lemonade stand was probably the first time we learned
the basics of a homemade mix. All we needed was the right proportions
of lemon juice, sugar and water and viola! Making your own mixes,
liqueurs, and faux spirits is fun and even makes a wonderful personalized
gift. Depending on what you decide to hand make, why not create
a theme basket around your choice. This is truly a gift that can’t
discover that you’ll need a few things that
you don’t normally have in the drawers and cabinets in your
kitchen like filters; sieves, mesh, cheesecloth, paper towels,
and coffee filters. Placing a coffee filter in a conical mesh
strainer works really well. You will also need: Wide-mouthed jars
with tight secure lids like canning jars, bottles (plain or decorative,
gallon containers, saucepans, measuring spoons and cups, plastic
bags, funnel, and corks.
case you were wondering, you are allowed to make as much homemade
wine, liqueurs, beer, or anything as you wish. You just cannot
sell it. So, go ahead and make and share as much as you want!
in mind that the number one thing that will spoil
your creation is oxygen. It’s very important that all containers
have tight secure lids. And once your creations are made, continue
keeping the air away from them by making sure you have a tight
seal on your bottle. Lots of people like to use corks. You can
buy them at hobby stores and sites online. Also, make sure everything
is scrubbed, sanitized, and squeaky clean before starting. Especially
By the way, my 4th published book, The
Everything Cocktail Party and Drinks Book, has a chapter
titled,"Homemade Creations". Here are
the names of the recipes: Flavored/Infused Vodka, Gin, and Rum,
Raspberry Liqueur, Limoncello, Irish Cream, Coffee Liqueur, Simple
Syrup, Sweet-n-Sour/ Margarita Mix, Bloody Mary Mix, Sangria,
White Sangria, Instant Cappuccino Mocha Mix, Ginger Beer, Faux
Absinthe, Mulled Wine, Strawberry Wine, Wine Coolers,Mead, Hot
Buttered Rum Mix, and Spiced Cider.
My 7th published book, The Everything Bartender's Book
has a homemade chapter as well with these creations: Amaretto,
Balloon Wine, Bar Punch, Basic Bitters, Bloody Mary Mix, Drunken
Olives, Coffee Liqueur, Cranberry Juice, Egg Nog, Faux Absinthe,
Faux Aquavit, Faux Drambuie, Faux Galliano, Faux Pimm's No. 1,
Flavored/Infused Spirits, Flexible Ice Pack, Ginger Beer, Limoncello,
Hot Buttered Rum mix, Instant Cappuccino Mocha Mix , Irish Cream,
Mead, Mint Bourbon, Mouthwash, Mulled Wine, Peach Puree, , Raspberry
Liqueur, Sangria, Schnapps, Simple Syrup, Spiced Cider, Sweet-n-Sour
/ Margarita Mix, Whipped Cream, White Sangria, and Wine Coolers.
9th published book, Knack Bartending Basics has
photos and instructions how how to make unfusions, simple syrups,
flower water, and more!
Heat the sugar and the water to boiling then remove it from the
heat and leave to cool. When at room temperature mix it with all
the other ingredients and bottle it. Let it sit undisturbed in
a cool dark place for one month.
2 bottles of red wine
2 ounces blackberry brandy
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup cherry juice
3 cups maraschino cherries.
2 cups seasonal fruit cut into wheels.
Combine all the ingredients except the fruit and keep it in the
fridge. When ready to serve add all the fruit.
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
6 cinnamon sticks
2 bottle non-dry white wine
1 cup sparkling water
1 cup apple juice
1 cup white cranberry juice
3 oranges cut
2 cups cherries
3 apples cut
Heat the water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a simmer for 5 minutes
then remove from the heat. Mix in all remaining liquid ingredients
and refrigerate. Add the fruit when time to serve.
Makes 5 bottles
1 large can of frozen then thawed grape juice
1 large can of frozen then thawed apple juice
1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
4 cups sugar
1 gallon distilled water
1 thick toy punching balloon
Mix the juice, yeast, and sugar. Funnel into a glass gallon jug.
Fill with distilled water. Attach the balloon securing it with
string. Set the jug in a dark place for three weeks while the
balloon inflates. When the balloon deflates slowly pour out without
disturbing the sediment. Discard sediment. Chill in bottles.
Place the wormwood in vodka for two days, filter, add remaining
herbs and let sit for one week. Filter and then bottle. Serve
by dropping a sugar cube in the bottom of a cordial glass. Wormwood
can be found by searching in the Internet. Real Absinthe has been
illegal in America since 1912. It’s been known to have hallucination
properties. It’s the green drink seen in Moulin Rouge with
Gin, Rum, and Vodka
Makes 1 bottle
1 bottle of gin, rum, or vodka
Spice, fruit, or herb of your choice
Get a large mouthed glass container to make an infusion. You want
to wash anything you are using to remove all possible pesticides.
Place your chosen spice, fruit, or herb in the container then
add the alcohol. Close the lid and place somewhere away from direct
sunlight and letting it sit from four days to two weeks. Strain,
then bottle when finished.
2 weeks: Whole chili peppers, pineapple, fresh ginger, and lemongrass.
1 week: Cantaloupes, strawberries, peaches, mangoes, pitted cherries,
raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
4 days: Vanilla beans, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, mint,
garlic, tarragon, basil, oregano, dill, and thyme.
Buttered Rum Mix
Makes 25 servings
3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons clover honey
1 tablespoon rum extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Mix all the ingredients together then put in a jar with a lid
and store in the fridge. You can also fill an ice cube tray with
the mix then put the tray in a freezer bag and pop one out when
To make Hot Buttered Rum add 11/2 ounces of light or dark rum
in a mug, a big spoonful of the mix then fill with hot water.
Makes 4 servings
1/2 pint whipping cream
3 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 cap of vanilla extract
Whip cream with an electric mixer or hand whisk and as it begins
to thicken slowly add the sugar and vanilla. Refrigerate.
Makes 6 cups
Sour mix is probably the most confusing mixer of all for most
beginner bartenders. It’s just lemon and limejuice mixed
with simple syrup (sugar and water). However most bars supply
a sweet-n-sour mix that comes in a concentrated or powder form
that you add water to. Understand that this is for cost reasons
because fresh squeezed citrus juice in mass amounts is too expensive
and time consuming for the average bar. If you’ve looked
at other recipes books, you’ll see that recipes call for
fresh squeezed lemon or limejuice and a spoon of sugar. Basically,
this is sweet-n-sour mix made to order. The water from the ice
provides the water needed to balance out the lime and sugar. Got
it? Next time you are at your local liquor or grocery store take
a gander at the mixer aisle and look at the crap they sell there.
Bottles pretending to be sweet-n-sour will say, Margarita Mix,
Sour Mix, and Whiskey Sour mix. Now look at the ingredient labels
because they practically all say the same thing; water, sugar,
corn sweetener, citric acid, lemon flavor or lime flavor, sodium
benzoate, sodium citrate, polysorbate, potassium sorbate, and
some yellow or green color # from the FD&C. Now are you ready
to make real sour mix?
Juice from 6 lemons
Juice from 6 limes
4 cups of sugar
6 cups water
When you mix the juice and simple syrup together you’re
striving to reach a perfect balance of sweet and a perfect balance
of sour. Keep taste testing until you find your preference because
not all lemons and limes yield the same amount of juice.
Mixing half lemons and half limes makes a great all purpose sour
mix. Margaritas should have lime juice and a Whiskey Sour should
have lemon juice. You can make individual batches if you prefer.
Makes 3 cups
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Heat the sugar and the water in a pan on the stove while stirring.
When it starts to a boil reduce the heat and continue to stir
for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool. The
result is simple syrup. It can be stored in the fridge for a long
You can also make a no cook simple syrup by filling a bottle half
with sugar and half with lukewarm water. Shake then after the
cloudiness clears, shake again. For sugar-free simple syrup replace
sugar with Splenda.
Wash berries and lightly crush to release flavor. Add vodka, vanilla
bean, and allspice. Stir and store in a large mouthed bottle in
cool dark place for 3 weeks. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth
and squeeze as much juice as possible. Pour back in bottle, add
sugar syrup to taste. Age another 3-5 weeks.
Makes 1 bottle
1 bottle (750ml) vodka
1 cup simple syrup
7 lemon zests
Wash lemons with a brush and hot water to remove any pesticides
or wax and zest the lemons. Pour 1/2 of the vodka in a gallon
glass jar and add zest. Cover and let sit at room temperature
for 20 days. Add the simple syrup and remaining vodka and let
sit for another 20 days.
Bloody Mary Mix
Makes 16 cups
2 (46 ounce) cans tomato juice
2 teaspoons celery salt
4 ounces lemon juice
1 ounce of limejuice
1 (5 ounce) bottle Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce to taste
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate. Feel free to
experiment with raw horseradish, wasabi, A-l steak sauce, beef
bouillon, chili powder, cayenne pepper, white pepper, pickle juice,