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!

 

DP Swizzle

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Y’all, it’s JULY and hot and swampy as hell up in this piece. I know that Tiki doesn’t really have a season (Tiki The Snow Away, duh) but if there was ever a time for a tall, icy, Tropical Cocktail, that time is now!

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The inspiration for today’s Swizzle was this tasty bottle of brand-new-soon-to-be-released Berentzen Peach Liqueur. Berentzen were actually the first brand to send me products and I have loved them ever since cause QUALITY. All of their liqueurs are crisp, clean, bright, and come through very well in cocktails without being overly cloying.

The Peach is great! It’s Peachy with lemon and floral notes and not too intense or overwhelming. 20% ABV

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Cast of Characters:

  1. Peach Madness: Berentzen Peach + Bitter Truth Peach Bitters. Berentzen also sent me The Bitter Truth Peach Bitters and they’re really great too! Not too bitter, more like essence of peach. I decided to throw a couple of dashes in the drink to increase the “peachness”.
  2. Rum: I really wanted to make the sweet Peach flavor work with aged Rum, so I picked Denizen Merchant’s Reserve cause it’s dry, funky, grassy and just really lovely.
  3. Juices: I was debating between Lemon or Lime and asked some cocktail friends. One them replied, “Why not both?” Yeah dude, good call!
  4. Sugar & Spice: To give this Swizzle a lil pop I added, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Demerara Simple Syrup for body + depth, & Angostura Bitters on top.

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I have a couple of Rhum JM swizzle sticks, but they weren’t long enough for this big Tiki mug. I opted to use my copper-plated Skull Barspoon from Cocktail Kingdom instead and it swirls really nicely. Yarrrrrrr, matey!

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Big Mint sprig for big aromatics.

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Don’t you love this mug? I like how serious he looks but then his moustache is so long and his lips so small!

DP Swizzle

  • 2 1/2 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8 Year Rum/Rhum
  • 1 oz Berentzen Peach Liqueur
  • 1 barspoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1 1/2 oz Demerara Syrup 1:1
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3 dashes Bitter Truth Peach Bitters
  • 5-6 Mint leaves
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, Angostura Bitters, colorful swizzle stick

How to make the DP Swizzle:

  1. In the bottom of a large Tiki mug, add Mint leaves, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, Demerara Syrup, and muddle.
  2. Add Rum, Peach Liqueur, Peach Bitters, Allspice Dram, crushed ice and *swizzle with a long Swizzle stick or long Barspoon.
  3. “Paint” the top of the ice with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, add Mint sprig and colorful swizzle stick.

*To swizzle: place the stick/barspoon between your hands and rub them back and forth rapidly so the stick/barspoon swirls the ingredients of your drink together and causes some dilution.

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Swizzlin’. I’ll be swizzlin’ all day loooooong. Tiki Cheers to y’all!

Thanks to Berentzen for the tasty Peach Liqueur and bitters!

DD’s Spiced Rum

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Since we’ll be using this Rum a fair amount during Tiki The Snow Away 2016, I thought I’d create a separate post for it. Thanks again to Denizen Rum for creating the truly spectacular Merchant’s Reserve that makes up the bulk of this mix.

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DD’s Spiced Rum

  • 6 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve Rum (sub Jamaican Rum)
  • 2 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Rum (sub a smooth aged Rum)
  • 1 1/2 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1 oz Cinnamon Bark Syrup

Combine ingredients in a bottle and agitate gently so all ingredients are integrated.

Happy Spiced Rum making!

DD’s Cider Punch

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It’s that spoooooky time of year! The time for sizzling dishes, ghoulish wishes, and festive gatherings. Seriously, if you’re throwing any kind of Halloween/Dia De Los Muertos/Harvest/I Love Autumn party, you can’t go wrong with Hot Apple Cider Punch!

I created this Punch last Friday for a party my illustrious girlfriend was attending that night. Being deep into Apple season, we decided go to with Apple Cider as the base and Rum as the main spirit. Let’s jump into the recipe.

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You’ll need spices. I recommend getting Mulling Spices that contain Allspice, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Star Anise, Cloves, Black Peppercorn, and Orange peel.

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You’ll need spiced liqueurs. I wanted to pump up the Allspice, so I included some St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram. Then I wanted to add the luxurious sensuality of Bénédictine D.O.M. which has notes of honey, citrus, saffron, cardamom, ginger, and is super silky.

Lemon Sherbet

You’ll need Lemon Sherbet. You’re so shocked right? Unheard of that I would use Lemon Sherbet in a recipe.

Why Lemon Sherbet in Apple Cider? 1. It’s my fave ingredient right now. 2. Lemon gives the Punch some brightness and bite.

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You’ll need a big pot, ceramic dutch oven, or Crockpot. Simmer baby, simmmmmer.

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Everyone got their stuff ready? Awesome. (Note, the Lemon Sherbet isn’t in the photo cause I used it all!)

DD’s Cider Punch (serves 12*)

  • 70 oz Apple Cider**
  • 2 oz Lemon Sherbet
  • Mulling spices
  • 16 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum
  • 4 oz Hamilton 151 Demerara Rum
  • 6 oz Allspice Dram
  • 6 oz Bénédictine D.O.M.
  • Garnish: Clove studded Apple slices
  • Glassware: Mugs
  1. Combine Cider, Mulling spices and Sherbet in pot and heat until liquid begins to simmer, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to looooooow and simmer for around 40 mins, or until the Mulling Spices have done their thing. “Nice spice, man.”
  2. Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting. Add Liqueurs, Spirits and heat until the Punch is hot enough to drink but nowhere near simmering/boiling. You don’t want to cook the Alcohol out of the Punch, just warm the Punch back up.
  3. Serve in Mugs with Clove studded Apple slices.

*This recipe will yeilds ~104 oz Punch (evaporation could occur), which means 12 of your friends can have ~8 oz of Punch each, that is unless they’re big drinkers…

**I started with 64 oz Cider, and thought the Punch was awesome. My girlfriend thought it might be too strong for her friends and asked that I dilute a bit. I added 6 more oz of Apple Cider for a total of 70 oz of Cider. Then it was perfect. Remember, always ask your customers what they like most.

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Oh and y’all, these two Rums together, WOOOOOOOOO-eeeeeee. Killer combo! Both Plantation Barbados 5 and Hamilton Demerara 151 are in what I would call the “Smooth” category yet both have real depth of flavour without being too overpowering. If you’re using different Rums, I recommend staying in this category.

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Cheers to you and all your holiday Party Punches!

Muertito Vivo at Glady’s Caribbean!

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Wooooooooooo! So a while back, Shannon Mustipher and I were working on Secret Tiki Drinks at Glady’s Caribbean, and now one of them is on the menu!

Glady's Oct 2015 Menu

Yeaaaah y’all!

Muertito Vivo = Spiced Tiki and it’s just as interesting as you might imagine! The Jägermeister + Pastis makes this drink really intesting. It’s also really dry thanks to the Santa Teresa Rum + Allspice Dram + Lime juice, yet super refreshing!

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Let’s not forget, TIKI FLAAAAAME!

If you live anywhere near NYC, stop by Glady’s Caribbean in Crown Heights, Brooklyn for Muertito Vivo and some of the best Rum Cocktails ever!

Puccini’s Nightcap

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So I’m totally digging National Hazelnut month and using as much Frangelico in as many recipes I possibly can. Today, I’ve got another Cocktail with Plantatation Barbados 5 Year Rum, cause the flavors go really well together. Also Hazelnut + Rum seems like a win-win to me y’all!

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It’s also time to bust out the Nutmeg and grater!

Puccini’s Nightcap

  • 2 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Rum
  • 1/2 oz Frangelico
  • 1/2 oz Giffard Banane Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry
  • 1 tsp St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram (sub Pimento Bitters)

Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrr. Strain into coupe, grate that Nutmeg until you are feeeling it.

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Let the Hazelnut loving continue! Woo! Cheers to MBooth for including me in National Hazelnut Month!

Professor Plum, in the Kitchen, with the bottle of Sherry

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Still rolling deep with that Lemon Sherbet, still trying to keep it real seasonal with a Gin + Plum drink! This cocktail is refreshing, has a great set of spices, and plum-a-liscious. Now all we need is that old box of Clue and we can get this party started.

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For starters, you need to make Lemon Sherbet, my new fave ingredient. Head over here for the recipe. Next you need a nice, big, juicy, plum. Yum, bum, bum.  Then you can make a Lemon Plum Purée.

Lemon Plum Purée

  • 1 Plum, pitted, skinned, and sliced into chunks
  • 3/4 oz Sherbet

Combine ingredients in blender and purée until everything is swimming together nicely.

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Then you need to grab a bottle of Old Tom Gin, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Amontillado Sherry, and a Cinnamon stick.

Professor Plum (in the Kitchen, with the bottle of Sherry)

  • 1 3/4 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1/4 oz Amontillado Sherry
  • 1/4 oz St Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • Lemon Plum Purée
  • Garnish: Cinnamon bark

Combine ingredients over ice and shake vigorously. Dirty pour into Mule cup. Grate a bit of Cinnamon bark on top and garnish with the bark. Yummmm.

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Not sure it was Professor Plum, in the Kitchen, with the bottle of Sherry? Well, then why is all of the Sherry gone?

Copa de Cibola

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AUGUST, I have arrived! This is the month of my birth and I always feel a certain kind of fever this time of year. Maybe it’s the heat? Maybe it’s the golden tones in the light? Maybe my brain is fried from going to the beach?

Yeah, it’s definitely the heat.

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Yesterday on Instagram I posted the August version of #HomeBarFrontRow cause I like to switch bottles out for inspiration. If you want to join in the fun and show off your Home Bar, just post a photo with the hashtag #HomeBarFrontRow!

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Well, inspiration came rather quickly in the form of these ingredients! I began with Calvados*, then thought “Oh that would totally go well with Denizen White Rum and Giffard Banane.” Then I wanted a Pimento spice set for the “bitters” and sort of went back and forth between St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram and Dale Degroff’s Pimento Bitters. I did a smell test and St. Elizabeth won. (But major love for the Dale Degroff Bitters. No hard feelings!)

*Note: this is Christian Drouin Calvados but that bottle definitely doesn’t fit in my Home Bar, so I switched it.

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As far as the name of the drink goes: In the 16th century, there was an area in the southwestern US that was fabled to have seven cities of gold. Cibola was one of those cities.

Copa de Cibola

  • 1 3/4 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Christian Drouin Calvados
  • 1/2 oz Giffard Banana Liqueur
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a nice long stirrrrrrrrrr. Strain into the most beautiful coupe you have. Express Orange peel and garnish.

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Golden August Cheers to all y’all!

Rooftop Party with VitaFrute Coconut Colada!

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Here in Brooklyn, we don’t have houses with pools, sprawling country clubs with luxurious grounds, or even our own backyards. So where do we party in the summertime? We Rooftop Party! And you’d better believe we love nothing more than chillin’ on the roof with a cold cocktail.

I’d like to propose then that VitaFrute Coconut Colada is the perfect addition to all our Rooftop Parties. Y’all, this drink is summertime in a glass! Made with Organic VEEV Açai Spirit and natural fruit juices, these low calorie, low ABV, Ready-to-Drink Cocktails are super easy to make and totally refreshing.

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Let’s start with VitaFrute Coconut Colada on ice.

What you need:

  • 1 bottle of chilled VitaFrute Coconut Colada
  • 1 Mason Jar
  • enough ice to fill your Mason Jar
  • Lime Wedge

Add ingredients to Mason Jar and stir for around 5 seconds. Garnish with Lime wedge. Feel the fabulousness, marvel at how easy it was to make! Yes!

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Prrrrrty in a glass. 

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Next, let’s use this tasty VitaFrute Coconut Colada in a Daiquiri, cause this wouldn’t be a Home Bar Girl post if I didn’t try to put Coconut Colada in a Daiquiri. 🙂

VitaFrute Coconut Colada Daiquiri

  • 2 oz chilled VitaFrute Coconut Colada
  • 1 oz Aged Rum
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • Garnish: Lime Wedge

Combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into chilled coupe and garnish with Lime wedge.

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Lastly, I’ve used the VitaFrute Coconut Colada with more rum and spices cause the Pineapple and Coconut flavours are just begging to be used in punch. This recipe serves two.

VitaFrute Coconut Colada Spiced Punch

  • 3 oz chilled VitaFrute Coconut Colada
  • 1 1/2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum or other Aged White Rum
  • 1/4 oz St Elizabeth Allspice Dram or 2 dashes of Pimento Bitters
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
  • Garnish: Lime Wedges

Combine ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into punch cups and garnish with Lime wedges.

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Yummm, I wanna drink this punch like, right now. Hopefully you do too! Let’s get those summertime parties started!

Thanks to Veev for the tasty VitaFrute Coconut Colada and the Veev Mason Jars. 

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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Happy St Patrick’s day to you all with a Teeling Irish Whiskey cocktail: The Bookseller!

On my way to creating the above cocktail, I read through a bunch of classic Irish Whiskey recipes for inspiration. A couple of them are too good not to post so here they are! I will definitely be making one of them at home today!

Belvedere Cocktail (The Wine and Spirit Bulletin, Louisville 1917)

  • 1/2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Dry Gin
  • 1/2 oz Red Vermouth
  • 2 to 3 dashes Absinthe

Shake with cracked ice and strain into cocktail glass. This cocktail is attributed to the Hotel Belvedere in Baltimore, MD. (source: Martin’s New & Improved Index of Cocktails & Mixed Drinks.)

Black Thorn (Harry Johnson, 1900)

  • 1 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 3 to 4 dashes of Absinthe
  • 3 to 4 dashes of Boker’s Bitters (or Aromatic Bitters)

Stir with cracked ice and strain into a wine glass. (source: Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual.)

Irish Cocktail (Harry Johnson, 1900)

  • 2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 2 to 3 dashes Absinthe
  • 1 dash Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 dash Orange Curaçao
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters (or Aromatic Bitters)
  • Garnish: Lemon Peel and an Olive

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Express Lemon Peel and garnish, try it with the Olive. The salt and brine from the Olive will balance out the sweet. (source: Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual.)

Shamrock Cocktail (Hugo Ennslin, 1917)

  • 1 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 3 dashes Chartreuse Vert
  • 3 dashes Crème de Menthe
  • Garnish: Olive

Stir over cracked ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with an Olive. (Source: Martin’s New & Improved Index of Cocktails & Mixed Drinks.)

Cool right? I love that back in the early 20th C the answer to balancing out sweetness was to add an Olive garnish. Brilliant. I am really into the Irish Cocktail btw.

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Now, back to St Patrick’s Day 2015: I decided to make a Manhattan Variation with Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey and Averna. I knew that I wanted to use Carpano Antica as the vermouth because it goes so well with Averna. Who am I kidding, Carpano Antica goes with everything! I was looking for a finishing touch and a way to bring out all those Rum notes in the Teeling and St Elizabeth Allspice Dram called to me from on top of the fridge*.

The Bookseller

  • 2 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Antica
  • 1/4 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1 dash St Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine ingredients and stir over ice until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into coupe. Express Orange peel and garnish.

*Yes, a lot of my liquor is kept in a nice red tray on top of the fridge. Remember, 500sq ft apartment y’all!
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It’s like you and your bottle of Teeling took a trip to the Caribbean and ordered a Manhattan. Yes.
Thanks again to The Baddish Group for the delicious bottle of Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey!