March is one of those funny months where your mind is telling you that it’s time to pack away your sweaters and Mother Nature is saying “pack away your sweaters?! Oh hunny, check the forecast again.” I have had such a Spring itch since about mid-February so a snowy day in late March is just plain mean! So mean that I decided what the heck, if the weather isn’t going to give me Spring Vibes, I’m going to make a cocktail that does! Insert: The L Train.
This recipe is pulled from the W&P Mason Shaker Cocktail book, Shake. (It’s my go-to cocktail recipe book if you’re in the market.) It’s light, floral, and definitely a refreshing little reminder to stay patient, Spring is just around the corner!
The L Train | Makes two drinks
2 shots gin
1 shot St-Germain
1/2 shot fresh lemon juice
2 sprigs lavender (plus 2 to garnish)
Add the gin, St-Germain, lemon juice and lavender to a shaker.
Add ice to just above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 5 seconds.
Strain the mixture into chilled coupe glasses and top with seltzer. Garnish with remaining lavender sprigs.
Are you confused? Don’t worry the title isn’t in english, pamplemousse is just a fancy shmancy name for a Grapefruit, and sage (yes sage) is declicious in cocktails. And by the way, grapefruits are in season from November to May so it’s the most perfect time of the year to whip up a cocktail with pink or red fresh grapefruit juice! There’s something about the Rye Whiskey and the tartness of the grapefruit that makes this cocktail so winter-esq and great for dinner parties, cocktail exchanges or just curling up by your perfectly decorated tree! (But don’t worry, if you’ve found this recipe outside of those months, it’ll still be delicious and you can swap out the Rye for Gin!)
Pamplemousse & Herbe de Sauge | Yields 2 cocktails
2 oz. rye whiskey
1 oz. fresh red or pink grapefruit juice
½ oz. fresh lime juice
¼ oz. agave or simple syrup (you can also make a brown sugar syrup)
2 dashes bitters
1 fresh sage leaf
Cocktail Garnish Tip: When using herbs, smack or roll in your palm to release the oils and flavor more vividly from the herb.
Last fall J & I were gearing up for our “I do’s” so it seemed like we took a season off from the college-football-watching-snack-filled-lots-of-drinking weekends that we grew accustomed too in our early dating. Since this fall we’re brand spanking new homeowners we can’t put a hard-stop on the weekend honey-do list, but we can definitely press pause for at least a game or two. “Pausing” is something that I’m consciously trying to do a little more often. I tend to get caught up in the constant rushing to and from and worrying about what to do next instead of giving giving myself a break. So trust me when I say, this twist on a mimosa was exactly what the doctor ordered to helped me pause & enjoy the weekend with J so much so I foresee whipping these up again this weekend!
Mature Mimosa Champagne Cocktail | makes 4 cocktails
4 quarter to half-inch rounds of orange (I used Navel Oranges)
10 dashes of orange bitters
1 shot of orange liqueur (I used Patron)
Orange zest strips (to garnish)
Place the orange rounds on foil and broil under high heat until browning with a little bit of charred. Let orange rounds cool. Add orange liqueur, orange rounds, and dash bitters. Muddle together. Add ice above the level of the liquid and give it a quick stir or shake. Pour mixture about 1/3 of the way of your coupe and top with 2/3 champagne. Make it even fancier with a twisted orange peel! Cheers!
It is officially Fall which has me thinking it’s time to bring on all the pumpkin flavored everything and bourbon cocktails! I can’t add in “layering, scarves, boots, etc.” yet because it’s still in the 80 90’s here and although we never never treat bourbon cocktails as a seasonal thing, this one definitely packs in that It’s Autumn punch! So who cares that it’s still summer temps! If you want a bourbon cocktail that tastes like fall (or you’re a fan of Hard Apple Ciders) this one is for you… and for all those who DM’d me when I posted this instagram of us trying it out the other night! That’s the fun part about blogging these recipes- there’s always a taste test and then a real deal. This one is the real deal and then some!
The ‘Rye’pe Apple | Makes One Cocktail
1 shot rye whiskey (or you can use bourbon)
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
3 dashes aromatic bitters
Hard Apple Cider
Add the whiskey, cinnamon, cloves and bitters to a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour over a collins or highball glass with ice cubes (I love this ice tray for cocktails) and top with your favorite hard apple cider. If you’re feeling fancy, garnish with a strip of orange zest or a cinnamon stick- Cheers!
I forget exactly how I came across ALL SOULS but as soon as I did it was on my places to go list! And probably bumped a couple other places down a notch or two! We don’t venture over into Shaw too often but we’ve been exploring more and more places. (Like here when we dined at Espita Mezcaleria!) All Souls is absolutely true to it’s word- it’s a Corner Bar located at 8th & T NW, serving only cocktails, beer, and wine… that happen to be quite delicious! We opted to try drinks off the cocktail list which includes 22 simple yet tasty drinks made with some fun ingredients and definite attention to detail. And speaking of simple, All Souls decided instead of naming each cocktail they’d just number them so pick a number any number- it’s going to be good!
