An Ode to the Simple Whiskey Soda

posted in: Cocktails | 0

whiskey soda cocktail

Okay, I’ll admit it: the whiskey soda is not the most festive cocktail in the world. In fact, it’s kind of boring as fuck. But it’s still so wonderful in so many ways.

To start, the whiskey soda cocktail doesn’t require any measuring, and really, you don’t even need a recipe. Just put some whiskey and club soda over ice in whatever proportions you’d like, and you have a boozy, bubbly drink in less than 30 seconds. And speaking of those proportions, you can make it super strong (e.g. whiskey with a splash of soda) or when you’re super hungover, you can do what I do: club soda with a splash of whiskey.

You can add a lime wedge, a twist, or even a dash of Angostura bitters. Or nothing at all. And if you’re feeling frisky, that club soda can be your favorite flavor of La Croix. It may not play beautifully with the whiskey, depending what flavor you choose and what whiskey you’re using, but — come on — if you’re adding La Croix to your whiskey, do you really fucking care that much?

Plus, when you’re on a low-carb diet, like I’m supposed to be right now, the whiskey soda is a perfectly fine drink that has NO CARBS. Yes, I repeat, the whiskey soda cocktail has zero carbs. I still don’t understand how whiskey doesn’t have any damn carbs, but I’m not going to fight anybody about it.

Perhaps the best thing about a whiskey soda is that it’s a great way to drink shitty whiskey. While I am in no way advocating the regular consumption of bad booze, sometimes you’re out and about and the bar selection is less than desirable. That’s when you order a whiskey soda with a lime. Of course, if you’re making a whiskey soda cocktail at home, you should use something you like — maybe just don’t use your most expensive stuff.

whiskey soda cocktail

WHISKEY SODA COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS

Whiskey (as much as you damn well please)
Soda (as much as you damn well please)

DIRECTIONS
Fill an old-fashioned glass a handful of ice. Add whiskey, then club soda. Enjoy.

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It’s Negroni Week, Bitches!

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what is negroni week cocktail recipeIf you have any friends in the bar or booze industries, chances are good your Facebook and Instagram feeds have been filled with images of a bright red cocktail the past few days. That’s because it’s fucking Negroni Week! But if you’re anything like me a few years ago, you’re all, “Cool, Negroni Week. But, wait, what is Negroni Week?”

Well, let me tell you: Founded by Imbibe Magazine and Campari (one of the three ingredients in the drink) in 2013, Negroni Week is a celebration of a great classic cocktail, as well as an effort to raise money for charitable causes around the world. For seven days, participating bars mix up any old variation on the Negroni they please, then donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity of their choice.

what is negroni week

The Negroni in its simplest form is quite easy: one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part Campari. And that simplicity is why people love making riffs on it. In fact, I was in the middle of playing around with adding adding some Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur to mine yesterday when I noticed a fellow Instagrammer beat me to it. So then I tried adding some ginger beer instead. And you know what? NOPE. Don’t do that. It was nasty as fuck.

In the end, I decided to stick to the classic, but add a few bubbles in the form of club soda. This is a good addition for Negroni newbies, too, since the drink is fairly bitter. And it’s really not a terrible idea to add something that’s not booze, considering the base recipe is just three different kinds of alcohol.

Even if you don’t make it out to a participating bar this week, you can still play along at home. Just mixi up this almost-classic version, then donate a few bucks to a cause close to your heart. (If you’re anything like me, there are a lot of those right now.)

Slightly Sparkling Negroni

INGREDIENTS

1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari
Club soda
Orange peel for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Add the gin, vermouth, and Campari in equal parts to an old-fashioned glass. Add a handful of ice, stir well, top off with club soda, garnish with the orange peel and enjoy! (You can also just shake the first three ingredients in a shaker with ice, which is what I like to do, then top it off with club soda.)

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Make Frosé When You Have All Damn Day

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how to make frose how to make froséSometimes I like to set goals for myself. While I’m bad at achieving the important ones (reach a healthy BMI by my 35th birthday, save some fucking money…ever), I’m apparently great at the not-so-important ones (start a random-ass greeting card company, learn how to make frose this summer). In fact, it’s not even officially summer yet and I already know how to make frosé, or frozen rosé. So one might even call me an overachiever.

Anyway, now that I’m a fucking frosé savant, the first thing I want to tell you about making frosé is that it takes all damn day. You won’t be slaving over a freezer or a blender or anything for all that time, but you definitely need to plan at least seven hours ahead. Or just start this shit before you go to bed.

That’s because before you can do anything else, the rosé needs to go in the freezer for four to six hours (the recipe I read said six, but I just cranked my freezer temp down to -6ºF and pulled it out at four). At some point — preferably during those four to six hours if you read the recipe beforehand like I did not — you should make a strawberry syrup, let it cool, and juice some lemons. Then you need to blend all that shit together, and if you still have time, freeze it some more and blend it one more time.

how to make froseThe second thing I want to tell you about making frosé is that other than the time commitment, it’s really pretty easy. For the most part, I followed this recipe from Bon Appétit, but added more strawberry syrup (er, all of it) cut the ice completely, and skipped over some of the freezing steps at the end. I’d already been at this shit all day and needed to take a photo while I still had some daylight.

how to make froseThe last thing I want to tell you about making frosé is that it’s really good and totally worth it. So you should try it. Here’s how.

