Gift Guide: Father’s Day 2017

Unless that tie rack comes with booze…think again.

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2017 // stirandstrain.com

 

For the bookworm Dad: booze books. For the stylish Dad: booze cufflinks. For the junk food Dad: beer and pretzel ice cream. For the outdoorsy Dad: a pocketknife to hand carve a muddler. Oh, and also a plaid flask (duh). For the goofy Dad: bourbon socks. For all the rest of the Dads: whisk(e)y. And you should probably throw in a Negroni finger stirrer because… well, your Dad knows a joke for that too.

1. Call Me Old Fashioned print 2. Coolhaus Beer and Pretzel ice cream 3. Rum Curious 4. The Bloody Mary Book 5. Bourbon socks 6. Cocktail cufflinks 7. Opinel pocket knife 8. Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky 9. Gaz Regan Negroni Finger Stirrer 10. Plaid flask

 

Catch up on all the gift guides here!

{Now Closed} Giveaway // Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers & Cocktail Books!

Giveaway: Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers and Cocktail Books // stirandstrain.comDo you find yourself with not enough time to make your own yummy cocktail mixers because you’ve been inundated with holiday office parties/yule log cutting parties/tree singing soirées/ etc and so on? Me too.

So, I’m stepping in to save you from chugging that bourbon alone for this week’s giveaway. We’ve teamed up with Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers to offer THREE lucky Stir and Strain readers a 3-pack variety of mixers including their Lemongrass Ginger Sauvignon Blanc, Blood Orange Muscat, and Hibiscus Grenache. And, because you can’t show up to a holiday party empty handed (and you’re keeping the mixers to yourself), here at Stir and Strain we’re giving away a surprise cocktail book to each winner as well! Take it to the party, leave it at the White Elephant table, gift it to drunk uncle Frank… it’s up to you what you want to do with the books. You could, of course, keep it for yourself as well.

The StirAndStrain.com BookshelfStolen Fruit does not have anything to do with the legality of the product, FYI. The “stolen fruit” refers to the blend of verjus – the fresh pressed juice from green grapes – varietal grape juice, and grape skins that make up the base of the mixers. Then they’ve added in fresh, unique ingredients for a mixer that is great with any kind of booze, or if you’re not into the hard stuff, sparkling water or seltzer. It’s the perfect bottle to keep on hand when the holidays get hectic and you just.need.a.drink. But one that tastes good and you don’t regret.

Giveaway: Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers and Cocktail Books // stirandstrain.comReady to mix it up? Enter below and get up to 12 entries to win. Remember, THREE of you are going to get a 3-pack AND a book (Open to US residents only). Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST Tuesday December 13th, 2016. For more information on Stolen Fruit, check out their website at www.stolenfruit.com! Good luck!

AND! Stolen Fruit is offering FREE SHIPPING from now until December 20 with code stir16 (all lowercase). YAY!

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{Now Closed} Giveaway // The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking & Stir and Strain Grab Bag

Giveaway: The Thinking Girl's Guide to Drinking // stirandstrain.comIf you’re overstuffed from Halloween, but still in need of a good cocktail, let’s start November off right with some healthy alternatives to high-sugar, high-fat, artificially flavored drinks. This week we’ve teamed up with the ladies behind The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking to offer you just that: cocktails without all the crap.

Author’s Ariane Resnick, certified nutritionist and author of The Bone Broth Miracle and Brittini Rae, Speed Rack 2015 winner and nationally recognized cocktail maven, combine their expert knowledge in the realms of mixology and nutrition to create inventive cocktails and mocktails that are not only fun and delicious, but nourishing and full of health benefits. This book is really about using high-quality, whole ingredients to help mitigate the negative effects of alcohol.

Want a taste? Here’s a delicious recipe to try from the book:

Giveaway: The Thinking Girl's Guide to Drinking // stirandstrain.com

Tiger’s Eye

recipe courtesy of Regan Arts

2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 dash orange bitters
1 orange peel, for garnish

Shake all the ingredients except the orange peel in a shaker with ice. Strain into a champagne saucer and, if desired, flame the orange peel over the top.


And because we here at Stir and Strain are already getting into the holiday spirit, the winner will also receive a bonus grab bag of goodies from us. Maybe a couple helpful things to get you started on your cocktail making *wink wink*.

So gather up your fresh fruit, a bottle or two of some healing tonics, and enter to win today! You can get up to 10 entries below. For more information on Ariane Resnick, check out her website at arianecooks.com and find Brittini Rae on Instagram at instagram.com/whiskynlace  Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST Monday November 7th, 2016 (US residents only). Good luck!

