Apple-groni With apple chips!

The Apple-groni Cocktail // stirandstrain.comFirst, we can all acknowledge that I could have come up with a better name for this cocktail, but really, it’s almost Fall and we’re all about the apples around here. So I’m not even going to try and be fancy.

Second, the cocktail itself. If you’ve been on my Instagram at Happy Hour, or skimmed through the recipe archives on this site, you know that I love a Negroni, and I have no qualms whatsoever about perpetually riffing on this drink. Now, I’m not a one-trick pony here and I can make some pretty darn tasty original cocktails (again, check the archives), but when I have to quickly throw together a drink for Happy Hour, there’s a good chance I’m reaching for gin, sweet vermouth and some Campari right now.

The Apple-groni Cocktail // stirandstrain.comThis week I’m looking at the first sightings of apples in my produce box and I remembered how much I enjoy apple chips. They are so very easy to make as long as you have time. And if you don’t have time to watch an oven, then you might want to invest in a dehydrator. I, unfortunately, have hit max capacity for the amount of stuff that can sit on my counter or be tucked away in a closet, and also I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, so I really do take objects in my hand, thank them, and then decide whether or not to chuck them out. And that’s a lot of work so I’d rather just not buy crap.

Anyways, apple chips! Thinly slice an apple up and then dry it out in the oven for a few hours on low heat. Do you folks really need a recipe or can we just leave this here? They make a tasty Happy Hour snack and you can eat a whole bunch and not feel gross. Also, they make beautiful garnishes. They’re wonderfully “Fall” on your glass and when you’re done with your drink you can eat that too. Can’t do that with an orange peel.

This Apple-groni is pretty basic. There’s more of the suggestion of apples with baking spice and bittersweetness in the finish. The riff is so minor I wavered back and forth about whether to publish this or not. I still like content to live on this site though and not just on Instagram where it gets lost almost instantly when I do do a quick ‘gram. So here you go…

The Apple-groni Cocktail // stirandstrain.com

1 ounce Caorunn gin (it’s infused with apples!)
1 ounce sweet vermouth, Vermouth di Torino used here
3/4 ounce Campari
2 dashes apple bitters
apple chip for garnish

Combine gin, sweet vermouth, Campari and bitters in a mixing glass with ice and stir 20 seconds to chill. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with apple chip. Think Fall.

Pairing Rosé with Apples, 3 Ways With 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé

Apple Appetizers Three Ways with 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé // stirandstrain.comThis post was made in partnership with 90+ Cellars. Recipes and ideas are my own.

Here is Southern California, September is a tricky month. While much of the country is starting to get cooler temps and fall into sweater weather, here we get scorching temperatures. Weirdly, if you journey into the mountains, barely an hour away, the apple farms are heavy with fruit ready to be picked; there’s a bit of a disconnect. But that means we can continue to savor summer just a little bit longer and make some cocktail and wine choices that transition between these two seasons nicely.

Apple Appetizers Three Ways with 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé // stirandstrain.comToday we’ve partnered with 90+ Cellars to show you how you can meld a summery, sparkling rosé wine with fresh Autumn apples. It’s what to make when you’ve over-picked at the orchard and bought way too much cider.

The 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé is made from Pinot Noir grapes planted in vineyards throughout the regions of Trentino and Alto Adige in Northern Italy. It is vinified as a dry rosé prior to second fermentation using the Charmat method. What does that mean you ask? The second fermentation happens in a tank as opposed to the wine bottle. This method preserves the flavor and aroma and allows for quicker production, without sacrificing taste. (Throw that fact out at a dinner party!)

Apple Appetizers Three Ways with 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé // stirandstrain.com

With a light bubbliness, aromas of berries and rose, and a slight acidity, pairing with sweet, tart apples is a perfect pair. These three dishes we’ve picked out work as part of an appetizer spread, on their own, or even as part of a larger meal, and they all pair very well with this rosé.

“Holiday entertaining” might still be a few months away, but we think there’s always a reason to celebrate with a party and this transitional time between months, with a few extra hours of sunlight left in the day, is definitely reason enough for us! Now on to the pairings!

Apple Appetizers Three Ways with 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé // stirandstrain.comTo start: Apple Jelly with cured ham and Manchego

  • An easy and quick appetizer to assemble! On water crackers or bread, layer a piece of cured ham, Manchego cheese, and a dollop of apple jelly. The fattiness of the meat and cheese with the smooth, sweetness of the apple jelly pair are lovely with the small bubbles of the wine.

Apple Appetizers Three Ways with 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé // stirandstrain.comPalate cleanser: Sweet and Spicy Apple Granita (full recipe below)

  • Enjoy this cool treat on its own, or between meals as a palate cleanser. Just don’t forget your wine! That acidity in the rosé pairs with the slight acidity found in the apple cider and lemon juice in the granita.

Apple Appetizers Three Ways with 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé // stirandstrain.comWith the main meal: Spiced Apple Chutney (full recipe below)

  • While a rich, spiced chutney might seem like a heavy match for rosé, the 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé lightens the dish up and the spices work really well together. The chutney can be enjoyed on a slice of toasted bread, or alongside a main dish like pork.
Apple Appetizers Three Ways with 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Sparkling Rosé // stirandstrain.com

Sweet and Spicy Apple Granita

3 cups apple cider
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a medium sized sauce pan, combine all the ingredients and bring to just under a boil. Remove from heat and whisk to combine. Pour into a 9×12 baking pan and place in the freezer. After 30-45 minutes, whisk mixture to break up any ice chunks. Wait one hour and with a fork, scrape through the mixture so that it is chunky. Wait an additional hour and scrape the fork through again, fluffing up the mixture. Freeze until ready to serve.

Spiced Apple Chutney

(adapted from Cooking Light)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 diced and peeled apples (I used Gala)
1/4 cup seedless raisins
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water

Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add shallots; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add apple; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in raisins, mustard seeds, sugar, pepper, cloves, ginger and salt. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until apples are tender and most of liquid is absorbed. Serve warm or let cool and transfer to an air-tight container. Refrigerate for up to one week.

 

If you’d like to find out more about 90+ Cellars Lot 49 Rosé and all their wines, please visit them at: ninetypluscellars.com/

Dessert Cocktails with Kerrygold S'Mores, Whoopie Pies, and Cookies and Cream Oh My!

Dessert Cocktails with Kerry Gold Irish Cream // stirandstrain.com

This post was made in partnership with Kerrygold Irish Cream. Recipe and ideas are my own.

We’ve been posting some decadent cocktails and boozy treats over on our Instagram these last few months and now we’re rounding them up here on the site so you all don’t have to go searching all over the place to find them. We did two cocktails: a S’Mores Campfire Cocktail and a frozen blended Cookies and Cream cocktail. And also created a boozy Cold Brew and Chocolate Whoopie Pie situation that we’re still craving.

Dessert cocktails have their place alongside their more serious cousins, and sometimes we just want a treat, right?! Each photo below will pop open the recipe in a separate window. Have a favorite? Let us know! You can always tag your creations on social with #stirandstraindrinks so we can check out what you made.

Dessert Cocktails with Kerry Gold Irish Cream // stirandstrain.com

Cookies and Cream Frozen Blended Cocktails

Dessert Cocktails with Kerry Gold Irish Cream // stirandstrain.com

Cold Brew and Kerrygold Buttercream Whoopie Pies

Dessert Cocktails with Kerry Gold Irish Cream // stirandstrain.com

Campfire S’Mores Cocktails

Kerrygold Campfire S’Mores Cocktail

Dessert Cocktails with Kerry Gold Irish Cream // stirandstrain.comThis post was made in partnership with Kerrygold Irish Cream. Recipe and ideas are my own.

What happens when you combine chocolate-y Kerrygold Irish Cream, amaro, beer, a slight mist of smokey Islay Scotch and a blow torch?! One amazing dessert beer cocktail! You don’t need to an actual campfire to enjoy these S’Mores Campfire cocktails.

Kerrygold Campfire Cocktail

2 oz Kerrygold Irish Cream
.5 oz amaro
2-3 oz Smoked Porter beer
Mist of a Smoky Islay Scotch
Marshmallow
Dash cinnamon

In a mixing glass, combine Kerry Gold Irish Cream and amaro over ice. Stir to chill 20 seconds. Pour in beer and stir gently to combine. Strain over fresh ice into a double rocks glass or large stem glass. Mist scotch over the top of the cocktail. To garnish, spear a marshmallow on a cocktail pick, set over the glass, ignite with a kitchen torch or long match, and sprinkle cinnamon on top (watch for sparks!). Blow the flame out and enjoy!

