Three Big Batch Cocktails to Please ALL the Relatives

Distillerista Thanksgiving

{ All photos by Megan Burgess }

Umm, real question: How is Thanksgiving only two days away? If you’re anything like me you still haven’t been to the market, nor are you particularly sold on what to make! We’re having Thanksgiving with some family friends this year and I’m in charge of the stuffing and the cocktails (typical). Lucky for me, I’ve at least got the drinks on lock and you can too! Below are three of my favorite big batch cocktail recipes. Scroll down for simple to make, crowd-pleasing batched drinks for a group that will surely get the conversation flowing this holiday!

Gin-Punch-Distillerista-Pour{ Fresh, Herbaceous Gin Punch }

1. Grapefruit Lavender Gin Punch. Guys. This is the definition of crowd-pleasers. I’ve made this drink for so many parties and get-togethers now, I can’t keep track. It gets tons of compliments and we ALWAYS run out so I’ll casually suggest double batching. If you’re guests appreciate pretty drinks and/or you’re fortunate enough to spend the holiday in a mild climate, this is the Thanksgiving drink for your crew. P.S. Swap half the lavender for rosemary to create a more seasonally-appropriate version. Your craft cocktail snob cousin will surely approve.

2. Luke’s Bourbon Cocktail. This is one of those drinks that’s just a leeeetle bit dangerous. The cider and citrus juices create an oh-so-easy to drink cocktail but beware, the Bourbon comes back to bite! Make this if you want to get Grandma a little tipsy. Also, the fall spices make for a balanced, fall-appropriate treat. Even your “I-only-drink-IPAs” brother will love this one.

Tray of Cocktails{ Big Batch Bourbon Cocktails }

3. Red Sangria. We all know Pinot Noir is a textbook wine pairing for turkey. Spice it up a little with some fresh winter citrus, cranberry or raspberry liqueur and sparkling water. It’s a great way to stretch a buck and who doesn’t like sippin’ on a little Sangria?! Just make sure Mom and the aunties don’t drink it all.

Distillerista-Sangria-Recipe{ Red Sangria }

As a holiday bonus, here are a few more of my favorite Thanksgiving-appropriate cocktails from around the web!

The Harvest Sparkle | Fed + Fit

Pear Rosemary Cocktails | Colorful Eats

Spiced Pear Mule | The Kitchy Kitchen

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Into It… Fall Bar Accessories

 

Fall-Bar-Accessories-Distillerista{ Image via }

It’s well known I have a bit of bar cart obsession and with fall finally here, I’m feeling a revamp. Here are eight chic bar accessories updates I’m currently coveting.

Fall-Bar-Accessories-Distillerista-1{ 1. Gilded Plume Bottle Opener | $7, Anthro ON SALE! }

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{ 2. The coolest knotted branch bar tool set | $78, Anthro }

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{ Nifty acacia wood Orb Bar Tool Set | $1-10, Crate & Barrel ON SALE! }

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{ Kitchy but cute “May You Never…” Shot Glasses (S/o 4) | $29, Pigment }

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{ A copper-topped Bitters Bottle would be the perfect vessel for homemade syrups | $35, Pigment }

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{ Love my Mason Shaker but this Copper Cocktail Shaker is on point | $25, Crate & Barrel }

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{ Gorgeous vintage Jadeite Cocktail Tumblers (S/o 4) | $50, One Kings Lane }

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{ The prettiest Metallic Lace Cocktail Glasses (S/o 4) | $29, One Kings Lane }

Hope you enjoyed this round up! What are your favorite spots to look for new barware? Tell me in the comments below!

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

{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 }

Artisan Spirit Feature + Distillery Name Unveil

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Artisan Spirit Magazine‘s fall issue has arrived and it includes a timely and relevant article, How To Get Into Distilling Without Having to Own the Joint, featuring yours truly! Click here to flip through the digital issue and head to page 101 for the full story.

Artisan-Spirit-Mag-Distillerista-3

Spoiler alert! We’ve officially given our upcoming operation a name: YOU & YOURS DISTILLING CO. I’ll be unveiling the logo and other creative, plus the inspiration behind the moniker soon so stay tuned!

Thanks a million, zillion times to the wonderful Jeanne Runkle for including me in this piece! Check out more of her work here and here.

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!

Summer Drink Diary

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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.

Drink-Diary-Nobu

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! 

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 }

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{ All photos by Megan Burgess }

Football Brunch | Entertaining With Craft Spirits

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For a die-hard Cowboys fan living in California, it’s really fun that several of the season’s games fall at 10:30 am here due to the time change. It gives me something to look forward to first thing in the morning (Mimosas! Cowboys!) and more importantly, is a perfect excuse to invite friends over for a boozy brunch! Here are some (amateur) iPhone snaps from a recent brunch Luke and I threw to kick off the season! Scroll down for how we put it all together.

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First thing’s first… I greeted friends with spiked almond milk lattes. Espresso, frothed almond milk, a little coconut sugar and some Leopold Bros. French Press Style Coffee Liqueur to taste.

After some unfortunate McGiver-ing with the whole NFL Redzone/Chromecast/Apple TV/Why-the-F-did-we-cancel-cable/streaming situation, we finally got the games on and moved on to some much deserved hard stuff… And by hard stuff I mean Ballast Point Bloody Marys with Hangar One Chipotle Vodka and my juicy Gin Punch, packed with tons of fresh citrus juice and some KROBĀR Gin I picked up last weekend in Paso Robles!

Football-Brunch-Distillerista-Craft-CocktailsUnfortunately Hangar One no longer produces the roasted chipotle flavor so I would substitute with St. George Green Chile Vodka }

For the food I went a little over board, I’ll admit. But brunch is my favorite and football is my favorite so whatever, I didn’t hear anyone complaining.

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I started out with a little platter of smoked salmon, super thinly shaved deli ham, red onion, cucumber and some cream cheese I softened and then mixed with fresh dill, chives and parsley. Add some toasted everything bagels and boom. Done.

Next I did two types of quiche. I loooooove quiche and we have vegetarian friends so I knew I wanted to make two versions. I made this Chicken Tortilla version from the Kitchy Kitchen (anyone else obsessed with her?) and a Mushroom Leek version. Both were amazing but I think the Mushroom Leek took the cake.

Speaking of cake, I made Blueberry Lavender muffins from my favorite paleo baking cookbook, Every Last Crumb, by Brittany Angell. I take her recipe for strawberry cream cheese muffins (page 134) and swap out freeze-dried blueberries for the strawberries, leave out the cream cheese filling and add a teaspoon of crushed dried culinary lavender for a fun twist. Thanks to Caroline for inspiring my love of Paleo baking!

Next up was the healthy addition to our spread. We chopped up one fresh pineapple, half a small watermelon and two mangos. Then we tossed them cocos frescos style with lime juice and Tajin! I’m never making fruit salad any other way again! Inspired by this

You can’t have a Sunday brunch without bacon and oh my god, we did it right. I preheated my oven to 450 degrees F and placed as many slices of bacon I could fit on a parchment lined baking sheet. I let them cook until our desired crispiness, brushing them halfway through – and then again when I took them out – with a mixture of equal parts pure grade B maple syrup and dijon mustard. Side note: I would up the mustard-to-maple syrup ratio next time, as I didn’t get that tangy dijon flavor as strongly as I’d hoped. 

Lastly, another Kitchy Kitchen dish: Roasted Tomato Tart with Paleo Cauliflower Crust. The execution of the crust was a bit touch-and-go, as paleo baking can often be, but the flavors were on point. One perk was that the recipe for the Pisto that goes on top of the crust before baking a second time made way too much and was subsequently amazing over a seared piece of fish last night!

Sadly not pictured is the incredible pumpkin stuffed pretzel french toast my friend Nusha made and brought! She totally outdid herself, this pretzel pumpkin magic was so so decadent and served as the perfect accompaniment to the otherwise savory spread we prepared.

As for decor I kept it simple: fresh flowers, Lilly Pulitzer for Target carafes & ice bucket, disposable “football” plates, napkins (Cowboys blue, obviously), cute little bamboo cutlery and chevron paper straws, duh!

That’s all, folks! I hope this inspires you to throw a football brunch of your own this season. Oh, and go Cowboys!

P.S. Here’s the cute e-vite we sent out a week or two before –>

Sunday Brunch Invite Distillerista

Five Favorites: Barrel Rested Gin

 

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I love dark liquor – especially rye and wheated bourbons and whiskies – but as you could probably guess from recent posts (here, here, and here), gin is my usual adult beverage of choice. The rise of craft distillers giving their gin some time in the barrel is the best of both worlds for me. I get those botanical juniper and spice notes that I’ve grown to love, plus a little bit of that sweet, smoky complexity I look for in an aged whiskey or tequila añejo.

Aged gin may seem like a weird concept but whether you’re a bourbon or a gin guy (or gal), this aged gin trend is something you can get behind. The majority of these barrel rested gins tend to be aged for a short amount of time, 3-6 months at the most, so the dark caramel, vanilla-y characteristics are subtle, yet do some really interesting things to those botanical flavors. If you haven’t already, give this craft distilling trend a try in your next G&T, martini or manhattan. These complex, oaky twists on the old London Dry are just the ticket for the upcoming cooler temps. Here are five of my favorites plus a few honorable mentions…

1. Barrel Gin | Spirit Works Distillery | Sebastapol, CA

The husband and wife team behind Spirit Works make delicious vodka, gins and whiskies in the heart of California winemaking country. Also in their lineup is a rare authentic sloe gin. Both their sloe and barrel aged gins are great in any cocktail in which you would use a traditional gin.

2. Barrel Aged Gin | Corsair Distillery | Nashville, TN & Bowling Green, KY

Corsair distillers are, like, the unofficial kings of experimental spirits. Their barrel gin is no joke with deep smoky notes and all the warm fuzzy feelings. Corsair experimental batches are elusive though so keep an eye out! They go fast.

3. Old Tom Gin | Ransom Spirits | Sheridan, OR

Ransom Spirits’ Old Tom gin has to be one of my favorite expressions of this aged gin trend. Old Tom-style gin, the original pre-prohibition gin for mixing cocktails, starts with a malted barley mash. This gives the gin a super sweet, grainy nose that I just love and insane complexity. A handful of months in  the barrel finishes this gorgeous spirit off perfectly. Try on the rocks with an orange peel.

4. Barrel Gin | Few Spirits | Evanston, IL

Few Spirits are pumping out some wonderful craft liquor and this barrel gin tops the list for me. This gin has so much complex spice and gourmet vanilla-type sweetness it could easily be mistaken for a genever. Try in your next classic martini.

5. Dry Rye Reposado Gin | St. George Spirits | Alameda, CA

St. George is the OG American craft distillery so you can pretty much bet your life on the fact that anything they release is going to be amazing. Their Dry Rye Reposado gin is no exception. A staggering twelve months in barrel makes this ideal for an Old Fashioned.

Also wonderful… Single Barrel Gin from Krobar Craft Distilling in Paso Robles, CA and Distillery 209’s Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Reserve Gins.

Have you tried an aged gin? What did you think?! Let me know in the comments below.

Also: A Beginner’s Guide to Western Gin