Tequila & Tiki: the Jalajaja Swizzle

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Happy September Monday to y’all! Hopefully things are starting to cool down for you, but if you’re living anywhere in the USA, I highly doubt it. It’s been super hot here in Brooklyn and I have it on good authority that it’s still pretty hot in SoCal and Texas too.

Not that heat = Tiki cause y’all know how I luv to Tiki The Snow Away, but nevertheless, I need a tall-icy-fruity-Rum-filled….wait, what?

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Bwahahaha! It’s not Rum, it’s Tequila! Today’s drink came about cause I really wanted to make a Tequila Tiki drink and I thought the Swizzle would be a good format. I was thinking Corralejo Reposado Tequila but then I was also thinking it’s pepper season and I remembered that this Tequila is really snappy when infused with Jalapeño (or Serrano, Serrano is super tasty too).

Go here for the Jalapeño infused Corralejo Reposado recipe.

I apparently couldn’t live without some version of Rum, so I added my new fave ingredient, Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur. This stuff is maaaaad tasty: grassy (like a mild agricole), has some notes of chocolate, caramel, and citrus in addition to the obvious Coconut. Kalani is made with 100% Natural Mayan Coconut Rum, has a silky viscosity, a good level of sweetness, and (just like my bottle of Tequila) is from Mexico.

Sooooooo, maybe I really just wanted to make a Mexican Swizzle, mmmmhm. #MexicanPride

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The spice and juice set came about cause:

  1. Grapefruit and Tequila are best friends.
  2. Lime juice for more tartness and length.
  3. Honey cause I knew it would be a match made in heaven.
  4. Peychaud’s Bitters for anise and some interesting depth.

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Grab either yer swizzle stick or a long barspoon for this one.

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Oh and like spanish speakers do, pronounce the J’s in this drink “ha-ha-ha”, then it basically sounds like you’re laughing and will make you feel pumped to try this drink!

Jalajaja Swizzle 

  • 2 1/2 oz Jalapeño infused Corralejo Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur
  • 1 oz White Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2-3/4 oz Honey Syrup*
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s
  • Garnish: candied Ginger, Mint sprig

Add ingredients to large Tiki mug, add cracked or crushed ice and swizzle til the glass has started to frost and everything seems to have combined. Add a lil more ice on top if needed and garnish.

*Depends on how sweet you want it. I tried it both ways and was honestly not sure which one I liked better.

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Salud and may your Tequila Tiki experiments be awesome!

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Frankie’s Tropical Holiday

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Hey! Hey! Hey! all you Tiki The Snow Away party people! I’ve got a big drink today with Fernet Francisco that I’m pretty psyched about, so let’s get to it!

If you want to share a tropical drink during the month of January, use the hashtag #TikiTheSnowAway on Instagram and Twitter, or tag u/homebargirl on reddit.

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Around a week ago, Fernet Francisco posted a comment on my Instagram account that if I made any Tiki drinks with their Fernet, I should let them know about it. I actually had that thought way back in November but then totally forgot about it! Whoops.

So, to all my Bay Area Fernet drinking people, this drink is for you. A love letter from my expatriated heart to you and your obsession with all things Amari and all things excessive. May you have many big, boozy, fruity, Rum + Fernet drinks and may they all slap a smile on your face.

And to Fernet Francisco I say, “I love you, you beautiful thing, you.”

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Here are the cast of characters for this totally over-the-top Tiki drink:

  1. Fernet Francisco: super minty and fresh tasting, with loads of herbaceousness. Tastes and smells like plants from the Bay Area which actually poses a challenge when creating a Tiki drink. Therefore, I put it with my two fave Rums
  2. Denizen Aged White & Merchant’s Reserve Rums: LORDT knows how I love these Rums. They’re dry, deep, fruity, funky, wonderful and provide an excellent foundation in a big Tiki drink. Oh and they go sooooooo well together as a split base.
  3. Orgeat + Cane Syrup + Lime + Grapefruit + Pineapple: a helluva lot of juice and sweetness right? This combo is a total Tiki knockout. No lie, try it. The supa-fresh mintiness in the Fernet Francisco was crying out for Grapefruit and Pineapple. I added Lime for length & tartness, Orgeat for creaminess, and Cane Syrup cause this is a blended drink.

