I’ve recently acquired a small trove of dasher bottles, pretty much exactly like the Peychaud’s bitters bottles. So, in my infinite wisdom, I’ve started putting all sorts of things in them that I’ve always wanted by the dash, but never had. Until now. Fuck yes!
Taking a page from the Gazzer here… re-working my Tom Collins, which I’ve always considered pretty bland, towards something a bit more vibrant. It’s still a super easy drink, but a few more seconds of prep can really make the difference.
2 oz. Gin
4 slices Lemon*
1 tsp. Pure Cane Sugar
Drop the slices of lemon in the bottom of a Boston tin, pour the sugar on top, and muddle with abandon. I mean, muddle the sweet jebus out of that shit. Thence, pour in your chilled** gin, and a few ounces of soda. Give it a bit of a stir to make sure the bulk of the sugar is dissolved, and pour unstrained into a Collins glass (you may need to assist the crap with the spoon.) Drop in a Collins spear (aka Chesterton) and top with soda (if required), and serve with a stir straw.
The issue here is vibrancy. Muddling the slices of lemon makes all the difference, as you get that amazing lemon oil out of the rind that you just wouldn’t get if you only used juice. It takes longer, but it’s so worth it.
*You’re going for .75 oz of lemon juice, so use your judgment. Maybe even muddle a few slices and see how much juice it yields.
**If you’re not chilling your gin for things like G&Ts and Collinses, then we don’t have much left to talk about. However, if had to use warm gin – like if you were stranded on a desert island or something – then it would be prudent to shake it over a small amount of ice, before adding the soda and pouring, unstrained, into the Collins glass, over said ice spear. Theoretically speaking, of course.
I came up with this drink for my brother over Christmas. He likes whiskey sours, but as far as brown stuff I was down to Knappogue Castle, so I just whipped something up and it turned out pretty friggin’ rad. I actually served it at the Hostel Detroit party, and it’s a contender for the opening menu.
1.5 oz. Irish Whiskey
.5 oz. Italian Vermouth
.25 oz. Demerara (2:1)
.5 oz. Lemon
Shake, double strain into a sour glass, and garnish with a super long ass lemon peel, if you’ve got the stones for it.
The second to last drink I made with the Bulleit rye was a Monte Carlo. If you don’t know about it, you’d better ask somebody, as the rappists say. But at the last minute, I pulled a changearoo, and swapped out the Ango for my root beer bitters… so typical of me. Well, needless to say, it ruled, and hard, and things were pretty sweet there for a while.
Fast forward two days…
Went to Eastern Market, and was surprised to find fresh Sassafras root for sale. I bot three bundles for five bucks, which ended up being about 350 grams. I took a third of it, and put it in 500ml of 151* Bacardi. The root is very moist, and slightly oily, and smells very much of the root beers, so I’m hoping for some pretty nice results in a few weeks, at which point I’ll probably add wormwood and maybe black walnut leaf. Is my search for the ultimate root beer bitter over? I’ll get back to you on that one.
You might have noticed that I’ve been using a lot of watermelon lately… It’s just such an amazing ingredient; tons of flavor, a little sour, a little sweet. Watermelon, what can’t you do? Have a look at this one…
1.5 oz. Blanco Tequila
.5 oz. Cointreau
.5 oz. Watermelon Juice
.25 oz. Lime Juice
Drop of Agave Nectar
3 Jalapeno Slices
Muddle slices in nectar & juice. Add booze, shake, double strain. Wowsa. Maybe a mezcal rinse? I dare you.
Also, I made a drink with 1 oz. Bourbon, .75 oz. Cynar and .5 oz. Watermelon. Guess what? It ruled.
Okay, I mentioned a watermelon drink I made last week – it was really good, but very weird – so I wanted to try it again. Turns out, it’s not good at all, it’s fan-frigging-tastic. I put a bit more time into how it should be made, and tweaked the recipe just a bit, but overall we’re in pretty good shape here.
2 oz. Watermelon Juice
1.5 oz. White Rum
.5 oz. Campari
.375 oz. St. Germain
Large pinch of salt
Shake over two ice cubes, briefly. Pour over ice block in rocks glass. Sprinkle salt over ice block.
Putting the salt on the ice block allows you to adjust the amount of salt you want in the drink. If it’s not salty enough, you can just swish that bastard around until it gets saltier. Also, as the salt melts the cube, it makes all these neat little indentions like this…
Sooner or later the plan is to have the bar open at noon on Sat & Sun, and serve a bit of brunch. Nothing crazy, just maybe a quiche from the place down the road, a locally made charcuterie plate, or even a bowl of pickles from my good buddy Todd. To accompany this, we’re going to create a Bloody Mary program which will consist of a few different versions of the classic – some traditional and some off the chunk – but each and every one delicious as hells.
Today I’m playing around with the one that will be called, “The Classic.” Accordingly, I’m trying to approach it from a traditional standpoint – sticking to the typical ingredients (no Srirachca, muddled tomatillo, etc.) without making it boring. And that’s tough. I’m not sure where the Bloody Mary was invented, but most of the really old recipes just call for vodka, tomato juice, salt & pepper and maybe a dash of Worcestershire – and they’re bland as hellzo. So here’s my take on the classic, keeping it authentic yet still drinkable.
2 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Fresh Tomato Juice*
.25 oz. Lemon
.25 oz. Tabasco
.25 oz. Worcestershire
.5 tsp. Horseradish
.5 tsp. Dijon Mustard
Shake over a bit of ice, pour over ice in a Hi Ball glass. Garnish with a celery stalk.
*I’m using a house made tomato juice that is going to be the base of pretty much all of these drinks. It’s nothing crazy, but it’s also not quite there, so I’ll post a recipe when it’s complete.
If you didn’t already see it, The Sugar House blog was listed in in Saveur Magazine’s “50 More Food Blogs You Should Be Reading!!!”
Thanks to Saveur Magazine, and all our new readers! We are honored, and will strive to continue to deliver the low-brow, slightly moronic humor and all around boozery that has gotten us this far!!! You can check out the full article here.
Today’s post has been retrofitted to observe MxMo LVII: Flores de Mayo. It’s being hosted this month by Dave at The Barman Cometh.
I’ve been “working with” a ton of Aperol lately – I just dig the stuff. It’s the perfect spring / summer liqueur; slightly sweet, citrusy and plenty bitter. And, I love me a Negroni – it’s one of my faves – so it was an obvious call for me to combine them and come up with a “Spring Negroni.” I went gin, Lillet blanc and Aperol (1:1:1). Great move… except it sorta sucked. I mean, it was fine, but not a revolution, and certainly not worthy of the Negroni namesake. A few weeks later, on a whim I threw dried lavender flowers into some gin, and whammy, it came together like… well… it just came together, okay?
.75 oz. Lavender infused gin
.75 oz. Lillet Blanc
.75 oz. Aperol
Stir & strain. I’m not garnishing this – I don’t think it needs it. The spring bitters are a really nice addition that actually came on the third pass. They amp up the bitterness and really compliment the citrusy component of the Aperol.
Aside from sipping on that shit neat, the first drink I made with that Bulleit rye was a Sazerac, natch.
2 oz. Rye
.375 oz. Pure Cane Syrup (2:1)
4 dash Peychaud’s
8 dash Absente
Stirred over 3 large and 2 cracked ice, for a minute. Rested. Pre-chilled glass, prepped with Absente (dasher bottle), twirled. Strained in (double), lemon peel expressed (Uyeda style). A fantastic drink. The rye really shines here.
Cocktail a La Louisianne
.75 oz. Bulleit Rye
.75 oz. Carpano Antica
.75 oz. Benedictine
4 dash Peychaud’s
5 dash Absente
Standard prep, cherry garnish. This drink is always a bit sweet for my taste, but the Bulleit tastes great here. I’m out of PeM, which would have been nice, but I would still probably prefer the Turk or Ritt 100 here, but what can you do? What can you do?
On a second pass I upped the rye to 1 oz., and dropped the vermouth and benedictine to .625 oz., and was much happier about it.
My third drink was the Manhattan. I went super classic here… no junk.
2 oz. Rye
1 oz. Carpano Antica
3 dash Ango
Stir, strain, lemon peel, etc.
Is this a weird Manhattan? Yes. Do I love it? Not sure.