#NegroniWeek 2015 – Negroni Blanc

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Welcome to #NegroniWeek 2015! Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can find out all about it here.

We’ve done it! We’ve reached the end of Negroni Week! Did you have a good time? Make any good Negroni Variations? Did you totally run out of that Bottled Negroni that we made in a post from May 31st? I totally did.

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If you’ve read this blog for awhile, then you know I love the Negroni Bianco in all its forms. I love sipping them on a sunny Sunday afternoon, while reading a good book, or sneaking one into the park. I love having one in place of a Martini when I want something a little less boozy and a little more flavourful. It seems only fitting that we end #NegroniWeek with this nice soothing variation.

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The Negroni Blanc uses two white Vermouths instead of a Vermouth and a Gentian Liqueur (like Suze or Salers), a bit of Pernod Pastis, and one of my new favourite Gins, Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ethereal Gin Batch 11. I got this fabulous Gin whilst I was on vacation in the Berkshires a couple of weeks ago because it’s a totally awesome Modern American Gin. With notes of cinnamon & allspice in addition to the regular set of Gin botanicals and a viscosity that you can almost sink your teeth into, the BMD Ethereal Gin Batch 11 is perfect for the Negroni Blanc.

Negroni Blanc

  • 1 oz BMD Ethereal Gin Batch 11 (sub Greenhook Dry, Dorothy Parker, Hayman’s Old Tom)
  • 1 oz Dolin Blanc (sub Lillet Blanc)
  • 1 oz Carpano Dry (sub Dolin Dry)
  • 1 dash Pernod Pastis (sub Herbsaint, Pernod Absinthe)
  • Garnish: Lemon Peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into coupe. Express Lemon Peel and garnish.

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Oh, and last night I got new vintage coupes! Beautiful eh? The wonderful people at Adaptations NY are now responsible for around half of my vintage glassware collection. Thanks y’all!

#NegroniWeek 2015 – Negroni-Apri

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Welcome to #NegroniWeek 2015! “Always and foreverrrrr, you will be my Negroni Babyyyyy.” (Excerpted from my upcoming hit single about the Negroni).  Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can find out all about it here.

Now, if you’re like me, you may be running out of that Bottled Negroni that we discussed in a post from May 31st. That’s ok, we can make variations on Negroni without using Bottled Negroni, in fact, I’ve done so very many times.

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For the spectacular Negroni-Apri, I’m subbing Aperol + Apricot Liqueur for Campari, Carpano Dry Vermouth for Carpano Antica, and keeping the Plymouth Gin (never not Plymouth Gin). To this we add Orange Bitters, that lovely Orange Peel rose and BOOM, we’ve got a totally fabulous summery Negroni variation.

Negroni-Apri

  • 1 1/4 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 1/4 oz Carpano Dry
  • 3/4 oz Aperol
  • 1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 7 dashes of Regan’s Orange Bitters (yes, 7 dashes)
  • Garnish: Orange Peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into double rocks glass over ice. Garnish with Orange Peel rose.

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Practically perfect in every way. 

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: the Martini

Martini-Olives

To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring a different cocktail from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

You guys, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE LAST TWO EPISODES!?! Will Don drive to California for that “golden state dream” that he’s always had? Will he go to the family farm and encounter something terrible? Will he go back to Manhattan and jump out of the window at McCann? You know he’s always had a thing about death…

OMINOUS!

As we near the end of the show, you knew that one of these posts had to include Martinis and so here we are!

Mad Men Roger Martini

Look at Roger’s Casual but serious Martini with an Olive. Image via AMC.

Mad Men Jim Martini

And here Jim is looking very sharp with his Martini with an Olive. Image via AMC.

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I like to drink my Martinis in the following format:

Martini

  • 2 1/4 oz Plymouth Dry Gin
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Dry Vermouth
  • Garnish: Lemon peel or Olives

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a nice long stir. Strain into chilled coupe and garnish.

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Here it is again with a Lemon peel. If you’re going to add the lemon peel, perhaps add two dashes of Orange Bitters.

Mad Men PPL Gibson Martini 2

Here are the PPL chaps and Duck having a Gibson Martini which is essentially a martini with more Gin, less Vermouth and a cocktail Onion. Image via Netflix screen grab.

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I don’t have any Cocktail Onions at home but I do have some delicious pickled Red Onion that my girlfriend made so we’ll go with that! This is quite tasty by the bye, definitely onion-y but certainly tasty.

Gibson Martini

  • 2 3/4 oz Dry Gin
  • 1/4 – 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Garnish: Cocktail Onion or (in this case) pickled Red Onion.

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a lonnnnnng stir. Strain into chilled coup and garnish with Onion.

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Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed Martini Time! May your drinks be delicious and our Mad Men viewing not give us all heart attacks! Cheers!

I’ll be doing this series until the end of Mad Men, so see you next week!

Mother’s Day with Rosa Regale

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Happy Mother’s day to Mom’s everywhere! My Mother and I have a very silly, fun, and hilarious relationship. I always try to treat her like the Queen that she is but especially on Mother’s Day. What do all Queens love to drink on their special day? They love Sparkling Wine! How do I know this? Because when my Mom and I party, there is always sparkling wine. Let’s celebrate this Mother’s Day with Rosa Regale Sparkling Red!

Rosa Regale is a unique Brachetto sparkling wine from the Piedmont region of Italy. It offers a palate of fresh strawberries, wild raspberries and Bulgarian rose, complemented with crisp acidity and a round, dry finish. Sounds tasty right? Yup! Sounds like something your Mother would truly love on her special day, right? Yesssss.

Let’s get into a few ways we can celebrate with Rosa Regale.

Rosa-Regale-in-Glass

To start, you could chill the Rosa Regale and pour your Mother a glass. I’d recommend pairing it with some fresh strawberries and/or chocolate truffles.

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You could serve it as a fruity and fabulous Mimosa with your Mother’s Day brunch. You are making your Mom brunch right? Thought so.

Rosa Mimosa

  • 2 oz chilled Rosa Regale
  • 1 oz Cointreau, Grand Marnier or other Triple Sec (If too sweet, use 1/2 oz Triple Sec)
  • 2 oz fresh Orange Juice
  • Garnish: Strawberry

In glass combine Triple Sec and Orange Juice and stir until they’ve combined. Double strain into coupe, float Rosa Regale on top, and garnish with Strawberry.

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If you or your Mother are a fan of the Aperol Spritz, then this variation would be perfect!

Rosa Regale Spritz

  • 2-3 oz chilled Rosa Regale
  • 3/4 oz Aperol
  • 1/4 oz St-Germain
  • 1/2 oz fresh Orange Juice
  • Garnish: Strawberry halves + Orange wedge Sandwich

Combine Aperol, St-Germain and Orange Juice over ice and shake. Double strain into coupe, float Rosa Regale on top, and garnish with fruit.

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And for those Mothers who like their drinks a bit bitter or who are really fond of the Negroni, here’s a bubbly variation!

Negroni Rosa Regale

  • 2-3 oz chilled Rosa Regale
  • 3/4 oz Plymouth Gin (or other smooth English gin)
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Dry Vermouth (Sweet Vermouth will also work)
  • 3/4 oz Campari
  • 3/4 oz fresh Red Grapefruit Juice
  • Garnish: Orange wedge

Combine Gin, Vermouth, Campari and Grapefruit Juice over ice and short shake. Double strain into Rocks glass over ice, float Rosa Regale on top, and garnish with Orange wedge.

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Once again, to my Mom and all of the other moms, Happy Mother’s Day with Rosa Regale!

Thanks to M Booth for the Rosa Regale and Aperol.

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: the Manhattan

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To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring a different cocktail from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

As previously stated, I’m a bit of a Mad Men fanatic. The characters and their struggles have gripped my soul. The fashion is so on point. The cocktails are so classic and powerful.

Yes, powerful. This week for S7E9, I’ll be drinking perhaps the most “powerful” cocktail of all time, The Manhattan. There is literally nothing more powerful than ordering what Gary Regan once called, “The King of Cocktails.” Manhattans make you feel like a supreme being, a conqueror of worlds, a leader of vast armies.

Tradition has it that the Manhattan was originally made with American Whiskey, which in the 1860s meant Rye. Some recipes call for Canadian Whiskey, Bourbon, or even Brandy (I’m looking at you Wisconsin) but they always call for Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth and Bitters.

Peggy Drinks a Manhattan

In S4E7 “The Suitcase”, Peggy and her boyfriend Mark break up after Don forces her to work late into the night on her birthday. She vents her frustration to Don and tells him that she and Mark have split. Don and Peggy leave the office, go to a shitty diner and then end up at a bar. Don, always Old Fashioned in hand, chats with Peggy about how attractive Peggy is and cheers her up about her chances with men. Peggy slowly sips her Manhattan, savoring every moment.

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Manhattans are usually made in a 2:1 ratio of Whiskey to Sweet Vermouth with a couple of dashes of Bitters thrown in and a Maraschino Cherry as garnish. Here in New York City 2015, the recipe is frequently made as follows:

Manhattan

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse is the fave)
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica Vermouth or Cocchi Vermouth di Tornio are the faves)
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 2 dashes of Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

Combine Ingredients over ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into coupe and garnish with Maraschino Cherry.

Perfect-Manhattan-2

An excellent Manhattan Variation is made by using equal parts Sweet Vermouth and Dry Vermouth with a couple of dashes of bitters. This is called a Perfect Manhattan. In my opinion, this tends to work better if you use Vermouths of the same house. i.e. Dolin Rouge & Dolin Dry, Noilly Prat Rouge & Noilly Prat Dry, Carpano Antica & Carpano Dry.

Perfect Manhattan

  • 2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Dry Vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 2 dashes of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

Combine Ingredients over ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into coupe and garnish with Maraschino Cherry.

Fourth-Regiment-2

In what is perhaps my favourite Manhattan Variation, add Celery Bitters into the mix. The Fourth Regiment recipe was first published in The Hotel Monthly by Jacques Straub in 1914. I had one for the first time a few years ago at Dutch Kills in Long Island City and never looked back! The original recipe calls for the drink to be shaken, equal parts Rye & Sweet Vermouth and one dash each of the bitters. There is no garnish specification but I love to use an Orange peel.

Fourth Regiment

  • 1 1/2 oz Rye (Rittenhouse or bust!)
  • 1 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica!)
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Celery Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange peel

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

Manhattan-Ingredients

Now when it comes to making your own Manhattan, use whichever Bitters, Vermouths, garnishes and Whiskey you have on hand. Feel free to experiment and combine different ingredients together. If you have Maraschino Liqueur, an Amaro or Absinthe on hand, add a dash or two of that! Always keep in mind to start in small amounts and measure everything!

I’ll be doing this series until the end of Mad Men, so see you next week!

Thanks again to The Baddish Group for the fantastic bottles of Carpano Antica & Carpano Dry.

Flower Flower & Rose Tea infused Vodka

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Yep, you read that right. I did say the word Vodka. I said it loud and proud because this is the first time I’ve been really excited to use Vodka in a drink. (It’s also the first time I’ve used Saké in a drink but more about that later.)

If you know me IRL, you know I’m always like, “Vodka, what’s the point? Where’s the Gin?” Honestly, what got me even considering using Vodka in this drink is cause my friend Chris at Bearded Lady said that he’d been asked to create a Vodka drink for the spring menu. I took it as a challenge to myself.

The inspiration for Flower Flower was to use as many flower flavoured liqueurs/spirits/bitters in my Home Bar as possible while still creating something drinkable and delicious. This was an EXTREMELY difficult challenge and it took me around five tries and a whole lot of “going back to the drawing board”. There are a lot of small amounts in this drink and there is also the aforementioned Rose Tea infused Vodka.

Rose-Tea-Vodka

If you haven’t tried Tulsi herbal teas from India, you haven’t lived. They are definitely the best bagged herbal teas I’ve ever tasted and I always have the Sweet Rose tea at home. I had thought of putting the Sweet Rose with Gin but after my conversation with Chris, decided this was a good time to use that bottle of Tito’s I keep around for emergencies*.

Rose Tea infused Vodka

  • 4 bags of Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea (or your favourite Rose Tea)
  • 300 ml Tito’s Vodka (I always do infusions in ml, it’s just easier)
  • Fine strainer

Rip those tea bags open and let tea steep loosely in the Vodka for 30 mins. (Cover with plastic wrap or seal ur jar) Fine strain into bottle. Smell the deliciousness, taste the glory.

