Tag Archives: cocktail

The Rye Smile

A complex quaffable.

A robust rye refreshment not for delicate palates.

Beer cocktails have been in the steady rotation for us over the past couple of months (which is partially why we’ve been so lax in posting). In a recent stroke of madness/genius, Jake decided to try a little rye on rye action with a dash of complexity from Cynar and a sweet finish courtesy of Cherry Heering. This one’s full of big flavors that will make you smile like you’re in on an inside joke…or just like you’ve had a pint glass full of liquor.

Equipment Needed: Pint Glass, Cocktail Spoon, Jigger or Shot Glass


  • 1 oz rye whiskey (about $30/750 ml)
  • 1/2 oz Cynar (about $25/750 ml)
  • 1/2 oz Cherry Heering (about $30/750 ml)
  • 12 oz rye IPA (we used Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye IPA, about $10.99/6 pack)
  • 1 small sprig of rosemary for garnish ($1.50/ sprig)


  • Pour in your hard liquors and stir them together. Add the rye beer and stir slowly to mix further without making everything foam up. If you want to dilute the drink now’s the time to add an ice cube or two.
  • Garnish with rosemary. Drink, smile wryly, repeat.

Mexican Snakebite

A fruity, smoky one-two punch to your wake winter-addled taste buds.

A fruity, smoky one-two punch to your wake winter-addled taste buds.

It’s that special time of year where winter refuses to release its icy grip and spring  keeps hinting that it’s just around the corner. 62 and sunny one day, then 30 and snowing the next. It’s enough to drive you to drink; thankfully we’ve got you covered. The Mexican Snakebite features apple cider and cinnamon to satisfy those winter flavor cravings, while the añejo tequila is a smoky little stomach sombrero to remind you that warmer days are nigh.

Equipment Needed: Rocks Glass, Spoon, Shot Glass


  • 1 shot añejo tequila (about $30/750ml)
  • 8 oz hard apple cider (we used Naked Flock Pumpkin, about $7.99/22 oz)
  • 1 stick cinnamon ($3.59/2 oz jar)
  • Ground cinnamon ($3.49/2.4 oz)


  • Pour the cider into your rocks glass then add the tequila.
  • Add a dash of ground cinnamon (or two if you’re feeling wild) and give it a light stir. Drop in a cinnamon stick for garnish and a nice warming layer.

My Bloody Valentine

Love your liver.

Love is in the air and more likely than not you’re trying to figure out a little something to impress the object of your affection. With three simple ingredients and the twirl of a spoon you can make yourself a couple glasses of pure sexy: slightly sweet, slightly tart, a little floral, and hard to take your hands off. Plan to make twice as many as you think you’ll need; your night’s about to get interesting.

Equipment Needed: Champagne Flute, Citrus Juicer or Reamer, 2 Storage Containers w/ Lids (16 oz or larger), Strainer, Spoon, Bar Spoon or Swizzle Stick


  • 1 oz blood orange juice (blood oranges are about $2.99/lb; 10 average sized oranges yield about 2 cups of juice)
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain (about $30/750 ml)
  • 3 oz sparkling wine (about $18/750 ml for the decent stuff)


  • If you can find blood orange juice already pressed you’re golden. Otherwise, slice your oranges in half and use your juicing implement of choice to get to it. Squeeze the liquid into one of your storage containers until you’ve got enough for your crowd.
  • You’re going to want to strain the pulp and skin pieces out; a chewy cocktail is not sexy. To do so, put a strainer over another storage container and pour the juice through it. Using the back of a spoon press down gently on the solids and get the remaining liquid out. Be careful not to press too hard, you’ll just be pushing the pulp back into the mix.
Move the spoon gently over the solids to squeeze out any remainders of the juice.

Move the spoon gently over the solids to squeeze out any remainders of the juice.

  • Now to the drink itself. Take a champagne flute and pour in some sparkling wine. Add a splash of blood orange juice and top it off with the St. Germain. Stir very gently a couple of times so the flavors meld. Link arms, drink, and repeat.

The Dainty Lumberjack

A deceptively smooth cocktail with an ax to grind.

Yes, we’ve been posting a lot of cocktails lately but hey, Jake just set up a sweet-ass bar in his apartment and we’ve gotta practice. This fall-inspired potable derives its name from its ingredients and surprisingly innocuous taste. Burly bourbon gets tempered and sweetly complemented by apple cider and Aperol. Don’t be fooled by the smoothness though, too many of these will have you throwing on plaid and raring to chop down random objects.

Equipment Needed: Rocks Glass, Shot Glass, Spoon


  • 1 1/2 shots bourbon (we used Knob Creek) (about $30/750 ml)
  • 1/2 shot Aperol (you can use another aperitif like Campari if you want) (about $25/750 ml)
  • 4 oz apple cider (about $3.50/half-gallon)
  • 1 cinnamon stick ($3.59/2 oz jar)
  • Ground cinnamon ($3.59/3.5 oz jar)
  • Ice (free)
  • Whole cloves (optional) ($3.99/1 oz jar)


  • Pour the bourbon, Aperol and apple cider in your glass and stir everything together.
  • Add a couple of dashes of cinnamon. Cloves add another level of taste complexity so add a couple now if you so desire (though you should keep it at 2-3 so you don’t overpower things).
  • Pop in a couple of ice cubes and give the whole mix one last stir with a cinnamon stick, which you can either toss in the drink or use for garnish.
  • Consume daintily (pinkies out!) and contemplate clearing a forest.

Summer Sunset

A drink that’s refreshing and warming all at once.

This simple drink is perfect for the seasonal limbo that is September. Is it summer? Is it fall? Well, it’s still warm enough to need something refreshing but nice to have something with a little backbone should the wind pick up. The sweet tartness of the blood orange soda is a nice precursor to the rich warmth of the rye. Put on a cardigan, roll the sleeves up, and mix one up.

Equipment Needed: Rocks Glass, Spoon, Shot Glass


  • 1 shot rye (we used Rittenhouse; about $25/750 ml)
  • 8 oz San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa soda ($4.99/6 pack)
  • Ice


  • Add 4 ice cubes to your rocks glass and pour in a shot of rye.
  • Top it off with soda and stir.
  • Quaff and start hoarding acorns for the winter.

The Sloppy Swede

Jag! Myket läckra!

Being almost half Swedish we love most things Scandinavian. This drink was inspired by some of the brighter flavors Jake experienced while he was studying in Karlstad. Slightly sweet, slightly acidic, slightly piney, this herbaceous delight is the perfect summer cooler for whatever you’re in for. Also, since the Olympics are on even your drinking should have a little international flair.

Equipment Needed: Paring Knife, Cutting Board, Rocks Glass, Spoon (to stir) or Cocktail Shaker (to shake)


  • 1 shot gin (we used Bombay Sapphire; about $25/750 ml)
  • 1/2 shot St. Germain (about $30/750 ml)
  • 1/2 shot Lillet (about $15/750 ml)
  • 2-3 TBSP cardamom simple syrup (you can use regular simple syrup or honey if you don’t want to make ours)
  • 7 dashes lemon basil bitters (use a couple dashes of your favorite bitter if you’re not cool enough to infuse your own)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 1 fresh basil leaf ($2.99/oz)
  • 1 fresh sprig rosemary (about $1.49/sprig)
  • Tonic water ($1.79/L)
  • Ice


  • Using your paring knife cut the lemon into discs and cut the rosemary sprig in half. Place a basil leaf and the rosemary piece in the center of a lemon disc (like a little lilly pad) and set aside for garnish.
  • Put a couple ice cubes in your cocktail shaker and add the gin, St. Germain, Lillet, cardamom syrup and bitters. Pop the top on and shake vigorously.
  • Pour over ice, squeeze in a little extra lemon juice and top the whole thing off with tonic.
  • Garnish with your lemon herb disc and consume. Skål!

Cardamom Simple Syrup

So artisan you’re gonna have to grow a handlebar mustache and start charging your friends $15 a drink.

Simple syrup is just that; simple. Mix equal parts water and sugar, bring to a boil, et voilà, you’ve got a sweetener for cocktails, drinks, dishes, whatever. We had some green cardamom pods leftover from an earlier experiment and decided to complicate our simple syrup a bit. The results are spicy, herbal and slightly citrusy, mixing well with gin and vodka (hint, hint).

Equipment Needed: 1 QT Pot, Chef’s Knife, Whisk, Strainer, Jar/Squeeze Bottle/Vessel To Hold The Finished Product In


  • 1 C water
  • 1 C sugar ($2.39/2 lbs)
  •  1/4 C green cardamom pods (the price varies but it will be significantly cheaper if you have an awesome spice store like Kalustyan’s nearby; about $6.99/oz)


  • Add the water and sugar to your pot and whisk it together quickly to dissolve some of the sugar.
  • Place the pot over high heat. Take your cardamom pods and break them open. Add the pods and their innards to the mix and whisk everything together. Bring it to a boil stirring occasionally. Turn the stove off and let the syrup cool.

Stir it up to make sure the sugar dissolves and the cardamom is at maximum absorption.

  • Once your syrup has cooled to about room temperature place the strainer over your container of choice and pour the mixture in. Make sure you got all the cardamom pieces out, seal it up and pop it in the fridge. It should last a few months kept cool in an airtight container.

