- Coffee flavored wine. I’m…I’m so confused by this.
- Service charges for cocktails? Yea or nay?
- The health community continues to contradict itself with medical studies on alcohol.
- Shrubs. This summer’s cocktail buzz word (lives up to the hype).
- Musings on the history of the Martini with a recipe of one you can snort.
- Oh shit. We’re running out of whiskey.
- Yeah, Kentucky is beautiful, but we’re mainly coming to drink all your booze.
- Hella Bitters has a kickstarter for a make your own bitters kit. Check it!
- Everyone’s falling in love with Orgeat. All the Tiki folks like “duuuuuhhhhhhh”.
- Go grab some barefoot virgins and make Nocino today.
- The World Cup is on (I’m watching and I don’t know why). Here’s a drink matched for every team playing.
- Honolulu is upping their tropical cocktail game and I’m having serious #FOMO.
- Floating vines, stray bullets…the world’s most EXTREME vineyards.
- Does “local” mean more to you than “taste”? The current situation with craft distilling.
- A drink a day keeps the eye doctor away!
- I’m all for “Sunrise Pick Me Ups”: a brief history of the Old Fashioned.
- Defining what makes “Tennessee Whiskey” if it’s not from Tennessee.
- Trendy bar name generator. I got Cleaver & Yard. I’d drink there.
- The World’s Most Imaginative bartender made a cocktail that tastes like money.
- Like drinking games? Like the Golden Girls? Here you go...
- Ordering beer around the world. Keep this handy.
- Some excellent tips for writing a cocktail book from Michael Dietsch.
- Beer for dogs. Wine for cats. These exist in our world.
- And so does PB&J beer. Has anyone tried this yet?
- Not a bad list of gins, but missing so many others...
- Bruce Lee flair bartending style. Show off.
- Whoa New Hampshire! I guess if you’re stuck in the woods all the time you’re going to drink. A lot.
- A very scientific approach to batching cocktails (i.e. my new method).
- Nice little article on Jeffrey Morgenthaler who has a really great book out right now.
- It’s my birthday. Will someone please by me a set of handblown Aquavit glasses?
- Support an awesome campaign to record the history of the West Coast Cocktail!
- The oldest Tiki bars in America. I’ve been to 4 out of 5. I think this list is missing a couple though.
- WHO IS BRINGING THEIR OWN BITTERS TO THE BAR? WHO? Miracle Mile Bitters is excused from this.
- Canada…you’re so predictable.
- Whiskey flavored pigs. Seriously guys.
- Everyone should have a house cocktail. What’s yours?
- A great piece that argues both for rusticity and modernity for authenticity in Mexican spirits.
- Weird cocktail names. Monkey gland always sounded strange to me...
- A cocktail bar graph for the modern farmer.
- Plastic beer bag sounds both awful and applicable.
- Father’s Day is less than a week away. Here are the Stir & Strain gift picks!
Last week for the holiday weekend Monday was the round up post for Aw, Nuts! I hope you all enjoyed it! Now we’re back on schedule with this week’s booze news.
- Negroni Week starts today. I kicked it off a little early last week.
- How are people not surprised that the unmarked bottle of slushie booze bought through Instagram could potentially kill them?
- Sometimes I find it funny that we need to remind people how to behave in bars. Like this.
- New for the 21st century! Snake oil dealers are now working with ice.
- 8 weird cocktail ingredients (a few of which you’ve seen here before).
- Texas, land of beer, is now the land of salty vodka drinkers.
- World’s most expensive drinks always tend to have a diamond stuck in there somewhere. Here’s a tour of them!
- Here’s 10 things that local venerated L.A. barman Eric Alperin hates (I hate these things too).
- Bottled cocktail: not just a fad.
- Need some day drinking ideas? Try these out.
- And whatever you do, don’t let Mario Batali make you a drink.
- You have until MIDNIGHT (your time zone) to get your entry in for Mixology Monday!
- Highlights from this year’s Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala. Bummed I missed it.
- Do you want to be a brand ambassador? Here’s some tips for landing that job.
- The rise of the Bitter in cocktails, with a side of science.
- So basically you’re telling me I need to drink more champagne? OK, I can do that.
- Flavor infused ice cubes are apparently the next big thing in cocktails.
- Great read on women in whiskey advertising over the last 100 years (spoiler: ad guys go horribly wrong).
- Cocktail hour a la Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. With an ice luge.
- The barrel matters: some facts on aging whiskey.
- Seriously guys, I started my honeymoon doing this before we rented a car and drove around the South. I didn’t regret a moment of it.
- Mixology Monday for May ends in ONE week! Are you up for the challenge?
- Simon Ford gives us the 7 most influential cocktails of all time. I agree.
- I’m really into these fruity chasers.
- Barrel-apocalypse. The next shortage to hit the cocktail/liquor world.
