T’was the night before Christmas, and you realize that you’ve neglected to plan your holiday cocktail. Just kidding, we’re all at home drinking wine straight from the bottle this year, I’m sure. But, just in case, because it’s Christmas, I thought I would gift you all the easiest holiday cocktail spec. The Cranberry sauce Gin and Jam, is the perfect holiday cocktail you’ve been waiting for. If Snoop is drinking Gin and Juice, then Martha is drinking a Gin and Jam, and this one is just perfect for the holiday.
This is the easiest three ingredient cocktail, if you don’t have lemon, gin, and some sort of jam in your kitchen at all times then you’re probably in need of more than a cocktail. You can really use any kind of cranberry sauce, I’m a fan of the jellied kind in this cocktail, but I’ve also used the recipe that we make in my family, raw cranberries, whole orange, and a shit tonne of sugar, its best used after its been marinating for at least a day. The best part is that it uses the cranberry sauce that you’ve either a) made way too much of, b) completely forgotten to serve, or c) its a pandemic so fuck Christmas dinner, bring on the drinks!
Wishing everyone a safe and happy Holiday, and hoping that next year we will all be together again.
Cranberry Sauce Gin and Jam
2 oz. Ford’s London Dry Gin
1 tbsp cranberry sauce
A squeeze of lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake until combined and strain in to a glass with ice.
For the last four years Matthias from Served By Soberon has hosted a global instagram event called Secret Santé. Names are drawn, and those participating create an original cocktail for their recipient, like a boozy virtual secret Santa. While I’ve seen this event over the last few years, this is my first year actually joining in on the fun. Honestly, I was a little nervous about making a cocktail for someone I don’t know. Luckily I drew Shay from @choccoffeewine, and even though her account was new to me it didn’t take long for inspiration to strike.
Shay is a chocolate connoisseur, beer enthusiast and lover of whiskey and wine, so luckily I had a few options. I wanted something a little festive so I based this cocktail on a wintery red wine hot chocolate. I made a syrup out of Cow Cow Chocolate Milk Stout which is chocolatey, malty and adds a lovely creaminess to the drink. It maintains the flavor profile of creamy hot chocolate but in an unexpected way. After all of the work to make the syrup (it’s actually very easy) I’ve kept the ratios simple 1:1:1. A super easy, lower ABV cocktail that you can drink all night
Underneath The Tree
1 oz. chocolate milk stout syrup
1 oz. Elijah Craig bourbon
1 oz. fruit red wine or any leftover mulled wine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until very chilled and diluted. Strain into a coupe glass garnished with chocolate shavings and glitter sprinkles.
Chocolate Stout Syrup
16 oz. can of chocolate stout (Cow Cow Chocolate Milk Stout)
4 oz. sugar
In a pot over medium heat reduce stout by half. Once reduced stir in sugar. I recommend using a scale to make sure ratios are correct. Pour into a sealed container and refrigerate.
When life gives you gross beer, make lemon meringue pie cocktails with it? Here’s the thing about me, I love to try anything weird or unusually flavored. I like to think that it usually works out half of the time, but the other half of the time you end up with something that’s usually pretty gross. So, when I ordered a lemon meringue pie cream ale I had high hopes. I bet big and I lost, it was un-drinkable. That being said it’s my own opinion, clearly the people who made this beer like it, so I don’t even want to tell you what it was called. I didn't want to waste it though, so I thought I would make a cocktail with it. I drank it, so it was taster then the beer… but it is one hundred percent a work in progress.
I’m not sure what this is exactly, maybe a beer punch or a sangria-style shandy? The beer is the base, with a fortifying shot of graham cracker infused bourbon and oleo for sweetness. The graham cracker infused bourbon really needs a centrifuge, and lacking that, the multiple strainings still didn’t really help with the texture. Assuming I could get my hands on a centrifuge, I would definitely try making a syrup out the beer, probably cut out the oleo, and increase the bourbon. It’s topped with a slightly caramelized Italian meringue so it really doesn’t need a lot of additional sweetness. I would love for someone to give this a go and see if they can make it work. Let me know in the comments if you give it a try, or have any ideas.
Lemon Meringue Pie In The Sky
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. lemon oleo saccahrum
1 oz. graham cracker infused bourbon
6 oz. lemon meringue pie beer
Add the lemon juice, lemon oleo and graham cracker infused bourbon to a shaker with ice and shake until combined. Pour into a large glass and add the beer on top. Garnish with an Italian meringue swirl and use a culinary torch to brown the meringue.
Lemon Oleo Saccarhum
4 lemons peeled
1/4 cup sugar
Pour the sugar over the lemon peels, and let sit for up to one day. Pour off the oil and store in the fridge.
Graham cracker infused bourbon
5 oz. heaven hill bourbon
80 g. Graham cracker
Using a blender combine bourbon and graham crackers, strain through a coffee filter. Again this really needs a centrifuge to truly remove all of the solids.
When hiking in a desert you should definitely stay well hydrated, and if you’re going to bring a cocktail make sure its Emily Farris’ Baby spritz. This was my first trip to the high desert and Joshua Tree National Park here in California. I'm generally more of an Ocean person, but I was totally blown away with the vastness of the desert landscape. Even with a totally functional outfit, no make-up, and a crazy easy cocktail, I still couldn’t have pulled this off without my lovely assistants, Steve and Colleen, who helped my wrangle stuff and made sure I didn’t fall off that wall.
Having a really easy cocktail was key to being able to pull this off, it was pretty hot out, and on top of that there were thirsty bee’s everywhere so we wanted to be very careful with any liquids. This is a really great spritz, no measuring needed and you can make it super low-ABV. It was the perfect thing for our weekend in Joshua tree. I’m going to need a little more practice (and a new camera, wink wink) before I start doing this on the regular, but I was pretty impressed with our mischief managed, we even had some ice.
I try to keep these posts on the shorter side, and they are usually focused on the clothes and cocktails, though I'll be the first to admit that they are a work in progress. I would love to know if anyone would be interested in a more detailed Joshua Tree travel post, where to stay, eat, hike and the cocktails to bring? Let me know in the comments.
Emily Farris’ Baby Spritz
Lemon Le Croix
Mix to your preferred potency on ice.
We finally moved into our new house, and while I am still unpacking the millions of boxes of our crap (why do we own this much stuff???) I had to take a break to post an entry to this months Home bar Awards contest. Novembers theme is Go Bitters, or go home and there was no way I was going to miss it. I was lucky enough to have recently been gifted some of Scrappy’s Bitters product so I had a lot of inspiration to work with. It was their chocolate and orange bitters that made me think of one of my all-time favorite Christmas candies, Terry’s Chocolate Orange. I don’t want to brag, but my husband and I have already polished off at least one chocolate orange in a single sitting.
The challenge was to use a whole ounce of bitters in a cocktail. Traditionally bitters are used in a small amount to season a cocktail, but the trend of using bitters as a fully fledged ingredient has become more popular recently. I modified the specs of a sidecar and with an ounce of bitters this is not a cocktail for the faint of heart, or anyone who likes their drinks on the sweeter side. The result is a cocktail with an initial bitterness followed by a sweet citrusy after taste and a chocolate orange scent.
1 oz. Hardy XO Cognac
1 oz. Cointreau
1/2 oz. Scrappy’s Bitters Chocolate bitters
1/2 oz. Scrappy’s Bitters Orange bitters
1/2 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled and slightly diluted. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with an orange twist and a slice of Terry’s chocolate orange.