Tag Archives: Catskills Cocktails

Catskills Cocktails: Mulled Port

© J.N. Urbanski – Usage prohibited without consent

This is a popular mulled wine recipe for port or sherry lovers that has been featured on this website in previous years. Port and lemon is a common combination. When it’s warm, sweetened with cherry juice and spiced it makes a harsh winter worth enduring. Port has a storied history; a staple in British households over Christmas Eve. Santa always got a glass of sherry with his Christmas pudding. And of course, the obsession with marinated cherries continues.

Mulled Spiced Citrus Port

750ml Tawny Port
100ml cherry juice
1 orange
1 lemon
10 whole cloves
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 cinnamon sticks
1 drop of vanilla essence

Slice off the peel (including pith) of both the orange and lemon until you have the raw fruit and about eight slices of fruit peel. Put the peel to one side and muddle the raw orange and lemon fruit together with the port and cherry juice. Add the remaining ingredients, including the fruit peel, into the muddled mixture. Steep the mixture for a few hours. Add a cup of water to dilute to taste. Pour into a saucepan and heat gently until warm. Remove the fruit waste – but not the peel – once the port has warmed sufficiently to serve.

Serves four to eight.

Catskills Cocktails: Mulled Wine with Cherries and Pomegranate

© J.N. Urbanski – Usage prohibited without consent

It’s going to be a Catskills Christmas this year, so there’ll be hot toddies, Irish coffee and spiced, citrus port.

Mulled wine is a seasonal, holiday indulgence, so it may as well be rich and sweet with some luxury ingredients. There were three lonely pomegranates remaining in the fruit isle at the grocery store, so one of them is now simmering gently with maraschino cherries, cherry juice, orange, lemon, cinnamon and whole cloves. As soon as the pomegranates were cut open, they exuded a thick, fragrant juice that was added to the saucepan. The cherries work well because they’ve been soaked in sugar, so there’s not really a need for a great deal of sugar in this recipe. If you inadvertently add too much lemon, use more of the maraschino cherry juice to dilute it. If your wine gets super-fruity, add more cinnamon. It might even take continual adjustment, but that’s half the fun and, of course, as the night goes on, your mulled wine will transform, perhaps being a completely different taste and smell by the end of the evening if it lasts that long…  Continue reading

Catskills Cocktail: Vodka Soda with Rhubarb Syrup

© J.N. Urbanski – Usage prohibited without consent

Simple syrup season is here – the time where we have lilacs, forsythia and other blossoms to soak in sugar water to make floral or fruit sodas and cocktails.

My rhubarb/vodka cocktail is called a Catskills cocktail is because we have burgeoning rhubarb with very little effort on our mountaintop here in the Catskills. Alan White of Two Stones Farm told us years ago to grow what thrives in abundance on your property and swap with your neighbors. So we’ve been growing rhubarb as thick as broomsticks for years. Animals avoid the leaves because they’re poisonous and because the rhubarb itself is bitter, but the fruit provides useful nutrients and fibre. The tartness of the rhubarb pairs well with the vodka. I also like to add a sprig or two of rosemary when cooking the syrup as I think the flavors pair well. Just the soda alone – the rhubarb juice and the sparkling water together – is delicious and refreshing. You can also use the rhubarb syrup as you would a liqueur in Prosecco or Champagne. Continue reading

Catskills Cocktails: Prosecco & St. Germain

© J.N. Urbanski

© J.N. Urbanski

If you eaten too much stuffing, overloaded on turkey or you’re seeking need a tonic to dissolve the Christmas pudding, try these refreshing cocktails as an antidote to all the stodge. According to their website, St. Germain is made in France from freshly picked elderflower blossoms in a “slow, charmingly inefficient way”. Medicinal benefits of extract of elderflower include influenza, coughs, colds, sinusitis, constipation, inflammation and rheumatism.

The taste is “neither passion fruit nor pear, neither grapefruit nor lemon; the sublime taste of St. Germain is a flavor as subtle and delicate as it is captivating”.

Lemon St. Germain & Prosecco

2 ounce of St. Germain
12 ounces of Prosecco
1 ounce of Fleischmanns gin
2 ounces of fresh, still lemonade
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
2 ounce of soda or sparkling mineral water
1 lemon

Combine ingredients in a mason jar. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze into the mixture and throw in. Stir slowly and gently and pour into glasses. Serves two.

Classic Prosecco & St Germain

16 ounces of Prosecco
12 ounces of sparkling water
8 ounces of St. Germain
2 ounces of fresh, still lemonade

Pour ingredients into a jug. Mix slowly for a minute and serve. Serves four.