For the better part of the last decade I have been a bartender to pay the bills. As anyone who has bartended knows, this also means I am a certified therapist, relationship counselor and official late night “booty call”, because who else is just getting off work at 4am?
What it also means is over the course of that time, I’ve learned a thing or two about the art of cocktail making. When I wasn’t busy explaining the difference between a Vodka and Gin Martini (or my preference for stirring no matter what James Bond may think) or trying to get one of my regulars laid, I was messing around with all those fancy bottles behind the bar. With this knowledge gained and now in collaboration with Taylor Magazine we will be presenting a weekly cocktail, to get help power you through your week. Many of these will be my own personal concoctions, and some will simply be slight twists on old classics. Regardless, start taking screen shots and bringing these with you to your swankiest cocktails bars in town, and bask in the glow of the bartender finally asking you, “Wait, what’s in that?”
COCKTAIL OF THE WEEK:
Unfortunately, summer is almost over, but that shouldn’t stop you from drinking delicious summer cocktails like you don’t have to worry about work tomorrow. With that in mind, I’m pleased to kick off the new “Cocktail of the Week” section for Taylor Magazine with a delicious spin on a summer classic.
TAYLOR-MADE: PASSION FRUIT SANGRIA
Sangria is a staple in any summer drinking diet, but this classic needed a new kick. By changing up some basic parts but still keeping the heart of the drink the same, I’ve created a drink that’s sure to keep you saying “Does this even have any alcohol in it?” while you slowly start slurring your words and getting handsy with your best friend’s boyfriend. It’s definitely possible to find all these ingredients in stores but you might have to look a little harder for the passion fruit syrup (you can always make your own as well!). So let’s get started. Here’s what you’ll need:
– Brandy (any mid-shelf brand will do, you don’t need XO for this as it’ll simply be part of the larger mix)- Lemon juice (I would recommend having a juicer if you’re making this for a party otherwise you will be squeezing a looooot of lemons)
– Orange Juice (something nice and fresh… not from concentrate, I prefer heavy on the pulp but that’s up to you)
– Passion fruit Syrup (you can either find this in a large alcohol store (like Total Wine) or order some online
– Passion fruit Pulp (should be easier to find in the canned fruit section at higher end organic grocery stores)
– Moscato (I prefer a nice pink, bubbly version (Jacob’s Creek), but it’s perfectly acceptable to use a non carbonated)
– A variety of fruit (in a classic Sangria you’d be using apples, oranges, strawberries, and maybe lemons or limes, but you can really add whatever you want here to spice up)
– Mason Jars (the best and classiest way to serve real sangria in my opinion, you can usually find these at Costco or the like for just a couple bucks a glass and they can be re-purposed often)
PREPARATION: FOR A GROUP OF 5
– Firstly, get everything set out, so the mixing will go as smoothly as possible.
– How many people are you making drinks for? If it’s a large group I would recommend doing something in a jug.
– Gather and cut your fruit. We’ll stick with the classics: oranges, apples and strawberries. Typically you’ll want about half a larger fruit for each person (so 1/2 apple and 1/2 orange) and two smaller fruits (two strawberries per person)
– Juice your lemons: you’ll need 1oz of lemon juice per person. Use 1-2 lemons per person.
– Once all your fruit is cut and your lemon juice squeezed, we can move on to the actual mixing.
MIXING: PER PERSON (5 PEOPLE) IN YOUR JUG
– Add all your fruit…
(Ingredients per person)
1. 1 oz brandy (5 oz)
2. 1 oz lemon juice (5 oz)
3. 2 oz orange juice (10 oz)
4. 1/2 oz passion fruit syrup (2 1/2 oz)
5. 1 oz passion fruit pulp (5 oz)
6. 1/5 bottle of Moscato (1 full bottle)
Mix all the ingredients together (except Moscato) in your jug, and add ice so that the jug is about 2/3 full. Stir everything for about 30 seconds before adding your Moscato on top. Stir again for another 20-30 seconds, making sure to mix up from the bottom. Add ice to fill up the jug the rest of the way and you are almost ready to serve.
Fill each of the Mason Jars about 2/3 of the way with ice. It can be nice here to have some extra fruit pre-cut that people can add a little scoop to their drink before pouring on the Sangria (as it sometimes tends to stick to the bottom of the jug). Pass around and enjoy!
If you are planning on serving a larger quantity (5 people and up) I would recommend not adding ice to the mixture before serving (as it will water down as it sits there). Instead, mix everything together as before, without adding the ice, and simply fill people’s Mason Jars with ice to the top, to ensure a delicious, ice cold Sangria.
Now get out there and say “Winter, be damned!” as you sip this delicious concoction and dream about bikinis and tan lines. We’d love to hear your feedback, or if you have any of your own twists on this classic recipe you’d like to offer, chuck it in the comments section below.