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Garnish Kween is back again with the Pineapple Spear Bunny Ears, Grapefruit Peel Rose wrapped, and speared around a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry. A fun straw is always welcome!

Frankie’s Tropical Holiday

  • 1 oz Fernet Francisco
  • 1 1/2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve Rum
  • 3/4 oz Orgeat
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz Red Grapefruit Juice
  • 3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 3/4 oz Cane Sugar Syrup*
  • Garnish: Pineapple Spear Bunny Ears, Luxardo Maraschino Cherry in Grapefruit peel Rose, plastic Sword

Combine ingredients and blend with ~6 oz Crushed Ice for 7 seconds. Pour, garnish and serve in 16 oz Tiki Mug.

*The amount of Cane Syrup depends on how sweet your Orgeat and Red Grapefruit Juice are. Increase or reduce accordingly.

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Cheers to all y’all and may your Amari-Tiki be delicious!

Citrus Oleo Saccharum & Sherbet #1

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Punch. Punch is what’s happening and so my brain has been itching for a different kind of Sherbet to use in the Punches I’ll be making during the cold months. Lemon Sherbet is clearly the most useful and delightful thing ever, but there are more types of citrus in the world than just Lemon.

Hence, I have begun a quest to create a totally useful Citrus Sherbet. Today, I present Citrus Sherbet #1. Please bare with these iPhone photos, I wasn’t sure that this would turn out properly and didn’t photograph with my real camera. FORGIVE ME!

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To start, I grabbed a few Lemons, an Orange, a Red Grapefruit and made an Oleo Saccharum with Cane Sugar.

Citrus Oleo Saccharum #1:

  • the peels of 3 Lemons
  • the peel of 1 Orange
  • the peel of 1 Red Grapefruit
  • 12 oz Cane Sugar
  1. Combine ingredients in a jar or other sealable container and muddle so that the oil is released from the peels.
  2. Let sit in the jar for several hours or overnight, shaking occasionally. You want a syrup to form from the Citrus oil and Sugar.

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Then it’s time to make Citrus Sherbet #1.

To the Oleo Saccharum you will add:

  • 5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 4 oz Red Grapefruit Juice*
  • 3 oz Orange Juice

Add juices to jar with the Oleo Saccharum, cover, and shake until sugars have dissolved in juice. Remove peels from jar and strain Sherbet into an airtight container. Will keep for approx 2 weeks in the fridge.

*Not Ruby Red Grapefruit, just Red Grapefruit. The juice was still really tart which is important for Sherbet cause if your Sherbet is too sweet, your Punch is nasty.

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Pretty, pretty peels. Luv u lil peelies.

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Congrats! You’re done! You’ve got a tart, yet complex Citrus Sherbet and some delicious peels to use as garnishes in your Punches!

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!

Barb’s Rhubarb Cocktail & Syrup

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Let’s pretend that for this post I’m a 19th Century British lady named Barbara Billingsworth and I’m obsessed with Rhubarb. Therefore, read the rest of this post in a Victorian accent and with proper diction. Marvelous.

Wednesday, 10th June

Oh, I’m so excited that it’s Rhubarb season. How terribly delightful! I’m planning all sorts of ways use my Rhubarb throughout the springtime and into the summer. I can’t even begin to express my great joy and pleasure at interacting so specially with this particular plant. It is at once both tart and sweet. Both vegetal and citrine. In essence, it is divinity itself.

I’ve decided to start by making it into a syrup for which to use in Cocktails. Oh heavens, my guests shall enjoy that quite a lot, shall they not? Yes, quite. We will go ahead and start with the recipe.

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Barb’s Rhubarb Syrup

  • 2 cups of chopped Rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups of Water
  • 1 cup Turbinado or Demerara sugar (or another Rich sugar)
  • 1 sauce pot
  1. Now Dear, be sure to chop your Rhubarb rather properly or it won’t cook down the way we want it to in the pot. We wouldn’t want improperly cooked Rhubarb now would we?
  2. Combine ingredients over especially low heat and simmer for just around half an hour. Please don’t let it come to a boil or the Rhubarb you may spoil.
  3. Remove from heat and cover for around three hours.
  4. Fine strain, using the sides of a spatula to press the bits of Rhubarb against the strainer, thereby leeching the maximum amount of liquid.

