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How to Make the French 75, or Celebrating the New Year with a Bang!

December 30, 2013 Nick McAfee 0

New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular drinking holidays and as such it lends itself perfectly to cocktail parties.  Last post we discussed the Old Cuban and in this post we are going to add another high caliber drink to your arsenal, the French 75! The French 75 2 ounces London dry gin 1 teaspoon superfine sugar 1/2 ounce lemon juice 5 ounces Brut champagne or other sparkling wine garnish with a lemon twist Place a generous portion of ice inside a shaker and then add the first three ingredients.  Shake hard and shake long, because it takes a bit of time for the sugar to fully dissolve in the cocktail.  Once chilled and mixed, strain the the cocktail into a collins glass with ice and top off with the champagne.  Garnish with an elegant lemon twist.  In the simplest terms, it is a Tom Collins with sparkling wine instead of soda Learn More

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How to Make the Old Cuban, or The Best New Years Eve Cocktails!

December 28, 2013 Nick McAfee 2

Champagne and other sparkling wines have become ubiquitous with New Year’s Eve, and all of the posts leading up to the new year will use that amazing ingredient.  Sparkling wine is not a well known cocktail ingredient, however it can be used to make marvelous new cocktails or put a surprising twist on classics.  One such classic is the mojito, which evolves into a wonderfully sparkling cocktail, the Old Cuban. The Old Cuban 1.5 oz. Rum 1 oz. simple syrup ¾ oz. fresh lime juice 6 mint leaves 2 dashes Angostura Bitters 2 oz. chilled champagne or dry sparkling wine (optional) garnish with a mint sprig or lime twist Begin by muddling the mint leaves with the fresh lime juice in the bottom of a shaker.  Once muddled, add a generous portion of ice and add the simple syrup, rum, and bitters.  Shake until fully chilled.  Strain the cocktail into Learn More

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Merry Christmas! or Another Bourbon Holiday

December 25, 2013 Nick McAfee 0

It’s Christmas Day.  The presents have all been unwrapped and the many meals have been eaten.  So what should you pour into your glass?  Well if you live in the US, the answer is almost certainly bourbon.  There is a very long history of bourbon being associated with the winter holidays in the States, which in large part has resulted from a lot of marketing dollars spent by the great bourbon distilleries to convince you that it is indeed the perfect pairing.  It makes for a great read as you sip on whatever fine bourbon you have handy, be it neat or in a cocktail, so for more information on the relation between bourbon and Christmas, head on over to The Alcohol Professor  and learn more through the beautifully illustrated piece.

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Seasonal Special: Six Spiked Ciders Done Right

December 21, 2013 Nick McAfee 0

Winter is cominghere!  As snow fell on the northeastern states this weekend, cocktails made with ice seemed less attractive.  It is the time of year for warm drinks like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, egg nog, and of course apple cider.  Apple cider combines amazingly well with almost any spirit or wine, and there is nothing like a nice warm spiked drink on a freezing snowy day. There are wide variety of great recipes involving hot cider, and these are a couple of my favorites (in no particular order). 1) The Orchard Boulevardier This great drink is a delicious, season appropriate nod to the classic boulevardier cocktail.  The strength of the rye and the bitter-sweetness of the Campari blend well with the sweet vermouth and tart sweetness of the hot cider to make an amazing drink.  Old Overholt or Bulleit Rye work quite well in this drink and Dolin is my go Learn More

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How to Make the Seelbach, or a Festive Cocktail from the Heart of Kentucky!

December 19, 2013 Nick McAfee 0

I love bourbon, but around the holidays, there are few drinks as festive as champagne.  There is something about popping the cork off a champagne bottle that adds ambiance to any celebration.  So bourbon and champagne, why not make a cocktail with both?  From the heart of bourbon country, there are few things better than the Seelbach. The Seelbach 1 oz. bourbon 1/2 oz. Cointreau 7 dashes Angostura bitters 7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters Champagne (or other sparkling wine) garnish with a lemon twist Pour the bourbon, Cointreau, and bitters in a mixing glass over ice.  Stir with a cocktail spoon until chilled and mixed thoroughly.  Strain into a chilled champagne flute and garnish with a lemon twist.  To add a bit more flavor, squeeze the lemon twist over the glass before garnishing, this releases the oils in the lemon rind.  The bitters in this cocktail are a very forward flavor Learn More

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25 candidates for the LOTD Award

December 19, 2013 Nick McAfee 0

Thanks guys for the nomination! I am honored to be included with these other great drinking blogs. If you want to check out great economical recipes of both Classic and Original Cocktails, come on over! Vote Broke & Thirsty!

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The Boulevardier, or an Example of Prohibition’s Great Big Melting Pot

December 16, 2013 Nick McAfee 1

Prohibition, despite it’s ban on spirits, is actually the best thing that ever happened to American cocktails.  Cocktails had become boring, with just a few standard combinations using a small variety of spirits.  With the rebirth of the cocktail in Prohibition and the experimentation with European spirits, many new drinks were created; few more noteworthy than the Boulevardier. The Boulevardier 1.5 oz Bourbon 1 oz Campari 1 oz Sweet Red Vermouth garnish with an orange slice, lemon twist, or cherry Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing glass over ice, then stir until the spirits combine and are chilled completely.  Don’t stir too hard or fast, because you will risk breaking off flakes of ice in the same manner you would by shaking a cocktail.  Once stirred, you have two choices, as the Boulevardier can be served up in a cocktail glass or on the rocks in an old Learn More

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Technically Saturday: The Differences Between Bourbon and Whisk(e)y

December 14, 2013 Nick McAfee 0

The distinction of  what the differences between bourbon, whiskey, and whisky really are is often a confusing subject for people.  When I saw this set of info-graphics prepared by Maker’s Mark, I thought it would be a great opportunity to educate some folks on the basic differences and similarities.  This comparison is by no means complete, but it does a great job of quickly displaying the sometimes subtle differences between what is specifically a bourbon and what is generally whiskey.

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The Americano, Not Your Average Campari Soda

December 11, 2013 Nick McAfee 0

Campari is a very unique apertif and at first its flavor isn’t for everyone.  Most people are used to liqueurs being sweet, but Campari adds a wonderful bitter element to cocktails which I find lacking in many of today’s classics.  There is one cocktail that gives those new to Campari a delicious introduction: the Americano. The Americano 1 oz Campari 1 oz Sweet Red Vermouth club soda garnish with a lemon twist Build this drink in an old fashioned or highball glass over ice.  Begin by pouring in the Campari and Sweet Red Vermouth.  Still gently until chilled and mixed.  Once combined, top off the cocktail with club soda and garnish with a lemon twist.  I used Dolin Rouge to make this cocktail, but Carpano Antica take this drink to a new level, although it substantially raises the cost in the process (by around 47 cents). The Ameriano, like many Learn More

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The Negroni, or the Perfect Dinner Cocktail

December 10, 2013 Nick McAfee 2

When it comes to gin, only two cocktails come to mind for most people: the Martini and the G&T.  Gin has an amazing flavor profile due to the many botanicals it is infused with, and there are many more than just two great cocktails that can be made with gin.  The Negroni is a classic prohibition era cocktail that is equally delicious at a dinner or the bar. The Negroni 1.5 oz Gin 1.5 oz Campari 1.5 oz Sweet Red Vermouth (optional) garnish with an orange slice or twist There are two ways to mix and serve this cocktail.  You can build this drink in an old fashioned glass over ice.  Once the gin, Campari, and vermouth have been added, gently stir the cocktail and serve garnished with an orange slice or twist.  The negroni can also be served up in a cocktail glass.  For this preparation, stir the ingredients Learn More

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