Cocktail Crate Mixers are Perfect for your Labor Day Soirée

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-2016-1

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!

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Ginger-Bee-1

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.

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Ginger-Bee-2

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.

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Ginger-Brew-1

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.

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Grapefruit-Daiquiri-1

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

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Grapefruit-Daiquiri-2

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.

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-Grapefruit-Buck

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.

Cocktail-Crate-Labor-Day-2016-2

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

Advertisements

Citrus Oleo Saccharum & Sherbet #1

Citrus Sherbet 1

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!

Processed with VSCOcam with kk1 preset

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.

Citrus Sherbet 3

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.

Citrus Sherbet 4

Pretty, pretty peels. Luv u lil peelies.

Citrus Sherbet 2

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

Sunburn-Club-3

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.

Sunburn-Club-2

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.

Sunburn-Club-1

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!

Sunburn-Club-5

Here’s to summer! Cheers!

Sakura Martini

Cherry-Blossom-Martini-1

Over the weekend all of the Cherry Blossom trees in my neighborhood bloomed and it’s been the most magnificent sight! There is a tree literally right in front of our apartment which was in full bloom ’til yesterday when a crazy rainstorm swept all of the flowers away. Tears. Fortunately, my girlfriend and I had already acquired some of these beautiful lil flowers for the following drink.

Cherry-Blossom-Martini-2

The inspiration for the drink was obviously the Cherry Blossoms, then I thought, Martini. Saké was my next choice and Dolin Blanc pulled all together.

Sakura Martini

  • 2 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 oz Yoshinogawa Junmai Ginjo Saké
  • 3/4 oz Fennel infused Dolin Blanc
  • Grapefruit peel
  • Garnish: Cherry Blossoms

Combine Gin, Sake and Dolin Blanc over ice and stir until proper chilling and dilution have been achieved. Strain into coupe, express Grapefruit peel and discard. Garnish with Cherry Blossoms.

Cherry-Blossom-Martini-3

Happy Sakura Festivals to all of you in Cherry Blossom Land and Happy Earth Day to us all!

MxMo + Santa Monica Sunrise

Santa-Monica-Sunrise-5

Well, happy Monday to y’all! I’ve decided to participate in another Mixology Monday cause the theme for this month is “Drink of Shame”. Hah! The description for this Shameful Cocktail was something to the effect of, “You know how to make a great cocktail nowwww, but what about when you were young? What was your favourite drink from back in the day but something that you’d be too embarrassed or ashamed to drink/make now?”

mxmologo

Whitney Munro over at Tipicular Fixin came up with this brilliant idea and gave suggestions such as Mudslides, Jello Shots and Jolly Ranchers. Then we were encouraged to update the drink or make a variation which we would be unashamed to order in a bar. For me, this Drink of Shame is a Tequila Sunrise.

Tequila Sunrise Kitchen Riffs

Image via Kitchen Riffs

Tequila Sunrise (IBA Recipe)

  • 1 1/2 oz Tequila
  • 3 oz Orange Juice
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • Garnish: Orange slice & Maraschino Cherry

Yesssssss. When I first started going dancing in my twenties, this was my Drink of Shame but at least it’s a really pretty drink! Unfortunately, most of the time it was made with bottom shelf nasty Tequila (blech), canned orange juice (gag me) and terrifying candy tasting Grenadine (kill me now). I know this is a classic Disco Era drink which is why I thought it was perfect for dancing. I mean, it IS totally perfect for dancing but goodness, let’s get some REAL ingredients up in this bitch.

Santa-Monica-Sunrise-4

When I decided to update the Tequila Sunrise, I thought, “let’s skip the OJ all together and substitute the grenadine with something else.” The something else was Campari and the OJ became Ruby Red Grapefruit juice, Cointreau and Orange bitters. This is now a really damn tasty drink!

I named it Santa Monica Sunrise cause that’s where I was born, this actually does look like a West Coast sunrise and it totally seems like something you should order in LA.

Santa-Monica-Sunrise-1

Note, the drink fades and so does the Grapefruit peel. That natural fade gurrrrrrl.

Santa Monica Sunrise

  • 2 oz Casa Noble Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • approx 1/2 oz Campari
  • 2 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Grapefruit Peel

Combine Tequila, Cointreau, Grapefruit Juice and bitters over ice and short shake. Double strain into double Rocks glass with Cracked, Crushed or Pebble ice. Slowly pour the Campari down the side of the glass so it doesn’t mix with the other ingredients and forms a layer on the bottom. Garnish with a Grapefruit peel and serve with a straw.

Santa-Monica-Sunrise-2

Yummmmmy. I ain’t ashamed of this!

Thanks again to the Baddish Group for the Casa Noble Tequila!

Flower Flower & Rose Tea infused Vodka

Flower-Flower-3

Yep, you read that right. I did say the word Vodka. I said it loud and proud because this is the first time I’ve been really excited to use Vodka in a drink. (It’s also the first time I’ve used Saké in a drink but more about that later.)

If you know me IRL, you know I’m always like, “Vodka, what’s the point? Where’s the Gin?” Honestly, what got me even considering using Vodka in this drink is cause my friend Chris at Bearded Lady said that he’d been asked to create a Vodka drink for the spring menu. I took it as a challenge to myself.

The inspiration for Flower Flower was to use as many flower flavoured liqueurs/spirits/bitters in my Home Bar as possible while still creating something drinkable and delicious. This was an EXTREMELY difficult challenge and it took me around five tries and a whole lot of “going back to the drawing board”. There are a lot of small amounts in this drink and there is also the aforementioned Rose Tea infused Vodka.

Rose-Tea-Vodka

If you haven’t tried Tulsi herbal teas from India, you haven’t lived. They are definitely the best bagged herbal teas I’ve ever tasted and I always have the Sweet Rose tea at home. I had thought of putting the Sweet Rose with Gin but after my conversation with Chris, decided this was a good time to use that bottle of Tito’s I keep around for emergencies*.

Rose Tea infused Vodka

  • 4 bags of Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea (or your favourite Rose Tea)
  • 300 ml Tito’s Vodka (I always do infusions in ml, it’s just easier)
  • Fine strainer

Rip those tea bags open and let tea steep loosely in the Vodka for 30 mins. (Cover with plastic wrap or seal ur jar) Fine strain into bottle. Smell the deliciousness, taste the glory.

*The emergencies being when someone asks for something with Vodka and I don’t have to panic.

Flower-Flower-2

Now, remember, I said this took like five times to get right, it wasn’t until I opened the fridge and saw that bottle of Yoshinogawa Winter Warrior Saké that the drink all came together.This sake is dry, floral, fruity, a bit sweet and wonderful. I’m always looking for ways to dry out a drink when using multiple liqueurs and in this case, saké was it.

Flower Flower smells like an English Garden, is dry enough on the tongue for serious cocktail drinkers and is perfect for spring. The colour of the drink actually reminds me of a Rose stem. It also features my new BFF Carpano Dry. Enjoy!

Flower Flower

  • 1 1/2 oz Rose Tea infused Tito’s Vodka
  • 1 oz Yoshinogawa Winter Warrior Junmai Ginjo Saké
  • 1 oz Carpano Dry Vermouth
  • 1 tsp Chartreuse Jaune
  • 1 tsp St-Germain
  • 1 tsp Crème de Violette
  • 1/2 tsp Orange Flower Water
  • 1 dash Bar Keep Lavender Bitters

Garnish: Grapefruit peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into coupe. Express Grapefruit peel and swirl into a Rose.

Flower-Flower-1

Happy spring to you all!

Thanks to the Baddish Group for the wonderful bottle of Carpano Dry Vermouth!

You’re So Kind: Berentzen Pear Liqueur

Berentzen-Pear-Promo-Shot

As I’ve stated before, the very kind people at Berentzen sent me a fabulous bottle of Pear Liqueur. Aren’t they kind? I think they’re pretty kind. YOU’RE SO KIND BERENTZEN!

This Liqueur is a total knockout. I love it. It’s so fruit forward, crisp and refreshing. Pear all the way but in a totally different universe than many other Pear Liqueurs. This is not dry, subtle or mysterious. It’s PEAR! It’s happening! It’s fresh! I love it. I been using it with Gin, Tequila, Dolin Blanc, Soda, Tonic, Bourbon, Rum, EVERYTHING! Berentzen Pear Liqueur is awesome!

Bonus: now that it’s winter times, #PEARSEASON! Get into it!

And now, for the cocktails:

Portrait-of-a-Lady-1

Portrait of a Lady

  • 2 oz Smooth Gin (Plymouth used here)
  • 1 oz Berentzen Pear Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • Cinnamon Garnish

In tin, combine Gin, Pear Liqueur, Dry Vermouth and Lemon Juice over ice and shake. Double strain into coupe and garnish with Cinnamon.

A-Long-Hard-Look-in-the-Mirror-2

A Long Hard Look In The Mirror

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned Mixer or Allspice and Cinnamon Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Berentzen Pear Liqueur
  • 1 dash Black Walnut Bitters
  • Maraschino Cherry

In tin, combine Bourbon, Spiced Old Fashioned Mixer, Pear Liqueur and Bitters over cracked ice. Stir and strain into Rocks glass. Add Ice and Cherry.

The-Feeling-of-Flight-2

The Feeling of Flight

  • 2 oz Dolin Blanc or Lillet Blanc
  • 3/4 oz Berentzen Pear Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • Grapefruit peel

In tin, combine Blanc Vermouth, Pear Liqueur and Grapefruit Juice over ice and shake. Double strain into coupe, express Grapefruit peel and garnish.

Sandals-in-Winter-2

Sandals in Winter

  • 1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Berentzen Pear Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau Triple Sec
  • 1/4 oz Bonal Aperitif
  • 1 dropper Elemakule Tiki Bitters
  • Grapefruit peel

In tin, combine Blanco Tequila, Pear Liqueur, Triple Sec, Bonal and Bitters over ice and shake. Double strain into coupe, express Grapefruit peel and garnish.

Berentzen-Pear-Liqueur-2

Woo, this Liqueur is all worn out and taking a nap now. So many uses, so many possibilities. This has been You’re So Kind, the post where someone nice gives me a bottle and I review it!