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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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End Summer With 5 Ingredients Or Less

Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer. Though, fall hasn’t officially started, let’s ease out of the warm weather with some light and refreshing cocktails that are 5 ingredients or less.

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We have two simple and delicious cocktails with  the wonderful Grey Goose Le Citron and Perrier sparkling water.

First up is the Le Citron Smash. We’re all familiar with the Bourbon Smash. This is a fresh take on the classic.

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Le Citron Smash:

1 Lemon [Quartered]

5 Mint Leaves

1/2oz. Simple Syrup

1 1/2-2oz. Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka

Perrier Sparkling Water

*Muddle 1 quartered lemon and mint leaves with simple syrup. Top with crushed ice and Le Citron Vodka. Stir to chill and top with Perrier sparkling water.

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Of course, we’ve got to have a highball. The Lemon Verbena syrup (minus the ginger) adds a fresh twist to this cocktail. There’s only a minimal amount of manpower needed to make syrup. It’s definitely worth it.

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Le Citron Cooler:

1/2oz. Lemon Verbena Syrup

1/2oz. Lemon Juice

2oz. Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka

Perrier Sparkling Water

*This is a built cocktail so there’s no shaking required. To your highball glass, add syrup, vodka and lemon juice. Add ice and stir to chill. Top with Perrier sparkling water. Garnish with spanked Lemon Verbena leaves to release all of the fresh aromas.

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Enjoy and cheers to the end of summer!

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Gin Cocktails For Mid-Summer

How about adding a little Gin to your next Swizzle? Sound good? I think so. The first step is starting with  really good Gin. Today we’re using No.3 Gin from Anchor Distilling. This Gin is great in cocktails. It’s a London Dry style which means it’s Juniper forward, balanced with six botanicals and distilled in copper pot stills. But, don’t be afraid. There’s a lot more going on with this Gin than Juniper. (Use No.3 in your next Martini) It’s light, smooth on the palate, floral and citrus forward. No.3 Gin is versatile and can stand up to any cocktail.

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Gin cocktails are  a summer essential. Especially late summer. (Yes, I’m counting the beginning of August as late summer. Too much heat. I’m trying to speak Autumn into existence.) No.3 Gin has a smooth and warming mouth feel like I’ve not had with any other Gin. And, it still makes for light drinking.

There are still some folks out there who don’t enjoy the Juniper spirit. I always say, “you haven’t had the right Gin.” They probably haven’t had the right cocktail. You definitely want to have No.3 Gin in your arsenal. It also makes for bright and crisp Gin & Tonics. Some classic Gin cocktails you should try with No.3 Gin are The Bee’s Knees, The Negroni, The French 75 and now, the Anchor Swizzle.

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The Anchor Swizzle has a little tiki twist. The Falernum in this cocktail pairs perfectly with No.3 Gin.

Anchor Swizzle:

1 1/2oz. No.3 Gin

1oz. White Rum

3/4oz. Falernum

1/2oz. Simple Syrup

1oz. Lime Juice

6 Mint Leaves

Club Soda

Angostura Bitters

*In a highball glass, muddle mint leaves. Fill the glass about half way with crushed ice. Add remaining ingredients minus bitters and club soda. Swizzle to incorporate, add more crushed ice, top with club soda and angostura bitters. Garnish with mint sprig.

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Enjoy out doors. Preferably while grilling with friends. Cheers!

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Celebrate National Tequila Day!!

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There are so many holidays but, are there any more important than National Tequila Day? The wonderful agave spirit is one of a kind. The holiday is falling on the weekend this year (everyone counts Friday as the weekend, right?) so you should seek the best tequila you can find. Today we’re shaking and stirring things up with Avion Tequila. I have two simple and delightful cocktails to get your celebratory weekend started!

First thing you might want to do is put the Margarita down. I know, nothing beats a good margarita. Let’s think outside of the box a little here. I love a good margarita but, there’s so much more that tequila can offer. Because tequila and lime were made for each other, I guess we could say the first cocktail has roots in the margarita. Some mint, a little Absinthe, let’s get this part started!! (Was that too corny? Should I have said Fiesta?)

Mint Daisy:

2oz. Avion Silver Tequila

1oz. Simple Syrup [1:1 sugar to water]

1oz. Lime Juice

3 Dashes Citrus Bitters [Such as Hella Bitters]

3 Mint Leaves

Absinthe

*Start by rinsing your coupe glass with Absinthe and place in the freezer to chill. Muddle mint leaves in your shaker. Add all remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake until chilled and double strain into chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with mint sprig.

**If you want to make a mint simple syrup, that will work just as well!

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Next up is the rested old fashioned. We’re using two aged tequilas from Avion; the Añejo and Reposado. A good tequila should be sipped and can be easily enhanced. And, that’s all we’re doing here. Adding bitters and agave nectar.

Rested Old Fashioned:

1oz. Avion Añejo Tequila

1oz. Avion Reposado Tequila

1 Barspoon Agave Nectar

3 Dashes Orange Bitters [Or bitters of your choice]

*Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir without ice to incorporate agave nectar. Add ice and stir to chill. Garnish with a lime wheel.

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Cheers! Enjoy celebrating National Tequila Day all weekend long with Avion Tequila!

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Cocktails With Element [Shrub]

What is a shrub? Maybe you’ve heard of them before but have been hesitatnt to try the drinking vinegar. Shrubs are typically a fruit based, sweetened vinegar that in modern times are added to cocktails. They date back to the colonial era ( probably older than that, I’m no shrub historian). The process of making a shrub can take a little time. Chopping, peeling and/or juicing fruit, letting said fruit sit with sugar then mixing with vinegar. We’re all about homemade goods here at FoodieTails. But, sometimes it’s so good to have a quality made product so that we can skip all the fuss. And, Element Shub[s] are quality, handmade products. The four flavors are Honeydew-Jalapeno,  Lemon-Mint, Blueberry-Rosemary and Chai-Pear.

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As the story goes, Charlie created these wonderful, flavorful shrubs for his pregnant wife. Obviously, she couldn’t drink alcohol at the time. How many great mocktails have you had? Me? I can’t think of any. So, to help “accomidate” his wife’s craving for a great mocktail came the concept for Element [Shrub]. A concept that I really love. Having studied the sciences in college, I spent plenty of time (too much time) with the periodic table. I could have used some of these shrubs! The good thing about Element is that all you need to add is club soda, your spirit of choice and you’ve got cocktails made easy!!

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Made with locally sourced products, the Blueberry-Rosemary and Chai-Pear are my two favorites. The BR is a great sipper for this upcoming Spring season. But, while we’re still clinging to Winter, snow and all, the Chai-Pear shrub is what we should all be drinking. right now. Amazing spiced flavors. It truly tastes like christmas in a bottle. All of the shrubs pack a real punch in flavor. They are full bodied with a smooth mouth feel. You won’t be disappointed.

Berry Fizz:

2oz. Blueberry-Rosemary Shrub

2oz. Blackberry-Rosemary Infused Vodka

1/4oz. Lemon Juice

1 Egg White

Club Soda

*Add all ingrendients to shaker minus club soda. Dry shake (without ice) until frothy. Add ice and shake vigirously. Double strain into fizz or highball glass. Add club soda from a high pour to creat a nice foamy head on the cocktail. Cheers!

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Winter Pear:

1 1/2oz. Chai Pear Shrub

2oz. Irish Whiskey

2-3 Pieces Diced Pear

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

*Muddle diced pear in shaker, add remaining ingredients and shake with ice until chilled. Double strain into coupe glass. This shrub works just as well in a highball with bourbon, club soda and ginger ale.

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Honeydew-Jalapeno Mojito

2oz. Honeydew-Jalapeno Shrub

2oz. Light Rum [Cruzan Used Here]

Basil, Mint, Lime

Club Soda

*When you first open the jalapeno shrub, the aroma will be strong. Almost as if the jalapenos have been pickled. Don’t let this put you off. The spice is amazing!

*Muddle a few basil and mint leaves lightly in a highball glass. Add squeeze of lime juice (from about 1 wedge). Add remaining ingredients and stir. Garnish with mint and basil sprig.

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Lemon-Mint Refresher:

2oz. Lemon-Mint Shrub

2oz. Gin

2 Cucumber Wheels

Club Soda

*A no-brainer here. Muddle 2 cucumber wheels in a rocks glass or shaker. Fill glass with remaining ingredients and stir. I prefer to shake and strain. Top with club soda and garnish with lemon wheel and/or mint sprig. Cheers!

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Chartreuse Julep

A brief history on Chartreuse. The herbal liqueur is a true elixir, with a more than 400 year history, it’s one of the oldest spirits that’s still widely available. And, still very mysterious. Only three monks from the [Carthusian] order hold the recipe. Each of them hold 1/3 of the recipe. Obviously, they’ve taken a vow of silence. Google it. The spirit dates back to 1605 and was created to be the “elixir of long life”. The spirit is made with a neutral grain spirit and many many different herbs and spices. The mixture is then aged for five years in oak vats. How many aged liqueurs do you know of?

The spirit comes in both a green and a yellow expression. Both retailing for about $54, Chartreuse is definitely an investment for your home bar. I recommend sampling the spirit at your local/favorite cocktail bar before you buy. (If your local/favorite cocktail bar doesn’t have any Chartreuse…don’t go there anymore) It can be an acquired taste. I currently have a bottle of the Yellow Chartreuse. Not as commonly used in classic cocktails like the “Last Word” and the “Bijou” but, effective for a homebar.

We’re all familiar with the Julep cocktail, and the Kentucky Derby for that matter. I’ve been to Churchill Down, had the original Julep and even got a few Julep cups. Sad to say, I’m not really a fan of the Mint Julep. It’s just a little flat in the mouth, if you will. On Derby Day, I’ll be having a smash (which has mint, bourbon and sugar) or some other version of the Julep cocktail. This post is about one of those other versions.

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There really is no substitution for Chartreuse. For this [Yellow] Chartreuse Julep, I suppose you could use Strega, Suze or Salers Aperitif. The honey sweetness in Yellow Chartreuse works well in this Julep.

Chartreuse Julep:

1 1/2oz. Yellow Chartreuse

1/2oz. Reposado Tequila

1/2oz. Lemon

1 Barspoon Honey [Or 1/2oz. Honey Syrup]

4 Mint Leaves

2 Dashes Grapefruit Bitters

Cava [Or other dry sparkling wine]

*Add all ingredients to shaker minus Cava. Fill with ice and shake until chilled. (Stir honey in shaker to mix before adding ice). Strain into Julep cup or rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Top with Cava. Garnish with a small mint bouquet and lemon twist. Cheers!

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Aviation American Gin Cocktails

Friends and fellow cocktailers. Particularly those of you who claim to not like Gin. You’ve been drinking the wrong Gin! Don’t blame your disdain for the juniper spirit on some college night. That excuse is kind of played out now. We get it. You got drunk. It was awful. You’re an adult now. Drink real booze! Really good booze. The saying is totally true, “you get what you pay for”. This is vital when you’re talking about something you’ll be consuming. And, that goes for ALL spirits. When you give Gin another try, start with Aviation American Gin. This is one great spirit. It works great in any Gin cocktail you want to make. Some Gins are flavored with rose, cucumber, lemongrass and many other spices. Aviation American Gin is a well balanced spirit. Aviation has flavors of lavender, cardamom, sarsaparilla is gluten free and GMO free. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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Aviation American Gin is bright, crisp, clean and refreshing. One of the best Gins I’ve tasted. A great addition to your home bar. Typically, Gin isn’t sipped neat or on the rocks. But, Aviation Gin makes a great Gin Old Fashioned, Gin and Tonic and the namesake cocktail the Aviation. This Gin tasting offers two cocktails. One classic, the Cloister and one easy original.

The Cloister cocktail is a classic but not well known Gin cocktail that features Yellow Chartreuse. After testing the cocktail, I adjusted the measurements because the Chartreuse overpowers the subtle floral notes of  Aviation Gin.

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The Cloister Cocktail:

2oz. Aviation American Gin

1/2oz. Yellow Chartreuse

3/4oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice

1/4oz. Lemon Juice

1/4oz. Simple Syrup

*Add all ingredients to shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled, double strain and coupe. Garnish with lemon or grapefruit peel. Cheers!

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Peach Southside:

2oz. Aviation American Gin

1oz. Creme de Peche

1/2oz. Lemon Juice

2 Dashes Peach Bitters [Optional]

6 Mint Leaves

Tonic Water

*Add all ingredients (minus tonic water) to shaker and fill with ice. No need to muddle the mint. Tear and throw it in. Shake until chilled. Double strain into rocks glass and top with tonic water (or Prosecco/Sparkling Wine). Garnish with bouquet  of mint. Cheers!

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A sample of Aviation American Gin was provided for this post. All pictures and opinions are my own. Cheers!

 

 

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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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Herbal Syrups

Summertime cocktails are all about the syrups. And, we know there’s a plethora of syrups to be made. Some of my favorites are herbal syrups. The great minds over at liquor.com have decided to do some research on herbal syrups using Mint, Basil and Tarragon. I must admit, I’ve always been a little leery of tarragon. Some cocktails and foods that are licorice forward can be a little too strong. But, when balanced and done the right way, the results are delightful. So, today we’ll be making three syrups using Mint, Basil and Tarragon. Lets start with the Basil syrup:

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INGREDIENTS:

½ cup Turbinado sugar
½ cup Boiling water
½ cup Packed fresh basil leaves

PREPARATION:
Combine the sugar and boiling water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the basil leaves and steep in hot simple syrup for 15 minutes. Strain into a clean jar, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

With this Basil syrup, the options for cocktails are endless. I couldn’t help but think TEQUILA. Here, we’re going to be using the Basil syrup in a tequila old fashioned. The old fashioned is one of the world’s oldest cocktails. Sugar, bitters, (a splash of water?) and spirit. In place of a sugar cube is the Basil syrup. Simple syrups always incorporate into a cocktail better that raw sugar.

Basil Old Fashioned:

2oz. Anejo Tequila [Hornitos used here]

1/2oz. Basil Syrup

4 Dashes Jasmine Bitters [Orange or Angostura will work here]

*Add ingredients to mixing glass and top with ice. Stir until chilled and strain over 1 block of ice. Garnish with Basil. Cheers!

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For Tarragon Syrup:

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup Turbinado sugar
½ cup Boiling water
6 Large, fresh tarragon leaves

PREPARATION:
Combine the sugar and boiling water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the tarragon leaves and steep in hot simple syrup for 20 minutes. Strain into a clean jar, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

 

For G & T:

2oz. Grapefruit Juice

2oz. Vodka [Tito’s Handmade used here]

3/4oz. Lime Juice

3/4oz. Tarragon Syrup

2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Prosecco

*Add all ingredients to shaker minus Prosecco. Fill with ice and shake until chilled. Strain over fresh ice, top with Prosecco and garnish with Tarragon and Grapefruit zest. Cheers!

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For Mint Syrup:

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup Turbinado sugar
½ cup Boiling water
¾ cup Packed fresh mint leaves

PREPARATION:
Combine the sugar and mint in a bowl. Add water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Steep the mint leaves for 15 minutes. Strain into a jar, cover and refrigerate up to two weeks.

 

Minty Gin Mule:

2oz. Gin [Hendricks used here]

3/4oz. Lime Juice

3/4oz. Mint Syrup

2 Dashes Grapefruit Bitters

Ginger Beer

*Add all ingredients to shaker minus Ginger Beer. Fill shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain over fresh ice, top with Ginger Beer and garnish with bouquet of mint.

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SN: The Minty Gin Mule tastes slightly better if you have one of those fancy copper mugs 😉

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French Gimlet

Don’t you love going to the store and trying all of the free samples? It makes weekend shopping just a little sweeter. This weekend I picked up some French Limonade. It’s light, refreshing, sparkling and the perfect accompaniment to a gimlet cocktail. You should be able to find a good French Limonade at your local grocer or specialty foods store. Pick up a bottle (mine was only $1.99!!) and make French Gimlets!

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French Gimlet:

1/2oz. Lime Juice

2-4 Basil or Mint Leaves [Torn]

1 1/2oz. Gin or Vodka

1/2oz. Simple Syrup

French Limonade or other sparkling beverage

Build cocktail right in glass, give a stir and top with sparkling limonade. Cheers!

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