The Cranberry infused Dolin Rouge is Back!

Hey y’all! Happy December and remember to be as chill as possible during the Holidaze. Chill could mean doing more yoga, going running in chilly breezes, or curling up on the couch and watching your fave movie with Princess Pretty Kitty, aka your cat.

I’ve been doing all of the above + relaxing with a nice glass of fortified wine. Yep, I’ve been on a huge vermouth/aperitif/digestif kick lately. Literally can’t get enough: Byrrh, Bonal, Alessio Vermouth di Torino, Cocchi Dopo Teatro Vermouth Amaro, Dolin Blanc, Dolin Rouge…

But then I ran out of Dolin Blanc et Rouge and thought to myself, “GRRRRL, now it’s holiday times and you need to make that Cranberry infused Dolin Rouge!” YES! And I’m gonna put it in alllllll the Negroni variations I can think of.

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Cranberry Infused Dolin Rouge Vermouth

  • 250 ml Dolin Rouge or other French Sweet Vermouth. (But try to get Dolin Rouge, it’s so perfect with Cranberries.)
  • 250 ml dried Cranberries (by Volume). I don’t have a scale. Do you have a scale? Lucky you.
  1. In Jar combine dried Cranberries and Dolin Rouge
  2. Let sit for 48 hours gently rolling or stirring
  3. Double strain into glass container and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks
  4. Eat the now-vermouth-soaked Cranberries or give them to a friend. YUMMMM

Cheers and happy Holiday Infusions to y’all!

 

 

 

 

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Genever & the Flemish Martinez

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Ok, so y’all remember how I went to Belgium cause I was going to visit my brother and drink “all the Jenever?”  Well, dreams are one thing but reality is often so much better and WOW my mom and I had some really tasty stuff. We drank everything from “the Best Beer in the World” (Westvleteren, at the Sint Sixtus Abbey. Tears to my eyes!), to some of the best Gins I’ve ever had (and am actively trying to import to the USA), to incredible wines from my brother’s collection (cause we DeLunas are totally wine snobs), to yes, Genever.

Let’s take a lil photo trip shall we?

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The most idyllic sheep on earth y’all.

Flanders, the eastern part of Belgium, is home to a lot of agriculture and we all know what that means. Sheep, cows, pastoral landscapes, incredible cheeses and…Grains, y’all. It means grains.

Where there is a ton of grain and a good water supply, there can be a ton of spirit production.

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Don’t you love that Genever comes in a clay pot? So cool.

The earliest reference to Genever dates all the way back to the 13th C in Brugge, Belgium (Bruges for all you French speaking people). There is further mention of Genever production found in papers from the 16th C in Antwerp. The earliest reference to Jenever distillation in the Netherlands is from the 17th C, meaning that Genever was actually created in Flanders and not in Holland.

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This lovely photo is from the medieval city of Gent (Ghent for all y’all francophiles). These two buildings in the center of the photo are actually from the Middle Ages and still standing! Stunning architecture, no?

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There is also a fabulous medieval castle in Gent, Kasteel Gravesteen. Ohhhhh, so massive, so spooky.

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But the real reason I wanted to go to Gent was to drink at ‘t Dreupelkot, home of the largest selection of Genever in Belgium. With over 200 different types, I was freaking out like a kid in a candy store!

The fun thing about Genever in a place like ‘t Dreupelkot is that they have flavored versions too which are somewhat like liqueurs and maaaaaad tasty. The flavors shown above are Hazelnut, Kirsch, and one of their many Oude Graanjenevers. It was divine! I would drink that Hazelnut one errrrryday if I could.

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So this brings us back to an important point, what exactly IS Genever? Well, it’s a combination of neutral grain spirit, moutwjin (malt wine, aka distilled fermented barley malt), sugar, juniper, and other herbs. This delicious Fillier’s Oude Graanjenever 5 Jaar tastes something like a mix between malt Whisky and Old Tom Gin. It’s fabulous and I am definitely loving all of its supreme richness.

There are two main types of Genever:

  1. Oude is created in the old style with grains, malt wine, typically distilled in an Alembic still, and a higher amount of sugar than…
  2. Jonge is much closer to a neutral grain spirit and can be made with nearly any type of base (sugar beets, grains), some malt wine and sugar.

When served a pour of Genever, the barman typically fills the glass to the very top and it is customary to bend over and take your first sip from the glass. Then you raise your glass and say “Santé” or “Gezondheid”!

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…Buuuuuut, this is me, and who am I? “A gurrrrrrl making fabulous cocktails.” Mhmm. So, let’s put this glorious, malty, lightly sweet Fillier’s Oude Graanjenever in a cocktail!

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What could be more fitting for the grandfather of Gin than a Martinez variation? Nada, y’all. Nada!

Since our base spirit is Genever and not Old Tom Gin, I felt like Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao was the way to go instead of Maraschino. Equally as important was using two types of vermouth, so as not to overwhelm the drink with sweetness. Lastly, Boker’s Bitters cause they’re perfect in a Martinez.

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Stirrrrrr like you’re thinking about how 13th Century Belgium is about to give a sublime gift to your palate.

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Though this might not be the most adventurously named Martinez variation, it is accurate and like your history teacher probably said, “Accuracy is key.”

Flemish Martinez

  • 2 oz Filliers’ Oude Graanjenever 5 Jaar
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Rouge
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
  • 1 dash Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrr whilst you think about the middle ages. Strain into chilled coupe and garnish.

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Cheers and may this post fill your mind with knowledge, a desire to visit Flanders, and a thirst for Genever! I know I’ll be going back as soon as I possibly can cause Belgium is a beautiful, tasty country!

 

Lapel Piece

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Ladies and Gents, I’ve had a great time making cocktails for Irish Whiskey Month with all of you! As we roll through the last week of March, I’ve got a really killer cocktail with Teeling Single Grain that is both smooth and floral. Let’s step to it!

Oh but first, if you wanna join the party, use the hashtag #IrishWhiskeyMonth on Instagram and I’ll repost your photo! The only rule is that you have to include Irish Whiskey in your cocktail.

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What do we say here at Home Bar Girl? “Don’t forget to stirrrrrr, stirring is zen y’all.” Yeaaaah man. Stir til you gaze out the window and grab yer prettiest coupe.

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Cast of Characters:

  1. My intention for this cocktail was to create a Manhattan variation to go with Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey. This Whiskey has berry & honey notes which definitely made me think of…
  2. Montenegro! What goes better with honey than flowers? Amaro Montenegro is the perfect spring Amari and I felt like its floral notes were apropos.
  3. Initially, I made this drink with Italian Vermouth but switched it because Dolin Rouge is lighter in body than its Italian counterparts. Manhattan variations can be really tricky because you are working with so few ingredients and I didn’t want the Vermouth to overpower the other two ingredients in the drink.

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What do gentlemen frequently put in the lapel of their suit in the spring? A flower.

Lapel Piece 

  • 2 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Rouge Vermouth
  • Garnish: Lemon peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Strain into chilled coupe, express Lemon peel and garnish.

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Cheers y’all!

Album of the Year 2015

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Last year I created this glorious cocktail in honor of my fave Album of the Year for 2014. The drink featured Nolet Silver Gin + Cranberry infused Dolin Rouge and the album was Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband.

Well, I’m keeping the tradition alive, so this year I’m giving Album of the Year to…

Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love 

Not only is it fucking amazing that they reunited to create this record, it’s a fucking brilliant record. Sleater-Kinney rock harder than they ever have, the production is outstanding, and I’ve listened to the record like 1000x this year.

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And now for the recipe.

Album of the Year Cocktail

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into your most beautiful coupe and sip while listening to your album of the year.

Cheers!

Holiday Infusions

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently received the Death & Co Book as a present from my fabulous girlfriend. THAT BOOK IS EVERYTHING. The Cocktail recipes are outrageous but what has really stuck with me are the infusions, syrups and batched ingredients. It reminded me that back in the spring/summer, I was infusing anything I could think to put together. Well, I’m back in the kitchen gettin’ busy with Holiday Infusions and Syrups.

Here we go!

Cacao-Infused-Campari

This one is from the Death & Co book but I adjusted the ratios a bit. I found their version to be underwhelming and I wanted MORE CACAO!

Cacao Nib Infused Campari

  • 500 ml Campari
  • 4 heaping tablespoons Cacao Nibs (like how I went from Metric to Imperial units?)
  1. In jar combine Campari and Cacao Nibs
  2.  Let sit for 4 hours, gently rolling or stirring if you have a wide-mouthed jar (you don’t really want air bubbles to happen, just to agitate the liquid)
  3. Double strain into container

Cranberry-Infused-Dolin-Rouge

I’m gonna use this one in ALL the Xmas Cocktails! Oh and eat the cranberries after you’re done infusing! They’re sooooooo delicious!

Cranberry Infused Dolin Rouge

  • 250 ml Dolin Rouge or other Sweet Vermouth. (But try to get Dolin Rouge, it’s so perfect with Cranberries.)
  • 250 ml dried Cranberries (by Volume). I don’t have a scale. Do you have a scale? Lucky you.
  1. In Jar combine dried Cranberries and Dolin Rouge
  2. Let sit for 48 hours gently rolling or stirring if you’ve got a wide-mouthed jar
  3. Double strain into container
  4. Eat the Cranberries or give them to a friend

Pineapple-Infused-Plymouth-Gin

Yep, it’s back. This is my favourite thing ever and I use it in a lot of summer cocktails. For winter, I’m gonna use it in Punch!

Pineapple infused Plymouth Gin

  • 500 ml Plymouth Gin
  • Two handfuls of Pineapple Chunks
  1. In jar, combine Gin and Pineapple Chunks
  2. Let sit for 24 hours occasionally shaking. Yep, get up at 4 am, shake it and go back to bed.
  3. Taste. If you would like it to be more Pineapple-y, discard used Pineapple and add more fresh Pineapple. Let sit for another 24 hours. Rinse, repeat.
  4. When it is to your liking, double strain into container.

Cinnamon-Bark-Syrup

This one I got straight from the Death & Co Book. It’s sensational. Hot damn! Back to Imperial measurements.

Cinnamon Bark Syrup

  • 1 oz or approx 0.06 lb Cinnamon Bark
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 2 Cups of Sugar (Demerara used here)
  1. In sauce pan, muddle Cinnamon Bark until it is in shards
  2. Add Sugar and Water and slowly bring to a boil
  3. Reduce and simmer for 4 minutes
  4. Let sit overnight
  5. Double strain into container. Smell it. It’s so damn amazing.

Good luck to you and happy infusing/syruping! Holiday Cheers!

Maxime

Maxime

There are a wide array of botanicals and a touch of bitterness in Maxime and I’m in love. Does this make me an old lady with old lady taste buds? Am I actually Maxime? Are we all Maxime? Perhaps.

Dorothy Parker Gin and Calvados play well together along with Bonal and Dolin Rouge making this the perfect Aperitif Cocktail with an autumnal flair.

Maxime

  • 1 oz Dorothy Parker Gin
  • 1 oz Christian Drouin Calvados
  • 1/2 oz Bonal
  • 1/2 Dolin Rouge Vermouth
  • 1 dash Regans’ Orange Bitters
  • Orange peel

In tin combine Gin, Calvados, Bonal, Vermouth and bitters over cracked ice. Stir and strain into chilled coupe. Express orange peel and garnish.