- If you need some not-the-usual beer cocktails I’ve rounded up a few on the site you can check out here.
- Todd put yogurt and chili jam in a cocktail and I JUST ABOUT DIED.
- Prairie Rose made a Harvey Wallbanger Slushie and I am SO OK with this.
- I’m pretty sure if you scooped this Ginger Mango Lime Sorbet from Tracy into a glass of sparkling wine it would be heaven.
- Here’s some cocktail party tips if you’re thinking about throwing a shindig today.
- Corn chips should really be the new cocktail garnish. Thanks Aida.
- Shrubs are so in right now. Mix these with booze, or don’t!
- Are you grilling meat this weekend? Why not grill some plums too?
- If you need some large format drinking options this weekend, this list is not bad at all.
- Is drinking a great cocktail not good enough? Do you also need to put it in a backpack or a spaceship? Here are some ideas for you then.
You know what’s kinda sad? Listening to the radio this morning NPR was doing some snippets talking to various people who serve (or have served) here in the US and I was suddenly struck at how “Memorial Day” had no real meaning to me other than “it’s a 3 day weekend”. I can’t blame the wash of ridiculous food holidays that now exist and fill every single day, I can’t blame commercials where hot dogs march on a grill waiving flags (this might not exist but just be a dream I had), I can only blame my own self-absorption into my own affairs. Which shouldn’t be the case. My Dad served. Even though he doesn’t talk about it I know he did. My Dad also likes a stiff drink, or half a dozen beers (depends on the day), so this weekend I am being mindful of what the holiday means. I’m also offering up some suggestions for all the dads, the moms, the relatives, friends and those we don’t know, and for all of us taking the time to sit back and enjoy a drink with one another as we take some time off.
- Sometimes I love a good theme bar. And that sometime is happening this Fall. (Pass me the idol and I’ll pass you the cocktail… says everyone).
- Boobs aren’t that shocking, but finding a pubic hair in my vodka would make me sick.
- Tasting notes on the not-really-bourbon bourbon burger at McDonald’s.
- Outdoor wine drinking? Here’s some accessories to make it that much easier.
- Wes Anderson designed a bar. In Italy. You want to go to there.
- Are you up for a 24 hour cocktail competition? Yes? Really?
- A history of frozen slushie cocktails because summer is coming...
- A tiny tiki bar with hamsters. Those rodents are DRUNKS.
- Pretty rad old school L.A. bar signs (and restaurants too).
- Jell-O shots go WAY further back than you’d expect.
Also, I have this delightful cocktail I made for you guys that might seem like a Whoa! but really, it’s pretty easy to assemble and I sweetened my ice teas for the next week with the leftover syrup so it definitely has some stretching power. Plus, it’s rhubarb season and I’m sick of pies already (not really, but I’m sick of MAKING them!).
For the Rhubarb-Vanilla Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup sliced (1/2-inch) rhubarb
1 cup water
1 Mexican Vanilla bean, cut lengthwise and seeds scraped (reserve pod)
- Combine sugar, rhubarb, water, and vanilla seeds and pod in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 weeks.
For the Cocktail:
1-1/2 ounces Pisco
3/4 ounce Rhubarb-Vanilla Syrup
3 ounces Scottish Ale, such as Ballast Point Piper Down
Vanilla bean, for garnish (optional)
- In a rocks glass filled with ice, build the drink by adding pisco and rhubarb vanilla syrup. Gently add beer, stirring just to combine. Garnish with vanilla bean and serve immediately.
First off, this tastes like cream soda. Because of the viscosity of the Pisco, the mouthfeel is super creamy. The Scottish Ale provides some toasty, caramel notes that adds a richness to the drink, while the Pisco imparts some citrus and a touch of floral (Tahitian vanilla would tip this drink overboard in the floral direction, so make sure you use Mexican vanilla) along with that lovely viscosity. That small buzz you get afterward however would prove otherwise.
I originally created this recipe for Serious Eats!
- Looking for some boozy Instagram accounts to follow? Check these out (and yes, Stir and Strain IS on there).
- Well, here’s the proof that making a good punch is now pretty mainstream.
- Stay classy France.
- Want to taste that wine before you drop some cash on it? Now you can! In strip form!
- Dale DeGroff tells you about his favorite cocktails and has a few stories on them as well.
- The next trend in bars? Booze lockers. And Los Angeles has got ’em.
- If you’d like to know why you’re decanting that bottle of wine, read this.
- Another classic cocktail book is getting some revisions in light of this whole mixology movement. Regan talks about what’s changing.
- All we want to do is sit around drinking in our underwear and eating pizza.
- Always order more ice than you think you need (seems obvious but it’s true) and other tips for volume bartending.
- Tomorrow’s the last day to enter the Partida Tequila and Salt Traders Cinco de Mayo giveaway on the site!
- Wallet feeling pinched? Try these bottles under $30.
- Test how much you actually know about gin and then argue about it in the comment section!
- Is it craft? Blue Moon is getting sued.
- These guys ARE craft. Are you craft? Go here.
- Manhattan Cocktail Classic is a no go this year folks.
- How does New York fit all these distillers in there?
- Baffled by Sake? Learn how to order it here.
- Ladies (and guys I guess too): Beer Rinsing. It’s a thing for your hair.
- New trend alert: Root beer is your new mixer.
If we’re thinking about summer, we’re also thinking about refreshing drinks, and for a lot of you guys out there, beer. Beer and BBQ and hotdogs and maybe a few illegal fireworks. So, surprise! I’m putting beer in this cocktail too. Pineapples and beer and RUM.
Are you already picturing yourself running through a sprinkler and drinking this cocktail? Me too. Except let’s hold on to that thought and wait two weeks while this shrub brews and then we can get to the galavanting. At least this week is done.
1 medium pineapple, peeled, and cubed into 1” pieces
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
Place the pineapple cubes in a clean, sterilized container. Cover with the sugar and lightly crush the pineapples (I used a potato masher). Let sit, covered with a tea towel, in the open for 8 hours or overnight. Strain fruit and add apple cider vinegar. Cover and let sit unrefrigerated in a cool, dark place for two weeks. Shake the mixture every other day. In two weeks, filter into an airtight container and refrigerate. Will last up to 6 months. Yields approximately 3 cups.
For the cocktail
1 ounce white rum, SelvaRey used here
1 ounce pineapple shrub (see above)
1/4 ounce orgeat
4 ounces IPA beer, Stone IPA used here
In a mixing glass filled 2/3 with ice, pour in rum, shrub and orgeat. Stir to chill 20 seconds and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with beer.
The biting, tangy nature of the shrub is excellent paired with the beer as it provides a contrast to the bitterness that comes with an IPA. Just a touch of sweetness is needed and the sweet almond orgeat provides that along with the white rum. The shrub can be enjoyed all summer long here in this drink, or by itself with a splash of club soda.
There was a time when “drinking holiday” meant you were either wearing green and getting pinched, or you had a reason to bust out that giant plastic chip and dip set that slightly resembled a sombrero. Now, thanks to the internet and society’s intense need to celebrate something every day, we can toast to Taco Tuesdays (actually I’m OK with that), National Brisket Day (May 28th. Actually, that sounds like an even better holiday) and National Fettuccine Alfredo Day (February 7th. Because…why again?). Even though every liquor also has its namesake day, I think I’ve reached the end of all these made up holidays and just want to go back to the basics.
Like Cinco de Mayo. Now, debatably, this holiday is more for the American audience. However, any reason for me to celebrate a culture whose food I would contentedly eat on a deserted island for the rest of my life is OK with me. Also, margaritas are pretty darn satisfying too. Which brings us to this fantastic giveaway I’m hosting.
