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Mr. Muddle

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bitters

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks


Lundehund Sour

1 1/2 oz Aquavit [Krogstad]
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Limoncello [Fabrizia]
Few dashes Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters

Shake ingredients with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with grapefruit twist


This winter, Mrs. Muddle and I were lucky enough to sit at the bar at the Walker Inn for their cocktail omakase style service.  Now, I’m plenty familiar with ordering off menu or surrendering my drink choice to the whims of the bartender, it’s a great way to get a more personalized experience.  But imagine doing that for a whole set of cocktails, all connected by a common theme, where each one is carefully crafted to highlight particular flavors.  That’s what the omakase service at the Walker is all about.  On our visit, the theme for the night was winter citrus. Continue reading “Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks”

Location Location Location


The Great Room

3/4 oz White Rum [Smoky Quartz Distillery]
3/4 oz Bourbon [Woodford Reserve]
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lime Juice
Few Dashes Angostura bitters

Shake with ice, strain into an ice filled rocks glass.  Garnish with lime twist.


Two weekends ago I was at my friend’s house in New Hampshire.  These are always enjoyable trips, with lots of friends and friends of friends hanging out in an idyllic setting. On the way up we stopped at a NH state liquor store.  For those that don’t know, NH has these state run liquor stores that are the size of grocery stores.  since this is the “Live Free or Die” state, there are no taxes on anything which means some pretty good prices.  I walked out with a bottle of white rum from Smoky Quartz Distillery. Continue reading “Location Location Location”

Things Got Weird


Over Under Sideways Down

2 oz Blanco Tequils [Lunazul]
1 oz Green Chartreuse
Few Dashes Black Cloud Garden Party Bitters (celery bitters would work too)

Combine ingredients in glass, stir with ice.  Strain into an ice filled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lime twist (or lemon in this case, since I didn’t have any lime).


The nice thing about making drinks at home is you can do whatever the hell you want.  It’s not like you have an unhappy customer on your hands if it doesn’t work out.  You only have yourself to blame.  And really, that just means you get to tweak things in the next drink.  It’s a liberating feeling, and it’s one of my favorite parts of home cocktailing.  Throw stuff at the wall (or in the glass, as it were) and see what sticks.

Continue reading “Things Got Weird”

Inspiration in a Glass (or Store, or Bottle)


Robber Baron

1 oz Rye Whiskey [Rittenhouse]
1 oz American Single Malt Whiskey [Ryan and Wood]
1/4-1/2 oz Earl Gray Tea Syrup*
Few dashes DRAM Palo Santo bitters
Scant barspoon each of Ardbeg 10 (or other smoky scotch) and Absinthe

Rinse rocks glass with absinthe and scotch, set aside.  Combine everything else in a glass and stir with ice.  Strain into rinsed rocks glass, express oils from a lemon twist and discard.

* Earl Grey Tea Syrup – steep three Earl Grey Tea bags in 3/4 cup near boiling water for 5-10 mins. Remove tea bags, add 3/4 cup sugar and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and store in the fridge. A splash of vodka will extend the shelf life.


This past Tuesday was Mardi Gras, and I saw lots of people posting about Sazeracs (rightfully so).  It’s a wonderfully simple drink with a ton of flavor.  Booze, sugar, bitters. Doesn’t get much more spartan than that.  However, even in this constrained formula, there is room for variation.  Take a look at the original, for example.  Even then one could use cognac or rye whiskey.  Some have taken things a step further and done a split base approach with both spirits.  This week I’m going in the same direction, but with my own spin.

Continue reading “Inspiration in a Glass (or Store, or Bottle)”

Better Know a Classic: Pegu Club


Pegu Club

2 oz Gin [Bully Boy]
3/4 oz Grand Marnier (Cointreau works too)
4 lime wedges (~1/2-3/4 oz lime juice)
Few dashes Angostura Bitters

Put lime wedges, Grand Marnier and bitters in a mixing glass.  Muddle to combine.  Add gin and ice.  Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lime twist.

