Sukkah Hill Spirits: Etrog Cocktail

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Last week, I reviewed and created a recipe for the fabulously spiced Besamim Liqueur from Sukkah Hill Spirits. Today, I am just as excited to talk about their Etrog Liqueur. For Besamim, I was like, “Oh my god you need to get this right now!” For Etrog I’m like, “NO SERIOUSLY, YOU HAVE TO GET THIS RIGHT NOW!”

You may be thinking, “gurrrrrl, that’s a lot of enthusiasm for a Monday morning.” Whatever man, once you try these two liqueurs, you’ll understand.

Etrog-Liqueur

Sukkah Hill Spirits were started by the Witkins, a couple who live in Los Angeles. They were making batches of Liqueurs for friends and family, when a store put in a request for their amazing products. Now they have a 5000 sq ft facility and the rest is history.

You may be wondering, “what does the word Etrog mean?” Well, Etrog is actually a highly prized type of citrus from Israel. They are traditionally used during the holiday of Sukkot, a hebrew word meaning “Tabernacles”. If you think Sukkot sounds like Sukkah, you’re right, the first is the plural of the second.

Etrog Liqueur is made from a blend of Etrog citrus grown in the Sequoia foothills of California and pure cane sugar Spirit in small batches. It is gluten free, vegan, and Kosher for Passover.

Etrog Tasting Notes:

  • Nose: Something like a magical Meyer Lemon hits you first, with supporting notes of lemon verbena, citrine herbs, and floral notes.
  • Taste: Firstly candied Lemon, then loads of wonderfully complex herbal notes. Flowers, honey, and pepper all make entrances.
  • Finish: Excellent viscosity, really warming finish.
  • Overall: HOT DAMN. Etrog is so exciting! It is sweet but there is so much going on here that it’s not boring at all. For cocktails, my first thought was “GIN!” though I know it will go very well with Blanco Tequila. I would also drink this as an aperitif over ice or long with club soda.

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As with the Besamim post, I am going to feature one cocktail for the introductory Etrog post. This drink really lets the Etrog showcase all of its beautiful flavors in a stirred format.

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Here are your cast of characters: Etrog Liqueur, Plymouth Gin, dry Junmai Ginjo Saké.

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Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to taste something truly divine.

Etrog Cocktail

  • 3/4 oz Sukkah Hill Spirits Etrog Liqueur
  • 1 1/4 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 1/4 oz Junmai Ginjo Saké (sub: dry, floral Saké)
  • Garnish: Lemon peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrr. Strain into chilled coupe, express Lemon peel and garnish.

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Cheers. Sunny, floral, lemony, fabulous Cheers to you all! Thanks to Sukkah Hill Spirits for the bottle of Etrog Liqueur!

 

The Pineapple Plymouth Gin is back!

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Just whipped up a fresh batch of Pineapple infused Plymouth Gin! Seriously though, “whipped up” might be stretching the truth a bit. This is literally the easiest recipe ever:

  1. Cut up a Pineapple. If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t going to work. No canned fruit allowed!
  2. Throw some of the Pineapple in a jar.
  3. Add some Plymouth Gin. You want to get about equal parts of each ingredient by volume.
  4. Let it sit for a few days, shaking several times per day.
  5. Taste it. Does it need more Pineapple? Add more Pineapple.
  6. When it tastes magnificently, Strain and keep it in the fridge.

I use this one in lots of Tropical cocktails such as:

Happy infusing to you all!

Rhubarb Express

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Y’all! Worlds have collided, tomorrow is World Gin Day and it’s also Rhubarb Season! Mercury Retrograde be dammed or whatever, this shit is happeniiiiiiing!

Now, obvi you need to read the post about Barb’s Rhubarb Cocktail & Syrup so you can make the Syrup (and read a blog post in a Victorian Era British Lady’s voice). Once you’ve done that, it’s time to make Rhubarb Express.

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You did read read the post, right? You made the Syrup, savoured the gloriousness of cooking Rhubarb and Sugar together and you’re all ready to go? Yes? Great!

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I chose Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters because they are made with four different citrus peels, gentian root, and spices. In fact I would say these bitters are as crucial to Rhubarb Express as Peychaud’s is to a Sazerac. This cocktail is super tart and complex from the herbes in the bitters and vegetal Rhubarb notes, with a shimmering quality from the Lemon Juice.

Rhubarb Express

  • 1 3/4 oz Plymouth Gin (sub Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, any smooth dry Gin)
  • 1 oz Rhubarb Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters
  • No Garnish

Combine ingredients over ice and shake vigorously for around 15 seconds. Strain into coupe.

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Bonus: this drink is supremely awesome on the rocks with a splash of soda and a Mint sprig.

Cheers!

#NegroniWeek 2015 – Negroni-Apri

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Welcome to #NegroniWeek 2015! “Always and foreverrrrr, you will be my Negroni Babyyyyy.” (Excerpted from my upcoming hit single about the Negroni).  Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can find out all about it here.

Now, if you’re like me, you may be running out of that Bottled Negroni that we discussed in a post from May 31st. That’s ok, we can make variations on Negroni without using Bottled Negroni, in fact, I’ve done so very many times.

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For the spectacular Negroni-Apri, I’m subbing Aperol + Apricot Liqueur for Campari, Carpano Dry Vermouth for Carpano Antica, and keeping the Plymouth Gin (never not Plymouth Gin). To this we add Orange Bitters, that lovely Orange Peel rose and BOOM, we’ve got a totally fabulous summery Negroni variation.

Negroni-Apri

  • 1 1/4 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 1/4 oz Carpano Dry
  • 3/4 oz Aperol
  • 1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 7 dashes of Regan’s Orange Bitters (yes, 7 dashes)
  • Garnish: Orange Peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into double rocks glass over ice. Garnish with Orange Peel rose.

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Practically perfect in every way. 

#NegroniWeek 2015 – Negroni Rosé

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Welcome to #NegroniWeek 2015! The week where we literally cannot drink anything other than a Negroni! (Jkjkjkjk) Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can find out all about it here.

Now, if you haven’t read my post from May 31st about how I like to make and Bottle my Negroni, you should do that first, and then come back here. Did you read it? Word. Did you not? Ummmmmmm.

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Repeat after me, “Bottled Negroni is my best friend.” 

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Obsession comes in many colours, this time it’s in a light shade of pink. 

This fabulous Negroni variation was born from my love of Dry French Rosé. Pictured above is Saint Roch Rose Touraine, a very dry, lightly fruity (strawberries, citrus), and botanical Rosé from the Loire Valley. (Clearly I love this Rosé as I am nearly out of it.) Saint Roch Rose Touraine also pairs perfectly with Negroni, so that’s a glorious thing.

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The reason I’m suggesting a dry Rosé is that the Negroni is a bitterSWEET drink, emphasis on the sweet. If you used a sweet Rosé, well then you might have the sweetest drink on earth and that would be no good. Nope.

Negroni Rosé

  • 2 1/2 oz Bottled Negroni
  • 1 1/2 oz Saint Roch Rose Touraine (or any dry French Rosé, bonus points for sparkling)
  • Garnish: Red Grapefruit wedge

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a long stir. Strain into coupe and garnish.

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This is one of those drinks that takes you somewhere and it’s taking me right to the Mediterranean. Cheers to THAT!

#NegroniWeek 2015 – Negroniac

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Welcome to #NegroniWeek 2015! The week where all we talk about, drink, and post recipes of are the infamous Negroni! Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can read all about it here.

Now, if you haven’t read my post from May 31st about how I like to make and Bottle my Negroni, you best do that first, mmmk? Did you read it? Fabulous Did you not? wellllllll…

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The Negroniac is one of my all time favourite recipes that I’ve ever come up with. It is literally a Sazerac + a Negroni and hoooo boy, does it pack a punch. Essentially, instead of Peychaud’s Bitters, you use a hefty amount of Bottled Negroni and keep the rest of the Sazerac formula intact. (Rye, Absinthe and a Lemon peel.)

Are you ready for this? The Negroniac is high octane madness.

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Keep in mind that this is a very exact recipe. Too much of anything and the drink is thrown way off.

Negroniac

  • 1 3/4 oz Negroni
  • 1 1/4 oz Rye
  • 2 Dashes of Regans’ Orange Bitters
  • St. George Absinthe Verte Rinse
  • Garnish: expressed and discarded Lemon Peel

Rinse a double Rocks glass with Absinthe and chill. Combine Negroni, Rye and Orange Bitters over cracked ice and give it a very looooooooong stir. Strain into chilled glass. Express and discard Lemon Peel. Santé!

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Hello powerful and tasty Negroniac! I will sip you slowly and relish every drop.

#NegroniWeek 2015 – Breakfast Negroni

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Hello Breakfast Kweens and welcome once again to #NegroniWeek! NEGRONIS ALL WEEK Y’ALL! All damn week! Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can check it out here.

Now, if you haven’t read my post from May 31st about how I like to make and Bottle my Negroni, you best get to it! Did you read it? Yasssss Kween. Did you not? grrrrrrl, get on it!

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This Negroni is for those of us who, like myself, are 1. obsessed with Grapefruit Juice, 2. love a good Breakfast Cocktail, and obviously 3. can’t get enough Negroni in their life!

Breakfast Negroni

  • 2 1/2 oz Bottled Negroni
  • 1 oz Red Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange Peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into chilled Coupe and garnish with Orange Peel rose.

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I want to drink two of these right now. I shall control myself but goodness, self control is hard y’all! Cheers!

#NegroniWeek 2015 – Saint Negroni

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Welcome one and all to #NegroniWeek! This is perhaps the best week of the whole year as far as cocktails go because NEGRONIS ALL WEEK Y’ALL! Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can read all about it here.

Now, if you haven’t read my post from May 31st about how I like to make and bottle my Negroni, read it now and then return here. Did you read it? Good. Did you not read it? Hmmmmmm.

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The Saint Negroni is actually a cocktail I came up with during last year’s #NegroniWeek whilst I was mixing Bottled Negroni with different liqueurs. The elderflower flavour from St-Germain pairs so well with the Bitter, Orange and Gin flavours of Negroni that I’m drinking the Saint Negroni again this year. Plus this drink is a really bright and cheery way to start #NegroniWeek.

Saint Negroni

  • 2 1/2 oz Bottled Negroni
  • 3/4 oz St-Germain
  • 2 dashes of Scrappy’s Grapefruit Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange Peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into chilled double Rocks glass. Garnish with Orange Peel rose.

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I hope y’all have a fabulous time making up tasty Negroni variations of your own! Cheers!

#NegroniWeek 2015

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Negroni. It’s a word uttered rather often on Home Bar Girl. It’s perhaps one of the best classic cocktails of all time and definitely a drink I like to riff on. Well, did y’all know that there is an entire week dedicated to the Negroni? Each year for the past few years, Campari and Imbibe Magazine have put on Negroni Week as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can read all about it here.

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I love the Negroni because it’s simple, supremely well balanced, bitter, and sweet all at the same time. It’s made with equal parts Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Gin, served on the rocks, and usually has an Orange peel garnish. It’s great in the winter, excellent in the summer.

Here’s how I like to make it: I use Carpano Antica because it has a wonderful spice set and is very supple in the mouth. Same goes for Plymouth Gin, very smooth and easy in the mouth and not too much bite.

Home Bar Girl’s Negroni

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Carpano Antica Formula
  • 1 oz Plymouth Gin
  • Garnish: Orange peel rose

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into double rocks glass over one big rock. Express Orange peel, curl into a rose, and garnish.

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Now since it’s #NegroniWeek, I like to have a lot of Negroni on hand so I can mix it with other things. Actually, I usually keep Bottled Negroni in my home bar because it actually seems to mellow a bit as all those ingredients sit together in the bottle.

This recipe is for a 375ml bottle. I used an old bottle of Carpano Antica, that way if any residual flavours are still lingering about, they would just mix with the Negroni Ingredients.

Home Bar Girl’s Bottled Negroni

  • 125 ml Campari
  • 125 ml Carpano Antica Formula
  • 125 ml Plymouth Gin

Combine ingredients in bottle. Let it sit for as long as you like. It will get more awesome the longer it sits. I promise.

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Now that we’ve got our Bottled Negroni all ready for #NegroniWeek, I encourage everyone to start thinking of things you’d like to mix it with. I’ll be posting recipes for Negroni variations from June 1-7, so keep checking in!

Cheers!

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: the Martini

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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 a different cocktail from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

You guys, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE LAST TWO EPISODES!?! Will Don drive to California for that “golden state dream” that he’s always had? Will he go to the family farm and encounter something terrible? Will he go back to Manhattan and jump out of the window at McCann? You know he’s always had a thing about death…

OMINOUS!

As we near the end of the show, you knew that one of these posts had to include Martinis and so here we are!

Mad Men Roger Martini

Look at Roger’s Casual but serious Martini with an Olive. Image via AMC.

Mad Men Jim Martini

And here Jim is looking very sharp with his Martini with an Olive. Image via AMC.

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I like to drink my Martinis in the following format:

Martini

  • 2 1/4 oz Plymouth Dry Gin
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Dry Vermouth
  • Garnish: Lemon peel or Olives

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a nice long stir. Strain into chilled coupe and garnish.

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Here it is again with a Lemon peel. If you’re going to add the lemon peel, perhaps add two dashes of Orange Bitters.

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Here are the PPL chaps and Duck having a Gibson Martini which is essentially a martini with more Gin, less Vermouth and a cocktail Onion. Image via Netflix screen grab.

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I don’t have any Cocktail Onions at home but I do have some delicious pickled Red Onion that my girlfriend made so we’ll go with that! This is quite tasty by the bye, definitely onion-y but certainly tasty.

Gibson Martini

  • 2 3/4 oz Dry Gin
  • 1/4 – 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Garnish: Cocktail Onion or (in this case) pickled Red Onion.

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a lonnnnnng stir. Strain into chilled coup and garnish with Onion.

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Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed Martini Time! May your drinks be delicious and our Mad Men viewing not give us all heart attacks! Cheers!

I’ll be doing this series until the end of Mad Men, so see you next week!