On Holiday in LA // San Diego

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Woooooo y’all! My sensational girlfriend and I are headed to SoCal (the land of my birth) and are planning to beach it up, hike it up, eat some of the most delicious food in the country, and of course, have cocktails.

If you live in SoCal and have any recommendations for places to eat and drink, leave a comment. As usual, follow all the fun on my Instagram!

Cheers cuties!

 

#NationalTequilaDay + Grass Hat Cocktail

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Happy National Tequila Day y’all! Today is particularly near and dear to my heart, as I am a lover of all things Agave and a major proponent of appreciating this spirit for all its magnificent complexities.

So today on this blessed day, SIP YOUR TEQUILA!

Don’t take shots of it. Don’t try to get it down with a grimace and a chaser of Lime + salt (that’s only meant for awful mixto tequilas anyways). Get yourself some real 100% Puro Agave Tequila and let your palate experience it fully.

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Speaking of good Tequila: I’m a big fan of Corralejo because all of their Tequilas are agave forward and while the aged expressions do exhibit some woody characteristics, it doesn’t mask the rich earthy flavors. I think all three are good enough to sip, but they also make excellent cocktails.

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So today in the spirit of “sipping your Tequila”, we’re going to make a cocktail that looks like a martini, but is far from it.

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The goal of this cocktail was to put Corralejo Reposado in a stirred cocktail with Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur. This liqueur isn’t very sweet and has a lovely nutty, funky, grassy flavor with excellent viscosity. My secondary goal was to make a cocktail with Tequila + Lustau Puerto Fino Sherry. Fortunately those two goals aligned with the addition of Boker’s Bitters and some Lemon oil.

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Stirrrrrrrrrrr til you can picture the great rains coming down to the fields in Jalisco and giving life to all the agave.

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*Note: I was having some hilarious lighting issues, the cocktail isn’t green at all, but rather the color of light straw. haha, sheesh.

Grass Hat Cocktail

  • 1 3/4 oz Corralejo Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Lustau Puerto Fino Sherry
  • 1/4 oz Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon oil

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrr for 50 rotations or until proper dilution has occurred. Strain into your prettiest coupe, express Lemon peel and discard.

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Salud and may you enjoy National Tequila Day with a fine Tequila and a fine cocktail!

Sandia Picante

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Whuuuuut up y’all? Is everyone hot enough yet? Have you melted into a puddle and you’re just like, “gurrrrrl, give me a cold-fruity-summery cocktail?” Cause I for sure am!

Well, it’s Watermelon season and National Tequila Day is next Sunday, so I thought I’d put some Corralejo Reposado Tequila with some Sandia and BOOM! This drink is like, purrrrrfect.

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Have you ever been to a Mexican or Cali-Mex restaurant and been like, “What is Sandia? It sounds so nice and looks so red and inviting!” It’s Watermelon juice or in this case, Watermelon puree and it’s mad delicious in cocktails.

Sandia Pureé:

  1. Cut a Watermelon into sections.
  2. Scoop the red flesh out and discard the seeds.
  3. Throw that tasty stuff into a blender and blend til it’s nice n fabulous.
  4. Das it.

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Have I mentioned that Corralejo Reposado has been one of my fave tequilas for over a decade? It’s really Agave forward with a great balance of sandalwood, vanilla, fruitiness, and peppery spices. Yummm, y’all. Yum.

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So I made this drink a few times and felt like I wanted a little heat to make the Sandia pop. Fortunately, Corralejo Reposado makes a hella good Jalapeño infusion.

Jalapeño infused Corralejo Reposado Tequila

  1. Cut a Jalapeño in half, keep the seeds.
  2. Drop it (seeds and all) into 500 ml of Corralejo Reposado and infuse in a cool, dry, dark place.
  3. Let it infuse for 30-45 mins. I tend to go 45 cause I like the heat!
  4. Strain
  5. OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED: remove seeds and put the Jalapeño back into the infusion for another hour. This way you get more fresh bell pepper type flavor in the Tequila.

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To the Jalapeño infused Corralejo Repo and Sandia we add a bit of Cane Sugar Syrup, Lime Juice and a pinch of pink salt. I always like to put my salt directly in the drink because I think it brings out the vegetal and savory flavors from whatever Tequila I’m using.

Also…salt rims are a pain and get all over your face when you try to drink the cocktail. Blah!

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Sandia Picante

  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 oz* Jalapeño infused Corralejo Reposado Tequila
  • 2 oz Sandia
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/4 oz Cane Sugar Syrup 2:1
  • Pinch of Pink Salt
  • Garnish: scored Pepino, aka Cucumber

Combine ingredients over cracked or crushed ice and short shake. Dump entire contents into double Rocks glass and garnish with Pepino.

*Depends on how spicy you want it!

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Salud! May these hot times be quenched with loads of Tequila and Sandia!

L’Orgeat Mai Tai

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Summer Monday. Summer Mondaaaay. On one hand, it’s summer and on the other hand, it’s freaking monday! Fortunately, I’ve got something really cool to share with y’all on this paradoxical day of the week!

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Behold: L’Orgeat Almond Liqueur!

A couple of weeks ago L’Orgeat hit me up on Instagram and asked if I wanted to try some of their brand new Orgeat Liqueur. I obvi said, ‘Yes PLS!” and so here we are.

As a Tiki fanatic, I was a bit skeptical but I’m really digging this stuff. Made from California Almonds, it’s 20% ABV, has the viscosity of a really great Orgeat, a nice amount of Orange Flower Water, and really really works in a Mai Tai!

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Like, I was shocked how well it worked in a Mai Tai! SHOCKED I SAY!

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L’Orgeat provided me with a lil booklet of recipes (how thoughtful!) including one for a Mai Tai. The recipe called for “Jamaican Rum” so I used my fave Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8 Year Rum. I’m also obsessed with this Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, so boop, it went into the drink. They suggest using Smith & Cross as a float and gurrrrrrrrrl, it was goood.

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L’Orgeat Mai Tai

  • 1 1/2 oz Jamaican Rum (Denizen Merchant’s Reserve Rum is killer)
  • 1/2 oz L’Orgeat Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Lime shell with Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum, Mint Sprig

Combine ingredients over crushed ice and short shake. Dump contents of shaker (ice and all) into chilled Double rocks glass. Plop your Lime shell in there, add some Smith & Cross to the shell, and a Mint Sprig. Whenever you feel like dunking your Smith & Cross into the drink, dooooo it.

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Btw, this Rum and this Curaçao are BEST FRIENDS y’all! BEST FRIENDS!

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A million hot as hell Mai Tai cheers to all y’all and I totally recommend L’Orgeat for all your future Mai Tais!

DP Swizzle

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Y’all, it’s JULY and hot and swampy as hell up in this piece. I know that Tiki doesn’t really have a season (Tiki The Snow Away, duh) but if there was ever a time for a tall, icy, Tropical Cocktail, that time is now!

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The inspiration for today’s Swizzle was this tasty bottle of brand-new-soon-to-be-released Berentzen Peach Liqueur. Berentzen were actually the first brand to send me products and I have loved them ever since cause QUALITY. All of their liqueurs are crisp, clean, bright, and come through very well in cocktails without being overly cloying.

The Peach is great! It’s Peachy with lemon and floral notes and not too intense or overwhelming. 20% ABV

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Cast of Characters:

  1. Peach Madness: Berentzen Peach + Bitter Truth Peach Bitters. Berentzen also sent me The Bitter Truth Peach Bitters and they’re really great too! Not too bitter, more like essence of peach. I decided to throw a couple of dashes in the drink to increase the “peachness”.
  2. Rum: I really wanted to make the sweet Peach flavor work with aged Rum, so I picked Denizen Merchant’s Reserve cause it’s dry, funky, grassy and just really lovely.
  3. Juices: I was debating between Lemon or Lime and asked some cocktail friends. One them replied, “Why not both?” Yeah dude, good call!
  4. Sugar & Spice: To give this Swizzle a lil pop I added, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Demerara Simple Syrup for body + depth, & Angostura Bitters on top.

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I have a couple of Rhum JM swizzle sticks, but they weren’t long enough for this big Tiki mug. I opted to use my copper-plated Skull Barspoon from Cocktail Kingdom instead and it swirls really nicely. Yarrrrrrr, matey!

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Big Mint sprig for big aromatics.

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Don’t you love this mug? I like how serious he looks but then his moustache is so long and his lips so small!

DP Swizzle

  • 2 1/2 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8 Year Rum/Rhum
  • 1 oz Berentzen Peach Liqueur
  • 1 barspoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1 1/2 oz Demerara Syrup 1:1
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3 dashes Bitter Truth Peach Bitters
  • 5-6 Mint leaves
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, Angostura Bitters, colorful swizzle stick

How to make the DP Swizzle:

  1. In the bottom of a large Tiki mug, add Mint leaves, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, Demerara Syrup, and muddle.
  2. Add Rum, Peach Liqueur, Peach Bitters, Allspice Dram, crushed ice and *swizzle with a long Swizzle stick or long Barspoon.
  3. “Paint” the top of the ice with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, add Mint sprig and colorful swizzle stick.

*To swizzle: place the stick/barspoon between your hands and rub them back and forth rapidly so the stick/barspoon swirls the ingredients of your drink together and causes some dilution.

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Swizzlin’. I’ll be swizzlin’ all day loooooong. Tiki Cheers to y’all!

Thanks to Berentzen for the tasty Peach Liqueur and bitters!

Genever & the Flemish Martinez

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Ok, so y’all remember how I went to Belgium cause I was going to visit my brother and drink “all the Jenever?”  Well, dreams are one thing but reality is often so much better and WOW my mom and I had some really tasty stuff. We drank everything from “the Best Beer in the World” (Westvleteren, at the Sint Sixtus Abbey. Tears to my eyes!), to some of the best Gins I’ve ever had (and am actively trying to import to the USA), to incredible wines from my brother’s collection (cause we DeLunas are totally wine snobs), to yes, Genever.

Let’s take a lil photo trip shall we?

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The most idyllic sheep on earth y’all.

Flanders, the eastern part of Belgium, is home to a lot of agriculture and we all know what that means. Sheep, cows, pastoral landscapes, incredible cheeses and…Grains, y’all. It means grains.

Where there is a ton of grain and a good water supply, there can be a ton of spirit production.

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Don’t you love that Genever comes in a clay pot? So cool.

The earliest reference to Genever dates all the way back to the 13th C in Brugge, Belgium (Bruges for all you French speaking people). There is further mention of Genever production found in papers from the 16th C in Antwerp. The earliest reference to Jenever distillation in the Netherlands is from the 17th C, meaning that Genever was actually created in Flanders and not in Holland.

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This lovely photo is from the medieval city of Gent (Ghent for all y’all francophiles). These two buildings in the center of the photo are actually from the Middle Ages and still standing! Stunning architecture, no?

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There is also a fabulous medieval castle in Gent, Kasteel Gravesteen. Ohhhhh, so massive, so spooky.

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But the real reason I wanted to go to Gent was to drink at ‘t Dreupelkot, home of the largest selection of Genever in Belgium. With over 200 different types, I was freaking out like a kid in a candy store!

The fun thing about Genever in a place like ‘t Dreupelkot is that they have flavored versions too which are somewhat like liqueurs and maaaaaad tasty. The flavors shown above are Hazelnut, Kirsch, and one of their many Oude Graanjenevers. It was divine! I would drink that Hazelnut one errrrryday if I could.

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So this brings us back to an important point, what exactly IS Genever? Well, it’s a combination of neutral grain spirit, moutwjin (malt wine, aka distilled fermented barley malt), sugar, juniper, and other herbs. This delicious Fillier’s Oude Graanjenever 5 Jaar tastes something like a mix between malt Whisky and Old Tom Gin. It’s fabulous and I am definitely loving all of its supreme richness.

There are two main types of Genever:

  1. Oude is created in the old style with grains, malt wine, typically distilled in an Alembic still, and a higher amount of sugar than…
  2. Jonge is much closer to a neutral grain spirit and can be made with nearly any type of base (sugar beets, grains), some malt wine and sugar.

When served a pour of Genever, the barman typically fills the glass to the very top and it is customary to bend over and take your first sip from the glass. Then you raise your glass and say “Santé” or “Gezondheid”!

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…Buuuuuut, this is me, and who am I? “A gurrrrrrl making fabulous cocktails.” Mhmm. So, let’s put this glorious, malty, lightly sweet Fillier’s Oude Graanjenever in a cocktail!

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What could be more fitting for the grandfather of Gin than a Martinez variation? Nada, y’all. Nada!

Since our base spirit is Genever and not Old Tom Gin, I felt like Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao was the way to go instead of Maraschino. Equally as important was using two types of vermouth, so as not to overwhelm the drink with sweetness. Lastly, Boker’s Bitters cause they’re perfect in a Martinez.

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Stirrrrrr like you’re thinking about how 13th Century Belgium is about to give a sublime gift to your palate.

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Though this might not be the most adventurously named Martinez variation, it is accurate and like your history teacher probably said, “Accuracy is key.”

Flemish Martinez

  • 2 oz Filliers’ Oude Graanjenever 5 Jaar
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Rouge
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
  • 1 dash Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrr whilst you think about the middle ages. Strain into chilled coupe and garnish.

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Cheers and may this post fill your mind with knowledge, a desire to visit Flanders, and a thirst for Genever! I know I’ll be going back as soon as I possibly can cause Belgium is a beautiful, tasty country!

 

Barb’s Rhubarb Daiquiri

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Oh my y’all. This drink. This one is just like “slurrrrrp”!

As you may or may not recall, I got some Rhubarb from the farmer’s market and made syrup with it. When I posted the photo to Instagram, a very nice man named mr.zsolt left an exciting comment, “I made a rhubarb daiquiri, my customers love it!”

RHUBARB DAIQUIRI! BRILLIANT!

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I mean, this syrup in a Daiquiri? Come on, how awesome would that be?

Also, look at the color. It’s like a jewel from the heart of a dragon…it’s like a a Ruby from the blood of 1000 Kings…it’s like the sun just before it disappears below the horizon…it’s really damn pretty.

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I asked Mr. Zsolt what his recipe was and he said 2:1:1 with Pampero Blanco. Well, I don’t have that Rum but I do have Denizen Aged White Rum (my fave) and all the grassy funky notes in it were sure to go well with Rhubarb.

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I also didn’t want to have quite as much juice as Mr. Zsolt, so I picked a different set of specs – 2:3/4:3/4. Since I used Barb’s Rhubarb Syrup, I named the Daiquiri after her.

Barb’s Rhubarb Daiquiri

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

*No garnish cause I was like, “Gurrrl, it’s perfect. How could anything improve this drink?” Well, maybe a dry Cava float…or maybe some of that amazing Amaro Sfumato Rababaro…that stuff is legit!

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This Daiquiri is really really great. I’m not gonna lie, I made it for my girlfriend and we were both like, “oh woooow.” It’s planty but not too planty, elegant, and really refrescando!

I hope y’all enjoy it as much as we do! Cheers!