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Strawberry Lemon Cocktail on a Sunday Afternoon

10 May 2009 1,831 views 2 Comments

Last week a bunch of food bloggers and reporters were invited to Thai-Fresh, a fast casual Thai restaurant on W. Mary Street in South Austin. The chef/owner, Jam, and David of Tipsy Texan wanted us to check out their new class — Summer Cocktails and Thai Appetizers. They are offering the class this Thursday, May 14 if you want to check it out yourself.

muddlingI loved the Thai food but it was the inventive drinks and the history behind American cocktails that really blew me away. The Tipsy Texan makes his drinks with all natural, in-season fruit and no mixes. He keeps a simple syrup in his fridge that easily lasts a few weeks in jelly jars, or longer with 1/2 oz. of vodka thrown in. He suggests keeping the following tools around if you plan on trying your hand as a mixologist at home. These include a “Boston Mixer” (mixing glass and shaker tin), a Hawthorne Strainer, long Bar Spoon, Jiggers, a Muddler, Knife and cutting board, juice squeezer (metal hand squeezer), and a fine strainer.

drinksTips: Citrus fruits yield 25% more juice when squeezed at room temperature than when they are refrigerated. Use fresh squeezed juice within 24 hours of squeezing. Sweeten drinks with simple syrup (1:1 water: sugar), honey or agave nectar.

Some of the drinks we tried included:

1 1/2 oz. white rum
1 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
Combine in a mixing glass and shake with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Papa Doble (Hemmingway’s Cuban Daiquiri)
1 1/2 oz. white rum
3/4 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. Maraschino liqueur
Combine in a mixing glass and shake with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail glass

2 sprigs mint
1 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 oz. white rum
1 1/2 oz. club soda
Variation: Muddle fresh strawberries, watermelon chunks, or other seasonal fruit in the bottom of the glass

Margarita (the unofficial official drink in Texas)
1 1/2 oz. 100% Agave Tequila
1 oz. Paula’s Texas Orange
3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. agave nectar
Shake and strain ingredients with ice into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with kosher salt.

Inspired by watching these gorgeous and tasty drinks being made, Adam and I got ambitious. Today, we squeezed 8 fresh lemons, mixed them with tonic, honey, and vodka, and put the mixture in the blender with lots of ice and fresh strawberries that have been in the freezer for about a month. The result would have made the Tipsy Texan twist his face at the taste and the technique — but I think he would applaud our ingenuity in using what we had in the house and what was in season and avoiding the beckoning margarita mix in the top of the cupboard.


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  • David

    Good tips, those drinks all sounds great too. Never heard of using vodka as simple syrup preservative, interesting, although i’ve yet to have the stuff around long enough to go bad.

  • Tex

    Jodi, thanks for the review and for paying such dutiful attention to our class! Your strawberry extravaganza actually sounds pretty tasty and seasonally appropriate, although I might not have thrown it in the blender… Next time try it by muddling the fruit and the honey, then adding the spirits and citrus (and maybe a little Paula’s Texas Lemon to accent the fresh lemon). Serve with ice and top with Q Tonic–all natural tonic water from NY; sweetened w/ organic agave nectar and naturally flavored, available at Whole Foods. Cheers!