Gin Cocktails

Milk Washed Last Word ("A Mother's Word")

Awhile back I decided to play around with freezing edible flowers under ice. You've probably seen this on the web and Instagram, but I had never done this myself.  I created my floral ice balls by placing edible flowers in an ice ball mold, then filling the mold with water. The results were so beautiful I couldn't wait to add my flower ice ball to a cocktail. But what cocktail?

flower ice ball

Every cocktail I thought of didn't do the flower ice ball justice. I finally decided to make one of my favorite cocktails, the "Last Word".  Equal parts Gin, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino Liqueur, and Lime, the last word is a bright and sweet cocktail perfect for spring. There was only one problem. The traditional recipe made for a cloudy cocktail. If the star was the flower ice ball, I needed to reduce the drink's cloudiness. The solution? Milk washing.

Milk washing is the process of adding milk to an acidic base. The resulting curdled milk is strained off to produce a "clear" and smooth drink removed of harsh flavors.

I had never milk washed a cocktail before so I was super nervous. In addition to making a clear cocktail, I hoped that my milk wash would result in a cocktail that still tasted like a Last Word but less acidic. 

Milk Washed Last Word

I couldn't have been more pleased with the results. The harsh acidity of the limes was muted while still maintaining that bright lime flavor. While the herbs of the chartreuse were still present, they didn't stand out over the other ingredients. Overall the beverage was sweet and smooth. Almost a little too sweet. So I decided to add more gin at the end in hopes of adding some dryness.

Milk Washed Last Word

The only downside to the process was the tedious straining. I had to stop and change the cheesecloth a few times due to the build-up of milk solids. Still, I would be willing to try this process again with other cocktail recipes. There's something nice about relaxing with a bottled cocktail knowing that all the work has been done.

 

A MOTHER'S WORD

4 ounces Dry Gin

1.5 ounces Dry Gin (to be added at the time of bottling.)

4 ounces Green Chartreuse

4 ounces Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

5 ounces Lime Juice

4 ounces Whole Milk

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine alcohol and juice. Set aside.
  2. In a small pot, warm whole milk. Remove from heat before boiling. 
  3. In a separate container, stir alcohol and juice mix into milk. (adding the milk to the alcohol and juice mix will result in an instant curdle.)
  4. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Strain the curdled liquid through a chinois or mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. 
  6. Add 1.5 ounces dry gin.
  7. Refrigerate. Strain again if desired. 
A Mother's Word-2-2.jpg

Winter Negroni

Don't mind me. I'm just sitting here still waiting for our first real snow storm. Until then, I'm stocking up on winter cocktail recipes. I have my favorite Chartreuse Hot Chocolate and Hot Toddy recipes. Now, it's time for a classic twist.

The Negroni is one of my favorite cocktails that I don't have a lot. I'm afraid that if I order it all the time, I'll grow tired of it and it'll stop being a favorite. Recently I decided to revisit my old friend and it was just as good as the first time. But I always associate the Negroni with spring. Possibly because of its use of gin and it's bright flavor. So, I felt it was time to "winterize" my Negroni.

I love infusing spirits with baking spices. But I couldn't bring myself to infuse my gin with cinnamon and cloves. How often was I going to use this spiced infused gin? So, naturally, my brain turned to the vermouth. I could infuse sweet vermouth with baking spices, I thought. Then it dawned on me that what I really wanted was a Mulled Wine.

Winter Negroni-5.jpg

 

QUICK & EASY MULLED WINE

 

I love how simple and delicious this mulled wine is and couldn't wait to try it in my Winter Negroni. As for my choice of gin. I made sure to avoid any overly floral gins. I didn't want the floral flavors to compete with the baking spices. I've tried this recipe several times and found that a citrus forward gin like the Scottish Caorunn or a simple gin like Bar Hill works best.  

If you're familiar with the Negroni recipe you may also notice, that my recipe isn't in equal parts. That's due to the oranges I infused in my mulled wine. I found that taking the Campari down a step resulted in a more well-rounded cocktail. Whereas, keeping the Campari at one ounce made the cocktail slightly too bitter. Could I have gone back and omitted the oranges from my mulled wine? Yes. But I like my Mulled Wine a lot and I didn't want to tamper with it. 

 

Winter Negroni

WINTER NEGRONI

1 oz. Gin

1 oz. Mulled Wine

3/4 oz. Campari

In a mixing glass, combine ingredients with ice.

Stir.

Strain.

Enjoy!

 

So that's my Winter Negroni. I'm crossing my fingers for a snow day. How awesome would that Winter Negroni look tucked into a bed of snow?

