The First Round Upset – March Madness

March Madness 1

It’s that time of year again! The time of year where I pretend to care about sports, and more importantly basketball, when all I really care about is gambling and looking at statistics. Or something. In any case, although my alma mater is already out of the running (it was not, sadly, a first round upset), I’m enjoying this wholeheartedly so far. Lots of upsets, lots of weirdness, and great close games.

So what better way to celebrate than to drink! Although this particular cocktail came out pretty well, its connection to March Madness is a bit of a stretch… Basketball… The ball itself… Round, and kind of orange… Oranges! And, well, that was it.

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The First Round Upset

  • 1.5 oz gin (I used this amazing gin we found in Prince Edward Island, which is smooth and not super-junipery. If you’re ever there, go here!)
  • 3/4 oz amaro (It was in a jar, but I swear that’s what it was)
  • 4 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3 dashes cardamom bitters (not pictured… reason to be discussed below)
  • orange peel

Combine elements in a mixing glass and stir. Pour out (strain if you haven’t strained the orange juice already) into a martini or rocks glass, and garnish with the peel for a little extra bitterness.

March Madness 2

Tasting Notes:

BN: I liked this! In the end, that is. I first pulled it together without the bitters (as pictured in the ingredients shot) and it was just a little too sweet. This may be because of the drink, but I actually have a sneaking suspicion it was because of the oranges. One of the ones I juiced was super red and I think a lot sweeter than you would normally want a plain orange to be (I don’t think it was a blood orange…). The drink needed something to cut that sweetness, and my thought went to the cardamom bitters I don’t generally use enough. When I added them in it was much better, and with a more complex flavor. Still would have liked a little more bite, I think, but it was a pretty nice drink overall.

PiC: This is very drinkable. It’s super tasty, but could maybe use a tad more punch. Maybe the orange that was used was a bit sweet? I do like it, though, and the aftertaste of the bitters adds nice complexity.

Your Older Brother – Boozy Newsie News Flash

Da Cocktail

Hi everyone! The News Flash is a new type of post I’m inaugurating, where, instead of describing a cocktail I created, I post a quick review of a cocktail (or other alcoholic beverage) that I’ve come across, whether at home or on various travels. This first one is one of set of bottled cocktail mixers I received as a gift some months ago. It’s from a company called White Whale, which seems to, so far, only make the three types of mixers I got. Presumably, more are coming. They’re super simple, with the ingredients and processes you need right on the bottle. The design’s nice and clean, and it’s quick to make, which is great. This particular one contained primarily lemon and — the weird part — Siberian fir. Here it is.

Your Older Brother Ingredients

Your Older Brother

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Your Older Brother cocktail mixer
  • lemon zest for garnish

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe or similar glass, and garnish with a twist of lemon.

Tasting Notes

BN: Well, I was not the hugest fan. The Siberian fir was certainly not as strong of a taste as I was worried about, but it was still a peculiar one. A little too herbal for me, maybe (remember how I don’t really like gin?). But, it mostly tasted like lemonade, with a little alcoholic aftertaste. So, 5/10. Enjoyable, but I wouldn’t have it again too often.

PiC: I don’t hate it. It’s like a less sweet, more alcoholic version of a vodka lemonade. It could use a little bit more flavor, though, the smell is better than the taste. The taste is a little weak, though we’ve had them for a little while I guess. But I don’t hate it! You could probably use it for something a little more interesting, I think.

And I may! If I do, you’ll hear it here first. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…

Your Older Brother