citrus

Pillar of Autumn (End Of Season)

Living in New England, you get rich flavors growing all over the place in random orchards and farms so we’re lucky to have a lot of variety, which works wonders when making cocktails. Like this one.

When I started writing this post, I had a terrible cold (probably not “terrible” but I’m a big baby when it comes to getting sick), it was a week before Thanksgiving (aka ‘the only time of the year you should openly be thankful of anything’) and that deep regret for what I and an unnamed turkey would do to my body was but a distant bridge far, far away. Well, November is done and the struggle is here. Fun fact, kids: if you eat enough cookies and caramel flan at a steady pace throughout the day, you become a grumpy asshole that swears you can communicate with animals small & large. It’s a bad look. I regret nothing.

Autumn recipes are done. I think the way that Labor day marks the end of me being able to wear some bitchin’ white linen capris, Thanksgiving marks the end of fall weather drinks and sadly, the end of socially acceptable drinking of pumpkin beer with sugar rims. I say fuck-that to all of those things because if I could, I’d kick back a Budweiser with a sugar rim (on the can!) while wearing my comfortable white linen. So today’s drink may come too late but I’ll leave that up to you. All I want is for you to get wasted.

A shaken drink with muddled apples & ginger, fresh lime juice that joins forces with the pressed juices, Averna amaro and cherry bitters to bring it depth and finally, Applejack and bourbon to give it strength. It’s sweet and refreshing. Exactly what I’d want to drink in between those tasty stirred cocktails I’ve recommended you sip:

I’ll have some new “WINTER” cocktails shortly, or what I like to call it: “Everything around me is cold & dead and all I want to do is drink Mexican hot chocolate under fur blankets until April”. I’m not above calling a cocktail “(Lil)Let It Go”, so expect that one. #sorrynotsorry.

Pillar of Autumn
1 oz bourbon whiskey (Berkshire Mountain Distillers)
1 oz Applejack (bonded if you roll like that)
1/2 Averna amaro
3/4 oz lime juice
2 dashes cedar cherry bitters (Apothecary Bitters)
1/3 of McIntosh apple, peeled + small piece of ginger, peeled
2 barspoons of real maple syrup

Take about 1/3rd of a peeled apple, chop it into smaller chunks and add to empty shaker. Add the peeled piece of ginger and muddle them together until you’ve extracted most of the juice.

Add the lime juice, bitters, Averna, bourbon & Applejack to the shaker, along with the maple syrup.

Fill shaker with ice and take it for a ride until chilled.

Double strain into a chilled glass. No garnish needed.

[ Enjoy ]

Initially I made this with Virgil Kane’s ginger-infused bourbon which is DELICIOUS and if you have the chance, definitely check them out, be it for this drink or simply to sip it on a leisurely walk at the park. I wasnt able to find enough of it around to make it the basis of this cocktail however, hence the muddled ginger.

Almondo

If you like drinks that are different, this is one of those. Tart from the citrus and the sherry, sweet from the orgeat and smoky from the mezcal & hot sauce. If you have some spicy bitters you’ve been meaning to use again, now is the time

Mic check, 2-1-2. Sibilance… Sibilance… Sorry, its been a while so I wanted to prepare to write this in the same fashion I would prep for my one-man-show at random Boston train stations. What would that show consist of, you ask?! I’m not sure. Probably me crying and sweating in equal amounts while I drink Everclear out of a pink flask; Hey, you asked. I felt it was time to start writing again, but since my writing was never really good to begin with, I can only imagine this is gonna’ hurt you more than it hurts me. But hey, maybe you’re in need of a good dick joke today so perhaps this works out in the end?! It probably won’t.

So lets get this out of the way: I’ve been gone for a long time. Life has been complicated (to put it lightly) lately and I took some time off. To those of you that had made bets on me having lost-my-fucking-mind and was last seen running naked and scared in the beautiful New England wilderness: close. Pretty damn close but no. Fun fact for like 2 of you: the woods scare the shit out of me. I mean, they’re so damn quiet and there’s no cocktail bars, nor hair salons for miles; Add to that the fact that everyone I know that does go camping, somehow ends up packing a bottle of Fireball on every trip… I’m good. Really. I’m good.

I made my own orgeat for some tasty mai-tais a while back (which you can read about HERE) and thought: mezcal… for some reason. But hey, it works. Tequila will get the job done here (when all else fails in life, you know tequila wont #ladiesamiright?!) but the backbone that comes with quality mezcal (Montelobos here) really gives it more weight.

Almondo

2 oz Amontillado sherry [ Lustao ]

1 oz mezcal [ Montelobos ]

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz orgeat [ YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN ]

1/2 oz simple syrup

2 dashes of hot sauce [ Cholula ]

Add all the ingredients in your shaker tin, add a bunch of ice and wake it up.

Strain into a chilled collins glass with ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

[ Enjoy ]

The major modifier here would be the sherry. I played around with Oloroso, which was way too dry and ended with Amontillado which had a lovely sweetness but I’m curious if a good Manzanilla would work just right here. If you enjoy sherry cocktails, let me know what some of your favorites are.

 

Harlow & Sage

Estamos de regreso con una nueva serie the bebidas utilizando tequila como la base principal, jugando con la idea the mezclar regiones…. JK. The blog is still in English. For now.

Hello again, muchachas and welcome to the last post which features the stellar photography by Lyudmila Zotova. Hopefully there will be more down the line with her (or other rad people out there!) but there was only so much you can do in a couple hours. Though I do believe Sting would disagree with that statement.

I was recently told that my drinks, interesting as they may seem, are not always easy to make due to some of the ingredients not being so easy to find. My initial reaction was: Oh fuck. What do you mean you cant find a rare form of gum Arabic that only grows in a tiny region of Africa?! You mean to tell me not everyone has access to the vast options of booze we swim in (like Scrooge McDuck) here in Boston?!

I want there to be a big range of cocktails you can make anywhere but I also like introducing readers to new products that I believe are exciting and new in the arena of craft cocktails but I’ll make an effort to make them as accessible as possible moving forward, with the occasional sumptuous tipple.

*Remember a while back when I posted this gin drink (which I’ve since updated so do check it out) where I used this fun syrup made from guava juice and sage ?!? No? It’s totally cool. We’re still friends but I will NEVER forget this betrayal.

I was just fucking around with the idea of tiki but with “Spanish flair”. What that means exactly, I don’t know. But I imagine it would be like me going out to a bar wearing a Hawaiian shirt, those sweet shoes bullfighters wear and a Mexican sombrero. If you wear this exact combination when you go out, please don’t. Just. don’t

Once you’ve made the syrup and placed it in some form of bottle or empty milk carton, you can start cranking these out in no time. My wife gets thirsty real quick so I’ve learned to make these in about 8 seconds. I know better now. Oh no, I think she’s coming…

Harlow & Sage

2 oz reposado tequila [ Espolon ]

3/4 oz Licor 43

1 1/2 oz guava & sage syrup

1 oz fresh lime juice

several dashes of Peychaud’s bitters

Measure and pour all except for the bitters in a shaker
Add some ice (ice), baby?
Beat the hell out of it and strain into a glass full of crushed ice
Hit it with the Peychaud’s bitters at the top to give it a nice red color
Garnish with sage leaves / kaffir lime leaves, an orange peel or a picture of me.

[ Enjoy ]

I used fresh guava for the syrup in this recipe BUT you can literally use ANY fresh fruit and I bet you it will work, as long as it’s sweet in nature with a strong backbone. This would go perfect with stone fruit like peaches mirabelle plums just to name a few.

Diving Bell

The original name for this was ‘Pavlovian Bell’ but then that started to sound pretty dumb. Not that ‘Diving Bell’ isn’t dumb. Maybe I should have just called it ‘Taco Bell’.

This week I meant to post about a couple events I attended a while ago (No. None of them were “How to tell your wife you wear her heels while she’s at work”) that were a lot of fun. And by fun, I mean they had A LOT of rum. But I was suddenly presented with these gorgeous shots by the lovely Lyudmila Zotova from a collaboration we did a little while ago and I couldn’t resist posting them. This was the first real collaboration for the site and now I dream of the day I get to work with more photographers/ fellow bloggers. Just picture me laying on the couch, being fanned with banana leaves while I lethargically tell someone else how much Malibu-to-Alize ratios to use, and then expect them to shoot it too?? A man can dream. But I digress, working with Lyudmila was fantastic (you’ll see a lot more of her work on the site in the weeks to come) and it was a learning experience for the both of us (I taught her that it is hot as balls in my apartment).

This is a refresher; A cocktail you sip on a sunny day, with Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ still playing on your phone while you shake it (both the drink AND your booty). This is how I enjoy my cocktails but you are your own master. With last week’s julep I started my spring cocktails here on the site, so this will be an ongoing series of bright, flavorful drinks for the weeks to come, ending with 2 months of just Polaroid shots of me drinking Coronas in my underwear with a confused look on my face. Why? When did this site ever make any sense? Hope you try it out and let me know how it is!

Bell_blog_2

I’ve been using Caorunn gin all over the place lately. Full disclosure: I was provided a bottle of it a while back BUT it’s pretty damn good. More than that actually. It has a softness to it that makes it incredibly easy to drink. I wish I was drinking it now…

All photos courtesy of Lyudmila Zotova. To check out her awesome work, head over to her site and/or tumblr and be sure to give her shit for not having a twitter account yet ;]

This is my second cocktail using The Owl’s Brew but because I’m SUCH a rebel, I use 2 parts booze to 1 part tea (#sorrynotsorry) and also the second time I use my ‘Death to Sour Mix’ (I cant even read that without rolling my eyes) which I talk about more in THIS post.

Diving Bell

1 3/4 oz gin

1/2 oz elderflower Liqueur

1/2 oz blanc Vermouth

3/4 oz Owl’s Brew Pink & Black

1/2 oz Death to Sour Mix*

Measure & pour all ingredients in a shaker and fill up with some big ol’ pieces of ice.
Beat it to death for a little bit to teach it who’s boss.
Double strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish with a grapefruit (any citrus really) peel

[ Enjoy ]

In case you cant get your hands on some of the grapefruit shrub and you happen to have a bottle of grapefruit bitters lying around, a couple of dashes of that + a bar spoon of simple syrup can make a tasty sub. As for the gin, a nice citrus-forward gin will work (Plymouth, Beefeater, Greenhook, Junipero…) nicely.

MxMo: Witches’ Garden

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This is probably the best smelling syrup ever.

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I’m cutting it pretty close on this Mixology Monday. Call it poor planning or …poor planning? I sure cant blame it on the theme, since it was wide open to interpretation, benefiting from the broad nature of “gardens“. I guess you could make a drink with the devil’s lettuce flowers if you wanted to and it’d be cool. But maybe I didn’t know the rules to this one, so I used one of everything.

The host for this month is my mate Mark (We’re not friends yet but I’m certain I’d impress him with my respectable bow tie collection and wonderful—ly bad British accent) of Cardiff Cocktails fame. Not only does he post some impressive drinks but he’s got a rad Instagram feed as well.

lets take influence from the bartenders that once ruled the world of mixology, raid your herb garden that too often gets neglected, and start mixing. I don’t want to put too many limits on this theme so get as creative as you please, want to use roots, spices or beans as well? Sure thing. Want to make your own herbal infusions or tinctures? Sounds wonderful.

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  • dry Gin
  • curacao
  • lavender bitters
  • lemon juice
  • guava/sage gomme

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In a way I dedicate this one to my mother. She sure as hell doesn’t drink (though she did kick back a shot of Hibiki the day of my wedding) and I’m sure she wishes I didn’t either, but when I think of gardens (this month’s theme), I think of her.

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I used guava here as the base of it all because lets be honest, that fruit is fucking amazing; Not only does it taste and smell lovely but (the pink type) has this rich color too. The best is to peel and juice and strain them but to be honest, I go to this little Cuban place where they do the heavy lifting for me. Yes. I am lazy. Lavender and sage are basically naturally born BFF’s and gin, with its array of botanicals, is there to tie it all up.

If you want to be super crazy, this works wonders with a dry junmai sake instead of the gin, making it much lower in proof but twice as fun.

1 1/2 oz Hendrick's gin
3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao
2 dashes of Scrappy's lavender bitters
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 1/2 oz guava syrup*

*for the syrup, take 2 cups of fresh guava juice, 10 sage leaves, the zest of a lemon (juiced later for the drink) & a bit of grated allspice. Combine them and bring to a boil. When cooled, double strain into a glass bottle and refrigerate it. Should hold up for a week or 2.

Add all to a shaker with some ice and go to town with your preferred method of shaking. Mine’s the one that doesn’t end up all over my kitchen ’cause I failed (every damn time) to create a proper seal.

Double strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish with a few sage leaves on a single lavender branch. Once it looks like a prom corsage, you’re set.

 

[ Enjoy ]

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Guava gomme infused with sage & lemon zest: Initially I had this as a syrup with lavender in it but after making it a few times, it just works so much better when mixed with some gum Arabic, thickening it a bit and using lavender bitters instead. Serious Drinks has an easy tutorial on gomme syrup which you can quickly adapt this with.

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Hey That’s My Bike

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So…Easter happened. Yeah. That was fun? It’s a weird holiday; Especially if you don’t have kids and aren’t (“and arent?” what fucking language is this blog in?) religious (unless you count religiously day drinking on Easter Sunday). So for me it was making brunch-y egg drinks for my fiance and me while hearing our neighbor’s kids scream their lungs out looking for Easter eggs while high on chocolate bunnies and Cadbury eggs.

