The Queen’s Blush

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Y’all, it happened! The temperature dropped below 70°, I went hiking yesterday and now it really feels like autumn!

What better way to celebrate this seasonal change than with a stirred drink? “Wait gurl, you made a stirred drink? WHUT.” Yes, y’all I finally made a stirred drink and it’s even in a pretty coupe!

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Definitely still obsessed with this Raspberry Syrup cause it’s packing a helluva punch. If you haven’t made it yet, head here for the recipe.

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While mentally working on this cocktail, I thought, “Ok gurrrrl, you’ve got that fabulous new bottle of Julius Drover Alambic Brandy from Shinn Estate, that Hamilton 86 Demerara Rum, why not go for something 19th century style?” So I did.

Cast of Characters:

  1. Raspberry Syrup: Since the point of this cocktail was to get a 19th Century vibe going, I looked up a bunch of recipes that used either Grenadine or Raspberry syrup in Martin’s Index of Cocktails.
  2. I bought the fantastic bottle of Julius Drover Alambic Brandy while on holiday in Long Island Wine Country with my smooth girlfriend. Yes, there is a “wine country” out on eastern Long Island, and it’s pretty amazing out there. This brandy is so damn great, it’s basically American Cognac. Nice n dry, with faint hints of wood, a bit of fruitiness (pear, grape, apple), and a tiny bit floral. Really nice stuff.
  3. The Hamilton 86 is big, molasses-y, spicy, and has notes of leather, tobacco, and dark chocolate, along with some fruitiness. There are a lot of historical punch recipes with Cognac or Brandy and Rum together, so I wanted to put these two in a drink.
  4. The Yellow Chartreuse came about when I was thinking about how to tie everything together. I felt like the flowers and honey from Yellow Chartreuse would play nicely with the notes from the Brandy & Rum. Totally did.
  5. Absinthe: I am fully convinced that Raspberry & Absinthe are perfect partners. Together they create such a sublime marriage that I almost can’t separate them anymore.
  6. Regans’ Orange Bitters: I wanted some citrus top notes since I wasn’t going to use any juice.

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Stir ’til you just can’t stand it anymore! (Or really, about 50 rotations.)

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For this Absinthe application, I went with an atomizer. I’m not really into rinsing these days cause I think it’s kind of wasteful. Plus, you can smell the Absinthe more when it’s on top of the drink.

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The Queen’s Blush

  • 1 oz Julius Drover Alambic Brandy (sub dry Cognac)
  • 1 oz Hamilton 86 Demerara Rum
  • 1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • *3/8 oz Raspberry Syrup
  • 2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: St. George Absinthe Vert mist

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrr. Strain into chilled coupe, spritz some Absinthe on top and sip!

*I am so serious about this measurement. Really, it needs to be 3/8 of an ounce or something close to 10ml but if you don’t have those measurements, go for a scant 1/2 oz. If you use a full 1/2 oz, the drink becomes too sweet and the Raspberry totally takes over.

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Hope y’all have tons of fun and enjoy this shift into some autumnal cocktails! May all your Raspberry dreams come true! Cheers!

 

Putting Raspberry Syrup to Work: Double ‘R’ Punch

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Alright y’all, it’s the first day of autumn and at this point I have to admit something: no matter what season it is, I want a Tiki drink. Adding to this constant desire is the bottle of Raspberry syrup I made last week, which goes SOOOO well with Rum. So no matter what the weather, as long as you’ve got Raspberry syrup, Orgeat, and Rum, you could really get into this Punch.

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The thing about Raspberry syrup is that it can totally be used in place of Grenadine. I was reading through tons of recipes from the Prohibition era and there was actually a high number of instances where Raspberry syrup was called for or used as a Grenadine sub. The other thing I found interesting was that almost all of these recipes used Brandy or Rum as the base spirit.

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Hell yeah. Rum. Rummmmmmmmmmm. I’m starting to think that my brain is automatically like, “but how can I put ingredient ‘x’ with Rum?”

And note my new (vintage) Planter’s Punch glass! Isn’t it cute? So cute! And appropriate since I am using Jamaican Rum in this recipe! (Thank you Denizen Merchant’s Reserve!)

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I think the process went something like this:

  1. I was like “Ok, the Raspberry syrup is both sweet and tart and goes well with Lemon & Lime, so lets start there.”
  2. Then I wanted Orgeat to help smoooooth things out cause there was a lot of acid happening with the juices + syrup.
  3. But then I wanted anise so I thought Absinthe + Peychaud’s for extra spices and depth
  4. Finally the Rums: Plantation Barbados 5 for smoothness, Denizen Merchant’s Reserve for the funk to dry the drink out a bit.

