So This Must Be What Santa Claus Drinks on Vacation


This spin on hot buttered rum has a cardamom-spiced pineapple puree in the mix. Because the fruit is roasted, the punch takes some time to prepare, but it pays off in decadent flavor.

470_2733275

Roasted-Pineapple Hot Buttered Rum

1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
3 1/2 ounces (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 large pineapple (6 pounds)
8 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup dark rum (optional)

Cook’s Note
The punch’s base can be made the day before and refrigerated. Heat over low heat, and add the alcohol, if using, just before serving.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with nonstick baking mats. Mix 1 cup sugar, the vanilla seeds, and 5 tablespoons butter. Slice 1/2 inch from both ends of pineapple, and discard. Cut 2 slices crosswise, 3/4 inch thick, and set aside. Peel the remaining pineapple, and slice into 3/4-inch-thick spears, working around core. Discard core.

2. Divide half the butter mixture between baking sheets, dropping it by rounded teaspoons onto mats. Arrange pineapple spears and rounds in a single layer on top of butter mixture. Top pineapple with spoonfuls of remaining butter mixture. Roast, rotating pans and basting with pan juices after 15 minutes, for 30 minutes. Flip pineapple, then roast until dark golden brown, about 30 minutes more. Let cool for 5 minutes. Cut rounds into 8 wedges, and reserve for garnish.

3. Meanwhile, bring reserved vanilla pod, cardamom, allspice berries, water, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain, and discard solids. Working in batches, blend liquid and roasted-pineapple spears with their pan juices on low speed until coarsely pureed. Increase speed to high, and process until smooth, about 2 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium saucepan, pressing firmly on solids. Discard solids.

4. Heat pineapple mixture over low heat until heated through, then add rum if using. Divide among glasses, and top each with some of the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and reserved pineapple wedges.

Source

Join the Playground On Facebook

10 Cocktails for the Game of Thrones


Cheers_To_That_Game_Of_Thrones_Is_Back_Double_Neat_4

Published march 31,2013

Fire-breathing dragons, familial backstabbing, and plenty of expository sex. Game of Thrones returns to HBO on Sunday March 31st and season three of the epic fantasy show promises more blood, guts and sword-wielding glory as the seven noble families of Westeros each vie to be the rulers of all.

What makes this heady cocktail of drama so addictive? For one, there’s intrigue, adventure and magic! From incestuous power plays to dragon smuggling to the fate of one family in the hands of a bastard son, the show takes scandal to new snowy heights. For another, the intricately woven plot lines, the meticulous characterizations and the lavish production value are so well executed that all this far-fetched madness makes so much delicious sense.

So inspired by all the ruthless debauchery, we give you a four-part series of cocktails to enjoy ringside. We’ll start by honoring the most fun of the dysfunctional families, the Lannisters.

Vodka_Implet_Game_Of_Thrones_Double_Neat

First up, inspired by our most unlikely diminutive hero Tyrion Lannister, played by the incomparable Peter Dinklage, is the Vodka Implet. It’s a play on the classic gimlet made with key limes, naturally. We also serve it in a double rocks glass. You know, cuz Tyrion has some pretty big rocks for a small guy.

got_implet

The Vodka Implet

1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce fresh key lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled double rocks glass, garnish with a key-lime slice and enjoy.

Blood_Orange_Martini_Game_Of_Thrones_Double_Neat

Next, for the Queen bitch herself, Cersei Lannister, we have a concoction that captures her brazen spirit, her vindictive will and her dirty deeds. And we serve it a glass that will almost always make you lose your shit.

got_bloodorange_martini

Blood Orange Martini

3 ounces gin
1 1/2 ounces fresh-squeezed blood-orange juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with a blood orange slice and enjoy.