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Now Dears, here’s the trick. One should have around 2 cups of liquid at this time and I had us adding 1 1/2 cups of water so we could reduce the syrup after it had been strained. You’re going to want to put the syrup back on the stove (low heat) and reduce until you have more like 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups of syrup. You will know it because it will taste properly and have a lovely viscosity.

Once you’ve got it, let the whole thing cool ’til it is at room temperature, then strain into Jar and label. An improperly labeled jar is a sin of the highest accord, except of course, not labeling at all.

Well, do you have it? Wonderful.

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Now that we’ve got this lovely Rhubarb Syrup, let’s use it in a cocktail, shall we?

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Barb’s Rhubarb Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz Espolón Reposado Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Rhubarb Syrup
  • 1 oz Red Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Celery Bitters
  • Pinch of Salt

Combine ingredients over ice and vigorously shake. Strain into the most beautiful coupe you have. Sip whilst looking out your window or at a garden party. I would say this cocktail is on the sweeter side but complex and salty enough to keep it rather interesting.

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Cheers to you all and I hope you’ve enjoyed these recipes!

#NegroniWeek 2015 – Breakfast Negroni

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Hello Breakfast Kweens and welcome once again to #NegroniWeek! NEGRONIS ALL WEEK Y’ALL! All damn week! Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can check it out here.

Now, if you haven’t read my post from May 31st about how I like to make and Bottle my Negroni, you best get to it! Did you read it? Yasssss Kween. Did you not? grrrrrrl, get on it!

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This Negroni is for those of us who, like myself, are 1. obsessed with Grapefruit Juice, 2. love a good Breakfast Cocktail, and obviously 3. can’t get enough Negroni in their life!

Breakfast Negroni

  • 2 1/2 oz Bottled Negroni
  • 1 oz Red Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange Peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into chilled Coupe and garnish with Orange Peel rose.

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I want to drink two of these right now. I shall control myself but goodness, self control is hard y’all! Cheers!

Twirlin’ A Lady + Cilantro & Serrano infused Tequila

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Ok everyone, it’s officially Summer in New York City. It is hot as hell outside, I’m constantly covered in sweat (ewww) and the Tequila is flowing! #TequilaSeason has us in the grip!

As I’ve stated in a certain podcast (Episode 10), I don’t like to do tons of infusions because I really want y’all to be able to make these drinks at home. However, when I do, there is usually a really good reason. The good reason here is freshness.

I swear to the stars this infusion smells and tastes super extra fresh! On the nose, chile spice and cilantro notes happen before the Tequila comes through, thereby creating the illusion that everything was muddled in the glass right before you. The taste is just as exciting and very complex. It’s really quite an experience!

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I like to use Espolón for infusing anything (as well as mixing in cocktails) because it just plays very nicely with other ingredients. I already have a Jalapeño infused Espolón Blanco Tequila, so I decided to go with Reposado for this infusion. Besides, I sort of missed this particular Reposado. (Reunited and it feels so good.)

Cilantro & Serrano Chile Infused Reposado Tequila

  • 250 ml Espolón Reposado Tequila
  • 1/4 bunch of Cilantro with the stems cut off
  • 1/2 of 1 Serrano Chile, seeds and all

Combine ingredients in jar or measuring cup, stir, and cover for *40 mins. Fine strain into sealed jar or bottle.

*If you want more heat, I highly recommend removing the Cilantro at the 40 minute mark or you’ll lose that super fresh taste. You can keep the Chili going for another 30 minutes or so but you will have some SPICY ASS Tequila!

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Hello pretty, fragrant leaves. I could smell you forever.

So, what should we make with this tasty infusion? Grapefruit Juice was the first thing that came to mind. Then Cointreau. Then I just decided to make a Margarita served up and named it Twirlin’ A Lady.

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¡Muy, muy refrescando!

Twirlin’ A Lady

  • 1 1/2 oz Cilantro + Serrano Chile infused Espolón Reposado Tequila
  • 1 1/2 oz Red Grapefruit Juice
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau
  • 2 dashes Dutch’s Spirits ProhiBitters (sub Orange Bitters)
  • Garnish: Pink Salt rim and 1 Cilantro leaf

Combine ingredients over ice and vigorously shake. Seriously, shake it like you’ve never shaken anything before for around 10 seconds. This way you get that lovely foam on top. Garnish with Pink Salt and Cilantro leaf. ¡Salud!

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If only #TequilaSeason were forever!