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Category Archives: Featured Cocktails

The Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned

On my mission to fulfill Death&Co’s mandate that every good at-home bartender know the Top Ten cocktails listed in our previous post, I came across this how-to for the Old Fashioned by the fabulous Leah & Mary from fabulousonabudget.com.

These ladies know how to get up to no good and share their expertise in fabulously dramatized fashion. Check it out:

Today we pay tribute to the classic Old Fashioned. It’s a Fabulous whiskey drink that may be the first drink to ever be called a cocktail. It’s roots date back to the early 1800′s! As with many cocktails, there are many variations, but we quite like this one.

Ever have one of those days you just need cocktail?

Ingredients:

  • 3 dashes of Orange Bitters
  • 2 oz. Bourbon or Rye
  • Orange Zest
  • Sugar Cube
  • Ice Cube

1. Put a sugar cube (or 2 if you’re a baby like me!) in the bottom of your glass. Douse with 3 dashes of Orange Bitters.

2. Muddle the sugar cube until it’s good and sandy.

3. Add 2 oz. of whiskey (any bourbon will do!)

4. Stir it up!

5. Add your ice. Purists find this appalling and prefer a splash of water, but we quite like the chilled effect. What can I say? I’m easing into whiskey.

6. Rim your glass with your orange zest.

7. Give your peel a little twist, zesting the fruit essence into your drink.

8. Drop your peel in & Voila! Drink up.

via Tipsy Tuesday: The Old Fashioned.

Let’s get up to no good,

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Pomegranate Cooler

Pomegranate Cooler

For a fantastic drink to serve at indoor/outdoor parties take a looksy at this Pomegranate Cooler: 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5  cup pomegranate juice chilled (Or 1/2 cup cranberry juice chilled + 1 cup pomegranate juice chilled)
  • A fistful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger juice
  • Sprite chilled
  • Ice
  • Sugar or honey to taste
  • 1 oz Vodka + 1/2 oz of orange liqueur

Directions:

  1. Muddle the mint leaves (with sugar or honey if you are using it).
  2. Combine the juices, vodka, and orange liqueur with the mint leaves.
  3. Add ice & give it a good shake shake shake.
  4. Fill each glass halfway and top off each glass with Sprite.
  5. Garnish with mint leaves.

via Pomegranate Cooler | eCurry – The Recipe Blog.

Let’s get up to no good,

Studio9:05

How to Get Up to No Good–The Proper Way

While perusing some of my fave blogs today I came across my new solemates: Dave and Ravi of Death&Co in Lower East Side Manhattan. Their overall aesthetic and general attitude is right up my ally–just take a peek at their menu and you’ll see what I mean. They offer a limited selection of crazy-good gourmet bar food and a butterflies-in-my stomach inducing drink selection.

Wondering about the name?

Let me give it to you in their own words:

“To those who shun the night, we tip our hat. To those who shine after dusk, we offer a warm embrace.”

“In 1919 the Volstead Act brought a swift end to nightlife, and the refined craft of the American bartender was outlawed. It was thought that to drink alcohol was to live a life shadowed by death. It was thought by some that these were death and company. It’s taken us nearly a century to restore flavor to the drink and class to specialty cocktails […] To those who shun the night, we tip our hat. To those who shine after dusk, we offer a warm embrace. Welcome to the new golden age. Welcome to Death & Co.”

As you can imagine, these purveyors of life’s simple pleasures have a lot to say about stacking the bottles. Today we bring to you a few of Death&Co’s tips on getting up to no good the proper way:

Lesson 1: Reading is Fundamental

Being a good bartender is more than just making good drinks. You have to do your own studying. The essential library includes:

Lesson 2: The Gear

Here are the basic tools you will need to mix near any drink:

  • A shaker set
  • A mixing glass
  • A bar spoon
  • A julep strainer (rounded flat silver with holes)
  • A jigger (for measuring)
  • A juicer
  • A small cutting board
  • A pairing knife (to cut fruit)
  • A muddler
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Lesson 3: The Booze
The two most important spirits to have are Gin (Tom Collins, Martinis, simple fizzes) and Rye (Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Sazerac). These may not be the most popular, but they are the most classic. After that you should have rum, vodka, tequila, and sweet & dry vermouth.
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Lesson 4: The Top Ten
You should learn how to make the following 10 classic cocktails which will give you the building blocks for every other drink:
  • Martini
  • Manhattan
  • Sidecar
  • Margarita
  • Daiquiri
  • Old Fashioned
  • Sazerac
  • French 75
  • Negroni
  • Tom Collins
Lesson 5: Shelf Life
  • If it’s 80 proof, it will last. This rule applies to everything other than vermouth, which is a fortified wine and must be refrigerated. Buy the small bottles of vermouth to avoid their turning before use.
  • DO NOT CHILL ANY SPIRITS! That business about keeping vodka in the freezer is a mistake. When you are mixing something over ice, you need a certain amount of water dilution to mellow the booze. If the alcohol is already cold the ice won’t dilute the drink enough, and you’ll get a very high alcohol taste in the drink.

“Do not chill any spirits! […] When you are mixing something over ice, you need a certain amount of water dilution to mellow the booze. If the alcohol is already cold the ice won’t dilute the drink enough, and you’ll get a very high alcohol taste in the drink.”

Lesson 6: Ice
Stay away from bagged ice if you can. The best ice is from your home’s ice cube tray: it’s cold and hard and won’t over dilute the drinks.
If you wanna get real fancy, you can get creative with your ice:
  • Try pouring water into a muffin tins to make large ice chunks for your Old Fashioned.
  • Pouring water into bread pans or baking trays will allow you to chip away and make your own custom ice for each glass you use.

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Lesson 7: Freshness Matters

Never use bottled mixers they sell at the store; JUICE YOUR LEMONS AND LIMES! You can buy $4 Margarita mix and drink a glass of garbage or you can be smart and just buy 4 limes for a buck and juice them.
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Lesson 8: Garnishes
Fresh mint, orance, lemon twists, and lime wedges are enough for the home bar. If it doesn’t add to the drink then don’t add it. When you cut your twists, make sure you don’t get too much pith, or it will be too bitter.
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Lesson 9: Serve It Up
Nice glasses are not the most important thing in the world, but if you want to get it right, you’ll want to have some highballs. It’s also nice to have a set of old fashioned glasses for whiskey boozy drinks. Skip the Martini glass purchase; they are gaudy and spill easily. Rather, let luck come into play and make your own eclectic collection of glasses. Just go to Goodwill or another thrift store as these are the best places to score unique old cocktail glasses.
Let’s get up to no good,
Studio9:05

Mason Jar as Blender Jar & Cranberry Margarita Recipe

Mason Jar as Blender Jar & Cranberry Margarita Recipe

Wurrrrrrrrd?!?! I had no idea!

According to Martha, many detachable blender blade assemblies screw right onto a mayo jar or a small-mouth Mason jar. Don’t fill it by more than half, though, and as with any regular blender, avoid very hot liquids.

via Mason Jar as Blender Jar | Real Simple.

And to help you put this idea to good use, give this baby a try:

Who says margaritas are just for summer? Celebrate the holidays with this festive frozen drink featuring both cranberry juice cocktail and fresh cranberries.

via http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/merry-cranberry-margaritas-10000001940846/

Cranberry Margarita

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 (Or 1 if you’re like us!)

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups cranberry juice cocktail, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau
  • 3 cups coarsely crushed ice
Preparation
  1. Pour 1/4 cup cranberry juice into a shallow bowl.
  2. Pour 3 tbsp. sugar onto a plate. Dip rims of 4 to 6 widemouthed glasses (6 to 8 oz., suitable for margaritas) into juice, then sugar. Set glasses aside.
  3. Divide among glasses and garnish with whole cranberries, skewered on toothpicks.
  4. In a blender, whirl the remaining cranberries, cranberry juice, and sugar, the lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and ice until smooth and slushy. If you’re like us, blend in 2 batches, then mix together.
  5. Freeze for 20-30 minutes if you want it a bit slushy 😉
Let’s get up to no good,
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Ginger Cranberry Lime Cordials

Ginger Cranberry Lime Cordials

As the weather begins to cool and October draws near, I am full into Fall mode! I started to think about what kinds of fall-inspired concoctions I could make to get up to no good, and since I firmly believe no one will ever outdo Cottonwood’s Pumpkin Ale, I decided to steer clear of pumpkins and infuse the fall flavors of cranberry and ginger into a fresh Fall cordial.

You will need:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 limes, washed and quartered, seeds removed
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed cranberries
  • A few frozen cranberries for garnish
  • Gin, Vodka or Light Rum
  • Ginger Beer*
  • (Yields approximately 2 cups)

*Ginger beer is a drier, spicier version of ginger ale. You can find it at most grocery stores, Whole Foods or Fresh Markets. (Reed’s Ginger Beer comes in a 4-pack). Gingerale could work too, but it would be sweeter and won’t pack as much of a spicy punch.

