The Nasty Woman – Election Day

Election 2016 - Hero

Oh thank god, it’s finally here. I can stop refreshing the same page over and over again, and I can also stop getting 14,000 emails a day from the same campaign, asking me to send just a little bit more money. And hopefully we’ll have a good new president. This is the first in a series of two drinks for an Election Night party we’re having this evening, and feel free to drink along! (The Bad Hombre needs to sit for a little while, so it’s not ready for tasting yet, even though it’s pictured.)

What news today? Please god vote. And vote for Hillary. I probably shouldn’t be partisan on the blog, but whatever. Let’s not have our country ruined. Also, I almost changed that to “vote if you’re old enough” but really everyone here is 21+, right? Guys?

The Nasty Woman - Ingredients

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The Upside Downer – Halloween

The Upside Downer -

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you have a lovely day (night?) of scary things (besides Trump), creepy happenings, and general merriment. Oh, and cocktails!

Surrounding this holiday, I saw a lot of different lists of cool black cocktails, so I made my own. Turns out activated charcoal is surprisingly expensive, but I think this came out pretty great, so it was worth it.

Also, if you haven’t seen Stranger Things, the source of this drink’s name, you should do it! Our friends had a Stranger Things themed Halloween party this weekend and it was great.

No news today, because Halloween.

The Upside Downer - Ingredients

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The Hamilton and The Burr

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Occasionally, I will have guest posts here on the blog, from interested friends and compatriots who like to drink, and like to read the news. In this case, the following two drinks come from someone who is much better at following current events and politics than I, whether they’re current or, well, 200+ years ago. I submit for your approval, the Hamilton and the Burr. Apart from my own tasting notes at the end, this is from the great Manny Antunes, who has just graduated from law school! Congratulations!

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The Deep Blue Sea – Shark Week

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It’s Shark Week, the only time people care about the Discovery Channel! And so, to a drink.

I tried something a little bit different this time, taking a pre-existing drink more specifically and modifying it. And I think it worked out well! The original recipe is the “Fred Collins Fizz,” from the New Guide for the Hotel, Bar, Restaurant, Butler, & Chef (that’s a mouthful) by Bacchus & Cordon Bleu, 1885. Instructions are copied verbatim, except for the last two. Adjustments were made by the replacement of orange with blue curaçao, as well as the addition of grenadine. To bring the blood into the blue ocean water.

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The Deep Blue Sea

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 teaspoon blue curaçao
  • 6 ounces fizzy lemonade
  • a dash of grenadine
  1. Mix the bourbon, simple syrup, and lemon juice in an iced cocktail shaker and shake.
  2. Strain into a large bar glass that is half filled with shaved (or finely crushed) ice.
  3. Add the curaçao
  4. Pour the lemonade into a collins glass, and pour the contents of the bar glass into it.
  5. Dribble a little bit of grenadine into the top of the glass, and watch with satisfaction as it settles to the bottom
  6. Enjoy, while deciding that you won’t go into the ocean for at least another year. Maybe July of 2016 you’ll give it another shot.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: This was really good. Normally I say that because I’m proud of myself but this was awesome. It wasn’t super alcoholic, and the tartness of the fresh lemon worked incredibly well with the hint of grenadine. I tried it without the grenadine and it wasn’t quite the same. Well done, bartenders of 1885. Only disappointment was that it ended up green and red instead of blue and red, and kind of looked like it should taste like watermelon.

PiC: YUM. So tart and so tasty. *dives face into glass for more*

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The All-American – Independence Day

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One of my two favorite movies is Independence Day. This has nothing to do with that.

When I started to think about making a drink for the 4th of July, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. And then I found the perfect concoction, to represent our country through the lens of alcohol. Also, something that you can make quickly and easily, and go back out to your BBQ, beach, or however you’re choosing to celebrate the Fourth.

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The All-American

  • 1 can Budweiser
  1. Open can.
  2. Pour can into a tall glass.
  3. Enjoy, while contemplating our country, and watching some big ol’ Amurrican fireworks.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: This really should be called the President of Beers.

PiC: Tastes like beer. And AMERICA.

I was not compensated for my opinions in this post. But hey, Anheuser-Busch, I certainly wouldn’t complain if you chose to send something my way!

