Crying over the end of Summer with a Blackberry Buck

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Tis a sad sad time over here at Home Bar Girl, for my favorite season, the season of my birth, the season with ALL the fruit, the season of heat, ice-filled Cocktails, swimming, and funnnnnn, is nearly over. I’m crying some real end-of-summer tears y’all.

However, there is one thing about late-August that I hold near and dear to my heart…

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…Blackberries.

When I was a small gurrrrrl growing up in Novato, CA, we lived next to a park with a creek. I spent every day in that park and when the weather was warm enough, I spent a lot of time “creek walking” and swimming in its murky waters. There was one patch of the creek that had a ton of Blackberry bushes, so in late August we’d pick a bucket full o’ berries, take them back home, and Mamoo would put them in a fabulous Blackberry cobbler.

Fast forward to 2016 and I’m city gurrrrrl who dreams, nay pines for freshly picked fruit. I get my fix by going to the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market every Saturday. The minute Blackberries showed up at the market, my heart lept with joy, and I bought some.

Nostalgia, IT’S REAL!

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So dark, so luscious, so tasty.

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So, we’re doing this drink smash style and I’d recommend layering your items in the same order as the above photo. That way, when you put your straw into the bottom of the glass, you get a nice hit of mint.

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I was thinking of making a Bramble, but lack the Crème de Mûre, so I went with a Buck instead:

  1. I decided to use Bimini Gin cause it has a bunch of nice citrus notes which would pair well with this selection of fruit and still retain enough juniper backbone to shine through. If you can get this Gin, do so immediately. It’s the perfect summer Gin and I’ve made a million Gin & Tonics, Collins, and Negronis with it.
  2. Fever-Tree Ginger Beer is real real good y’all. Nice amount of ginger but not too spicy which in the case of this Buck, is juuuust right.

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Blackberry Buck

  • 2 oz Bimini Gin
  • ~3 oz Fever Tree Ginger Beer
  • Handfull of Blackberries
  • 2 Lemon Wedges
  • 5-6 Mint Leaves
  • Garnish: Mint bouquet

Build in Collins glass: Muddle Blackberries, Lemon Wedges, and Mint together. Add Gin, ice and stir til things have combined nicely. Top with Ginger Beer and a Mint bouquet.

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End of summer Cheers to all y’all, may you sip a Blackberry Buck and fight back the tears!

I Never Thought This Day Would Come

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Y’all, guess who actually went out and bought a bottle of Vodka? THIS GURL! I was at the farmers’ market in Prospect Park and Orange County Distillery was sampling some of their spirits. I tasted the Gin and Vodka, both of which were pretty tasty, but the Vodka was honestly better!

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“Gurl what? You liked a Vodka better than a Gin? Why?”

  1. It’s made from Sugar Beets.
  2. The viscosity is killer.
  3. It’s just straight up delicious with lots of citrus and floral notes.

Basically, this is the second coming of Vodka.

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So of course I wanted to put it in a spring themed drink with Lavender, Mint, Honey, and Lemon.

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And since the mint was so fabulous, I decided to turn this into a smash.

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The name of this drink comes from the fact that I honestly never thought I would like a bottle of Vodka enough to buy it.

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  • 2 oz Orange County Distillery Vodka
  • 3/4 oz Honey Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Barkeep Lavender Bitters
  • 5 big Mint Leaves
  • Garnish: Mint Bouquet

Add mint, Lemon juice, and Honey syrup to Collins glass and muddle. Add Vodka, Lavender Bitters, and ice. Stir for a bit so the ingredients are all swimming together nicely. Top with soda water and garnish with Mint Bouquet.

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Damn straight y’all. I am now a fan of this really delicious Vodka. Cheers to all your adventurous purchases!

RTV & Tonic

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Happy July! Let the quest for low octane, fizzy Cocktails continue!

Remember that Rose Tea Vodka we made awhile back for the unbelievably complicated Flower Flower cocktail? If you still have any left (hard to believe, I know), I’ve got a really fabulous summery Vodka & Tonic for you!

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Hello pretty Mint leaf, how fragrant are thy scents!

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This is a very easy drink to make, my only encouragement is that you get the best Tonic you can possibly find. I highly recommend Fever-Tree Tonic Water or Tomr’s Tonic Syrup. You really don’t want an overly sugary Tonic for this recipe or the drink will be too sweet.

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Combine Rose Tea Vodka, St-G, and around 1 oz of Tonic Water. Gently stir for just a few seconds so everything is swimming together in harmony. Pour into a Collins glass over Ice. Garnish with Lemon slices and Mint. Top up with more Tonic Water.

Bonus: if you have the Fever-Tree Bitter Lemon, it makes an incredible substitution for Tonic in this drink!

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Summery Cheers to you all!

Sunburn Club

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Last Sunday, a few friends of mine and I spent the entire day shooting an Editorial on a rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I’ve worked on many photoshoots before but this was my first time doing Cocktail Styling on a shoot! Yes! I was pumped!

It was a very sunny day and the EVERY INCH of the roof was painted with a reflective metallic coating of paint. We tried, oh how we tried not to get burned! Five layers of sunscreen, parasols, covering ourselves with bandanas, and standing in the shade notwithstanding, we were all pretty badly burned by the end of the day. So we poor, sad, sweat-soaked people became, #SunburnClub.

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After getting home, taking the coldest shower ever, and relaxing for a hot second, I made this drink. May the fabulousness of Sunburn Club shine brightly for a thousand summer days! Or at least until my burn turns into a nice tan.

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Sunburn Club

  • 2 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillery Ethereal Gin Batch 9
  • 1/2 oz Aperol
  • 2 1/2 oz Red Grapefruit Juice
  • 1-2 barspoons 18.21 Bitters Lavender & Sea Salt Syrup*
  • 2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters
  • Soda Water
  • Garnish: Grapefruit Peel Rose speared by a Blue Umbrella

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Collins glass over ice, add Soda Water, and garnish.

*The deal with the 1-2 barspoons of Lavender & Sea Salt Syrup is that you should add 1 barspoon and taste. If it’s sweet/salty enough, that’s all you need. If not, add 1 more but be warned, this is potent stuff!

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Here’s to summer! Cheers!