#TequilaSeason: Rothko 1961

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The heat has officially hit NYC and I am now drenched in sweat every time I leave my apt. We’re fully into #TequilaSeason and all of the refreshing cocktails that go along with it. Give me shaken fruity drinks on the rocks and give them to me fast!

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Allow me to say a few words about this garnish: Several months ago, I thought the hallowed out lime half was sort of a lame garnish but then I realized something. People aren’t usually going to eat a Lime Wedge and whenever you’ve got a Lime half, you’ve already added Lime juice to the drink. Therefore, the Lime half is actually the best garnish cause it’s like a little bowl! A little bowl that delivers things you really want to eat with your drink! GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT! They want fruit!

Rothko orange red yellow

Oh and as far as the name of this Cocktail goes, perhaps the most famous (or at least the most expensive) Rothko painting is called Orange, Red, Yellow and was painted in 1961. The thing about that painting though, the Yellow looks Green. So I was either going to name the drink Orange, Green, Yellow or Rothko 1961. The latter sounds better.

Bonus: This is the second drink that I’ve named after a Rothko painting. The first drink is Rothko 1957 with Bourbon, Fino Sherry and 18.21 Saffron Bitters.

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Y’all know I have a love affair with Casa Noble Crystal Blanco Tequila cause of the Banana and Grassy notes. In this cocktail, those notes play so very well with the Orange Curaçao flavour & Grassy notes in CioCiaro and bitter Orange from Aperol. Let’s get crackin!

Rothko 1961

  • 1 1/2 oz Casa Noble Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Amaro CioCiaro
  • 1/2 oz Aperol
  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1/4 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: hallowed out Lime half, two salted Pineapple chunks

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into double Rocks glass over ice and garnish. For the salted Pineapple, just sprinkle a few grains of salt onto each Pineapple chunk.

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Refrescando, a bit bitter, grassy and totally fruity. Salud! Feel free to tag all of your #TequilaSeason drinks on Instagram!

Thanks to the Baddish Group for the Casa Noble Tequila and MBooth for the Aperol.

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It’s Pimm’s Season

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Well here we are, together in the bright cheer of spring. And what do we drink in this most thrilling of seasons? We drink Pimm’s No. 1!

For those of you who haven’t had the supreme pleasure of sipping a Pimm’s Cup yet, it’s divine. Pimm’s No. 1 is a Gin based Liqueur which was originally envisioned as a “bottled cocktail”. There used to be six different Pimm’s Cups each with their own base spirit. Today there are the orginal Pimm’s No. 1, Pimm’s Blackberry & Elderflower, Pimm’s No. 3 Winter Cup, and Pimm’s No. 6 with a Vodka base. In the NYC area, I’ve only seen the No. 1 and Blackberry & Elderflower.

Pimm’s No. 1 tasting notes:

  • Nose: Ginny & juniper, coriander, delightfully fruity and herbaceous bouquet, Orange, Strawberry, spices
  • Taste: Gin, vegetal, citrus
  • Finish: short and wide

So essentially, we’re talking the greatest spring/summer Liqueur for anyone who loves Gin!

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Pimm’s No. 1 Cup (official recipe)

  • 60 ml / 2 oz  Pimm’s No. 1
  • 150 ml / 5 oz  Lemon Soda (the dry British sort)
  • Garnishes: Mint, Strawberry, Orange Slice, Cucumber

Combine ingredients in a Collins glass over ice and stir. Serve with a straw and fabulous garnishes.

Now, you know this wouldn’t be a Home Bar Girl post without some variations, so here we go!

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Pimm’s Collins

  • 2 oz Pimm’s No. 1
  • 1 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • Top with Soda Water
  • Garnishes: Mint, Cucumber, Strawberry, Orange Wheel

Combine Pimm’s, Gin, Lemon Juice and Simple syrup and stir. Strain into Collin’s glass with ice and garnishes. Top with soda water and serve with a straw.

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Caribbean Pimm’s Cup

  • 2 oz Pimm’s No. 1
  • 1/2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Aged Rum
  • 1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Garnishes: Mint, Pineapple, Cucumber, Strawberry, Orange slice

Combine Pimm’s No. 1, Rums, Falernum, Lime Juice and stir. Strain into Collins glass with ice and garnishes. Top with Ginger Ale and serve with a straw.

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Mexican Pimm’s Cup

  • 2 oz Pimm’s No 1
  • 3/4 oz Casa Noble Blanco Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • Soda Water
  • Garnishes: Cucumber, Orange Wheel, “Mexican Flag” of Lime Wedge, Banana Slice and Strawberry

Combine Pimm’s, Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, Lime Juice and stir. Strain into Collins glass with ice and garnishes. Top with Soda.

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Let’s just look at this again cause this “Mexican Flag” garnish is my fave thing ever. Also, yummmm.

Cheers to you and yours during Pimm’s Season! Thanks again to the Baddish Group for the Casa Noble Tequila!

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: Tiki Cocktails

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Blue Hawaii & Mai Tai

To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring different cocktails from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

By now, y’all should know that my love for Mad Men is deeeeep. It’s a meticulously filmed show with fabulous fashion, the story has me in the grip, and the cocktails are beauuuuutiful!

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Don’t you just love Megan’s hat? Beach hat perfection!

In the opening scenes of S6E1, Don and Megan are in Hawaii. (I want to be in Hawaii RIGHT NOW!) As Don reads an incredibly ominous passage from Dante’s Inferno, Megan’s second (third, fourth?) Blue Hawaii is delivered by one of the Hotel Staff. It’s almost like Don and Megan are in totally opposite worlds in these scenes. She, lost in her tan and tropical cocktails, Don in a brooding haze.

If I had to choose between those two temperments, I would totally be #TeamMegan in this scene. Give me the next Blue Hawaii!

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When it comes to making classic Tropical and Tiki drinks, I like to be accurate! I use the Beachbum Berry Total Tiki app to look up recipes and then make them as closely to the original as possible. Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 by Harry K Yee of the Hawaiian Village Hotel in Waikiki to promote Bols Blue Curaçao. Personally, I like to use “The Genuine” Senior Curaçao cause this shit is tastyyyyyy.

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Blue Hawaii

  • 3/4 oz White Rum
  • 3/4 oz Vodka*
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curaçao
  • 1 oz Sweet & Sour Mix**
  • 3 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish: Not specified but usually Pineapple & Maraschino Cherry

Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a glass filled with Cracked, Crushed or Pebble ice. Garnish with fruit.

*I’m a Gin Gal and ususally swap the Vodka for Gin. Ginny, Gin, Gin. This drink is even tastier with Gin. (shocking!)

**Sweet & Sour Mix is 1 part Simple Syrup and 2 Parts Lemon Juice. Make your own, never ever buy it pre-made. Freshness is key.

Rachel Menken Mai Tai

RIP Rachel Menken, you were such a serious lady.

Now let’s go back to the beginning. Yes y’all, there is a Tiki drink all the way back in S1E1!

Don has made a mess of things with Rachel Menken and is asked by the partners to patch things up. They go for drinks that same evening. Don orders a Whiskey Neat while Rachel orders a “special Mai Tai” and what a Mai Tai at that! Look at that Pineapple “Firebird” garnish! It’s totally fabulous! Someday I will achieve such garnish greatness. However, I’ve noticed that the Mad Men props people forgot one key element to a Mai Tai garnish, the Mint sprig.

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If it be a Mai Tai, there shall be a Mint Sprig in the garnish!

Once again, I’ve referenced the Beachbum Berry Total Tiki app for this Mai Tai. The original Mai Tai was created by Trader Vic in 1944 for his famous Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. According to legend, Trader Vic created the drink for some friends of his who had just flown in from Tahiti. One of the friends tasted the drink and exclaimed: “Maita’i roa ae!” or “Out of this world!”

Mai Tai (Trader Vic’s Original Recipe)

  • 1 oz Jamaican Rum
  • 1 oz Aged Martinique Rhum
  • 1/2 oz Curaçao
  • 1/4 oz Orgeat
  • 1/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Mint Sprig

Now, I’ve had to make some substitutions because I don’t have clear Curaçao or Martinique Rhum. I also would rather have a bit more Orgeat in my drink than add 1/4 oz Simple Syrup.

Mai Tai (this is what Home Bar Girl has in her apartment Recipe)

  • 1 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaica Rum
  • 1 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Mint Sprig, Pineapple, Maraschino Cherry

Shake ingredients over ice and strain into Double Rocks glass on Cracked, Crushed or Pebble ice. Garnish with Mint Sprig, Pineapple and Maraschino Cherry.

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As far as the Mai Tai goes, there are a million variations so, have fun! I just recommend that you start with two kinds of Rum, some kind of Curaçao or Triple Sec, Orgeat, Lime Juice and a Mint sprig. Once you’ve got a feel for how these things taste together, get creative!

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed these Tiki drinks from the Mad Men series. I’ll be doing this until the bitter end. See you next week!

Fruity Cocktails with Fino Sherry

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Edit: If you’re here for #SherryWeek, have an excellent time with these recipes!

Y’all, I have been waiting for this post ever since I got that bottle of Inocente Fino Sherry back in January. From the moment I put my lips on this Sherry, I knew, I knew it was going to go with fruit and I knew I was going to use it Long or Tiki style.

I’ve been biding my time.

Today on Instagram, I was challenged to make a Fog Cutter by @el_nova_1 (the person behind last week’s Navy Grog challenge who loves Tiki as much as many of us do) and make the drink immediately! It’s DAMN FABULOUS! LIKE DAAAAAAAYUM FABULOUS. Citrusy, dry, great flavour arc, deep. I’m in luv. With this challenge comes a great opportunity for me to post a couple of other Fruity Sherry drinks I’ve had sitting in my notebook.

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First things first about this Fog Cutter: I don’t have any Grape Brandy! I only have Calvados! The recipe also calls for Cream or Amontillado Sherry and I only have Fino Sherry. So, like any good Home Bar Gurrrrrrl, I’ve made some adjustments (ahem, Old Tom Gin) and named the variation “Karl the Fog Cutter” after my beloved San Francisco Bay Area’s archnemesis (or claim to fame), Karl the Fog.

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Karl the Fog Cutter

  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry (float)
  • 2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • 3/4 oz Orgeat
  • Garnish: Sherry float, Orange wedge with Maraschino Cherry spear, Monkey

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Tiki Mug or Collins Glass over Cracked Ice. Float the Sherry, garnish with Orange wedge with Maraschino Cherry and Monkey.

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This next one came from a flavour pairing obsession I currently have: Fino Sherry + Apricot Liqueur. It’s to die for. The nuttiness from the Orgeat & Fino go sooooo well with the Apricot. Literally the greatest thing since Smith & Cross Rum + Teeling Irish Whiskey. This one is straight up Tiki, so be sure you have a mint sprig and some Orgeat ready to go!

Marley’s Map

  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Rum
  • 1/2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, two Pineapple chunks and a Maraschino Cherry

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into double Rocks glass or short Tiki mug over ice. Garnish with Mint sprig, two Pineapple chunks and a Maraschino Cherry.

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Now back to that Cobbler. Goodness, I get such a thrill out of making and/or drinking a Cobbler! This one came to me in the night and I had to write it down before I fell asleep. Again, we’re using the glorious Apricot + FIno Sherry combo along with Carpano Antica Vermouth, Old Tom Gin, and Boker’s Bitters. I wanted this one to taste Old Skool/Pre-Prohibition.

I definitely Flavor Bible’d the Rosemary + Blueberry + Strawberry + Lemon + Orange flavours. If you don’t have the Flavor Bible yet…get to it!

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Stafford Cobbler

  • 1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1 1/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Honey Syrup
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
  • Small handful of Blueberries, muddled
  • Garnish: Strawberry, Blueberry, Orange wheel, Rosemary sprig

In tin, combine Lemon Juice and Blueberries and muddle. Add remaining ingredients, ice and short shake. Strain into Stemmed glass filled with ice and fruit, Orange wedge and Rosemary Sprig on top. Serve with a straw and a spoon so your guests may eat the fruit!

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Yassssss gurrrrrrrl, Ms Stafford Cobbler, lemme get real close.

Thanks again to The Baddish Group for the fantastic bottle of Carpano Antica!

West India Docks

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As part of #IrishWhiskeyMonth, I wanted to repost one of my favorite Teeling Whiskey drinks from last year: West India Docks. This tropical sipper combines Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum and Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey in what I consider to be the best split base of all time.

If you wanna join the party, use the hashtag #IrishWhiskeyMonth on Instagram and I’ll repost your photo! The only rule is that you have to include Irish Whiskey in your cocktail.

Smith-&-Cross,-Teeling

Are you a bartender/cocktailier/Home Bar Gurrrrl? Have you combined these two spirits? Nope? GET ON IT.

I split the base equally, sipped it, died and went to heaven and then made a truly terrific tropical drink. I really tried to keep it at 5 ingredients but this cocktail needed a bit of Angostura Bitters for honesty.

West India Docks

  • 1 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaica Rum
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • 4 Pineapple Chunks
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Two Pineapple Chunks

Combine Lime Juice, Grenadine and Pineapple chunks in tin and muddle. Add Teeling Whiskey, Smith & Cross Rum, Bitters and Ice. Shake and double strain into coupe. Garnish with two Pineapple Chunks.

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No lie, this is truly fantastic. If you’ve got Teeling + Smith & Cross, you need to try these two together. #TropicalTeeling

National Margarita Day with Casa Noble Crystal

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February 22 is National Margarita Day and I have been #blessed y’all, #BLESSED with this fabulous bottle of Casa Noble Crystal to make Margaritas. I was totally blown away by how tasty this Blanco Tequila is and will try to describe it in a few words.

  • On the Nose: Pineapple, Strawberry, Grasses
  • On the Tongue: Banana, Citrus, Chocolate, Nutty, Agave
  • In the Mouth: Smooth and velvety, almost no “Tequila burn”

In other words, Casa Noble Crystal is a truly special Tequila. It’s definitely unlike any other Blanco Tequila I’ve ever tasted and therefore, the first thing I did was make a classic Margarita with it. I highly recommend taking this approach when testing a new Spirit. Like, when I get a new Rum, I always make a Daiquiri with it. This way I know how the Spirit is going to interact with Citrus, sweetness, etc.

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Casa Noble Crystal Margarita

  • 2 oz Casa Noble Crystal Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau (yes, that is Cointreau in a jar cause I live in a tiny apartment)
  • 1/2 oz Organic Agave Nectar
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Hawaiian Pink Salt and Lime Wheel

In tin, combine Tequila, Cointreau, Agave Nectar and Lime Juice over ice and shake it baby! Rim Rocks glass with Salt, add ice and strain drink into glass. Lime wheel at the end. Fabulous, classic, yum.

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Once I knew how this beautiful Tequila interacted in a classic Margarita, I got fancy. Mint and Grapefruit fancy to be specific.

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Pample-Menthe Margarita

  • 2 oz Casa Noble Crystal Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Organic Agave Nectar
  • 3/4 oz Ruby Red Grapefuit Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • 5-6 Mint Leaves
  • Garnish: Hawaiian Pink Salt, Mint Bouquet

In tin, muddle Mint leaves, Grapefruit Juice, Lime juice and Agave Nectar. Dry shake to incorporate ingredients. Add Tequila, Cointreau, Orange Bitters, Ice and short shake again. Rim rocks glass with salt, add ice and double strain drink into glass. Lastly, add Mint Bouquet.

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Hello Pineapple Spear Bunny Ears. 

Then I decided I wanted to bring out the Banana and Pineapple notes from the Casa Noble Crystal Tequila. I recalled that whole month of #TikiTheSnowAway and said to myself, “I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna make a Tiki Margarita”. This is also the first drink that I consulted The Flavor Bible and learned Coconut Milk and Vanilla Bean syrup go very well together!

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Island Time Margarita*

  • 2 oz Casa Noble Crystal Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Vanilla Bean Syrup
  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz Coconut Milk
  • 5-6 Banana Slices
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Hawaiian Pink Salt, 2 Pineapple Spears

In tin, muddle Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Coconut Milk, Vanilla Bean Syrup and Banana slices. Dry shake until ingredients are incorporated. Add Tequila, Cointreau, Bitters and Ice and shake again. Rim rocks glass with salt and add ice. Double strain drink into glass and garnish with Pineapple Spears.

*Honestly, this is the best Margarita I’ve ever made. It might even be the best Tiki drink I’ve ever made.

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Let’s just look at this again, shall we? Sooooo dreamy, so tasty. 

Thanks to Casa Noble for their magical Crystal Blanco Tequila and thanks to the Baddish Group for the opportunity to use it for National Margarita Day!