Tag Archives: rum

Barrel-aged Coffee Infused Mezcal – Bitter and Bittererer

Yesterday I infused 6oz of El Scorpion Mezcal with 1/3 cup whole French Roast coffee beans.  After 24 hours, I strained the Mezcal – it was a dark, rich chocolate color.  Almost a full ounce of it surrendered itself to the beans. I poured half for today (later on today, rather) and half into my oak barrel.  I will report back in several days…

 

Bitter and Bittererer

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2pt Coffee Bean Infused Scorpion Mezcal Silver — 1pt Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth — 1pt Scarlet Ibis rum — 1/2pt Benedictine — 4 dashes each El Guapo Whiskey Barrel-aged Cocoa Tea and Titze Bear’s Den Aromatic Bitters Pour half for now, other half in barrel (I previously barrel-aged a boulevardier in mine)

There’s Always a Substitute, Mai Tai edition

Today I want to discuss recipe substitutions.  When I first started this home bar endeavor a few years ago, I felt beholden to using the exact ingredients in a given recipe.  Not having the perspective or context to decide for myself what subs would work, etc., I followed w/ blind faith.
Now… bump that!  Home bars are mad expensive, yo!  I have bills to pay and I do love to eat as well as imbibe (typical, right?! 🙂 Although, I know I spend much more on the latter…)
Now that my tastes have developed and I have a more well-rounded understanding of various flavor profiles (e.g. orange based liqueurs, amer/amari, herbal liqueurs, various types of simple…)  I feel confident in making due with the bottles I have on deck, and not using strict recipe interpretation as an excuse to go to Schneider’s on Capitol Hill (again!).
I had to ask myself: Could I make a Mai Tai with the spirits I already have now?
I decided I could.
Also, there are multiple Mai Tai variations.  If you’re interested in the history of the drink – this is an interesting read about Don the Beachcomber vs Trader Vic and who actually created the drink first.
On to the drink (and pic)!  I made a riff on this  recipe that consists of light (which I added to make boozier, hence the light color) and dark rum, fresh lime juice, rock candy simple, orgeat, and orange liqueur …

My Bootleg Mai Tai 
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* 1 1/2oz 51 Cachaca in lieu of light rum, 1 1/2oz Rhum Barbancourt (4yr,3 stars), 3/4oz Lime Juice, 1/2oz Cointreau in lieu of dry curacao, 1/4oz homemade Orgeat, 1/4oz Rock Candy Syrup
What is  YOUR favorite Mai Tai recipe?  Did you make any substitutions?  Let me know 🙂
 *Cachaca is essentially Brazilian Rum Agricole, rum distilled from sugar cane juice instead of molasses sugarcane byproduct. It is the main ingredient in the Caipirinha (which I spell wrong e’retime!) cocktail, which also includes fresh lime juice and sugar.

Tiki!

I cracked my first coconut.  I didn’t maim myself.   More on Tiki later – once I further educate myself.  Please check out Intstagram #tikiaf – cuz those guys got it covered.  Also check out @homebargirl and @ntitz cuz they know Tiki…

Island Rain 

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1 1/2oz Fresh Pineapple Juice — 1oz Fresh Coconut water — 3/4oz Homemade Orgeat — 3/4oz Rhum Barbancourt — 3/4oz Appleton Estate Special Rum — 1/2oz Cointreau — 1/2oz Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach — 4 dashes El Guapo Whiskey Barrel Aged Spiced Cocoa Tea Bitters — 1 barspoon Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Syrup — SPR

Infusing Vodka – How long do infusions really last?

_DSC1029My 1yo Jalapeño Basil Infusion

If you have ever tasted an aged spirit (of course you have tasted “the brown”… ), or a flavor bomb liqueur made from over a a hundred different herbs (with a color named after it!), then the nuance of a neutral, or “new make” spirit such as vodka can pale in comparison.

I have certainly graduated from viewing an extra dirty martini as a complex drink! (ma! look at me, adding an extra ingredient to my grey goose…! What’s “vermouth”, again?)

Luckily, a multitude of infusions are possible!  Fruit, herbs, veggies – and more 🙂  As we know, we’re even infusing spirits with fat nowadays…

Alright, to get down to business – I have specifically written this post to talk about a vodka infusion I did over a year ago.  I infused some off brand Eastern European vodka (I do not remember the brand – do I have to remind you all how often I drink?!) with fresh jalapeños and basil.  

The infusion is super easy, slice as many jalapeños as you like – based on your heat preference – and remove the seeds, as they are bitter.  I used five small ones.  Put them in a mason jar and add fresh basil leaves – I used a handful (which is equivalent to the fresh herbs in small plastic containers available in most grocery stores).  Use of a tea ball infuser is also an option. I’ve used basil leaves loosely and with tea ball – and found no real difference in the process.  Ok, well, the tea ball was slightly better, as it did keep the leaves contained … 

Add 750ml vodka to the jar.  Which vodka? This one is a judgement call. Using your favorite brand may insure you’ll love your infusion, while using a less expensive brand is fine too, as you’re creating your own damn flavor!  If your favorite vodka is also inexpensive – score 🙂

Vodka chosen?  Great! Your infusion is ready go!

Infuse for 3-5 days, agitating  the mason jar by gently moving to and fro – to ensure jalapeño and basil over completely covered. Shaking probably wouldn’t hurt, but I believe it’s best to give gentle loving to boozy goodness.  Ok – potential boozy goodness.  

Also – feel free to perform taste tests along the way – it can be fun to taste each day and experience the flavor development.  

Once satisfied with the flavor – strain vodka into a clean, dry mason jar.  Viola!  You have added much needed depth to your vodka!

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Vodka after I re-strained it, due to some sediment that was at the bottom…


As for my year old infusion – it still tasted good to me when I made this drink!  If I don’t post within 3-5 days, call the paramedics.

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2oz Jalapeño Basil infused vodka

1oz Rhum Barbancourt

3/4oz homemade Orgeat syrup

3/4oz fresh Lime juice

1/2oz Yellow Chartreuse

3 or 4 dashes Peychauds bitters

Enjoy! And please feel free to comment with name ideas for this cocktail! 🙂 

*Correction – I also used 1 tablespoon of homemade pear preserves syrup (which I purchased)

SPR