colorful

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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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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