Cocktail Crate Grapefruit Daiquiri & Maple Sour

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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!

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

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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.

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Delicious.

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

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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…

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…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.

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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.

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Hell yes.

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

MonteNegroni

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Y’all, it hit me a couple of days ago that I’ve been making a lot of rather difficult Rum based Tiki drinks. I’ve made them because I love them so very much and I’ve made them because I’ve been in a Tropicaaaaaaaal mood. Well, now that it’s August and my mind is shifting towards Autumn, I wanna make something simple.

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Something easy breezy (cover girl). Something stirred.

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Something in a sexy vintage tumbler with an orange peel.

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Something like a Negroni. Yes, exactly, I want a Negroni but let’s swap the Campari for Montenegro and keep the Carpano Antica. Perfect.

MonteNegroni

  • 1 1/4 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Antica Formula
  • 1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrr. Strain into a fancy tumbler over ice, express Orange peel and garnish.

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Yessssssssss. Thank you beautiful ingredients, you’re so very inspirational. Remember, every week is #NegroniWeek.

He Was A Sage Bro

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SAGE. SAAAAAAAAAGE. What started as a little trip to the Farmer’s Market turned into one of the most enjoyable weeks of drink making I’ve had all year. Sage is so earthy, has such depth of flavor, and is perfect for muddling into Cocktails!

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If only you could last forever, I would never let you go. #SageLover

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I’ve got one last cocktail to wrap up this week’s Sage + Gin party and it’s a stirred drink. This one is a riff on a 2:1 Martini  with a bit of Chartreuse Vert for its vegetal qualities and using one of my fave Vermouths, Carpano Bianco.

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As far as the name goes, um, it sort of popped in my head and I sort of said, “Ok Bro.”

He Was A Sage Bro

  • 2 oz Plymouth Gin (or a similar Gin)
  • 1 oz Carpano Bianco
  • 1/4 oz Chartreuse Vert
  • 5-6 Sage leaves
  • Garnish: Sage leaf

Combine ingredients and gently muddle Sage leaves. Add ice and give it a nice long stir. Double strain into chilled coupe and garnish with one Sage leaf.

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Thanks lil bundle of Sage for all the magic and thanks to The Baddish Group for the Carpano Bianco!

SAB Gimlet

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Well, it appears that little bunch of Sage I acquired at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday has got me in the grip! IN THE GRIP! The Sage has clawed its way into my brain and now the only thing I can think about is, “What Gin + Sage cocktail can I make next?”

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You, you’re responsible for this madness! jkjkjk, I luv u and never want you to go away. #SageLover 

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Last night my illustrious girlfriend and I were discussing what to make with the Sage after we got back from jogging and she suggested a Gimlet. Awesome idea, easy drink to riff on. When I think of Sage, I think earthy flavours. My mind immediately turned to Hella Bitters Citrus Bitters cause they have all those extra herbes & spices which really compliment Sage.

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To this I added some St. George Absinthe Verte and used the Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ethereal Gin Batch 11. This is a magnificent American Gin and has an earthier spice set than say, a London Dry. If you have St. George Terroir or Botanivore, that would make a totally awesome sub, as would Greenhook Dry, Dorothy Parker or even Mayfair Gin. You can use a bright Gin, but I wouldn’t recommend a Juniper foward one.

SAB Gimlet

  • 2 oz BMD Ethereal Batch 11
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 dash Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters
  • 5-6 Sage leaves
  • Absinthe rinse
  • Garnish: Sage leaf

Rinse a double Rocks glass with Absinthe and chill. Combine Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Sage leaves and muddle. Add Gin, Bitters, and shake. Double strain into double Rocks glass over ice. Garnish with Sage leaf.

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Cheers to all your Sage adventures!

The Pineapple Plymouth Gin is back!

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Just whipped up a fresh batch of Pineapple infused Plymouth Gin! Seriously though, “whipped up” might be stretching the truth a bit. This is literally the easiest recipe ever:

  1. Cut up a Pineapple. If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t going to work. No canned fruit allowed!
  2. Throw some of the Pineapple in a jar.
  3. Add some Plymouth Gin. You want to get about equal parts of each ingredient by volume.
  4. Let it sit for a few days, shaking several times per day.
  5. Taste it. Does it need more Pineapple? Add more Pineapple.
  6. When it tastes magnificently, Strain and keep it in the fridge.