Cold Brew Coffee and Kerrygold Buttercream Whoopie Pies

Dessert Cocktails with Kerry Gold Irish Cream // stirandstrain.comThis post was made in partnership with Kerrygold Irish Cream. Recipe and ideas are my own.

Growing up, any rich, chocolate cake that sandwiched a generous helping of frosting was a favorite of mine. Candy I could take or leave, but cake sandwiches… OH YES PLEASE. Now I get to make an adult version with Kerrygold Irish Cream laced buttercream and for extra pep: cold brew coffee cake. Whoopie Pies should not just be for kids, which is why I make my grown up versions ginormous; then you can catch a little bit of nostalgia with every bite.

Kerrygold Irish Cream & Cold Brew Whoopie Pies

Cakes (makes 5 cakes):
1/2 lb. butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa, dutch-processed
10 ounces all purpose flour
1/2 cup cold brew coffee
1/2 cup milk

Filling (this filling can be doubled if you want extra filling):
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 pound powdered sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons Kerrygold Irish Cream

To make:
Prepare the frosting by creaming together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Pour in the Kerrygold Irish Cream until incorporated. Filling can be kept refrigerated in a sealed container up to four days.

Next, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cakes by creaming the sugar and butter together until smooth. Add in the egg and mix until incorporated. Next add in baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Sift in cocoa powder and mix until combined. Mix in 1/2 of flour and the cold brew, and then mix in second half of flour and the milk. Stir until just combined. Scoop out a 1/4 cup of mixture onto a sheet pan covered in parchment. You can fit 5 scoops on each sheet pan. Bake 16-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool on sheet pan and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Store in an air tight container until ready to use.

To assemble, spread filling on flat side of one half of the cakes. Top with second half of cake. Eat. Enjoy!

Cookies and Cream Frozen Blended Cocktails

Dessert Cocktails with Kerry Gold Irish Cream // stirandstrain.com

This post was made in partnership with Kerrygold Irish Cream. Recipe and ideas are my own.

Sweet vanilla ice cream and crunchy chocolate cookies combine into one decadent frozen blended cocktail.

Kerrygold Cookies and Cream Frozen Cocktails (makes 2 drinks)

2 oz Kerrygold Irish Cream
3 oz vanilla vodka
3/4 cup vanilla ice cream
1 cup crushed ice
1/2 cup crushed chocolate wafer cookies

In a blender, pour in Kerrygold Irish Cream, vanilla vodka and vanilla ice cream. Blend until smooth. Add in ice. Blend until ice is incorporated and smooth. Divide half the mixture into two double rocks glasses. Scoop a heaped tablespoon of cookie crumbs into the glass and spread in an even layer. Top each glass with the rest of the liquid mixture. Garnish with remaining cookie crumbs.

Monday Booze News Last chance to vote us best drinks blog, mental health in the bar industry, and what is the grossest thing you can make beer from

Monday Booze New - Last chance to nominate us for best drinks blog! // stirandstrain.com

Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50: Rum Edition

Outfitting a bar under $50: The Daiquiri Edition // stirandstrain.comWelcome to the final installment of our “Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50 (including booze!)” series. These guides are meant to be used either as is, or as a starting point to at least get the essentials in order so you’re not stuck with guests and no cocktails. If you have some extra change we’re also including one way to upgrade it as a bonus at the end of the guides!

Today we’re looking at the rum cocktail, the classic, the Daiquiri. You might only be familiar with the frozen kinds you get at the bar by the beach, but let me tell you, a simple Daiquiri is deceptively good, and super easy to make. And no, you don’t need a blender. (Also, realizing there’s a LOT of limes in these cocktail this week, so if you’re not so into those, shoot me an email or leave a comment below that you’d like a different, easy to make cocktail, and I’ll get back to you!) Hope you’ve enjoyed this series!

Daiquiri Home Bar Under $50 ($47.04)

  1. Rum: there are some great under $20 light rums out there now. Pick one you’d like to drink cause you’re going to taste it in this drink.
  2. Jigger: can’t stress enough how important an accurate pour is.
  3. Sugar: go ahead and make a large batch of simple syrup (1:1) and keep it in the fridge for up to a month.
  4. Pairing knife: there’s lime juice in the recipe so you’ll need to cut up some fruit.
  5. Limes: like I said…limes.
  6. Cocktail glass: again Ikea comes to the rescue. However, hit up some Goodwill shops or Etsy for my creative finds.
  7. Cocktail shaker: no need for a separate strainer as these have the built-in kind (Also, use your refrigerator’s ice maker to fill this with ice. No need for fancy cubes here).
  8. Citrus reamer: you need a lot of lime juice here so get it all out with a reamer.

