You know you have a great cocktail on your hands when you get the stamp of approval from a professional, AND he wants to help you name it! I have a friend who just happens to be a bartender…..(not a bartender friend…not that that’s bad but notice there is a subtle difference 😜). When I first served him this masterpiece of a laudable libation, he declared it was good enough for the ultimate mixologist’s compliment; it’s very own title!
So what should we call it? Equal parts cozy vanilla vodka to luxuriously citrus-spiked Gran Marnier liquor blended together with a simple syrup “lemonade” and all purdied up with a sugared rim, this drink is so smooth and sophisticated that it could really just be called THE BEST COCKTAIL EVER ON THE PLANET, PERIOD.
But that seemed a little long.
So taking a cue from my spotty Slavic heritage and the fact that it does in fact contain vodka, we vied for the “out of the mother-country” angle. How about From Russia with Love? or The Back in the U.S.S.R.? Maybe get all political and go with The Pucker Up, Putin? Decisions, decisions.
Makes you want to have a drink.
To begin you need to make a simple syrup which as the name implies IS truly a simple thing to do. Take equal parts sugar and water and just heat them together in a small saucepan until the sugar completely melts. Then let it cool. Five minutes tops. You’ll end up with a super concentrated sugar-water, which is perfect for sweetening anything cold really, from Iced coffee and tea to lemonade to cocktails. Now I know you’re wondering why in the world do we have to do all of this, can’t we just stir the sugar in as you go and make it happen? Bing! Boom! Done!
Well, sure, you can….and it works kinda, but there is the whole sugar doesn’t like to dissolve in a cold liquid issue and the whole proportions issue. So take that extra five minutes and that one tiny little pan you’ll have to clean……..AND DO THIS RIGHT! You’ll thank me in a minute.
After you get your simple syrup cooling, get out four big lemons and give them a SQUEEEEZE! This is where an electric juicer will really make you happy, although I have done this by hand with a reamer.(AND I would do it again if the power went out!!!!!)
We are looking for about a cup and 1/4 of juice. My four lemons were really large and did the trick, if your lemons are of the smaller size well of course, you’ll need more. (Come on, we haven’t even started drinking yet!) Mix your lemon juice with the simple syrup mixture, and to that add a cup of plain old cold water. Mix well. You should end up with a fairly tart lemonade here, about three cups total.
Pour some sugar into a flat saucer. Wet your glass rims with a bit of a cut lemon, and dip them into the sugar. You can go straight up martini style or highball glass here…….I went with both! Give them a few minutes to dry.
Are you ready to get shakin? Get out your cocktail shaker (and if you don’t have one…OMG, I am so sorry to hear that…..but hey you can mix this up in anything, no problemo!) and toss in some ice. Now here are the proportions: for one cocktail add 1 oz (more or less a shot) vanilla vodka, 1 oz Gran Marnier, and 1/2 cup of your lemonade. Obviously for two cocktails you’ll add 2 shots of vodka, two shots of Gran Marnier and 1 cup of the lemonade. Shake it up until it is nice and cold and pour straight up (sans ice) into your martini glass OR over ice in your highball glass. Depending on the size of your glasses you may have extra…………which is completely okay. Don’t you think?
Drop in a thin slice of lemon just because you are fancy like that.
You just made yourself a Russian Repercussion. There is good reason we gave it that moniker… repeat at your own risk!
Cheers! Best wishes for a safe and healthy Happy New Year! Thanks for hanging out with me!
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 oz (one shot) vanilla vodka
- 1 oz (one shot) Gran Marnier *
- Thinly sliced lemon for garnish
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water and stir until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear. Pour simple syrup into a large 4 cup measuring cup to cool. Once at room temperature, add the lemon juice and cold water and mix well.
- In an ice filled shaker cup, add vodka, Gran Marnier, and 1/2 cup of lemonade. Shake it up, and strain straight up into a sugar rimmed martini glass, or over ice in a sugar rimmed highball glass.
- Garnish with a lemon slice
- *Cointreau works in a pinch