Entertaining: Cocktails


For glamorous entertaining, serve a special cocktail. Here are three easy drinks from Sacramento bartenders.


Aaron Bermudez, operations manager, Head Hunters Video Lounge & Grill, Sacramento
Drink: Passion Fruit-Raspberry Mojito
Tips: Mash fresh fruit with mint in the bottom of a sturdy glass to develop intense flavors. The finished drink is inverted over a serving glass (showtime!), so the mashed fruit puddles on top and then sinks, carrying flavor all the way to the bottom. A “muddler” looks like a tiny baseball bat and is sold at stores with barware.

Passion Fruit-Raspberry Mojito

2    lime wedges, whole, with rind
2    sugar cubes
6    fresh raspberries
6    leaves fresh mint (no stems)
Ice cubes
11/2    ounces Parrot Bay passion fruit rum
1    dash Rose’s lime juice
1    dash simple syrup (recipe provided)
Soda water

Into a sturdy pint glass, drop lime wedges, sugar cubes, raspberries and mint. Add a couple of ice cubes; “muddle” the ingredients vigorously (use a muddler or the back of a long-handled wooden spoon) about 15 seconds, crushing well.

Add rum, Rose’s lime juice and simple syrup. Top with ice to the rim. Fill with soda water. Invert quickly into a 16-ounce serving glass. Serves 1.

Bartender: Dan Mitchell, bar manager, Masque Ristorante, El Dorado Hills
Drink: Pomegranate Martini With Grapefruit and Lime
Tips: Set out the grapefruit and lime in a bowl. Even though you won’t be juicing pomegranates, display some for their ruby color. You can buy shakers, strainers, cocktail spoons and ice picks sold in sets.

Pomegranate Martini With Grapefruit and Lime

1/2    grapefruit, juiced
1/2    lime, juiced
11/2    ounces vodka
1/2    ounce Triple Sec
1/2    ounce Pom pomegranate juice
1/4    ounce simple syrup (recipe provided)*

Measure all ingredients into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Serves 1.


Bartender: Stephanie Hash, manager, Célestin’s Restaurant & Voodou Lounge
Drink: Winter Sangria
Tips: Make Winter Sangria three to four days ahead to let the flavors meld. To serve, pour into a glass pitcher or a large bowl with a ladle and add fresh fruit.

Winter Sangria

13/4    cups sugar
1    cup fresh-squeezed lime juice, strained
1/2    cup orange juice
4    750-ml. bottles red wine (Merlot or Zinfandel are best)
3    cups brandy
Red and green apple wedges, skin on
Orange slices, rind intact
Pear wedges, peeled
Large twists of orange zest

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and juices vigorously until sugar dissolves. Add wine and brandy. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Before serving, add apples, oranges, pears and zest. Serve over ice in wine glasses or pint glasses. Serves 12.                                                             

* 1 jigger = 1 liquid ounce