I couldn’t have planned this post any better because today it finally feels like Fall. The windows are open, there’s a beautiful breeze coming in and it’s a most wonderful 66 degrees out there. Time for an old fashioned, right? 😉 I had an idea to make a Fall spiced syrup that you can use a number of ways all throughout the cold months. My favorite way to use it is in an old fashioned, but you can use it in a daiquiri, a fix, or even your coffee. Use it in any cocktail that calls for simple syrup by merely swapping it out and making your drinks a little more Fall appropriate….
Bonjour everyone! If you’re reading this, I’m probably touching down in France right about now. To celebrate my trip to France with Pierre Ferrand, I’ve made a delicious variation on one of my favorite Cognac classics and have come up with a Fig + Vanilla Sidecar. Like most classic cocktails, the exact origin of this drink remains slightly unclear. The first recipe appeared in 1922, in Harry MacElhone’s “Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails” and Robert Vermeire’s “Cocktails and How to Mix Them”. In MacElhone’s book, he cites the inventor as Pat MacGarry, a popular bartender at the Buck’s Club in London, but later cites himself. Vermiere states that it was MacGarry as well. I’m putting my money on Pat MacGarry!…
With all the recipe developing for menus and blog posts, my refrigerator becomes a graveyard for fruit, herbs and miscellaneous syrups. I try my best to eat and repurpose most of it for cooking, smoothie bowls, or other recipes throughout the week but sometimes there’s a little waste. I’m implementing a new rule that if I make it, I have to use it! I made syrups for posts on A Beautiful Mess and Palm Springs Style last week and was wondering what my next cocktail would be on my own blog. Fresh ginger and hibiscus, does that work? You bet it does!
One of the first cocktails that came to mind was one that I learned when I worked behind the bar at Flatiron Lounge, the Gin-Gin Mule. It was created by Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club in 2000 and was a milestone drink of the 21st-century cocktail renaissance. It has inspired countless spin-offs and heavily influenced the use of fresh ginger and homemade ingredients in cocktails. It’s a drink that I still find myself making for people at Dutch Kills when they request a bartenders choice, “I’ll have something with gin that’s refreshing”, I pretty much immediately make a Gin-Gin Mule.
This cocktail is essentially a fusion of two classics, the Mojito (rum, lime, sugar, mint) and a Gin Buck (gin, lime, fresh ginger, soda). I’ve replaced the call for simple syrup in this recipe with hibiscus syrup. You can find out how to make ginger syrup here and my hibiscus syrup here.
Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule, serves 1
2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Hibiscus Syrup
1/2 oz. Ginger Syrup
Add lime juice, hibiscus syrup, ginger syrup, and mint to your shaker and muddle. Lightly tapping the mint is sufficient. When muddling a good rule to follow in the words of Sasha Petraske is “bruise don’t abuse”. Add gin, ice, and then shake. Strain into a highball glass over ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and ginger candy.
I’ve always loved this cocktail but the hibiscus syrup adds a tart, fruity, and floral element that makes this drink even more perfect for summer (if that’s even possible). The sweet floral element of the hibiscus blends perfectly with the spiciness of the ginger and freshness of the mint. More than 10 years later and this cocktail is so good it still influences how I develop cocktails. Some of the most delicious drinks are so perfect just because they’re simple. Less IS more. What’s your favorite modern classic? Do you ever put your own spin on it? Tell me about it in the comments below.
I’ve been really wanting to do a gin and tonic recipe ever since I came back from Spain and for some reason, I just haven’t gotten around to it. A Spanish-style gin and tonic are usually made with a premium gin and the best quality tonic water, combined with your choice of bitters and various herbs, vegetables and fruits. I had some lemongrass syrup leftover from my national piña colada day post and I thought this would be the perfect time to make one. Gin and tonics are supposed to be crisp, dry, herbal and refreshing which makes them thirst quenchingly perfect for the very hot weather in Spain and the current summer temperature we’re experiencing here in NYC (or wherever you might be). The lemongrass syrup is super easy to make (you can find the recipe here) and when combined with gin, cucumber, Meyer lemon juice, and bitter lemon fever tree tonic water creates an effortless drink that is fragrant and full of flavor.
Cucumber Lemongrass Gin and Tonic
2 oz. Botanist Gin
3/4 oz. Meyer Lemon Juice
3/4 oz. Lemongrass Syrup
4 Cucumber Slices
Cucumber ribbon and lemon wheel for garnish
Add cucumber, lemon juice, and syrup to a tin and lightly muddle. Add gin and then fill with ice and give a quick shake.
Strain into desired glassware, top with tonic water and garnish with cucumber ribbon and lemon wheel.
The Botanist is a highly distinctive, complex, floral gin which mixes perfectly with the fragrance of the lemon grass syrup, and citrusy herbal freshness of the tonic water. The sweet Meyer lemon juice evens out the slight bitterness from the quinine in the tonic as well. This drink was clean, bright, wonderfully balanced and very easy to put together. They’re also very easy to drink, so be careful! After witnessing how serious they take their ‘gintonics’ in Spain, I have a new found love and appreciation for this cocktail. Do you ever experiment with different types of gin and tonics at home? Is there a favorite tonic you like to make them with? Special herbs, fruit, or bitters you like to include? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
I’m finally editing the hundreds of photos I took on my trip to Madrid, Jerez, Cadiz, and Seville, Spain. So stay tuned for that blog post very soon. I have so much to say about brandy, sherry, and the wonderful trip I took to the Cardenal Mendoza distillery and winery.
Cheers everyone and happy weekend!
If you’ve been following my blog over the past year, you know my favorite cocktail is a piña colada. That’s why I’m excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with Bai for National Piña Colada Day to bring you something delicious with their Molokai Coconut flavor. It turns out Bai is just as crazy about coconut as me!
What’s the great part about using their Cocofusion flavors in your drinks? They are super low in calories and sugar (only 5 calories & 1 gram of sugar per serving) and are filled with antioxidant goodness. We’re basically using this to add coconut flavor but taking out the guilt, which is A-OK with me! Any objections? I’ve paired this wonderful fruit juice with homemade lemongrass syrup, pineapple, and rum to bring you a fun and interesting variation on the much loved classic, the piña colada.
Lemongrass Pina Colada
1 1/2 oz. white rum
1 1/2 oz. Bai Molokai Coconut (any of their other cocofusions will work too)
3/4 oz. pineapple juice
3/4 oz. lemongrass syrup
For the lemongrass syrup, first remove the leaves on your lemongrass until you’re left with the white core (about 5 stalks). Chop it up and add it to a pot with 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water.
Bring to a slight bubble and then turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool on stove for a few hours and then strain out lemongrass.
Now to make the cocktail! Add all your ingredients to your blender pitcher, add ice, and blend on smoothie setting. It’s that easy! Pour into your serving vessel and garnish with a pineapple wedge, pineapple leaves, and a piece of cooked lemongrass.
I love how all the flavors compliment each other perfectly. The replacement of coconut cream for the Bai Molokai Coconut, makes the drink less creamy but doesn’t sacrifice flavor. The lemongrass is sweet and fragrant and blends together with the coconut to make a very crisp and refreshing drink. We couldn’t celebrate National Piña Colada Day without a giveaway, so head over to my Instagram for a chance to win 2 cases of Bai. All you have to do in order to be entered to win is make sure you’re following me @arseniclace, @drinkbai, and tag a friend in the comments you want to share a piña colada with! I will reach out to the winner on Instagram on 7/15. Cheers, good luck and thank you for reading this sponsored post here on Arsenic Lace.
Watching the produce change at my local farmers market is probably my favorite part of every season. I was super excited to see a variety of cherries available this past week and really wanted to make a pie. Instead, I’ve brought you cherry pie in a glass with this fun and easy twist on the classic whiskey sour. I’m not sure what’s better, the pie or the drink? I’d still like to get around to making a pie and maybe some homemade brandied cherries too before summer ends. The depth and color the cherries bring to this classic cocktail is wonderful, and it wouldn’t be a traditional sour without egg whites, so let’s get cracking!
Cherry Whiskey Sour
2 oz. bourbon
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
1 egg white
Peychaud’s bitters for garnish
In the larger side of your tin, crack your egg and separate, only using the egg white and discarding the yoke. In the small side of your tin add the lemon juice, simple syrup, cherries, and muddle. Add the bourbon and dry shake your cocktail to aerate and incorporate all ingredients. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a coupe and dash your Peychaud’s bitters on top. I drag a straw through my dashes to create a little design.
I love the way this cocktail came out. It’s super lush from the cherries and creamy from the egg white. It’s a really nice cocktail to serve after dinner, and like most egg cocktails, also a great brunch drink. But let’s be real – it’s any ANYTIME drink! I hope you can whip a few of these up over the long weekend. If you do, enjoy them and let me know how they turn out.
Is there a certain egg white cocktail you love to make at home? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Cheers everyone!
As Negroni Week continues, I thought I’d bring you another tasty treat. This time in cupcake form! I deconstructed the classic Negroni and made gin and sweet vermouth cupcakes with a Campari buttercream. I really have tons of fun thinking of ways I can turn cocktails into sweets and so far I’ve been pretty successful. They aren’t too complicated to make and if you’ve already been mixing up this cocktail at home, you’re halfway there with having all the ingredients. If you are anything like me, I usually have a full pantry, so I didn’t have to run out for much to whip these up just in time for hump day!…
The negroni is by far one of my favorite classic cocktails. It doesnt hurt that it's super easy to make as well (equal parts gin:sweet vermouth:campari). This coming week is Negroni Week, which is presented by Imbibe Magazine and Campari in efforts to raise money for charities around the world. There are so many variations on this drink but one that sticks out to me the most is by a co-worker of mine, and it's the bicycle thief. This is a collins spin on the negroni, excluding the vermouth and adding grapefruit, lemon, simple and topping it with club soda. It still fits the bill – bitter, sweet, and herbal. So I took it a step further and threw it in a blender. Because why not? I also added strawberries because they're in season which compliment the campari and gin perfectly.
