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!

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Mother’s Day with NOLET’S Gin

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Happy almost-Mother’s Day y’all!

Isn’t “mother” a funny word? Your mother, my mother, every mother! Mother… mother, mother. Mother may I? Ya mutha’. I feel like the more I say it, the stranger it sounds. I actually call my mother “Mamoo” which is sort of like Mom +Mam-e (another nickname for her) + “Faboo!” (Animaniacs). I also call my Mother “Hun” or “Dear Hun” and she calls me the same.

My Mamoo is a fabulous lady who likes the finer things in life, so I wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day with the fanciest Gin on earth: NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin.

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NOLET’S Gin is one of the most delicious and unique Gins I’ve ever tasted. It has prominent notes of Turkish Rose, Raspberry, Peach, and Lemon sherbet, along with the usual Gin botanicals. The viscosity is excellent (to die for in a Martini), it’s 92.5 proof, and when you sip it, this Gin straight up makes you feel elegant.

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Now that we’ve got a glorious Gin, let’s make our mothers a celebratory cocktail or three, shall we?

We’ll start with one based on an Aperol Fizz but with a bit more booze and lots of fruit. Mamoo likes strawberries and oranges, so I’ve thrown those into the mix.

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I’ve named this drink for my Dear Hun and these are her initials.

SJ Fizz

  • 1 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
  • 1 oz Aperol
  • Chilled, dry sparkling Rosé like Cava Rosat or Rosé Brut
  • Garnish: Strawberries, *Cara Cara Orange Wedges, Mint Bouquet

Build in glass: add fruit and a couple of ice cubes to a wine glass. Add NOLET’S Gin, Aperol and gently stir til things are swimming along nicely. Top with sparkling Rosé and garnish with a Mint Bouquet.

*Note: I’m obsessed with Cara Cara Oranges. They are so much more pleasant than regular Naval oranges, have floral & berry notes, and are less acidic tasting.

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For this next one, keep that bottle of sparkling Rosé handy cause we’re going to make a French 75 variation. NOLET’S Gin is from the Netherlands, so I’ve named the cocktail accordingly. The number I’ve chosen may or may not have to do with a certain Mamoo’s age…I’ll never tell.

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We’re also going to make a pretty pretty princess Citrus peel rose garnish. Grab one Lemon, one Red Grapefruit, a peeler and a cocktail pick. Peel a strip from each fruit, trying to make your peels about the same length. Roll them together into a rose and spear with the pick.

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Nice right? A rose for ya mutha’ and to compliment the rose notes in the Gin. SYNERGY!

Dutch 65

  • 1 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 oz Rich Cane Sugar Syrup
  • Chilled, dry sparkling Rosé like Cava Rosat or Rosé Brut
  • Garnish: Grapefruit & Lemon peel rose

Combine NOLET’S Gin, Lemon juice, and syrup over ice and stir. Strain into your prettiest coupe or champagne flute. Top with sparkling Rosé and garnish with Citrus rose.

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Lastly, we’re going to make a variation on a Pimm’s Cup cause what mother doesn’t love Pimm’s? (Every mother loves Pimm’s, she just doesn’t know it yet.)

To make the cucumber garnish, you’ll need to cut the cucumber into long spears, get a zester/channel knife, and score the cucumber.

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My mom’s family name is Maddox, hence the name of the cocktail.

Maddox Cup

  • 1 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
  • 1 oz Pimm’s No.1
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 oz Rich Cane Sugar Syrup
  • Club Soda
  • Garnishes: Strawberries, Cara Cara Orange wedges, scored Cucumber spear, Mint Bouquet

Build in glass: place cucumber spear in glass, then layer fruit and ice. Add NOLET’S Gin, Pimm’s, Lemon Juice, Syrup, soda and stir gently. Top with Mint Bouquet

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Man, that cucumber garnish is really speaking to me. So fresh, so healthy! Your mother would be proud of you for eating your veggies!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of your Moms! May they have the fanciest day ever. Cheers!

 

 

HBG Video: Gin & Orange No. 1

Hey y’alllllll! Welcome to my first cocktail video! My friend, the incomparable Julian Franco came over to my lil apt, and shot this video of me making Gin & Orange No. 1. Hope you enjoy and here’s the recipe!

Gin & Orange No. 1

  • 1 1/2 oz London Dry Gin
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • Two dashes Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Stirrrrrr & Strain. Express Orange peel and garnish.

Cheers!

Bimini Gin: Sunshine in a Bottle

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Woooooohoo-hoo-hoo y’all, I’ve got it! I’ve got the fun we’ve been looking for!