The_Black_Heart_Game_Of_Thrones_Double_Neat

Finally, for the the spawn of evil himself, Joffrey Baratheon, the young son of Queen Lannister, we created a dark, smokey cocktail spotted with bits of blackberry and it’s plenty bitter.

got_blackheart

The Blackheart

1 ounce smokey scotch
1 ounce cognac
1 ounce campari
1 bar spoon blackberry jam
dash of Peychaud’s bitters
dash of Woodford Reserve spiced cherry bitters

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled rocks glass and enjoy.

The epic fantasy Game of Thrones returned to HBO last week and to commemorate the occasion we devised a four-part series of cocktail menus inspired by the show’s intrepid characters and puckish personalities. Last week, we divulged a drinks list inspired by the devilish Lannisters. This week, let’s catch up with those noble underdogs, the Starks.

Game_Of_Thrones_The_Black_Thorne_Double_Neat

The young and newly crowned king of Winterfell, Robb Stark is our first muse. Because he’s good-hearted and stout and in need of a boost of confidence (in the form of Absinthe), we think the English Blackthorne cocktail is the perfect fit. It’s a long-forgotten classic that’s due for its moment in the sun. Just like our dear Robb.

got_blackthrone

The Blackthorne
2 ounces Sloe gin
1 ounce sweet vermouth
3 dashes angostura bitters
A splash of absinthe

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled lowball glass and enjoy.

Next in line in age though not in rank is Jon Snow. He’s a member of the Stark family, yet he doesn’t share their name because he’s the illegitimate child of patriarch Eddard Stark and some floozy. Last season, Jon was busy fighting the creepy White Walkers in the snowy outer regions of Westros, earning himself a reputation as a badass that finally seemed to surpass his reputation as the most famous bastard in town. This season will he rise in the ranks of the Wildings that live beyond the wall? Or will he hop the wall back to Westros to fight alongside his king brother to restore the fallen reputation of his father? If there was ever an underdog in an underdog family it’s Jon and because we think he might just be the one to destined to claim the top spot in all the land, we’re bestowing upon his name the cocktail aptly called, The Magnificent Bastard.

Game_Of_Thrones_The_Magnificent_Bastard_Double_Neat

got_magbastard

The Magnificent Bastard
recipe by Bryan Swanson
2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
1 ounce Berentzen Apfelkorn
Splash of Laphroaig 10-year scotch
2 dashes angostura bitters

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and stir vigorously for 20-30 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass and enjoy.

Game_Of_Thrones_The_Lady_Arya_Double_Neat

We love her sass, we love her spunk. The young Arya Stark may be the youngest daughter in the clan but make no mistake, she’s a tough cookie. Because she’s little and lethal we think this alcoholic adaptation of a Shirley Temple, fits the bill.

got_ladyarya

The Lady Arya
1 ½ ounces bourbon
1 ounce grenadine
1 ½ ounces lemon juice
lemon peel for garnish
Splash of San Pellegrino Limonata

Place the bourbon, grenadine and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled glass, add a splash of Limonata, garnish with a lemon peel and enjoy.

Game_Of_Thrones_Hodors_Apple_Pie_Double_Neat

And for our last and certainly biggest menu item, we refer to Jeremiah Bonjean, who by day is a wedding photographer and Director of Social Media for Totally Rad! Inc. , and by night is a whiskey aficionado with a penchant for working his way through all the drinkable regions of scotch. This alone makes him apt for the job. But the fact that he’s one of the biggest Game of Thrones nerds we know (and we mean the original books, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin) makes him absolutely perfect for it. Take it away Jeremiah…

Hodor, Hodor, Hodor. He may be a minor character, but I love him. First, as a faithful servant to Bran, one of my favorite members of house Stark. Second, because he has yet to rape or murder anyone. And third because “Hodor” is just so fun to say. Try it. Go ahead. We’ll wait…

In honor of everyone’s favorite gentled giant I have a twist on an old southern recipe for “Apple Pie.” The batch makes more than enough to satisfy the thirstiest of giants, which means it’s perfect for a Game of Thrones viewing party. Be warned if you’re not over seven feet. It may be sweeter than the pies your grandma used to make, but the mash is 125 proof. If you drink too much of it you’ll be left with a one word vocabulary too.

got_Hodor-4

Hodor’s Apple Pie

2 Cups Sugar
1 Cups Brown Sugar
1/2 Gallon Apple Juice
1/2 Gallon Apple Cider (I prefer unfiltered)
5 Cinnamon Sticks
750 ml Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash #1

(Traditional recipes call for Everclear or traditional ‘shine. However, I’m not insane so I always use White Dog Mash.)

Pour sugar, apple juice, and apple cider into a large pot. Bring to boil and then let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add Cinnamon sticks, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, and add the White Dog Mash.

The “apple pie” mellows with age. If you can keep your hands off it for a couple weeks it just gets better and better.

To the delight of fans of epic fantasy fiction stories and grand blockbuster HBO productions (or people who’ve just grown to adore Peter Dinklage), Game of Thrones has returned to television for it’s third season. We’ve be chronicling the return with our special menu of cocktails inspired by iconic characters from the show, you can check out past posts here and here . For our third installment, we tackle the wily bunch beyond the walls of the Seven Kingdoms called the Wildings. More kindly known as the Free Folk, this band of outsiders have a heritage untied to any kings or queens. Some consider them savages or barbarians, we like to think of them as well-armed hippies.

Ygritte_Game_of_Thrones_Cocktails_Part_3_Double_Neat

Ygritte is our first muse. We first met this fiery redhead when she and her gang of Free People kidnapped John Snow. She’s feisty, cunning and tough so we’ve created a drink that’s as spunky and gingery as she is.

got_ygritte

The Ygritte
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
splash of ginger ale
2 large ripe strawberries

Muddle the strawberries in a cocktail shaker with a bit of ice. Add the cranberry juice, lemon juice and vodka and shake well. Pour into a rocks glass, add a splash of ginger ale, garnish with strawberries and enjoy.

Nights_Watch_Game_of_Thrones_Cocktails_Part_3_Double_Neat

Next up we’ve created a cocktail for the group of men called the Night’s Watch, a crew who guard the wall from beasts that reputedly lurk in the area and threaten the safety of those over the wall in Westros proper. Sure, these creatures haven’t reportedly attacked in a millenia (or have they?). And sure, this once-noble squadron seems to now be populated by a band of mistfits and half-witted criminals. All we know is that John Snow has joined their ranks and bringing some legitimate sword skills to their team. And what we for sure know is that a crew like that will need a drink with muscles to keep them alert and vigilant, that is, a drink with coffee. This has caffeine for punch, and Benedictine, an herbal liquor said to have been invented in a monastery in the 16th century to revive tired monks.

got_nightswatch

The Night’s Watch

3 oz. chilled coffee
1/4 oz. Bénédictine
1/4 oz. maraschino liqueur

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake and strain into a glass and enjoy.

The_White_Walker_Game_of_Thrones_Cocktails_Part_3_Double_Neat

Before we leave the outer lands we drink to the most mystical of mysteries beyond the wall, The White Walkers. This menacing race of villains has the reputation of killing everything it it’s path. They can even reanimate the dead and turn them into lethal zombies who kill at their bidding. So aptly so, this this drink is strong, biting and snowy white.

got_walkers

The White Walker
2 ounces dry gin
1 ounce Johnny Walker
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 egg white

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled glass and enjoy.

Source

 

 

 

Mangorita


img_4115_zps77426d6d

Yields two drinks or so.

Ingredients:

4 ounces blanco tequila *
4 ounces fresh lime juice (approximately 2 limes)
4 ounces mango juice
2 ounces fresh orange juice
2 lime wedges
ice

* When drinking tequila, I actually prefer an añejo or resposado – both of which are aged and more complex in flavor. However, in a margarita, I find that blanco suffices and is often less expensive. You can use whatever you prefer.

Directions:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, mango juice, and orange juice. Shake for 10-15 seconds, until the mixture is nicely chilled.

Fill two glasses with ice, then pour the margarita into each glass.

Add a lime wedge to the rim of each glass and serve immediately.

Join the Playground On Facebook

Harry Potter-themed cocktails


Harry Potter Grown-Up Style

Who said the Harry Potter craze was just for children? You may not want to dress up as your favorite Hogwarts character or eat a vomit flavored jelly bean, but you can still celebrate the literary masterpiece with these Harry Potter-inspired cocktails. Each one will have you spell bound and wishing for just one more book.
Harry-Potter-Bloody-Mary-Co

The goblet of fire

With this fiery beverage comes great responsibility. Only it will know if you are prepared for the ultimate battle of wizardry. This spicy cocktail isn’t for the faint of heart, only try it if you dare.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 7 ounces Bloody Mary mix
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • A teaspoon of hot pepper sauce
  • A sprinkle of black pepper
  • Lime
  • Asparagus spears
  • High proof alcohol like 151 or Everclear

Directions:

  1. Fill a glass with ice and add the ingredients to the cup. Garnish with lime and an asparagus spear.
  2. Drizzle with a high proof alcohol and light on fire. Don’t attempt to drink your fiery drink until the flames have burnt out or you’ll be expelled from Hogwarts.

Harry-Potter-Champagne-Mart

Moaning Myrtle

This ghostly cocktail may seem sweet at first sight, but don’t let it’s invisible exterior fool you. The fizzy flavor will sneak up on you when you least expect it. The good news is you don’t have to hang out in the ladies’ bathroom to find this martini and you won’t want to avoid it either.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Champagne
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces white grape juice
  • Purple sugar
  • Optional: Dry Ice

Direction:

  1. Pour a small amount of grape juice onto a plate and a small amount of purple sugar on a different plate. Dip the rim of the glass in the juice and then in the sugar until the rim is coated.
  2. Add vodka, white grape juice, and ice to a martini shaker and shake until chilled. Pour into the martini glass and add the chilled champagne.
  3. For a ghostly effect add a small piece of dry ice.

Harry-Potter-Butterbeer-Mar

Butterbeer-tini

Celebrate the Harry Potter way with this adult version of one of the Hogwarts clan’s favorite beverages. If this can quench the thirst of wizards, there is no doubt you’ll love it too.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce butterscotch schnapps
  • 2 ounces cream soda
  • 1 ounce half and half
  • Butter
  • Sugar

Directions:

  1. Melt a small piece of butter on a plate and pour some sugar on a separate plate. Dip the rim of your glass in the butter and then the sugar to coat the rim.
  2. Pour vodka, butterscotch schnapps, cream soda and half and half into a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake lightly until combined and chilled.
  3. Pour the mixture into the glass and serve.

Harry-Potter-Chocolate-Mart

Dementor’s Kiss

Have your wands ready and start practicing your patronus spell! This creamy delight is evilly delicious and it will steal your soul with just one sip.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 ounce crème de cocoa
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur
  • 2 ounces of half and half
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Pour a small amount of half and half onto a plate and some cinnamon on a different plate. Dip the rim of your glass in the half and half and then in the cinnamon.
  2. Mix the crème de cocoa, vodka, coffee liqueur, and half and half into a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake until it is combined and chilled.
  3. Pour into the cinnamon rimmed glass and serve.

Harry-Potter-Mojito

The mojito that must not be named

Sip this if you dare but whatever you do, do not mention its name or you’ll bring evil upon us all. You should avoid this mojito if you have a lightning bolt-shaped scar on your forehead.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces clear rum
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 8 ounces club soda
  • Frozen raspberries

Directions:

  1. Add rum, lemon juice, honey and fresh basil to a glass. Muddle the mixture with a pestle or spoon in order to crush the basil and blend the flavors together. Add ice, a small handful of frozen raspberries and fill the glass with soda water.
  2. Stir the mixture and serve.

Source