- First, a little history via James Bond. Because bitters were his first love.
- And for even more history on the drink, check out the book by Gary Regan!
- Not sure what bars in your neighborhood are participating this year? Check out this bar finder and see what charity your bar is supporting.
- Pins are so hot right now. And you can have your very own Negroni version to rock out with this week.
- Negroni lollipops. They’re a thing you should eat.
- And speaking of eating, if you’re in Los Angeles this week, check out Break Room 86 and enjoy a Negroni Ice Cream sandwich. Because… ice cream (and because we’ll be stopping in Wednesday night for a special cocktail surprise. Watch for details on Instagram!).
- Did you check out our Negroni Week post? We got all the details on what it is, AND THREE NEW COCKTAILS for you to enjoy.
- You can also eyeball our other Negroni riffs from years past. Coconut. Coffee. Go get ’em.
- Accessorize your ensemble this week with a Negroni bandana and $2 of each sale will benefit the San Francisco Marin food bank!
- And lastly, we’ll be out and about all week supporting our favorite bars and charities. Stop on by our Instagram and say hi and let us know where you’re going!
This post is brought to you by Campari. Recipes and ideas are my own.
Your Instagram feed might be turning from #millennialpink to a cheery garnet red next week as we embark on the FIFTH year of Negroni Week!
If you’re not familiar with this wonderful time of year, or have only heard of it in passing, let me loop you guys in. From June 5 through 11 this year, bars, restaurants and vendors from around the world celebrate the Negroni cocktail – an iconic mix of Campari, gin, and sweet red vermouth – to raise money and awareness for great causes. What started as just 100 bars in the US, has now grown into an International event and this year will be bigger than ever.
For more information on Negroni Week, and for a list of bars participating, visit negroniweek.com and follow @CampariUS and @Imbibe on Facebook, @CampariUSA and @Imbibe on Instagram, @Campari and @Imbibe on Twitter, and engaging with the #NegroniWeek hashtag.
- Forget 6 packs of beer, there’s 6 packs of CHAMPAGNE now!
- If your cocktail isn’t served in an oversized light bulb… why even bother?
- Trash tiki. Learn it. Love it. Live it.
- Allspice dram, a flavor for all seasons.
- Not all bubbles are the same. Get to know the differences between seltzer and club soda. You guys already know why tonic water is different…right?
- Make the effort to buy good, cheap wine and not cheap, bad wine.
- Want to know what cocktails you should be Instagramming this summer? These cocktails. Right here.
- Drink Rogue beer, send a kid to school. Yay beer!
- Apparently there are rules for drinking mezcal…one of which includes worms.
- And finally, Negroni Week is starting June 5th and we’ll be sharing a bunch of Negroni adventures here and on our Instagram. Follow along!
- Tiki bars are not going anywhere. But you can easily make your own at home too. Here’s how!
- Bourbon. A whole bottle. On your doorstep. Every month.
- Everything you wanted to know about whiskey in this easy to read primer. Plus, lots of great distilleries and recipes!
- Making your own orgeat is riddick easy. Did you know you can use pistachios? We did that.
- Plants! Cocktails! Cocktail terrariums! I must drink here.
- All about scotchy scotch scotch (and it’s a video!).
- So many pickleback recipes, for when you need more than…just one…pickleback.
- Twin Peaks is coming back. Here’s a cocktail to get you excited about that.
- So, pretty much Chicago is going to go in and shake up the NYC cocktail scene.
- And finally, a new cocktail book devoted to DAY DRINKING. YASSSSSS!
I was compensated by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas for my time in developing this recipe and post. All opinions are my own.
This past week, Instagram was filled, filled, with weddings. It’s like half the internet decided this was the most auspicious week of their lives and if they were ever going to get married they might as well do it now. And I’m in no way hating on these people, in fact, I loved looking over how different they all were from each other; I’m a total sucker for weddings.
All of this celebrating tuned me in to the fact that we are about to hit summer party season. Already. One would say you can’t tell by the weather here in Southern California, but those of us in the know, know, that summer season starts about as gray and gloomy as they get before the awful heat kicks in.
So today we’ve got a fun punch you can throw together for a wedding or a graduation party or “hey look I’ve got a stoop we can sit on for a few hours let’s make a punch and call it a party” party. You’ll find a reason guys to make this punch. It’s also a lovely pink-hued punch for our SoCal June gloom, but it will work for sunny days too. Let’s just all agree not to call it a millennial pink punch. Ok? It was inspired by Turkish cuisine with pomegranates, pistachio and orange blossom water, otherwise known as “Essential Oil of Neroli”.
