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.
Welcome to my first re-shake post, where I make one of the many awesome looking cocktail specs that I’ve been saving on instagram, but never seem to get around to actually trying. Today, I’m talking about @limoncellokitchen and her Watermelon + Fernet cocktail. As soon as I saw this spec, and honestly I’m jumping on the band wagon because I’ve seen it reposted at least twice, I knew I needed to make it myself. I have a whole bottle of Fernet siting in my bar, but… I really struggle with making it work in cocktails. So, when I saw this drink I was very intrigued and I just happened to have half a watermelon sitting on my counter.
I have to admit that I have a hard time following - instructions, trends, trains of thought, large groups, societal norms… you get the picture. So I definitely did my own thing here, just a bit. Partially because I didn’t have any apricot liqueur, and could really justify buying some, and partially because I really wanted to know what this would be like with Amaretto. As with any spec that is largely based on a fruit juice, the sweetness of your melon is going to be a factor but aside from that I thought this was a very interesting and easy cocktail. This was very refreshing, only slightly sweet and had a bitter herbaceous-ness that I really enjoyed. Its not your usual watermelon cocktail, and I’m all for it
Re-shaken Watermelon + Fernet (@limoncellokitchen)
1.5 oz. fresh watermelon juice
1.5 oz. white rum (
0.5 oz. Fernet Branca
0.25 oz. Amaretto (the original recipe calls for apricot liqueur)
Combine all ingredient in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe and garnish with watermelon (and @limoncellokitchen suggests mint).
It’s officially hot girl summer! And I’ve been doing some intense research to find the perfect cocktail. So, when I recently had a cocktail that combined whiskey and amaretto I was inspired. Together they play off each other creating light and bright flavors that are the perfect match in a summery cooler or highball.
While I think that a smokier whiskey would also be very good combined with amaretto, I couldn’t resist using some of the Baller whiskey from St. George Spirits. Its the perfect combination to balance each other out and the nutty flavor of the amaretto works so well with the distinctive floral notes of the Baller. Since I have this great bottle of Rhubarb shrub burning a hole in my fridge I took a chance and it was amazing. This ended up being a really refreshing and balance cocktail, and besides, what could possibly be more hot girl summer than a whiskey highball?
Hot Girl Summer Highball
1.5 oz St. Georges Spirits Baller whiskey
1/5 oz. Girl Meets Dirt Rhubarb Shrub
3/4 oz. Amaretto
3/4 oz. lime juice
Top with soda water
Add all of the ingredients, except the soda water, to a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
I got a really great bottle of Yola Mezcal for my birthday, and while I love a good mezcal margarita I really wanted some thing different. A great way to to create a new cocktail is to make a riff from an existing recipe. By switching out the base liquor in a favorite cocktail you can create a whole new and delicious combo.
One of my favorite cocktails is the aviation, and I couldn't help wondering what it would. be like if I switched out the gin for some smoky mezcal. It was a bit of a gamble, but it turns out creme de violet and mezcal are an excellent combination. I added a bit of cherry syrup just to add a little more cherry flavor and bump up the color. And how could I resist calling this smoky Aviation riff Fire in the Sky.
Fire In the Sky
2 oz. Yola Mezcal
1/5 oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
1/4 oz. Creme de Violette
3/4 oz. lemon juice
Scant bar spoon Luxardo Maraschino cherry syrup
Garnish with luxardo maraschino cherry
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain in a coupe glass and garnish with a cherry.