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Cocktail: Worthy Park Swizzle

The only way to come back to the blogosphere is through a swizzle! So, let’s keep this short and sweet. I went to London in December (to study, actually) and while there, I had a few things on my mind. One of them being: “how much booze can I actually bring back?” I’ve done this before…when passing through Duty Free at the airport but, this time, I ventured out into the city on a hunt. Of course, the highly coveted Havana Club was a no-brainer. I keep an on-going “booze wish list” if you will and I was looking forward to crossing off a few items that I knew I wouldn’t find in the States. Well, I managed two of those (we can talk about that later). I’m not sure why I felt nervous to bring home the good this time. I was scouring the internet, trying to be extra careful because you know they’re going through your bags, right? The internet told me I could being home 1 Liter which is not even 2 whole bottles. Seriously.

On New Years Eve, my cousin and I made our way to the American Bar at the beautiful Savoy Hotel. While walking, we passed the Whiskey Exchange. By far, the very best store for booze shopping ever! Well, at least so far for me. Another favorite store of mine is in New Orleans, Keife &Co. The next day we headed back to The Whiskey Exchange, and there is where I got the best info on booze traveling. I spoke with about 3 associates at the store. One guy (who I spoke with the longest) tried to google Heathrow Airport policies and we even discussed ABV. And, it was all for nothing because the next guy (I obviously don’t remember their names, sorry) said I could bring back a suitcase full of booze!!!!!!!! That was enough for me! I did my shopping and made my way back to our room to configure the bags. I did at least bring my own bubble wrap. While my cousins bag was about 20 pounds overweight (LOL!!!!) I squeezed in 5 bottles. I’d done most of my booze (Rum) shopping by then but there was still one bottle on my mind. It was at the grocery store right around the corner from me, The Duppy Share. I had no idea if it was sold in the states, I didn’t know anything about it and it was a great price. But, alas, I didn’t bring it home. I thought maybe it would be a last minute decision at the airport in Duty Free but it wasn’t there so I was forced to buy 3 other rums.

When I got home I did some research on the Duppy Share and found that it’s a blend of Jamaican Rums from Worthy Park and Barbados Rums. The next logical step is a cocktail. I thought about the blend first and foremost. I went back and forth with the two Rums that I would use for my own blend in the swizzle. The other ingredients came easily. A well know Jamaican Rum comes from the Appleton Estate, I went with the Reserve Blend. For the Barbados Rum, there are a few options. Mount Gay Black Barrel would be marvelous here and is in fact one of my favorite Rums…ever. Plantation also produces a fine 5 year aged Barbados Rum. But, I wanted to bring something new to the Home Bar so I ventured out for Cockspur V.S.O.R. All of the elements came together in perfect harmony. Let’s get to the cocktail.

Worthy Park Swizzle:

1oz. Appleton Reserve Jamaican Rum

1oz. Cockspur V.S.O.R Barbados Rum

1oz. Lime Juice

3/4oz. Passion Fruit Syrup (Liber & Co.)

1/2oz. Licor 43 (or other vanilla liqueur)

1 Heavy Barspoon Campari

1 Dash Peychaud’s Bitters

1 Dash Orange Bitters (Regan’s used here)

Fill a Highball or Pilsner glass with crushed ice. Add all ingredients and swizzle until chilled. Top with more ice and garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig or edible flowers if you have them. Feel free to use any blend of Rum you like. Cheers!

 

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Roca Patron Anejo: Spirit Review + Cocktail

Today we’re going to focus on an Añejo Tequila; Roca Patron. Patron is a well known brand. Known for crafting some of the world’s best Tequila. Roca Patron is handcrafted using the Tahona process which provides a super smooth, sophisticated and complex flavor profile. Roca Patron Añejo is aged for 14 months in used Bourbon barrels.  The aging gives the Añejo a medium gold, straw hue and provides notes of raisins, grapefruit, spice, ginger, citrus and a peppery crisp finish. Roca translates to “rock”, referring to the Tahona stone that is used to press the 100% Weber Blue Agave. The newer line of Roca Tequilas from Patron are bottled at a higher proof. Roca ranges from 84 to 90 whereas the traditional Patron rounds off at 80 proof.

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The aroma is of 100% Weber Blue Agave that has been pressed by a two-ton volcanic stone tahona (I can smell the process!) You get a mellow aroma with hints of vanilla, agave, fruits and spices. This is the kind of Tequila that deserves to be sipped. I know I don’t need to mention that you should only be drinking 100% Agave Tequilas, right? Stay far away from the mixtos. Roca Patron is for a spirits’ connoisseur. This ultra-premium Añejo is definitely well balanced, beautiful and still approachable to Tequila drinkers who are new to Añejos.

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For any real Tequila lover, Roca Patron Añejo is a must for your home bar.

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I wouldn’t normally use an Añejo like this in a cocktail but, Roca is so versatile and complex, it can stand up to bold flavors in a simple drink.

Roca Smash:

2oz. Roca Patron Añejo

1oz. Lime Juice

3/4oz. Agave Nectar

2-3 Pineapple Chunks (Muddled)

4-5 Mint Leaves

*Muddle Pineapple and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice or into a coupe glass. Garnish with mint sprigs.

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!Salud¡ Tequila lovers!

 

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There’s More For Your Tonic Water Than Gin And Vodka.

White. Port. White Port & Tonic!! Fever Tree Tonic to be exact. It seemed like a revelation the first time I tried the two together. I’ve had “Tonics” many different ways. With herbs, Tequila, bitters, Gin and Vodka, of course. But, never the White Port & Tonic. It’s become a favorite of mine. It’s super easy and very tasty. And, with as few as two ingredients, it’s really important that you use the highest quality products. For the Tonic Water, that would be Fever Tree. Fever Tree has taken the cocktail mixer game by the horns. I enjoy a glass of Fever Tree Tonic Water on it’s own with a squeeze of lime. It’s so clean, aromatic, floral, citrusy, crisp and the Quinine is just bitter enough.

Fever Tree uses all natural products. Real ingredients including natural sugarcane and fruit sugars. The Quinine is sourced from the Cinchona Tree. A tree who’s bark yields in the purest form of Quinine. The proprietary “softness” of this Tonic comes from natural, low-mineral spring water. Bitter Orange is the last key ingredient to the Tonic Water. It balances all of the floral notes in the water.

Port is traditionally known as an after dinner drink. White Port however can be had as an aperitif. Adding tonic puts a whole new spin on things. I’m not going to dip into Sommelier territory here but, White Port is a blend of classic white port grape varieties that provide a dry and crisp finish. White port ferments longer than other styles before it is fortified. Fonesca Siroco is full of bold fruit flavors and has a great smoothness. This comes from it’s aging in small oak vats.

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Fonseca Siroco has a light golden hue, full bodied fruit notes with a crisp and dry finish that pairs well with berries and citrus fruits in a tonic cocktail.

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White Post & Tonic with Orange:

1 1/2oz. Fonseca Siroco White Port

Fever Tree Tonic Water

2-3 Orange Quarters

2 Dashes Orange Bitters (Optional)

*Start by cutting a fresh orange in half. Cut some wheels and cut the wheels into quarters. Muddle 2-3 Orange quarters in a rocks glass. Top with White Port, Fever Tree Tonic Water, ice and stir gently.

White Port & Tonic with Blueberry:

2oz. Fonseca Siroco White Port

Fever Tree Tonic Water

4-5 Blueberries

*Muddle Blueberries in s highball glass. Top with White Port and Fever Tree Tonic Water. Stir gently and garnish with blueberries.

Feel free to play around with herbs, other fruits, bitters and other Fever Tree tonic flavors!

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Cheers to enjoying all of the White Port and Tonics!

 

 

 

 

 

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Spirit Review: Gaur Spice Whiskey and Cavalry Bourbon

Now that winter is finally here, I can enjoy some good whiskey. Don’t fret my friends, eggnog/milk punch season isn’t over. Gaur Spice Original Infusion whiskey took my milk punch up 5000%! Gaur Spiced Whiskey can compete with any good spiced Rum, a great alternative for whiskey lover who want more flavor and aren’t in to Rum. When I first opened the bottle of of Gaur Spice, I had an epiphany. “Milk Punch” were the first two words I heard when the strong aroma of nutmeg and other warm spices filled my nose. I said to myself “oh my”. My nose has never smelled a whiskey like this, maybe not even a spiced Rum!

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Gaur Spice is definitely a unique blend. Blend No.1 has the exotic spice notes of Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Clove and Ginger. The nutmeg is heavy on the front of the nose and it’s beautiful. The flavors in this whiskey contain all of the holiday warming spices with a fiery ginger finish. The cocktail is a no brainer.

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Gaur Milk Punch:

2oz. Gaur Spice Whiskey

2oz. Cream or Milk

1oz. Vanilla Syrup

2 Dashes Black Walnut Bitters

*Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Brandy Snifter or Double Rocks glass over cracked ice (or no ice). Garnish with fresh nutmeg.

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Up next is Cavalry Bourbon Whiskey.  Cavalry utilizes the TerraPURE process after distillation. This process takes the sometimes harsh bite that Bourbon can have through ultrasonic energy and oxygenation. Don’t get caught up on the science, Cavalry has a smooth texture and mouth feel.

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Cavalry’s Mash Bill consists of 71% Corn, 21% Rye and 4% Barley Malt. Even though this Bourbon is fairly low in Rye, you still get some good spice notes. The high quality ingredients are sourced from Indiana. The Bourbon is shipped to South Carolina for proofing. The Bourbon is brought down to 90% with distilled water providing the potent but smooth taste.

Cavalry is a young whiskey but has the depth, flavor and complexity of a longer aged whiskey. Perfect for mixing in cocktails and sipping.

Cavalry Cider:

2oz. Cavalry Bourbon Whiskey

2oz. Unfiltered Honey Crisp Apple Cider

3/4oz. Smoked Maple Syrup (Or other Grade B Maple Syrup)

3/4oz. Lemon Juice

2 Dashes Aromatic Bitters (Such as Hella Bitters)

*Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Fresh grated cinnamon optional.

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Cheers Whiskey lovers!

 

 

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Turkey Day Tequila Cocktails

Thanksgiving Day is just as much about Football as it is Turkey. I don’t know who your favorite team is and it doesn’t even matter. All that matters is that you have the right cocktail(s) in your hand on the big day. Start by putting the Bourbon down and picking up a bottle of Hornitos. But, if you must have whiskey, try the Black Barrel.

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Let’s keep it seasonal. Cranberry and Sage. Sound good? Yes! This margarita will be the perfect accompaniment to your holiday spread.

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The muddled sage in this cocktail adds a nice savory, herbal flavor to the cocktail that pairs perfectly with the sweet-tart cranberry syrup and the clean and crisp agave flavors of Hornitos Plata.

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Cranberry-Sage Margarita:

2oz. Hornitos Plata Tequila

1oz. Fresh Lime Juice

1oz. Cranberry Syrup

3-4 Sage Leaves (Muddled)

2 Dashes of Bitters (Optional, your choice)

Cranberry Syrup:

1 Cup Unsweetened Cranberry Juice

1 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Water

Add the cranberry juice to a sauce pot. Reduce by half and add sugar and water. Heat long enough to dissolve sugar and remove from heat. Let cool and bottle.

*Muddle sage leaves in the bottom of your shaker. Add remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake your life away and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with Sage leaves.

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The next drink will get you ready for football watching post turkey. After you’re totally full, stuffed and can’t take another bite, you’ll want to curl up with this cocktail. We’re using a Pumpkin Ale that has some nice baking spice notes to compliment Hornitos Reposado.

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We’re dipping into [seasonal] Shandy territory with this cocktail. The perfect sipper for Game/Turkey Day.

Pumpkin Shandy:

2oz. Hornitos Reposado Tequila

1oz. Cinnamon Syrup (Simple syrup with 2 Cinnamon sticks)

1oz. Lemon Juice

2 Dashes Orange Bitters (Optional)

Pumpkin Ale

*Add all ingredients minus beer into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake. Strain into a pint or other beer glass and top with your favorite pumpkin ale.

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Bonus Cocktails!!!!

Hornitos Harvest:

2 Parts Hornitos® Black Barrel® Tequila

1 Part Pomegranate Juice

1/2 Part Lemon Juice

1/2 Part Simple Syrup

Lime Wedge

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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Orange You Thankful:

1 Part Hornitos® Spiced Honey

1 Part Orange Juice

3/4 Part Grapefruit Juice

Top With Tonic

Orange Peel

Preparation: Combine all ingredients except tonic in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, strain over fresh ice and top with tonic. Garnish with an orange peel.

Orange You Thankful

Cheers and Happy Holidays! Be sure to enjoy Hornitos Tequila!

 

 

 

 

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Holiday Wine and Cocktail Recipes: 90+ Cellars

Turkey day is this week! Although, technically, it was already Christmas the day after Halloween. Give us a break America and let us celebrate one holiday at a time! All the leaves have changed, the air is cool and crisp and that means it’s time for some good Wine, Prosecco and Champagne. Especially for Thanksgiving. I’ve got two wines that will pair wonderfully with any kind of turkey, roast or chicken you may be having for the holiday; spicy or savory. The good thing about serving wine at your holiday gatherings is that you won’t have to stand behind your home bar making drinks all night or even have to make a punch. Just uncork the bottle and set it out for self service. If you want to feel super fancy, decant the bottle. That will impress your guests and you can feel like a Jr. sommelier.

90+ Cellars offers high-end wines that won’t break your wallet during the holiday season. The unique aspect of 90+ Cellars is what they bring to the wine market.  They have been able to convert market inefficiencies into better value for both winemakers and consumers. How you ask? They enable wineries to sell their oversupply without effecting the value of their brand. This way, 90+ can offer customers high-end wine for less! That means we win, guys. We win!

The first wine I’m recommending for Turkey day and beyond is the Pinot Noir.

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This is a fabulous Pinot Noir that you definitely want to have on your holiday table. It’s bold but not too bold. Slightly dry and fruity, this Pinot is rich and smooth. There are deep notes of cherry, dried fruits and there’s a certain earthiness that is pleasant on the palate and will keep you going back for another sip and that’s exactly what you want when you’re enjoying your roasted and brined meats and savory and sweet sides. There’s some nice spice notes of cinnamon on the end of this one and for $14.99, you can’t lose. Enjoy!

Next up is the Big Red Blend.

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For only $11.99, this one is BOLD. This is a good wine for the intermediate Red Wine drinker. There are a lot of dark fruit flavors in this wine. Such as blackberry, cassis and plum. It’s woody and has a definite spice. It’s a beautiful full-bodied wine with a rich dark color. The blend is of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Tempranillo and it’s wonderful. The Big Red Blend is the perfect cold weather wine and we’re going to do a couple of special recipes with it since we’re in the holiday spirit.

First is a whiskey sour. Yes, whiskey sour. Better than a New York Sour, we’re heading into Bourbon Renewal territory (a whiskey sour with Cassis) with our Big Red Blend reduction.

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The reduction is simple. Add 1 Cup of the Big Red Blend to a sauce pan and begin the reduction on medium low heat. You should have a very light simmer going to cook out the alcohol and reduce by half. You can use your nose for this process. Once the alcohol has evaporated, you’re left with the concentrated flavors of the wine. At this point, when you don’t smell anymore alcohol, you’ll want to add sugar. 3/4 to 1 Cup. Adjust to your likeness but keep in mind that we’re using this as a syrup. The whole process takes about 30 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when it coats the bottom of the pan, is syrupy and also leaves a light coat on a spoon.

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Big Red Whiskey Sour:

2oz. Rye (Or Bourbon)

1oz. Big Red Blend Reduction

1oz. Lemon Juice

1 Small Cinnamon Stick

*Add all ingredients to your shaker, breaking the cinnamon stick in half. Add ice and shake your life away. Double strain over fresh ice and garnish with a lemon wheel.

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Cheers!

Finally, we’re going to use the Big Red Blend reduction for dessert. You can get creative here. I’m doing my take on a cheese course. Roasted Figs, Marscapone ice cream and our wine reduction.

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The marscapone ice cream is extremely simple:

1 Package of Marscapone (room temp)

2 Cups Milk

1 Cup Sugar

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract (Vanilla Bean Paste if you have it)

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix. Adjust the sweetness to your liking and follow your ice cream freezer instructions. #SuperEasy

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You can add this reduction to any dessert or other recipe you see fit. Try adding some mulling spices to the reduction and drizzle over a cranberry tart, cheesecake or any seasonal fruit that pairs well with wine.

It’s time for some BUBBLY!

Tis’ the season for Champagne and Prosecco. It’s also time for you to stock up and get the home bar ready for your New Year’s Eve celebration. Start by ordering a case of 90+ Cellar Prosecco. The bubbles are perfectly intense in this Prosecco. Citrus, fresh stone fruit and a great balance of dry and sweet are what you get with this Prosecco. 90+ offers a Prosecco that is versatile enough for a pre and post dinner sipper as well as a cocktail ingredient.

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A nice seasonal cocktail is in order. A Cranberry Sparkler to be exact.

