Archive for halloween

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.

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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!

Pumpkin Head

Posted in Booze News and Events, Classic Cocktails, What I'm Mixing with tags , , on October 21, 2012 by cocktailvultures

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Pumpkinhead

A seasonal cocktail for our favorite season, this one answers the question: what to do with that bottle of pumpkin schnapps? Just don’t wind up digging in the pumpkin patch at 3:00 a.m.!

To an iced shaker, add:

2 ounces pumpkin schnapps
1 ounce homemade sweet and sour mix *
1 ounce amaretto
1 ounce dark rum (we used Blackwell’s)

Shake vigorously and strain into prepared glass filled with ice; top up with club soda.

To prepare glass, make a dry mixture of sugar and pumpkin pie spices. Wipe rim of large wine or rocks glass with lemon peel and press carefully into sugar mixture.

* Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix:

1 part freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 part freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 part simple syrup **

Mix and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Add a shot of vodka or white rum as a preservative. Keeps for a week or so.

** Simple Syrup

Warm 1 part water on the stove or in the microwave. Add an equal amount of sugar; stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Add a shot of vodka or white rum as a preservative. Keeps for a week or so.

Always drink responsibly; always drink well.

It’s the Great Pumpkin Beer Review!

Posted in Booze News and Events, Drink It Like a Man, What I'm Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2012 by cocktailvultures

Pumpkin Beer Review 2012

 

As any beer lover knows, pumpkin beers and ales have flooded the market and right now, September, is high pumpkin season. The aisles of our favorite beer store, Half Time, are crowded with pretty orange packages and dozens of leering jack-o’-lantern faces. The Cocktail Vultures love pumpkins and Halloween and it’s tempting to pull down random six-packs of everything we see. But we know that all is not equal in the pumpkin patch. For that reason, the Cocktail Vultures have provided this service to you, sacrificing a lovely late-summer afternoon under the blue skies of the Hudson Valley, tasting and comparing some samples from this year’s crop of pumpkin brews. Only the most sincerely pumpkin ale will meet our standards, which are simple: the beer or ale must actually taste of pumpkin and its related spices, and also be a smooth, tasty beer with none of the problems we’ve noted in mass-produced supermarket brands.

 

Your usual host and hostess, Joe and Peggy, were joined by another member of the Vulture Squadron, Peter H. Gilmore, for the difficult task of drinking cool beverages on the veranda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1)   Shipyard Pumpkin Head — Portland, Maine.

Light with no bitterness, golden in color, this entry was more like a cider than an ale, with lots of pumpkin pie spice and the highest level of pumpkin of those we tried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2)   Punk’N – Uinta – Salt Lake City, Utah

Attractive pumpkin color, but no pumpkin or spice flavor whatsoever. The scent was like wet bread. Not recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3)   Post Road Pumpkin Ale – Utica, New York

Subtle spice gives way to a slightly smoky, incense-like flavor. The color was pretty and the head was smooth. Pleasant spiciness but virtually no pumpkin flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4)   Smutty Nose Pumpkin Ale – Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Yellow in color, with no discernible spice but rather a fresh, pumpkin-patch vegetal taste. More Oktoberfest than Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5)   Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale – Golden, Colorado

A rich, coppery color with a smooth, velvety texture and head. Tastes of roasted pumpkin seeds and aged whiskey barrels. Very pleasant, seasonal pumpkin ale flavor, rather than a pumpkin pie. We were surprised and pleased to call this our favorite, as it will be easily available to our readers for weeks to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6)   Pumking by Southern Tier – Lakewood, New York

A strong vanilla scent greets you as the cap comes off. A pretty amber color, and then one sip gives the pronounced flavor of vanilla and pumpkiny-dessert – like a slice of pumpkin pound cake. As a beer, it’s smooth and pleasant, but is more a dessert beverage than a seasonal pumpkin ale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7)   Captain Lawrence Pumpkin Ale – Elmsford, NY

Nice copper color. No pumpkin or spice fragrance or flavors whatsoever. Metallic after-taste brought back memories of our Cheap Beer Challenge. Not recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8)   Saranac Pumpkin Ale – Utica, New York

A sweet, pumpkin-pie nose gives way to the tiniest hint of spice and a bitter overall taste. Very little pumpkin – more a bitter beer than a pumpkin ale.

 

We wouldn’t be the Cocktail Vultures if we didn’t try to make something with the leftovers. Although these Vultures can hold our own when it comes to cocktails, too much beer gets us stuffy and sleepy, so we took small portions and poured the rest into a handy growler. When we were done, the result was an interesting “all sorts” of pumpkin ales and this might not be a bad idea. The strong spice and vanilla in one ale was balanced out by the fresh pumpkin of another, etc. Try this at home, for sure!

 

We’ll be back with more pumpkin ales and some Halloween beers in a few weeks – watch this space and never go to a Halloween party empty-handed. Especially not one of ours.

 

Always drink responsibly; always drink well.