brine (optional, if you like it dirty)

The Bleeding Heart Martini

So, I saved this one for last because I love, love, LOVE Martinis. At the end of the day, the Martini is probably my favorite cocktail. In fact, I can’t wait until the new James Bond movie comes out, not because I’m excited about Skyfall, but because I’m going to use it as an excuse to do a Martini post. And I am very excited about the Martini post.

However, the Martini just so happens to be the perfect cocktail to demonstrate how the garnish for your drink FUCKING MATTERS. A Martini with an olive tastes much different than a Martini with a lemon twist. And both of those taste WAY FUCKING DIFFERENT than a Martini with a pickled beet. So, homeboy, let me tell you— Martinis are amazing, but pickled beets ain’t no olives.

I’m probably going to repeat this when I do my Martini post, but I prefer my Martinis with two (not one, but two) olives, pimento stuffed if available (and pimento stuffed is always available at my house). I prefer a lemon twist if I’m making a vodka Martini (a lot of cocktail enthusiasts shun the vodka Martini, but it is absolutely amazing if done right), but I usually use gin. (Also, this is as good a place as any to mention why I used caps locks on the HIGH QUALITY when mentioning the gin in the ingredient list. Use middle or high-low shelf gin for every other cocktail recipe. But, for a Martini, use a good gin. You owe it to yourself, and the Martini deserves no less.)

Also, if you happen to know how you like your Martini, feel free to make it that way — dry, wet, or dirty. Stirred or shaken. However, if you’re not that acquainted with Martinis, the 4:1 ratio of gin to vermouth works very well, so go ahead and use this recipe. If you don’t like gin that much, maybe go to 3:1 or 2:1.

But, going back to my original point, a pickled beet ain’t no olive. If you prefer a lemon twist in your Martini, then this is even more different. But, if you’re like me, and you love biting into that delicious olive after drinking a Martini, then the pickled beet is semi-acceptable. That being said, it still ain’t no olive. The beet brine is similar to the olive brine at first, but it loses its charm pretty fast, and it’s ultimately no where near as satisfying as an olive at the end of the drink. In fact, it’s kind of bland. So, final verdict is not bad, but no where near as good.

Sorry for all that text, but I really like Martinis.

To make this drink, stir the liquid ingredients with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Of course you can shake it if you prefer, but I’m recommending the traditional stirring method. Finally, garnish with a pickled beet, preferably pierced by a cocktail spear.

And thus we reach the end of our adventure.

 

Denouement

So, what have we learned? I think we’ve learned that a lot of things are scary, but we can’t let that hold us back. We need to stand strong, and drink, even in the face of adversity.

Happy Halloween, everyone. Don’t party too hard.


Monster Mash! Halloween Drinks (Part One)

Hello, all you terrifying readers and drinkers out there. It’s late October, and that means that Six Drinks Too Many, along with every other blog in cyberspace, is doing a Halloween theme. Huzzah!

I’m starting to see Santa in stores, which means I have a limited amounted of time to do this celebratory theme. You might be tired of seeing pumpkin-flavored bisque and various monsters on candy packages, but once elves are on those packages for the next five months, you’ll be missing the reign of a good old-fashioned pagan holiday.

So let’s have a Halloween hurrah! And what is a hurrah without copious amounts of booze? Horror movies are always better with some level of inebriation, anyway.

Here I offer you eight Halloween-themed drinks. I have four for you today, and four for you on Friday. Some are super sweet and taste like candy (appropriate for the season, I suppose), and others are a bit more classy and potent. Hopefully, there’s a novelty here for everyone to enjoy. If not, well, every party needs a pooper, right?

So let’s begin.

 

Brain Hemorrhage
-1 oz Peach Schnapps
-1 tsp Irish Cream
-1 dash Grenadine

The Brain Hemorrhage

This is the one you’ll see all over the Internet, and it’s the one everyone knows, so I figured it’s as good a place as any to start. It’s also known as the Abortion Shot in some circles. However, I figured it’s a little less offensive to metaphorically cannibalize a brain instead of metaphorically cannibalizing an unwanted fetus. Hence, we’re going to go with Brain Hemorrhage.

