“Healthy” Weeknight Cocktail #3: the Buzzed Bunny

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With the new year comes an inevitable wave of resolutions: exercise more, eat cleaner, give the drinking a rest… we’ve heard e’m all, right? While I’d love to think I can finally tackle ALL those cliché healthy lifestyle choices now that the holidays have past, it’s just not realistic to cut out drinking entirely. Besides the fact that enjoying a well made cocktail is one of my most beloved pleasures, I’m currently in the middle of R&D for my distillery‘s first two flagship products. One of which is a New Western-style Gin and requires endless tweaks to the botanical makeup. Simply put, my team and I’ve been tasting a looooot of gin lately. But what I can do is make healthier choices when I do choose to partake. And that, my friends, is the inspiration behind a new slew of cocktail posts this month. For the next few weeks I’ll be posting “healthy,” – even borderline nutritious! – cocktail recipes for when 5 o’clock hits and you don’t want to completely cancel out those hours you’ve been putting in at the gym.

Distillerista-Buzzed-Bunny-Healthy

This week’s healthy cocktail a garden-inspired twist on my favorite classic cocktail, the gin gimlet. In addition to the traditional gin, lime and simple syrup trifecta, I’ve added vitamin A-rich carrot juice and immune-boosting fresh ginger to spice things up. This drink would also be wonderful with a flavored simple syrup such as thyme, saffron or anise. Similarly, you could add 2-3 inches of roughly chopped ginger when making the honey syrup, in place of the grated ginger in step one. And the best part? Just one of these delicious cocktails contains roughly 200% of your daily recommended dose of skin brightening vitamin A. Get glowing, y’all!

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the Buzzed Bunny. Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 1 half inch piece of ginger root
  • .5-1 oz raw honey simple syrup (1:1), or to taste
  • 3 oz fresh carrot juice
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 oz good quality Gin

Directions:

  1. Grate ginger directly into mixing glass, add remaining ingredients
  2. Using a bar spoon stir for 10-15 seconds, keeping the back of the spoon flush against the inside of the glass
  3. Use a 4 prong strainer to pour liquid into a coupe, martini glass or other short glass of your choice.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge and a thin ribbon of raw carrot.

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{ P.S. Don’t miss “Healthy” Weeknight Cocktails #1  & #2! }

{ P.P.S. You might also like: Paleo-friendly Peach Margaritas | Classic Gimlet: 3 Ways }

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“Healthy” Weeknight Cocktail #2: Beet Daiquiri

Distillerista-Beet-Daquiri

With the new year comes an inevitable wave of resolutions: exercise more, eat cleaner, give the drinking a rest… we’ve heard e’m all, right? While I’d love to think I can finally tackle ALL those cliché healthy lifestyle choices now that the holidays have past, it’s just not realistic to cut out drinking entirely. Besides the fact that enjoying a well made cocktail is one of my most beloved pleasures, I’m currently in the middle of R&D for my distillery‘s first two flagship products. One of which is a New Western-style Gin and requires endless tweaks to the botanical makeup. Simply put, my team and I’ve been tasting a looooot of gin lately. But what I can do is make healthier choices when I do choose to partake. And that, my friends, is the inspiration behind a new slew of cocktail posts this month. For the next few weeks I’ll be posting “healthy,” – even borderline nutritious! – cocktail recipes for when 5 o’clock hits and you don’t want to completely cancel out those hours you’ve been putting in at the gym.

This week it’s a healthful version of a tiki classic! No rocket science here – I just added fresh beet juice to your classic daiquiri recipe and the result is stunning! I chose this style of cocktail to compliment the beet juice for a few reasons. For starters, rum distilled from sugar beet molasses was pretty popular for a short time back when rum making first began. Unlike England, France already had infrastructure in place to refine sugar cane and sugar beet molasses into sugar, so raw cane juice from the French Caribbean colonies was free to be used as the colonists saw fit, instead of exported back to the motherland. Rum was the obvious choice for the cane juice and as rum and rhum agricole (rum distilled from sugar cane juice in the French colonies) increased in popularity, folks back in France wanted to make their own spirit instead of having to bring it back from the colonies. The French started using their sugar beet products to do so and sugar beet “rum” was born. It’s not remotely as common as it was in those days, but beet spirits are starting to pop up again if you’re interested in giving them a try! Also, beets’ earthy sweetness is an obvious compliment to rum’s natural sweetness and the lime juice is great at brightening up the fresh beet juice’s otherwise one note flavor profile. And lastly, you don’t need me to tell you that beets are a powerful super food. Drinking beet juice can lower blood pressure, provides your body with tons of detoxifying nutrients and fiber and can help boost stamina during your next workout.

For this cocktail I used a local white rum from Liberty Call Distilling Co. I’m not a huge rum drinker but their’s is super smooth, has a nice tropical fruit thing going on and an interesting funk to it that I love. Plus it’s made right here in San Diego! If you’re not local, Ballast Point Three Sheets or Dancing Pines are both great “craft” options for quality white rum. Bacardi will also do the trick 😉

Beet Daiquiri. Makes 1 drink, can easily be multiplied.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz White Rum – San Diegans can find Liberty Call White Rum at High Tide bottle shop on Coronado
  • 2 oz fresh beet juice
  • 1 oz raw honey simple syrup (1:1), or to taste
  • .5 oz fresh lime juice
  • lime wheel to garnish

Directions:

  1. In a cocktail shaker combine rum, juices and simple syrup
  2. Shake for 10-15 seconds and strain into chilled martini glass or coupe
  3. Garnish with lime wheel and enjoy!

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{ Love the tangy tropical fruit notes in local distiller Bill’s White Rum }

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{ All photos above by Krisnoff }

Distillerista-Beet-Juice{ P.S. Don’t have a juicer at home? This 100% beet juice from TJ’s works great! }

P.P.S. Liberty Call has a great Groupon going on right now for discounted tours & tastings! Check it out if you’re in the San Diego area.

You might also like: Classic Gimlet 3 Ways | Cucumber Kale Vodka Spritz

 

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“Healthy” Weeknight Cocktail #1: Cucumber Kale Vodka Spritz

Distillerista-Healthy-Green-Juice-Cocktail-3 { Anthro Tumblers  | Elizabeth and James top }

With the new year comes an inevitable wave of resolutions: exercise more, eat cleaner, give the drinking a rest… we’ve heard e’m all, right? While I’d love to think I can finally tackle ALL those cliché healthy lifestyle choices now that the holidays have past, it’s just not realistic to cut out drinking entirely. Besides the fact that enjoying a well made cocktail is one of my most beloved pleasures, I’m currently in the middle of R&D for my distillery‘s first two flagship products. One of which is a New Western-style Gin and requires endless tweaks to the botanical makeup. Simply put, my team and I’ve been tasting a looooot of gin lately. But what I can do is make healthier choices when I do choose to partake. And that, my friends, is the inspiration behind a new slew of cocktail posts this month. For the next few weeks I’ll be posting “healthy,” – even borderline nutritious! – cocktail recipes for when 5 o’clock hits and you don’t want to completely cancel out those hours you’ve been putting in at the gym.

First up is a fizzy and refreshing Cucumber Kale Vodka Spritz. It calls for California’s favorite health trend – green juice! Feel free to use homemade or store bought, just be sure to watch out for sugar content. Some of my favorites are from Moon Juice (LA) Pressed Juicery (multiple locations, I’d suggest Greens 1.5) or Juice Saves here in SD. It’s no secret vodka is the most calorie-friendly spirit, plus I wanted the green juice to really shine and the neutral canvas vodka provides allows for that. If you’re using a super intense green juice (no apple or citrus), you may want to add a dash of honey simple syrup and/or a squeeze of lemon to keep your cocktail hour from feeling like a cleanse. 😉

Cucumber Kale Vodka Spritz. Makes 1 drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small seedless (Persian) cucumber
  • 1. 5 oz. good quality vodka
  • 1 oz. raw honey simple syrup, optional
  • 6 oz. your favorite green juice – preferably a blend of greens, cucumber and lemon
  • Sparkling water to top

Directions:

  1. Slice cucumber into four wedges, lengthwise. Reserve one wedge for garnish and chop the remaining three wedges into one-inch pieces.
  2. Muddle cucumber pieces in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until pulpy and juice begins to accumulate.
  3. Add vodka, green juice,  simple syrup if desired and a handful of ice.
  4. Shake for 10-15 seconds and strain into a tumbler filled with fresh ice. Top with sparkling water.
  5. Garnish with reserved cucumber spear and enjoy!

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{ All Photos by Krisnoff }

 You might also like: My Top 5 Vodkas // A Jazzed-Up Vodka Soda

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Rick Bayless’ Ancho Chile Old Fashioned

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I should preface this post with full disclosure, I’m a HUGE Rick Bayless fan. Any time I’m in Chicago a stop at one of his Frontera eateries is an absolute must. In fact, I must tell you that on a recent trip I was introduced – by some dear friends and fellow fans – to the pure. addictive. crack. that is the Ahogada Torta, a juicy carnitas sandwich served in a pool of spicy tomato and chile de árbol broth! Aaaaaand I digress. This blog is about craft liquor and cocktails, dammit!

As delicious and addictive as Bayless’ Mexican fare may be, the margarita and cocktail recipes from his book FRONTERA: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks may just give his food a run for it’s money. Chock full of unique margarita variations and riffs on classic cocktails, – often retooled with agave spirits, chiles, etc. – FRONTERA is a treat for any Bayless fan. Or really anyone who isn’t afraid to dress up a classic marg! The days have been chilly and overcast here in El Niño land so this spicy Tequila Old Fashioned felt like the perfect warm-me-up nightcap. Here’s how to make it…

Tequila Old Fashioned. Adapted from FRONTERA: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks by Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless. Makes 1 drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1 dried ancho chile
  • 1 oz 100% blue agave Añejo Tequila (I used Casamigos Reposado because I had it on hand)
  • 1 oz good quality Bourbon
  • 3 dashes orange bitters (I used Hella Bitters‘ citrus bitters)
  • .25 oz agave or rich (2:1) simple syrup (I used raw honey)
  • 6-10 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Cut a piece of chile roughly 1 x 2 inches. Muddle in the bottom of a cocktail shaker or mixing glass until aromatic.
  2. Pour in the tequila, bourbon, bitters and agave. Add ice and stir for 10 seconds.
  3. Strain into a 10 oz. rocks glass. Let chile float on top as garnish.

Ancho1{ The Lineup: Ancho Chiles, Tequila, Orange Bitters and Bourbon}

Ancho-Old-Fashioned-Distillerista-2{ One thing I love about FRONTERA is each cocktail includes recipes for one drink and a larger batch. SO handy. }

Distillerista-Ancho-Old-Fashioned-Cocktail{ Crate & Barrel Stainless Steel Muddler | NY Rocks Glass }

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{ All photos above by Megan Burgess }

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{ P.S. The Ahogada Torta at XOCO River North!!! 😉 *THANKS TEAM P* }

You might also like: Sparkling Peach Margaritas & Distillerista Guide to Baja & Valle de Guadalupe

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Join Distillerista for a Holiday Happy Hour!

wreath invite

Calling all San Diego friends: We’re co-hosting a Holiday Happy Hour with Vocabulary Boutique this Friday, December 18th! Please join us for shopping discounts and specialty cocktails crafted by yours truly featuring local San Diego spirits. Enjoy a festive drink, finish up that last bit of holiday shopping and support local entrepreneurs – what could be better?! Hope to see you there!

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Holiday Happy Hour Details:

When: Friday December 18th 5:30-7pm

Where: Vocabulary Boutique – 414 West Cedar Street San Diego, CA 92101 – in the heart of Little Italy!

What: Festive Distillerista Craft Cocktails & Shopping Discounts!

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Basil 95 // Vocabulary Boutique

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{ La Fete Flutes | $20 each, 10% off for a set of 6 }

We’ve had quite a few things to celebrate as of late (my Artisan Spirit Mag feature, finally naming the distillery! & our first two test batches of gin turned out really really well) so it’s only appropriate that we wrap up a couple of successful weeks by sharing our second collaboration with Vocabulary Boutique: a simple champagne cocktail I’ve coined the Basil 95, paired perfectly with chic, gilded stemless champagne flutes.

Champagne cocktails are the easiest things to make and deliver major wow factor with seriously minimal effort. Anytime a cork is popped and a glass is topped off with bubbles, you know good times are in order. This recipe in particular is a cinch to make and even easier to drink. Basil-infused honey simple syrup and Cava – dry Spanish sparkling wine – create the perfect celebratory cocktail. But the best thing about this recipe is that it can be easily adapted to any season or occasion. Just swap out the basil for another herb or flavor vehicle (orange peel! ginger root! loose leaf tea!) and you’ve got a festive and customizable drink for a crowd.

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Basil 95 Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch basil honey simple syrup (*recipe to follow)
  • 1 bottle Cava or your favorite dry sparkling wine
  • fresh basil leaves to garnish

Directions:

  1. Make basil honey simple syrup.
  2. Fill each glass with .5 oz simple syrup or more, to taste.
  3. Top carefully with sparkling wine, allowing time for bubbles to subside and topping off again.
  4. Garnish each glass with a basil leaf.

*Basil honey simple syrup: Combine 1 cup raw local honey and 1 cup water in a small sauce pan and stir over medium low heat until honey fully dissolves. Remove from heat and add a handful of fresh basil. Let basil steep as the syrup cools. Once completely cool strain into glass jar or bottle and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Pro-tip: tilt the glass and pour the sparkling wine so that the stream of liquid hits the angled edge of the glass, just below the lip and not the bottom of the glass. This keeps the bubbles in check and helps prevent the wine from bubbling over.

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Aren’t these gilded stemless champagne flutes the sweetest?! A set of 2 or 4 would make the perfect hostess gift this holiday season.

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Incase you missed it: our first Vocabulary collaboration, the Gold Rush (above photo, left)

Basil-95-Distillerista-5{ All photos by Krisnoff Photography }

Want to see more of Vocabulary Boutique? Check out the boutique blog here!

To purchase any of the items you see in this post please email Cecelia at VocabularyBoutique@gmail.com

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{Classy} Long Island Iced Tea + Craft Cocktails Book Review

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When I think of a Long Island Iced Tea I’m immediately reminded of my senior year of high school and our spring break trip to Cabo. Ten or so friends and I were somehow allowed to run loose in Cabo for a week with questionably minimal adult supervision #ThanksMom. There were several Long Islands involved over the course of said week, as well as the infamous blue-hued drink that goes by the acronym AMF. It’s safe to say my present day drinking habits have matured a bit and I definitely wouldn’t associated the Long Island Iced Tea with upscale craft cocktail culture. Craft Cocktails – a popular cocktail recipe book/collaboration by a handful of ultra-talented bartenders  – has in fact managed to change that with author Brian Van Flandern’s grown up version, aptly named “Drink Responsibly.”

The book was a sweet gift from a friend and while it’s a gorgeous piece of eye candy, the drinks are pretty complex and require several ingredients each. Most of which I either don’t necessarily keep on hand all the time or wouldn’t be down to splurge on an entire bottle of just for one cocktail. Funny enough, this version of a Long Island was the only drink in the book I had all the components for.

Basically a gussied-up version of a Long Island Iced Tea but slightly less alcoholic, the Drink Responsibly is more balanced than it’s rowdy cousin and yet still packs a punch. Like I mentioned, it incurs a long list of ingredients so make sure you have a well stocked bar before attempting this project of a cocktail. Makes 1 drink.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1/4 oz Grand Marnier or your favorite orange liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Ketel One or your favorite vodka
  • 1/4 oz Tanqueray No. 10 or your favorite gin
  • 1/4 oz Don Julio Blanco or your favorite tequila
  • 1/4 oz Oronoco or your favorite rum
  • 1 oz Gus Dry Cola (I substituted with Live Soda)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients except soda in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously.
  3. Strain into a highball filled with fresh ice, top with soda and garnish with a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

Classy-Long-Island-Distillerista{ My lineup: Cointreau, Tanqueray No. 10, Casamigos, Hangar 1, Live Soda Cola & Flor de Cana }

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{ All photos by Megan Burgess }

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Gold Rush // Vocabulary Boutique

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My first part time job in college was at one of my favorite neighborhood shops: Vocabulary Boutique. Located in Little Italy, Vocabulary offers mens and women’s apparel, stationary, gifts, baby things and home decor, (including these adorable gold tumblers!). It’s literally a one-stop shop for everything, including both a last minute gift and a new outfit you need for that party. Although I no longer work for owner and proprietor Cecelia Church, she’s become a dear friend over the years. We’ve been planning a few blog collaborations ever since I launched Distillerista so stay tuned for more posts like this one where we pair some of Vocabulary’s gorgeous barware with a cocktail recipe. And be sure to scroll down to the end of the post to learn more about Cecelia and Vocabulary Boutique!

Gold-Rush-Distillerista-6{ Gold Leaf Tumblers | $18 each }

On a recent trip to visit Cecelia at Vocabulary, I couldn’t get over these gorgeous tumblers with a textured gold band around the bottom. They seemed like just the perfect vessel for a lazy but elevated late-night whiskey cocktail and this Gold Rush certainly fits the bill. On weeknights when we want a pick-me-up, Luke makes a double batch of these after dinner. They’re so easy and quick to prepare, making them the ideal nightcap to accompany our recent Narcos binges.

Gold-Rush-Distillerista-1{ Locally Made Hexagon Bamboo Cutting Board | $34 }

Makes 1 drink | Inspired by an old Seven Grand cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz your favorite Bourbon
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp raw local honey, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a shaker and dry shake (no ice) for a good 30 seconds until the honey incorporates thoroughly. It helps if all ingredients are at room temp.
  2. Add ice and shake for an additional 15-20 seconds or until the entire outside of the shaker is cold to the touch.
  3. Strain into a DOF or rocks glass – whiskey cube optional – and enjoy!

Gold-Rush-Distillerista-Insta Gold-Rush-Distillerista-5 Gold-Rush-Distillerista-4  { Sugar Paper “Cheers” Coasters | $36 for a set of 10 }

Cecelia’s background is in theatre set design so it should come as no surprise that her store is decorated and merchandised immaculately. Every time I walk in she’s added yet another sweet, special touch. With new arrivals arriving almost daily, it’s my favorite place in San Diego to find unique pieces I won’t see half my friends wearing and conversation-starting pieces for my home. If you’re a San Diego resident and haven’t checked out Vocabulary yet, please do! I dare you to leave empty-handed. To purchase any of the items featured in this post email Cecelia at VocabularyBoutique@gmail.com. 

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{ All photos by Krisnoff Padua }

P.S. Check out Vocabulary Boutique’s blog, The Blah Blah Blah for more photos and inspiration!

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Summer Drink Diary

Distillerista-Drink-Diary

I’ve been obsessed with PUNCH, an “online magazine focused on narrative journalism – both written and visual – about wine, beer and cocktails” (as taken from their website) for a while now and when I read this article I knew I wanted to do something similar here on Distillerista. Having been in or trying to break into the wine and spirits industry for a few years now, I’ve spent a looooot of time either loitering at or working in bars and restaurants. And since visiting popular cocktail bars and making friends with talented bartenders and beverage directors is all part of the “job” when you’re a start up distiller, I enjoy sharing their work! So on that note, I’m taking my beloved PUNCH’s lead and starting a new series, Drink Diaries! From time to time I’ll corral my amateur iPhone snaps and heavily filtered Instagrams and clue you in on what I’ve been sipping lately. I hope you enjoy!

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Weekend Brunch // These lovelies were from a fun weekend brunch at The Patio on Goldfinch in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego. It’s been a while but pretty sure the one on the left was the Germain Champagne (St. Germain, mint and bubbles) and the right was the Brown Derby (Bourbon, grapefruit and honey).

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Date Night // Thanks to our friend and fellow distiller Michael Skubic for introducing us to the ultra-charming Jayne’s Gastropub! Jayne’s has become our go-to date night spot thanks to their super cute outdoor patio, a gorgeous menu of updated British classics and some really solid cocktails and wines. Sipping on an Old Harbor Southwestern Gin Gimlet (front) of course, and a Pepino Ricardo (cucumber-infused tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and soda).

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Dinner in South Bay // This was probably my favorite cocktail of the summer, retro Manhattan Beach steakhouse Arthur J‘s The Long Goodbye. I hate carrots but am weirdly a huge fan of a carrot-lime-gin combo and this version was spot on. It was basically a gimlet of sorts with Ballast Point’s Old Grove Gin, lime, turmeric, fresh carrot juice and cardamom with a thyme sprig for garnish. So pretty and floral and refreshing. The perfect start to an indulgent meal.

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Drink-Diary-Bracero

Opening Night // As Little Italy residents and frequenters of the Valle de Guadalupe, we’d been counting the days until Baja’s current darling, Chef Javier Plascencia, opened his latest stateside establishment, Bracero, just a couple blocks away. We snagged a rez on opening night and were blown away by the service, decor and (most impressively) the consistency and flawless execution of nearly every dish we ordered. This is unheard of for a new restaurant on opening night, particularly in San Diego (sad but true), so Bracero deserves all the snaps for this one. I couldn’t resist the Agua Chile, made with fresh watermelon, Campari, St. George Spirits Green Chile Vodka and a sweet little watermelon radish on top.

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Post-Padres Snack // We usually stay away from Nobu considering Luke worked there for years, but it was just too tempting when craving a little bite to eat after a Padres game at Petco Park. I fell straight back into my old ways – Champagne 95 please and keep ’em coming (peach schnapps, orange liqueur, pineapple puree and bubbles).

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Kiwi Invasion // We had some of our favorite Kiwi friends in town for a long weekend this past summer and had a very blurry but incredibly fun few days showing them around our favorite spots.  We couldn’t resist taking them to Kettner Exchange‘s rooftop patio and partaking in a few Diego by the Bays (gin, grapefruit, lemon, rhubarb bitters and soda).

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Working Lunch // A particularly successful meeting called for a celebratory two-margarita lunch last month. Puesto at The Headquarters makes some of my favorite and the strawberry one is fruity and tart without being too sweet.

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Barçon Cocktail Co. Launch // I’ve been a MIHO Gastrotruck (San Diego’s coolest food truck) fan ever since they used to park next to the office I interned at in college every Friday! In addition to the famed truck they now have an incredibly successful catering company, The Vetted Table, and have recently launched a cocktail arm as well, Barçon Cocktail Co.! The team behind the parent company, A MIHO Experience, threw a brilliant dim-sum style cocktail hour last month at one of San Diego’s coolest bars, Sycamore Den. Our favorite was the Cracked Cucumber: Vodka, St. Germain, lime, soda and fresh cracked black pepper. We’ve been making them at home on repeat ever since!

 

I hope this Drink Diary was a fun read. Be sure to follow Distillerista on Instagram for more drink-related snaps and please tag YOUR cocktail ‘grams with #Distillerista so I can see what you’re sipping on too! 

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BEE STINGER Cocktail + Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book Review

Bee-Stinger-HeaderWe officially say goodbye to summer tomorrow and I just couldn’t let the season pass without one more calendar-appropriate drink recipe. This one, cleverly named the Bee Stinger, comes from The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book. I was fortunate enough to study under several incredible Kentucky distillers and other local industry professionals during the time I spent in Louisville last year, and one person in particular I loved meeting was Joy Perrine. Joy is the spunky, wildly knowledgeable co-author of The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book and was kind enough to give us a copy. She’s been bartending in Louisville, KY for more than five decades, was named Esquire magazine’s “Bad Girl of Bourbon,” and is an absolute legend in the Kentucky Bourbon world.

I learned so much from Joy beyond just how to make delicious Bourbon cocktails. She graciously clued me in on little things I hadn’t thought of before, i.e. why you should keep your bottle heights under a 11-12 inches so bartenders can easily fit them on their shelves, how you should avoid any hanging tags or neck hangers on your bottles (they only annoy bartenders and bar backs who need to restock quickly) and that you should have a heavy enough bottomed bottle so as not to knock over easily, but not so heavy that bartenders have trouble pouring from a fresh bottle. These small but super useful facts came in handy when picking out glass for our spirits.

Joy’s book is a Bourbon lover’s dream. It contains tons of seasonal Bourbon cocktails that run the entire flavor profile spectrum – sweet, tart, savory, bitter, and everything in between. She’s also a huge believer that cocktail recipe books for the home mixologist shouldn’t call for a ton of fancy or expensive ingredients i.e. hard to find liqueurs, mixers, etc. so if you have a relatively well stocked home bar, chances are you have everything you need to make most of the cocktails in this book (or could very easily find the missing ingredients).

The Bee Stinger caught my eye because it seemed like a simple summer-appropriate application for Bourbon, but also because it’s very similar to a drink Luke loves called a Gold Rush (recipe post here!). The recipe here calls for Wild Turkey 101 (I substituted with some Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon I had on hand but your favorite Bourbon will do just fine) and Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur. I happened to have a baby bottle of Honey Jack laying around, most likely a straggling stocking stuffer from Christmas’ past, that I used in place of the Wild Turkey Liqueur, but any honey-flavored whiskey on the market will surely do the trick. Along with Limoncello (used my friend Jeramiah’s homemade limoncello!) the drink also calls for honey sticks to garnish. You can find these thin plastic tubes of honey at your grocer, or ideally your local farmer’s market, but a drizzle of honey over the final product is a simple short cut.

Bee-Stinger-What-you-Will-NeedBee Stinger | Makes 1 drink

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Wild Turkey 101 or your favorite Bourbon
  • .75 oz Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur or your favorite honey-flavored whiskey spirit
  • .75 oz Limoncello check out Jeramiah’s recipe for homemade limoncello from his blog The Hungry Wandering Surfer!
  • Honey sticks to garnish
  • Lemon wedge to garnish

Directions:

Combine all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until the entire outside of the shaker is cold to the touch. Strain and garnish with lemon wedge and two honey sticks. Sipper will open sticks and pour contents into the drink. Include a small straw for stirring.

Bee-Stinger-KY-Cocktail-Book   { The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book by Joy Perrine & Susan Reigler }

Bee-Stinger-Joy-P

Bee-Stinger-Craft-Cocktail-Recipe

{ All photos by Megan Burgess }

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