Food & Drink

Cheers | To Bonny.

A couple of weeks back when I shared my Old Fashioned recipe, Bonny and I ended up exchanging a few emails in response to her comment. The gist of our discussion was that the drinks always looked good, but she never had the ingredients … and honestly, my love of gin and bourbon didn’t really appeal. A few emails in, I wrote:

“It seems like our cocktail habits overlap a lot less than ALL the other things we have in common might suggest. So I’d like to challenge myself (probably with the help of my sister) to come up with a Cheers that you 1) would like and 2) could make with ingredients on hand. Interested? If yes, what liquor(s) should we use? and is there anything we should be sure NOT to include?”

She replied with this

On hand currently: 

  • Malibu rum (it has coconut flavoring added and I bought it only to make a pina colada cake for my mil. I’ve tried adding it to smoothies made from frozen fruit, and that’s about the only way it’s drinkable.) 
  • St. Germain, because I like elderflower cordial that my sil and I make from elder flowers, but never know quite what to do with this liqueur. 
  • Regular rum 
  • Campari (Ryan somehow ended up with this from his 21st birthday. I’ve had it in orange juice and used it for photos with my Campari hitchhiker, but would welcome a good way to use it in a cocktail.) 
  • Regular Jack Daniel’s 
  • Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey (it’s never even been opened.) 
  • A couple bottles of Angry Orchard cider 
  • A Guiness 
  • One Yuengling

and said she’d be willing to add vodka, more Angry Orchard (the bottles she has are the Ginger Apple flavor) and simple grocery store items. She did request we not use gin or bourbon.

Karen and I thought that was plenty to work with! Over Cranberry Mules, we brainstormed ideas and came up with four cocktails. We focused on the Angry Orchard (a new-to-me ingredient, but wow, versatile!), rum, Campari, St. Germain, vodka and prosecco (which wasn’t on Bonny’s list, but a basic Angry Orchard could stand in for it in a pinch).

Today, I have the first installment and hopefully (oh my y’all – I’m planning to post next Saturday!) I’ll have the other two next week!

Spiced Rum Cocktail
(with inspiration from Angry Orchard and The Spruce)

1 oz rum
1/4 oz spiced simple syrup*
4 oz Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
a lime wedge

Fill a glass with ice. Add the rum and syrup and stir well. Top with Angry Orchard and squeeze in the lime.

*I chose The Spruce’s recipe (which I followed exactly, except used just 3/4 C light brown sugar) because I had all the ingredients in my cupboard and it didn’t include ginger. The flavor is amazing – it would be delicious in the cider (without the rum) or with prosecco … or maybe even added to coffee. After I strained the spices, I put them back in the pan with about a cup of water. Simmering over low, my kitchen still smells wonderful!

the spiced syrup on the stove

and now shifting gears …

Campari Spritz
(inspired by the traditional Aperol Spritz – a 3-2-1 ratio of prosecco, aperol and sparkling water)

4 oz prosecco
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz St Germain
sparkling water
orange slice

Fill a glass with ice. Add the ingredients in the order listed and stir gently.

Cheers to Bonny! and happy Saturday!

14 Comments

  • Bonny

    I can't thank you and Karen enough! I've spent a long day in the ER while the ophthalmologist tried to determine if John had a retinal tear, detached retina, or just a floater, so you can't imagine how happy I was to read this when we finally got home. (It's hopefully just a small tear, but he has to be checked again tomorrow.) As soon as I comment, I am heading directly to the kitchen to make spiced simple syrup and enjoy a Spiced Rum Cocktail (or maybe two). And tomorrow on my back from driving John for his re-check, I'm stopping at the liquor store for some proseco (because I can't drive tonight after imbibing Spiced Rum Cocktails!) so I can enjoy a Campari Spritz. I can barely believe that you have concocted two amazing drinks with the pitiful assortment of liquor I have, but I am both excited and grateful (and looking forward to two more next week). Many thanks to you and Karen for offering to do this, and then succeeding so brilliantly; I'll be saying Cheers! to both of you in just a few minutes with my Spiced Rum Cocktail in hand!

  • margene

    You two are master bartenders! Now I know what to do with my Anger Orchard (it's a little too sweet to drink straight) and I'm gong to pick up prosecco next week. Thank you to Bonny for inspiring you!