Shake some color into your cocktail

Skittles add a splash of green or blue for your Hawks-themed drinks

January 29, 2014 

Take vodka. Add blue or green Skittles.

Shake, shake, shake.

That, my friends, is about as lazy a Hawks-themed cocktail as one can make for the Super Bowl.

Taking Pinterest and Facebook by storm last week was that simple vodka recipe using Skittles for a color base to create neon blue and green cocktails.

We latched onto that trend and have included here a two-minute recipe for neon blue or green vodka. Turn that hastily shaken vodka into a cocktail with lime juice, lemon-lime soda or any other light-colored liquids to make a Super Bowl Seahawks themed cocktail (see photos for directions).

Want something a little more complicated?

We asked Jason Alexander, Tacoma craft cocktail enthusiast and co-owner of tiki bar Tacoma Cabana, for guidance on what to shake up for a game-day cocktail. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Last weekend, you shook up a punch called Legion of Boom. Can you tell readers about that?

A: It was quite the process. It’s not your amateur throw together punch. I took lime, sugar and coffee and I ended up soaking it with pineapple overnight. In honor of Russell Wilson’s number - it’s got three different rums in it. It’s a little bit cloudy. It’s a greenish color (Alexander shares his recipe here). .. Because it’s the Seattle Seahawks, I had to add coffee to it.

Q: I know you’re the king of fancy handmade tiki cocktails, but have you ever shook vodka and Skittles together — even as a dare?

A: I have not.

Q: Is it something you’d ever do?

A: I would, but I wouldn’t use vodka. I’d try and incorporate rum.

Q: Great idea, what kind of rum would you use?

A: A nice light and dry clear rum. I wouldn’t spend an obscene amount of money on something that you’re throwing Skittles into. Get something cheap, light and right. Add the Skittles and let it sit for a few days if you need to.

Q: We found the Skittles left behind a bit of a candy flavor — what would you use to mask that flavor?

A: I’d play off the sweetness, go with lime juice added to it — a simple syrup would work, too.

Q: After shaking together rum and Skittles, how would you make the concoction less cloudy?

A: After, you can let your infusion sit for a few days and let all that sediment settle on it; then decant it. Carefully pour out the clear liquid without getting any of the sediment into it. You have to be really careful and pour it very carefully out of the bottle. Once the sediment starts to go in, toss it (what’s left in the bottle) — or chug it real quick and improve your day. Decanting leaves you with a clearer looking drink.

Q: Blue curacao seems the obvious choice for turning a cocktail the signature Hawks color. That’s not something you use in your tiki drinks at your bar — what’s your opinion of blue curacao?

A: In and of itself, it’s not that bad. It’s orange liqueur. There’s good kinds and bad kinds, but the main difference between orange curacao and blue curacao, it’s just the color. They taste identical.

Q: Is it a liqueur that’s too sweet for you — is that why you don’t use it in your craft cocktails?

A: You have to balance the right amount of spirit and citrus and whatever else you put in your drink. It’s about finding the balance. Your blue drinks don’t have to be cloyingly disgusting and sweet, they don’t. I use Bols orange curacao a lot. The price point is decent, the flavor is decent; there are better orange liqueurs, but they’re triple the cost.

Q: What are some green liqueurs that would make a good Hawks-themed drink for a Super Bowl party?

A: A melon flavored liqueur, Midori. And Chartreuse (liqueur) is a great color, but you have to use too much of it, the flavor will take over. If I was going to do green, I’d find a green tea liqueur to float on it. A nice little green float with the blue underneath.

Q: Would you use something like matcha powder, which is green, to make that?

A: I have a can of green matcha powder, I add that to my Fish House punch. … It’s more of an army green. … I’d probably make it into a green tea syrup and cut it with some clear overproofed rum. You could probably throw a little ginger in there or some other spices and a little bit of lime zest. That’s probably how I would go about it.

Q: But the green matcha powder will make it cloudy?

A: Yes. The Seahawks colors make it tough for cocktailing, but you can always find something to make.

12th Man Legion of Boom Punch For the lime-coffee infusion

 •  1 cup sugar (preferably sugar in the raw)

 •  6 limes, zested

 •  1 cup lime juice from zested limes

 •  12 cups hot coffee

 •  6 ounces Falernum (available at liquor stores, such as BevMo!)

 •  1 ring fresh pineapple

For the punch

 •  12 ounces gold Barbados rum (or any medium bodied gold rum, such as Plantation 5 Year or substitute Mt. Gay Gold Blend)

 •  6 ounces heavy bodied dark Jamaican rum (such as Coruba or Myers’s Rum)

 •  6 ounces of a clear white, overproofed Jamaican rum (such as Wray & Nephew)

 •  Bols Blue Curacao, for presentation

 •  Lime juice, to taste

For the lime-coffee infusion: When zesting lime, avoid the pith (it will impart a bitter flavor). Combine sugar and lime zest and muddle the mixture together vigorously in a tall pitcher. Allow sugar mixture to sit for 30 minutes. Then, muddle again until the sugar turns into an oily base as the sugar extracts the oil from the zest. Pour 12 ounces of hot coffee into the sugar mixture. After sugar melts, use a fine-mesh strainer to strain out zest. Press the muddler against the zest to extract all the syrup.

Add 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, 6 ounces Falernum (a cordial available at BevMo!) and a ring of fresh pineapple. Allow mixture to sit overnight, if desired.

For punch assembly: In large pitcher, mix together the lime-coffee infusion and all three rums.

For presentation: Divide the punch base into 12 glasses filled with ice. Add one ounce of curacao into each glass. Stir lightly until the cocktail turns sea green. Add lime juice, if needed, to taste. Alternately, combine the lime-coffee infusion, the rums, curacao and extra lime juice in a pitcher and stir. Mixture will be a cloudy green. COLORFUL COCKTAILS IN 4 STEPS

All over Pinterest and Facebook last week were funky looking neon blue and green cocktails, made by shaking vodka with Skittles, which are Marshawn Lynch’s signature treat. As silly as it seemed, we had to give it a try. It worked.

Using a method found on allrecipes.com, here’s how we created our vodka:

 •  Buy at least two-three bags of Tropical flavored Skittles. If you’re too embarrassed, send a kid to do your dirty work. We found the green kiwi lime and blue pineapple passion fruit colors worked best to create neon green and blue. You’ll need at least 10-14 Skittles for every 8 ounces vodka.

 •  You’ll need a cocktail shaker, Skittles, strainer and cocktail glasses.

 •  Mix 8 ounces of each colored vodka with 4 ounces each of fresh lime juice and sweet and sour mix or lemon-lime soda. Serves four.

Step 1: Add 8 ounces clear vodka to a shaker. You’ll want to go for a cheaper vodka because the Skittles not only cloud the vodka, but impart a lightly sweet flavor. Mask the sweetness with mixers.

Step 2: Add 10-14 Skittles and shake vigorously for one minute. For more concentrated colors, double the number of Skittles to 20-28.

STEP 3: If serving as a martini, add ice and shake until vodka is chilled.

Step 4: Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and serve immediately, or add to a pitcher for mixing with lime juice and sweet and sour mix, or lemon-lime soda. Garnish with lime wedges or a twist.

Yield: Serves 12 Source: Jason Alexander, Tacoma Cabana Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270

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