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!

I Never Thought This Day Would Come

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Y’all, guess who actually went out and bought a bottle of Vodka? THIS GURL! I was at the farmers’ market in Prospect Park and Orange County Distillery was sampling some of their spirits. I tasted the Gin and Vodka, both of which were pretty tasty, but the Vodka was honestly better!

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“Gurl what? You liked a Vodka better than a Gin? Why?”

  1. It’s made from Sugar Beets.
  2. The viscosity is killer.
  3. It’s just straight up delicious with lots of citrus and floral notes.

Basically, this is the second coming of Vodka.

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So of course I wanted to put it in a spring themed drink with Lavender, Mint, Honey, and Lemon.

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And since the mint was so fabulous, I decided to turn this into a smash.

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The name of this drink comes from the fact that I honestly never thought I would like a bottle of Vodka enough to buy it.

I Never Thought This Day Would Come

  • 2 oz Orange County Distillery Vodka
  • 3/4 oz Honey Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Barkeep Lavender Bitters
  • 5 big Mint Leaves
  • Garnish: Mint Bouquet

Add mint, Lemon juice, and Honey syrup to Collins glass and muddle. Add Vodka, Lavender Bitters, and ice. Stir for a bit so the ingredients are all swimming together nicely. Top with soda water and garnish with Mint Bouquet.

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Damn straight y’all. I am now a fan of this really delicious Vodka. Cheers to all your adventurous purchases!

RTV & Tonic

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Happy July! Let the quest for low octane, fizzy Cocktails continue!

Remember that Rose Tea Vodka we made awhile back for the unbelievably complicated Flower Flower cocktail? If you still have any left (hard to believe, I know), I’ve got a really fabulous summery Vodka & Tonic for you!

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Hello pretty Mint leaf, how fragrant are thy scents!

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This is a very easy drink to make, my only encouragement is that you get the best Tonic you can possibly find. I highly recommend Fever-Tree Tonic Water or Tomr’s Tonic Syrup. You really don’t want an overly sugary Tonic for this recipe or the drink will be too sweet.

RTV & Tonic

Combine Rose Tea Vodka, St-G, and around 1 oz of Tonic Water. Gently stir for just a few seconds so everything is swimming together in harmony. Pour into a Collins glass over Ice. Garnish with Lemon slices and Mint. Top up with more Tonic Water.

Bonus: if you have the Fever-Tree Bitter Lemon, it makes an incredible substitution for Tonic in this drink!

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Summery Cheers to you all!

DD’s Shrunken Skull

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As y’all probably know, I occasionally participate in Tiki Challenges on Instagram which are either put on by El_Nova_1 or another SoCal Tiki fanatic. Maybe it’s cause I love Tiki so much or maybe cause it makes me feel connected to California, either way, I love these recipes!

This week’s challenge is for a Shrunken Skull, a simple and brilliant Tiki cockail.

Shrunken Skull (Recipe from the 1950s)

  • 1 oz Puerto Rican Rum
  • 1 oz Demerara Rum
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Grenadine

Combine ingredients and shake over ice. Dirty pour into Skull mug. Garnishes are up to you. Flames are encouraged.

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Well, as we all know, I only have so much space in my tiny apartment and therefore only keep so many rums. I had to make some substitutions but happily with substitutions come creativity, and so my Shrunken Skull is a little outside of the box. Still damn tasty though.

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I decided to add the DD Mix because I wanted a little more depth and spice in my Shrunken Skull. I also don’t have any 151 Rum to flame with but I do have some fabulously fragrant Lemongrass & Ginger infused 151 Vodka. It works perfectly and makes the greatest smelling flame ever!

DD’s Shrunken Skull

  • 1 oz Angostura Rum 7 Year
  • 1 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz Grenadine Syrup
  • 1/4 oz DD Mix
  • Garnish: hallowed out Lime Half with flaming Lemongrass & Ginger infused 151 Vodka.

Combine ingredients with loads of ice and shake. Dirty pour into double Rocks glass. Pour Lemongrass & Ginger infused 151 Vodka into Lime half and set on top of ice in glass. Strike a match and light that shit up.

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Tiki Cheers to all y’all. If you wanna participate in the challenge on Instagram, the hashtag is #ShrunkenSkullChallenge2015.

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: Bloody Mary

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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.

As you’ve guessed by now, I’m obsessed with Mad Men. The tension is killing me, Joan’s outfits are unparalleled (absolutely undeniably unparalleled) and the drinks are classic. For this week’s Mad Men post, I nearly chose the title “Eye Openers” cause so many of the characters on this show drink in the morning. Don and Pete drink Whiskey neat or on the rocks as soon as they get to the office, Roger drank a Screwdriver several times and let’s not ever forget this:

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Roger – “Mona, I AM drinking my milk right now.” (Hahaha, gross!) Image courtesy of AMC.com

Often though, in the conference room, at formal or informal meetings the Mad Men and Women are drinking a Bloody Mary.

Mad Men Joan Roger Bloody Mary

Image couresy of AMC.com

Mad Men Roger Bloody Mary

Image couresy of AMC.com

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Bloody Mary, the original drink of the #GarnishKween.

There are loads of Bloody Mary recipes out there with garnishes ranging from celery stalks, lemon wedges and pickled vegetables to strips of bacon and shrimp. If you’re looking for a place to start, I’d recommend the Wikipedia article about the IBA version of the Bloody Mary. Once you know what traditionally goes into “the most complicated cocktail in the world”, you can play around with it!

