I Made Mulled White Wine with the Cooking Gift Set Co. Brewing Kit and It’s a Game Changer

Wooooo y’all, I’m super pumped to be writing this post! A couple of weeks ago, Cooking Gift Set Co. hit me up and asked if I wanted to give their Mulled Wine Brewing Kit a whirl and I was like, “HELL YES!” You know I love infusing spirits and making syrups and to have a product with allllll my fave spices in a kit was music to my Home Bar Grrrrl ears!

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In addition to good looking and perfectly sized packaging (I mean, look at this amazing packaging!) the Cooking Gift Set Co. Mulled Wine Brewing Kit comes with detailed recipes! Oh how I love a very specific recipe!

The recipes include Festive Red, Spiced Cider, Gløgg, Glühwein, and Lush White…

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…LUSH WHITE. Hold up a sec! “Lush White? MULLED WHITE WINE?” Yes y’all, MULLED WHITE WINE. Game changer.

Their recommendation was to use a Dry Chardonnay or Viognier but I wanted to try it with Chenin Blanc cause lately I’ve been on a Chenin Blanc kick. Typically Chenin Blanc is big bodied for white wines, kind of fruity, dry, and really pleasant.

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I read the Lush White recipe which suggested the use of dried orange peel, cloves, star anise, and crystalized ginger. I toasted the spices for a minute or two on low heat…

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…put the spices in one of the satchels from the Mulled Wine Brewing Kit, added 1 bottle of Chenin Blanc, 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup sugar, and a couple of lemon peels.

Then let it simmer, not boil, for around 20 mins (as per the instructions). After that I turned the heat off, covered the pot and let it sit for around 30 mins. (The instructions said to let it sit for 5 minutes but y’all know I can’t let something sit for less than 30.)

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Voila, I had just made the delicious Lush White Mulled Wine. And I’m talking SUPER DELICIOUS. The spices are so so nice, the balance is excellent with star anise coming through first followed by an undercurrent of earthiness from the orange peel, cloves, and ginger.

So, now what? What to do with Mulled White Wine?

Gurrrrrrl, first of all, you should just pour some in a mug with a cinnamon stick and “wooooo” yourself to paradise! Then maybe put on your fave winter movie and chill out on the couch.

But wait, there’s more! You may be thinking, “I know what this Mulled White Wine needs. It needs some Brandy.” Congratulations, you’ve literally just made Fortified Wine. Wine + Sweetness + Herbes/Spices + Fortification (aka some kind of spirit) = Fortified Wine. America, get on that shit.

Lush White Fortified Wine

  • 6 parts Lush White Mulled Wine
  • 1-2 parts Brandy, Cognac, Calvados, Apple Brandy, or Pear Brandy

When serving, I’d encourage freshly grated Nutmeg as a garnish.

If for some reason you didn’t drink all of your Lush White Mulled Wine and part of the bottle made it to the fridge, you can use the wine as a cocktail ingredient.

There were a lot of possibilities when trying to come up with a Cocktail worthy of the Lush White but my first and best thought was, “Gurrrrl, put it with Aged Rhum Agricole and Creole Shrubb.” Done.

Nöel in the Antilles

  • 3 oz Lush White Mulled Wine
  • 3/4 oz Rhum JM VO Agricole (or the Aged Agricole of your choice)
  • 1 barspoon Hamilton Petite Shrubb (or the Creole Shrubb of your choice)
  • Garnish: Star Anise

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrrrrr. Strain into chilled coupe and garnish.


Holiday Cheers to y’all and if you want to order a Cooking Gift Set Co. Mulled Wine Brewing Kit, use the code HomeBarGirl and get 20% off if you order by Christmas Day! AMAZING RIGHT?

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Stirred Drinks with Rhum Agricole: L’Acajou

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Alriiiiiight, so I decided to take my Rhum Agricole obsession and turn it into a series of stirred drinks cause AUTUMN Y’ALL. Why does Rhum automatically have to be associated with Tiki drinks and Tropicals times? (Cause it’s damn good that’s why.)

Fore real though, I got a whole bunch of stuff from the House of Agricole (Clement, Damoiseau, & Rhum JM) and decided to make a series of drinks with aged Rhum Agricole. I am fully aware that this concept is a bit difficult to get one’s head around but trust me, these drinks are deeeelicious.

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So let’s talk about Rhum Agricole cause I’ve started teaching classes about this delicious category of Rhum but don’t think I’ve addressed it here on Home Bar Girl.

  1. What is Rhum Agricole? It’s Rhum made from freshly pressed Cane Juice instead of being made from Molasses (like most Rums you know) or another Sugar Cane byproduct.
  2. Why is it spelled with an “h”? Cause it’s French and that’s how the french do.
  3. Why does it taste super different from all the other Rums I know? Fresh Cane Juice makes Rhum taste like plants instead of tasting like caramelized or molasses sugar. Rhum Agricole is mega herbaceous, a bit funky, and has an unusually high level of Terroir. So much so that Rhum Agricole made in Martinique has an actual AOC designation from the french government, just like french wines do.
  4. Did I mention that Martinique is part of the French Commonwealth? It is. Colonialism.

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“So what’s the deal with this drink gurl?” Basically, I wanted to accomplish the following:

  1. I wanted to put Rhum Clement Vieux Agricole in a stirred drink. Based on all of the planty, grassy, rubbery, fruity notes in the Rhum, I knew it would go well with Giffard Banane du Bresil.
  2. Giffard Banane is basically like Banana Bread in a bottle. Carmelized banana, baking spices, deep toffee notes. This shit is like crack if crack was in Banana form.
  3. Fancy Tony’s bitters were given to me by Tony himself! Thanks Tony! They’ve got citrus, spices, allspice, and basically everything you want in Tiki bitters.

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I wanted the Orange oil to be happening but I didn’t want to put a peel in the drink cause I felt like the presentation would be too overwhelming. Overwhelming? WHUT…

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…Nutmeg. Yep. It’s that time of year. The time of year when I put Nutmeg in almost every single drink. No one wants to look at a drink with an Orange peel AND Nutmeg so we’re going to express the Orange peel and discard.

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The word L’Acajou means “Mahogany” en français and was a word used in advertisements for Rhum Clement Vieux Agricole back in the 1930s. Since this drink is the nearly the same color as mahogany, I’m using the word “L’Acajou” for this drink. Also, it sounds awesome. Say, “L’Acajou” fives times to yourself. Yeah gurl, you love it.

L’Acajou

  • 1 1/2 oz Rhum Clement Vieux Agricole
  • Heavy 1/4 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • Fancy Tony’s Tiki Bitters (sub Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki Bitters or Angostura Bitters)
  • Garnish: Orange oil, freshly grated Nutmeg

Build in glass: Add Rhum, Banane du Bresil, Bitters, ice and stir. Express Orange peel and discard, grate Nutmeg on top.

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Hope y’all enjoy this and it gets your juices flowing for some really killer Stirred Drinks with Rhum Agricole! Santé!

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!

 

 

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!