Why pay for what you can make?
Homemade Bourbon Vanilla Extract (by The Boozy Baker)
+ 3 Vanilla Beans
+ 1 cup Bourbon
Split the vanilla beans in half and add to a jar. Pour the bourbon over the vanilla beans. Close the jar and shake a few good times. Store in a dark place for 8 weeks, shaking occasionally. The extract will darken over time. There is no need to remove the vanilla beans. This can be used in place of vanilla extract in any recipe!
St. Germain is not the only elderflower liquor on the market anymore! Now there’s Absolut Wild Tea - a mix of black tea and elderflower flavors. Another selling point - the bottle is uniquely beautiful for Absolut. Below is the first recipe I made with it, a simple recipe that let the flavors shine:
Absolut Intrigue (from the Absolut website)
+ 2 oz ABSOLUT WILD TEA
+ 1 oz Lemon Juice
+ 1 oz Simple Syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.
Me and some friends escaped to Dahlonega, GA to do a bit of wine tasting. Our first stop was Three Sisters winery. We chose the Vitner’s Tasting which included 6 wines, some paired with chocolates or cheetos (?!), and a souvenir wine glass - all for $15. My favorite wine by far was the Fat Boy Red. I regret not buying a bottle or two to bring home, so I’ll have to return soon! (Also, any place with a friendly cat roaming ‘round is good in my book).
Below is my submission to Pama Liqueur’s Home Bartender contest. It is a sort of combination of a mojito and sangria, with a pomegranate twist.
First, rim a stemless wine glass with pomegranate sugar (available at liquor stores).
+ 2 Lime wedges
+ 1 Lemon wedge
+ 3 sprigs mint
+ 1/4 oz Simple Syrup
+ 1/2 oz pomegranate seeds
+ 1 1/2 oz Pama Liqueur
+ 1/2 cup wine
With a sprig of mint and additional lemon and lemon circles.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale : Kentucky ale aged for 6 weeks in bourbon barrels. My two favorite things in one!
Try this feminine twist on a classic -
+ 1 1/2 oz Brandy
+ 1/4 oz Cointreau
+ 1/2 oz Lavender Honey Syrup (I used Lavender Simple Syrup)
+ 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
+ dash of orange bitters
(Recipe from The Art of Bar)
"Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles with Bourbon, Orange bitters, and orange zest // by The Boozy Baker
+ 2 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp plain flour
+ 2 tsp baking powder
+ 1/4 tsp salt
+ 1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
+ 1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp sugar, divided
+ 2 large eggs
+ 2 tbsp bourbon
+ 4 or 5 generous dashes bitters
+ 1 tbs freshly grated orange zest
+ 1 tbs ground cinnamon
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the bourbon, bitters, and orange zest and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated. (If the dough is very soft, freeze for 10 to 15 minutes before proceeding.) Combine the remaining 3 tbsp of sugar with the cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the sugar-cinnamon mixture and place them on the baking sheets, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten each ball into a disk. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown at the edges but still slightly soft in the middle. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The Atlanta food scene continues to amaze me. I recently checked out Escorpion Tequila Bar and Cantina in Midtown. The cocktails were complex and original, all staying true to Mexican flavors and ingredients, and completely refreshing in the midst of the prohibition trend. Shown here is one of my favorites, the Mali Nali : Blanco tequila, Pineapple, Lime, Green Chartreuse, & Rosemary. More to come.
A French 75, as per The Art of Bar by the mixologists of Absinthe, San Francisco:
+ 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
+ 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
+ 1 1/2 oz gin (I used Hendricks)
+ cherries or lemon twist for garnish
Directions: Fill a collins glass with ice, add the gin, lemon and simple syrup and stir. Top with champagne.