GSN Alert: May 5th – Cinco de Mayo

Cinco_de_Mayo,_1901_posterMany people assume that Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican equivalent of the United States’ Independence Day.  Not so.  That originally happened on September 16, 1810.  Instead, Cinco de Mayo took place on May 5th in 1862 and is a day of remembrance for a key battle that took place in Puebla, Mexico.  For both Mexico and the U.S., it was a day that is significant for two reasons.  1) It was the first time that the French had been defeated in any battle in over 50 years, and by an army half its size, and 2) it was the last time a European country tried to invade North America.

Regardless of your nationality, any holiday is always a good time to have a drink or two.  So, in that spirit, GSN is happy to share a few non-Margarita recipes with you to mark the day in style.

Conquistador
Created by Milagro Brand Ambassador Jaime Salas
1 ½ parts Milagro Reposado
½ part Ancho Reyes
½ part Crème de Cacao
½ part Manzanilla Sherry
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Chill coupe glass with ice and water and set aside. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled and diluted. Discard chilling ice from the coupe. Strain ingredients into chilled coupe. Using a vegetable peeler, remove a long piece of orange peel. Express the oil over the cocktail, rub the peel around the rim of the glass, and place atop the cocktail.


Berentzen Apple Guava Rita
1.5 ounces of Berentzen Apple
1 ounce tequila
3 ounces guava nectar
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Garnish with lime wedge.  Salt or sugar rim to taste.

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously.  Pour into margarita glass.  Garnish with lime wedge.


Thunder & Spice
Created by Thor Messer (The Rumpus Room, Milwaukee)
1 1/4 oz St. George California Agricole Rum
1 oz Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
2/3 oz simple syrup
2/3 oz fresh lime juice
1 dash Bittercube Orange Bitters

Shake all ingredients well then double strain into a chilled coupe glass.


Destornillador
Created by Blair Frodelius (Good Spirits News)
1.5 oz. Hangar One Chipotle Vodka
1.5 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
0.25 oz. Chartreuse Yellow
2 dashes Fee’s Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Add ingredients to mixing glass and shake with ice.  Strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with dried red chipotle pepper lengthwise on bamboo spear and laid across top of the glass.


Shangra-lita
Created by Blair Frodelius (Good Spirits News)
1.5 oz Pama Liqueur
1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
0.75 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tsp simple syrup
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
0.5 oz Club soda

Mix all ingredients except club soda in ice filled shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top off with club soda.  Stir gently and serve.

GSN Alert: April 19th – National Amaretto Day

Amaretto_Bottles_4 Today is National Amaretto Day.  I’ll bet you had no idea.  Well, break out that bottle from where it’s languishing in your closet and fix yourself an Disaronno Fizz while I tell you a little background behind this unusual liqueur.

Disaronno Fizz
1.5 oz Disaronno Originale
Q Tonic Club Soda
Fresh Lemon Juice

Pour Disaronno Originale into a white wine glass with ice. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Top with Q Mixers Club Soda. Stir and garnish with lemon zest.

Amaretto literally means “a little bitter”.  The original recipe contained bitter almond, but today’s liqueurs tend to be quite sweet.  We’ve all tasted a brand at least once.  Usually our first experience was sneaking a swig from our parents liquor cabinet.  Memorable and probably not our finest drinking moment.  “It has essence of tree nut, with elements of cane sugar”.

Yet, Amaretto has a long and distinguished heritage.  And it’s not necessarily almonds that you’re tasting.

Interestingly, the world’s best-selling brand DiSaronno contains no almonds, but rather uses a blend of seventeen herbs, fruits and most importantly apricot pits.  In fact, this recipe has been around since 1525, so who’s to say whether the product is supposed to be almond or apricot pit flavored?

Lastly, Portland bartender extraordinaire Jeffery Morganthaler claims to have perfected the world’s best Amaretto Sour.  You can check out his version here.

GSN Alert: April 7th -National Beer Day

National Beer Day is celebrated in the United States every year on April 7, marking the day that the Cullen–Harrison Act was enacted after having been signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 22, 1933. This led to the Eighteenth Amendment being repealed on December 5, 1933, with ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. April 6, the day prior to National Beer Day, is known as New Beer’s Eve.

National Beer Day was first created in 2009 by Justin Smith of Richmond, Virginia. After much prodding from his friend, Mike Connolly, Smith started a Facebook page that was noticed by Colorado Beer Examiner, Eli Shayotovich. Smith’s promotion of the new holiday via various social media outlets was rewarded when the beer drinking app, “Untappd”, created a badge for National Beer Day that rewarded participants that checked a beer into the app on April 7. National Beer Day has since been trending every year on April 7 using the hashtag #NationalBeerDay.

GSN Alert: March 27th – International Whisk(e)y Day

0403-whiskey-battle-970Whisk(e)y is such a ubiquitous spirit that it is hard to imagine cocktail culture without it.  Think of all the iconic drinks from the Old-Fashioned to the Manhattan to the Sazerac to the Penicillin.  And there are nearly as many countries known for their own particular take on the “water of life”.  Scotland, Ireland, Canada, America, Japan are just the major epicenters of distillation.  Then, you’ve got a variety of styles.  Single malt, single grain, blended, unaged, aged in a plethora of different wood barrels.  It is truly amazing.

So, on this day, toast with a glass of your favorite either neat, straight up, on the rocks, or mixed into a cocktail.  Without whiskey, our lives would be lacking a little joy.

Cheers!

The Editorial Staff

GSN Alert: March 24th – National Cocktail Day

keep-calm-and-wait-for-march-24thOf course every day is Cocktail Day, but now there’s an official holiday!  

The history of the cocktail starts over 425 years ago in 1586. At that time, people drank an incredible amount of alcohol every day, much more than we do now. They drank beer or other beverages for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Children drank it, pregnant women drank it, monks and priests drank it. It touched every part of life.

And this was especially true on board ships. Ships of the time would be at sea for months sometimes without seeing land or taking on new supplies. So rum, beer, wine and other beverages were really important to keep sailors healthy.  Why not water?  The reason was that water was typically unclean from lack of sanitation, but using it to create alcohol of some kind killed the germs that made people sick.

In 1586 the English privateer Sir Francis Drake was pillaging the Spanish settlements in the Caribbean. The English called him a hero, but to the Spanish he was nothing more than a pirate.

On one fateful trip to sack Havana, Drake found his men suffering from malnutrition and scurvy, so he sent a shore party to land in the southernmost tip of Florida called Matecumbe to find local natives who could show them nearby medicinals that would make his men better.

And that’s just what the locals did.

They mixed the bark from a tree called chuchuhuasi with distilled sugar cane juice, known as aguardiente, raw sugar cane juice, lime and mint. (click here for the recipe)

Do these ingredients sound familiar?

This is the precursor to the Mojito, which was supposedly invented in Havana. As it turns out, it was simply modified in Havana not invented. They just dropped the tree bark from the drink and used rum instead of aquardiente.

The concoction worked, by the way. Drake’s men got better, and they went about their business, attacking Fort Augustine not long after.

So here we have the first recorded mixed drink—what we’d consider a cocktail (strong, weak, sour, sweet and bitters).

Information courtesy of Bucketlistbars.com

GSN Alert: Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with Buellton’s Virtual Brew Fest on May 1st

This year, Buellton is bringing their annual Brewfest to the comfort of people’s homes. On May 1st, 2021 Buellton Brew Fest @ Home will be a 3-hour virtual beer festival experience with guided tastings, live music, special segments and giveaways.  

With a Cinco de Mayo theme, attendees will receive a 13-pack alcohol box delivered right to their front doors that includes craft beers, ciders, micheladas, margaritas and more, from 13 different companies. Breweries participating include two of Buellton’s very own, Figueroa Mountain Brewing and Firestone Walker Brewing Co., each sampling products with a Cinco de Mayo twist.  Figueroa Mountain will feature their Mexican Lager, Agua Santa, and Firestone Walker Brewing Co. will feature their 805 Cerveza. Buellton’s own Dorwood Distillery will also include some small batch tequila as well to make your own Margarita! 

Other companies participating are Angel City Brewing, Belching Beaver, Calidad Beer, Cayman Jack Margarita, Cerveceria del Pueblo, SLO Brew, Solvang Brewing, Tio Rodrigo Michelada, Hard Frescos and more. 

On May 1st from 12:30-3:30pm, guests will get to hear from the participating companies as they walk them through each tasting and enjoy music from local bands and DJ Hecktik (a Brew Fest favorite). Guests will receive a link to login and watch the live event.  For those unable to watch live, attendees can enjoy it at their own convenience anytime they’d like after the 1st via a recorded version. The 13-pack is enough to enjoy with 1-2 people, or you can order multiple tickets and have a watch party with roommates or family members. 

Tickets are $70 for CA residents and $80 for out of state residents (includes shipping). The only states the festival is allowed to ship to are:  California, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, and Washington.  In addition to the samples from the participating vendors, each of the festival boxes will also include a souvenir glass and gift items from the vendors and sponsors.

100% of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Buellton Chamber of Commerce. The Buellton Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit 501c(6) organization, founded in 1956. The Chamber serves as an advocate and resource for Buellton business, promoting the retention, expansion, and attraction of business while striving to promote growth, prosperity, and quality of life for our members and community. 

For more information, please visit the website: https://www.buelltonbrewfest.com

To purchase tickets: https://nightout.com/events/buellton-brew-fest-at-home-fest/tickets

For additional information contact:  The Buellton Chamber of Commerce at 805-688-7829 or email:  info@buellton.org
 

About Buellton
Buellton is located just north of Santa Barbara in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country and just 10 miles from the beautiful Pacific Ocean on Hwy 101.  Surrounded by bucolic scenery and the rolling Sta. Rita Hills, Buellton is home to the famous “Sideways” movie.  Known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, one will find the pioneer makers and masters of this wine right here in Buellton.  The Craft Beer industry has also made its way into Buellton featuring two award winning breweries, Firestone/Walker, and Figueroa Mountain Brew Co.  To the east is the quaint Danish village of Solvang and to the west is the town of Lompoc, home of Vandenberg Air Force Base. Still known for Pea Soup, Buellton has much more to offer and is an up and coming City with annual events centered around; wine, beer, food, arts, cycling, and more. www.discoverbuellton.com

GSN Alert: March 5th – National Absinthe Day

art_nouveau_absinthe_poster_by_mybeautifulmonsters-d4ya3ntWho would have guessed that there would ever be a National Absinthe Day?  Since it was banned in the United States in 1912, and prohibition nailing the coffin shut in 1919, it is really a miracle that absinthe is back on the market.  2015 marks the ninth anniversary of this new holiday devoted to the Green Fairy.

In celebration of this event, here is the traditional way to enjoy a glass.  And no, you don’t light it on fire!

  • Pour a measure of absinthe in an absinthe glass
  • Place a sugar cube on a flat perforated spoon on top of the glass
  • Drip ice-cold water on the sugar cube to slowly dissolve it
  • Add three to six parts water to the glass
  • Take your time, sip. The slower, the better

If you’re looking for a cocktail that calls for absinthe, try this one from the classic Savoy Cocktail Book published in 1930.

Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail
Absinthe
.75 oz Plymouth Gin
.75 oz Cointreau
.75 oz Lillet Blanc
.75 oz Lemon juice
Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with absinthe and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into the prepared glass.  Be revived!

