Punch for Two with infused spirits from Ethan + Ashe & Alkemista

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Alright y’all, today I’m pretty pumped to be talking about a Kickstarter project from Ethan + Ashe!

“WHUT GURL? Kickstarter? You’re talking to us about something that doesn’t exist yet?” Yeah y’all, I’m talking about Alkemista, an infusion kit for all of us home bartenders and it’s a pretty brilliant idea!

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So what is Alkemista? It’s a bottle with an ultra fine filter built into it, you just add the booze, spices/herbs/citrus peels/etc and steep until it’s ready. Easy pea-sheezy.

Ethan & Ashe sent me a box with the following infusions:

All three bottles were pretty damn tasty, so I was like “Alright, I’m diggin this Alkemista idea. I shall put it into a Punch recipe!”

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I decided to make some Spiced Apple Cider Punch and tried a couple of versions with the Black Denim Spice infused Bourbon and the Cinnamon infused Starrr Rum. Turns out both spirits worked awesomely, so I’ll give you the recipe.

To Make the Cider:

  • 48 oz Apple Cider
  • 5 tbsp mulling spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 1 long orange peel, star anise, peppercorn, 1 split vanilla bean
  1. Put everything in a pot and let it heat on lowwwwww for around 2 hrs. Don’t let it boil, only simmer.
  2. Strain through a cheesecloth, bottle, and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

 

Spiced Apple Cider Punch (for two)

  • 6 oz Spiced Cider
  • 1 oz Water
  • 1 oz Ruby Port
  • 1 oz Black Denim Spice infused Bourbon or Cinnamon infused Starrr Rum
  • 1/4 tsp (2 Barspoons) Lemon Sherbet
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine Cider, Water, Ruby Port, and Lemon Sherbet in a pot and heat over lowwwwww heat. You don’t want it to get anywhere near boiling, just warm it up. When the punch is hot, add the Spirits and stir.

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Yummmmmmm. Feels like fall man.

Thanks to Ethan & Ashe for letting me be part of this awesome Alkemista Kickstarter campaign!

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Five Great Jobs

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Say it with me, “Barr-ell Bour-bon. Barr-ell Bour-bon! BARR-ELL BOUR-BON!” Woo y’all, this Barrell Bourbon Batch 006 is deeeeeelicious and today I’m putting it in a tasty sour. If you’re unfamiliar with this unstoppable cask strength bourbon, head over to my review so you can understand the awesomeness that I’m talking about.

You read it? You read the review? Cool! Let’s proceed.

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Golden glory, y’all. Golden glory.

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Cast of Characters:

  1. I wanted to put all that Barrell Bourbon Batch 006 fruity, wheaty, popcorny, apricoty, fabulousness to use with some bright flavors. I was thinking, “Spring sour. What could go in a spring sour?”
  2. ST-GERMAIN! Man, I haven’t used St-G in such a long time. What happened to me? It’s so wonderful, so pleasant, so beautiful to behold and smell. St-G, will you marry me?
  3. Then I thought, “ohhh, let’s keep the fun going and add a bit of orange!” So I reached for the Grand Marnier. It totally complimented.
  4. Lemon for acid, balance, and cause this is a sour. Captain obvious is obvious. (I mean, I could have tried it with Grapefruit or Lime but why? Lemon is the only choice here except for maybe Yuzu. Damn, I wish I had some Yuzu!)
  5. Lastly, a small amount of 2:1 Cane Syrup cause I felt the drink needed to be just a tiny bit sweeter.

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I decided this was going to be an “express and discard” situation. If you want to plop the peel in the drink, go for it!

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Why Five Great Jobs? Cause there are five ingredients and they are doing a helluva great job.

Five Great Jobs

  • 1 1/2 oz Barrell Bourbon Batch 006
  • 1/2 oz St-Germain
  • 1/4 oz Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 Barspoon Rich Simple Cane Sugar Syrup
  • Garnish: Lemon oil

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it like a rocket. Double strain into double Rocks glass on the rocks. Express Lemon peel and discard.

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Yum yum yummy yum yum. This drink is so damn fabulous, it makes wanna shake my tail feathers!

Cheers y’all! May all your Barrell Bourbon dreams come true!

Barrell Bourbon & the BB Julep

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Y’all, I’ve got a killer cask strength Whiskey from Barrell Bourbon for us today! I found out about them from a friend of a friend who suggested that I might be interested in their bourbon and hoooo boy, I’M SO INTO IT! If you note the photo above, I’m already 1/2 way through the bottle!

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Each batch of Barrell Bourbon is sourced from Kentucky or Tennessee and bottled at cask strength. The vision of Barrell Bourbon is to provide a unique expression with every release and I can honestly say, I’ve never had a Bourbon like this! The mash bill for Batch 006 is 70% Corn, 26% Rye, and 4% malted Barley. It was aged for 8 years, 6 months in charred white oak barrels.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 006 Tasting notes:

  • Color: deep honeyed Amber
  • Nose: Initial notes of toasted nuts, buttery popcorn, summer wheat, and charred oak followed by caramel, strawberry, baked peach, minerals, dried vegetals, and baking spices.
  • Palate: Really welcoming and super delicious. Notes of orange peel, apricot, peach, strawberry, buttery popcorn, wheat, charred oak, cinnamon, and dry stones.
    Add water and the fruit notes really come out! More apricot. Lemon peel. Wow! Super fruity!
  • Mouthfeel: at cask strength it’s hot but the heat dissipates quickly making for a smooth and very flavorful dram. Really wide and pleasant stone fruit and citrus notes dance on the tongue.
  • Finish: really really lonnnnng finish with stone fruit, decadent popcorn, and cinnamon notes coming in waves.

