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!

An Illustrated Guide to All Things Rum

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Hey y’all, as I was rolling through my twitter feed, I ran across this Rum Guide from Fix.com and thought it was worth posting cause: 1. I’m obsessed with Rum, 2. its got recipes for a couple of Rum cocktails and y’all know how I feel about that. (Good, I feel real good.)

Rum Guide: Dark ’N’ Stormy Recipe
Source: Fix.com Blog

From Fix:

“Molasses based rum is the most common form. This type of rum is brought to a boil and the sugar is then transferred to tanks where it crystallizes and becomes molasses. A mixture of yeast, distilled water, and nutrients is then fermented for up to three weeks…

Knowing the basic rum terminology will go far next time you are in the rum aisle. Know how to read the bottle and find the perfect rum that agrees with your taste buds. Whether drinking it neat or in a cocktail, there are qualities of rum on all spectrums. Ignore the jargon written on bottles that are just trying to pull you in, trust your research instead.”

Then they proceed to give a breakdown of the Rum categories, which is totally great info for any Home Bartender to have.

Rum Guide: Classic Mai Tai Recipe
Source: Fix.com Blog

And, I fully support anyone talking bout a tasty Mai Tai recipe! Cheers and may your Rum education be factual and deeeeeeep.

The Birthday Daiquiri

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Howdy y’all! It’s been a minute! How is everyone doing? Are we all collectively melting into a pool of sweat and heatstroke?

Last week was my Birfday and I had a fun filled week! It all started on Sunday when I decided I would “ring it in” with a couple of Daiquiri variations. I liked one of them enough to do a proper write up and so I present to you:

The Birthday Daiquiri!

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What’s so special about this Daiquiri that now it’s my Official Birthday Drink™? Just check the ingredients:

  1. Denizen Aged White Rum*: hands down the most used Rum in my Home Bar cause it’s totally flavorful and super versatile. I love this Rum. #TeamDenizen
  2. Apricot Liqueur + St. George Absinthe Verte: recently discovered this flavor combo and DAMNNNNNNN, it’s fabulous! Put these two in a drink and your mouth will rejoice!
  3. Lime and Cane Sugar syrup: cause it’s a Daiquiri and we’re keeping it classic

*Note, Denizen Aged White Rum has a brown label now. I’m still working through this bottle and will get the updated bottle soon.

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Pro Tip: I’ve put the Absinthe into a lil bottle with a dropper cause I’ve started adding it by the drop for more control.

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Why no garnish? Cause when shit is this delicious, you don’t need to add anything else!

The Birthday Daiquiri

  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz 1:1 Cane Sugar Syrup
  • 8 drops St. George Absinthe Vert
  • No Garnish

Combine ingredients and shake it like a rocket. Double strain into chilled coupe. Sip, smile, IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY NOW!

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If you’re an August baby like me and it really is your Birthday, Happy Happy to youuuu! Cheers!

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!