The Blind Melon

For our "Best of the Barrel" 3st of the Month, we're bringing in a TON of amazing bourbon and whiskey. But that's not the only stuff that gets barrel aged. 

So, we're also bringing in a few surprises - like this amazing cachaça from Novo Fogo. Similar to rum, cachaça (pronounced like this) is made from sugarcane. But unlike rum, which is usually made from molasses, cachaça is made from sugar cane juice. 

The Novo Fogo Tanger Cachaça takes the base spirit and ages it twice - first with repurposed bourbon barrels and then with Brazilian zebrawood. The finished product is complex and delicious - and perfect for sipping alone or mixed into cocktails like this one. 

When working with cachaça, we like to keep the flavors fresh and fruity to play off of the sugarcane flavor.

equipment:

cocktail shaker
cocktail strainer
tall glass

ingredients:

Novo Fogo Tanger
.5 oz fresh lime juice
3 oz fresh watermelon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
wedge of watermelon for garnish

method:

 

 

 

 

Combine all the ingredients (except the garnish of course) in your cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake with ice and transfer entire contents to the glass. Top with more ice if needed, garnish and serve. 

Caipirinha

This is a cocktail of differences. 

Easy to compare to a mojito, it's not. And with the base spirit of cachaça (pronounced ka-shaw-sa) that's sometimes mistaken for rum, there's even further distinction that needs to be made.

Let's start with cachaça. Like rum, cachaça is a sugarcane spirit. But where rum is typically distilled from the molasses leftover from sugar production, cachaça is actually made directly from sugarcane juice. It's fermented and distilled into a clear, deliciously-boozy spirit. Once made, it can be aged in barrels like rum to enhance the depth and flavor. 

In fact, one of our favorite cachaças, Novo Fogo, comes in various forms, aged in barrels for 1 or 2 years and even a variety aged in zebra wood. For this one, we're using the Novo Fogo Chameleon, which is aged for one year in repurposed American oak barrels.

As for this cocktail, the caipirinha, is the national drink of Brazil (where most cachaça comes from) and is not a mojito. First of all, there is no mint. Secondly, you usually do not add seltzer (unless you're trying to water it down a bit...which is not a bad idea).

So, let's make one!

equipment:

cocktail shaker
rocks glass
muddler

ingredients:

2 oz Novo Fogo Chameleon Cachaça
1/2 of a big, juicy lime (or one little lime)
2 tsp demerara sugar

method:

Cut the lime into cubes and add it, with the sugar, to the bottom of your shaker tin. Muddle to release the juices. Add the cachaça to the glass, cover and shake a bit to help dissolve the sugar. Add the amount of ice you would need to fill your glass to your shaker tin, cover and shake vigorously. Transfer entire contents into your glass. 

The Sparkler

Remember when you were a kid and nothing was exciting as being handed a sparkler? Well, these are not for kids but they're still pretty exciting. 

To keep with our theme of fireworks-inspired cocktails, we're putting a spin on a traditional Champagne Cocktail by adding a little Campari. Imported from Italy and both bitter and sweet, the Campari adds depth and complexity to the bubbles, balanced by the sugar cube slowly dissolving at the bottom. 

If making these in a large batch (we encourage that), go ahead and mix the bubbles and Campari, just save the sugar cube to be dropped in at the last second. 

We should note that we're actually not using Champagne, but Bolla Prosecco instead. Similar to Champagne, but uniquely Italian, it is fruity and acidic. Oh, and also delicious. 

 

equipment:

champagne flute

ingredients:

Bolla Prosecco, chilled
.5 oz Campari
1 sugar cube


method:

Drop the sugar cube in the bottom of your glass and add the Campari. Fill with prosecco and enjoy.


Bottle Rocket

As you probably know, we're taking July off from throwing our own 3st of the Month event.

Why? There's a few reasons. The first is that we already have an event that we're going to (you're welcome to join us). The second reason is that we're just kinda beat. We've been throwing these parties for almost a year. Which brings us to our third reason...we're working on one hell of a party in August to mark our 1 year anniversary! 

But just because we have good reason to take a month off doesn't mean we don't just feel a little guilty. So, we're making up for it by putting together this series of fireworks-themed cocktails so you can throw your own 3st in July - complete with a playlist and all. 

We couldn't do fireworks-themed cocktails without a bottle rocket. And like the flammable kind, this one packs a BANG! It's double-boozy thanks to the locally-made Pennington's Strawberry Rye Whiskey and a base of Anthem Cider (remember them from last December's "Bubbles" event?). Anthem is a great-tasting dry apple cider (not sweet) and perfect for this cocktail. 

We just ask that, like with real fireworks, you handle these safely. 

 

equipment:

10 oz resealable bottle
small funnel

ingredients:

2 oz Pennington's Strawberry Rye Whiskey
.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz cranberry juice
6 oz Anthem Apple Cider


method:

Make these in advance so you can ice them down. Using a funnel, add all ingredients to the bottle and reseal. Chill until drinking. 

Smoky Negroni

One of the reasons we love the Negroni is the sheer versatility of the cocktail. Simply by swapping out London Dry Gin for a New American Gin or Genever, you have a different cocktail. 

But this version takes it even further. 

We've thrown 'tradition' out the window by scrapping gin altogether in favor of Mezcal. Though some might say Mezcal is an acquired taste, it didn't take us very long to love it. It's a cousin of tequila with a smoky taste almost reminiscent of Scotch. Appearing more and more in many cocktails, its bold flavor makes it a natural for the bitterness of a Negroni.

But we didn't stop at Mezcal. We've also swapped out a bit of the Campari with Ancho Reyes. Made in small batches and infused with dried ancho chilis, Ancho Reyes is one of those things you should probably own, as even just a little can do magic to most any cocktail.

 

equipment:

cocktail mixing glass
bar spoon 
strainer

ingredients:

1.5 oz Vida Mezcal from Del Maguey
1.5 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz Campari
.5 oz Ancho Reyes
orange twist for garnish


method:

Combine all spirits in a cocktail mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir to chill and strain into a chilled rocks glass with fresh ice. Add twist of orange to garnish.

Greenhouse

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You probably get tired hearing us RAVE about the spirits we use. That's because we use good shit. 

Our goal when we started 3st of the Month was to turn people on to stuff they may have never had before and reintroduce them to things they should be drinking more often. Over the past year we've had dozens of amazing top-shelf spirits, wine and beer join us on our adventure. Every now and then we're lucky to have them back more than once.

Art in the Age is the perfect example of why we set out to do this whole 3st thing in the first place. This stuff is so good it can't be categorized or grouped with any other spirit. Made with organic ingredients, they craft creative infused spirits like ROOTSNAPSAGE and RHUBARB Tea. SAGE is a hell of a lot more complex than the name would suggest. It's kinda like a "garden gin," made with sage, rosemary, fennel, thyme, sumac, dandelion and angelica. Though it's lacking the key ingredient to technically make it a gin (juniper), we're happy they're coming back to join us for Juniper June.

 

equipment:

cocktail mixing glass
bar spoon
strainer
coupe glass

ingredients:

2 oz Art in the Age SAGE
.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
.75 oz Lillet Blanc
dash aromatic bitters
sprig of rosemary for garnish

method:

Add the spirits and bitters to a cocktail mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir to chill and strain into a pre-chilled glass. Garnish with rosemary.

Oh, Hi Barb

Oh, hi Barb! Can't you just hear the Minnesota accent?

If you've been following along with us for a while, you've probably seen us use Art in the Age Spirits before. And for good reason. This stuff is so good it can't be categorized or grouped with any other spirit. Made with organic ingredients, they craft creative infused spirits like ROOT, SNAP, SAGE and RHUBARB Tea. They're all so good that we've had them join us before, but we couldn't be happier to have them coming back to join us for Juniper June!

RHUBARB Tea features a botanical bounty of beets, carrots, lemons, petitgrain, cardamom, pure cane sugar, and of course, rhubarb. All organically certified and delicious. It's a confident 80 proof spirit that’s tangy but not too tangy–sweet, but not too sweet. Crisp and refreshing, but with a hint of spice. It's so good that we realized maybe it didn't need anything else but chipped ice. So, here you go...the easiest damn drink you've ever made.

