10 Bar Cart Essentials By Tyler Wisler

The hottest home accessory I can think of right now is a bar cart! It’s all the rage! Why? Because everyone loves a cocktail, and everyone loves an easily accessible cocktail. This functional piece of furniture allows you to proudly display your collection of liquor and glasses, and everything is presented in a way that makes you feel like you’re living in a suite at The Plaza.

The Rosalind Tea Cart is one of my favorite options right now…the perfect marriage of form, finish and function.

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So once you have that perfect bar cart for your space, what exactly should you have on it? What are the essentials? Well, I asked my good friend, Warren Bobrow – a critically acclaimed mixologist and author of several amazing cocktail books – to chime in on the subject.

For a well-rounded bar, he suggests having the following supplies on hand :

  1. A London dry gin, like Boodles.
  2. A botanical gin, like Hendrick’s.
  3. A rye whiskey.
  4. A bourbon for mixing, like Four Roses.
  5. A vodka, like the new Mamont from Siberia.
  6. A bottle of dry vermouth, like Dolin, and sweet vermouth, like Carpano – be sure to refrigerate.
  7. For rum, get a blend, like Mezan XO, and a single batch, like the Mezan Panama 2006.
  8. An orange-flavored cordial, so you can use it in margaritas or gin, vodka and even bourbon-based cocktails.
  9. A fine tequila (and if you’re super esoteric, a bottle of Mescal. No worms though! That just isn’t done.)
  10. A bottle of single malt scotch from India or Japan as a refreshing counterpart to your basic scotch whiskey.

Blog_Apr 2 Whiskey

A selection of cane sugar sodas, tonic – sweet and dry – and some shrub syrups are fun, too. There are also plenty of funky bitters that come in all sizes and shapes and have droppers.

One wild card ingredient is balsamic vinegar! Bobrow confesses that he loves making cocktails with it. He says it adds a certain twang to the drink. A white balsamic can also sit on the bar, as it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

So now that your bar cart is stocked, what to make? Well, let’s impress your guests with a yummy Manhattan recipe!

  • Fill three quarters of a cocktail glass with ice
  • Add 3-5 oz of bourbon whiskey
  • Add 1 tbsp of white balsamic vinegar
  • Add 1/2 oz of Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
  • Stir 40 times…
  • Strain into a pre-chilled martini glass that has a couple drops of orange bitters, and garnish your drink with a cherry

Now that you have the best cocktails and decor, your home will be the new hot spot in no time. Cheers!

http://blog.livingspaces.com/blog/10-bar-cart-essentials/

Four Summer Cocktails from Foodista.com

 

 

Four Summer Cocktails

 

 

June 3, 2013

 

 

Four Cocktails for the Summer….

 

We just had a most disgustingly humid heat wave.  The warm weather has come and gone and come again, yet if there is one thing for certain- I’m getting thirsty.   I’ve been working with flavors that although grounded in the warmer weather, they still offer the cooling abilities of late summer sippers.   I’ve been drinking a bit of bourbon whiskey these days.  Four Roses Bourbon has taken my cocktailian musings to new boundaries and beyond.  It’s so easy to make a fine drink with Four Roses.  The assertive mouth-feel and soft finish allow the mixologist to create simple drinks with robust flavor.  One drink that I’m working on right now uses Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey.  This is augmented by a frozen cube of Mavea “Inspired Water” ice that has sweet vermouth frozen into the cube.  I use a scant amount of Punt e Mes Sweet Vermouth along with the filtered water, and then finish the cocktail with a few ounces of Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water.

 

The fizzy nature of Perrier lifts the bourbon to a higher place in the food chain of mixed drinks.  To make the sweet vermouth ice cubes, purchase a two quart Tupperware container.  Filter your water using the Mavea “Inspired Water” Pitcher (the ice comes out nearly crystal clear) and then add a few shots of sweet vermouth to the water.  Let this freeze overnight, then cut with an ice pick and hammer to the desired size.  The sweet vermouth cubes as they melt into the bourbon will change the dimension of the cocktail over time.  And the Perrier?  It will keep your attention because of the fizzy nature of the natural sparkling water!

 

I call this cocktail the Middle Creek Cocktail.. It’s super easy to make.

 

Ingredients for one nice intoxicating beverage

 

2 oz. Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

 

Several Hand Cut Sweet Vermouth Ice Cubes

 

2-3 shakes Angostura Bitters

 

Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

 

Preparation:

 

To a glass cocktail mixer- fill ¾ with plain ice

 

Add the Four Roses Bourbon

 

Stir to cool

 

Strain into an Old Fashioned glass with a couple Sweet Vermouth Ice Cubes

 

Finish with a few splashes Angostura Bitters and 1 oz. Perrier Sparkling Water

 

Finally, pinch an orange zest over the top and rub the rim of the glass with the zest

 

Serve

 

The second cocktail is equally as refreshing, but it works best on a weekday morning when you have a cocktail party to attend to.  If you said weekday morning (?) you’d be correct.  This cocktail was the signature cocktail for the Architectural Digest Home Design Show held in NYC.  I created it to sate the thirsts of about two hundred design bloggers before the show opened.  The cocktail is quite simple indeed.  The only true prerequisites are the bloody mary mix (I used Hoosier Momma) and of course the tequila.  I used the magical Casa Noble Blanco Tequila.  There were bitters in there- you can purchase Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Bitters on the web or you may use the easily found- Angostura.  Citrus is important with lemon chunks making their way into the mix. This drink is usually served in a Collins glass that is tall and narrow.  The choice of the glass is important because the shape forces you to drink it slowly.

 

I like the use of hand cut ice in my Bloody Mary.  I think the size of the cube chills the cocktail, not diluting it.  This is important in my opinion.

 

The Jalisco Bloody Mary is savory and perky in a way that helps the imbiber slowly experience the sensuality of tequila for more than lime and salt.  Tomatoes, spices and that “thick as paste” texture of the Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary Mix enrobe the Casa Noble Tequila into something truly memorable.  I like to use lemons of the Meyer variety because it is important to balance the spicy and alcoholic with something tangy and sweet.  I like to sprinkle some sea salt into this cocktail instead of on the rim of the glass.  The sensation of the crunchy salt in your mouth is mesmerizing.

 

The Jalisco Bloody Mary

 

Ingredients for two Bespoke cocktails:

 

4 oz. Casa Noble Blanco Tequila

 

8 oz. Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary Mix

 

¼ teaspoon Fleur du Sel

 

1 Meyer Lemon, cut into wedges

 

Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Bitters or Angostura

 

http://hoosiermomma.com

 

Preparation:

 

In a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice, add:

 

Casa Noble

 

Hoosier Momma mix

 

Fleur du Sel

 

Shake and strain into a Collins glass with several wedges of Meyer Lemon squeezed inside before adding the ice

 

Finish with a couple drops of the Fee Brothers or Angostura Bitters

 

Garnish with a pinwheel of Meyer Lemon and serve to an appreciative friend who may not know that Casa Noble is only one of three tequila brands that are certified organic by the USDA.

 

 

 

I very rarely review vodka and I even more rarely drink it but imagine my delight when I received a new bottling of vodka from Italy.  The brand is named Punzoné and it is certified organic by the USDA, made with organically grown Italian wheat.  The packaging is gorgeous, tall and frosted in color, in a style reminiscent of Grey Goose or Belvedere or even Chopin.  This is ultra-luxury stuff that calls out for simplicity.  The clear section of the bottle is a visual cut-out in the shape of the Italian country.  Tucked in the back a Tuscan scene of verdant fields and grand homes framed by mountains.  It’s gorgeous looking from a visual perspective.  The neck is tall and narrow in a shape appreciated by bartenders because it’s easy to hold and pour.  I recommend drinking Punzoné with as little as possible.  The aromatics are far too good to cover up with sugary soda or even fruit juices.  This is ultra-sophisticated, ultra-prestigious stuff.  I could never see mixing it with ice cream.  That would just be wrong. Even if you were as wealthy as an oil baron, I’d still drink it simply.

 

My drink exemplifies this desire for simplicity.  I’ve frozen lemon zests into ice cubes made from Mavea filtered water in a Tupperware two quart size.  Then I cut them into cubes and placed them in an Old Fashioned style glass.  As the ice melts, the lemon zest is exposed, gently scenting the vodka with the crisp aromatics of the citrus fruit.  Simple?  Absolutely.  Can you do it at your restaurant or home?  Of course, if you can freeze water, you can make this cocktail.

 

The Punzoné Lemon Cocktail  (will blast the mind of one very thirsty friend)

 

Ingredients for one very intense drink that has all the stuffing…

 

Lemon Zests frozen into a two quart Tupperware container overnight

 

3 oz. Punzoné vodka

 

Several lemon zests

 

Preparation:

 

Rub the inside of an Old Fashioned glass with a lemon zest

 

Add a couple cubes of the lemon zest infused Mavea water filtered ice

 

Add the Italian Vodka

 

Stir lightly

 

Serve immediately!

