Dream Within A Dream...

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 "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream" a line from Edgar Allen Poe poem rings very true in how life really is.  Life can be so unpredictable, overwhelming and awe-inspiring at times and sometimes we cannot believe that is is our reality!  No matter what is going on good or bad all experiences make you "stronger than yesterday!"  I learned about this beautiful Poe poem not from school but from it being the underlying theme of one of the most iconic music tours is history from the one, the only, the legendary Miss Britney Spears!  Believe it or not Britney is a constant inspiration to me and will always be and just like her, "I go through life like a karate kid."  When I was concocting this dreamy elixir, all I could think about was how this cocktail was a high class, strong and vivacious lady drink and to me nobody embodies that more than Britney!  Enjoy this gin martini variation and let it take you into your own dream within a dream.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Martin Millers Westbourne Strength Gin
  • 2 dashes Scrappy's Grapefruit Bitters
  • 3/4 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz. Amaro Meletti 

Instructions:

Take out a chilled mixing glass and stir spoon and add in all ingredients above and 4-5 medium sized ice cubes.  Then stir ingredients for up to a minute until cocktail is fully diluted and chilled.  Next, take out your julep strainer and pour cocktail out into a chilled coupe glass.  Then peel a long grapefruit peel and express oil onto the cocktail and rim the glass with the peel.  Finally take the peel and roll up into what looks like a rosebud.  Cheers!

A little background on my preferred spirits and inclusions: 

 Martin Millers Westbourne Strength Gin:  A small batch London Dry Gin with notes of jade, jasmine, juniper, citrus peel, cardamom and peppercorn.  After distillation the spirit is shipped to Iceland and blended with Icelandic water.

Amaro Meletti:  Silvio Meletti began producing liqueurs in 1870 in Marche and a few years later began producing this beautiful Amaro.  With notes of saffron, lavender, violet, chocolate, anise and orange.

Dolin Dry Vermouth:  Produced in Chambéry, France since 1821 and is the last distillery in that region.  Tasting notes of lemon peel, green grass, tarragon and stone fruit.

Scrappy's Grapefruit Bitters:  Seattle Bartender Miles Thomas created this bitters line in 2008.  He set out to make an artisanal small batch bitters line made with integrity and quality  and he did just that.

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#MCM Mint Chocolate Malt!💕💋❤️🌹

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What to do for Valentine's Day is always on everyone's mind!  How will I make my lover swoon over my affection on this glorious day of Love!  The holiday began as a feast of love and affection and to recognize and celebrate Saint Valentine!  Only in the late Middle Ages did Geoffrey Chauncer begin the tradition in which lovers showed their affection by giving flowers and cards known as "valentines" and there ya have it!...Or if you are single even more the reason to treat yo self!  After all it is a day to celebrate love and what's better then loving yourself!  In fact another reason to celebrate this day I got from the amazing Liz Lemon (Tina Fey from 30 Rock).  Instead of celebrating Valentine's Day celebrate Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day!  One of the fearless leaders in the women's suffrage movement and it happens to be her birthday!  Here here!  Either way you look at it LOVE wins! Ok...now to the important stuff what cocktail to celebrate with?!  I am thinking something dreamy and mint chocolate creamy.  Check out my #mcm, the Mint Chocolate Malt!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Hershey's Milk Chocolate Syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz. Branca Menta  
  • Top with 1/2oz. Soda Water

Instructions:  

Take a Nick and Nora or any small stemware glass and put in the freezer for an hour before making this drink.  After that take out your shaker tin and measure out all ingredients and put in tin besides the soda water!  You do that at the end after you pour the drink out.  Dry whip shake all ingredients for like 10 seconds, then add ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds until you feel the shaker tin is ice cold with a slight frost on it!  You will feel it!  Then take your Hawthorne strainer and fine strainer and pour out all ingredients into the super chilled Nick and Nora glass.  Top the cocktail with a bit of fresh club soda and the drink will froth up some more!  Slap a single mint leaf together in your hands to release its aroma and essential oils and lay it on top of the cocktail.  So pretty and perfect like a classic malt shop refreshment!  Cheers Lovers! ❤️💕

A little background on my preferred spirits: 

Branca Menta:  Invented in the mid 1960's as a result of the popularity of drinkers adding a mint syrup to Fernet Branca to sweeten up the pungent amaro.  Resulting in a peppermint menthol dream that is perfect for sipping after dinner for dessert!  Don't worry Fernet Branca lovers it contains part of the secret Fernet Branca recipe.

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Old Fashioned

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The first documented definition of the word "cocktail" was in response from a letter in the May 6, 1806 issue of The Balance and Columbian Repository in Hudson, New York asking to define the word.  In the next issue on May 13, 1806 the paper's editor wrote back that is was "a potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water and sugar..."  On another occasion years later J.E. Alexander also describes the cocktail similarly in 1833, as he encountered it in New York City, as being "rum, gin, or brandy, significant water, bitters, and sugar, though he includes a nutmeg garnish as well."  Now after reading this, what does that remind you of...The Old Fashioned we know to love!  The name "old fashioned" came about referring to just that, the oldest reference to a cocktail!  Of course we know the old fashioned as being made with whiskey and it gained the most popularity with that spirit in the 1880's, but what if we decided to go back and make it with brandy one of the first ways it was made!  It is 2016 people and that means that it is the perfect time to switch up your normal drink routine and let me tell you with brandy this cocktail rocks even more!

