Morgue-arita

We're not typically ones for novelty drinks with silly names and gimmicks. Oh wait...maybe we are. We are talking about booze, after all. 

In a time when everyone seems to take themselves (and their craft) so damn seriously, what's the problem in having a little fun with your cocktails? None. That's what we say. 

So we're putting together a few Halloween cocktails with all the kitsch we can pack into 'em... but don't go thinking just because they have silly names or colorful garnishes that they're not tasty...because they are. 

Take this spin on a margarita for instance. We're using one of our favorite new tequilas, Sangre de Vida. Not only does it come packaged in a very appropriate hand-painted skull, but the shit is seriously tasty. To make it festive, we added some color with Aperol and used black ash salt to rim the glass (find it at specialty food stores or online). 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
rocks glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Sangre de Vida Blanco Tequila
.75 oz Aperol
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz agave nectar, plus additional for rimming glass
black ash salt for rimming glass

method:

Rim the glass by dipping the edge in agave nectar and black ash salt. Set aside. Combine tequila, Aperol, lime juice and agave nectar in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and transfer contents to prepared glass. 

Bitter Critter

We love tequila. We obsess about tequila. We would stalk tequila in the night if we couldn't just go out and buy it at any store. Tequila is very often our personal drink of choice. We suppose that there is a time and place for a margarita, and while shots of tequila are always in order, an interesting tequila cocktail always gets our attention. 

Tequila falls generally into three styles: (by the way we are referring only to 100% de agave tequila. Never ever drink or buy any tequila that doesn't clearly state this on the label. Otherwise you are drinking tequila flavored grain alcohol that will destroy both your insides and your soul) Blanco, which is unaged tequila in its purest form. Reposado tequilas have been aged for up to a year in wooden barrels, which imparts a slight amber color and delicate oak flavor. Anejo tequilas have been aged for a minimum of one year in wooden barrels, and have a deep, rich color and noticably smoky flavor. Each of these tequilas has its own merits, on their own or mixed into cocktails. For our purposes we used an Anejo in order to gain the most robust, distinct tequila flavor. As you will see, our cocktail contains other strong components, and we didn't want anything else to outshine the star of the show.

Equipment:

cocktail shaker or mixing glass
rocks glass
orange peel for garnish

Ingredients:

1.5 oz Trianon Anejo Tequila
1 oz Cocchi Americano Rosa
.5 oz Aperol
.5 oz amaro

Method:

Combine all ingredients in rocks glass filled with ice. Turn rocks glass into shaker or mixing glass. without shaking or stirring, return contents to rocks glass and garnish with orange peel. 

Roman Candle

Yup, the 4th of July is right around the corner and we're working on a special batch of fireworks-themed cocktails. Enter the Roman Candle.

But it's not just a name that makes a drink good for the 4th. It needs to be relatively easy to make, refreshing and easy to drink. Well, the Roman Candle meets all those criteria. 

We've basically taken a gin and tonic and added a little zest with the Italian liqueur Aperol. Italy...Rome...Roman... get it? Okay, so it's kinda a stretch.

We've also used one of our favorite gins, Prairie Gin. Unlike our attempt to make this drink firework-themed, this gin is no joke. It's totally organic and made with a hint of juniper and has a light finish that you need for a summer cocktail. 

 

equipment:

cooler glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Prairie Gin
.5 oz Aperol
tonic water
lime wedge for garnish

 

method:

Pour the gin and Aperol in the glass filled with ice. Top with tonic water and garnish with a lime. Think you can handle that?

 


The Most Unusual Negroni

We're just days away from (sold out) Juniper June at the Riverwood Mansion and it would be an understatement to say we're kinda excited. 

Of course we know the venue will be beautiful and the booze will be flowin' as we raise money for a great local cause, On Target 4 Vets...but there's something else that's got us really electrified. It's the idea that we're about to blow some freakin' minds when it comes to what people think about GIN. We're not talking about the gin that you stole from your parents liquor cabinet in high school. We've pulled together some of the best, most diverse gins from around the world. Scotland? Check. London? Check. Nashville?? Yup, check that too. 

But we really have to give a special shout out to Hendrick's Gin. Hendrick's broke into the American market a few years ago and completely changed what so many people thought about gin. Affectionally often called the "gateway gin," Hendrick's is a kinder, gentler gin with subtle flavors of cucumber and rose. It's a "most unusual" gin and when paired with a couple non-traditional Negroni ingredients, you get this cocktail. If you're lucky enough to have a ticket to this coming 3st of the Month, you'll be able to taste it for yourself, as it's one of two drinks they'll be serving up!

 

equipment:

cocktail mixing glass
bar spoon
strainer
rocks glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Hendrick's Gin
1.5 oz Lillet Blanc (good stuff, you should own a bottle for your home bar)
1.5 oz Aperol (also good stuff that you should own)
strip of orange zest for garnish


method:

Add your spirits to a cocktail mixing glass, fill with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a chilled rocks glass with fresh ice. Express the oils from the peel into the cocktail and drop it in the glass to garnish.

Bright Negroni

It's pretty convenient that Juniper June falls right in the middle of Negroni Week

One of our all-time favorite classic cocktails, the Negroni, is typically composed of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. Negroni Week has raised the profile of this simple cocktail with their annual celebration, encouraging bars around the world to embrace the bitter side of booze and donate a portion of Negroni sales to a charity of their choice. 

What's even more exciting is how this event has expanded the definition of what makes a Negroni. Bartenders are whipping up all kinds of spins on the classic - so we figured we should too!

In this version, we've swapped out Campari for it's slightly sweeter and less bitter cousin Aperol. But that's not all. We also opted for dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth. And for the gin? We grabbed one of our favorites, Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin is a unique, protected style of gin originating from the city of Plymouth, South West England. Since 1793 it has been distilled from a unique blend of 7 botanicals, soft Dartmoor water and pure grain alcohol at the historic Black Friars Distillery - the oldest working distillery in England. See if you can find another brand of gin that's so good it has its own class of gin!

 

equipment:

cocktail mixing glass
bar spoon
strainer
rocks glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Plymouth Gin
1.5 oz Aperol
1.5 oz dry vermouth


method:

Like the classic Negroni, this cocktail just needs to be stirred with ice. So add the ingredients to your mixing glass, fill with ice and stir until it's cool. Strain into a glass with fresh ice and garnish.

Doc Holiday

Our September 3st of the Month was a hit! 300 of Nashville's finest gathered to celebrate Whiskey and Bourbon with some incredible booze and delicious cocktails. 

One table that seemed to have a crowd all night was the table for Old Forester's Doc Holiday cocktail. A creative spin on a classic Boulevardier, with a few special ingredients.

They swapped out the classic Campari with Aperol, which brought the bitterness down just a bit and then added lemon juice and fresh thyme, which added complexity and earthiness to the boozy beverage.

It was such a hit that we asked them to share the recipe, and so they did. Here go you, Old Forester's Doc Holiday. . .

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
cocktail strainer
fine mesh strainer
rocks glass

ingredients:

1 oz Old Forester Signature 100 Proof Whisky
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz fresh lemon thyme, roughly chopped
slice of orange for garnish

 

method:

Combine all ingredients (except garnish, of course) over ice in a shaker. Shake to chill and double strain into glass over fresh ice. Garnish with slice of orange.

Stonefruit Sipper

Summer is winding down and with it so is the abundance of fresh fruits and summertime flavors. But don't go whining about it, drown your sorrows in booze like the rest of us.

This deliciously-drinkable cocktail is made with Belle Meade Bourbon, one of our booze partners for our September 3st of the Month event. With it we added fresh summer flavors though the addition of apricot liqueur, peach bitters and Aperol. 

When making cocktails, it helps to think of them like any other recipe - pulling together a balance of flavors ranging from sweet, sour, bitter and even sometimes a little salty. One taste of this one and you'll agree that the elements come together in perfect harmony.

 

equipment:

cocktail mixing glass
strainer
bar spoon
cocktail glass

ingredients:

2 oz Belle Meade Bourbon
.75 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz Lillet Blanc
.5 oz Aperol
.5 oz Apricot Liqueur
.5 oz Eli Mason Demerara Syrup
2 dashes peach bitters
star anise for garnish


method:

Start by chilling your cocktail glass with ice and water while you prepare the cocktail. Fill cocktail mixing glass with ice and add all ingredients except garnish. Stir to chill. Discard ice from pre-chilled cocktail glass and strain cocktail into glass. Float the star anise on top and serve.

Rum Pomander

An early form of aromatherapy, the pomander was a an ancient way perfuming one's self or environment. These days, it often refers to those oranges studded with cloves you see Martha Stewart making. Either way, it seemed a fitting title for this cocktail full of flavor and spice. 

The spice comes from the tasty 92 proof Spiced Rum from Sugar Island Rum Co. and a pinch of cardamom. The orange comes from the flavors of Aperol, orange bitters and orange flower water. 

It's a boozy, complexly-flavored cocktail, but one worth trying. 

 

3st of the Month presents: the Rum Pomander Cocktail

equipment:

cocktail mixing glass
bar spoon
strainer
collins glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Sugar Island Spiced Rum
.75 oz Aperol
1 oz fresh lime juice
pinch ground cardamom
2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes orange flower water
strip of orange peel for garnish


method:

Fill mixing glass with ice and add remaining ingredients (except the garnish of course). Stir to chill for 15-20 seconds. Fill collins glass with ice and strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with twist of orange peel. 

Biting Burro

Seems that everywhere you turn these days there's some interpretation of a Moscow Mule. You know...something and ginger beer. While this boozy beverage ain't quite a mule, it does have some great ginger kick from a ginger syrup we discovered by Mixer Elixer. Their Wild Ginger syrup packs a punch and mixes great with many things, especially tequila as we discovered. 

Tequila gets a bad rep thanks to those shots of shitty tequila you did in your college days. News Flash: you're not in college anymore and it's time to discover good tequila. While there are a million brands out there that we love, one thing is true of all of them: 100% blue agave. Look for it. 

We didn't want this one to be too sweet, so it's got a splash of another 3st favorite - Aperol. Part of the Campari portfolio, it's an Italian aperitif that's bright orange in color with a secret recipe of herbs, roots and citrus and has less bitterness than some others...but, damn if it don't mix like a champ! Just half an ounce added can cut through sweetness and round out the palate on cocktail. 

 

equipment:

collins glass
cocktail glass
bar spoon
strainer
chipped ice

ingredients:

2 oz good-quality blanco tequila
.5 oz Aperol 
.5 oz Mixer Elixer Wild Ginger syrup*
.5 oz fresh lime juice
4 oz seltzer
fresh ginger and lime for garnish

method:

In a mixing glass, combine your booze, ginger syrup, lime juice and seltzer. Add a few ice cubes and lightly stir 20-30 seconds to chill...don't get aggressive now, you want to keep the fizz from the seltzer. Fill your glass with chipped ice and strain your cocktail into the glass. Garnish with a thin slice of fresh ginger and lime. Kick back and enjoy, responsibly please.

*note: if you can't get your hands on ginger syrup, you can make your own by steeping fresh ginger in hot water before making a simple syrup or swap out the seltzer in this cocktail for ginger beer.