By Cole Danehower From the May/June 2011 issue
With an emphasis on flavor rather than alcohol, the Pacific Northwest is rapidly becoming a leader in craft-oriented small-batch distilling.
Just as the Northwest pioneered craft brewing in the 1980s, and as our regional wine scene developed during the same period, so today the region is home to a rapidly growing population of indie spirits crafting.
By Cole Danehower
From the May/June 2011 issue
We are having an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party next week and I wanted to do a test run on a few of the drinks we will be serving. One of them is Eggnog. The Martha Stewart recipe looked like a good one, so I gave it a go this morning.
This is the best eggnog I have ever had. I probably shouldn’t have tested it out before eating breakfast though! The brandy, cognac and dark rum are the perfect companion to the rich creamy mixture. Eggnog is just not the same experience without the alcohol. You need the alcohol kick and flavors to break up all that creamy sweetness. If you aren’t a big drinker you can reduce the amount of alcohol but I wouldn’t advise leaving any of them out.
If you make Eggnog this holiday season be sure to get an actual nutmeg seed and grate it on top. Fresh nutmeg seeds can be found at any specialty market.
On a side note. I tend to have an issue with eggs in general so I thought I would be weirded out by drinking something that has uncooked eggs in it. I was afraid of that “eggy” taste, but it al blends together so incredibly well you don’t taste the eggs at all. Just make sure to get really fresh eggs. Try and always buy farm raised, caged free eggs that are local.
Enjoy the holidays with your family and loved ones, and have a little nip of some delicious eggnog!
I had a quick bite to eat today over at an adorable restaurant on NW 21 St in Portland called Melt. At the bar I noticed a bottle of Jeremiah Weed Peach Sweet Tea, so of course I had to try it. The bartender made me a drink called Peach Tea Punch. Yum!! It was really sweet but a few squeezes of lemon and It was perfect. I seriously cant stop thinking about, it it was that good. I have never even heard of this stuff before but rest assured, I will be adding it to my bar collection very soon.
I’m really excited about my newest find. The japanese ice ball mold. I posted a picture last week of an Aperol spritzer I made and it looked horrible because the ice kept melting and watering it down. We spend time and money making the perfect cocktail, only for it to be ruined with ice cubes that melt too quickly. So I was on a mission to find a solution and found this great tray at Bar Supplies for only $4.95.
The directions are in Japanese but I pretty much figured out how it works. You just fill the bottom tray (tray in the top of picture) with filtered water almost to the top. Put the other try on top of it and press down until the sides lock in place. If you have too much water in the bottom tray, don’t worry because the excess will squirt out from the little holes on top. Once its done they pop right out. You can rinse the tray in a little cold water if they stick.
The reason these work so well is because a sphere has less surface area, so they melt slower. They also look super cool! If you want to get creative you can put a sprig of an herb or flower in yours, or a twist of lemon or orange would work great. They would also look great in a punch bowl. Enjoy!
Here is what you will need:
-I make my lemonade fresh with equal parts of simple syrup, lemon and water
I went to BevMo today and picked up some makings for a few cocktails. Here is a little run-down on what I bought:
Titos Vodka is handmade out of Austin Texas by a guy named Tito, and it’s getting rave reviews. Vodka enthusiasts are saying it is the smoothest vodka they have ever tasted, and at $18.00 a bottle, it wont break your bank.
Cinzano is an italian-brand vermouth. Today I bought a bottle of the original Rosso and a bottle of the Extra Dry. Most people think vermouth is just something you add to a martini, but it can actually be the star of a really wonderful and refreshing cocktail. It’s a great aperitif.
Prosecco is a wonderful Italian sparkling wine. It’s a great cheaper alternative to champagne. Prosecco has a different fermentation process than champagne. Champagne is fermented and aged in the bottle, while Prosecco is fermented in a much shorter time in steel tanks. This process helps keep the freshness and flavor of the grapes.
Cachaca is the main ingredient in a Caipirinha. Many people think that Cachaca is rum—well it isn’t. Rum is usually made from molasses (a sugar cane byproduct), while Cachaca is made from fresh sugar cane juice. According to US law, any alcohol made from sugar cane needs to be classified as a rum. It actually tastes more like tequila to me. It’s a great substitute in margaritas for people who cant handle tequila.
Transport yourself to the island of Capri and enjoy the amazing and unique taste of Campari.
I am a bit obsessed with digestifs (aka bitters) at the moment. More posts on them to follow…
Here is one of my favorite cocktails. The bittersweet flavor of the Campari mixed with tangy grapefruit juice and bubbly club soda make this a really light and refreshing cocktail. Try and drink just one!
CAMPARI GRAPEFRUIT COCKTAIL
(1) shot of Campari
(2) shots of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
(2) tsp of simple syrup
Splash of club soda
Garnish with a twist