Wine Syrup and CC’s Punch

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Hola y’all! So I got an idea from the Smuggler’s Cove book and someone from the Cocktails sub on reddit to make Wine Syrup. Smuggler’s Cove uses the syrup in a Tiki Drink but I was thinking it would be totally rad in autumnal/wintry cocktails.

Wine Syrup

  • 16 oz California Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 8 oz Cane Sugar

-Heat wine on low heat until it has reduced to 1/2 original volume. Stir in Sugar. Remove from heat, cool, and keep in the fridge in a covered container.

The syrup is super delicious! It’s like a cross between a sexy, upscale Grenadine and Ruby Port. Since it reminded me of Port, I felt like a Punch recipe would be a great application for the Wine Syrup.

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CC’s Punch

  • 1 oz Dry Brandy
  • 1 oz Hamilton 86 Rum
  • 3/4 oz Wine Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz ice Cold Water
  • 1 barspoon Bénédictine
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

-stir ingredients and pour into punch cups over ice. Grate nutmeg on top and serve.

Cheers and hope y’all have tons of fun with this syrup!

Thanks u/MONDARIZ for the inspiration!

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Putting Raspberry Syrup to Work: Double ‘R’ Punch

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Alright y’all, it’s the first day of autumn and at this point I have to admit something: no matter what season it is, I want a Tiki drink. Adding to this constant desire is the bottle of Raspberry syrup I made last week, which goes SOOOO well with Rum. So no matter what the weather, as long as you’ve got Raspberry syrup, Orgeat, and Rum, you could really get into this Punch.

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The thing about Raspberry syrup is that it can totally be used in place of Grenadine. I was reading through tons of recipes from the Prohibition era and there was actually a high number of instances where Raspberry syrup was called for or used as a Grenadine sub. The other thing I found interesting was that almost all of these recipes used Brandy or Rum as the base spirit.

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Hell yeah. Rum. Rummmmmmmmmmm. I’m starting to think that my brain is automatically like, “but how can I put ingredient ‘x’ with Rum?”

And note my new (vintage) Planter’s Punch glass! Isn’t it cute? So cute! And appropriate since I am using Jamaican Rum in this recipe! (Thank you Denizen Merchant’s Reserve!)

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I think the process went something like this:

  1. I was like “Ok, the Raspberry syrup is both sweet and tart and goes well with Lemon & Lime, so lets start there.”
  2. Then I wanted Orgeat to help smoooooth things out cause there was a lot of acid happening with the juices + syrup.
  3. But then I wanted anise so I thought Absinthe + Peychaud’s for extra spices and depth
  4. Finally the Rums: Plantation Barbados 5 for smoothness, Denizen Merchant’s Reserve for the funk to dry the drink out a bit.

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…Mint for aroma and cause it’s so pretty with the red color of the drink. Same reason for using a Blue umbrella: colors are important when creating drinks! It’s like you’ve made a tiny, albeit temporary work of art!

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Double ‘R’ Punch

  • 1 1/2 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum (Sub a smooth, aged Rum)
  • 3/4 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8 Year Rum (Sub Jamaican Rum)
  • 1/2 oz Raspberry Simple Syrup
  • 1/4-1/2 oz Orgeat*
  • 1/2 oz fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/4 oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 8 drops St. George Absinthe Verte
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, Tiki Umbrella

Combine ingredients over ice and shake. Double strain into Planter’s Punch glass or Collins glass over crushed ice and garnish.

*Totally depends on your Orgeat. I’m using homemade Orgeat and it’s not as sweet as something like B.G. Reynolds Orgeat. I’d recommend starting with 1/4 oz, taste the drink, then add more if needed.

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This photo is really making me wanna escape to a tropical place…like right meow.

Cheers and have tons of fun with your Raspberry Syrup drinks!

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!

DP Swizzle

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Y’all, it’s JULY and hot and swampy as hell up in this piece. I know that Tiki doesn’t really have a season (Tiki The Snow Away, duh) but if there was ever a time for a tall, icy, Tropical Cocktail, that time is now!

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The inspiration for today’s Swizzle was this tasty bottle of brand-new-soon-to-be-released Berentzen Peach Liqueur. Berentzen were actually the first brand to send me products and I have loved them ever since cause QUALITY. All of their liqueurs are crisp, clean, bright, and come through very well in cocktails without being overly cloying.

The Peach is great! It’s Peachy with lemon and floral notes and not too intense or overwhelming. 20% ABV

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Cast of Characters:

  1. Peach Madness: Berentzen Peach + Bitter Truth Peach Bitters. Berentzen also sent me The Bitter Truth Peach Bitters and they’re really great too! Not too bitter, more like essence of peach. I decided to throw a couple of dashes in the drink to increase the “peachness”.
  2. Rum: I really wanted to make the sweet Peach flavor work with aged Rum, so I picked Denizen Merchant’s Reserve cause it’s dry, funky, grassy and just really lovely.
  3. Juices: I was debating between Lemon or Lime and asked some cocktail friends. One them replied, “Why not both?” Yeah dude, good call!
  4. Sugar & Spice: To give this Swizzle a lil pop I added, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Demerara Simple Syrup for body + depth, & Angostura Bitters on top.

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I have a couple of Rhum JM swizzle sticks, but they weren’t long enough for this big Tiki mug. I opted to use my copper-plated Skull Barspoon from Cocktail Kingdom instead and it swirls really nicely. Yarrrrrrr, matey!

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Big Mint sprig for big aromatics.

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Don’t you love this mug? I like how serious he looks but then his moustache is so long and his lips so small!

DP Swizzle

  • 2 1/2 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8 Year Rum/Rhum
  • 1 oz Berentzen Peach Liqueur
  • 1 barspoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1 1/2 oz Demerara Syrup 1:1
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3 dashes Bitter Truth Peach Bitters
  • 5-6 Mint leaves
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, Angostura Bitters, colorful swizzle stick

How to make the DP Swizzle:

  1. In the bottom of a large Tiki mug, add Mint leaves, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, Demerara Syrup, and muddle.
  2. Add Rum, Peach Liqueur, Peach Bitters, Allspice Dram, crushed ice and *swizzle with a long Swizzle stick or long Barspoon.
  3. “Paint” the top of the ice with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, add Mint sprig and colorful swizzle stick.

*To swizzle: place the stick/barspoon between your hands and rub them back and forth rapidly so the stick/barspoon swirls the ingredients of your drink together and causes some dilution.

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Swizzlin’. I’ll be swizzlin’ all day loooooong. Tiki Cheers to y’all!

Thanks to Berentzen for the tasty Peach Liqueur and bitters!

Mai Tai Find You In Compton featured on Sirius XM

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Hey y’all! My friend Madina Papadopoulos (who writes for Paste, Village Voice, and Sirius XM among other things) has included my Cachaça Yaguara Mai Tai in her Summer Sips & Sounds round up! She paired the Mai Tai with Ice Cube’s It Was a Good Day. Cool eh?

Head to Sirius XM to read the whole article and check out some of the other excellent pairings!

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!

 

 

I Never Thought This Day Would Come

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Y’all, guess who actually went out and bought a bottle of Vodka? THIS GURL! I was at the farmers’ market in Prospect Park and Orange County Distillery was sampling some of their spirits. I tasted the Gin and Vodka, both of which were pretty tasty, but the Vodka was honestly better!

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“Gurl what? You liked a Vodka better than a Gin? Why?”

  1. It’s made from Sugar Beets.
  2. The viscosity is killer.
  3. It’s just straight up delicious with lots of citrus and floral notes.

Basically, this is the second coming of Vodka.

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So of course I wanted to put it in a spring themed drink with Lavender, Mint, Honey, and Lemon.

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And since the mint was so fabulous, I decided to turn this into a smash.

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The name of this drink comes from the fact that I honestly never thought I would like a bottle of Vodka enough to buy it.

I Never Thought This Day Would Come

  • 2 oz Orange County Distillery Vodka
  • 3/4 oz Honey Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Barkeep Lavender Bitters
  • 5 big Mint Leaves
  • Garnish: Mint Bouquet

Add mint, Lemon juice, and Honey syrup to Collins glass and muddle. Add Vodka, Lavender Bitters, and ice. Stir for a bit so the ingredients are all swimming together nicely. Top with soda water and garnish with Mint Bouquet.

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Damn straight y’all. I am now a fan of this really delicious Vodka. Cheers to all your adventurous purchases!