Fall Cocktails: Whiskey Ginger Spritz


Whiskey Ginger Spritz Autumn Cocktail

Gin may be the Spirit of Summer, but Bourbon is the Spirit of Fall. With the color of autumn leaves and a warm taste, a nice Bourbon cocktail on a fall evening really hits the spot.

You could use any Bourbon you like. The more popular brands like Jack Daniels and Jim Beam are always safe but tend to be on the pricey side. I picked up this bottle of Samuel Grant Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (is the name long enough for ya?) at Albertson’s in Los Lunas on sale for $8.99. It turned out to be quite good and just goes to show that it is not necessary to break the bank in order to mix excellent cocktails.

With regard to the Ginger Ale, I highly recommend a premium brand such as Reed’s… so much more Ginger-licious than the common brands.

Follow the flow chart

Fill a high ball glass (or mason jar) with ice

Add 1.5 shots Bourbon

Add 3 – 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Top off with Reed’s Ginger Ale


Garnish with lemon wedge

Enjoy while the sun goes down 🙂

Whiskey Ginger Spritz

Gin Days Of Summer: Classic Ernest Hemingway Gin & Tonic



Classic Ernest Hemingway Gin and TonicI once visited the Dark Continent where it was rumored that the Quinine in Tonic Water prevented Malaria. To that end, I didn’t meet anyone who had Malaria but I did encounter many an alcoholic.

Ernest Hemingway was rumored to enjoy a Gin & Tonic now and then but he liked his a special way, with a secret ingredient.

Ernest Hemmingway Gin & Tonic

Follow the flow chart

  • Fill a High Ball glass with ice
  • Add 1 (or 2) shot(s) of Gin
  • Shake in 4- 5 dashes of Agnostura Bitters (the secret ingredient!)
  • Add about 2 teaspoons of lime juice
  • Top off with Tonic Water
  • Garnish with lime wedge

Classic Ernest Hemingway Gin and TonicI no longer spend much time on the Dark Continent but I do live in New Mexico which, minus the roadside Baboons, is hauntingly similar.

It’s hot here, like Africa hot, with summer temperatures easily topping 100 degrees for days on end. When happy hour finally rolls around, a Gin & Tonic sure does cool the soul.

Classic Ernest Hemingway Gin and Tonic.


Gin Days Of Summer: Lemon Lavender Gin and Tonic


Lemon Lavender Gin and Tonic
Doesn’t this look good?

Gin and Tonic, the quintessential summer cocktail, made famous by Ernest Hemmingway and rumored to prevent Malaria.

It doesn’t, but nothing refreshes the soul at the end of a hot day on the Dark Continent like a Gin & Tonic .

Hemmingway drank a Gin & Tonic and he killed himself on a Sunday in Idaho. There may have been a different reason why.

What’s in a Gin & Tonic, you ask?

Well…. Gin and Tonic. See there, that’s an easy one.

But wait, what if this self explanatory cocktail could be improved upon?

I present for your consideration the Lemon Lavender Gin & Tonic.

Hemingway would never daisy-up his liquor with girly things like Lemon and Lavender but no one asked him. You know, because he’s dead.

Follow the flowchart: 

In an empty glass, muddle a sprig of fresh Lavender with a good size slice of lemon. I did not add sugar to the mix, but you could if you wanted. Incidentally, Tonic Water usually has quite a bit of sugar in it already.

Fill the glass with ice.

Top with Tonic Water.

Either serve with a cocktail straw or stir with a spoon. All the good stuff is at the bottom.

Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of Lavender, preferably one with flowers.

Fresh homegrown lavender.
Home grown Lavender, fresh from my yard.

This flavor set may not be for everyone, but I found it to be nice. Earthy and fresh. Drunk on aromatherapy, you could say.

Lemon Lavender Gin and Tonic Summer Cocktail

Grown-up Dessert: Orange Cream Bourbon Float

Orange Cream Bourbon Float

It’s like party punch from the church basement but with an evil twist.

Now, you could use standard issue orange sherbet but I think my option is better; Dryer’s Orange Sherbet / Vanilla Ice Cream blend. It’s got the orange and the cream all under one roof.

Follow the flowchart:

Sherbet/Ice Cream goes in the glass first. Use as much as you like. I say pile up the scoops to the top of the glass.