I’ve teamed up with Tequila Partida (a favorite of mine you’ve seen around on the site before) and Salt Traders for this Cinco de Mayo gift pack! Just in time for this particular holiday, you can mix up your own batch of cocktails for celebrating. One winner will receive:
- 1 Bottle of Tequila Partida Blanco
- Partida’s Organic Blue Agave Syrup
- 1 Fun Shaker
- Salt Traders Margarita Salt with Chipotle Chile
Just bring the limes! Check out the options below to enter and get up to 10 entries to win. You MUST BE 21 and OLDER to enter. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST May 4th, 2015. Please see terms and conditions below (some states unfortunately are excluded from shipping liquor to). For more information on Partida Tequila, please visit them at partidatequila.com and Salt Traders can be found at salttraders.com. Good Luck!
*Photos courtesy of CJ Allen Photography
- This is the LAST WEEK to vote Stir and Strain for Saveur’s Best Blog awards in the Cocktail category. I’d sure love it if you took a moment to do that!
- St. George Spirits is a pretty rad company.
- If you’re really nuts about Negroni Week, now you can bathe yourself in the stuff.
- Yes, you should go and get the new edition of Imbibe! and here’s an interview to whet your appetite.
- A Mai Tai that pairs well with food. I’ll take 2 please.
- The take away from this article is eat a lot of Polish sausage to prevent a hangover. Oh, and pickles. Lots of pickles too.
- Where is the best whisky right now? Taiwan. It’s in Taiwan.
- This cocktail menu doesn’t sound confusing. It sounds delicious.
- New Orleans is banning smoking in bars. HOLY CRAP.
- Sorbet? Meringue? RUM? CHAMPAGNE?!?!? Drink like you’re on the Titanic.
I wish I could remember the first time I tried mezcal, or even heard of it. Although I’ve tried to rack my brain for that one time, it exists as if I somehow always knew about it. I wish I was that cool. Probably it was sometime over the past 5, maybe 7, years when we collectively started giving other liquors a chance to star in our drinks.
Now I like to put mezcal in everything. And today’s drink is one from my ongoing “to make” list. Here my notes were: meaty, but refreshing. I’m guessing this was a late night scribbling where I had something particular in mind but what exactly is no longer clear. But I like these challenges. To make things even more interesting, bitters will play a unique supporting role in transforming the drink into two different sips. For a slightly savory cocktail, Angostura will be dashed in. And for a sweeter alternative, chocolate bitters will be used. All versions have Aperol there, an assertive liquor that stands up next to the flavors of mezcal without getting lost.
Now that I’m remembering that liquor store, I’m realizing that the other reason I liked going over there was that next door there was a Christian store that sold Bible action figures like Samson and Delilah. What a way to get kids thrilled about the Old Testament. When I was Catholic I was all in, until I wasn’t anymore.
Ok, enough about Bible Liquor stores. Let’s get to cocktail making!
1 ounce mezcal, Del Maguey Vida Organic used here
3/4 ounce Aperol
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
3 ounces club soda
2-3 dashes of either Angostura or Chocolate bitters, like Scrappy’s Chocolate Cocktail Bitters
lemon peel for garnish
- In a shaker 2/3 filled with ice, add mezcal, Aperol, lemon juice and bitters of your choice. Shake to combine and then strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Top with club soda and garnish with lemon peel.
I’m using the Vida mezcal here because it’s both a wonderful sipping liquor and it mixes well with others. It’s assertive without being aggressive. Aperol is not too bitter and not too sweet. (But it’s just the right amount of both that you don’t need to add another sweetener.) Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds in a touch of tartness, and the whole thing is topped off with a glug of club soda to mellow it out and give some effervescent pep. Angostura adds spice that compliments some of the cinnamon and earthy flavors found in the mezcal. Or you can change that up with a few dashes of chocolate bitters. The sweet, roasted chocolate flavors in the bitters play up the sweet and bitter orange in the Aperol and also some of the vanilla found in the mezcal. This makes the drink excellent for a slightly sweet digestif or a surprisingly refreshing nightcap.