When I met professional culinary mixologist, author, and avid home entertainer Jeremy J. Parsons, I was inspired to try “inventing” some of my own cocktails. Dreaming up drinks is much more difficult than I thought. My first concoction was rather tasty, which lulled me into a false sense of awesomeness. Turns out, I am not even remotely awesome—the next two drinks I tested on my spousal guinea pig were . . . sick (as in, hubby gagged and poured them down the sink)!
I can assure you, none of Jeremy’s cocktails are sick, unless, of course, you’re going by the Urban Dictionary definition, in which case they are totally sick and ridiculous and stupid (yes, that means they’re great).
Jeremy transforms his garnishes into mini-appetizers. A pickle spear in a Caesar adds flavour, interest, and also makes a tasty snack.
Jeremy’s Autumn Press (recipe below) is not only delicious, it’s a work of art. The garnish is a prosciutto wrapped fig, with a dab of stilton cheese, on a thyme sprig. That makes my crappy lime wedge look pretty pathetic, doesn’t it? Ever thought about garnishing your cocktail with stilton cheese and roasted red pepper on a toasted pear chip? Me neither. I’m the lime wedge girl, remember?
My entertaining motto is: “cheap and easy,” but the holidays are an exception. It's the time to indulge in something extra special and fa, la, la, la, fancy. Here are three of Jeremy’s elegant cocktail creations that will add a little sparkle to your holiday party.
How To Open A Bottle Of Champagne Safely
¾ oz. McGuinness Exotic Pomegranate, 3 oz. sparkling wine or champagne, mango brunoise (fresh mango, diced into very small cubed bits)
Pour pomegranate juice into bottom of chilled champagne glass. Gently pour champagne down side of glass, so as not to disturb the juice. Add a good pinch of mango, and continue to fill glass with champagne.
1.5 oz. citrus vodka, 4 oz. Turkish Rose Nectar (available at Whole Foods), 2 oz. sparkling wine or champagne, strawberries for garnish
Shake vodka and rose nectar with ice. Pour into glass, and top with champagne. Garnish with strawberry.
Autumn Press (I think this cocktail should be called the “Autumn IMpress!” Just a thought.)
1 tbsp brown sugar, ¾ tsp fresh thyme, 3 medium-sized sliced figs, 1 oz. raspberry vodka, 4 oz. Elderflower water (available at Whole Foods), 1 oz. soda water
Muddle sugar, thyme, and figs in double rocks glass. Add ice and vodka, and mix. Top with Elderflower water and soda. Garnish with the prosciutto wrapped fig.
For more yummy cocktail recipes, click here.