Ingredients:

  • 1 white sugar cube
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 oz. Vecchia Romangna Italian Brandy

Instructions: 

You can either build this cocktail in the glass you serve it in or mix separately in your mixing glass and pour out.  I like to make separately and then pour out myself...ok here goes!  Drop the sugar cube in the glass and soak the cube with the bitters then take your muddler and crush the cube and make a paste.  Add the 2 oz. of brandy and stir and combine all ingredients without ice, really integrating the sugar into the spirit.  Once you feel the sugar has dissolved enough in the liquid add some ice and stir until the cocktail is cold and properly diluted.  Once it is ready and you haven't built it in the glass take a large round or square cube and place in a double old fashioned glass.  Take out your julep strainer and strain the cocktail out onto the fresh big ice!  Peel part of an orange and express the oil onto the cocktail and then rim the glass with the orange peel, then place peel in the drink.  Advanced barkeeps can even flame the peel!  Look for a flaming peel video tutorial coming soon... 

A little background on my preferred spirits and inclusions: 

 Vecchia Romangna 10yr. Italian Brandy:   Distilled from the Trebbiano grape with the "Charentais" method using a slow distillation process using small copper stills.  Aged 10 years in small Limousine or Slavonian oak casks.  Dry, full bodied, smooth with notes of vanilla and rich fruits.

Angostura bitters: Most commonly used bitters at the bar. (I am obsessed!)  Recipe developed as a medicinal tonic by German surgeon general, Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert in 1824.  Distilled in Trinidad and still made from the same 1824 recipe.  Flavor notes clove, gentian root, cinnamon, and tamarind.

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Ciao Bella ❤️

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Tis the season to be jolly and to drink a brandy flip variation!  Holidays to me are all about the egg drinks!  So decadent, very festive and perfect if you love boozy egg nog!  A flip is a class of cocktails that can be interchanged with almost any spirit.  The first mention of the term "flip" as a cocktail term was in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1695 to describe a concoction of rum, sugar, and beer that was heated with a red-hot iron rod, "Thus we live at sea; eat biscuit, and drink flip".  The iron caused the drink to froth and flip and there you have it!  The next mention of a flip cocktail was in the famous, Jerry Thomas' 1862 How to Mix Drinks; or, The Bon-Vivant's Companion and the best part of his recipe eggs were added!   Whole eggs, egg yolks or egg whites make any cocktail extra delicious!  A flip cocktail only contains the whole egg or just the yolk...egg whites would be a sour or fizz and that's another blog post!  So go for it!  It is completely safe when using fresh eggs and shaken up with alcohol.  This Italian Brandy flip variation is the perfect thing to serve at any holiday gathering.  Family and friends alike will jump for Christmas joy after this cocktail!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 oz. Lazzaroni Amaretto
  • 1/2 oz. Galliano Restretto  
  • 1 1/2 oz. Vecchia Romangna 10yr. Italian Brandy

Instructions: 

Take out your shaker tin and add all ingredients and dry shake/whip everything together for around 8-10 seconds.  Then add 4-5 medium sized ice cubes and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds until shaker tin is extremely cold and has a bit of frost on it.  Then take your hawthorne strainer and fine strainer and strain the cocktail out and up into a cute footed glass like a coupe or Nick and Nora or like I have below.  Then with a dry fine strainer lightly sift a mixture of cocoa powder and powdered sugar over the top of the cocktail not too little and not too much and there you have it! Ciao Bella!

 

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A little background on my preferred spirits: 

Lazzaroni Amaretto:  Created in 1851 by Palol and Davide Lazzaroni in Saronno, Italy it is made made from an infusion of their famous Amaretti di Saronno cookies.  Delicious!

Galliano Ristretto:  A delightful espresso flavored liqueur from legendary producer Galliano made in 1896.  Made using a combination of strong and bitter Indian and Kenyan Robusta beans and creamy chocolate notes from the Brazilian and Colombian Arabica beans.

Vecchia Romangna 10yr. Italian Brandy:   Distilled from the Trebbiano grape with the "Charentais" method using a slow distillation process using small copper stills.  Aged 10 years in small Limousine or Slavonian oak casks.  Dry, full bodied, smooth with notes of vanilla and rich fruits.

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Holiday Drinkspiration!

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"Holiday!  Celebration!  Come together in every nation!"  Love this time of year celebrating and spending time with dear friends and family, nothing is better than that!  As the holidays are fast approaching it is the perfect time to start to prepare something special for your guests at your holiday party and what better way then with a hand crafted cocktail!  Above are six different cocktails to get inspired by! (Top left to right Negroni, The Big Chill, Bees Kiss-Bottom left to right Manhattan, Bitter Bubbly, The Other Margarita).  Just scroll down a bit and take a look back on my last six blog posts and read about the recipes and the liquor that is in it...Three of which you will learn the history of how these classic cocktails were made and even the story behind their creation!  The other three are my personal cocktail recipes and you will learn how I was inspired to create each of these delicious concoctions.  Each post also has write ups on some of my favorite liquors, so go check them out and spread that holiday cheer!