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Cranberry Sparkler:

3/4oz. Light Rum

3/4oz. Lime Juice

1oz. Cranberry Syrup

90+ Cellars Prosecco

Thyme or Rosemary Sprigs (Garnish)

*Add non-sparkling ingredients to a shaker and top with a few ice cubes. Shake and strain over ice in a nice cocktail glass. Top with 90+ Cellars Prosecco and garnish with a fresh, fragrant herb.

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Finally, we’re ending the show with Champagne.

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Le Cle de la Femme is a newely released Champagne (Nov.). Selected for Magic Door Vineyards, this Champagne is clean, crisp and refreshing. Bright and bubbly (obviously), de la Femme is from the Marne Valley and offers aromas of fresh apple and pear. It’s buttery like a Chardonnay and has some notes of cinnamon and anise. It’s incredibly easy to drink and perfect for The Champagne Cocktail.

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The Champagne Cocktail:

1 Sugar Cube (Demerara used here)

2-3 Dashes of your favorite Bitters (Peychaud’s used here)

Le Cle de la Femme Champagne

*Add a sugar cube to your Champagne flute or coupe glass and douse with bitters. Top with Le Cle de la Femme Champagne and serve.

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So, here’s to enjoying the best wines, champagne and prosecco that 90+ Cellars has to offer, the holidays, the new year and beyond. Cheers, friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cocktails With The King’s Ginger

There’s Ginger Liqueur. Then, there’s The King’s Ginger. The King’s Ginger packs all of the punch and spicy flavors you’d expect from a ginger liqueur. From the name, you can probably tell it was made for a King…and the Queens too. This wonderful spirit was specially formulated for King Edward VII. Cool, right? I’d say so.

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The color is of a light golden hue and there’s an instant warming of the palate on the first sip. The spice and warmth of fresh ginger is upfront with some lingering lemony citrus notes. It’s just viscous and smooth enough for great mouthfeel and to sip on it’s own. And. of course, it’s great in cocktails. There are so many options for this spirit. Ginger is a staple cocktail ingredient. The King’s Ginger pairs well with Scotch, Whiskey, Rum, Gin and even Tequila.

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For this cocktail, we’re using Tequila and Damson Plums. (It took all of my strength not to name this drink “Damn Son”) You should still be able to find some good plums hanging around your farmer’s market if you can’t find Damson.

The King of Kings:

2oz. Tequila

1/2oz. The King’s Ginger

1/2oz. Damson Plum Syrup

1oz. Lime Juice

For Damson Plum Syrup:

3-4 Damson Plums or other Plum variety

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Water

Pit and cut the plums into pieces. Add to sugar and water and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Let the syrup cool, strain plums and bottle.

*Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled and double strain into a coupe glass or over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

**If you want less sweetness, muddle plums instead of making a syrup and use 3/4oz. of The King’s Ginger. Be sure not to use too sour of a plum!

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Bonus Cocktail:

2oz. Blended Scotch

1oz. The King’s Ginger

1oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice

1oz. Lemon Juice

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

*Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Cheers!

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Baking With Bitters: Key Lime Pie + Citrus Bitters

Still missing that last little taste of summer? I’m not. I’m more than welcoming FALL and all of it’s GLORY!!!! The good thing about Key Lime Pie is, you get get limes all year long. And, Key Lime Pie is super easy to make. That’s why it’s one of my favorites. It’s a clean and refreshing bite that can take you back to the Florida Keys and gives a little relief from all of the heavy flavors of Fall.

We’re adding Hella Bitters Citrus to this pie because we’re just cool like that. The bitters add another dimension to the familiar pie; playing on the bright lime citrus and adding some spice undertones. Even though this pie is baked (briefly), the citrus bitters still come through. Let’s jump into the recipe, shall we?

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A few extra dashes for good measure…

Citrus Bitters Key Lime Pie:

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

3 Egg Yolks

2/3 Cup Fresh Lime Juice

3 Teaspoons Hella Bitters Citrus (A few extra dashes for good measure)

For the crust, we’re going with the standard recipe:

1 1/2 cups  finely ground graham cracker crumbs (from about 10 crackers)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 pinches sea salt
7 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat your oven to 350°. In a food processor, large plastic bag or bowl, blend the graham crackers until you get smooth crumbs. Add melted butter and remaining ingredients until you get a sand like texture. Fill your pie dish with the graham cracker crust. Prepare filling by first whipping the egg yolks with the bitters for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and pale in color. Only takes about 3 minutes. Add your filling to the pie crust and bake until set, about 10 minutes being sure not to brown. Let the pie cool completely and refrigerate. Top with whipped cream as you desire. Easy as pie!

