MxMo: Simply Smashing

It’s time again for Mixology Monday. This month’s theme is The Smash, courtesy of Stacy and her eponymous blog Stacy Markow. For those of you that don’t know, a smash is a base spirit mixed with a muddled herb (typically mint) and a sweetener and then poured over ice. Which seems like a pretty simple thing and therefore not very interesting. But as always, with a little creativity things can get fun pretty quickly. Read on to find out what we got up to.

bees

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Posted in barrel aged gin, honey, lemon basil, Mixology Monday, white rum | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A is for Agave

This coming Thursday, the 24th of July 2014, is National Tequila Day. Being the booze patriots that we are, we felt we should honor the event by making more tequila drinks. As we said in A tequila transition, it’s a great spirit and we need to remember to use it more. We have a couple tequila brands that we really like; Partida has been a favorite for a while, but we were recently introduced to Casa Noble which we quite like as well though it is rather different in flavor profile. So we decided to try a couple of drinks with each to see how they compared.

 

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Posted in aperol, lime juice, limoncello, sweet vermouth, tequila | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tinkering with Tinctures

This week we’re talking about tinctures, which are great for adding variety to cocktails. A tincture is defined as: a medicine that is made of a drug mixed with alcohol. Which we like the sound of. :) Booze mixed with medicine, it’s a veritable health treatment! In our minds, that makes tinctures the kissing cousins of bitters. They add a lot of flavor without adding a lot of liquid or (unlike bitters) bitterness. We’ve made a few of our own tinctures and they can be fiddly, so typically we only make them occasionally. Recently though, Matt from Drink Addition let us taste and take samples of some of their tinctures (see our Samples policy for our take on samples). After trying quite a few of their offerings, we thought they were on to something. Their tinctures have good clear flavors and offer quite a variety, and most of them are things we would find easier to buy than to make well. So this week we decided to create a few drinks with some of the tinctures we brought home to experiment with. Read on to see some of the interesting flavors we were able to add to our concoctions.

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Posted in blanco tequila, champagne, gin, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, lime juice, mezcal, orange juice, sparkling wine | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More Muddled Thinking

As we discovered last week, muddling herbs and spices in spirit or not noticeably affects the flavor of the finished cocktail. This week, continuing with our current booze-related obsession, we’re experimenting with fruits and vegetables to see what difference (if any) we get with wet or dry muddling. Read on to see what results we get with cucumber, cherries, and limes.

more-muddling

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Posted in cachaca, creme de cacao, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, lime juice, mezcal, rye, Tasting Notes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Muddled Thinking

herbs-spicesIn case it isn’t obvious, we tend to obsess with how drinks are assembled, and whether or not using one technique over another makes for a better drink. One such technique is muddling. In particular  we were wondering if muddling  an ingredient dry (in the shaker alone) vs. wet (in combination with the spirit) makes a difference.

It’s these kinds of things keep us up at night. Did we mention we tend to obsess about booze and cocktails? :) Read on to see if there’s a preferred muddling technique or not.

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Posted in gin, lime juice, rum, scotch, Tasting Notes | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

MxMo: Pineapple

It’s Mixology Monday time again, and this month’s theme is Pineapple, courtesy of Thiago over at Bartending Notes.  The first thing that came to our minds for this ingredient was tiki drinks (of course!) But then we thought, while tiki is certainly a delicious way to go, we should try pineapple in some more unusual pairings to illustrate its versatility. So we did :). Onward to the recipes.

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Posted in Cocktail, cocktail recipe, Mixology Monday, Original Cocktail, pear brandy, pineapple, scotch, sweet vermouth | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Punch!

esperanto-2Recently Drinkwire put forth a challenge to create a unique punch recipe for the upcoming 4th of July holiday. We’re all about challenges around here, so we decided to give it a whirl. :) With that in mind, we set out to create a couple of new punch recipes. Shaun felt that with some re-imagining, our Sunbreak cocktail might make an interesting punch. Since that has aquavit in it, it inspired Christa to experiment with that spirit as well, and we ended up with two aquavit-themed punches. If you’re not familiar with aquavit, check out one of our other posts highlighting it. It’s a very interesting spirit, so read on to see what we came up with.

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Posted in aquavit, bourbon, brandy, lemon juice, moscatel sherry, orange juice, Original Cocktail | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raspberry liqueurs

liqueursAs is typical of us, we’re never content to have just one of anything :) If there are multiple brands of a particular liquor or liqueur, we like to try all of them to see what makes each one unique, and also figure out what recipes they work best in. This week, we decided to taste the various raspberry liqueurs that we have in the liquor cabinet, and then try them in one of our original recipes to see how they compare.

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Posted in Cocktail Comparisons, gin, honey, raspberry liqueur, st. germain, Tasting Notes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Using complementary orange liqueurs

sidecar-2We have quite a number of orange liqueurs in our cabinet, and we’ve been curious for a while whether it was good, bad, or indifferent to use an orange liqueur with a base spirit that’s complementary to the primary liquor in a cocktail. For instance, it is better to use Grand Marnier as opposed to any other orange liqueur when making a brandy cocktail? Read on to see what we found.

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Cider

french75This week we decided to do some tasting with various ciders. We went to our local mega-mart and picked up a selection of hard apple cider, several of which are from WA and a couple of which aren’t (we do have an amazing hard cider industry here in WA and OR!). And because we’re all about the cocktails around here, we decided to try cider in a few original cocktails as well as a substitute for sparkling wine. Read on for our tasting notes and some tasty drinks.

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Posted in benedictine, cider, gin, ginger liqueur, jamaican rum, pisco | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment