Cocktails + Spirits

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Ranch Rosé
Ranch Water, a refreshing concoction of tequila, fresh lime juice, and sparkling water, is a tequila highball said to have been created by cattle ranchers in West Texas in the early 1960s. Ranch Water has become more popular in recent years as people seek out cocktails that are low in alcohol. It's light and citrusy, making it especially drinkable when temperatures climb towards triple digits on a sticky summer afternoon. The components of a traditional Ranch Water cocktail are simple, so use the best ones you can find; a quality tequila and fresh lime juice are essential here. You can use an aged tequila, mezcal, or sotol if you prefer, although the classic version of this drink calls for blanco tequila. The type of sparkling water is also key to this drink's appeal; you need one that is sharp and extra bubbly. At the Houston bar Eight Row Flint, guests can enjoy several different flavorful takes on Ranch Water, including this colorful version made with blood orange syrup and Lillet Rosé. Eight Row Flint partner and bar director Morgan Weber and his team make large batches of clarified lime juice with lime juice, water and agar to use as a citrus component in this and other cocktails. If you want to keep things simple, just straining freshly squeezed lime juice is enough. The addition of a splash of the French aperitif Lillet Rosé to this cocktail lends it gentle floral flavor notes and a pink hue, while the blood orange syrup adds more sweetness and tart citrus notes, not to mention a striking boost of color. The pinch of dried rose petals on top emphasizes the rose connection, but is optional — this drink is refreshing on a hot summer afternoon or evening with or without the garnish.
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Ingredients and intentions count when you are determining which category suits your drink.
Tamarind Cocktails
Aromatic lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, and spicy ginger combine with tart fruity tamarind and rich, sweet coconut sugar to create a potent and delicious Tamarind Cocktail Base that can be used in all kinds of concoctions. Combined with rum and fresh lime juice, it becomes a zippy Tamarind Daiquiri. With the addition of tequila and a splash of club soda, it becomes a refreshing Tamarind Cooler. Or try it in combination with your favorite iced tea for Tamarind Arnold Palmer. Lara Lee, who created the Tamarind Cocktail Base, also loves to add a splash of it to Dark and Stormy cocktails and Mojitos. Want to prepare your cocktail mix in advance? Simply freeze the tamarind cocktail base in ice cube trays and they will melt quickly when stirred together with the remaining ingredients.
Although the exact original recipe is known only to a lucky few, Daphne Henderson's rum punch with cream of coconut—born at Jost Van Dyke's Soggy Dollar beach bar—has eased the pain of many who have imbibed it. Silky cream of coconut and a sweet-tart blend of fresh orange and pineapple juices get a delicious hit of rich vanilla and molasses notes from rum in this famously soothing cocktail. A garnish of freshly grated nutmeg lends a spicy aroma to each sip.
Created in the 1970s at Grand Cayman's Wreck Bar at Rum Point, this potent blend of vodka, Kahlúa, and Baileys Original Irish Cream might taste like a milkshake, but it can't be ordered virgin because all you'd get is a cup of crushed ice! The trio of alcohol blends into a smooth and velvety cocktail just sweet and chocolaty enough without being cloying. A generous drizzle of chocolate syrup and a bright red maraschino cherry with a dusting of ground cinnamon top off each glass.
Sky Juice
This creamy concoction of fresh coconut water and sweetened condensed milk liberally mixed with gin is also known as Gully Wash and tastes equally good by either name. Sip yours with a sea view at The Green Parrot, overlooking Nassau Harbour. Ground nutmeg and cinnamon bring warming sweetness to balance juniper-forward gin in this creamy cocktail. With a base of hydrating coconut water, it's a pleasantly quaffable drink.

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Aruba Ariba
The best place to sip this classic rum punch is overlooking the sandy swath of Palm Beach at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, where bartender Juan "Jocky" Tromp invented it 59 years ago. Fresh pineapple and orange juices paired with sweet, syrupy grenadine tint this vibrant Aruban cocktail a stunning deep orange-red. Despite a blend of vodka, white rum, and crème de banana, this drink does not have a strongly alcoholic bite but rather stays fruity and mellow.
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