Let’s Batch That Shit: The Early Fall Lowball

posted in: Cocktails | 2

batch whiskey cocktail fallI’m headed to the lake for a big family weekend today — which in my family, of course, means lots of drinking. Usually everyone just pounds whatever’s around, but for the last few gatherings, I’ve been mixing up big-ass batches of the good shit. (It’s really the least I can do when other people are entertaining my kid.) For my dad’s 65th birthday party in July, it was my sparkling basil-mint whiskey lemonade. But I’ve been so busy being a legitimately employed person lately, I hadn’t even thought about what I’d make for this weekend.

That is, until I got a text from my sister: “Emily, David wants you to come up with a good drink if you can.” If I can! If I can? Ha. Clearly, “David” is not on social media and doesn’t read my blog. (Note: Both of those statements are true and I have no idea why I felt so compelled to put his name in quotation marks when his name is very much David, but it just felt right there.) Well, “David” likes whiskey, and so do I. So I thought, “What’s a good batch whiskey cocktail for fall?” It took me about two seconds to come up with the answer.

batch whiskey cocktail fallIt’s last week’s cocktail, the Early Fall Lowball, a spicy (and only ever-so-slightly sweet) chai tea-based drink. Not only is it perfect for making in batches, it’s a great drink to make ahead of time because it doesn’t have any carbonation. Plus, letting it sit in the fridge for a night or three is the next best thing to shaking the shit out of it — since nobody I know has a three-liter cocktail shaker.

For the tea, you’ll want to boil a little more water than you’ll need, since some of it will evaporate. And this recipe calls for double-strength chai, which is 8 ounces of tea brewed with two bags instead of one, or one bag per 4 ounces. So for this recipe, if my math is correct (and it could be totally off) you need 12 chai tea bags for 6 cups of double-strength tea. (Is that right? Fuck, math is hard.) I used the Bigelow Spiced Chai Tea and it was wonderful, though I’m sure any quality chai would do.

Now, is this technically still a lowball if it’s made it batches? I don’t fucking know. Just pour it into a lowball glass, or one of these classy-ass “Cut Crystal” plastic cups from Chinet when you’re ready to party. Close enough, right?

A Big-Ass Batch of the Early Fall Lowball

Yield: About 3 Liters

INGREDIENTS

6 cups double-strength* chai tea, chilled
6 cups whiskey
1.5 cups Grand Marnier
72 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

DIRECTIONS

Add all of the ingredients to a large drink dispenser, pot, or whatever the hell else will hold three liters of booze, and stir really fucking well. If you aren’t serving it immediately or storing it in a dispenser in the fridge, store it in airtight containers in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. When it’s time to drink, give it a good shake, then pour it into a lowball glass over ice. Enjoy!

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Free Digital Download: October 2017 Calendar

posted in: Calendars, Other Fun Shit | 0

free printable october 2017 calendarHuge news! Maybe you’ve already heard? It’s officially fucking fall! Like, for real — on the calendar and in the air. We even turned off our air conditioning yesterday (though I may have to turn it back on later this week, because I’m a horrible steward of the earth who literally can’t stand the heat) and I probably could have worn a light jacket last night. A JACKET. To celebrate this blessing from Mother Nature, I present your Halloween-themed printable October 2017 calendar, available now as a free digital download.

This calendar might look slightly familiar, because aren’t all calendars just a bunch of blank boxes that make you feel like, hey, this is going to be a new month, maybe I can take a deep breath…until you start writing down shit and get to, like, the second Tuesday and realize that you’re never going to have time to get a pedicure ever again? So, yeah, it may also look familiar because I am super fucking busy now that I have a job-job. I borrowed a few elements from the August calendar, but I also added some other stuff that’s supposedly spooky, like droopy pines and bats and shit.

free printable october 2017 calendarSo, the calendar is free. The only catch — of course there’s a catch; we’re on the internet in 2017! — 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. And I promise I won’t sell your email address, or stalk you (unless you’re, like, a super-cool Instagram mom who will make me feel inadequate every time you post). I just need to track downloads and shit, and maybe someday I’ll even send a newsletter. (But, like, 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 is that you follow me on Instagram. ‘Cause it’s about to get fall AF up in there. Who am I kidding? It already has. As I’ve mentioned probably 77 times in various places, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and also the official holiday of Festive AF. So just you wait. And here’s the link one more time in case you missed it, and now you may carry on with downloading your very own printable October 2017 calendar.

Get Your Free Printable October 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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Easy AF Chalkboard Pumpkin Non-Tutorial

chalkboard paint pumpkinOh, you think it’s too soon for me to post Halloween content? You should know me better than that by now. Anyway, this chalkboard paint pumpkin has been sitting around my house for, like, a month already. I made a chalkboard paint pumpkin slideshow tutorial for work a while back, but I’m a fucking nice person so I’m gonna give you the CliffsNotes (even though I’m sure you can figure it out on your own) without giving away all the really fucking wholesome content I wrote for the brand:

  1. Paint a pumpkin with chalkboard paint.
  2. Let that shit dry.
  3. Write some damn words on it with chalk — though a chalk marker works better.

P.S. This is not the message I wrote on the pumpkin for the brand tutorial. Duh.

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Celebrate the Season with The Early Fall Lowball

posted in: Cocktails | 2

chai tea cocktailRejoice! For it is fall. Like, really, officially fall. I guess if you want to be a know-it-all science asshole, it doesn’t actually happen until the autumnal equinox this afternoon, but that’s like trying to tell someone they can’t have a birthday drink before work because they weren’t born until 4 p.m. and fuck that noise. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around it all, mostly because it’s been in the fucking nineties here and it still feels like the god-damn armpit of summer. But according to the calendar, IT. IS. FALL. To celebrate, I busted out this chai tea cocktail I made a few years ago, back when it was still summer but felt like fall (which is a much better situation than the current one). It’s perfect for this god-awful transitional weather because it has spicy, fall-inspired notes thanks to the chai tea and Peychaud’s bitters. But it’s also cold and won’t add to your under-boob sweat situation (unless booze makes you sweaty — in which case, welcome to the club, sister).

Anyway, I know I just made a tea and whiskey cocktail, but this one is different, and a little less weird. It’s a little spicy and just-so-slightly sweet, thanks to the Grand Marnier. I handed one to my sister (honestly, so she’d give my kid a bath so I could take this picture while I still had daylight), and she said, “It reminds me of something I drank back when I could afford fancy drinks.” And I’m totally fucking taking that as a compliment. Also, I feel like I need to start paying her to bathe my kid so she can buy nice things again.

Speaking of overpriced drinks, while taking this picture, I decided I want to open a bar and call it “Saucer” and just serve cocktails presented on pretty little vintage saucers. Because wouldn’t that be a nice fucking thing that people would like to do — drink cocktails served on gorgeous vintage saucers? I mean, that could totally be a thing, right?

early fall lowball cocktailNotice the sweat on that glass? Yeah, that’s because it was ninety degrees at 6 p.m. on the eve of autumn. And a mosquito bit my foot while I was getting this shot. You know, just to remind me it was still fucking summer for a few more hours (and that mosquitoes are assholes).

Early Fall Lowball

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces double-strength* chai tea, chilled
2 ounces whiskey
½ ounce Grand Marnier
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

DIRECTIONS

Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker or mason jar along with a handful of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a lowball glass with one large or a few small ice cubes. Enjoy.

*8 ounces of tea brewed with two bags instead of one, or one bag per 4 ounces. Or, math.

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An Apple Brandy Old Fashioned, Because It’s Almost Fucking Fall, Okay?

posted in: Cocktails | 0

apple brandy old fashionedFall is finally really right around the corner — only a tiny baby week away. It’s so close I can taste it. But that taste ins’t a pumpkin spice latte (I’ve never even had a sip of one if you can believe it), it’s an Apple Brandy Old Fashioned. This drink is fall as fuck and it makes me want to put on booties and a scarf (and some other clothes in between, of course, like a plaid shirt and skinny jeans) and get someone to take a picture of me holding a thermos while wearing those ridiculous gloves with the fingertips cut off as I look longingly at a pile of fallen leaves. Or some shit. I don’t know. Isn’t that what white, Midwestern Instagram moms are supposed to do in the fall?

Anyway, back to the drink. It’s an Old Fashioned, but it’s not made with whiskey — a shocking turn of events for me, I know.

The Old Fashioned as we know it today is really just an old-fashioned way to make a cocktail. Back in the day, a “cocktail” was simply a mix of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. These days, it’s widely accepted that the base spirit is whiskey, but you certainly don’t have to use whiskey. It’s fun to mix it up from time to time, and apple brandy is really great for a fairly traditional Old Fashioned preparation.

But wait! Do you even have apple brandy? Do you even know apple brandy? If you don’t, you should. Yes, I know it sounds like something that would be too sweet and really fucking gross (probably because I spent ages 16 through 22 drinking nothing but that bright green Sour Apple Pucker straight from the bottle) but it’s neither of those things. It’s basically barrel-aged apple wine, and you should be able to find it at most liquor stores.

apple brandy old fashionedIn addition to the apple brandy, this festive fall tipple calls for Angostura aromatic bitters, along with a few dashes of orange bitters (made by Angostura and a few other brands), and a sugar cube or simple syrup. I really prefer the cube to the simple syrup, even if a sugar cube doused in bitters sort of looks like a disease before you muddle it.

I’ve tried making this drink with straight apple brandy, and then half apple brandy-half bourbon (in fact, it was right about the time I took this picture with the fucking bottle of bourbon in it — oops!) and I think it’s better with one base spirit. So we’re sticking with the apple brandy here, folks. Don’t mind the bourbon. Look away from the bourbon.

apple brandy old fashioned

Apple Brandy Old Fashioned

INGREDIENTS

1 sugar cube (or ¼ ounce simple syrup)
4 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
2 ounces apple brandy
Orange twist, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

If you’re using the sugar cube, add it to the glass along with the bitters, then muddle them together until the sugar cube is dissolved. Otherwise, add the simple syrup and bitters to the glass and stir. Add a large ice cube or a few small ones, then pour the apple brandy over the ice. Using a bar spoon (or just a regular fucking spoon because who other than me and a bunch of people who wear vests to their bartending jobs keeps a bar spoon around the house?), garnish with the orange twist, and enjoy.

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