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…Mint for aroma and cause it’s so pretty with the red color of the drink. Same reason for using a Blue umbrella: colors are important when creating drinks! It’s like you’ve made a tiny, albeit temporary work of art!

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Double ‘R’ Punch

  • 1 1/2 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum (Sub a smooth, aged Rum)
  • 3/4 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8 Year Rum (Sub Jamaican Rum)
  • 1/2 oz Raspberry Simple Syrup
  • 1/4-1/2 oz Orgeat*
  • 1/2 oz fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/4 oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 8 drops St. George Absinthe Verte
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, Tiki Umbrella

Combine ingredients over ice and shake. Double strain into Planter’s Punch glass or Collins glass over crushed ice and garnish.

*Totally depends on your Orgeat. I’m using homemade Orgeat and it’s not as sweet as something like B.G. Reynolds Orgeat. I’d recommend starting with 1/4 oz, taste the drink, then add more if needed.

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This photo is really making me wanna escape to a tropical place…like right meow.

Cheers and have tons of fun with your Raspberry Syrup drinks!

Raspberry Simple Syrup

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Every saturday I go to the Farmer’s Market at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. It’s a 5 min walk from my lil apartment and definitely the highlight of my week. Last Saturday, I picked up a couple of cartons of Raspberries and decided to make a tasty syrup to use in Cocktails.

Ready? Let’s go!

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I wanted to keep a carton for garnishes (and to eat) so I made this recipe with one cup of Raspberries instead of two. I also used the following recipe because I wanted this to be a Simple Syrup recipe that would be consistent with other simple syrups we use in drinks.

Yer gonna need:

  • 1 cup freshly washed Raspberries
  • 1/2 cup Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon Juice

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Yer gonna:

  1. Add Raspberries, Sugar and Water to a pot. Gently muddle Raspberries.
  2. Turn heat on low and bring to just below boiling, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for around 15 mins, stirring often. (You really don’t want it to boil or you’ll lose the brightness from the Raspberries)
  4. Remove from heat, add Lemon juice and stir til it has mixed in.
  5. Strain through cheese cloth into an airtight container and cool.
  6. Will keep in the fridge for approx 2 weeks

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Strainy-strain-strain. You should have approx 1 cup of syrup at this point.

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Now, what to do with this? Well, I did what I always do and looked up “Raspberries” in The Flavor Bible. Some notable pairings include:

  • Almonds (think Orgeat)
  • Apricots
  • Blackberries & Blueberries
  • Brandy, Cognac
  • Cinnamon
  • Cointreau
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mint
  • Pineapple
  • Rum
  • Star Anise
  • Tequila

and a bunch of other things.

Now based on the above list, I feel like we could make several Tiki drinks. Odd to me that Gin isn’t listed since the Clover Club is possibly the most famous Raspberry cocktail of all time. However, TEQUILA…now that sounds really interesting!

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I’m currently working on a few ideas and will post the drinks when they’re ready. If you come up with a fabulous Raspberry cocktail (preferably one a bit outside of the “Clover Club” box), lemme know!

Cheers and happy syrup making!

 

 

Tequila & Tiki: the Jalajaja Swizzle

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Happy September Monday to y’all! Hopefully things are starting to cool down for you, but if you’re living anywhere in the USA, I highly doubt it. It’s been super hot here in Brooklyn and I have it on good authority that it’s still pretty hot in SoCal and Texas too.

Not that heat = Tiki cause y’all know how I luv to Tiki The Snow Away, but nevertheless, I need a tall-icy-fruity-Rum-filled….wait, what?

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Bwahahaha! It’s not Rum, it’s Tequila! Today’s drink came about cause I really wanted to make a Tequila Tiki drink and I thought the Swizzle would be a good format. I was thinking Corralejo Reposado Tequila but then I was also thinking it’s pepper season and I remembered that this Tequila is really snappy when infused with Jalapeño (or Serrano, Serrano is super tasty too).

Go here for the Jalapeño infused Corralejo Reposado recipe.

I apparently couldn’t live without some version of Rum, so I added my new fave ingredient, Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur. This stuff is maaaaad tasty: grassy (like a mild agricole), has some notes of chocolate, caramel, and citrus in addition to the obvious Coconut. Kalani is made with 100% Natural Mayan Coconut Rum, has a silky viscosity, a good level of sweetness, and (just like my bottle of Tequila) is from Mexico.

Sooooooo, maybe I really just wanted to make a Mexican Swizzle, mmmmhm. #MexicanPride

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The spice and juice set came about cause:

  1. Grapefruit and Tequila are best friends.
  2. Lime juice for more tartness and length.
  3. Honey cause I knew it would be a match made in heaven.
  4. Peychaud’s Bitters for anise and some interesting depth.

