Dixie Cup

We were just down in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail and poked our heads into the famous Napoleon House bar in the French Quarter to get a Pimm's Cup. One of the best, most refreshing summertime cocktails, it's a must-have. 

So now that we're back in Nashville, we wanted to do our spin on the classic Pimm's Cup and of course the first thing that came to mind is moonshine! Well, not just any moonshine, American Born Dixie Moonshine. It's a sweet tea moonshine that seriously tastes amazing! 

We paired it with some muddled cucumber, a little Pimm's No. 1 and a splash of club soda and the next thing you knew, we had one hell of a summertime sipper!

equipment:

cocktail shaker
muddler
collins glass
bar spoon

ingredients:

1.5 oz American Born Dixie Moonshine
1 oz Pimm's No. 1
4 slices cucumber, divided
2 oz club soda

method:

Place three of the four cucumber slices in the bottom of your cocktail shaker and press with your muddler to release the juice and flavors. Add the booze and a few ice cubes and give it a quick shaker before transferring entire contents to your glass. Top with club soda, give it a light stir to combine and garnish with that last remaining slice of cucumber.



California Citrus Smash

If you were one of the lucky ones that came to Juniper June, you might remember St. George Spirits. They brought all three of their gin expressions out from California and seriously blew some damn minds that night. 

But if you thought their gin was amazing, just wait until you taste their vodka! Yes, seriously, their vodka. They make three different versions and will be sampling cocktails at our August anniversary bash. Hopefully you're one of the lucky few that got a ticket in the 2.5 hours it took to sell out. If not, we're seriously sorry, but there's always next time. 

Okay, back to their vodka. For this cocktail, we're using their California Citrus Vodka. It's not a flavored vodka - it's infused. Instead of simply adding a flavor, they actually infuse peels from three different types of California-grown citrus before distilling. The mix of Valencia oranges, Seville oranges and Bergamot citrus is absolutely mouth-watering. And this recipe is a great way to enjoy it. . . though we could really just drink the stuff on the rocks. It's that good.

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
collins glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz St. George California Citrus Vodka
1 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
.25 oz agave nectar
slice of orange for garnish


method:

Combine everything but the garnish in a shaker with ice and shake to chill. Strain into a glass with fresh ice and garnish with orange slice.

Pirate Punch

We love a good Tiki drink. Scratch that. We love a great Tiki drink. 

But what makes a great one? It's a few things really. Obviously, you have to start with good booze. For this one we've used Shellback Rum. It comes in both a silver un-aged version and a tasty spiced rum. For the sake of simplicity, we made this with just the silver rum, but it would be even better with an ounce of each!

The second element you need is fresh fruit juices - and a variety of them ideally. And, finally, you need an element of spice. This can come in the form of a few dashes of bitters, a sprinkle of cinnamon or, in this case, a half ounce of Pimento Dram, an allspice liqueur. 

Because what really makes a good Tiki drink a great one is layers of flavor. Well, that and maybe a creative garnish or two. 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
tiki cup (or any cup, really)

ingredients:

2 oz Shellback Silver Rum
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz pimento dram (allspice liqueur)
2 dashes aromatic bitters
fresh fruit garnish

 

method:

Combine everything but the garnish in a cocktail shaker and shake the living daylights out of it to chill before straining into a glass with crushed ice. Garnish and serve. 

Thai Basil Dark Rum Mojito

Remember when Mojitos hit the vein of popular culture? Suddenly they were popping up at bars across the country - simultaneously gaining hatred and disdain by every bartender having to muddle mint as Mojito fever took over. 

But they caught on for a reason. Simultaneously boozy and refreshing, they are kinda the perfect summer drink. 

We recently played around with the standard recipe and make a couple swaps. Instead of mint, we used Thai basil. It's amazingly aromatic (like mint), but with a distinctive flavor different from typical basil. If you don't have any Thai basil growing in your herb garden (you should), you can easily find it at Asian markets. 

The other swap was using Pyrat dark rum in place of white rum. To further enhance this richness, we also used demerara simple syrup instead of white simple syrup. The result is a richly-complex, yet still refreshing, cocktail.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
muddler
highball or tumbler glass

ingredients:

2 oz Pyrat Rum
1 oz demerara simple syrup (equal parts demerara sugar and water)
1/2 lime, cut into smaller pieces
3 sprigs Thai basil, divided
club soda


method:

Place the chunks of lime and two of the three sprigs of basil in the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Using a muddler, press the limes and basil to squeeze out the juice and release aromatics from the lime peel and fresh basil. Add rum and demerara simple to the shaker and toss in a few cubes of ice. Give it a quick shake and transfer entire contents to your chilled glass. Rinse the shaker with a splash of club soda to get every drop of boozy goodness and pour that into your cocktail. Top with more club soda and garnish with remaining sprig of Thai basil.

Bourbon Fuzz

In case you haven't noticed, it's PEACH SEASON in Nashville! Pretty much anywhere you go, you can find amazing fresh peaches courtesy of The Peach Truck

Unlike grocery store peaches, The Peach Truck brings the peaches straight from the farm in Georgia to Nashville within hours of being plucked from the tree. The result is a fresh peach that dreams are made of. You know, juices running down your chin kind of dreams. 

Anytime we've got fresh fruit, thoughts automatically go to 'what cocktail can we put that in'? With peaches, you're pretty much unlimited. They go great with rum, gin, tequila and of course, bourbon. 

For this cocktail, we've paired the ripe, juicy peaches with Four Roses Bourbon and added a few other special ingredients to make it refreshing but still complex. If you'd like, try swapping out the bourbon for a good quality aged tequila.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
muddler
strainer
fine mesh strainer
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Four Roses Bourbon
1/2 fresh peach, plus more for garnish
1/2 oz demerara simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Peach Brandy
club soda


method:

Start by placing the peach half in the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Using your muddler, mash it to release the juices. Since we only want the flavor of the peach, transfer the mashed peach to your fine mesh strainer and use your muddler to push through the juice into your shaker and discard the skin and remnants. Add the bourbon, demerara simple syrup, lemon, Cynar and brandy to your shaker and fill with ice. Shake it vigorously for 10-15 seconds before straining into your rocks glass with fresh ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a slice of peach. 

Let's Make a Dill

Way back in August of 2014, we gathered with a group of about 200 people for our very first 3st of the Month. Since we were launching the concept, we really didn't have much of a theme, instead opting to bring together a variety of spirits. 

One of those spirits was Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka. Ever since then, we've had folks asking us about it and when they would get to have it again. Well, good news! They're coming back (with their Gin too!) for Juniper June.

For a while there, flavored vodkas seemed to be heading the direction of scented candles with nasty flavors like wedding cake and whipped cream. Thankfully, folks like Prairie are reclaiming flavored vodka for those of us that prefer real flavors. Their cucumber vodka is subtle and natural - and perfect for summer! 

Playing off the fresh cucumber flavor, we decided to add a little extra freshness with fresh dill. Muddled, shaken and strained, it gives a unique edge to this notable spirit.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
muddler
strainer
collins glass

ingredients:

2 oz Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka
1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
2 sprigs fresh dill (one for garnish)
3 oz seltzer


method:

Muddle one sprig of dill in the bottom of your cocktail shaker to release aromatics. Add the Prairie Organic Cucumber vodka, lemon and simple before filling with ice and shaking like hell. Strain it into a collins glass with fresh ice and top with seltzer. Give it a light stir and garnish with the remaining sprig of fresh dill.

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. 

Key Lime Mojito

Mojitos. They're the bane of every bartender's existence. As soon as one gets ordered, everyone wants one. All that damn muddlin' and prep. 

But people order them for a reason. Because they're fucking delicious. Fresh mint, lime, sugar, rum and seltzer combine to make one hell of a tasty cocktail. 

We've got a bottle of the Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum and were wondering what to do to a mojito that would make it stand up the intense flavor of really good rum. The answer was simple, swap out regular limes for key limes

Valued for their tart and bitter flavor, key limes have more acidity (and seeds) than regular limes. They're easy to find fresh in about any grocery store, so please don't cop out with bottled juice, okay?

 

equipment:

muddler
cocktail shaker
bar spoon
tall glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum
2 whole fresh key limes
2 sprigs fresh mint (about 12 leaves)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
5-6 oz seltzer
fresh mint and lime for garnish


method:

Cut the fresh limes into quarters and drop them into the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Add the fresh mint and sugar and muddle to press and release the juices from the lime and the flavor of the mint. Add the rum and stir with a bar spoon to finish dissolving the sugar. Add a few cubes of ice and give it a quick shake before transferring to your glass. Rinse the shaker with the seltzer and pour into glass. Give it a light stir and fill with more ice if needed. 

Moonshine Julep

Of course the traditional method of making a mint julep calls for bourbon. But if you know us at all by now, you know we're not necessarily traditionalists. 

There's a million and one ways to make a mint julep, but this method calls for a homemade fresh mint syrup. To make, take equal parts of granulated sugar, water and tightly-packed mint (stems and all). Bring it to a boil and remove from the heat to let it cool before straining to remove the mint. What's left will keep refrigerated for a couple weeks.

But back to that moonshine. We're using one of our all-time favorites, American Born. It's important to note that not all moonshines are made equal. Many are basically just vodka, but not American Born.  Packing a proof of 103, it has sweet grain flavor and is basically just unaged whiskey. It's good stuff and perfect for making a mint julep.

 

ingredients:

2.5 oz American Born Moonshine
1 oz mint syrup (see recipe above)
sprig of fresh mint

method:

Fill your glass with crushed ice. In a separate mixing glass, combine the moonshine and mint syrup and pour over the crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint. 

 


Lime & Orange Tequila Jelly Shots

These aren't the Jell-o shots of your youth. Forget those little cups with grape, cherry, and lime vodka-spiked slurpers. These are some high-test, high-grade, high-class jelly shots! 

Made with pure, unflavored (and unsweetened) gelatin, the flavors of the Espolón Reposado and other top-notch ingredients shine through in two different layers, one made with fresh lime juice and the other with fresh-squeezed orange juice. 

Once made, you can slice them into bite-sized 'shots' and serve them with a side of kosher salt for dipping if desired. 

 

equipment:

saucepan
bowl
whisk
9" square pan

ingredients:

LIME LAYER
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
2 packages of unflavored gelatin (.5 oz total)
1/4 cup orange liqueur
3/4 cup Espolón Reposado
1/4 cup agave nectar

ORANGE LAYER
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
2 packages of unflavored gelatin (.5 oz total)
1/4 cup orange liqueur
3/4 cup Espolón Reposado
4-6 dashes orange bitters


method:

You'll make one layer at a time, allowing the first to chill before adding the second. In a saucepan, add the juice and simple syrup. Sprinkle the gelatin over top of the liquid and allow it to absorb liquid before placing over low heat. Stir to combine until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add in remaining ingredients.

Pour the completed mixture into your pan, starting with your lime layer. Refrigerate for two hours or until set. Pour the orange layer on top and return to the refrigerator overnight.

Blackberry on High

There are hundreds of tequilas on the market, but only a few deserve to be featured at 3st of the Month. One of those is Avión Tequila. Why? There's a few reasons we think it's so good, so let us tell you...

Avión is made with estate-grown agave from the town of Jesus Maria in Jalisco, Mexico. It's located at the highest point in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico. Jesus Maria is the most desirable region for tequila production due to the climate, rich soil and high elevation. Then they take the heart of these agave plants and slowly roast them in brick ovens for THREE DAYS! Some tequilas use a steam autoclave process to cook and others may only cook for up to two days. This process results in bringing out the natural sweetness of the agave. After that they distill in small batches using traditional pot stills. And finally, they use a special slow filtration process that removes that infamous 'tequila burn.' Try it at our next 3st of the Month for yourself and tell us what you think!

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
muddler
strainer
fine mesh strainer
high ball glass

ingredients:

3 oz Avión Silver Tequila
2-4 fresh blackberries, depending on size
.75 oz Collins Blackberry Liqueur
.75 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
.25 oz agave nectar
blackberries for garnish


method:

Start by placing the blackberries in the bottom of the cocktail shaker and muddling them to release the juices. Add the tequila, blackberry liqueur, lime juice and agave nectar before filling with ice. Cover the shaker and shake like hell for about 15-20 seconds. Fill your glass with ice and strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the seeds. Garnish with fresh blackberries.

Tequila Orangeade

There was this little old-fashioned soda fountain that made the best orangeades back in the day. They would take fresh oranges, cut them in half and juice them to order with their old metal press. After a little squirt of simple syrup from the pump behind the counter they would fill with ice and top with water. It was delicious.

