Saving Tips

23 June 2011

It’s the simple pleasures that make life worth living, or so they say. And going out to eat is one of the pleasures that most of us simply couldn’t live without. Even if you only get to be wined and dined every once in a while, nothing can quite compare to a tasty meal with good company while out on the town.

As a New Yorker, you may have been faced with a bit of a dilemma in this department – we certainly have. The fact is, New York has one of the best restaurant scenes in the world, with such a wide and varied selection from myriad of different cultures and ethnicities. It’s one of the many things that makes this city great. But what’s not so great is rather large tab you inevitably have to pick up at the end of any half-decent meal.

It’s true, eating out in New York is expensive, but it’s often not the food itself that drives up your bill. Allow us to be blunt for a moment: It’s the alcohol. An evening meal wouldn’t be complete without a little tipple, right? Indeed, but that sweet nectar of all that is good and all that is bad doesn’t come cheap. In fact, these days a cocktail is as expensive as an appetizer or a dessert, if not more so.

“But what can be done about it?” we hear you say. Well, we’ve got a suggestion for you. Why not have a few drinks at home before you go out to dinner, or better yet a little night cap when you get back? “But it’s just not the same,” you may say. Then why not challenge yourself to make it the same? That’s right, learn to mix your own cocktails and cut out the middleman!

It might seem like some kind of magic or wizardry is going on behind the bar when you order yourself a mojito out on the town, with glasses being juggled and all the other theatrics that go with it. But we are assured by the esteemed liquid chef Kim Haasarud that making your own cocktails isn’t a superhuman feat and we are all quite capable of doing it at home!

You may know Kim as one of the judges on Iron Chef or from her many other appearances as a master mixologist in the media worldwide. She is the founder of Liquid Architecture and she’s just released a new book called 101 Mojitos & Other Muddled Drinks.

The mojito has been a staple at the cocktail bar for some time now. A simple mix of rum, fresh muddled mint leaves and lime juice served over ice with a splash of soda, it’s the perfect drink to bring the temperature down a notch on one of these sizzling hot summer days.

101 Mojitos and Other Muddled Drinks will show you how to mix the perfect mojito, as well as 100 variations and other muddled drink recipes that focus on fresh ingredients and plenty of ripe fruit. In addition to mojitos, you’ll find caipirinhas, caipiroskas, crushes, and margaritas as well.

To celebrate all cocktails great and small, today we’re going to give you a sneak peak at three of Kim’s delicious cocktail recipes, so you can start mixing it up for real in your own home. Just make sure the kids are in bed before you get to work on any of these!

The Perfect Mojito

10 to 15 mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup (see recipe in Pineapple-Ginger Mojito below)
2 ounces premium rum (such as 10 Cane, Bacardi Superior, Cruzan, etc.)
Splash of soda water

In the bottom of a rocks glass, muddle the mint leaves with the lime juice and simple syrup. (Muddle lightly to just release the oils in the mint, do not pulverize the leaves.) Add the rum. Top with crushed ice and the soda water. Stir well from the bottom up. Garnish with the mint sprig and serve. 

Strawberry-Pineapple Caipirinha

2 ripe strawberries, hulled, plus 1 strawberry half for garnish
cup fresh pineapple chunks, plus wedge for garnish
4 lime wedges
1 ounce simple syrup (see recipe in Pineapple-Ginger Mojito above)
2 ounces cachaça

Fill a rocks glass with ice and set aside. In a mixing glass, muddle 2 of the strawberries with the pineapple chunks, lime wedges, and simple syrup. Add the cachaça and top with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the iced rocks glass. (Because this drink contains so much pulp and fruit, I like to strain it. But if you like a lot of fruit pulp, pour the shaken contents into the glass.) Garnish with the strawberry half and pineapple wedge. 

Raspberry Smash

4 ripe raspberries, plus 1 for garnish
4 lemon wedges
1 ounce raspberry syrup (such as Monin) or simple syrup (see recipe in Pineapple-Ginger Mojito above)
4 or 5 mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish
2 ounces cognac

In a rocks glass, muddle 4 of the raspberries with the lemon wedges, raspberry syrup, and mint leaves. Add the cognac and top with ice. Pour into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice in the rocks glass. Garnish with the mint sprig and remaining raspberry. 

Posted by Mirela Gluck at 01:56 AM
bargain news , Saving Tips , SHOPPING |

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