Hi there! Thirsty Thursday just became Thirsty Monday on LWASOC. Last week was absolutely nuts and Thursday seemed to come and go without a cocktail. So get ready for this week because you're in for two cocktails instead of just one. Today, I have a spritzer type drink for you and Thursday you'll get a whole different one. It's going to be one boozy week on Life With A Side Of Coffee.
The Rose Julep 1.5 oz Reyka Vodka .5 oz Rhine Hall Mango Brandy .5 oz Spiced Rose Syrup (cardamom and roses blended into a hot simple syrup and steeped overnight with a dash of rosewater) Mint Sparkling Wine
Muddle mint and syrup. Add vodka, brandy and crushed ice. Stir. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with mint and rose petals.
So this one is a bit more work than last week's three-ingredient margarita but it's delicious and would be great for fancier parties and occasions. I made a few modifications based on what I had available to me so I've re-invented the recipe a bit.
The Rose Julep (modified) 1.5 oz Reyka Vodka .5 oz Brandy 1 oz Simple Syrup Mint Sparkling Rose Wine
Muddle mint and syrup. Add vodka, brandy and crushed ice. Shake. Top with sparkling rose wine. Garnish with mint and rose petals.
I feel like the brandy gave it a different flavor since it wasn't mango brandy. Instead of being sweet in a fruity way, it was sweet in a, well, brandy way. I wasn't feeling the overnight steeping so I just used a simple syrup that I crushed mint leaves into. That's just pure laziness right there. And not wanting to hunt down whole cardamom because that wasn't popping up at the normal grocery stores. I have a ton of bubbly though so I used a rose wine. It seemed appropriate with "rose" in the title of this drink. I have a very high opinion of this cocktail. It's sophisticated and elegant. I love the presentation and I love the wide range of subtle flavors. The rose and mint have only a hint but it's there and gives a bright essence. If you're looking for something a little smoother, only add a dash of brandy and scale the vodka down a bit. The best thing about cocktails is that they are amendable to your personal tastes. If you want to get more flavor from the wine, take down the hard liquor. If you want it stronger, add a little extra brandy or maybe a quarter ounce more vodka. Play around with it and find what works best for you. I will say, this was the first time I've had Reyka Vodka and I find it to be incredibly smooth. I don't normally enjoy vodka but the 25% Polish in me lets me drink it like water. This was very smooth making it more enjoyable than my regular vodka experiences. I'd recommend sticking with this brand regardless of they way you make the cocktail.