Cocktail Crate Mixers are Perfect for your Labor Day Soirée

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-2016-1

Hey y’all, pumped today to talk about one of the best things to happen to home bartenders who like to throw parties: Cocktail Crate. If you’ve been reading Home Bar Girl for a while, you’ll know that I’m awfully fond of these well crafted mixers. But let’s get real real, not only are these bottles mad tasty, they make throwing a party really easy!

Cocktail Crate sent me their Grapefruit Daiquiri & Ginger Bee for some Labor Day celebrations. I decided to make two cocktails per mixer so, here we go!

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Ginger-Bee-1

We’ll start with the Ginger Bee. Made with Honey, Ginger, and a bit of Clove this mixer is sweet, gingery spicy, flavorful, and goes really well with all sorts of aged spirits.

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Ginger-Bee-2

I decided to go with a Whisky cocktail for the first one. Since I’ve been obsessed with my bottle of Grand MacNish Blended Scotch lately, I used it in a split base with Rye. Feel free to use whatever Whisky or Whiskies you want!

Ginger Bee Whiskey Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Ginger Bee
  • 1 1/2 oz James E Pepper 1776 Rye
  • 1/2 oz Grand MacNish Blended Scotch Whisky
  • Garnish: Lemon studded with Cloves

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into double rocks glass over ice and garnish.

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Ginger-Brew-1

Now for this second one, I made literally the same drink but added my fave Summer Ale, Bell’s Brewery Oberon, as a float. Super tasty stuff! Perfect for a BBQ.

Ginger Brewmaster

  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Ginger Bee
  • 1 1/2 oz James E Pepper 1776 Rye
  • 1/2 oz Grand MacNish Blended Scotch Whisky
  • Bell’s Brewery Oberon Summer Ale float

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Collins glass over ice and top with your fave Summer Ale.

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Grapefruit-Daiquiri-1

Next up we’ve got the Grapefruit Daiquiri: sweet and refreshing with Lime, Grapefruit, and a bit of Jasmine Tea!

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Grapefruit-Daiquiri-2

So, duh, I made a Daiquiri but I used my new fave Rhum, Neisson Blanc 105 proof and it was uhhhhhmazing.

Grapefruit Daiquiri

  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Grapefruit Daiquiri*
  • 1 1/2 oz Neisson Blanc 105 (or your fave White Rum)
  • Garnish: Grapefruit peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it like a rocket. Double strain into chilled coupe and garnish.

*If I were you, I’d start with Equal parts Rum and mixer and taste. You may need to adjust the cocktail based on how sweet you want it.

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Grapefruit-Buck

For the second one, I decided to swap out the Rhum for Gin Lane 1751 London Dry Gin and added a lil Ginger Beer for extra funnnnnn. Again, perfect for BBQ times.

Grapefruit Buck

  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Grapefruit Daiquiri
  • 2 oz Gin Lane 1751 London Dry Gin (or your fave London Dry Gin)
  • Fever Tree Ginger Beer float
  • Garnish: Grapefruit Rose, Tiki Umbrella

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Collins glass over ice, top with Ginger Beer and garnish.

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-2016-2

Excellent. May your Labor Day festivities be tons of fun, tasty, and easy breezy with Cocktail Crate Craft Mixers! Cheers!

Advertisements

Cocktail Crate Grapefruit Daiquiri & Maple Sour

Cocktail-Crate-Grapefruit-Daiquiri-&-Maple-Sour

HELLOOOOO NEW COCKTAIL CRATE MIXERS! As y’all probably know, I’m really into these mixers. I’ve written several articles about Cocktail Crate mixers and 100% of the time, they’ve been awesome. I’m not sure what kind of magic Alex uses to make his stuff, but damn son!

This time, he sent me a Grapefruit Daiquiri mixer and a Maple Whiskey Sour mixer, so break out the bottles and let’s goooooo!

Cocktail-Crate-Grapefruit-Daiquiri

Cocktail-Crate-Grapefruit-Daiquiri-Recipe

Always follow the recipe y’all, you will not be disappointed.

Cocktail-Crate-Grapefruit-Daiquiri-1

As the good bottle says, use one part clear spirit and one part Cocktail Crate Grapefruit Daiquiri Craft Mixer. The bottle recommends: Rum, Gin or Vodka but this is also really great with Blanco Tequila!

Cocktail Crate Grapefruit Daiquiri

  • 1 1/2 oz White Rum, Gin, Blanco Tequila, Cachaça (or whatever!)
  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Grapefruit Daiquiri Mixer

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it like a rocket. Double strain into coupe. Aaaaaah, yes.

Cocktail-Crate-Grapefruit-Daiquiri-3

Delicious.

Cocktail-Crate-Maple-Sour

Cocktail-Crate-Maple-Sour-Recipe

Once again, follow the ratios, this mixer makes an excellent Whiskey Sour.

Cocktail-Crate-Maple-Sour-1

The suggestion is for Bourbon or Rye, but I’ve tried Maple Whiskey Sour mixer with Berkshire Ragged Mountain Rum (aged in Bourbon casks), Yamazaki Japanese Whisky, Rye and as a bonus…

Cocktail-Crate-Maple-Sour-White-Dog

…this White Pike Whiskey from upstate NY. Wow. You have to try Maple Whiskey Sour + a White Dog Whiskey (unaged Bourbon), cause it’s totally AMAZING.

Cocktail-Crate-Maple-Sour-Bitters

Now this mixer is made with Maple Syrup, Lemon, some other stuff, and Bitters. Personally, I wanted a tad more Bitters, so I’ve been adding one dash of either Hella Bitters Citrus Bitters or Angostura Bitters.

Cocktail Crate Maple Whiskey Sour

  • 1 1/2 oz Whisky, Whiskey, Bourbon, Rum aged in Bourbon, (or whatever Whiskey you want!)
  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Maple Whiskey Sour Mixer
  • Garnish: Lemon peel, Lemon wheel, or Cinnamon bark

Combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into double Rocks glass over ice and garnish.

Cocktail-Crate-Maple-Sour-2

Hell yes.

Thanks to Alex for sending me these delicious mixers! Cocktail Crate is supreme above all other mixers!

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: Old Fashioned

Father's-Day-Old-Fashioned-2016.jpg

Hello and Happy Father’s Day 2016. My dad is a Wine Guy but on a recent trip to visit me in NYC, we discovered that he’s an Old Fashioned Guy too! This post was written during my send off to the show Mad Men and contains a few Old Fashioned recipes that every dad can enjoy. Cheers!

Old-Fashioned-3

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 I write this post, I’m drinking an Old Fashioned and re-watching the very first episode of Mad Men. I can’t really put into words how much this show means to me. This is actually the first time in my life that I’ve followed a show to the very end while it was on air. Mad Men is my Sopranos and I really hope Matthew Weiner writes a knockout of an ending.

In the first scene of S1E1, Don establishes his iconic drink of choice with the phrase, “Yeah, we’ll do this again. Old Fashioned please.” Then he drinks them over and over and over again throughout the show. I would even say that along with many of other Classic Cocktails back in vogue, Don Draper put the Old Fashioned on our minds.

Mad Men Old Fashioned 2

Mad Men Don Joan Old Fashioned

Both images via AMC.

The thing about the Old Fashioned it that is the original cocktail and to me, that says a lot about Don Draper. It says he likes to keep things simple. He wants to be respected. He is a whiskey man like many other people from farm country. He likes to present a persona of being classic and is attached to a certain time period.

According to historical records, the first written mention of the word cocktail included a definition that it “should be a potent concoction of spirit, bitters, water and sugar.” Well, we have our recipe, let’s start with the most classic version of an Old Fashioned.

Old-Fashioned-Ingredients-3

Ingredients: Water, Bitters, Sugar, Barspoon, double Rocks glass. 

Old-Fashioned-2

Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Rye
  • 2 dashes Angostura or Aromatic Bitters
  • barspoon Sugar or 1 Sugar Cube
  • 1/4 oz Water
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherry and Orange peel

Build in double Rocks glass:

  1. Add Sugar, Water and Bitters to glass and stir until sugar is nearly dissolved.
  2. Add Rye and stir until everything has mixed properly
  3. Add ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved (around 10 seconds)
  4. Add Cherry, express Orange peel and garnish

Mad Men Modern Old Fashioned

Image via AMC

In the photo above, Don is muddling a Cherry into his Old Fashioned and even adds Soda Water to the drink before he stirs it. This scene actually caused quite a stir amongst the Cocktail community because “it was a gross Old Fashioned! Never muddle the fruit! No Soda Water ever!” Y’all, come on, let the people do what they want to do with their fruit. Besides, there is actually a Modern Old Fashioned with muddled fruit in it.

