kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Filtering by Category: Recipes

Featured Cocktail: Franklin's Ghost

Franklin's Ghost at Island Creek Oyster Bar Island Creek Oyster Bar serves up this locavore libation, with white whiskey from nearby Bully Boy distillery, and a few bar spoons-ful of sweet-tart Bonnie's Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. If you don't live in the Boston area, feel free to substitute your own locally produced ingredients to keep the indigenous imbibing spirit alive. (For more info about locavore cocktail trend, look for my upcoming article in the May 2013 issue of Cheers.)

Franklin’s Ghost Courtesy of Vikram Hegde, head bartender, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston, MA According to Hegde, the name of this drink refers to the rumor that Benjamin Franklin first introduced rhubarb seeds to the American East Coast, and Hegde notes how white whiskey "always brings an ethereal, ghost-like quality to any cocktail." Unaged whiskey proves to be a great, neutral backdrop for the earthiness of the orgeat and Benedictine's herbaceousness. "The small pinch of salt integrates the flavors while masking any underlying bitterness," he explains, "resulting in a smooth cocktail fit for the living."

1 oz. Bully Boy White Whiskey ½ oz. Benedictine Liqueur ½ oz. orgeat syrup ½ oz. fresh lime juice 1 dash Peychauds Bitters 1 pinch of salt 2 bar spoons Bonnie’s Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Mint sprig, for garnish

Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Featured Cocktail: Cherry Spiced Manhattan

Cherry Spiced Manhattan. Photo courtesy of Dakota Fine. Recently I wrote a piece for DC Magazine about bars that incorporate their design elements and aesthetics into their cocktails. D.C.'s St. Regis Hotel recently underwent an extensive renovation, including its bar. The new space boasts distressed leather seating and muted neutral tones, and the Cherry Spiced Manhattan is a manifestation of this new design. Brent Kroll, who created the drink, says, "With its deep burgundy color, the Cherry Spiced Manhattan is a perfect representation of the redesign of the bar. With its rich leather chairs and bronze details the bar is a modern twist on classic sophistication much like the drink itself."

St. Regis Bar

For more drinks by design, see my recent DC Magazine piece in the March 2013 issue.

Cherry Spiced Manhattan

Courtesy of St. Regis Bar, Washington, D.C.

3 oz. Redemption Rye 1 1/2 oz. Dolin Rouge Vermouth 1/8 oz. Allspice Dram 1/8 oz. Angostura Bitters Brandied cherries, for garnish

Add all except garnish into a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and stir  until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with brandied cherries.

Featured Cocktail: Pineapple Lime Cilantro Margarita

margarita February 22 is National Margarita Day. And how perfect that it falls on a Friday? This riff on everyone's favorite Tequila- and lime-based libation has cilantro and pineapple for added deliciousness and a touch of herbaceousness. As always, fresh pineapple juice is best...but canned will work in a pinch. The recipe makes 6 drinks...enough for a few friends during happy hour, or one or two very thirsty Margarita lovers. Feel free to play with the amount of Tequila, depending on your preferred potency. Enjoy!

Pineapple Lime Cilantro Margarita Courtesy of Sauza Tequila Serves 6 2 cups pineapple juice 1/8 cup cilantro, minced 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup fresh orange juice 6-8 oz. Sauza Blue 100% Agave Silver Tequila 2 oz. orange liqueur (Cointreau or Combier) 2 cups ice 1 lime and 1 orange, for garnish Salt, for rimming

Rim 6 Margarita glasses with salt by rubbing the outside edge with a lime wedge and dipping into a plate of salt. In a pitcher, combine the pineapple juice, cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, Tequila and orange liqueur. Stir until well-chilled. Serve up or on the rocks.

Featured Cocktail: Mad-Hatten

Mad-Hatten Recently, I attended a virtual cocktail seminar offered by Taste by Four Seasons. After registering online, I was hand-delivered all the necessary tools and ingredients to mix up three cocktails crafted by Four Seasons' mixologists Duane Sylvestre, Cory Cuff and Adrian Ross-Boon. At the appointed time, I logged on, with my ingredients in hand, and mixed up three Valentine's Day-inspired libations as they did--all I needed to add was ice.

Ross-Boon's sip was a mash-up of two classic cocktails: the Manhattan and the Rob Roy. A touch of Creme de Cassis adds a sweet-tart element, while Knob Creek Rye and new-ish bitters by King Cocktail Dale DeGroff lend a spicy complexity.

Mad-Hatten Courtesy of Adrian Ross-Boon, Mixologist, Four Seasons Baltimore

1 1/2 oz. Knob Creek Rye Whiskey 1/2 oz. The Famous Grouse Scotch 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth (I recommend Dolin Rouge) 1/4 oz. Mathilde Creme de Cassis 2 dashes Dale DeGroff's Pimento Bitters Lemon peel, for garnish

Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail tin. Add ice, and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon peel.

For all three recipes, visit the Taste website.

Featured Cocktail: Chicago's Cohasset Punch


To honor Number 44's Chicago hometown, the bar at Bastille is serving up The Chicago Cohasset Punch—a drink that for decades was the essential cocktail in the Windy City. Victoria-era actor William Crane—who played long runs in Chicago’s Hooley Theatre—was known to throw fashionable parties at his home in Cohasset, MA. One time, he brought Chicago bartender Gus Williams back to Massachusetts to create an original libation for one of his soirees. Williams created a punch that was the hit of the fete, and put it on the menu back at home at his place, Williams & Newman, where it became known as Chicago’s most distinctive drink. Read more Inauguration-inspired libations available in the D.C. area in my recent Washington Life article.

Chicago’s Cohasset Punch Recipe courtesy of Bastille, Alexandria, VA 1 ½ oz. Clement VSOP Rhum 1 oz. sweet Vermouth ¼ oz. lemon juice ½ oz. Crème de Peche ½ oz. Grand Marnier ¼ oz. simple syrup 2 dashes orange bitters Orange twist, for garnish

Add all except garnish to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Featured Cocktail: The Presidential

The Presidential at Quill was inspired by Jefferson's love of apples. For DC Magazine's January issue, I explored the idea of presidential cocktails: ones named for or inspired by presidents, as well as those that bartenders speculate they may have sipped if they were alive today. In the District, we have a bunch of bars named for and/or inspired by former presidents: Lincoln, Quill and Plume at The Jefferson, and the upcoming Teddy and the Bully Bar, just to name a few. On January 9, I appeared on Let's Talk Live to talk about and mix up a few of these presidential potables, including this great sip from head bartender Sofia Celasco at Quill. Though major oenophile Thomas Jefferson failed at winemaking on his estate at Monticello, he did have a thriving apple orchard. He had the staff include apples in many dishes on the menu, and was known to throw back a cold mug of cider with nearly every meal. This tipple gives a nod to his love of the crisp fruit.

You can read about all of the cocktails here, and check out the Let's Talk Live segment here.

The Presidential Courtesy of Sofia Celasco,  head bartender at Quill at The Jefferson Hotel, Washington, D.C. This drink gets its kick from both Bourbon and Applejack, an apple-based brandy discovered and brought to the colonies by George Washington. A cinnamon-infused simple syrup pairs nicely with the Bourbon's sweetness and Applejack's subtle apple notes. Feel free to play with the ratio of Bourbon to Applejack--I actually like to make them equal to coax out more apple flavor. Celasco garnishes the drink with a cinnamon-tinged baked apple slice; a stick of cinnamon works just as nicely

1.5 oz. Bourbon 1 oz. Laird's Applejack 1/4 oz. cinnamon-infused syrup (equal parts sugar and water and a few cinnamon sticks, boiled until sugar dissolves, and then removed from heat and left to steep until desired cinnamon flavor is achieved) 1/4 oz. lemon juice Few dashes whiskey bitters Cinnamon-coated baked apple slice, or cinnamon stick, for garnish

Add Bourbon, Applejack, syrup, lemon juice and whiskey bitters to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass that has fresh ice, and garnish with the apple slice or cinnamon stick.

