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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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Spirit Review & Cocktails: TINCUP Whiskey

TINCUP whiskey comes from distiller Jess Graber. You may be familiar with Stranahan’s Whiskey.  TINCUP is made with pure Rocky Mountain water from Colorado and a blend of midwestern corn, rye and malt. Most American bourbons have more corn (at least 51%) than rye in their blends, giving a sweeter taste. TINCUP is aged in new charred American white oak barrels, like many other bourbons, and bottled in Colorado. The whiskey is bottled at 84 proof. TINCUP is packing a punch, in a really good way.

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When you first open the bottle, you get sweet malty aromas. On the nose, you get a hit of spice from the rye upfront. Sharp pepper notes, some bright citrus and flavors of ginger and cinnamon. Because of the high rye content (which is great), you get spice first and foremost on the palate followed by some burned or charred caramel notes. Like brûléed sugar. The high rye content makes this whiskey unlike any other American bourbon. TINCUP whiskey has really crisp, clean and bright flavors. Some of which can be attributed to pure Rocky Mountain water.

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Made with pure Rocky Mountain water.

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The whiskey comes with a little “Tin Cup” atop the cork. Heading up to the mountains? You’re all set for your campfire whiskey tasting.

This whiskey definitely pairs well with ginger. Want to keep it simple? TINCUP and ginger ale. You wont go wrong here. And, that’s the direction we’re heading in for our cocktails. Something easy and accessible. A bourbon buck. For this buck we’re using a ginger syrup, ginger ale (or ginger beer) and some club soda (inspired by the presbyterian cocktail). If you don’t want to make ginger syrup, the traditional buck is fine. TINCUP whiskey, lemon and ginger beer.

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TINCUP Buck:

2oz. TINCUP Whiskey

1oz. Lemon Juice

1oz. Ginger Syrup

Ginger Ale [Or Ginger Beer]

Club Soda

*For ginger syrup, take about 6 or 7 coin sized slices of fresh ginger and cook them with 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, first bringing to a boil and then simmering for about 15 minutes.

**Add TINCUP whiskey, lemon and ginger syrup to your shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into highball glass. Top with equal parts ginger ale and club soda. Garnish with lemon twist or wheel.

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TINCUP Smash:

2oz. TINCUP Whiskey

1oz. Honey Syrup [1 Part Honey: 1 Part Hot Water]

1oz. Lemon Juice

3 Small Pieces of Pineapple

5 Mint Leaves

Peychaud’s Bitters

*In a double rocks glass or shaker, muddle pineapple, mint and honey syrup. Add whiskey (and ice if shaking) and stir. Fill glass with crushed ice (or shake and strain into rocks filled with crushed ice) and stir to mix. Top with more crushed ice and Peychaud’s or Angostura bitters. Garnish with small bouquet of mint. Cheers!

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Beurre Noisette Old Fashioned

I’m calling this Old Fashined the Beurre Noisette (burr-nwah-ZET)  Old Fashioned because it’s French and I want to be fancy. And, because it sounds better than the “Brown Butter Washed Old Fashioned”. In my opinion. They whiskey for this cocktail was prepped on December 1st and left to infuse with 2 vanilla beans for most of the month (after being fat washed). This was my cocktail of choice over the holidays. Not sure how I managed to bring some home but I’m glad I did. The only odd part about having this cocktail [for me] was that I was in Floriday for the holiday. This is more of a cold weather cocktail with all of the butter notes, brown sugar and vanilla. Now that most of the country is freezing and facing a polar vortex (again), what better time to have whiskey? There is no better time!!

We’ve done fat washing here on the blog before. Even with brown butter. It’s still the same process. The only difference is that we’re draining through a coffee filter. The genius coffee is a new staple in the FoodieTails HQ. It really gets all of the sediments that cheesecloth can miss. Because I knew I would be imbibing over the holiday break, I prepared this bourbon on Dec.1 and let it infuse with 2 vanilla beans for about 25 days. If you didn’t get enough butter and sugar over the holidays (can one have too much butter?) Look no further. This old fashioned will carry you through all of the blizzards.

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Beurre Noisette (Brown Butter) Fat Wash:

1 1/2 Sticks Butter

1 Bottle Bourbon (750ml)

2 Vanilla Beans

Start by browning your butter. You want to get it to a semi-dark amber (or Hazelnut) color. Skim some of the white solids off the top. Let the butter cool and transfer it to your infusion container. Add 1 bottle of bourbon, shake once and let sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes. After that time has passed, place the mixture in the freezer for up to 4 hours or until the fat rises to the top and is solid. At this point, remove the bourbon from the freezer. Remove the fat layer (or “poke” a draining hole in the butter). Strain the bourbon through a coffee filter lined fine mesh strainer. It helps if you have a bowl with a spout. Re-bottle the bourbon an place two split vanilla beans in the bottle. Let the bourbon infuse with the vanilla beans for at least 2-3 weeks swirling every other day.

