bittermens

River Of Gold

First post of the year…one that I had planned for the END of last year but here we are…yayyyy?!? Screw it. So by now the holidays and all their bloated spectacle are but a distant memory, yet all the weight that you got as a “present” is surely still sticking around. But it’s cool, because pants fit much better when they’re sweatpants or leggings which is all I wear these days to mask my new-found curves. I hope that all of you reading this had some great cocktails or at the very least, a solid beer over the past few weeks. Some of them might have been so good in fact, that you don’t remember them at all. Nor do you remember throwing up in the Uber but you know what, it’s all behind us. Let’s look forward. Let’s be more than what we were and make something great out of the new year. I’m obviously talking about cocktails, you guys. Be who you want to be, regardless of the year, but at least have a beautiful drink in your hand.

ingredients_punch

pineapple_cutting

Onto the cocktail. It’s fruity, full of wood notes, which mixed with the char from the pineapple, make for a fun time. GUARANTEED. Cognac is still a spirit that I struggle with in cocktails, to be honest, yet it’s super-easy for me to make into a tasty punch. It’s cold and warm months are far away, so I thought to bring a bit of tiki flavors and temperatures to the season. So put on some shorts, crank up the thermostat and invite that one friend you have over. Cause shit is about to get crazy. Unless it doesn’t. And you just have some sparkling conversation for a couple hours and then politely call it a night by 10 pm. I’ll leave that up to you.

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RIVER OF GOLD

makes around 10-15 servings

BOOZE

cognac | 3 cups blanc vermouth | 1 cup

BITTERS

Angostura bitters | 10 dashes Bittermens Elemakule Tiki bitters | 10 dashes

CITRUS, SYRUPS & JUICES

roasted pineapple juice | 2 cups lemon juice | 1 cup honey syrup* | 3/4 cup

MISC.

black tea | 2 cups

Pour all the items above into your beautiful punch bowl of choice and give it a good stir.

Taste it a bit and check if it needs a bit more of this or that, depending on how you’d like it.

Punch will undoubtedly need some ice, this is to chill it and dilute it since it would be a bit too concentrated at this point, even if you had chilled the liquids beforehand. I suggest making a big block of ice in whatever random bowl or Tupperware container you have. Or if you’re really cool, make clear ice blocks yourself like THIS.

Get a ladle ready, some cups and you’re done!

Rum Is The New Black

This is my absolute favorite way to enjoy a rum old fashioned. It has sweetness, depth and a smoothness that makes it hard to resist whenever I look at my bottles of rum.

Autumn is here. I’m not a beach person (even though I got that beach bod! FELLAS, AMIRIGHT?! …laughs alone in an empty room that smells oddly like dog farts), so the idea of summer going away, much like that gross pimple you got on your nose a few weeks back, is a welcomed treat cause now we get to talk about pumpkins! Hey, I wont try and tell you how to live your life but if #pumpkintalk isn’t something you’re having with random strangers ad-nauseam these days, well friend, you need Jesus.

I like the fall for drinking. I mean, I like ANY-FUCKING-SEASON for drinking but the fall brings with it a more relaxed sense of imbibing that is simply lost in the summer, where it’s all about “QUICK POUR THAT COLD DRINK IN MY MOUTH AS FAST AS YOU CAN! I’M WEARING FLIP FLOPS AND A CROP-TOP SO OBVIOUSLY I DON’T HAVE ANY TIME TO WAIT FOR SOME FANCY SHIT” …something like that. Where “autumn drinking” is more along these lines:

“Oh. Hello there. Didn’t see you there while I was admiring my new boots and super-cute scarf. Take your time and stir me up a drink that I can sip while reminding everyone on social media how much of a “fall person” I am. Oh and can you make it taste like a pumpkin spice latte?!”

Those were not aimed at anyone other than myself. But we can talk about my new boots later…

Anyone can make a quality rum Old Fashioned by simply replacing the whiskey for rum (or for mezcal like in a Oaxacan Old Fashioned) but this one is a bit different with the syrup used and the addition of the cacao. It rounds out with the lower notes of the rum that make it a smooth sip without being overtly sweet

Rum Is The New Black

2 1/2 oz Phraya premium gold rum

1/4 oz Thai syrup*

1 dash Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole bitters

1 dash Bittermen’s Taza Chocolate extract

*For the Thai simple:
take 1 part palm sugar (natural sugars from coconut blossoms) to equal part water; Add to that a couple pieces of fresh lemongrass (pro tip: beat them up a bit with a muddler to loosen up the fibers and release its flavors). Boil. simmer. cool. strain. bottle. You know the drill.

In a mixing glass, add all these ingredients with some nice pieces of ice and stir.
Double strain into a rocks glass with a nice chunk of ice & press a grapefruit peel
over the top, serving as a garnish as well.

[ Enjoy ]

I make these with Phraya rum (a premium rum from Thailand) but really, it’s hard to go wrong with whatever aged, quality rum you have; Be it Appleton reserve, El Dorado or Diplomatico Reserva. Let me know what your favorite sipping rum is in the comments!

 

La Muerte Chiquita

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This is my first real foray into mezcal-based drinks. I think I’m in love.

I’ve been ordering drinks with mezcal as much as I can to get a feel for how it works and the subtle (sometimes not so subtle) differences between one another; How smoky is this one? Does it work better with this juice or that one? Does it even mix well with other spirits without being a bully? Does it make me look fat in these pants? Based on the few that I’ve had, I can tell you that mezcal is a beautiful addition to a home bar (any bar really) in the way that absinthe is or like having both, bourbon and rye.

I’ve been trying to get my hands on a bottle of Montelobos mezcal for a while. To the point where I became obnoxiously slightly obsessed with the notion that if I was going to buy mezcal, it was going to be that one or none at all. That’s stupid. I know. Long story short, I got me a bottle and now we’re like best friends. I wanted the first drink I made to be more evocative of its origins (Oaxaca), so I went all Mexican up in this bitch…by way of Brooklyn, NY? Wait. what?? The xocolatl mole bitters are a must but the real treat is the chocolate extract that Taza (MA local) and Bitterman’s made, which gives it a rich flavor. To round it out, you have the dram which is basically being all creepy and coy (like Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club) until the very end, where it comes out, almost enhanced by the smokiness making it a pleasure to sip.

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Mezcal
Allspice Dram
Absinthe
Bitters
Mandarins

Fun fact: Initial trial runs had tabasco and creme de cacao which work well with the mezcal but didnt do it for me here. I wanted this to be a mix of a Monkey Gland & 20th Century, while maintaining some of the more traditional aspects of mezcal.

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1 1/2 oz mezcal   [ Montelobos ]
1/4 oz allspice dram   [ St. Elizabeth ]
1/4 oz absinthe   [ St. George Absinthe Verte ]
1 1/2 oz mandarin orange juice
2 dashes of Taza Chocolate Mexicano Extract
2 dashed of Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole bitters

Prepare your glass with an absinthe rinse (like you would a Sazerac):
Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice and distribute the absinthe over it.
This will coat the glass with absinthe and help chill the glass.

Pour all ingredients into a shaker and beat the devil out of it.
Ditch the ice from the rocks glass which should now have a lovely absinthe aroma.
Strain into the rinsed glass and garnish with a flamed mandarin wheel.

[ Enjoy ]

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