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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Four takes on classic cocktails to beat the Texas heat

Happy+responsible+drinking%2C+and+cheers+to+the+start+of+summer%21
Scarlett Houser / Hilltop Views
Happy responsible drinking, and cheers to the start of summer!

If you know me personally, you know I love bartending. I basically grew up in a restaurant often ordering “cocktails” (Shirley Temples) from the bar. Bartending is my favorite part of a party. These are my five favorite cocktails to make for my guests that will be sure to impress yours.

  1.     Emma’s Paloma

A paloma is a tequila-based drink with unknown and disputed origins. Tequila is my favorite spirit making this my all time favorite drink, perfect for every season. Most paloma recipes you’ll see on the internet either have grapefruit juice and club soda or a grapefruit soda, but mine is different. Grapefruit is my favorite fruit hands down, so I want all the flavor I can get in my drink. That’s why I have fresh grapefruit juice and grapefruit soda in my take on the classic paloma.

Ingredients/Supplies:

Emma’s Paloma (Scarlett Houser)
  • 2 ounce silver tequila (my favorite budget brand is Sauza)
  • 2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • Grapefruit Jarritos 
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ¼ ounce agave or simple syrup (agave is my preference)
  • Tajin or coarse salt for the rim
  • A cocktail shaker
  • Ice
  • Cocktail glass of your choice (I use a highball glass)

Step 1: Rim your chosen glassware with Tajin or salt and fill with fresh ice.

Step 2: Pour tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave into your shaker over ice. 

Step 3: Shake until the outside of the shaker is too cold to handle. 

Step 4: Strain shaker contents over ice and top with grapefruit Jarritos to taste.

Step 5: Serve. 

  1.     Spicy Margarita

The margarita is a classic. It’s bright and tasty and always leaves you wanting another. There are many ways to reinvent a margarita, but I think the best way to drink them is with a bit of smoky spiciness. I know making it spicy is not a very original take, but mine is a bit different. I’m not very fond of jalapeños and most spicy margaritas have jalapeños in them. 

Spicy Margarita (Scarlett Houser)

Ingredients/Supplies:

      1 ounce silver tequila

      1 ounce orange liqueur (Cointreau or Triple Sec)

      1 ounce fresh lime juice 

      ½ ounce agave or simple syrup

      2 dried red chilies

      Tajin or coarse salt for the rim

      A cocktail shaker

      Ice 

      Cocktail glass of your choice (I use a rocks glass)

Step 1: Rim your chosen glassware with Tajin or salt and fill with fresh ice.

Step 2: Pour tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and agave into your shaker over ice and add dried peppers. (Tip: slap your peppers between your hands or slightly grind them with a mortar and pestle before adding them in the shaker to release their flavor). 

Step 3: Shake until the outside of the shaker is too cold to handle. 

Step 4: Pour shaker contents over ice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Step 5: Serve.

  1.     Classic Negroni 

Yes, I do like other alcohols besides tequila, and a negroni has a perfect blend of a few delicious spirits. I love making negronis because to a non-cocktail enjoyer they are very impressive, but to me they are a simple cocktail with a 1:1:1 ratio. I’ve also picked up a trick for a cute and tasty garnish from a bartender in Ireland — shoutout to Colm.

Ingredients/Supplies:

Classic Negroni
  • 1 ounce dry gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 orange for garnish
  • Ice
  • A bar spoon (or just a regular one)
  • A mixing glass
  • Cocktail glass of your choice (I use a rocks glass)
  • Sugar
  • A lighter

Step 1: Fill your mixing glass with ice and add your gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. 

Step 2: Using your bar spoon, stir all ingredients until fully combined and your glass is cold to the touch — about 30-40 seconds.

Step 3: Cut your orange into a small slice and dip each side of the orange in sugar. Using your lighter (I suggest using a longer one used for lighting candles), slightly burn the sugar on top of the orange. This should make a glass like coating on the slice.

Step 4: Pour your negroni over fresh ice in the glassware of your choice and add your orange garnish. Tip: the garnish makes for a wonderful snack once you’ve finished your negroni.

Step 5: Serve.

  1.     Cherry Tom Collins

The Tom Collins is a gin based cocktail. It’s a perfect treat for a hot summer day because it’s essentially a spiked sparkling lemonade. I make mine a little different by adding a bit of cherry. 

Cherry Tom Collins (Scarlett Houser)

Ingredients/Supplies:

  •  2 ounce dry gin
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice 
  • ½ ounce juice from the maraschino cherry jar (or grenadine)
  • Club soda
  • Maraschino cherries
  • LemonA bar spoon (or just a regular one)
  • Cocktail glass of your choice (I use a highball glass)

Step 1: Add your gin, lemon juice and cherry juice to your glass. 

Step 2: Fill your glass with ice and stir all ingredients until fully combined using your bar spoon. Your glass should feel cold to the touch.

Step 3: Top your cocktail with club soda and stir.

Step 4: Cut your lemon into thin wheels. Using a garnish pick, place the cherry in the middle of the wheel and stab through to create a lemon cherry taco. Place garnish into the glass.

Step 5: Serve.

Whether you lean towards tequila or gin or something in between, these four cocktails are simple, quick and thirst quenching. You can also make them in batches by doubling or quadrupling the measurements, just make sure your glass or shaker is fit for the task. Happy responsible drinking, and cheers to the start of summer!

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About the Contributor
Emma Sutton, Staff Writer
Emma Sutton is a junior a majoring in writing and rhetoric with a concentration in journalism and digital media. It is her second semester writing for Hilltop Views and first semester as a staff writer. She loves writing about all things pop culture but also has a soft spot for baseball.

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