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Home Bar Girl’s Bloody Mary

  • 2 oz Vodka, Gin, or Tequila
  • ~4 oz Tomato Juice (Amount depends on your glass)
  • 1/2 oz fresh Lemon & Lime Juice*
  • 1/2 oz Olive Brine
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 dashes Cholula Mexican Hot Sauce
  • 1 tbsp prepared Horseradish
  • 1 dash Celery Salt
  • Cracked Pepper to taste
  • Garnishes: Celery Stalks, Cherry Tomato, Cucumber Slices, Lemon Wheel, pitted cocktail Olives, sprig of Rosemary

Build in Collins glass, add ice and stir. Garnish like a Kween.

*Lemon & Lime Juice: juice both citrus and combine so they are approximately equal parts

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Hope you enjoy your Bloody Mary! Cheers!

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

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: Tiki Cocktails

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Blue Hawaii & Mai Tai

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

By now, y’all should know that my love for Mad Men is deeeeep. It’s a meticulously filmed show with fabulous fashion, the story has me in the grip, and the cocktails are beauuuuutiful!

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Don’t you just love Megan’s hat? Beach hat perfection!

In the opening scenes of S6E1, Don and Megan are in Hawaii. (I want to be in Hawaii RIGHT NOW!) As Don reads an incredibly ominous passage from Dante’s Inferno, Megan’s second (third, fourth?) Blue Hawaii is delivered by one of the Hotel Staff. It’s almost like Don and Megan are in totally opposite worlds in these scenes. She, lost in her tan and tropical cocktails, Don in a brooding haze.

If I had to choose between those two temperments, I would totally be #TeamMegan in this scene. Give me the next Blue Hawaii!

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When it comes to making classic Tropical and Tiki drinks, I like to be accurate! I use the Beachbum Berry Total Tiki app to look up recipes and then make them as closely to the original as possible. Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 by Harry K Yee of the Hawaiian Village Hotel in Waikiki to promote Bols Blue Curaçao. Personally, I like to use “The Genuine” Senior Curaçao cause this shit is tastyyyyyy.

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Blue Hawaii

  • 3/4 oz White Rum
  • 3/4 oz Vodka*
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curaçao
  • 1 oz Sweet & Sour Mix**
  • 3 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish: Not specified but usually Pineapple & Maraschino Cherry

Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a glass filled with Cracked, Crushed or Pebble ice. Garnish with fruit.

*I’m a Gin Gal and ususally swap the Vodka for Gin. Ginny, Gin, Gin. This drink is even tastier with Gin. (shocking!)

**Sweet & Sour Mix is 1 part Simple Syrup and 2 Parts Lemon Juice. Make your own, never ever buy it pre-made. Freshness is key.

Rachel Menken Mai Tai

RIP Rachel Menken, you were such a serious lady.

Now let’s go back to the beginning. Yes y’all, there is a Tiki drink all the way back in S1E1!

Don has made a mess of things with Rachel Menken and is asked by the partners to patch things up. They go for drinks that same evening. Don orders a Whiskey Neat while Rachel orders a “special Mai Tai” and what a Mai Tai at that! Look at that Pineapple “Firebird” garnish! It’s totally fabulous! Someday I will achieve such garnish greatness. However, I’ve noticed that the Mad Men props people forgot one key element to a Mai Tai garnish, the Mint sprig.

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If it be a Mai Tai, there shall be a Mint Sprig in the garnish!

Once again, I’ve referenced the Beachbum Berry Total Tiki app for this Mai Tai. The original Mai Tai was created by Trader Vic in 1944 for his famous Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. According to legend, Trader Vic created the drink for some friends of his who had just flown in from Tahiti. One of the friends tasted the drink and exclaimed: “Maita’i roa ae!” or “Out of this world!”

Mai Tai (Trader Vic’s Original Recipe)

  • 1 oz Jamaican Rum
  • 1 oz Aged Martinique Rhum
  • 1/2 oz Curaçao
  • 1/4 oz Orgeat
  • 1/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Mint Sprig

Now, I’ve had to make some substitutions because I don’t have clear Curaçao or Martinique Rhum. I also would rather have a bit more Orgeat in my drink than add 1/4 oz Simple Syrup.

Mai Tai (this is what Home Bar Girl has in her apartment Recipe)

  • 1 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaica Rum
  • 1 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Mint Sprig, Pineapple, Maraschino Cherry

Shake ingredients over ice and strain into Double Rocks glass on Cracked, Crushed or Pebble ice. Garnish with Mint Sprig, Pineapple and Maraschino Cherry.

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As far as the Mai Tai goes, there are a million variations so, have fun! I just recommend that you start with two kinds of Rum, some kind of Curaçao or Triple Sec, Orgeat, Lime Juice and a Mint sprig. Once you’ve got a feel for how these things taste together, get creative!

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed these Tiki drinks from the Mad Men series. I’ll be doing this until the bitter end. See you next week!

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: the Gimlet

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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.

I’m very emotionally invested in Mad Men. The characters are so well written, the fashion and attention to detail are unparalleled. It’s witty, charming and so so serious. I’ve watched the entire show multiple times and am looking forward to/nervous about the last Season!

For S7 E8 I’ll be drinking one of mine and Betty Draper’s favourite cocktails, The Gimlet.

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Doesn’t Betty look magnificent? Stunning. Image courtesy of AMC.

Traditionally Gimlets were made with Rose’s Lime juice with the following specs.

Traditional Gimlet

  • 1 oz Gin or Vodka
  • 1 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Lime wedge

Shake over ice and strain into Martini Glass or Coupe. Garnish with Lime Wedge.

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Betty likes her drinks with Vodka but I’m a Gin Gal and this is how I like to make my Gimlet.

Fresh Gimlet

  • 2 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz Demerara Syrup
  • Garnish: Lime Wheel

Shake and strain over ice. Lime Wheel Garnish.

Gimlet-Variation

If you want to make really tasty variation on a Gimlet, add a couple of dashes of Chartreuse Vert, Absinthe or both.

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