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Grab either yer swizzle stick or a long barspoon for this one.

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Oh and like spanish speakers do, pronounce the J’s in this drink “ha-ha-ha”, then it basically sounds like you’re laughing and will make you feel pumped to try this drink!

Jalajaja Swizzle 

  • 2 1/2 oz Jalapeño infused Corralejo Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur
  • 1 oz White Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2-3/4 oz Honey Syrup*
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s
  • Garnish: candied Ginger, Mint sprig

Add ingredients to large Tiki mug, add cracked or crushed ice and swizzle til the glass has started to frost and everything seems to have combined. Add a lil more ice on top if needed and garnish.

*Depends on how sweet you want it. I tried it both ways and was honestly not sure which one I liked better.

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Salud and may your Tequila Tiki experiments be awesome!

Shannon’s Fog Cutter

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Y’all, it’s nearly autumn and I am feeeeeling like it’s time for some Sherry! Actually, I’m feeling like it’s time for some Rum + Sherry + Gin + Cachaça which means, I’ve got a Tiki drink for us today! So grab one bottle of each, some citrus and get some Orgeat cause this shit is tasty!

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Do you see it? Do you see the book in the photo? Are you intrigued? “Gurrrrl, why is there a book in the photo? There’s never a book in the photo!”

Woo! I’ve been meaning to get the Smuggler’s Cove book for quite sometime and after seeing the 100th or so recipe show up on /r/cocktails, I was like, “OK FINE! I’ll get the book!”

It’s uhhhhhhhmazing. It’s the Tikiest/nerdiest/geekiest/Rummiest/most delightful book I’ve read in awhile and wow, it has so many good tips on how to make well crafted cocktails. So like any thirsty woman, I found a recipe that was really speaking to me and made a variation.

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Not that I haven’t made a Fog Cutter before, cause I totally have and I totally love this format. Tropical + Gin + Sherry really speaks to my soul on a deep level.

For this particular Fog Cutter, I was thinking of my friend Shannon Mustipher (THE Rum Queen of NYC, brand ambassador for Denizen Rum, a serious lover of Cachaça and overproof spirits) and made this drink with her in mind. Hope you like it gurrrrrl!

  1. I started with Yaguara Cachaça as the “inspirational” ingredient and the replacement for brandy…
  2. Which led me to Denizen 3 Year Rum for the main spirit cause Denizen & Yaguara go so well together and y’all know Denizen is my “workhorse Rum”. Loads of coconut, banana, and grasses between the two of these spirits.
  3. Then I wanted a big bright Gin and was kind of thinking overproof would be the jam so to the Hayman’s Royal Dock I went!
  4. I followed the Smuggler’s Cove guide of Lemon, Orange, & Orgeat but I did change the type of sherry from Oloroso to Lustau Amontillado cause that’s what I had in my fridge. I also have Fino but I thought that would be too dry and a little too thin.

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Another tip I picked up from Smuggler’s Cove is the use of “Flash Blending”. Now, they use something like a Hamilton Beach Milkshake Blender and blend for 5 or so seconds. I don’t have that sort of blender but I do have a Ninja (for all the smoothies my girlfriend and make in our lil apartment). I’ve reduced my blending time to just about 2 seconds so that the drink doesn’t get too watery and I’m digging the resulting texture.

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Check the ice in the above photo. Nice right? Also, those Luxardo Cherries look super tasty right now. Yummmmmm.

Shannon’s Fog Cutter

  • 2 oz Denizen 3 Year Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Cachaça Yaguara
  • 1/2 oz Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh Orange Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • Garnish: 1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry, 3 Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, swizzle stick

Combine ingredients and flash blend for 2 seconds with ~8 oz cracked ice. Pour into a tall Tiki mug, float the Sherry on top, and garnish.

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Tiki cheers to all y’all and I HIGHLY recommend getting the Smuggler’s Cove book. I also recommend getting a Rum collection going cause there is a whole wonderful world of Rum out there and with that Rum you can make a whole wonderful set of Tiki drinks!

Cocktail Crate Mixers are Perfect for your Labor Day Soirée

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Hey y’all, pumped today to talk about one of the best things to happen to home bartenders who like to throw parties: Cocktail Crate. If you’ve been reading Home Bar Girl for a while, you’ll know that I’m awfully fond of these well crafted mixers. But let’s get real real, not only are these bottles mad tasty, they make throwing a party really easy!

Cocktail Crate sent me their Grapefruit Daiquiri & Ginger Bee for some Labor Day celebrations. I decided to make two cocktails per mixer so, here we go!

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We’ll start with the Ginger Bee. Made with Honey, Ginger, and a bit of Clove this mixer is sweet, gingery spicy, flavorful, and goes really well with all sorts of aged spirits.