I would highly recommend drinking this neat in a snifter, at least for the first few sips. Once you’ve experienced Barrell Bourbon at full strength, add a few drops of water and see how the bouquet just opens up! Such an incredible experience.

However, y’all know how I roll and I was dying to put all that fruity fun into a cocktail!

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My first thought was “how can I make this Bourbon shine like the star it is? What cocktail could I put it in where it isn’t covered up by other ingredients?” MINT JULEP! Yes y’all, a Mint Julep with Barrell Bourbon and some Peach Nectar. OOOOOOH MAN!

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Since we’re using more than just Bourbon and sugar for this Julep, I’d advise stirring things together ahead of time.

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BB Julep

  • 1 1/2 oz Barrell Bourbon batch 006
  • 1/2 oz Peach Nectar
  • 1 barspoon Rich Cane Syrup*
  • 4-5 Mint Leaves
  • Garnish: Mint sprig

Combine Barrell Bourbon, Peach Nectar, syrup  and stir until they’ve combined nicely. Grab your Julep cup or Mule mug and muddle some mint into it. Add liquids, ice, and garnish with a big Mint sprig.

*If you have peaches and can make fresh Peach juice, you may want to omit the syrup.

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Damnnnnn this drink is good. I mean, this Barrell Bourbon is so damn good that you don’t really have to do much to make a great cocktail with it. I will be making more drinks with it in the near future so stay tuned!

Cheers y’all!

Variations on a Theme: Branca Menta Grasshopper

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This isn’t just any Grasshopper, it’s a Branca Menta Grasshopper. This fancy, complex, multileveled Grasshopper went on holiday. He left his tiny apartment on E6th street, got on a plane at LGA and headed south for some adventures. On his adventures, he took some friends with him. Since he isn’t just any Grasshopper, he doesn’t have the usual friends.

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This Branca Menta Grasshopper likes to hang with Coconut Milk and Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters. This Grasshopper Trio had the BEST OF TIMES on their holiday. Such good times that they even wrote down some notes about their travels.

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Grasshopper in Kentucky

  • 1 oz Branca Menta
  • 3/4 oz Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters
  • 1 oz Coconut Milk
  • Garnish: Mint Leaf

Combine ingredients in tin with ice and shake until ingredients have combined and incorporated. You may have to shake very hard to get the Coconut Milk to play along. Strain into coupe, spank the Mint and garnish.

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Grasshopper in NOLA

  • 1 1/4 oz Branca Menta
  • 1/2 oz Scrappy’s Choco Bitters
  • 1/2 oz St George NOLA Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 Coconut Milk
  • Garnish: Grated dark Chocolate

Combine ingredients in tin with ice and shake until ingredients have combined and incorporated. You may have to shake very hard to get the Coconut Milk to get with the program. Grate dark Chocolate on top.

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Grasshopper in the Gulf

  • 1 oz Branca Menta
  • 1 oz Flor de Caña 7
  • 1/2 oz Scrappy’s Choco Bitters
  • 1 oz Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • Garnish: Mint Bouquet

Combine ingredients in tin with ice and shake until ingredients have combined and incorporated. You may have to shake very hard to get the Coconut Milk to get in line. Spank the Mint Bouquet and garnish.

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Let’s just look at this again, shall we? This fancy Branca Menta Grasshopper in the Gulf has such a nice hat.

Thanks again to the Baddish Group and Branca Menta for making this tasteful Grasshopper journey possible.

Be Mine, Clementine

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If January 2015 was spent in a #TikiTheSnowAway denial of Winter, then February is me embracing the cold. It’s so damn frigid in NYC. Everyone East of Colorado has been prisoner to bone crushing temperatures and an endless blanket of snow. I love snow and am a total Winter sports person (Skier 4Lyfe) but could the temperatures just be above 32° F?

So, I did it, I made a Hot Whiskey Punch. My girlfriend wanted something warm when she got home from a hospital shift and I wanted to use up some of the 2 dozen Clementines which come in a box of “Cuties”. Why are there so many Cuties in a box? Why? I’d really be happier if there were like 10. Two dozen are too many Cuties. Just TOO MANY.

Anyway, tl;dr: I’m cold, this drink is Hot & Delicious, Whiskey, Clementines, Spices, Punch. Bang.

Be Mine, Clementine

  • 4 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Domaine de Canton or other Ginger Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Santa Maria al Monte Amaro
  • 2 oz Clementine Juice
  • 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Cinnamon Bark Syrup
  • 6 oz Water
  • 7 drops Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
  • Garnish: Clementine Wheel

In pot combine ingredients and heat on LOW. Like really really LOW. Stir continuously until liquids are swimming nicely together but don’t boil. Nooooooo boiling. When it’s ready to go, strain into Mugs. Should make two Mug sized servings or four Espresso Cup servings.

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This delicious Hot Whiskey Punch was named by my girlfriend. Thanks Baby!

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!

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!