Fun fact: When I was a kid, the only egg hunts I was involved in during Easter involved hard boiled eggs EXCLUSIVELY. After finding these motherf*ckers, I was then expected to eat them. So many eggs. So many. WHY WAS I SO GOOD AT FINDING THEM?! Back to the booze…

This drink is a mix between a pisco sour and a Ramos gin fizz. I don’t have it in me to ever add cream into a cocktail, as delicious as it may sound, so instead I’ll add any other random shit I can throw at it. I reused some of my leftover lemongrass / palm sugar syrup which was really nice here but it probably tastes the same with regular simple to be fair. Just be warned, we were surprised at how easy we were downing these. Way past brunch. Unless brunch is still going on @ around 10pm…

 

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Gin
Lillet Blanc
Bitters
Lime juice
Cucumber juice
Simple syrup
Egg white

In this case, I used Bitterman’s Boston Bittahs because the chamomile and citrus in it compliments the rest of the flavors, but I’m certain a 1 to 1 of orange and angostura bitters would work nice too.

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2 parts Hendrick’s gin
1/2 part Lillet Blanc
1/2 part blended/muddled cucumber juice
1/2 part lime juice
1/2 part lemongrass / palm sugar syrup (remnants from last week’s post)
2 eye droppers of Bitterman’s Boston Bittahs
1 egg white

Add the gin, lillet, bitters, juices and syrup to one part of your shaker.
Crack the egg and pour the egg white in the other half, so that you can clear out any shell if needed or in case you were to dump the yolk.
Pour one into the other and give it a dry shake for about 15-20 seconds (What’s a dry shake? It’s the best way to homogenize that egg and start getting that aerated, silky texture that you’re gonna want. All without diluting with water).
Pop the seal, add your ice and go to town on it again as usual.

strain into a coupe or rocks glass*.
*Honestly I did this drink a few times on Easter and I poured it into a different type of glass each time. So just do whatever feels right to you.

No need to double strain here. You’d be robbing yourself of that frothy egg mixture.
Garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel and some thin slices of English cucumber.
[ Enjoy ]

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Wanderlust

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Wanderlust. I mean, the name says it all, right? No? Ok…

I’ve been working on this drink for a while and it seems that every time I make it, I either forget the ratios, what goes in it or simply end up calling it something different. At one time, I was cracking black pepper in it. Yeah. That happened. But then my meds kicked in (Rogaine if you must know) and all is well. I was calling it “The Doubleblack” too, which is just egocentric really, tho if you knew me, you’d say “hmm. that makes sense”. On the egocentric part. The name was shit and hence, while listening to Bjork recently, I photoshop’d the name on a picture, which around these here parts means it’s permanent. Just like your life’s most embarrassing mistakes.

I’ve professed my love for blood oranges in the past and since they’re going out of style faster than overalls in the late 90’s, I wanted to make one last drink to rule them all [where my ‘lord of the rings’ nerds at?! -crickets-].

This cocktail aims to be playful (like me, you guys!) and although it may seem all over the place (like me, you guys!), I like it cause it has a bit of whimsy (no), which is never a bad thing in life. The nigori sake and the gin (Junipero here. My new bff) go great together and the thyme/ginger/elderflower combo brings out some nice earthy—record stops— who am I?! I can’t tell you if I taste coffee beans while sipping an espresso, much less can I point out notes and shit. Know this: Its very pretty (seductive even), has tons of flavor and it packs a punch.

Cautionary tale:
My lovely Liliana (future Mrs. Zelaya who takes many of the photos on this blog) was sipping a bit extra I had poured in a shot glass while taking this picture, and once she was done, while giggling on the couch, confessed she was, as they say in the olden days: “a little fucked up”. 5 minutes later, she was out like a black rhino in the savannah after being hit in the ass with a tranquilizer dart (NOTE to self: make a drink called black rhyno. I called dibs!).

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Dry gin
Junmai nigori sake
Elder flower liquor
Bitters
honey/ginger/thyme syrup *
blood orange juice

To make the syrup:
3 parts water
2 parts clover honey
1 part fresh grated ginger
3 branches of thyme

boil. simmer. strain. bottle.

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1 part Junipero gin
1 part Rihaku junmai nigori sake
1/2 part St Germain elderflower liquor
1/2 eye-dropper of Bitterman’s Xocolatl Mole bitters
3/4 part blood orange juice
1/2 part honey/ginger/thyme syrup*

baby shaking syndrome time…
pour in a rocks glass or my favorite: DIRECTLY INTO YOUR MOUTH
garnish with 1/2 slice of blood orange & thyme branch.
[Enjoy]

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