 

equipment:

a glass....can you handle that?

ingredients:

2 oz Art in the Age RHUBARB Tea
rosemary and fresh strawberry for garnish


method:

Pour it in a glass with chipped or crushed ice. Garnish. Think you can handle that?!

Matcha Maker

We've been asked what makes a cocktail worthy of being on our website. It's pretty simple... knowing what it tastes like, would we order it in a bar? If the answer is "hell yes" it makes to the page. Despite the crazy color of this one, it's most definitely a hell yes.

Distilled from cacao (yes, that fruit that chocolate comes from), Solbeso has flavors reminiscent of brandy, rum, tequila and even grappa, yet it's none of those. For this reason, we've taken to seeing just how far we can stretch the surrounding ingredients and still get something worthy of sharing (we haven't failed yet). 

For this one, we've worked to compliment the flavors of Solbeso while also highlighting another current obsession: matcha green tea. Available here in Nashville at K&S World Market, it is a finely-ground powder of specially-grown green tea leaves, which results in a bright green hue from the chlorophyll. Packed with promises of health and wellness, it's a great way to add a little conscience to your drinking habit.

 

equipment

cocktail shaker
strainer
fine mesh strainer
cocktail glass

ingredients:

2 oz Solbeso
.5 oz lemon juice
.75 oz simple syrup
1/4 tsp matcha green tea powder
2 dashes orange bitters
1/4 tsp orange flower water
strip of orange peel and edible flower petals for garnish (optional)


method:

Add the Solbeso and matcha green tea powder to your cocktail shaker and dry shake (without ice) for a few seconds to combine. Add lemon juice, simple syrup, bitters and orange flower water and fill with ice before shaking to chill. Double-strain into a cocktail glass, garnish and serve. 

Applejack Mint Julep

Good ol' traditions. They're pretty cool every now and then. Especially when it comes to the first Saturday in May and it's DERBY TIME!

But just because something's always been done one way doesn't mean it's not in need of a facelift every now and then. 

Enter the Applejack Julep as exhibit one. 

Of course, the traditional Mint Julep is made with bourbon. We've got a recipe for it here. But this version swaps out bourbon for Applejack Brandy. The result is a smooth and sippable julep, whipped up in no time at all. 

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
muddler
fine mesh strainer
julep cup

ingredients:

2.5 oz Applejack Brandy
1 oz simple syrup
a shitload of fresh mint


method:

Muddle a small handful of fresh mint (about 15-20 leaves) in the bottom of an empty cocktail shaker. Normally we would stress just pressing and not pulverizing, but this time, beat the shit out of it since you'll be straining it anyway. Add the Applejack and simple syrup to the shaker, cover and dry shake (no ice!) for about 15 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into your glass of crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint and a slice of apple if desired. 

Tell No Lychee

If you've never had lychee, you're missing out. Originally from China, they're now grown throughout the world. When fresh, they look almost like nuts, covered in a rough pink-to-red skin that peels away to reveal a soft, white fruit. The flavor? It's like sweet perfume and is unforgettable! Lucky for you (and us), you can get canned lychee fruit in most any global market (and many grocery and gourmet stores). Packed in a light syrup, they're perfect for cocktails.

Speaking of unforgettable, that's kinda how we feel about Solbeso. Distilled from cacao, it has a totally unique flavor that just can't be categorized into anything else. It's definitely boozy (that's a good thing) and is a great canvas for all kinds of other flavors in a cocktail. 

When we created this cocktail, the thought was how to enhance the floral aspects of the flavor in both the lychee fruit and Solbeso, and the answer was simple: St. Germain elderflower liqueur. Just a half ounce of St. Germain is enough to tie together the flavors and when balanced with a little acidity from fresh lemon juice, the final result was epic. And that's no lychee.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
coupe or cocktail glass

ingredients:

2 oz Solbeso
1.5 oz lychee syrup (from canned lychee)
.5 oz St. Germain
.25 oz fresh lemon juice
lychee for garnish


method:

Combine the Solbeso, lychee syrup, St. Germain and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake to chill. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the lychee fruit.

