blood orange and gin cocktail

This cocktail has everything you want in a winter cocktail. It’s pink. It’s summery. It’s full of orange juice and Vitamin C so you can kick that cold. Yes, I said it. This is a cocktail that will cure your cold.

This is a weird time of year, where the sky is still grey and the ground is still swept with snow, but with every glimpse of sun I think spring spring spring. This cocktail will help us through this transition. And I know, I know, it’s January. I have no business thinking it’s spring. But, eventually, it’ll be spring. And in the meantime, we’ll have this cocktail. It’s a seasonal win-win.

This cocktail is enhanced deeply by a spicy brown sugar syrup. Now we’re talking winter. It’s gingery, so… more health benefits? Yes? Good. One more cocktail for good coming your way.

blood orange and gin cocktail

2 oz gin
2 oz fresh squeezed blood orange juice or orange juice
Dash spiced  brown sugar syrup (recipe follows)
Club soda to fill

how to:
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add in the gin,  juice, and brown sugar syrup. Shake until mixed, about 20 seconds. Pour through strainer over a glass — a tumbler works well — that is about halfway filled with ice. Top the glass off with club soda.

spiced brown sugar syrup

7 oz. water
3.5 oz. dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Boil the water in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and ginger and stir over low heat for 3-5 minutes until dissolved. Turn off heat. Let steep for 30 minutes. Strain into a small jar and stir in corn syrup. Let cool.

Time For A Beer, 2!

Winter citrus is a great thing. It brings brightness to a dark and cold time. Don’t get me wrong, I love having snow on the ground, but it has just been so cold this year. Luckily, there are beers with winter citrus to help warm the cold days. A clementine gose by Two Roads Brewing Co. in Connecticut is a great place to start.

Beer Notes

Two Roads Brewing is a craft brewery founded like many others: two friends breaking out of their old jobs with the dream of opening a brewery! In 2012 they started the brewery that followed the road less traveled, hence their name. This clementine gose is tart, light bodied and finishes as a juice ale that leaves you desiring more.

Gose beers may not be for everyone. They pack a pretty tart taste, but end with a refreshing feeling of citrus. Not only is this great in the winter when citrus is at its peak, but also on those hot summer days when all you want is to quench your thirst! A fun little note on the brewing of this guy is that it gets soured in an old milk tanker (now used in to finish off a few of their beers) that sits out on the grounds of the brewery.

Pairing Notes

As I said, a gose may not be the beer for everyone. If it is up your alley, or you are game to try something new, then grab a pack of these and settle down. While it is widely believed those goses are a magically versatile beer, they do play better with certain things. For one, any citrus based tart or dessert is a great way to create balance of sweet and tart. If you go down the dinner route, clementine gose is great next to a flavorful fish with lemon.

Gose’s also make for a great drink during appetizers as they are light in alcohol content (about 4-5% abv) and don’t sit heavy at all. It will leave you feeling light and refreshed for the courses to come. Maybe give it  try with some cured meats and cheese, Pecorino Romano is my favorite!

This is a good place to start with a gose, as it has an extra layer of flavor, the clementine! If you find yourself really enjoying the flavor and funk, here’s a list of some other great goses out there: Lost Nation Gose, Six Point Jammer, and Baxter Brewing Good To Gose.

Enjoy the tart and refreshing punch this gose delivers.

Cheers,

– Andrew

earl grey and gin cocktail

I love a good cup of tea. I cart around a 20 ounce thermos of tea all year round, and fill it up multiple times a day. It might be too much. I’m not terribly picky about what kind of tea… give me gas-station english breakfast or fancy-schmancy herbal blends. One of my go-to morning choices is any type of earl grey – plain jane, lavender, or whatever weird concoction Tazo thinks of next. Andrew thinks that it tastes like fruit loops, but that fits right on into the morning theme, so I think it’s okay. Today – we’re messing around with earl grey and gin.

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We can’t relegate poor earl grey to live only in mornings! What if it wants to get out about town, meet up with some friends, and grab a drink? Without smashing this joke over and over again…this is what happens when earl grey grabs a drink.

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It gets all mixed up with some sugar, and cooked down to form a simple syrup. It jams along with some freshly squeezed lemon juice, some gin, and some club soda. It has a ball.

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This is too easy not to make, and it’s something that you can impress your friends with. Feel free to infuse all sorts of stuff in simple syrup to make cocktails with….I want to try with plain black tea, but I’m also tempted by grapefruits.

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earl grey and gin cocktail

1 1/2 ounce gin
1 1/2 ounce earl grey simple syrup (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce lemon juice
Club soda, to top

Fill glass with ice and top with gin, simple syrup and lemon juice. Stir around with a spoon or something to combine. Top with club soda, swirl, and enjoy! Feel free to mess around with proportions – you’re making your own drink, after all. Regardless, the earl grey and gin flavor combo is bomb.

earl grey simple syrup

4 earl grey tea bags
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Once the sugar is melted and the mixture is bubbling, add the earl grey tea bags and steep for 10 minutes (taste to tell if you want to go more!). Strain and let cool completely. Store the rest in a jar in the fridge.

grapefruit and homemade grenadine cocktail

IMG_6482I’ve liked grenadine, even when it is toxically red, made from mostly corn syrup, and only used to add some punchy color to drinks. You didn’t even have to try hard to convince me on it – I was all in.

Until I met the OG grenadine. It’s like normal grenadine – but actually good. I know – I know, hard to believe. Plus, it’s easy as pie. Pomegranate juice, heated with sugar and stirred until slightly thick, plus a squeeze of a lemon. Too easy to do anything else ever again.

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I promise, you will be converted. Side note: your friends will be mighty impressed. You’re the ruler of cocktail land, as far as they’re concerned.

Add freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and a generous hit of vodka and we’re seriously in summer business! Dangerously drinkable.

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grapefruit and grenadine cocktail:
2 ounces vodka (be classy with the choice here, but realistically, you won’t taste it that much)
Juice from ½ a grapefruit
1 Tbs grenadine (recipe follows)

Fill glass with ice. Pour vodka over ice, and top with grapefruit juice. Pour the grenadine over a spoon to funnel it right to the bottom. Or, drizzle all over. Dealer’s choice.

homemade grenadine
recipe adapted from joy the baker

1 cup pomegranate juice (make sure to get the unsweetened kind!)
¼ cup granulated sugar
Juice of ½ lemon

Combine pomegranate juice and sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook until it gets a little bit thick, which probably takes around ten minutes. Take your mixture off the heat, add lemon juice, and cool. Keep in the refrigerator.