Friday, November 8, 2019

Rhum Knickerbocker


It's already starting to get cold here in Colorado, and it's making me dream of escaping to a tropical island far far away with big beach umbrellas and tropical drinks.  While an island escape is not in the cards for the foreseeable future, I'll stick to the tropical drinks for the time being.

I recently received a package from Rhum Clément with a few of their different products: the VSOP and Rhum Clement Creole Shrub, a rhum based orange liqueur, and Chairman's Reserve Spiced Rhum.  I instantly knew what I wanted to make: a classic Knickerbocker cocktail that pairs the flavors of orange liqueur with rhum and raspberry syrup, with the addition of the spiced rum to add another layer of complexity to the cocktail.  The Knickerbocker cocktail first appeared in print in Jerry Thomas' 1862 The Bartender's Guide, and has been modified and tweaked throughout the years.  The cocktail is either served on the rocks as a "Knickerbocker", or served up as a "Knickerbocker Special" as I've prepared it today.  It is delicious either way.




For this recipe you can use a store bought raspberry syrup or make your own from a bag of frozen raspberries, sugar and water.  The recipe makes quite a bit of syrup so you'll have plenty for multiple rounds of Knickerbockers and your morning pancakes.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, perhaps as much as a vacation to a remote tropical island.




Rhum Knickerbocker

1-1/2 oz Rhum Clément VSOP
1/2 oz Rhum Clément Creole Shrub
1/2 oz Chairman's Reserve
3/4 oz Raspberry Syrup*
1/2 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3-4 dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.  Garnish with fresh raspberries and pineapple leaves.



Raspberry Syrup

1 bag Frozen Raspberries
1/3 cups Sugar
1-3/4 cups Water

In a small pan, combine frozen raspberries, sugar and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the syrup is to your desired consistency.  Mash all the raspberries until there is a consistent texture, and strain through a fine sieve into a glass jar.  Discard seeds and let cool.  Once cool, store in the refrigerator for up to one month.






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Friday, November 1, 2019

Milk & Honeycomb Punch


I've been a fan of The Hangar 1 Distillery for quite a few years now, and have always found their products to be wonderful for cocktails and for sipping.  Their vodka is made from grapes and midwestern grains, which brings a nice brightness that works really well with a range of different flavors.  Hangar 1 recently sent a bottle of their latest release, their Hangar 1 Honeycomb Vodka that is infused with real honeycomb and asked me to come up with a cocktail to celebrate the release.

My mind went immediately to the phrase Milk and Honey, the historical reference to the promised land, after which I knew I wanted to create a Milk & Honey Milk Punch.


If you have never tried Milk Punch, let me tell you, now is the time.  Don't let the inclusion of dairy products deter you, because this punch is delicious and without a doubt, mesmerizing.  Milk punch is a magical way of making punch using alcohol, fresh citrus juice, and whole milk, which ends up making a clarified punch that is both bright and citrusy and creamy.

While I have to admit, this was the first time I've made milk punch, and yet I think my Milk & Honeycomb punch turned out very well.  I made it with fresh lemon juice and orange juice, but am tempted to try it again with grapefruit juice instead of orange juice.

Milk punch takes a couple of days to prepare, so plan ahead, but I can assure you that your guests will enjoy it as much as you will.


Milk & Honeycomb Punch

1 cup Hangar 1 Honeycomb Vodka
3 cups Brewed Black Ginger Tea
3 cups Fresh Lemon Juice
3 cups Fresh Orange Juice
3 cups Whole Milk
1 cup Simple Syrup

Combine Hangar 1 Honeycomb Vodka, tea, lemon juice, orange juice and simple syrup in a large pitcher.

Bring milk to a simmer in a saucepan, and immediately add to the pitcher with the vodka and juice.  Milk will curdle.  Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight.

Strain punch with a fine sieve or a nut-milk bag letting the clear liquid strain into a large jar or bowl.  Cover and place back in the refrigerator to let any other curds settle to the bottom of the jar.  Using a ladle, transfer the clear punch into a bottle for serving, leaving remaining curds behind.

Store in the refrigerator for up to one week (if it lasts that long).




Milk & Honeycomb Punch Cocktail

2 oz Milk & Honeycomb Punch
1-1/2 oz Hangar 1 Honeycomb Vodka

Add to a lowball glass with a king cube, and stir for 15-20 seconds.  Garnish with a fresh lemon express and a cube of fresh honeycomb.

Enjoy!



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Friday, August 30, 2019

Amaro Lucano Affogato


I have had the opportunity to travel to Italy on quite a few occasions, some for work, some for school, and others for pleasure.  After every trip I have felt a part of myself shift - and with each shift I would make a promise to myself to keep a part of the Italian life in my day to day life.  Some trips it was Spritz culture, some a dedication to Italian gardens and lengthy summertime lunches, and others it was the architecture of Italy's legendary cities.  


This summer I have been reminiscing about those trips to Italy, and enjoying Amaro Affogatos drizzled in Amaro Lucano, the quintessential Italian Amaro.  It's truly amazing how one bite can instantly transport me back to Italy, the feeling of being young and excitable, and the latent promise of Italian summers.  




Drizzle Amaro Lucano and a shot of espresso over a few scoops of vanilla bean gelato (the best one I can find in the market), and serve with a slice of fresh orange, a waffle cookie, and a generous pinch of macadamia nut toffee.  Serve alongside a glass of Amaro Lucano, which dates from 1894 and the recipe for which is still a closely guarded family secret.  It is pure heaven.  

