I have an absolute favorite cocktail book and it really shines in the summer, Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State. The author, David Alan, is a legend in Texas. If you go down to Franklin BBQ in Austin, you’ll see a sandwich up on the board, called the Tipsy Texan and it was created for David. I still haven’t tried that. Because brisket. And ribs. Nice excuse to drive back down, don’t you think?! Anyway, this cocktail book is amazing. Truly. There are so many complex fruit drinks in there that are perfection out in the hot sun. A huge thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing for letting me share the recipe for Hot Summer Night with you! It’s the best cocktail I’ve ever had. Lemon lovers, meet your new favorite drink! If you hug me later, no need to explain. I’ll know you tried it. 😉 I’ll get to my review of the book in a minute, but first, let’s get back to that cocktail!
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Excerpted with permission from Tipsy Texan by David Alan, Andrews McMeel Publishing.
Hot Summer Night
In 2007, Houston native Mindy Kucan won an international cocktail competition amongst Hilton Hotels bartenders with this cocktail. Her accomplishment helped put Texas bartenders on the map in those early days of the craft cocktail revival in these parts. At the urging of legendary barman Tony Abou-Ganim, and with the help of an eager group of bartenders, in 2008 she founded the Austin chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, the fi rst chapter in Texas.
¾ ounce Honey Syrup (recipe follows)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ ounces Tito’s Handmade Vodka
½ ounce Paula’s Texas Lemon (or limoncello if you are outside Texas)
1 ounce natural lemon or lemon-lime soda
Lemon wheel, for garnish
Combine the honey syrup, one thyme sprig, and the lemon juice, vodka, and Paula’s Texas Lemon in a mixing glass and shake vigorously with ice to chill. Fine-strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice. Top with the lemon soda and garnish with the second thyme sprig and the lemon wheel.
Honey is a fabulous cocktail ingredient and dates to ancient times as a sweetener for beverages. Unfortunately, you can’t use honey as-is, straight out of the jar, as ice and honey don’t mix. Instead, make a syrup of equal parts hot water and honey. It will not only pour more easily than straight honey, it will also dissolve more readily into your cocktail. Store it covered in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
My review of the book….
Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State
by David Alan
This is a fantastic cocktail book! Outstanding flavor! The range is huge, and unmistakably Texan. There are tributes to local distilleries throughout.
1) Ace of Spades – p 30. Blackberries, tomato, tequila, and lemon. This is a stunning grown-up berry lemon drink. The tomato’s really understated.
2) Fig Daiquiri – p 52. Dang! We have a few fig trees in the back yard. I love fig, but it’s kind of flavor bully, so I’m usually stuffing them with goat cheese and a sage leaf and wrapping them in bacon before smoking them. The rum and lime balance it perfectly. Love!
3) Hot Summer Night – p 64. If you can’t resist a lemon bar, this one’s for you. Honey syrup, thyme, lemon in four forms, and Tito’s vodka. I think this may be the best cocktail I’ve ever had. Poetry should be written to it. <sniff>
4) Watermelon Mojito – p 90. Fabulously refreshing!
5-6) Tejas Libre – p 123. Dr. Pepper instead of coke. My husband is a massive gardener. This is his favorite thing to see me bringing out to him out in the hot sun.
7) Velvet Hammer (vodka, crème de cacao, Cointreau, heavy cream, and nutmeg) – p 200. Oh, this is fabulously creamy and rich. This belongs in front of the fireplace.
8) Old Austin (citrus, pecan syrup, bitters, and whiskey) – p 166. That is a fantastic whiskey cocktail. The pecan syrup makes it so smooth and nutty. Don’t toss the pecans out after you strain them. My daughter loved the candy coated pecans.
Some others I have flagged to try: Arthur Watson’s Bloody Mary – p 32 * Candelabro (cantaloupe, lime, orange) – p 38 * Love Bite (vodka, absinthe, raspberry, pineapple, and lime) – p 66 * Michelada – 71 * Margarita – p 74 * Persimmon Margarita – p 77 * Frozen Margarita – p 80 * Brisket Nachos and Refried Beans – p 86-87 (some nice smoked meat apps to go with those refreshing beverages) * Mojito – p 89 * Rio Star Sling – p 96 (gin, vermouth, grapefruit, lemon, and bitters) * Root Beer Float – p 97 (no ice cream involved) * Royale with Ease – p 98 * Sandia (vodka, elderflower, watermelon, lime, and agave) – p 104 * Sangria Rosa – p 106 (Rose, elderflower, and fruit in a watermelon punch bowl. It’s almost too charming.) * Showgirl – p 108 (vodka, passionfruit, orgeat, lime, allspice dram, and bitters) * St-Germain Cocktail – p 112 (champagne, carbonated water, elderflower, and lemon zest. Trying this with my next brunch.) * Strawberry Lime Rickey – p 114 * Abbeville Daiquiri with a Cinnamon Sugar Cayenne Rim – p 131 * Harvest Punch (rum, apple cider, lime, allspice dram, spices) – p 143 * Old Austin (citrus, pecan syrup, bitters, and whiskey) – p 166 * Old Smokey (citrus, tequila, mescal, agave, and bitters) * Sazerac (well, NOLA is a daytrip from here) * Hor-vette (horchata, crème Yvette, and citrus) – p 196
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