Stonehenge Summer Spirits

August 13th, 2018

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Will the humidity ever end? We hope so. Until then, we stay cool however we can. There are a plenty of ways to beat the heat, but none is more gratifying or relaxing than whipping up a cold drink and enjoying it with family and friends. Stonehenge NYC is excited to hook you up with a few delightful drink recipes. Get ready to impress your friends with your amateur alcoholic alchemy. The Old Fashioned: shutterstock_266663978 As he grandfather of all cocktails, the Old Fashioned is guaranteed to wet your whistle. Thanks to Don Draper and general nostalgia for more simpler times, the Old Fashioned has enjoyed quite a resurgence. It may not make you as suave or as handsome as Jon Hamm, but it certainly won’t harm your self image. Start by putting a sugar cube and two dashes of Angostura bitters into a standard whiskey tumbler (fittingly named an ‘old fashioned glass’). Wet the sugar cube with the bitters, this will soften the cube a bit and allow you to break it apart. Softening takes about a minute so grab a knife and slice a thin wedge off an orange. Most recipes call for a twist of orange skin, but this is better. shutterstock_504016384 At this point the cube will be soft enough that you can use your muddler (or the back end of a wooden spoon) to crush it. This is a great time to throw your orange wedge into the tumbler and muddle it up with the sugar. This recipe needs ice, so add a few cubes now. These probably dispense automatically from your refrigerator door. If not, you can just put water in your freezer and wait a couple hours. Finish off with enough whiskey to fill the rest of the glass. You can use bourbon or rye whisky, depending on your preference. You could even use scotch, but only if you want it to taste terrible. shutterstock_557364403 At this point, add another dash of bitters and stir gently with your fanciest spoon. You are now ready to drink like a 1960’s ad man. Long Island Iced Tea: shutterstock_644730403 The inventor of the Long Island Iced tea was a man of vision. His goal was to see how many different types of alcohol he could fit into one cocktail without regard to propriety, morality or nomenclature. There isn’t even any tea in a Long Island Iced Tea! The beverage so named because the mixture resembles iced tea, but that’s like calling your chihuahua a cat because they’re both small, self-centered quadrupeds. Even though this cocktail borders on the the absurd, it’s undeniably delicious, and therefore a worthy part of every bartender’s wheelhouse. To create this alchemical monstrosity you’ll need to scrounge up vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and triple sec.  About ½ oz. of each--a liberal splash if you’re eyeballing it--goes into a highball glass over ice. There’s no need to use top-shelf liquor. This isn’t a cocktail focused on highlighting the quality or the integrity of its ingredients. You’ll also need to add 1 oz of sweet and sour mix. You can buy this from the store or make your own. Making your own sweet and sour mix is incredibly easy. Simply mix 2 cups of fresh lime juice with 2 cups of lemon juice. Combine with 3 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil, stir, wam, bam, thank you mam. shutterstock_576644362 Keep your sweet and sour mix in a glass jug with a tight lid in your fridge. This mix will survive in your fridge even longer if you a dash of vodka. Finish off by adding a splash of Coca Cola. I’d include a homemade recipe for that, but it’s a closely guarded secret. Substitute Pepsi if you’re desperate.   Stir gently, garnish with a twist of lime, and enjoy. Margarita: shutterstock_1027529818 The summer drink to end all summer drinks. There is perhaps nothing more urgent on a sweltering day than a margarita. The combination of salt, tequila and lime is undeniably satisfying. If you’ve hopped a few bars then you’ve probably noticed that not all margaritas are created equally. Because of the overwhelming popularity of the margarita, most bars don’t hesitate to cut corners. Making your own can pay off big time. Remember, you don’t have to be Jimmy Buffett to enjoy this delightful concoction from south of the border. A margarita can be served on the rocks, frozen or straight up. Since it’s summer and you probably don’t own a frozen margarita machine we’ll be making ours on the rocks. For glassware you’ll want to use the eponymous margarita glass but honestly you could serve it in an old shoe and some people would still want to drink it. Before you grab your glassware (or footwear), you’re going to need a cocktail shaker. This metallic vessel is where you’ll do your preliminary mixing. shutterstock_258450224 The brand of tequila you use isn’t important but you should make sure that your tequila is 100% blue agave. You’re going to want to use at least 2 oz. Does that sound like a lot of tequila? That’s because it is a lot of tequila. A strong margarita is a good margarita. This goes straight in your shaker. At this point you could probably just buy a margarita mix from the store but by that logic Neil Armstrong could have just let somebody else land on the moon for him. To make something with a little more piquancy, you’ll want to use a healthy splash of orange triple sec or cointreau. shutterstock_461772445 Fresh lime juice is a must here. If you don’t have a lime squeezer, your hands are going to get a little messy. Just cut the lime in half and squeeze as much out as you can. Hopefully your lime will yield about ¾ oz of fresh juice. If you come up short--squeeze more limes. A dash (or several, depending on how sweet you want it) of simple syrup or agave sweetener comes next,  as well as a few cubes of ice. Close your cocktail shaker, and shake it violently for about fifteen seconds. Play some mariachi music to keep time. You’ll know it’s ready when the condensation on the exterior of the shaker turns to frost. Your hands will now be cold, which is great because it’s summer and you are hot. An iconic feature of the margarita is the salt on rim of the glass. Some people prefer their margaritas without salt but those people are wrong. Use kosher salt or sea salt. Not iodized table salt. Not himalayan salt. Not water softener salt. Kosher salt or sea salt. Coarse salt is key. The traditional way of salting the rim is to notch a wedge of lime and rub the notch around the rim of the glass. The sticky citrus makes it easy for the salt to adhere to the glass. The salt goes in a bowl and the glass is dipped, creating a ring of salt around the rim. shutterstock_617891129 Add some fresh ice cubes to your glass and strain the contents of your mixer over them. The ice you used for shaking can be discarded, along with your inhibitions, as the party begins.