Album of the Year Cocktail

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It’s that time of year, that Album of the Year time. I’ve been in hot debate with several of my friends about this decision. It seems that dudes tend to think my album choice was “close but no cigar” but almost errrrrrry Gurl I know agrees with me. My Album Of the Year is totally:

Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband

I have listened to this record probably 5x more than any other record this year and I usually listen to it straight through. It’s fucking perfect. Perfect production, perfect vocals, perfect grooves and songwriting. I haven’t been this excited about an album since Fever Ray released her self-titled album in 2009 or St Vincent’s Strange Mercy. Side note: I know everyone is giving AOTY it to St. Vincent for her self-titled album this year. Whilst a solid choice, Strange Mercy is her best work IMHO.

Other strong contenders: Owen Pallett – In Conflict, Jenny Lewis – The Voyager, St Vincent – St Vincent and Perfume Genius – Too Bright.

And now, the Cocktail. I decided to call this drink Album of the Year because it’s simple, clean and extremely complex. Just like any good album should be. All of the fruitiness from the NOLET’S Silver, the Cranberry and other dark fruits from the Dolin Rouge and the vegetal + citrus from the Bonal and Bitters are just like an end of year party! Woo!

Album of the Year Cocktail

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrr. Strain into coupe, no garnish.

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Cheers! Feel free to tell me what your Albums of the Year are in the comments!

Copa de Oro is on a cocktail List!

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Y’ALL! I MADE IT ONTO A COCKTAIL LIST! WOOOOOO! My mentor Angel Negrín deemed my Copa de Oro cocktail worthy of making it to his December 2014 #ChurchNight cocktail list at Lou’s Pup. Lou’s Pub is perhaps the greatest Dive Bar/Package Store/Cheer’s-Type-Bar/Creative Outlet ever. I love it there, I’ve had such good times and so many great drinks in this bar.

Tears of happiness!

Also, don’t you want to drink all of these drinks? And oh my god, how cheap are these drinks?

Anyway, hallelujah, I’m so excited. Luv y’all!

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Negroni + Sazerac = Negroniac

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Ok, bear with me a moment because I want y’all to think about this before you read any further: What if one were to combine a Negroni with a Sazerac? Think about it.

Did you stop and think about it?

Okay.

Fireworks, explosions, singing choruses, high school bands waving banners and cheerleaders flipping through the air right? YES. This could honestly be the best tasting Serious Cocktail I’ve ever created.

This cocktail is especially fantastic if you are able to get that St. George Absinthe Verte. I’ve said it in the My Home Bar page of Home Bar Girl, but this Absinthe is the most delicious one in the world, IN THE WORLD! It’s an herbal paradise with a bouquet of lemon grass, basil, mint, fennel and other herbs.

Really though, the whole idea of combining these two classics was just too good to remain in my head and I had to know! Remember, I keep Negroni bottled so I can use it for occasions such as these. Also keep in mind that the measurements are exact! Too much Rye and the drink is way off!

Negroniac

  • 1 3/4 oz Negroni
  • 1 1/4 oz Rye (Redemption used here)
  • 2 Dashes of Regans’ Orange Bitters
  • St. George Absinthe Verte Rinse
  • Lemon Peel

Rinse rocks glass with Absinthe and chill. In tin, combine Negroni and Rye over cracked ice. Stir and strain into chilled glass. Express and discard Lemon Peel. Santé!

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Remember, every week is #NegroniWeek!

Brunch Bonanza: Golden Light

Welcome to Brunch Bonanza. The segment where we talk about brunch cocktails!

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Golden Light at a Fancy party. Doesn’t it look Fancy?

I originally created this drink for Home Bar Girl Presents: A Party several weeks ago but have since realized that I love it as a Brunch or Afternoon cocktail. It’s so fresh and refreshing but still complex! The Celery Bitters and St-Germain work very well with the other mix of flavours. Enjoy!

Golden Light

  • 1 oz Smooth English Gin (Plymouth or Mayfair)
  • 1 oz Apple Brandy
  • 3/4 oz St-Germain
  • 1 oz Apple Juice
  • 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Celery bitters
  • Apple Slice or Lemon Peel

In tin, combine Gin, Apple Brandy, St-Germain, Apple Juice, Lemon Juice and Celery Bitters over ice and shake baby, shake! Double strain into coupe and garnish with Apple Slice or Lemon Peel. Cheers!

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Golden Light at Home. It still looks fancy!

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Yummm! 

Flor de Caña 7 Year is AMAZING

WOOOOOOOOOOOO! I FINALLY DID IT! I BOUGHT AGED RUM!

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So, lately I’ve been meaning to get into the whole Rum Craze that’s hit the eastern USA but kept putting it off and putting it off and now I’ve given in! I was told by my cocktail mentor Angel Negrín to try and get El Dorado 12 Year or Havana Club 3 Year but I couldn’t find either of those in Prospect Heights. What I did find was a Nicaraguan Aged Rum, Flor de Caña 7 Year.

It’s delicious! I love it! I can’t believe I waited this long! Flor de Caña 7 Year has Caramel smoothness for days. FOR DAYS! Great rum to mix with and that’s precisely what I did with it!

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This is the best damn Daiquiri I’ve ever had. Ever.

Daiquiri

  • 2 oz Rum
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz Turbinado Simple Syrup
  • Lime Wheel

In tin, combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into coupe and garnish with Lime Wheel.

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An original cocktail here. As I had already started with a Daiquiri, I wanted to keep going with the Rum + Lime juice idea and decided to make a “fake” spicy margarita.

Chiquitita Margarita

  • 2 oz Flor de Caña Rum
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Agave Nectar
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dropper Brooklyn Hemispherical Sriracha Bitters (or any bitters with heat and chili peppers)

In tin, combine Rum, Lime Juice, Cointreau, Agave Nectar, Angostura and Sriracha Bitters and shake over ice. Double strain into coupe and garnish with Lime Wheel.

Again, delicious. I feel like this Flor de Caña 7 Year will just destroy any citrus cocktail! Now to try and make some stirred drinks with it.

Home Bar Gurls: Grace’s Secret

This is Home Bar Gurls, the segment where another Home Bar Girl or Dude sends a recipe!

Grace's-Secret

Today’s recipe comes from Belinda Martin, Stylist to the stars! No really, she recently styled The First Lady of New York City, Mrs Chirlane McCray, for a Halloween Party! Belinda likes, Whiskey, Gin, Rum, Tequila and a good spicy Bloody Mary.

Grace’s Secret

  • 1 1/2 oz Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Fernet
  • 4 dashes of Walnut Bitters
  • 2 barspoon Maraschino Cherry Syrup
  • Maraschino Cherry

In tin, combine Whiskey, Fernet, Walnut Bitters and Cherry Syrup over ice and stir. Strain into rocks glass, add ice and garnish with cherry.

Have a recipe you would like to be featured? Please send a recipe, photo of the cocktail and a bit about yourself to homebargirl@gmail.com.

You’re So Kind: Berentzen Bushel & Barrel

Bushel-&-Barrel

The very kind people at Berentzen USA have sent me several bottles to taste and review: Icemint Schnapps, Pear Liqueur and Bushel & Barrel. They’re so kind. Aren’t they kind? BERENTZEN, YOU’RE SO KIND! Each bottle is fabulous and totally bursting with flavour but I’m going to start with Bushel & Barrel cause this is America and nothing screams AMERICA more than Bourbon and Apples.

I’ve gotta be honest, this is truly delicious stuff! Upon opening the bottle, crisp, clear Apples come through, then the more complex spices from Kentucky Bourbon settle into your nose. It’s an awesome experience.  First taste also begins with Apple, fresh juicy Apple from Berentzen’s Apple Liqueur and then a bit of spicy kick from Bourbon. Again, awesome. At 60 proof, it’s neither too strong to use in cocktails, nor too weak to drink on the rocks. In fact, everything about this liqueur is super smooth and just right.

If this is the future of flavoured whiskey, then I am so happy to be taking part in the revolution. Bushel & Barrel is by far the best one I’ve ever had and honestly, everything Berentzen makes is outstandingly tasty. (This is the part of the post where you throw that nasty cinnamon flavoured whiskey out the window. There, I said it.)

And now, some Bushel & Barrel cocktails:

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American Rose (Jack Rose Variation)

  • 1 1/2 oz Bushel & Barrel
  • 1/2 oz Applejack
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • Lime Wheel

In tin, combine Bushel & Barrel, Applejack, Lime Juice and Grenadine over ice. Shake and double strain into coupe, garnish with Lime Wheel.

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Obstacle Three

  • 1 1/2 oz Rye
  • 3/4 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1/2 oz Bushel & Barrel
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Antica
  • Maraschino Cherry

In tin, combine Rye, Averna, Bushel & Barrel, Carpano and stir over cracked ice. Strain into coupe, Maraschino cherry garnish.

