Homemade Sour Mix

Homemade Sour Mix is so easy to make, and is so much better than the neon green store bought stuff.

Homemade Sour Mix | A Nerd Cooks

Just like it says above: super easy to make and waay better than the store bought stuff. Stash it in the fridge and break it out whenever you feel like whipping up a cocktail.

You’ll need (makes ~3 cups):

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cups lime juice, freshly squeezed

The first thing you’re going to do is make a simple syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water.  Stirring occasionally, heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, pour the simple syrup into the container in which you’ll be storing the sour mix.

Add the lemon and lime juices to the simple syrup. Give everything a shake until well combined. Seal the container and store the sour mix in the fridge.

Stay tuned, because I’ll be sharing a cocktail next week that uses this sour mix AND the Rosemary Infused Vodka that I shared recently.

Homemade Sour Mix | A Nerd Cooks

Rosemary Infused Vodka

This infused vodka is full of herbaceous flavor, embarrassingly easy to make, and makes the perfect addition to cocktails. 

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Rosemary Infused Vodka | A Nerd Cooks

Before (above) and after (below).

This infused vodka is so easy to make. It only requires a little forethought and patience (~5 days). It’s really fragrant and flavorful, and makes a great addition to cocktails.

Rosemary Infused Vodka | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need:

  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3.5 cups plain vodka

Place the sprigs of rosemary into a jar (or other container that can be sealed). I used a quart Ball jar. Top with vodka. Seal the container and wait 5 days. You’ll see the vodka go from colorless to a clear gold/green.

And there you have it. You’ve just made Rosemary Infused Vodka! You can remove the rosemary from the container, or not. The flavor will continue to intensify the longer it’s left in the vodka. You can store the vodka right in the container in which it was infused and stash it wherever you keep your booze. I keep mine on top of our bar.

Stay tuned for a recipe for Homemade Sour Mix + a cocktail to make using it AND this vodka!

Rosemary Infused Vodka | A Nerd Cooks

Orange Creamsicle Crush

These cocktails are super refreshing and taste just like a creamsicle.

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Orange Creamsicle Crush Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

The weather is warming up again, and that invariably puts me in the mood for a Crush. They’re refreshing, lightly sweet, and can be made in a variety of flavors. For example, I’ve shared Grapefruit Crushes with you before.

Thanks to the combination of fresh orange juice, triple sec, and whipped cream vodka, these Crushes taste just like an orange creamsicle.

Orange Creamsicle Crush Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need (makes 1 cocktail):

  • 1.5 oz whipped cream vodka
  • .5 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz. orange juice (freshly squeezed, please!)
  • lemon-lime soda or citrus flavored sparkling water (Orange La Croix is my go-to)

Add the whipped cream vodka, triple sec, orange juice, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake for 10 seconds or so, or until very cold. Strain into a tall glass with ice. Top with lemon lime soda or sparkling water. Garnish with an orange slice if you’re feeling fancy.

Looking for more warm weather cocktails? Check these out, too:

Orange Creamsicle Crush Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

Orange Creamsicle Crush Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

Pear Dark and Stormy

Products were provided to me free of charge by Drizly. As always, all opinions are my own.

Pear Dark and Stormy | A Nerd Cooks

This drank is brought to you in partnership with the good folks over at Drizly.  We’ve talked about them before in a couple of posts: take a look at these Caramel Apple Moscow Mules and Bourbon Pumpkin Shrub Cocktails for more information and alcoholic deliciousness.

Pear Dark and Stormy | A Nerd Cooks

We’re taking a classic Dark and Stormy (dark rum + ginger beer + lime) and adding a fall twist with some subtly sweet pear juice.

We’ve really been tapping into some classic Fall flavors with our cocktails lately.  In addition to pear, we’ve used caramel and apple and pumpkin and cinnamon.  Do yourself a favor by taking advantage of the season and trying them out.

Pear Dark and Stormy | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need (makes 1 cocktail):

Fill a tall glass with ice.  Add the dark rum and top with pear juice, ginger beer, and fresh lime juice.  Give it a gentle stir and add the thin slices of lime.

Pear Dark and Stormy | A Nerd Cooks

Pear Dark and Stormy Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

Caramel Apple Moscow Mule

Products were provided to me free of charge by Drizly. All opinions are my own.

Caramel Apple Moscow Mules | A Nerd Cooks

A new company recently reached out to me because they’re planning to expand into the Triangle area. They’re called Drizly, and make shopping for booze as easy as ordering a pizza.  All you have to do is pick out what you want online and they deliver it to your door, oftentimes within an hour!  Seriously guys, no need to leave the house for your hooch anymore.

In partnership with Drizly, I’ll be sharing three really delicious cocktails with you over the next couple of weeks.  Since I’m kind of basic and love Fall, I tried to keep things pretty seasonal.  The first cocktail is the Caramel Apple Moscow Mule.

