Posts

Featured Cocktail

Mojito

Image
An average summer in Washington, DC is hot, humid, and generally oppressive, but right now we are in the middle of a nasty heat wave. The only thing to be done is to mix a cool drink and stare at a painting of an idyllic beach scene. 
Instead of working up a sweat re-inventing the wheel, summer can be a good time to fall back on a classic cocktail. The heat hasn’t managed to kill all of the mint growing in our garden. So we decided that we would put it to good use by making a mojito.
The mojito is a cousin to that other classic Cuban cocktail, the daiquiri. Both of these drinks have launched many variations – not all of them good. A classic daiquiri contains only fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and white rum. Nothing more than a chilled cocktail glass is required to make it an excellent drink. The mojito adds mint and some club soda to the daiquiri to create a highball with a lower ABV (alcohol by volume) – giving you more to sip on when it’s a hot day.
We ventured outside for 30 seconds…

Rose Spritz

Image
On a remarkably nice (warm but not oppressively hot and humid) Washington, DC evening, I met my daughter for dinner at the lovely French Bistro, Chez Billy Sud, in Georgetown. Naturally, we had to start with a cocktail, and we were both intrigued by the “Rosé Window” – a combination of St. Germain, local Capitoline Rosé Vermouth, lemon, and sparkling wine. We enjoyed it so much that we ordered a second round with dinner. It was bright and bubbly, not overly sweet - the perfect summer cocktail. 
We neglected to ask the bartender for the recipe, but it wasn’t too hard to recreate it at home. Shockingly, it didn’t even require a trip to the liquor store since we had all of the ingredients on hand! We used a dry prosecco, since the floral St. Germain adds plenty of sweetness. The Capitoline Rosé Vermouth has a base of California Sangiovese Rosé with notes of orange and clove and just the right amount of herbal bitterness to work with the other ingredients in this cocktail. Dolin Rouge verm…

Strawberry Gin & Tonic

Image
A Gin & Tonic is the quintessential summer cocktail. It's easy to make, only requires a couple of ingredients, it's low alcohol-by-volume, and it's hard to mess it up - unless you use bad gin. A Gin & Tonic also makes a great blank canvas for your mixology art.

The Spanish have turned this cocktail into an art form. In Spain a Gin & Tonic involves all kinds of fruit, herbs, and spices. It is usually served in a large wine goblet with plenty of ice, and it's as attractive as it is thirst-quenching. As fresh fruit becomes available at local farm markets, we are taking a cue from the Spanish and planning to do frequent G&T experiments. We'll post our best results on the blog.

To get things started we have this combination of strawberry, lime, and rosemary to add to gin and tonic. We made a strawberry simple syrup by simmering fresh strawberries and sugar in water for about 15 minutes, and then straining out the liquid (recipe below). This makes for an…

Roe's Bouquet

Image
Cocktail blogging is not all toil and sweat. Sometimes people give you bottles of booze or invite you to a special event. A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to be a part of the DC launch of Roe & Co’s Irish Whiskey at the fabulous Jack Rose Dining Saloon – an evening we thoroughly enjoyed.

We are always happy to try new products, but we don’t promise good reviews if we don’t actually like the liquor. Thankfully, this whiskey is one that we are pleased to recommend. We also really enjoyed meeting Caroline Martin, the distiller, and hearing about how this blended whiskey came to be. The name is pays homage to George Roe and his Dublin distillery – once the largest distillery in Ireland. 
The Whiskey is a blend of Irish malt and grain whiskeys aged in bourbon barrels. We found it to be quite smooth and with warm spice notes. It has the characteristics of a nice bourbon. It’s pleasant to drink neat, but at the launch party we were able to mix our own highball variations using an…

The Last Call

Image
This post is a week late, but this blog is our hobby (not our real job) so we’re not going to worry about it. Anyhow, we came up with this drink for Mardi Gras as the “last call” before the beginning of Lent – a time when some of us stop drinking for 40 days (we’ll let you know how that works out). The name “Last Call” also references the classic “Last Word” cocktail.
The Last Word is really a perfect cocktail. It’s equal parts of four ingredients (gin, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino Liqueur, and lime) and a superb balance of tart, herbal, and sweet. It’s one of our fallback cocktails – one that we mix up when we can’t make up our mind about what we want to drink. 
Another classic that we regularly enjoy is the Aviation Cocktail. The Aviation is another gin cocktail and is one of the few that uses Crème de Violette – a sweet, floral liqueur that is typically a deep purple hue. It takes mixing quite a few Aviations to go through a bottle of Crème de Violette, so it’s probably not a liqueur…

The Honeymoon Cocktail and Second Honeymoon

Image
It’s a tired cliché, but kind of true - time flies when you’re having fun. It has been just over two years since we began publishing this blog. We started it just to keep track of our recipes and share them (along with Chris’s artwork) with a few friends. To our surprise, we have created something that people (who are not our blood relatives) actually read! It really has been fun creating the posts and meeting other craft cocktail enthusiasts through the blog and our Instagram account. 
We don’t typically share much personal information about ourselves. If you click around through the pages on our blog you will find the About Us section where we give brief bios. For those of you who don’t know us personally, we are a husband wife team (Chris and Beth). In December we celebrated 33 years of marriage (time really HAS flown!)… Beth is the one who comes up with the cocktail recipes, does the photography, and writes the blog. Chris is solely tasked with creating the original works of art th…

Agave Sunset

Image
As promised in our previous blog post we are using this post to give you our Mezcal version of the Penicillin Cocktail. A key ingredient in our Penicillin No. 2 was homemade Orange Honey Simple Syrup. A batch of simple syrup will keep for a couple of weeks, so once it’s made we like to experiment and create a couple of different cocktails so that we use it before it expires.
A Penicillin Cocktail features peaty Scotch along with lemon, honey and ginger. We were quite pleased with our version using the orange-honey syrup and thought another riff using Mezcal to replace the smoky Scotch could be interesting. We tried it with and without ginger liqueur, and with lime in place of lemon juice, but in the end the recipe that our taste testing team preferred the one that had fresh lemon juice and orange liqueur. We also cut the Mezcal a bit and replaced it with another agave spirit – silver tequila.
We are calling this one the “Agave Sunset” and have paired it with a Cocktail Artist original w…

Penicillin No. 2

Image
This blog post could be considered our version of a get well soon card. Hopefully our spin on the Penicillin cocktail, along with the accompanying floral artwork from the Cocktail Artist’s archives, will drive away any mid-winter doldrums that you may be experiencing. 
The original Penicillin Cocktail was created in 2005 by bartender Sam Ross and contains blended and single malt Scotch, along with fresh ginger, lemon and honey. For our version we used a domestic Peated Whiskey made in the Boston area by Short Path Distillery. This small-batch distillery uses locally sourced ingredients (the peat in this Scotch-style whiskey is harvested in Maine). Short Path’s attention to detail is evident not only in their product, but also in their well-designed bottle labels. Each spirit’s label features a different bird in a bold black and white graphic (or an egg for their newly hatched limited edition spirits).
A Penicillin Cocktail seemed like a good idea last weekend when the January weather we…

Mammoth Manhattan, Northern Manhattan, and the Bellaire Cocktail

Image
Happy New Year! We celebrated the start to 2019 with a blanket of fresh snow in Northern Michigan and some cocktails made with local spirits. We are normally “Up North” during the summer months, but decided to spend a week in Charlevoix during the holiday season. The result is this blog post packed with three recipes (and some travel tips if you find yourself in this part of the world).

As regular readers of our blog know, we often sing the praises of local craft distillers, and when we are on vacation we typically have more time to hunt down and visit new distilleries. This past summer we visited Mammoth Distilling’s wonderful tasting room in the tiny town of Central Lake, Michigan. Thanks to Mammoth, Central Lake is the smallest town (population 936) in Michigan to have its own distillery. The tasting room happens to be next door to another Central Lake landmark, Bachman’s Store – a classic 5 and dime that hasn’t changed very much since it was opened in 1942. We highly recommend a vi…

Traveling Americano

Image
During December we participated in a fun holiday event sponsored by Matthias Soberon – the creative cocktail genius behind the Served By Soberon blog and Instagram. Through our Instagram account we have come to know fellow cocktail enthusiasts and home bartenders who hail from all parts of the globe. We have learned so much by following, and becoming a part of, this group. During the holiday season Matthias (who lives in Ghent, Belgium) paired up Drinkstagrammers in a cocktail version of “Secret Santa” for his #SecretSanté event – where over 150 people are created and posted cocktails to celebrate a fellow home bartender.
We were assigned Travel, Food, Cool - an awesome Instagram account (and blog) created by Elin. It’s dedicated to cocktails, recipes, restaurants, and cool stuff - with a focus on Italy. Basically, it’s about all things we love! As a tribute to @travelfoodcool, it seemed only right to do a riff on an Italian drink, and so we chose the Americano. This is a wonderful Ita…