Featured Cocktail: Hendrick's Hot Gin Punch

Hendricks-hot-gin-punch-litre-bottle When you think of a base for a winter warmer punch, gin might not come to mind. But Hendrick's Gin Brand Ambassador Jim Ryan thinks we should reconsider that notion. "With the winter upon us, I've been interested in the spicier notes," he says. "Many forget that there are a multitude of botanicals that go into making gin, many of them either citrus peel or spice."

Warm gin punches date back to the 1700's--this recipe hails from Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, where it was prepared by the character Wilkens Micawber. It has a hefty amount of both gin and Madeira, as well as baking spices and citrus. Ryan served it a few weeks ago to more than two thousand consumers, who said found it not only incredibly delicious, but also very seasonal.

Hendrick's Hot Gin Punch 3 full teacups of Hendrick's Gin (24 oz.) 3 full teacups of Madeira (24 oz.) 3 cloves 1 pinch grated nutmeg 1 heaping teaspoon of ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon brown sugar 6 large lemon twists 1 small slice orange 3 big chunks fresh pineapple 4 large spoons honey Juice of 1 lemon Dash of water

Mix all ingredients in a large pot. Warm up to a simmer, and let simmer for twenty minutes or until desired taste. Pour in a teapot or metal punch bowl, and serve hot with some ginger bread on the side.

Featured Cocktail: Kumquat Collins

kumquat_botero This delicious twist on the classic Gin Collins comes to us from Patricia Richards, master mixologist for the Wynn / Encore Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. "The citrus notes of the Tanqueray #10 gin tie this cocktail together beautifully," she says. "I was inspired to combine the flavors of kumquats and kaffir lime leaves."

Kumquat Collins Recipe courtesy of Patricia Richards, master mixologist, Wynn / Encore Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

2 1/4 oz. Tanqueray #10 Gin 1/4 oz. Cointreau Kumquat- and kaffir-infused syrup (see recipe) 1 oz. fresh lime juice 2 1/2 oz. club soda Sliced kumquats and mint, for garnish.

Combine gin, Cointreau, syrup and lime juice in a bar mixing glass. Add ice, and shake to chill. Add soda to tin, stir briefly, and then strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with 5 slices of kumquat (cut horizontally and seeds removed), and top with a mint sprig. The kumquat slices should be evenly dispersed throughout the cocktail.

For the kumquat-kaffir lime simple syrup (makes 1 quart): 5 fresh kaffir lime leaves 33 fresh kumquats, with stalky stem side trimmed off, and then sliced in half lenghwise (if kumquats are super small, add a few more) 21 oz. superfine granulated sugar 17 oz. bottled water 1 small Tahitian vanilla bean, sliced in half lengthwise 1 tsp packed finely grated lime zest 1 tsp packed finely grated orange zest

Place all the ingredients into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the temperature.  Simmer for 20 minutes, until the kumquats become transparent in the center. Remove from heat, allowing the flavors to infuse for another 20 minutes while cooling. Strain syrup to remove solids. Once cooled, drain the syrup into a container with a tightly fitting lid, and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Featured Cocktail: Fifties on Fifth


While recently working on a piece about presidentially-inspired cocktails, I came across this sip from D.C. gastropub Shaw's Tavern. Bar manager and mixologist Ron Herbison told me that applejack, or cider as it used to be known, was the preferred tipple of President William Henry Harrison, used at Shaw's in the Fifties on Fifth cocktail on their upcoming new drinks list. "A bit harsh, we spruce it up to make it refined--dare I say cosmopolitan," he explains. "We make it on the rocks as there is no sense in going over the top."

Fifties on Fifth makes use of applejack, the distilled cider popular with our Founding Fathers (and known for its inclusion in the Jack Rose cocktail.) The inclusion of cranberry gives it a decidedly festive tone, and basil and Vermouth add aromatics. Laird's is the most readily known producer.

Fifties on Fifth Courtesy of Ron Herbison, bar manager, Shaw's Tavern, Washington, D.C. 1 ounce Applejack 1/2 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth 1/2 ounce Dolin Sweet Vermouth Cranberry juice Basil

Muddle a few basil leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add other ingredients and ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

Featured Cocktail: Ciroc Holiday Spice

Sweater weather may signal the end of frozen Pina Coladas, but this riff on the tropical favorite will take you right through the upcoming days of strolls through country leaves and fires built on crisp evenings. The addition of baking spices gives the sip a decidedly fall flavor, while egg white and milk add richness and a creamy texture. Don't have coconut vodka? It'll work just fine with regular, too.

Ciroc Holiday Spice 1 1/2 oz Ciroc Coconut Vodka 1/2 coconut cream (Coco Lopez or similar) 1/4 oz. pineapple juice 1 oz. whole milk 1 egg white 2 dashes cinnamon 2 dashes nutmeg 2 dashes allspice Coconut shavings, for garnish Cinnamon stick, for garnish

Add vodka, coconut cream, pineapple juice, milk and egg white into a cocktail shaker. Dry shake, add ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled rocks glass. Top with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and coconut shavings, and add a cinnamon stick.

Featured Cocktail: Forrest Hills

I love Greenhook Ginsmiths Gin. So I was definitely intrigued when the Brooklyn distillery released its beach plum gin liqueur a few months ago. Founder Steven DeAngelo was inspired by the beach plums he saw on the shores of Rockaway Beach as a child to create a liqueur capturing the flavor of that rare native fruit. The final product has tart cherry notes, along with aromas of juniper, citrus and cinnamon--it's definitely fun to play with in the shaker. The distillery shared some beach plum liqueur-based libations created by New York bartenders, including the Forrest Hills. The sweet-sour liqueur gets a shot of even more tartness with the addition of fresh lemon juice and bitter lemon soda; a fragrant syrup infused with Earl Grey tea and mint turns up the aromatics.

Forrest Hills Courtesy of Hugh Crickmore of Marlow & Sons, New York, NY 2 oz. Greenhook Ginsmiths Beach Plum Gin Liqueur 1/2 oz. Earl  Grey- and mint-infused simple syrup (see Note) 1/2 oz. lemon juice 2 dashes black tea bitters or Angostura bitters Fever Tree Bitter Lemon Soda Mint sprig, for garnish

Add Beach Plum Gin, infused syrup, lemon juice and bitters to mixing glass. Add ice, and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks-filled Collins glass, top with Fever Tree Bitter Lemon, and garnish with a mint sprig.

For the syrup: combine 1 Earl Grey tea bag, 1 cup demerara sugar, 1 cup fresh mint leaves and 2 cups boiling water. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove tea bag and strain mint leaves. Store sugar in the refrigerator in a container with a tightly fitting lid.


September in Oaxaca cocktail at Oyamel

September 16 is Mexican Independence Day, and José André and his team at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana will be celebrating with food and drink specials available from September 14 to September 16 during dinner service. Guests can feast on Guacamole Chamacuero ($13) prepared tableside, with black rock orchard peaches, red grapes and pomegranate; Baton de Papas ($8), pan roasted new potatoes with shallots, duck fat, lime and chile de arbol; or Chile en Nogada ($10), a traditional independence day dish with a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with a picadillo made of local port, apple and raisin, topped with walnut crema and pomegranate seeds.

The beverage team, led by General Manager Michael Iglesias and Head Bartender Joe Cleveland, have created two libations in honor of the holiday. La Bandera,  meant to resemble the colors of the Mexican flag, is a rajas de Poblana Margarita served with pomegranate ice, white mums and walnut salt; September in Oaxaca combines Wahaka Mezcal de Espadin, local black mission figs, honey, lemon and chamomile air. Both are priced at $13.

Remember, these will only be available for 3 days, so make your reservations now.