Tips & Resources
It’s a simple process and recipe, but it really is the little details that make or break a quality Old Fashioned. Because there are so few ingredients, it’s even more important to be attentive to the details; like the type of sugar, the proof of the spirit or expressing the orange oil over the top. Poor quality ingredients will obviously make for a sub-par cocktail, but even too much (or too little) of the right ingredients can diminish the overall experience. Making cocktails is all about adding different elements together to create unique and balanced flavors, and a well-made Old Fashioned is likely the best example of the craft.
Consisting of just whiskey, lemon juice, sugar and often (not always) egg white, a classic Whiskey Sour is always a crowd pleaser. It’s simple, delicious and easy enough to make a good one at home. However, if you’re feeling a little creative, it’s also an easy drink to upgrade.
Rum is hands-down the most diverse spirit in the world– and I’d fight anyone who says otherwise. A big part of why it’s so incredibly diverse is because there aren’t many rules around how to make it. Basically each country (and in some cases, different regions within the same country) will have their own methods and traditions for producing rum.
Tis the season for gift guides! In case you didn’t get all your shopping done by Black Friday weekend, here’s a list of 10 gift ideas that would give any boozy nerd a smile come Christmas morn.
What people ask for the most is just one, simple post about what bottles they should get for "starting out." I'm afraid it's not very simple but here you go! Here you can find a fairly stripped down version of what I recommend for a budget home bar.
Some of the best cocktails are relatively simple, but you'll need a little more than just spirits to make properly balanced drinks.
Let's go over some of the basic building blocks for crafting good drinks at home...
There are some really helpful resources out there for the home cocktail enthusiast and professional bartender alike– and hopefully this site is one of them! However, it just so happens that some of my favorites are in printed form. Maybe it's been a while since you bought a non-kindle-edition piece of reading material. I assure you that these publications are well worth it, especially if you want to up your home bar game!
Thankfully you don't need a lot of expensive tools to start making drinks at home. Here's all you need...
Like most people, I'm not made of money and being an at-home mixologist can be an expensive hobby. The good news is, I've found that you don't actually need to drop a bunch of Benjamins in order to start making really good drinks at home.
People to Know
I came of age during rise of the "coffeehouse culture" and espresso counters of the 1990s. Starting at age 17, I found my way into barista jobs where I learned about drink quality and coffee preparation techniques. When I turned 21 the microbrew movement was a part of Portland culture, and I fell in love with learning about beer…
“Going to the library” probably isn’t what most people think of when describing plans for an exciting evening out. However, what if all the shelves were filled with different styles of whiskey and various spirits from all around the world? That may sound too good to be true, but in Portland, Oregon such a place does exist.
Several of my favorite spirits and liqueurs come from New Deal Distillery. It's also one of the very first distilleries that started Portland's Distillery Row in the early 2000's. I was invited to visit a few months back and received a tour and tasting from Lance, the operations manager at New Deal. It's definitely a special place and they have some really exciting new products coming out in the next few months.
Since I started a cocktail blog and Instagram account, I figured I'd get some insight from someone who's actually in that industry. Turns out the guy isn't just "in the industry," he's a world-renowned bartender, consultant and creative force behind many incredible bars and brands. He's a big deal, but you'd never know it just talking to him.
Products & Reviews
One of my favorite aspects of cocktail making might sound kind of basic; but I love the process of balancing different flavors and ingredients to create something new. Just swapping out one ingredient or changing the measurements slightly can result in a completely different result. Basically, when it comes to creating cocktails the possibilities are endless… there is just always more to discover and learn. To take that even further, even the individual spirits and liqueurs used in most cocktails all have their own histories and recipes behind them. One such ingredient with a fascinating history is Amaro Lucano.
Despite the popularity of butterfly pea blossom in cocktails these days, there are still a lot of people who have never seen a naturally occurring color quite like this before. There is nothing artificial or radioactive about this color… it’s all from a small blue flower.
Sherry is a new world for me but I’ve been diving in and trying to learn all I can. Turns out there is a whole other door to open up: sherry cask whisk(e)y.
Michter's has always put out really great products. Price-wise, their small batch bourbon and rye are a little high to be considered a good "budget" whiskey. However, if you're looking for a step-up from your usual $25-$30 range whiskies, these are great ones to try out!
This is the whiskey I personally go through the most. It's one of those "desert island" bottles. I use it for most every drink that calls for rye (or bourbon for that matter). It's bottled at 100 proof, and has that spicy-rich kick that you want from a good rye. The best part is that it's super affordable, so using it in a bunch of cocktails isn't going to be too painful on the bank account!
AGE: no age statement
DEFINING FLAVORS: Fruity & Sweet