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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Nigori Sake
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

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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MXMO: From Crass to Class

What is mixology monday? Basically it’s a “booze thunderdome”.  I don’t think Tina turner is making drinks here tho. Unfortunately. I didn’t know about this until about a week ago, so don’t feel bad. All I know is there’s a cocktail theme every month, people get excited, fitted vests are pressed and some crazy shit goes down. This month’s theme comes from Scott Diaz of Shake, Strain & Sip: ‘From Crass to Class’. Basically its ‘Pretty Woman’ but in cocktail form. Maybe I didn’t understand the assignment but that’s what I based the entirety of my drink on. In fact, I named my cocktail “Hooker with a heart of gold(rum)”.

I’m from Long Island, NY and we know a thing or 2(hundred) about crass. you dont believe me? ride the LIRR from Babylon Station to NYC on the weekend. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a Malibu Bay Breeze being ordered or counted every drink that had Rose’s grenadine in it, I would have used it to tip the bartender while giving them an empathetic nod. so what better tools to use for this challenge than those preferred by my lovely ladies?!


Had to buy a bottle (a small one) of Malibu rum for this as I am far too pretentious to keep it around these days. Add to that some Rose’s grenadine, canned pineapple juice and Capt Morgan and we have the recipe for the biggest headache and potential hangover you’ve had since that spring break in sophomore year of college.


I’m sorry. I can’t. I just CANNOT use this grenadine. I mean its meant as a coloring agent and to induce diabetes, right?  So I swapped out the “grenadine” for some Aperol and Peychaud’s to maintain that color; Getting some bitters into this was all but guaranteed cause DAMN this Malibu is sweet. I mean, it might as well be simple syrup. Not to mention weak. 21% abv?! And people get drunk on this at nice weddings and Caribbean islands all summer long?! Luckily the capt Morgan is 100 proof but that guy can’t be trusted.


3/4 part Malibu Coconut Rum (21% abv)
3/4 part Piña syrup*
1 part Aperol (11% abv)
1 1/2 part Capt Morgan 100 proof spiced rum (50% abv)
1 dash of Peychaud’s bitters

*Piña syrup:
1 cup canned 100% pineapple juice
1/4 cup grated ginger
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
boil. simmer. cool.
add 1/4 cup lemon juice. Stir and bottle.

Shake it.
Double strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with a lemon peel and enjoy.

There it is. Babylon Station. A classy looking drink, somewhere in between a Piña Colada and a Malibu Bay Breeze (for the love of God) that made me reminisce about velour track suits, loud drunks and home. Give it a go. Chances are if you’re reading this, you know better than to make it as is, so in all fairness, I Would recommend you try this drink with minor variations:

1 1/2 part Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum (46% abv)
1 part Piña syrup**
1/2 part Aperol (11% abv)


1 part Banks 5 Island rum (43% abv)
1 part Piña syrup

**Piña syrup (the right way):
1 fresh pineapple. chop up about 2 cups of it and juice the rest
1/4 cup grated ginger
1 cup RAW sugar
1/2 cup water
boil. simmer. cool.
Add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. Stir and bottle.

Shake em all up. Double strain and garnish with a lemon peel.

La Cubanita

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I intended to name this post “The eternal struggle for Bank’s 5 Island Rum” but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. So instead I made a drink inspired by the infuriatingly-hard-to-find rum (in the NorthEast at least) which I finally got a couple weeks ago after a +month long search, along with my own variation on the daiquiri.

The funny part is that I’m not the biggest fan of rum; I enjoy a refreshing mojito just as much as the next guy, trust me, but most of the pretentious cocktails I enjoy are old ones that don’t call for rum. You know who loves drinks with rum tho?! Women… and pirates. I know that may sound a bit sexist but try and think of as many cocktails with rum as you can….now tell me who you pictured drinking them? If you answered my sister (sorry, Flor) then you are correct.

So this one’s for them; For the ladies [but the fellas’ can enjoy it just as well].

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Bank’s 5 Island Rum
Velvet Falernum
Lime juice
Blood orange juice

Finding a bottle of this rum will probably be my highest achievement for 2012. What can I say, I aim low.

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2 parts Bank’s 5 Island Rum
1/2 part Lime juice
3/4 part Blood orange juice
1/2 part velvet falernum
1 barspoon of Grenadine [NOT that cheap shit puh-lease]

Pour into a shaker, add ice and beat the devil out of it.
Double strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish with a blood orange wheel or a lime wheel.

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It’s OK to change your mind. I mean, we do it all the time, right? Sometimes I wear different socks in the morning (I’m not just talking about color here, I mean, 1 will be an ankle sock and the other will be a barely elastic crew sock with a hole in the front big enough for 2 toes) and right before I leave the house I stop myself and say “No. Not like this. You’re a grown man now”.

Well just like that, I made a cocktail the other night that I had enjoyed @ Eastern Standard which they call the “Au Provence”. Its a nice little vodka gimlet with tarragon infused simple that I bastardized the shit out of it in the comfort of my home and took pictures for you guys, wrote up a recipe, the whole 9… Turns out that vodka (was using Karlsson’s) falls flat with tarragon and lime. There’s nothing to make it anything more than starter drink for the night that you’ll forget as soon as something better comes along. Like a first husband or wife.
On my second run, I used No. 3 gin, which with its delicate botanical mix is just perfect for this cocktail.

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No. 3 London Dry Gin
Lime juice
Tarragon infused simple
Grapefruit Bitters
Angostura bitters

If you prefer to use a gin that has a more prominent orange peel element, you can swap out the grapefruit bitters for orange bitters to help bring out those flavors.

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2 parts No.3 Gin
3/4 part lime juice
3/4 part tarragon simple
2 dashes of angostura bitters
2 dashes of grapefruit bitters

Pour into a shaker, add ice and beat the devil out of it.
Double strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe.
Garnish with a fresh lime twist and some tarragon to really get that herbal aroma.

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Traitor Vic

2 parts spiced dark rum [ Captain Morgan 100 proof ]
1 part fresh lime juice
1/2 part ginger liquor [ Domaine de Canton ]
1/2 part orgeat [ if you can make your own, you’re my hero ]
orange bitters [ Scrappy’s Bitters ]
mint sprig

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: I broke a 1/2 full (ever the optimist) bottle of Averna Amaro pulling my rum out of the liquor cabinet when making this. You’ll never know my pain. Now sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat because of this. “The wrong kid died!”

How to:
Shake the rum, juice, liquor and orgeat.
[ mai tai’s are served in the ice they were mixed in. Fuck that ]
Pour into a rocks or collins glass filled with cracked ice.
Hit it with a couple cashes of the bitters
Slap the taste out of the mint sprig’s mouth [ that makes no sense ] and tuck it into the drink.
[ Enjoy ]

Le Doux Mule

2 parts pear vodka. [ Grey Goose La Poire ]
1/2 part fresh squeezed lime juice [ and I do mean FRESH ]
1/2 part ginger liquor. [ Domain de Canton ]
A little ginger beer just to top it off. [ don’t you dare use ginger ale ]

Moscow Mule’s get assembled within the mug they’re made in but this is a classy lady, so we’re gonna at least buy her dinner

How to:
Fill a rocks glass to the top with cracked ice.
Pour the vodka, lime and liquor in a shaker, add some ice and shake.
shake it a bit less than what you normally would. Trust me.
Strain and pour into the rocks glass.
Top with the ginger beer.
Garnish her with a lime twist.
Double straws if you got ’em.
[ Enjoy ]