Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WINE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEEDED: From the Village of Cats & Old People

This is perhaps the single best visit-to-a-grower story we have ever heard**. Luckily, the wine is also tasty, so we can tell the story and sell the wine. Because what good is the story if the wine is meh?

So here goes:

The Savio team heads off to a little forgotten part of Spain to visit Xico de Mandin, who Savio heard about while trying to figure out his map on the side of the road. So they get there and there's nothing except cats and old people. And Xico's tavern. Which isn't exactly teeming with customers. And Xico's vines are old and wild and crazy because, as Xico says, he's just SO BUSY that tending to them is apparently at the near bottom of his to-do list.  But old vines have a way of taking care of themselves (Drought? Been there. Satanically hot summers? Done that?) And needless to say, given Xico's very busy schedule, the wine is old school minimal intervention (a.k.a. benign neglect) at its best. It's a blend of mencia, bastardo, and caino tinto (right, you've heard of those.) And it's very tasty. A little earthy, a little funky, but backed by enough fruit to keep it really drinkable. And there's this hint of something like orange rind, or citrus underneath it all that makes for a very intriguing bottle. The cats and old people would approve. Well, they would if they weren't SO BUSY!

Price: $24.99

** Note: Some of this story may not be completely true. But most of it is. At least we think it is.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

GINUARY 31th: The Last Word

The original cocktail was created at the Detroit Athletic Club during the prohibition era using bathtub gin. Today the club is using its own recreation of "prohibition era bathtub gin" (vodka, spices, herbs, citrus) for their signature drink. Some variations of the cocktail have sprung up. A particularly well known variation is The Final Ward created by the New York bartender Phil Ward, who replaced the gin with rye whiskey and the lime juice with lemon juice.
It’s only fitting we end our Ginuary celebration with this classic!
1 oz. Dorothy Parker Gin
1 oz. Luxardo Il Maraschino
1 oz. Green Chartreuse
How to:
Build in a shaker filled with ice, shake, strain and garnish with boozy cherry!
- Wendy Crispell, Certified Specialist of Wine

GINUARY 30th: Gin Swizzle

Swizzles have a long history, having been mentioned in a variety of literature since the mid 18th century. Typically they consisted of rum diluted with water, ice and other aromatic ingredients which was mixed by rotating a special forked stick made from a root between the palms. American naturalist and writer Frederick Albion Ober noted in 1920 that the swizzle was a combination of liquors, sugar, and ice whisked to a froth by a rapidly revolved "swizzle-stick" made from the stem of a Caribbean plant.
Swizzles were also noted as the drink of choice at what was purportedly the world's first cocktail party held in London, England in 1924 by novelist Alec Waugh!
2 oz. Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Gin
1 oz. Velvet Falernum
1 oz. coconut water
Juice of ½ lime
Bar spoon absinthe
How to:
Fill tall glass with shaved or cracked ice and add all ingredients, using a bar spoon or swizzle rub end of spoon between your palms to create a mixing motion. Continue to swizzle till glass frosts, top with splash of soda and bitters.

- Wendy Crispell, Certified Specialist of Wine 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

GINUARY 29th: The Aviation Cocktail

I’m personally thrilled this cocktail has made a comeback. The Aviation was created by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York, in the early twentieth century. The first published recipe for the drink appeared in Ensslin's 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Perhaps its unique sky colored hue inspired the name?

2 oz. Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Luxardo Il Maraschino
¼ oz. Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette
Boozy Cocktail Cherry for garnish

How to:
Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake briskly till well chilled and strain into up glass. Garnish with a Boozy Cocktail Cherry.

- