Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Jungle Bird Milk Punch

I posted this delicious Milk Punch on Instagram a few weeks back, but I thought it needed a more permanent place to live, the internet!

The world is shut down and it's a great time to hone some new skills - like Milk Punch! I've been wanting to make Milk Punch since I got these gorgeous milky-white Little Tomato Glass hand-blown rocks glasses. They have a lip on the inside of the glass to prevent an ice cube from smacking you in the face: #genius. Hope you enjoy this little vacation in a glass!

Jungle Bird Milk Punch

• 1-1/2 oz Blackstrap Rum
• 1-1/2 Pineapple Juice
• 3/4 oz Campari
• 1/2 oz Demerara Syrup
• 1/2 oz Lime
• 1-1/2 oz Whole Milk

Scale up based on the # of servings required.

Add milk in a sauce pan on medium high heat and bring to a simmer. Once boiling, remove from heat. Add the other ingredients, and let the milk curdle, stirring frequently. Let sit for an hour, and strain through a fine mesh sieve and a cheese cloth into a jar. Place the jar in the refrigerator overnight. The next day strain again through a coffee filter, being careful to not disturb the cloud on the bottom of the jar. Transfer the into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Introducing The Spirits Network

When I was just starting this boozy journey and beginning to learn about different types of spirits, I remember being incredibly overwhelmed with options of what to try and what bottles to invest in. The liquor store sent me into decision fatigue, and the back bars of my favorite watering holes made me stare in awe (and also decision fatigue). I always rely on the professionals behind the bar and at the liquor store to make suggestions, but it's hard to know if your palate aligns or if it is truly a good product until you get the bottle home and crack it open. And let's be honest, there's nothing more disappointing than a dud bottle. ⁠

⁠Today, there's a new way to learn about spirits, and that's through the Spirits Network - the new streaming channel dedicated to distilled spirits. They've featured some of my friends in the industry including Tara Fougner of Thirsty touring the Don Julio Tequila distillery, and a tour of Oaxaca (mi amor) with Nacho Jimenez and Camille Austin with Montelobos. Not only can you learn about new products and how they are made, but you can purchase bottles directly through their platform, saving yourself a trip to the liquor store! Easy! They even offer memberships where they will send gift boxes filled with all sorts of fun boozy swag (photographed), with their vetted selections of noteworthy spirits for your home bar.⁠ ⁠

If you're looking to up your spirits knowledge, check it out. It's also a great gift for the lover of libation in your life, and Valentine's Day will be popping up before we know it 💘, #justsayin.⁠

Sign up using the code 'Gastronomista' to get your first month free.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Spirits Network.  All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Strawberry Star Anise Gin Punch

The holidays are officially upon us, which means, holiday party planning.  For those of you looking for an easy-to-prepare punch, I've got just the one for you.  It's made with Boodles Rhubarb & Strawberry Gin (which combines the London Dry style gin with the taste of fresh rhubarb and strawberry), prosecco, fresh lemon juice, ginger tea, and a homemade strawberry star anise syrup.  The Rhubarb & Strawberry gin has a nice brightness to it, and quite a bit of fruity flavor that pairs nicely with the round sweetness of the syrup and the holiday spiciness of the star anise.  

The hardest part of the recipe is the syrup, which I recommend you prepare the day before your party.  It calls for a bag of frozen strawberries, whole anise pods, brown sugar, and water, which you let boil until it reaches a nice syrupy consistency.  The recipe below makes a little extra (because I know you're going to want it), and is delicious on yogurt, ice cream, or mixed with seltzer for a refreshing alcohol-free tipple.

As with any punch, I always double the recipe for the start of a party and depending on the crowd will make sure I provision for an extra double batch to have on hand should the punch bowl run dry.  No one likes an empty punch bowl - NO ONE.

You can either let your guests serve themselves, or you can garnish each glass individually for a bit of extra flair.  Express a lemon peel over every cup of punch, and (if you're up for the challenge), flame a star anise pod for a nice aromatic garnish that will be sure to wow your guests.

So far this recipe has been a hit with my friends and family - I hope it is with yours as well.


Strawberry Star Anise Gin Punch
Makes 20 Servings

6-1/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
13.5 oz Strawberry Star Anise Syrup*
13.5 oz Brewed Ginger Tea, Chilled
18-3/4 oz Boodles Rhubarb & Strawberry Gin
25 oz Prosecco

Combine ingredients in a punch bowl with a large block of ice.  Garnish the bowl with slices of fresh strawberries, star anise pods, and lemon peel slivers.  Garnish each drink with a star anise pod (flamed, or not) and a lemon twist.

Strawberry Star Anise Syrup
Makes Approximately 16 oz of Syrup

2 c. Frozen Strawberries
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Water

Combine in a medium-large pot and bring to a simmer.  Reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer until you've reached your preferred syrup consistency.  Strain into a non-reactive container, and keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boodles Gin.  All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

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 ClĂ©ment 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.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Rhum ClĂ©ment.  All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

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.


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hangar 1 Distillery.  All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

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.  


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.  

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Amaro Lucano. All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

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.  


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Exotico Tequila. All opinions are 100% mine.

Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

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