#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!

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Genever & the Flemish Martinez

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Ok, so y’all remember how I went to Belgium cause I was going to visit my brother and drink “all the Jenever?”  Well, dreams are one thing but reality is often so much better and WOW my mom and I had some really tasty stuff. We drank everything from “the Best Beer in the World” (Westvleteren, at the Sint Sixtus Abbey. Tears to my eyes!), to some of the best Gins I’ve ever had (and am actively trying to import to the USA), to incredible wines from my brother’s collection (cause we DeLunas are totally wine snobs), to yes, Genever.

Let’s take a lil photo trip shall we?

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The most idyllic sheep on earth y’all.

Flanders, the eastern part of Belgium, is home to a lot of agriculture and we all know what that means. Sheep, cows, pastoral landscapes, incredible cheeses and…Grains, y’all. It means grains.

Where there is a ton of grain and a good water supply, there can be a ton of spirit production.

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Don’t you love that Genever comes in a clay pot? So cool.

The earliest reference to Genever dates all the way back to the 13th C in Brugge, Belgium (Bruges for all you French speaking people). There is further mention of Genever production found in papers from the 16th C in Antwerp. The earliest reference to Jenever distillation in the Netherlands is from the 17th C, meaning that Genever was actually created in Flanders and not in Holland.

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This lovely photo is from the medieval city of Gent (Ghent for all y’all francophiles). These two buildings in the center of the photo are actually from the Middle Ages and still standing! Stunning architecture, no?

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There is also a fabulous medieval castle in Gent, Kasteel Gravesteen. Ohhhhh, so massive, so spooky.

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But the real reason I wanted to go to Gent was to drink at ‘t Dreupelkot, home of the largest selection of Genever in Belgium. With over 200 different types, I was freaking out like a kid in a candy store!

The fun thing about Genever in a place like ‘t Dreupelkot is that they have flavored versions too which are somewhat like liqueurs and maaaaaad tasty. The flavors shown above are Hazelnut, Kirsch, and one of their many Oude Graanjenevers. It was divine! I would drink that Hazelnut one errrrryday if I could.

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So this brings us back to an important point, what exactly IS Genever? Well, it’s a combination of neutral grain spirit, moutwjin (malt wine, aka distilled fermented barley malt), sugar, juniper, and other herbs. This delicious Fillier’s Oude Graanjenever 5 Jaar tastes something like a mix between malt Whisky and Old Tom Gin. It’s fabulous and I am definitely loving all of its supreme richness.

There are two main types of Genever:

  1. Oude is created in the old style with grains, malt wine, typically distilled in an Alembic still, and a higher amount of sugar than…
  2. Jonge is much closer to a neutral grain spirit and can be made with nearly any type of base (sugar beets, grains), some malt wine and sugar.

When served a pour of Genever, the barman typically fills the glass to the very top and it is customary to bend over and take your first sip from the glass. Then you raise your glass and say “Santé” or “Gezondheid”!

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…Buuuuuut, this is me, and who am I? “A gurrrrrrl making fabulous cocktails.” Mhmm. So, let’s put this glorious, malty, lightly sweet Fillier’s Oude Graanjenever in a cocktail!

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What could be more fitting for the grandfather of Gin than a Martinez variation? Nada, y’all. Nada!

Since our base spirit is Genever and not Old Tom Gin, I felt like Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao was the way to go instead of Maraschino. Equally as important was using two types of vermouth, so as not to overwhelm the drink with sweetness. Lastly, Boker’s Bitters cause they’re perfect in a Martinez.

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Stirrrrrr like you’re thinking about how 13th Century Belgium is about to give a sublime gift to your palate.

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Though this might not be the most adventurously named Martinez variation, it is accurate and like your history teacher probably said, “Accuracy is key.”

Flemish Martinez

  • 2 oz Filliers’ Oude Graanjenever 5 Jaar
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Rouge
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
  • 1 dash Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrr whilst you think about the middle ages. Strain into chilled coupe and garnish.

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Cheers and may this post fill your mind with knowledge, a desire to visit Flanders, and a thirst for Genever! I know I’ll be going back as soon as I possibly can cause Belgium is a beautiful, tasty country!

 

Exiles & Poetry with Teeling Single Grain Whiskey

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EDIT: As part of #IrishWhiskeyMonth, I wanted to repost one of my favorite Teeling Whiskey drinks from last year: Exiles and Poetry. If you wanna join the party, use the hashtag #IrishWhiskeyMonth on Instagram and I’ll repost your photo! The only rule is that you have to include Irish Whiskey in your cocktail.


