Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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Happy St Patrick’s day to you all with a Teeling Irish Whiskey cocktail: The Bookseller!

On my way to creating the above cocktail, I read through a bunch of classic Irish Whiskey recipes for inspiration. A couple of them are too good not to post so here they are! I will definitely be making one of them at home today!

Belvedere Cocktail (The Wine and Spirit Bulletin, Louisville 1917)

  • 1/2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Dry Gin
  • 1/2 oz Red Vermouth
  • 2 to 3 dashes Absinthe

Shake with cracked ice and strain into cocktail glass. This cocktail is attributed to the Hotel Belvedere in Baltimore, MD. (source: Martin’s New & Improved Index of Cocktails & Mixed Drinks.)

Black Thorn (Harry Johnson, 1900)

  • 1 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 3 to 4 dashes of Absinthe
  • 3 to 4 dashes of Boker’s Bitters (or Aromatic Bitters)

Stir with cracked ice and strain into a wine glass. (source: Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual.)

Irish Cocktail (Harry Johnson, 1900)

  • 2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 2 to 3 dashes Absinthe
  • 1 dash Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 dash Orange Curaçao
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters (or Aromatic Bitters)
  • Garnish: Lemon Peel and an Olive

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Express Lemon Peel and garnish, try it with the Olive. The salt and brine from the Olive will balance out the sweet. (source: Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual.)

Shamrock Cocktail (Hugo Ennslin, 1917)

  • 1 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 3 dashes Chartreuse Vert
  • 3 dashes Crème de Menthe
  • Garnish: Olive

Stir over cracked ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with an Olive. (Source: Martin’s New & Improved Index of Cocktails & Mixed Drinks.)

Cool right? I love that back in the early 20th C the answer to balancing out sweetness was to add an Olive garnish. Brilliant. I am really into the Irish Cocktail btw.

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Now, back to St Patrick’s Day 2015: I decided to make a Manhattan Variation with Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey and Averna. I knew that I wanted to use Carpano Antica as the vermouth because it goes so well with Averna. Who am I kidding, Carpano Antica goes with everything! I was looking for a finishing touch and a way to bring out all those Rum notes in the Teeling and St Elizabeth Allspice Dram called to me from on top of the fridge*.

The Bookseller

  • 2 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Antica
  • 1/4 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1 dash St Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine ingredients and stir over ice until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into coupe. Express Orange peel and garnish.

*Yes, a lot of my liquor is kept in a nice red tray on top of the fridge. Remember, 500sq ft apartment y’all!
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It’s like you and your bottle of Teeling took a trip to the Caribbean and ordered a Manhattan. Yes.
Thanks again to The Baddish Group for the delicious bottle of Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey!
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Suspicious Behaviour

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It was 50° F in Brooklyn today, YAAAAAAAS KWEEN. I feel like now that the snow is melting and Daylight Savings time is happening, I’ve got a new lease on life. I feel like a real woman, a woman who can go outside without fear. I also feel like a woman who’d like to drink something with Whiskey, Citrus, Bitter and Pernod on the rocks.

Suspicious Behaviour

  • 2 oz Rye
  • 1/2 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1/4 oz Campari
  • 1/2-3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice (depending on how sweet/bitter)*
  • Pernod Pastis Rinse

Rinse a rocks glass with Pernod Pastis and chill glass. Combine remaining ingredients and stir over ice until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into rinsed rocks glass with ice. Cheers!

*I know drinks with citrus are usually shaken but I did not want to shake this drink. I wanted the smoothness of a stirred drink not the agitation of a shaken drink.

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Spring is coming! I can feel it in my bones! 

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!

Devil’s Pie

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This drink was fully inspired by the Vosges Black Salt Caramel Chocolate Bar. My girlfriend and I ate it, then we thought, “How close can we get to this in a drink?” Well, with the ingredients on hand, this was as close as I could get. It’s pretty fabulous. Not terribly sweet, nice and dark, and the two Amari make things interesting.

Bonus: Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt is always the best.

Yesterday, the new D’Angelo record Black Messiah came out and oh my god, CANNOT STOP LISTENING. It’s so damn funky and D’Angelo just totally rules on vocals. I mean, he always rules, but the Lordt knoweth, he totally owns. Fabulous. We named this drink after one of his songs, Devil’s Pie.

Devil’s Pie

  • 2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Aged Rum
  • 3/4 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1/2 oz Green Mountain Maple Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Santa Maria al Monte Amaro
  • 1/4 oz Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters
  • 1 pinch Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt
  • Shaved dark Chocolate

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into coupe, shave dark Chocolate on top.

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Just Look at This List: Dudley’s

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The other night some friends and I went to Dudley’s in the LES for cocktails and it was pretty sensational. I mean, just look at this list! Each drink we had was so delicious that I nearly re-ordered a drink. We chatted a lot with the very nice barman who’s name is Tom Roughton, very fun and very topknot. He was kind enough to share two of his recipes from that night’s menu with us: Keat’s Apothecary and the special drink of the night Hail Mary.

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Keat’s Apothecary

  • 3/4 oz Apple Brandy
  • 3/4 oz Rye
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Antica
  • 2 dashes Fernet Branca
  • 2 dashes Chartreuse Vert
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Orange peel

Combine ingredients in tin over ice and stir. Strain into ice filled rocks glass, express Orange Peel and garnish.

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Hail Mary

  • 1/2 oz Chartreuse Vert
  • 1/2 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1/2 oz Honey Syrup
  • Pernod Absinthe rinse
  • Doc’s Cider float

Rinse rocks glass with Absinthe and chill. In tin, combine Chartreuse, Averna and Honey syrup over ice and shake. Strain into rinsed glass, add rocks and float cider.

Tasty tasty times!

You’re So Kind: Berentzen Bushel & Barrel

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The very kind people at Berentzen USA have sent me several bottles to taste and review: Icemint Schnapps, Pear Liqueur and Bushel & Barrel. They’re so kind. Aren’t they kind? BERENTZEN, YOU’RE SO KIND! Each bottle is fabulous and totally bursting with flavour but I’m going to start with Bushel & Barrel cause this is America and nothing screams AMERICA more than Bourbon and Apples.

I’ve gotta be honest, this is truly delicious stuff! Upon opening the bottle, crisp, clear Apples come through, then the more complex spices from Kentucky Bourbon settle into your nose. It’s an awesome experience.  First taste also begins with Apple, fresh juicy Apple from Berentzen’s Apple Liqueur and then a bit of spicy kick from Bourbon. Again, awesome. At 60 proof, it’s neither too strong to use in cocktails, nor too weak to drink on the rocks. In fact, everything about this liqueur is super smooth and just right.

If this is the future of flavoured whiskey, then I am so happy to be taking part in the revolution. Bushel & Barrel is by far the best one I’ve ever had and honestly, everything Berentzen makes is outstandingly tasty. (This is the part of the post where you throw that nasty cinnamon flavoured whiskey out the window. There, I said it.)

And now, some Bushel & Barrel cocktails:

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American Rose (Jack Rose Variation)

  • 1 1/2 oz Bushel & Barrel
  • 1/2 oz Applejack
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • Lime Wheel

In tin, combine Bushel & Barrel, Applejack, Lime Juice and Grenadine over ice. Shake and double strain into coupe, garnish with Lime Wheel.

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Obstacle Three

  • 1 1/2 oz Rye
  • 3/4 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1/2 oz Bushel & Barrel
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Antica
  • Maraschino Cherry

In tin, combine Rye, Averna, Bushel & Barrel, Carpano and stir over cracked ice. Strain into coupe, Maraschino cherry garnish.

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People Watching

  • 2 oz Cocchi Americano
  • 1/2 oz Bushel & Barrel
  • 1/2 oz Cynar
  • 1/4 oz Lemon Juice

In tin, combine Cocchi Americano, Bushel & Barrel, Cynar and Lemon Juice over ice. Shake and double strain into coupe. Splash of Soda or Champagne on top.

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Julian Franco

  • 1 1/2 oz Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Bushel & Barrel
  • 1/2 oz Raspberry Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Chartreuse Vert
  • Apple Peel

In tin, combine Bourbon, Bushel & Barrel, Raspberry Liqueur and Chartreuse. Stir over cracked ice and strain into coupe. Apple Peel garnish.

Well, that’s it for now! I’ve definitely got more recipes for Bushel & Barrel and will post them in the future! As for the Pear Liqueur and Icemint Schnapps, I’ll be reviewing them soon! This has been You’re So Kind, the post where someone nice gives me a bottle and I review it!

Lemme See That El Camino

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Whoop! Here’s another post where I get to talk about the Home Bar Girl Tequila Challenge and Something Awesome. Last time the Something Awesome was Penelope Cruz, this time it’s that oh so sexy El Camino.

1. The Tequila Challenge: to encourage us Home Bar Gurls and Dudes to think of Tequila as more than “shots!” and/or “Margarita Time”. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good Marg as much as the rest of the world but Tequila is versatile! Think about using Tequila in place of Gin or Whiskey in your cocktails. Pair it with Vermouth, Amari, Bitters and Chartreuse Jaune. Stir it, Shake it, Serve it, Sip it. Yep, Sip your Tequila, don’t Shoot it! If this means you need to stop buying gross Tequila like José or Patrón, then please do so immediately. Mmmk? So many other tasty Tequilas await!

2. The El Camino: I love the Early-70s El Camino SS. I think they’re awesome muscle cars and despite being half car/half truck, I still think they’re dead sexy.  Super Sport? Quit teasing, just lemme drive it! And dropped? Hot damn, gimme that Lowrider! Perhaps my inner SoCal Mexican is shining through a bit too much with all this El Camino talk. I would even say that the El Camino is the Mullet of the South Western USA. Business in the front, Party in the back, but oh so much party in the back!

1973 El Camino SS

This is not my car, I want this car, it will be mine. Photo via www.speedsports.net

Now, what does the badass El Camino SS have to do with a badass Tequila cocktail? You’ll have to make one to find out.

Lemme See That El Camino

  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/2 oz Agave Nectar
  • 1 dash Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters
  • Orange peel

In tin, combine Tequila, Averna, Grapefruit Juice, Agave and Bitters. Dry shake until Agave has dissolved. Add ice and shake shake shake again. Express Orange Peel and garnish.

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