Spirits of the Season 2013: Ciroc, Ciroc Coconut, Red Berries, Amaretto holiday drinks

Spirits of the Season 2013 will bring you the hottest new recipes, spirits and wines from the coolest distilleries, vineyards, restaurants and bars from all across the globe!

Despite their universal identical "look" in the bottle, not all vodkas taste alike.  In fact, vodka can be distilled in many ways, from the grains like wheat, rye, to beets, corn, hemp seeds, potatoes, and even sugar cane. Now I know you are saying, but April...what makes vodka from sugar cane NOT rum?

In the USA, rum is a spirit distilled to less than 95% ABV from sugar cane. If a distiller distills that spirit to more than 95% ABV it is considered a neutral spirit and can be bottled and labeled vodka.


Ciroc Vodka is an utltra-premium vodka with a distinct flavor made with distilled Mauzac Blanc and Ugni Blanc grapes, grown in the historic Gaillac and Cognac regions of France, pressed in a cold fermentation and then made with maceration techniques usually found in winemaking, to its subtle aromatics and smooth, naturally refined taste really do differentiate.

Ciroc Vodka has a distinctively clean finish and absence of alcohol burn.

Grape-based vodkas are something of a novelty, and Cîroc, (introduced in 2002), has positioned itself as a clear alternative to its wheat-based competitors, running clever adverts that urged drinkers to "go against the grain."

We liked Ciroc for it's mixability and for the tasty Ciroc varietals that have sprung up over the years. We even invented a few cocktails (recipes below) with classic Ciroc, Red Berries Ciroc and Coconut Ciroc that are seasonally appropriate. They are really tasty- please try them out!


First, make sure to try:
Ciroc Amaretto flavored spirit is lovely, with natural amaretto essences. Its unique character comes from fine French grapes distilled in the legendary Cognac region of France. Distilled five times and masterfully infused with natural ingredients, Ciroc Amaretto makes a dynamite mixed drink we tried and loved (courtesy of Ciroc):

The Speakeasy

1.5 oz. Ciroc Amaretto
.5 oz. Bulleit 10 Year Bourbon
1 tsp. Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Of Bitters

Stir and strain over rocks in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with orange twist.

Ciroc Coconut is one of my favorite mixers. If you adore coconut, we invented a drink with this special spirit for the holidays:

Monsters and Critics' Holiday Ciroc Coconut Martini©


1.5 oz. Ciroc Coconut

1.5 oz. Coconut Rum

1 Ounce Cream of Coconut (we used Trader Joes)

1 Ounce Half and Half .5 ounce Vanilla Simple Syrup (we used Sonoma Syrup Co.)

Add ice into martini shaker. Shake and strain into chilled martini glasses.

Ciroc and Red Berries Ciroc combine their forces in our original cocktail recipe:

Monsters and Critics' Holiday Ciroc Red Berries Holly Jolly Martini©

2 Ounces Ciroc Vodka

1.5 Ounces Red Berries Ciroc

1 Ounce Lemon Juice

1/4 Teaspoon fine sugar (or scant teaspoon simple syrup)

Shake in martini shaker on ice

Strain into chilled Martini glass, rimmed with toasted coconut!

Another bonus Holiday cocktail from Ciroc:

Electric Midnight

1 Ounce Ciroc Vodka

.5 Ounces Aperol

.5 Ounces Lemon Juice

.5 Simple Syrup

Combine all ingredients. Shake. Strain... and serve in flute.




Further Reading on M&C