THE QUINTESSENTIAL MARDI GRAS COCKTAIL

Anyone looking to get their Mardi Gras party started – and quickly – knows that it only takes a few of New Orleans’ signature Hurricane cocktail to do the trick. And if you’ve ever had one you can attest to the fact that they’re difficult to resist. The rum and juice combine into some kind of adult version of Hawaiian Punch with a fancy garnish. The creation of this passion fruit-flavored libation is credited to New Orleans tavern owner Pat O’Brien who poured the concoction into hurricane-lamp-shaped glasses to give away to sailors in the ’40’s. 

If you ever get the chance to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras, you’ll find the drink all over town – mostly in plastic cups because although drinking is allowed in the streets, glass containers are not. But there’s nothing better than a Hurricane in it’s traditional vessel, so grab a few at BevMo, Target or Bed Bath & Beyond and get ready to celebrate just like your fellow revelers in the French Quarters. 

This Mardi Gras, I decided to take a page out of Pat O’Brien’s cocktail invention book and have a little fun in the Gidget’s Cocktail Lounge Test Kitchen. Truth be told, I couldn’t find any passion fruit juice and decided it was time to come up with a little Gidget twist on the traditional Hurricane. I’ve blind tested these at a few parties and everyone loves my version so I’m confident you’ll be happy with the results. Since I’m all about the classics, I’ve also provided the traditional recipe below which is just as lovely and fun to make.

Gidget Hurricane 2

GIDGET’S TWISTED HURRICANE

TOOLS :: Crushed ice, shaker
GLASS :: Hurricane shaped or large Collins
EXTRAS :: Orange wedge and cherry for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails
INGREDIENTS ::
2 oz. Dark Rum (or Dark Spiced Rum)
2 oz. Light Rum
1 oz. Galliano
4 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
4 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
2 good tablespoon scoops of “Hawaii’s Own” Paradise Punch frozen juice concentrate*
1 oz. lime juice

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Fill shaker with ice.
Add all ingredients above.
Fill glasses with crushed ice and strain mixture to fill.
Top with garnish and more crushed ice.

TRADITIONAL HURRICANE – Same tools and instructions as above but with traditional juices.

INGREDIENTS ::
2 oz White rum
2 oz Dark rum
1 oz Lime juice
1 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Passion fruit juice (such as Goya)
.5 oz Simple syrup
.5 oz Grenadine

Gidget Hurricane

COCKTAIL HACKS
I realize that not every home bar comes stocked with fun spirits such as Galliano, so if you don’t have this sweet herbal Italian liqueur in your bar, no worries. As a quick cocktail hack, you can sub-out the Galliano for a tiny dash (less than 1/8 teaspoon) of Anise Extract. I picked this up at my local grocery store and found that it works fine. Also, the “Hawaii’s Own” frozen juice is my go-to frozen favorite (it’s just so easy!), but if you find Passion Fruit Nectar you can use 2 oz. of that in the Gidget’s Twisted Hurricane recipe instead of the frozen concentrate.

New Orleans is a really, really fun place to visit but if you can’t head to the Big Easy this year, either of these recipes will help you party in Mardi Gras style right from home. Grab some party beads and have fun just like you’re in the French Quarters!

CELEBRATE SUPER BOWL 50 SAN FRANCISCO STYLE!

Looking for a big game cocktail to serve at your Super Bowl party? The San Francisco Bay Area is host to this epic 50 year NFL celebration, so we thought we’d take some inspiration from the City by the Bay and it’s storied cocktail history to bring you a local cocktail that everyone will love! The city’s Barbary Coast played host to many a gold miner looking to strike it rich during the Gold Rush in the mid-1800’s and bartenders in the area used the exotic ingredients coming into San Francisco’s port to invent new drinks. There are at least 5 cocktails known to have been invented in San Francisco Bay Area bars.

The list of cocktails reads much like a favorite bar menu and includes such classics as the Martini (invented in Martinez, north of San Francisco), Pisco Punch and the ever-famous Mai Tai. It’s true! This legend of a cocktail was created by Victor Bergeron, aka Trader Vic. Trader Vic’s original bar was in Oakland, a Bay Area city. And when it comes right down to it, who doesn’t love a Mai Tai?! This cocktail is so darn tasty and is the perfect crowd pleaser for a party like the Super Bowl. To play up the 50-year NFL celebration we’re going to add a touch of gold and twist the name a bit, but the deliciousness of this drink will not disappoint.

You'll score extra points with your guests when you serve up this cocktail!

You’ll score extra points with your guests when you serve up this cocktail!

THE EXTRA POINT
No paper umbrellas or tiki mugs needed here – go simple with some mint and a glittering gold rim for the perfect Super Bowl 50 party drink.

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker
GLASS :: Collins
EXTRAS :: Gold sanding sugar, lime wheel and mint for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails
INGREDIENTS ::

  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 4 oz. Aged Rum or Dark Rum
  • 1 oz. Orgeat syrup (otherwise known as Almond syrup ~ Torani’s is great)
  • 1 oz. Orange Curacao
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
  • Lots of 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 wheel and mint sprig.

