- First, I made a week’s worth of Suze cocktails on Instagram and finally posted a White Negroni!
- Looking for a way to help make an impact? Maker’s Mark is trying to clean up our oceans.
- Loving this list of rum makers comparing their rum to music.
- Just what’s going on in Bourbon this year??
- What are bars making with whiskey right now? Check out these drinks!
- And finally, do you need a large copper flamingo punch bowl? No. But do you want it??? YESSSSS!
- Would you pay 5K for a cocktail? What if it came in a cool glass? (Still no?)
- I very much enjoy these bouncer stories on Punch this year.
- Should you bring cash or cards to a bar? Or both?
- And finally, it is a wild time to be a flavored gin.
Over on Instagram I pushed Suze, the bitter, golden hued liqueur into the spotlight to see what everyone is using it in (chime in over there or comment below too!). For me, I have two go-to’s: Suze and soda, and a White Negroni.
Years back a made a frozen watermelon-infused White Negroni and always meant to follow that up with a stirred drink. Cut to now, whoops. So I’m writing up my usual formula (which diverges from the standard Negroni recipe you’ll notice). Suze is, well, aggressive in its bitterness and herbal notes. Here it needs to be cut back a bit so that it doesn’t overpower the botanicals in the gin, and the softness of the vermouth. There is no exact recipe or ingredients for a White Negroni, and you can find all kinds of variations and formulas online. But here, this is what I drink.
1-1/2 ounces London dry style gin (Beefeater)
1 ounce dry, white vermouth (I used Carpano Dry Vermouth here)
3/4 ounce Suze
In a mixing glass 2/3 filled with ice, pour in gin, vermouth, and Suze. Stir about 20 seconds and strain into a rocks glass with a fresh ice cube. Enjoy!
- First, we’ve got a round up of our fav boozy books that have been released in the last few months and some soon-to-be released ones you should get!
- Here’s five reasons you should keep drinking pink wine through the fall.
- Is there a perfect vessel for making wine? A look at ways of ageing and fermenting wine beyond (but including) the oak barrel.
- What is salt and how can it be used when it’s not on the rim of a Margarita?
- Hey Boston, you have some sweet looking frozen cocktails I’d like to drink!
- Need a cheap wine that doesn’t suck? Check these out.
- Expensive new celebrity tequila from… Michael Jordan?
- What say you? For or against the draft cocktail movement?
- I’m going to pull one point from this article on politics and bars and say that we should be talking politics more in these establishments.
- And finally, better stock up on White Claw before it runs out. Or not. Your choice.
School’s in session. Time to restock your spirits book library (including some fiction!)
1. Mod Cocktails 2. Natural Wine for the People 3. Celebrate Rosé 4. Cocktails with a Twist 5. The Lager Queen of Minnesota 6. The Martini Cocktail 7. Spirits Sugar Water Bitters 8. All Day Cocktails 9. Last Call
- First, do you have a bottle of crème de violette getting dusty on your bar? Make this drink.
- Doom, as in the video game, is getting its own vodka. Made with bones. No, really.
- Here’s a gallery of gorgeous photos of the Rhum J.M. distillery and I’d like to hop on a plane and go to the jungle right now...
- A brief history of the Singapore Sling, quite possibly the first pink cocktail for ladies.
- Going booze free right now? Here are some recipes that might make you forget it’s a 0 abv.
- I’d like a ticket please to go drink in these Scottish cocktail domes!
- Magnum curious? Here’s some large format bottles for end of summer entertaining.
- A boozy quiz for you: what type of whisky cask are you? Click to find out!
- One ingredient you might be missing, subtlety: an essay on technique and the Old Cuban Daiquiri.
- And finally, THIS FRIDGE WILL MAKE YOU CLEAR ICE BALLS OMGGGGGG!!!
This past week over on Instagram I unofficially declared it the week of crème de violette. Mainly I had been staring at a bottle of it on my shelf for way too long wondering how I was going to use it up.
