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Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in infused | 0 comments

cinnarum cider

cinnarum cider

Autumn is when we start to crave apple and cinnamon more than other times of the year. Infusing apple cider with mulling spices (e.g., cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg) gives it that fall feel that we relish when the weather gets cooler. To make mulled cider, you can either purchase a mulling spice mix (available in most supermarkets and at Penzey’s Spices – my personal preference) or make your own using one of the many recipes available online. You also can use mulling spices in wine to create a cocktail similar to that Christmas classic called wassail. This cinnarum cider is a particularly perfect party cocktail, so ratios are provided to make it easy to mix up any size pitcher. This is a cold cocktail, but if you prefer to serve something warm in a cup, omit the ginger ale and make up the difference with more mulled cider – or more rum! cinnarum cider 1 part dark rum 2-3 parts cold mulled apple cider 2-3 parts cold ginger ale cinnamon sticks...

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Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in muddled | 0 comments

rosemary – st. germain slinger

rosemary – st. germain slinger

When I visited Copenhagen, Denmark, I fell in love with the flavor of elderflower (my first taste was in Ricola cough drops, and I was hooked). When I realized there was an elderflower liqueur, I knew I had to buy some and start experimenting. I quickly found that it’s great with gin and lemon (together or separately), but I knew it could be even better with a little touch of brightness from a fresh muddled herb. The savory evergreen aroma of rosemary makes it a great winter cocktail ingredient, and a great companion for the beautifully sweet and floral flavor of St. Germain. Because St. Germain is very sweet, the acidic tartness of the fresh lemon juice, as well as the briskness of the gin, both keep this beverage refreshingly balanced. two sprigs rosemary juice from 1/2 a lemon one shot St. Germain two shots of gin one can lemon-lime soda Since it’s easier to juice a half rather than a quarter of a lemon, you might as well make two cocktails....

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Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in infused | 0 comments

winter sangria

winter sangria

Sangria is a classic cocktail that sometimes gets a bad rap. If you order it in a restaurant, you never know what you’ll get – and it’s often disappointing. Some end up being too fruity and sweet, while others just taste like wine with a few pieces of fruit in it. A really good sangria has depth and complexity that belies its seemingly simple recipe. My sangria starts with a medium-bodied pinot noir. Its berry-like aromatic properties make it a great foundation for a fruit-studded cocktail. Next, it gets a tangy citrus infusion from fresh oranges and triple sec. Apples provide a nice crunch and add to the flavor (as long as they are flavorful themselves). Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown in the south of Spain, and it adds depth to this sangria. My favorite red wine infusions always involve cinnamon, to give a little kick and additional complexity. This prevents it from tasting like overly-sweet fruit juice or, even worse, like not much of anything. winter sangria 1...

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Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in infused | 0 comments

calimocho con canela

calimocho con canela

  The classic calimocho – cheap, red wine and Coke – originated in the Basque region of Spain, where it is popular among young drinkers because of its simplicity and low cost. My semester in Pamplona (which sits just outside of the Basque region) while I was in college afforded me plenty of opportunities to familiarize myself with cheap Spanish red wine, and this concoction definitely makes it more appealing. But could it be elevated to a party-worth cocktail you’d serve your friends? Almost no calimocho recipe will specify the type of red wine, except in a few instances, where it may say “the cheaper the better.” It makes sense that you would not want to use that $70 bottle of fine wine for an application like this. That is not how I would elevate a cocktail whose popularity is a direct result of its low cost and humble contents, and whose primary purpose is to get young Spaniards drunk. But could we give it a little more complexity and sophistication?...

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Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in infused | 0 comments

hibiscus gin cooler

hibiscus gin cooler

  Beautiful crimson-colored dried hibiscus petals are used in many countries around the world to create a refreshing beverage that’s full of vitamin C. I first encountered agua de Jamaica, the Spanish name for hibiscus-infused water, in Nicaragua, where it was served cold and slightly sweetened. The tart, almost cranberry-like flavor of this infusion, coupled with its attractive deep color, make it a great foundation for a cocktail. The flavor of hibiscus-infused water is delicate, so I’ve paired it with ingredients that help highlight rather than mask its aromatic qualities. This light, refreshing beverage is a beautiful and unique cocktail that’s perfect for entertaining during the holidays or any time of year. The quantities provided are easily multiplied for whatever sized pitcher you want to mix up! There’s another infusion in this recipe: bitters. Contrary to their name, bitters are typically not bitter. It’s simply a general term used for the many varieties of alcohol infused with various aromatic botanicals – herbs, spices, and/or other ingredients. The original bitters concoctions were marketed as cure-alls – and...

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