egg whites

Whiskey and I are on a Break

This post is sponsored by Bacardi Añejo Cuatro. The thoughts and recipe are my own.

I’ve always thought of myself as a whiskey girl. I've never been shy about it. But I feel that it's time for me to start seeing other spirits. And I’m starting with Rum.

I admit that I've never truly given rum a chance. In the past, whenever I’ve thought to make a rum cocktail my mind immediately went to a mojito or daiquiri. But I’ve decided that if I’m going to truly accept Rum into my life, I need to break with tradition. 

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I was recently given a chance to sample Bacardi Añejo Cuatro, a blend of rums aged in American Oak for a minimum of 4 years. Just in time for my booze renaissance. I decided to approach this aged rum as I would any whiskey.

The Añejo Cuatro greets you with a golden brown hue and medium body. First taste is full of deep cherry and fruit flavors with a long woody finish. I decided to play on those fruit flavors and pair the Añejo Cuatro with Luxardo Maraschino liqueur.

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FOOTLOOSE

2 ounces Bacardi Añejo Cuatro

3/4 ounce Honey Syrup

1/2 ounce Lemon Juice

Bar spoon of Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur 

2 dashes Hibiscus Bitters

Egg White

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine ingredients in an ice-filled shaker.

Shake until well chilled.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

 

Footloose-2.jpg

I'm excited to see where my journey to explore other spirits takes me. So far, I think I'm off to a good start. For more rum cocktails, check out my FANCY RUM COCKTAIL featuring Bacardi Añejo Cuatro and sparkling wine.

New York Sour Recipe, National Bootleggers Day, and ‘The Good Stuff’

New York Sour Recipe, National Bootleggers Day, and ‘The Good Stuff’

New Years Eve, my hubby and I attended a party at a local bar. The party was, of course, a roaring twenties theme. Since starting Cocktail Crafty I have attended more 1920’s themed parties than I can count. My husband pointed this out and asked why do bartenders love to celebrate Prohibition. “You would think”, he says, “this would be considered a dark era in drinking history.” In theory, perhaps, but in reality Prohibition was anything but.

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Sunday Cocktails: Shrubs

This week I decided to try my hand at making a shrub. What is a shrub? It’s the combination of fruit, sugar and vinegar to make a syrup.

Why would I want to drink a cocktail with vinegar? Let’s talk a bit about vinegar and its effects on a beverage. I’ll try my best to avoid any shrubbery jokes. I’ll try but can’t make any promises.

Vinegar:

  • fermented sugar and water.

  • 5% acetic acid

  • Kills bacteria & microorganisms.

Shrubs are an old form of canning. By adding vinegar you stall the spoilage process. The idea of adding alcohol to create a beverage is centuries old, but forgotten until recent years. Not only does it help to preserve, it also helps to deliver flavor.

Your lips probably purse just thinking about vinegar. Vinegar excites an immediate reaction to our mouths. It has a very noticeable mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel is the sensation in the mouth caused by a food or beverage. It’s how your mouth physically reacts when you taste something. The flavor, the viscosity (or thickness), the texture; all help to contribute to the mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel is something we don’t usually think about and often neglect. It’s important to think about because it aids in how we enjoy what we’re eating. Let’s say you just finished an awesome sandwich. What are you going to wash it down with, water? Is that water going to be as satisfying as the carbonation of a glass of cola or a beer? Why do we crave the thickness of milk after eating something sweet? It all attributes to the stimulation we experience due to the mouthfeel. It just feels good.

Perhaps this is why using shrubs in a beverage is so satisfying yet perplexing. Our brains are not programed to think of vinegar as being refreshing. I trust that you’re not going to be taking swigs of vinegar any time soon.

The vinegar in a shrub attributes two things to a cocktail.

  1. There’s now a tang, a sharpness, that isn’t there with simple syrup. It stimulates the tongue with more intensity thus delivering more flavor.

  2. It modifies the viscosity of the drink, if only slightly. This makes for a smoother cocktail. The small adjustment in weight feels good against the tongue. (The same happens when you make a beverage using egg whites.)

I could continue on with my theories or we could get to making some drinks. Let’s make some cocktails.

 

Blueberry Thyme Shrub

  .5 cup Blueberries

   2 tsp Thyme

.33 cup Red Wine Vinegar

.33 cup Simple Syrup

Store macerated blueberries, thyme, vinegar and syrup in a air tight container up to one week. Shake daily. Strain before serving.

This recipe is for a small shrub *giggle*. I had some blueberries in the fridge that I'd forgotten about. I literally threw everything together in 2 minutes. 

The flavor will change the longer you let your shrub sit. I stored mine for one week before use.

After a week I strained off the berries and thyme using a french press. So much easier than using cheese cloth and a wire strainer.

I instantly decided that I wanted to make an egg white cocktail. I love the foam and the almost creamy texture. And topping it with club soda tones down the shrubs, making for a refreshing beverage.

Blueberry Thyme Fizz

1.5 oz Rum

 1 oz Blueberry Thyme Shrub

.5 oz Cointreau

  .5 oz Lemon Juice

        1 Eggwhite

           Few dashes Lavender bitters

Dry shake with eggwhites. Shake with ice. Strain. Top with club soda.

So the next time you're out and you see a shrub cocktail on the menu, I hope you'll give it a try. It might surprise you how much you'll like it. 

Imbibe Happily,

Nikki

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the Future of Cocktails

For a Back to the Future Cocktail... click here!

Whenever someone speaks of pre-prohibition or prohibition cocktails, it's hard not to sound pretentious or snooty. Some folks take it the wrong way. As if you're saying my drink is better than yours because its been around a hundred years. That's not the case. Heck, the rum and coke is actually a pre-prohibition drink and that's about as pretentious as a big mac.

It's about partaking in something that's been able to stand the test of time. Even after a century they're still considered good cocktails. To think that your great-grand-pappy once enjoyed the very same cocktail (well, maybe not quite the same) is awe inspiring.

We have come through the re-birth of cocktails. Once again back to the glory days of actually enjoying and respecting the spirits of then and now. Our pallets have been resharpened; once dulled by high octane liquor and high fructose corn syrup.

This Sunday I decided to focus on the past. I've often been inspired by the Clover Club Cocktail but have never actually had one. In fact I've had many bartenders make me a cocktail inspired by the classic but have never had one like the original. So, today I set out to correct this error and enjoy the classic concoction at home.

In my quest I found 5 recipes for a Clover Club Cocktail with 5 different proportions. I decided to look to these recipes as suggestions and went with my own measurements.

CLOVER CLUB COCKTAIL

2 oz. Gin

1 oz. Lemon Juice

.75 oz Raspberry Syrup

1 egg white

I made the raspberry syrup by combining 1 cup water, 1 pint of raspberries, and 2/3 cup sugar. I didn't use equals parts sugar and water this time because I didn't want the syrup to be too sweet since the raspberries bring their own sugar to the mix.

Now, if you're thinking that this drink is going to be sweet, think again. This a sour with a touch of raspberry. If you're like many who love their beverages more on the sweet side, you could always cut the lemon juice in half and increase the raspberry syrup.

I, instead, opted to add dry vermouth; inspired by the current day Clover Club of NYC. I added 1/2 ounce of dry vermouth and decreased the gin to 1 1/2 ounces. I very much enjoyed this version more than the classic. (Note to self: add The Clover Club of NYC to my bucket list of bars.) Now to sit back and enjoy another Sunday afternoon.

Imbibe happily!

- NGD