Stacy's Libations
Stacey Nagy

Stacey Nagy

Stace's Libations

Stace’s Libations – Escape From January

Stace’s Libations – Escape From January

 

A new year is upon us! I’m not a huge January fan, I must admit. It’s usually one of the bleakest months of the winter for us up in Canada and this year has been no exception. We’ve had some of the coldest temperatures in 50 years over the last month which is saying something in northern Alberta. There’s not much to do other than stay inside and dream of sipping tropical drinks on the beach. 

A new year, however, can make you look ahead to what life holds for the next 12 months. If you’re like most people, the last couple of years have been a bit of a travel hiatus due to restrictions and hassles from the pandemic. I’ve done a couple small trips within the country during this time but I’m used to travelling to the US or abroad at least a handful of times a year. My love affair with the city of New York had to take a backseat to sipping margaritas in the backyard. Beaches and tropical adventures were replaced with long winters and lockdowns. But before this article gets ultra depressing, there is light on the horizon! I’m going to Maui in March this year and I will move mountains to make it happen. This will be a family trip with my in-laws and I can’t wait to go and tell you all about the mishaps, misfortunes and many, many cocktails.

In the meantime, I’m bringing the beach to me by drinking the most summery, tropical and refreshing drinks I can find or create. I received some gorgeous cocktail books for Christmas which I devoured over the holidays. They are jam packed with light and delicious drinks and ideas for hosting that really inspired me. I’ve already started planning another cocktail party for February so stay tuned for that article in a few weeks. I’m going all out and cannot wait to share it with you.

I’ve got two drinks that I want to share with you this month, an extremely refreshing paloma that I created (which doubles as a mocktail) and a delicious tiki cocktail.
 
What is a paloma you may ask? It wasn’t until I got into cocktails that I discovered these little gems. The original paloma recipe calls for tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda. Basically it’s a margarita that skips the cointreau and adds sweetness from the soda instead. I’d much rather switch things up with fresh juice than flavoured soda any day, so my take on it substituted lime juice for grapefruit juice and added agave syrup for the sweet factor. The cucumber makes it so magically fresh that you’d swear you’re drinking for your health.
Cucumber Paloma
 
1⁄2 oz agave syrup
1 mini cucumber (one peel for garnish, slices for muddling) 2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
2 oz tequila
2 cracks pink Himalayan salt
Garnish: dehydrated lime wheel
Garnish: fresh edible flower
 
Grab the mini cucumber and a Y peeler to make a nice thin peel that you can garnish your Collins glass with and then slice up about half of it for muddling. Add the cucumber slices and agave syrup to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the heck out of them. Add grapefruit juice, tequila, salt and ice and shake well. Strain over ice into your cucumber garnished Collins glass. Top up with soda water. Add additional garnishes with a dehydrated lime wheel and a fresh edible flower.
If you’re doing dry January and you’ve lasted this long, you can skip the tequila and it still tastes great. I have plenty of friends who don’t drink but don’t want to miss out on feeling included at cocktail events and I can’t wait for them to try this one!
 
Next up is the Tiki drink. This drink is a Hawaiian spin on the genre. The name “Halekulani” comes from the famed Halekulani resort on Waikiki, where it was first served. Instead of rum, it’s served with bourbon (mmm’MM bourbon) and tastes like a punchier whiskey sour. The layers of citrus, fruit and spices combine into a smooth but complex mouthfeel. If this drink doesn’t transport you to a Hawaiian beach resort, I’m not sure what will. 
Halekulani
 
1.5 oz bourbon
1⁄2 oz Demerara syrup
1 bar spoon grenadine
1⁄2 oz pineapple juice
1⁄2 oz fresh orange juice
1⁄2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Garnish: Dehydrated lemon wheel
 
Combine all in a shaker with cubed ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel or pineapple wedge.

The first time I had one of these, I immediately drank another one right after. That’s how good it is. I absolutely love bourbon, so it’s no surprise that I love this drink. I hope you will as well!

That’s all for this month. Keep up with my concoctions on Instagram @staceslibations 

or hit me up with an email if you have any questions or suggestions [email protected] 
 
Cheers for now, Stace
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