1.5 oz shot of Bourbon. Pour the bourbon directly over the sherbet. I used Jack Daniels but feel free to use any kind you like.

Top off with Orange Cream flavored seltzer water. Pour slowly and down the side of the glass because it will foam, a lot.

Garnish with a slice of orange and fresh cherries.

Jack Daniels Ice Cream Float


Gin Days Of Summer: Lemon Rosemary Cucumber Collins


Rosemary Lemon Collins Gin Cocktail

The Lemon Basil Collins was exceptional, and I do love me some Basil, but…this Lemon Rosemary Cucumber Collins smells and tastes like Heaven’s Happy Hour. Like Castiel swooped down in his trench coat and said, “Here, drink this to exorcise demons. You’re welcome.”

Like the Basil, the Rosemary is also from my yard, which makes it just that much better.


Organic Rosemary, garden grown in New Mexico
Rosemary growing in my yard.

This drink is more savory than sweet, for those us who don’t always like our alcohol to taste like candy.

Follow the flowchart:

In an otherwise empty glass add one slice of lemon, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and one sprig of fresh Rosemary.

Muddle muddle muddle… the more you muddle, the more flavor is released from the Rosemary. Muddle muddle muddle.

On top of the now muddled mess of Lemon, sugar, and Rosemary, add several slices or chunks of cucumber and fill the glass with ice.

Add 1.5 oz shot of Gin.

Top off with unsweetened Lemon flavored seltzer water.

Stir, cause all the good stuff is at the bottom.

Garnish with a Lemon wedge and another sprig of fresh Rosemary.

Buckle up for some serious yum!

Lemon Rosemary Collins Gin Cocktail ingredients


Gin Days Of Summer: Lemon Basil Collins


Lemon Basil Collins Gin Cocktail

The Lemon Basil Collins, it’s truly a magical creation.

But you have to understand, I love Basil. I mean, I love Basil more than most people. Like, wwaaayyyy more.

This cocktail is bright, crisp, and refreshing. Absolutely perfect for a hot summer afternoon in New Mexico.

Fresh organic Basil, garden grown in New Mexico.
I even grew the Basil in my yard.

Follow the flowchart:

At the bottom of an otherwise empty glass add:

1 slice lemon

1.5 teaspoons sugar

Several Basil leaves.

Muddle until the Basil leaves show signs of bruising, which will release the flavor from the leaves.

On top of the the muddled lemon, sugar, and basil, fill the glass with ice.

Add 1.5 oz shot of Gin.

Top with unsweetened lemon flavored seltzer water.


Garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh basil.
Lemon Basil Gin Cocktail


Gin Days Of Summer: Orange Cream Collins


Orange Cream Collins Gin CocktailYou really can’t go wrong mixing Gin with most any type of citrus. Although the traditional Tom Collins is not a sweet drink (being only Gin, lemon juice, and club soda), thus far my drinks have all been pretty sweet. My series of Collins-ish cocktails was born out of an effort to make Xavier happy. He’s a fan of sweet and he told me he was on a mission for the “Perfect Tom Collins”.

I may not have mentioned it previously but in my younger days, I spent three years working as a bartender in Las Vegas, Nevada. I even attended a private bartending academy so I could be grossly overqualified for deflecting pervy old men, opening beers and pouring shots in my local neighborhood bar.

All that wasted mixology knowledge, sitting around collecting dust for the last twenty years, has finally found something to do.

I couldn’t say if I prefer the Cherry Limeade Collins to this Orange Cream Collins, as they’re both terrific, but here’s the recipe for the Orange Cream Collins.

In a glass of ice, mix the following in this order:

1.5 oz shot of Gin.

2 splashes of lime juice.

Top off with Orange Cream flavored seltzer water.

Stir. Don’t do anything else until you stir.

Garnish with a slice of orange and two maraschino cherries.

Pour in about a teaspoon of cherry juice from the jar (or Grenadine). The cherry juice will sink to the bottom creating a pretty layered effect.

Orange Cream Collins Gin Cocktail ingredients

P.S. It is not necessary to break the bank on these drinks. As you can see in the pictures, the cherries, lime juice, and seltzer water are all Wal-Mart house brand and are pretty inexpensive. The Gin came from Wal-Mart too and cost about $5.75 for a 750ml bottle. Obviously, there are higher quality Gins on the market but Caliber London Dry Gin is not bad for making mixed drinks where there are many other flavors at play.