A few weeks ago, we picked up an absolutely fantastic cookbook – “The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique” – and we’ve both read it cover-to-cover more than once since. Not only are the photos stunning, but it’s also a comprehensive, very well written guide to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cocktails. Jeffrey Morganthaler, a leader in mixology, covers all of the bases, from how to make homemade limoncello to the exact science of a Boston Shaker.
It’s clear from reading Morganthaler’s book that we still have quite a long way to go before we can consider ourselves cocktail experts, but we’re certainly left more inspired! I mention this book in so much detail because it would make a fantastic holiday gift for anyone in your life that has an interest in the art of cocktails. It simultaneously reads like a book, a recipe collection, and a comprehensive, easy-to-understand guide, making it a great addition to any coffee table/bar cart. I’ve found myself picking it up more than once a day to check out a new section, or to re-read an interesting snippet.
Last weekend, we tried our first recipe from the book: homemade ginger beer. It was surprisingly easy to make and the ingredients were inexpensive and easy to find (excluding champagne yeast, which we ordered online). Better yet, it was 10x better than anything we’ve purchased at a store, and we’ll most definitely be making it many times in the future!
Our favorite use for ginger beer is in a Moscow Mule (of course), but as we just made one a few weeks ago (which, by the way, you should try!), we decided to make something up on our own. Earlier in the week, my mom contracted a mild cold & made some homemade citrus/ginger/turmeric juice to ward it off. It was so good that we made another batch as soon as it was gone, and then decided it would make for an excellent cocktail base.
Paired with the ginger beer, gin and Cointreau, it’s just the right amount of tart, sweet, refreshing, and quite festive! The two of us ended up drinking a few each (on a Wednesday at 3pm), but as they don’t have any extra sweetener, we didn’t feel all that bad.
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Freshly squeezed juice makes all the difference in this refreshing gin cocktail.
- 8 oz freshly squeezed citrus juice – we used about 4oz orange juice, 2oz grapefruit juice, 1 oz lemon juice & 1 oz mandarin orange juice, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand
- 4 oz pomegranate juice
- 3 oz gin
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 4–6 oz ginger beer
- For garnish: grapefruit, pomegranate seeds, orange peel (twisted over top to release some oils)
- Juice citrus (we suggest making a larger batch so you have some leftover).
- In a chilled glass over ice, combine citrus juice, pomegranate juice, gin and cointreau and stir well.
- Top off each glass with ginger beer and garnish with sliced grapefruit, pomegranate seeds, and a twist of orange peel. Cheers!