Bartender/singer-songwriter Sam Haas has for years been slinging what voters in the Washington City Paper’s annual poll call “The Best Margaritas” in D.C. behind the bar at Arlington, Va.’s Taqueria de Poblano. We asked Haas to try our line of Kill Cliff clean energy, recovery, and CDB drinks as mixers to see what she could come up with.
We gave her some rules: The concoction has to be simple and it has to be made with what an amateur home bartender might have in the cabinet. For this recipe using Energize x Recover Berry Legit Lemonade, Haas—you really should go listen to her new single but please, come back soon and don’t get hung up on the photos—is teaching us a new skill: muddling.
In blunt terms, muddling is simply smashing a solid ingredient into the bottom of the glass to release the juices and aromas that will combine with the liquid ingredients. You’ve seen this happen with mint leaves in a mojito.
If you don’t have a muddler, which is simply a wooden stick with a rounded end, you can use the back side of a wooden spoon; or you can smush the fruit in a pestle with a mortar; or just use whatever is clean and available for smashing a few pieces of fruit. Don’t stress! There are no rules!
We call this one, the Kill Cliff Berry Legit Lemonade Mojito. “I like the Kill Cliff flavor combination of tasty blackberries and strawberries, with a slight tang of lemon,” Haas says. “I also like it that it’s not too sweet. It says ‘lemonade’ but it is far from the stuff that comes from powdered mixes.”
The simple syrup in this recipe brightens the naturally sweetened Berry Legit Lemonade just a wee bit, without adding too many of the dreaded “added sugar” calories.
Let’s get busy.
- Cut a quarter of a peeled lemon into dice-sized bits and drop into a tall glass. Now muddle the heck out of it until it’s pretty beaten up.
- Add a small handful of fresh or thawed blackberries and muddle the heck out of them. Look at the colors!
- Simple syrup. You can buy it already made or you can make your own easy-peasy by boiling a cup of water with a cup of white sugar and stirring until you can’t see the sugar. Save the rest of it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later use, because you are only going to use…
- A dash of simple syrup.
- Stir in 2 ounces of your favorite unflavored vodka; Haas likes Tito’s.
- Top with ice and add as much Kill Cliff Berry Legit Lemonade that will fit into the glass. Stir well with a long-handled spoon.
Take your time downing this one. Once the ice melts and you have nothing left but the bits of chewy fruit pulp at the bottom, you’ll find this drink is also a flavorful snack.
Next up, TeKilla Kiwi Cooler.