brooklyn hemispherical

Fox In The Garden

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This drink will wake you up. Between the St. George Terroir gin which is pretty unique, to the brightness of the beet juice &  the bitter delight that is Cynar, it has a decidedly earthy profile that’s a welcomed departure from a sea of Manhattan-like variations of the season.

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I really have to get my shit together with posting more often. I’ve had this post ready for well over a month and just now decided to show up fashionably late to the party. If you think this is bad, try making dinner plans with me at an Olive Garden. Hope you like sitting alone, feverishly refreshing instagram and facebook while the waiter refills your water for the 9th time…cause I ain’t even half way done with my hair. Promise I’ll get better. #pinkypromise

Lately I’ve been obsessing over glassware and how apparently they haven’t invented the right sand that would produce the exquisite glass vessel I require for my cocktails. I mean, it’s not like I’m using red solo cups and empty PBR cans for my photo shoots but in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to repeat glassware. In this same perfect world I would be best friends with Justin Timberlake and he’d show me the full dance routine to ‘bye, bye, bye’ and I’d show him how to ruin every shirt he owns with buffalo sauce. But I digress. Sometimes I’m not entirely sure what type of glass works best for a drink. Some are easy but when you’re designing cocktails, the lines become blurred. Especially when factoring in a garnish, the use of ice, the amount of liquid, etc.

This cocktail came together rather quickly. I had the base for it with the beets, lemon & mint back when I wasn’t drinking booze and being all whole30. But then I got a bottle of St. George Terroir gin, which is a super-distinct and flavorful gin, it was pretty easy after that. I’m sure there are other beet cocktails out there but one that I enjoyed a lot was one by Suzanne Miller called the ‘Beet Box’ which used genever and needless to say, has the raddest name for a beet-centric craft cocktail.

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Gin
Cynar
bitters
Beet rock syrup
Beets
Lemon juice
mint

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I got the idea for this cocktail (oddly enough) during a time in which I wasn’t drinking alcohol. I was going through some weird times; Times of sugar deprivation and being oddly into Miley Cyrus’ music. Yeah, odd times indeed. But out of that I discovered how good fresh beet juice tastes (and looks) in drinks.

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The hardest part about making this is would be to press the beet juice. I’m lucky enough to have a pretty rad juicer but it happens to be a pain in the ass to wash, so I guess it balances itself out in the end?

1 1/2 oz St. George Terroir Gin
1/2 oz Cynar
2 dashes (~16 drops) of Brooklyn Hemispherical Rhubarb Bitters
1 1/2 oz beet juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz beet rock syrup*
2 small sprigs of mint

Take the mint leaves and lightly muddle them in the mixing tin / shaker. As always, don’t over-do it.
Add the rest of the ingredients, followed by some nice pieces of ice and shake.
It’s almost a shame that the color of the beet juice is subdued with the Cynar and the syrup but its a necessary evil. The clearer the spirits you add to it, the prettier it’ll look (FYI).
Double strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a tiny sprig of mint.

[ Enjoy ]

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Once you’ve peeled, washed and juiced the beets, you’ll have this gorgeous colored goodness in a glass. You may want to sample it first since the taste can vary slightly but it should be sweet, a bit tart and full of  flavor.

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MxMo: Branches In A River

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“You have no idea where I came from
We have no idea where we’re going
Lodged in life
Like two branches in a river
flowing downstream
caught in the current
I’ll carry you. You’ll carry me
That’s how it could be
Don’t you know me?
Don’t you know me by now?”

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After sitting a couple rounds of MxMO out, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of playing around with resin and liquor, the same way the people from Jurassic Park did. That movie still scares the crap out of me. Just sayin’. This month, it’s the ever sexy duo known as the Booze Nerds leading us into the woods:

From savory rosemary in a stuffing, to a delicious juniper-y gin in a martini, to a fragrant fir ornament or garnish, our friends the evergreens have a lot to offer.

The challenge: come up with an ingenious creation using the resin-y ingredient of your choice. Zirbenz, retsina, hoppy IPA, pine-nut puree, even? Sure! Spirit, garnish, aroma, all are fair game.  Whatever resin means to you, we want to hear it.

This cocktail worked out beautifully with this month’s theme in that I was working on a drink with Zirbenz and either rosemary or thyme or lavender inspired by Linklater’s Before Sunrise?!? So when I read Zirbenz on the announcement post I knew now was the right time. I settled on thyme in the end to dance around with the Alpine liqueur and tossed in a European mix of ingredients that I’m very happy with in the end, that met my original concept for the drink.

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  • Bols Genever
  • Zirbenz
  • Apricot Eau de Vie
  • Lillet rose
  • bitters
  • muddled thyme

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Before Sunrise holds up. It is 90’s-as-fuck and slightly creepy but damn did Ethan Hawke have great hair. I watched it recently with my wife (her first time) with hopes of it culminating in a marathon screening of all 3 with the best wine $8 can buy…but after her losing any and all interest in it after about 10 minutes or so, it ended with me watching them alone. But she didn’t get any of my fancy wine.

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For this to work best, I’d advise you buy some German rock sugar from Teavana. Make a 1 to 1 syrup with it and you will instantly fall in love with the flavor; Not as cloyingly sweet as regular sugar or honey, with a quality that I can really just describe as “soft”. It works great in this one to just give a bit of sweetness and balance.

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
3/4 oz Lillet Rose
3/4 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine liqueur
1/2 oz Blume Marillen Apricot Eau de Vie
1 dash Bittercube Bolivar bitters
1 dash black mission fig bitters
1/4 oz German beet syrup*
1 small sprig of thyme for muddling

Add the sprig of thyme and the syrup in the shaker and muddle for a bit. Pour in the rest and shake it fast (But watch ya self). Double strain into a rocks glass with some ice. It helps to extract the oil from a lemon peel onto the drink in the end. Garnish with the peel and a small sprig of thyme.

[ Enjoy ]

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Zirbenz is a stone pine liqueur from Austria. Known by some as “the agave of the Alps”, it is pine-y as hell but in the form of a very pleasant finish. I can see it going great with a nice gin.

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The Architect

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This one’s for you, Tony. You classy ol’ fox.

I struggled making this cocktail at first. Which brings me to my first point: don’t force a drink. Sometimes they just need to be unceremoniously discarded and forgotten; Much like Lindsay Lohan. I got the idea for this one a little while back while getting some refreshments @ Drink (yes. I know I’ve talked about this place before but you wouldn’t shut up about that place either if you had a drink blog). I was alone that day, putting out the vibe*; Which is when I met the most regal 70 year old man. In the 2 hours that followed, we talked about 2 things: architecture & absinthe. He was even kind enough to draw me a diagram. Class act, that Tony.

So none of that info, or “a story of forbidden love” as I like to think of it, was pertinent to the actual drink except for the fact that it’s where it gets its name, along with its inclusion of absinthe. I would like to end this post saying that if he were to taste this, he would love it but that’s bullshit. In fact, I’m sure he would hate it and go back to Drink, only to burn it to the ground.

*the vibe: Raul standing uncomfortably in a room, sweating profusely and giving the distinct impression that he just strangled someone in the men's room.

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Absinthe
Ramazzotti
Fernet Branca
Bitters
salt

For the salt, I used Elana’s recipe from Stir and Strain for ‘vanilla salt‘. That site deserves way better than just a side note here (it’s been on my ‘Read‘ list since day 1) and you NEED to check it out (now) but I’ll have a full post dedicated to her site shortly.

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This is a stirred drink, served over ice.

1 1/2 oz Sweet vermouth  [ Cocchi Vermouth di Torino ]
1/4 oz Absinthe  [ St. George Absinthe Verte]
1/2 oz Ramazzotti amaro
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
8 drops Brooklyn Hemispherical Black Mission Fig bitters

Add all these guys into a mixing glass with ice and stir.

Add a large ice cube into a rocks glass and pour the cocktail around the cube.
Take a pinch (what’s less than a pinch? well that) and place it on top of the ice.
[ Enjoy ]

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Black Flag

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-Insert clever Henry Rollins joke here-

I infused Cognac because I don’t care much for it. In fact, I infused about 1/2 a bottle of Courvoisier that I got for Christmas yet had never really used other than to show people that French is not only difficult to pronounce but even harder to spell. I’m sure I’ll be infusing other spirits soon (looking @ you, bottle of Knob Creek bourbon) based on this experiment. Vanilla beans. Herbs. Buffalo chicken wings. You name it; I’ll be on it.

I didn’t infuse an entire bottle because I wasn’t sure what the result would be, nor if I would want 750 ml of black tea infused cognac (which came out pretty great), so I only infused about 10 oz of it. Will I be making more? Definitely. But I think I’ll use a different brand of cognac next time or may just switch to Brandy altogether. The name comes from the black tea and the black mission fig bitters from Brooklyn Bitters . I was originally going to call it “Fuck, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing here and this drink is strong. Oh god its so strong” but opted against it at the last minute. Maybe next time?

So here’s a booze-only drink (one of many to follow) for those that like a good cocktail with depth and variety.

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Tea infused Cognac
Benedictine
Fernet Branca
Dry vermouth
Bitters
Demerara simple

I used Dolin Dry here (after testing Lillet Blanc and Martini dry) and felt that it worked much better than sweet vermouth (Dolin Rouge) which would make it more Vieux Carre in nature and a bit sweeter.

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1 1/2 oz Bavarian Berry black tea infused Courvoisier cognac*
3/4 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz Dolin Dry vermouth
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
10 drops Brooklyn Hemispherical Black Mission Fig bitters
Couple dashes of demerara simple

*To infuse the cognac: take a single serving of your favorite black tea (I used Bavarian Berry Black, which is nice and bright with little hints of fruit) and steep it in a separate glass bottle with about 8 oz of cognac (or technically any spirit) for about 12-24 hours. Fine strain it into yet another bottle to remove any and all leaves and sediment. That’s it really. Keep it in the fridge and it’ll last for about a week. 

Pour everything in a mixing glass. Even the dashes of syrup.
Stir it nicely. In fact, let this be the therapeutic part of the process. Yeah.
Strain into a sandwich bag. Just kidding. A coupe.
Cut a fresh lemon peel and squeeze the oils in and around the glass. Discard when done.

[Enjoy]

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