East Side Smash

For the past month I’ve been wanting to highlight this cocktail, not only because it’s a strange combination of Mint and Cucumber, but it’s also quite possibly one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had (and knowing this blog, that’s saying something).

So as is the case with many of my favorite drinks, this one comes courtesy of Common Man Cocktails. Their more classic rendition of the East Side shakes the ingredients and strains out any of the vegetable partials, which to me seemed a bit wrong. So I opted for creating a smash style variation that I feel is far superior. Smash drinks in general will contain less common ingredients and will often leave the renaming chunks in the glass after muddling (hence the name).

This cocktail is really something amazing though. It’s taste reminds me of summer. It’s refreshing, colorful, and goes down smooth (regardless of your choice in gins). The mystery of handing someone a glass with cucumbers mashed into it is both inviting in it’s color and it’s curious differences. It has a strong smell of cucumber and gin, with very small hint of the mint (if you didn’t know it was there you wouldn’t know what you were smelling). The drink starts off sweet, moves quickly to a mild sour, and finishes with the complex blend of the gin, cucumber, and mint. I should really note here that the mint (while vitally important) doesn’t add a ton of it’s own flavor to the drink. Instead it acts as a way to cut through the more intense sour of the lemon, and round out the more “green taste” of the cucumber.

This cocktail goes well beyond just a “make it again” recipe, it now belongs on the menu. In fact it might be one of the highest rated cocktails I’ve ever reviewed! Although now I guess I need to start buying cucumbers on a regular basis now.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 6.5/10
Overall Rating: 9.8/10

The East Side Smash

2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
3 Cucumber Slices
5-6 Mint Leaves
3 Dashes Aromatic Bitters (Optional)

In a rocks glass muddle together mint, cucumber, lemon juice and simple syrup. Add ice and top with gin and bitters. Stir well. Enjoy!

“Hulk Smash!”

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Green Whiskey Mojito

Well I would be an idiot if I didn’t post some kind of green drink for St. Patrick’s Day, so here’s a little Mojito variation to quench your thirst. The Green Whiskey Mojito works with any kind of whiskey, but if you really want to be festive get some Irish Whiskey. In my stock I’ve only got Canadian so it will have to do. Just like a regular Mojito it’s got a strong minty and lime core flavor with a bubbly start to the palette. The biggest taste difference is that where you would be looking for a sweet undertone you get a more complex whiskey finish. The mint bitters I added here (mostly for color) round out the sweet to a slightly more bitter aftertaste.

Even if you’re not Irish, I bet you’ll enjoy this!

Green Whisky Mojito

1 oz Lime Juice (Fresh Preferred)
5 Sugar Cubes
6-8 Mint Leaves (Big ones!)
2 oz Whiskey
Club Soda
3-4 Dashes Fee Brother’s Mint Bitters (Or any green mint bitters)

Muddle bitters, sugar cubes, lime juice, and mint together in the bottom of a Collins glass. Add ice and Whiskey. Top with club soda. Stir gently until remaining sugar is dissolved.

Green Whiskey Mojito

“OOO Weeee Meee boy!”

The Classic Mint Julep

I’m back in the new year for a classic cocktail that in many ways isn’t even a cocktail. The Mint Julep is basically just an excuse to drink 4 ounces of Kentucky straight bourbon. Not that you really need a good excuse, but either way it’s one of those drinks that’s perfect as long as you buy the right product. Pick up your favorite bourbon and make this sometime. Need a suggestion on which one? Old Granddad, Wild Turkey, or Makers Mark. Ok? Good. Now drink up.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 10/10 (it’s basically straight bourbon anyway)
Overall Rating 9/10

Mint Julep

4 oz Bourbon
1 tsp Simple Syrup
12-14 Mint Leaves
1-2 Mint Springs

Muddle mint leaves and simple syrup in the bottom of a tumbler glass. Add ice and bourbon. Stir well. Garnish with 1 or 2 mint springs.

mint julep

“A classic southern sipper”

Frozen Raspberry Mojito

For today’s blended cocktail I decided to combine 2 recipes and make something of a variation and a hybrid (Mojito and Raspberry Daiquiri).

Depending on who you are you might find the top of the drink appealing or revolting. The blended mint creates a mossy top for the drink which isn’t the most visually pleasant thing out there, but it does give you a nice minty aroma to the start of the drink. The drink starts with a sweet and icy raspberry flavor, it moves the a refreshing lime and rum, then finishes with a bit of mint. I’m not sure if I can actually call this an original cocktail, but it certainly is a great hybrid recipe that I highly recommend.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 9/10

Frozen Raspberry Mojito

2 oz Gold Rum
3/4- to 1 oz Lime Juice (1 lime)
12-15 Fresh Mint Leaves
1 oz Raspberry Syrup

1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
Club Soda

Blend all (but the club soda)  with a cup of ice. Pour into a large pint glass, top with club soda and garnish with a lime slice and a mint leaf. Note: Use raspberry syrup not actual raspberries unless you want seeds in your drink.

Dojito

“So…a Dojito then?”

Southern Belle (Mocktail)

With so many heavy hitting drinks on the blog here, I decided it was about time to post a drink that someone of any age can enjoy. The “Southern Belle” is a refreshing minty drink right in time for a warm spring. The fresh mint builds an aromatic start with a traditional taste of ginger ale. As it reaches the back of your taste palette you’ll get more of the sweet mint flavor (especially if you grab a mint leaf as you sip).

This is a great one for all ages, and perfect for sitting in the afternoon sun.

Alcohol Rating: N/A
Overall Rating: 9/10

Make it again? Yes.

Southern Belle (Mocktail)

3-5 Mint Leaves
1/2 oz Sweet/Sour
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Ginger Ale
Mint Spring

Muddle sweet/sour/ mint leaves, and simple syrup together in a rocks glass. Add ice and top with ginger ale. Garnish with a mint spring.

southern belle

“Be our guest…”

*For an alcoholic version you may want to add in 1.5 oz of bourbon.

Raspberry Mint Martini

This really feels more like a smoothy than a cocktail. This is a very pleasant drink with equal taste of raspberry and mint. I will say this though, if you have a double strainers… use them! Even with a classic hawthorn strainer, the raspberry seeds are littered throughout the drink making it slightly less pleasant to spit out or chew the seeds.

Alcohol Rating: 4/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
Make Again? Yes, but needs a more thorough strain.

Raspberry Mint Martini

1/4 cup Fresh Raspberries
6 Mint Leaves
1 oz Chambord
2 oz Vodka

Muddle together raspberries and mint. Add ice and liquid ingredients, and shake.

Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint leaf

raspberry mint martini

Fruity. Minty. Thicky?

Power Berry

Image

A drink to good health!

Well the bar is expanding with new ingredients such as Coconut Rum and Triple Sec, and new glassware as well. Though the glassware is for another post. Today’s cocktail comes from my inspiration blog “The Drunken Moogle” in this “Harvest Moon” inspired drink. I only played the game once, so at the very least I can say that I sort of understand it. The Power Berry is a just a little tart and goes down smooth. Check out how to make it here: Power Berry (Harvest Moon Cocktail)