It was this experience that inspired this crazy-delicious and equally-simple cocktail made with another one of our May participants, Espolón Tequila. This award-winning booze first grabs your attention with its killer packaging, but will hold your study with it's superb flavor and smoothness. 

For this recipe, we opted to use the Espolón Reposado, which is 'rested' in barrels, giving it some great depth of flavor.

 

equipment:

collins or high ball glass
bar spoon

ingredients:

2 oz Espolón Tequila
3 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
seltzer


method:

Add the tequila, orange juice and simple syrup to your ice-filled glass. Top with seltzer and stir lightly to combine. 

Tequila-Soaked Watermelon

Yeah, yeah, we know. Technically, this is not a cocktail. But trust us, you can drink the juice!

Remember in college when you would cut a hole in a watermelon and try to fit a bottle of vodka in there? It never really worked, did it?

This easy option makes enough for a crowd and the flavors of tequila and watermelon are a match made in heaven.

And by cutting the melon up into inch-sized cubes, each piece gets soaked evenly and serving is a breeze. 

This recipe makes enough for a crowd, and takes 24 hours to 'marinate,' so plan accordingly. Just keep this fruit salad away from the kiddos. 

 

equipment:

knife
plastic bags
measuring cup

ingredients:

12 cups cubed seedless watermelon (about one small watermelon)
2 cups Altos Tequila
2 oz orange liqueur
fresh limes


method:

Divide your cleaned and cubed watermelon equally between two resealable plastic bags. Pour one ounce of orange liqueur and one cup of Altos Tequila into each bag. Remove excess air, seal and toss the bag around a bit to distribute the ingredients. Place the bags in the refrigerator overnight and flip them a couple times in the process so all pieces get a chance to soak up that tasty booze. 

When ready to serve, empty the entire contents into a serving bowl and use a ladle to serve pieces with the juice. Squeeze a wedge of lime on top before serving.

Jasper's Rum Punch

If you were partying with us last October, you know we love a good Tiki drink. So much so that we declared it Tikitober and had an event with nothing but tropical drinks. As good as that event was, we were only really missing one thing. Jamaican Overproof Rum

Called "overproof" for good reason, it's a ingredient in quite a few classic Tiki cocktails and packs one hell of a punch in the buzz department. Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum comes in at 63% alcohol - 126 proof! 

Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum is a top selling high-strength white rum. A legend in Jamaica, this is the real rum from the island where the rum comes from. It adds a unique rum character to drinks and is the essential ingredient in authentic Jamaican rum punch, made famous by Jasper LeFranc, the former head bartender of the Bay Roc Hotel in Montego Bay. 

This recipe below is best made in large batches, since it requires a little prep for Jasper's special mixer. Recipe adapted from Beachbum Berry's Potions of the Caribbean - an essential book for anyone that loves great Tiki drinks!

 

equipment:

tall cocktail glass
sizzle stick

ingredients:

1.5 oz Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum
1.5 oz Jasper's basic stock mix
crushed ice
slice of lime, cherry and mint sprig for garnish


method:

Fill your glass halfway with crushed ice and add rum and mixer. Swizzle it around until well chilled. Fill the remaining area with more crushed ice, swizzle again and garnish.


Jasper's Basic Stock Mix

Mix one cup of freshly-squeezed lime juice with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar. Stir until it dissolves and add 1/2 ounce of Angostura bitters and a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of freshly-grated nutmeg. Transfer to a bottle and refrigerate until using, shaking before each use.

Mañana del Domingo

Easy like Sunday morning. That's this drink. Simple with no fuss, yet still interesting enough to make for friends.

Olmeca Altos is one of many great tequila brands that will be pouring cocktails at our May "Tres de Mayo" event. We've served it before and we're big fans. It's reasonably priced yet still super smooth. 

And just to prove you can do more with tequila than make margaritas, we're making this cocktail. After a quick "ice muddle" with fresh cilantro, it's topped with another one of our favorites, Jarritos pineapple soda. 

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila
3 sprigs fresh cilantro
Jarritos Pineapple soda
wedge of fresh pineapple


method:

Add two sprigs of cilantro to the bottom of your shaker and add a few cubes of ice. Cover and shake it a few times to 'muddle' the cilantro and release aromatics - but not so much that it's pulverized. Add tequila to shaker, swirl it around to make sure you get all the flavor from the cilantro and add to glass. Top with chilled soda and garnish with the third sprig of cilantro and a wedge of pineapple.

