Five years ago these wine girls signed up for bartending school. Yup. Classroom, books, exams and all. For fourteen days we mixed, counted, spilled, blended, broke, dumped, shook, sprayed, stirred, strained and, yes, poured hundreds of cocktails. Even memorized the recipes for 100 of them – down to amount of ice, type of glass, ounces of alcohol, and even what kind of garnish. What a test of our brain cells. For our final, we had to make twelve drinks in eight minutes as they were “ordered” by our instructor. They could have been any of the hundred drinks. We both passed and received our “Mixology Certification,” which is only valid for five years.
So it’s time to renew. Last Sunday we headed back to school to take our state exam. In preparation, we spent time behind the bar and stirred up some new cocktails. With the warm spring weather, we leaned toward drinks that are colorful and refreshing and called them our “Vernal Libations.” Here’s a toast to you and Spring!
Springtime in Pear-adise
½ oz. Pear Schnapps
½ oz. Pear flavored Vodka
½ oz. Pear Nectar
Pour schnapps, vodka and pear nectar into a champagne flute. Fill with champagne. Garnish rim with a strawberry.
Key to Happiness
1 oz. Lime flavored Vodka
½ oz. Crème de Cassis
½ oz. Key Lime Juice
½ oz. Orange Juice
Shake Vodka, Crème de Cassis and Key Lime Juice in cocktail shaker filled with 1/3 cubed ice. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with Sparkling Wine. Garnish with lime twist.
Key limes are also called the Bartender’s Lime. They’re aromatic and very juicy, with a stronger and more acidic flavor than Persian limes (the common grocery store lime). Key limes are grown in the Florida Keys, West Indies, and Indonesia. Mostly known for use in Key Lime Pie, the fruit of the Key Lime is perfect for cocktails with vodka or rum.
1 ½ oz. Raspberry flavored Vodka
½ oz. Curacao
¼ oz. Lime Juice
3 oz. Cranberry Juice
Pour all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass. Stir and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
Barbara & Beverly