Directions for Simple Syrup and Fruit Mixture (Yields apprixomately 2 cups):

  1. Make a simple syrup by heating 3/4 cup sugar and 1 cup water slowly in a saucepan, stirring gently over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the limes and cranberries. Simmer until the mixture reaches a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. When the mixture comes to a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let the syrup stand for 30 minutes to cool.
  4. After 30 minutes, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the berries and limes. If you do not have a sieve, stretch a square of clean muslin over the top of a container and secure with a rubber band. Pour the mixture through the cloth, which will act like a fine strainer and allow only juice to collect in the container underneath.
  5. The mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Directions for Ginger Cranberry Lime Cordials (Makes 4 drinks)

  1. Fill four Champagne flutes or cocktail glasses halfway with cold ginger beer.
  2. Add a shot of your choice of vodka or gin.
  3. Top each glass off with two teaspoons of cranberry-lime syrup.
  4. Stir and serve.

To garnish the drinks, provide lime slices and frozen cranberries: use them in place of ice to keep drinks cool or pretty up a punch bowl.

Enjoy!
Let’s Get up to no good,
Studio9:05


Cheers to Fall!

Cheers to Fall!

Yesterday Billy and I spent 12 hours running paper routes in Charlotte and by late afternoon when we finally finished we stopped by Mellow Mushroom on Selwyn Ave to see our good friend (and Mellow’s kitchen manager) Dave. To our delight, our good-spirited friend was not working, but rather enjoying the North Carolina’s 84 degree early fall weather on Mellow’s patio fronting busy Selwyn Ave. We joined him for a well-deserved beer.

I chose to go with one of my all-time favorites: the Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale. They currently have it on draft and garnish the glass with an amazing mixture of rock candy sugar crystals, cinnamon and nutmeg. I had already licked off my garnish in the picture below 😉

It’s brewed by the Carolina Beer Company, located about 30 minutes north of Charlotte in Mooresville, NC. I’ve been a long-time fan of many of the beers in Carolina Beer’s portfolio including Carolina Blonde and Carolina Pale Ale (often known as CPA), but for my money their Cottonwood line of ales and seasonals is where the magic happens.

Although I’m generally not into the fruity flavored beers, I continually make an effortless exception for Cottonwood Pumpkin. The flavor profile is full and spicy and not nearly as sweet as you might expect.

But don’t take my word for it, check out reviews on BeerAdvocate.com (Scored a B+) or this review excerpt from The Beer Fathers:

“For the smell we pull some great aromas – light caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, ginger, maple syrup, nutmeg and some other fanciful spices. There’s no real pumpkin that pops out in the smell – it’s just all spices that dominate the nose. Just a wonderful aroma.

For our initial flavor notes we get a light sweet and a light tart that ramps up to a light to moderate sweet and light to moderate tart in the finish. The tastes come in with brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, ginger, maple syrup, nutmeg, pumpkin and some more spices. Though the pumpkin wasn’t prominent in the nose it’s definitely there in the taste, but it’s not overdone like so many of the other pumpkin beers we’ve had.

[…]

With the Cottonwood, it’s another case of a beer really hitting the season it’s made for – it’s truly a great fall/winter seasonal beer. Thought it’s not a great session beer (the spices could be a bit much to do multiples of in a sitting), it’s a tremendous first beer. It’s extremely pleasant and a lot of fun to drink. The spices make the beer, they’re not just innocent bystanders like so many other pumpkin beers. If you’re in an area where you can get Cottonwood beer and it happens to be fall, the Pumpkin Spice Ale is definitely worth a 6 pack or two.”

For more detailed info on this brew’s aroma, flavor profile, and finish, check out the review by The Beer Fathers.

Cheers to fall!

Let’s get up to no good,

Studio9:05

Tipsy Tuesday: The French 75

Tipsy Tuesday: The French 75

Ahh cocktail love–this week’s cocktail post comes from the ladies of my FAV-O-RITE blog, Fabulous On A Budget! These ladies really know how to get up to no good! Enjoy!

One of our favorite Fabulous cocktails is the French 75. Today, we will show you how we make it. Our recommendation is to enjoy this at the beginning of the night, as it is definitely not the best nightcap. Take it from two girls who have learned the hard way.

You will need:
-Gin
-Champagne
-Lemon
-Sugar (Simple Syrup)

First up, fill a martini shaker with ice cubes.

Then, add two ounces of the gin of your choice

Next up, add five ounces of Brut champagne. Leah and I always get the cheapy stuff when we’re mixing.

After that, combine one ounce super fine sugar or simple syrup. (*Here’s how to make your own simple syrup*) We eyeballed it and added about a cap full to our mix.

And the final ingredient, a half ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Then, give it a good ‘ole shake!

Then simply, bask in the sweet reward of your hard work. Fabulous!

Reblogged from Fabulous On A Budget: Tipsy Tuesday: The French 75.

Let’s get up to no good,

Studio9:05