*The emergencies being when someone asks for something with Vodka and I don’t have to panic.

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Now, remember, I said this took like five times to get right, it wasn’t until I opened the fridge and saw that bottle of Yoshinogawa Winter Warrior Saké that the drink all came together.This sake is dry, floral, fruity, a bit sweet and wonderful. I’m always looking for ways to dry out a drink when using multiple liqueurs and in this case, saké was it.

Flower Flower smells like an English Garden, is dry enough on the tongue for serious cocktail drinkers and is perfect for spring. The colour of the drink actually reminds me of a Rose stem. It also features my new BFF Carpano Dry. Enjoy!

Flower Flower

  • 1 1/2 oz Rose Tea infused Tito’s Vodka
  • 1 oz Yoshinogawa Winter Warrior Junmai Ginjo Saké
  • 1 oz Carpano Dry Vermouth
  • 1 tsp Chartreuse Jaune
  • 1 tsp St-Germain
  • 1 tsp Crème de Violette
  • 1/2 tsp Orange Flower Water
  • 1 dash Bar Keep Lavender Bitters

Garnish: Grapefruit peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into coupe. Express Grapefruit peel and swirl into a Rose.

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Happy spring to you all!

Thanks to the Baddish Group for the wonderful bottle of Carpano Dry Vermouth!

Carpano Dry, my new Best Friend

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We’ve gathered together today to talk about Carpano Dry, my new fave Vermouthy. That’s right, from the house of Carpano, makers of the universally beloved Carpano Antica, comes a terrific Dry Vermouth. I love Vermouthy, I always think about Vermouthy, Vermouthy is a very dear friend of mine.

Flavor Profile:

Nose: Citrus, spices, coriander, fruit
Tongue: Lemony, long finish, acidic, “winey”, green apple, citrus fruits
Impression: smoother than all other Italian Dry Vermouth I’ve tried, not as dry as Dolin Dry, a tad sweet, citrus fruit notes abound. Am highly likely to use it in a Negroni, Martini with a bright Gin and a Lemon twist, drink it alone on ice with a Lemon twist.

For real though, I’ve probably made at least 7 or 8 Carpano Dry on the rocks with a Lemon twist, it’s so good on its own. In fact, I just had one with my homemade Black Truffle Chicken Papardelle. (Thanks to my excellent girlfriend for the excellent dinner!)

And now, the cocktails:

A-Brighter-Martini-2

In the same way that when we get a new Rum, we make a Daiquiri, when we get a new Dry Vermouth, we make a Martini. In this particular case, we make A Brighter Martini. I chose NOLET’S Dry Gin because it’s a very bright Gin, full of fruit, floral notes and exactly the one to pair with Carpano Dry.

A Brighter Martini

  • 2 1/4 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Dry Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Regan’s No 6 Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon peel

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

Washington-Avenue-3

If it works well in a Martini, then Carpano Dry must also work well in a classic style cocktail. This is sort of a Brooklyn meets an Improved Whiskey Cocktail and is really bright and cheery. Perfect for Spring.

Washington Avenue

  • 1 1/2 oz Rye
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Dry
  • 1/4 oz Pernod Pastis
  • 1/4 oz Maraschino Cherry Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon & Orange peels

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

Arsenic-&-Old-Lace-2

Lastly, we’re gonna use Carpano Dry in a classic cocktail: Arsenic & Old Lace. There are several different specs for this drink with the Crème de Violette ranging from 1/4 oz to 1/2 and the Absinthe Vert from a rinse to 1/2 oz! I’m going with a more Vermouth heavy recipe and lighter on the Violette and Absinthe. Again, Carpano Dry is perfect in this drink .

Arsenic & Old Lace

  • 1 3/4 oz Old Tom Gin or English Dry Gin
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Dry
  • 1/4 oz Crème de Violette
  • 1/4 oz St George Absinthe Verte
  • 2 dashes Regans’ No 6 Orange Bitters
  • Lemon Peel

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

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Dreamy, springy, light, bright and wonderful, Carpano Dry, you are my new Best Friend.

Thanks to the Baddish Group for the wonderful bottle of Carpano Dry Vermouth!