Enjoy!



Amaro Lucano Affogato

1-1/2 oz Amaro Lucano
1 oz Espresso
2 Scoops Vanilla Bean Gelato
2 Tbs Macadamia Nut Toffee
Orange Slice to Garnish
Waffle Cookie to Garnish

Add gelato to a glass, and drizzle with amaro and espresso.  Crumble the macadamia nut toffee on top, and garnish with an orange slice, and half a waffle cookie.


Macadamia Nut Toffee

1/4 Cup Chopped Macadamia Nuts
1/4 Cup White Sugar

Add the sugar and nuts to a nonstick pan on low heat.  Let heat slowly as to not let the nuts burn, stirring occasionally.  After about five minutes the sugar crystals will begin to liquify, stir carefully to coat the macadamia nuts evenly.  When the sugar is completely melted, transfer the toffee to a sheet of tinfoil and let cool for about 10 minutes.  Crumble before serving.  



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Monday, August 12, 2019

Paloma Sorbet Floats


I'm continuing my summer trend of imbibing only frozen drinks.  It's working out well.

Frozen Palomas have always been one of my favorite on-menu summertime orders, and I wanted to try to re-create it at home but deconstructed into a sorbet float.


The extra benefit to making drinks at home is that you can adjust the garnishes as much as you want - extra salt - yes please - extra Exotico Reposado - yes please - a kick of chili powder - oh, yes please!

The sorbet is extremely easy to make, it requires fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, and a bit of simple syrup.  Make sure to freeze your ice cream maker cylinder overnight so it's cold enough to properly freeze the sorbet, and when it's done transfer to a bowl to set in the freezer.




You can serve this cocktail in any vessel, but I like the idea of serving it in a coupe similar to a champagne float.  Add two scoops of sorbet to each glass, top with Exotico Reposado, soda water, and then garnish with a sprinkle of sea salt and a lime wedge to make a glass of summery heaven.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.






Paloma Sorbet Float

2 Scoops of Grapefruit Sorbet

1 oz Exotico Reposado
1 oz Soda Water
Sea Salt
Lime Wedge
Optional: Ancho chili powder or Ancho chili liqueur to taste

Build in a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a sprinkle of sea salt and a lime wedge.  Serve with a small spoon.  




Grapefruit Sorbet


4 cups Grapefruit Juice

2-1/2 Limes - Juiced
1 oz Simple Syrup

Chill in the refrigerator, and then add to an ice cream maker.  Let run for 30-40 minutes, then transfer the sorbet to a bowl and place in the freezer to set overnight.  







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Friday, July 26, 2019

Watermelon Tequila Snowcone



We’ve officially entered the part of summer where I want everything frozen – namely frozen cocktails.  This cocktail is inspired by the snowcone variations I’ve been seeing at some of my favorite bars, including Katana Kitten and Dante NYC – and by a classic highball recipe from Rosie Schaap.  Fresh watermelon pairs gorgeously with the main boozy ingredient in this cocktail -  Exotico Tequila Blanco – and the squeeze of fresh lime cuts the sweetness of the syrup perfectly.  Could there be a more perfect summery treat?  I think not.



This cocktail is super simple and makes a delightful boozy snowcone that is delightful on a hot day.  You’ll need to prep the watermelon syrup ahead of time in order to let it cool, and this batch will prepare plenty of syrup for a summer of watermelon tequila snowcones!  Enjoy!

Watermelon Tequila Sno-cone

1-1/2 oz Exotico Tequila Blanco
1 oz Watermelon Syrup
1 Lime Wedge
Lime Zest to Garnish

Build over shaved ice, and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lime, lime zest, and a small spoon.


Watermelon Syrup

4 Cups Fresh Watermelon
1 Cup Sugar

Cut watermelon into cubes, and puree in a food processor or a blender.  Strain into a medium sized pot and add sugar.  Simmer on medium heat until the syrup has reduced slightly.  Let cool and transfer into glass jars.  Will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Enjoy!




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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Exotic Margarita


Summer is officially upon us, and in turn, so are summery cocktails.  Nothing says summer more than Margaritas in my book, especially when spiked with spicy chili liqueur and tropical flavors.  This very Exotic Margarita is made with Exotico Tequila Blanco, a crisp and peppery unaged tequila made from 100% blue agave.  The fresh flavor of agave comes through nicely in this margarita and works nicely with the green chili liqueur that gives this cocktail an extra kick.


If you can’t find fresh passionfruit in your local grocery store, you can always use passionfruit juice or passionfruit puree, but fresh is always best in my humble opinion.  Cut the passionfruit in half, reserve one half for the garnish, and scoop the other half into your cocktail tin.  Add all the other ingredients, shake, and garnish with fresh orchids and a slice of dried mango.



Exotic Margarita

1-1/2 oz Exotico Blanco Tequila
1-1/2 oz Green Chili Liqueur
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
¼ oz Agave Syrup
1 Whole Fresh Passionfruit – Half for Mixing, and Half for Garnish
1 Slice Dried Mango

Cut passionfruit in half and scoop half the seeds into your cocktail tin.  Add Exotico Tequila, green chili liqueur, lime juice, agave syrup, and ice, and shake vigorously.  Strain into a margarita glass that has been rimmed with salt and dried chili powder.  Garnish with the remaining half of the passionfruit, a slice of dried mango, and fresh orchids.

Enjoy!





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