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People Watching

  • 2 oz Cocchi Americano
  • 1/2 oz Bushel & Barrel
  • 1/2 oz Cynar
  • 1/4 oz Lemon Juice

In tin, combine Cocchi Americano, Bushel & Barrel, Cynar and Lemon Juice over ice. Shake and double strain into coupe. Splash of Soda or Champagne on top.

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Julian Franco

  • 1 1/2 oz Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Bushel & Barrel
  • 1/2 oz Raspberry Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Chartreuse Vert
  • Apple Peel

In tin, combine Bourbon, Bushel & Barrel, Raspberry Liqueur and Chartreuse. Stir over cracked ice and strain into coupe. Apple Peel garnish.

Well, that’s it for now! I’ve definitely got more recipes for Bushel & Barrel and will post them in the future! As for the Pear Liqueur and Icemint Schnapps, I’ll be reviewing them soon! This has been You’re So Kind, the post where someone nice gives me a bottle and I review it!

The Terroir Martini

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I know we’ve talked about St. George Spirits but have we specifically talked about their Terroir Gin? This is the Gin that started it all. The Gin that got me hooked on Gin. The Gin that made me sob for 30 minutes in my Brooklyn apartment. You see, this Gin, THIS GIN, is from Marin, the Mt Tamalpias Gin. The botanicals in the Gin were selected on Mt Tam and when you open this bottle of Gin, you actually SMELL Marin County, California.

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Mt Tamalpias, Marin County. Photo via Summit Post. Don’t you just want to die? I do. Prettttttty.

For me, it was just too much. Just too TOO much. I’d spent over 10 years living somewhere that wasn’t Marin County, California and smelling those smells brought my entire childhood back to me. I saw myself walking in the hills, going to Stinson Beach, running cross country, hiking, riding bicycles, going to high school, the whole thing.

I smelled the Eucalyptus, Bay Laurel, Sage, Pine, Grasses, Sunshine, Ocean air. And I cried. I’ve never cried after opening a bottle of Napa Valley or Calistoga Wine before, but I started crying as soon as I smelled this Gin.

Therefore, I consider St George Terroir to be sacred and as a sacred spirit, I add little to it. Often I drink it neat or on the rocks. Sometimes I have it as a Fizz with Mint Simple Syrup and Lime juice. On even rarer occasions, I make it into this martini.

It is the greatest and most complex Gin that I’ve ever tasted and with absolute reverence I present to you:

The Terroir Martini

  • 2 1/2 oz St. George Terroir Gin
  • 1/2 oz Pear Eau de Vie (a dry Pear Eau de Vie is best)
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • Basil leaf garnish

In tin, combine Terroir Gin, Pear Eau de Vie and Dolin Dry over cracked ice and stir. Strain into chilled coupe, slap basil leaf between your hands and use as garnish.

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Lemme See That El Camino

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Whoop! Here’s another post where I get to talk about the Home Bar Girl Tequila Challenge and Something Awesome. Last time the Something Awesome was Penelope Cruz, this time it’s that oh so sexy El Camino.

1. The Tequila Challenge: to encourage us Home Bar Gurls and Dudes to think of Tequila as more than “shots!” and/or “Margarita Time”. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good Marg as much as the rest of the world but Tequila is versatile! Think about using Tequila in place of Gin or Whiskey in your cocktails. Pair it with Vermouth, Amari, Bitters and Chartreuse Jaune. Stir it, Shake it, Serve it, Sip it. Yep, Sip your Tequila, don’t Shoot it! If this means you need to stop buying gross Tequila like José or Patrón, then please do so immediately. Mmmk? So many other tasty Tequilas await!

2. The El Camino: I love the Early-70s El Camino SS. I think they’re awesome muscle cars and despite being half car/half truck, I still think they’re dead sexy.  Super Sport? Quit teasing, just lemme drive it! And dropped? Hot damn, gimme that Lowrider! Perhaps my inner SoCal Mexican is shining through a bit too much with all this El Camino talk. I would even say that the El Camino is the Mullet of the South Western USA. Business in the front, Party in the back, but oh so much party in the back!

1973 El Camino SS

This is not my car, I want this car, it will be mine. Photo via www.speedsports.net

Now, what does the badass El Camino SS have to do with a badass Tequila cocktail? You’ll have to make one to find out.

Lemme See That El Camino

  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/2 oz Agave Nectar
  • 1 dash Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters
  • Orange peel

In tin, combine Tequila, Averna, Grapefruit Juice, Agave and Bitters. Dry shake until Agave has dissolved. Add ice and shake shake shake again. Express Orange Peel and garnish.

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