Boozy Slushies

IMG_5816We were recently offered a bottle of Fernet Branca and a bottle of Branca Menta (Samples Policy) and challenged to come up with with a couple of blended drinks. Normally, we’re just not fans of blended drinks. Too many associations with Slurpees and the cheapest grain alcohol that money can buy (usually not what we’re about around here, in case that wasn’t obvious ;)). But this particular challenge piqued our interests, plus we’ve been embracing the tiki approach to lots of ice in drinks. We’ve come around to see that it can work great if you use the technique with the right type of drink. We’re big fans of both Fernet and Branca Menta too, so we figured why the hell not. Challenge accepted!

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Posted in bourbon, branca menta, cocktail recipe, fernet branca, lime bitters, lime juice, old tom gin, orange bitters, orange juice, peach liqueur, simple syrup, st. germain | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

MxMo: Alma Negra & Malt Shop

mxmologoAfter a well deserved hiatus, Mixology Monday is back! This month’s theme comes from Adam of the Mr. Muddle blog. The theme this month is vinegar, which we’re very excited about. In Adam’s own words:

For this month’s MxMo, let’s make the whole range of vinegary things fair game.  And I’m not just talking about throwing some olive juice into a Martini.  Making a balsamic glaze for your pork chops?  Save some for the bar.  Want to have a good time and treat your psoriasis?  Reach for that bottle of apple cider vinegar for your next cocktail.  Got some favorite pickles?  Use the juice as a component.

We’ve used switchels & shrubs before and were very happy with the results. But this was an interesting riff on that idea so we were looking forward to seeing what we could come up with.

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Posted in angostura bitters, balsamic vinegar, cocktail recipe, cognac, creme de cacao, grand marnier, Mixology Monday, rice vinegar, rice whiskey, simple syrup | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Melon

IMG_5770Melon season has arrived. Usually when you think of melon in cocktails, you think of Midori. Which Christa doesn’t like, and Shaun is indifferent. Which is interesting since Shaun doesn’t like actual melon and Christa loves it. But who can say. Anyhow, seen as they’re now in season we thought it would interesting to see if we could make some cocktails with melon juice other than watermelon, since you don’t see that a lot.

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Posted in amaro, averna, cherry bitters, cocktail recipe, cognac, grapefruit bitters, grapefruit juice, lime juice, melon juice, pisco | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Amaro Lucano

IMG_5734Rather than wait a year or more between amaro posts, we thought we’d get ahead of the game and do another. Closing our eyes, spinning around in a circle, and grabbing a bottle from the shelf, we landed on Amaro Lucano for this post. What’s this particular amaro like? (Hint: it’s bitter and sweet ;))

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Posted in amaro, amaro lucano, cocktail recipe, Cointreau, mezcal, orange bitters | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cocktail onions aren’t just for Gibsons…

IMG_5701We’re big fans of Gibsons around here. One wouldn’t expect that just changing the garnish would change the characteristics of a Martini, but it does. The little bit of brine and oniony flavor add a certain something that makes for a great and very different drink. What’s surprising to us though is that cocktail onions just aren’t used that often in other drinks, which we think is a darn shame. With that in mind, we set out to see if there were other drinks that might do well with an onion garnish.

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Posted in absinthe, amaro, amaro nonino, boker's bitters, cocktail recipe, gin, lillet blanc, maraschino, pickled onion brine, rye | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lavender Cocktails

IMG_5686Happy 4th of July everyone! It’s another beautiful summer day here in Seattle; 61 degrees, overcast, with showers predicted for this afternoon. Everyone get out your July 4th fleeces. We don’t know where people get the idea that the weather here in Seattle isn’t nice.😉 Despite the cool weather and rain, the lavender is in full bloom, which makes the bees happy. Since we also enjoy the sight, scent, and taste of lavender, we were curious as to what we could do with it drink-wise.

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Posted in club soda, cocktail recipe, Cointreau, honey lavender syrup, lime juice, pear eau de vie, sweet white vermouth, vodka | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Amaro: dell’ Erborista

IMG_5632It’s time again to take a closer look at one of the many amaros (amari?) we have in our liquor cabinet.  This week we pulled out Amaro dell’ Erborista by Varnelli. The dell’Erborista is especially interesting. It has a lot of forest-y, earthy notes as well as being especially bitter. Shaun finds it almost too bitter, Christa loves the stuff. Can we mix with it? Let’s find out.

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Posted in Amaro Dell'Erborista, angostura bitters, benedictine, cocktail recipe, gin, lillet blanc, rye, yellow chartreuse | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watermelon

IMG_5613Summer is starting to put in some special guest appearances here in Seattle. That means stone fruits are back at the market, and so is yummy watermelon. We’ve noodled around with watermelon in the past and have found that it makes for a light, refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for warm weather. With that in mind, we decided to see if we could come up with some other tasty libations using it.

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Posted in aquavit, basil simple syrup, bourbon, carpano antica, cocktail recipe, cucumber, dubonnet rouge, lime twist, simple syrup, vodka, watermelon | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tonic Syrup Cocktails

IMG_5566A few years ago we discovered tonic syrup. We think it’s a great addition to any bar seen as it allows you to control exactly how much tonic flavor you put in your drink without adding undue dilution. Recently, Christa picked up a bottle of & Tonic, another local tonic here in Seattle. It’s quite tasty and makes a lovely G&T.

That said, we noticed that all anyone seems to make with tonic syrup are G&T’s and vodka tonics. Both are delicious, but we were curious how well tonic syrup paired with other spirits. It seems a shame to keep it limited to a couple of hot-weather libations. With that in mind, we set out to find out what other drinks we could concoct with it.

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Posted in absinthe, calvados, cocktail recipe, creme yvette, Original Cocktail, simple syrup, sparkling wine, tonic syrup, vodka | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Flavored Vodkas That Don’t Suck

IMG_5503Typically we’re not big vodka drinkers (though there are a number out there that we enjoy), and we’re especially not big fans of flavored vodka, as most of the usual flavors (birthday cake, anyone?) sound like they were created in a vat in Jersey. However, there are starting to be more and more small batch producers that are making some delicious flavored vodkas using natural aromatic ingredients, either adding them to the distillation or bringing them in later through infusion. Given their quality, we’ve started adding more and more to our bar. So without further ado, here are some flavored vodkas that we actually like (aka they don’t suck ;)).

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Posted in angostura bitters, apple cinnamon vodka, blood orange vodka, cachaca, cocktail recipe, creme de menthe, cucumber vodka, gin, lime juice, simple syrup, whiskey, white vermouth | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment