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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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Celebrate National Rum Day With Some New England Flare

Ever feel like you’re being inundated with spirit holidays? Every time we look around there’s some National Holiday happening. This Sunday is National Rum Day. This holiday I’m happy to celebrate! When we think about Rum, our minds usually take us to the Caribbean. Some sweet or blended drink with an umbrella. And, that’s not a bad thing. Today, I’m taking you to Boston. Yep, Boston. Bully Boy Distillers is the city’s first craft distillery.  All of the spirits are handcrafted in small batches. Bully Boy produces White Whiskey, White Rum, Vodka, American Straight Whiskey, Boston Rum and Hub Punch. One of their aged spirits, the Hub Punch, is a unique Rum spirit that is inspired by a lost pre-prohibition era original Hub Punch recipe from the Hub House Hotel in NY in the late 1800’s. Their Boston Rum is steeped with orange and lemon peel, raspberry and a mix of botanicals. Don’t let the fruits and herbs fool you. Bully Boy’s Hub Punch comes in at 70 proof. It’s great on it’s own and can stand up as a base spirit in cocktails.

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When you first open the Hub Punch, you get a nice fragrance of the fruits and botanicals. There’s a sweet mellow aroma and we’re using it in one of our cocktails today. Hub Punch can be mixed in a number of ways. The Bostonians like it over ice, mixed with club soda or lemonade, ginger ale, iced tea and in cocktails. Because of the raspberries and citrus peels, Hub Punch is very fruit forward, in the best way possible.

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The Boston Swizzle is a little dangerous. It’s like the best fruit punch you could ever make in your adult life. Super easy to sip on a long hot summer day. It’s really refreshing and all of the raspberry flavors and botanicals shine through.

Boston Swizzle:

2oz. Hub Punch

1oz. Pineapple Juice

1oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice

1oz. Lime Juice

3/4oz. Campari

*Add all ingredients to a hurricane glass and fill half way with crushed ice. Swizzle (or stir) to chill. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with raspberries and a lime wheel.

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Our next cocktail for National Rum Day features a really unique Spiced Rum from South Hollow Spirits. Twenty Boat Hand-Crafted Cape Cod Spiced Rum to be exact. South Hollow Spirits is the first legal distillery on Cape Cod since Prohibition. Pretty cool. Twenty Boat is the ultimate Rum Runner’s Rum. “As legend goes, 10 men were arrested near the Cape Cod coast. After posting bail, they reclaimed the boat and raced out of the harbor. Twenty harbor police and coast guard boats kept watch near the tip of Cape Cod. Eventually, the elusive motor boat was spotted and the chase commenced. The boat sped into Provincetown Harbor where it was abandoned and the rum runners fled on foot, never to be found. Twenty Boat Rum honors the bold spirit of independence embodied by these Cape Cod Rum Runners.”-South Hollow Spirits.

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What a story, huh? Don’t you want to try Twenty Boat now?? You should because this is a unique Spiced Rum. What stands out the most to me is the chai. I can’t recall a Spiced Rum with chai as one of the spices. It’s a great addition to the cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, rose hip, anise, lemon peel, orange peel, allspice, nutmeg and more. It gives a nice warmth, intensity and complexity to the Rum.

For the holiday, we’re celebrating with the “Catch 20” cocktail. It’s a nice mix of Twenty Boat Spiced Rum, Scotch and other complimentary flavors.

Catch 20:

1 1/2oz. Twenty Boat Spiced Rum

1/2oz. Blended Scotch

1/2oz. Falernum

1/2oz. Ginger Liqueur

1oz. Lime Juice

1 Dash Angostura Bitters

*Fill a fizz or highball glass with crushed ice. Add all ingredients and stir to chill. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with grated lime zest and cinnamon.

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Enjoy National Rum Day in style, cheers!

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New Year’s Eve Cocktails With Tequila Avion Anejo

Let the countdown begin. I can hear the sounds of champagne corks popping all over the place! Champagne is of course the go-to spirit for celebrations and a quintessential spirit to have on NYE. However, it’s always nice to switch it up a bit. Champagne cocktail anyone? Bitters, sugar cube and bubbly…I’ll be having one. I’ll also be having some tequila. Not any tequila. Tequila Avion Anejo. The good stuff. After all, we’re moving into the new year. Let’s move with the best.

A NYE party isn’t just any old party. More than likely there will be copious amounts of booze floating around. And, more than likely, you won’t want to play bartender at your own party. What’s the solution? Batched cocktails. If you plan on having a real booze spread (as you should), make at least two of your cocktails ahead of time. And make it simple. Something your guests can relate to. If you’re not throwing a huge shindig, it’ll be fun to mix up a few drinks for a couple of friends and family. This NYE we’ll be having an in season pomegranate margarita (with fresh grenadine) and Anejo Manhattans. If you want to keep it super easy and classy, toast with Tequila Avion on the rocks or neat. Or, kick it up in an old fashioned.

Before we get to the Margarita and Manhattan, here are a couple of cocktails from Tequila Avion:

El Vaquero (aka Flying Cowboy)

Esteban Ordóñez of Burning Waters NYC

1 1/2 oz. Tequila Avión Anejo

1/2 oz. Rye whiskey

1/2 oz. Cinnamon schnapps

1 oz. Pear pure

3/4 oz. Lemon juice

1/4 oz. Simple syrup

Cinnamon stick for garnish

Combine all ingredients in an ice filled shaker, shake vigorously until well chilled. Strain into a Collins or highball glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

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Bitter But True

Chris Kearns of Burning Waters, NYC

1/2 oz. Tequila Avión Reposado

3/4 oz. Lime

3/4 oz.Agave syrup

1/2 oz. Campari

5-7 Mint leaves

3 drops of vanilla essence

Lime wheel and mint sprig for garnish

Combine all ingredients in an ice filled shaker, shake vigorously until chilled. Double strain over ice in a double rocks or double old fashioned glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig.

Bitter But True FINAL - High Res

 

The Margarita and Manhattan share one common ingredient: Fresh Grenadine. You may as well kill two birds with one stone. Less ingredients to buy at the store, the less time you spend making cocktails and the more time you have to sit back and say “cheers”!

For Grenadine:

1 Cup Pomegranite Arils (Seeds) or Pomegranate Juice

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Water

*Bring all contents to a simmer to dissolve sugar and cook for about 10 minutes to incorporate. Cool, strain and bottle.

There are plenty of grenadine recipes out there, this one is simple and straight to the point. Just don’t use that red colored, pre-bottle stuff. You know the one that’s named after a flower. I’m sure there’s no pomegranate anywhere in there.

Pomegranate Margarita:

2oz. Tequila [ Preferrably Avion Anejo]

1oz. Grenadine

3/4oz. Fresh Lime Juice

2 Dashes Orange Bitters [Optional]

*Add all ingredients to shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into salt rimmed (if you’d like) rocks glass or serve up. Garnish with pomegranite seeds. Cheers!

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Anejo Manhattan:

2oz. Tequila Avion Anejo

3/4oz. Sweet Vermouth

1/4oz. Grenadine

Half Pipett Burlesque Bitters [or Angostura]

*Add all ingredients to your mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into coupe glass or serve over ice. Garnish with brandied cherry. Cheery!

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Happy New Year from FoodieTails and Tequila Avion!!

 

 

 

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Spirit Review: Fair Quinoa Vodka

The vision of Fair Spirits is social responsibility. This artisanal line of spirits (including Rum, Fair Goji and Fair Cafe) is made from unique ingredients and is Fair Trade Certified. Fair Trade Certified products meet certain environmental, labor and developmental standards.  Fair Trade products include (but not limited to) bananas, coffee, oranges, honey, rice, spices and a slew of other goods, including Quinoa. Quinoa is one of the key ingredients in Fair Vodka. It’s even on the label. The Quinoa used  for the Vodka is gluten free and sourced from Bolivia. Fair is shaping out to be the healthiest and most sustainable Vodka on the market. It’s the only Vodka that uses Quinoa. If you haven’t caught on to the Quinoa (and Kale) craze, no problem. Start now, and start with Fair Vodka. Quinoa is a grain crop grown for it’s edible seeds. The grain is extremely versatile, high in protein and gluten free. Bring some health to your next happy hour!

The bottle is sleek. The canvas like paper label and cork top gives the bottle a “hands on” feel. The spirit is clear with no sediments. Some tiny air bubbles (after pouring).

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Aroma: Citrus, Mellow, Sweet, Familiar “Alcohol” Smell.

Taste: Warming, Slight Alcohol Burn Going Down But Smooth, Deep Chocolate Notes, Citrus, Clear, Creamy Texture.

What I like about this Vodka is that it mixes well in cocktails. You know that Vodka you’ve been drinking that sticks out like a sore thumb in your cocktail? Put that in the back of the bar. At around $30 for 750ml, Fair Quinoa Vodka offers the smoothness, balance  and richness a good Vodka cocktail needs.

Tails Rating:  8/10 Tails

Cocktail time!! After the tasting, I knew that Fair had enough backbone to stand up next to Campari. So, I came up with the “Fair Deal”

Fair Deal:

2oz. Fair Quinoa Vodka

1 1/2oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice

3/4oz. Vanilla Syrup

1/2oz. Campari

2 Dashes Orange Bitters

*Add all ingredients to shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled. Double strain into coupe glass and garnish with grapefruit twist. Cheers!

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“Think Human. Drink Fair.”

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Sunday Sips…”Yonce” & Cappelletti vs. Campari…vs. Aperol?

Yes. This drink is named after Beyonce. Because, after the release of her latest album and it’s popularity (I’m a fan), how can you say “watermelon” in your own voice? She has forever changed the diction of “watermelon”!  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you must be living under a rock. If you really don’t know, listen to “Drunk In Love”. Such a great title for a cocktail blog! This Sunday sip is dedicated to KingBey!

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DSC_3923Yonce:

1oz. Watermelon Syrup

1/2oz. Cappelletti

1/2oz. Lime Juice

1 1/2oz. Tequila

*For Watermelon Syrup:

1 Cup strained Watermelon juice

1/4-1/2 Cup Sugar (Depending on sweetness of watermelon. Add sugar to taste.)

This is a “cold” syrup. After watermelon juice is strained, add sugar, shake  (In a container) and let the mixture sit to incorporate. Refrigerate.

*Add all ingredients to shaker. Fill with ice, shake and strain into coupe glass or over fresh ice. Garnish with lime twist or peel. Cheers!

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What is Cappelletti? Cappelletti, like many italian liqueres is a bitter aperitivo. Let’s start with Campari, one of the more popular red hued bitter aperitifs. Around $30 (NC), the aperitif is quite powerful and can be an acquired taste for many. It’s well known in the Negroni and Boulevardier cocktails. Campari is very grapefruit foward but, not in a juicy ruby red way. Think of the smell of the oils that are released when you zest a grapefruit. A blend of herbs and spices with strong bitter citrus notes, you’ll know when Campari is in your cocktail. Try the Americano to build your palate up for Campari.

Aperol (also part of the Campari Group) is another popular bitter spirit. Around $21 (NC) the orange hued aperitif has more of a citrus burst than Campari. While still bitter, Aperol has more sweetness than Campari and more of a freshly zested orange flavor. The two are slightly similar but I don’t reccomend substituting one for the other in recipes. You’ll have totally different cocktails. The famous brunch staple for Aperol is the Aperol Spritz. They’ve even had an Instagram video contest to find Aperol fans who’ll “do brunch” and have an Aperol Spritz; the Aperol Brunch Society! Cool, right?

Cappelletti around $19 (New Orleans, La.) is more bitter than Aperol but not quite as biting as Campari. It has a foward citrus flavor with some sweetness, not as much as Aperol, with a dry and almost smokey finish. It can be served in similar fashion to the Aperol Spritz and the Americano. I love it here in this cocktail. The subtle bitterness works well with the watermelon syrup. Fairly new to the American market (last summer), Cappelletti is closer to a substitution for Campari than Aperol. Taste them all for yourself and play around with some Negroni variations. Give your next Cosmo or Mai Ti some bite. Get to know bitter!

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Negroni Sbagliato

A happy “mistake”, the Sbagliato cocktail is a twist on the Negroni, a sister to the Americano, a cousin to the Boulevardier and so many other variations. It’s super simple and perfect for a sunday sip.

Negroni Sbagliato:

1oz. Campari

1oz. Sweet Vermouth

Sparkling Wine, Champagne or Prosecco

*Can be built in wine glass or champagne flute and topped with sparkling wine or stir vermouth and campari until chilled, strain over ice and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with orange wheel or zest. Cheers!

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Campari Spritzer

It’s a grilling and spritzing kind of day here in the Carolinas. We’re also nearing the end of Negroni Week. This spritzer will help you (and your liver) ease out of this past Campari infused week. Yes, with more Campari. This is an easy spritzer, as most are, that can be made with things you probably already have in your kitchen and bar. Toast to the weekend and light up the grill!

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Campari Spritzer:

1 1/2oz. Campari

1oz. Riesling [Or other Sweet White Wine]

1oz. Orange Juice

Sparkling Wine, Club Soda [Orangina used here]

*A built cocktail, add ice to your glass. Add all ingredients to glass and stir lightly to incorporate Campari. Top with Sparkling Wine and Club soda or Orangina. Garnish with Orange wheel or Grapefruit. Cheers!

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Molly Ringwald

Embarking on Negroni Week, I thought I’d NOT make a Negroni. But, make a cocktail with Gin and Campari. I got the name from a cocktail friend on Instagram, Dani. And, it’s quite fitting. The drink is “pretty in pink”. There will be plenty of Negroni’s and the like to go around. Lot’s of creativity. I personally prefer the Boulevardier to the Negroni, but I will be participating. So, have Negronis but have a Molly too!

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Molly Ringwald:

2-3 Raspberries

1 3 Inch Piece Watermelon

1/2oz. Simple Syrup

1/2oz. Lime Juice

1oz. Campari

1 1/2oz. Gin

*Muddle Raspberry and Watermelon with Simple Syrup. Add remaining ingredients to shaker. Fill with ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into coupe glass or strain over fresh ice and top with club soda. Garnish with Raspberries and Watermelon. Cheers!

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