Solbeso Sour

Unlike any spirit you've tried before, Solbeso is not tequila, not vodka, not rum and not moonshine - yet it kinda tastes like a mix of all of them. It's distilled from the fruit of the cacao, yes the same cacao that chocolate comes from, and just recently launched in our market. 

It's unique flavor makes it a blast for making cocktails, and we've been trying it in all kinds of stuff. (It makes a killer margarita)

But we can't help but think about that chocolate history. Even though chocolate is actually made from the seeds of the cacao fruit, something about Solbeso just begs to be paired with the same flavors that compliment chocolate - orange, mint, almond, etc. 

For this one, we're using a touch of amaretto liqueur, a little fresh lemon and lime and just a bit of sugar in the form of simple syrup. Trust us, you'll love it!

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Solbeso
.5 oz Collins Amaretto Liqueur 
.5 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
.5 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
cherry for garnish


method:

Add everything but the cherry into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cover and shake the shit out of it for 15 seconds. Strain into your rocks glass with fresh ice and drop in the cherry for garnish.

Grappa the Grape

We've all be there. Sitting at the bar with a bartender that takes himself a little too seriously. 

When we set out to kick of 3st of the Month last summer, we knew that great drinks didn't need to have an ego to taste good. Sometimes, a little sense of humor tastes pretty damn good too.

If you agree with that sentiment, this is definitely the drink for you. We're pairing an amazing high-end Alexander Grappa with grape juice concentrate. Not kidding. (See our blog post about Grappa if you're curious what it is)

Traditionally, Grappa is sipped neat after a meal, but this drink is not about tradition...unless you count mixing juice from concentrate when you were a kid as tradition. In all seriousness, the grape juice concentrate is a perfect addition. It adds a little bit of sweetness and a lot of flavor that naturally compliments this grape-based booze. 

 

equipment:

cocktail mixing glass
bar spoon
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Alexander Grappa
.5 oz grape juice concentrate, thawed
4 oz seltzer
orange peel for garnish


method:

Add the Grappa, grape juice concentrate and seltzer to the mixing glass. Give it a light stir to combine ingredients (but not too much so that you loose the fizz). Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice. Express the oils from the orange peel over the cocktail, drop into the glass and serve. 

The Veneto

In preparation for our April 3st of the Month and a theme that's "all about the grapes," we're playing around with some grape-based booze. 

In this cocktail, we're using Alexander Grappa, one of our April booze partners, to make a damn tasty sipper. Grappa can pack a punch, with proofs ranging from 70-120. Luckily, Alexander Grappa is hovering right at 80 proof, which makes it ideal for mixing into cocktails. 

We've written about Grappa before, but the key is that it is an Italian spirit. We figured we'd stay with that theme and mix in a couple other ingredients from its native land - Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur and freshly-juice Valencia oranges. Okay, so maybe these oranges didn't come from Italy, but you get the point. Don't split hairs. 

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
mesh strainer
coupe cocktail glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Alexander Grappa
1.5 oz freshly-squeezed Valencia orange juice
.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
granulated sugar for garnish


method:

After juicing the orange, rub the cut side of the orange on the outside edge of one side of the glass and dip it in sugar. Set it aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake the hell out of it for about 15 - 20 seconds. Double-strain into the cocktails glass. Enjoy!

Sage Advice

If you're not familiar with Art In The Age, you should be. Based our of Philly, they make some of the most flavorful, complex spirits with organic ingredients. We had their RHUBARB and ROOT at our February Bitter Lovers event and they were a hit. 

They use an incredible mix of botanicals and ingredients to flavor each of their spirits. Defying all classifications, they aren't vodka, they aren't gin...they're just good. 

For this cocktail, we used their SAGE. Slightly sweet and instilled with organic American botanicals including thyme, rosemary, lavender, fennel and, of course sage, it's delightfully mixable in both sweet and savory cocktails. And at 80 proof, it's not just some mild, flavored liqueur. 

equipment

cocktail shaker
muddler
hawthorne strainer
fine mesh strainer
coupe glass

ingredients

2.5 oz Art In The Age SAGE
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz fresh lime juice
fresh mint


method

Start by placing 6-8 large mint leaves in the bottom of your cocktail strainer and muddle to release aromatics. Add SAGE, simple and lime and fill with ice. Shake like hell for about 15-20 seconds and double-strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a single mint leaf on top. 

More Cacao Bell

When we set out to start 3st of the Month, one of the key goals was to turn people on to new shit. There's so much incredible booze out there that's just waiting to get discovered.

Our February 3st of the Month is definitely going to be one of discovery. We're working to bring you all kinds of new (and old) products from the fringes of the liquor store shelves. 

Solbeso is a perfect example of that. Distilled from the fruit the cacao tree (yes, the stuff they make chocolate from!), it's a spirit unlike any other. I doesn't really taste like chocolate though, as it's made from the fruit that surrounds the beans that chocolate is made from. It's really a spirit that defies definition. It's not tequila, it's not vodka, it's not pisco...but it has elements of all of those. Even better yet, they're officially launching their arrival in Nashville at Bitter Lovers, so you'll be able to taste it and decide for yourself what you think it tastes like! 

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
coupe glass

ingredients:

2 oz Solbeso 
1 oz pomegranate juice
.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
.25 oz demerara syrup
.25 oz Patron XO Cafe Dark
20 drops Fee Brothers Chocolate Bitters


method:

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to chill for 15 seconds and double-strain into a chilled glass.

Age of Distinction

It's been said that we're in the middle of a craft cocktail renaissance. Regardless of what you call it, we're thrilled to see bars of all types offering up more than just a rum and coke and some sort of sickening-sweet-tini as 'cocktails.'

For years, we as a country have been expanding our palates to appreciate those flavors on the outlines - sour and bitter. Just a few years ago, most people would have never heard of balsamic vinegar or arugula - now, they're on the damn menu at Applebee's. But we digress...

This awakening of sorts means that new and creative ingredients are not just making it onto the food menu, but the cocktail menu as well. It's with this in mind that we're pulling together an incredible group of products for Bitter Lovers, our February 3st of the Month. Today, we introduce you to two of those amazing boozes you'll be tasting; Art in the Age's RHUBARB Tea and Cardamaro. Cardamaro is the only wine-based amaro (which literally means bitter in Italian) in the US. It starts with Moscato wine that's infused with cardoon and thistle before being aged in new oak barrels. RHUBARB Tea is one of the most complex spirits you've ever tasted with tangy taste of rhubarb compounded by everything from cardamom to beet.

To showcase these two exceptionally-unique ingredients, we present the Age of Distinction:

 

equipment:

cocktail mixing glass
bar spoon
strainer
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Art in the Age RHUBARB Tea
1 oz Cardamaro 
1 oz fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
2 dashes Fee Brothers Cardamom Bitters
strip of grapefruit zest


method:

Combine ingredients in a cocktail mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill for 20-30 seconds before straining into a chilled cocktail glass. Express oils from the grapefruit peel over the glass before running it around the rim and dropping it into the glass.


Coconut Sake Cocktail

To say there's a ton of different types of sake is a massive understatement. Besides the typical differences, there's now flavored sakes that add even more variety to the mix.

Ty Ku Coconut Sake is a nigiri sake. Nigiri sakes are known for their cloudy appearance, where a small amount of rice content remains, giving a silky texture and mouthfeel. The flavor is subtle and not too sweet, but the tropical taste reminded us of warmer days during these winter months, so we figured we'd go with that inspiration on this tiki-like drink.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
collins glass

ingredients:

2 oz Ty Ku Coconut Sake
1 oz Sugar Island Coconut Rum
.5 oz blue curacao
1 oz fresh lemon juice
splash of soda
lice of lemon for garnish

 

method:

Combine sake, rum, lemon juice and blue curacao in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill and strain into collins glass with ice. Top with seltzer and garnish with slice of lemon.