libation

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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The Pledge

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This is the drink that made me give a shit about Rye.

I try and be as honest as I can on here cause, well, I’m a horrible liar. Add to that my lack of filter and social awareness and you have a person that you should never ask things like ‘do these pants make my ass look fat?’ or ‘are you only dating me to get closer to my dad?’…but I digress… Rye whiskey; To me it was just “that other whiskey” that they sell next to old man bourbon at the store. And even though I’ve had a bottle of Bulleit Rye for about a year now, it was mainly to taste it and be able to hang with the cool kids.

I’ve been drinking a lot more whiskey lately (no reason. It just happened), specifically in more complex versions (Corpse Reviver #4, The Stranger, just to name a few) where the rye really comes out, does a little dance and then makes me say dumb shit. So having discovered that rye really can be enjoyable, I decided to make something where I steal take bits and pieces from recipes and really figure out how rye works, its complexity, when to use it, how much of it, etc. So if anything, I’d advise you to find or make a drink where it becomes a learning experience of how and when to use spirits that you don’t quite “get”. Not just with rye but anything really. Just know that you wont like everything that’s out there and not everything will be right for you but hey, that’s life.

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Rye whiskey
Averna Amaro
Yellow Chartreuse
Angostura Bitters

The green stuff is much too strong for my taste but its yellow little brother seems to work just fine here. As for the Averna, it’ll give it a nice soft caramel note, which you *could* swap out for some Benedictine [per se] and it will give you a great result, if slightly different.

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This drink reminds me a bit of cinnamon gum. Like one of those big red gumballs (fireballs?) that get real hot in your mouth. Yeah. Like that. But with a lot of booze.

1/2 oz Averna Amaro
1/2 oz YELLOW chartreuse
1 1/2 oz Bulleit Rye [Why Bulleit? Because its delicious! But I hear good things about Rittenhouse]
2 dashes of Angostura

Since it’s all liquor here, stir it for a bit.
Take a lemon peel, squeeze some of the oils onto the cocktail and dip it. Bam. You just made a garnish.
[Enjoy]

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