Frozen Strawberry Negroni, serves 1
1 oz. Gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
3/4 oz. Simple or Demerara Syrup
Add all your ingredients to your blender pitcher, add ice, and blend on smoothie setting. Pour into desired glassware and garnish with an orange wedge and whole strawberry.
This strawberry negroni was really delicious and easy to make. I always wonder why people are so afraid of blenders? They totally take the work out of making cocktails. You can make yourself a negroni at home or your favorite variation but don’t forget to go out to your local bars and support them for Negroni Week! Participating bars donate a portion of their negroni sales to charity. The only thing better about drinking is drinking with a cause! You can find bars near you participating here. Happy Negroni Week everyone!
I love a good theme and excuse to make cocktails, and Derby Day has always been one of my favorites. I’ve done everything from throwing sponsored showings of the Derby to doing a DIY hat and mint julep class (which I would really love to do again), but this year I’m kicking it at home with this delicious Peach Mint Julep variation of the southern classic. This is a simple addition to an already simple drink that’s perfect for Summer and sipping on your porch.
Peach Mint Julep, serves 1
2 oz. bourbon (I used FEW)
1 barspoon peach liqueur
1 sugar cube
a handful of mint
2 peach slices cubed
Take your sugar cube, mint, and cubed peaches and place them in your serving vessel. Add the peach liqueur and muddle.I love to see the mint and peaches at the bottom of the glass so I opted to use glass instead of a traditional julep cup. If you have julep cups at home you can use them. They keep your drink icy cold.
Add your bourbon and then top with crushed ice. You can crush some ice in a blender or by putting it in a cloth bag and hitting it with your muddler. Garnish with a healthy bouquet of mint and dust with powdered sugar.
Here’s a little sneak peek of the wallpaper in my living room. The big reveal is this week so stay tuned. I’m in love!
Mint juleps are so refreshing but I love this one especially because the peach adds brightness and fruitiness to a somewhat boozy cocktail. These are definitely a little dangerous and go down way too quickly, so take it easy! I hope you’re all doing something fun today. Put on a hat, sip a Peach Mint Julep and route for your favorite horse! Happy Derby Day!
Hello everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. It is officially rhubarb season, so it’s safe to say whenever I can get my hands on some, I’ll be making cocktails with it! I made rhubarb syrup for another post on A Beautiful Mess and I couldn’t let it go to waste. The syrup turned out so good and you can easily replace simple syrup in most recipes for this stuff. The possibilities are endless! A winning combination is to pair rhubarb with strawberry, so I did a Strawberry Rhubarb Caipirinha. They are super easy to make and are so refreshing. Perfect for this time of year!
The main ingredient here is Cachaça. This spirit is called the rum of Brazil and rightfully so. The main differences between Cachaça and Rum are that most rums are made from sugarcane by-products like molasses. Cachaça is made from fresh pressed sugar cane, so the end result is a much more fresh, earthy, and grassy tasting spirit. My favorite Cachaça is Avuá Amburana which is a Cachaça that has been aged in Amburana wood that is indigenous to that part of South America. Resting it in this wood gives the Cachaça baking spice flavors like cinnamon, allspice, vanilla and fresh sugarcane. These flavors go so well with the rhubarb and strawberries that we’re adding to our Caipirinha. It’s like we’re eating delicious boozy rhubarb pie! You can also use a non-aged Cachaça like the Avuá Prata as well.
Strawberry Rhubarb Caipirinha, serves 1
2 oz. Avuá Amburana
3/4 oz. Rhubarb Syrup**
3 lime wedges cut into half (quarters)
2 small strawberries cut in half
1 sugar cube
Add sugar cube, lime quarters, strawberries, and rhubarb syrup to your tin and muddle. Add the Cachaça and then add cracked ice.
Do a quick shake, back and forth 6-8 times. We will be using the same ice we shook on, which is common in “peasant” style drinks, so after shaking open your tin and dump the cocktail into a rocks glass.
Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a pot on the stove with 4 cups of chopped rhubarb. Let simmer on the stove until all sugar has dissolved and the rhubarb is cooked, about 20 minutes. Strain the syrup into a bowl using a fine mesh sieve. Discard the rhubarb solids, or you can save them to use like a jam. I did and used it to spread on toast. Yum! This syrup will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks to a month.
This cocktail is super easy to make at home and I could totally enjoy these all summer long. The flavor combinations in the Cachaça and the fruit go so well together, this is certainly my most favorite Caipirinha that I have ever had.
Even Phil my cat is enjoying them in the livingroom!
I hope you decide to make these at home and if you do please let me know how they turn out in the comments below. Cheers everyone!