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You’ll want to go a little finer on the crust than I  🙂

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One last slice of summer you can enjoy all winter long!

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End Of Summer Post Labor Day Cocktails

Okay guys, I missed Labor Day. Who’s doing work over a holiday weekend? That would be me. But, I’m still seeing Labor Day sales commercials so I think I’m still in the clear. Plus, we’ve got a good solid week before it’s officially fall and there’s still some good fruit hanging out at the farmer’s market. So, what’s the best way to end summer? Tequila of course.

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I scored some super juicy and sweet mangos from the farmer’s market. Making a cocktail with said mango was the natural progression. So we’re going totally tropical with this first cocktail to end summer with a BANG! There’s just a quick weekend infusion to get us started.

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The pineapple infused Hornitos Plata tequila only takes up to two days. But, I leave the pineapples in the tequila until it’s gone. The flavor obviously increases over time. Fruit infused spirits also allow for more than 1 application. Pineapple margaritas you say? I’ll definitely have one!

For the cocktail, we’re using the mango in a purée. It’s super simple. Remove the skin from the mango, chop it up, put the chunks in a blender with a squeeze of agave (depending on the mango’s sweetness). Blend and you’re done. Add a splash of water if necessary.

Mango Cooler:

2oz. Pineapple Infused Hornitos Plata Tequila

2oz. Mango Purée

1oz. Lime Juice

3/4oz. Agave Syrup

6 Drops Bittermens Hellfire Bitters

*Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with pineapple spears and/or lime wheels.

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Next we have Hornitos Black Barrel. The tequila for whiskey drinkers. It’s so versatile and a good bridge between summer and fall with all of it’s warm agave and spice notes.

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2oz. Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila

1 1/2oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice

1oz. Falernum

3/4oz. Lime Juice

5 Drops Bittermens Burlesque Bitters [Optional]

*Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a fizz or rocks glass filled with cracked ice. Garnish with a grapefruit twist or lime wheel.

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Cheers and enjoy Hornitos Tequila!

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Spirit Review: Brugal 1888

I love rum just as much as the next pirate. Well, just as much as the next girl. Anything better than a tiki cocktail or a mojito? Maybe. The odds are slim however, the one spirit that I do like to sip is rum. It’s easy to take rum for granted with all of the ornamentation and sometimes blue colors. So, when you find a good one, you should savor it.

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We’ve got a good one here with Brugal 1888. A great one actually. This is a real quality rum.

Brugal is a rum from the the Dominican Republic with over 125 years of history. The unique characteristic of the Brugal rums is the dryness. The distilling process of Brugal yields it’s clean, dry and smooth taste. The 1888 on the other hand does have some sweetness on the palate. It’s very smooth with a bold velvety mouth feel and some spice on the finish. The 1888 is aged for 6 to 8 years in White American Oak casks and finished in Sherry Oak casks for 2 to 4 years. This Double-Wood aging gives the 1888 it’s distinctive smooth flavor. Some may think Brugal 1888 is the “rum for whiskey lovers” (Brugal). I don’t completely disagree but, I believe Brugal 1888 is a rum for rum lovers. It’s easy to appreciate.

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Brugal 1888 is a dark amber in color with many complex aromas on the nose. There’s a lot of spice with hints of cinnamon and cocoa, roasted and dried fruits. On the palate, 1888 is warm, smooth and full bodied. You get the light sweetness and spice up front with a long finish. This is a rum to be sipped and used in a select few cocktails. Try a pairing with some chocolates and almonds. This is a rum you want in your arsenal.

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For the cocktail, we’re making the spin on my favorite New Orleans style sour; the Sidecar. A New Orleans sour consists of a base spirit, citrus (lemon) and a orange liqueur. That’s the base of a New Orleans sour. The Outrigger is the lesser know rum answer to the Sidecar. Brugal 1888 works perfectly in this cocktail. You may use the French proportions of 1:1:1. I prefer 2:1:1.

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The Outrigger:

2oz. Brugal 1888 Rum

1oz. Triple Sec [Such as Cointreau]

1oz. Lemon Juice

*A sugared rim here is optional. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or wheel.

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Cheers and enjoy Brugal 1888!