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I decided to go with a Whisky cocktail for the first one. Since I’ve been obsessed with my bottle of Grand MacNish Blended Scotch lately, I used it in a split base with Rye. Feel free to use whatever Whisky or Whiskies you want!

Ginger Bee Whiskey Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Ginger Bee
  • 1 1/2 oz James E Pepper 1776 Rye
  • 1/2 oz Grand MacNish Blended Scotch Whisky
  • Garnish: Lemon studded with Cloves

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into double rocks glass over ice and garnish.

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Now for this second one, I made literally the same drink but added my fave Summer Ale, Bell’s Brewery Oberon, as a float. Super tasty stuff! Perfect for a BBQ.

Ginger Brewmaster

  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Ginger Bee
  • 1 1/2 oz James E Pepper 1776 Rye
  • 1/2 oz Grand MacNish Blended Scotch Whisky
  • Bell’s Brewery Oberon Summer Ale float

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Collins glass over ice and top with your fave Summer Ale.

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Next up we’ve got the Grapefruit Daiquiri: sweet and refreshing with Lime, Grapefruit, and a bit of Jasmine Tea!

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So, duh, I made a Daiquiri but I used my new fave Rhum, Neisson Blanc 105 proof and it was uhhhhhmazing.

Grapefruit Daiquiri

  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Grapefruit Daiquiri*
  • 1 1/2 oz Neisson Blanc 105 (or your fave White Rum)
  • Garnish: Grapefruit peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it like a rocket. Double strain into chilled coupe and garnish.

*If I were you, I’d start with Equal parts Rum and mixer and taste. You may need to adjust the cocktail based on how sweet you want it.

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For the second one, I decided to swap out the Rhum for Gin Lane 1751 London Dry Gin and added a lil Ginger Beer for extra funnnnnn. Again, perfect for BBQ times.

Grapefruit Buck

  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Grapefruit Daiquiri
  • 2 oz Gin Lane 1751 London Dry Gin (or your fave London Dry Gin)
  • Fever Tree Ginger Beer float
  • Garnish: Grapefruit Rose, Tiki Umbrella

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Collins glass over ice, top with Ginger Beer and garnish.

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Excellent. May your Labor Day festivities be tons of fun, tasty, and easy breezy with Cocktail Crate Craft Mixers! Cheers!

Crying over the end of Summer with a Blackberry Buck

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Tis a sad sad time over here at Home Bar Girl, for my favorite season, the season of my birth, the season with ALL the fruit, the season of heat, ice-filled Cocktails, swimming, and funnnnnn, is nearly over. I’m crying some real end-of-summer tears y’all.

However, there is one thing about late-August that I hold near and dear to my heart…

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…Blackberries.

When I was a small gurrrrrl growing up in Novato, CA, we lived next to a park with a creek. I spent every day in that park and when the weather was warm enough, I spent a lot of time “creek walking” and swimming in its murky waters. There was one patch of the creek that had a ton of Blackberry bushes, so in late August we’d pick a bucket full o’ berries, take them back home, and Mamoo would put them in a fabulous Blackberry cobbler.

Fast forward to 2016 and I’m city gurrrrrl who dreams, nay pines for freshly picked fruit. I get my fix by going to the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market every Saturday. The minute Blackberries showed up at the market, my heart lept with joy, and I bought some.

Nostalgia, IT’S REAL!

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So dark, so luscious, so tasty.

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So, we’re doing this drink smash style and I’d recommend layering your items in the same order as the above photo. That way, when you put your straw into the bottom of the glass, you get a nice hit of mint.

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I was thinking of making a Bramble, but lack the Crème de Mûre, so I went with a Buck instead:

  1. I decided to use Bimini Gin cause it has a bunch of nice citrus notes which would pair well with this selection of fruit and still retain enough juniper backbone to shine through. If you can get this Gin, do so immediately. It’s the perfect summer Gin and I’ve made a million Gin & Tonics, Collins, and Negronis with it.
  2. Fever-Tree Ginger Beer is real real good y’all. Nice amount of ginger but not too spicy which in the case of this Buck, is juuuust right.

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Blackberry Buck

  • 2 oz Bimini Gin
  • ~3 oz Fever Tree Ginger Beer
  • Handfull of Blackberries
  • 2 Lemon Wedges
  • 5-6 Mint Leaves
  • Garnish: Mint bouquet

Build in Collins glass: Muddle Blackberries, Lemon Wedges, and Mint together. Add Gin, ice and stir til things have combined nicely. Top with Ginger Beer and a Mint bouquet.

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End of summer Cheers to all y’all, may you sip a Blackberry Buck and fight back the tears!