So many bitters

IMG_4466Bitters. They’re an important cocktail ingredient, but sometimes they’re just glossed over in terms of what they bring to the cocktail, or everyone just defaults to Angostura. Which is understandable because Angostura bitters are delicious. However, there are now a lot of bitters out there. The bitters market has exploded much the same way the craft distilling market has. We love bitters, and we acquire them much the same we acquire booze; promiscuously ;). We have 40ish (maybe 50ish) bottles currently in the bar. This week, we decided to make some of our more unusual bitters the star of the show.

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Posted in amaro montenegro, amontillado sherry, cognac, gin, honey syrup, honeyed apricot & smoked hickory bitters, licor 43, lime juice, maple bitters, oloroso sherry, rye, spanish bitters, sweet vermouth, tequila - blanco | 1 Comment

Cachaça

IMG_4439For a while now we’ve been thinking about doing a post on cachaça. Our recent trip to Tales of the Cocktail finally pushed us over the edge, as we discovered some lovely new ones there. If you don’t know, cachaça is a Brazilian spirit made from cane juice instead of molasses, not unlike a rhum agricole. Think white rum but with notes of fresh cut grass from the sugar cane itself. Read on to see how our current selection of cachaças compare.

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Posted in cachaca, lime juice, simple syrup | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Washington Vodka Showcase Part 1

IMG_4418For those of you who have been following us for a while, you know we’re big on local spirits. Witness our 5 part series on Washington Gin (and we we wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a 6th part eventually). One local spirit we haven’t focused a huge amount of attention on is vodka. Until the last few years, we haven’t been big proponents of vodka. Lots of the big brands strike us as pretty flavorless, and our feeling is that even where you want the other ingredients to shine, the base spirit should add something more than just alcohol. With the rise of the local craft spirits though, there are starting to be some really interesting vodkas out there. With that in mind, we start our series on Washington vodkas!

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Posted in angostura bitters, cherry liqueur, dry vermouth, lime juice, simple syrup, vodka, Vodka, Washington | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Walnut Liqueurs

IMG_4354We have a couple of walnut liqueurs in the cupboard that we like to use occasionally to add some nutty complexity to cocktails. Oddly enough, neither is “regular” walnut – one is a nocino made with green walnuts and the other is black walnut. Both are delicious though.  Read on to find out what we make of them.

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Posted in amaro, angostura bitters, black walnut liqueur, Cointreau, nocino, orange bitters, rye | 2 Comments

Flower Power

IMG_4335After recovering from Tales of the Cocktail, we’re back this week to talk about using flower waters in cocktails. The two most common flower waters are rose water and orange blossom water. To be honest, we don’t know that we’ve seen any others, though we’re thinking of making violet and/or lavender water, because why not. In any case, if you’re unfamiliar with these ingredients, they’re both incredibly strong floral potions and must be used sparingly so as not to overwhelm other ingredients. Since they must be used in such small amounts,we were very curious to quantify exactly what effect they had in a drink, so we decided to try a couple of drinks that call for them, and try them both with and without the flower water. If you’ve ever wondered about using flower waters as a cocktail ingredient, read on.

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Posted in bourbon, calvados, grenadine, lime juice, orange flower water, passionfruit puree, rose flower water, simple syrup, vodka, watermelon | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Substitution

IMG_4281Sometimes you’re in the mood for one of your favorite cocktails and then, to your horror, you discover that you don’t have a key ingredient. What to do? You try a substitution and see what happens. :)
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Posted in allspice dram, basil, cachaca, lime juice, mint, pineapple juice, simple syrup | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Spritzes to the Rescue

IMG_4253It’s hot, way too damn hot here in Seattle. Since that’s the case, we’ve been having more light, refreshing, club soda-heavy drinks after dinner rather than our usual practice of having a splash of brandy or whiskey. Actually, we’ve been having them before dinner too, come to think of it ;). The Germans call them spritzers, the Italians call them spritzes, and we call them delicious. Read on to find out what fizzy drinks we’ve been mixing up.
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Posted in aperol, club soda, Cointreau, sparkling wine, suze | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fizzes

IMG_4239This week, we play around with fizzes, a versatile style of drink that lends itself to hot weather quite well. We were inspired when we came across our bottle of sloe gin while searching the cupboard for a different ingredient, and thought “Hey, we haven’t used that for a while. What should we do with it?”. Well, a sloe gin fizz, duh ;) Though good sloe gin is a very nice thing and there should be more drink recipes for it. Something to put on the to-do list. Anyway, we did a bit of research and poked through Embury, and decided to make three types of fizzes – a “regular” fizz with no egg white, a silver fizz that does have egg white and is very like a traditional sour, and a New Orleans fizz that includes cream in addition to the egg white. Read on to see how the fizz experiment went.

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Posted in aged rum, cream, egg white, gin, lemon juice, lime juice, orange flower water, simple syrup | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sage

IMG_4194High summer has come early in Seattle this year, which means we’re seeing lots of sun and very little rain. The sage, thyme, rosemary and other dry-season herbs are loving it, so we have plenty to harvest from the garden. Since the sage in particular has been exploding, we decided to see how we can use it in drinks. Read on to see what we paired it with.

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Posted in absinthe, cachaca, grapefruit bitters, lemon juice, lime juice, sage, simple syrup, vodka | Tagged , | Leave a comment

MxMo: Local

It’s Mixology Monday time again. This month’s theme comes from Stuart over at Putney Farm, one of our favorite food and booze blogs. The theme is Hometown Hooch. In Stuart’s words:

Your quest is simple. Create a new cocktail, or refashion a classic, using your favorite “hometown hooch” (and we can expand the definition of “hooch” to include spirits, liqueurs, aperitifs and beer).

For those of you who’ve followed us for a while, you know that this is a far from a simple request for us. We are fortunate to have many, and we do mean many local distillers, bitters makers, tonic makers, brewers, you name it here in Washington State. And heaven help us if we include Oregon and British Columbia. ;) How can we choose just one?

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Posted in chocolate bitters, Mixology Monday, raspberry liqueur, whiskey, yellow chartreuse | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments