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BOOZE REVIEWS AND COCKTAIL NEWS

Month: May 2014

The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s Set

This summer I’m making an escape from my rural midwestern hell hole to the beautiful continental Europe.  Being a world traveler means having to give up some basic comforts, like having a working knowledge of foreign languages and dialects, also having a working knowledge of strange European toilets.  When you travel, there’s so much you just can’t prepare for.  Luckily, alcohol is one of those things you can always count on!  There’s always an ample supply of booze no matter where you go, but there isn’t always a bartender who knows how to mix a nice cocktail.  To ensure a good drink regardless of where I am geographically I started checking out some travel sized cocktail bitters.

Bitters are really the key to a good drink.  They’re also a crucial element of building so many of the classical drinks in the world.  After doing a bit of research I found The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s set to be some really nice and well packaged bitters for flying.  Because of all kinds of new flying regulations you can’t just take any large unmarked bottles through security, they have to be the right size.     The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s set is exactly the right booze for the job!

TravSet_Tin+Botlles

The set comes with a handful of the most important bitters you’ll need to make your favorite drinks.  The set itself comes with five bitters.

Old Time Aromatic Bitters

The aromatic bitters add a bit of spice or cinnamon to a drink.  A few dashes really make a difference.  Aromatic bitters are good for any cocktails containing Whiskey, rum, brandy or tequila.  I tried out the Aromatic Bitters in a Manhattan.

Manhattan

2oz rye whiskey

1/4 oz sweet red vermouth

2-3 dashes of the Aromatic bitters

Stir and strain into a chilled glass

Add a lemon peel if you want to be classy

 

Orange Bitters

the orange bitters are probably my favorite addition to a drink, because the bitters themselves are so versatile.  In some drinks they come off fruity and in others a little spicy.  You can also use them in varieties of cocktails.  I used the orange bitters to make a classic dry Martini

Dry Martini

2oz gin

1/4 oz Dry Vermouth

2 Dashes of Orange Bitters

Stir (or shake it) with ice and pour into a chilled glass

garnish with an olive and pretend your James Bond.

 

Creole Bitters

These creole bitters were a first for me.  Definitely something a little out of the ordinary.  They add some sweet and spicy characteristics to the cocktail.  Creole bitters seem to be pretty good in whatever you put them in!  Try them in a brandy cocktail.

Brandy Cocktail

2 oz cognac

2 dashes of creole bitters

2 dashes absinthe

1/4 oz sugar syrup

stir with ice and strain it into a chilled tumbler

 

Celery Bitters 

Ok, we all know what these are for: the Bloody Mary.  The bitters themselves taste like celery…obviously.  Though, you get some hints of lemon as well.  Bloody Mary’s aren’t really my thing…but  for the sake of all my dear readers I made one.  Ok, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Bloody Mary

2 oz Vodka

4 dashes celery bitters

3 dashes worcestshire sauce

1/4 oz lemon juice

3 1/2 oz tomato juice

tabasco, salt, pepper, pretty much go crazy.

stir with ice, put it in a tall glass with a stalk of celery and go crazy.

 

Jerry Thomas’ Bitters

The jerry Thomas Bitters are by far my favorite.  You can use them in pretty much any cocktail containing gin, whiskey, rum, brandy, et.  They add a some richer flavors like dried fruit.  They’re the best bitters for my favorite cocktail: the old fashioned

Old Fashioned

2oz tequila (or whiskey, but I really prefer tequila.)

1/4 simple syrup

3 dashes Jerry Thomas’ bitters

build in tumbler with ice and give it a stir.

I like to garnish it with a whole slice of orange.

Ok, so if you’re a traveler and you’re picky about your cocktails pick up The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s set!  Also, if you’re building your bar at home and in search of some good bitters, then look no further! Also, check out our post on making your own home bar!

Recipe – Strawberry Margarita

Last night, my partner developed a strong desire for a strawberry margarita…but not just any strawberry margarita, she wanted one “like at the Mexican restaurant.”  What a request.  I have no idea what the specific protocol is at the local Mexican establishment, but I thought I’d give it a shot.  Here’s the recipe I came up with for the official Boozeblogger “Like at the Mexican restaurant” Strawberry Margarita.  Clearly, the idea here isn’t to make something classy, but just a nice drink to make when your significant other demands it of you.

Me Irl

Me Irl

This recipe could probably make margaritas for around four people…or two people who want to get a little tipsy.  First, you need a blender capable of crushing ice, pretty much any blender with an option called “pulse” can crush ice like a motherfucker.  Crush up about 2 cups of ice.

After crushing the ice, add the following to the blender

2 cups crushed ice

1 cup tequila (it’s not everyday you measure out tequila in cups)

3 oz triple sec

a few handfuls of strawberries (you could use frozen or fresh, it probably doesn’t matter)

a little sugar or agave nectar

squeeze in some lime juice

Then, blend the shit out of that.

You could serve your margaritas in any number of glasses.  If you are actually going to split the drinks between 4 people, you could put them in rocks glass, but since my goal was to get a little crunk, I just poured them in some big mason jars and then cut a slice of lime as a garnish.

I didn't take this. this is way prettier than what I could ever make

I didn’t take this. this is way prettier than what I could ever make

Urban Chestnut – Part II

urban-chestnut-brewing-company

We finally had a chance to finish the rest of Urban Chestnut!  This is part II of our review, if you haven’t already, read part I.

It was an honor to review a local and favorite brewery of ours in St. Louis.  Like we said in part I, St. Louis has become a great place for craft beer and Urban Chestnut is on the forefront of the revolutionary urban beers.  Also, check out, Urban Efforts.  This is Urban Chestnut’s program for supporting local non-for-profits.  Urban Chestnut strives for sustainable brewing methods while creating high quality beers with an emphasis on supporting the St. Louis community.

“As we endeavor to create our high-quality offerings of lagers & ales, we also strive to be respected for our actions as a business member of the St. Louis community.” – Urban Chestnut

 

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Here are Boozeblogger’s notes for the last two Urban Chestnut beers!

Urban Chestnut Hard Wood Myth 5.5 ABV

English Style Porter

harwood

Pour:  Dark and porter in appearance, minimal head and thin lacing

Nose:  Cocoa, smokey, malty

Palate:  Sweet, toasty, oatmeal

Mouthfeel:  Medium body, smooth, chocolate

We really enjoyed this porter and would love the opportunity to have more!

 

 

Urban Chestnut Zwickel 5.2 ABV

Bavarian Style Lager

zwickel

Pour:  Light golden in appearance, minimal head and little to no lacing

Nose:  Sweet, cereal, hops, fruit

Palate:  Light and clean, spice, malt, dry finish

Mouthfeel:  Light to medium body, medium carbonation, smooth

Urban Chestnut’s flagship lager, a great tasting and easy to drink beer!  This is a good introduction to a more complex lager that is unlike a mass produced Budweiser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go Drink Yourself

Before you read any further, play this video. This post needs this music.

Have you ever wanted to drink something out of your head?  That sounds weird…let me try again. Have you ever wanted to drink something out of a mug shaped like your face? I know I have.  Ok, I feel like this is something that could get pretty existential pretty quick…Southern Comfort is having a bad ass competition ( Go Drink Yourself) where you make some kind of crazy drink on their website and you can win a mug that looks like your head.

Though, before we go any further–holy shit, have you seen their website?  Some web designer out there did an incredible job.  It’s all web 2.0 and shit.

Personally, I haven’t had SoCo in a pretty long time.  Their Go Drink Yourself competition was a nice reason to up my SoCo game and practice my mixology skills.  I tried a few different combinations other SoCo fans had posted to get started, but I quickly ran into trouble when trying to mix my own drink.  The first rule of the competition disqualifies most of what I tried to make “Recipe creation must be original, creative and consumable.”  I should probably leave new cocktails up to the professionals.  

The first cocktail I tried is called the Scarlet O’Hara.  The Scarlet O’Hara is a nice drink…it’s probably not something I’d order in public, because it’s sort of girly, but in the privacy of my own home I’m totally open to getting down with it.

The Scarlet O’Hara 

– 1.5 oz SoCo (Get the 100 proof SoCo ya turkey)

– 2 oz cranberry juice

– 1.5 oz club soda

– a little bit of lime juice

Shake that mother fucker.

serve it in a rocks glass with some ice cubes

It’s a solid drink.

Ok, the Scarlet O’Hara is a fun drink….but hold on to your butts for the monstrosity I threw together.  I wanted something that was weird and innovative.  We at boozeblogger put our heads together and thought, “Hey, it would be cool if we could make a drink that tasted like a Mexican restaurant!”  Well, dear readers, we made something….pretty gross.

(for the love of God don’t make this…)

The Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell

– 1.5 oz SoCo

– 2.0 oz Coke

– Squirt of Siracha

– Squirt of lime juice

shake it and serve in a rocks glass.

Ok, so don’t make this…you wouldn’t be dumb enough to do it anyways.  It’s interesting for maybe, like, one sip and then you just want to vomit.  The first rule of alcohol tasting is always engaging nostalgically with a drink: what does this drink remind you of?  Our cocktail reminds me of a gross spicy taco pizza.

All of these shenanigans aside, SoCo is a fun liqueur with a wide possibility for delicious drinks and good times.  Take a look at some of the most popular cocktails on their site right now! 

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