AHP March Cocktails | March Mule + Manhattan

If we’re friends (and I hope we are!), you already know that cocktail hour is a big deal for us. For Ed and me, happy hour is more than just drinks. It’s a state of mind. It’s almost always a daily Mon-Fri thing, so it’s inherently tied to the work day. But it represents the end of the work day. It’s a time to gather with friends and revel in relaxation, if only for an hour. It means that we survived another daily grind, and now it’s time to let go of the stress, shake it off, and prepare ourselves to kick butt yet again tomorrow. We believe that everyone deserves an hour a day to rest and unwind.

If we lived in an ideal world, Ed and I would turn off our computers at precisely 5:00 p.m. and head to our favorite place where everyone knows our name (we’re still on the search for our own Cheers spot!). With a seat at the bar and a drink in our hand, we’d talk about the day and tune everything else out.

But we’re still working on making our world ideal. We’re not quite there yet. So instead of heading out to Happy Hour every day, we have it here at home. Sometimes it’s a glass of wine as we make dinner together, and sometimes we have days that require more. But whether a bad day or a great one, Ed and I always make time for each other, to share stories and ideas, and to let the worries of the day slip away.

Because Happy Hour is such a big part of our own lives, we want to share the love (hey, there’s a reason they call it happy!). Over the years, we’ve nurtured and developed our palettes. We’ve discovered which spirits we really love, how to mix them, and in some cases, come up with drinks that are completely our own.

AHP March Cocktails | March Mule + Manhattan

So, once a month, for the rest of this year, we’re going to share two cocktail recipes with you. One will be a drink that I’ve chosen, and one will be Ed’s selection. Along with sharing the recipes, we will tell you why we love them, and how we make them our own. Whether or not you make them yourself, we hope that you will at least start adopting the theory of Happy Hour. Once a day, Monday through Friday, give yourself permission to turn worries off. This is our form of self-care, and we hope it helps you too!

And, of course, if you do make these, we’d love to see! Post your versions on Instagram and share using the hashtag #ahpcocktails.

We’re all about alliteration this month! This month, I’m sharing what I’m calling a March Mule cocktail recipe. It’s a twist on the more common Moscow Mule. Ed will be sharing his favorite drink to order when we’re out – a Manhattan. But again, he’ll add his own little twist on the classic recipe.

One thing to note when trying to recreate these drinks: Ed and I don’t usually measure. We prefer to eyeball it, then add in what we think it needs. Feel free to start with actual measurements, but don’t be afraid to tweak them to fit your own tastes!

AHP March Cocktails: Mule + Manhattan

Amy’s March Mule Cocktail Recipe

First up, the March Mule.

I love a good Moscow Mule, and recently I’ve discovered that you can make one just as good with gin instead of vodka. While vodka has always been my good friend, I’ve really been developing a taste for gin lately, particularly the botanical ones. I prefer my drinks less sweet (unless I’m having a Mai Tai in Hawaii!) and more savory. Gin really adds a lot of flavor without making a drink sweet. I love the juniper in gin mixed with other botanical flavors like sage, basil, mint, and lavender. And it goes so well with cucumber, which just makes a drink so fresh!

So for this recipe, I’ve swapped the vodka for gin. My favorite gin is Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin. With a tag line like “inspired by a man and his garden,” I knew I would love it! I’ve also added cucumber and a bit of mint to the lime juice to make this drink extra refreshing!

The thing that made me love this cocktail is the copper mug that it is served in. Not only is it beautiful, but it keeps the drink nice and cold the whole time you are using it! We have a variety of copper mugs that we’ve received as gifts, but if you don’t have some of your own, I found similar ones on Amazon.

This recipe also calls for simple syrup. As the name implies, it’s super simple to make your own (it’s just sugar and water), but you can also get it at your favorite liquor store. If you prefer to make your own, like me, just heat equal parts sugar and water on the stovetop until the sugar dissolves. Once it cools, you have your own simple syrup! The fun thing about making your own is that you can infuse it with different flavors. Add a sprig of rosemary or sage to the pot while it’s heating, and you get an herbal simple syrup. Add an orange peel or other citrus rind, and you have a fruity one! It’s fun to experiment with different flavors.

AHP March Cocktails: Mule + Manhattan
AHP March Cocktails: Mule + Manhattan

March Mule (Gin Gin Mule)

A refreshing, herbal cocktail, made with gin instead of vodka, perfect for Spring!
Prep Time5 mins
Servings: 1 drink

Ingredients

  • 3-4 mint leaves
  • 1 ounce lime juice freshly squeezed (about 1 lime)
  • 2-3 slices cucumber
  • 1 ounce simple syrup (more or less to taste)
  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1 bottle ginger beer
  • Garnish: sprig of mint, cucumber slice, lime wedge

Instructions

  • In a cocktail shaker, add lime juice, cucumber, mint, and simple syrup. Muddle to release the flavors.
  • Add gin and ice to shaker.
  • Shake well.
  • Strain into a copper mug filled with crushed ice.
  • Top with ginger beer.
  • Taste and add more simple syrup if needed.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge, slice of cucumber, and a sprig of mint.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Tip: Make your own simple syrup by heating equal parts sugar and water on the stovetop. When it cools, you have homemade simple syrup! Add different flavors by adding a sprig of rosemary, mint, or other herb, or even citrus rind to the water while it heats.

AHP March Cocktails: Mule + Manhattan

Ed’s Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Ed chose one of his very favorite cocktails to share this month! Now, while I prefer clear liquors, Ed is a whisky man through and through. Whenever we go out for a nice dinner, or meet friends for drinks, he orders at least one Manhattan. It’s his fancy drink of choice!

This recipe traditionally calls for rye whisky, but Ed prefers something more mellow. If you know him, you know that he is a huge fan of Jack Daniels. We even toured the distillery once (which I highly recommend. It was so much fu!)! So when Ed orders a Manhattan, he asks for Jack Daniels, specifically Gentleman Jack. This special whiskey is double charcoal mellowed for extra smoothness, and it’s Ed’s favorite Jack.

The other required ingredient for this drink is a cherry. And not just any cherry… a black cherry. I know it sounds like I’m being extra picky, but it makes all the difference! These are our favorite black cherries.

AHP March Cocktails: Mule + Manhattan

AHP March Cocktails: Mule + Manhattan

A Gentleman's Manhattan

This recipe traditionally calls for rye whisky, but Ed prefers a more mellow drink, so he makes his with Gentleman Jack. 
Prep Time5 mins
Servings: 1 drink

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Gentleman Jack Daniels whiskey
  • 1 oz. Italian Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Black Cherry

Instructions

  • In a tall glass, stir the whiskey, vermouth, and bitters well with cracked ice.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a skewered black cherry.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Tip: Ed eyeballs the ingredients when making this cocktail. Taste and add more bitters if necessary, or if color isn't as deep as expected.
Don't skip the black cherry!

AHP March Cocktails: Mule + Manhattan

Ed and I hope that these recipes will inspire your own at-home Happy Hour! Remember, it’s not the drinks that are important. Is the hour set aside to rest and unwind.

Don’t forget to tag your own concoctions with #ahpcocktails! We can’t wait to have you join us!

AHP March Cocktails: Mule + Manhattan

CHEERS!

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