I use this one in lots of Tropical cocktails such as:

Happy infusing to you all!

Our Summer Martini: Melissa Martini

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As temperatures climb, I’m looking for ways to have lower and lower octane cocktails. I want deliciousness, but I want it light and fragrant y’all. It’s time to break out the Blanc Vermouth, brightest Gin you have, some tasty Absinthe, and fresh herbs for garnish.

Herb Plants

I recently took a trip down to my local plant shop and got Lemon Balm and Mint to add to the recently acquired Basil plant. If you haven’t smelled Lemon Balm before, it’s definitely Lemony but also astringent, kind of minty and herbaceous in an Anise sort of way. In otherwords, it’s perfect as a cocktail garnish.

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I mean, look at it this Lemon Balm! It’s a stunning leaf and so wonderfully fragrant. I highly recommend getting a plant and putting it in your garden or window sill. Lots of sun & water = happy Lemon Balm.

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I’m actually so into the Lemon Balm that I named the drink Melissa which is the greek name for this plant. I am of course using the Berkshire Mountain Distillery Ethereal Gin Batch 9 because it’s supremely bright, floral, fragrant, and well, it makes me feel happy. If you can get this Gin, do it!

Melissa Martini

  • 1 1/2 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillery Ethereal Gin Batch 9 (sub the brightest Gin you’ve got)
  • 1 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc (Sub Carpano Bianco)
  • rinse St. George Absinthe Verte
  • Garnish: Lemon Balm leaf

Rinse a coupe with Absinthe and chill. Combine Gin and Blanc over ice and give it a very very long stir. Dilution is key to the lightness of this Martini. Strain into rinsed coupe, spank the Lemon Balm and garnish.

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Cheers!

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!

Rhubarb Express

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Y’all! Worlds have collided, tomorrow is World Gin Day and it’s also Rhubarb Season! Mercury Retrograde be dammed or whatever, this shit is happeniiiiiiing!

Now, obvi you need to read the post about Barb’s Rhubarb Cocktail & Syrup so you can make the Syrup (and read a blog post in a Victorian Era British Lady’s voice). Once you’ve done that, it’s time to make Rhubarb Express.

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You did read read the post, right? You made the Syrup, savoured the gloriousness of cooking Rhubarb and Sugar together and you’re all ready to go? Yes? Great!

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I chose Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters because they are made with four different citrus peels, gentian root, and spices. In fact I would say these bitters are as crucial to Rhubarb Express as Peychaud’s is to a Sazerac. This cocktail is super tart and complex from the herbes in the bitters and vegetal Rhubarb notes, with a shimmering quality from the Lemon Juice.

Rhubarb Express

  • 1 3/4 oz Plymouth Gin (sub Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, any smooth dry Gin)
  • 1 oz Rhubarb Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters
  • No Garnish

Combine ingredients over ice and shake vigorously for around 15 seconds. Strain into coupe.

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Bonus: this drink is supremely awesome on the rocks with a splash of soda and a Mint sprig.

Cheers!

On Holiday in the Berkshires: a Photo Essay

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A couple of weeks ago my girlfriend and I, aka The Two Ladies™ went to the Berkshires for a short holiday. This is what we saw.

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We stayed at the Red Lion Inn, originally built in 1773 and stuffed to the gills with antiques.

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The king of the Red Lion Inn is Simon the Cat. He was sooooo snuggly.

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We hiked Monument Mountain, the first quartzite mountain I’ve ever climbed.

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The Mount Grounds

We went to Edith Wharton’s fabulous Gilded Age Mansion, The Mount.

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The Mount Edith Wharton Bedroom

Apparently Edith Wharton wrote every day in this bed from 6am-11am and then got up to deal with the rest of her life. YASSSS KWEEN EDITH.

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The whole place was stunning. This place setting is to die for.

