November 29, 2019

What I’m Drinking: The Gizmo

gizmoThat’s right holiday pals and pals, it’s Gizmo time! Thanksgiving was yesterday, which means leftover (for your sake, I hope) cranberry sauce, which then translates into the great and powerful Gizmo, created by jazzy Jeremy H and recipe’d below. So, eat your leftovers over everything else, sure, but don’t forget to drink your cranberries.

The Gizmo

 

Ice cubes

2-1/2 ounces gin

1 ounce homemade cranberry sauce

1/2 ounce simple syrup (optional)

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin and cranberry sauce, and syrup if using. Shake exceptionally well.

 

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Hopefully you have enough leftovers for two!

November 15, 2019

What I’m Drinking: The Fall Frolic

It’s still fall (though mean ol’ winter is coming on quickly), and fall means to most good people a glorious time to sip ciders, and to most even good-er people, cider cocktails. Cider, cider cocktails, and fall go together like candles in pumpkins, hands in gloves, and kisses in hayracks (well, maybe that should be “on” hayracks but I didn’t want to mess up the line). And WA – where I am lucky enough to reside – has amazing cider, thanks to us having amazing fruit! And amazing cider makers! Who are always making new tantalizing ciders, like Locust Cider’s current seasonal, Dark Maple, which adds maple syrup and brown sugar to an all-WA apple mix, turning into a fall delight. Which then, I added to a few more local heroes, including Woodinville Whiskey Co.’s award-winning bourbon and it’s caramel, spice, swellness, Salish Sea’s memorable and singular maple-icious Maple liqueur, and Scrappy’s Chocolate bitters, full of bakery chocolate and spice. Voila! I’ve made make the end of your fall fantastic. Thank me later. And if you can’t get all the ingredients where you are, then let me assure you, WA is a wonderful place to visit this time of year, so come on out.

fall-frolic

The Fall Frolic

 

1-1/2 ounces Woodinville Whiskey bourbon

3/4 ounces Salish Sea Maple liqueur

2 dashes Scrappy’s Chocolate bitters

Ice cubes

7 ounces Locust Cider’s Dark Maple cider

 

1. Add the bourbon, liqueur, and bitters to a mixing glass. Stir well.

 

2. Fill a pint glass halfway full with ice cubes. Strain the above into the glass.

 

3. Fill the glass nearly to the top with the cider. Stir well – but carefully. You don’t want to spill a drop!

 

November 8, 2019

What I’m Drinking: Oh Sherry, Take 37

I have to imagine there are many sherry cocktails called “Oh Sherry” – I myself have an article about sherries called that. It’s such a musical name, and takes you on a journey (haha, I couldn’t resist), much like that breathless moment when a non-sherry drinker has good sherry, or a good sherry cocktail for the first time. To set this particular sherry cocktail apart, though, I’ve added Take 37 to the name. Why 37? I just felt like it! What also sets this particular sherry cocktail apart is Williams & Humbert Dry Sack Medium sherry.

With a citrus and cinnamon spice overlaying a lovely nuttiness, all with a smooth crispness accented when chilled, this sherry is nice on its own (don’t forget the chilling), but plays particularly well with others in cocktails, too. It also delivers a solid history, as Williams & Humbert has been making sherries and brandy for more than 140 years. What to mix with it on a late fall day? I wanted to keep things light – one of the many bonuses with sherry is that due to low abv-ing, you can use it as a base and have more than one without toppling. Bringing vermouth into play as our second ingredient doesn’t throw that equation off either, and here I went with Priorat Natur Vermut (or vermouth) an earthy Spanish vermouth, with citrus, almond, floral, and spice accents, and just a hint of bitter.

To our two Spanish pals, I also brought an island favorite, with even more citrus and a hint of sweet, Pierre Ferrand Orange curaçao, a wonderful addition to many cocktails and bar shelves. The final component, Fee Brothers Peach bitters, here bring into a slightly different fruit note, and a little more depth while still adhering to the overall light mood. You’ll sing this drink’s, and sherry’s, praises after one sip.

oh-sherry-take-37Oh Sherry, Take 37

 

Cracked ice

1-1/2 ounces Williams & Humbert Dry Sack Medium sherry

1 ounce Priorat Natur Vermut

1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand Orange curaçao

Dash Fee Brothers Peach bitters

Lemon twist, for garnish

Mint spring, for garnish (optional – but I’d suggest it)

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass three quarters up with cracked ice. Add everything but the garnishes. Stir well.

 

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the twist, and, perhaps, a mint spring. I went just with lemon on my first drink, but added mint to the second and it was a treat.

October 25, 2019

What I’m Drinking: All the Devils

Hey pals, Halloween is just around the corner of the calendar! It’s the eeriest (in the fun way) time of the year, and leads to lots of costume and generally spookily jolly parties, at which of course if the host or hostess is one with the mostess, they’ll have a cocktail or two that matches the holiday – in fun and in mood – a cocktail like this devilish delight. It starts with a classic cocktail mixer, Bacardí Superior white rum. Sometimes, sadly, in our modern world of many choices, people forget just how good this white rum is in cocktails – it’s light, dry, and flavorful with vanilla and nutty notes, without overwhelming. Yummy, really. And fun, as demonstrated by a special bottle they’re releasing for Halloween, one with a glow-in-the dark jack-o-lantern on it! I was ghoulishly lucky enough to receive one in the mail recently (don’t pull any tricks on me because of it), and I just had to come up with a cocktail featuring it: All the Devils is that cocktail!

 

To go along with the legendary and scarily garbed rum, I brought in a few other uncannily delightful additions, starting with one made right here in WA: Brovo’s Orange Curaçao, made from three types of dried orange peel, and carrying a layered orange-ness. Then, to deliver a hint of ghostly-good zing (it is a devilish drink), spicy Ancho Reyes ancho chile liqueur knocks at the door. And then, for some underling un-nerving (in the best way) herbal hints, Regan’s Orange bitters. Altogether, a cocktail that’s not scary at all – but one that is scary good for your Halloween-ing.

all-the-devils

All the Devils

 

Cracked ice

2-1/4 ounces Bacardi Superior rum

1/2 ounce Brovo Orange Curaçao

1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes

Dash Regan’s orange bitters

Lime twist, for garnish

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything but the twist. Stir well.

 

2. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the twist. And a small skull or pumpkin if you want.

October 18, 2019

What I’m Drinking: Simian Seriously

Let’s start with the title inspiration here, and the base of this drink that you’ll want to make all your drink-loving pals, cause it’s serious only in how seriously anyone who has it will love it (the drink, as well as the base), that base being Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin. If you haven’t had this gin (what’s up with you?), it brings a lovely smooth juniper-ness swirling on the tongue with citrus, spice, pepper, botanicals, and berries accents on all sides. Also, their website is so darn cool, in an old-timey newspaper style (the Monkey Drum is the name), with articles, information, recipes, neat-o images, and more (they also do a magazine where some of this is available). It is so cool and well done I almost want to see if I can work there. And that level of care of course is also what drives the gin! It’s a gin that needs to shine, and it certainly does so here, in this (as you’ll see!) Martini-esque beaut.

 

Of course, with a good base, you’ll also want some good other players, and here we have two Washington-state numbers that if you haven’t had, you’ll want to track down. First, Brovo’s Pretty vermouth. A blanc style vermouth, Pretty is, well, pretty, and pretty darn good, with a Pinot Gris wine base and spice, floral, and lemon notes. Then, I added perhaps my favorite ingredient of the year so far, Scrappy’s Black Lemon bitters, which has a unique earthy lemon-ness. Buy why am I still typing – let’s get to this cocktail.

simian-surpriseSimian Seriously

 

Cracked ice

2-1/4 ounces Monkey 47 gin

3/4 ounce Brovo Pretty vermouth

2 dashes Scrappy’s Black Lemon bitters

Lemon twist, for garnish

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything but the twist. Stir well.

 

2. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the lemon. Be serious (about enjoying the drink, not about things in general, that is).

October 11, 2019

What I’m Drinking: The Mapleander

I recently wrote about a drink called The Mighty M, which featured a trio of Washington-made treats, one of which was Salish Sea’s Maple liqueur. Which is delicious, and perhaps the only maple liqueur? The only one I’ve had at least! It’s just very lush, rich, maple-y, nutty-ish, and delish. I was trying to think of more things to do with it, and had one of those booze-y light bulb moments – why not try subbing it in for the crème de cacao in a classic Alexander? Boom! Light bulb boom! So, I brought in another Washington pal (Seattle Distilling Company’s gin, which is an ideal gin, made with eleven botanicals, and a swell and welcoming juniper, spice, nut, thing happening), and the cream, and it all turned into a dessert-y dream. A dream I tell you!

mapleander

The Mapleander

 

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces Seattle Distilling Company gin

1-1/2 ounces Salish Sea Maple liqueur

1-1/2 ounces heavy cream

Sprinkle of chocolate powder

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, liqueur, and cream. Shake well.

 

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Sprinkle with a light dust of chocolate.

August 2, 2019

What I’m Drinking: The Margarita with Brovo Spirits Orange Curaçao

Holy where-does-the-time-go! It was eleven years now that I wrote on this very blog (you can pat me on the back for my longevity later) about drinking Margaritas via a trolley in my backyard. ELEVEN YEARS! My mind is blown. And the trolley has fallen to ruin, and I haven’t had a Margarita since.

No, no, I kid, cause that would be insane. I’ve had a fair amount of this classic tequila charmer that’s known near and far and then near again. However! I hadn’t until sort-a recently had one made with wonderful WA distillery (sidenote: WA has the best distilleries in the world) Brovo Spirits wonderful Orange Curaçao. And I feel bad (though many weren’t bad) for the various me’s from history who drank their Margs without it, as this orange curaçao brings said classic drink up even another level when used as the crucial orange component, thanks to a trio of dried orange peels: sweet Californian, bitter Laranha from Curaçao itself, and legendary Seville from Spain. Those mingles with spices and Maui brown sugar on a base of neutrals: cane and grain. End result: rich and balanced orange action underpinned by just the right amount of spice. Try it in your next Margarita, but be warned. You’ll like it so much, you’ll want to make a giant jug of it.

margarita

The Margarita with Brovo Spirits Orange Curaçao

Ice cubes
3 ounces tequila blanco
2 ounces Brovo Spirits Orange Curaçao
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Lime slice, for garnish

1. If making one, fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add the tequila, Brovo Spirits Orange Curaçao, and lime juice. Shake well.

2. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime slice.

A Note: My Margaritas tend to be pretty and strong. Just as an FYI.

June 28, 2019

What I’m Drinking: Four Winds

The north wind says, I bring a clear spirit with the breath of juniper and some cracked ice for chilling. The east wind says, I’ll bring a classically-style orange essence built on grapes and a nice glass. The west wind says, I’ll bring something with a hint of bitter and herb made in the mountains (or thereabouts) and a twist of orange. The south wind says I’ll bring a bit more bitter undercurrenting via a legend that needs no introducing, along with a long spoon for stirring. That’s all the winds, and now we have our drink for today.

four-winds

Four Winds

Cracked ice
1-1/2 ounces gin (I used nice reliable Bombay)
1 ounce Pierre Ferrand Orange curaçao
1/2 ounce Breckenridge Bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
Orange twist, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the gin, curaçao, Breckenridge bitters, and Angostura bitters. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange twist.  Drink four times, once looking each direction.

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