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How to Make a Hot Toddy, or the Workhorse of Winter Cocktails

January 11, 2014 Nick McAfee 2

It’s National Hot Toddy Day!  But actually, look it up, it’s a thing.  The hot toddy is a wonderfully versatile hot drink which can be served with almost every imaginable booze and hot drink combination.  To get our footing, the following is a great simple recipe for the hot toddy on which many variations can be made to taste. The Basic Hot Toddy 2 oz Spirit 0.5 oz honey 6 oz hot water Mix all ingredients in a mug and stir with a cocktail spoon until the honey has fully dissolved. Garnish with whatever you like – I love to garnish the basic hot toddy with a small mint sprig or citrus wheel.  Hot toddies were developed sometime in the early 18th century in Scotland.  While no one remembers exactly why it was created, historians believe that the recipe was designed to make the taste of scotch whisky more palatable, Learn More

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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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A Contender for Best Fall Cocktail, or How to Make a Manhattan

October 8, 2013 Nick McAfee 1

Great cocktails often only include a couple of ingredients.  Many are also based solely on spirit, bitters, and the interplay of the sweet and the bitter.  A classic American pre-prohibition cocktail, the Manhattan, not only follows these subtle rules but is also the perfect fall cocktail. The Manhattan 2 parts rye whiskey (2oz) 1 part sweet vermouth (1 oz) 2 dashes angostura bitters (optional) garnish with a maraschino cherry or orange twirl To begin, set a cocktail glass aside with ice to chill.  Pour all ingredients with ice into a mixing glass and stir gently with a cocktail spoon.  The key to stirring a Manhattan is to thoroughly mix and chill the spirits without adding too much water or too many ice flakes to the cocktail.  Once stirred, dump the ice from the cocktail glass and strain in the spirits into the glass.  Garnish with a maraschino cherry and/or an orange Learn More

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Technically Saturday: The Basics of Substituting Cocktail Ingredients

September 28, 2013 Nick McAfee 0

There are few things quite as frustrating as finding a great cocktail recipe only to realize that you don’t have all of the ingredients to make it.  Or that some of the ingredients are so expensive that you will never be able to justify stocking them in your bar.  Lucky for you, many cocktails will not suffer from some substitution if you don’t have an ingredient.  Like many aspects of mixology, experimenting is key after you know the basics. Basic Cocktail Ingredient Substitutions If you don’t have Cointreau, try: another orange liqueur triple sec curacao Grand Marnier Combier cherry liqueur pomegranate liqueur a floral liqueur such as St.-Germain Elderflower Liqueur a spicy liqueur such as Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur If you don’t have maraschino, try: other cherry liqueurs Cherry Moonshine triple sec a floral liqueur such as St.-Germain Elderflower Liqueur a spicy liqueur such as Domaine de Canton Ginger Learn More

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Sunday Funday: How to Make Fireball Whiskey at Home!

September 8, 2013 Nick McAfee 2

If you ever had atomic fireballs as a kid or had a shot of fireball whiskey, you know there is nothing quite like the burn of cinnamon.  And while I live fireball whiskey and think it is a well made product, I have one big issue with it: the price.  At around $16-20/fifth, the quality of the whiskey doesn’t quite justify it’s cost even with it’s amazing cinnamon flavor.  With it a bit of experimenting, I came up with a recipe using in infusion to make my own version of fireball cinnamon whiskey. Cinnamon (Fireball) Whiskey (unsweetened) 1 fifth cheap whiskey 3 cinnamon sticks If you like your cinnamon whiskey nice a strong but think Fireball is to sweet, than this is the drink for you.  Simply drop the cinnamon sticks into a bottle or jar, add the whiskey, and shake daily while storing in a dark environment for 2-4 Learn More