An Oakland, California winery making elegant wines from varietals that aren’t necessarily known for being vinified that way. The friendly tasting room folks know what they’re selling and care. Check ’em out.
For some reason, it took me years to figure out I like a Bloody Maria about ten times better than the vodka version. I can’t imagine why it didn’t occur to me sooner. Tequila naturally pairs with vegetables, and I’m a big fan of savory notes in beverages.
Bloody Maria Mix
32 oz tomato juice
juice of 1 lime
1 Tbs cacao
1 tsp ground cayenne
1 tsp ground chipotle
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground true cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic, crushed
Gradually incorporate dry ingredients with a little of the tomato juice at a time until smooth enough to stir with the remaining liquid. Add lime and garlic. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
My preferred tomato juice, Knudsen, has some lemon in it to begin with, so you may want to add more lime for snap. For the cacao, it’s worth finding the dark, smoky, complex Valrhona. And I’m thinking a half teaspoon of cloves wouldn’t hurt a thing.
Reposado tequila is nice with this. But it’s a grownup drink on its own without the spirits, so if you have a Virgin Maria in your party, she won’t feel left out.
Yet another of my attempts to find something useful to do with seasonal produce besides cutting the stuff into wedges, this has some Bronx inspiration, though it feels more integrated and modern than most of my ventures into Bronx Cocktail territory. The dash of Laphroaig adds a little depth without peating it up much.
2 oz gin
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/4 oz orange liqueur
1/2 oz tangelo juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
It’s one of my favorite times of year: the season when all the interesting citrus comes in. I never really know what to do with it all since I’m not the sort of cook that does a lot of sweet dishes, and end up defaulting to drink recipes. Blood orange is an especially nice ingredient to work with. It behaves a little more like red grapefruit than orange in cocktails.
This recipe calls for both fresh blood orange juice and Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur. It was really coincidence that I ended up buying a bottle of Solerno pretty much at the same time as the fruit. I went to the store for some Combier, but they were out. The Solerno vaguely appealed, so on impulse, I decided it was coming home with me. Tasty product, pretty package.
Good Luck Happiness
2 oz calvados
1/2 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1 oz blood orange juice (half a fruit)
1/2 oz lemon juice
5-6 mint leaves
Break the mint leaves in half and drop them into the tin. Combine remaining ingredients and ice cubes, shake well. Strain into a double old fashioned; add fresh ice. Garnish with a blood orange half-wheel and mint sprig. ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
This one’s easy drinking but with plenty of character and snap from the calvados base—an inspired thought. I thought about going slightly more tart, but like the balance as it is. The mint is pretty subtle, a little twinkle here and there.
This is an original recipe I blogged for a Mixology Monday that called for a favorite niche spirit. I went with kirsch, a classic eau-de-vie made from cherries, and accented it with another niche item, dry sherry, which seems under-appreciated in my home country of the United States.
For those who haven’t had much experience with dry sherries, they have a distinctive pistachio and green apple aroma which comes from a compound called acetaldehyde, the result of oxidization in the presence of a layer of special yeasts referred to as the flor.
Dry sherries don’t hold well once opened, and should be consumed quickly—within a day or so for best flavor.
2 oz kirsch
1 oz dry sherry (anything labelled fino, manzanilla or amontillado)
1 – 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Amarena or brandied cherry, garnish
Stir kirsch, sherry and bitters with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add cherry garnish. ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
This is a dry, aromatic cocktail that would be suitable before dinner or for other Martini-type situations.