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Welcome to Our B(ooze) Log

Aaron Lahey
 
February 19, 2015 | Aaron Lahey

A Big Cherry Twist on a Big Apple Classic

The Cherry Manhattan
2 oz Napa Valley Distillery Cherry Brandy
1 oz Carpano Antica
2 dashes (12 drops) maraschino liqueur
2 dashes (12 drops) Abbott's Bitters or other high quality aromatic bitters
1 Luxardo Cherry for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice. Add cherry brandy, Carpano Antica, maraschino liqueur, and one dash bitters. Stir, DO NOT SHAKE, for 20 seconds. Garnish cocktail glass with Luxardo cherry, and strain contents of shaker into glass. Float one more dash of bitters on top, and you're done! Classic Manhattan flavor with a big cherry twist!  Served up in a chilled cocktail glass, makes one 4 oz cocktail.

*Note: An easy way to remember the proportions of the classic Manhattan: Manhattan's area code. 2-1-2. 2 oz spirit to 1 oz vermouth to 2 dashes bitters.

The true origins of the most ubiquitous drink in America remains a topic of some contention. The popular story goes that The Manhattan cocktail was first served at The Manhattan Club, in New York, sometime around 1870. A Dr. Iain Marshall is said to have first crafted the cocktail in honor of Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill's mother, during a banquet hosted by Lady Churchill. The drink was so popular, guests of the banquet would later ask for the drink by the name of the club they were first served it: "Can I have one of those Manhattan Cocktails?"

The story is likely fiction, but nevertheless the Manhattan remains the classic American cocktail. Specifically calling for American Whiskey in Jerry Thomas's 1887 edition of his famous bar tending guide. His book was the first time a recipe for the Manhattan was printed, and by some, this is considered to be THE classic Manhattan. Thomas's recipe included two dashes of maraschino liqueur or curacao, which is often absent from modern Manhattans. His recipe also calls for a 1/4 wheel of lemon to garnish, as opposed to the now standard maraschino cherry.

The cocktail I am going to make tonight is not a classic Manhattan. However, this drink stays very true to the spirit of Jerry Thomas's original, encompassing the elegant finesse one expects from true pre-prohibition cocktails. However, Instead of any kind of whiskey (American or otherwise) I'm going to be using an American brandy. To be specific, cherry brandy, made from whole bing cherries. To be even more specific, Napa Valley Distillery's cherry brandy, aged in charred American oak for two and a half years.

Let me take a moment to talk about this very unique spirit. The oak really comes through strong on this one, making it very dry and peppery on the front palate. This moves into a nuttiness on the mid palate, like toasted almond. Only on the finish do you get the cherry, which builds and lingers on the palate. The oak really gives this spirit a rye whiskey character, despite its true brandy nature. An esoteric spirit that eludes definition, it will make a Manhattan like no other.

Signing off for this week,
Your ever humble, curious mixologist,
Aaron Lahey


*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.

Time Posted: Feb 19, 2015 at 4:58 PM
Ian Winget
 
December 30, 2014 | Ian Winget

The Solo Maria

Ingredients
1.5oz Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila or other Premium Reposado Tequila.
.5oz C&B's Quinine Tonic Syrup
San Pellegrino Pompelmo Soda 
4-8 drops Napa Valley Bitters - Tamarind Lime Chili Bitters
Garnish: .5 Grapefruit wheel

Preparation
Add Tequila, Tonic syrup and bitters into a highball glass and stir. Fill with ice. Stir. Top with San Pellegrino Pompelmo Soda. Add straw and stir slowly. Garnish with .5 grapefruit wheel. 


*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.

Time Posted: Dec 30, 2014 at 1:03 PM
Ian Winget
 
December 30, 2014 | Ian Winget

The Close-Up

Ingredients
1.5oz NVD Old Hollywood Ginn
.75oz C&B's Quinine Tonic Syrup
1 tsp fresh lime juice
4-8 drops Napa Valley Bitters - Strawberry Rhubarb Bitters
Seltzer or Club Soda
Garnish: Lime wheel

Preparation
Combine Ginn, Tonic syrup, bitters and lime juice in a lowball or old fashioned glass. Stir. Add ice. Stir. Top with seltzer or club soda. Stir. Garnish with lime wheel. Enjoy and repeat. 


*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.

Time Posted: Dec 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM
Ian Winget
 
December 30, 2014 | Ian Winget

Lime Gimlet

Ingredients
2oz NVD Old Hollywood Ginn
.5oz Sonoma Syrup Co. - Sweetened Lime Syrup
.25oz Fresh lemon juice
6-8 Drops Napa Valley Bitters - Tamarind Lime Chili Bitters
Garnish: Lime Wheel

Preparation:
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Float lime wheel on top of cocktail.


*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.

Time Posted: Dec 30, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Ian Winget
 
December 30, 2014 | Ian Winget

Apple Brandy Rickey

Ingredients
1.5oz NVD Apple Brandy
.5oz Sonoma Syrup Co. - Sweetened Lime Syrup
Club Soda
Lime & Aromatic Bitters (Try Apothecary Bitters Co.)
Garnish: Lemon or Lime Twist & a thin slice of apple. 

Preparation
Add all ingredients into a highball glass. Stir. Fill with ice. Stir. Top with Club Soda. Garnish with twist and apple slice. 


*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.

Time Posted: Dec 30, 2014 at 12:21 PM
Ian Winget
 
December 30, 2014 | Ian Winget

The Sidecar

Ingredients
1.5oz NVD Brandy Cordial
.75 Grand Marnier
.75oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice (Meyer if you have it!)
5 Drops Orange Bitters (Try Berg & Hauck's, Bittercube, AZ Bitter Lab, or Cocktail Punk)
Garnish: Orange or Lemon Twist & more bitters

Preparation 
Combine ingredients into shaker filled with ice, stake until well chilled. Strain into chilled cocktail coupe. Add several drops of bitters to the foamy top coating the cocktail.


*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.

 

Time Posted: Dec 30, 2014 at 12:01 PM
Ian Winget
 
December 29, 2014 | Ian Winget

Napa Valley Sazerac

Ingredients
1.5oz NVD Brandy Cordial
.25oz Herbsaint (or premium Absinthe)
3-5 dashes bitters (Berg & Hauck's Creole Bitters, Scrappy's Orleans, 5 by 5 Tonic's Aromatic)
Garnish: Lemon twist

Preparation
Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice and set aside. In a second Old-Fashioned glass, add Creole bitters and the Brandy Cordial and stir to mix. Emptly the ice from the reserved glass. Quickly add the Herbsaint and swirl the glass to coat. Discard remaining Herbsaint. Pour the brandy/bitters mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with a swath of lemon peel. 


*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.

Time Posted: Dec 29, 2014 at 8:04 PM
Ian Winget
 
December 29, 2014 | Ian Winget

The North Star

Ingredients
2oz NVD Pear Brandy
1oz Tait Farm Spiced Apple Shrub
2oz Sparkling Wine
1 Sugar Cube 
3-5 Dashes Berg & Hauck's Aromatic Bitters (Try Orange or Lemon).
Garnish: Orange Twist

Preparation
Place suger cube into a Champagne flute and douse with bitters. Set aside. Add Pear Brandy and Spiced Apple Shrub to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into reserved Champage flute. Top with 2-4 oz Sparkling Wine. Garnish with an orange twist. 


*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.

Time Posted: Dec 29, 2014 at 7:48 PM
Ian Winget
 
December 29, 2014 | Ian Winget

The Genteel Pear

Ingredients
2oz NVD Pear Brandy
.75oz fresh lemon juice (Meyer if you have it!)
.75oz Ginger Gum Syrup
1 egg white*
1/8 tsp Orange Flower Water
3-5 dashes Berg & Hauck's Aromatic Bitters (Also try Orange or Lemon)
Garnish: a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

Preparation
Add egg white to a cocktail shaker. Vigorously "Dry Shake" the egg white for 30 seconds untill it's good and foamy. Fill shaker with ice, add Pear Brandy, lemon juice, ginger gum syrup, and orange blossom water. Shake vigorously until thouroughly chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktil coupe. Carefully place 3-5 evenly spaced 'dots' of bitters on top of the cocktail. Lightly sprinkle with freshly ground nutmeg. Enjoy and repeat (responsibly).


*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.

**Napa Valley Distillery suggests using caution when consuming raw eggs due to the slight risk of food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend that you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. 

Time Posted: Dec 29, 2014 at 7:35 PM
Ian Winget
 
November 22, 2014 | Ian Winget

Holiday Old Fashioned Simple Syrup

Cocktail Guru Jamie Boudreau aptly reminds us that "simple syrup doesn't always need to be simple...it can add robust flavors and create new opportunities for inspiring cocktails."

Try this adapted recipe for 'not-so-simple' rich simple syrup for your next Old Fashioned and other classic cocktails.

1 cup raw sugar (most minimally processed)
3.5oz Bourbon / Rye
1oz of your favorite winter bitters (Angostura will certainly work)
A large swath of fresh orange zest (white pith removed) sliced into matchstick pieces

Add all ingredients into a medium saucepan and set heat to medium. Stirr ingredients continuously with a non-reactive whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Do not let boil. Once sugar is completely dissolved turn off the heat. Allow to cool. Strain into a repurposed bottle or Mason jar. Use for all of your holiday / winter cocktail needs. 

Variations. Add some or all of the following to the saucepan to heat with the other ingredients. 8 whole cloves, 3 whole star anise, grated nutmeg, 10 crushed green cardamom, .5oz fresh or dried ginger.


Old Fashioned Cocktail
2 oz. bourbon or rye whiskey
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1/4 oz 'not-so-simple' rich simple syrup (recipe above)
Orange peel
Ice cubes

Tools: muddler, barspoon
Glass: old fashioned

Directions
In an Old Fashioned glass, add the syrup, bitters and orange peel. Use a muddler to gently press the orange peel to release the citrus oils. Add the whiskey and stir. Add ice cubes and stir again. Enjoy and repeat as desired.*


*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly. 

Time Posted: Nov 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM
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