Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cocktail Hour: Mandarin Blossom Breeze

Do you have a cocktail hour at your house? Do you serve signature drinks for your parties? If you answered yes – this just might be the cocktail of choice at your next soiree.

I think it is fun to be a bit of a mix-o-logist when you throw a party. Or if you have a friend who loves to create drinks, enlist them at your next event. Sometimes it is fun to go beyond just serving wine and beer. Nothing wrong with either, but it definitely adds a bit of flair to your event. You don’t have to stock a full bar, just get the ingredients for the one signature drink and start mixing.

If you live in the Bay Area or are going to visit, and you enjoy artisan vodka – then you need to take a trip to Hangar One in Alameda. It is across the bay from San Francisco. The distillery literally is housed at a retired naval base’s airplane hangar. They offer tours and include a tasting room. Yes I said tasting room.

Hangar One’s method is different. They start by distilling fresh fruit on the same day it’s picked. Periodically they will work through the night so that the flavor captured in the still represents the fruit at its peak flavor. They make an eau de vie, using centuries-old European methods, in a copper still. Each bottle of vodka Hangar One makes will begin the same way. The fresh fruit is hand picked from farmers they know by name and hand crafted vodka made in small batches.

They produce such wonderful vodka flavors as: Kaffir Lime, Spiced Pear, Fraser River Raspberry, Mandarin Blossom, Buddha’s Hand Citron and Chipotle. Their website is super creative and very interactive. It gives information on the tasting room hours, how to best book a tour plus a lot more. Enjoy!

Mandarin Blossom Breeze

1 ½ oz. Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka
1 oz. Limoncello
5 kumquats
4 fresh mint leaves
3 to 4 dashes orange bitters
Splash of club soda

Muddle 3 sliced kumquats, 3 mint leaves, limoncello & bitters in the bottom of a martini shaker. Fill the shaker with ice & add vodka. Shake vigorously. Fill a glass one third of the way with fresh ice cubes, drop in two sliced kumquat & add more ice. Add the remaining kumquat and cover with ice. Strain the cocktail into a glass and finish with a splash of soda. You can also take the muddled kumquats and scoop into the drink. Garnish with a kumquat and a mint leaf. Serves 1


  1. That drink is beeeeeutiful. So fresh and chic!

  2. Such a pretty drink!! While I'm not much of a vodka person, I'm the only one in my group who isn't. I'm always on the look out for new vodka drinks to surprise them with. Love this one!

  3. I love making creative new cocktails on Friday nights. It gives me something to look forward to all week and fancies up a night in :) This cocktail looks fantastic! It definitely needs to make an appearance at my house :) PS: I have a fun giveaway going on right now...stop by and check it out!

  4. What a gorgeous drink! I love how you used Limencello. :)

  5. This cocktail looks so refreshing and delicious! I love kumquats! I am so going to try this while they are still in season :)! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Yes, yes, and yes. I tend to stay with my traditional favorite: a Meyer Lemon Drop with Ketel One Citron. But I'm captivated by your beautifully styled cocktail and Hangar One -you're really contributing to my list of must-do's when in the Bay Area, Lisa :) Happy Easter!

  7. I would more thank likely have a few of these...beautiful...


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