As far as holiday gifts go, it's hard to beat something to sip. And this year, you can do a little better than swinging by the grocery store and grabbing a bottle of wine.
This wood-infused project only take a tiny bit more work than buying something from the liquor store, but boosts all kinds of flavor benefits and handmade points, turning the spirits into a proper gift.
Make some in bulk for everyone you know, and your holiday shopping is done.
Four years ago, I shared an introduction to making smoked cocktails on ManMade, exploring the techniques and ingredients that would allow you to create woodsy, rich drinks at home. I offered several ways to create and capture smoke, but admitted that I preferred a specialized, $100 tool designed for doing just that. Ever since then, at least once or twice a month, I've received an email asking me how to pull this off without buying any specialty gear.
To which I say: challenge accepted! I totally get not wanting to spend a large sum of money to make something you're not sure you're even going to like. I wouldn't either. So, let's break down the process and see what we can do to make some seriously tasty smoked cocktails using things you already have.
Unlike some other spirits, tequila is inextricably linked to one particular cocktail: the margarita. And, to be fair, with good reason. The margarita is a great drink, especially when it's made right, with quality ingredients. But sometimes you want to enjoy your amazing agave flavor in a variety of contexts. So we teamed up Olmeca Altos to share five delicious tequila cocktails you can make for Cinco de Mayo (or any celebration!) that aren't margaritas. I think you're going to love these. Just don't drink all five at once.
It's a new year, and for the next twelve months, I'm committed to trying to make every object in my life something of true value. Call it a Kondo-inspired "sparking joy" if you like , but this year, I want to cut out the garbage and keep only what's quality. I want everything I touch and use in my life to be beautiful, lasting, and made with integrity. This starts with my morning routine, from the my coffee routine and the mug I drink it in, and goes all day through the book I read during the last few minutes before bed.
How to Drink Tequila Like a You Know What You're Doing: Unless You Live In Mexico, You're Probably Drinking It Wrong
We're wrapping up our series on tequila with a post that, arguably, should've been the first to go up: a discussion of the basics. This spring we teamed up (deliciously) with Olmeca Altos Tequila to talk about all things tequila: a spring cocktail + popcorn snacks, Cinco de Mayo (a Moscow Burro, we called it), a margarita smackdown (hint: make 'em right we'll come find you!), rules for a weekend getaway, and salsa-party hosting tips.
But what is tequila exactly? And where does it come from (Mexico, obviously, but, like, where ... in history)? Today I'll try to answer those questions. And since nothing goes better with newfound knowledge than newfound drink recipes, we threw in a few of those too.
Let's face it: hosting a party in your own space is intimidating. Especially if you haven't done a lot of entertaining before, or you don't feel like your space is really suited to it. But there are times in every man's life when it's his turn to host.
And when it's your turn, you're gonna have to feed people. So, to make it easy on yourself,
Getting out of town for the weekend makes a difference. It's not just a change of scenery from the rest of week, but there's also that subtle thrill of simply being away. Of going outside. Of spending time in a different location, seeing different sights, hearing different sounds.
Have you hit 90 degrees yet where you live? We have (yep - 92 on May 6 in Minneapolis, crazy), and I loved it. After months of snow and cold and slush and sweaters, I absolutely revel in the warmth. Maybe later in the summer I'll be crouched down inside next to the air conditioner, but not now. Right now, when it's warm out, I want to soak my bones in it.
The warm weather also means a change in the beverage seasons. Out with the heavy, comforting drinks of winter, and in with the light, bright, refreshing stuff. As part of our series of posts celebrating tequila (one, two), we've teamed up with Olmeca Altos to show you how to perfect the perfect drink for summer: the margarita.
Last time we talked tequila, we showed you how to make a Pasado de Moda, an orange-and-tequila infused take on the Old Fashioned. Today, it's time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a fresh and crazy flavorful cocktail, made with Olmeca Altos Reposado.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army's 1862 victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. It is not, as people often think, the Mexican Independence Day (that's Diez y Seiz de Septiembre). The holiday isn't really acknowledged in Mexico anyway, but any time there's an excuse to enjoy some tequila, we are most certainly a bordo.
But cross cultural mashups don't need a reason to exist
Regular ManMade readers know we love a good cocktail. Whether it's a simple highball, a classic gin and tonic, a bright and fresh French 75, or a smokey Swedish Flame, we think knowing how to make and enjoy a high-quality drink at home is part and parcel of the ManMade ethos. So when Olmeca Altos Tequila reached out to us to celebrate this awesome time of year — late spring and early summer — we were pretty excited about the chance to team up and create some tasty cocktail and food recipes.
There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time.
When most of us think of tequila, a huge headache and a bad hangover come to mind. But this spirit is one of our faves, and has a lot more going for it than shots and salty wrists. So, here are a few ideas to use tequila in different recipes, all headache and hangover-free...kinda.
There's an ice cream shop in my neighborhood with a "margarita sorbet." I tried it once. By "margarita," they mean lime. Perhaps a bit of orange...but basically only one of the essential flavors that make this classic cocktail continue to stick around.
This recipe for salted margarita cream pops, on the other hand, has all the goods: lime, yes, but also plenty of tequila and salt.
It's May 2nd today, so you've got a cool three days to whip these up for Cinco de Mayo.