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We ate a lot of delicious food. In fact, I would 100% say that the best New American cuisine in the USA is in the Berkshires and the best New American restaurant in the USA, nay on earth, is Prairie Whale in Great Barrington.

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We loved the food so much that we ate there three times in five days.

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Of course we got drinks at the Prairie Whale. These were both made with Berkshire Mountain Distillers Gin. On the left was Ethereal Gin Batch 11, Lavender Syrup, Lemon, Peychaud’s, Anise Hyssop garnish. On the right was Greylock Gin, Grapefruit Juice, agave, salt, lime wedge.

Prairie Whale Bloody Mary

The best Bloody Mary ever, made with Berkshire Mountain Distillers Greylock Gin.

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Perhaps what struck me the most about Prairie Whale was that nearly everything in the restaurant came from the Prairie Whale farm or other local farmers. I know “Farm to Table” is super trondy right now but these people are doing it right! Seen above is an Anise Hyssop leaf which was grown in the garden right outside the restaurant. It was the garnish in almost every cocktail they offer because Anise Hyssop is what seasonally grows during late springtime in the Berkshires. It smells fabulous too! Like something between Anise, Mint, and Lemon Balm. Perfection.

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We drank a lot of Rosé.

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And I had a Martini made with Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ethereal Gin Batch 11. Pursed lips gurrrrrrl.

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So then of course we went to Berkshire Mountain Distillers, tasted some Gin, smelled some Gin, bought some Gin. Their Ethereal Gins are a limited time series which are reworked every year with different botanicals. They’re all incredible. I bought the Red Label and Pink Label (Batches 9 & 11) and had to force myself not to buy the one in the middle.

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They also have a bottle of Rye from 1898.

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But the main thing we noticed about the Berkshires is that EVERYTHING is just right. I’ve never seen this much attention to detail, care for the earth, or sense of terroir in any place I’ve ever been to in the USA. (Yes, I’m looking at you Napa Valley!) It’s truly impressive and a totally fabulous place to go on holiday. We are actually planning to back as soon as we possibly can just to eat one more meal at Prairie Whale.

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Cheers!

All photos shot by the Two Ladies™ on iPhone 5S  & iPhone 6 and edited in VSCO Cam. 

#NegroniWeek 2015 – Negroni Blanc

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Welcome to #NegroniWeek 2015! Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can find out all about it here.

We’ve done it! We’ve reached the end of Negroni Week! Did you have a good time? Make any good Negroni Variations? Did you totally run out of that Bottled Negroni that we made in a post from May 31st? I totally did.

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If you’ve read this blog for awhile, then you know I love the Negroni Bianco in all its forms. I love sipping them on a sunny Sunday afternoon, while reading a good book, or sneaking one into the park. I love having one in place of a Martini when I want something a little less boozy and a little more flavourful. It seems only fitting that we end #NegroniWeek with this nice soothing variation.

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The Negroni Blanc uses two white Vermouths instead of a Vermouth and a Gentian Liqueur (like Suze or Salers), a bit of Pernod Pastis, and one of my new favourite Gins, Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ethereal Gin Batch 11. I got this fabulous Gin whilst I was on vacation in the Berkshires a couple of weeks ago because it’s a totally awesome Modern American Gin. With notes of cinnamon & allspice in addition to the regular set of Gin botanicals and a viscosity that you can almost sink your teeth into, the BMD Ethereal Gin Batch 11 is perfect for the Negroni Blanc.

Negroni Blanc

  • 1 oz BMD Ethereal Gin Batch 11 (sub Greenhook Dry, Dorothy Parker, Hayman’s Old Tom)
  • 1 oz Dolin Blanc (sub Lillet Blanc)
  • 1 oz Carpano Dry (sub Dolin Dry)
  • 1 dash Pernod Pastis (sub Herbsaint, Pernod Absinthe)
  • Garnish: Lemon Peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into coupe. Express Lemon Peel and garnish.

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Oh, and last night I got new vintage coupes! Beautiful eh? The wonderful people at Adaptations NY are now responsible for around half of my vintage glassware collection. Thanks y’all!