Cocktails of the American West

When you’re out on the range, a Cowboy can muster up quite a thirst
by Kyle Branche

Wake up and start gettin’ the coals hot. The Solar Cowboy goes in a rocks glass filled with cracked ice. Pour in the following: ¾ oz Jack Daniels, ¾ oz Chinaco tequila, ¼ oz Kahlua coffee liqueur, and ¼ oz of Dekuyper butterscotch schnapps. So, tattoo your rear end with this surprisingly tasteful combination and start the day off with the right boot on the right foot. With a little slither to hither pillow talk near the dawn campfire, Tumbleweed Morning Cream may just be the heartwarmer you need before you saddle up. Either shake & strain this drink or pour over ice in a tumbler glass. The ingredients are 1oz Christian Brothers brandy, ¼ oz Bols white creme de cacao, ¼ oz Coco de Oro coffee liqueur, ¼ oz Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, and 1½ oz cream. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts. After a light rain, the cactus and surrounding shrub can create a delightful scent in the air. This duo of vitamin T and vitamin C can help power up your system for a long day’s work. Desert Sunrise is built in a highball glass over ice, with 1 ½ oz Porfidio tequila, a dash of Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy’s sweet & sour, fill with fresh squeezed orange juice, and top it off with a lace of Hiram Walker blue curacao. Garnish with a slice of orange. When you get to town, you should head on over to the local blacksmith for a repair. ¾ oz Martin Miller’s gin, ¾ oz white Port, ¾ oz vermouth Bianco, 2 dashes of Bols anisette, and 1 egg yolk shakes up and makes up the Broken Spur Cocktail. Shake & strain in a standard cocktail glass. No garnish.

Sometimes no matter how many layers you have on, a chill in the air can still seep into your bones. Therefore, in a warm mug, Indian Summer gets 1oz Calvados apple brandy, a pinch of cinnamon sugar, and fill the mug with hot apple cider. Garnish with a slice of apple, a cinnamon stick, and stir. No need to be on the warpath today.

Grab a tall glass, throw some cubed or cracked ice in, and build the Horse’s Neck over ice, with 2 oz Cardenal Mendoza brandy, 5 oz Boylan’s ginger ale, and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters. Stirrup and garnish with a twist of lemon peel. Treat your 4-legged creature well, and pretty soon you’ll be running like the wind. Before you pass the imaginary line in the sand, running away from the marshal and his deputies from a wrong you done did, do the two-step over to the closest cantina, and order up a Border Crossing. The barkeep snags a bucket glass and begins the preparation of what could be your last cocktail for awhile. Built over ice, it gets 1 ½ oz Partida tequila, ¼ oz of fresh lime juice, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and fill with ice cold Coca Cola. Garnish with lime. If all you need is a quick shot between chores, than the Water Moccasin is yours. Get a shot glass and shake with ice and strain ½ oz each of the following: Crown Royal, Dekuyper Peachtree schnapps, and Tavern sweet & sour. It may bite like a snake, but you asked for it. Riding through the botanicals of the countryside, you’ll soon belly up to the bar for a Cowboy Martini, but make sure your horse is getting watered and fed first. The saloon owner may ask you where you’re from as he twists and turns his handlebar mustache, but don’t take offense, he’s just making polite conversation. In a chilled martini glass, shake & strain 2 oz Bombay Sapphire gin, a dash of simple syrup, and a dash of Fee Brothers orange bitters. Garnish with fresh, crisp mint leaves. Now that’s a drink! This next drink is dedicated to songwriter David Rodriguez, whose title-catchy tune “Ballad of the Snow Leopard and The Tanqueray Cowboy” is not only a perfect fit on Lyle Lovett’s album “Step Inside This House”, but great for this drink as well. With flower petals as the garnish to this cocktail, the Western Rose is made up of 1oz Tanqueray gin,

½ oz Hiram Walker apricot brandy, ½ oz Noilly Prat dry vermouth, and a dash of lemon juice. A chilled cocktail glass is where this shake & strain ends up. “Comfort me she said . . . . .with your conversation . . . . . with the cocktails . . . . . and the candlelight in your eyes”.

Haven’t you put up enough fence for the day ? With all the hammering, I’m surprised you heard the dinner bell. I guess the hunger helps the hearing! But what about the thirst ? Well, here’s a green apple variation on a Long Island favorite. In a pint glass filled with cracked ice, the Jolly Rancher Tea is prepared by building/pouring ½ oz each of Hangar 1 vodka, Beefeater’s gin, Sea Wynde rum, and Leroux triple sec. Add 1-2 oz of Triple L sweet & sour, fill close to the top with 7-Up, and top with 1oz of Dekuyper sour apple Pucker schnapps. Garnish with a slice of green apple, a twist of lemon peel, and a maraschino cherry. With many a family heading out West during the days of the California Gold Rush, the Wagon Wheel Cocktail was born. Shake & strain this drink in, you got it, a chilled cocktail glass. 1oz Southern Comfort, ½ oz Korbel California brandy, ¼ oz lemon juice, and a few dashes of Trader Vic’s grenadine. Garnish with a cherry and a wheel of lemon, and good luck with your panning. May you get rich beyond your wildest dreams. You’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name, it felt good to get out of the rain and into a small cantina where they were mixing up a batch of Cactus Juice especially for you. Shake & strain the following in a collins glass filled with cubed ice: ½ oz VooDoo spiced rum, ½ oz Cazadores tequila, ½ oz Montezuma triple sec, and ½ oz amaretto DiSaronno. Add splashes of sweet & sour, pineapple juice and cranberry juice, and garnish with half wheels of lime, lemon, and orange. Finished at the shooting range for the day, it’s now time to put your guns away. The Smith and Wesson is poured in a tumbler over ice. 1 ½ oz Patron coffee liqueur, partial fill with cream, and top fill with ice cold Pepsi Cola. No garnish necessary. An immigrant from Russia comes to the new world and discovers the final frontier. While bartending in a saloon, he creates the Moscow Mule for all to hear. Build this tasty libation over ice in a collins glass with 2 oz Stolichnaya vodka, 1oz Rose’s

lime juice, and fill with Cock n’Bull ginger beer. Garnish with a squeeze of lime. You’ll have a hard time keepin’ yer jeans on after a couple of these. In a poco grande glass topped with cracked ice, the Denim Lemonade gets ½ oz each of Ketel One vodka, Boodles gin, Bacardi rum, and Arrow triple sec. Add a couple ounces of cold Santa Cruz organic lemonade, fill with Sprite, and top with dashes of Dole pineapple juice and Dekuyper blue curacao. Garn with a cherry and a pineapple slice..

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