The Sipping News

Give these splashy spring cocktails a spin.


Dragonfly, Hotel ZaZa, Dallas
Layers are fashionable in cocktails too.

2 ounces Stolichnaya Razberi vodka
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup (2 parts sugar briefly boiled in 1 part water and then cooled)
1 ounce Chambord liqueur, or to taste
slice of lemon or sugared lemon twist for garnish (optional)

Shake first 3 ingredients with ice until shaker frosts over, then strain into a chilled, sugar-rimmed cocktail glass. Pour Chambord carefully down side of glass; it will sink to the bottom, creating a purple layer. Garnish with lemon. Makes 1 drink.


Four Seasons Hotel, Austin
The sunset-hued Mangotini is jazzy drizzled with mint or prickly pear purée.

1 ounce simple syrup (optional; see the Kiss, above, for recipe)
10 mint leaves (optional)
2 ½ ounces vodka
½ ounce sour-apple liqueur (available in liquor stores)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 ounces mango purée
prickly pear purée (optional, available from
slice of mango or lime for garnish (optional)

To prepare mint purée, an optional garnish, first make a simple syrup. Blanch mint leaves in hot water for a few seconds; plunge into ice bath to preserve color. In a blender, purée simple syrup and leaves.

Shake vodka, liqueur, lime juice, and mango purée with ice until shaker frosts over, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Drizzle with mint or prickly pear purée and garnish glass with slice of mango or lime. Makes 1 drink.


T’afia, Houston
Fans of T’afia’s unusual ratafia cocktails value both the drinks’ nutritional and entertainment value.
¼ cup sugar (T’afia suggests using all organic ingredients)
¼ cup premium vodka, such as Tito’s (made in Austin)
1 bottle dry white wine
about 1 cup roughly chopped celery stalks, base cut off but leaves left on; save several small leafy stalks for garnish
about 1 cup pecan halves, lightly smashed with a mallet
1 whole vanilla bean, cut open
Pimm’s No. 1
parsley-cucumber ice cubes (recipe below)

To prepare ratafia, dissolve sugar in vodka and wine. Add celery, pecans, and vanilla bean and stir briefly. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 weeks in a sealed container. (To reduce infusing time to a week, add ½ cup celery juice—use a juicer—to the ingredients.) Strain juice and discard solids. Yields about 4 cups ratafia.

Shake about 5 ounces of ratafia, a dash of Pimm’s No. 1, and ice in a shaker until shaker frosts over. Strain into a chilled champagne flute and garnish with parsley-cucumber ice cubes and a celery stalk. Batch makes about 6 drinks.


2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cucumbers, unpeeled,
halved lengthwise

Put both ingredients through a juicer (put parsley in first and use cucumbers as pushers). Freeze juice in trays that make star-shaped ice cubes.