Smoke Signals

your-charming-cousinWe’re well into indian summer here, with warm days and cool nights. The leaves are coming down, and at least in the more rural areas the fragrance of burning leaves (delightful!) is ubiquitous. With that scent in mind, we thought we’d make a few cocktails using smoky spirits and flavors. These can be harder to put together into a balanced whole, but we were willing to make the effort ;)

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Posted in amaro montenegro, amontillado sherry, angostura bitters, coffee liqueur, gin, grapefruit liqueur, lemon bitters, mezcal, oloroso sherry, ramazzotti amaro, scotch | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Maple Cocktails

maple-old-fashioned-closeWe’ve had a lovely warm October so far here in the Seattle area, but it is nonetheless getting autumnal out, with chilly nights and sudden rain showers. And there are few flavors that speak more of fall than sweet, rich, earthy maple. So we’ve spent a leisurely afternoon tasting various spirits with maple syrup and seeing what rings our bells, and lo, a couple of cocktails have come out of that. We found that it’s better to keep things pretty simple to let the maple flavor shine through, and aged spirits definitely pair better. Read on for two new cool-evening, fire-side-sitting, novel-reading type drinks to add to the repertoire.

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Posted in apple brandy, boker's bitters, canadian whiskey, irish whiskey, maple bitters, maple syrup | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Happy Leif Erikson Day!

vinland-closeOctober 9th is Leif Erikson day, and despite the fact that neither of us are of Scandinavian heritage, we nonetheless feel obliged to acknowledge it. You have to admire someone who would take a handful of men in what would now be considered a small boat and cross an ocean, not even knowing if there was any land awaiting them there.

To honor his achievements, we pulled out a few bottles of aquavit and architected a couple of drinks. Most likely, Leif and company didn’t drink aquavit or anything like it, but it is the quintessential Scandinavian spirit these days, and we didn’t have time to brew mead ;) We like to think he would approve.

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Posted in aquavit, averna, curacao, lemon juice, punt e mes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

An American Whiskey that Begins with a B

o-pioneer-closeIt’s September, and it is Bourbon Heritage Month again. We’re big fans, so we thought we’d do our patriotic duty and drink some bourbon.

Bourbon actually has a fair range of styles and flavors these days, especially given the craft products that are now on the market. While the mash bill and making must meet strict criteria in order to be bourbon, there are still many things that the distiller can choose to vary that will make the spirit distinct. To celebrate this variety, we decided to pull four quite different bottles out of the liquor cabinet (out of the many :)) and see what they had to offer. Read on to see which bourbons we chose.

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Posted in bourbon, cherry liqueur, lemon juice, Original Cocktail, peychauds bitters, Tasting Notes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

MxMo: Around the Block & First Frost

It’s time again for Mixology Monday. This month’s theme comes from Chris over at A Bar Above, one of our favorite professional bartender blogs. The theme this month is Unknown, where one of the options was to use an ingredient you’ve never used before. As if we ever need an excuse to add some new item to the bar. :D Of course that does mean it takes us a while to find something new. Read on to see what we picked.


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Posted in aged rum, blackberry liqueur, creole shrubb, Mixology Monday, Original Cocktail, peychauds bitters, st. germain, suze, vodka | Tagged , | 2 Comments


robert-burns-closeThis week we investigate the effect of temperature and oxidation on cocktails. We had noticed that some cocktails seem to change in flavor, often for the better, after sitting a short while (on those rare occasions where we don’t just gulp them down ;)). We were curious as to whether this was due to the drink warming up, oxidizing, or both. So we went back to our notes to find a couple of drinks where we had noted this phenomenon, and started our experiment. Read on to see what we found.

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Posted in absinte, Cocktail Comparisons, Cointreau, Deconstructed, fernet, lime juice, scotch, sweet vermouth, Tasting Notes, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

2nd Anniversary: Cognac

blue-blood-closeThis week marks our 2nd anniversary and our 104th post. Go us! To celebrate, we decided to pull some of our nicer cognacs out of the liquor cabinet to enjoy, and do some side by side comparisons of them. We also threw in a mixed drink and some champagne. ‘Cause hey, it’s a celebration :)

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Posted in cognac, punt e mes | 1 Comment

Labor day cocktails

workhouse-closeIt’s Labor Day weekend! Which is traditionally the last day where you can wear white, which is very important for us. Well, ok, not really. We wear whatever the fuck we want ;). We do love the spirit of the day though, a nod to everyone (including us!) who has to work for their living. We decided to come up with a couple of cocktails to celebrate the holiday as well as the transition from summer into autumn. With that in mind, we decided to do one gin cocktail and one aged spirit cocktail. Read on to find out what we came up with.

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Posted in black walnut liqueur, cognac, gin, mint liqueur, peach liqueur, scotch | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

MxMo: Nothing to Declare & Persuasion

It’s Mixology Monday again! This month’s theme is Coconut from JFL over at the wonderful Rated R Cocktails blog. With that theme in mind, we wanted to see if we could make a less sweet cocktail with coconut. We often see fairly sugary coconut cocktails on offer, could we depart the text? Also, is it possible to make a great coconut drink without adding citrus (mmm, lime and coconut :))? Read on to see if we succeeded or failed.

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Posted in aperol, barrel aged gin, coconut cream - unsweetened, Mixology Monday, Original Cocktail, rhum agricole, yellow chartreuse | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Juicer redux

Last week we looked into whether using juice from a squeeze juicer vs. a twist juicer made a difference for oranges and grapefruit. Turns out it did. We then became curious if the same held true for lime and lemon juice. We’ve always used the squeeze juicer because that’s the utensil that fits that size of citrus. Was our cocktail world about to be shaken to the very foundations? ;)


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Posted in campari, Cointreau, lemon juice, lime juice, peach liqueur, sweet vermouth, whiskey | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments