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!

 

#NationalTequilaDay + Grass Hat Cocktail

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Happy National Tequila Day y’all! Today is particularly near and dear to my heart, as I am a lover of all things Agave and a major proponent of appreciating this spirit for all its magnificent complexities.

So today on this blessed day, SIP YOUR TEQUILA!

Don’t take shots of it. Don’t try to get it down with a grimace and a chaser of Lime + salt (that’s only meant for awful mixto tequilas anyways). Get yourself some real 100% Puro Agave Tequila and let your palate experience it fully.

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Speaking of good Tequila: I’m a big fan of Corralejo because all of their Tequilas are agave forward and while the aged expressions do exhibit some woody characteristics, it doesn’t mask the rich earthy flavors. I think all three are good enough to sip, but they also make excellent cocktails.

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So today in the spirit of “sipping your Tequila”, we’re going to make a cocktail that looks like a martini, but is far from it.

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The goal of this cocktail was to put Corralejo Reposado in a stirred cocktail with Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur. This liqueur isn’t very sweet and has a lovely nutty, funky, grassy flavor with excellent viscosity. My secondary goal was to make a cocktail with Tequila + Lustau Puerto Fino Sherry. Fortunately those two goals aligned with the addition of Boker’s Bitters and some Lemon oil.

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Stirrrrrrrrrrr til you can picture the great rains coming down to the fields in Jalisco and giving life to all the agave.

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*Note: I was having some hilarious lighting issues, the cocktail isn’t green at all, but rather the color of light straw. haha, sheesh.

Grass Hat Cocktail

  • 1 3/4 oz Corralejo Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Lustau Puerto Fino Sherry
  • 1/4 oz Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon oil

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrr for 50 rotations or until proper dilution has occurred. Strain into your prettiest coupe, express Lemon peel and discard.

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Salud and may you enjoy National Tequila Day with a fine Tequila and a fine cocktail!

HBG Video: Gin & Orange No. 1

Hey y’alllllll! Welcome to my first cocktail video! My friend, the incomparable Julian Franco came over to my lil apt, and shot this video of me making Gin & Orange No. 1. Hope you enjoy and here’s the recipe!

Gin & Orange No. 1

  • 1 1/2 oz London Dry Gin
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • Two dashes Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Stirrrrrr & Strain. Express Orange peel and garnish.

Cheers!

Fernet Francisco: the Great American Amaro

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I am really pumped to write about this superb bottle of Fernet Francisco! I have been waiting to get my hands on this stuff for months y’all!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I just went to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit my dad and have a nice, relaxing holiday. While I was there I took a lot of Dramatic Landscape Photos, drank ALL of the Wine, and got the incredible bottle of Fernet Francisco that you will have the privilege of looking at in the following photos.

Isn’t the label great? Totally dig it.

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Fernet Francisco is made with 12 plants native to the San Francisco Bay Area in California. This makes me truly excited because: 1. I am from the Bay Area (duh, we get it gurl), 2. Using plants from a specific area will give a strong sense of Terroir, 3. I knew it had to be super complicated and tasty!

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Due to the fact that I was taking my bottle on an airplane, I wasn’t able to taste it until I got back to Brooklyn. When I cracked it open, I was totally expecting to have a similar experience to that time I first smelled a bottle of St. George Spirits Terroir Gin (also made with botanicals from where I grew up. I cried.)…

…I didn’t cry but I was instantly transported back to the Bay Area through the wonderful aroma of Fernet Francisco!

Tasting Notes:

  • Nose: Mint hits you in the face with a really fresh and pleasant aroma, not like menthol, but more like you just spanked a Mint bouquet. Super duper fresh! This awesome Mint experience is followed by Eucalyptus, Bay Laurel, grasses and spices.
  • Taste: Chamomile, dryness, more Mint, Wild Fennel, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, some other spices I can’t figure out.
  • Finish: very dry, very wide, woody somehow. I LOVE THE FINISH. Why do I love this dry-wide finish? Because I am always looking for a way to dry out Cocktails and Fernet Francisco is really going to do that.

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On the back, the recommended cocktail is The Francisco with 2 parts Fernet Francisco, 1 part Ginger Beer, and a squeeze of Citrus on the rocks.

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The first Cocktail I made with Fernet Francisco was what I like to call an “Amor y Amargo” type drink, where the only ingredients are Amari, Liqueurs, Vermouths, Bitters, etc. I knew I wanted to use Dolin Dry as the second ingredient, and from the back of my brain the word “CYNAR!” came shooting forth like a lightening bolt!

The Full Winona

  • 1 1/2 oz Fernet Francisco
  • 1 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1 oz Cynar
  • 2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon Peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrr. Strain into double Rocks glass over ice. Express Lemon peel and garnish. Dark and complicated just like Winona Ryder and everyone’s relationship to her. Luv u gurl.

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Next I knew that I wanted to make a Black Manhattan variation, swapping out the Averna for Fernet Francisco and adding some of those super complicated Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters. Y’all, this drink is MAGNIFICENT! It’s truly one of the greatest Manhattan variations I’ve ever tasted because the flavor arcs keep going and changing and oh my god! You take a sip and just sort of sit there for awhile, so your brain can process all the stuff that just happened.

Russian Hill

  • 1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Antica
  • 1/2 oz Fernet Francisco
  • 1 dash Hella Bitters Citrus Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon twist

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrr. Strain into coupe. Express Lemon peel and garnish. Why Russian Hill? Manhattan variations are usually named after a neighborhood/boro and Russian Hill is a San Francisco neighborhood where Fernet Francisco comes from.
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You can’t wait to get your hands on this Fernet Francisco, right? I can’t wait to drink another Russian Hill! Cheers to Fernet Francisco for creating a truly great American Amaro!

MonteNegroni

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Y’all, it hit me a couple of days ago that I’ve been making a lot of rather difficult Rum based Tiki drinks. I’ve made them because I love them so very much and I’ve made them because I’ve been in a Tropicaaaaaaaal mood. Well, now that it’s August and my mind is shifting towards Autumn, I wanna make something simple.

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Something easy breezy (cover girl). Something stirred.

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Something in a sexy vintage tumbler with an orange peel.

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Something like a Negroni. Yes, exactly, I want a Negroni but let’s swap the Campari for Montenegro and keep the Carpano Antica. Perfect.

MonteNegroni

  • 1 1/4 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Antica Formula
  • 1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrr. Strain into a fancy tumbler over ice, express Orange peel and garnish.

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Yessssssssss. Thank you beautiful ingredients, you’re so very inspirational. Remember, every week is #NegroniWeek.

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!

He Was A Sage Bro

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SAGE. SAAAAAAAAAGE. What started as a little trip to the Farmer’s Market turned into one of the most enjoyable weeks of drink making I’ve had all year. Sage is so earthy, has such depth of flavor, and is perfect for muddling into Cocktails!

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If only you could last forever, I would never let you go. #SageLover

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I’ve got one last cocktail to wrap up this week’s Sage + Gin party and it’s a stirred drink. This one is a riff on a 2:1 Martini  with a bit of Chartreuse Vert for its vegetal qualities and using one of my fave Vermouths, Carpano Bianco.

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As far as the name goes, um, it sort of popped in my head and I sort of said, “Ok Bro.”

He Was A Sage Bro

  • 2 oz Plymouth Gin (or a similar Gin)
  • 1 oz Carpano Bianco
  • 1/4 oz Chartreuse Vert
  • 5-6 Sage leaves
  • Garnish: Sage leaf

Combine ingredients and gently muddle Sage leaves. Add ice and give it a nice long stir. Double strain into chilled coupe and garnish with one Sage leaf.

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Thanks lil bundle of Sage for all the magic and thanks to The Baddish Group for the Carpano Bianco!