It’s Mardi Gras! Let’s drink that Creole Sazerac!

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It’s Mardi Gras y’all! Happy Fat Tuesday to all y’all and to all y’all about to get into that Lent Lyfe, I say, “good luck!”

I love Mardi Gras because my mom’s side of the family is from Mississippi, I lived in Alabama for 10 years and I love wild parties. I had a great decade living in the South, great food, great friends, many many huge parties. I was a fairly busy DJ while I lived in BHM, and so most anything Southern reminds me of the good times. Nostalgia!

If you read that post I wrote for a Negroniac, you know I have a THING for Sazeracs and their variations. For this Mardi Gras’ Sazerac, I was inspired by the 18.21 Spicy Creole Bitters. These bitters are straight Tony Chachere’s! Mamoo used to cook with these spices all the time growin’ up! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the 18.21 Spicy Cajun Bitters are like a firey infusion of Cajun Spices in a bottle of bitters. Perfect for a bayou Sazerac variation.

Creole Sazerac

  • 2 oz Rye
  • 1/2 oz Campari
  • 1/4 oz St George Absinthe Verte
  • 2 dashes 18.21 Bitters Spicy Creole Bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Barspoon Turbinado Sugar
  • 1/4 oz Water
  • Garnish: Orange Peel

Combine ingredients and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add ice and stir again until drink has chilled. Strain into chilled rocks glass. Express Orange Peel and garnish (or don’t garnish, it is a Sazerac and therefore up to you).

*Note: In this variation, I felt the Campari would play well with the Creole bitters. I also felt that Peychaud’s would not stand up to Campari quite like Angostura does. I did not follow the traditional Sazerac formula of two glass mixing and therefore the 1/4 oz of Water is crucial.

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Thanks again to 18.21 for the Spicy Creole Bitters! 

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Rothko 1957 with 18.21 Tart Cherry + Saffron Bitters

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I would say that creating a cocktail is rather similar to creating a work of art or a piece of music. Cocktails begin in the mind, are tinkered with in the mixing tin (often several times over) and then presented to the public to behold, taste, feel and enjoy. When I make a piece of music, it always begins in my mind, then I go to my instrument, work on the main theme over and over until it is ready for supporting layers. Finally, upon completion, I present my piece of music to the public for them to hear, feel and enjoy.

For this drink, I began, in my mind, with the 18.21 Tart Cherry + Saffon Bitters. The profile of these bitters is Cherry on the bottom and in the back, Saffron up front and on top. I wanted to bring out the Cherry a bit more, so I added the syrup frrom Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. Then I knew that I wanted a complex set of modifiers, which came in the form of Carpano Antica and Inocente Fino Sherry. The hardest ingredient was actually which spirit to use for the base. After much trial and error, I decided that I wanted a spicy Bourbon and Elijah Craig 12 Year was perfect.

What is Rothko 1957? The name is a reference to a painting by Mark Rothko, Saffron 1957. Yeah man, we’re making art, man.

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Rothko 1957

  • 2 oz Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
  • Heavy 1/4 oz Inocente Fino Sherry (just slightly more than 1/4 oz)
  • 2 droppers 18.21 Tart Cherry + Saffron Bitters
  • 1 Barspoon Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Syrup*
  • Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherries*

Combine ingredients, add ice and stirrrrrr until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into Rocks glass with Ice. Garnish with three Luxardo Maraschino Cherries.

*In my mind, if you’re not getting some snooty pooty Brandied Cherries, these are the only cherries to buy. Never get the bright red ones, so gross.

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Tasty times, artful minds. #SnootyBooty

Thanks again to 18.21 Bitters for their sensational Tart Cherry + Saffron Bitters!

Brunch Bonanza: Sangre del Diablo with 18.21 Bitters

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Hellooooooo weekend party people! It’s time for another Brunch Bonanza, the segment where we talk about Brunch Cocktails.

Now, I totally consider a Margarita to be a Brunch cocktail cause when is it not Margarita Time? When? Never. It’s never not Margarita Time but most certainly never not at Brunch! Vitamin C, Sugar, Salt, Tequila, more Tequila, etc = perfect companion to the first Weekend meal of the day.

Also, it’s Blood Orange season and I absolutely love Blood Oranges. I like their flavour better than regular Oranges and the colour is just terrifying! Nothing like being afraid of the fruit you’re about to eat, amirite? No? Ok. Add to this the fantastic and SPICY 18.21 Japanese Chili & Lime Bitters and you have a cocktail to set the Devil’s Blood on fire!

Sangre del Diablo

  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila or Jalapeño infused Blanco Tequila*
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 3/4 oz Blood Orange Juice
  • 1/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 2-3 droppers 18.21 Japanese Chili Lime Bitters*
  • Garnishes: Pink Salt rim and Blood Orange Wheel

Combine ingredients in Tin and shakity-shake-shake over ice. Strain into Salt rimmed rocks glass over ice. Garnish with Blood Orange Wheel. Feel the fire.

