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Batches and Bowls

Whether you are prepping for a weekend party or a spring picnic (we are probably several months early for that), you may be looking for ways to enjoy the event and the company of your guests without spending time mixing individual cocktails on request. Beer and wine are easy options, but you shouldn't have to sacrifice good flavors and quality ingredients just because you'd rather join the party instead of busily shaking craft cocktails. As log as you are willing to do some preparation a day or so ahead of time, you don't need to play bartender. We are talking about batched cocktails—a common request we get from friends who are either searching for the perfect recipe or are interested in techniques they can leverage to make the process easier once guests arrive.

For us, the Super Bowl refers to any vessel large enough to hold a batch of Philadelphia

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Republic of Jam Cocktail Club: Irish Scallywags

It's that time again when the masters of fruit preserves and culinary syrups gather their "citizens" for another quarterly Cocktail Club. When Republic of Jam puts on an event, it's sure to include an assortment of flavors to delight your tastebuds. This was no exception, and once again, we were invited to lend some creative cocktail ideas to the evening. One of the challenges we learned from last time was the fact that cocktails mixed in batches are served en masse and have to be prepared differently. Because all of the drinks get served as small samples on the rocks, none of them go through the typical construction process of shaking with ice. Proper dilution is normally a helpful byproduct, so we needed to take that extra water into account. By making these individually, you also have the flexibility of glassware choices and creative flourishes with the garnish.

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Bottled Cocktails

Perhaps it was just a matter of time—or the right occasion—before we rolled up our sleeves to make bottled cocktails. We'll admit, it sounds easy enough: pre-mix a large batch of your favorite drink, carbonate it, fill a bunch of bottles, cap them, and you have a portable cocktail that can be served and shared without the hassle of measured ingredients, ice, or bar tools. We've seen both Morgenthaler and Boudreau succeed at this in the bars they run, but is it really that simple at home?

To be completely fair, there's nothing new here. These techniques and recipes are tried and true. But before you take a crack at it you should consider a few things, starting with your cocktail recipe. It's a little trickier than just putting any old drink in a bottle. You need to avoid fresh juices or anything that could spoil over time.

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Republic of Jam Cocktail Club

This past weekend we were invited to participate in the quarterly Cocktail Club at Republic of Jam. Being asked to contribute recipe ideas was an honor, and it was even more exciting to be there to answer questions and provide details about each drink. Citizens in attendance were genuinely enthusiastic about the whole process. Many had questions about everything from ice options to spirit suggestions. It was a joy to see so many people excited to participate.

Each of the recipes were made in large batches and poured over ice to make service fast and smooth. This was a smart choice given the sample size of each drink, but if you make some of these yourself, follow the directions. Some of these drinks are designed to be served up, in a stemmed cocktail glass (chill glasses in the freezer ahead of time and serve without ice). Good shaking

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Gomme Syrup

Assorted Syrups

One of the joys of mixology, like many pursuits, is that it affords the cocktail enthusiast an opportunity to be creative. We're not just talking about the exploration of drink recipes, although that is a big part of it. In many ways, the best rewards come from making homemade ingredients. One of the easiest and perhaps the most inevitable is simple syrup, and although you can buy a commercial product off-the-shelf, it's so easy to make that buying it is rarely a consideration. After all, isn't that why it has simple in the name?

It turns out that a more appropriate name for this product is simplified syrup. As you probably know, simple syrup is merely a combination of sugar and water, but it is based on a more traditional product that also contains gum arabic. Gum or gomme syrup is better than simple syrup for several

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Lucien Gaudin

The Lucien Gaudin is a Prohibition-era cocktail named for the extraordinary fencing champion who won olympic gold medals in the 1920's. We don't know exactly why this combination of ingredients was named for the famous fencer or whether he actually enjoyed this drink. Was it the French vermouth that brought to mind the most famous Frenchman of the day? Was it named after an elaborate bar fight? Cocktails have certainly been named for stranger things. There is probably a deeper story to this one, and although it's sometimes fun to learn such details, being in the dark doesn't change the fact that this is a good drink, even if its origin is somewhat obscure.

It falls into the aperitif category as a cocktail you might consume before a meal. Like the Negroni, this drink combines Campari with gin and

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Poor Liza

We love drinks with Chartreuse so we are always on the lookout for when this ingredient pops up on a menu. There are a few bars around the country that have featured this drink because it's another masterpiece from the Violet Hour's Toby Maloney. We've been hanging on to the recipe for the Poor Liza for years but haven't been able to make it because we lacked the base spirit. It requires Poire William, or Bartlett pear brandy. Not to be confused with pear liqueur, this is a dry eau de vie—a true brandy made from whole fruit, fermented and distilled.

If you aren't familiar with pear brandy, you've probably seen the bottles—you know, the ones typically made in France with the whole pear remarkably contained within the bottle. We've always admired the novelty of growing fruit inside a bottle hanging from a tree branch,

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