meet our latest cocktail, the winter hello. it’s an easy sipper perfect for catching up with loved ones during the holidays and an excellent choice for the relative who likes a drink that’s “not too boozy.” this cocktail does involve a bit of prep upfront, with the roasted grapes and cinnamon syrup, but the good news is, you can use them for other recipes throughout the week. i recommend roasting an entire pan of grapes, and using the leftovers in a couscous salad, your morning oatmeal, or served over vanilla ice cream. yum. these beauties are pure magic to me – they taste like brown sugar and are so simple to make.
how to roast grapes // line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat seedless red or holiday grapes in olive oil. roast at 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes until grapes are just short of bursting. remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
light cinnamon syrup
1/2 c water
1/4 c sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
bring water and sugar to a light boil until sugar has completely dissolved. remove from heat, add cinnamon sticks, and let sit for 30-60 minutes. the longer you let the syrup steep the stronger the cinnamon flavor. *this syrup is intentionally less sweet than most simple syrups to complement the sweetness of the grapes
the winter hello cocktail
-4 muddled roasted grapes
-1 1/2 oz bourbon
-1/2 oz light cinnamon syrup
-2 dashes angostura bitters
-splash of lemon juice
garnish with a roasted grape and cinnamon stick
in a cocktail shaker muddle roasted grapes until well juiced. add in cinnamon syrup, bourbon, bitters, and lemon juice. fill with ice and shake vigorously until shaker begins to condensate. using a collins strainer, strain into a highball glass. add large ice cube and garnish with a cinnamon stick and roasted grape.
i know it’s fall in the rest of the country, but we’re still rockin’ 80 degree temps here in texas, so i thought i’d get this cocktail in just under the wire. the sweetness lends it self to summer, but my good friend bourbon can definitely carry any cocktail into sweater weather.
this latest sips + whistles cocktail, the southern gentleman, comes from one of my favorite cities, new orleans. and just like nola, this drink is sweet and sultry. i’m normally not a blackberry fan – i love the flavor but hate the seeds, so for me, this drink requires a quality strainer. another important tip is to taste your blackberries before you make the drink. are they particularly sweet? if so, maybe add a little less simple syrup. if you’re using larger berries, you may only need two for a perfectly balanced cocktail.
the southern gentleman cocktail
1 ½ oz bourbon
½ oz simple syrup
3 mint leaves
splash lemon Juice
toss your blackberries and mint in the shaker and muddle until berries are juiced well. add in simple syrup, bourbon, and lemon juice and fill with ice. shake vigorously until the shaker begins to condensate. using a collins strainer, strain into an old fashioned glass with an ice cube. garnish with a small lemon wedge and mint leaf and enjoy!
gosh y’all, we haven’t had a sips + whistles post in some time now. but we’re coming back strong with this grapefruit + mint gin spritzer. in creating this cocktail we went with gin, because hey, we love gin, but you could easily swap it for vodka if you’re into that sort of thing.
texas is known for our ruby red grapefruits, so we kept this cocktail recipe simple so that tart and tangy sweetness could shine through. it’s also what gives this drink such a lovely color. and yes, only one mint leaf may sound strange, but it adds just the right amount of depth without overpowering the other flavors, so just trust me on this one.
grapefruit + mint gin spritzer
1 fresh mint leaf
1 oz gin
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
¾ oz st. germain
splash of club soda
place coupe glass in the freezer to chill. muddle your mint leaf in a shaker until crushed and aromatic. add in the gin, grapefruit juice, and st. germain. top with ice and shake vigorously until shaker begins to condensate. strain into your chilled coupe glass and top with a splash of club soda. garnish with a grapefruit slice and enjoy.
we stumbled upon this drink while out to dinner with family and then immediately set out to recreate it at home. we knew the basics, gin, sloe gin, st. germain, egg white and lemon so from there it was a matter of tasting and tweaking until it was just right.
how do y’all feel about fizz cocktails? the egg factor sends a lot of people packing but i happen to love it. there are three elements that hold the key to a nice frothy fizz: sugar, egg white, and citrus. it also helps if you use a dry shake technique first, and then add ice to your shaker. this article has great tips for incorporating egg whites into your cocktails.
sloe gin fizz
4 oz. gin
2 oz. sloe gin
1 oz. st. germain
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
1 egg white
few dashes angostura bitters
combine the first five ingredients in your shaker and dry shake vigorously. i mean really give ’em hell for a good 30 seconds or so. then add ice and shake until chilled. strain into a coupe and top with a dash or two of bitters. feel free to spiff up your bitters design with a wooden skewer or toothpick.
got a juicer for christmas y’all. needless to say i’ve been juicing everything in sight. so naturally on new years day this translated to some scratch made bloody mary mix. however i wasted my vodka days on smirnoff twist in college (regrettable i know), so we opted for bloody marias instead, because tequila is always welcome in our home.
this drink can be pretty intimate seeing as there are about a million varieties and everyone has their own flavor preferences – ours is fresh and garlicky. i don’t do much spice, so feel free to add tabasco or fresh ground pepper to the recipe below, although i will say the garlic alone adds a nice kick.
bloody maria mix
5 roma tomatoes
3 celery stalks (two for juicing, one for garnish)
1 red bell pepper
1 jalepeno (seeded if you don’t like spicy)
1 large carrot
1-2 garlic cloves
few pinches of salt
2-3 dashes worcestershire
be sure to rinse everything well before juicing it. i would recommend juicing in the order the ingredients are listed, because it’s always best to start with the juicier items first. also, after you’ve added one garlic clove, pause and taste, as this may be plenty for you. if it’s not, add the other!
once everything has been juiced, add a few pinches of salt and your dashes of worcestershire. from there, feel free to taste and adjust. once you’re happy with the flavor, chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. during this time you can assemble your garnishes. we used celery, pimento-stuffed olives, and hickory bacon, but the sky’s the limit folks. other popular garnish options include shrimp, onion. pickled peppers, cucumber, and the ever-popular salt rim.
after the mix has chilled, fill two tall glasses with ice and add 2 oz. of tequila to each one. give your mix a good stir before pouring into the glasses as the different juices may have settled into layers. garnish accordingly and kick back with the hair o’ the dog and some waffles.
i had vieux carre on the brain after our fabulous trip to new orleans. this recipe comes straight from my favorite book of libations, bitters. and it features a local texas bourbon, so that’s cool. honestly, this is pushing the summer simplicity barrier at six ingredients, but it’s worth it. and there’s no muddling or garnishing required, so deal with it.
we fell in love with this tasty bev while celebrating our anniversary and wasted no time figuring out how to recreate it at home. honestly i think we nailed it. the expat is whiskey refreshment with just the right amount of mint.
we enjoyed our first round on the couch catching up after equally long days at work. for the second batch we traded our fancy coupes for mason jars and took a nice evening stroll with the pup. either way it’s pretty perfect for winding down the day.
2 ounces bourbon (bulleit or makers is nice)
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
2 dashes angostura bitters
3 fresh mint leaves
muddle the mint like you mean it. seriously, it’s not just there for looks. add in the rest of the ingredients and shake for 20 seconds or so with ice. strain into a chilled coupe (or mason jar if the spirit moves you) and enjoy.
not sure about the rest of you, but it is officially summer here in texas. which means simple and refreshing cocktails become a staple at our house. we like to spend as much time as possible on our back porch with a few tunes to tap our feet to. so here is a little gem of a cocktail for those warm afternoons and our suggested musical pairing.
the whiskey revival
most whiskey revival cocktail recipes call for simple syrup but i think that makes it way too sweet. i personally like the taste of whiskey, so here’s how i like to enjoy mine: 1 ounce rye whiskey 3/4 ounce st. germain 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 ounce simple syrup (optional, to taste) shake with ice for 15 seconds, strain into an old fashioned glass and enjoy with friends.