Fall might be right around the corner, but for now, the heat index and my lifeless hair say otherwise. On days when it’s hotter than hot, all I can think about is getting my hands on something cool and refreshing. You, too? Well then, you’re in luck! Happy hour is starting early and today’s special is the Ginger Mint Pineapple Margarita. It’s sweet and spicy and so good, you’ll wonder how you ever did Taco Tuesday without it. Now, the important question: salt on the rim or sugar?
My friend Max introduced me recently to Karate Cowboy, a white whiskey infused with sake. I realize this sounds like an interesting combination, and that’s because it is. But it works. Instead of the traditional margarita made with tequila, the Ginger Mint Pineapple margarita is made with Karate Cowboy’s Ginger Mint flavor — a refreshing combination of crisp ginger and cooling mint. The ginger, mint, lime and pineapple juices blend effortlessly together like one big happy boozy family. The flavor explosion is so good, I’d like to see you try to stop at one.
Here’s how to make this delicious summer drink at home:
Ginger Mint Pineapple Margarita
- 2 oz Ginger Mint Karate Cowboy
- 1/2 oz key lime juice
- Top with pineapple juice
- Serve over ice
- Coat rim with sugar or salt (optional)
Karate Cowboy is the brain child of Columbus, Ohio-based Revolution Experiment. It’s basically brand new to the spirits market, and I have a feeling it’s going to be Fireball huge. If you live in Ohio, you can find Karate Cowboy at various bars and liquor stores across the state. Visit their website to find a location near you.
Sometimes, a good drink is just what I need to unwind after a long day. And if it involves grapefruit, mint, vanilla, vodka and a splash of soda for some added fizz, then put it in my hand. STAT.
Japp’s, a popular bar in Cincinnati, is situated on Main Street. One of the bartenders told me that it used to be a wig shop. Pretty cool, right? It’s hands-down my favorite, and for good reason.
The bar is known for its handcrafted cocktails that take mixology to an art form new level. I’m talking fire in your glass, frothy egg-whites and drinks garnished with twists. Sitting at the bar is truly an experience. And the drink you’ll receive is a million times better than that poorly-made vodka tonic you’re used to sipping on with your friends at that one night club you told yourself you wouldn’t go to anymore. You know the one.Molly Wellmann, renowned bartender and co-owner of Japp’s and other bars around town, came out with her own recipe book, “Handcrafted Cocktails: The Mixologist’s Guide to Classic Drinks for Morning, Noon & Night.” Let’s just say I snatched it up right away. It made the perfect gift for my boyfriend, who frequently pulls it out at parties and get-togethers. He made a drink one night called the “Summer Breeze.” The combination of tart grapefruit and earthy vanilla is like summer in a high ball glass.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce grapefruit juice
- 3/4 ounce vanilla simple syrup
- 6 mint leaves
- Soda to top
- 2 vanilla beans, split
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
How-to make syrup: Toss water, sugar and vanilla beans in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and bring to room temperature. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
How-to make drink: Put all ingredients except the soda in a mixing glass. Shake and strain into a highball glass (or in my case, a mason jar) filled with ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint.