The holidays are coming, and that means families and friends will be gathering for a myriad of social events. Lillian Oler, owner of Assemble Cocktail Workshop, has given us more than a glimpse into her line-up of cocktails for the upcoming season. Below you will find recipes and instructions for three of her cocktail offerings. Try your hand at home or schedule an intimate workshop here in Boerne to learn techniques from the master herself.
Mules are a crowd favorite and a staple on most cocktail lists and home bars alike. It is a simple cocktail that can be jazzed up to fit any occasion. For the upcoming holiday, we decided to make a Cranberry Mule that incorporates cranberry-infused vodka, spicy ginger syrup, ginger beer, and lime. The garnish is up to you! I always like to have dehydrated citrus wheels on hand for impromptu cocktail making, however a slice of candied ginger and/or some sugared cranberries will also do the trick, especially for a more festive look. Have fun with it and make it your own.
1.5 oz. Cranberry Vodka
1 oz. Ginger Syrup (Liber & Co or make your own!)
3 oz. Ginger Beer (well chilled)
.25 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
3 Dashes New Orleans Bitters (This will add a cherry, hibiscus, and star of anise flavor without adding more sugar)
Method: Fill a copper mug with ice and all the ingredients, minus the ginger beer. Stir briefly. Fill with additional ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish and enjoy!
Our Spiced Pear New York Sour is a bourbon-based cocktail that requires a bit more attention and technique than the other recipes listed. Like a traditional New York Sour, this version contains egg white foam and a float of a dry red wine, such as Petite Sirah or Malbec, that is slowly poured over the back of a bar spoon to create the layered effect.
Spiced Pear New York Sour
1.5 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Spiced Pear Liqueur
3 Dashes Walnut Bitters (We use Honest John brand small batch bitters)
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Simple Syrup (Try using demerara sugar for an added caramel richness)
1 oz. Dry Red Wine
1 Egg White
Pear fan and cinnamon to garnish
Method: Add all of the ingredients minus the red wine into a shaker tin. "Dry" shake for 30 seconds. You'll notice the contents will be frothy. Add a cup of ice and shake until well chilled. Using a Hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer, double strain into a rocks glass. Using a bar spoon, slowly pour the red wine over the top. Due to the variations in density, the red wine will rise and sit between the liquid and the foam. Garnish with a pear fan and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
The Pink Squirrel was a popular after-dinner cocktail in the 1950s that has a creamy taste and consistency that could be described as an "adult milkshake." You'll only need three ingredients for this rich retro drink; White Creme De Cocao, Heavy Cream, and Creme De Noyaux, an apricot kernel liqueur that lends the signature pink hue.
.75 oz. White Creme De Cocao
.75 oz. Creme de Noyaux
1.25 oz. Heavy Cream of Half
Freshly Grated Nutmeg (to garnish)
Method: Add all three ingredients to a shaker with a cup of ice. Shake for about 20 seconds to chill and dilute slightly. Use a hawthorn and fine mesh strainer to double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Grate some nutmeg over the top. You'll want to use a 5 oz. glass if possible to allow the cocktail to reach the top of the glass. A larger coupe will make this cocktail serving look incomplete. You probably wouldn't want a larger serving because this cocktail should be served very well chilled.
Use #cheersfromboerne and #visitboerne when you post your amazing cocktail photos, whether you are in class or at home. The Visit Boerne team loves following along on our friends' cocktail adventures!
Written by Lillian Oler, owner and cocktail queen at Assemble Cocktail Workshop, located down on the Hill Country Mile in downtown Boerne.