I Made Mulled White Wine with the Cooking Gift Set Co. Brewing Kit and It’s a Game Changer

Wooooo y’all, I’m super pumped to be writing this post! A couple of weeks ago, Cooking Gift Set Co. hit me up and asked if I wanted to give their Mulled Wine Brewing Kit a whirl and I was like, “HELL YES!” You know I love infusing spirits and making syrups and to have a product with allllll my fave spices in a kit was music to my Home Bar Grrrrl ears!

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In addition to good looking and perfectly sized packaging (I mean, look at this amazing packaging!) the Cooking Gift Set Co. Mulled Wine Brewing Kit comes with detailed recipes! Oh how I love a very specific recipe!

The recipes include Festive Red, Spiced Cider, Gløgg, Glühwein, and Lush White…

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…LUSH WHITE. Hold up a sec! “Lush White? MULLED WHITE WINE?” Yes y’all, MULLED WHITE WINE. Game changer.

Their recommendation was to use a Dry Chardonnay or Viognier but I wanted to try it with Chenin Blanc cause lately I’ve been on a Chenin Blanc kick. Typically Chenin Blanc is big bodied for white wines, kind of fruity, dry, and really pleasant.

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I read the Lush White recipe which suggested the use of dried orange peel, cloves, star anise, and crystalized ginger. I toasted the spices for a minute or two on low heat…

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…put the spices in one of the satchels from the Mulled Wine Brewing Kit, added 1 bottle of Chenin Blanc, 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup sugar, and a couple of lemon peels.

Then let it simmer, not boil, for around 20 mins (as per the instructions). After that I turned the heat off, covered the pot and let it sit for around 30 mins. (The instructions said to let it sit for 5 minutes but y’all know I can’t let something sit for less than 30.)

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Voila, I had just made the delicious Lush White Mulled Wine. And I’m talking SUPER DELICIOUS. The spices are so so nice, the balance is excellent with star anise coming through first followed by an undercurrent of earthiness from the orange peel, cloves, and ginger.

So, now what? What to do with Mulled White Wine?

Gurrrrrrl, first of all, you should just pour some in a mug with a cinnamon stick and “wooooo” yourself to paradise! Then maybe put on your fave winter movie and chill out on the couch.

But wait, there’s more! You may be thinking, “I know what this Mulled White Wine needs. It needs some Brandy.” Congratulations, you’ve literally just made Fortified Wine. Wine + Sweetness + Herbes/Spices + Fortification (aka some kind of spirit) = Fortified Wine. America, get on that shit.

Lush White Fortified Wine

  • 6 parts Lush White Mulled Wine
  • 1-2 parts Brandy, Cognac, Calvados, Apple Brandy, or Pear Brandy

When serving, I’d encourage freshly grated Nutmeg as a garnish.

If for some reason you didn’t drink all of your Lush White Mulled Wine and part of the bottle made it to the fridge, you can use the wine as a cocktail ingredient.

There were a lot of possibilities when trying to come up with a Cocktail worthy of the Lush White but my first and best thought was, “Gurrrrl, put it with Aged Rhum Agricole and Creole Shrubb.” Done.

Nöel in the Antilles

  • 3 oz Lush White Mulled Wine
  • 3/4 oz Rhum JM VO Agricole (or the Aged Agricole of your choice)
  • 1 barspoon Hamilton Petite Shrubb (or the Creole Shrubb of your choice)
  • Garnish: Star Anise

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrrrrr. Strain into chilled coupe and garnish.


Holiday Cheers to y’all and if you want to order a Cooking Gift Set Co. Mulled Wine Brewing Kit, use the code HomeBarGirl and get 20% off if you order by Christmas Day! AMAZING RIGHT?

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Stirred Drinks with Rhum Agricole: Guadeloupe Martinez

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Howdy y’all! We’re continuing with the theme of “Home Bar Girl gets obsessed with things and can’t stop talking about them.” The current obsession: Rhum Agricole, the format: Stirred.

Today I’ve got my second Stirred Drink with Rhum Agricole: the Guadeloupe Martinez.

…aaaaaaaaaand it’s so tasty! I’m know i’m tooting my own horn here and I get that this might sound terribly conceited… but y’all, I think this drink is a HOME RUN. I say that because home runs only happen to me like three times a year and this is one of those times!

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Be sure to grab yer prettiest coupe for this drink cause you are going to want to savor every sip of the Guadeloupe Martinez.

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The goal of this Stirred Drink with Rhum Agricole was to put the silky, caramely, faintly funky, and wonderfully delicious Rhum Damoiseau VSOP with some equally as tasty ingredients. I was into the idea of doing a Martinez variation cause I am REALLY into Martinez variations.

Personally, I feel like there are two ways to go with a Martinez and those are: 1. Maraschino direction or 2. Orange Liqueur direction. The flavor of Rhum Damoiseau VSOP sort of screams “ORANGE” to me, so I picked some appropriate modifiers: Bonal Aperitif (I’m also obssessed with Bonal), a bit of Dolin Rouge vermouth to smooth things out, and a dash of Angostura Orange Bitters for extra Orange.

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Speaking of Orange, this Clement Creole Shrubb is super delicious with just the right amount of spices. I’m totally convinced that Rhum Damoiseau VSOP and Clement Creole Shrubb are best friends. BEST FRIENDS Y’ALL.

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I recently learned from the Liquid Intelligence book that one should chill their mixing glasses before use so as to create proper dilution without wasting too much ice to convert heat to cold. If you wanna get really geeky about properly building cocktails, I highly recommend getting this book.

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And now, without further ado, the Guadeloupe Martinez.

Guadeloupe Martinez

  • 2 oz Damoiseau VSOP Rhum Agricole
  • 3/4 oz Bonal Aperitif
  • 1/4 oz Dolin Rouge Vermouth
  • 1 barspoon Clement Creole Shrubb
  • 1 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange Peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrr til you just can’t stand it (or really about 50 rotations). Strain into chilled coupe, express Orange peel and garnish.

Now for a varition on this variation! I gave the Guadeloupe Martinez recipe to my gurl Shannon Mustipher for a Rhum Clement event she was hosting at Glady’s Caribbean and she made the following adjustments:

Martinique Martinez

  • 2 oz Rhum Clement Vieux Agricole (sub aged Rhum Agricole from Martinique)
  • 3/4 oz Alessio Chinato Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Dolin Blanc
  • 1 barspoon Clement Creole Shrubb
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange peel

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Santé and oh man, I really hope you enjoy these Rhum Agricole Martinez variations as much as I do!

If you, like me, can’t get enough Rhum Agricole, head over to The Sugarcane Press, hosted by the House of Agricole

 

Stirred Drinks with Rhum Agricole: L’Acajou

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Alriiiiiight, so I decided to take my Rhum Agricole obsession and turn it into a series of stirred drinks cause AUTUMN Y’ALL. Why does Rhum automatically have to be associated with Tiki drinks and Tropicals times? (Cause it’s damn good that’s why.)

Fore real though, I got a whole bunch of stuff from the House of Agricole (Clement, Damoiseau, & Rhum JM) and decided to make a series of drinks with aged Rhum Agricole. I am fully aware that this concept is a bit difficult to get one’s head around but trust me, these drinks are deeeelicious.

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So let’s talk about Rhum Agricole cause I’ve started teaching classes about this delicious category of Rhum but don’t think I’ve addressed it here on Home Bar Girl.

  1. What is Rhum Agricole? It’s Rhum made from freshly pressed Cane Juice instead of being made from Molasses (like most Rums you know) or another Sugar Cane byproduct.
  2. Why is it spelled with an “h”? Cause it’s French and that’s how the french do.
  3. Why does it taste super different from all the other Rums I know? Fresh Cane Juice makes Rhum taste like plants instead of tasting like caramelized or molasses sugar. Rhum Agricole is mega herbaceous, a bit funky, and has an unusually high level of Terroir. So much so that Rhum Agricole made in Martinique has an actual AOC designation from the french government, just like french wines do.
  4. Did I mention that Martinique is part of the French Commonwealth? It is. Colonialism.

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“So what’s the deal with this drink gurl?” Basically, I wanted to accomplish the following:

  1. I wanted to put Rhum Clement Vieux Agricole in a stirred drink. Based on all of the planty, grassy, rubbery, fruity notes in the Rhum, I knew it would go well with Giffard Banane du Bresil.
  2. Giffard Banane is basically like Banana Bread in a bottle. Carmelized banana, baking spices, deep toffee notes. This shit is like crack if crack was in Banana form.
  3. Fancy Tony’s bitters were given to me by Tony himself! Thanks Tony! They’ve got citrus, spices, allspice, and basically everything you want in Tiki bitters.

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I wanted the Orange oil to be happening but I didn’t want to put a peel in the drink cause I felt like the presentation would be too overwhelming. Overwhelming? WHUT…

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…Nutmeg. Yep. It’s that time of year. The time of year when I put Nutmeg in almost every single drink. No one wants to look at a drink with an Orange peel AND Nutmeg so we’re going to express the Orange peel and discard.

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The word L’Acajou means “Mahogany” en français and was a word used in advertisements for Rhum Clement Vieux Agricole back in the 1930s. Since this drink is the nearly the same color as mahogany, I’m using the word “L’Acajou” for this drink. Also, it sounds awesome. Say, “L’Acajou” fives times to yourself. Yeah gurl, you love it.

L’Acajou

  • 1 1/2 oz Rhum Clement Vieux Agricole
  • Heavy 1/4 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • Fancy Tony’s Tiki Bitters (sub Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki Bitters or Angostura Bitters)
  • Garnish: Orange oil, freshly grated Nutmeg

Build in glass: Add Rhum, Banane du Bresil, Bitters, ice and stir. Express Orange peel and discard, grate Nutmeg on top.

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Hope y’all enjoy this and it gets your juices flowing for some really killer Stirred Drinks with Rhum Agricole! Santé!

An Illustrated Guide to All Things Rum

Rum Guide: What's in a Bottle

Hey y’all, as I was rolling through my twitter feed, I ran across this Rum Guide from Fix.com and thought it was worth posting cause: 1. I’m obsessed with Rum, 2. its got recipes for a couple of Rum cocktails and y’all know how I feel about that. (Good, I feel real good.)

Rum Guide: Dark ’N’ Stormy Recipe
Source: Fix.com Blog

From Fix:

“Molasses based rum is the most common form. This type of rum is brought to a boil and the sugar is then transferred to tanks where it crystallizes and becomes molasses. A mixture of yeast, distilled water, and nutrients is then fermented for up to three weeks…

Knowing the basic rum terminology will go far next time you are in the rum aisle. Know how to read the bottle and find the perfect rum that agrees with your taste buds. Whether drinking it neat or in a cocktail, there are qualities of rum on all spectrums. Ignore the jargon written on bottles that are just trying to pull you in, trust your research instead.”

Then they proceed to give a breakdown of the Rum categories, which is totally great info for any Home Bartender to have.

Rum Guide: Classic Mai Tai Recipe
Source: Fix.com Blog

And, I fully support anyone talking bout a tasty Mai Tai recipe! Cheers and may your Rum education be factual and deeeeeeep.

Thyme Is On Your Side

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Are y’all ready for tons of puns? Cause I’ve got a drink with Thyme today!

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But first gaze at this pretty-pretty, delicious smelling Thyme plant and come up with as many puns as you can:

“I’m talking about the space-thyme continuum.”

“We don’t have a lot of thyme, y’all! Step to it!”

“She looked longingly at his watch, a thick, masculine band with an admirable face. She leaned over and asked, ‘What thyme is it sir?'”

Thyme Syrup

Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems, let’s make some Thyme syrup.

Thyme Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 5 Thyme sprigs

Instructions:

  1. Add sugar and water to a pot and bring to a low simmer.
  2. Add thyme sprigs and simmer for around 15 minutes making sure the liquids do not boil.
  3. Remove from heat, cover and let sit til the syrup cools to room temperature.
  4. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge. Should keep for 2 weeks.

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Now on to this sweet and complicated tipple. Boomp.

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So Thyme syrup really begs for more planty things and I decided to go all the way out.

Cast of characters:

  1. In this plant-filled haze, my first thought was Rhum Agricole.
  2. And ohhhhh man, what goes really well with Agricole? MEZCAL! It’s like a smoked plant sensation!
  3. And what goes well with a smoked plant party? CELERY BITTERS!
  4. Finally, Lemon juice for balance.

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For prettiness, smell and to emphasize the plant party, a Thyme sprig garnish.

Thyme Is On Your Side

  • 1 oz La Favorite Coeur d’Ambre Rhum Agricole
  • 1 oz El Señorio Espadín Mezcal
  • heavy 1/2 oz Thyme Syrup*
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Celery Bitters
  • Garnish: Thyme sprig

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake it like a rocket. Double strain into double Rocks glass. Garnish with Thyme sprig.

*I tried it with 3/4 oz Thyme Syrup and it was too sweet for me. If you wanna try it that way, go for it!

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This is totally one of those sitting in the backyard/on the porch/at the park/by the pool/ at your outside happy place. Kick back and keep em coming.

Happy Thymes for all of us!