T.G.I.F. Cocktail – Gigi’s Apple Cider Margarita

Well it is officially fall, no turning back now. The temps are cooling, the leaves are starting to drop and the shorts are getting packed away ’til next year. But as we all know, fall in the Hudson Valley is a wonderful thing, with beautiful sites and delicious seasonal ingredients. Nothing says fall like apple cider!! Behold the delicious, festive, fall bonanza that is Gigi’s Apple Cider Margarita!

1 3/4 oz. Sauza Gold tequila
1 1/4 oz. Tuaca
1/2 oz. cinnamon apple syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. apple cider (We use local cider from Migliorelli Farms)

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into rocks glass rimmed with cinnamon and sugar over ice and enjoy.

Happy fall!

T.G.I.F. Cocktail – Watermelon Ginger Margarita

Well, it’s September; the kids are back in school, nights are cooler and the days have been more mild here in the Hudson Valley. But, it is still summer! We’re not quite ready to let it go, and scored some beautiful watermelons from Mead Orchards this week. In celebration of the last weeks of summer and the coming of fall, we’ve put together an absolutely delicious cocktail that celebrates both. The fresh watermelon juice is great even on it’s own, but we’ve added some warmth with a house made ginger simple syrup and assembled an unconventional margarita that won rave reviews at the Trattoria over the week. In fact, the term “luscious” was used. ūüôā People loved it so much, we will have it available for you again this weekend, so stop in and enjoy one!

Watermelon Ginger Margarita
2 oz. Fresh Watermelon Juice (we made ours with a centrifugal juicer, but you can also use a muddle and strain method)
1 oz. Ginger Simple Syrup*
3/4 oz. Lime Juice
2 oz. Blanco Tequila
1 oz. Cointreau
While we made our Ginger Simple Syrup with Sugar in the Raw to add extra depth, you can opt to use regular granular sugar or the following:
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Cups Granular Sugar
3 Cups Water
2 Cups peeled, sliced fresh ginger
Add all ingredients to pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a low boil and let cook for 25-30 minutes. The syrup should be sweet and spicy. This will make more than you will need for one drink, but it can be used in many more recipes. If you would like to keep this in the fridge to use over a few weeks, in order to avoid spoilage, once the syrup has cooled add 1/4 cup clear alcohol (vodka works well as it is a neutral spirit.)

Staff Spotlight – Lisa Butenhoff

We love all of the¬†wonderful staff that help to make Gigi Trattoria and Gigi Market a success!¬† From¬†CIA students to Brazilian natives, the Gigi¬†family is fascinatingly diverse.¬†We thought it would be fun to spotlight¬†a member of our team¬†every week to help you get to know them and what makes them so special, and so unique!¬†We’re kicking¬†things off by spotlighting our talented and personable bartender, Lisa Butenhoff.

Lisa has been with Gigi for over 7 years!  Thanks to her long stay with the Trattoria, she provides a familiar face to the customers.  She takes pride in the fact that she knows unique things about many of the customers, like their favorite tables (and of course, favorite cocktails.)

Not only is Lisa a soldier behind the bar, she has served in the US Marine Corps for nearly ten years,  and participates in drill once a month.  After a long day of early morning drills followed by a shift behind the bar, Lisa loves to have sushi take-out for dinner.  If she is dining at the Trattoria, her favorite menu item is the Rigatoni Buttera (without the peas.)

Next time you are visiting the Gigi Trattoria, be sure to order up a margarita from Lisa.  She loves the challenge of making the perfect margarita since so many people are picky about this particular cocktail.  But that is just Lisa, always looking to please the customers and give them a great experience.

One of Lisa’s fondest memories of being behind the bar at Gigi Trattoria was the night some bar guests challenged each other to a blind tasting of our Tawny Flagate Ports to see who could guess the vintage of the port.¬† ‚ÄúWhen customers are obviously here to have a good time, it makes it fun to serve them.‚ÄĚ

When you are looking for the best margarita in Rhinebeck served by the best bartender, come into Gigi Trattoria.  Lisa would love to see you!