Shannon’s Fog Cutter

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Y’all, it’s nearly autumn and I am feeeeeling like it’s time for some Sherry! Actually, I’m feeling like it’s time for some Rum + Sherry + Gin + Cachaça which means, I’ve got a Tiki drink for us today! So grab one bottle of each, some citrus and get some Orgeat cause this shit is tasty!

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Do you see it? Do you see the book in the photo? Are you intrigued? “Gurrrrl, why is there a book in the photo? There’s never a book in the photo!”

Woo! I’ve been meaning to get the Smuggler’s Cove book for quite sometime and after seeing the 100th or so recipe show up on /r/cocktails, I was like, “OK FINE! I’ll get the book!”

It’s uhhhhhhhmazing. It’s the Tikiest/nerdiest/geekiest/Rummiest/most delightful book I’ve read in awhile and wow, it has so many good tips on how to make well crafted cocktails. So like any thirsty woman, I found a recipe that was really speaking to me and made a variation.

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Not that I haven’t made a Fog Cutter before, cause I totally have and I totally love this format. Tropical + Gin + Sherry really speaks to my soul on a deep level.

For this particular Fog Cutter, I was thinking of my friend Shannon Mustipher (THE Rum Queen of NYC, brand ambassador for Denizen Rum, a serious lover of Cachaça and overproof spirits) and made this drink with her in mind. Hope you like it gurrrrrl!

  1. I started with Yaguara Cachaça as the “inspirational” ingredient and the replacement for brandy…
  2. Which led me to Denizen 3 Year Rum for the main spirit cause Denizen & Yaguara go so well together and y’all know Denizen is my “workhorse Rum”. Loads of coconut, banana, and grasses between the two of these spirits.
  3. Then I wanted a big bright Gin and was kind of thinking overproof would be the jam so to the Hayman’s Royal Dock I went!
  4. I followed the Smuggler’s Cove guide of Lemon, Orange, & Orgeat but I did change the type of sherry from Oloroso to Lustau Amontillado cause that’s what I had in my fridge. I also have Fino but I thought that would be too dry and a little too thin.

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Another tip I picked up from Smuggler’s Cove is the use of “Flash Blending”. Now, they use something like a Hamilton Beach Milkshake Blender and blend for 5 or so seconds. I don’t have that sort of blender but I do have a Ninja (for all the smoothies my girlfriend and make in our lil apartment). I’ve reduced my blending time to just about 2 seconds so that the drink doesn’t get too watery and I’m digging the resulting texture.

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Check the ice in the above photo. Nice right? Also, those Luxardo Cherries look super tasty right now. Yummmmmm.

Shannon’s Fog Cutter

  • 2 oz Denizen 3 Year Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Cachaça Yaguara
  • 1/2 oz Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh Orange Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • Garnish: 1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry, 3 Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, swizzle stick

Combine ingredients and flash blend for 2 seconds with ~8 oz cracked ice. Pour into a tall Tiki mug, float the Sherry on top, and garnish.

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Tiki cheers to all y’all and I HIGHLY recommend getting the Smuggler’s Cove book. I also recommend getting a Rum collection going cause there is a whole wonderful world of Rum out there and with that Rum you can make a whole wonderful set of Tiki drinks!

Cocktail Crate Mixers are Perfect for your Labor Day Soirée

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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!

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!

 

MonteNegroni No. 2

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Happy #NegroniWeek to y’all! #NegroniWeekend? Either way, Happy Friday!

I’ve been working on this drink since I got back from Belgium cause I am in looooove with Copperhead Gin and it goes really well with Amaro Montenegro.

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Like, I’m so into this Gin that I bought it twice. The Juniper is there but there are also loads of Pine, Angelica, Cardamom, Coriander, and spice notes. It’s super smooth and I want to drink it all the damn time.

*WILL SOMEONE IN NORTH AMERICA PLEASE START IMPORTING COPPERHEAD GIN FROM BELGIUM? K thanx.

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But back to the point: Last year I made the first MonteNegroni and I loved it. This year I made it again but swapped out Copperhead for Plymouth Gin, Dolin Blanc for Carpano Antica…and then I thought, “Wait, this needs something else. Not a lot of something else, just a bit of something else…”

And then it hit me, “SHERRY!” I’ve noticed that 1/4 oz of Amontillado Sherry will really do magical things in a stirred drink. So here we are…I broke the rules again. Another Four-Ingredient-Negroni coming right up!

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Don’t forget to stirrrrrrrrrrr til the light of heaven shines down upon you and your heart smiles. 🙂 ❤

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MonteNegroni No. 2

  • 1 oz Copperhead Gin (sub any dry, Angelica forward Gin)
  • 3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc
  • 1/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrr until the skies open up and you see the light of heaven. Strain into a double Rocks glass over ice. Express Orange peel and garnish.

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Cheers and may your soul sparkle with the power of the MonteNegroni!

Melissa Negroni

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I’m going FULL #NegroniWeek here at Home Bar Girl because I love rules. Yes, as hilarious as that sounds about a “grrrrrl making fabulous cocktails”, it’s true. The thing I dig about the Negroni rules are that it forces me to stick to an idea. And even though I really like to break the Negroni Rule of 3 (hello, I’m all about a four ingredient Negroni variation), I still have to keep the spirit of the drink intact.

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Today’s variation was totally inspired by my fave summer Gin: Bimini Gin. The very first time I tried this Gin, I knew I wanted to put it in a Negroni Bianco. Bimini Gin is a light, bright Gin from Maine and though the juniper is there, it takes a back seat to a whole bunch of citrus notes.

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And when I find a Gin that’s full of Citrus notes, I think “MELISSA!” Yes y’all, it’s time for another cocktail with Lemon Balm cause I cannot get enough of Melissa officinalis.

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Something else about Bimini Gin in a Negroni Bianco made me want to use two kinds of Dolin Vermouth. The Blanc cause duh, but the Dry was calling my name from the fridge. So I said, “Ok, y’all can both be in the drink but only if the Salers agrees to it!” The Salers DID agree, so here we have a four ingrdient Negroni Bianco. (Rules? What rules?)

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Sweet Melissa, how I love thee, let me count the springtime ways!

Melissa Negroni

  • 1 1/4 oz Bimini Gin
  • 3/4 oz Dolin Blanc
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1/2 Salers Aperitif

Garnish: Lemon Balm leaf

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into double Rocks glass over ice. Spank the Melissa, rub it on the rim of the glass, and garnish.

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SUUUUUUPER nice for this late spring #NegroniWeek! Cheers!

Mother’s Day with NOLET’S Gin

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Happy almost-Mother’s Day y’all!

Isn’t “mother” a funny word? Your mother, my mother, every mother! Mother… mother, mother. Mother may I? Ya mutha’. I feel like the more I say it, the stranger it sounds. I actually call my mother “Mamoo” which is sort of like Mom +Mam-e (another nickname for her) + “Faboo!” (Animaniacs). I also call my Mother “Hun” or “Dear Hun” and she calls me the same.

My Mamoo is a fabulous lady who likes the finer things in life, so I wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day with the fanciest Gin on earth: NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin.

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NOLET’S Gin is one of the most delicious and unique Gins I’ve ever tasted. It has prominent notes of Turkish Rose, Raspberry, Peach, and Lemon sherbet, along with the usual Gin botanicals. The viscosity is excellent (to die for in a Martini), it’s 92.5 proof, and when you sip it, this Gin straight up makes you feel elegant.

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Now that we’ve got a glorious Gin, let’s make our mothers a celebratory cocktail or three, shall we?

We’ll start with one based on an Aperol Fizz but with a bit more booze and lots of fruit. Mamoo likes strawberries and oranges, so I’ve thrown those into the mix.

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I’ve named this drink for my Dear Hun and these are her initials.

SJ Fizz

  • 1 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
  • 1 oz Aperol
  • Chilled, dry sparkling Rosé like Cava Rosat or Rosé Brut
  • Garnish: Strawberries, *Cara Cara Orange Wedges, Mint Bouquet

Build in glass: add fruit and a couple of ice cubes to a wine glass. Add NOLET’S Gin, Aperol and gently stir til things are swimming along nicely. Top with sparkling Rosé and garnish with a Mint Bouquet.

*Note: I’m obsessed with Cara Cara Oranges. They are so much more pleasant than regular Naval oranges, have floral & berry notes, and are less acidic tasting.

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For this next one, keep that bottle of sparkling Rosé handy cause we’re going to make a French 75 variation. NOLET’S Gin is from the Netherlands, so I’ve named the cocktail accordingly. The number I’ve chosen may or may not have to do with a certain Mamoo’s age…I’ll never tell.

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We’re also going to make a pretty pretty princess Citrus peel rose garnish. Grab one Lemon, one Red Grapefruit, a peeler and a cocktail pick. Peel a strip from each fruit, trying to make your peels about the same length. Roll them together into a rose and spear with the pick.

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Nice right? A rose for ya mutha’ and to compliment the rose notes in the Gin. SYNERGY!

Dutch 65

  • 1 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 oz Rich Cane Sugar Syrup
  • Chilled, dry sparkling Rosé like Cava Rosat or Rosé Brut
  • Garnish: Grapefruit & Lemon peel rose

Combine NOLET’S Gin, Lemon juice, and syrup over ice and stir. Strain into your prettiest coupe or champagne flute. Top with sparkling Rosé and garnish with Citrus rose.

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Lastly, we’re going to make a variation on a Pimm’s Cup cause what mother doesn’t love Pimm’s? (Every mother loves Pimm’s, she just doesn’t know it yet.)

To make the cucumber garnish, you’ll need to cut the cucumber into long spears, get a zester/channel knife, and score the cucumber.

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My mom’s family name is Maddox, hence the name of the cocktail.

Maddox Cup

  • 1 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
  • 1 oz Pimm’s No.1
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 oz Rich Cane Sugar Syrup
  • Club Soda
  • Garnishes: Strawberries, Cara Cara Orange wedges, scored Cucumber spear, Mint Bouquet

Build in glass: place cucumber spear in glass, then layer fruit and ice. Add NOLET’S Gin, Pimm’s, Lemon Juice, Syrup, soda and stir gently. Top with Mint Bouquet

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Man, that cucumber garnish is really speaking to me. So fresh, so healthy! Your mother would be proud of you for eating your veggies!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of your Moms! May they have the fanciest day ever. Cheers!