lemon

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: Wildfire

*warning: If you or a loved one is suffering from ‘Game of Thrones’ withdrawal at this time time, please consult my creepy hand, which has been held firmly in the air, waiting to give you the most excellent high 5. Also, you are a nerd. And I love you.

That time of the month y’all. Nope. Gotta’ re-do that horrible intro. Fuck it. Mixology Monday is here again, this time hosted by the ever mysterious and always entertaining Muse of Doom of Feu de Vie. A few words to set the mood:

Find and/or develop a recipe that incorporates Fire.

You don’t have to go full Blue Blazer, not nearly — heck, you could go full Fireball Whiskey! (orFire Rock Pale Ale, etc..) You could riff on the Old Flame or come up with an inventive name of your own. You could even use a good firewater or burned wine. (and if you’re grilling fruit, save some for me, will ya?)

In essence, bring the heat! Bring the Fire! Bring your inspiration!

I gotta admit it, you guys. I had no clue as to how to incorporate fire. I mean, that’s not even an ingredient, that’s a freaking element for crying out loud! So I cried for a while and considered making a molotov (a real one with Alize or something amazing) and just having a photo shoot with it, cause you know they look bad-ass but I refrained and here we are.

wild_w

 

So yeah, green fire from Game of Thrones lore. That’s basically the whole premise of this here craft cocktail. Oh what’s that? where’s the green fire? Funny you should ask that, friend. In short: That’s just not gonna happen in an edible way tonight. Booze burns a lovely blue, regardless of the color of the actual liquor. Here I’ve set some absinthe with a bright green hue on fire but mainly because a) it’s 110 proof and that stuff will basically burn a hole in you anyway. b) as I mentioned, this specific brand has a rad color. c) it pairs well with the flavors in the drink which yeah, I guess is important if I’m writing up a recipe around it.

In looking for a drink that had some element of green liquor on fire, I found the “Old Flame” from the excellent PDT cocktail book which I then used as a guide moving forward. Here we subbed the gin for pisco, the Chartreuse for Strega and added some absinthe which FYI, pairs great with pineapple. Fresh pineapple. Not that shit out of a Dole can. You’ve been warned.

crafting:

1 1/2 oz Porton Pisco
1/2 oz Strega
1 barspoon of Bitter Truth Creme de Violette*
1/4 oz Absente
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 oz fresh pineapple juice
egg white

Dry shake (no ice) the pisco, strega, lemon, pineapple and egg white.
Add ice and the barspoon of creme de violette.
Shake some more and strain into a coupe. Almost there…
PRO tip: when using matches, wait until the sulfur has burned off before you use it.
Light the 1/4 oz absente in a jigger and slowly float/pour it over the top (as seen above).

[ Enjoy ]

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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MxMo: Drink Your Vegetables

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I almost didn’t participate. Mainly ’cause I’m a big baby.

Making a cocktail that tastes good, looks good, smells good and more importantly, would make you want to have another (cause lets face it, we’ve all downed some shit drinks one time or another just to be polite) is no simple task. To put things into context:

This month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Rowen of Fogged In Lounge where vegetables take center stage. Yeah. You know, those things that sprout from the ground that you normally avoid at all cost.

“Want to get more vegetables but you’re always eating on the run?… Well then, how about a vegetable cocktail? No, not that nice little glass of red stuff Grandma put at each place setting—we’re talking something with a kick in it. You can definitely start with the little glass of red stuff and expand it to a Red Snapper-style drink like a Bloody Mary. Or how about a cucumber-scented cooler like a Pimm’s Cup, or maybe a cocktail featuring a vegetable-based ingredient like Cardamaro or celery bitters? Maybe you’ve been wondering if you can get more mileage out of that juice extractor before consigning it to the garage sale. However you get them in that glass, be prepared for the most fun with vegetables ever.”

I thought everyone would be making something with carrots or cucumbers, since they lend themselves so well for this. Add to that the fact that I already have cucumber drinks on my blog and I was running out of options. I mean, I STRONGLY entertained the idea of using roasted asparagus for a long time (too long). But then I imagined everyone’s face when they asked what was in it and I said “asparagus”. In case you’re wondering, I imagined them giving me the “ew. who just farted?” look.

My fiance suggested radishes which I love and don’t even consider a vegetable. Probably ’cause I’ve been eating them with salt and lime since I was running ‘Death to Sour Milk’ and how many kids do you know that like vegetables? They’re bright and a bit spicy in nature so I added a bit of red pepper flakes to give that spiciness a high 5 and a few drops of rhubarb bitters to finish it off.

Hope you like it. I know I did.

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Pisco
Nigori Sake
Bitters
Radish syrup*
Lemon juice 

*For the syrup, take equal parts water, sugar and chopped radishes (washed but not peeled). Boil. Then add a bit of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. Simmer. Bottle unstained when cool.

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1.5 oz pisco [ Porton ]
3/4 oz nigori sake [ Rihaku ]
1 Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
6 Drops of rhubarb bitters [ Brooklyn Bitters ]
3/4 oz radish Simple*
1/2 oz lemon juice

Pour all contents into a shaker and add ice.
Shake it like you would a tanned European lover.
Double strain into a chilled coup
e.

For the garnish (my favorite part this time around), take 2-3 small radishes, peel them, rub the leftover lemon on them and then dip them in some salt. If you have some funky salt, now would be the time to use it.

[ Enjoy ]

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Debutante

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I turned 31 this past month and I’ve realized something: I’m kind of a dick.
While there’s many [oh so many] reasons why those closest to me I would think that’s true, in this particular case it’s due to my new restaurant/bar ritual:
step 1. Check out the bar, the liquor and layout.
step 2. Check out the bartenders. Not like that.
step 3. Check out their drink menu. Study it even. Like Im gonna write a thesis on it.
step 4. Order 2 cocktails off of it, watch them make it and then stare at it for a prolonged period of time.
step 5. Taste the cold beverage. Never with a straw.
step 6. [MOST of the time] tear it a new asshole. Then force offer my fiance to give it a sip.

Basically I’m “sizing” myself up to the person working the bar, reverse engineer the drink in my head (proportions,
brands, ingredients, etc) and then I pretentiously start to bitch about it and how I would do it better.
I would stop this unhealthy behavior if I didn’t like it so much. I mean, its basically my new favorite hobby [aside from discovering daily on how much I’m turning into my father].

This is wrong. I’ve never worked @ a bar so I have no place in saying I would do it better but when you don’t know
how to make common drinks or don’t know how to balance a cocktail but you expect me to pay +/- $10.oo for it, you’re just asking for it.

There is a silver lining out of this however, in that I get new ideas for drinks to make @ home [aka the Death To Sour Mix headquarters] or many times try and make those drinks what I want them to be.

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Grey Goose Le Citron vodka
Domaine de Canton
Lemon juice
peaches
ginger

I got the idea for this drink while @ CityBar in the Lenox Hotel, Boston. There is was called “Peach-Ginger Martini” and it was very sweet but I liked the idea of the ingredients enough to give it a go.

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Note before you cut the peach:
A nice garnish for this is to use 2 pieces of the round exterior of a peach and make a mini-cookie-like sandwich out of them, which is subtle and very much edible if desired.

Use about 1/2 of a ripe peach and 2 small slices of ginger into your glass and muddle them until its just a straight up messy in there.
Pour in 1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add 1 part Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur and 3 parts of the vodka
shake it like I taught you and double strain it to get rid of those bits of fruit.
[Enjoy]

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Vesper

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Bond, James Bond. Unfortunately, in the real world, saying your own name like that to someone you just met wont ever sound as cool. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’ll sound like an asshole; More so if you follow it up with some awkward, clammy handshake. Just don’t.

I don’t have the balls to ever order this drink @ a bar. It just feels wrong. Maybe its because it has a connotation of making you feel like a ‘wannabe’, and the only wannabe that I want to be is your lover. But first I gotta get with your friends. Wait. What?

Regardless of my mental breakdown above, this cocktail is actually balanced, sexy and my god is it strong [full disclosure: I made myself one right before going to watch Skyfall last night. Yeah. That was fun]. All things that 007 evokes.  I mean, all it needs is to be served in a l’il tuxedo.

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3 parts gin
1 part vodka
1/2 part lillet
lemon twist

Gin is the prominent ingredient here, and given the crisp qualities that we’re aiming for, it’s best served with a more balanced dry gin, such as No.3 (used here), Greenhook or even Tanqueray.

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The original Vesper called for Gordon’s gin. Yeah, some things just don’t hold up with time and I cant in good faith have you destroy this cocktail with that shit. There’s better gin out there so no tears were shed; The same cant be said for the Kina Lillet, which hasn’t been produced in years.

Take the gin, vodka, Lillet and basically beat the shit out of them, really.
In the words of James Bond in Casino Royal when asked ‘shaken or stirred?':
“Do I look like a give a damn?”
Take a lemon twist, squeeze some of the oils onto the cocktail and dip it in.
[Enjoy]

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The Holiday

3 parts apple brandy [ Laird’s ]
1 1/2 parts fresh lemon juice
1 part cranberry juice
1 part ginger liquor
2 bar spoons of grenadine [ avoid the cheap bottled stuff like you would herpes ]
stick of cinnamon.
small handful of cranberries.

I live in Boston. Which means there’s a lot of booze but very little inspiration when it comes to cocktails. In most places it comes down to what flavor of Sam Adams you’ll have or how much cranberry you’d like with your vodka. Enter Stoddard’s Pub.
This place not only looks the part (picture the 1940’s. Without the polio) but has the type of drinks that’d make any pretentious alcoholic with too much time on his hands start a blog. I’m sorry. I’m being too hard on myself; I don’t have that much free time.
Long story short: this was my first drink there. It had everything you’d want to have in a cold night in the fall or winter. So I stole reverse engineered the shit out of it (with science, you guys) so that I could give it to you.

How to:
Take the handful of cranberries and muddle all its fresh juice.
Add all the other ingredients and shake it like a Polaroid.
Double strain [ unless you want to be self-conscious ] into a rocks glass and garnish with some cranberries and a stick of cinnamon.
Pro tip: scrape some cinnamon on top of the drink before serving it.
[ Enjoy ]