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{Now Closed} Giveaway // Colonial Spirits & a Loggerhead Bar Tool

Giveaway: Colonial Spirits and Loggerhead Bar Tool // stirandstrain.comGrowing up in New England, once the calendar page turned to October, inevitably the Colonial time plays in school began. But what they didn’t cover in grade school was the real story of how America came to be: those Colonists got drunk and invented America.

If you’re intrigued about just how these fine folks did this, then this week’s giveaway is for YOU! We’ve got a giveaway package that tells you the whole story, AND an amazing new on the scene bar tool you can use to replicate some of the toasty beverages those Colonists enjoyed while, you know, inventing America.

Giveaway: Colonial Spirits and Loggerhead Bar Tool // stirandstrain.comColonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History by author Steven Grasse combines a love of cocktails and history into an immensely entertaining book that’s perfect for your cocktail book shelf. Here’s a few facts from the book you can throw out at your next Fall Holiday party:

  • George Washington had a treasured recipe for Small Beer stashed in a notebook, brewed with Bran Hops and 3 Gallons of Molasses
  • Martha Washington developed Cherry Bounce, a brandy-based drink that keeps her husband warm while he is away fighting the Revolutionary War
  • Benjamin Franklin took it upon himself to pen the Drinkers Dictionary, kind of like a colonial version of Urban Dictionary, where he published at least 200 synonyms for getting drunk
  • Thomas Jefferson imports red wines from all over the globe, collecting 20,000 bottles during his presidency; and toasts the Declaration of Independence with a glass of Madeira
  • John Smith and the early settlers at Plymouth Rock learn how to ferment alcohol from corn, as taught to them by Native Americans
  • John Adams preferred hard cider and drank a tankard of the stuff every morning; and Adams would live to be 90 years old, the third longest living president.
  • The Triangular Trade (and the blight of slavery) fuels the rum business and Fish House Punch is created at Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern as a way for people to “forget their mother-in-law”

How many of you have a loggerhead in your home bar? My bet is no one. However, this bar tool has been around for centuries helping to create toasty cocktails going all the way back to the Colonial era. And now one lucky Stir and Strain reader will get their hands on their own! But what is it you may be asking. The loggerhead is a unique bar tool that’s simple in design, yet has an effect on cocktails that’s complex and incomparable. Heat up the loggerhead, prepare your drink and then plunge the loggerhead in to create an exciting effect (and heat up your drink). This is the perfect bar tool for those chilly nights ahead of us.

Giveaway: Colonial Spirits and Loggerhead Bar Tool // stirandstrain.comThe loggerhead is finishing up its Kickstarter run but has already been funded which means you’ll get yours by December. For more info on the loggerhead, head over to their page!

Ready to drink like this nation’s forefathers? Enter below and score up to 10 entries to win the Colonial Spirits and Loggerhead Bar Tool (approximate retail value $90)! Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST Wednesday October 12th, 2016 (US residents only). Good luck!

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Recommended Reading: Back to School Cocktail Book Edition!

School’s back in session and you have some reading to catch up on… About cocktails of course!

There’s been a slew of new cocktail releases we’re excited about and we wanted to share some of our favs. And watch this space in the following weeks because some of these guys are going home with you for free!

Gift Guides: Recommended Reading for Cocktail Books 2016 // stirandstrain.com

Do you guys have a favorite you can’t wait to read?

Top Row: A Proper Drink / Amaro / The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking

Middle Row: Colonial Spirits / Bourbon / Imbibe! Revised Edition

Bottom Row: Smuggler’s Cove / The Coupe / The Canon Cocktail Book

{Now Closed} Giveaway // Zen and Tonic: Savory and Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker and a Stir and Strain Grab Bag!

Giveaway: Zen and Tonic Cocktail book and grab bag // stirandstrain.comIt’s Spring! And I think it’s time for a little cocktail refresh don’t you? I LOVE a cocktail made from fresh ingredients, and even better when they come from my garden. This week we’ve got a giveaway that’s sure to bring on the cocktail inspiration (from your garden, or, you know, the supermarket). Zen and Tonic: Savory and Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker has over 80 recipes that are not only delicious, but can also provide a health boost too!

