Cocktail Corner: Springtime Sippers

Recipe and image courtesy of Hangar 1 Straight Vodka.

While the Bloody Mary can be a downright contentious sip, with variations aplenty (especially the garnish), there is almost always one common thread: tomato. Welp, time to make things even more…complicated. Introducing the Tomatillo Bloody Mary, courtesy of Hangar One by way of Salt & Wind.

A staple of Mexican cuisine, the tomatillo, aka husk tomato, is a key ingredient to those tasty green sauces—salsa verde anyone? For those not used to cooking with tomatillos, the green cousin of the tomato can have a variety of flavors packed behind the husk, running from tart and slightly sour to mildly sweet—it all depends on how that little fruit wants to taste. So to combat the tomatillo’s wayward flavors, this recipe includes a cherry tomato and cucumber backbone to soften the tart edges.

For anyone looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a little change of pace, this recipe is a must, and is sure to be a hit at just about any gathering. Enjoy!

Tomatillo Bloody Mary (serves 6)

  • 1 pound tomatillos husked, trimmed, and quartered
  • 1/2 pint (about 7 ounces) green or yellow grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Persian cucumbers roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice plus more for mixing the cocktail and for garnish
  • 1 serrano or Thai chile halved and seeded (if desired), plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
  • Fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish (not creamed)
  • 3/4 teaspoon green hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 1 pinch celery seeds
  • Ice

Tomatillo-Bloody-MaryGarnish (optional)

  • Smoked sea salt
  • Cooked shrimp peeled but tail left on
  • Tortilla chips
  • Scallions

For the base: Combine the tomatillos, tomatoes, the 2 cucumbers, 2 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, 1 Serrano chile, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a blender and process until very smooth, at least 30 seconds.

For the cocktail: If you want a salted rim, take a lime wedge and run it around the edge of a tall glass and then dip the glass rim in the smoked salt. To make one drink, place 2 cilantro sprigs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and, using a wooden spoon or muddler, tap on the cilantro until it’s bruised. Combine 5 ounces of the base with the vodka, the horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire, celery seeds, and juice from the lime wedge in a cocktail shaker. Add ice to fill halfway then stir with a bar spoon until the shaker is cold, about 10 stirs. Pour the drink and ice into a serving glass, garnish with any or all of the garnishes.

Recipe and image courtesy of Jose Cuervo.

When hosting a springtime gathering of friends and family, a pitcher of sangria is always a good call. It’s simple to make, serves many, and allows the host to flex a little bit of their creative muscle. With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, we’ve called on the good people of Jose Cuervo for a recipe that fits the season, and boy, have they delivered.

Raspberry Sangria

  • 4 parts Jose Cuervo Especial Silver
  • 1 part fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 part sugar
  • 1 whole orange
  • 1 whole lime
  • 24 parts ice
  • 5 parts frozen sweetened raspberries
  • 4 parts triple sec
  • 12 parts champagne
  • 16 parts chilled lemon-lime soda

Combine juices and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a low heat, careful not to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolves. Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool.

Thinly slice the orange and lime. Add ice, juice mixture, orange and lime slices, raspberries, tequila, and triple sec in a pitcher and stir. Add champagne and soda, stir gently and serve.

El Coco Doble

Spring just isn’t spring without a kick of tequila. This recipe calls for the intriguing mix of tequila and coconut in 1800 Coconut, countered by a punch of citrus for a sip full of flavor.

Recipe and image courtesy of 1800 Tequila

  • 2 oz. 1800 Coconut
  • The juice of 1 whole lime
  • 3/4 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with spent lime shell.

El Diablo

It’s time to take that dance with the devil. When standing alone, each ingredient in this recipe carries its own big, bold flavor. When mixed together, this sip is smooth, balanced, and delicious.


Shake first 3 ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled Collins glass. Top with beer and garnish with lime wedge.

Recipe and image courtesy of Hangar 1 Straight Vodka.

Add some fizz to your barroom repertoire with this sparkling recipe that merges the sweet yet tart flavor of blood orange countered by the herbal, licorice notes of tarragon, giving the cocktail a rustic balance ideal for lazy afternoons.

Blood Orange Sparkling Vodka

Tarragon simple syrup: Bring equal parts sugar and water (1 cup each) to a boil in a saucepan. Cook, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add a sprig’s worth of leaves of fresh tarragon. Let steep for up to 2 hours. Then remove tarragon and reserve.

Combine ingredients and stir together. Add a handful of ice cubes and top with sparkling water. Garnish with blood orange slices and tarragon sprigs.

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