I’ll tell you upfront, it’s gin based, and I can already hear some of my pals whining about how they don’t drink gin. But trust me! It layers nicely in here and if you use a London dry, like I tell you to, then it won’t be an overpoweringly “gin” punch. Pairing it with a rich pomegranate reduction give a sharp sweetness with a nutty layer from some pistachio orgeat. The whole punch gets tied together with the amazing scent of Nielsen-Massey’s Orange Blossom Water.
There is a tiny amount of the orange blossom water in the pistachio orgeat, but adding in the aroma directly to the punch makes for a more prominent aroma. Also, if you opt not to make the orgeat then this guarantees that you’re still getting lots of orange blossom with every sip.
I’ve been using the Nielsen-Massey vanillas for over a decade now and have started using their extracts in cocktails these past few years. All Nielsen-Massey products are all-natural, certified gluten-free, certified Kosher, allergen-free and GMO-Free, and there is an expanding line of certified organic products (right up our alley!). Their orange blossom water is my go-to for my obsession with almond-alternative orgeats as well.
Are you ready to start your summer punch party? Let’s get mixing.
Desert Rosé Punch
Serves 5-7 guests
7-1/2 ounces London dry style gin, such as Beefeater
1-1/2 ounces pistachio orgeat (recipe here, or sub in orgeat of choice)
2-1/2 ounces pomegranate reduction (recipe follows)
2-1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1-1/2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Orange Blossom Water, or to taste
1 bottle of sparkling rosé wine
orange slices and pomegranate seeds for ice block
- The day before, freeze together the orange slices and pomegranate seeds with water in a container that will fit your punch bowl.
- At least an hour before serving, combine the gin, pistachio orgeat, pomegranate reduction, lime juice and Nielsen-Massey Orange Blossom Water into your punch bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve, stir mixture and add ice block to the punch bowl. Top with sparkling rosé wine.
1-1/2 cups all natural pomegranate juice
- In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring pomegranate juice to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and let sit until juice reduces to a little over a quarter cup.
- Remove from the heat, let cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
- Rosé forties. The basic drink of summer, and also a lifestyle choice.
- And with all that “wine tasting” you’ll be doing this summer, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s actually good for your brain*. (*#alternativesciencefacts)
- I’m not bringing my babies to bars either.
- Craft cocktails ARE all the rage right now…
- OK, so I can bartend in VR but WHO WILL THROW THE BOOZE INTO MY MOUTH?!
- This is old news but I both love the idea of Fernet and Beer and the name here. Beer me up.
- Even Bill Murray couldn’t save the Manhattan Cocktail Classic this year.
- Ain’t nobody getting this rum punch recipe.
- Are you shaking your cocktails correctly? Hint: if it takes more than one person you’re doing it wrong.
- And finally, if you’re going to put “red diaries” and “Clive Owen” in your cocktail movie Campari, and he is not bartending in the nude, I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR MOVIE.
Mom wants to be sipping cocktails on a beach somewhere. She does not want to hear about this guy you met on Tinder (or maybe she does? Does he have a job?).
It’s always last minute with you kids. Did you forget it was Mother’s Day Sunday? I did too. Oops. Let’s take Mom on a mini vacay this year. Bring the unbreakable wine glasses, some fancy napkins and a giant sunhat, because…. rosé all day. Throw in some tasty cocktails and let her lounge around reading about beach cocktails, while at the beach.
To sweeten the deal, you can WIN a copy of Beach Cocktails AND score a $50 gift card to Mouth.com to buy Mom some chocolate, or some booze. Probably best to get the booze. Just head over to our Instagram and tag your mom, or a friend, in the comments. Winner will be announced Friday at 8pm PST.
1. You and Yours Sunday Gin 2. Rosé All Day hat 3. St. George Spirits California Citrus Vodka 4. Corkatoo Corkscrews 5. Beach Cocktails book 6. Bendiware Unbreakable Glasses 7. Fruitlab Orange Liqueur 8. Champagne Napkins
Catch up on all the gift guides here!
Due to popular demand, and by that I mean the handful of you who have expressed interest in this column, the Monday Booze News has returned on a semi-weekly…monthly… basis. I had struggled to keep this up due to not a lot of interesting booze news going on and had decided to put this column to sleep for awhile, but OH BOY, the news that happened in the meantime! So here you go folks, the booze news you’ve been missing. Starting with…
- Opening your damn wine bottle with a SHOE.
- My dear friend Nathan, who’s becoming quite a who’s who in the LA Cocktail scene here, had a whole article written about him. All the warm feels when your friends are doing awesome!
