It’s Valentine’s Day! Just kidding, I don’t fucking care. Here’s a list of things you can do on Valentines day; eat chocolate, drink champagne, tell someone you love them, love yourself. Hot tip, its also a list of things you can do every day! Whether you’re a Valentine’s Day fan or you prefer to abstain, I propose that this Pisco Punch is the perfect cocktail for all eventualities.
Trying this Pisco Punch cocktail at the Comstock Saloon, complete with their secret ingredient, is at the top of my to-do list. Until then, I’ll be substituting the Nichol juice for lime bitters, since the only info I have on it is that it's a tincture made from Makrut lime leaves. For more history about this cocktail you can read all about it in Trevor Felch’s book San Francisco Cocktails.
Pisco Punch (Comstock Saloon)
2 oz. Capurro Pisco
1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
.75 oz. Small Hands Foods Pineapple Gum Syrup
3-4 dashes Scrappy Bitters lime bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake until chilled and strain in to a glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
I'm jumping the gun a bit, and there will be a more in-depth post about my new project working my way through Trevor Felch's book San Francisco Cocktails.The first Cocktail in the book was created specifically for San Francisco Cocktails by Duggan McDonnell. McDonnell is the author of Drinking the Devil’s Acre, and a highly respected voice in the SF cocktail scene. This cocktail was designed to showcase California in theme and materials, including California produced Rye and Brandy as well as a liqueur made from the state flower the California poppy.
So, here’s the dirt… First, I will admit that I am not made of time and money and so I used what I had sitting in my already very full liquor cabinet. Maybe one day I will invest in some local Rye and Brandy, but for this cocktail I went with the last dregs of some Whistle Pig Rye and a middle of the road Cognac. I now have an overwhelming amount syrup that tastes vaguely like dodger coconuts, and a feeling that not all coconut water is made equal. Honestly, and I rarely say this about anything that contains alcohol, I didn’t like it enough to drink it.
Gold Mountain (Duggan McDonnell)
1.5 oz. Whistle Pig Rye
0.5 oz. Cognac
0.5 oz. Coconut syrup (1:1 coconut water to sugar)
1 bar spoon GreenBar Grand Poppy Liqueur
2 dashes angostura bitters
2 dashes Scrappy’s Bitters Chocolate bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir, strain into and Old Fashioned glass over a large ice cube and garnish with an orange peel.
This year the rum is black and the cuts are deep. If you can figure out the references for the name of this cocktail leave me a comment for full credit. The entire concept of this cocktail was designed to work with the very raspberry gummi eyeball candy that I really wanted to use as a garnish. I also wanted it to be warming and cozy without being cloying or too fall flavor inspired, you know apples, cloves, cinnamon…
I started with the creme de cassis as a compliment to the candy raspberry in the gummi, I added the Mr. Black for a little sophistication and the Kraken for just the subtle hint of spice in addition to the strong black rum. Adding the lemon and egg whites to create a sour helps to balance the sweetness and give the drink a nice texture. This cocktail pairs perfectly with halloween candy, perhaps a post trick’or’treat night cap?
Full Romero Sour
1 1/2 oz. Kraken Black Spiced Rum
1/2 oz. Gabriel Boudier Creme de Cassis
1/2 oz. Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 egg white
Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker, dry shake for approximately 30 seconds, add ice and shake until just chilled. Strain into a Nick and Nora glass and garnish with a candy eyeball.
I’ve been trying to make some changes to my diet and lifestyle in an effort to get a little healthier. Drink more water, regular exercise, stretch, eat more veggies, get more sleep. I try, but I’ve never really gotten a kick out of any of those superior behaviors that seemingly bestow moral rightness on people. I like to be bad, and it’s probably for the best that I’ve never gotten into hard drugs or a life of crime. So you’ll understand why sometimes I’m just eating a salad and the thought that it would taste really good with some gin just pops into my mind.
The idea was to bring the salty, slightly sweet freshness of a tomato with a little olive oil to martini form. I originally planned to use a tomato infused vodka, but it was so awful that I had to throw it out and even the thought of it brings a bad taste (and smell) into my mouth. So I had to adapt, and instead of using vermouth I used some fino sherry to add a sweet grassiness, reminiscent of tomato, to the martini. Just a touch of salt and topped with a good quality extra virgin olive oil and this is the most satisfying salad I’ve had in a while.
3 oz. Sipsmith Dry Gin
1/4 oz. Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
Pinch of kosher salt
2-3 drops of extra virgin olive oil
Shake the gin, sherry and salt in a shaker with ice until chilled and strain into a coupe. Garnish with a fresh cherry tomato and a few drops of olive oil.
It’s finally here! Negroni week is an opportunity to show some love for a great cocktail and make some money for charity. I had the opportunity to work with one of my favorite gin’s from Highclere Castle on a Negroni recipe. While I love a classic Negroni it’s also such a fun drink to experiment with. The real trick is the maintain the integrity of the drink while adding some new flavors and textures.
This Negroni spec is based on a London Fog, which is an Earl Grey tea latte. I infused the Campari with the earl grey tea and the vermouth with vanilla bean. Despite my better judgment I added a drop of whole milk, which when filtered, adds a slight creaminess to the drink.
Fog City Negroni
1 oz. Highclere Castle Gin (gifted)
1 oz. earl grey tea infused Campari
1 oz. vanilla infused Cinzano sweet vermouth rosso
1/8 oz. whole milk
Combine all ingredients and filter through a chemex. Once strained add to a mixing glass with ice, stir until chilled. Strain into a low ball glass over a large ice cube.
have two major problems in my life. The first is that I want to taste all of the cocktails. The second is that thanks to my WASP-y upbringing I am in capable of not finishing a drink… or maybe that’s my Scots-Irish genetics. Either way these two fatal flaws in my other wise perfect personality often lead me to the same fork in the road: an unquenched sense of curiosity or over indulgence. Enter my love for low ABV cocktails.
I’ll save my love letter for low ABV cocktails for another day, mostly because this one doesn’t quite make sense in that category. Three ounces of booze might be a normal amount for a cocktail, but a Zombie is traditionally comprised of at least three ounces of rum so even cutting back this is still a stiff drink. In this version I’ve cut the rum bak to an ounce each, dropped the absinthe and the grenadine and substituted the Donn’s mix for Pamplemousse liquor and ground cinnamon. The velvet Falernum helps create that classic tiki flavor. And Voilà you have an easy, slightly less fatal riff on a Zombie.
1 oz. KōHana Kea Hawaiian Agricole light rum
1 oz. KōHana Kila Hawaiian Agricole dark rum
3/4 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. Pamplemousse liquor
1/2 oz. velvet Falernum
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Pinch of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until very cold. Strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice.
Some of my favorite memories growing up took place during the last few hot days of summer, made all the more precious because you know that winter is coming. Since I haven’t been able to travel home to Canada for quite a while I was so happy to receive a bottle of Swear Jar’s Canadian whisky to help remind me of home.
Swear Jar’s craft distilled Canadian whisky is so good, I knew that I wanted a simple cocktail that would really make it shine. I wanted the tastes of that Canadian summer that I’ve been missing, and what’s more summery then a strawberry and rhubarb combo? It had to be a cobbler, what could be more perfect for sitting and sipping while enjoying the last of the summer heat?
Shrub Your Cobbler
3 oz. Swear Jar Canadian Whisky
1/2 oz. strawberry shrub
1/2 oz. rhubarb shrub
Seasonal fruits and berry’s
Fill a cobbler goblet with cracked ice, pour both shrubs over the ice and top with whisky. Add a bar straw and Garnish with plenty of seasonal fruit.
This amazing re-shake was created by @sippingwithstella. It’s just one of their many amazing looking cocktails, and the beautiful photos don’t hurt either. I can’t resist a dill pickle so I knew this cocktail was going to be right up my ally. Honestly, I’m so glad that I finally got around to making it because it was better then I had imagined.
Shockingly, I have not made a single amendment or substitution to this spec, and after tasting it there isn’t anything that I would change. This cocktail is salty-sweet with just the right amount of tartness from the pickle juice, and a hint of smoky heat from the mezcal and Serrano pepper. This is pretty much every thing I love in a chilled highball glass, and I couldn’t be happier.
A Jarring Experience (@sippingwithstella)
1.5 oz. Yola Mezcal
3/4 oz. Kosher dill pickle juice
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. Cointreau
1/3 oz. simple syrup
1 slice Serrano pepper
Rim a highball glass with pink salt and fill with ice. Combine the pepper and lime juice in a shaker and muddle, add the rest of ingredients and ice and shake until chilled. Strain into prepared glass and garnish with a pickle and pepper.
Tequila, Mezcal, Creme de Violet… oh, my! This cocktail was created by Erin Holtman an amazing award winning bartender from Columbus, OH. The Amethyst is a sophisticated update on an Aviation, and pretty much the cocktail of my dreams.
Soooo… I just changed one little, tinsy thing. Between the lemon juice, creme de violet and the simple syrup, it just sounded like it was going to be too sweet for me, so I cut the original amount of 1/2 oz. of simple syrup in half. I regret nothing. This is a well balanced, slightly smoky cocktail. It's a little tart and a little sweet with strong floral notes, which I love but may not be for everyone.
1 oz. Fortaleza Añejo tequila Esposito
1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. Yola Mezcal
1/2 oz. Creme de Violet
1/4 oz. lavender simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into an old fashioned glass over a large floral ice cube.
Another re-shake coming at you! This one is from Zach at the instagram account AllEqualParts. If you’re looking for some really beautiful and tasty looking cocktails you should check out this account. Zach is a cocktail pro, and I have a long list of drinks that I’m dying to try, but I had to start with his version of a champagne cocktail called the Golden Bell Royale which features peach vodka and rhubarb.
I of course made a few substitutions to the original specs. I just had to break out my Amass Impeachment peach vodka for this one. I also couldn’t resist using the rhubarb shrub that I have on hand, especially since its not rhubarb season any more. With the addition of the shrub, and the original amount of lime juice this is a much more tart cocktail than was originally intended. I think I would recommend a little less of the shrub to cut back on the tartness and excess sweetness. This was a really great cocktail though, and I’m positive that the original was even better!
Re-shaken Golden Bell Royale
2 oz. Amass Impeachment vodka
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. Girl Meets Dirt Rhubarb shrub (originally rhubarb syrup)
1/4 oz. maraschino liqueur
1 oz. Prosecco
Shake all the ingredients, minus the Prosecco, in a shaker with ice until chilled. Strain into a champagne coupe, and top with Prosecco. Garnish with a lime twist.