Welcome to Tiki The Snow Away 2017!

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Hey y’all! Happy New Year and welcome to Tiki The Snow Away Volume III! Hope everyone has recovered from partying and like me, you’re already wishing you were on holiday in a tropical paradise. If you’re new to Home Bar Girl, you may be feeling confused as to why on earth I’d throw a Tiki party in the middle of winter but I’ve got one word for you- “escapism”.

Now, I’ll attempt to answer any questions you may have.

A. What is Tiki The Snow Away? On Jan 1 2015, I’d had way too much Egg Nog, Brooklyn was covered in snow, and I was like, “screw these heavy drinks, I’m only going to have citrusy Rum drinks for a month!” I asked some cocktail friends on instagram what they thought a good hashtag for a month-long Tiki party would be and @ntitz suggested #TikiTheSnowAway.

If you post a Tiki drink on Instagram during January, use the hashtag #TikiTheSnowAway and I or some of my other cocktail friends will re-post our fave drinks. If you post a Tiki drink on reddit, tag me (/u/homebargirl) and I will repost your drinks in a roundup.

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B. What sort of Spirits & Liqueurs will you need? RUM. You’re going to need a lot of Rum. I have a wide selection of Rum from several caribbean countries and I love trying to fit two or three of them into a drink. You can also use Cachaça, Gin, Tequila, Mezcal, Brandy, Blended Scotch and really any spirits that work well with spiced syrups, citrus, and other Tiki ingredients.

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As far as the Liqueurs go, this is winter Tiki. Though I’m still totally gonna use that Blue Curaçao to make another Surf Girl variation, I’m also challenging myself to try and work Amaro Meletti (or another easy going Amaro), PX Sherry, and St. George Bruto Americano into a few drinks. Beyond that, I’d highly recommed having some kind of Orange Curaçao/Creole Shrubb, Falernum, and Angostura Bitters on hand. If you’re lucky enough to have the Hamilton Pimento Dram (allspice liqueur made with funky Jamaican Rum), you can use it in a Daiquiri along with your fave Rum!

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C. What kind of produce do you need? Fresh fruit. Now, I know this is a winter Tiki party, but you should be able to get Limes, Grapefruit, and BLOOD ORANGES at the grocery store! Seasonally appropriate and way more delicious than regular oranges, Blood Oranges will give beautiful color to your drinks!

If you can’t find any good Pineapples to juice, I would recommend getting a bottle of unsweetened Pineapple Juice.

*Note: If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, I know it’s summer so, go wild with your fruit selections.

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D. What kind of Syrups will you need?  Cinnamon Bark Syrup. Cinnamon is always linked to wintry flavors so I’d recommend making a batch. Other highly recommended syrups are: Simple Syrup made with Cane or Demerara Sugar, Orgeat, Passionfruit, Honey Syrup (1:1 Honey and water), Coconut Cream, and Grenadine.

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Tiki Mugs & Glassware

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Tiki and spice garnishes

E. Anything Else? Glassware and garnishes. Tiki Mugs are tons of fun, but If you don’t have mugs, cocktail glassware will do though you might need to get a large glass for some of the bigger Tiki drinks. It’s also fun to throw a swizzle stick, Tiki umbrella, some monkeys, or a plastic sword in your drink, so head to a party store if you don’t have any of those items. Whole spices like Cinnamon, Star Anise, and freshly grated Nutmeg go well in Tiki drinks too.

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Most of all, just have fun with it! Remember this is your Tropical Paradise escape from reality. Cheers and can’t wait to prrrrrrrty with y’all!

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Easy Peasy Drinks to Make for Thanksgiving and All Your Other Holiday Parties

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It’s that time of year again. Not only is it Thanksgiving, it’s Thanksgiving during a election year, meaning that you’re probably feeling salty towards at least some of your friends and relatives or perhaps they’re feeling salty towards you! What will ease the anguish you’re experiencing as you mentally prepare yourself to share a meal with your loved ones?

A drink that’s what!

Ok, so now you realize you have to make drinks for a whole bunch of people, AND you’re feeling salty. What to do?

Keep it easy man! Today, I’m gonna give us a few large-format cocktails that will work for all the upcoming holiday parties and give you a lil peace of mind. Ready? Let’s go.

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Firstly, you could set up an Old Fashioned Station for your guests to help themselves. This is a great idea cause build-your-own-drinks tend to be a hit at parties! You could get a couple different kinds of spirits (Bourbon, Rye, Aged Rum, Apple Brandy, Añejo Tequila, Mezcal, Brandy, etc), different types of sweeteners or a mixer like the excellent Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned Mixer, an assortment of Bitters, garnishes and let the people do what they want!

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A sparkling wine cocktail: This one is easy cause you can batch your modifiers (like Apple Brandy + Cinnamon Syrup, Angostura Bitters) ahead of time, pour them into the glass and top with prosecco. Donezo!

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Bottled Negroni: This one is almost a no-brainer. Make a bottle sized Negroni, let it hang out in the bottle for a few days and serve as an aperitivo. Super duper easy and the Negroni is a perfect drink to cut through all those heavy foods you’re about to consume.

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4. Punch. Duh. This is by far my fave format for large parties cause Punch is the most communal cocktail of them all. I’ve created many Punch recipes but my two favorites are…

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Winfred Bumbry Punch: This Punch uses Irish Whiskey, two kinds of Rum, Ruby Port, Lemon Sherbet, and Nutmeg. It’s fabulously tasty and was a home run at last year’s Friendsgiving.

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DD’s Cider Punch: this Punch features mulled apple cider, two kinds of Rum, Allspice Dram, Benedictine, and Lemon Sherbet. (If you haven’t noticed, Sherbet is essential in a proper punch.)

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See, that was so easy! Cheers and hope y’all have loads of fun during the holidays!

 

#RumForTheHills: HBG Rum Blend 1

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Y’alllllllll. I did it, I decided to make a Rum blend to use in Punches, Swizzles, and other large format Tiki drinks and today, I’m pretty pumped to present it to you.

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Ok, let’s talk.

  1. “Whuuuuuuut gurl? Why do you need to make a blended Rum when you can just use a split base in a cocktail?” Excellent question! I did it for a couple of reasons: Firstly, I love having a premade Rum Blend on hand so I can just use it without thinking about the specs. Secondly, when things sit together in a bottle for a few days/weeks, the flavors “marry” together and groove a bit more.
  2. “Ok Cool gurl, which Rum made you start thinking about making a blend?” Hamilton 86 cause I’m obsessed with it. Hamilton 86 is very dark and has notes of leather, tobacco, fruity goodness and I’m digging it for these colder months.
  3. “Hamilton 86, got it. Then what?” Well, despite what I just said about loving the darkness of Hamilton 86 I wanted to add some top notes of potent funkiness and immediately thought, “RUM FIRE!” Yes, this overproof funky beast is super potent and great in long format cocktails.
  4. “Anything else?” I added Plantation Barbados 5 cause it’s an easy Rum and would add some length. Then added Denizen Aged White to further lighten and dry out the blend.

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I’m gonna give the recipe to y’all in parts not ounces/ml so you can make as much or as little as you want.

HBG Rum Blend #1

  • 2 parts Hamilton 86 Demerara Rum
  • 1/2 part Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum
  • 1/4 part Denizen 3 Year Aged White Rum
  • 1/4 part Rum Fire

Combine ingredients and bottle. Use this blend however you like but I’d recommend in a Swizzle, Punch or large Tiki drink.

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Cheers and happy blending!

Wine Syrup and CC’s Punch

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Hola y’all! So I got an idea from the Smuggler’s Cove book and someone from the Cocktails sub on reddit to make Wine Syrup. Smuggler’s Cove uses the syrup in a Tiki Drink but I was thinking it would be totally rad in autumnal/wintry cocktails.

Wine Syrup

  • 16 oz California Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 8 oz Cane Sugar

-Heat wine on low heat until it has reduced to 1/2 original volume. Stir in Sugar. Remove from heat, cool, and keep in the fridge in a covered container.

The syrup is super delicious! It’s like a cross between a sexy, upscale Grenadine and Ruby Port. Since it reminded me of Port, I felt like a Punch recipe would be a great application for the Wine Syrup.

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CC’s Punch

  • 1 oz Dry Brandy
  • 1 oz Hamilton 86 Rum
  • 3/4 oz Wine Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz ice Cold Water
  • 1 barspoon Bénédictine
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

-stir ingredients and pour into punch cups over ice. Grate nutmeg on top and serve.

Cheers and hope y’all have tons of fun with this syrup!

Thanks u/MONDARIZ for the inspiration!

Punch for Two with infused spirits from Ethan + Ashe & Alkemista

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Alright y’all, today I’m pretty pumped to be talking about a Kickstarter project from Ethan + Ashe!

“WHUT GURL? Kickstarter? You’re talking to us about something that doesn’t exist yet?” Yeah y’all, I’m talking about Alkemista, an infusion kit for all of us home bartenders and it’s a pretty brilliant idea!

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So what is Alkemista? It’s a bottle with an ultra fine filter built into it, you just add the booze, spices/herbs/citrus peels/etc and steep until it’s ready. Easy pea-sheezy.

Ethan & Ashe sent me a box with the following infusions:

All three bottles were pretty damn tasty, so I was like “Alright, I’m diggin this Alkemista idea. I shall put it into a Punch recipe!”

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I decided to make some Spiced Apple Cider Punch and tried a couple of versions with the Black Denim Spice infused Bourbon and the Cinnamon infused Starrr Rum. Turns out both spirits worked awesomely, so I’ll give you the recipe.

To Make the Cider:

  • 48 oz Apple Cider
  • 5 tbsp mulling spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 1 long orange peel, star anise, peppercorn, 1 split vanilla bean
  1. Put everything in a pot and let it heat on lowwwwww for around 2 hrs. Don’t let it boil, only simmer.
  2. Strain through a cheesecloth, bottle, and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

 

Spiced Apple Cider Punch (for two)

  • 6 oz Spiced Cider
  • 1 oz Water
  • 1 oz Ruby Port
  • 1 oz Black Denim Spice infused Bourbon or Cinnamon infused Starrr Rum
  • 1/4 tsp (2 Barspoons) Lemon Sherbet
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine Cider, Water, Ruby Port, and Lemon Sherbet in a pot and heat over lowwwwww heat. You don’t want it to get anywhere near boiling, just warm it up. When the punch is hot, add the Spirits and stir.

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Yummmmmmm. Feels like fall man.

Thanks to Ethan & Ashe for letting me be part of this awesome Alkemista Kickstarter campaign!

The Queen’s Blush

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Y’all, it happened! The temperature dropped below 70°, I went hiking yesterday and now it really feels like autumn!

What better way to celebrate this seasonal change than with a stirred drink? “Wait gurl, you made a stirred drink? WHUT.” Yes, y’all I finally made a stirred drink and it’s even in a pretty coupe!

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Definitely still obsessed with this Raspberry Syrup cause it’s packing a helluva punch. If you haven’t made it yet, head here for the recipe.

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While mentally working on this cocktail, I thought, “Ok gurrrrl, you’ve got that fabulous new bottle of Julius Drover Alambic Brandy from Shinn Estate, that Hamilton 86 Demerara Rum, why not go for something 19th century style?” So I did.

Cast of Characters:

  1. Raspberry Syrup: Since the point of this cocktail was to get a 19th Century vibe going, I looked up a bunch of recipes that used either Grenadine or Raspberry syrup in Martin’s Index of Cocktails.
  2. I bought the fantastic bottle of Julius Drover Alambic Brandy while on holiday in Long Island Wine Country with my smooth girlfriend. Yes, there is a “wine country” out on eastern Long Island, and it’s pretty amazing out there. This brandy is so damn great, it’s basically American Cognac. Nice n dry, with faint hints of wood, a bit of fruitiness (pear, grape, apple), and a tiny bit floral. Really nice stuff.
  3. The Hamilton 86 is big, molasses-y, spicy, and has notes of leather, tobacco, and dark chocolate, along with some fruitiness. There are a lot of historical punch recipes with Cognac or Brandy and Rum together, so I wanted to put these two in a drink.
  4. The Yellow Chartreuse came about when I was thinking about how to tie everything together. I felt like the flowers and honey from Yellow Chartreuse would play nicely with the notes from the Brandy & Rum. Totally did.
  5. Absinthe: I am fully convinced that Raspberry & Absinthe are perfect partners. Together they create such a sublime marriage that I almost can’t separate them anymore.
  6. Regans’ Orange Bitters: I wanted some citrus top notes since I wasn’t going to use any juice.

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Stir ’til you just can’t stand it anymore! (Or really, about 50 rotations.)

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For this Absinthe application, I went with an atomizer. I’m not really into rinsing these days cause I think it’s kind of wasteful. Plus, you can smell the Absinthe more when it’s on top of the drink.

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The Queen’s Blush

  • 1 oz Julius Drover Alambic Brandy (sub dry Cognac)
  • 1 oz Hamilton 86 Demerara Rum
  • 1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • *3/8 oz Raspberry Syrup
  • 2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: St. George Absinthe Vert mist

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrr. Strain into chilled coupe, spritz some Absinthe on top and sip!

*I am so serious about this measurement. Really, it needs to be 3/8 of an ounce or something close to 10ml but if you don’t have those measurements, go for a scant 1/2 oz. If you use a full 1/2 oz, the drink becomes too sweet and the Raspberry totally takes over.

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Hope y’all have tons of fun and enjoy this shift into some autumnal cocktails! May all your Raspberry dreams come true! Cheers!

 

Shannon’s Fog Cutter

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Y’all, it’s nearly autumn and I am feeeeeling like it’s time for some Sherry! Actually, I’m feeling like it’s time for some Rum + Sherry + Gin + Cachaça which means, I’ve got a Tiki drink for us today! So grab one bottle of each, some citrus and get some Orgeat cause this shit is tasty!

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Do you see it? Do you see the book in the photo? Are you intrigued? “Gurrrrl, why is there a book in the photo? There’s never a book in the photo!”

Woo! I’ve been meaning to get the Smuggler’s Cove book for quite sometime and after seeing the 100th or so recipe show up on /r/cocktails, I was like, “OK FINE! I’ll get the book!”

It’s uhhhhhhhmazing. It’s the Tikiest/nerdiest/geekiest/Rummiest/most delightful book I’ve read in awhile and wow, it has so many good tips on how to make well crafted cocktails. So like any thirsty woman, I found a recipe that was really speaking to me and made a variation.

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Not that I haven’t made a Fog Cutter before, cause I totally have and I totally love this format. Tropical + Gin + Sherry really speaks to my soul on a deep level.

For this particular Fog Cutter, I was thinking of my friend Shannon Mustipher (THE Rum Queen of NYC, brand ambassador for Denizen Rum, a serious lover of Cachaça and overproof spirits) and made this drink with her in mind. Hope you like it gurrrrrl!

  1. I started with Yaguara Cachaça as the “inspirational” ingredient and the replacement for brandy…
  2. Which led me to Denizen 3 Year Rum for the main spirit cause Denizen & Yaguara go so well together and y’all know Denizen is my “workhorse Rum”. Loads of coconut, banana, and grasses between the two of these spirits.
  3. Then I wanted a big bright Gin and was kind of thinking overproof would be the jam so to the Hayman’s Royal Dock I went!
  4. I followed the Smuggler’s Cove guide of Lemon, Orange, & Orgeat but I did change the type of sherry from Oloroso to Lustau Amontillado cause that’s what I had in my fridge. I also have Fino but I thought that would be too dry and a little too thin.

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Another tip I picked up from Smuggler’s Cove is the use of “Flash Blending”. Now, they use something like a Hamilton Beach Milkshake Blender and blend for 5 or so seconds. I don’t have that sort of blender but I do have a Ninja (for all the smoothies my girlfriend and make in our lil apartment). I’ve reduced my blending time to just about 2 seconds so that the drink doesn’t get too watery and I’m digging the resulting texture.

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Check the ice in the above photo. Nice right? Also, those Luxardo Cherries look super tasty right now. Yummmmmm.

Shannon’s Fog Cutter

  • 2 oz Denizen 3 Year Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Cachaça Yaguara
  • 1/2 oz Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh Orange Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • Garnish: 1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry, 3 Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, swizzle stick

Combine ingredients and flash blend for 2 seconds with ~8 oz cracked ice. Pour into a tall Tiki mug, float the Sherry on top, and garnish.

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Tiki cheers to all y’all and I HIGHLY recommend getting the Smuggler’s Cove book. I also recommend getting a Rum collection going cause there is a whole wonderful world of Rum out there and with that Rum you can make a whole wonderful set of Tiki drinks!