- Go home Apple Watch, you’re drunk.
- Camper English has been doing some fun things with clear ice balls lately. Check this interview out on Cocktail Chemistry!
- And for those ice balls, check out his Instagram.
- What the real history of May 5th is all about.
- Time Out LA’s Bar Awards of 2017 nominations list is out and boy, you should drink at ALL these places.
- An article on horseshoes that doesn’t involve Kentucky: what are horseshoe shaped bars all about?
- LIQUOR SOAKED FRENCH CHEESE.
- The Garnish Blog has a great list of cocktail blogs for you to check out (and we’re one of them!).
I need to apologize upfront to the reader who had asked about making this recipe two… three (??) years ago. At this point they’ve probably moved on, but I, however, kept this on my “to make” list and am finally, FINALLY, getting around to posting this. Sorry reader.
This will mark the third variation on orgeat I’ve done on the site (OK, one wasn’t technically mine) and I think this shows how adaptable some of these tried and true cocktail ingredients are. Sometimes plain old orgeat isn’t going to cut it and we need to sub in another kind of nut. Today we’re subbing in pistachios.
Pistachios give a savory, earthiness to the orgeat that you might be familiar with if you eat pistachio ice cream. It’s sweet, but hey, there’s a lot of savoriness in there too. Use this pistachio orgeat to pair with sweet tart flavors like passion fruit or berries.
A few notes on this recipe before you venture forward:
- If you can find pre-shelled pistachios you will save a lot of time. You might even save yourself some broken fingernails (ugh).
- Use WHITE sugar if you want to keep your orgeat a pretty avocado green. Yes, I constantly advocate for the use of unprocessed cane sugar, but if you use the unprocessed stuff with this pistachio orgeat, your color is going to turn a murky brown. It will taste fine, but won’t look pretty. Trust me, I know this for a fact.
- Get yourself a nut bag for straining. Cheesecloth is fine but if you like these kinds of projects then a reusable nut bag will not only catch more of the fine bits while straining, but you get to reuse the bag over and over again. I like this bag, but any bag you prefer will probably be fine.
- To orange flower water or not to orange flower water? That is the question with orgeats! Most recipes say optional but I say put it in. However, as always, it’s up to you.
Ok, let’s make this!
Yields approximately 2-1/2 cups
2 cups shelled roasted pistachios
2 cups water
2 cups granulated white sugar (see note above)
1 ounce vodka
1 teaspoon orange flower water, such as Nielsen-Massey (see note above)
- Place nuts in a bowl and fill with water to just cover them. Soak them for 30 minutes. Drain, place them in a freezer or Lewis bag, and crush them with a meat tenderizer or mallet.
- Place the crushed nuts in a large bowl and add the 2 cups of water to it. Let stand for four hours. Strain the nuts and water into another large bowl through a layer of cheesecloth, squeezing the cloth to extract all liquid. Add the nuts back into the strained water and let stand for another hour. This removes the oils from the nuts.
- Strain the liquid into a sauce pan and set aside the nuts for another use (I still recommend making chocolate bark with the nuts). Add the sugar to the pan and stir over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved (scrape the bottom occasionally with a spoon to remove any sugar that sticks). Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes, then add the vodka and orange flower water. Stir and store in a clean glass bottle or air-tight container.
If you’re anything like me, scrolling through endless Instagram photos of kids out at a festival, profusely sweating and pretending to smile at the camera, you’re SO happy you didn’t wait in line 45 minutes for a watered down margarita. You get to drink yours with 2 ounces of top shelf booze in front of the air conditioning. You win.
Still miss that 104° heat? Make your home bar into your own oasis. Here’s how…
Do they even serve alcohol at these festivals? Who cares! You have a well stocked bar cart at home. Throw up some cactus photos, maybe in #milleniumpink and match your glasses to that desert vibe. Crochet. There has to be lots of crochet things. A hanging chair to sip cocktails in? YES! And maybe some hanging crochet fruit baskets to match. Add in some tassels and some leather fringe. And if your festival look veers off in the electric art dream in the desert, might I suggest uranium glow-in-the-dark mixing glasses and colorful rainbow ice cubes? You can always use that glow stick to mix a few drinks with too.
1. Desert Distilling Vodka 2. Blush goblet 3. Cactus Print 4. Hanging Chair 5. Tassel Swizzle Sticks 6. Manila Bar Cart 7. Leather fringe flask 8. Cactus tumbler 9. Arette Tequila 10. Glow-in-the-dark mixing glass 11. Rainbow Ice Cubes
Catch up on all the gift guides here!