The bottle is still there (I’m convinced it refills itself while I sleep), but I’ve definitely put a major dent in it and I’m still recipe testing! Anyways, I had asked the audience if anyone had any suggestions for this bottle that they currently love, and the Water Lily cocktail came up a few times. This recipe was created by Richard Boccato in New York, but I haven’t been able to pinpoint which bar it came out of due to references stating different places.
This cocktail hit a lot of marks for ingredients people were also already looking for: gin, lemon juice, ease of recipe, etc… Besides the crème de violette, most of the ingredients you’d find even in a not well stocked home bar, so I thought I’d share this, with my one small twist.
The drink is great on its own; well balanced, floral notes not too overpowering. But I found I enjoyed it slightly more with a small splash of cava as well. Just to add some dryness to it, and a touch of effervescence that brings a bit more of the floral out. This step is completely optional by the way, but just one more variation to play around with.
I hope you enjoy the drink, and please let me know if you have another use for your bottle of crème de violette!
Water Lily Cocktail
3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce crème de violette
3/4 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
splash of cava, optional
orange zest for garnish
Combine all ingredients except cava in a mixing glass, stir well and strain into a coupe. Top with cava if using and garnish with orange zest.
- It’s time we all started adding salted cream to our cocktails.
- And making Luxardo cherries at home.
- Oh HEY, there’s a new cocktail book coming out from the Arsenic Lace blog and you can preorder NOW NOW NOW!!!
- Now, if you’ve gotten any leftover wine open from the weekend, this is how long it’s good for.
- Are you team clear ice or team who cares?
- How to get workouts in when your a spirits ambassador on the road.
- Check your bar tab. That single bottle of beer could cost you almost $100,000.
- The Japanese Hard Shake. You’re doing it wrong.
- September brings the Downton Abbey movie. AND WINE!
- And finally, drink at your own risk. KFC has a few gravy-based cocktails they’d like you to try.
This post was made in partnership with Kerrygold Irish Cream. Recipe and ideas are my own.
This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. And to send everyone off, I’ve got one last summer drink with Kerrygold Irish Cream headed your way today. But first, a question. Have you ever had salted cream on your coffee or tea?
Right now I’ve noticed a big push at some national coffee chains where they’re advertising cold foam, or sweet cream, salted or unsalted, on their iced drinks. This may be a new concept for a lot of customers at these stores (especially with the near fanatical hype I’m seeing on some social channels for the stuff), but for several years now I’ve been getting salted cream topped tea at a restaurant called Din Tai Fung (which happens to have several locations here in SoCal and more world-wide). I had never heard of it before trying it there, and I have since gotten it every single time I go there for soup dumplings (which is all I want to eat when it’s winter here in LA). It’s basically whipped unsweetened cream that has a nice layer of salt sprinkled on top (and actually it may be lightly sweetened but as I gobble it up so fast every time I haven’t stopped to think about it). I get it atop black tea, but you can also get it with green as well.
Anyways, I also really love a tea syrup or tea infusion in my cocktails and the idea of adding a salted cream on top of one sounded, quite frankly, delicious to me. So, here we are today.
This is also a transitional cocktail in the sense that I’m incorporating tea into it, thinking ahead to cooler temps and warm sips by the fire; but for now I’ll enjoy that tea iced. The resulting flavor is quite unique here with a floral, bright, and fruity forwardness on the palate that finishes smooth with hints of chocolate and spice. Over ice it is light, with hits of salty richness from the cream. Bergamot, the flavor associated with Earl Gray tea, has always tasted a little like Fruity Pebbles cereal to me, and here that citrus/fruitiness provides a nice contrast to the cream found in the Kerrygold and the topping. I think this would be a nice cocktail for happy hour, enjoyed outside during these last few weeks of summer.
