The Ghosts of Manhattan

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2014 by cocktailvultures

IMG_6815Ghosts of Manhattan

What to do with those interesting, un-oaked whiskeys hitting the market? They need taming if their flavors are to be enjoyed and not eliminated with an overabundance of sweet mixers. We took some Coppersea Raw Rye http://www.coppersea.com/blog/ and fashioned it into a dry, transparent Manhattan of sorts — cool and astringent, with an almost papery aftertaste. A couple of cocktail cherries won’t go amiss, as they add a touch of sweetness.

To an iced shaker, add:

2 ounces Coppersea Raw Rye
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
2 dashes lemon bitters

Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a few cocktail cherries.

Widow Jane’s “Older Fashioned”

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, Drink It Like a Man, Uncategorized, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2013 by cocktailvultures

older fashioned insta copy 2Widow Jane’s Older Fashioned

Today’s drinkers and distillers are changing their minds about rye, that very American booze formerly favored by older gentlemen with barroom tans and smelly sweaters. We recently sampled a great new rye with local provenance; Widow Jane Rye (http://widowjane.com/products/) is made with pure water from a limestone mine in nearby Rosendale, NY and distilled and aged in Brooklyn. An “Older Fashioned” seemed the best way to enjoy its smooth, dry flavor.  We call it an “Older” Fashioned due to the rich and robust flavor derived from the Cranberry and Plum compote which gives an elegant depth to the drink, as opposed to the candy counter sweetness of the standard maraschino cherries. This would be a great cocktail to hand around before or after the Big Holiday Dinner.  Cranberries aren’t just for turkey!

In a rocks glass:

Muddle an orange slice with a dash or two of Bitters (we used Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters)  and a heaping  teaspoon of Cranberry Plum Compote (instructions to follow).

Add 3 ounces Widow Jane Rye. Stir, stir, stir.

Add your desired number of ice cubes. Stir, stir, stir.

Top up with an ounce or so of club soda. Stir, stir, stir.

Test for temperature — it should be very cold — and add a swizzle stick. Another pristine piece of orange peel may be used as garnish.

 

Cranberry Plum Compote

To a saucepan, add:

2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup dried plums or other dried fruit
3/4 to 1 cup light brown sugar
Water to cover berries

Keep stirring over medium heat until the cranberries start popping their skins. Remove from heat and let stand to cool. Store in refrigerator up to 3-5 days.

Burn Witch Burn

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by cocktailvultures

Burn witch burn2 copyBurn, Witch, Burn

This drink is challenging. But so was being tied to a stake and set on fire. As a wise man (who loved witches) once said, you have to take the bitter with the sour.

We chose a smoky Scotch and the dark, metallic flavors of blackstrap molasses to bring back those old times in Salem. Of course, no homage to witchcraft would be complete without the herbal fragrance of Strega and a nod to the Green Fairy. Sip this one carefully.

To an iced shaker, add:

1 ounce Islay Scotch
1/2 ounce blackstrap molasses
1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce Strega

Shake vigorously to break up and incorporate that molasses. Strain into a cocktail glass and top with a few drops of absinthe — it should spread out on the surface of the drink and form a halo.

Always drink responsibly; always drink well.

Inspired by a few things, including last weeks episode of “American Horror Stories : Coven”.

…and the name comes from a classic horror film we just love:

The Haunted Orchard

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2013 by cocktailvultures

horchard copy 2Haunted Orchard

A flavorful cocktail that combines those seasonal elements — apples and cinnamon — and makes a perfect accompaniment to an evening of ghost stories and crackling logs.  Enjoy your stroll through the Haunted Orchard…

To an iced shaker, add:

2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce Fireball Whisky http://www.fireballwhisky.com
2 ounces apple cider
1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twisted strip of apple peel.

The Hudson Witch, a Strega based cocktail

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2013 by cocktailvultures

hudson witch workHudson Witch

Strega, that sweet, herbal liqueur from Italy, was an under-utilized ingredient until the Cocktail Vultures came along. We enjoy it not only for its witchy name and origins, but for the breath of spring meadows it lends to a drink, without the bitterness of other aperitifs and amaros. This is one of the first recipes the Cocktail Vultures concocted together, and so we gave it the name of the mighty river near our homes. It was a hit at a local charity event here in Poughkeepsie, and cast its spell over a hundred costumed revelers.

To an iced shaker, add:

2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce Strega
3/4 ounce lime juice
1-2 dashes bitters — we prefer aged, whisky-flavored varieties

Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with some maraschino cherries speared on a contorted twig from a spooky hollow, or just a nice plastic sword pic.

Apple Bobber

Posted in Booze News and Events, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2013 by cocktailvultures

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If you’ve been wondering how to work the delicious, fresh apple cider available this time of the year into your cocktail strategy, without serving up a cup of sticky sweetness more suitable for a children’s party, the Cocktail Vultures have figured it out for you. We’ve been toying with the bounty of our beautiful Hudson Valley for awhile now, using both refrigerated fresh cider from local markets, and the even-better liquid Autumn being squeezed in our very own cider press. Here’s the result of our (hic!) labor, and don’t be surprised when your happy guests start asking for another Babble Popper, or Papple Bopper, or…

To a shaker filled with ice, add:

1 ounce caramel vodka
1.5 ounces Amaretto
2.5 ounces of fresh apple cider
1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Now shake that vigorously for a good 20 seconds. The density of the fruit juice needs to break up in the drink and completely emulsify with the liquors. When shaking is complete, strain the result into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice cubes. Dust with cinnamon. Add a cocktail straw and a twist of lemon. Dapple Doppers to you, too!

Shipwrecked Salted Caramel Martini

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by cocktailvultures

shipwreckedSHIPWRECKED

Salted Caramel Martini

We just adore gilding the lily around here. Our Salted Caramel Martini was so popular, we thought we’d go back to the lab and see what else we could do with it. It’s still a simple pour with only two ingredients. However, after tasting Brinley Gold Shipwrecked Vanilla Rum (http://m.brinleygoldshipwreck.com/#!The%20Rum|gallery_page), we decided to swap it for the vanilla vodka — a wonderful way to enrich the flavors in what is definitely a dessert cocktail. We also kicked up the garnish a bit by rimming the glass with a mixture of brown sugar and Kosher salt — really delivers the sweet/salty we all want in a salted caramel.

To a shaker filled with ice, add:

1.5 ounces caramel vodka
(We recommend http://vangoghvodka.com/van-gogh-our-vodkas/dutch-caramel-flavored-vodka/)
.5 ounce vanilla rum

Prepare chilled glass by running a fresh piece of lemon peel around the rim; roll the rim in the brown sugar and salt mixture. Sprinkle the glass lightly with some chunky Kosher salt.

Shake vigorously. Strain into the prepared glass.

Always drink responsibly; always drink well.

Voodoo Volcano

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, Girl Drink Drunk, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2013 by cocktailvultures

voodoo copy 2VooDoo Volcano Bowl

The original Volcano Bowl was featured at Don the Beachcomber’s — we added a little VooDoo with some Deadhead Rum and a Zombie formulation for an easy pour.

To a large shaker, add:

3 ounces Deadhead rum
3 ounces gold rum
3 ounces silver rum
3 ounces pineapple juice
3 ounces grapefruit juice
3 ounces freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 ounce maple syrup
3 dashes orange bitters
3 dashes allspice dram
A hearty scoop of crushed ice

Shake vigorously and pour unstrained into a volcano bowl filled with ice cubes. Garnish as desired; we enjoy a few pineapple slices and maraschino cherries. Add 151 proof rum to the volcano reservoir and light carefully.

Serves two to four — time to get out the loooooong straws!

Always drink responsibly; always drink well.

Midnight Margarita

Posted in Booze News and Events, Girl Drink Drunk, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2013 by cocktailvultures

 

midnightMidnight Margarita

What is mixing a cocktail if it is not a ritual? And at that warm, mood-changing moment when you take your first sip, is it not a spell that has been cast over you?

“Practical Magic” (1998) was the first movie to show the characters bond as they toss worry to the winds and dance around the kitchen table; you’ll find it in several subsequent “chick flicks” but this one had actual witches doing it. The circle dance is an ancient tradition and a blender full of Margaritas certainly improved it.

Recipes for Midnight Margaritas abound on the Internet. This one was invented by actual witches. And yes, we put the lime with the coconut.

Prepare a small rocks glass by rimming it with a combination of salt and brown sugar.

To an iced shaker, add:

2 ounces 1800 Coconut Tequila
1 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice

Shake vigorously. Dance around the kitchen table and raise that shaker high, or pass it widdershins to the other drinkers.

Strain into prepared glass filled with crushed ice. Add a straw and a hunk of coconut if it’s handy.

Sally Owens: And I don’t want them dancing naked under the full moon!
Aunt Jet Owens: No, of course. The nudity is entirely optional. As you well remember!

Always drink responsibly. Always drink well.

A Drink With Something In It

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, The Vulture's Library with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2013 by cocktailvultures

A DRINK WITH SOMETHING IN IT
by Ogden Nash

There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish that I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth-
I think that perhaps it’s the gin.

There is something about an old-fashioned
That kindles a cardiac glow;
It is soothing and soft and impassioned
As a lyric by Swinburne or Poe.
There is something about an old-fashioned
When dusk has enveloped the sky,
And it may the ice,
Or the pineapple slice,
But I strong suspect it’s the rye.

There is something about a mint julep.
It is nectar imbibed in a dream,
As fresh as the bud of the tulip,
As cool as the bed of the stream.
There is something about a mint julep,
A fragrance beloved by the lucky.
And perhaps it’s the tint
Of the frost and the mint,
But I think it was born in Kentucky.

There is something they put in a highball
That awakens the torpidest brain,
That kindles a spark in the eyeball,
Gliding singing through vein after vein.
There is something they put in a highball
Which you’ll notice one day, if you watch;
And it may be the soda,
But judged by the odor,
I rather believe it’s the Scotch

Then here’s to the heartening wassail,
Wherever good fellows are found;
Be its master instead of its vassal,
And order the glasses around.
For there’s something they put in the wassail
That prevents it from tasting like wicker;
Since it’s not tapioca,
Or mustard, or mocha,
I’m forced to conclude it’s the liquor.