This month marks a lot of things -- May Day, of course, plus Kentucky Derby Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, National Hoagie Day, Limerick Day, Eliza Doolittle Day, National Hamburger Day, End Of The Middle Ages Day, National Macaroon Day ... Here's a collection of cocktails to use in marking certain special days.
• Triple Orange Margarita
Cinco de Mayo celebrations have grown from Mexico to be celebrated around the world. And with May 5th -- which commemorates a Mexican victory over the invading French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 -- looming, that Mexican cocktail icon klnown as the margarita comes to the fore. Here is one from Ronaldo P. Colli, mixologist at the Americano restaurant in San Francisco, who was asked by the makers of GranGala Triple Orange Liqueur to come up with a seasonal margarita (shown above) showcasing their product.
1½ oz. ultra premium tequila
¾ oz. GranGala Triple Orange Liqueur
1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
½ oz. lime juice, freshly squeezed
¼ oz. agave nectar
1 lime wheel
1 orange peel
Pour GranGala, tequila, orange juice, lime juice, agave nectar and orange peel into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled glass filled with ice. Strain into a chilled margarita glass if you prefer your margarita up. Garnish with a lime wheel and the same orange peel on top of the cocktail. Salted rim is traditional, but optional.
(Agave nectar is a natural sweetener. Adjust according to desired sweetness. Available at gourmet stores or from online retailers.)
• THE 54 JULEP
I don't often give space to a product or recipe simply because a certain date has rolled around again. However, in the case of the Kentucky Derby, how can one resist? The type of whiskey used in a Mint Julep is sometimes a matter of opinion. Various distillers like to push their own products, of course. Jimmy Russell, master distiller of Wild Turkey, insists on Wild Turkey 101, and since on May 1 he'll be witnessing his 54th derby, he has a lot of seniority.
2½ oz. Wild Turkey 101
3 sprigs of mint (six to eight mature-sized leaves)
1½ teaspoons brown sugar
½ cup crushed ice
In a traditional silver julep cup or double-old fashioned glass as seen above, mull two sprigs of mint with the brown sugar and one ounce of Wild Turkey 101 for a few minutes, crushing the mint leaves with a spoon. Add the crushed ice, the rest of the bourbon, and garnish with sprig of mint.
• SCARLETT O'HARA
And, finally, in honor of the opening of the musical stage version of "Gone With the Wind" in New York City, I found this recipe on the Recipezaar.com site.
1½ oz. peach brandy (1 jigger)
1½ oz. Southern Comfort (1 jigger)
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
Put all ingredients except ice into blender. Blend for a few seconds. Add ice to fill blender about halfway. Combine on high speed.
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