Everyone who’s been to the Hartstone Inn knows that we love cocktails. At any given time we feature up to ten “specialty” cocktails that we offer to our guests both during cocktail hour and at dinner. The latest drink that we are crazy about is the “Moscow Mule”.
The Moscow Mule was ”born” in the 1940’s and was a popular cocktail of the 50’s and 60’s. The story goes that John G. Martin of G.F. Heublein Brothers, Inc., who bought the rights to Smirnoff in 1939 was on a mission to market his “white whiskey” as an alternative to gin. Gin was widely popular at the time in the U.S. and vodka was not. He met John “Jack” A. Morgan, owner of a ginger beer franchise at a bar in Los Angeles in 1941 and came up with the idea for the Moscow Mule, a mutually beneficial cocktail! They ordered engraved copper mugs and bought one of the first Polaroid cameras. They then began to market their new drink to bars across the country. The two would ask bartenders to pose for a picture with their copper mug and a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. They would then take the photo to neighboring bars to show them what the competition had to offer in hopes to get them to sell the new drink too.
Smirnoff vodka sales tripled between 1947 and 1950 with much credit going to the trendy new drink. The name they say is for two reasons. “Moscow” because Smirnoff began at a distillery in Moscow and vodka was considered to be mainly a Russian spirit at the time. “Mule” was because of the “kick” from the ginger beer. The Russian connection proved to have consequences in 1950 as Americans began to connect Smirnoff with the Communist Party. Smirnoff denied any connection as it was now an American company and the uproar eventually passed. Vodka now out sells all other spirits in the U.S. 3 to 1 and Smirnoff is today owned by a British company.
The Moscow Mule is refreshing enough to be a summer drink but gingery enough to be “warm” in the winter! Here is the recipe so you can make them at home or, come visit us and we’ll make one for you!
- 1 ounce vodka
- 1 tsp. sugar syrup
- Fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup ginger beer
- 1 sprig fresh mint
- 1 slice of lime
In a highball glasss or a copper mug (if you have one) pour vodka over ice. Add sugar syrup and lime juice. Top with ginger beer and stir. Garnish with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.
I have always loved raspberries-all kinds. When we purchased the house on Free St, I mentioned to Mary Jo that I would finally have the space to plant some. One day, to my surprise, Mary Jo returned from the nursery with one small black raspberry plant. Three years later, the plant has spread and taken over much of the back yard!
I feature the berries in the restaurant during July and they appear in everything from salad dressings and sorbet to breakfast trifles and muffins. Perhaps the most popular recipe is our Black Raspberry Mojito, perfect on a hot summer evening and equally popular during our evening cocktail hour. I have included the recipe below. If you don’t have your own black raspberry bush growing in your back yard, you can substitute either red raspberries, boysenberries or blackberries.
Black Raspberry Mojito
1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
4 teaspoons granulated sugar (or 2 packets Splenda)
1/4 cup fresh black raspberries (or red )
3/4 cup light rum
1 cup club soda
2 sprigs of fresh mint for garnish
1. Place the mint and sugar in a mortar and “muddle” it with the pestle. Squeeze in the lime juice and add half of the blackberries. Lightly crush the berries.
2. Pour the mixture into a cocktail shaker and add the light rum and club soda. Shake to mix.
3. Place 4 large cubes of ice in two rocks glasses and divide the drink equally between them.
4. Garnish each glass with the remaining black raspberries and a sprig of fresh mint.
Every couple of months we feature a seasonal cocktail here at the Hartstone Inn and in the restaurant. This winter, I was experimenting with a ginger syrup and combined it with some pomegranate juice to create this recipe, which yields 3 martinis (2 if you drink out of large martini glasses as I do!).
4 oz ginger syrup (recipe below)
5 oz vodka
1 oz pomegranate syrup (Monin is a good brand)
1 oz lime juice
2 oz club soda, cold
1. Place all of the ingredients except for the club soda in a cocktail shaker with 6 large ice cubes, cover and shake 10 times.
2. Strain into a martini glass and divide the club soda between the glasses. Garnish with a few fresh pomegranate seeds, a slice of fresh ginger root and/or a wedge of lime on the rim.
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup grated fresh ginger root
1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Add the grated ginger and allow the mixture to steep for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, placing it in the refrigerator when it has cooled.
3. When cool, strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove all of grated ginger.
I created this recipe about a month ago to replace our fabulously successful summer drink special the “Watermelon Mojito.” Happily, it has gone over very well and several people have already asked for the recipe.
Cranberry Syrup Base
1 package (12 oz) fresh or frozen whole cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)
2 dashes bitters
method – Combine the cranberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool. When cool, place mixture in a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove all of the seeds and skin pieces. Add the remaining ingredients and the cranberry base is complete.
Cranberry-Limoncello Martini Recipe yields 1 drink
2 1/2 ounces cranberry syrup base (recipe above)
1 1/2 ounces citrus flavored vodka
garnish: 3 cranberries floated on top and a wedge of lime on the rim
Hope you enjoy the recipe, and if you don’t feel like whipping it up yourself…come and enjoy one at the Hartstone Inn
during our evening Cocktail and Hors d’oeuvres
Key Lime Martini
Graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 limes
3/4 cup keke beach liqueur
3/8 cup vanilla vodka
1 cup crushed ice
2 slices of lime for garnish
Make a thin layer of graham cracker crumbs on a small plate. Juice the limes and reserve. Take one of the squeezed lime halves and coat the rim of two martini glasses with lime juice. Invert the glass and dip the rim in the graham cracker crumbs to coat the rim. Place the glasses in the freezer to frost them. Mix the reserved lime juice, keke beach liqueur and vanilla vodka together in a cocktail shaker. Add the crushed ice, secure the top of the shaker and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain the drink into 2 chilled martini glasses, garnish with a slice of lime and serve immediately.
Join us at the Hartstone Inn for cocktails between 5 and 7 p.m. on your next visit and take advantage of our “Happy Hour Specials”. Signature cocktails are only $5 and include such favorites as: Key Lime Martinis, Peach Martinis and Raspberry Mojitos.