#NationalTequilaDay + Grass Hat Cocktail

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Happy National Tequila Day y’all! Today is particularly near and dear to my heart, as I am a lover of all things Agave and a major proponent of appreciating this spirit for all its magnificent complexities.

So today on this blessed day, SIP YOUR TEQUILA!

Don’t take shots of it. Don’t try to get it down with a grimace and a chaser of Lime + salt (that’s only meant for awful mixto tequilas anyways). Get yourself some real 100% Puro Agave Tequila and let your palate experience it fully.

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Speaking of good Tequila: I’m a big fan of Corralejo because all of their Tequilas are agave forward and while the aged expressions do exhibit some woody characteristics, it doesn’t mask the rich earthy flavors. I think all three are good enough to sip, but they also make excellent cocktails.

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So today in the spirit of “sipping your Tequila”, we’re going to make a cocktail that looks like a martini, but is far from it.

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The goal of this cocktail was to put Corralejo Reposado in a stirred cocktail with Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur. This liqueur isn’t very sweet and has a lovely nutty, funky, grassy flavor with excellent viscosity. My secondary goal was to make a cocktail with Tequila + Lustau Puerto Fino Sherry. Fortunately those two goals aligned with the addition of Boker’s Bitters and some Lemon oil.

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Stirrrrrrrrrrr til you can picture the great rains coming down to the fields in Jalisco and giving life to all the agave.

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*Note: I was having some hilarious lighting issues, the cocktail isn’t green at all, but rather the color of light straw. haha, sheesh.

Grass Hat Cocktail

  • 1 3/4 oz Corralejo Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Lustau Puerto Fino Sherry
  • 1/4 oz Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon oil

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrr for 50 rotations or until proper dilution has occurred. Strain into your prettiest coupe, express Lemon peel and discard.

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Salud and may you enjoy National Tequila Day with a fine Tequila and a fine cocktail!

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Seasoned Traveler

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After a chilly few days in New York City, and many, many Pride parties celebrating our collective gay victory, I feel it’s time for a stirred drink. To me, this cocktail represents a small respite from the collective hot-weather-shaken-citrusy-cocktails which will dominate every bar menu until September. Let us breathe deeply, take a moment, and let the thick luscious viscosity and complex flavours take us away.

Let us all become Seasoned Travelers.

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This maginificent drink features several of my favourite things all at once: Fino Sherry, Bonal Aperitif, Flor de Caña 7 Year and Giffard Banane. Enjoy this one whenever you have a moment to spare.

Seasoned Traveler

  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year
  • 3/4 oz Bonal Aperitif
  • 1/2 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherry

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a long, loving stir. Strain into coupe, garnish with Cherry.

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Santé mes amis!

First Waltz: an orchestra in a Cocktail

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Edit: if you’re here for #SherryWeek, get ready for one of the best Sherry Cocktails ever. 🙂

I’ve been sitting on this one for a couple of weeks cause it’s the best stirred drink with Gin that I’ve ever made. No seriously, it is. It’s a total showstopper. I’m holding my breath just writing about it. I’m actually drinking a different Cocktail (Ancho Chile Tequila, Pineapple, Cointreau some other stuff that I won’t divulge, #TequilaSeason) and thinking of throwing it out and making another First Waltz.

Ok, enthusiasm overload aside, the real deal with this is that I’ve been working on creating flavour arcs. I want my Cocktails to take us on a journey, to make our mouths and noses say, “oh this is…woah, now it’s…oh my goodness…duuuuude.” I feel like a great drink should take you on an adventure. In the way that a really great Bordeaux will take you straight to that region of France and change several times in your mouth/nose, cocktail ingredients should enter at different times once you’ve taken a sip.

Perhaps we should think of fine Cocktails like we think of an orchestra.

For First Waltz we experience: Gin, wide on the bright tones and treble (brass, wind instruments). Dolin Blanc providing a great support in the mid range (viola, violin, upper cello range). Fino sherry in the long base notes with fig, raisin, nuttiness, and salinity (double bass, bass clarinet, tuba, timpani). Finally Apricot again as a bright, trebbly wide note (flute, oboe solo, cymbals). The Apricot is actually what stays in your mouth the longest and which inspired the name of this springiest of spring cocktails. The Nutmeg garnish merely serves to reinforce the nutty notes of the Fino Sherry and tie the drink together (the conductor).

