The Winds of Winter – Game of Thrones Season Finale

White Walker Russian 2

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.

White Walker Russian 1

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 Autumn Mix – Halloween

Halloween1

My favorite candy is, shockingly, candy corn. Well, maybe not my favorite. But at least the one that I find most addicting. In any case, I like it so much that I thought I should make a drink out of it. In honor of Halloween, I made some candy corn vodka out of, you guessed it, candy corn and vodka (recipe below). It was bright orange, and not actually all that sweet (surprising, given that the beet vodka I made a year or two ago was super sweet, and yet this was made out of pure sugar), but it certainly tasted like alcoholic candy corn.

I made a drink, tried it out, and then thought — well, one just isn’t enough. The only thing that vodka is good for (at least the easiest thing) is shots, and it seems lame to write a post about only a single shot. So, I made three! I mostly did them for looks, not taste, and although two turned out surprisingly well, the third was terrible. I’ll still put the recipe here, but word to the wise — skip the Pumpkin. It’s disgusting. But, it does look cool.

Here is the autumn mix. I took a bag of good old mixed candy corn (not as good as the original standby, but hey) and made a drink for each one. Enjoy! (Except, again, the Pumpkin. Don’t enjoy that.) Note: these measurements will all be in “parts” instead of actual ounces, etc., because they’re shots, and it’s up to you how big you want them to be. Most of it’s pretty easy to tell by looks, anyway.

IMG_3474

The Autumn Mix

Candy Corn Vodka (stolen from various places on the internet)

  • 1 part candy corn
  • 3 parts cheap vodka

Combine ingredients in a sealable glass container. Close it up and shake it a little, just to loosen the corn. Let sit for anywhere from 3-4 hours to a couple days, but really you just need to wait until all the candy corn dissolves. Strain any remaining bits out and store — it’s ready to drink!

The Bad Seed

  • 1 part candy corn vodka
  • 1 part dark beer (a stout or a porter, something thick and chocolatey/coffee-flavored. I used Guinness but would have liked something a little thicker)

Pour the vodka into the bottom of a shot glass, half way up. Pour the beer in slowly over the back of a spoon. This is super important to do for layering, and we’ll be using this technique for all three recipes. It’s pretty easy, just put the spoon as close as you can get it to the top of the liquid, and kind of dribble the new ingredient over it. I touched the spoon to one of the sides of the glass, so it fell down there too, but I’m not sure that was necessary.

The Candy Corn

  • 1 part apple juice (I used apple “nectar” because it was thicker than normal apple juice, but ended up less yellow which was disappointing. So up to you!)
  • 2 parts candy corn vodka
  • 2 parts whipped cream

Pour the apple juice in first. Layer on the vodka, but go super slowly because these guys do not separate on their own. I had to try a few times before I got it right. Finally, top with whipped cream, which I thought was going to mess up the layering but it was really fine, so don’t worry about it too much.

The Pumpkin

  • 1 part creme de menthe
  • 4 parts candy corn vodka

These “parts” are obviously smaller than the parts above. Also, don’t make this drink. But if you do, pour in the creme de menthe first, then layer the vodka on using the technique above. Don’t worry if you mess up, this one separates out pretty quickly by itself. Final step: after you’ve finished layering, throw it in the trash.

Halloween2

Tasting Notes:

BN: Let’s go through these in order. The Bad Seed was my first idea, which is why it has the best name. I actually liked this a lot; the beer flavor complemented and tempered the sweetness of the vodka. A nice, easy shot. And, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t realize it looked like the chocolate candy corns in the mix until after I made it. Happy coincidence! The Candy Corn was great too, though I wish I could taste the apple a little bit more. The flavors matched, and, like the beer, the whipped cream tempered everything else and brought it together. I also wish the apple was more yellow. Come on Jumex, fix my shot for me. Finally, The Pumpkin was god-awful. But, it really did look like those little pumpkins. Even so, the creme de menthe was heavier than the vodka so I couldn’t even get the green on top. Ugh. Well, two out of three ain’t bad. And the candy corn vodka mixed overall a lot better than I thought it would, so I’m not as worried about still having a massive quantity left over.

PiC: The Bad Seed: Eh, ok. It’s not terrible as a shot but neither is it something I’d hardcore try to be drinking (cause I hardcore try to be drinking shots at all times, clearly). I’d take the Candy Corn over this, but I wouldn’t straight up run from this (see The Pumpkin) either. The Candy Corn: My favorite. This is a great shot because it’s sweet and pretty much kills the taste of alcohol, plus it’s cute! And whipped cream is always tasty. The Pumpkin: Nope. Tastes like a combination of Robitussin and Listerine. NOPE.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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

The Pico de Madre – Mother’s Day

First order of business: make sure that the name I picked for this cocktail doesn’t seem to be overly offensive. Check.

Then, on to the drinking.

IMG_2383

It’s Mother’s Day! And what’s more mother’s day than a brunch cocktail? Well, a lot of things. But that doesn’t mean I can’t write about a brunch cocktail. I must admit that I’ve always been a big fan of Bloody Marys (is that the right plural?), and have been relatively disappointed that I couldn’t order one at a normal bar at a normal time without seeming abnormal, or at the very least like an 800-year-old grandmother.

My goal for this drink was to make drinkable pico de gallo. Because that stuff is awesome. You could have this as a Mother’s Day cocktail, a Cinco de Mayo drink, or pick a date exactly in the middle of those two and make up your own holiday. DO IT.

The Ingredients

The Pico de Madre

  • 2 oz vodka (Really whatever will do, as long as it doesn’t make the rest taste bad. You really shouldn’t taste it at all.)
  • 4 oz tomato juice
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tsp finely chopped white onion
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce (for tradition’s sake)
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 pinch garlic salt
  • 2 pinches black pepper
  • about 2 tsp finely chopped cilantro
  • about 1 oz lime juice

Put everything into a Boston shaker, with ice. Shake. Strain* into a nice tall glass filled with more ice, garnish with cilantro and lime. You can vary the ingredients earlier, or add a little more of whatever you like at this point — I always like it a little spicier. Enjoy!

* I strained it, which makes it easier to drink, but it doesn’t have quite as much of the “grit” I sometimes like in Bloody Marys. Try it both ways, see how you like it!

IMG_2387

Tasting Notes:

BN: This came out really well. It’s a lot more refreshing than most Bloody Marys I’ve had, which can often be really heavy and cloying. The cilantro brightens up the tomato juice and gives it a really nice flavor (as long as you’re not one of those people who think cilantro tastes like soap). The only issue with this cocktail is that you have to drink it really fast, as the ice waters it down pretty quickly. Although, is that really an issue? Hm.

Partner in Crime: Yum.