 

If it feels like October is a happening month with a whole bunch of new bottles in my Home Bar, YOU’RE TOTALLY RIGHT! The newest bottle I’ve got is the sibling to one of my all time fave Whiskies, Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey. Remember that? Remember how I went through that bottle faster than any other bottle I’ve ever had cause I made so many recipes with it?

Well, now I’ve got the Teeling Single Grain Whiskey and woooooooooooah my god, it’s SOOOOO DELICIOUS!

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I was introduced to the Single Grain at a fabulous Teeling tasting I went to recently and was blown away by how smooth and complex this Whiskey is. It’s aged in ex California Cabernet Sauvignon barrels which makes for a super interesting set of flavors. In addition to some nice vanilla, caramel and oak notes, Teeling Single Grain also has red fruit tones, grassy notes, and tannins. Awesome right? Oh and it’s silky silky and has really long legs in the glass. YEAAAAAAH BABY!

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My first thoughts for putting the Single Grain in a cocktail were, “PUNCH! PORT! LEMON SHERBET!” (and that recipe will be coming soon, I promise), but my second thought was “PREPROHIBITION STYLE! BOKER’S BITTERS! VERMOUTH!”

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So here we go! everyone ready? Cause I’m totally ready.

Exiles & Poetry

  • 1 3/4 oz Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Cynar
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1 dash Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrr. Strain into chilled coupe, express Orange peel and garnish.

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Deliciousness in a glass. Thanks to the Baddish Group for the bottle of Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey!

Fruity Cocktails with Fino Sherry

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Edit: If you’re here for #SherryWeek, have an excellent time with these recipes!

Y’all, I have been waiting for this post ever since I got that bottle of Inocente Fino Sherry back in January. From the moment I put my lips on this Sherry, I knew, I knew it was going to go with fruit and I knew I was going to use it Long or Tiki style.

I’ve been biding my time.

Today on Instagram, I was challenged to make a Fog Cutter by @el_nova_1 (the person behind last week’s Navy Grog challenge who loves Tiki as much as many of us do) and make the drink immediately! It’s DAMN FABULOUS! LIKE DAAAAAAAYUM FABULOUS. Citrusy, dry, great flavour arc, deep. I’m in luv. With this challenge comes a great opportunity for me to post a couple of other Fruity Sherry drinks I’ve had sitting in my notebook.

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First things first about this Fog Cutter: I don’t have any Grape Brandy! I only have Calvados! The recipe also calls for Cream or Amontillado Sherry and I only have Fino Sherry. So, like any good Home Bar Gurrrrrrl, I’ve made some adjustments (ahem, Old Tom Gin) and named the variation “Karl the Fog Cutter” after my beloved San Francisco Bay Area’s archnemesis (or claim to fame), Karl the Fog.

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Karl the Fog Cutter

  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry (float)
  • 2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • 3/4 oz Orgeat
  • Garnish: Sherry float, Orange wedge with Maraschino Cherry spear, Monkey

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Tiki Mug or Collins Glass over Cracked Ice. Float the Sherry, garnish with Orange wedge with Maraschino Cherry and Monkey.

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This next one came from a flavour pairing obsession I currently have: Fino Sherry + Apricot Liqueur. It’s to die for. The nuttiness from the Orgeat & Fino go sooooo well with the Apricot. Literally the greatest thing since Smith & Cross Rum + Teeling Irish Whiskey. This one is straight up Tiki, so be sure you have a mint sprig and some Orgeat ready to go!

Marley’s Map

  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Rum
  • 1/2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, two Pineapple chunks and a Maraschino Cherry

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into double Rocks glass or short Tiki mug over ice. Garnish with Mint sprig, two Pineapple chunks and a Maraschino Cherry.

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Now back to that Cobbler. Goodness, I get such a thrill out of making and/or drinking a Cobbler! This one came to me in the night and I had to write it down before I fell asleep. Again, we’re using the glorious Apricot + FIno Sherry combo along with Carpano Antica Vermouth, Old Tom Gin, and Boker’s Bitters. I wanted this one to taste Old Skool/Pre-Prohibition.

I definitely Flavor Bible’d the Rosemary + Blueberry + Strawberry + Lemon + Orange flavours. If you don’t have the Flavor Bible yet…get to it!

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Stafford Cobbler

  • 1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1 1/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Honey Syrup
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
  • Small handful of Blueberries, muddled
  • Garnish: Strawberry, Blueberry, Orange wheel, Rosemary sprig

In tin, combine Lemon Juice and Blueberries and muddle. Add remaining ingredients, ice and short shake. Strain into Stemmed glass filled with ice and fruit, Orange wedge and Rosemary Sprig on top. Serve with a straw and a spoon so your guests may eat the fruit!

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Yassssss gurrrrrrrl, Ms Stafford Cobbler, lemme get real close.

Thanks again to The Baddish Group for the fantastic bottle of Carpano Antica!

A Connoisseur’s Revenge

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If your french relatives were in the mood for an Irish Whiskey cocktail, this would be it. This boozy sipper has bright flavours, herbaceousness, and a nice long finish. Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey plays very well with Calvados making this my second favourite split base for Teeling. Throw in the gentian and herbes from Salers, fabulous botanicals from Boker’s Bitters and you’ve got A Connoisseur’s Revenge.

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A Connoisseur’s Revenge

  • 1 1/2 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Christian Drouin Calvados
  • 1/4 oz Salers Aperitif
  • 1 dash Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange Peel

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

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Yummmmmmmm, I am so ready to drink this!

Thanks to The Baddish Group for this delicious bottle of Teeling Irish Whiskey

Classic Cocktails: Army & Navy + Variations

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Many moons ago, I had my first trip to The NoMad Bar with a whole bunch of newly acquainted friends. It has since become my favourite bar in NYC because they simply have the most adventurous and yet totally drinkable cocktails in the city. They consistently surprise, inspire and encourage me to push the envelope while remaining true to form. (i.e. They frequently use Fino Sherry and Amari in Tiki drinks. Brilliant.)

They also make a damn good Army & Navy.

I am a huge fan of Gin Sours in any form but something about the combination of Orgeat and Lemon Juice really moves my taste buds to flight! Oh and I highly recommend this B.G. Reynolds Orgeat, it’s a bit toasted, has just the right amount of floral notes and is quite tasty. Let’s make an Army & Navy right now, shall we?

Army & Navy (from David A Embury, Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. 1948.)

  • 2 oz English Dry Gin
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Orgeat
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherries

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it up! Strain into coupe, garnish with Maraschino Cherries. Sip and smile.

Wasn’t that tasty? Yes, yes it was so damn tasty! Wouldn’t you like to drink another? Hold off on that ’cause we have a couple of variations:

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So obvi the Army & Navy is a drink begging for rum. I decided to split the base with Flor de Caña 7 and Hayman’s Old Tom Gin. The Old Tom then inspired me to use some of those Boker’s Bitters that I love so dearly.

Sir Joseph Porter

  • 1 oz Old Tom Gin
  • 1 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Rum
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz B.G. Reynolds Orgeat
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Adam Elmegirab’s Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherries

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it up! Strain into coupe, garnish with Maraschino Cherries. Sip and grin.

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Yes! The Pineapple Spear Bunny Ears are back!

If an Army & Navy variation was begging for rum, the next logical step (in my island themed brain) was to take it to Tiki Paradise! I’m obviously very excited about this drink. It’s just fabulous. Really, any excuse to use Pineapple infused Plymouth Gin in a cocktail is a dream come true for me.

Captain Corcoran

  • 1 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Pineapple infused Plymouth Gin
  • 3/4 oz B.G. Reynolds Orgeat
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dropper Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters
  • Garnish: Three Maraschino Cherries and Pineapple Spear Bunny Ears

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it up! Strain into coupe, garnish with Maraschino Cherries and Bunny Ears. Sip and giggle.

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Did you get the joke? The variations are named after characters from the HMS Pinafore. Clearly I think everything in life should be a tad silly but nary an April Fools prank shall I make.

Enjoy your Army & Navy and HMS Pinafore Variations! Cheers!

Blonde Bertie & Teeling Whiskey

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It’s March! We made it! Hopefully this crazy cold weather will begin to let up and we can return to our regularly scheduled programming.

It’s time for Whiskey, ALL the Whiskey. Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey is a complex bottle of whiskey aged in Rum casks. Here’s my impression:

Nose: Vanilla, spices, Rum, grains, corn, honey
Tongue: Caramel, woody, Rum, apple, a tad peaty or “Moorish”, vanilla
Finish: Rich, oily, full bodied, spicy

With all those Honey notes, I decided to go in the grown n’ sexy Gold Rush direction. Also, as Teeling Irish Whiskey is a revival Whiskey, along with the notes from Rum casks, I wanted to pair it with Adam Elmegirab’s Boker’s Bitters. I wanted that Old Timey feeling and Blonde Bertie definitely has that. This cocktail is a tad sweet, a tad dry and very very tasty.

Blonde Bertie

  • 2 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1/2 oz Honey Syrup
  • 2 dashes Adam Elmegirab’s Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon Peel

Combine ingredients and stir over ice until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into coupe, express Lemon peel and garnish.

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Yes, the name of the drink is a Mad Men reference and thanks to The Baddish Group for the delicious bottle of Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey!