Shaken vs. Stirred

IMG_3915This week we decided to look at the difference of shaking vs. stirring a drink. The accepted wisdom is that anything with fruit juice should be shaken and anything clear should be stirred. We’ve always assumed that this is for purely visual reasons, since shaking definitely makes clear drinks cloudier. But does it affect the flavor and texture? Are there up sides to shaking a traditionally stirred drink that balance out the loss of visual appeal? Read on to find out.

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Posted in angostura bitters, bourbon, gin, lime juice, maraschino, orange bitters, st. germain | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Teeling Irish Whiskey

IMG_3815We recently received a bottle of Teeling Small Batch Irish whiskey.  (See our Samples policy to understand what it means that we’re featuring it). What sets it apart for us and makes it interesting is that it’s aged in rum barrels. Read on to see why we like it and what we can do with it in the mixing department.

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Posted in bitter sweet vermouth, cardamom bitters, curacao, irish whiskey | Tagged | Leave a comment

MxMo: Don’t Call Us Old Fashioned

It’s time again for Mixology Monday. This month’s theme, Call Me Old Fashioned, comes from Laura over at Sass and Gin:

The Old Fashioned is the original “cock tail,” dating to the early 1800′s. In this humble bartender’s opinion, it is the pater familias of all other drinks, and it has taken its place as such in the recent cocktail revival….. So, here’s the challenge: We will be sticking to the traditional ratios of spirit, bitters and sugar, but I’m challenging you to step outside the box with your selections. In addition, how will it be chilled or garnished? Do you want to add a secondary spirit or rinse? Go to town!

Challenge accepted! :)

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Posted in aged rum, angostura bitters, black lemon bitters, black strap rum, brown sugar, cherry bitters, chocolate bitters, Gin, peach apricot preserves, peach brandy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Dry Vermouth

IMG_3753A few months ago we did a post on sweet vermouth. This week, we decided to do a post on dry vermouth. It is definitely a bar staple, called for in a wide range of cocktails. As with everything we have a number in the liquor cabinet, so we pulled out a few to do a taste test with each. Read on to see how much dry vermouths can vary.

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Posted in dry vermouth, lavender bitters, pear eau de vie, simple syrup | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

You say toe-mah-toe

IMG_3687This week we decided to experiment with tomato juice. It’s a common ingredient in Bloody Marys, but you rarely see it combined with anything but vodka. So we decided to see what else we could mix it with. We also wanted to see if tomato juice paired with aged spirits, as you never see that. Read on to find out what we discovered.

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Posted in aquavit, celery bitters, chipotle tincture, lillet blanc, lime juice, mezcal, quince-bay shrub, tomato juice | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Playing with Margaritas

bodysnatcher-closeIt was recently brought to our attention that February 22nd is National Margarita day, in the form of a sample bottle of Casa Noble tequila :) (see our samples policy to understand that it made the cut). Now the Margarita is one of those wonderful 3-ish ingredient drinks, salt being the ever important fourth ingredient. ;) So in making a classic one, there’s not a whole lot to do except to say that a properly made one is delicious. Being the Booze Nerds that we are, we wanted to go a little farther afield with Margarita flavors and ingredients. So we decided to deconstruct it as well as play around with the idea of the base ingredients to see what we could come up with.

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Posted in lemon bitters, lillet blanc, lime bitters, lime juice, limoncello, orange juice, tequila - anejo, tequila - blanco, tequila - reposado | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

MxMo: Martini-like

Hot on the heels of last month’s MxMo comes this month’s Mixology Monday. The theme this month is: “That’s Not a Martini!“. It comes from Dagreb over at Nihil Utopia. In his words:

This month’s Mixology Monday theme is that which is almost, but not quite, a Martini. Perhaps there are dashes (or more) of a liqueur (or two) added to the basic structure. Perhaps a Fino Sherry (or other fortified/aromatized wine) is standing in for vermouth. Maybe there’s Oxygene instead of bitters? Gin, certainly!

We’re big fans of martini alternatives, so this is a fun challenge for us. Gin is a wonderfully flexible base spirit, and we set out to have a bit of fun with it.

NorthOfTheWall-Close

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Posted in angostura bitters, gin, lemon bitters, orange bitters, punt e mes, smokey scotch | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Does Size Make a Difference?

side-by-sideIce cube size that is. ;) In case it isn’t obvious at this point, we’re somewhat obsessed with Dave Arnold’s new book Liquid Intelligence. And why not, there’s some serious science and booze nerdery which is right up our alley :). This week, we’re investigating one of his claims that shaking your drinks with one big ice cube and a few small ones makes a difference in the texture of the drink. Read on to find out what we discovered.

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Posted in absinthe, Gin, st. germain | 4 Comments

MxMo: Rone-ry & Blue Alert

It’s Mixology Monday time again! This month’s theme comes from Andrea over at Ginhound. The theme is Blue. Andrea gave everyone permission to interpret that however they see fit, so we’re taking that flexibility to the limit. Read on to see what cocktails we came up with to match the theme.

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Posted in blue plum eau de vie, bonal gentiane quina, cherry bitters, grapefruit bitters, green thai chili tincture, lime juice, mezcal, rhum agricole | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Birthday Cocktail

zimmer-frame-closeAfter a brief hiatus (we were both sick :-P), we’re back! Today is Shaun’s birthday, so in honor of that we thought we’d come up with an original cocktail in celebration. For major events we like to do such things. Oh yeah and apparently the Seattle sports ball team is playing a game today. Or so we hear. ;)

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Posted in branca menta, cognac, Cointreau, orange bitters | Tagged | Leave a comment