Modern-Old-Fashioned-Ingredients-2

Simple Syrup, Bitters, two Cherries, one Orange wedge, muddler and double Rocks glass.

Modern-Old-Fashioned-1

Modern Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Rye
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • ~1/4 oz Simple Syrup (less if your Orange is really sweet)
  • 2 small Orange slices
  • 2 Maraschino Cherries

Build in double Rocks Glass:

  1. Add Simple Syrup, Orange Slices, Cherries and muddle.
  2. Add Rye, Bitters, and ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved.

Old-Fashioned-1

Now let’s talk about other Old Fashioned options including one of my favourites, the Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned. I’ve written about these mixers before and I will write about them until the end of time because they are INCREDIBLE. The Spiced Old Fashioned mixer is truly delicious, it tastes just as delicious as a classic Old Fashioned and is very simple to make.

HINT: BUY THIS MIXER.

Old-Fashioned-Cocktail-Crate

Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned

  • 4 parts Whiskey
  • 1 part Mixer
  • Garnishes: Orange peel and Maraschino Cherry

Build in glass:

  1. Combine ingredients over ice and stir.
  2. Add Cherry, express orange peel and garnish.

Old-Fashioned-Bitters

Recommended types of bitters for your Whiskey Old Fashioneds.

Back in Nov 2014, I wrote a post about how Old Fashioneds are the best kind of drink to make when hosting a big party because you can use so many types of Spirits, Sweeteners, Bitters and Garnishes. Check it out if you’d like to make a few with Aged Rum, Añejo Tequila or Apple Brandy.

Mad Men Old Fashioned Hawaii

Well, like pensive Don having an Old Fashioned in Hawaii, I shall be be awaiting the end of this magnificent show. Bye Bye Mad Men!

If you’d like to peruse the other Mad Men cocktails I’ve written during this last season, check them out here.

Cocktail Crate Sriracha Margarita

Sriracha-Margarita-2

Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow! Get ready to shake it up with Sriracha Margarita!

Once again, I have the IMMENSE pleasure of doing a post about a Cocktail Crate Craft Mixer! If you recall, I’ve written several posts about Cocktail Crate Mixers because they are THE BEST! Alex Boyd does not cut corners on the ingredients and you can totally tell! I’m not sure exactly what magic he uses to get such freshness out of a bottled Mixer, but seriously this Sriracha Margarita is FRESH and flavourful!

Obviously the first thing I did was to follow the instructions on the back and make a Margarita. Always follow instructions y’all.

Sriracha-Margarita-1

Cocktail Crate Sriracha Margarita

  • 1 Part Mixer
  • 1 Part Tequila
  • Garnish: Lime wheel

Shake Vigorously with ice. Strain into glass over Ice.

Well, it’s totally delicious and refreshing. I could seriously drink a million of these and I have made one for nearly every person who’s come to hang out at my apartment.

HINT: BUY THIS MIXER FOR ALL YOUR #TEQUILASEASON PARTIES!

Sriracha-Margarita-3

If you feel like you wanted to spruce up the Cocktail Crate Sriracha Margarita or if you are missing the taste of Orange in your Marg, I recommend the following recipe.

Cocktail Crate Sriracha Margarita No. 2

  • 1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Sriracha Margarita Mixer
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Lime wheel, pinch of Salt

Combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into double Rocks glass over ice. Garnish with Lime wheel and drop a pinch of Salt into the glass. Salud!

Wasn’t that easy and tasty? Head over to Cocktail Crate now and order several bottles of this delicious mixer! Thanks to Alex Boyd for the bottle!

You’re So Kind: Cocktail Crate Ginger Bee

Gold-Hunter-2

Last weekend at the Brooklyn Winter Flea, I went to the Cocktail Crate booth to say hello to Alex Abbott Boyd and thank him for the very tasty Spiced Old Fashioned Mixer. In return, he gave me this bottle of Ginger Bee. Isn’t he kind? SUPREMELY KIND!

I love Ginger Bee! It tastes very much like my Honey Ginger Juice but also has a touch of Clove. Yummmm, perfect for the Holidaze. As you can see from the above photo, I’ve already used more than half of the bottle cause it’s just so versatile!

HINT: THIS WOULD BE A GREAT GIFT

And now, the cocktails:

Ginger-Bee-Toddy-3

Since it’s Hot Toddy weather, we’ll start with a Ginger Bee Toddy.

Ginger Bee Toddy

  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Aged Rum, Bourbon, Rye or Añjeo Tequila (but Aged Rum is SOOO good)
  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Ginger Bee
  • 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/8 oz or 1 Barspoon Cinnamon Bark Syrup
  • 3-4 oz Hot Water (depends on yer mug size)
  • Clove studded Lemon Wheel

In mug, combine ingredients, top with Hot Water and stir. Garnish with Clove studded Lemon Wheel. Sexy Lemon Wheel. 

Bobbies-&-Blockheads-1

This is another variation on my variation of the Police & Thieves from Gin Palace. RIP Gin Palace, I hope you didn’t sink too far into the ground. 😦

Bobbies & Blockheads

  • 2 oz Pineapple Plymouth Gin
  • 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Ginger Bee
  • 1/2 oz Cinnamon Bark Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 dashes of Regans’ No 6 Orange Bitters
  • Pernod Pastis Rinse or Absinthe
  • Grapefruit Peel

Rinse Coupe with Pernod and chill. In tin, combine remaining ingredients over ice and shake. Express Grapefruit peel and garnish.

Gold-Hunter-3

This is a very tasty Gold Rush variation. Perfect for winter!

Gold Hunter

  • 2 oz Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon
  • 1 oz Cocktail Crate Ginger Bee
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • Star Anise

In tin, combine Bourbon, Ginger Bee, Lemon Juice and shake over ice. Strain into double rocks glass with ice. Star Anise garnish.

St-Marks-Punch-2

I mentioned this Punch recipe in my Punch for Two: Brugal Rum post. It’s too good not to mention here in this Ginger Bee review! Perfect way to showcase such a tasty mixer in a Punch format.

St Marks Punch

  • 1 1/2 oz Brugal Extra Dry Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Aged Rum
  • 1/4 oz Santa Maria al Monte Amaro
  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Ginger Bee (may need to add more Honey Syrup to taste)
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Mandarin Orange Juice
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Hella Bitter Citrus bitters
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Cardamom bitters
  • Club Soda
  • Lemon slice

In tin, combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into Punch cups, top with Soda, Lemon slice garnish.

Well, that’s it for now! Thanks again to Alex and be sure to get this mixer into your Home Bar. Totally worth it! This has been You’re So Kind, the post where someone nice gives me a bottle and I review it!

Punch for Two: Brugal Rum

DKO-Punch-1

It’s Punch for Two! As previously stated, the very nice people from MBooth Marketing gave me a bottle of Brugal Especial Extra Dry, so we’ll be making the Punch with this Rum. This is a totally tasty dry Rum and such a bang for your buck! Toasted marshmellow, vanilla, coconut and citrus flavours abound.

Holiday times make me think of Punch more than any other time of the year. This may have to do with the fact that last winter I had the greatest Whiskey Punch ever at Dead Rabbit NYC. Woah, damn, I think about that Whiskey Punch all year round. Come to think of it, I may have to head over to Dead Rabbit this week.

Here at my Home Bar, I’m not batching Punch for 20 people, just myself and my girlfriend, aka Punch for Two! As these recipes are created with just two people in mind, some of the rules have changed. But first, before we can talk about the rules, let’s talk about what goes into *Punch.

According to the Death & Co book, Wikipedia and David Wondrich’s Book Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl, Punch contains: Spirits, sugar, citrus, water and spice. The spice is really what differentiates punch from say, a Gin Sour, Margarita or Daquiri. The other important component of Punch is that Punch is stirred and ice, soda/champagne are added after the ingredients have been properly mixed. This last rule is the one we’ll be breaking when serving Punch for Two. We aren’t going to be leaving the Punch in a bowl with ice, we’re going to shake it, serve it and top it with soda!

And now, the cocktails:

DKO-Punch-2

DKO Punch: I loosely based this one on a Planter’s Punch and the Mandarin Orange slices are so very nice.

DKO Punch

  • 1 3/4 oz Brugal Extra Dry Rum
  • 1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • 1/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz Fresh Orange Juice
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Carbonated Lemon-aid or Lemon Soda
  • Mandarin Orange Slice

In tin, combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into punch cups and top with Carbonated Lemon-aid/Lemon Soda. Mandarin Orange Slice garnish.

St-Marks-Punch-2

St Marks Punch: The super nice Cocktail Crate man, Mr. Alex Abbott Boyd, gave me the Ginger Bee Craft Mixer at last weekend’s Brooklyn Flea. Isn’t he kind? He’s so kind. It’s similar to my Honey Ginger juice but also has hints of clove. So nice, so perfect for punch!

St Marks Punch

  • 1 1/2 oz Brugal Extra Dry Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Aged Rum
  • 1/4 oz Santa Maria al Monte Amaro
  • 1 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Ginger Bee or Honey Ginger Juice (may need to add more Honey Syrup to taste)
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Mandarin Orange Juice
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Hella Bitter Citrus bitters
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Cardamom bitters
  • Club Soda
  • Lemon slice

In tin, combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into Punch cups, top with Soda, Lemon slice garnish.

DeLuna-Punch-3

DeLuna Punch: Yep, you knew it, you knew there would be Tequila and you knew I would name the punch after myself cause I’m so into Tequila! Narcissism!

DeLuna Punch

  • 2 oz Brugal Extra Dry Rum
  • 1/2 oz Espolón Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau Triple Sec
  • 1 oz Agave
  • 1 oz Fresh Grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lime juice
  • 2 dashes Elemakule Tiki Bitters (Orange bitters work but the Tiki ones have that Spice!)
  • Club Soda
  • Lime slice

In tin, combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into Punch cups, top with Soda, Lime slice garnish.

DeLuna-Punch-2

*You know what really goes into Punch? A million ingredients and that’s why I love it so much! You can finally make a cocktail with at least eight ingredients and no one will call you silly!

Cheers

You’re So Kind: Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned

Cocktail-Crate-Spiced-1

Alex Boyd the very kind founder of Cocktail Crate gave me a bottle of his Spiced Old Fashioned at the Brooklyn Winter Flea last weekend. Isn’t he kind? He’s really kind! YOU’RE SO KIND COCKTAIL CRATE MAN!

This Craft Mixer is totally perfect for the holiday season. It tastes like autumnally spiced simple syrup and is just begging to be used in Old Fashioneds and variations on Classic Cocktails. I love it. I’ve used it in nearly every drink I’ve made since last weekend.

Hint: this would make an excellent gift for any Home Bar Gurl or Dude!

Now for the cocktails:

Spiced-Old-Fashioned

First, I followed the instructions on the back of the bottle and made a Spiced Old Fashioned. It was the bomb! Perfect!

Spiced Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned Mixer
  • Orange Peel

Add Bourbon and Mixer to glass with ice. Stir a few times. Express Orange Peel and garnish.

The-Sound-of-Trees-2

Here we’ve got Apple Brandy as the spirit, bitterness from the Cynar and Angostura and a rich foundation of spice from the Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned. The name for this cocktail comes from my good friend and excellent poet Brit Blalock. I asked her to help me name the drink and she suggested several Robert Frost poem titles. The Sound of Trees is such a fitting name for this cocktail.

The Sound of Trees

  • 2 oz Apple Brandy
  • 1/2 oz Cynar
  • 1/2 oz Spiced Old Fashioned Cocktail Crate Mixer
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Apple Slice

In tin, combine Apple Brandy, Cynar, Mixer and Bitters over ice and stir. Strain into coupe and garnish with Apple Slice.

Spiced-Rum-Hot-Toddy-2

Here’s a fabulous hot toddy with that Flor de Caña Rum I can’t stop talking about, Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned, Lemon Juice/Wheel and Cardamom bitters.

Rum Spiced Hot Toddy

  • 2 oz Aged Rum
  • 3/4 oz Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned Mixer
  • 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Cardamom Bitters
  • Hot Water
  • Lemon Wheel

To mug add Rum, Mixer, Lemon Juice, Cardamom Bitters and Hot Water. Stir a few times and add Lemon Wheel.

Long-Island-City-2

Lastly, I’ve got a variation on a Manhattan which I’ve named Long Island City because that’s where Cocktail Crate is made! Happy Craft Mixing to you all!

Long Island City

  • 2 oz Aged Rum
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Antica
  • 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned Mixer
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • Orange Peel

In tin, combine Rum, Carpano, Mixer and Bitters over cracked ice and stir. Strain into coupe, express orange peel and garnish.

Well, that’s it for now! Thanks again to Alex and be sure to get this mixer into your Home Bar. Totally worth it! This has been You’re So Kind, the post where someone nice gives me a bottle and I review it!