 

Gin is uniquely geared to the spring season.  I like the idea of gin mixed with the gorgeous Q-Drinks in the Orange flavor.  Made with loving care by my friend Jordan Silbert in New York, this is soda that defies your imagination of soda just as a quick energy drink.  Here is what they use to make this sparkling soda of the highest quality. Q Orange is made from real oranges – Valencia oranges from Florida, Peras from Brazil, and tangerines from Mexico. And only a dash of organic cane sugar.  I’m proud to use in in this cocktail that calls for gin.   I used the Barr Hill Gin from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  Barr Hill is distilled from grain and finished with raw honey.  The health benefits of raw honey are well established.  This is a unique product and it calls out for simplicity and grace when mixed.  In this case I took some oranges and sliced them into thick rounds.  I scored them on a cast iron grill pan to char deep grill marks into them.  Then I placed each orange round at the bottom of a “Rocks” glass.  I added a few hand cut chunks of Mavea filtered “Inspired Water” ice.  Then I added over the ice 2 oz. of the Barr Hill Gin.  Finally I added 3 oz. of the Q-Drinks Orange soda.  That’s it!

 

Orange Inspirational Cocktail

 

Ingredients:

 

2 oz. Barr Hill Gin

 

3 oz. Q-Drinks Orange Soda

 

1 thick slice of orange (grilled deeply)

 

Filtered Water Ice – I recommend the Mavea pitcher to filter my ice…

 

Preparation:

 

Grill the orange round to set deep grill marks, let cool

 

Add several cubes of hand cut ice to a Rocks glass

 

Add the Barr Hill gin

 

Top with Q-Drinks Orange soda

 

Serve with a wedge of lemon or orange (an un-grilled slice, please)

 

Sip and enjoy!

Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail

Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail

The Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail is woven around a core of All-American Bourbon Whiskey.  With the heat bubbling up from somewhere down South it only makes sense to create a cocktail with a unique refreshing twist.  This twist is ice made from perfect spring water that bubbles up from the ground just up the road apiece.  That pure ice, run through the MAVEA pitcher sitting over there on the butcher block has been infused with spearmint from the garden.  As the ice melts, the flavors of the spicy spearmint melts into this drink.  I also added FEE Brothers Mint Bitters to the ice deepening the sparkling flavor.

I’m a real fan of Four Roses Bourbon Whiskey.  Directly in front of me is a thick, round shouldered bottle of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey. I especially like the cork finish! Nice touch.

Sure, it’s only 10:00 AM and the heat is rising, the humidity rising and my thirst also rising.  If you’ve been following my writing for any length of time, you’ll know that I have a powerful passion for Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth.  The label clearly reads “BEST ON THE ROCKS WELL CHILLED.”  That my friends calls out to me with a huge smile.

I love my Vermouth mixed into cocktails that include Bourbon Whiskey, served on the rocks with a twist of orange.  There is a citrus laced element in this cocktail.  Similar to an Old Fashioned where fruit is muddled into the drink, I took the fruit flavors and added a bit of char to them.  Char you say?  Yes.  Oranges are a favored flavor in my Hankshaw Hawkins cocktail.  I also like using peaches, primarily because peaches are local and plentiful going forward into the summer months.  To char your fruits you must have some kind of fire, or in a pinch a cast iron pan.  I like to grill my oranges and peaches over hard wood charcoal.  If you don’t have a charcoal grill I suppose you can use that gas thing that you use to cook your dinners outside.

I prefer the flavor of wood smoke in my grilled fruit when using them in a cocktail.

Hankshaw Hawkins Cocktail

A perfectly delicious Fourth of July Cocktail that will tickle your fancy…

Ingredients:

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Carpano Antica Formula

Grilled Oranges and Peaches – figure a couple rounds of orange and about 3 chunks of grilled peach per person

Ice from the MAVEA Water Pitcher, frozen in an ice cube tray from Williams-Sonoma.  I LOVE the KING Tray.  The cubes are two inch square and they melt oh so deliciously and slowly.

Fee Brothers Mint Bitters for the ice

Preparation:

Filter some spring water (locally gathered of course) through the MAVEA Water Pitcher System

Pour into the Williams-Sonoma King Ice Cube trays

Add about 5 drops of the Fee Brothers Mint Bitters directly into each water filled tray

Very finely chop some fresh mint (Spearmint, please) to each ice cube and then freeze as normal

Grill several rounds of oranges and chunks of peaches over hard wood charcoal

Let cool then muddle in a Boston Shaker

Add a couple cubes of regular ice to chill the Bourbon and Vermouth down

Add 2 Shots of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Add 1 Shot of Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

 

Shake Shake Shake Shake Shake

Strain into a short cocktail glass with the mint infused ice, then garnish with a chunk of grilled peach or grilled orange and a big sprig of fresh mint

Danger Level 3 out of 5.  Not too dangerous, yet please drink with caution, a couple of these cocktails in the hot sun can be quite beguiling and then quite dangerous!!

http://www.cocktailwhisperer.com