So let’s all be adults and set up a proper bar cart, or even a little table and tray (that counts too), with a little inspiration from The Art of the Bar Cart and our holiday-ready cocktail set. Enter below and get up to 11 entries to win. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends October 16, 2017. Good luck!
Welcome back, let’s get to the boozy news.
- Here’s a solid list on how to really start a good home bar, with a few tips from pros I will actually take advice from.
- Would you, could you, do you think? Would you, could you, drink milk pink?
- Curious about the origin of your favorite booze’s name? Here’s a video with the, mostly benign, origins of some popular beverages.
- There’s a bunch of great cocktail books out there that will help you mix a good drink. Here’s a convenient list.
- Crushed ice. Does it really ruin your drink? Yay or nay?
- Buzzfeed is here to make us all feel stupid about how we use lemon juicers.
- Treat yo self this Fall to the best bars in the US (and I guess look at some foliage along the way too).
- The Martini glass has a history. Here it is (with a reason as to why it should probably go).
- There was a gin advent calendar. And also a whiskey one. And now… here’s a wine one.
- And lastly, Halloween is coming, so go visit some haunted distilleries!
This post was made in partnership with Everclear. Recipe and ideas are my own.
For years, whenever I ate out at an Indian Restaurant, I somehow overlooked the self serve bowl of seedy bits by the cash registers. Maybe I did notice, but not having a clue as to what it was (or thinking to even ask), it fell off my radar. And then I met my husband, who is half Indian, and going out to Indian restaurants with his mom became a whole new experience. Besides getting stuff not on the menu, or having food cooked a particular way (hello extra spicy!), I began to notice the unspoken ritual at the end of the meal. A small spoonful of those seedy bits, poured into a palm, and eaten, or rather, crunched on.
- If you love cats, and distilleries, then THERE IS A BOOK FOR YOU NOW.
- Time to fit in a few more sour beers before the summer is over.
- This week’s science post is the science of frozen drinks. You’re welcome.
- Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I demand some good breakfast cocktails to go with it.
- Allergies getting you down? Try booze for a cure!
- And if you’re in the midst of a summer cold… also booze!
- Want to make your office a happier place? You guessed it! ALSO BOOZE.
- Ain’t nothing wrong with an Amaretto Sour. What else will they unearth and make cool next?
- A mobile Tiki bar. In a shipping container. A la Latin America.
- And lastly, it’s that time of year again. And we have a recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon.
- Anheuser-Busch stopped brewing beer to send emergency water to Texas. No snark, that’s pretty cool.
- When the beer does start to flow again, you can now get yourself a pair of beer-proof shoes for Oktoberfest.
- Field trip! What to drink at Coney Island.
- Are we ready for Genever? It’s ready for us.
- I just pickled some fruit with wine so...
- Why not make gin and tonic pickles??
- OR you could just make some boozy ice cream. (It’s not as hard as you’d think!)
- If you’ve overdone it with the booze this Labor Day, here’s a few hangover drink recipes to set you straight.
- Placebo cocktails sounds like some dumb bar’s next concept menu.
- And finally, in this week’s booze science news, maybe you should be drinking your whiskey with a splash of water.
Uh-oh! You’re reading this a few hours before you decide to throw an impromptu party and need help?! First, take a shot of something, anything. Your significant other’s fancy whiskey they’re saving? Sure! Some cheap vodka you found in the freezer? Yeah, that will work. Fireball shots? Um, Ok I guess. Your kid’s cough syrup. NO. Don’t touch that. They’re all going back to school this month and breed germs, you’ll need that. Put it back.
You know what I hate? Entertaining tips that are totally useless. As we celebrate a day of rest, I hope these tips will take some of the work out of your Labor Day party.
- BATCH BATCH BATCH!
What’s easier than measuring out cocktails with your measuring cups? Nothing. Bring out a punch bowl–it’s festive. Or bottle some cocktails up if you have the time. The point is that you want to make being at the party easy on yourself, and your guests, and self service is the way to go.
