It's been a wild time in Melbourne / Australia / the fucking world as a bartender. The above video says it all.
One of my favourite bourbons has an amazing project that I am happy to be somewhat involved in.
According to U.S. law, bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels—specifically, White Oak barrels. Naturally, that makes Angel's Envy pretty big fans of the White Oak.
Angel's Envy are not the only ones. The tree produces acorns that are a significant food source for many different animals, their bark provides a habitat for more than 500 species of moths and butterflies, and their large size helps absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide, making them a critical part of countless ecosystems throughout the eastern United States. In other words: you just can’t have too many of them.
So every time you have a drink of Angel's Envy use this in your post #TOASTTHETREES and they will plant an oak tree. It's that bloody easy!
The drink I have made for Angel's Envy is not just about sustainability but longevity. Here we go deep diving into how I made this damn tasty treat.
Ostara is a vibrant but full bodied libation with a shitload of layers...
Nose: Floral honey & stonefruit with minerality
Palate: Astringent with a juxtaposition of sweetness
Finish: Tropical stewed fruits
Tastes like Summer in a damn bottle!
Ostara is a wiccan holiday and one of their eight which celebrates the spring equinox. The word Ostara comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess name, Eostre. Eostre represented spring and new beginnings. This drink is all about new beginnings and I personally can not wait to have a park Cruiser about it!
Jun is a fermented drink similar to kombucha, differing only in that its base ingredients are green tea and honey instead of black tea and cane sugar. Jun is brewed by fermenting green tea (which has been sweetened with honey) with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Fruits, sweeteners, spices, and other flavour enhancers are also commonly added to make the taste of the beverage more appealing. Jun is not as popular as kombucha or other similar fermented drinks, so the commercial market for it is much smaller.
I got my SCOBY from my BFF Anna Maddocks, sourced my honey from a local bee keeper Freya Le Plastrier and got the tea from Southern Light Herbs in Maldon (Victoria). I (when I say "I" I mean my partner Hannah Rigley) emptied this bad girl out after 8-10 days and top the symbiot up with honey and tea to get the process going again. Sustainable!
Hailing from European tradition, Mugolio is a dark, aromatic syrup imbued with the flavour of pine cones. It's the poster child for the kind of crazy cool, Illuminati-esque foodstuff foragers have access to, all for the price of a hike. The cost of mugolio is not found in ingredients, but is paid in time. How much time is certainly up for debate. I did not have time...
Burry equal weight green (fresh) pinecones and sugar in a jar at the start of summer and dig the bugger up in Autumn. This is the (Romanian) way...
Batch these two ingredients with some Angel's Envy into recycled Cruiser bottles and you have a belter of a time in the park and you have done your part for the trees and being sustainable. Good work rat bags! See you on the flipside!
50ml Angel's Envy Bourbon
Bottled for 4 days in a room temp dark space (so in the sock drawer) then fridged for an hour and necked in the park under a pine tree.
Because we're in lockdown I've tried to keep my self as busy as possible and keep those neurons (what's left of them) firing. I've decided that I'm just going to do a mystery box cocktail at least once a week with ingredients suggested by you via the Instagram. I'll be posting a base spirit to work from and that will be my initial input. The rest is up to you!
This concoction came out as a bright, sweet, vegetal and aromatic delight. Not as many of you are the sickos that I thought you might have been with ingredients so that was a relief... Here we go!
30ml Never Never Southern Strength Gin
10ml Chartreuse Elixir Vegetal
40ml Cold pressed carrot & fennel juice
15ml Homemade condensed milk caramel & cardamom syrup
1/4 Teaspoon tartaric acid
Whack 'em all into a mixing jar filled with ice and stir 'em down for roughly 10 seconds
Strained off into either a coupette or martini glass
Garnish with shiso leaves
Repeat until you've got carotenemia 🥕
Crack your back like it's a glowstick and get ready to have the karaoke mic handed over. Let go of your inhibitions and have the siren take your vocal chords on! Looks like a rave, tastes like spicy lemonade... Giddyup!