Gidget_TheExtraPoint2

Start making a little party history for yourself and serve this pitcher-style with a line up of pre-garnished glasses and you’ll be “cheering” all the way into the 4th quarter! Simply multiply the ingredients for the number of guests you’ll be serving, keep the mixture chilled until needed and place the ice in a bucket next to your glasses. Guests can make their own cocktails and you can enjoy the game.

If you’re in charge of hosting a SB50 viewing party this year and need some amazing food, check out our TheGoodStuff article HERE. We collaborated with TheGoodStuff to create a cocktail party worthy of this big event so check it out because we’ve got your menu all planned out for you!

SPOOKY COCKTAILS FOR YOUR HALLOWEEN MONSTER MASH

Ghosts, goblins, witches, and werewolves — Halloween is filled with plenty of spooky and bewitching spectacles to make the evening a thrilling event. It’s also a treat to hang out with friends and have a ghoulishly delightful time engaging in a little cocktail mischief. If you’re planning a wicked Halloween party the following cocktails are sure to create an unforgettable All Hallow’s Eve event. No matter what your Halloween guests’ favorite poison is, I’ve got you covered with these cocktails — all guaranteed to raise spirits at your monster mash.

If you’d like a full list of my Top 10 Spooky Cocktails (including the two I created below), visit the article I wrote for TheGoodStuff for the full list of recipes.

R.I.P ‘RITA

Gidget RIP Rita


Get in the Halloween spirit with this lo-cal twist on a margarita. A dash of red food coloring gives the glass an eerie twist.

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, 1 small plate
GLASS ::  Martini
SERVINGS ::  2 cocktail
INGREDIENTS ::

  • 3 ounces TY KU citrus liqueur
  • 1 ounces silver tequila
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
    Glass rim

    • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • 3 Tablespoons corn syrup (I used Karo)
    • Red food coloring

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
On a small plate, mix together granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 5-7 drops of red food coloring. Mix to combine and add more food coloring to get desired results. Dip glass rims into mixture briefly and hold glass horizontally to let excess syrup drip off rim. Place rimmed glasses in freezer until ready for use.
Combine remaining ingredients ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake well and strain into rimmed cocktail glass

THE DEVIL’S CHOICE

Gidget_DevilsChoice

What would Halloween be without a devilish twist? This wondrous, blood-red cocktail comes with a haunting punch of two kinds of rum and delicious pomegranate juice. Hell won’t freeze over if you make this your cocktail of choice!

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, 1 small plate
GLASS :: Old Fashioned
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails
INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 4 ounces pomegranate juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce dark rum per cocktail
  • Cranberries for spooky eyeball garnish
  • Black sanding sugar (I found mine at Williams Sonoma)
  • Lime wedge

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Pour 4 Tablespoons black sanding sugar on a small plate. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of each glass, then dip into sanding sugar. Add ice to glasses. Combine first 4 ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake well and strain into rimmed glasses, leaving space at the top. Gently pour 1 oz. of dark rum onto each cocktail so it floats on top.

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.

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!

CELEBRATE FAT TUESDAY ~ CLASSIC MARDI GRAS COCKTAIL

As we head into March and Mardi Gras, we wanted to help you celebrate Fat Tuesday with a classic Mardi Gras cocktail ~ THE HURRICANE. The creation of this passion fruit-flavored libation is credited to New Orleans tavern owner Pat O’Brien who poured the concoction into hurricane-lamp-shaped glasses to give away to sailors. Here’s a taste-tested Gidget + LaRue twist on the classic. Our recipe is enough for 2 drinks because we don’t like to drink alone!

THE HURRICANE

Celebrate Fat Tuesday G+LaR style

Celebrate Fat Tuesday G+LaR style

TOOLS :: Ice, shaker
GLASS :: Hurricane shaped or large Collins
EXTRAS :: Orange slice and cherry for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
2 oz. Dark Rum (or Dark Spiced Rum if that’s all you have)
2 oz. Light Rum
1 oz. Galliano*
4 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
4 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
2 good tablespoon scoops of “Hawaii’s Own” Paradise Punch frozen juice concentrate*
1 oz. lime juice
4 shakes of bitters – Fee Brothers or Angostura is great

  • Fill shaker with ice.
  • Add all ingredients above.
  • Shake it like you mean it!
  • Strain into your ice-filled glasses, garnish and enjoy!

++ Here’s your Gidget + LaRue “make it easy” tip ++
If you don’t have Galliano in your bar, no worries. We sub-ed out a tiny dash (less than 1/8 teaspoon) of Anise Extract (from Safeway!) and it worked great. Also, the “Hawaii’s Own” juice is great, but if you’ve got Passion Fruit Nectar around (we couldn’t find it easily), use 2 oz. of that instead. I couldn’t find it and we like the frozen juice because it’s EASY!