Nightcap Cocktails

Whether it's the end of a long hard day or the cap on a fun night out, nightcap drinks are there to calm the soul and lull you to slumber. Often the lone cocktail of the evening, I prefer my nightcap to be spirit forward and robust. Here I give you my three favorite classic cocktails for capping off the night. 

 Rob Roy

Rob Roy

 Rob Roy

Rob Roy


ROB ROY

Think Manhattan but with scotch.


 

 

 Last Word - Nightcap Cocktails

Last Word - Nightcap Cocktails

 Last Word - Nightcap Cocktails

Last Word - Nightcap Cocktails


LAST WORD

Fitting name for a nightcap cocktail.


 Remember the Maine - Cocktail Crafty

Remember the Maine - Cocktail Crafty

 Remember The Maine - Nightcap Cocktails

Remember The Maine - Nightcap Cocktails


REMEMBER THE MAINE


 

 

 

Raise a Glass to Spring: 7 Cocktails for Warmer Weather

Raise a Glass to Spring: 7 Cocktails for Warmer Weather

Spring can not get here quick enough. To give Mother Nature a little push, I decided to focus on light and herbaceous cocktails for spring. 

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Punch in the City

Punch in the City

Ah, summertime in the city. There’s nothing like being surrounded by hot concrete in a congested city. Everyone sweating unapologetically. Inevitably, some wise soul will utter that classic line “it’s not the heat it’s the humidity.”

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Negroni Week 2015

Negroni Week 2015

One of the first cocktails I learned to make was the Negroni. My husband insisted on it. He'd gone to  a new neighborhood bar and fell in love with the bitter sweetness of the Negroni.

Since then we've had many variations. Campari is always a constant, but your choice of gin and sweet vermouth can seem to create a new drink every time. After trying so many different combinations I've narrowed it down to my absolute favorite.

 

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PB+J Gin Fizz

PB+J Gin Fizz

Is there anything more reminiscent of childhood than a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich?

I loved that sweet and sticky goodness betwixt two pillows of fresh white bread. I'd eat the edges off first because Mom refused to cut them. She didn't buy that bread just to throw part of it away. I'd delay gratification and eat along the outside until all that was left was that perfect pocket of ooey gooey Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly (always grape!). This was the beginning of my pursuit for the perfect bite. 

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A Romantic Holiday

Congratulations! You survived another (obligatory holiday) Valentine's Day.

For once hubby and I got Valentine's Day right. Rather than feel the pressure to purchase gifts that neither of us need (or want), we spent the weekend celebrating our first loves - food and booze. We unapologetically stuffed our faces at one of our favorite restaurants, then followed it up by spending way too much money on spirits we've only dreamed of trying. It was awesome!

 

CHARLES STREET 31

2 OZ. OLD TOM GIN

1/2 OZ. MARASCHINO LIQUEUR

1/2 OZ. CRANBERRY SYRUP

2 DASHES BITTERS

Of course having been brainwashed by society's idea of romance, I felt we should do at least one romantic thing this weekend. So I made us some cocktails and we cuddled up on the couch and watched Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. For most of my adult life I have seen references to this classic love story and felt left out. I managed to check Breakfast at Tiffany's off my movie bucket list a few weeks ago, so Roman Holiday seemed like the next obvious choice. In all I'm glad I got to watch Roman Holiday. When it was over I turned to hubby and said "I don't get it." 

Now, I get the plot line. Royalty is bored with their privileged lifestyle and runs away to experience real living. I get that. What I don't get is what's so freaking romantic about it. Maybe there's a glitch somewhere in my girl software. I was hoping for tears and to have my heart feel like it was going to explode. I didn't get that. I also couldn't get past the age difference between Audrey and Gregory. He's like 13 years her junior! No, you can keep your Roman Holiday. As hubby proclaimed "I like Knotting Hill better." 

I'm not surprised that hubby and I didn't swoon over their love affair. We've never really been the romantic types. Our first Valentine's day he treated me to flowers, homemade gifts and a beautiful card that he wrote the most touching message in. I did nothing. I suggested we spend the evening on my couch watching King of Queens reruns. (A show that we realized later neither of us liked.)  

Then there was the Valentine's Day that I made him fortune cookies with personalized messages inside. He didn't realize there were actual messages inside and ate a handful still stuffed with paper. 

And we're both still trying to forget the Valentine's Day I ruined because I was mortified he hadn't proposed. Audrey would have been proud of the cries and thrashing I put on that night. Man I'm glad those days are gone. 

Once we got over the need to live up to everyone else's idea of romance, we've been much happier. You can keep your flowers and sexy under-things. Give me a fully stocked home bar and food cooked in real butter instead. That's what I call real love.