Caramel Apple Moscow Mules | A Nerd Cooks

The ginger beer imparts the classic spicy flavors of a Moscow Mule, while apple cider and caramel vodka sweeten things up a bit.  Last, a squeeze of lime juice cuts the sweetness just a bit, resulting in a delicious Fall sipper that tastes just like a caramel apple!

In the mood for more Mules?  I’ve got you covered.  The Cranberry Vanilla Moscow Mule is particularly good during the winter holiday season, while the Old Kentucky Mule (hello, bourbon) is a winner during the fall , and original Moscow Mule is appropriate anytime.Caramel Apple Moscow Mules | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need (makes 1 cocktail):

  • 1.5 oz caramel vodka (available here)
  • 3 oz apple cider
  • 3 oz ginger beer (available here)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • thin slice of apple, for garnish (optional)

Pour all ingredients over ice and stir to combine. Garnish with a slice of apple if you’re feeling fancy (you know that you are), and imbibe!

If you prefer a slightly less sweet cocktail, reduce the apple cider and increase the ginger beer.

Caramel Apple Moscow Mules | A Nerd Cooks

Caramel Apple Moscow Mules | A Nerd Cooks

The Moscow Mule

Powell & Mahoney products were provided to me free of charge.  All opinions are my own.

Moscow Mule | A Nerd Cooks

The good folks at Powell and Mahoney reached out to me recently, asking if I’d be interested in trying some of their cocktail mixer products.  Unable to say no to a good cocktail, I said yes!

One of the products I received was Old Ballycastle Ginger, a mixer that is basically ginger beer, minus the bubbles.  I decided to use it in a classic Moscow Mule.  The mixer is spicy–but not overwhelmingly so–and sweet.

Moscow Mule | A Nerd Cooks

Moscow Mules have really made a comeback recently, haven’t they?  I’m definitely not complaining, because I love them.  Vodka + spicy ginger flavor + tart lime = so simple and so delicious.

Moscow Mule | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need (makes 1 cocktail):

  • crushed ice
  • 2 oz vodka
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 4 oz. Old Ballycastle Ginger
  • sparkling water (I used Lime LaCroix)
  • lime wedges, for garnish

Fill a glass (preferably a copper mug) with crushed ice.  Add the vodka, lime juice, and Old Ballycastle Ginger.  Top with sparkling water.  Squeeze a lime wedge or two into the glass and add the wedges.  Stir and enjoy.

Note: you could use a good quality ginger beer in place of the Old Ballycastle Ginger and sparkling water.

In search of more Mules?  Check out the Cranberry Vanilla Moscow Mule and Old Kentucky Mule.

Moscow Mule | A Nerd Cooks

Lemongrass and Thai Basil Mojito

These mojitos are sweet, fizzy, and just a little bit exotic.Lemongrass Thai Basil Mojito | A Nerd Cooks

I was recently gifted a couple of bunches of Thai basil, and wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.  You can thank the good folks of Reddit for this cocktail recipe.  I posted in the cocktails subreddit asking for help, and this is what was suggested!

Lemongrass Thai Basil Mojito | A Nerd Cooks

This recipe is slightly modified from the one from The Kitchn.

You’ll need:

For the lemongrass simple syrup (makes ~1 cup) – 

  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water

For the cocktail (makes 1 cocktail) – 

  • 1 thin slice of lime
  • several leaves of fresh Thai basil
  • 2 oz white rum
  • 2 oz lemongrass simple syrup
  • ice
  • Coconut LaCroix (or club soda)

To start, you’ll want to make the lemongrass simple syrup.  This is something you’ll want to do ahead of time, either earlier in the day or the day before you want to make cocktails.

We’ve done simple syrup before.  It’s, well, simple.  This time, you’ll start by cutting your stalks of lemongrass into 1-inch sections.  Bruise them with a meat mallet/rolling pin/mortar and pestle.  Set them aside for a moment.

Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the sugar is entirely dissolved.  Allow it to come to a boil, then turn off the heat.  Add the lemongrass and allow it to steep for 2 hours.

Strain the syrup, pressing down on the lemongrass to extract all of the flavor.  This simple syrup will keep in the fridge for about 4 weeks.

Now, to the cocktail itself.  Add the slice of lime and basil leaves to the bottom of a glass.  Muddle them together.  Add the rum, simple syrup, and ice.  Top off with some Coconut Lacroix (my favorite) or club soda.

Need more fizzy summer cocktails in your life?  I strongly suggest you try a Coconut Mojito.  You’ll thank me later.  Still need more fizzy La Croix-based drinks?  The Grapefruit Crush is delightful, as is a Blackberry Lime Vodka Fizz.

Lemongrass Thai Basil Mojito | A Nerd Cooks

Lemongrass and Thai Basil Mojitos | A Nerd Cooks