The Loving Cup – #LoveWins

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The Supreme Court made a number of good decisions this week, but the one that seemed most apt for drinkifying was the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which is mostly known as the case that decided same-sex marriage was a right in the entire United States.

In honor of this decision, generally (and by me) regarded as a triumph of love over adversity, prejudice, and all that bad stuff, I decided to put things I love into a cocktail and see if it was any good. Slightly less thought through than SCOTUS’ decision, but hey, it ended up working.

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The Loving Cup

  • 1.5 oz not-too-intense scotch (Highland Park is great!)
  • .75 oz St. Germain
  • 2-3 shakes rhubarb bitters (go easy on this)
  • juice of 1/4 lemon, or to taste
  • rainbow sour strips, for garnish
  1. Combine ingredients in a Boston shaker, over ice.
  2. Shake briefly and strain into a martini glass
  3. Layer in the sour strip for garnish, gently.
  4. Enjoy, while basking in the good sense (in this case) of this country.
  5. Pro tip: eat the sour strips after they’ve had a good long soak in the cocktail.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: I really liked this. Weirdly, I didn’t like the combination of the ingredients before adding the sour strip, and the sour strip itself was pretty cherry-medicinal which is never good. But together, they melded nicely (and you should probably wait a bit before drinking to allow them to do so). It had just the right amount of sweet and sour, and wasn’t too strong on any one flavor. Also, the alcohol-infused sour strip was delicious.

PiC: I really liked this! I mean, I love sour candy and I wanted this to be a good one given the awesomeness of the event that inspired it, but to be honest I thought it was gonna be super alcohol-tasting, which is not really my thing. But it actually was dangerously drinkable and went super well with the sour candy garnish, so yay! #LoveWins!

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The Winds of Winter – Game of Thrones Season Finale

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I started this season of Game of Thrones with a drink, and I should probably end it with one too. Now, I’ve made this in advance, so I have no idea whether it will actually have anything to do with the events of this Sunday’s episode, but I imagine we’ll get at least a bit of Jon Snow, and maybe a white walker or two. We’ll see!

An important note about this drink: the base recipe for the White Russian was taken from a good friend of mine, so direct any praise to him. We originally tried it with the official recipe on the Kahlua website which was, well, not very good. Also, I’m doing parts instead of specific amounts in case you want to make a smaller one than we did.

White Walker Ingredients

The Winds of Winter

  • 2 parts vodka
  • 1 part Kahlua
  • 1 part cream
  • 1 part Blue Curacao
  • 1/2 part malted milk powder (it was about a teaspoon for a full 16oz glass with ice)

Combine everything but the curacao in a mixing glass with ice. Shake and strain into a tall glass over more ice. Pour the blue curacao in from the top (not necessary, but it makes a cool streaky looking effect at first before mixing in fully.) Enjoy, while watching the finale. Or being cold.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: My goal for this was to make it taste like a creamsicle. I thought the orange from the curacao would mix with the malt and of course the cream, and it didn’t really at all. But that wasn’t a bad thing! It was more complex than a normal White Russian and did have a little bit of orange. You could also really taste the malt which is never a bad thing. Also the blue color that it resulted in was pretty cool. A little greener than I expected but still fun.

PiC: Whoa. That’s kinda strong for such a big drink…but I like it. The malt is nice. Plus, it looks great. I don’t think you can taste the Blue Curacao that much, though I’m not sure I entirely know what Blue Curacao tastes like. Or maybe I don’t want to know.

The Summer Daze – Memorial Day

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Happy summer everyone! Right now I’m in Palm Springs and it is appropriately hot and sunny. So, a drink to celebrate the new season, whether it’s already arrived where you are, or if it’s coming soon.

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The Summer Daze

  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz key lime juice
  • 10 drops “Lindsay” pecan, habanero, magnolia bitters (I understand if you don’t have this; the spice and nut flavors are the most important so many substitutions can apply)
  • 4-5 oz apple soda (this I found at a craft cocktail festival, but there are definitely many options I’ve seen)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass with ice.
  2. Stir gently to mix.
  3. Enjoy, while poolside with a giant inflatable donut.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: I liked this more than the individual ingredients. The apple soda which was too strong and candy-esque (tasted just like a Jolly Rancher) was nicely tempered by the lime, and altogether it was a really nice summer drink. Sort of like a slightly appley margarita. The bitters are AWESOME, and if you can get your hands on them, do! 

PiC: I love tequila, and I love key lime, so the chances were good that I would like this – and I did. It was almost like drinking sour apple candy (big fan of the sour candy over here) but still crisp and refreshing. I would drink many of these.

The Congratulations, Princess – Royal Baby is Born

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One very important thing happened today — I learned that I don’t have normal champagne flutes in my house. Also, the new royal baby was born to Prince William and Kate! Hurray for the monarchy, God save the queen, and all that jazz. In honor of the as-yet-unnamed baby princess, I give you the Congratulations, Princess (which you would feel silly ordering at a bar but might anyway, because it’s pretty good).

Champagne is for celebrations, pink is for girls (only traditionally, of course), and also these are the ingredients I happened to have around. Enjoy!

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The Congratulations, Princess

  • 3 oz fresh-squeezed ruby grapefruit juice
  • 3(ish) strawberries
  • 6 oz champagne
  1. Dice strawberries (reserving one for a garnish) and muddle in a mixing glass with the grapefruit juice. The ratio is about one strawberry for every 2 ounces of juice, maybe err on the side of more juice.
  2. Strain juice/strawberry mixture into a (real) champagne flute.
  3. Pour in champagne; if you want a larger or smaller drink the ratio is 2 parts champagne to 1 part juice.
  4. Slice the remaining strawberry into, well, slices, and use one as a garnish.
  5. Eat the rest of the strawberries.
  6. Enjoy, while imagining what your life would be if you were a member of the royal family.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: This is not dissimilar to the Academy Awards drink I made a while ago, but still very enjoyable. As I noted above, I could have used a little more grapefruit in this, as the strawberry was a strong flavor, but it was a very nice brunch drink, something I enjoyed much more than regular mimosas, which are okay but not amazing. In general, I think I need to work on making drinks with all sorts of crazy ingredients, but in this case, a three ingredient cocktail is perfect.

PiC: This is probably my favorite drink so far. This is delicious and I could drink it all day.

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The Hubble 25 – The HST’s 25th Anniversary

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I learned today that this past week (the 24th, specifically) was the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. Which is pretty awesome! 25 years of giving us cool images like the one at the end of this post (which are public domain, so I can use them. Thanks, NASA!) So, in honor of space, NASA, and all of that good stuff, a drink! Mainly created because the St. Germain bottle is kind of star-shaped. I originally wanted something with champagne (bubbly is like sparkles are like stars) but then decided the champagne would overpower the St. Germain.

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The Hubble 25

  • 1.5 oz gin
  • 0.5 oz St. Germain
  • ~10 shakes lime bitters
  • 6 oz club soda (this is a Soda Stream, clearly, but normal stuff will do too)

Combine first three ingredients in a rocks glass. Add ice, and fill the remaining space with the club soda. Enjoy, while staring a) up at the sky or b) at pictures of space on your computer.

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Tasting Notes:

BN: Well the fact that this came out clear was a surprise to me. I guess there are clear cocktails, like gin and tonics, and vodka sodas, and so on, but it’s sort of an odd experience looking at it, nonetheless. I can’t decide if I like it. I guess it’s like a big lens, like the one on the Hubble? And it didn’t work exactly as expected, like the Hubble. There we go, justification! Tastewise, I liked this. The gin melded with the St. Germain really well, and though it wasn’t a super strong flavor it was a nice floral note. Nothing too intense, but very drinkable.

PiC: It’s not the most visually arresting cocktail, for sure. It kind of…tastes clear? But not in a bad way. It doesn’t taste like water, it’s just very neutral tasting. I like it. It highlights how good that gin is, and the St. Germaine adds a hint of sweetness that really works well with it. I can’t really taste the bitters, but it’s good.

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The Hubble mosaic unveils a collection of carved knots of gas and dust in a small portion of the Monkey Head Nebula (also known as NGC 2174 and Sharpless Sh2-252). The nebula is a star-forming region that hosts dusky dust clouds silhouetted against glowing gas. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)