Salted Cream Earl Gray Tea Cocktail
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce Kerrygold Irish Cream
1/2 ounce Earl Gray tea syrup (recipe follows)
1/3 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice (about half a medium lemon)
pinch black salt or pink salt, optional
- Make your salted cream by beating the heavy cream a few minutes until just about soft peaks form. Stir in sea salt. Set aside.
- Next, in a shaker 2/3 filled with ice, pour in bourbon, Kerrygold Irish Cream, Earl Gray tea syrup, and lemon juice. Shake hard about 20 seconds, and then strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
- Top the cocktail with the salted cream and optionally sprinkle some additional black or pink salt for added saltiness and contrasting color.
Earl Gray Tea Syrup
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 bags Earl Gray tea
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water over high heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Bring to just about a boil and then remove from heat. Add in tea bags and let steep, covered, for 30 minutes. Then strain into an airtight container. Use immediately or refrigerate up to one month.
We are back this month with another fun Make or Buy project, which also just happens to be something you can shelve away for holiday presents later this year. Today, we’re talking Luxardo Cherries.
There are lots of recipes for using other liquors when it comes to preserving cherries. Brandied cherries are very popular, but I’ve also seen whiskey and rum used. And while I happen to have some other varieties of this booze soaked fruit in a my pantry (including the newest addition from Copper & Kings), the Luxardo brand has been in my house the longest. And I happen to have had a bottle of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur that needed to get used, so I thought now would be a good time for a homemade batch.
Depending on where you live in the country, cherry season is any time between April and August. So technically we’re really right at the end of the season. Cherries might start to lose some of their flavor now, but fear not, they’ll still be tasty after a long bath in Luxardo.
Homemade maraschino cherries are going to look a bit different from the jarred cherries you might be used to. If I say “maraschino cherry” and you picture something bright red, well, this will be way different for you. If you’re used to Luxardo or Amarena you might be expecting a thick syrup. Well, sorry to say this, but that thick syrup is usually the result of the additive glucose into the mix. The homemade cherries here are in a much lighter syrup but I’ve given a note in the recipe if you’re looking for more viscosity.
Now, even with the note about glucose in the syrup, Luxardo cherries are still a delicious store bought brand and unless you’ve canned a bunch of jars in the summer, you’re going need to restock at the store. Luxardo cherries also feel very luxe, and quite frankly, are really easy to eat. So let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
To buy: Luxardo Cherries
- Available all year round
- Consistent flavor
- Ready made
- Contains additives
- High price point
- Unable to change flavor profile
To make: homemade Luxardo Cherries
- Easy to make
- Can change the flavor profile and/or syrup consistency to suit tastes
- Tastes of fresh cherries
- You have to make the product
- Sourcing Luxardo liqueur may be difficult depending on your area
- Must can the cherries for them to last longer than a month
Homemade Luxardo Cherries
- 1 pound cherries, pitted
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 lemon peel
- 5 black peppercorns
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup Luxardo liqueur
First, optionally remove stems if you have not so done already. Next, in a medium sized saucepan, combine water, sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon peel, peppercorns, nutmeg, and salt. Stir to dissolve sugar and bring to just under a boil. Lower heat to a simmer for 5 minutes and then stir in cherries. Coat cherries in the syrup and then remove from heat. Stir in the Luxardo liqueur and let mixture sit until cooled. At this point you can store the cherries in the fridge up to one month, or you can can them and store in a cool, dry place.
Note: if you would like a thicker syrup for your cherries, you can do one, two, or a combination of things. First, make a richer syrup with a 2:1 sugar to water ratio. Second, you can add in marasca cherry juice that you can reduced by half into the mix. This will some additional mouthfeel and an even more pronounced cherry flavor. Third, you can combine both the richer syrup and cherry juice and reduce to a thick syrup.
If you’ve been following us over on Instagram, then you may have noticed we love making up letter board signs and sometimes like to pair them off with a drink. I thought today I’d round up a couple of my favorites to share with our readers to get you through your hump day. Cheers!
And if you’d like to make your own letter board signs, check out the model I use!