I know it is not technically happy hour or Friday yet, but I feel like the internet really needs this right now. Drinks guys, drinks. Last week, teachers Jill and Genevieve were kind enough to share a recipe for their favorite classic cocktail. The workshop covered a bit of cocktail history, and the following recipes are for truly classic Old Fashioneds and Sazerac cocktails. Enjoy!
G’s Old Fashioned
1 ½ oz bourbon
1 tsp Bitter Housewife Bitters (or 2-3 generous dashes of Angostura)
1 tsp rich syrup*
Generous splash of soda water
*2 parts demerara or turbinado sugar, 1 part water
Muddle orange, cherry, bitters and rich syrup in an old fashioned glass. Pour in bourbon and soda. Add ice, stir and enjoy!
Jill’s Classic Sazerac
2 Oz Rye Whiskey
Rinse of Herb Sainte / Absinthe
Fill a tumbler with ice to cool glass. In a mixing glass add one sugar cube and douse with bitters, about three decent dashes should suffice. Muddle until a paste forms, then add your whiskey and dry stir with a bar spoon. Add ice and stir until ice has diluted the mixture slightly. Dump the ice in your tumbler and coat with an Absinthe / Herb Sainte rinse. Strain the Rye and bitters into the tumbler and garnish with an orange peel.
#skillexchange photos via Instagram users @kbrodge @shanaastrachan @makeshiftsoc @projectjuice
At our spring launch party we created a summery cocktail with help from Project Juice. Project Juice offers local, organic and raw cold -pressed juices and nut mylk in San Francisco. I called on bartender Jill Fitzgerald for a bit of help coming up with a cocktail using watermelon juice. Jill will be teaching a cocktail workshop with Skill Exchange in June. We wanted something fresh and sparkly, and with a bit of testing and sampling, The Sparkling Exchange Cocktail was born. The recipe calls for basil simple syrup, which is very easy to make, and will keep in the fridge for several days.
The Sparkling Exchange Cocktail
1 oz vodka
2 oz Project Juice Watermelon lemongrass cooler (watermelon juice will work in a pinch!)
1/2 oz basil simple syrup
1/2 oz Campari
2 oz club soda
Basil leaf for garnish
Mix together vodka, juice, simple syrup and Campari. Pour over ice, then top with club soda. Stir, then garnish with basil and enjoy!
Over the weekend we explored a new (to us) cocktail combination of gin, thyme and lemon and tonic. Is it too early to start talking cocktails? No, I think not, its Friday afterall, and its been a busy/stressful/draining week.
I’m sure there will be much improving on this cocktail as the spring progresses, because while it was good, but I have a feeling it could be really, really good with a bit more effort, and a bit less laziness. I muddled a bit of fresh thyme and poured in a few shots of gin, then forgot about it for a while accidentally. I wished I’d left it together longer to “marinate” as Intern would say. I could have even made a thyme simple syrup, as this recipe recommends. Our tonic had cane sugar in it, so we skipped the simple syrup completely. It has a nice fresh flavor, and the scent is more thyme-y than the flavor. As for a recipe… this is a vague one, with room for improvising:
Lazy Thyme cocktail
2 oz gin
2 tbsp lime juice
several sprigs of fresh thyme
healthy splash of tonic water
Muddle thyme, and pour gin over thyme. Leave for 20-30 minutes or longer, and try to busy yourself with some necessary task like feeding your cats, answering an inappropriately timed email from a client, or root around in your pantry for those spanish almonds you are convinced are in there (they are not, trust me). Once you’ve almost forgotten that you had previously been making a cocktail, get back in the kitchen and pour your thyme-gin mixture into a shaker over ice, add the lime juice, and give it a good shake. Pour over a strainer into a very, very chilled cocktail glass that you had the foresight to chill prior to forgetting your drink, then top with tonic a fresh sprig of thyme and enjoy.
I’m back from a busy four days in New Mexico, where I was working with students from NMHU who are hard at work on a project with the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. Later this week I’ll share more about my experience in New Mexico, but for now, I’m catching up on a few of the things I missed while away: good coffee, lots of vegetables, and you know… and cat snuggles. After all that travel in four different airports, very cold weather, and lots of meetings with students, I’m pumping up on vitamin C, and catching up on rest. I’m going to need a lot of energy this week to stay on top of all the work I’ve got planned, including some filming for the next round of Skill Exchange videos!
I came home to a fridge full of CSA vegetables that Intern had carefully been avoiding while I was away. Turns out the guy doesn’t like to do much in the kitchen when his only company is cats. After juicing a mixed bag of oranges, mandarins and one pomelo, we made green smoothies with a bright citrus flavor. I was dubious about Intern’s interest in this particular smoothie, but he drank it all, and even declared it the best one yet. If you’re not scared of lots of greens for breakfast, I recommend this recipe.
Very Green Winter Smoothie
makes two smoothies
1 handful of spinach
several leaves of totsoi (tastes like a bok choy cousin)
1 small handful of arugula
1 cup of fresh orange juice (or a crazy blend of citrus like we made)
1/3 cup pineapple chunks
1 tbsp ground flax seed and oatmeal (optional)
Layer your ingredients in a blender, and pour juice over the top. Blend, and add sparkling water until desired consistency is reached. Will keep in the fridge overnight without separating, if you add the ground oatmeal.