Category Archives: BITTERS & TINCTURES

Hold Fast The Summer

August is cooling down here in Western New York and although it’s not quite autumn yet, the fall flavors are already in full effect.

I love fall. It’s my favorite season. I love the cool temperatures and long sleeves, the pumpkin flavor and falling leaves — all of it! And I didn’t even mean to make a rhyme there!

Still, despite the fact that I love the fall, it’s hard to let the summer slip away so easily — especially when we’re still in the month of August.

And for that reason there’s this “Hold Fast The Summer.”

  
Hold Fast The Summer is a transitional drink, one part warm-weather nostalgia and one part acceptance of the changing seasons.

The recipe is easy — just Plantation’s pineapple rum, DeGroff’s pimento bitters and apple cider:

Ingredients
1 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum
1 oz apple cider
1 dash DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters

Preparation
Stir equal parts Stiggins’ Fancy and apple cider over ice with DeGroff’s pimento bitters then strain and shoot — or double the recipe and enjoy over ice. Adjust the cider accordingly to suit your tastes and prepare mentally for the colder weather coming in the months ahead.

  

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Filed under BITTERS & TINCTURES, BITTERS BRANDS, BRANDS, COCKTAIL RECIPES, RUM

Sunset Rubdown

The Sunset Rubdown:

  
About This Cocktail

A Campari drink with rum and citrus:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Campari
  • 1/2 oz cognac
  • 1/2 oz coconut rum
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup

Preparation

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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Filed under AMARO, BITTERS & TINCTURES, BRANDS, COCKTAIL RECIPES, ORIGINAL COCKTAIL RECIPE

Pics From Negroni Week

The sun was shining so brightly today that I took my Negroni outside:

  

And:

And:  

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Filed under AMARO, BITTERS & TINCTURES, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, LIQUEURS, LIQUOR, PHOTO POST, Uncategorized, WESTFIELD

Any Reason For A Sazerac Is Reason Enough For Me

Today is Katharine Hepburn’s birthday.

She was born May 12, 1907.

In celebration of her birthday, I say we should all have a Sazerac.

It’s the second time in a week that I’ve recommended this cocktail. And I’m sure I’ll find a dozen more reasons to do so again as time goes on, but today is about Katharine Hepburn.

I don’t know if she has a cocktail named after her at all, but she did drink a Sazerac or two in the film State of the Union, which was made in 1948.

 

The film stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as political campaigners, and at one point, a Southern guest of Hepburn’s character introduces her to the Sazerac cocktail.

The website The Hooch Life drscribes the scenario as follows:

In the classic political comedy, State of the Union, Katharine Hepburn’s character passes out after two of these cocktails while her drinking companion shouts, “Honey, make me another Sazerac!”

This official cocktail of New Orleans is as boozy as you’d expect, and, if it’s cool enough for Katharine, it’s more than cool enough for me.

Read the full list of 10 classic cocktails and who drank them in this 2011 piece on The Hooch Life.

INGREDIENTS

  • Sugar (or simple syrup)
  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Absinthe rinse

PREPARATION

Chill a rocks glass. Give it an absinthe rinse, using only a small amount of absinthe (or Herbsaint)band then discard the excess liquid.

Stir all the ingredients except the absinthe over ice and strain into the absinthe-rinsed glass.

Rub a lemon peel around the rim of the glass and discard. The drink does not get a garnish.

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, BITTERS & TINCTURES, BITTERS BRANDS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL HISTORY, COCKTAIL RECIPES, OLD HOLLYWOOD, RYE WHISKEY, WHISKEY

Rochester Cocktail Revival

It was a whirlwind weekend for my wife and I, with the Rochester Cocktail Revival being the focus of my Saturday and Sunday.

The Rochester Cocktail Revival started mid-week, but I wasn’t able to make it to the city until early Saturday morning.

The first event I attended was Robert Simonson’s seminar on the Old Fashioned cocktail. A lot of the hour spent at Good Luck restaurant for the event was Simonson giving an overview of his book about the drink, with all of us mixing our own Old Fadhioned as he spoke.

It was a great way to start my Saturday. Simonson was funny and informative. Dale DeGroff was in attendance. I drank the most delicious Old Fashioned I’ve ever had and I made it myself, for the most part. All the ingredients were laid out for us when we arrived and we just simply had to assemble the drink. I even waited around after the seminar and hassled Simonson for a photo, which he was nice enough to pose for and some fellow RCR-goers took for me.

The full roster of the festival’s events is still online here. Check out what you missed. And a pic from the Old Fashioned seminar is included in the collage below:

  
After the Old Fashioned session at Good Luck (and my wife’s visit to the Memorial Art Gallery), we headed over to Abode where RCR swag was being sold and the Queen City Shaken & Stirred “pop-up shop” was located.

Abode was by far one of our favorite places of the trip. I bought bitters and browsed the cocktail books by writers who were speaking at the festival. And we bought a vintage piece of artwork they were selling at the shop. Plus it was by far some of the best customer service we got all weekend. The women working at the shop were helpful and pleasant and the shop just generally had a fun and lighthearted sort of energy. 

Afterward we went to the Lilac Festival and then later had drinks at Cheshire — the French 75, Black Walnut Toronto and Cosmopolitan’s Delight.

We spent a short few minutes at Good Luck, but the place was bustling and had a more intense energy level than we were looking for on our Saturday night. I had a shot of Fernet-Branca and a free shot of Mister Katz’s Rock & Rye, which was the brand sponsor of the night.

On Sunday I attended “The Art Atop The Tipple” seminar at Pour Coffee Parlor while my wife was at the George Eastman House. 

  
All weekend long my family kept asking me: “An hour-and-a-half long seminar on garnishes!?”

Yes, an hour-and-a-half long seminar on garnishes.

During the event I tasted champagne which the bartenders running the seminar had turned into a solid, gelatinous form resembling the size and shape of caviar.

It was an interesting event that was definitely worth attending, and the four speakers talked about traditional garnishes, artsy flourishes, molecular mixology, herbs, plants, growing seasons, simple syrup, shrubs and more. There was even an ISI Whip demonstration.

Afterward, my wife and I ate brunch on Park Ave. and then went to the “Farm To Shaker” tasting event at Black Button Distillery.

  

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Filed under 2015, BARS, BITTERS & TINCTURES, BITTERS BRANDS, BOUTIQUE SHOPS, BRANDS, DISTILLERIES, ROCHESTER, ROCHESTER BARS, ROCHESTER SHOPS

The Birth Of New Orleans

I love New Orleans.

I first went to the city as a freshman in college and I’ve since been back twice, but all those trips were before I was a bartender — and long before I had an interest in classic cocktails and modern mixology.

Today marks the founding of the city of New Orleans.

New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.

Many of the cocktails we associate with the city came some time later, but any reason to celebrate is reason enough!

SAZERAC

The Sazerac is sometimes referred to as the oldest known American cocktail, with origins in pre–Civil War New Orleans, though there are much earlier published instances of the word cocktail.

 

Before rye whiskey, the drink was made with cognac. When absinthe wasn’t allowed, a liquid called Herbsaint was used for the absinthe rinse.

Some recipes call for equal parts cognac and rye whiskey with whatever rinse is available, a blending of the original recipe and how it’s now come to be made.

INGREDIENTS

  • Sugar (or simple syrup)
  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Absinthe rinse

PREPARATION

Chill a rocks glass. Give it an absinthe rinse, using only a few drops of absinthe!

Stir the following and strain into the absinthe-rinsed glass: 2 oz rye whiskey, .25 oz of simple syrup and 2 or more dashes of Peychaud’s bitters.

Rub a lemon peel around the rim of the glass and discard. The drink does not get a garnish.

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Filed under ABSINTHE, ANNIVERSARIES, BITTERS & TINCTURES, BITTERS BRANDS, BRANDS, COCKTAIL HISTORY, COCKTAIL RECIPES, RYE WHISKEY, SIMPLE SYRUP

New To Me: Gran Classico

This was my main purchase from yesterday’s stop at Bag & String:

  

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Filed under AMARO, BITTERS & TINCTURES, BITTERS BRANDS, BOUTIQUE SHOPS, BRANDS, NEW TO ME