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Mr. Muddle

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aperol

Low ABV Staples


Cherrycano

1 1/2 oz Aperol
1 1/2 Sweet Vermouth [Noilly Prat]
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur [Luxardo]

Combine in a glass, stir with ice.  Strain into an ice filled rocks glass.  Top with club soda and an orange twist.


This week is the second installment of my Bar Starter Kit series.  Last week we tackled Gin and orange liqueur with the Pegu Club.  Today, we’re taking a lower alcohol approach as we reach for Aperol, Sweet Vermouth and Maraschino Liqueur.  The first two are bonafied workhorses in the bar, working well with a wide range of spirits.  Maraschino liqueur is a good one because it lends a very distinctive flavor to cocktails, something a little different than other fruit based liqueurs. Continue reading “Low ABV Staples”

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A Year in Drinks

2016 is officially behind us, so let’s take a peak in the rear view mirror and hand out some some awards (the Muddlees?  Still working on that one).  On to the winners.

Top Three Most Viewed Posts
#3 – It’s Pronounced Yah-grr (featuring the Jagroni) – Negroni variation with Becherovka
#2 – Build a Better Bar Part 1: Poppin’ Bottles (featuring the Training Wheels) – A great intro to Aperol

And the most viewed post is…
#1The Ol’ Switcheroo (featuring the Half Windsor Knot) – This one actually makes me Continue reading “A Year in Drinks”

Thanksgiving Thirst Quencher


Cornucopia Spritz

1 1/2 oz Aperol
1 oz Dry Vermouth <Dolin>
1/2 oz Cranberry Liqueur * <Grand Ten Craneberry>
4 oz Dry Hard Cider <Bantam Wunderkind>

Combine the first three ingredients in a glass, stir with ice.  Stain into an empty stemmed glass, top with 4 oz hard cider.  Garnish by floating about 5 fresh cranberries in the glass.


Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday.  It knows what it’s about.  Food, drinks, football and family.  No crazy decorations.  No mile long gift lists.  Just good old fashioned gluttony.  Wine is usually the drink of choice on most holiday tables, but I’m here to preach another angle.  Hard Cider. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Thirst Quencher”

A Scotsman Walks into a Tiki Bar…


Sticky Kilt

1 1/2 oz White Rum <Lawley’s Light New England Spirti>
1/2 oz Drambuie
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Combine in a shaker and shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass


When I was younger we spent some holidays at my aunt and uncle’s house.  They lived in a split level, so the family room was on the lower level.  That’s where the tv was, so I spent plenty of hours down there.  Three things are imprinted on my brain from all that time.  1) My uncle had 6 or 7 cacti near the sliding glass door to the backyard.  One was the size of a basketball 2) The walls were this weird grayish textured wood paneling. 3) There was a trap door in a section of those panels that opened up and turned into a shelf suspended by chains.  Behind it was a compartment that contained a bunch of bottles, basically a semi-hidden bar (even though I didn’t see many drinks made there).  The only bottle I remember from their bar was Drambuie.  I have no idea why.

Continue reading “A Scotsman Walks into a Tiki Bar…”

Straddling the Line


Flying Pig

3/4 oz Genever <Bols>
3/4 oz Becherovka
3/4 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Blood Orange juice
1/4 oz Bourbon <Woodford Reserve>

Shake with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass


Genever is an interesting beast. It lives somewhere between gin and whiskey.  Gin is simply a distilled neutral grain spirit infused with some botanicals; genever is partly that same spirit, but also blended with a maltier spirit made from the same grains to give it a sweeter edge.  Serious Eats goes into a bit more detail, but you get the idea.  Genever is also the proto-gin, as the Dutch were making the stuff and throwing some of the classic gin botanicals (juniper, coriander, etc) into it to take the edge off.  Eventually it made its way to England and the malty base was eliminated, and you get the more familiar London Dry Gin.

Continue reading “Straddling the Line”

Mixology Monday CVI: Citrus in Other Places


Bike Chariot

2 oz Blanco Tequila <Lunazul>
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Lime Juice
Few dashes Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters
4 oz Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin (any citrusy IPA will do)

Combine and shake everything but the IPA with ice, strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with 4 oz Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with lime wedge or twist.


 

mxmologo

This month’s Mixology Monday goes in the opposite direction of the previous one.  Last time, we devised drinks to help brave the depths of winter.  This go-round, we’re looking toward the future to warmer climes with the theme of Spring Break.  Joe DiPippa of the Southern Ash blog describes it thusly:

Welcome to the 106th installment of Mixology Monday, the online monthly cocktail party! After the winds of winter blew through in January and we steeled ourselves against the cold in MxMO CV, February is bringing the end of (meteorological) winter! As we look past the frost in the air for the arrival of spring, I wanted to challenge you with the theme of Spring Break!
Aside from looking at the calendar and counting down the days to the return of warmer weather, the countdown is also on to Spring Break.  The best part of Spring Break is that it means so many things to so many different people, so I have some high expectations this month.  Yes, tiki-heads, I am looking at you.
I want all of you to dig deep, steeled by last month’s MxMO, and find your spring break drink! What sort of drinks do you enjoy when you start to break out of your winter shell? Do you crave a return to gin and tonics? Is there a drink that calls to you as the weather warms and the sun creeps through the sky longer and longer?  Perhaps there is a drink that you fondly recall from your days of being a callow youth on Spring Break that led you down this primrose cocktail path? Do you turn to a specific cocktail throughout this blustery winter to keep your dreams of spring alive? Do you crave a new cocktail taking you away? This is the month to to share those warm weather finds!

Continue reading “Mixology Monday CVI: Citrus in Other Places”

The Flavor is Strong with this One


Good Shot Red Two

1 1/2 oz Bourbon <Woodford Reserve>
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz lemon juice
Few dashes Woodford Reserve Barrel aged Cherry Bitters

Shake with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.
*R2-D2 jersey not included


 
There are some movie quotes that just stick with you through the years.  The best ones aren’t from a particularly important part of the movie, they may not advance the plot in anyway, and you and your friends won’t repeat them ad nauseum.  Instead, it’s those simple little throwaway lines that for whatever reason set up shop in a cozy part of your mind, popping up now and again.  I’ll often call on these when thinking of drink names.  
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens still setting box office records, as well as Star Wars being the theme for my Ultimate league this season, it seems like a great time to share my only drink with Star Wars related name (kind of surprising it’s the only one, actually, and I may have to change that).  

Continue reading “The Flavor is Strong with this One”

Build a Better Bar Part 1: Poppin’ Bottles


Training Wheels

1 1/2 oz bourbon <Woodford Reserve>
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz lemon juice

Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass


 

I’m gonna drop some serious knowledge right here.  The drinks you make are only as interesting as the bottles in your bar.  Admittedly, this is not rocket science, but figuring out what bottles to stock can be a daunting endeavor.  Think of it like cooking.

Continue reading “Build a Better Bar Part 1: Poppin’ Bottles”

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