Suck on This Hot Commodity

posted in: Cocktail Challenge, Cocktails | 0

chinese five spice cocktailLast week, I decided I needed to mix things up for my regular Friday cocktail, and invited my Instagram followers to challenge and inspire me with random ingredients. And it turns out most of you are weird as fuck (like, you think I’m really gonna make a “ketchup, ice cream, and duck gravy” cocktail?). But the idea that stuck with me the most was actually the first (AND TOTALLY REASONABLE) one, posted by food writer Rachel Tepper Paley. Her suggestion? Chinese five spice, ginger, and black tea — which resulted in this wonderful Chinese five spice cocktail, The Hot Commodity.

chinese five spice cocktail challangeChinese five spice is a ground mixture of Cinnamon (or cassia), clove, fennel, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns, and right away, I knew I wanted to use it on the rim — which might be considered cheating if it weren’t my own damn challenge. The tea and ginger were easy; I mixed double-strength black tea (eight ounces of English Breakfast tea brewed with two bags instead of one), and some Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur with a little bourbon, lemon juice, and bitters. I also added a drop of clove essential oil to really enhance the five spice, and make the drink a little more exciting.
chinese five spice cocktailLooking at Rachel’s list, you might think I took the easy road. And you know what? It’s my blog and I do what I want. But I also picked the one that was the most intriguing to me, and the one that sounded like something I’d actually order at a bar. So, suck it! Though I think you’d rather suck on this drink instead. It’s sort of a cold, Asian-inspired take on a hot toddy. If you like sightly spicy drinks, I think you’re going to like it.

The Hot Commodity

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces double-strength black tea, cooled
2 ounces Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur
1 ounce bourbon
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
1 drop clove oil
1 hearty dash Angostura bitters

FOR THE GARNISH

Chinese five spice (at least 1 teaspoon)
Granulated white sugar (at least 1 teaspoon)
Lemon wedge
Cinnamon stick

DIRECTIONS

Combine equal parts Chinese five spice and granulated white sugar on a small plate. Using a prepared lemon wedge, moisten the rim of a coupe or cocktail glass, then gently roll the rim in the spice mixture. Set aside (but hold onto that lemon wedge for the next step). Add the tea, ginger liqueur, bourbon, lemon juice (squeezed from that wedge!), clove oil, and bitters to a cocktail shaker or widemouth mason jar with a handful of ice. Shake well then strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick — or not — and enjoy!

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Free Digital Download: September 2017 Calendar

posted in: Calendars, Other Fun Shit | 0

free printable september 2017 calendarHoly shit, you guys. It’s almost September, which means it’s almost fall, which means summer is finally almost fucking over. Have I mentioned how much I hate summertime? Because I hate it so, so much. So. Fucking. Much. To celebrate the end of this shitty, swampy season — and just because it’s a thing I do every month — here’s your printable September 2017 calendar, available now as a free digital download. Can you believe I was able to stop scratching my mosquito bites long enough to put it together?

Anyway, even though I have a new shitty printer, I’m keeping it black and white, just like last month. But if you’re into coloring, you can color it in yourself with colored pencils or fine-point markers or whatever. So it’s like therapy. Therapy that will keep you organized. And it’s fucking free. FREE!

free printable september 2017 calendarThe only catch is that you need to “buy” the digital file from my store. But you don’t have to pay any money or give any credit card info or anything like that. Still, sorry. I promise I won’t sell your email address, or stalk you (unless you’re really cool), and you can even give me a fake phone number and mailing address if you want. Of course, if you do that you’re going to be sorry when I turn into Oprah and start sending everyone free bottles of whiskey and fancy lipstick mirrors. I just need to track downloads, and maybe someday I’ll even send a newsletter. (Do people even still open those?) Also, I think if you create an account it makes it really easy to download it next time.

In exchange for this free item from my shop, the only thing I ask (other than giving me every detail about your damn life) is that you follow me on Instagram. It’s about to get fall AF up in there. Like, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and also the official holiday of Festive AF. So just you wait. Here’s the link one more time in case you missed it, and now you may carry on with downloading your very own printable September 2017 calendar.

Get Your Free Printable September 2017 Calendar

And, really, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram. (We’re on the honor system here. Don’t be a dick.)

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It’s Whiskey Sour Day, Bitches!

posted in: Cocktails | 0

whiskey sour with eggApparently, it’s National Whiskey Sour Day, which is as great an excuse as any to make a whiskey sour (even if these stupid holidays are total promotional bullshit). But don’t worry; the whiskey sour is not a fancy cocktail. Sure, it’s a cocktail you should make from scratch (read: no sour mix allowed!), but it’s still easy AF.

In its most basic form, the whiskey sour is made with whiskey, lemon juice, and superfine sugar or simple syrup. Some people (hello! me!) add egg white, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, you can even make variations on it, like this Rhubarb Whiskey Sour. Some people (no, definitely not me) also make this shit way too sweet.

The basic whiskey sour with egg white is a great way to finish off a bottle of your not-so-favorite whiskey — to make room for a better one, of course — while enjoying a balanced drink that’s boozy, not-too-sweet, and perfectly sour.

Classic Whiskey Sour with Egg

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces whiskey
1½ ounces lemon juice
¾ ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
Lemon peel for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Add the whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake really, really well and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry (or don’t, because they’re fucking disgusting, but so pretty!) and enjoy.

NOTE: The easiest way to separate an egg white from the yolk is to crack it into your hand, then separate your fingers a little over a bowl, and gently wiggle your fingers. The white will slip through and the yolk will remain in your hand. Voila!

ANOTHER NOTE: I generally strain my lemon juice through a fine-mesh strainer before adding it to the cocktail shaker. You could also just double-strain the whole cocktail into the glass. Or suck it up and just drink some fucking pulp.

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A Gin Limeade for Late-Summer Sipping

posted in: Cocktails | 0

gin limeade recipe prairie organic gin cocktail easyThis week I got to do one of those things that make being a freelance writer less of a broke-ass drag: a press trip! It’s when a brand (or tourism board, or whatever) takes you on a little excursion, covers all of your expenses, and shows you a good time in hopes you’ll write about their product. If I were a “real journalist” there would probably be some ethical issues with this. Shit, maybe there still are. But I was itching to get away for a minute, plus I never say yes to anything that doesn’t genuinely interest me. And we all know I’m genuinely interested in booze. So when Prairie Organic Spirits invited me to Minnesota for a few days to get to know the brand, as well as one of the farmers that provides corn for their vodka and gin, I jumped at the chance.

If you watch my IG stories, you know I drank lots of delicious concoctions while up north, and even got to drive a combine (perhaps under the influence, but it only went up to 4.5 MPH so I think it was all cool). I took a sleepy selfie in a rainy corn field, and I also found a new gin that I really love, and even a flavored vodka I not only didn’t hate, but actually liked (Prairie makes a cucumber vodka, in addition to a plain one).

I still have a real article to write, for a real publication (and not just this little potty-mouth baby blog), but for now, I’m gonna drop a drink recipe here. Because that’s what I do.

gin limeade recipe prairie organic gin cocktail easyAside from the beautiful bottle and USDA organic certification, the Prairie gin also tastes really good. It’s not super juniper-y, so people who aren’t that into gin may still be into this one. Even without those strong juniper notes, it still has a great, smooth flavor, and I wanted that to come through in this simple, easy cocktail that reminds me a little of the limeades I used to drink when I was a kid, but with (you know) gin. It’s kind of like a gin rickey, but with a little more sweetness and a lot less soda. Or maybe it’s more like a gimlet, but with soda. Hell, I could totally be ripping off a cocktail that already exists and not even know it. Whatever it is, it’s delicious and refreshing and should probably just be your go-to cocktail for the remainder of the summer.

Gin Limeade

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces gin
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Club soda
Lime wheel for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Add the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker or wide-mouth mason jar with a handful of ice. Shake and strain into a double-rocks or Old-fashioned glass. Add a handful of ice, top off with club soda, and garnish with a lime wheel. Enjoy!

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The Gloria Jean Cream Dream Tastes Likes Coffee Smells When You’re a Kid

posted in: Cocktails | 1

cold coffee cocktail recipeRemember when you were just a pre-teen hanging out at the mall without a smartphone (but maybe with a pager covered in glitter nail polish), and on your way to Spencer’s you’d smell the freshly-brewed coffee wafting out of Gloria Jean’s? And it smelled so fucking good, right?! If you were anything like me, those mall days gave you a very specific idea of what coffee tasted like. And when you finally took a swig of coffee that didn’t come out of the “latte” machine at a gas station, you were likely as disappointed as I was. Well, this cold coffee cocktail is for your inner mall rat, because it tastes exactly like what coffee smells like it tastes like when you’re 12.

The basic idea for this drink came to me six or seven summers ago. By then I was definitely a fan of black coffee, and I was doing communications for a local roaster. On a disgustingly hot day — like the under-boob sweat was out of control, you guys, even in the air conditioning — I was craving a cold, bubbly coffee drink (because my caffeine addiction was serious given my job, and I’ve always loved bubbles).

Such a drink didn’t exist yet, at least to my knowledge, and that was still a few years before the Internet would lose its collective shit over espresso tonics. I decided to play around with mixers, and figured cream soda might work well because the flavors would mimic the cream and sugar people often put in coffee. I was right, and the result was a refreshing, sweet caffeinated treat.

cold coffee cocktail recipe
I’ve only ever used Lost Trail club soda, but I’m sure any brand would do — even if their bottle caps aren’t as cute.

Fast forward a few years, and I decided to put booze in it. Actually, that’s a silly story that has to do with me writing one piece about my favorite cocktail, then out of financial desperation, pitching a weekly pop-culture inspired cocktail column to a men’s lifestyle site. The editor accepted, and the next day Miley Cyrus danced the twerk heard round the world, so the first official piece in my first-ever cocktail column was an even creamier and sweeter and more confusing version of this cold coffee cocktail called “The Twerk.” If you ask nicely, maybe I’ll leave the link in the comments later today. But, shit, the picture was so, so, so, so, so, so bad. So bad.

Anyway, this cold coffee cocktail is good, if a little sweet. That’s why I add about six hearty dashes of Angostura bitters at the end. Of course, you should feel free to play with the proportions of all of it. And obviously, you can leave out the vodka if you’d like.

THE GLORIA JEAN CREAM DREAM

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces vodka
3 ounces cold brew (or chilled) coffee
Cream soda
4-6 dashes Angostura Bitters

DIRECTIONS

Add the vodka and coffee to a double rocks glass, Old-Fashioned glass, or small tumbler, then had a handful of ice. Top it off with the cream soda, then add the bitters. Stir and enjoy.

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