Bust Out Your Liqueurs for #BackBarChallenge

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Happy October to all y’all! Ready for a fun challenge? For the entire week of Oct 3-9, @mmydrinks and I will be hosting the #BackBarChallenge on Instagram.

This whole thing came about when I was perusing Instagram a couple of days ago and ran across this amazing recipe from mmydrinks:

mmydrinks Midori Sour.png

It was a Midori Sour with a modern angle. Mike said Midori was his “spirit/liqueur that must not be named.” It’s the one you have but don’t really get around to using very often. The recipe included delicious ingredients like: Cucumber Mint infused St. George Gin, Honeydew infused Greene Chartreuse, Matcha Honeydew Syrup, Midori, and the garnish was two Matcha Marshmallows. UH-MAZING RIGHT?

Totally incredible! I left a comment saying, “Yarrrrr, this is a damn inspiration! My liqueur is Frangelico and now I’m inspired to use it!”

So I hit up Mike and said, “Hey, why don’t we do a challenge where we get everyone to dust off their old bottles of Liqueur, aka their ‘Back Bar’ and make some cocktails with those ingredients?” #BackBarChallenge was born!

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From Oct 3 – 9 @mmydrinks and I will be making drinks with our infrequently touched Liqueurs and other modifiers from our Home Bars. But so will you!

Be creative! Be super creative. Make sweet drinks, make weird drinks, make drinks you’d never expect to make cause you’ve been too afraid to make them, create some wild garnishes, put flavors together that you’d not normally expect to put together! Someone please make a Pousse-Café! Above all – experiment and have tons o’ fun!

We’ll be reposting our fave recipes on Instagram so be sure to use the hashtag #BackBarChallenge so we can find your drinks and give them the love they deserve!

Cheers and happy Liqueur times to youuuuu!

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National Liqueur Day 2015

National-Liqueur-Day-2015

Today is National Liqueur Day, so I figured I’d just feature all the Liqueurs I have at the moment! When I set the bottles up on the table, I had a flashback to many great and glorious drinks I’ve made with these Liqueurs. You see, the key to being a good Home Bar Gurrrrl/Dude, is to have good ingredients. If you have good ingredients they will speak to you and tell you what they want to do in your drinks.

The easiest way I could think of to categorize these Liqueurs was by region, so we’ll admire them in their appropriate groups.

National-Liqueur-Day-France

France: I’ve always got the Chartreuse sisters, Cointreau, Pernod, and St-Germain on hand. I’ve only recently acquired Bénédictine, and am terribly excited to use it with Whiskey, Cognac, and Gin. Giffard Banane, is of course excellent in anything it touches. I tend to use Salers & Bonal in the same way that I would Italian Amari, though French Apéritifs tend to be lighter and have more gentian/cinchona bark flavour.

National-Liqueur-Day-Italy

Italy: Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur is an absolute staple for classic cocktails. Must have. Frangelico provides a wonderfully nutty flavor that goes very well with Rum, Whiskey and Cognac. You may know Aperol from the Aperol Spritz and because it is a very drinkable bitter Liqueur.

And then there’s the great Italian category of Amaro, aka Bitter Herbal Liqueurs. I have have at least five Amari on hand at all times, because the variances between them may seem small to the untrained palate, but make a world of difference in cocktails. Currently, I have: Fernet Branca, Branca Menta, Amaro CioCiaro, Amaro Montenegro, and Cynar. Once we get back into winter-times, I’ll definitely re-stock Averna Amaro and Santa Maria Al Monte Amaro.

For those of you who are fans of the House of Campari, here’s an excellent infographic showing which region in Italy their brands come from:

Campari Portfolio Brands

#DrinkItalian for real!

National-Liqueur-Day-Austria-Germany

Austria & Germany: From Austria, Rothmann & Winter Violette and Orchard Apricot are staple ingredients for some very famous classic cocktails. From Germany, the Haus of Berentzen makes incredible Liqueurs whose flavors have unbeatable clarity and usefulness. Jägermeister has recently changed it’s tune and is now pushing itself not just as something to take shots of, but as a VERY useful Cocktail ingredient. I absolutely love Jäger in drinks, and am glad for their new direction.

National-Liqueur-Day-Tropical

The West Indies: St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Velvet Falernum, and Senior Blue Curaçao are absolutely essential for any good Home Tiki Bar and I use all three of these Liqueurs rather frequently.

National-Liqueur-Day-USA

USA: hahahaha, y’all. Fernet Francisco is the only Liqueur I currently have from the USA! In the past I’ve had St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur (holy hell, it’s good!), and a Maple Liqueur from Vermont.

What would I like to have from the USA? 1. Anything from St. George Spirits (cause I luv them), especially the Spiced Pear and Raspberry Liqueurs. 2. Bittermen’s Amer Sauvage and Citron Sauvage, 3. Clear Creek Cherry and Cassis. Any suggestions?