First Round: I went with No. 22: Bayou Rum, Cynar, Fresh Orange Juice and Regan’s Bitters. The Cynar definitely shines through making this cocktail a refreshing, bittersweet drink. Sounds a little like an oxymoron but I would definitely recommend! J ordered No. 6: Maker’s Mark, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Fresh Grapefruit and St. Germain. I actually preferred his over mine, it had a smoother less bittersweet taste.
Second Round: I wanted to order something that would be a good transition from my first cocktail so I decided on No. 1: The Barcelona. It was Maker’s Mark, Cointreau, Fresh Sour Mix & topped with Cava. I’m a sucker for anything with bubbles and this one intrigued me since I love a whiskey sour. It was good, very good, and the sour left you wanting more! J let me order his second round so I picked a cocktail that I was excited to try as well! I ordered the No. 4: Juan’s Chilean Afro. Kappa Pisco, Aperol, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, and Regan’s bitters. Once again, his drink won.
Final Round: Ok, let me remind you- All Souls is a corner bar, not a restaurant. So at this point we had two very delicious, but strong drinks and a small bowl of olives. We could have very easily stopped there but I am a sucker for namesakes and the last cocktail on the menu is named “The All Souls.” How could I resist?! It’s a sparkling Rose with a Maker’s Mark neat. Very pretty and aromatic Rose and it was amazing how the flavors exploded with the combination. But to be honest, I probably didn’t need that last drink… 😉
C’s Tip: All Souls is the perfect spot to grab some pre-dinner cocktails at a simple but fun bar with a cool vibe. Since they don’t have food menu, you are able to order food to be delivered to the bar OR you can pop around the corner to Haikan for some of the best Ramen in DC. Add a vegetable spicy bomb if you like your Ramen spicy!
I always thought that Daiquiris were the frozen syrupy drinks that make your head feel like it’s going to pop off when you wake up the next morning. Quickly I would skip over the Daiquiri on the menu while out sipping at cocktail bars deeming the Daiquiri ‘not worthy’ of being served at cocktail bars… until a couple weeks ago. I don’t know if it was because cold weather was lingering just a little too long & I had found myself wishing for a tropical drink or what, but J and I went to Church & State, a cocktail bar in the H Street Corridor that serves “All American” cocktails with homemade syrups and mixes.Thanks to their Daiquiri, I’m now singing a different tune.
Also, the Daiquiri also might be the simplest cocktail out there to mix up so all you “I’m not a mixologist” drinkers out there, you too can whip this up and impress your friends. Serve it with some tacos or if you’re feeling really sassy, swap out the traditional base, Aged Rum, with the smoky cousin of tequila- mezcal! I can’t wait to play around more with this recipe now that warm weather has made it’s arrival!
Here’s the recipe I came up with for the birth of the Mezquiri…
The Mezquiri | makes one cocktail
2 ounces Mezcal (I prefer Vida)
1 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1 lime wheel, for garnish
1) In a cocktail shaker, combine the mezcal, lime juice and simple syrup.
2) Fill the shaker with ice; cap and shake for 15 seconds.
3) Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and garnish with the lime wheel. Serve immediately.
C’s Note: If you’re taking my recommendation and serving with tacos, try this recipe for Green Chile & Tomatillo Chicken tacos! You can garnish with cotija cheese & some thin jalapeno slices. Cheers!
Cold weather means bourbon weather. Here in DC, we’re experiencing some unusually warm temps for February (hello 65 degrees & sunny!) but it’s still winter and in winter I like bourbon based drinks & red wine. The warm temps just make me want to drink a little earlier 😉
I shared our absolute favorite favorite bourbon cocktail recipe in this post, but I also like trying a few new ones just to keep it interesting.
Full disclosure; The Big Texan Bourbon calls for Basil and unfortunately I didn’t have anything but rosemary sprigs and some dried herbs when I was making this. I’ve tried dried cooking herbs in cocktails and they just don’t work out that well (insert: brush your teeth after!) so I substituted the basil for rosemary which was still super tasty! I have since tried the cocktail with basil, and that’s super yummy too!
The Big Texan Bourbon | makes one cocktail
2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1/2 tablespoon simple syrup
2 basil leaves
1 grapefruit slice or peel
In a cocktail shaker, combine the grapefruit juice, bourbon, simple syrup and basil. Fill a chilled rocks glass with ice. Add 5 ice cubes to the shaker and shake well. Strain the drink into the ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with the grapefruit peel and cherry.
C’s Tip: Make your own Bourbon-Soaked Cherries:
1 cup bourbon, ⅔ cup sugar, ¼ cup fresh orange juice, 1 1-inch strip orange peel, 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ pound cherries, pitted
Combine the bourbon, sugar, orange or citrus juice and orange peel in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Combine the bourbon mixture and cherries in a container and seal. Cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator and let chill for at least three days before using.