Wild Ginger Brewing Company – Hard Soda Indeed!

The Wild Ginger Brewing Company approached me through their PR wanting me to review their new line of alcoholic craft soda. It’s not my usual topic, I try to stick to craft spirits, the craft soda business is much different. It’s more akin to craft beer. I don’t write about beer at all. It’s just another language!

wild

Imagine my surprise and delight when four ‘hard’ sodas of various alcohol by volume from 4 – 5% arrived at my door. I love craft soda, the kind without alcohol… it used to be one of my topics a while back. Anyhow this lineup of colorfully cartooned cans were waiting to be tasted. With the craft beer boom, top quality beers are being canned in colorful, artist attended vessels. These are no exception with a funky sense about them.

The first one that I opened was the Wild Root Original. Smacking of herbs and good old fashioned Root Beer goodness, this is as close to what I remember from my boyhood, when my father would put some of his Haig and Haig in my root beer to keep me quiet. It was a good representation of the buzz anyhow. I remember it all these years later in a sip. And what a delicious sip it is. The Wild Root is chock full of spice as well. It’s brilliant with large ice and fine bourbon whiskey- like the Barrell Bourbon #010 version that should be out any day now. It’s that good.

The Wild Sit Russ Original.. with a snarling dog on that brightly festooned label was my least likely to enjoy, yet one of the ones that tastes the most true to form. The label reads alcoholic citrus soda, there’s that snarling dog and all I can think about is Mezan XO Rum. Smacking of herbs, spices, an element of tonic from the citrus oils- this wild soda is screaming for funky, dunder laden rum that only can come from Jamaica. No other place in the world makes rum like this and no other soda should taste quite the same. I don’t always recommend mixers with this rum, but the Wild Sit Russ Original (who was Wild Sit Russ I wonder, oh, no matter) it’s good soda. Great with Mezan Rum.

The Wild Docta’ Original Rock and Rye is way too sweet for me, but with that said I mixed some really amazing barrel aged Rum from Barrell Whiskey with a splash of this ‘rock and rye’ type soda. It dried out the sweetness immediately. It’s more of a millennials drink than I’d like to admit. They’d love it to no end. With that Barrell Rum, it’s so far over the top that I’m heading for a Hemingway Daiquiri right now. I’m not a big sugar in drinks fan.. Mark my words on that.

The Wild Ginger Original Ginger Beer – Alcoholic, like the other three soda pops is a thing of rare beauty. There is an underlying element of spice that swirls around my tongue. It’s a bit sharp, but the bubble spins in an undulation that is gratifying and bold in every spin around my mouth. There is alcohol in there, you cannot miss it. This element warms as quickly as it pours down my throat. I’m charmed immediately and my palate calls out for something to deepen the spice element of the slurp. I chose a bottle of the Mezan Guyana Rum. This rum, distilled at the Diamond Distillery is a thing of rare beauty. The Ginger Beer mimics the funky elements of the Guyana Rum, the smoke and char from the barrels and the sweetness from long aging in hot climes. To mix this rum would normally be a sacrilege, but I have good feelings about this alcoholic soda. Try it. Let me know.

In conclusion, all good stuff, probably too good for the marketplace. The funky can art is creative. It’s a Millennial product. Flashy. Bold. The soda is pretty darned good; I’d like to say that they will be used as a mixer. A fine mixer at that. Best of luck to them! Cheers!

The Wild Ginger Company is doing a fine job.

http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/wild-ginger-brewing-company-hard-soda-indeed#gs.oSXtQSQ

Cocktails for Athletes: 5 Drinks That Can Speed Recovery

Alcohol is no nutritionist’s ideal post-workout drink. But let’s be honest — if you’ve just battled through an after-work run or basketball game, it’s exactly what you want. And while drinking hard does not aid recovery, we know that one or two cocktails won’t prevent you from making gains. Better yet, if you use a few choice ingredients — like chrysanthemum tea or carrot juice, included in our cocktails below — your boozing can actually provide muscle-aiding benefits.

gettyimages-121808444-35ff0d85-ce89-47de-935e-86f32a421867

Good news, whiskey drinkers. This classic should have a place in your post-run rotation, especially as fall race season blows in. “I think some cocktails can help with being sick or making you feel better after a hard workout,” says Kevin Diedrich, legendary San Francisco barman and cocktailier. “For instance, a Hot Toddy with brandy, lemon, honey, and bitters can ease some pain or soothe a sore throat.” And Diedrich’s Hot Toddy is good for your most important muscle, too — your heart. It has a spike of Chrysanthemum tea, which is known for helping with hypertension and high blood pressure.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Yamazaki 12 Japanese Whisky
  • 1/2 oz Lemon
  • 1/2 oz Honey Syrup (2:1)
  • 3 oz Hot Chrysanthemum Tea
  • 2 dash Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish Lemon Peel studded with cloves

Americano
This isn’t your typical barista-made Americano. This is Diedrich’s own boozy recipe. “I love an Americano — which is sweet vermouth, Campari, and soda — for afternoons after a workout,” he says. “It’s low-proof, refreshing, and won’t make you tipsy.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 oz Campari
  • 1 1⁄2 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Soda water to top
  • Orange for garnish

The Blue Mamontauk
If you’re vegan or have hopped on the coconut-water bandwagon to replace electrolytes lost during intense gym sessions and workouts, then this is the drink to order when you belly up to the bar. “Originating from The Surf Lodge in Montauk, this drink is vegan-friendly, fairly low in calories and carbs, and serves as the perfect recovery drink for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise,” author and Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award Nominee Warren Bobrow says. “They’re refreshing and are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mamont Vodka
  • 3 oz Thai Coconut Water
  • 1 oz Sweetened Coconut Milk
  • 3 drops blue all-natural Butterfly Pea Extract
  • Garnish with an orange slice

Beet the Mammoth

Beet the Mammoth
Recent medical studies have shown beet juice to improve blood flow and increase muscle restoration. It’s a key ingredient to this drink, along with a protein-packed egg white — you’ve basically got yourself a post-gym shake. “Also, beets are one of the best foods to help with a natural ‘lift’ in sexual performance,” Bobrow says. “Packed with protein and a touch of citrus, the Beet the Mammoth is the perfect post-workout cocktail.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mamont Vodka
  • Puff of Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 tbsp Beet Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • Sprig of dill

Prep:

  • Boil the beets, let cool and juice, set aside.
  • Chill a coupe glass with ice and water; pour out when glass is frosty.
  • Spray the inside of the coupe with the Dry Vermouth.
  • Into a Boston Shaker, add the egg white and the lemon juice. Dry shake hard for 15 seconds.
  • Add ice to fill 3/4.
  • Add the Beet Juice and the Mamont Vodka to the Boston Shaker.
  • Re-cap and shake hard for at least 15 seconds.
  • Double strain into the pre-chilled, Dry Vermouth puffed coupe and garnish with the dill.

The Strong Siberian
This is the cooler older brother of the White Russian, and it could almost pass for inclusion in a juice cleanse. First off, it contains carrot juice, “a powerhouse for vitamin A and a crucial element for top performance,” Bobrow says. It also has ample amounts of vitamins C, D, E, and K, as well as many minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mamont Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Raki – Turkish Anise liqueur
  • 4 oz Carrot Juice
  • Large cube ice

Prep:

  • Fill a Boston Shaker 3/4 with ice, add vodka, Raki, and carrot juice.
  • Cap and shake hard for 15 seconds.
  • Strain over 1 large cube of ice in an Old Fashioned glass and garnish with orange zest. Pro tip: “Hand cut always — never use a peeler!”

http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/cocktails-for-athletes-5-drinks-that-can-speed-recovery#gs.pJdyggA

 

MARIJUANA MIXOLOGY: CLASSY CANNABIS COCKTAILS

cannabis cocktails, marijuana mixology

Noted mixologist and marijuana enthusiast Warren Bobrow has combined his two passions into one fantastic book that’s sure to be a fixture on the shelves of hedonistic cannaphiles everywhere. Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics contains 75 recipes for all types of fantastic drinks subtly infused with THC. Beyond his classy options for inebriation, Bobrow shares considerable knowledge on the origins of healing tonics and how alcohol-based cannabis tinctures were once a vital ingredient in the apothecarist’s pantry.

cannabis-cocktails-1024x522

Chapters include basic instruction on infusing alcohol, preparing tonics, shrubs and tinctures, and then using these base ingredients to infuse afternoon liveners, after dinner drinks, warming beverages to chase away the chill and cooling beverages to soothe the brow. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to infuse cannabis into absinthe, make marijuana simple syrup or add THC to a cocktail cherry, look no further than this indispensable volume.

Creating a diverse supply of cannabis-infused milks, tinctures, oils, syrups and shrubs allows a mixologist to add a new dimension to craft cocktails, which Bobrow describes as “an alternative means for dispensing the medicine that’s incredibly intriguing.” In-depth instructions on infusing cannabis into various types of liquors emphasize safety in preparation and while imbibing. Plenty of mocktail recipes for different types of THC-infused drinks offer opportunities for those seeking an alternative method of inebriation to completely substitute cannabis for alcohol.

“Less is more,” Bobrow cautions, relating tales of his own overwhelming experiences that led him to cut back the levels of alcohol in this collection of drink recipes, aimed at finding a harmonious balance between bud and booze. Bobrow’s foolproof tip for a come-down cocktail involves a “glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice and chewing three peppercorns,” which helped him feel much better after an enhanced evening at Disneyland went way too far up “Space Mountain.”

Some cannabis cocktails use a tincture to deliver the right THC dose.An authority on cocktail history, legend and lore, Bobrow explained, “as I started experimenting with bitters, I realized you can add balance and depth to a craft cocktail and have it be healing at the same time.” Aromatic bitters were traditionally used to treat an upset stomach, and their curative qualities pair well with cannabis.

A “shrub” is a fruit-infused syrup made by combining fresh berries or preserves with some type of vinegar and sugar to preserve seasonal flavors and incorporate them into cocktails. Bobrow’s Quick Strawberry-Balsamic Cannabis Shrub steeps ground, activated cannabis with strawberry preserves and white balsamic vinegar to create a sweet sensi syrup for use in drinks like Dr. Bamford’s Mystery Mocktail, a concoction of shrub, seltzer, bitters and mint described as a “sophisticated and refreshing warm weather apertif.”

Cannabis-infused milks find their way into a variety of coffee drinks, while a THC-infused maple syrup adds psychedelic sweetness to a Maple Syrup Sazerac, and cannacoconut oil adds a sweet sensi note to Bobrow’s version of a mimosa, dubbed “If It Keeps on Rainin’, Levee’s Goin’ To Break.”

Each drink is elegant, idiosyncratic and full of subtle nuances, with every consideration taken into account, such as the size, shape and flavor of the ice cubes, as well as the shape of the glass holding your tasty beverage. Marijuana mixology is indeed an elevated art form, one that comes with ice made of coconut water, smoked ice cubes, spritzes of THC-infused absinthe and cannabis-infused cask-aged blended Scotch whiskey topped with a greenish cocktail cherry, garnished with a pot leaf.

Welcome to connoisseurship on a whole new level.

The marijuana mixologist favors not only handmade craft liquors from small producers using organic ingredients, but also the finest cannabis flowers.

“You don’t want to use schwag weed to make your infusions,” Bobrow explained. “You want to use the very best things you have at your disposal.”

Preferring skunky, citrusy OG Kush, Blue Dream and Pineapple Kush, Bobrow says that beer hops and cannabis are so closely related that “there’s no reason why you can’t use them interchangeably.”

A dedicated cannabis enthusiast and hardcore Deadhead, Bobrow isn’t worried about damaging his reputation in the mainstream mixology world. To the contrary, he’s excited to be able to embrace his passion and finally do what he truly loves.

“I’d much rather sit and smoke a little grass than drink any day,” Bobrow said. “When you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life.”

When you get home from a day of hard work (or not), reward yourself with the exquisite experience of a perfectly crafted cocktail enhanced with just the right amount of cannabis. Bobrow recommends pacing yourself and drinking no more than one cocktail per hour, since the point is to balance the cannabis and alcohol, not to go overboard.

Dramatis Personae

The Dramatis Personae is my cocktail whisperer’s riff on the Vieux Carré, the classic New Orleans cocktail. My version calls for belly-friendly Creole bitters and uses calvados, or apple brandy, in place of cognac. Sound like an unusual cast of characters? It gets better. Enter a spritz of infused absinthe, stage right. Finish the Dramatis Personae by pouring a little infused absinthe into an atomizer or spray bottle and topping the drink with just a whiff of the medicated spirit. When you’re infusing your absinthe, try an Indica strain like Mr. Nice. It’s earthy and sweet, with pungent aromatics that enhance the aniseed and herbal notes in the absinthe.—Warren Bobrow

Ingredients:
Marijuana smoke, to flavor the mixing glass
1/2 ounce (15 ml) rye whiskey
1/2 ounce (15 ml) sweet vermouth
1/4 ounce calvados
3-4 shakes Creole-style bitters
2-3 shakes aromatic bitters
Spritz of infused absinthe
Ice

Before you fill your mixing glass with ice, turn it upside down

Shaken, Stirred, Drizzled, Garnished: Beautifully Concocted Cannabis Cocktails

cannabis-cocktailsShaken, Stirred, Drizzled, Garnished: Beautifully Concocted Cannabis Cocktails

by Caroline Hayes

This is one of the most impressive books we have seen in a while. Aesthetically pleasing, concise, informational and fun are just a few words I would use to describe Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics. There is so much knowledge in this blue and red book about drinks. Author Warren Bobrow is clearly an expert, and he provides the reader with information to help enhance their cannabis consumption in a really good way.

First of all, why alcohol? Well, for those of you who don’t know, alcohol works well as a solvent, breaking down the available cannabinoids in the plant matter to allow for better absorption into your system. Alcohol is inexpensive, and when used correctly, creates a mostly healthful drink prepared with ingredients that all work together in a positive way.

Now, you might think that combining alcohol and cannabis would be dangerous — and it can be, so remembering “everything in moderation” is very helpful here. Bobrow gives plenty of warning about the dangers of over-medicating with the combination, and encourages everyone to sip slowly and listen to your body. These drinks of art were crafted to help you feel better — not worse.

There are 75 recipes in this book meant to guide you through your day, such as morning cocktails intended to light you up instead of weigh you down, and afternoon cocktails to chill out with. Many of the recipes can be made without the alcohol if that’s a worry for you, and the recipes generally call for only a small amount of alcohol. Bobrow gives a list of strains, flavor profiles and what alcohol they taste best with, as well as what time of day to enjoy them. The recipes to make the infusions that go into the drinks are simple with clear instruction, and they range from tinctures and simple syrups to coconut creams.

The health benefits that lie in each drink are deeper than just cannabis. Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics made me view the way I ingest cannabis differently. The recipes are sophisticated, bold and definitely worth your time.

http://www.thcmag.com/shaken-stirred-drizzled-garnished-beautifully-concocted-cannabis-cocktails/

Soothe The Sorrow: 5 Post-Election Cocktails You Need Right Now

http://thefreshtoast.com/drink/5-post-election-cocktails-need-right-now/

Photo via Unsplash Jens Theeß

Photo via Unsplash Jens Theeß

You see, although Mr. Trump’s New Jersey electorate lost to the Democrats, the resentment towards the overall losing party has never been so clear. Through winning, there is loss. Through loss, there is winning. Perhaps this will act as a metaphor for the next election. Today, I’m voting for cocktails …the Cocktail Party!

If you’d like to join me, here are a few of my favorite post-election cocktails, most of which are infused with cannabis*, the big winner of this year’s election. We can all drink to that!

 The World is Bewildered

Need help sleeping tonight? Try this Manhattan-style cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. cold brew coffee
  • 1 oz. Panamanian rum
  • 1 oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth or Dolin for a drier approach
  • orange zest — cut with a knife, never a peeler — pinched and flamed over the top
  • Regan’s bitters infused with THC
  • Luxardo Cherry
  • either a coupe or a rocks glass

To a cocktail mixing glass: Add one or two large cubes of ice. Add the cold brew. Add the Panamanian rum. Add the Carpano Antica. Stir. Season with Regan’s orange bitters, THC infused (note: I used ¼ oz. high grade cannabis- infused for 1 month in a bottle of Regan’s, strained). Taste. Strain into a coupe or rocks glass (if you use a rocks glass, only one or two cubes maximum!). Pinch and flame the orange zest, rub on the rim of the glass and serve.

Welcome to the Visigoths

The last few weeks have been filled with Twitter Flame Wars. It’s your turn to win one (more). This sleepy-tidrink makes light of the rise of the Anti-intellectuals. We know who you are!   

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Mezan XO rum
  • ½ oz. Stroh 160 rum 80% alcohol
  • 4 oz. cane sugar cola
  • ¼ oz. orange liqueur

To a Collins glass filled ¾ with ice: Add the orange liqueur. Top with the Mezan XO. Cover with the cane sugar cola. Float the Stroh 160 on top; ignite with a match. Add a colorful straw. Serve!

 A Long Steep Hill

A cocktail to bewilder the palates of your neo-conservative neighbors.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. bourbon whiskey infused with THC to your strength and taste
  • ¼ oz. ginger syrup
  • 1 oz. Fruitations tangerine
  • 3 oz. lemon flavored seltzer water
  • 4-5 shakes aromatic bitters

To a cocktail shaker filled ¾ with ice: Add the cannabis-infused bourbon whiskey. Add the ginger syrup. Add the Fruitations syrup. Cap and shake hard. Pour over ice in a double Old Fashioned glass. Splash seltzer water over the top. Dot with bitters.

The MacGregories

A cocktail to give you hope and dream of change. A take on the gin and juice of yore… and infused with pure THC for your dreams.   

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. THC infused Barr Hill gin (the amount and strength of the THC is up to you. I used 14 grams of 25% THC cannabis in a 750ml bottle of raw honey and grain gin)
  • 2 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz. Fruitations cranberry
  • 3-4 shakes Angostura bitters

To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice: Add the THC-infused gin and the juices with the cranberry syrup. Cap and shake hard for 20 seconds. Pour into a pair of coupes. Dot with bitters. Serve.

AKA: Political Discourse Fails…Yet Again

So you want to win an argument?  

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 1 oz. bourbon whiskey (like Barrell Bourbon) infused with THC of your choice and strength
  • ¼ oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz. rich simple syrup
  • aromatic bitters

Add all the ingredients to a Boston Shaker. Cap and shake hard for 20 seconds or so. Pour into a double Old Fashioned glass with one large cube of ice. Dot with bitters. Serve.

*Infusions

To make a cannabis infusion, add 7 grams — or the dosage recommended by your caregiver—of ground, decarbed cannabis to 250 ml (about 1 cup) of a liquor of your choice in a heat-proof mason jar. Do not seal the jar, it could burst. Place the jar in the top of a double boiler on a hot plate or electric stove top.

(Never, ever use a gas stove or an open flame.) Fill the top of the double boiler with enough water to cover the mason jar halfway.

Simmer lightly at around 160ºF (71°C) for 30 to 60 minutes. Use a digital thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. Alcohol flames just over 170ºF (77°C), so pay close attention to the job at hand, and don’t go running out for a pizza. Plus, a low heat will keep evaporation to a minimum.

Let the mixture cool, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, then funnel it back into the empty liquor bottle. Top up the bottle with the remaining un-infused liquor until it’s back to a volume of 750 ml. This ensures that the THC will be dispersed throughout the infusion. Your infusion is now ready to use in your handcrafted cocktails.

Warren Bobrow, a.k.a. The Cocktail Whisperer, is the author of four books, including his latest: Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics.

– See more at: http://thefreshtoast.com/drink/5-post-election-cocktails-need-right-now/#sthash.krGzDYBm.dpuf

Warren Bobrow’s Mixology Workshop: The Best Recipes With Blueberry Strain

Warren Bobrow is a famous marijuana enthusiast and mixologist. These are the two passions of his life, and their mix can only result in something wonderful. His favorite art of spirited drinks is now shown in a cocktail book that contains dozens of recipes. These marijuana-infused drinks impress the audience with their diversity and delicious taste.

His book Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics also contains useful information about the history of the pharmacists of the old times using cannabis-infused tinctures and drinks to treat their patients. In addition, the introduction of the book describes various ways of infusing alcohol, preparing tonics and tinctures to use them in the future for the delicious recipes in the book.

At first, Warren Bobrow creates a large variety of tinctures, oils, milk, and syrups that allow the mixologist to bring the art of cocktail-making to the new levels. For a long time, the man has been trying to find the ideal balance between alcohol and weed.

If you have ever wanted to make a cannabis-infused cocktail, add THC to your Bloody Marry or absinthe, you simply have to read this book for some knowledge and inspiration.

Here are a couple of the author’s recipes that can surely inspire you to read the whole book. If you wonder what cannabis strain to use for these drinks, we can recommend you to experiment a little and try to use the Blueberry strain for the following two drinks. As all indica-dominant hybrid strains, this one will provide you with the necessary relaxation and happiness. This strain adds both sweetness and exotic notes to your marijuana beverage.

Dramatis Personae

Ingredients

  • 15 ml sweet vermouth
  • 15 ml rye whiskey
  • ¼ ounce calvados
  • 4 shakes Creole bitters
  • infused absinthe
  • 3 shakes aromatic bitters

This is a classic cocktail that comes from New Orleans. However, some of the ingredients that Warren Bobrow uses in his recipe slightly differ from the traditional way, which makes the beverage taste even better.

Before you start mixing the drink, fill a glass with cannabis smoke to enhance the wonderful aroma of your future Dramatis Personae. Then, immediately fill the glass ¾ with ice and add all ingredients except for absinthe. The author then recommends you to stir the ingredients 50 times. Only then you can spritz your drink with cannabis-infused absinthe. The sweet berry flavor of the Blueberry strain will add the necessary sweetness to the drink.

Weed-Infused Alcohol: Something to Consider?

A Bloody Good Remedy

Ingredients:

  • 180 ml chilled tomato-clam mixer
  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of cannabis tincture
  • garnishes (the usual variants include olives, fresh chiles, celery sticks, etc.)

Have you ever tried the famous Bloody Mary before? If it is your favorite drink, we recommend you to read another recipe of Mr. Bobrow that adds a bit of spice to this drink. A Bloody Good Remedy has one special quality that will surprise you—the drink has no alcohol in it. Besides, it is just lightly medicated, so you do not have to worry about overwhelming effects.

You simply have to fill a glass with a lot of ice, pour the tomato-clam mixture into the glass, and add some tincture that you have at home. This recipe allows you to experiment with garnishes—be as creative as you like. Besides, you can add a few blueberries or grapes as a garnish instead of using a berry-flavoured tincture. The combination may seem strange at first, but it is something new for you to try.

All drinks in this book are elegant and full of nuances that can help you understand the mixology a little better. Besides, each one of them, from the simple coffee to complex alcohol drinks, has its own author notes that are full of useful information and present the drink in an ideal way.

https://weedy.com/news/warren-bobrow-s-mixology-workshop-the-best-recipes-with-blueberry-strain

The Peerless Temperament Of Martin Miller’s Gin

was first introduced to Martin Miller’s Gin by the founder himself. 

The cocktail in my hand that night was known as a Jimi Cocktail.  Named for the iconoclast himself, Jimi Hendrix, who’s music pulsed and grooved around the boite- a gorgeous mid 1800’s era Federalist-style mansion on the periphery of Greenwich Village.  The well-appointed bar-room was very private, its lights held down low.  This was the genre of a clearly- only in Manhattan experience- one from another era.

Mr. Martin Miller was introducing his gin to the guests- but he was not working the room, as much as he was holding court.  There were hand-crafted cocktails being assembled on a tiny zinc bar- set just off to the side. 

Fresh lime, crisp mint, a touch of Demerara Sugar- Martin Miller’s Westbourne Gin in a glass, simultaneously tempered by what seemed like plenty of ice, stirred, strained, poured, supped.  But alas after several of these tiny mind pleasers- the overproof gin (in this case the Westbourne) made staying cognizant extremely difficult.

Martin Miller’s Gin

The music was swirling, the tiny drink, highly intoxicating and Martin Miller’s ebullient laugh burnt deeply into my memory. There are occasions in life to drink in and this was one that overflowed with each belly laugh to this very day.   

Excellent gin such as Martin Miller’s Gin has a peerless temperament.  There is an absolute plethora of gin on the market, each promising much, and not accomplishing it.  Not all of these versions of gin are successful and more come out every day.  It can be very confusing to the consumer who may not ‘get it’…

The key here is to train your staff and taste as many different kinds of gin as you can, (and still stand) and remember their idiosyncrasies and their successes.  Gin is HOT.  The list can be very short, if you know what you’re selling.  Your descriptions should resonate like when you suggest Martin Miller’s Gin. Always with a smile!

Gin is jam-packed with flavor.  With it comes taste, and each taste should unlock a specific memory- or nostalgia of the first time you tasted it.  As I will always remember the gin that my father drank, it was in a green bottle.  To this day, every time I see the distinctive shape- I can taste it on my tongue.  As I know that even a tiny sip of gin of this will unlock memories. 

They say history to me. 

Martin Miller’s Gin does the same thing when I sip it.  Each distinctive expression tells a story in aromatics.  Not every gin has that honor.  Utilizing quality ingredients in distillation is the determinate for me.  Full disclosure: I’m probably too hung up on authenticity and ‘hand crafted.’ If you like to know, Martin Miller’s Gin is distilled in England and blended in Iceland- using the best water in the world. Yes, their blending water is from Iceland!  Of course I’d know about Icelandic water because over the years I’ve tasted water from many different places.  I’ve tasted Icelandic water at the Fancy Food Show, it made a lasting impression on me. 

The Icelandic water has a purity that comes from rock and fire.  Their land is in constant change; the water bubbles up from deep within the surface of the earth: dancing into the air like a pillowcase full of kittens! 

Martin Miller’s Gin tastes like the terroir of the place.  Each sip has the stuffing of classical distilling, in a copper pot still… In England.  There is serious fun in each sip, with a history to boot. 

The Copper Pot Still.  Why is this important?  For Martin Miller’s Gin, their two very distinct gin recipes are forged together in an ancient copper pot still, hand built at the turn of the 20th Century.  To give a correlation to your education, Rum, Gin and Whisky(e) are often produced in these very primitive pot stills.  This vessel is sometimes fire heated, although the combination of fire and alcohol often have frightening results, so I’m sure that their heating process is perfectly safe.  The unique flavor of the “pot still” imparts a warmer and richer tasting spirit.  The flavor is plush and opulent across the tongue.  Tinges of cucumber and freshly cut grass predominate their ‘traditional’ example that rolls in at 40% ABV. 

The Westbourne to me is Christmas in a glass with red fruits, ground pipe tobacco, lemon curd and freshly slashed hay in each elegant sip.   

I’m thrilled by a Bee’s Knees made with the Westbourne Strength Gin. This lovely Prohibition era cocktail is comprised of Raw Honey simple syrup, Martin Miller’s Gin (Westbourne) and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  The Bee’s knees should be a go/to for any cocktail enthusiast. 

For the Traditional bottling, I think of a take on the Jimi Cocktail, made with muddled cucumber, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and a splash of seltzer water the flourish of spicy, slapped mint.  Simplicity is the word of the day. The Westbourne rolls in at just over 45% ABV. 

Keep it simple.  Keep it fast.  Keep it QUALITY.

One drink in particular I’m enjoying right now is with the Martin Miller’s Westbourne Gin.  This drink screams Olde England and because of the use of Orange Marmalade and Broiled Grapefruit juice- there is a funky quality that just says: Serious English Fun!

This is a take on the classic “Gin and Juice” that you see immediately upon landing in England, should you take the slow boat from New York City.   

Mr. Dew-Smith’s Conundrum (for two)

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin
  • ½ oz. Orange Marmalade (homemade is best!)
  • 6 oz. Broiled Grapefruit Juice (recipe below)
  • ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
  • Gary Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • Prep:
  1. To a Cocktail Mixing Glass with one large cube of ice
  2. Add the Orange Marmalade
  3. Add the Gin
  4. Stir to combine
  5. Add the lemon juice
  6. Stir
  7. Add the 2-3 shakes of each:  Pimento and the Orange
    Bitters
  8. Stir
  9. Add the Broiled juice
  10. Stir, strain and serve into a coupe glass garnished with flamed orange zest

Broiled Grapefruit Juice:

  1. Split Grapefruits, sprinkle with Demerara Sugar (like Sugar in the Raw)
  2. Let sit overnight in fridge
    covered
  3. The next day, preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  4. Sprinkle more Demerara Sugar over the top
  5. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour
  6. Let cool
  7. Juice
  8. Use in your Martin Miller’s Gin cocktails.

Yum? 5 Easy Cocktails To Make With Pickle Juice

pickle juice
Photo by Flickr user Mike

As the days grow quicker, so does my palate. And with the cooler weather comes the desire to drink lip-smacking beverages that stimulate my appetite. Why stimulate my appetite? To make the foods of the fall taste even more robust.

With that said, may I suggest adding a touch of pickle juice in your craft cocktails? What? Pickle juice?  Didn’t that fad go out in the mid-2000’s? Believe me when I tell you, preserved vegetables have never gone out of style. Take it from anyone who has spent any time in hot climates or even in places where the temperature always hovers around freezing.  The refreshing crunch from pickles, may they be from cucumbers or even beets can add a lovely dimension to your mixed drinks.

And now, just like beer, you can buy pickle juice in cans!

Gordy’s has just introduced pickle brine, specifically made for cocktails. Here are five to get you started.

Whiskey is the Message
(There is sweet and sour in this little firecracker!)

  • ½ oz. pickle brine
  • 2 oz. Straight Bourbon
  • ½ oz. Fruitations Cranberry: Soda and Cocktail Syrup
  • 2 oz. Seltzer (plain)
  • pickle spear
  • lemon bitters

Prep: To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice, add the pickle brine, the Fruitations cranberry syrup, the Straight Bourbon and then cap. Shake hard for 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass with one large cube of ice. Top with a bit of seltzer. Dot with lemon bitters. Garnish with a pickle spear.

Can’t Catch the MaineBrace 
(Rum takes the front seat to perfectly brined bread and butter pickles that are muddled with fresh lime and Thai basil to make this twist on the classic daiquiri.)

  • ½ oz. pickle brine
  • several ‘bread-and-butter’ pickle slices
  • 1 lime, cut into quarters
  • Rhum agricole (100 Proof White Rhum from Martinique)
  • 1 oz. cane sugar syrup

Prep: Muddle the lime with the bread and butter pickles. Add the pickle brine. Add the cane sugar syrup. Add the Rhum agricole. Stir again and serve with a fresh ‘bread and butter’ pickle slice floating on the top.

The Ashtray Continuum 
(A take on the classic mint-julep. Here, it’s made with gin instead of whiskey and a float of pickle juice for mystery!)

  • 3 oz. London Dry Gin (think Beefeaters)
  • 1 oz. dark cane sugar syrup- 2:1 ratio Demerara sugar to boiling water
  • ½ oz. pickle juice
  • fresh mint (slapped, never muddled)

Prep: Slap the mint. Add it to a julep cup. Add some ice. Add some more slapped mint. Add a layer of dark cane sugar syrup. Add a layer of pickle juice. Add a layer of ice. Add a layer of gin. And repeat to fill. Garnish with fresh mint and float some pickle juice on top for fun!

Dr. Roberts Dilemma 

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. roasted beet juice
  • ½ oz. pickle brine
  • 1 oz. roasted tomato juice – roast tomatoes @450 for an hour, cool, core,seed, peel and juice
  • ½ teaspoon fresh horseradish

Prep:  As you would make a Bloody Mary, prepare this cocktail, but do not shake it. Ever!  Roll your Dr. Robert’s Dilemma and garnish with the pickle brine and fresh horseradish.

Vietnamese Sugar Cane juice and pickle brine
(nước mía or mía đá is the common name in Vietnam for this sweet confection known to cool the body from the inside out.  I’m very fond of adding some kind of vinegar to mine, making the drink both sweet and sour- helpful on a cold day to warm you.)

  • 2 oz. Vietnamese sugar cane juice – nước mía or mía đá
  • ½ oz. pickle brine
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • ½ oz. orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)

Prep: To a Rocks glass with one large cube of ice. Add the brandy. Float the orange liqueur over the top. Spoon the pickle brine over that. Pour the sugar cane juice over to finish.