30ml Dead Man's Finger's Spiced Rum
20ml Fresh lemon juice
10ml De Kuyper Watermelon Liqueur
Barspoon Suze Bitter Aperitif
1 Drop rose water
Whack 'em all into a mixing jar filled with ice and stir 'em down for roughly 10 seconds
Strain into Nick & Nora or tulip champagne glass
Garnish with kaffir lime leaf
Repeat until your karaoke skills are God tier...
You can get all of these bits and pieces from your local bottle shop and supermarket
Something that I will seriously miss at Lover is making the seasonal hard seltzers. In case you didn't know; I have a love for the old Vodka Cruiser so naturally I have been using their flavour profiles for my inspiration behind these tasty treats.
So far I've done guava utilising milk punch and rapid carbonation. Watermelon that was cold pressed and adding Suze for a bitter herbaceous character. Then the old charred pineapple with carbonated coconut water.
My epilogue from this series is a winter berry iteration or as Vodka Cruiser would say... Bold Berry!
Winter Hard Seltzer
50ml Ketel One Vodka
20ml Brookie's Macadamia Liqueur
40ml Berry Puree See below method
70ml Tartaric + Citric Acid Solution See below method
If your anything like me (smart Slav) you keep your vodka in the freezer. The colder the ingredients are to start with the better this will carbonate and the quicker you can serve this up.
I've worked out that you can fit about 5 serves in a standard soda syphon so make of that what you will with measurements. On that note; whip out the old soda syphon, batch everything and C02 charge that bad girl.
Serve tall and over ice. Garnish with strawberry and rosemary.
Two years in the making, Colonial Brewing Co. Barrel Projects Brown is an 8.1% ABV Barrel Aged Sour Brown Ale, that is best served at 5C°-10C°
This carefully curated blend of dark and pale beer, aged for over 24 months and fermented in an array of mixed cultures, the ex-Chardonnay French Oak barrels develops a character akin to the prestigious flavours of fine wine. But is still, at heart, the rustic Brown Ale showcases wild yeast funk reminiscent of sour cherries & forest fruits. A complex and moreish, sensational brew.
Paul Turner and I are back at it again! It's only been 5 years since our last dinner x drinks dego so it's about time
It's truffle season and the menu will be focussing on just that. We've teamed up with Stonebarn Trufflerie, Dani Valent and truffle expert Morri Berrhman to bring you a night of over indulgence at LOVER.
The Barrel Projects Brown Ale will be served along side Chef Paul Turner's butter roasted artichoke, truffled bone marrow, pepita & cashew course.
Sometimes we need to stray from the path set for us to find what we really want. Off The Beeten Path is definitely on the more adventurous side of libations for the evening so be prepared to be led astray...
On the nose is fresh cut grass and lemon with a natural funk from our yuzu & beetroot kombucha. Taking you down the path of the palate will be a smack of bitter lemon zest and a coating of sweetness with a tropical but extremely earthy finish.
This drink will be complimenting Paul Turner's first course of cecina, barbequed beetroot, truffle fraiche & lemon for Just Another Truffle Event
40ml Bitter melon infused Idle Hour Rye Vodka
45ml Housemade yuzu & beetroot kombucha
45ml Clarified guava milk punch
All bottled and chilled
Nick & Nora glassware
Atomised eucalyptus tincture
Garnished with lemon thyme
My thoughts behind coming up with an old fashioned-style drink were that I wanted to create something that really showcases and appreciates the ability of Patrón Añejo Tequila to stand alone.
In most of the popular tequila drinks out there, tequila is at best the base component of a drink, often concealed with more dominant flavours. That’s why I set out to find flavours that would complement Patrón Añejo Tequila, without overshadowing its inherent notes.
My starting point was one of my first encounters with tequila, back in Austria when I was 18 and we’d drink tequila shots with cinnamon and orange slices. Of course, we are talking about a very different kind of tequila here, but cinnamon, orange, and tequila was always a combination that for me just worked.
From there, to balance the sweetness of the cinnamon, I decided to add star anise, which has subtle liquorice and almost bitter notes. The next ingredient I added was vanilla, which is meant to complement the slight vanilla notes already present in Patrón Añejo Tequila.