Use a strainer; no one likes chewy syrup.

The Hot Tommy

Hot and soothing, just like our voices.

Cold weather and cold symptoms should not impede your ability to throw a couple back. In fact, it provides you with a perfect excuse to have a cocktail in the name of therapeutic benefit. This version of the hot toddy uses Irish whiskey (and Thomas’ name) to mix things up a bit but the general idea is the same: a warm drink with soothing flavors and a decent buzz.

Equipment Needed: Mason Jar or Mug or Thick Walled Glass, Shot Glass, Spoon, Tea Kettle (optional)


  • 1 shot Irish whiskey (we stuck with Jameson)(about $20/750 ml)
  • 1 tea bag (no need to get fancy, just use a generic tea bag or black tea for this application)(about $5/box of 100)
  • 1 TSP honey ($4.39/12 oz)
  • 1/4 lemon wedge ($0.50/lemon)
  • 4-8 whole cloves (about $3/1.75 oz jar)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks ($3.59/2 oz jar)


  • Heat up some water for your tea; you can either do this in a tea kettle or in the microwave (or over an open fire if you’re the rustic type). When it’s just short of boiling add the tea bag to your glass and pour in the hot water. Let it steep (or soak for you lay people) for about 3 minutes; 5 if you want it stronger.
  • Once the tea has gotten to your desired level of strength remove the bag and stir in the honey and whiskey. Drop in your cinnamon sticks.
  • Squeeze in the juice of your lemon wedge. Take the whole cloves and push them into what’s left of the lemon and toss the flavor bomb into the mix. Stir, sip and repeat until your cold is gone (or you’ve passed out and don’t care anymore).

The Drunken Pilgrim

In case of turkey emergency, drink glass.

Our friends Josh and Nette have an annual Pre-Thanksgiving dinner where they feed an apartment full of friends way to much food for the mere price of a signature cocktail to share. In addition to The Gobbler we wanted to pay homage to some classic holiday flavors: cranberry, cinnamon and…bourbon. Make sure to let your guests know if you make a pre-mix, though. We whipped up a big batch and stored it in the cranberry juice bottle, ultimately exacerbating fellow party goers drunkenness as they kept trying to dilute their drinks but ended up pouring themselves double after double. Good, if slightly slurred, times were had by all.

Equipment Needed: Rocks Glass or Highball Glass, Shot Glass, Spoon or Cocktail Mixer


  • 1 1/2 shots honey bourbon or whiskey (we used Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey with positive results)(about $25/750 ml)
  • 3 shots cranberry juice ($3.99/64 oz)
  • 1 TBSP whole cranberry sauce ($1.89/14 oz can)
  • 1 cinnamon stick ($3.59/2 oz jar)
  • 1 orange ($1.99/lb)
  • Ground cinnamon ($3.59/3.5 oz jar)
  • Ice (free)
  • Black pepper


  • Wash your orange off and slice it crosswise into thin discs. Remove any seeds if you need to and cut a slice from the center to the edge so you can set each disc on the rim of a glass.
  • Add a couple of ice cubes to your glass and scoop in a healthy spoonful of cranberries.
  • Pour in the bourbon and cranberry juice, toss in a cinnamon stick and give it a good stir.
  • Garnish with a dash of ground cinnamon, a grind of fresh black pepper and an orange slice.

The Kilted Caroler

A winter warmer with a brogue.

By now, when the thought of another holiday party sound as appealing as a root canal you’ve probably had it up to here with winter ales, spiked egg nog and hot toddies. No? Yeah, we didn’t think so and that’s why we like you. Warm your cockles with this delicious tea and scotch libation to keep the carols loud and the line for the mistletoe long.

Equipment Needed: Tea Kettle, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Mug or Glass, Spoon


  • Water (free)
  • 1 earl grey tea bag ($3.29/box of 20)
  • 1 generous shot of scotch (around $40/750 ml for the good stuff)
  • 1 1/2 TSP blood orange bitters (about $7/4 oz)
  • 1 blood orange ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 TBSP sugar ($2.39/2 lb box)


  • Fill your tea kettle with water and put it over high heat. While the water’s boiling cut the end off your blood orange until you get to the inner flesh. Slice two thin discs off, cut one in half and cut one halfway through for garnish.
  • Once the water has boiled add about a cup’s worth to your mug and put the tea bag in. Let it steep (read: soak in) for about 3-5 minutes depending on how pronounced you want the Earl Grey flavor to come through.
  • Add in the sugar, bitters and scotch and stir thoroughly. Squeeze in the juice from your halved orange disc and toss in the remains. Put the other disc on the rim of the mug, sip and go build an anatomically correct snowman for the neighbors to enjoy.