I recently had the supreme pleasure of tasting a new Gin at Pouring Ribbons here in NYC. It was one of their Monday night 80s parties and they were making Pretty In Pink themed cocktails. I saw a tasty looking Negroni variation with Bimini Gin, Campari, Red Grapefruit + some other fun stuff and ordered one.

It was totally awesome and the Gin was soooooooo good!

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Like SO SO SO GOOD! Fortunately for me, Darren Case (creator of Bimini) was at the party handing out samples of his fabulous Gin and I got to taste it.

With notes of Citrus peel, flowers, Coriander, Cardamom, a shimmering viscosity, and some kind of extra magic, Bimini Gin is literally perfect for hot weather cocktails. Like, I want to make a million Tom Collins with this stuff.

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But first things first, what do we do when we get a new Gin? We make a Martini.

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For Bimini Gin, I felt a Melissa Martini was the best way to go cause this bright, sunny Gin is begging for Lemon Balm + Dolin Blanc.

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I’ve changed the ratios from the original Melissa Martini and nixed the Absinthe to better pair with the lightness of Bimini Gin.

Melissa Martini No. 2

  • 2 1/4 oz Bimini Gin
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc (Carpano Bianco would be awesome too)
  • Garnish: Lemon Balm leaf

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrr til it becomes a bit cloudy. Strain into chilled coupe. Spank the Lemon Balm leaf, rub it on the glass, smell it, and garnish.

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You can bet I will be making more cocktails with Bimini Gin, so stay tuned! Cheers to our upcoming summer weather!

Album of the Year 2015

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Last year I created this glorious cocktail in honor of my fave Album of the Year for 2014. The drink featured Nolet Silver Gin + Cranberry infused Dolin Rouge and the album was Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband.

Well, I’m keeping the tradition alive, so this year I’m giving Album of the Year to…

Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love 

Not only is it fucking amazing that they reunited to create this record, it’s a fucking brilliant record. Sleater-Kinney rock harder than they ever have, the production is outstanding, and I’ve listened to the record like 1000x this year.

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And now for the recipe.

Album of the Year Cocktail

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into your most beautiful coupe and sip while listening to your album of the year.

Cheers!

Professor Plum, in the Kitchen, with the bottle of Sherry

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Still rolling deep with that Lemon Sherbet, still trying to keep it real seasonal with a Gin + Plum drink! This cocktail is refreshing, has a great set of spices, and plum-a-liscious. Now all we need is that old box of Clue and we can get this party started.

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For starters, you need to make Lemon Sherbet, my new fave ingredient. Head over here for the recipe. Next you need a nice, big, juicy, plum. Yum, bum, bum.  Then you can make a Lemon Plum Purée.

Lemon Plum Purée

  • 1 Plum, pitted, skinned, and sliced into chunks
  • 3/4 oz Sherbet

Combine ingredients in blender and purée until everything is swimming together nicely.

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Then you need to grab a bottle of Old Tom Gin, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Amontillado Sherry, and a Cinnamon stick.

Professor Plum (in the Kitchen, with the bottle of Sherry)

  • 1 3/4 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1/4 oz Amontillado Sherry
  • 1/4 oz St Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • Lemon Plum Purée
  • Garnish: Cinnamon bark

Combine ingredients over ice and shake vigorously. Dirty pour into Mule cup. Grate a bit of Cinnamon bark on top and garnish with the bark. Yummmm.

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Not sure it was Professor Plum, in the Kitchen, with the bottle of Sherry? Well, then why is all of the Sherry gone?

He Was A Sage Bro

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SAGE. SAAAAAAAAAGE. What started as a little trip to the Farmer’s Market turned into one of the most enjoyable weeks of drink making I’ve had all year. Sage is so earthy, has such depth of flavor, and is perfect for muddling into Cocktails!

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If only you could last forever, I would never let you go. #SageLover

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I’ve got one last cocktail to wrap up this week’s Sage + Gin party and it’s a stirred drink. This one is a riff on a 2:1 Martini  with a bit of Chartreuse Vert for its vegetal qualities and using one of my fave Vermouths, Carpano Bianco.

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As far as the name goes, um, it sort of popped in my head and I sort of said, “Ok Bro.”

He Was A Sage Bro

  • 2 oz Plymouth Gin (or a similar Gin)
  • 1 oz Carpano Bianco
  • 1/4 oz Chartreuse Vert
  • 5-6 Sage leaves
  • Garnish: Sage leaf

Combine ingredients and gently muddle Sage leaves. Add ice and give it a nice long stir. Double strain into chilled coupe and garnish with one Sage leaf.

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Thanks lil bundle of Sage for all the magic and thanks to The Baddish Group for the Carpano Bianco!