How to Make Frosé

INGREDIENTS

1 750 ml bottle rosé
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
8 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered
2½ ounces fresh-squeezed lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Pour the rosé into a 13×9-inch metal or glass pan and freeze until it’s almost solid (it won’t get completely solid because booze), for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.

Add the sugar and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, add the strawberries and remove from the heat. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes then strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve (but don’t smush the strawberries to release more syrup). Put the syrup for at least 30 minutes or the freezer for at least 10.

Scrape the frozen rosé into a blender, then add the lemon juice and strawberry syrup. Purée until everything is incorporated. At this point, Bon Appétit says to put the blender pitcher in the freezer for at least another 25-30 minutes then blend again just before serving, but I don’t really think that’s necessary. But if you’re patient, it definitely won’t hurt the consistency.

Divide it among a few glasses and enjoy!

NOTES: In addition to 1 cup of ice in that final step, the Bon Appétit recipe calls for only 3½ ounces of the strawberry syrup. I just threw it all in there and I don’t think it was too sweet (and I hate super sweet stuff). It also says this recipes makes 4 to 6 servings and my mother-in-law and I each had one glass and then blender was magically empty. So…

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Your New Favorite Fucking Greeting Cards

posted in: Other Fun Shit | 0

greeting cards inappropriate birthday cardsYou know those people who get an idea and then all of a sudden they’re neck deep in something they have no experience or business doing? Well, I’m totally one of those people. Before I could really cook, I somehow managed to sell and write a cookbook (believe me, I wish I could have a do-over on that thing). And a couple weeks ago, after designing some stationery for a friend’s new business, I decided I wanted to have my own line of greeting cards. A few days later, I placed my first order for five designs. And if you’ve been following this blog for its entire two-and-a-half month life, you know they have some fucking bad words on them.

happy fucking birthday card inappropriate greeting cards inappropriate birthday cardsThese cards fall into the category of “inappropriate greeting cards,” if such a category actually exists. But for me and my friends, I think they’re really fucking appropriate — especially the “this fucking sucks” sympathy card. Because you know what? Sometimes shit just really fucking sucks.

thank you so fucking much greeting card festive as fuck inappropriate greeting cards

I’m really excited about these cards and I can’t wait to add to the line. For now, you get these. All five cards have a pretty little design on the front and they’re all blank inside. They’re printed in the United States on 14-point uncoated card stock and packaged with a coordinating envelope in a protective plastic sleeve. Cards are $5 each and I offer flat rate shipping for $2.50. Even better, if you order eight cards or more, shipping is free. So, by my math — which usually results in lots of debt — you save money by buying more cards.

If you don’t want to deal with shipping at all and live in Kansas City, you can pick them up at Unbakery and Juicery. And for you New Yorkers, I have a big order en route to WORD Bookstores for both their Brooklyn and Jersey City locations, so check in there soon!

The rest of you: check out your new favorite fucking greeting cards here. And don’t worry, I’m already working on the fucking holiday cards. And I promise there will be more inappropriate birthday cards soon, too.

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Grilled Meyer Lemonade, With Whiskey, Of Course

posted in: Cocktails, Holidays, Memorial Day | 0

grilled lemonade cocktail recipeHey, it’s almost officially Memorial Day weekend! Which, for most people means three consecutive days off of work, grilled everything, and lots of drinking. While I totally endorse all that shit, let’s not forget this is a holiday meant to honor those who have died serving our country so we can all sit around stuffing our fucking faces, getting hammered, and acting like all-around jackasses. So, if you’re going to get drunk this weekend, that’s awesome. Just at least pour one out for the people we’re supposed to be memorializing. Maybe just don’t pour out this particular grilled lemonade cocktail. Pour out, like, warm Miller Lite or something.

Okay, so now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to this grilled lemonade cocktail. Yes, it would be tricky to grill an entire cocktail. But it’s pretty easy to grill at least one element of it — in this case, the lemons — especially once you have the grill going. You just cut the lemons in half, dip them in some sugar, and put them over the fire until they have a nice char. Then, you mix the juice with whiskey and simple syrup. The end. (Oh, but speaking of grilling, here’s a thing I wrote for Bon Appetit about grilled eggs.)

grilled lemonade cocktail recipeAside from just being fucking cool, this really is one of my favorite cocktails. It’s tart, it’s sweet, and it’s boozy. Plus, it’s super easy to scale. Because it calls for two parts grilled lemon juice, two parts whiskey, and one part simple syrup, you can make just one, or you can whip up a huge batch for a cookout. And because it’s so simple, it’s great for mixing ahead of time and taking to a party. In fact, it tastes better after the flavors have had some time to hang out together for a while in the fridge.

I’ve made this with regular lemons and Meyer lemons, and they’re both great. But if you have Meyer lemons, use those. They’re a little sweeter than regular lemons, which never hurts a citrus-based cocktail. You can plan to get about 1/4 cup juice out of each grilled Meyer lemon, but don’t count on that exact measurement.

Grilled Lemonade Cocktail

INGREDIENTS

Meyer lemons
Sugar
Whiskey
Simple syrup

DIRECTIONS

Cut the lemons in half. Dip each half in sugar and grill the halves, fruit side down, over high heat until the sugar has charred on the lemons, about 2 to 4 minutes. When the lemons have cooled, juice each one.

To make the cocktail, mix two parts grilled lemon juice with two parts whiskey and one part simple syrup. Stir well and serve over ice. That’s fucking it. BOOM. You’re welcome.

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