Agave syrup was the sweetener of choice, coming from the same plant as the tequila itself, and by combining all these elements into one simple-to-use spiced syrup, it makes the drink easy to replicate.
Finishing it all off with orange bitters for those citrus and bitter elements, and fresh fig and pear for some fruity notes, you got yourself… A Perfect Pearing.
Patrón Añejo Tequila (60ml)
Agave syrup (15ml)
Cinnamon (2 tsp/200ml syrup)
Vanilla pod (1/200ml syrup)
Star anise (5 pieces/200ml syrup)
Orange bitters (3 dashes)
Fresh fig (1, quartered)
Pear (1/4) for garnish
Start by making the spice-infused agave syrup. Measure 200 ml agave syrup, transfer to a plastic bag and add 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 vanilla pod and 5 crushed pieces of star anise. Seal the bag and let it sit in a hot water bath (at around 60 degrees) for 30 minutes. Then, strain the syrup through a coffee filter and keep in a sealable container or bottle until use.
Add 60ml (2oz) of Patrón Añejo Tequila, 15ml (1/2oz) of your spice-infused agave syrup, 3 dashes orange bitters, and a small fresh fig, cut into quarters, to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir down for about 20 seconds, or until chilled. Strain into a chilled rocks glass, serve with one large ice cube and garnish with a pear slice fan.
In case you missed it... LOVER, Uprooted Projects and I have a truffle dinner event coming up on the 26th of July I'll be teasing you with drinks to match the food by Paul Turner over the next 6 days
HOGTIED & HIGHBALLED
Blood Orange Liqueur
Smoked Sparkling Mineral Water
Blood orange flesh wrapped in truffle oil cooked bacon
The Corpse Reviver #2 is one of my all time favourites. It's a great way to start your morning or round off a big night. It's fresh, aromatic and is packed full of all the good things in life.
My twist on this timeless classic cocktail brings a bit of a modern edge to it. I also strive support our locals and have matched the flavour profiles of two of Victoria's finest distilleries with a premium local vermouth to bring you the Corpse Reviver #86
30mL Starward Malt Whisky
30mL Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin
10mL Maidenii Dry Vermouth
15mL Blood Orange Shrub
10mL Fresh pressed lemon juice
2 dashes of absinthe
Combine all of your ingredients into a cocktail shaker
Half fill your shaker with ice and while you have the ice handy, grab a coupette for your end product and chill it down with aforementioned ice
I used a Spiegelau cocktail coupette in the photograph
Seal your shaker and shake the heck out of it for four seconds
Taste... Great, right?
Ditch the ice from your coupette and double strain your drink into the vessel
Garnish with a dehydrated blood orange
Bask in what is left of Spring's sunshine and sip away
J.B. - MENACE TO SOBRIETY
Here it is ladies and gentlemen... The winning cocktail of Leaving Tradition Behind with Amaro Montenegro in all it's glory.
Eau de Vie's Alex Hart's drink has been built around the story of Giuseppe, a family man and cafe owner in the city Napels, Italy. Business was steady at his cafe, with a stream of regulars, helping him support his wife and three kids.
One day a woman came into his cafe, different from the rest of his usual patrons. She carried herself with an elegance and regality. She sat outside, hidden behind sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat, she drank espresso and snacked at her biscotti.
The following afternoon she returned to Giuseppe's cafe, again hidden behind sunglasses. This time she ordered an amaro over ice and olives, then sat waiting in the sun. Giuseppe asked one of his regulars, who the woman might be. He replied I've heard rumours the Princess of Montenegro is visiting town. At this moment a man Giuseppe did recognise approached the table, sat by the women and kissed her full on the lips. It was the Prince of Naples.
40ml Montenegro Amaro
15ml Rittenhouse rye whiskey
10ml Apricot brandy
20ml Pineapple & thyme shrub
5ml Nocellara olive brine
spray of coffee tincture
Swizzle and serve over crushed ice in a large sour glass
Garnish: Coffee tincture toasted biscotti and thyme