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….
Christmas is just around the corner and I have a few recipes coming to the site over the next two weeks, so stay tuned! I can’t believe how time is flying, before we know it, it will be the New Year. Does anyone have any big plans for the holiday or NYE? I have the perfect cocktail to get you in the mood to decorate the tree, listen to your Christmas vinyl, do some online shopping, and wrap those presents! My Peppermint Old Fashioned is great for your next holiday party or Christmas Eve and Day festivites. If you’re not familiar with a classic Old Fashioned it’s just Bourbon, sugar, Angostura Bitters and a twist of lemon and orange. Super simple! I didn’t want to over complicate such a simple drink, so I used the same template with just a few minor adjustments.
My main trick was infusing the Bourbon with Harney & Sons Peppermint Tea, which is devine if you haven’t had it. All of their tea is delicious and great for drinking on its own hot, iced, or using to infuse wine, vermouth and spirits. The tea is really fragrant so it didn’t sit very long with the Bourbon, I’d say 30 minutes maximum. Honestly, I only let mine sit for about 15 minutes and the flavor was already very strong. This will all depend on how minty you want your drinks to be, so I suggest straw testing as you go until you get your desired level of flavor. You can infuse a whole bottle or a few ounces depending on how many cocktails you want to make. You will need 2 ounces of Peppermint Tea Bourbon per drink. I would estimate 2 tea satchels for every 12 ounces of whiskey for the infusion.
Peppermint Old Fashioned
2 oz. Peppermint Tea infused Bourbon
1/2 oz. Honey Syrup (3:1 Honey & Water)
2 dashes Scrappys Cardamom Bitters
Build all ingredients in a single old fashioned glass, add ice, stir. Garnish with a candy cane.
Greetings everyone! It’s finally August, and by now everyone is trying to beat the heat. The summers are always a bit slower for bars here in New York, as everyone vacates the city to go upstate or down the shore on the weekends. People are slowly going back to their local watering holes, tired of rooftops and patios, searching for some cold AC and an even colder drink. I have whipped up another strong, and spirit forward cocktail, inspired by the rum old fashioned and colder nights to come.
Last year I was lucky enough to be one of the few bartenders to get their hands on Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple Rum by Plantation, as originally it was not being produced for sale. Due to overwhelming popularity they decided to keep making it, and this year it won Best New Spirit at Tales of the Cocktail 2016. So don’t fret because you should be able to get your hands on some!
“This rum was created by Alexandre Gabriel, cellar master at Plantation and David Wondrich, author of the book Imbibe! It is a tribute to the esteemed Reverend Stiggins whose favorite drink was the “pineapple rum” in the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Not intended for sale, the rum was created to share among colleagues and friends at Tales of the Cocktail 2014. “Victim” of its own success, it is now available in the United States. The manufacturing process of Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple is complex.”
This rum is delicious and rich, with slight smoke and aromas of tropical fruit like ripe banana, pineapple, citrus peel, and a touch of spice. This spirit is so versatile, you can drink it neat, on a rock, shaken in a daiquiri, or in a spirit forward cocktail, all will yield amazing results. Plantation not only puts out some of the best and most unique rums on the market, it is brought to you by Alexandre Gabriel and the team behind Maison Ferrand, one of the oldest spirits brands in the Cognac Region of France. They are responsible for Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Citadelle Gin, and Ferrand Dry Curacao, all staples for your at home bar.
The Plantation Pineapple Rum will pair well with other tropical fruits, citrus, spices like nutmeg, clove, and allspice, others rums, cognac, and so on. I paired it with Campari, allspice liqueur, and macadamia nut. I made orgeat and will include that recipe and instructions for making your own at home, or you can buy your favorite store bought almond syrup.
Stiggin’s Fancy Old Fashioned
1 1/2 oz. Plantation Pineapple
1/2 oz. Campari
Barspoon Allspice Liqueur
Barspoon Macadamia Nut Orgeat
Add all your ingredients to a single old fashioned glass, add ice, and stir with your barspoon until all the ingredients are incorporated and the cocktails is cold. Spray and discard a lemon twist, and garnish with a pineapple leaf.
Macadamia Nut Orgeat
1 cup macadamia nuts (either raw or dry-roasted)
4 cups filtered water or boiled water
pinch salt (if nuts are unsalted)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat a large skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add the macadamia nuts in a single layer. (If they’re already toasted, we’re just re-toasting them for a minute or two to add a bit more flavor).
- Cook over medium heat, stirring very frequently, until the macadamia nuts are just starting to turn golden brown and smell fragrant. For pre-roasted nuts, this will only take a minute. For raw nuts, this will take around 3 to 5 minutes.
- Immediately transfer the toasted macadamia nuts to a blender (I use a Blendtec because they are awesome) and add the water. Let the nuts and water soak together in the blender for 30 minutes or longer if you are able.
- Blend together the macadamia nuts and water until the mixture appears very smooth.
- Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag, squeezing out as much excess liquid as you can. If you don’t have a nut milk bag you should get one. JK, just use a fine mesh sieve, layered with cheesecloth. Then later purchase a nut milk bag via amazon, it’s easy.
- After you have successfully strained all excess liquid, whisk in your salt and cinnamon.
- We want to make a 2:1 almond syrup, the 2 being the sugar and 1 being the almond milk. Measure the almond milk, if there are 4 cups of milk you will be adding 8 cups of sugar. I split the sugar half and half with white and demerara, so 4 cups of each. If you want a much richer syrup do all demerara.
- Add the almond milk and appropriate amount of sugar to a pot and simmer on stove over low heat until all sugar has dissolved.
- Add 1 oz of Faretti Liqueur (my fave), Amaretto, or Brandy, and a 1/2 tsp. of orange flower water, stir.
- Use a funnel to portion your orgeat into bottles or jars and keep in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Make yourself a Mai Tai later after you have the Stiggin’s Fancy Old Fashioned now that you have orgeat in the house.