Concord grapes are a true sign of fall. With thick, sour skins and a luscious, sweet interior, they’re harvested in September through late October. When I see them at the market I know exactly what I’m making — an Enzoni! If you’re not familiar with this drink it is a citrusy and fruity Negroni variation invented by Vincenzo Errico of Milk and Honey in NYC c. 2003. You can use any grape but my favorite is the Concord due to its rich flavor and vibrant hue. I’ve replaced the sugar with elderflower liqueur for a slightly more floral take for this Elderflower Concord Grape Cocktail….
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….
I bet you’re all getting ready for Thanksgiving this week. Ethan and I are both working the night before and we decided we’re staying home this holiday, which is exciting because we just gave the kitchen some updates and I love a good excuse to bake a pie (and make some cocktails). I wanted to post a cocktail for this week that was really festive and seasonal for everyone to make and enjoy with their loved ones. I’m so happy with this recipe because it’s so yummy and perfect for any Thanksgiving celebration. My Cranberry Harvest Punch can easily be made for a few or many, with some prep beforehand. Bourbon, lemon, apple cider, and mulled cranberry syrup. YEP! I said mulled cranberry syrup and it is so delicious I may just use it on everything! Pancakes? Ice Cream? Iced Tea? PIE? Who knows! What I do know is you’re all defintely going to enjoy sipping on a few of these.
First things first, you will need fresh cranberries, so if you’re making fresh cranberry sauce buy some extra for the syrup. I basically made a rich demerara sugar syrup (1:1) with fresh cranberries and brought it to high heat and then let it simmer with mulling spices. It’s super easy and didn’t take long at all and the rest of the ingredients are very easy. Make a batch in a pitcher or a punch bowl and all the work is done! You can also serve this drink warm. Just add all ingredients to a pot and heat until warm or you can keep it in a crockpot. Sip and enjoy.
This year was a hard year with the passing of my father, but it was also a very exciting year filled with promise and new opportunites. I consulted on The Archer, started the blog, got a studio space, had a lot of great press thrown my way and have gained many new clients. I am truly thankful for all the positive things and all the support anyone has given me. I’m looking forward to the holiday season and doing great things in the new year! Cheers to each and every one of you reading this and I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving.
Cranberry Harvest Punch (for 1)
2 oz. Bourbon (I used Wild Turkey)
3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
2 oz. Apple Cider
3/4 oz. Mulled Cranberry Syrup
Add all ingredients to tin, shake on ice, serve up in your desired glassware, and garnish with cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.
Cranberry Harvest Punch (for 8-12 ppl)
1 Bottle of Bourbon (I used Wild Turkey)
9 oz. Lemon Juice
3 cups of Apple Cider
9 oz. Mulled Cranberry Syrup
Add ingredients to pitcher or punch bowl and serve cold or hot.
Mulled Cranberry Syrup
2 cups Cranberries
2 cups Water
2 cups Demerara Sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
1/4 tsp. Cloves
2 Allspice Berries
2 Cardamom Pods
1 Star Anise
1 Cinnamon Stick
4 Black Peppercorn
Long orange peel
Combine all ingredients to pot, simmer so that all sugar dissolves, bring to high heat until cranberries become soft (about 10 minutes). Let cool and strain into bottle or jar.
Hey everyone! We’re a little less than 2 weeks away from Thanksgiving and I bet you’re planning all of your meals and cocktails if your hosting at your house for the holiday or friendsgiving. I’ll be sharing some delicious fall cocktail ideas in the mean time and I’m starting off with my Country Village cocktail. I developed this drink for the fall menu over at The Archer. It has Reposado Tequila, Fig infused Sweet Vermouth, Licor 43, and Chocolate Bitters. It’s stirred and boozy but also has a lot of desserty qualities which makes it perfect as an after dinner drink (especially if your serving some pie).
The fig infused sweet vermouth had some trial and error but I’ve figured out how to do it so that you can achieve the most flavorful (and easy) results. At first I got really excited when I found fresh figs, so I cut some up and threw them in a cup of vermouth and let it sit, periodically tasting it to see how much longer it would need. I wound up letting it sit for 24 hours and honestly wasn’t happy with the outcome. The problem with fresh figs is that they have a very short season, usually late summer to early fall, and then they disappear. This was a problem because I was developing it for a menu and I need ingredients to be available and consistant on a regular basis.
I decided to try making the vermouth infusion with dried figs instead. I knew I could always get them, we could order them in large quantities, and they would also make a delicious garnish! If this didn’t work I was going to have to go back to the cocktail development drawing board. I did a handful of dried figs in a cup of vermouth and within hours I was already getting a better product than the first time around. I didn’t even let it sit over night because the infusion had already developed such a nice flavor. I let it sit for about 5-6 hours covered, but keep tasting and if you’d prefer a stronger flavor you can let it sit longer. When your happy with the result strain the vermouth into a bottle, keep refrigerated.
1 1/2 oz. Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz. Fig infused Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz. Licor 43
2 dashes of Chocolate Bitters
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice, stir, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a dried or fresh fig.
Sip and enjoy everyone!
Hey Everyone! I’m currently up in the sky en route home from my Disney vacation with mom. I loved Disney so much I’m already planning my next trip back. I meant to write this post while I was away but the long days got to me, and honestly I was snoozing around 9pm every night. It’s safe to say my schedule will be pretty messed up for the next week. Excuse me if I fall asleep while making your drinks.
Recently I partnered with Time Out New York and Herradura Tequila for their “Meet the Bartender” series. I was asked to create a drink based on a place in the NYC area that felt like home to me. I picked an old soda fountain/luncheonette my Grandpa and I use to stop at from time to time. I was inspired by the location but also by the types of food and drink you enjoy at luncheonettes, like breakfast, coffee, milkshakes and egg creams.
I decided that the drink was going to be a fizz, but I wanted to use a whole egg to add more of a creamy texture to the drink. I wanted to incorporate coffee not only because it’s something associated with breakfast and something I enjoy there often but because my Grandfather worked at Maxwell House Coffee, which was located a very short distance from the luncheonette in Hoboken, NJ. I picked the Reposado expression of Herradura because of its notes of vanilla and warm brown spice elements. I knew it would go along with the flavor profile of the drink and add a lot of depth. Cinnamon ties the drink all together, an ingredient that goes so well with coffee, cream, and the flavors of the Reposado. Lastly the drink gets topped off with soda for the fizz element with a dash of cayenne pepper to add some spice.
Sunny Side Up Fizz
1 1/2 oz. Herradura Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz. Coffee Liqueur
1/2 oz. Cinnamon Syrup
1 whole egg
Crack egg into the larger side of your tin. In smaller side build tequila, coffee liqueur, and cinnamon. Pour smaller tin into larger tin, close shaker, and dry shake for about 15 seconds. Open tin, add ice, and shake on ice. Strain into serving vessel, top with soda, and dust with cayenne on top.
On Thursday November 3rd from 5-8pm I will be hosting a Happy Hour Event at The Archer in Jersey City, NJ where I will be making the Sunny Side Up Fizz. You can purchase tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tequila-herraduras-meet-the-bartender-happy-hour-series-tickets-28695512049 . After the Happy Hour you can vote for my cocktail online and at the finale event that will be held in NYC on Sunday November 20th from 4-7pm. Tickets available for the finale event here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-the-bartender-finale-event-tickets-28709282236 . Hope to see some of you there and check out the video for the series below!
Don’t forget to vote for me!
Hello Everyone! Remember when I said I’d have this recipe up by the weekend? I lied, I’m sorry. It was a really crazy weekend and I was exhausted. My mind couldn’t put together complete sentences so I stayed in bed and watched the Investigation Discovery Channel. I am finishing out the work week and then I fly to Florida to visit my mother on Sunday and guess where we are going? DISNEY!!! I haven’t been there since I was six years old and I’m really excited to experience it as an adult. Pastel castles and princesses please! We’re staying at the Polynesian as well so there will be lots of pics taken of that I’m sure. If anyone has any tips or recommendations of must see things please shoot me a message or comment below I’d love to hear from you!
But let’s get down to business. I saw Prickly Pears at the market and I have to embarrassingly admit that I’ve never had a fresh one (and boy was I missing out). I’ve had purees, delicious sodas, and jams but I’ve never actually eaten the fruit until now. They are in season from late summer to early winter (basically September-December). So if you see some, grab some because these are so delicious in drinks and on top of that they add a lovely saturated magenta hue to your cocktails!
For those of you that like tequila this drink is a seasonal twist on the margarita. Instead of using Cointreau or agave I added cinnamon syrup for a little baking spice touch. I love the combination of cinnamon and grapefruit, which I also added to the drink ontop of traditional lime juice. Happy muddling!
Prickly Pear Margarita
2 oz. Blanco Tequila
1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Cinnamon Syrup
4 chunks of Prickly Pear
Your choice of salt for the rim (I used pink himalayan)
Add your fruit, citrus, and syrup to tin and muddle. Add tequila and shake on ice. Salt the rim of your serving vessel and strain drink over ice.
1:1 Demerara syrup made with cinnamon bark, or cinnamon sticks. Combine sugar and water in pot on stove on low heat until it is incorporated. Add a generous amount of cinnamon bark or sticks, this will vary depending on how much you will be making but if you’re doing 1 cup I’d say about 5-6 sticks or 1/4 c. bark. Let simmer on stove, you should be able to smell the cinnamon cooking, but I suggest making to taste.
We’re finally celebrating the arrival of fall! Although I am writing this from my bed where I’m currently laid up with a cold. It never fails, I always get sick when the seasons change abruptly. The temperature gets cooler, the nights get darker, there is a brisk breeze blowing, the leaves are falling and changing color. It’s time to cozy up with your favorite jacket and scarf and drink something even cozier. It’s not hot drink weather yet so calm down!
During fall I love drinks with darker flavors with in season fruits, spices, teas, cognac, whiskey and darker aged rums (I always love Rum). I’m so excited about having the blog this fall because I get to explore some interesting and fun drink creation that I wouldn’t normally do at work. I’m in the middle of changing two menus right now (which has been hectic) but once they’re out I will get to share some of those cocktails here with you and post some other stuff that doesnt work for a menu but will certainly work for playing around at home.
I was at the market last week and spotted one bundle of concord grapes and almost jumped for joy. I decided to post the recipe for the Enzoni cocktail which was invented at Milk & Honey here in NYC back in 2003. This cocktail was inspired by the Negroni, but is a citrusy and fruitier version, and is super easy to recreate. The recipe calls for grapes, so you can make this with all different kinds anytime of year, but my favorite is Concord Grapes. When they are in season I just go nuts and this is the only drink I want to make. I also shot this in pretty blue glassware I bought at Brimfield!
1 oz. Gin
1 oz. Campari
3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1)
5 Concord Grapes
Add juice, syrup, and grapes to your tin, muddle, and add the rest of your ingredients. Shake with ice, and strain into a double rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a grape.
I know what you’re thinking. ANOTHER Pina Colada variation? But I just can’t help myself! I love tropical cocktails and especially ones that are rich, sweet, and contain coconut cream. Maybe I should just turn this into a Pina Colada Blog. I wanted to do something fun and seasonal, and theres only one thing I love more than Pina Coladas in the summer, and that’s Pumpkin Spice everything in the fall. Plus the weather has been on the hotter side here in NYC still so I wanted to get one more frozen cocktail in before my blender retires for the winter.
Haters gonna hate I guess but stop! There is no possible way you don’t like pumpkin pie. Call me a “basic B” or what have you, I simply do not care. I proudly indulge in lattes, yogurt, almond milk, fro-yo, beer, fudge, oreos, m&ms and anything else you can think of that comes in PS flavor. It is a glorious 2 months a year I get to enjoy all of these delicious things and I take full advantage of it!
This cocktail is super easy to make, right down to the pumpkin puree. The flavor combination of coconut and pumpkin was so good, I may try to bake a pumpkin coconut cheesecake or cream pie. To make the puree simply combine equal parts (I did 11 oz. each because the size of the coconut milk I purchased) unsweetened coconut milk and libby’s pumpkin pie mix in a saucepan over low heat. This will be on the thicker side, so add a half a cup of water and a half a cup of sugar to sweeten a little. When this is well combined add in 1 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (blend of powdered cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cumin, cloves, and allspice). Stir until incorporated. Allow to cool, bottle, and keep refrigerated.
Pumpkin Spice Pina Colada
1 1/2 oz. Spiced Rum
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz. Orange Juice
1 1/2 oz. Pumpkin Coconut Puree
Combine all ingredients in a blender pitcher, add ice, and blend on smoothie setting. Pour into serving vessel and garnish with coconut and some freshly grated nutmeg on top.