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What I’m Drinking Now: Blueberry Tequila Fizz

Posted by Reese On April - 21 - 2014

The family wanted an interesting cocktail for Easter so I used my cocktail super powers* and sprang into action.  I wanted tequila as the base, but wanted the cocktail be fresh, fruity and light.  I opted for blueberry juice and found meyer lemons at the market which added a nice touch of sourness and added complexity.  With a touch of soda water, the Blueberry Tequila Fizz was born.

Blueberry Tequila Fizz

Blueberry Tequila Fizz
2 oz Blanco Tequila
2 oz Blueberry Juice
1/2 oz Meyer Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1) Combine, add ice and top with soda water

Note: The blueberry juice we used was pure blueberry juice, but blueberry juice cocktail works pretty good too.

* Super powers may be exagerated

What I’m Drinking Now: Meyer Lemon Southside

Posted by Reese On January - 6 - 2014

We were hanging out on Sunday enjoying the snow and I got to thinking about how long it had been since I put on my cocktail thinking cap and started pondering what I’d like to mix up.  I had meyer lemons left over from a recipe we made on New Year’s Eve and I wanted to mix up a cocktail that would play off their complex and subtly sweet flavors.  I was originally thinking whiskey as the base, but decided it would be too strong.  Then I landed on gin and shortly there-after realized there was already a classic cocktail, the Southside, based on gin, lemon and mint.  Thinking time is over…mixing time begins.

Meyer Lemon Southside

The recipe for the Southside that I found in The Joy of Mixology called for muddling the mint, sugar and lemon.  I didn’t want the mint to be the star so I opted for a different tact.  Toss all the ingredients in a shaker, give it a few solid shakes, but don’t shake the hell out of it, strain and enjoy.

Meyer Lemon Southside
2 oz Gin (go with a light option)
1 oz Meyer Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
5-6 Mint Leaves
1) Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice
2) Shake firmly 10-12 times
3) Strain into a cocktail glass

Very tasty and really great to be mixing up cocktails again. Let’s do more of this, shall we.

What I’m Drinking Now: Where the Buffalo Roam

Posted by Reese On April - 7 - 2013

Tonight’s cocktail comes to us from Vesta Dipping Grilling in Denver, CO.  Elisabeth found the recipe in their email newsletter and we decided to give it a go.  Very, very good call.  The drink strikes a great balance between sweet and sour with the flavor of the sage giving a really cool earthy quality to the cocktail.  The bitters add complexity without getting in the way of the core flavors and the applejack adds just a touch of apple essence.  Overall it’s a very refreshing cocktail for the coming summer.  A word of warning, they can go down quite quickly if you’re not careful.

Where the Buffalo Roam

Where the Buffalo Roam
1 1/2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Applejack
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2-3 oz Ginger Beer
Peychauds Bitters
4-5 leaves of Fresh Sage
1) Muddle the sage leaves and bitters
2) Add the spirits and juice
3) Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass with ice
4) Top with Ginger Beer
5) Garnish with sage leaves
*Note: We opted to muddle directly in our highball glass, add the spirits, juice and ice, stir well and top with ginger beer.  The result was very tasty and a bit simpler.

What I’m Drinking Now: Maple Mule

Posted by Reese On February - 5 - 2013

Shortly after I posted a tweet two weeks ago about having won the Crown Maple shot competition, one of my best friends sent me a text with a picture of what he was drinking that night. More than apropos, it was a Crown Maple based Moscow Mule.  A Maple Mule, if you will.

Maple Mule

The drink sounded great, so tonight I whipped up my own version and I’m loving it.

Maple Mule
1 1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Crown Royal Maple Finished
1/2 Lime
Ginger Beer
1) Combine vodka and Crown Maple in a glass with ice
2) Squeeze in the half lime and drop in
3) Top with ginger beer

The maple aroma and flavor are light and subtle and play really well with the lime and ginger flavors. The drink isn’t overly sweet and goes down very easily.  The copper mug is optional but awesome if you can pull it off.

A very deep hat tip to Conrey for bringing this drink to my attention and for the great picture.

Crown Royal Maple Finished

Posted by Reese On January - 30 - 2013

Elisabeth and I need guitar lessons, stat!

New Gibson Guitar

But, more on that later…

Crown Royal is the classic Canadian whisky.  Think about it.  There are others, but I dare you to name three.  Okay, thought experiment over.  I’ve always viewed Crown Royal with a slight air of mystery.  You see, as a kid, my grandfather always had the draw-string bags filled will all sort of odds and ends.  I don’t recall him drinking it often, but I knew by the way he kept those bags that it was something special.  Crown also holds a bit of special spot for me.  It reminds me of fishing trips to Canada with my dad.  Then, for my 30th birthday my cousins gave me a bottle of Crown Royal Special Reserve, which holds a place of honor on my top shelf and gets consumed, one small dram at a time.  This trip down memory lane does have a meaning and I appreciate you sticking with me.

When I got word that Crown Royal was bringing a whisky out to compete in the flavored whiskey market, I was a bit concerned.  Don’t get me wrong, I like flavored whiskies, but in some cases they’re a bit gimmicky.  The whiskey flavor dialed down to allow for a strong punch of flavoring.  My first sniffs of Crown Royal Maple Finished had me a bit concerned they’d gone down that path, but I really shouldn’t have been.  The aroma is of pure clean maple, much like you’re sniffing good maple syrup, but the flavor isn’t nearly as sweet as you’d expect.  Rather it’s a solid base of whisky flavor with a natural maple notes layered on top.  Better yet, the sweetness isn’t syrupy or cloying.  It’s subtle and mellow.  This is a flavored whiskey that’s absolutely meant to be mixed into cocktails.

There are two quotes from Steve Beal (Crown Royal Master of Whisky) that I think really sum up this spirit succinctly.  “Started as whisky…still is.” and “Not a whisky liqueur.”  The key point of this spirit is that it truly is a flavored whisky that remains true to it’s whisky roots.  Bottled at a solid 80 proof (40% ABV) Crown Maple stands with its whisky brothers a step above liqueurs at lower proof.

Which brings us back to the guitar.  Elisabeth and I went to a Crown Maple event last Tuesday at the Double Daughter’s Salotto.  When we entered we were served a couple of tasty cocktails (recipes at the bottom), but the real fun came when they announced the shot recipe contest.  The idea was simple, come up with an original shot recipe based on Crown Maple and enter for the chance to win a not yet released Gibson maple wood guitar.  Elisabeth and I had done some playing around the night before and entered two recipes we thought were solid and sat back, never expecting to win a thing.

Crown Maple Shot Making Contest Crown Maple 5.1 Steve Beal

Suffice to say, when Steve Beal announced the shot I entered, the Eh, Eh? as the winner, I was beyond floored.  You may note I appear a bit distant in the picture at the top of this post.  So, on to the recipes.


Shots
 
Eh, Eh?

1 oz Crown Royal Maple
1/4 oz Chocolate Liqueur
1/4 oz Orange Liqueur
1 Dash Barrel Aged Bitters
Canadian Smoke Jumper

1/2 oz Crown Royal Maple
1/2 oz Laphroaig Cask Strength
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
 



Cocktails
 
Maple Old Fashioned

1 1/4 oz Bulleit Rye
3/4 oz Crown Royal Maple
1 tsp Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Barrel Aged Bitters
Manitoba

1 1/2 oz Crown Royal Maple
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Top with Ginger Beer

 

Another place I see this spirit really shining is in cocktails to add light maple notes without being overpowering. In some cocktails you add just a splash of a spirit or even a wash to add flavor (think absinthe in a Sazerac). I think Crown Royal Maple could be great in this role.

PS – We decided the guitar needed a fittingly regal name, so we proudly introduce “Royal Pancake”. Thank you, Crown Royal for a great event and an amazing prize.


† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.