 

GSN Alert: March 3rd – National Moscow Mule Day

To commemorate the Moscow Mule’s significance in cocktail history and its impact on cocktail culture, Smirnoff vodka declared March 3rd as National Moscow Mule Day.  Smirnoff vodka announced the date last night as the country’s best-selling vodka brand welcomed guests to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Moscow Mule with a one-of-a-kind, immersive cocktail party that took guests back in time to 1941 to explain how the cocktail became a pop-culture sensation.  The event took place just miles away from where the cocktail was first invented on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip.

The date of National Moscow Mule Day – March 3 or “3-3” – is significant. The Original Moscow Mule was crafted with three ingredients: Smirnoff No. 21 vodka, premium ginger beer and lime. As the story goes, there were also three key people involved in the cocktail’s creation: the first, John G. Martin, had trouble selling his Smirnoff vodka at a time when brown spirits were king. The second, Jack Morgan, owner of a popular pub on the Sunset Strip, could not convince his patrons to try his ginger beer.  The third, a woman named Ozeline Schmidt, provided the copper mugs, the perfect vessels for enjoying the zesty creation they called the Moscow Mule. The trio came together to creatively combine their crafts and simultaneously revolutionized cocktail culture with the Moscow Mule.

GSN Alert: February 27th – National Kahlua Day

kahlua_label__22824Let’s revisit a brief history of “the other” Mexican spirit, Kahlua.

1930: The Alvarez brothers harvest Arabica coffee beans from the fields of Coatepe, Veracruz, Mexico. They work with Señor Blanco, a local entrepreneur, to use their beans in a spirits recipe he was financially backing.

1936: Chemist Montalvo Lara uses the Alvarez brother’s coffee beans in a spirits base made from sugar cane to produce both syrup and rum. The final product is named Kahlúa, meaning “House of the Acolhua people” in the Veracruz Nahuatl language.

2014: Kahlúa is made in Mexico City at a Pernod Ricard owned factory. The beans are medium roasted and then cold brewed.  When bottled, natural vanilla flavoring and only a touch of caramel coloring is added to insure the same rich dark brown liquid goes into every bottle.

The two most iconic cocktails using Kahlua are the Black Russian and the White Russian.  I’d suggest making one of each and comparing while celebrating National Kahlua Day.

 

 

GSN Alert: February 24th – World Bartender Day

Bartenders play an important social role and must adjust to many scenarios. They deal with many types of patrons: people hanging out with friends, people on dates, people relaxing after work, and people who sometimes get a little too unruly in bars. Bartenders have to build strong relationships with their patrons, and sometimes become a therapist of sorts for them. They rely on tips for much of their wages, making it even more important that they have good relationships with their clientele. On top of this social role, bartenders must remember the names of many drinks, what goes in them and how much, and the type of glass the drink is served in. They must also prepare them very quickly.

Bartending goes back to ancient times. Roman, Greek, and Asian societies had public drinking houses that were social gathering places. Prior to the fifteenth century, bartenders were usually alehouse owners or female innkeepers that made their own liquor. Later, taverns became important places for professionals and writers, and bartenders had a high social status. Bartending then made its way across the ocean to the New World.

Today, bartenders not only make drinks and lend their ears to patrons, but many try to entertain patrons by “flair” bartending as well. Some bartenders have elaborate pouring or bottle tossing tricks that they enthrall audiences with. Flair bartending contests are held around the world.

Celebrate the day by paying a visit to the bar that has your favorite bartender. Make sure to thank them for serving you, and wish them a happy World Bartender Day. Since tips make up a large portion of a bartender’s wages, make sure to tip your bartender a little extra today. There are many other ways the day could be celebrated:

 

GSN Alert: February 22nd – National Margarita Day

69d0d254b7bc1eb5dc9af1b0782ea373The middle of February is a perfect time to be drinking Margaritas.  Why?  Because the flavor instantly conjures up the feeling of warmth, sunshine, and good times.  So, why not make some tacos, burritos or enchiladas and a mess of Margaritas this Sunday for dinner?

The Margarita has been around for about 85 years and although there are several legends as to its creation, I’m of the opinion that it is what was previously known as a Tequila Daisy.  The word “daisy” translates into “Margarita” in Spanish.  Why a daisy?  It was yet another of those old-school terms for cocktails along the lines of fizzes, eye-openers, flips, crustas, etc…

Anyway, the great folks at Casa Noble Tequila asked me to come up with an original take on the venerable Margarita using their Crystal Tequila.  So, in keeping with the summer weather theme, I decided to break out the grill and see what I could come up with.  This recipe makes enough for a party, so make sure to invite over some friends when putting this together.

Pina Margarita (makes six cocktails)
Ingredients
1 medium pineapple (about 3 pounds)
6 oz Crystal Casa Noble
3 oz Cointreau
3 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
House-made saline solution*

First, peel the pineapple and cut it in half lengthwise.  Then cut the halves into 1/2 inch thick pieces.  Put them on a grill that’s been heated to about 400°F.  Grill uncovered about four minutes per side.  Then remove and let cool for 15 minutes.

Take three pieces of pineapple and muddle in a mixing tin.  Add 1 ounce of tequila, 1/2 ounce Cointreau and 1/2 ounce lime juice.  Fill with ice and shake until well chilled.  Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add a dash (3-4 drops) of saline solution.  Garnish with a chunk of grilled pineapple and a lime wheel and serve.

Saline solution
Mix 1 tsp kosher salt and 1 tbl mineral water until dissolved.  Either use an eye-dropper to dispense or store in an empty bitters bottle.

GSN Alert: 2021’s Love on Tap VIRTUAL Shore Craft Beer Celebration

Shore Craft Beer & OCDC invite you to participate in 2021’s Love on Tap VIRTUAL Shore Craft Beer Celebration! 
We will have exclusive content online to celebrate local craft beer. This content includes:
  • A video on the state of craft beer in Maryland – and nationally — by Kevin Atticks, the CEO of the Brewers Association of Maryland and Grow and Fortify.
  • A video discussion with the brewer at Heavy Seas.
  • A video discussion with Tom Knorr, founder and partner at EVO Craft Brewing.
  • A “Cooking with Craft Beer” lesson by the chef at Schooner’s using Backshore Brewing’s Jo Jo Starbuck beer.
  • A brewery tour and discussion with Eric Camper, brewery at Tall Tales Brewing in Parsonsburg
  • Another tour, this time hosted by Nate Todd, the head brewer at Backshore Brewing on the Boardwalk in Ocean City.
  • A tour of Crooked Hammock’s brewery in Rehoboth hosted by Steve and team.
IN ADDITION TO THIS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT, YOU WILL ALSO GET ACCESS TO…
  • Some exciting videos produced for the Ocean City Film Festival.
  • An overview video about the breweries on the Eastern Shore.
Then, there will be a live craft beer/food pairing cook-off at the Princess Royale which we will broadcast LIVE on YouTube and Facebook.   Some of your favorite local breweries are competing to be the best from 2-3. Get ready to vote for your favorite on the Shore Craft Beer App – Please make sure to have this downloaded before the festival!
You don’t have to leave the comfort or safety of your home to enjoy this exclusive content the weekend of January 26-28, but if you WANT to, you can come to the Princess Royale on 91st Street and the ocean and pick up some of the specially curated beers to go, stay for one of their happy hours, the EVO tap takeover, or brunch.
Go to https://www.shorecraftbeerfest.com/love-on-tap.html for more information and to book your hotel package!

Buy your hotel packages at one of our featured hotels throughout Ocean City.  These hotels are offering different packages, from credits at their properties, to free breakfast, and much more.  Each hotel offers something different to guests wanting to isolate at the beach.

Please remember to bring your computers so you can access the restricted virtual content available to all participants.

Download the Shore Craft Beer App to get all events and notifications to help you negotiate the weekend.

