Bartender Know-How: The Essential Glassware & Bar Tools

 I’m excited to finally present a comprehensive, collaborative guide to the essential bar tools and glassware any home mixologist should have. In partnership with Thirty3Club.

Bar-tools-glassware-distillerista-thirty3club

1. Coupes and/or Martini glasses for drinks served up…

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.39.08 PMDistillerista tip: Use a coupe anywhere you’d use normally reach for a martini glass. Their curved lip is infinitely better at keeping the drink in your glass and not all over your new suede pumps. Love these from Anthro.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.40.03 PMDistillerista Tip: Yes, the stem keeps your body heat from warming the drink but again, those new suede pumps. Alas, if you’re a fan of the classic conical shape then try a stemless version. Just be sure to hold it from the bottom to keep contents nice and cold!

 

2. High Ball glasses for tall drinks served over ice…

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Distillerista tip: These are my go-to cocktail tumblers. If you want a more traditional shape, these are also gorgeous.

 

3. Rocks glasses or tumblers for short drinks served with or without ice. Also called a DOF, or double old fashioned, glass…

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Distillerista tip: I’m a big fan of a heavy bottomed rocks glass. Maybe it’s just me but the substantial weight of the glass in my hand makes me feel like I’ve secretly infiltrated some swanky men’s club. Win-win!

 

4. A mixing glass & shaker tin (or a traditional 3-piece cocktail shaker) for creating cocktails that call for shaking…

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Distillerista tip: This is my favorite all-in-one bar tool kit including a great Boston shaker-style tin and mixing glass. P.S. Brush up on when to stir and when to shake.

 

5. A jigger for measuring spirits and other ingredients…

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Distillerista tip: I used to think I could eyeball everything but once I started using jigger, my cocktails were infinitely better. My favorite basic jigger, here.

 

6. A muddler & strainer

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Distillerista tip: When using a Boston Shaker you’ll need a Hawthorne strainer (shown above). When using just a mixing glass (for stirred drinks) I prefer to use a julep strainer. My favorite dishwasher-safe muddler.

 

7. Bar Spoon

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.41.50 PMDistillerista Tip: A bar spoon is a must for stirred cocktails like Manhattans and Martinis. Love this rose gold one.

 

I hope you enjoyed learning about the essential bar tools and glassware for mixing phenomenal, craft cocktail bar-worthy cocktails at home. A couple of other essentials I keep around: a sharp knife, small cutting board, vegetable/fruit peeler for making citrus peel garnishes and a handheld citrus squeezer. Please comment below with your favorite bar tools and glassware!

{This article originally appeared on Thirty3Club’s Cocktail Education Blog}

A Beginner’s Guide to Mezcal: Part 1

Some friends and I just returned from an amazing long weekend in Mexico City and I’ve fallen head over heels in love with the Mezcal culture there. Although I’ve been a fan of the smoky, earthy, agave-based spirit for a while now, experiencing the charm of D.F.’s endless Mezcalerías these past few days solidified my obsession.

Seeing as Mezcal is the darling du jour of the craft cocktail world, I thought I’d share some 101 knowledge on the obscure cult spirit. In partnership with Thirty3Club.

Distillerista-Mezcal-KK{The traditional way to enjoy mezcal: neat, slightly chilled, with an orange slice & chili salt}

What mezcal is NOT:

– Low class tequila
– Made from cacti
– Related to psychedelic mescaline
– Any bottle with a worm in it
– A liquor that will kill you or blind you

So, what is mezcal?

Mezcal is a spirit made in Mexico, from any of the more than 30 different types of agave. The vast majority of mezcals are made from a quick-growing, high-yield version called Espadin (Es-pa-DEEN). Mezcal can be made in one of 8 different states of Mexico, but the heart is undoubtedly the southern, mountainous state of Oaxaca (Wa-ha-ka).

Tequila, on the other hand, is a mezcal, just a specific type (like how all bees are insects but not all insects are bees). Tequila must be produced in one of 5 designated states, with the vast majority coming from the western state of Jalisco, home of the town Tequila. Additionally, tequila must be made from a specific type of agave, blue weber.

How mezcal is cooked

Tequila producers (the good ones, anyway) steam their agaves in brick ovens for 24-48 hours, while mezcal producers dig a pit, and smoke their agaves over underground coals for up to 10 days. This is why most mezcals will have a smoky, sometimes rubbery, or meaty character, in intensities ranging from “oh, that’s interesting” to “OHMYGOD.”

How mezcal is distilled

Almost all spirits in the world are distilled to a high proof, and then watered down before bottling, which makes it smoother and milder. The higher the spirit is distilled, the more flavor is removed.

Mezcal has one of the lowest distillation proofs of any spirit in the world, traditionally between 45% and 52%, and is bottled however it comes out without adding water. Because of this, mezcal is an incredibly — startlingly — full-bodied and character-driven spirit. In other words, literally no effort at all has been made on the part of the distiller to make the product “mild.” They want as much flavor as can fit in the bottle.

What are other sprits distilled to?

– Bourbon ~70%
– Rum ~90%
– Vodka ~97%
– Tequila ~55%

What Does This All Mean For Taste?

Mezcal is an artisanal and dynamic product, that depending on how and from what it is made, can be earthy, smoky, fruity, creamy, or any combination thereof. It is monstrously flavorful, which is simultaneously a barrier to entry for the uninitiated, and the favorite trait of aficionados. Put simply: if it’s your first time drinking mezcal, it will be unusual and a little challenging. But like most acquired tastes, it’s worth it.

Stay tuned for part two next week! Until then, I leave you with this little gem of Oaxacan wisdom…

“Por todo mal, mezcal, y por todo bien también” — “For everything wrong, mezcal, and for everything right, mezcal as well.”

{ This post originally appeared on cocktail subscription service Thirty3Club’s blog // top image via }

Pineapple Vodka Limeade

Pineapple-Vodka-Limeade-Distillerista-2{ high ball glass | glass swizzle sticks (similar) }

Summer is so close I can taste it and the sunnier days have me craving light, refreshing cocktails with a good dose of tropical flair. My ideal concoction these days is anything reminiscent of  a swim-up bar somewhere in the Caribbean and guys, I pretty much nailed this one. These Pineapple Vodka Limeades are the perfect poolside treat and can easily transform into mocktail territory (just hold the vodka), making them a great option for your Memorial Day BBQ, summer baby showers showers or any sun soaked, kid-friendly event. I’ll definitely be enjoying these all summer long.

Pineapple Vodka Limeade. Makes 1 cocktail.

Pineapple-Vodka-Limeade-Distillerista-3{ Cheers! }

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. your favorite local vodka
  • 2 oz. fresh pineapple juice
  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/5 oz. lime honey simple syrup*
  • 1-2 dashes lime bitters
  • splash of good quality tonic water
  • lime wheel to garnish

Directions:

  1. In a cocktail shaker combine vodka, pineapple juice, lime juice, lime honey simple syrup and bitters.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
  3. Strain into a collins glass over fresh ice and top with a splash of your favorite tonic water.

*Lime Honey Simple Syrup: Combine 1/4 cup each water and raw local honey in a small sauce pot. Simmer over medium low heat until honey is fully dissolved. Add 2 spent lime halves or the zest of one lime off the heat, transfer to a jar and let cool to room temperature, 30 minutes. Strain into a clean jar and keep in fridge for up to one month.

Extras: For even more tropical flavor, try a spirit infusion! Combine 4-5 large chunks of fresh pineapple and two cups vodka (or rum or tequila!) in a mason jar and store in a cool dry place for a week or more, agitating the jar a couple of times per day. Strain out pineapple when ready to use. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

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{My fave store bought pineapple juice options, from left: Trader Joe’s, Juice Saves, Trader Joe’s}

Introducing You & Yours Distilling Co.

Introducing-You-and-Yours-Distillerista

Happy spring lovely Distillerista readers!

As you may or may not know, I started Distillerista as both an industry resource and an outlet to keep friends, family and craft spirit enthusiasts informed on the progress of my upcoming distilling venture, You & Yours Distilling Co. Since then, Distillerista has grown into an insanely fun and ever-inspiring passion project where I share cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, informative “beginner’s” guides to niche spirit categories and my personal favorite, interviews with fellow distillers. Working on Distillerista over the last twelve months has been a dream, so thank you most sincerely for coming along on the ride with me!

What I’ve yet to give you guys a real peek into is our progress on said distilling venture. The last year has been a major labor of love to make this distillery happen, so if there’s ever a week or two where Distillerista goes MIA, there’s a good chance it’s because I’ve been up to my eyeballs in Y&Y business. That said, it’s high time you guys got the scoop! Here’s what you need to know…

  • Name: You & Yours Distilling Co.
  • What we’re all about: Bringing friends and family together over elevated imbibing experiences. Fun, crowd-pleasing spirits created with backyard barbecues, first dates, dinner parties and Sunday brunch on the patio in mind.
  • What we’re going to make: A few different styles of gin, a vodka or two, Eau de Vies (un aged fruit brandies – a.k.a. what you should be splashing into your champagne) and eventually, the good stuff: whiskey!
  • Where: in the heart of downtown San Diego! Up and coming East Village to be exact, just a stone’s throw from the convention center, Petco Park and the historic Gaslamp quarter.
  • Will I able to visit? Hell. Yasss. We’ll have hours open to the public for you to enjoy tastings, tours and best of all, COCKTAILS in a swanky and intimate urban setting! That’s right people, Y&Y will be a bonafide destination distillery. We can’t wait to welcome you in.
  • When is this sh*t happening? Stay tuned – we’re hoping for a late summer opening.
  • How can I get involved? Like Y&Y on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and if you really want to be a badass, order some branded gear from our online shop! (These aren’t regular t-shirts, these are cool t-shirts) Oh! And share this post on social media!

To be clear, Distillerista and You & Yours will remain completely separate animals. You’ll continue to hear about Y&Y progress in upcoming posts, but as always Distillerista will continue to function first and foremost as a colorful, inspiration-filled and easy to digest online resource for all things craft spirits. On that note, please shoot me a message or comment on social media with things you’d like to see on Distillerista. Looking for a new whiskey cocktail to make at home? A boozy wedding gift idea? The best bar tools perhaps? Let me know, your wish is my command!

It’s going to be a hell of a summer y’all. Get excited and stay thirsty!

Holland, Form 15, San Diego, California,  Janis Miglavs^^ See that shiny street-level corner unit? That’s us! ^^

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P.S. Check us out on Eater San Diego!

After Midnight

Distillerista-After-Midnight-Thirty3Club

This warming late winter cocktail was first featured in cocktail subscription service Thirty3Club’s February Cocktail kit. If you’re not already familiar with Thirty3Club be sure to check out this previous post for everything you need to know!

Quick refresher: Thirty3Club is a monthly cocktail subscription service that delivers everything you need to make four delicious craft cocktails at home right to your door. (If Blue Apron and Birchbox got drunk and made a baby, Thirty3Club would be that oh so delicious baby!) 

Distillerista-Thirty3Club{ Thirty3Club’s February Box featuring Liberty Call Distilling }

After Midnight. Makes 1 drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • .25 oz Apple Cider Cordial (Applejack, apple brandy or apple liqueur would also work)
  • Dash of Black Walnut Bitters
  • Orange Peel

Bar Tools & Glassware:

  • Rocks Glass
  • 1.5/.75 oz jigger
  • Bar Spoon
  • Mixing Glass
  • Julep Strainer
  • Peeler

Directions:

  1. Using your jigger, measure and pour the whiskey, apple cordial and bitters into your mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir the cocktail using your bar spoon for 30 seconds or so. Keep the back of the spoon flush with the inside of the mixing glass the entire time.
  3. Strain into an ice-filled rocks or DOF glass.
  4. Procure your orange peel and rub the orange side around the rim of your glass. Gently drop peel into drink and enjoy!

*Be sure to check out the 2nd cocktail from Thirty3Club’s February box, The Bee’s Fuzz*

Bartender Know-How: When to Shake and When to Stir

WHY JAMES BOND WAS WRONG

Before you can find a cocktail menu, the bartender appears in front of you, drops a napkin on the bar top, and looks at you with eyebrows raised. You tell the bartender you want a cocktail, but you’re not sure what kind.  And if he or she is worth anything at all, they will respond with assistance instead of annoyance, guiding you Socratically toward the perfect drink for that moment, which inevitably begins with some form of the question: “shaken or stirred?”

There are plenty of ways you can mix a drink: you can build it in the glass, roll it or carbonate it, you can throw it over your head and catch it behind your back if you’ve got a mind to. But the two most common ways, by far, are shaking and stirring. So what’s the difference? Why not just pour the ingredients on ice and be done with it, like a rum and coke?

Here’s why: there is a secret ingredient in every cocktail you’ve ever enjoyed, and it’s not salt or sugar or St. Germain, it’s water. When we’re talking about ice, there is no chilling without dilution, and vice versa. Ignore the bartender who tells you that his ice chills without diluting, because he’s wrong. Big ice cubes dilute slower, but also chill slower: use them to keep a low temperature rather than attaining one.

Cocktails are meant to be diluted. It’s implicitly built into the recipe. So when you stir or shake, you are melting the ice, lowering the temperature of your drink, and diluting it all at once. Additionally, when you shake, you’re aerating it, thinning the texture and making it feel lighter. This is an enormous difference, and there’s little to no wiggle room. If someone stirs my margarita, I know they don’t know what they’re doing. If they shake my Sazerac, I’m walking out.

And so, the difference: 

Stir when all the ingredients in the cocktail are alcohol, i.e. no mixers, no juice, no cream, no eggs. Manhattans, Old Fashioned’s, etc. Stirring is gentle and maintains the silky viscosity inherent in such drinks, which is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable parts about them. It renders a cocktail with roughly 30% water.

Shake when there’s juice, cream, eggs, or some kind of other mixer. Shaking aerates as well, thinning the texture and making it brighter and lighter, and makes the final drink roughly 40% water.

{ This article originally appeared on Thirty3Club’s Cocktail Education Blog // top image via }

The Bee’s Fuzz

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A classic gin sour with a stone fruit twist! This light and refreshing cocktail was first featured in cocktail subscription service Thirty3Club’s February Cocktail kit. If you’re not already familiar with Thirty3Club be sure to check out my previous post!

Quick refresher: Thirty3Club is a monthly cocktail subscription service that delivers everything you need to make 4 delicious craft cocktails at home right to your door. (If Blue Apron and Birchbox got drunk and had a child, Thirty3Club would be that kid) 

Distillerista-Thirty3Club{ Thirty3Club’s February Box featuring Liberty Call Distilling }

The Bee’s Fuzz. Makes 1 drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz gin
  • .75 ox fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz honey simple syrup
  • .5 oz apricot syrup or apricot liqueur
  • lemon peel to garnish

Tools & Glassware:

IMG_9886 { Don’t forget to chill your glass! }

Directions:

  1. Using your jigger, measure and pour the gin, lemon, honey and apricot into mixing glass or cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill glass or shaker with ice and seal shut with Boston shaker tin or cocktail shaker strainer and top. If using a Boston Shaker give it a firm tap to ensure the seal.
  3. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  4. Unseal the Boston shaker and strain into chilled coupe.
  5. Procure your lemon peel, run the yellow side around the rim of the glass then gently place into the drink and enjoy!

Distillerista-BeesFuzz-Thirty3Club{ Wah-la! }

Thank you to Thirty3Club for sponsoring this post! You can find an instructional video showing how to make the drink and more information about the Bee’s Fuzz’ origins here.

Want your own box? Subscribe to Thirty3Club here!

Everything You Need to Know About Cocktail Subscription Service Thirty3Club

Distillerista-Thirty3Club

Ever since I started Distillerista, I’ve kept a Google Doc a mile long with names of like-minded companies and brands to reach out to for content ideas or partnerships. Cocktail Subscription Services (think Birchbox meets Blue Apron, but with booze!) and specifically Thirty3Club, were high on that list of contemporaries to get in touch with. Thanks to a busy schedule, that Google Doc doesn’t always get the love it deserves, but lucky for me the folks at Thirty3Club beat me to it! When their co-founder Lisa reached out to chat distilling and collaboration ideas I was over the moon. Thanks to our newfound friendship, there’s a ton of exciting Thirty3Club-sponsored content in the pipeline for you but before we jump in, let me introduce you!

  1. What is Thirty3Club?

Thirty3Club is bridging the gap between the bar and your home, bringing the craft cocktail experience to your kitchen. We are a purveyor of craft cocktails, aiming to elevate any drinker’s repertoire through education on spirits, recipes, and techniques steeped in tradition and being invented every day.

  1. Explain more about cocktail subscription services.

Each month we deliver two craft cocktail recipes with step-by-step directions, instructional videos, all of the ingredients required to mix four drinks at home, and the latest and greatest from the industry. To keep it fresh we continuously partner with top bars, bartenders, and distilleries – we don’t even know what’s coming next!

  1. How the idea for Thirty3Club came about?

Thirty3Club stemmed from two successful startups we admire – Blue Apron and Birchbox. We love the experience of discovering tasty recipes, learning new cooking techniques, and creating something ourselves from the Blue Apron meal kit boxes. Birchbox, on the other hand, offers sample sizes, an element of surprise, and an online store to complement the monthly subscription. Thirty3Club is the Blue Apron for craft cocktails combined with Birchbox’s forced exploration and comprehensive online store. We do not just want to offer education, but also house a repository of recipes, tools, glassware, and spirits online creating a single hub for all things cocktails.

  1. Tell us about your team! Who’s behind Thirty3Club?

Humans are naturally curious creatures with a thirst for mastery. Bartending has been a craft reserved for those who dedicate their careers to it, but Thirty3Club is challenging this notion. We began as four friends who enjoyed fancy drinks, but as we started to ask questions, dig, research, and ask more questions, we quickly realized there was so much more than a cocktail sitting in front of us. Whether an industry professional looking to expand your palate, or a novice as we were, there is always something new to discover. And we have not stopped discovering. What’s really unique about Thirty3Club’s founding team, is none of us come from the industry, so we are constantly crafting the experience for likeminded subscribers. All of us come from corporate America (advertising, engineering, sales, and data science), so we are constantly networking and finding new talent to work with from the industry. This makes for a more diverse experience, that incorporates different perspectives and personalities into each cocktail.

  1. What does an average day look like for you and your team? Do you all still keep a “day job?”

The average day is hectic, but we have made enormous strides to streamline processes and are more organized each month. At the moment, all four of us work traditional 9-5 day jobs, and spend the majority of our mornings, evenings, and weekends working on Thirty3Club. Fortunately, our jobs do grant us the flexibility for calls, meetings, and other areas of the startup needing attention during the daylight. Before launching we were in research mode – experimenting with shipping, polishing packaging, and working with lawyers on the legal hurdles in the very heavily regulated space. Now we are focused on the backend, to set us up for success when we scale, and the front end to fill the pipeline for upcoming months. Our team tirelessly searches for the best partners to bring the highest quality product to market.

  1. How long did it take from idea inception to actually shipping your first box?

From the late evening laying in bed when the idea struck, to shipping our very first for-revenue box, it took roughly a year. The first few months were casual market research, but it quickly became obvious we were onto something. We then transitioned into legal mode, teaming with lawyers and domain experts to pick their brains on rebottling spirits, selling the alcohol, and shipping boxes. Once the idea was validated and proven legal, we had about three months of prototyping and beta testing. Then the first few glorious boxes were delivered in November 2015.

  1. Starting any alcoholic beverage-related business is tough. Restrictions, regulations, red tape, etc. are rampant. What was the most challenging speed bump on the road to launching Thirty3Club?

Thirty3Club targets to not just introduce subscribers to new craft cocktail recipes, but also new brands, because the final concoction is truly a sum of its parts. Therefore, we wanted to focus on the highest quality products, local companies, and all things craft. Before we started Thirty3Club, the only sample sized bottles of spirits we could get our hands on, were from the big name brands drinkers are familiar with. Our first two months we went the simple route of working with these spirits, but since have transitioned to working with smaller craft distilleries, who’s love and passion is poured into every bottle. This required navigating the regulations regarding bottle sizes, rectification, labeling, and procuring, but also working hand in hand with these craft brands that are entering unchartered territory as well. Fortunately, the alcoholic beverage-related industry is a unique community, and we have been welcomed and supported to date. Each company has their own objectives and priorities, but there is clearly a sense of camaraderie and known fact we will go further together.

  1. I love Thirty3Club’s focus on education and technique. What was the inspiration behind this aspect of your company culture?

As we began forming Thirty3Club, competitive research identified a clear gap in the marketplace. For example, recipes across the internet consist of 1 part this, 2 parts that, and do not compare to the food norm, where you will find detailed, step-by-step cooking instructions. How would beginner bartenders know to dry shake some ingredients, while muddling and stirring others? Does the order matter? How about a floral verse herbal gin? It always matters, and the best bartenders carefully curate their craft cocktails. Ultimately, it was essential to focus on education and technique, but it also creates a better experience. We like to say it’s like learning a new language, except you get a buzz.