Giveaway: Zen and Tonic Cocktail book and grab bag // stirandstrain.comBlending superfoods right into your drinks, Aron’s recipes use unexpected ingredients, like ginger, kiwis, coconut water, kale, and kombucha, for powerful health benefits and surprisingly delicious flavors. A boozy boost is optional, but highly recommended, in recipes like:

* Papaya Passion Fresca
* The Drunken Avocado
* Yellow Mary
* Retox Detox
* Mexican Chocolate Buzz

Giveaway: Zen and Tonic Cocktail book and grab bag // stirandstrain.comBesides cocktail recipes, it also includes some fun ideas for making boozy popsicles, flavored ice cubes, infused spirits, and lots of techniques to up your cocktail game!

And we’ve been doing some Spring cleaning around Stir and Strain headquarters (like updating our bar shelves) and have put together a fun grab bag of goodies (no booze though this time, but we promise it’s fun stuff!).

Giveaway: Zen and Tonic Cocktail book and grab bag // stirandstrain.com
So are you ready to stuff some Spring into your drinks?! Me too! Oh wait, I can’t enter. But you can! Check out the options below to enter and get up to 11 entries to win. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST Sunday April 10th, 2016. For more information on Zen and Tonic and the Healthy Bartender, check out the Jules Aron website!

Holiday Gift Guide: The Boozy Book Club

Curling up by the fire, cocktail in one hand, a great book in the other, is one fantastic way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon. And this year, we’re in luck with the amazing plethora of cocktail books that have hit the shelves. Ready to crack one open? Let’s dive in with this week’s Gift Guide!

Holiday Gift Guide: Boozy Book Club // stirandstrain.com

 

From single spirits to honing your craft to the actual science behind that drink, there is a cocktail book out there for everyone this year. Thanks 2014. And if your bartender is still shaking your Manhattan, well, there’s a book for that too.

Top Row: Sherry / Death & Co / Shrubs

Middle Row: Proof / The Bar Book / The Old-Fashioned

Bottom Row: Liquid Intelligence / Spirit of Gin / The 12 Bottle Bar

 

Check out all the past gift guides here!

Violet’s (Garden) Party

Violet's Garden Party Cocktail // stirandstrain.comThis week I’m dialing it back a little with the ingredients. I’m sure you lot would love it if the drink recipe didn’t include a laundry list of items that would mean at least two separate store trips. And possibly an Amazon purchase. I get it; I want simple sometimes too. But let’s not get too lazy. One item I have in my bar at home that may seem odd but worth picking up is violet liqueur.

But it tastes like flowers. Well, no, not really. While its uniqueness does come from the floral aroma, it imparts a delicate sweetness as well when used in moderation. You’ve had an Aviation, right? Did it taste like you were choking down a garden? If it did it wasn’t made properly, and if you really want a good one, check out the Improved version.

So let’s just get this out there, you will need violet liqueur for this drink. But, everything else you should have on hand, or have a neighbor who could help out.

A short while ago I was sent a copy of The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending with Flair which I’ve been perusing as of late. Besides a multitude of more complex cocktail recipes, which are projects I always love, there were also the smattering of more approachable recipes that one is drawn to since it can be done with ingredients you probably have on hand. Today’s drink stems from one of those.

There are just 3 key players in this drink, but the complexity of each ingredient transforms this into a much livelier concoction than expected. Also, it doesn’t hurt that this is an easy drinker and that here in Southern California it’s pretty dang hot outside still in January. Perhaps you should turn your heat up and make one of these while watching the Travel Channel’s island report show. I swear it will help combat any SAD symptoms you may be experiencing.Violet's Garden Party Cocktail // stirandstrain.com

Adapted slightly from The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending with Flair*
Yields two cocktails
3 oz. Partida Anejo Tequila*
1-1/4 oz. Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur
3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice, Bearss used here

lime wedge for garnish

Mix tequila, violet liqueur and lime juice in a mixing glass 2/3 filled with ice to chill for about 20-25 seconds. Strain over a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with the lime wedge.

The violet liqueur is one of those “a little goes a long way” ingredients and I believe is actually a good match for another strong character found in the Anejo. I actually cut back the violet a 1/4 ounce from the original recipe and upped the lime juice a 1/4 ounce to balance my own ingredients. The result was a refreshing drink that was both floral and bright, and really a good day drink for me. The tequila I found to be more prominent on the nose but blended nice and evenly once mixed.

Anyone have any other recipes with Violet Liqueur? I’d love to hear about them!

*Items generously given gratis and appear here because I like them. For more info on sponsored products, affiliate links, and gifted booze, please visit the About page.