Thyme Is On Your Side

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Are y’all ready for tons of puns? Cause I’ve got a drink with Thyme today!

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But first gaze at this pretty-pretty, delicious smelling Thyme plant and come up with as many puns as you can:

“I’m talking about the space-thyme continuum.”

“We don’t have a lot of thyme, y’all! Step to it!”

“She looked longingly at his watch, a thick, masculine band with an admirable face. She leaned over and asked, ‘What thyme is it sir?'”

Thyme Syrup

Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems, let’s make some Thyme syrup.

Thyme Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 5 Thyme sprigs

Instructions:

  1. Add sugar and water to a pot and bring to a low simmer.
  2. Add thyme sprigs and simmer for around 15 minutes making sure the liquids do not boil.
  3. Remove from heat, cover and let sit til the syrup cools to room temperature.
  4. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge. Should keep for 2 weeks.

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Now on to this sweet and complicated tipple. Boomp.

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So Thyme syrup really begs for more planty things and I decided to go all the way out.

Cast of characters:

  1. In this plant-filled haze, my first thought was Rhum Agricole.
  2. And ohhhhh man, what goes really well with Agricole? MEZCAL! It’s like a smoked plant sensation!
  3. And what goes well with a smoked plant party? CELERY BITTERS!
  4. Finally, Lemon juice for balance.

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For prettiness, smell and to emphasize the plant party, a Thyme sprig garnish.

Thyme Is On Your Side

  • 1 oz La Favorite Coeur d’Ambre Rhum Agricole
  • 1 oz El Señorio Espadín Mezcal
  • heavy 1/2 oz Thyme Syrup*
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Celery Bitters
  • Garnish: Thyme sprig

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake it like a rocket. Double strain into double Rocks glass. Garnish with Thyme sprig.

*I tried it with 3/4 oz Thyme Syrup and it was too sweet for me. If you wanna try it that way, go for it!

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This is totally one of those sitting in the backyard/on the porch/at the park/by the pool/ at your outside happy place. Kick back and keep em coming.

Happy Thymes for all of us!

Straw Eyes

Bonne Fête Nationale mes amis! I’ve chosen to feature this cocktail for Bastille Day because it is so very french: Herbaceous, sophisticated, a provençal dream. The combination of Calvados and Bonal gives loads of earthy terroir and is complimented by Lemon Sherbet and Celery Bitters.

Salut!

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Hottttt off the trails of being written about for Punch Magazine and with Lemon Sherbet, my new fave ingredient, in hand, I have a rip roaringly delicious Cocktail for y’all today! It’s autumnal, sort of sweet, vegetal, and dry all at the same time!

Here we go!

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Look at the colour! Feel the golden glory shimmering in your eyes!

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It’s mine, allll mine! My eyes have turned to Straw!

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So, in order to make this magical drink, you must first make Lemon Sherbet. I’ve been using it in nearly everything and I promise, it will change your Cocktail game. It will especially change your Punch game!

Next, you need Calvados (French Apple Brandy. American Apple Brandy will prob work, but will be less smooth), Bonal (an aperitif from France that I luv), and Celery Bitters (I like Scrappy’s Celery Bitters the most).

Straw Eyes

  • 2 oz Calvados
  • 1/4 oz Bonal Aperitif
  • 1/4-1/2 oz* Lemon Sherbet
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Celery Bitters

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it like a rocket. Double strain into coupe, no garnish.

*This depends on how sweet you want the drink to be. The Lemon Sherbet can be overpowering so I’d say start with 1/4 oz.

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Yes, Kween, this is your early fall treat. Woooooo!

Barb’s Rhubarb Cocktail & Syrup

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Let’s pretend that for this post I’m a 19th Century British lady named Barbara Billingsworth and I’m obsessed with Rhubarb. Therefore, read the rest of this post in a Victorian accent and with proper diction. Marvelous.

Wednesday, 10th June

Oh, I’m so excited that it’s Rhubarb season. How terribly delightful! I’m planning all sorts of ways use my Rhubarb throughout the springtime and into the summer. I can’t even begin to express my great joy and pleasure at interacting so specially with this particular plant. It is at once both tart and sweet. Both vegetal and citrine. In essence, it is divinity itself.

I’ve decided to start by making it into a syrup for which to use in Cocktails. Oh heavens, my guests shall enjoy that quite a lot, shall they not? Yes, quite. We will go ahead and start with the recipe.

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Barb’s Rhubarb Syrup

  • 2 cups of chopped Rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups of Water
  • 1 cup Turbinado or Demerara sugar (or another Rich sugar)
  • 1 sauce pot
  1. Now Dear, be sure to chop your Rhubarb rather properly or it won’t cook down the way we want it to in the pot. We wouldn’t want improperly cooked Rhubarb now would we?
  2. Combine ingredients over especially low heat and simmer for just around half an hour. Please don’t let it come to a boil or the Rhubarb you may spoil.
  3. Remove from heat and cover for around three hours.
  4. Fine strain, using the sides of a spatula to press the bits of Rhubarb against the strainer, thereby leeching the maximum amount of liquid.

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Now Dears, here’s the trick. One should have around 2 cups of liquid at this time and I had us adding 1 1/2 cups of water so we could reduce the syrup after it had been strained. You’re going to want to put the syrup back on the stove (low heat) and reduce until you have more like 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups of syrup. You will know it because it will taste properly and have a lovely viscosity.

Once you’ve got it, let the whole thing cool ’til it is at room temperature, then strain into Jar and label. An improperly labeled jar is a sin of the highest accord, except of course, not labeling at all.

Well, do you have it? Wonderful.

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Now that we’ve got this lovely Rhubarb Syrup, let’s use it in a cocktail, shall we?

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Barb’s Rhubarb Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz Espolón Reposado Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Rhubarb Syrup
  • 1 oz Red Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Celery Bitters
  • Pinch of Salt

Combine ingredients over ice and vigorously shake. Strain into the most beautiful coupe you have. Sip whilst looking out your window or at a garden party. I would say this cocktail is on the sweeter side but complex and salty enough to keep it rather interesting.

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Cheers to you all and I hope you’ve enjoyed these recipes!

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.

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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.

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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.

Brunch Bonanza: Golden Light

Welcome to Brunch Bonanza. The segment where we talk about brunch cocktails!

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Golden Light at a Fancy party. Doesn’t it look Fancy?

I originally created this drink for Home Bar Girl Presents: A Party several weeks ago but have since realized that I love it as a Brunch or Afternoon cocktail. It’s so fresh and refreshing but still complex! The Celery Bitters and St-Germain work very well with the other mix of flavours. Enjoy!

Golden Light

  • 1 oz Smooth English Gin (Plymouth or Mayfair)
  • 1 oz Apple Brandy
  • 3/4 oz St-Germain
  • 1 oz Apple Juice
  • 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Celery bitters
  • Apple Slice or Lemon Peel

In tin, combine Gin, Apple Brandy, St-Germain, Apple Juice, Lemon Juice and Celery Bitters over ice and shake baby, shake! Double strain into coupe and garnish with Apple Slice or Lemon Peel. Cheers!

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Golden Light at Home. It still looks fancy!

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Yummm!