- Giveaway alert!! I’m giving away a bottle of SelveRay Cacao Rum to TWO lucky readers this week.
- Snarling and swearing soon to follow...
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- What questions to ask yourself while stocking a bar including how is vodka the same as tequila and light rum???
- Are we still making fun of mixologists on TV? Is this still a thing?
Search Results for "tequila"
The Traveling Bar is an on-going series where cocktail bloggers, bartenders and boozy professionals pick their favorite neighborhood watering holes. Today we’re back in the East Bay (in Northern California) joined by Todd from Honestly Yum for his favorite place to get a drink. Read on to find out where you can oogle a tower of gin and then later feast on tacos. Mmmm… ~Elana
1. What do you look for in a bar?
While admittedly I’m quite the cocktail nerd, by no means would I consider myself a cocktail snob. Consequently, I like a bar that takes its craft seriously, but doesn’t take itself too seriously; a place that can mix me up a boulevardier or a last word, but won’t get snarky if I order a rum and coke or a screwdriver. I’m a sucker for a good tequila selection and fresh citrus. Friendly bartenders go a long way, especially when I see they have a group of loyal regulars.
2. Here’s the scenario: your cocktail lovin’ friend is coming to your town for ONE night. You only have time for ONE bar. Which one is it?
The first place I always take my friends is the Hotsy Totsy Club in Albany, CA. It’s my favorite neighborhood bar – I grew up just around the corner. Nothing beats it!
3. What makes this place so special you’d bring them here?
The Hotsy Totsy has it all: the charm of your friendly neighborhood bar, mixed with the craft of today’s cocktail scene. The local regulars are practically family. The owners Jessica and Michael keep the bar stocked with an evolving selection of spirits, old and new, including an impressive tower of gin. The bartenders are all incredibly knowledgeable, and in times of indecisiveness they never fail to mix me up something delicious.
4. What do you order for your friend? What do you order for yourself?
Hmm, so many choices…if it’s chilly outside I’d probably order my friend a “Hot Totsy”. It’s a flaming drink that uses overproof rum, brandy, honey syrup, lemon juice, hot water, and a winter spice blend. The spices are toasted over the flaming glass, which always makes for an impressive show (and smells incredible, btw). If the weather’s warm, and let’s face it we’re in California, I’d probably go with something cold and refreshing like “El Matador” (pictured here) – Hangar One chipotle vodka, Ancho Reyes, lime juice, agave and cilantro with a sriracha-salt rim. As for me, I’d probably order a glass of well-rum and fresh-squeezed grapefruit. Old habits die hard.
5. Does the bar have food? If not, where would you go for a bite?
The bar itself doesn’t serve food, but there’s an incredible taco truck called Tacos El Autlense parked in the Totsy’s parking lot, 7 days a week. Cocktails and tacos…it doesn’t get much better than that!
*Photos courtesy of Todd Wagner.
More Traveling Bar Posts found here!
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- My first introduction to flavored whiskey was via my Dad’s version of cough medicine when I was a kid: honey and whiskey. Here’s an article hoping flavored whiskey does not go the way of flavored vodka.
- The shitty side of expanding your distillery business: an interview with Balcones Founder Chip Tate.
- The problem of the bad restaurant cocktail is not just in NYC, we got them here in L.A. too. I just order off-menu.
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- You guys might complain when I add a lot of stuff to my recipes, but come on, at least it’s not 71!
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- Did you know national tequila day is July 24? Neither did I. Here’s a bunch of tequila drinks for you guys to check out.
- Health and wellness: this year’s new trend in cocktails.
- All the winners at this year’s Spirited Awards. Europe, you’re looking good.
- Maryland college kids are going to need another booze to make Jungle Juice with now.
- D.C.’s new cocktail scene deserves a look.
For all of my non-US readers, if you’ll allow me a moment to indulge in a little red, white, and blue bar cart accessorizing I’d super appreciate it. And while together it’s a Patriotic Bar Cart fiesta, taken piece by piece they could work in your home too.
In a little less than a week, my neighborhood will be filled with illegal fireworks, barking dogs and the inescapable wafting aromas of food being grilled. It will also be filled with drinking galore. For those of you outside the city of Los Angeles, I’m sure you picture every day here like this (sometimes I’d agree with you), but next Friday in particular the country bands together to show our love of hotdogs and beer (and maybe something to do with history but you can turn on C-Span for that). For those of you hosting a party, here’s a little guide to up your bar cart game for the 4th. Buckets of crushed ice, colorful drink accouterments, and some fine liquor selections. Now go get some sparklers and confetti poppers!
Sangrita-like might be stretching it; it’s really just sangrita made with a bunch of delicious citrus with a dollop of harissa. Not familiar with harissa? If you like spice and smoke you’ll like this peppery paste that has its roots in North African cuisine. It’s not normally used in drinks, but I love the extra level of spice it adds. Also, a little goes a long way, so you can keep it around to experiment with food later.
Usually, sangrita is just the sidekick to a shot of tequila, but I love the rich flavors of tomato and citrus so much I thought it deserved its own spot at the bar (or backyard BBQ) as a cocktail. Since it’s a low alcohol drink, you could easily sip on these all afternoon, playing horseshoes or whatever it is people do outside.
1/2 teaspoon harissa, or more to taste
8 ounces tomato juice
6 ounces freshly squeezed juice from about 2 grapefruits
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces freshly squeezed juice from about 2 oranges
1-1/2 ounces freshly squeezed juice from 2 lemons
2 ounces freshly squeezed juice from 2 to 3 limes
For Your Cocktail
Coarse smoked sea salt
4 ounces Sangrita Base
4 ounces Sculpin IPA, or any hoppy IPA
- To make the base, in a pitcher, whisk together harissa, black pepper and tomato juice. Add grapefruit juice, orange juice, lemon and lime juice. Stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours maximum.
- To make the cocktail, wet the rim of a highball glass with grapefruit wedge, dip moistened edge in smoked sea salt. Add ice and 4 ounces of the sangrita base. Top with 4 ounces of IPA. Garnish with grapefruit wedge and serve.
Citrus is an ideal match for a hoppy IPA. The Sculpin IPA from Ballast imparts a lot of grapefruit and lemon in the flavor, as well as in the aroma, which not only compliments the tomato-citrus base, but also adds some needed bitterness to round out the drink. With beer cocktails, the effervescent quality will significantly lift a heavier based drink which can sometimes seem like a challenge to drink. It can also provide a smoother, creamy texture, making the drink feel more like a “cocktail” and less like juice (or in this case Gazpacho). If the Sculpin is not available in your area, look for a beer with this kind of citrus profile. And at the end of the day, if you run out of the base, this beer pairs excellently with barbecue too.
- If you’re in Los Angeles, here are Zagat’s choices for the 10 best Mezcal Cocktails.
- Not in L.A. but looking for a place to drink on Cinco de Mayo? Check these bars out.
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- We turn again to Jim Meehan as he tells us what’s in a well-stocked home bar.
- Beer made from a 35 million old WHALE BONE. Beat that Game of Thrones beer…
- Looking for a challenge? Try these cocktails at home today from a few top bartenders.
- Some helpful tips on how to choose which Beer Festival you’re attending this summer.
Am I really going to introduce a brand new and innovative Margarita recipe today? Nope. Right now you can search any number of food sites and see 60 different ways you can customize your Cinco de Mayo drink. Sometimes it’s hard to feel innovative. However, what I can do for you is make it easy to find all the drinks on THIS site that you might like to have this weekend, since you’re already here.
Let’s just start with last week’s Hibiscus-Tequila Cooler. It’s in a pitcher and no one can tell how many you’ve had until that pitcher is empty.
And then, really, who’s going to say anything?
Mangoes and mezcal and chile peppers. Come on. You need this today.
If you want to be lazy, just throw a bunch of stuff into a blender. This will work for you.
If you have a lot of time on your hands, get creative with this hibiscus, vanilla-salt, inside-out take on a Margarita.
And if you just have to have a regular Margarita, here’s my favorite take on one with smoked salt and mezcal.
I made a few adjustments to the recipe to start. Cranberry juice is almost never making an appearance in my fridge, so instead I subbed in my homemade grenadine. Same goes with Peach Schnapps. Instead, a fresh peach puree was used in place. A few minor changes took this recipe from meh to ahhh, resulting in a great start to the dinner.
Note: you don’t need to have these sailboats on hand. Any popsicle mold will suffice, but just won’t be as fun.
1/2 ounce grenadine (homemade is always best)
1 ounce peach puree
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 ounce vodka, Aylesbury Duck from the 86 Co. used here
1/4 ounce G.E. Massenez Creme de Cassis
- In the bottom of your popsicle mold, pour grenadine in. Freeze to semi-frozen, about 45 minutes.
- Mix together peach puree, orange juice and vodka. Pour on top of grenadine. Freeze to semi-frozen, about an hour and a half.
- Drizzle creme de cassis on top of peach/O.J./vodka mixture. Add popsicle stick at this point and freeze until solid, at least 6 hours but overnight is best.
- To un-mold, squeeze mold to release sides of the popsicle. This should enable you to wiggle the popsicle out. If not, run under warm, NOT hot, water for 5 seconds to help un-mold.
- Eat immediately!
Why not WAY more alcohol? Because then they wouldn’t freeze well. I tried this with one ounce of vodka in the center and it never fully froze to a stable consistency. That said, you can still taste that these have some booze in them because clearly, that’s the point. They do have a nice fruity punch to them with the grenadine working well in contrast with the peach/orange combo. Depending on the creme de cassis you have, this can be left out (some flavors work better than others). Try one with and one without to see for yourself. I tried this with Chambord too but the flavor just didn’t work well here, somehow it became almost medicinal. Also, if you can get a giant seashell filled with ice to display your pops in, you win.