Citrus-Brandy Cocktail

Citrus-Brandy Cocktail - Sarah J. Hauser

Happy Friday, Friends! 

I feel like I’ve been living in a cave until the last few days. We’ve been potty training the twins, which has been going mostly well…not counting the flooded bathroom due to an unnamed toddler stuffing it with toilet paper, the baby who threw up on Day 2, and the time spent cleaning pee off a friend’s floor (including the carpet) last night. But other than that, it’s going great! (You can’t see the facepalm happening right now.)

In all seriousness, though, we've turned a corner despite a few missteps, and I am thankful for that. We had twins before having our third baby, so we’ve never had only one kid in diapers until now. I think that’s reason to celebrate!

I mixed this Citrus-Brandy Cocktail up a few weeks ago as I experimented with drink ideas. The first time I made it, I used blood oranges since they were in season, but you can use any kind of orange (just note the color will be different than these images). I also threw a few sprigs of tarragon in the cocktail shaker. I love the combination of fruit and herbs, but you can leave that out or try other options like thyme or rosemary.

It’s a drink that’s refreshing, rich, and slightly sweet with a bit of tart – and the perfect way to kick off the weekend.

So cheers to the Friday, cheers to potty training, and cheers to whatever milestones you have to celebrate, from the big ones like anniversaries and birthdays, to the small ones you never realized would feel so monumental.

Citrus-Brandy Cocktail - Sarah J. Hauser
Citrus-Brandy Cocktail - Sarah J. Hauser

Citrus-Brandy Cocktail
Yields 1 drink

1½ ounces brandy
¾ ounce Cointreau
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice*
½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fresh herbs, such as tarragon (optional)

Add the brandy, Cointreau, orange juice, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add a few sprigs of torn herbs, such as tarragon, to the shaker if desired.

Shake vigorously for 15 seconds, and then strain into a cold cocktail glass. Serve and enjoy!

*Note: I used blood oranges for the drinks in these images to get the pink color, but you can use Cara Cara, or another favorite kind of orange!

(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]

(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]

My favorite way to create variety in mixed drinks is to make flavored simple syrups. Simple syrup is just water and sugar, and throwing in spices, herbs, fresh fruit, or juices adds a unique twist without having to buy additional liqueurs or other cocktail ingredients.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you may have noticed I do this quite a lot - like in my Ancho Chile Manhattan, Fig, Vanilla Bean + Gin Cocktail, or Ginger, Lime + Five-Spice Cocktail. You can get creative by digging through your pantry or refrigerator and seeing what flavor combinations you can come up with!  

This recipe uses the same trick. Ground turmeric stirred together with sugar and water create a rich, golden syrup that's amazing with bourbon. I used Heritage Distilling Co.'s Dual Barrel Old Fashioned Ready Bourbon, because it has a hint of orange that's perfect for this drink.

And this time of year, the cold winter weather makes me want something creamy and comforting, so I added full-fat coconut milk. (You could also try using some cream or half-and-half if you're not avoiding dairy, although I do think the flavor of the coconut milk works really well in this drink.)

Grab a friend, shake up a couple drinks, sip, and enjoy!

(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]
(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]
(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]
(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]

Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail
Yields 1 cocktail

2 ounces bourbon (I recommend using Heritage Distilling’s Dual Barrel Bourbon)
2 ounces full fat coconut milk
1 ounce turmeric simple syrup (see recipe below)
Ground turmeric or cinnamon sticks (for serving)

Add the bourbon, coconut milk, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds then strain into a chilled glass. Serve with an extra dash of turmeric or a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

Turmeric Simple Syrup
Yields about 6 ounces

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ teaspoon turmeric

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring often, until the sugar melts and the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks. 

For this post, bourbon was provided by Heritage Distilling Co. All opinions are 100% my own.