IF YOU CAN’T COME TO OCEAN CITY FOR THIS VIRTUAL EVENT, you can buy a ticket to access our virtual content.  Every ticket over $10 will get a branded mask mailed to you.

GSN Alert: Equiano Rum Celebrates Tom Bullock

Olaudah Equiano was an 18th century freedom-fighter, abolitionist, and author whose autobiography shaped history and whose spirit is honored with every bottle made of Equiano Rum. To celebrate Black history, Ian Burrell, the Global Rum Ambassador and Co-Founder of Equiano Rum is partnering with four Black bartenders to showcase cocktails using Equiano Rum, Tom Bullock’s “The Ideal Bartender” book and Olaudah Equiano’s autobiography. The bartenders were invited to attend a virtual masterclass with Ian to learn about the spirit, how to use it and why it’s unique.

Equiano then challenged each bartender to select a recipe from The Ideal Bartender, pick an inspirational figure in black history and create an Equiano version of their Tom Bullock cocktail, telling the story of why they picked that person. The cocktail needed to be mindful of Equiano and its tasting notes, the significance of Tom Bullock as well as the inspirational figure they’re spotlighting.

In 1917, Tom Bullock was the first African American bartender to write and publish a cocktail book which has since been republished in an exact copy of its original form, showcasing favorite pre-Prohibition cocktails with an introduction penned by Ian Burrell. The original foreword of The Ideal Bartender was written by George Herbert Walker, George W Bush’s great grandfather – in those days, a white man was needed to endorse a black writer. Equiano will continue highlighting people like Olaudah who challenged the narrative and the brand is committed to bettering the bartending industry of tomorrow and the black bartenders who help craft it.

Additionally, Equiano Rum started the Equiano Rum. Co Foundation to help, aid, share, and create awareness of various injustices around the world that Equiano, as a brand, can shed light on. During Equiano Rum’s inception in 2018, Co-Founders Oli Bartlam, Aaisha Dadral, Ian Burrell, and Amanda Kakembo pledged to donate five percent of global company profits to ground level freedom and equality projects, annually. In addition, two dollars from each bottle sold directly through the website are automatically added to the grant-giving fund. Equiano Rum Co. Foundation’s first ever 2021 grant recipient is Anti-Slavery International, an organization that works to eliminate all forms of modern slavery throughout the world.

Bartender: Sargent Black, Washington DC
Cocktail Name: ‘What’s The Deal?’
Inspired by: Louis Deal
Recipe: 2 Drops of Fire Water
Bar Spoon of Sfumato Amaro
.25oz Lemon Juice
.75oz Hibiscus Syrup
2oz Equiano Rum

Build in Highball glass over pebbled ice. Top with Soda.

Garnish with Fruits & smoked cinnamon

Here’s why: “Fashioned after the ‘Bliz’s Royal Rickey,’ created by the first published black bartender, Tom Bullock. This cocktail was inspired by the experience of 1890s black bartender, Louis Deal. Living in a “separate, but equal,” Cincinnati, Deal was praised for his work ethic and hospitality, yet faced a segregated bar community with patrons threatening to boycott daily until he was removed from the bar. Through the fire and the smoke, diversity and inclusion can only take place when we know what the “Deal” is.”

Bartender: Thandi Walton, Atlanta
Cocktail Name: ‘Soweto Blues’
Inspired by: Zenzile Miriam Makeba AKA Mama Africa
Recipe: 1 1/2 oz Equiano Rum
3/4 oz Aperol
1 oz Mandarin orange juice (fresh)
1 oz Grapefruit Juice (fresh)
1/2 oz Champagne syrup
1 oz soda/sparkling water
10 dashes of Angostura Atop

Shake all ingredients except for soda water and Angostura bitters.
Strain into an iced white wine glass add soda/sparkling water stir/
swivel with bar spoon. Add dashes of Angostura atop

Garnish with dehydrated blood orange slice and edible flower.

Here’s why: “Miriam Makeba is my inspiration because while she was exiled from South Africa in the late 50s, she continued to evolve and never forgot her roots. She will always be an image of strength, beauty and courage to me.”

Bartender: Kim Hunter, Texas
Cocktail Name: ‘Miss Kitt’
Inspired by: Eartha Kitt
Recipe: 1.75 oz Equiano Rum
1 oz Yellow Chartreuse
.25 oz Agave Syrup
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
6 Raspberries

In a shaker, muddle 4 of the raspberries with the lemon juice. Add in
the agave syrup, yellow chartreuse & Equiano rum. Add ice and
shake vigorously for about 10 seconds, or until the shaker is very
cold. Double strain the cocktail into a coupe glass. Garnish with the
remaining raspberries & edible rose petals on a garnish stick. Cheers!

Here’s why: “This cocktail was inspired by the talented Eartha Kitt because she was much more than what we saw on the surface. Much like Eartha, my cocktail has layers that are unique, and it just works! Eartha showed us how delicate she could be while serenading the world with “Santa Baby”, just like the sweet and delicate raspberry. On the flip side, Ms. Kitt was fierce, strong, and quick to speak her mind on social and racial issues. She was not to be played with! Similarly, to Equiano rum and the spiced herbaceousness that yellow chartreuse lends. Just like Eartha, this cocktail will take your taste buds on a journey around the world!”

Bartender: J’Nai Angelle Williams, New Orleans
Cocktail Name: ‘Carlotta Highball’
Inspired by: La Negra Carlota
Recipe: 1.5 oz. Equiano rum
1 oz. muscat wine
3/4 oz. pear juice
1/2 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3 dash rhubarb bitters
grapefruit soda
Sage

Add all ingredients except soda to a highball glass. Add ice and stir to mix.

Top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with sage.

Here’s why: “La Negra Carlota was an enslaved Yoruba woman in Cuba. She led a slave rebellion at the Triunvirato plantation, where she burned down the slave master’s plantation and sugar mill. She helped spread the rebellion to other
nearby plantations, which amounted to a total of 5 by the end of the revolt. The planning and execution of slave revolts was seen as highly masculine and too violent for a woman to plan, making her an anomaly.”

“This cocktail is based after the Admiral Schley Highball, which has a whiskey base. I chose Carlota for this cocktail to challenge the masculine nature of the original cocktail name, asserting that gender plays no role in battle planning abilities, similar to how flavors are not limited to any cocktail style.”  

“I took this whiskey highball and made it lighter and more aromatic by adding rum, muscat wine, and bright fruit notes.”

“Admiral Schley was an admiral in the US Navy and the hero of the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish American War. I thought it apt that Admiral Schley’s life is so heavily documented – and the recount of his historic battle is incredibly detailed – while little is known about the details of Carlota’s life, and the description of the slave rebellion she spearheaded is full of most generalizations. This goes to show that history is written by the victors and people of power.”

GSN Alert: February 19th – National Chocolate Mint Day

IMG_7831-800One of the things I miss about traveling these days, are the chocolate mints that I would find on my hotel room pillow at the end of the day.  So, when I was challenged by Fratelli Branca to create a drink for National Chocolate Mint Day using Brancamenta, I jumped at the chance.
Brancamenta is the lesser known cousin to Fernet Branca.  Branca is heavily herbal, intense and is an acquired taste for most.  Menta on the other hand is nearer to creme de menthe, except that it is dark brown in color as opposed to green or clear.
In trying to recreate the flavor profile of milk chocolate and mint, I chose dark creme de cacao, heavy cream and Brancamenta for the recipe.  And as with the tiny treat of a small candy, I decided to make a shooter instead of a cocktail.  I think it’s a winner.

Cioccolato alla Menta Shooter
0.5 oz Dark creme de cacao
0.5 oz Brancamenta
0.25 oz heavy cream

Instructions: Carefully layer each ingredient in order over the back of a bar spoon into a shot glass.  When done properly, it should look like a miniature glass of Guinness stout.