Tequila

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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Silver & Gold: The lost MxMo

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I missed the last MxMo and had come up with a recipe which utilizes gold cherries (Rainier I believe is the legit name) that I didn’t want to go to waste. I’ve made a few of them now and I can confidently say that it works with most fruit currently in season if cherries aren’t your thing.

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If you think that mint julep’s are only made for the Kentucky Derby season, I will fight you. I will also most likely lose due to being deceptively weak for my size. Juleps are delicious and I don’t know why I haven’t posted one before. They’re super old school in that they’re one of those types that can be messed around with a great deal and you’d still know what it is. The important thing is to not fuck them up by how you make one (or 10). If you asked me what the most important part of any mint julep is, I’d probably say ‘technique’ (and then you’d roll your eyes at my pretentiousness). Even though I do think the quality of the spirits used in any drink is important, sometimes how that cocktail is made can be a deciding factor in making it great.

Story time: I like to shop @ Etsy. So what? Well, the problem is I kinda suck at it. So I purchased a set of silver plated cups a few weeks back thinking they were gonna be proverbially sweet. Well…About that: they were tiny. I mean, these things are good for Peter Dinklage to drink out of. They’re pretty though, so I’ll use them for making tiny-wittle-drinks for myself when no one’s around.

If you were wondering about the name, it came from me being bamboozled into buying “golden cherries” at the market, along with incorporating silver (blanco) tequila and my puny little silver cup.

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  • Espolon blanco tequila
  • Aperol
  • Fernet Branca
  • Woodford’s Reserve spiced cherry bitters
  • mint
  • rainier cherries

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You’re gonna need to fight your instincts of muddling the mint in the mixing tin. Trust me. A mint julep is built in the serving tin (or glass) and you’ll want to muddle it there to preserve all the flavor and aroma.

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This is a fun drink to make and it just smells lovely; If you like mint. If you don’t, who are you?? 

We’ll make this drink in 3 steps:

Take a NICE sprig of mint (as seen above) and lightly muddle them into the tin or glass you’re going to serve the drink in. Make sure you rub the entirety of the inside with the mint, then discard it. 

4 rainier cherries (pitted). muddle them in the shaker.
add 1 1/2 oz of tequila
Add 3/4 oz of Aperol
Add 2 dashes of the spiced cherry bitters
Add 2 barspoons of simple syrup
Add a BIG chunk of ice and shake (the idea is to dilute as least as possible).

Add crushed ice to the serving tin with the mint about half way.
Strain the mixing tin’s contents into it.
With a barspoon or a swizzle, stir it a bit in a fast, upwards motion.
Top up with more crushed ice. 
Drizzle ~1/4 oz of Fernet on top.
Garnish with the other sprig of mint. 

[ Enjoy ]

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“crush it around the borders of the glass and leave no place untouched. Then throw the mint away—it is a sacrifice.” – From the Old Receipt of Soule Smith

I’m fairly certain I’ve talked about Chris Mcmillian before on the blog or twitter or in my dreams, I don’t know. But you should definitely check this post from The Museum of the American Cocktail.

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Remedies

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You guys, I’ve had a cold now for what feels like the majority of my adult life. You may know it more commonly referred to as “the vapors“. In all honesty, I’m not sure that’s even remotely similar but if it deals with throwing your hand over your brow whilst holding a dainty handkerchief and fainting all over the place, then they might as well be the same thing. Know this: Its been snowing every. fucking. day. here in New England and I’m kinda done with this cold weather business. Done.

In a cry for help, I decided to take matters into my own hands and “cure” myself with some liquor, a large pizza and a marathon session of Girls. What resulted from that was no better or worse than where I started. In fact, I may have eaten too much pizza and Girls has gotten pretty weird lately – FOCUS, Raul! – Drinks. Yes. Basically, I had leftover ginger/honey/thyme syrup from my previous post that lent itself wonderfully to flavors usually associated with cold medicine: honey, ginger, lemon, cherry, chamomile, hard alcohol. All there. So here’s a little something fun to play with. Two drinks to improve your spirits (even when people say NOT to consume alcohol when taking certain cold medicine… But we know that’s BS anyway, AMIRIGHT?!), even if its just for a moment.    

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Normally I write a quick rundown of the type of ingredients needed but since I gave you the ‘ol “switcheroo” here and made 2 in 1. I’m not gonna do that this time. Instead, I will share a ‘Snapple cap’ fact from a tasty lemon ice tea I had the other day:

“You will die alone”

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Santo Remedio

1 1/2 oz El Tesoro Platinum tequila
1/2 oz Drambuie
3/4 oz G/H/T syrup
3/4 part lime juice
1 barspoon Luxardo Maraschino liqueur

Add all to a Boston shaker. Yes, it has to be a Boston Shaker. You don’t have one? Well then good day to you, sir. …but… I SAID, GOOD DAY.
JK. I would never shun you like that. That’s a task best left for family members or loved ones.
Shake it fast. Or in my case, poorly, when you realize that all your strength has left you.
Dont even bother double straining if you’re sick. You wont even feel the ice shards like you would normally.
[ Now enjoy this sweet, sweet medicine ]

The Best Remedy

No association to this wonderful site, which is on my reading list.

2 oz Grey Goose Le Citron vodka
1 eye-dropper of Bitterman’s Boston Bittahs (contains chamomile I’m told
3/4 oz G/H/T syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice

Take everything. EVERYTHING and just dump it all in a cup or zip-lock bag. You choose.
Shake if you’re able and strain into a rocks glass with a piece of ice that’s bigger than my head (FYI: I’ve been told (by my fiance, mainly) that I have an abnormally large head).
Between you and me, I didn’t even bother straining on my first run (there were a few). That ice was delicious.
[ Enjoy ]

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Blood & Thunder

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The original calls for blended Scotch, which is curb-stomped here by my old pal, tequila, a spirit that not only sounds more menacing in its almost automatic drunken-flashback inducing montage but also makes it more appealing to a wider spectrum of people (IMO)… Unless you’re using Jose Cuervo, in which case just stop reading this right now and come back when I have a slushy margarita recipe. No! Come back! Lets just pretend you’re not using that shit and we can still be friends (the kind of friends that only communicate via Facebook likes).

I’ve gone ahead and taken what Cale Green from ‘Tavern Law, Need & Thread’ (Seattle) devised and changed it to what [to me] makes more sense, both for the cocktail itself but for the name: Blood oranges. Yup. Those weird little oranges that only come out (here in the North East at least) around this time of year but that are not only pretty to look at [I mean seriously, these things make all other citrus their bitch] but have a wonderful flavor that goes perfect in cocktails (see here ). Only this guy wouldn’t like them.

 

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Blanco Tequila
Cheery Heering
Sweet Vermouth
Blood Orange

To be honest, I gave this drink a try mainly because I’m a big Mastodon fan. Having never tried a ‘Blood and Sand’ (sorry but the idea of those ingredients didn’t really do it for me) I was more interested in a variation of the original with ingredients that seemed much more appealing.

 

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Super easy. Equal parts:
El Tesoro Platinum Tequila
Cherry Heering
Dolin Rouge
Fresh Blood Orange Juice
4 drops of (Bob’s) Abbot’s bitters (optional)

Shake it to wake it up.

For the garnish:
Thin slice of blood orange + maraschino cherry.
[Enjoy]

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