H2O Cocktails

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When it comes to creating cocktails, polar opposites can be a source of inspiration for me. Over the last few years, lots of the drinks I’ve been served were bitter and brown. But what about the other end of the spectrum? Something light and fresh with a touch of sweetness?

Then I started thinking about how many whiskies and even cocktails can benefit from a splash of water. And while plenty of bartenders infuse alcohol with a variety of fruits, vegetables and spices, why couldn’t you flavor the water instead?

The experimentation commenced. I tried different ratios, infusion times, temperatures and ingredient combos—everything from berries and lemon peel to celery and lemon verbena. The variations were seemingly endless.

Fortunately, the end result was sophisticated and refreshing. Infused H2O mixes well with a range of spirits, including vodka, gin, light rum and even silver tequila. (A good ratio seems to be 1 to 1.25 ounces of liquor stirred with 3 ounces of water.) It’s simple and the perfect summer party drink, since it can be made ahead of time.

I’ve also carbonated my flavored waters for a truly complex Vodka Soda. (To do this, you’ll need a device like iSi’s Twist ‘n Sparkle Beverage Carbonating System.) At a recent soiree, I served a non-alcoholic, bubbly Cucumber, Clementine & Mint Water. It was a hit, especially with non-imbibers.

I hope my infusions will inspire you to start experimenting.

Berry Purity H2O

Contributed by Kathy Casey
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 oz Purity Vodka
  • 3 oz Berry Water*

Garnish: Fresh berry
Glass: Martini or stemless flute

PREPARATION:

Add both ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a Martini glass or stemless flute. Garnish with a fresh berry on a cocktail pick.

Berry Water*
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 to 1.5 cups Fresh ripe mixed berries, such as raspberries, strawberries and blackberries
  • 1 long piece Lemon peel
  • 4 cups Distilled or bottled water

PREPARATION:
Add all the ingredients to a pitcher and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Strain before using. This recipe makes about 4 cups, enough for about 10 cocktails.

Pineapple-Cilantro H2O

Contributed by Kathy Casey
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 oz Purity Vodka
  • 3 oz Pineapple-Cilantro Water*

Garnish: Pineapple slice or cilantro sprig
Glass: Martini

PREPARATION:

Add both ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a thin pineapple slice or a cilantro sprig.
Pineapple-Cilantro Water*

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Diced pineapple
  • 3 sprigs Cilantro
  • .5 tsp Chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 cups Distilled or bottled water

PREPARATION:

Add all the ingredients to a pitcher and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer before using. This recipe makes about 2 cups, enough for about 5 cocktails.

For a more intensive infusion method, add all the ingredients to an iSi Creative Whip and charge with 2 nitrous oxide chargers. Let stand for 20 minutes and then release the gas with the Creative Whip standing upright. You can use the infusion right away or, for even more flavor intensity, transfer it to a container and refrigerate overnight. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer before using.

Kathy Casey is a celebrity chef, mixologist and entertaining expert. Catch her on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen, on Twitter, on her blog Dishing with Kathy Casey or find her Sips & Apps page on Facebook.

(Photo courtesy of Kathy Casey Food Studios – Liquid Kitchen)

Series & Type: Trends

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