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Blüten der Wachauer Marille (Apricot blooms from the Klosterneuberg region, these are called Marille locally)

Both Rothman & Winter and the Bitter Truth Apricot liqueurs come from Aprikosen in the Klostenberg region of Austria. So, no matter which Apricot liqueur you choose, you get the most beautiful Apricot and Floral notes. From such a lovely liqueur comes great inspiration. Of course my musical mind immediately went to the Strauss family and their legacy of waltzes.

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First Waltz

  • 2 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/4 oz* Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur (or Bitter Truth Apricot)
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine ingredients over ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into chilled coupe, garnish with freshly grated Nutmeg.

*Keep in mind that this is a very exact recipe. Too much Apricot and the whole drink is off.

By the bye, this is totally a Flavor Bible drink meaning that I looked up Apricot in the bible and went from there. If you don’t have this book, get it! It’s the best tool for anyone creating recipes in the Kitchen.

May this be as exciting to you as it was to me! Bravo!

Fruity Cocktails with Fino Sherry

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Edit: If you’re here for #SherryWeek, have an excellent time with these recipes!

Y’all, I have been waiting for this post ever since I got that bottle of Inocente Fino Sherry back in January. From the moment I put my lips on this Sherry, I knew, I knew it was going to go with fruit and I knew I was going to use it Long or Tiki style.

I’ve been biding my time.

Today on Instagram, I was challenged to make a Fog Cutter by @el_nova_1 (the person behind last week’s Navy Grog challenge who loves Tiki as much as many of us do) and make the drink immediately! It’s DAMN FABULOUS! LIKE DAAAAAAAYUM FABULOUS. Citrusy, dry, great flavour arc, deep. I’m in luv. With this challenge comes a great opportunity for me to post a couple of other Fruity Sherry drinks I’ve had sitting in my notebook.

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First things first about this Fog Cutter: I don’t have any Grape Brandy! I only have Calvados! The recipe also calls for Cream or Amontillado Sherry and I only have Fino Sherry. So, like any good Home Bar Gurrrrrrl, I’ve made some adjustments (ahem, Old Tom Gin) and named the variation “Karl the Fog Cutter” after my beloved San Francisco Bay Area’s archnemesis (or claim to fame), Karl the Fog.

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Karl the Fog Cutter

  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry (float)
  • 2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • 3/4 oz Orgeat
  • Garnish: Sherry float, Orange wedge with Maraschino Cherry spear, Monkey

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Tiki Mug or Collins Glass over Cracked Ice. Float the Sherry, garnish with Orange wedge with Maraschino Cherry and Monkey.

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This next one came from a flavour pairing obsession I currently have: Fino Sherry + Apricot Liqueur. It’s to die for. The nuttiness from the Orgeat & Fino go sooooo well with the Apricot. Literally the greatest thing since Smith & Cross Rum + Teeling Irish Whiskey. This one is straight up Tiki, so be sure you have a mint sprig and some Orgeat ready to go!

Marley’s Map

  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Rum
  • 1/2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, two Pineapple chunks and a Maraschino Cherry

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into double Rocks glass or short Tiki mug over ice. Garnish with Mint sprig, two Pineapple chunks and a Maraschino Cherry.

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Now back to that Cobbler. Goodness, I get such a thrill out of making and/or drinking a Cobbler! This one came to me in the night and I had to write it down before I fell asleep. Again, we’re using the glorious Apricot + FIno Sherry combo along with Carpano Antica Vermouth, Old Tom Gin, and Boker’s Bitters. I wanted this one to taste Old Skool/Pre-Prohibition.

I definitely Flavor Bible’d the Rosemary + Blueberry + Strawberry + Lemon + Orange flavours. If you don’t have the Flavor Bible yet…get to it!

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Stafford Cobbler

  • 1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1 1/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Honey Syrup
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
  • Small handful of Blueberries, muddled
  • Garnish: Strawberry, Blueberry, Orange wheel, Rosemary sprig

In tin, combine Lemon Juice and Blueberries and muddle. Add remaining ingredients, ice and short shake. Strain into Stemmed glass filled with ice and fruit, Orange wedge and Rosemary Sprig on top. Serve with a straw and a spoon so your guests may eat the fruit!

