Archive for Bourbon

Strawberry Julep Punch

Posted in Classic Cocktails, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2015 by cocktailvultures

strawberry mf finalStrawberry Julep Punch

There really isn’t anything better than sharing seasonal delights with your friends and guests — we’ve waited through a long, hard winter for ripe fruits, fresh herbs and the warm weather to enjoy them. For summer deck parties, putting everything in a bowl and allowing participants to serve themselves is the best way to go. With all this in mind, the Cocktail Vultures have a new summer punch for you. You can take care of several steps in the process earlier in the day or the night before.

Amounts for this recipe depend solely upon how big a bowl of punch you want to make. We formulated it using equal amounts of the three major ingredients. If you and your guests are lightweights, you can cut back on the bourbon a tad, but not by more than half.

Prep: Minted Bourbon

To a large glass container (a big Mason jar works great), add a few handfuls of fresh mint. Add bourbon and muddle — don’t go crazy, just press it. If you’re using a Mason jar, you can seal and shake it a bit.

Prep: Strawberry Purée

To a large saucepan, add 2 pints of hulled strawberries, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Muddle the strawberries lightly, then let cool and place in a blender. Blenderize until smooth. Chill in an airtight container.

Prep: Tea

Brew a quart or two (depending upon your plans) of strong, black tea, such as Irish Breakfast. Chill.

To a punch bowl, add equal amounts of minted bourbon, strawberry purée and cold tea. Toss in a few scoops of crushed ice to get the chilling started. Stir to combine. Now add a mountain of crushed ice to the center of the bowl and garnish with fresh mint and whole strawberries.

Let frosty, fruity fun prevail!

Always drink responsibly; always drink well.

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Parlor Pistol

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2014 by cocktailvultures

 

Paelor PistolParlor Pistol

We love working with new ingredients, and we love it even more when those ingredients are local to the Northeast. Recently, we stumbled across Greenhook Ginsmiths‘ new gin-based liqueur made in Brooklyn with beach plums that grow in nearby Long Island, and organic wheat from the Great State of New York. http://greenhookgin.com It has an astringent flavor with notes of hibiscus and an echo of the sloe gins that inspired its creation, as well as a higher-than-average alcohol content for a liqueur.

We put this potent little number to the test and named it the Parlor Pistol.

Parlor pistols were small, one- or two-shot guns that the Victorians used for target shooting… AT HOME! They sometimes had long rooms built into their mansions just for this purpose, hence, shooting galleries. After cocktails, dinner and wine, standing around the drawing room and taking potshots was a totally-acceptable activity for fancy society.

Oh, well. We’ll take our Parlor Pistol in a glass, please.

To an iced shaker, add:

2 ounces Greenhook Ginsmiths beach plum liqueur
1 ounce bourbon (we prefer Bulleit http://m.bulleit.com/)
.25 ounce peach liqueur (we prefer Stirrings – http://www.stirrings.com)
1 ounce freshly-squeezed orange juice

Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Add a sprig of fresh mint, as fancy as you can find — we must be civilized when brandishing our Parlor Pistols!

Always drink responsibly; always drink well.

Old Fashioned in ChinaTown

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2014 by cocktailvultures

chinatown new logoWe were comparing youthful experiences with alcohol and discovered that it was not uncommon to have your first mixed drink in a Chinese restaurant. Not a sleek, spare sushi bar or even a Szechuan café — no, it was a quasi-Polynesian Chop Suey Palace with tired décor and waiters in threadbare red jackets who didn’t ask for ID.

If we could walk back into that dark and dreamy place in the Chinatown of our youth and get behind the bar, this is the drink we’d put together. Serve it with a pu-pu platter or your next bag of take-out. Try ordering one in a good cocktail bar — we think your bartender will be intrigued when you ask for “an Old-Fashioned in Chinatown.”

To an empty shaker, add:

1 heaping teaspoon canned Mandarin Oranges
2-3 chunks canned Pineapple
2 Maraschino Cherries
1 barspoon maraschino cherry syrup
3 ounces Bourbon
1 ounce homemade ginger syrup (recipe to follow)
1 heavy dash Angostura Orange Bitters
Pinch 5 Spice Powder

Muddle well. Add ice.

Shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Top with club soda and stir. Garnish with a cherry and pineapple spear. Another tiny whisper of 5 Spice Powder over the top of the drink adds fragrance.

Homemade Ginger Syrup

Take a generous “hand” of unpeeled fresh ginger and chop it thoroughly — alternately, hack it up and throw it in a food processor. Measure the result and add it to a saucepan along with 1.5 times the same amount of water (for example: if you wind up with 1 cup of ginger, use 1.5 cups of water). Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

Let cool for a minute or two, then strain and measure the remaining water (I strain mine into a large heat-worthy measuring bowl). Add an equal amount of sugar (1 cup water gets 1 cup sugar) to the warm ginger-water and keep stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. If you’re not going to use it right away, add a jot of white rum or vodka as a preservative and refrigerate. Keeps for about a week.

(Quickie-Cheat: substitute  ginger ale for the club soda in the cocktail above and leave out the ginger syrup.)

Always drink responsibly; always drink well.

china

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.

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.

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.