Week 1 – Amaretto Sour

Hello 2016!  I’m very excited to get going with this year’s weekly recipes.  That might have something to do with the fact that this year, I’m making COCKTAILS!

When I was trying to come up with last year’s theme, I posted in my favorite Facebook Mommy group asking for suggestions.  The top votes were soup, crockpot meals, and cocktails.  I was really torn between soup and cocktails (and I think next year may be crockpot meals), so I’ve been looking forward to trying some of these recipes for over a year!

Since drink recipes are fairly universal, I’m not planning to link to the original blog or website where I pulled my recipe.  Unless of course the poster obviously put their own unique spin on the recipe, in which case I will certain give credit where credit is due!

A couple of notes on decisions I’ve made for the year.  Cocktails will be made on the weekends, probably Friday or Saturday evening.  I’ll make every effort to compose and publish my post the same weekend, though ideally the same weekend.  Also, though I am typically the diet soda, artificial sweetener, don’t-use-real-sugar-and-save-yourself-the-calories type, I’ve decided I’m going with real sugar every time with these cocktails when it’s used.  And I’m going to enjoy it!

Week 1 – Amaretto Sour

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I have a giant bottle of Disaronno Amaretto that I purchased while on a cruise for my honeymoon, which was 5 years ago.  Between being pregnant twice in the years since, and not being much of a drinker, it is barely half gone (and still tastes fine…seriously, most liquor keeps forever, it’s amazing!  It’s true that flavors can degrade over time, but alcohol pretty much never becomes undrinkable).  I plan to use up the bottle this year through the various cocktails I’ll be making, so I figured I might as well get started on week 1!

An “anything” sour is a classic drink, consisting of the liquor, something sweet, and something sour.  Common sours are whiskey sour, gin sour, and the less-obviously named margarita and daiquari.  A sour is often made with sweet and sour mix, which can be purchased pre-made in most liquor and grocery stores.  But when I sent my husband out for groceries this afternoon, and to the liquor store to stock the bar for our coming year, he came home empty handed.  As a result, I took to the internet and found out that it’s pretty easy to make your own.  So this first post of 2016 is going to contain two recipes: one for sweet and sour mix, and one for the amaretto sour.

Sweet and Sour Mix

Ingredients

1 part sugar
1 part water
1 part lime juice (fresh if possible)
1 part lemon juice (fresh if possible)

Combine the sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool, then stir in lemon and lime juice.  Cover and chill (I used a mason jar), and it should keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

The quantities of your ingredients will depend on the amount of sweet and sour mix you would like to make.  The important part is the ratios.  And even the ratios can be adjusted based on your personal preference, so feel free to add more or less of the citrus juices depending on if you prefer the sweet or the sour more.

Since I only wanted to make enough for this week’s drink, I went with 2 ounce of each.  I still have some leftover, but I thought it seemed a little ridiculous to try boiling 1 ounce of water in a pot.

Though I’m sure the recipe is better with fresh juices, I didn’t have any on hand, so I used the little green and yellow squeezy balls of juice from concentrate, and it worked out just fine.

Amaretto Sour

Ingredients (per drink)

3 oz Amaretto
2 oz sweet-and-sour mix (pre-made, or recipe above)
Lemon-lime soda, such as 7up, Sprite, or Sierra Mist
Garnish – maraschino cherries, orange wedges

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, adding the amaretto and sweet-and-sour mix.  Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake!  As my favorite political TV host often says (not gonna say who, let’s keep politics out of the fun of food and cocktails, shall we?), shake it for longer than you think you need to, then shake it some more.  Pour into a glass of crushed ice.  Top with lemon-lime soda and add cherries (as many as you’d like).  Garnish with an orange wedge and cherry.

Full disclosure, I didn’t garnish it with the orange wedge and cherry.  I didn’t have any oranges, or any long toothpicks that would stick out of the glass if I put a cherry on it.  So I plopped my cherries in the bottom of my glass and called it good.

While we’re at it, I didn’t use a glass either.  Because I have two kids under the age of 4, glass doesn’t survive in my house.  So I served my drink in an unbreakable plastic tumbler.

Oh, and my ice wasn’t crushed because my refrigerator is the non-ice maker type.  But the ice cubes were freshly made and only half frozen, so I took out the frozen parts and plopped them in the “glass” where they broke up pretty well.  Close enough, right?  Side note, I just ordered myself a portable ice maker, which I’ve wanted for years but could never justify buying until now (because I’m going to NEED good ice for a year of cocktails!) and it’s supposed to get here early next week and I’m so excited!

I really enjoyed this cocktail and it was nice and easy, even with making my own sweet-and-sour mix.  What a great way to start the year!

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