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Yassssss gurrrrrrrl, Ms Stafford Cobbler, lemme get real close.

Thanks again to The Baddish Group for the fantastic bottle of Carpano Antica!

The Arborist’s Nightcap

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Here’s a nice slow sippin’ Friday night Nightcap with Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey. My girlfriend had a taste and said it tastes like “climbing a tree”. I think she’s right! It also tastes smoky, seductive, raisin/prune/grapey, saline-y, briney, fig, nutty. Enjoy!

The Arborist’s Nightcap

  • 1 3/4 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Punt e Mes
  • 1/4 oz Cinnamon Bark Syrup
  • 2 dashes Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

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

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Thanks again to The Baddish Group for the delicious bottle of Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey!

Rothko 1957 with 18.21 Tart Cherry + Saffron Bitters

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I would say that creating a cocktail is rather similar to creating a work of art or a piece of music. Cocktails begin in the mind, are tinkered with in the mixing tin (often several times over) and then presented to the public to behold, taste, feel and enjoy. When I make a piece of music, it always begins in my mind, then I go to my instrument, work on the main theme over and over until it is ready for supporting layers. Finally, upon completion, I present my piece of music to the public for them to hear, feel and enjoy.

For this drink, I began, in my mind, with the 18.21 Tart Cherry + Saffon Bitters. The profile of these bitters is Cherry on the bottom and in the back, Saffron up front and on top. I wanted to bring out the Cherry a bit more, so I added the syrup frrom Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. Then I knew that I wanted a complex set of modifiers, which came in the form of Carpano Antica and Inocente Fino Sherry. The hardest ingredient was actually which spirit to use for the base. After much trial and error, I decided that I wanted a spicy Bourbon and Elijah Craig 12 Year was perfect.

What is Rothko 1957? The name is a reference to a painting by Mark Rothko, Saffron 1957. Yeah man, we’re making art, man.

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Rothko 1957

  • 2 oz Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
  • Heavy 1/4 oz Inocente Fino Sherry (just slightly more than 1/4 oz)
  • 2 droppers 18.21 Tart Cherry + Saffron Bitters
  • 1 Barspoon Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Syrup*
  • Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherries*

Combine ingredients, add ice and stirrrrrr until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into Rocks glass with Ice. Garnish with three Luxardo Maraschino Cherries.

*In my mind, if you’re not getting some snooty pooty Brandied Cherries, these are the only cherries to buy. Never get the bright red ones, so gross.

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Tasty times, artful minds. #SnootyBooty

Thanks again to 18.21 Bitters for their sensational Tart Cherry + Saffron Bitters!

You’re So Kind + Recent Acquisitions Jan 2015

NEW YEAR, NEW BOOZE N SUCH! No recipes this time, but I wanted to get everyone excited about all the things I’ll be posting on during Winter 2015! Cheers to you all!

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The lovely people of 18.21 Bitters sent me a whole bunch of stuff! Aren’t they kind? LIKE LEGITIMATELY KIND! AND SUCH TASTINESS!! 18.21 Bitters make not only excellent bitters but also Tinctures, Syrups and Shrubs: Blackberry Peppercorn Shrub, Charred Lime + Jalapeño + Peppercorn Syrup, Earl Grey Bitters, Lemon Ginger Tincture just to name a few! I’ve been working on a bunch of recipes and will be posting them soon!

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INOCENTE FINO SHERRY – YEAH, I DID IT, HERE WE GO! The complexity and depth of sherry is something I am really into experimenting with.

SENIOR BLUE CURAÇAO – YEAH, BLUE CURAÇAO IS BACK, GET INTO THE SWEET BLUENESS! TROPICAL BREEZES.

VELVET FALERNUM – EVEN MORE TROPICAL. Why it took me this long to get this lime/vanilla/spiced deliciousness is beyond me.

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Denizen Aged White Rum – from the Angostura distillery, this is a blended white Rum and more complex than many other white rums and an awesome banana, coconut, mango and pineapple flavors come through immediately.

Hayman’s Old Tom Gin – 19th Century Gin which is a bit sweeter and more botanical than many modern gins. MARTINEZ, here we come. I love this Gin, it’s totally awesome!

Will be posting recipes soooooon!