Sparkling Pomegranate and Cocchi Rosa Cocktails // Smoky Sage Punch // Salted Peanut Bottled Old Fashioneds
- Pre-freeze your frozen cocktails
Making frosé this year? If you want to cut down on the amount of ice in your frozen cocktails, you’ll want to stick them in the freezer the night before. This goes along with batching your cocktails, but this step means less watered down drinks. And that makes you a good host.
Frozen Watermelon White Negroni // Frozen Blood and Sand // Peach and Tequila Frozen Cockails
- Label what your guests are drinking
If you’re making a few drink options (or even if it’s just one), save yourself from having to repeat ALL the ingredients in something a hundred times by writing out the name and ingredients and sticking it on/next to/on top of the drink. You can get fancy and make something on the computer, or a scribbled on index card will also work just fine.
- Have your booze delivered
Yes, it may seem a bit indulgent, but I’m trying to create less work for you guys. There’s a slew of great delivery apps/services out there who will bring you booze. And some even bring you food too. You decide how much $$$ you want to shell out.
Saucey ($10 credit for you guys too) // Drizly // Instacart (also with $10 credit)
- Invest in a large cooler or mini fridge
Not all your guests are going to want cocktails so you’ll need beer and water and whatever else people drink besides cocktails. You know what’s great? Your guests have access to all the drinks they want at arm’s length. You know what’s not great? Having people rifle through your fridge. Get a cooler.
If you’ve got a hot tip, let us know! Leave us a comment or reach out to us online. We’re listening.
This post is brought to you by Beaujolais Wines, Regnié, Franck Cinquin, Domaine des Braves, 2014. Recipes and ideas are my own.
As we’re wrapping up Summer and starting to think about Fall, this is the time of year I start to stockpile my end of season summer fruits and veggies. And per usual, I overdo it with the produce.
For our end of summer entertaining post I thought I’d crack open a bottle of Beaujolais and show you this simple but flavorful dish you could serve up while we squeeze in the last few summer parties of the season (check the end of the post for our giveaway if you’re in need of some picnic swag!). Sometimes the perfect late summer get togethers can be as simple that: wine and a beautiful salad that showcases the bounty of the transitioning seasons.
*Sweet, sour and spicy!
You’ve got your wine, you’ve got a tasty salad, and now you guys need some picnic swag! Enter below for a chance to win a Wine Picnic Bag for 4 valued at $119! (Giveaway ends 10/15/17)
- Winter is coming. And that’s why goldfish know how to turn carbs into alcohol.
- Using math to make cocktails…delicious.
- If you only have 48 hours in Champagne, well, aren’t you lucky. Here’s where to go.
- Why is your bar is ditching plastic straws?
- Older rum is not always better… OR older!
- Oh thank god, now women have a beer to call our own. *facepalm*
- DON’T DRINK THIS VODKA. It’s not really vodka, and oh yeah, it can KILL YOU.
- You bought all those bitters…now what do you do with them?
- I’m quite partial to weirdo whiskey. Here’s a few to try.
- And finally, this week’s rosé news: you can drink it out of a pouch because you wish you were 12 again.
- This week’s booze science is actual science for once: booze in spaaaaaaccceeee.
- And look! More real science that can tell you if that expensive bottle of whiskey really is what the label says it is.
- Why aren’t Prosecco Doughnuts already a thing?!
- WARNING WARNING COPPER MUGS CAN KILL YOU.
- The real history of Jack Daniels distilling started with a slave, and also… Jack Daniels was a real person?
- I thought we were all in agreement screw top wine is totally fine?
- I’m calling it: orange wine, sherbet, peaches…it’s all going to replace rosé soon.
- I’m seconding Wondrich here in that a good jukebox is key at a dive bar.
- Beer made with fried chicken… Ok, sure. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- And finally, I made some cocktail art last week and wrote about where I think cocktails and social media are going.
