5 Island-Inspired Cocktails
We asked Colleen Mullaney, author of It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere, to share some of her favorite recipes and behind-the-scenes advice on how to become cocktail-savvy.
Combine 6 ounces (¾ cup) limoncello and 2 ounces (¼ cup) orange liqueur in a small bowl. Stir in 8 sliced strawberries, and soak at least 1 hour. Puree strawberry mixture in a blender; strain, if desired. Pour into 4 tall glasses. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon peel, and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
CL: What inspired you to write the book It's 5 o'clock Somewhere?
CM: It all started for me at 5:00 on a trip to Paris a few years ago. I was sipping a Champagne cocktail in a fabulous hotel lobby bar, listening to music and munching on those delectable bar snacks. I suddenly thought, this is what we all need, to visit all the luxe and fabulous places around the globe and sample their 5:00 cocktails. So my quest began to write a book on global cocktail favorites, including tidbits about each location, the cocktail of the moment, and downloadable playlists to keep you in the global mood!
Stir together 8 ounces (1 cup) cranberry juice cocktail, 8 ounces (1 cup) vodka, 4 ounces (½ cup) ginger ale, and 2 ounces (¼ cup) fresh lime juice in a large pitcher. Pour into ice-filled glasses, and garnish with lime wedges. Makes 4 servings.
CL: What kind of barware should everyone have? Is it okay to substitute glasses?
CM: There are some barware basics, but my motto is to use what you have. Mixing glasses adds eclectic flair and gives you a chance to inject your personality into the party. A few glasses you should consider having are Champagne flutes; highball, martini, and rocks glasses; and wine goblets. Other accessories and good bar basics: cocktail shaker with strainer, stirrers, picks, blender, and fun coasters.
Muddle 8 lime wedges and 12 fresh mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add 8 ounces (1 cup) mango vodka and 8 ounces (1 cup) mango nectar. Shake vigorously, and strain into 4 ice-filled glasses. Top with club soda, and garnish with chopped fresh mint. Makes 4 servings.
CL: What makes drinking a cocktail on the beach so special?
CM: Drinking a tropical libation on the sand transports you to your beach bliss. Fresh flavors like coconut, mango, guava, and lime make the cocktail reflect the location. When in doubt, do as the natives do!
Combine 8 ounces (1 cup) vodka, 4 ounces (½ cup) banana liqueur, 4 ounces (½ cup) pear nectar, and ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice in a cocktail shaker or pitcher. Pour into 4 ice-filled glasses, and garnish with fresh edible flowers. Makes 4 servings.
CL: Any advice on creating your own signature cocktail?
CM: Signature cocktails are an ideal way for you to infuse your personal style into your event. Be your own mixologist and whip up a batch that goes with your party theme―sangria on the beach, margaritas by the pool. Serve them in a large glass drinks dispenser or pitcher. For warm, breezy days, try vodka-based cocktails. They pair well with fruit juices; cranberry, raspberry, and pomegranate are good choices. For hot, tropical weather, try rum-based libations paired with any tropical infusion, from coconut and pineapple to mango and guava.
Combine 1 (750-ml) bottle dry white wine, 4 ounces (½ cup) orange liqueur, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a large pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add (750-ml) bottle sparkling water. Add 1 sliced orange, 1 sliced lime, 1 sliced star fruit, and 6 sliced strawberries; chill up to 1 hour. Garnish each serving with fresh mint. Makes 6 servings.
CL: What is your funniest cocktail story?
CM: Last summer we were at the beach, and margaritas were in demand. Off I went into the kitchen to begin squeezing the limes and mixing away, but I couldn't find a suitable vessel for the margaritas. I remembered that I had packed new beach buckets for the kids. I grabbed one, filled it with ice, and began my mixology! This is a classic example of using what you have. The bucket proved to be a great insulator against the sultry summer day, and the shovel was a superb ice-scooping tool. Let me just say, buckets of fun were had!
Recipes reprinted with permission from It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere: The Global Guide to Fabulous Cocktails (Sixth & Spring Books, 2008) by Colleen Mullaney; barnesandnoble.com.