grapefruit

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!

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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.

The Bitter Suite

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A drink that’s both bitter and sweet for those moments when you cant make up your mind.

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Spring is here! So I bring you a cocktail….that has very little to do with this season. Shit. I think I messed this up. Let’s roll with it for now. I’ve reworked this one with like 4 different bourbons & bitters but in the end, it came down to Bulleit 10 yr which is my go-to for stirred drinks. So what I’m saying is that I’m picking favorites; Just like your parents did. Don’t be mad at them, be mad at your siblings for making you look un-cool. But in the world of whiskey, much like in the world of lazy Sundays where you sometimes chose to not bathe cause “Fuck it, it’s Sunday and I have no plans other than to eat this entire pizza in these suspect sweatpants”, it comes down to preference.

My next drink on the site will be ‘flirty & fun’ (a motto for how I live my life), I promise, with delicious fruit flavors that will have you anxiously checking the walls for the Kool-Aid man to just break through at any minute, high on LSD. But this one plays hard to get, best suited for pivotal life moments like watching the next major character of Game of Thrones die horribly or deciding if to fold laundry. Woah. Both those things I do on a Sunday which goes back to what I was saying earlier. I think this site just became sentient.

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  • bourbon whiskey
  • rose fortified wine
  • Bittermens liqueur
  • pamplemousse rose liqueur
  • decanter bitters

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A tangent on garnishes: I’m starting to hate them. I believe they secretly conspire against me somehow because it took me about 3o minutes to make the garnish pictured here, only to then realize I used an orange when I should have used a grapefruit. But lets pretend I didn’t fuck up, k? You’re the best.

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Bittermens has some great liqueurs on the market now which I see more and more of. This one particularly has a great herbal flavor in an “alpine style”. It’s a great Western addition to your amari collection.

1 1/2 oz Bullei 10yr. bourbon whiskey
3/4 oz Lillet Rose
1/2 oz Bittermens Amere Sauvage liqueur
1 barspoon Giffard Pamplemousse Rose liqueuer
2 dashes of The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas' own decanter bitters

Measure and pour into your trusty mixing glass.
Stir and strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish with a grapefruit peel. However you can.

[ Enjoy ]

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If you don’t have any Pamplemousse Rose liqueur on hand, this works remarkably well with some Luxardo Maraschino liqueur in its place.

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Madrugal

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This drink came about when I remembered why I enjoy making cocktails in the first place.

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I was on some cocktail-making sabbatical for a while there. I got caught up with having to be all fancy with spirit types and trying out new techniques all to try and make the next big classic cocktail that everything I would come up with ended up tasting like shit. It stopped being fun and I recoiled into some weird stasis where I would get tiny panic attacks by looking at my bar and thinking “I NEED to make something amazing that everyone will love”. That’s unrealistic. You cant please everyone (you hear that, every girl I’ve ever dated!) and it isn’t about making something fancy, it’s about making something good.

Luckily, I’m surrounded by some talented people that pulled me out of that rut, simply by making drinks that tasted great but kept it simple. So I went back to basics and thought about why I even wanted to make this site to begin with (other than to find my biological parents #obvi) and it became clear that I make drinks for the people around me. That most people dont know about differences in amari or what makes one specific spirit better than another for a cocktail or why add 1 of 300 bitter types, etc. I want to make drinks that people enjoy, regardless of what goes in them. Because I know what I put in each and every one and it’s my pleasure to then pass along that knowledge. Through a website. Riddled with F-bombs and teenage angst.

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  • reposado tequila
  • campari
  • limes & lemons
  • grapefruit shrub
  • Owl’s Brew mixer

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This cocktail uses “sour mix”. Not that shitty stuff that my site takes it name after but fresh, carefully swaddled, flavorful goodness. Since I went back to basics this week, I figured I’d start there. By making my version of a sour (inspired by a margarita since that’s where I see the most lethal use of sour mix) with the lovely pre-crafted shrub but you get extra points if you make your own shrub. Even more-so if you send me some.

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What’s cool about this drink is that its really just a sour, so you can swap out the spirit and the modifier for basically anything and you’d end up with a great tasting drink; As long as you’re not using an Everclear & peach schnapps combo. Please dont. You’re better than that.

Reposado was the way to go here since that extra bit of aging makes for a smoother experience.

2 oz reposado tequila [ Espolón ]
3/4 oz Campari
1 oz Owl's Brew Coco-Lada artisanal mixer
3/4 oz Death to Sour Mix*

*hehe. 2 parts fresh lemon juice, 2 parts fresh lime juice, 2.25 parts grapefruit shrub [ Liber & Co ]. Pour all into a bottle and shake it up each time before use. keep refrigerated for a few days if needed. 
Pro tip: Make it the day you want to use it and try not to make more than what you'd want to use.

Pour all of the above into a shaker.
Add ice and sing it a song.
Double strain into a chilled glass and garnish with an orange peel to play off the Campari.

[ Enjoy ]

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I first learned of Owl’s Brew (who were not involved in the making of this post) thanks to Stir and Strain, via Honetlyyum‘s  site (what?). I’ll admit, that bottle had me at hello. I’ll be making other cocktails with this stuff in the future. This specific one has some pineapple & black tea (among other tasty stuff) which work wonders with the Campari & citrus of the drink.

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Engine No.3

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Some cocktails are complex. Some are very simple; Both can be great in their own way and anyone will tell you that the better the tools (the spirits, the fruit, even down to how the glass is chilled), the higher the chances of a great tasting drink. That’s what we have on display here. It’s 3 ingredients (paying homage to the gin and where the cocktail gets it’s name), all of which have a very specific purpose.
No.3 Dry Gin is really good. It has very few, ‘no bullshit’ botanicals [One of which is grapefruit] that work oh so well together, both in dry martini’s as well as in more clever cocktails.
I used to think that 1 good gin was good enough but with time I’ve realized that’s not the case at all. Different gins serve different purposes and you’ll find [through trial and error] where they work best. Which is why I recommend to stop buying the same bottle every time and take time to see what’s out there, learn what you like and what works best in the drinks you enjoy making.

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No. 3 London Dry Gin
Dry Vermouth
Grapefruit Bitters

Normally, I would make a martini with Plymouth gin, dry vermouth and orange bitters. Try it next time. But since I ran out of it, I had the opportunity of trying out something new [‘No. 3′ in this case], which allowed me to experiment with different flavors.

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3 parts No.3 Gin
1 part Dry Vermouth
2-3 dashes of grapefruit bitters

Pour them into a mixing glass, fill it with ice and stir.
*how long you stir really depends on how much you’d like to dilute your drink, which you may not want to do too much with a drink like this.
Strain [julep strainer works best here] into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with a fresh grapefruit twist for a wonderfully aromatic experience.
[Enjoy]

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The Lilypad

2 parts gin [ Plymouth gin ]
1 part freshly squeezed grapefruit juice [ very important ]
1/2 part simple syrup
3 basil leaves
1 dash of grapefruit bitters [ Scrappy’s Bitters ]

This is a very light and aromatic cocktail, where we pair the citrus from the grapefruit with the orange peel botanicals in the Plymouth gin.

How to:
Pour all the ingredients in your shaker and grab the basil leaves, slap them in the palm of your hand and then tear them in 2. All the ice we’re about to use will ensure they get excoriated enough to extract the oils. Drop them in the shaker.
Load with ice and shake it to wake it up!

Double strain [ Hawthorne + tea strainer ] so that you can smile after drinking it without losing your cool, thinking you have basil in your teeth.
Garnish with some basil leaves.
[ Enjoy ]