- Speaking of barrels, this Tales of the Cocktail program is a little deceiving (IF ONLY you could bring your own barrel and fill it up).
- Right now I am enjoying berries in all my cocktails. Like this one.
- Roundup of the best cocktail apps. I’ve got Bartender’s Choice, Mixology and the new Thirstie. Do you have a fav?
- Does someone have a contact for Connie Chung? Cause I think I just found a new lady I’d like to drink with.
- I’d also like to drink with these ladies. Here’s a few recipes from some Speed Rack finalists.
- Father’s Day is coming up. Here’s a beer poster for the dad who likes beer (which is every dad).
- 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.
- The Kentucky Derby may be over, but do you really need a reason for more Bourbon, Bourbon, Bourbon?
- Ok, so you did have too much too drink. Try these nonalcoholic drinks that actually sound delicious.
- Where is beer headed next? Apparently Africa.
- Everything you ever wanted to know about Jungle Juice.
- 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.
Do you ever look over a cocktail recipe and think to yourself, this is too intimidating? Or maybe, I have no idea what any of these ingredients are! Sorry, I’m sure looking through this site some of you may have had those exact reactions. Although I like to challenge myself, because challenges build character or whatever, sometimes I just want something I can throw together and still think it looks delicious but wasn’t a hassle to make.
Sometimes I need to stop over-thinking these recipes.
This past weekend I challenged myself waaaaaay out of my comfort zone and went away for a few days to a food blogger conference (Big Traveling Potluck). Just so all of you cocktail bloggers know, we are under the vast umbrella that is food blogging (so if you get the chance, GO). Also, when you attend these things, chances are there isn’t another one of you around; you get to feel special in this weird, incestuous, high school-like cliquish group. I may be overstating that sentiment, but it’s close.
After getting over the initial I-don’t-know-anyone-here anxiety, people will just inherently feel pity on you and strike up a conversation. But the following day you can get over yourself and start having real conversations with people who all share the same passion and business questions you do. You can talk about blogging without wondering if the other person thinks you’re a hack or ask questions about CPCs and other acronyms that you’ve already forgotten what they stand for. What struck me as funny, was that there was this underlying anxiety everyone wanted to share: to slow down, give yourself some air to not feel in competition with the THOUSANDS of other people vying for the same internet space; but no one had any kind of answer. Regardless of what you were blogging about, there is always someone else you think you need to beat. Thinking about this sucks the fun out of creating for your site (at least for me…maybe you dig it).
After 3 days there I abruptly felt like I had been given my own answer: get out of your headspace and just make a damn drink. If your content speaks to people, they will read it regardless of whether it’s complicated or not. And if you’re not happy with what you did, don’t publish it. Move on to something else.
This conference may have been a tad more personal than some of the larger ones out there. There was probably way more crying (in public) and more opportunities to talk one-on-one with everyone, but for me, it helped clear out some mental blocks that I had been dealing with lately. I’m not seeking out challenges with any regularity, but I find that conquering one at least every once in awhile gets me motivated again.
Also, I appreciate you guys for visiting this site.
So, onto the drink. Basil and blueberries are not an uncommon flavor duo, and frankly, you could probably do an internet search and find some similar recipes. However, today this is what I felt like sharing with you all and what I wanted to make with ingredients not uncommon, and definitely readily available. I also wanted to make a good-looking garnish; I can never leave well-enough alone.
4-6 basil leaves
small handful of blueberries (like, 10 or so)
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup (more or less to taste)
3 ounces gin, Citadelle Reserve used here*
Garnish: 3 blueberries, 2 basil leaves, lemon zest
- In the bottom of a double rocks glass, muddle basil, blueberries, lemon juice and simple syrup. Add about an inch of ice, stir, and add gin. Fill glass with more crushed ice. Zest lemon on top of ice and garnish with blueberries and basil leaves on a cocktail pick. Straw is optional.
Basil and lemons florals for the initial aroma. There’s a nice sourness to this that is picked up from the lemon and blueberries. The basil is subtle, but present, adding earthy, vegetal qualities while the gin adds a kick of flavor from the barrel aging. The rich, spicy gin brings the “lightness” of the other ingredients down a bit making the cocktail more robust.
*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.
- FOOD SCIENCE: drinking until you’re (not) drunk.
- You’re less likely to encounter violence in England now outside the bar, but you sure are paying a lot of money for that cocktail.
- What your zodiac sign says about how awful you are at being a drunk.
- Regional cocktail recipes to start your week with.
- On demand booze service. From your smart phone. Pants not required.
- Dirty Rotten Wine Scoundrels.
- 3D printers now invading bars (but it’s pretty cool).
- Alcohol expert says drink a bottle of wine every day. It’s good for you!
- After all the hype, powdered alcohol is actually not coming to a store near you.
- And lastly, if you’d like to be reminded that there are amazing people out there in the world, read this.