Are you going to Tales this year? Can we meet at Tales? I’m reaching out to you about meeting up at TOTC… Sorry guys, I did not attend Tales of the Cocktail this year. I really don’t know when I’ll make that happen, if ever. However, I was able to bypass the crowds and the sweltering, miserable 105° heat with god-knows-how-high humidity and just look at everyone’s Instagram and Twitter and quite frankly that was great and totally enough, thanks.
Lately though it’s been hard to muster up the interest to pretend everything is OK and go eventing and snap some ‘grams. Instead I’ve been compulsively scrolling through the news with an ever increasing knot in my stomach wondering what the hell is going on in the world. It makes all this social media and even this website seem, well…¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But I’ll save those thoughts and actions for offline, where I can actively do things and not just type type type on here. Anyways, to say the least, I’ve been pretty uninspired with drinks lately. I recently read on article on the End of the Craft Cocktail Movement, and while I initially wanted to get cocky and yell in an obnoxious manner no it’s not, I had to give the author a nod for touching on some truths. The truth being that, yeah, you can get a good cocktail practically anywhere and we as cocktail drinkers have come to expect that now. It’s not novel to be craft and to use fresh ingredients and make your own bitters and muddle in some cucumber. We ALL know how to do that and that’s a good thing. The scary part for people like myself is how do we move on from there.
When I was perusing the images from TOTC, one of the most intriguing things I saw was on Craft & Cocktails’ twitter. It was 4 images of weird stuff with the caption that they were “all cocktails”. You can see that post here and read my comments on it below. To sum up, I was most into the weirdest, the most wrong, the most confusing cocktail of the bunch that was a glass with what looked like dentures sitting in it.
Spectacle. We’re now moving onto spectacle. When we all expect what’s in the glass to taste great, you’re going to need a 3 ring circus to bring the audience in, at least when we’re talking about here in the blog/social media world. There has been a trend with the younger, newer drinking age audience to stop making drinks at home and to cease entertaining. Their eyeballs are glued onto their phones looking for the next great cat bar, not to necessarily go there, but to “like” the idea of it and quickly move on to the next strange idea.
This is a weird spot to be in when you’ve been happily plugging along on your website, coming up in the (second? third?) craft cocktail movement and sharing a love of home bartending. The newer audience will not be home bartenders, and the audience you’ve been talking to is going to start getting home bartending fatigue. Even I see that in myself. I’ve stopped reading a lot of sites, even ones I’ve loved, and stopped browsing through a good chunk of the social media sites, and instead started reading more actual books again. I chuckle at the newest hashtag of #readafuckingbook and am actively giving my brain a break from the nonsense and just the relentless tragedy that coexist in the same feeds.
And so, here’s a little spectacle, wrapped around a good drink. The good folks at Copper & Kings just released an orange Curaçao that is pretty darn great and I added that into my variation here on a Brandy Crusta. First, I swapped some California rye whiskey in for the brandy and then instead of the sugar crusted rim and lemon peel, I made some lemon zest infused sugar and spun that around the glass. The sugar looked like amber when it hardened, and it made me happy to look at it. Like a little artwork on my glass.
I hope you all find a little something that makes you happy this week.
2 ounces whiskey, Spirit Works Straight Rye Whiskey used here*
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce orange curaçao, Copper & Kings intense orange curaçao used here*
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
Dash Angostura bitters
lemon-sugar garnish (recipe follows)
In a mixing glass 2/3 filled with ice, pour in the whiskey, lemon juice, orange curaçao, maraschino liqueur and Angostura. Stir to chill 20 seconds and strain into lemon-sugar crusted glass.
Lemon Infused Spun Sugar Garnish
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and lemon zest, stir to combine. When sugar starts to melt, stir constantly until sugar reaches a golden-brown color. Remove from heat immediately and continue to stir. As the sugar mixtures begins to cool, the liquid will thicken. Sugar is ready when a wooden spoon is dipped in and sugar pours off in a ribbon. Dip a coupe glass into the sugar and slowly pull out, twisting the sugar as you remove the glass. Hold upside down for about 30 seconds and then stand up to finish cooling. Set aside until ready to use.