GSN Original Cocktail: Ciderpress Punch

Now that autumn is just around the corner, time to start thinking about fall cocktails. We’d like to share an original cocktail with you to kick things off right.  Enjoy some spiced apple cider punch!

Ciderpress Punch
4 1/2 cups fresh apple cider
6oz Cointreau
4 bags organic earl grey tea
750ml Captain Morgan spiced rum
Garnish: orange wheels
Optional garnish for punch cup: orange twist with a clove in the end

Directions: Heat cider in pan to boiling, take off heat and add teabags for four minutes.  Remove teabags, then add liqueur and rum and stir.  Add orange wheels, and then either reheat or chill and serve cold.

Cocktail created by Blair Frodelius

GSN Review: Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Club Subscription Boxes

Shaker & Spoon was founded in October 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. Unlike other cocktail subscription boxes, Shaker & Spoon sends its original recipes and cocktail ingredients while allowing subscribers to buy the liquor themselves, according to their budget and preferred brands. Shaker & Spoon currently produces house-made specialty syrups—and will soon be expanding into other branded lines of ingredients—while aiming to source the best of everything else. Each month, subscribers receive a box with three new, unique recipes developed by various bartenders along with everything they need to make a total of twelve drinks, besides the alcohol. Shaker & Spoon also provides supplemental content on its website for those who want a deeper dive, including how-to videos, a glossary of bar terms, and a blog featuring tips and tricks, food pairings, bartender interviews, and more.

GSN received the Austin Without Limits Box. Here’s what the company has to say about this kit.

“The public television music program Austin City Limits (the only TV show to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts) helped the city of Austin earn the title of “Live Music Capital of the World” and then spawned an annual festival that happens each October—a very busy time for Austin and its bartenders. We hope that this month’s box will give you a taste of Austin’s drinking culture and make you feel like part of the action. All three of this month’s bartenders work and play in Austin and have infused these drinks with their love for their town and everything that makes it unique. We’re inviting you to choose between two spirits for this box: bourbon or aged tequila, both popular in Texas. While these two are often placed in very different spirit categories, they carry a similar oaky sweetness that makes it possible to swap them in (properly formulated) recipes. So pick your poison and have at it (or try both!) with the Austin Without Limits Box.”

GSN’s thoughts: We really liked the idea of trying regional cocktails, especially ones that feature the most popular spirits from the area,  Even though bourbon and aged tequila seem to be entirely different animals, they are similar in that they both have a sweet oakiness in their character.

The three cocktails featured in this box (Huarache Nights by Chris Bostick/The Beat Goes On by Jessica Sanders/Ma Sour by Caer Ferguson) vary in style, complexity and difficulty. You’ll be making collins, highball and a coupe drinks, so make sure you have the proper glassware.  I especially liked the inclusion of bespoke syrups, which saves a whole lot of time at home. Bitters and garnishes are also included in small portions if you don’t happen to have the proper ones on hand. All of the ingredients are tied together with recipe cards that give clear instructions, even for the drink calling for a fat-washed spirit (it’s easier and tastier than it sounds).

Overall, if you are a fan of 21st century cocktails, “of-the-month” clubs, or even travel, then you will be pleased by the Shaker & Spoon cocktail subscription boxes.

GSN Rating: A

GSN Alert: Bols’ “Red Light Negroni” Debuts During Negroni Week: June 4-10, 2018

Lucas Bols USA announces that it will be a supporting sponsor of Imbibe Magazine’s Negroni Week 2018 through its Bols Genever brand, featuring the Red Light Negroni. The sixth-annual event will be held June 4-10 and raises funds for charitable causes around the world.

Over the course of Negroni Week, bars nationwide will serve the Red Light Negroni – Bols Genever, Campari, and sweet vermouth presented in a custom light bulb decanter. The drink is a cheeky homage to the Red-light District in Amsterdam, the birthplace over 350 years ago, of Bols Genever.

“A Drink for Your Cause”

Bols Genever has also created “A Drink for Your Cause,” a charitable fund of up to $15,000 that will benefit the charities chosen by participating bars across the country. Here’s how it works:

  • Bars register at www.NegroniWeek.com and select an official Negroni Week charity.
  • During Negroni Week, every time a guest posts a photo to Instagram of their Red Light Negroni with the hashtag #RedLightNegroni and the account’s handle, Bols Genever will donate $1 to the account’s chosen charity.

“Watching the classic Negroni grow in popularity over the last handful of years has been an absolute revelation,” said Gilles Bensabeur, Bols Genever USA Brand Manager. Imbibe has obviously been instrumental in that growth and we’re extremely proud to sponsor Negroni Week and, hopefully, introduce Bols Genever, the original spirit of Amsterdam, to an even broader audience. That we get to do so to the benefit of such worthy charitable organizations makes it all the more worthwhile.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Bols Genever on Negroni Week 2018 and are grateful for their commitment to donate up to $15,000 in support of Negroni Week’s mission to raise money for charitable causes,” says Karen Foley, publisher of Imbibe Magazine. “Their support is yet another testament to the generosity of the hospitality world.

RED LIGHT NEGRONI Recipe

  • 1 oz Bols Genever
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir well. Strain into the lightbulb decanter, serve it next to a rocks glass filled with ice and garnished with an orange twist.

About Bols Genever

Bols Genever, the original spirit of Amsterdam, is made with the knowledge and craftsmanship of over four centuries of distilling by Lucas Bols, the world’s oldest distilled spirits brand from Amsterdam since 1575. Bols Genever is made according to the authentic 1820 recipe that is on display at the House of Bols in Amsterdam.

About Negroni Week

Negroni Week launched in 2013 as a celebration of one of the world’s great cocktails and an effort to raise money for charities around the world. From 2013 to 2017, Negroni Week grew from about 100 participating venues to over 7,700 venues around the world, and to date, they have collectively raised nearly $1.5 million for charitable causes.

For one week every June, bar and restaurants mix classic Negronis and Negroni variations for a great cause. To participate, each venue signs up at negroniweek.com, chooses from our list of official charity partners, and makes an immediate donation to that charity. Then they can return during and after Negroni Week to make additional donations to their chosen charity. After Negroni Week is complete, we tally up how much was raised collectively by all of our participating bars, restaurants and partners.

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 Presents: Kentucky Derby Drinks by Mark Addison

Tradition goes a long way in the South and recipes are no laughing matter. Passed down from generation to generation, the sanctity of some recipes is often more carefully maintained than antebellum architecture and more heavily guarded than Fort Knox. So, you might think no recipe would be more revered and remain more rigidly unchanged than the official drink of the Kentucky Derby: The Mint Julep. But hold on to your fascinators! The bourbon-based iconic cocktail of “the most famous two minutes in sports” isn’t as sacred as you might think. As a matter of fact, from 2006 through 2015 the Mint Julep served at Louisville’s majestic Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May wasn’t even made with bourbon: it was made with Early Times Kentucky whiskey. Oh, the scandal!

As a horse-owner and lover, the Derby is especially thrilling for me. Each year I look forward to the race and have friends and family over for a proper viewing-party. I love a traditional Mint Julep but this year I’m serving my own frosted interpretation of the classic and surprising my guests with two new Julep-inspired drinks to keep them happy and hydrated as we kick-off the summer season in style. While my friends have to wait until Saturday, I’m giving you a head start — recipes included — so you can plan a Derby party of your own that is guaranteed to land you in the winner’s circle!

Frosted Julep­

Mint Juleps at the Derby are enjoyed over crushed ice, which is not easy to come by. This recipe creates a similar icy consistence without the hassle.  The mint syrup imparts a strong mint flavor the classic can sometimes lack.  The addition of brandy is a nod to President Teddy Roosevelt, who enjoyed Mint Juleps on the White House lawn served in these distinctive glass cups that resemble the pewter mugs of Churchill Downs tradition. 

Mark Addison Frosted Julep recipe

Louisville

Barrel-aged bourbon is the pride of Kentucky, the residents of which often claim its invention. This riff on the Manhattan uses a semi-dry white vermouth, a slightly sweet herbal liqueur, in place of the traditional red vermouth and the dashes of mint bitters are a hat tip to the classic julep.  If the Mint Julep and the Manhattan had a lovechild, it would be the Louisville…

Mark Addison Louisville recipe

Southern Sangria

To some Southerners, the julep is sacred as is, but in this recipe, I’ve switched it up and infused it with another point of Southern pride: peaches. Topped-off with Champagne, the delicious result is a sparkling cocktail that transcends its inspiration and is sure to become a new classic in the years to come.

About Mark Addison

Mark Addison’s entertaining expertise, along with his dynamic personal style, has made him a sought-after authority on cocktails and cutting-edge entertaining. His book, Cocktail Chameleon, features 144 signature re-interpretations of classic cocktails and was recently named “Best in the U.S.A. – Cocktail Book” by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. He has shared his ideas on, mixing signature cocktails and cooking for guests in more than 100 television appearances on national and regional TV shows as well as a being a regular contributor to print and on-line publications.

For the next three months we will be sharing recipes and ideas from Mr. Addison and we will be giving away a copy of his book (a $50 value) at the end of it.

To enter send an email to: goodspirits@frodelius.com with your contact information.

GSN Alert: November 23rd – National Espresso Day

rsz_img_9893In honor of National Espresso Day, I was challenged to create an original and unique cocktail using Caffe Borghetti Espresso Liqueur.  Everyone who has tried this (even those who don’t like coffee drinks) has said it is absolutely delicious.  Celebrate with one today!

Roman Holiday
1 oz Caffe Borghetti Espresso Liqueur
0.75 oz 100 proof rye (I used James E. Pepper 1776)
0.5 oz fresh squeezed Meyer Lemon juice (if using regular lemons, adjust simple syrup to 1/2 ounce)
0.25 oz simple syrup
Rinse cocktail glass with absinthe and discard excess. Add all other ingredients to an ice-filled shaker and shake well. Strain into rinsed cocktail glass.

Garnish with a Meyer Lemon twist if desired.

GSN Original Cocktail: Captain Grey

Now that the temperatures are dropping here in Central New York, it’s time to start thinking about warming drinks. Taking inspiration from the classic whiskey-based Hot Toddy, the Captain Grey uses spiced rum to add sweetness and complexity. This is the perfect after dinner drink to enjoy in front of a fireplace.

Captain Grey
4 oz piping hot organic Earl Grey tea
1.5 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
0.25 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp organic honey

Pre-warm a cognac glass with warm to hot water. Steep Earl Grey tea for 3-5 minutes in a mug with water just off the boil. Empty cognac glass, then add tea, rum, lemon juice and honey. Gently stir and garnish with a lemon wheel if desired.