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Beurre Noisette Old Fashioned:

2oz. Fat Washed Bourbon

3/4oz. Brown Sugar Syrup [1 part Brown Sugar 1 Part Water]

2 Dashes Bitters [I recommend Chocolate, Black Walnut or Orange Bitters]

*Add all ingredients to your mixing glass and top with ice. Stir until chilled and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with orange twist. Cheers!

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Holiday Mule

10 days until the big day! Christmas that is. I hope you all are getting all of your FedEx and UPS deliveries on time and that your precious packages are being handled with care and not sprawled out across the highway. The one package I was SO elated to get was my copper julep cup from Alchemade.com!!! They pretty much have all of your copper needs. Moscow Mule mugs, Julep cups, Punch Bowls, Jiggers (I want those!), Hammered Copper..anything you could ever want…in copper! Copper bar accessories look so good at your holiday parties. Can’t you just imagine having a copper punch bowl and ladle with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs floating in your spiked holiday punch? I know I can. Plus, you really can’t have the classic moscow mule with out some kind of copper cup. It’s only right.

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Speaking of moscow mules, the classic mix of vodka, lime and ginger beer, this holiday mule has bourbon. Wonderful, wonderful bourbon accompanied by flavors of cranberry and ginger. Tis’ the season for cranberries after all and bourbon is always in season. We’re using a cranberry syrup we’ve made before because it’s pretty much the best and easiest cranberry syrup ever. This is a simple cocktail, just as a mule should be. Just a tiny bit of effort for the syrup…but not really.

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Holiday Mule:

2oz. Bourbon [Such as Bulleit]

1oz. Cranberry Syrup

1oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2oz. Domaine de Canton [Optional]

Ginger Beer

*Fill shaker with all ingredients minus Ginger Beer. Dry shake (without ice) and strain into [Copper] Julep cup or glass filled with crushed ice. Top with Ginger Beer and more crushed ice. Garnish with rosemary sprig and cranberries. Cheers!

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Mixology Monday: Apples

Finally!! We’ve made it back to Mixology Monday!! It’s been a while and this month’s theme is perfect: Apples. Tis’ the season for all things apple. I think I’ve purchased more fresh apple cider this year than ever before. It’s been so good. Especially the Spiced Apple Cider from Trader Joe’s. No, it’s not fresh pressed but it’s really good. The addiction started earlier this season when I went to pick apple at a local orchard and of course they were serving fresh apple cider. I HAD to buy some! Apple works so well with so many different flavors. Rosemary, pork, savory and sweet, pie, wonderful pie.

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This month’s MixMo is being hosted by Cocktail Virgin Slut. There’s a nice little history on apples there. There’s been a lot of apple and tequila cocktails floating aound the blogosphere (and Instagram) which I find really intreaguing. The crips vegetal qualities of a blanco tequila and the warming “aged” notes of a reposado or anejo pair with apples really well. However, for this cocktail, we’re using Whiskey. Because whiskey is good. If you have some Applejack (apple brandy), throw some of that into the mix too.  This cocktail is a simple classic with a little twist. A Buck with Apple Cider, basil and bourbon.

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Apple Cider-Basil Buck:

2oz. Bourbon

1/2oz. Applejack [Optional]

3-4oz. Apple Cider

Ginger Beer

2-3 Basil Leaves.

*Add all ingredients to shaker minus Ginger Beer. Shake vigerously with ice to break up the basil leaves. Double strain into highball glass filled with ice and top with Ginger Beer. Garnish with basil leaves or apple slices. Cheers MxMo!

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Cherry On Top

What to do with fresh cherries from the market? Pie? Syrup? I’m thinking, muddled in a cocktail, naturally. When I went to the farmer’s market, the cherries were just sitting there saying “buy me”, “use me”, “use me in a cocktail”. I obliged. The cocktail is a simple bourbon smash that any fresh fruit can be incorporated into. On an extremely hot day (like today) what you need is a smash cocktail with a lot of crushed ice.

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Cherry On Top:

2 Cherries

3 Dashes Cherry Bitters [Optional]

1oz. Mint Syrup [See Herbal Syrups Post]

3/4oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

2oz. Bourbon

*Muddle Cherries in shaker (stone included) with syrup. Add remaining ingredients. Shake with ice until chilled. Double strain over crushed ice. Garnish with cherries and/or mint. Cheers!