Recipe taken from The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff


One of the main reasons I started this blog was to inspire people to make cocktails at home.  To some, it can be a daunting task.  All those recipes and bottles can be overwhelming, then you just end up reaching for a beer.  So I’m always trying to think of ways to help ease people in the door.  For the next few weeks, I’ll be talking about how you can make a surprising number of drinks with two base spirits and four other bottles (plus some bitters and juices).  You’d be surprised how many classics and originals you can make with just bourbon, gin, orange liqueur, maraschino liqueur, Aperol, and sweet and dry vermouth (since it’s my blog and I make the rules, I’m counting the vermouths as one bottle).  Those six bottles should run you a grand total of about $100, depending on which brands you buy.  Not bad for a starter kit. Continue reading “Better Know a Classic: Pegu Club”

Coffee Toffee Goodness


House Money

2 oz Dark or Aged Rum* [Plantation]
3/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Orgeat [Fee Bros]
More than a few healthy dashes Coffee-Pecan Bitters (I imagine chocolate bitters would work here too)

Stir ingredients with ice, strain into an ice filled rocks glass

*  The original incarnation used Plantation Original Dark, and was tasty in its own right. Recently I picked up a bottle of their 5 year Aged Rum, and it made itself right at home in this glass. Feel free to use either kind


As I mentioned for the Thoroughly Polite Dustup, I took my first stab at homemade bitters this fall.  I used my apple bitters for that drink.  The other was batch I made was coffee-pecan (shoutout to Brad Thomas Parsons and his Bitters book for the recipes), and I couldn’t wait to get those in a cocktail.  Luckily just after they were glass-ready, my sister and her significant other came to visit.  Being mid-October, we got our fire pit ablaze and needed some drinks complete the fall setting.

Continue reading “Coffee Toffee Goodness”

When Life Gives You Limoncello…


120 Down the Deegan

1 1/2 oz Gin [Boodles]
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth [Dolin]
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth [Dolin]
1/2 oz Blood Orange Limoncello [Fabrizia]
Few dashes Orange Bitters [Regan’s]

Combine ingredients with ice, stir, strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon twist.


I have a few exciting things to announce.  First is a partnership with Muddle & Stir.  They sell everything you need for your bar except the booze.  Bitters, syrups, tools, etc, they’ve got you covered with an amazing selection.  Plus, all you guys get 10% if you use promo code MR10MUDDLE.  You can also clink the link on the side bar.  They carry a wide variety of accouterments you likely haven’t seen before, and will certainly get your creative juices flowing.

Second, about a month ago I received some limoncello from Fabrizia spirits.  It’s not something I normally keep stocked, so I was excited for the opportunity to experiment with limoncello in cocktails.  Even better, in addition to the traditional offering, I also got a blood orange liqueur and cream version.  The blood orange was especially intriguing, and immediately my wheels started turning. Continue reading “When Life Gives You Limoncello…”

Winter Citrus is the Best Citrus


Mexican Sleepover

3/4 oz Mezcal [Del Maguey Vida]
3/4 oz Drambuie
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz Grapefruite Juice
Few dashes Hopped Grapefruit Bitters [Bittermens]

Combine ingredients in a shaker, shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with grapefruit twist.


It’s winter, which means citrus season.  And while lemons and limes are essentially year round items for us, we definitely go all in on oranges and grapefruits during the colder months.  I love grapefruits on their own.  In fact, I’ll often just peel and eat them just like an orange (a move I learned from my dad) instead of the more traditional cut-in-half-eat-with-spoon method. So obviously I’ll take full advantage and throw them in some cocktails. Continue reading “Winter Citrus is the Best Citrus”

Latkes and Libations


Gimel-let

2 oz vodka
1/2 Dry Vermouth
1/4 oz Calvados
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
Few dashes Orange Bitters

Combine ingredients in a glass with ice, shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon peel Star of David.


We’re looking down the barrel of the holiday season, so why not keep things festive.  This week I wanted try and come up with a drink to celebrate Hanukkah.  One option was to pull inspiration from the menorah and candles, but Homer already made the best cocktail to incorporate fire.  Instead, I turned to the dinner table, where you will always find a plate of crispy latkes. Continue reading “Latkes and Libations”

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