*If you’re a caucasian human, I recommend you keep things on the less spicy side. If you’re a POC, go wild, it’s up to you! If you’re half caucasian/half Mexican like I am, use 1 oz Jalapeño Tequila and 1 oz Blanco Tequila. If you’re offended by this joke, #SorryNotSorry.

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Yes, that is Cointreau in a jar cause I live in a tiny apartment and we all have to make sacrifices.

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Wooooooo, beautifulness is coming for youuuuuu. ¡Viva la Vida!

Mr Thomas with 18.21 Earl Grey Bitters

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Hellooooo February, you strangely spelled month you. The month of bitter cold, lots of chocolate and luvvvvvvvv. It’s nasty as all hell outside in Brooklyn this morning, so let’s dive right into this bright, shimmery stirred cocktail with 18.21 Bitters! For my posts on 18.21 Bitters, I’ve decided to change the format from one giant “You’re So Kind” post to individual posts.

The 18.21 Earl Grey bitters are everything I wanted them to be, namely, they are potently Earl Grey. When I opened the bottle and sniffed the fabulous Earl Grey aroma, my brain said “GIN”, so I agreed. Then my brain said, “in the style of a martini but with just a touch of Sunshine” (aka St-Germain) and here we are.

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Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrrrr. Strain into coupe, express Lemon peel and garnish.

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Thanks to 18.21 Bitters for these wonderful Earl Grey bitters! They’re so kind! I will be using the Earl Grey with more Gin, Tequila and Pimm’s. I just need to get the Pimm’s back in my home bar! 

You’re So Kind: 18.21 Bitters Part 1

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So, as I mentioned the other day, the lovely people at 18.21 Bitters sent me a whole bunch of Shrub/Syrup/Bitters. LET ME TELL Y’ALL, I am LOVING 18.21 Bitters! These are so fun, so complex and lend themselves to creativity. Inspirational, I AM INSPIRED! With flavours like Lavender + Sea Salt Syrup and Charred Lime, Jalapeño + Peppercorn Syrup, WHO WOULDN’T BE INSPIRED?

Well, to put all of these products on display in one post would be too much, so I’m gonna split it up. This first post will have recipes for the Shrubs and Syrups and the second post will have recipes for the Bitters.

What I’ve got:

  1. Lavender + Sea Salt Syrup – Salt up front, Lavender second which makes for some excellent layered flavour!
  2. Charred Lime, Jalapeño + Peppercorn Syrup – Savory spice bonanza, hits you all at once! I died with happiness!
  3. Pumpkin Spice Shrub – I don’t care that Halloween and ThanxG are over, this shit is DELICIOUS!
  4. Blackberry Peppercorn Shrub – Honestly, good enough to drink alone with Club Soda. Fabulousness awaits!

And now, the cocktails.

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Lavender + Sea Salt Syrup: I tasted it and my mind said, OLD TOM GIN! So I said yes, added some lemon and a bit of Cocchi Americano. You’re welcome.

A Weekend In Dover

  • 2 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
  • 1/2 oz 18.21 Bitters Lavender + Sea Salt Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Peel

Combine ingredients in tin and shakity shake shake. Double strain into coupe, express Lemon peel and garnish.

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Charred Lime, Jalapeño + Peppercorn Syrup: Honestly, I’d recommend first making a standard Margarita with this and THEN get creative. Like, when you get a new Rum, you make a Daiquiri and then you start experimenting. Ya know? It was a damn good Margarita btw.

Zapatista Landscape

  • 1 1/4 oz Corralejo Añejo Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Jalapeño infused Espolón Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Punt e Mes
  • 1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
  • 1/2 oz 18.21 Bitters Charred Lime Jalapeño Peppercorn Syrup
  • Pinch of Salt

Combine ingredients and stir over ice. Strain into double rocks glass. Add pinch of Salt as garnish.

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Pumpkin Spice Shrub: Yes, it’s Pumpkin Pie in a glass but it’s also a Shrub so that nice bit of vinegar really makes for awesome sipping. Here’s a drink which combines all of our favourite Autumn/Winter flavours into one drink!

That Pumpkin Business

  • 1 3/4 oz Rye
  • 3/4 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy
  • 1/2 oz Cynar
  • 1/4 oz St Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1 oz 18.21 Bitters Pumpkin Spice Shrub
  • Maraschino Cherry
  • Freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine ingredients in tin and shake over ice. Strain into double rocks glass over ice. Garnish with Cherry and freshly grated Nutmeg.

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Blackberry + Peppercorn Shrub: Y’all the vinegar in this shrub is Balsamic Vinegar and ooooooh my, it is soooo yummy! This drink sort of follows my “try to make things that aren’t Jack n Coke but sort of remind the drinker that there is more to life than Jack n Coke” formula.

Decatur Cola

  • 1 1/2 oz Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1 oz 18.21 Bitters Blackberry Shrub
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Maraschino Cherries
  • Club soda

Combine ingredients in tin over ice and shake shake shake. Strain into Collins glass over ice. Top with Club Soda and garnish with Cherries.

Cheers to you all! I will be posting many more recipes with 18.21 Bitters Shrubs and Syrups so be on the lookout! This has been You’re So Kind, the part of the show where someone sends me some bottles and I talk about how great they are!