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Summer Maple Sour

Summer is all about freshness, berries, citrus, TEQUILA, gardening, enjoying the outdoors and so much more. One doesn’t usually think about flavors that tend to be Fall related. Maple, apples, “spiced”. But, I think these things are good all year round. And, you know that big holiday in December? It’s only 6 months away…be prepared. I’m a winter baby and I love all things fall, this sour is perfect for a little pre-holiday planning and for right now.

For Maple-Ginger Syrup:

1/4 Cup Real Maple Syrup

1 Small Piece of  Fresh Ginger (Quarter Sized)

Splash of Water

*It’s very important to use Real Maple Syrup here. The added corn syrup and flavorings in other maple syrups will make the syrup too sweet and viscus. For the water, add enough just to loosen the syrup. 2-3 tablespoons shall do. Bring all ingredients to a simmer and cook for about 5-10 minutes, careful not to burn the sugars in the maple syrup. Remove from heat, let cool and bottle.

Summer Maple Sour:

1 oz. Lemon Juice

1 1/2 oz. Fresh  Apple Juice

1 oz. Maple-ginger Syrup

2oz. Bourbon or Whiskey

2 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters [Optional]

Ginger Beer and Club Soda [Or Ginger Ale]

*Add all ingredients to shaker minus ginger beer (club soda or ginger ale). Shake until chilled. Strain over fresh ice in highball glass and top with equal parts ginger beer (or ginger ale) and club soda. Garnish with thick lemon wheel. Cheers!

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Mixology Monday!!

It’s Mixology Monday again!!! This month’s host is Thiago of BartendingNotes. The theme: Pineapple. Isn’t that so exciting?!!! Don’t you just love a good Pineapple???? I know I do. It’s in my top two of “favorite fruits”. And, in a cocktail? It’s divine. We’ve all seen a million cocktails or drinks that used pineapple in some way, most of the time juice. Mixed with cranberry juice, orange juice, different sodas, it’s the ultimate mixer behind sour mix (fresh sour mix that is). How many times have you been out and heard someone order a malibu and pineapple? Countless times. I’m actually one of those people. Dependant on what type of bar I’m in, of course. This tropical fruit is the undisputed “King of Fruits” as Thiago writes and I agree. For this MxMo, we’re going to get 3 cocktails out of one fruit and bring back one of my pineapple creations: The Flight to Jalisco.

Here’s a fun fact. Did you know the Pineapple is economically significant plant in the Bromeliaceae family. Eat and drink away friends!!!

For Pineapple-Honey Syrup:

1 Cup Pineapple Juice [Fresh or Bottled/Canned]

1/4 Cup Honey

Splash of Lemon Juice

Bring all ingredients to a simmer to incorporate honey. Let cool and bottle.

This Pineapple Scotchtail is loosely based on the Penicillin cocktail which is Scotch, Honey-Ginger syrup and Lemon.

Sadly, this cocktail is nameless…I refused to attach “Pineapple Express” to this one.

1 1/2oz. Blended Scotch Whisky [Such as Famous Grouse]

1oz. Pineapple-Honey Syrup

1-2 Small Pineapple Pieces

1/2oz. Lemon Juice

2 Dashes Regan’s or other Orange Bitters [Optional]

Single Malt Scotch Float [A smokey Scotch such as Laphroaig or Glenfiddich 12yr]

Muddle Pineapple pieces with syrup. Add all ingredients to shaker minus the scotch that will be used to float. Shake until chilled. Strain over fresh rocks and top with [smokey] Scotch float. Garnish with Lemon or Pineapple. Cheers!

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Caramelized Pineapple-Ginger Syrup:

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Cut a fresh Pineapple in half, sear it in a dry pan, juice it (or blend and strain).

Caramelized Pineapple Juice

1 Piece fresh Ginger [~2 inch piece]

2 Tablespoons Sugar [Depending on amount of Pineapple juice, can be adjusted to your liking]

Bring contents to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Cool, strain and bottle.

Pineapple “Sour”

2oz. Bourbon

1 1/4oz. Caramelized Pineapple-Ginger Syrup

1/2oz. Lime Juice

Add all ingredients to shaker. Fill with ice and shake until chilled. Strain and coupe or serve over rocks. Cheers!

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Gin + Pineapple

2oz. Gin

2oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice

1/2oz. Yellow Chartreuse [Optional]

1/2oz. Lime Juice

Egg Whites [Optional]

Add all ingredients to shaker. Dry shake (without ice if using egg whites). Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain and garnish with pineapple or lime wheel.

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Finally, and old favorite. The Flight To Jalisco:

3oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice

1/2oz. Lime Juice

3/4oz. Domaine de Canton

2oz. Reposado or Blanco Tequila

1/4oz. Rich Simple Syrup

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

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Cherry-Vanilla Bourbon

Went to a family wedding a few weeks ago in Detroit. One of the little goodies in our bag was dried cherries. Apparently, local to Michigan. Does it say “something” about a person who sees produce and thinks cocktail? No. It just means your creative and always searching for something new. Of course, making Cherry Bounce is no revelation. But, I knew I had a vanilla bean at home waiting to be used. Cherry, vanilla, bourbon, it was a no brainer. The first batch turned out AMAZING. After one sip, I was ready to make another [larger] batch. I’m getting the feeling (while sipping this old fashioned) that this will be one of my go-to summer infusions. Simple and delicious. When using dried fruit in infusions, you’re going to get a sweeter product. The dried fruit is concentrated and gives off more flavor faster than fresh fruit. It’s all about your preference. I liked they way the infusion turned out with the dried cherries. They took on some of the bourbon and plumped up a little. For this infusion, I will not be discarding the cherries and vanilla bean. We will be making boozy cherry vanilla ICE CREAM!!!!! I couldn’t throw out a vanilla bean that’s been sitting in bourbon. Would you? We’ve already got vanilla sugar, ice cream is the next logical step. After straining, wrap up the bourbon cherries and throw them in the freezer. Wrap the vanilla bean in foil and store in a plastic baggie.DSC_3357 DSC_3358 DSC_3360 DSC_3362

Another thing that I like about this infusion is that in late summer, it can take you into fall weather. Cherry-Vanilla Bourbon: 1 Cup Dried Cherries 1 Vanilla Bean 375ml Bourbon [Wild Turkey 101 used here] Add all ingredients to a container with a lid, like a jar. Let sit for 2-3 weeks swirling a few times a week. Strain and bottle. (Refill the bourbon bottle). Can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in an old fashioned.   DSC_3623 DSC_3625 DSC_3628 DSC_3630 DSC_3631 DSC_3632

Cherry-Vanilla Old Fashioned:

2oz. Cherry-Vanilla Bourbon

1 Sugar Cube or 1/4oz. Simple Syrup

2 Dashes Black Walnut Bitters [Optional]

2 Dashes Aztec Chocolate Bitters [Optional]

*Angostura Bitters will work here.

Add sugar to mixing glass or tumbler. Dissolve [sugar cube] with bitters and 1oz. of the bourbon. Stir. Add ice and remaining 1oz. of bourbon. Stir until chilled. Strain over 1 block of ice, or stir in tumbler glass until chilled. Garnish with brandied or fresh cherry. Cheers! DSC_3639

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Mixology Monday!!!!!!

It’s Mixology Monday!!!!!!! And, it’s my very first entry ever!!!!!!!!!!! I’m really excited…if you can’t tell. I’ve seen that MxMo logo on bloggers pages for a long time and always wanted to participate. This month’s theme is “Aw,Nuts” and is being hosted by Elana over at Stir and Strain. All things nuts. This theme came right on time for me. Luckily, I had some pecan infused bourbon leftover from the holidays. I don’t know how. Also had some hazelnut orgeat in the fridge. Pecans, hazelnuts, this theme was made for me! When I think about nuts in drinks, I tend to think holidays, mai tai or orgeat, naturally. This cocktail would work well as a weekend breakfast/brunch sipper.

Let’s get into the drink. I’m thinking of it [loosely] as an Old Fashioned. There’s spirit, sweetener and bitters. All the elements of an Old Fashioned. So, I’m calling it  “The Pecan Old Fashioned”

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Pecan Old Fashioned

2oz. Pecan Infused Bourbon

1/2oz. Hazelnut Orgeat

4 Dashes Coffee Bitters [Chocolate or Angostura Biters will work here]

Scotch Rinse [The Glenlivet 12yo.]

*Add all ingredients minus Scotch to mixing glass. Top with ice. Stir until chilled. If using a shaker, stir in bottom half of cobbler or boston shaker. Pour Scotch into rocks glass. Enough to coat. Discard the rest (Back into the bottle for me!) Strain cocktail into Scotch rinsed glass over 1 large pecan ice cube. Cheers!

For Pecan Bourbon:

2 Cups toasted Pecans

3 Cups Bourbon

Roast Pecans. Let cool and top with Bourbon, about 3 cups. Let sit for 2 weeks agitating once daily. Strain after 2 weeks, bottle and enjoy.

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