BLACK BETTY TO THE RESCUE

Quite frankly, I’ve had a rough day. It’s been one of those days when, as you power down your laptop, all you can think of is “Uncle…I’m done!” Well tonight I decided that I needed a nice little cocktail to ease into my evening. I needed something comfort-driven…something dark. So I had a mini-Test Kitchen moment and invented a delish, comforting wonder…BLACK BETTY. Sounds a little adventurous, a little darling but with a name like Betty, a happy friend. So as we head into the stressful holidays, may you also find the joy of Betty. Black Betty to the rescue. Bam-ba-lam!

BLACK BETTY

Feeling better already. Thanks Betty!

Feeling better already. Thanks Betty!

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker
GLASS :: Martini {or an ice-filled Old Fashioned if you’re into the ice thing – both work}
EXTRAS ::  thin string of orange peel for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
4 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
1 1/2 oz. Cassis Liqueur {blackcurrant liqueur}
1 1/2 oz. Brown Sugar simple syrup {brown sugar-to-water, 1:1}
4 good shakes of FEE Brothers Black Walnut Bitters

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add all ingredients. Shake well {shake it like you mean it!} and strain mixture evenly between two cocktail glasses. For garnish, twist orange peel over drink to release oils and add to cocktail.

NOTE :
Cassis is a great addition to your home bar. The Blackcurrant flavor is robust and yet light at the same time and a nice break from other seasonal flavors. Besides, it’s the only ingredient you need to make a Kir Royale cocktail! That’s right! Add a half shot of this to champagne and voila! Kir Royale. Delish!

SKIP THE PUMPKIN PIE :: Thanksgiving DESSERT Cocktails

After Thanksgiving dinner most people dive head first into a slice of pie. Tradition generally calls for pecan pie or pumpkin pie with a big dollop of whipped cream. This year we’ve decided to tempt you to skip that plate (or even add to it) and dive into these yummy Thanksgiving dessert cocktails instead. There’s no better way to unwind from your Thanksgiving holiday efforts, and we think making a cocktail happens to be a lot easier (and faster) than baking a pie. And it’s also a great way to perk you up after all that nap-inducing turkey!

To check out all 6 dessert recipes, visit The Good Stuff online magazine HERE. We created a G+LaR original cocktail for the article, happily named AUNTIES APPLE PIE MARTINI. We figured that just about everyone has an Auntie who makes the best apple pie at Thanksgiving. We’ve given that classic pie an upgrade with this delicate, refined cocktail. The spicy flavors of Rum compliment the carmel apple and honey ingredients for a drink even your Auntie will enjoy!

AUNTIE’S APPLE PIE MARTINI

A true crowd-pleaser for Thanksgiving dessert ~ Auntie's Apple Pie Martini

A true crowd-pleaser for Thanksgiving dessert ~ Auntie’s Apple Pie Martini

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, small plates (2)
GLASS :: Martini
EXTRAS ::  thin slice of apple + cinnamon sugar for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
4 oz. Dark Spiced Rum {we went with Captain Morgans}
4 oz. Hiram Walker Carmel Apple Liqueur
2 oz. Honey Liqueur {Christian Brothers works well}
1 oz. Maple syrup
1/2 oz. Half-and-Half creamer

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add all ingredients. Shake well {shake it like you mean it!} and strain mixture evenly between two cocktail glasses. For garnish, on a small plate mix granulated sugar with cinnamon until combined. On another plate pour small amount of maple syrup – about 1 tablespoon. Cut thin slices from apple and run the skin side through maple syrup then coat with cinnamon sugar mixture. Garnish each drink with apple slice.

HALLOWEEN COCKTAIL ~ MIDNIGHT SPELL

There’s something magical about the perfect blend of flavors in a cocktail. This libation provides that spark with the rich simple syrup blending subtly with the natural spices of the bourbon and the pumpkin ale. We launched this on TheGoodStuff – the online magazine we contribute our cocktails to {check them out here}. ENJOY and Happy Halloween!

MIDNIGHT SPELL

The Midnight Spell ~ CraftBeer cocktail to keep handy all Fall + Winter long
TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker
GLASS :: Old Fashioned/Highball
EXTRAS ::  thin slice of orange + candied ginger for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
4 oz. Bourbon {we used Bulleit}
6-8 oz. Pumpkin Ale
2 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Ginger syrup {The Ginger People – Ginger Syrup is perfect}
1.5 oz. Brown Sugar Simple Syrup {recipe below}

HOW TO MAKE IT :: 
Brown Sugar Simple Syrup :: In a high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat combine 1 cup water with 1 cup brown sugar. Bring to boil, stirring constantly to ensure sugar is dissolved. Turn heat to low and simmer 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain syrup into container and keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add Bourbon, Cointreau, ginger syrup and Simple Syrup. Shake well {shake it like you mean it!} and split mixture between two ice-filled cocktail glasses. Top each with beer, stirring to combine. Garnish with orange slice and candied ginger.

HALLOWEEN PARTY COCKTAILS : Pumpkin Ale ~ 3 Ways

Halloween 2014 is going to be especially fun since it falls on a Friday – Yeah!

If you’ve decided to host a party this year, you know that the most important element of the evening is the cocktail menu. Impress your party guests with this simple approach that will help your party stand out – Pumpkin Ale ~ 3 ways! Take a peek at the recipes we developed for The Good Stuff online magazine to discovery how to inject a little cocktail excitement into your party – no vampire teeth or black vodka needed!

You'll be amazed at how delish this Pumpkin Ale-Bourbon cocktail tastes! Try our Midnight Spell tonight!

You’ll be amazed at how delish this Pumpkin Ale-Bourbon cocktail tastes! Try our Midnight Spell tonight!

We certainly had a lot of fun taste-testing Pumpkin Ales and this one was right there at the top. This big bodied beer has a light coppery orange color and pleasing aroma of pumpkin and nutmeg. The subtle taste of pumpkin mixed with a delish spicy blend make this a perfect Halloween treat. Stay tuned for some Halloween party Pumpkin Ale cocktail recipes!

Perfect blend of pumpkin + spice for a Halloween treat

Perfect blend of pumpkin + spice for a Halloween treat

OCTOBER MEANS PUMPKINS!

Check out the pumpkins we picked today!

After an intense selection process in Half Moon Bay, California we packed the car with nothing shy of 22 pumpkins {so many choices and I just had to have a Cinderella pumpkin or two…or three!}. After such a taxing day of shopping we decided to enjoy the bounty of the season and extend our Pumpkin purchasing to the delish pumpkin ales gracing the pallets of our local Costco. Sometimes all you really need on a beautiful Saturday night is a really good {Fall-inspired} beer! Simplicity at its best. Cheers.

Mmmmm...Pumpkin Ales!

Mmmmm…Pumpkin Ales!

APPLE COCKTAILS FOR EVERY SPIRIT

Thrilling news! Our cocktail partner, Coupons.com, just launched their new blog. And guess who’s featured? We are! Our latest entry ~ Apple Cocktails for Every Spirit ~ gives you recipes to use all those delish apples currently on the market with your favorite spirits…Gin, Rum, Vodka, etc. Go check it out HERE!

Fun Apple Cocktails for Fall and beyond!

Fun Apple Cocktails for Fall and beyond!

FALL INSPIRED SPIRIT INFUSIONS

Oh how we love the Fall season! Now is a time to step away from the lemons and limes of summer and head into the cozy cocktails and flavors of Fall with these spirit infusions.  Check out the recipes we’ve just launched on COUPONS.COM and you’ll be enjoying the season’s best ~ warm vanilla, inviting pumpkin and even savory smoky bacon in no time! If you like the creativity of cooking and combining flavors, and {like us} you mix a few cocktails now and again, then liquor infusions are a great place to play around and have fun personalizing your home bar. Spirit infusions are very simple – you soak ingredients in a base alcohol until you like the taste. Sounds fun and easy, right? Infusions are simple to make but require a bit of waiting time to properly yield the best results and most robust flavors. Get these infusions started now and your patience will pay off in a few weeks when we’ll launch several cocktail recipes starring your new infusions!

Here’s a little peek into what you’ll find if you visit Gidget+LaRue on the COUPONS.COM blog!Fall Spirit Infusions

TiKi TUESDAY ~ ZOMBIE STYLE

Here at Gidget + LaRue we’ve decided to show Tuesday a little love for the fun day of the week it can be, so last week we launched TiKi TUESDAY! For this week’s cocktail we’re diving headfirst into the ZOMBIE, a mind numbingly delish TiKi drink! The ZOMBIE is a drink with a bit of mystery behind it, so researching the recipe yields a wide range of results. Blame the drinking, but cocktail history is often hazy. So it’s no surprise that the “real” recipe for this cocktail ~ and even its exact ingredients ~ vary depending on whom you ask. Purportedly created by Don the Beachcomber to revive a hungover businessman, the recipe has been twisted in countless ways and some bars limit ZOMBIE drinks to only 2 per customer. We decided to go with a recipe that wouldn’t leave you feeling like the living dead and didn’t require anything fancy other than a few base spirits and fresh citrus fruit. Bring on the fun and let’s get our TiKi on ~ ZOMBIE…stat!

ZombieTitleZOMBIE

TOOLS :: Blender
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS ::  Lime wedge and Mint for garnish*
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

INGREDIENTS ::
1 oz. Silver Rum
1 oz. Dark Rum
1 ½ oz. orange juice
1 oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. lime juice {NO Roses lime here ~ go fresh or forget it}
¼ oz. grenadine
1 oz. Orange Curacao
1+ C. crushed ice
(optional: if you’re feeling truly ZOMBIE-brave, float an ounce of 151 Rum on top of the drink)

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Combine all liquid ingredients + crushed ice in a blender. Pulse contents for a few seconds, just to combine ingredients. Pour into glass and garnish with lime wedge or wheel and mint sprig. Simple, fun and delish!