  1. How involved are bars and bartenders/mixologists with the development of each box?

Our partners are integral to the development of each and every box. We contemplated having an in-house bartender formulate each box, but then realized the diverse cultures we would glance over, the local twists we would never discover, and the amazing stories that would never be told. Before we launched the company, we met a gentleman so bright and motivated, he could have excelled in any profession. We were interested to learn why he chose to dedicate his life behind the bar. This man was no bartender though, more of a magician, bringing to life old traditions and dreaming up new ones. Mixing foreign ingredients with funny tools, he concocted an elixir of amazing smells, textures, and tastes, served with an incredible tale of history and culture, worth the price alone. This is a craft cocktail, and these masters of the craft exist in every city. Thirty3Club is determined to share their wisdom, and we hope that brings an unparalleled experience to your home, each and every month.

  1. How important is the craft liquor industry to Thirty3Club’s mission? Do you try to feature craft spirits in your boxes? If so, why?

Making craft cocktails with poor ingredients is analogous to putting an average car’s engine in a Ferrari. It appears fancy and worth the extra money, but is missing the heart and soul. Craft spirits are the heart and soul of cocktails. Each distillery has a unique twist and story that adds an essential layer to the Thirty3Club experience. For this reason, we go the extra mile to pair recipes with the best craft spirits, and make them accessible and convenient.

  1. Do you plan to continue featuring California-specific craft spirits?

Sunny San Diego will forever be Thirty3Club’s birthplace, and we will strive to support the community as it has done for us. Southern California is becoming the craft distillery Mecca as it already is for breweries, which makes it a no brainer for getting off the ground. While the craft spirit movement may be most heavily concentrated here, we would not be doing our subscribers justice if we neglected the rest of the great distilleries spanned across the nation. We are already branching out of Southern California, and will have many surprises down the road, so stay tuned!

  1. In terms of a hypothetical anonymity – to – mainstream spectrum (On a scale of 1-10, 1 being “completely unknown” and 10 “house hold notion”), where do you feel the American “Craft” Distilling industry is today and how would you describe this phase we’re in? 

The craft cocktail boom is already here. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., beer has continued to loose shares of US alcohol revenue over the last six years. The Wall Street Journal writes, “The liquor industry – once the pariah of the alcohol world – has been steadily gaining popularity due to a major cocktail renaissance…because of fickle young drinkers.” And now supply is ramping up to meet this demand. In a Harvard Business Review Interview with Aviation Gin, founder Thomas Mooney lays it flat out; “there are probably around 300 craft distilleries today. Is that a lot? Well, there were 5,000 distilleries in the US at the end of the 19th century. So it took Prohibition to make that go away, and maybe we’re just starting to work our way back to historically normal numbers. There are over 2,300 craft breweries.” You cannot open a hip, trendy restaurant nowadays without a solid craft cocktail program. However, that’s just craft cocktails, not craft spirits, and excludes those who live outside the reach of urban trends. Therefore, we would put the American craft distilling industry at a 4. The industry is on the precipice of becoming more mainstream in large part due to the craft cocktail boom. This is where Thirty3Club has a unique opportunity, since we have the ability to introduce craft cocktails and distilleries to an audience who otherwise may not have access.

  1. What’s on the horizon for Thirty3Club? Where do you see the company in a year?

Thirty3Club is at an exciting point in the lifecycle of a company, as we are still constantly learning about our product and target demographic. Everyday new opportunities present themselves, and several major pivots may yet exist in the future. In a year we see Thirty3Club being a major player in the craft cocktail and spirit conversation, playing an important role in the expansion and mainstream adoption. We hope to reach this goal by continuing to produce an amazing product and experiences that highlight what this industry is all about.

  1. Why should someone subscribe to Thirty3Club?

If you enjoy drinking, discovering, and doing, then Thirty3Club is for you. You could order text books, spend hours chatting with your local bartender, or you could sign up for Thirty3Club. All of the knowledge to become your own bartender, find your favorite spirits, and order better drinks than James Bond is now accessible, delivered right to your doorstep.

  1. Who is the ideal person who should be subscribing?

Thirty3Club is targeting adventurous drinkers who are looking to elevate their repertoire through education on spirits, recipes, and techniques. We have all too often heard the New Years resolution of cutting back on alcohol, but we suggest making a goal to drink better instead, and Thirty3Club will show you the way.

  1. What can we look forward to in the next box(es)?!

As Thirty3Club becomes a household name in the industry, expect more unique brands and partnerships. Additionally, it is a priority to both expand our store with more premier products and craft spirits not available in your local liquor store, and of course, be a hub for education to become a knowledgeable drinker and bartender. If you think craft cocktails, recipes, products, etc., and Thirty3Club is not your first stop, then we have failed.

Thanks very much to Lisa and her team for this interview. Be sure not to miss this Friday’s post where I try my hand at one of Thirty3Club’s cocktails from their February box, The Bee’s Fuzz, featuring Liberty Call Gin!

 

Bloody Valentines with Vocabulary Boutique

Bloody-Valentines-Distillerista-1I’m not one to get all that hyped on Valentines Day but when Cecelia asked to collaborate on a V Day-themed cocktail and matching photo shoot, I just HAD to say YES! You guys remember Cecelia from Vocabulary Boutique, right? Well… thinking up fun and creative ideas for blog posts and impromptu photos shoots is pretty much her calling. Everything she creates is beautiful and inspiring, and her ideas always get my creative juices flowing.

When Cecelia suggested we collaborate on a Valentines Day cocktail we both agreed – it had to be pink! Peek-of-their-season blood oranges were the obvious choice to achieve the hue of our dreams. I mean… how festive and striking is that color!? From there my mind wandered to the theme of the shoot, the romanticism of the season, all the accoutrements that go along with the holiday and I knew then that I wanted the drink to have a floral element. I’ve been having fun playing around with rose water in drinks at home lately and figured it’d be just the thing for a Valentines cocktail. What’s V-day without roses after all?

Although Cecelia requested that we coin this drink the Love Potion No. 9 (nailed it!), I thought the My Bloody Valentine pun was just too good to pass up. C also requested the drink be easily made into a mocktail, a concept I uhhh… am not too familiar with. Nonetheless, when it comes to entertaining it’s important to be mindful of all guests, and the option to opt-out of imbibing should always be graciously provided. This lovely concoction makes it easy by combining all the non-alcoholic ingredients together and leaving the vodka a la carte. Just make sure to provide a 1.5 oz measure/shot glass/jigger so your guests don’t free-pour you out of house and home. 😉

Both the batched nature of this drink and the alcohol-on-the-side aspect make it the perfect signature drink for a baby shower, family barbecue, romantic picnic with bae or (my favorite!) a besties’ V-day brunch. Have fun with this one friends!

Bloody-Valentines-Distillerista{ Anthro tumblers | Kate Spade striped plate (s/o 4) | Bottega Louie Chocolates }

Bloody Valentines. Makes 8-10 cocktails or mocktails.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh blood orange juice (juice from bright pink Cara Cara oranges would also be gorgeous)
  • 1 750 mL bottle of your favorite sparkling water
  • rose water and/or orange blossom water  to taste, I’d recommend starting with 3 to 4 teaspoons total and going up from there, one dash at a time
  • your favorite orange or citrus Vodka – I like St. George California Citrus Vodka (1.5 oz per drink)
  • edible flowers frozen into ice cubes for garnish, optional of course 😉

Directions:

  1. In a large glass pitcher or drink dispenser combine blood orange juice, sparkling water and rose or orange blossom water
  2. Stir gently and taste – if the floral note is too subtle, add a dash or two more of rose water. Keep in mind a little goes a loooooooong way with rose water.
  3. When serving, fill glasses 2/3 full with ice. Add 1.5 oz. vodka if desired and top with the blood orange mix.
  4. Give a little stir with your festive paper straw and enjoy!

Don’t have a juicer? Your local Whole Foods will juice any produce for you for a flat $3 fee.

Bloody-Valentines-Distillerita-3{ Gold rimmed bowl & paper straws available at Vocabulary Boutique }

Bloody-Valentines-Distillerista-5 { This dainty diamond “X” necklace would make the sweetest V Day gift }

Bloody-Valentines-Distillerista-4 Bloody-Valentines-Distillerista-2Bloody-Valentines-Distillerista-6 To purchase any of the jewelry, blouses or denim featured in this post, email Cecelia at VocabularyBoutique@gmail.com or pop into Vocabulary Boutique on 414 West Cedar in Little Italy!

P.S. Check out my previous collaborations with Vocabulary Boutique here and here!

A VERY Happy Valentines Day to all my lovely readers! Xo

“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!

Distillerista-Lime-Buzzed-Bunny

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.

Distillerista-Carrot-Step-by-StepDistillerista-Buzzed-Bunny

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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 }