Culinistas's Kitchen,  Recipes & Cooking

Just in Time for Cocktail Hour

by The Culinistas

Cocktail hour is our favorite hour(s). Once you’ve got your bites covered and your flowers cut, it’s time to batch up a cocktail or two for your guests. We’re partial to tequila-based concoctions given how well they pair with summer fare (we’re never not eating guac), and our go-to brand is JAJA thanks to its sweet and herbal flavor. 

Our Quick Chat cocktail (recipe below) is a fun, elevated play on a Michelada, minus the heavy beer, sub tequila. Clear tomato water is one of our favorite party tricks. Work Wife (recipe below) will tickle the fancy of guests looking for something sweet to sip while bringing max refreshment thanks to a combo of grapefruit and rosemary. It’s also a great drink to serve minus the booze for a non-alcoholic option for guests that’s not Pellegrino. Fun fact: Tiana & Jill came up with the Work Wife together, combining their overlapping flavor obsessions.

Quick Chat

Chef Tips:

– Cheesecloth is the best method to prepare the tomato water. If you do not have it or cannot find it, use a fine mesh strainer.

– Be patient straining the tomato pulp from the juice. The smoother, the better. 

– Adjust chili amount blended into tomato water based on taste & heat of chili selected.

Garnish Ideas: chili rings, a lemon twist or slice, or a tomato wagon wheel.

Prep Time 10 mins

Makes 6 cocktails

12 plum tomatoes

2 fresh cayenne chili peppers 

3 lemons

12 oz JAJA tequila

1. Blend tomatoes & 1 chili. Strain with a cheesecloth to yield about 3 cups pulpless water. 

2. Squeeze lemons to yield ½ cup juice. 

3. In a large pitcher, mix tequila, spicy tomato water & lemon juice. 

4. Slice remaining chili into rings for garnish. Pour drinks over ice; see tips for other garnish ideas. 

Work Wife

Chef Tips:

– Sub in grapefruit club soda if you’d like an extra grapefruit kick.

– Slice your grapefruit garnish first, then juice remaining grapefruits.

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 5 mins

Serves 6 to 8

½ cup turbinado sugar

3 rosemary sprigs, plus more for garnish

4 grapefruits, divided

12 oz JAJA blanco tequila

Club soda, for topping off

1. In a small pan, bring sugar, rosemary & ½ cup water to a boil. Cook until all sugar has dissolved & liquid is reduced by a third, 5-7 mins; strain & cool.

2. Slice ½ grapefruit for garnish. Squeeze the remainder to 1½ cups juice. 

3. In a large pitcher, mix rosemary simple syrup, tequila & grapefruit juice. Serve over ice & top with soda. Garnish with rosemary sprigs & grapefruit slices.