* NOTE on garnishes ::
To elevate a drink from being just another “drink” and turn it into a real TiKi cocktail, spend a little time to create the perfect garnish. Garnishes don’t need to be complicated but they can add that extra personality to your cocktail that sets it off from other drinks. So have some fun with pineapple wedges, cherries, star fruit and go for the paper umbrella! We used the top leaves from a pineapple for a little flare. Keep in mind that garnishes should be made in advance so they can be quickly added. That final TiKi embellishment will make people smile even before they’ve taken their first sip!

TUESDAY NEEDS A LITTLE LOVE

Most days of the week have a bit of a reputation. Nobody really likes a Monday, everyone loves a Friday and we have Hump Day Wednesday and now Throwback Thursday. Here at Gidget + LaRue we’ve decided to take over Tuesday. Give Tuesday a little love and respect for the fun day of the week it can be. Throughout the summer we’re going to help you see Tuesdays in a different light by launching TiKi TUESDAY!

To get started we are launching with an iconic TiKi cocktail, the MAI TAI. The creation of the Mai Tai happened in Oakland, CA in 1944 by Victor Bergeron, otherwise known as Trader Vic. The name of the drink was unexpectedly introduced by a group of guests from Tahiti, when they exclaimed “Mai Tai – Roa Ae”, which means “Out of This World – The Best”. And that is how the Mai Tai was born and that’s how we’re kicking off TiKi Tuesday. Let’s get shakin’!

Go retro ~ go TiKi with a Mai Tai!

Go retro ~ go TiKi with a Mai Tai!

THE ORIGINAL MAi TAi

TOOLS :: Shaker
GLASS :: Double Old Fashioned
EXTRAS ::  Lime wedge & Mint for garnish {+ a paper umbrella if you’re feeling extra TiKi!}
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

INGREDIENTS ::
½ oz fresh squeezed lime juice {NO Roses Lime here ~ go fresh or forget it}
2 oz. Aged Rum *
½ oz. Orgeat syrup {otherwise known as Almond syrup ~ Torani’s is great}
½ oz. Orange Curacao
¼ oz. Simple Syrup
2 C. crushed ice

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Add ice to shaker. Add all liquid ingredients. Shake it like you mean it! You need to really blend those ingredients together, so shake for about a minute. Pour shaker contents into cocktail glass without straining. Garnish with lime wedge or wheel and mint sprig. Make sure to give the mint sprig a good slap on the palm of your hand before adding to the cocktail to release the aroma and flavor.

A quick tip about making an original Mai Tai :: When made properly, a Mai Tai has a deep amber hue because it’s the color of the Rum that should dominate the drink, not the sweeteners. In other words, a true original Mai Tai shouldn’t be orange.

NOTE :: There are so many excellent Aged Rums out there on the market and many are worth adding to your home bar. If you don’t have an aged Rum handy and have a hankering for a good Mai Tai, you can always swap out 1 oz each of Gold Rum + Dark Rum in place of the Aged Rum. 

CELEBRATE the 4th WITH A WATERMELON MARGARITA

Across the US today, Americans will celebrate the 238th anniversary of our country’s independence with parades, fireworks, rodeos and concerts. The 4th of July festivities often include picnics and parties, complete with that summer party staple ~ the watermelon. What is it about those juicy slices of watermelon that screams SUMMER?! We love it! But that’s not all. We love that you can use it in a cocktail too! Our WATERMELON MARGARITA is fun to make and bursting with that fantastic flavor of summer. A little tequila, some watermelon juice & an orange and you’re halfway there! Can’t ya just taste it?!

Cheers to America ~ love G+LaR

WATERMELON MARGARITA

 

Make the watermelon juice ahead of time to speed up production ~ trust us...you'll want more than one!

Make the watermelon juice ahead of time to speed up production ~ trust us…you’ll want more than one!

TOOLS :: Shaker, blender or muddler
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS ::  Kosher salt to rim glass, straw
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
3 c. diced watermelon, juiced and strained {see below}
4 oz. silver Tequila {we like the lighter flavor of a silver with the watermelon}
5 oz. fresh watermelon juice
½ fresh orange, juiced
1 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
1 heaping tbsp. of Minute Maid LIMEADE frozen concentrate

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Salt rims of glasses. To do so, pour Kosher (or margarita) salt onto a small plate. Rub the rims of each glass with a lime or with the cut orange. Press each glass into the salt. Fill each glass to the top with ice. In an ice filled cocktail shaker, add all liquid ingredients. Shake it like you mean it! You need to really blend those ingredients together, so shake for about a  minute. Strain cocktail into ice-filled glasses

To make the watermelon juice: Place diced watermelon in blender and juice until all chunks are gone. Strain through a fine wire mesh strainer to capture all pulp. Discard pulp. If you don’t have a blender, you can always muddle your watermelon in a shaker and strain. Works just as well!