It looks disgusting but tastes like candy. It’s nothing special, but if you ever fancy yourself as devouring a brain in one sugary gulp, then I guess this is for you.

So, pour the schnapps into a shot glass. Depending on the size of your shot glass you may have to increase the amount of schnapps. With the schnapps in the glass, slowly pour in the Irish cream — the schnapps will curdle it, and the result will look, well, awful. Add a small amount of grenadine to make it look bloody.

Also, you can add a dash or two of blue curacao to make an Alien Brain Hemorrhage. However, I advise against this. In fifteen years when the alien invaders take over our planet, you won’t want to have symbolically cannibalized the brains of our new overlords.

Next drink!

 

Witch’s Brew
-1 1/2 oz Chilled Vodka
-1 1/2 oz Chilled Lemon-Lime Soda
-Pop Rocks

The Witch’s Brew

So, this is a drink I found on another website under the name “Ghoul-tini.” While that’s a decent name, adding “-tini” to the end of drink names is something I don’t really care for. Also, I thought that the bubbling nature of this drink makes it seem like “brew” would be more fitting. So, I renamed it for this.

This is a neat little novelty drink that tastes basically like sweetened vodka. That might not appeal to you, which is fine, because, as noted, this is a novelty. Pop Rocks bubbling in the bottom of your glass is cool and fun — really the type of thing you always thought of doing as a child, but never did because of rumors of explosions.

So, dump a packet of Pop Rocks (any flavor) in the bottom of a cocktail glass. Pour in the vodka first, and then the soda. However, stand back. Turns out there’s some truth to those old rumors, as the instant that vodka hit the glass, the Pop Rocks decided to, well, pop. Pretty dramatically. Maybe the rumor shouldn’t have been Pop Rocks and Coke, but Pop Rocks and vodka, though that certainly is much less G-rated.

 

Jack-O-Lantern
-2 oz Jack Daniel’s (or another Tennessee Whiskey/Bourbon, I guess)
-1 oz Pumpkin Liqueur
-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
-1 Cinnamon Stick

The Jack-O-Lantern

So, there are about a million drink recipes on the Internet called the “Jack-O-Lantern,” and ninety percent of them include — you guessed it — Jack Daniel’s. Proving that I’m as unimaginative as everyone else, here’s my version of that drink. However, to make up for my lack of creativity, this drink does taste fucking awesome.

It’s nice and spicy, and very alcoholic. It’s also not one of the candy-like recipes on this spooky expedition of ours, which makes it a bit classier, I think. If you like pumpkin and/or whiskey, you’ll like this.

So, you can probably find some pumpkin liqueur during the Fall, but why not just make your own? Whatever your method, once you have the liqueur, shake or stir (your choice) the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into a cocktail glass. Garnish it with a cinnamon stick and enjoy.

This is also a great way to pretend that Jack Daniel’s totally isn’t an classless party liquor, so take good advantage of the opportunity if you’re a fan of the stuff. That’s the magic of pumpkins I suppose.

 

Bleeding Witch
-1 1/2 oz Silver Tequila
-1/2 oz Blue Curacao
-1 oz Pineapple Juice
-1 oz Orange Juice
-1/2 oz Lime Juice
-Maraschino Cherry

The Bleeding Witch

Novelty drink or not, this cocktail is actually a pretty good cooler. Its eery green color is also way fun. Let’s face it — not enough cocktails are green.

Anyway, this drink is refreshing and cool-looking, and if you’re serving drinks at a Halloween party, it’ll definitely be a hit. And even though the idea of consuming a witch who happens to be bleeding is kind of disgusting, your guests will still love this fruity cooler.

Sidenote: Appropriately enough, it seems like a fair number of these Halloween-themed drinks involve cannibalism. If that’s your thing, I guess…

So, shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into a cocktail glass. Drop the cherry in and let it float to the bottom. One note: You might have to add some more pineapple and/orange juice to make it more green than blue, but I wouldn’t go more than a half ounce for each type of juice.

 

To Be Continued…
And that’s where I end for today, but be sure to come back Friday for some more suggestions on how to make your Halloween weekend this year one that you will most likely forget.


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