Upgrade to an El Presidente ($32.05)

**Prices on products are subject to change and we cannot guarantee that you’ll still be able to score all this under fifty bucks come holiday season. Or two years from now. Pricing not including shipping and local taxes.

Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50: Tequila Edition

Outfitting a bar under $50: The Paloma Edition // stirandstrain.comWelcome to day three of our “Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50 (including booze!)” series. These guides are meant to be used either as is, or as a starting point to at least get the essentials in order so you’re not stuck with guests and no cocktails. If you have some extra change we’re also including one way to upgrade it as a bonus at the end of the guides!

It’s Tequila Thursday around here and today’s guide will get you set up with a Paloma cocktail plus a few extra tools and ingredients (Like a pinch tin of salt! Where my salt lovers at??). The grapefruit garnish is optional but I love a big slice of grapefruit in my drink to be honest.

Paloma Home Bar Under $50 ($49.74)

  1. Grapefruit: as I mentioned in the note above, this is optional, but it does make a pretty garnish.
  2. Jigger: nothing fancy but it gets the job done. The job being an accurate pour!
  3. Limes: fresh juice is essential here so make sure you have some fruit on hand all the time.
  4. Tequila: You can get a 100% blue agave blanco tequila for under $20 so go ahead and get the 750 ml.
  5. Pairing knife: you can’t cut fruit with your fingers so a basic pairing knife is a must.
  6. Ice cube tray: 1.25″ ice cubes are the perfect size for your highball glass so get a tray that makes enough for you and guests.
  7. Bar spoon: for gentle stirring of drinks.
  8. Salt: throw a pinch into your drink and rim your glass if you like it like that.
  9. Grapefruit soda: an essential part of the Paloma and these cans are great to stack in your bar.
  10. Highball glasses: Ikea has 5 glasses for under $5. Go ahead and stock up.

Upgrade to a Spicy Margarita ($42.98)

**Prices on products are subject to change and we cannot guarantee that you’ll still be able to score all this under fifty bucks come holiday season. Or two years from now. Pricing not including shipping and local taxes.

Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50: Gin Edition

Outfitting a bar under $50: The Gin and Tonic Edition // stirandstrain.comWelcome to the second installment of our “Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50 (including booze!)” series. These guides are meant to be used either as is, or as a starting point to at least get the essentials in order so you’re not stuck with guests and no cocktails. If you have some extra change we’re also including one way to upgrade it as a bonus at the end of the guides!

Today is for all you gin lovers out there. The Gin and Tonic is another easy to whip up, refreshing cocktail to have on hand for yourself and guests. You’ll just need a few essential bar tools and only three ingredients to make your drink. This cocktail is also easily adaptable to other ingredients on hand, so you can change it up when the feeling strikes.

Gin & Tonic Home Bar Under $50 ($49.60)

  1. Ice cube tray: 1.25″ ice cubes are the perfect size for your highball glass and you’ll need a whole tray for guests and your next round.
  2. Limes: because you’ll need a squeeze of lime. I like to keep at least 3 on hand because I find odd numbered things pleasing to look at.
  3. Pairing knife: a sharp knife will precisely cut your limes and double opening that stubborn wrapper on your gin bottle.
  4. Bar spoon: for gentle stirring of drinks.
  5. Gin: you can splurge for a full 750 ml bottle of Beefeater because it’s good and cheap.
  6. Jigger: 1 ounce and 2 ounces is all you’ll need here for precise measurements.
  7. Tonic water: I’m a fan of Q-Tonic and tonic in cans I find easier to store in my home bar.
  8. Highballs: get yourself to Ikea and get yourself some perfectly acceptable highball glasses in cases of 6 under $5. Sweet deal.

Upgrade to a Negroni ($30.98)

**Prices on products are subject to change and we cannot guarantee that you’ll still be able to score all this under fifty bucks come holiday season. Or two years from now. Pricing not including shipping and local taxes.