The Jala-Piña

With a SOLD OUT May 3st of the Month only a few weeks away, it's time to start getting fresh with some of the participants. That means more recipes!

This sweet and spicy drink is made with one of the 20+ brands that will be in attendance, Captain Morgan Rums. They just recently released a trio of flavored white rums in grapefruit, coconut and pineapple. Needless to say, we had to get our hands on some to taste for ourselves! The flavor is fresh and natural, without too much sweetness. 

To get started, we reached for Captain Morgan Pineapple. This stuff is insanely versatile and is begging to be made into some poolside summertime cocktails, so we set out to do just that. Pairing it with fresh jalapeño peppers, lime and a little pineapple juice was a perfect combo. One thing to keep in mind when working jalapeños into a cocktail: strain it, strain it good. This way you get the flavor without too much heat. 

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
muddler
strainer
fine mesh strainer
rocks glass

ingredients:

2-4 slices fresh jalapeño pepper (depending on heat preference)
1/2 fresh lime, cut into pieces
2 oz Captain Morgan Pineapple Rum
2 oz pineapple juice


method:

Place the jalapeño slices and pieces of fresh lime in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Muddle to release juice and flavors. Fill shaker with ice and add remaining ingredients. Cover and shake well to chill before double-straining into a rocks glass with fresh ice. 

La Vida Roca

As if regular Patrón is not good enough, they had to go and release Roca Patrón.

Seriously, this shit is not fooling around. Whereas the regular stuff is made with a blend of two different production methods, Roca Patrón is made using only the ancient stone-crushed method. The result is a stronger flavor (and a higher proof!). 

Now that spring is officially here, we got a little inspired to break out the tequila and some fresh strawberries. This quick n' easy cocktail is the result. 

Like with many muddled cocktails, you can choose to strain it (like we did) or leave the chunks of fruit pulp. If you plan on slurpin' this bad boy through a straw we suggest to give it a quick strain through a fine mesh strainer. 

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
muddler
bar strainer
fine mesh strainer
collins glass

ingredients:

2 oz Roca Patrón Reposado
1 oz Licor 43
.5 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz agave nectar
1 large fresh strawberry
soda water 
strawberry for garnish


method:

Start by muddling one strawberry in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add tequila, lime, Licor 43 and agave nectar. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds. Double strain into a collins glass with ice and top with soda water. Garnish with a slice of strawberry.

Lemon & Cuke

Spring is almost (finally!!!) here. That means front porch cocktails and warm weather drinking! The folks at Deep Eddy are no dummies. They released their new Deep Eddy Lemon just in time...

Flavored with real lemon juice, Deep Eddy Lemon (and all their flavors, for that matter) should not be lumped in with most other flavored vodkas. That's because, unlike most others, Deep Eddy flavors their vodkas with real fruit juice. It means it tastes like the real thing, not like some scented candle shit like the rest of the cake, whipped cream and donut-flavored ones out there.

Like their other flavors, Deep Eddy Lemon can be drank simply - with just soda water. But if you want to add a little spin, and make it green for St. Patrick's Day, add a little fresh cucumber juice. It's easy to make (we told you how before), and adds even more freshness to the flavor of the lemon.

equipment:

jigger
collins glass

ingredients:

2 oz Deep Eddy Lemon
1 oz fresh cucumber juice
3-4 oz soda water
strip of cucumber for garnish


method:

Build the drink in the glass by filling with ice and adding the vodka and cucumber juice before topping with soda. Give it a light stir and garnish with a strip of cucumber. 

The Pamplemuse

We've talked before about how much we love Stiegl Radler. It's a mix of beer and grapefruit soda, but sadly, it's only about 3% alcohol. 

Luckily, Boodles Gin has a cure for that little weakness of booze. Just add gin! 

The mix of gin and grapefruit juice is nothing new [insert Gin and Juice lyric here], but there's something magical about the combination of gin and grapefruit soda-meets-beer. You can taste for yourself if you're joining us for our January "Holiday Hangover Brunch" 3st of the Month event, but we figured it would only be fair to share this easy recipe with you.

 

equipment:

not a damn thing really

ingredients:

2 oz Boodles Gin

4-6 oz Stiegl Radler

 

method:

Just pour into a glass over ice and give it a light stir. Garnish with a slice of fresh grapefruit if you have it on hand.

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.