National-Liqueur-Day-Vintage

Vintage: Y’all, a lovely friend of mine gave these Vintage Liqueur bottles to me. (Thank you so much Ms Perl for these treasures!) Two bottles of Cusenier Creme de Menthe from the 1950s and one bottle of Marie Brizard Anisette from the 1960s. Freez-O-Mint, such amazing packaging! People, when you design a new bottle, you need to look at these for inspiration!

Cheers to Liqueurs and all the tasty Cocktails we put them in!

Bolla Prosecco Cocktails for NYE

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Here we go, here we go, here we GOOOOOO. That Xmas business was some kind of business right? I feel like half the reason we all party so hard on NYE is to shake that Xmas business right off our backs and/or lose some weight. WAAAAOOOOOOOOH! Let’s party!

So then we get to “what the hell am I gonna serve/bring/drink on NYE”? You’re gonna drink a Bolla Prosecco Cocktail and you’re gonna love it. Bolla Prosecco is just perfect for party time. It strikes a nice balance between dry and fruity, is perfectly crisp and I seriously love it. I want it in every bubbly cocktail ever. Legit. Super tasty. Party party Prosecco. Bolla Baile Booty.

Bolla-Prosecco-Cocktails-Promo

I’m a classy gal and I love a classy Prosecco + Bitters + Sweetness cocktail anytime but especially on NYE. Give me a coupe with bubbly sweetness and just let me dance baby. So to y’all, I present a bunch of options for Bolla Prosecco cocktails. May you have a fun, ridiculous, sloppy, festive NYE filled with your favourite people!

Classic-Prosecco-Cocktail

Let’s start with the basics. A Classic Prosecco cocktail = Sugar, Bitters and Prosecco.

Classic Prosecco Cocktail

  • 1 Barspoon Sugar or 1 Sugar Cube
  • 1 dash of Angostura Bitters and/or 1 dash Orange Bitters
  • Bolla Prosecco

Add Sugar and Bitters to coupe, top with Prosecco. Stir gently until everything is swimming together nicely.

St-G-Prosecco

Next comes St-Germain and some Lavender Bitters. Pretty much to-die-for right here. We’re talking as refined as Downton Abbey but with a nod to la Belle Epoque. Swoon.

Belle Epoque Prosecco Cocktail

  • 1/2 oz St-Germain
  • 1 dash Lavender Bitters
  • Bolla Prosecco
  • Lemon Peel

In coupe, add 1/2 oz St-Germain, Lavender bitters, top with Prosecco and gently stir until everything is mixed properly. Express Lemon Peel and garnish.

Apple-Brandy-Prosecco

Here’s one for the Eastern Seaboard. This might be the most American bubbly cocktail ever but don’t quote me on that. 🙂

Mid-Atlantic Prosecco Cocktail

  • 1/2 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy
  • 1 Barspoon Cinnamon Bark Syrup
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • Bolla Prosecco

In coupe, add Brandy, Cinnamon Syrup and Bitters. Top with Prosecco and stir gently until the drink looks really American.

Raspberry-&-Prosecco

Aaaaaand from the Mid-Atlantic down to the sweltering depths of the Durrrty South. NOLA inspired, which is really just saying that you love to mix french and american flavours together. Mhmm, don’t pretend. I know what you do.

Parish Prosecco Cocktail

  • 1/2 oz Raspberry Liqueur
  • 1 dash Pernod Pastis or Herbsaint
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Bolla Prosecco

In coupe, combine Raspberry Liqueur, Pastis/Herbsaint and Peychauds. Top with Prosecco and stir gently until the drink looks sensational.

Chartreuse-Jaune-Prosecco

Back to the “Continent” for this one. And y’all, I’m not going to lie, this is definitely my favourite. I’m sort of upset that I didn’t already create this recipe because I would have drink’d/drank/drunk this all summer. It’s literally sensational. I want to take this Cocktail to a fashion show and then to an opera afterwards.

Fashionably Late Prosecco Cocktail

  • 1/2 oz Chartreuse Jaune
  • 1 dash Celery Bitters
  • Lemon Peel
  • Bolla Prosecco

In coupe, combine Chartreuse, Celery Bitters and Prosecco. Gently stir until the drink is ready to go to a fashion show. Express lemon peel and garnish.

Bonus Round: add 1/4 oz St-Germain

Amari-Prosecco

For the last one we go full Italian. Pick your favourite Amaro + Prosecco + Lemon peel and go wild!

Amari Prosecco

  • 3/4 oz Santa Maria al Monte Amaro (or whatever your favourite Amaro may be)
  • Lemon Peel
  • Bolla Prosecco

In coupe combine Amaro and Prosecco. Stir until the drink is really speaking to your wild side. Express Lemon Peel and garnish.

Well, that’s it! Have a sensational NYE! Thanks again to the Kind people of MBooth marketing for sending me this delicious bottle of Bolla Prosecco.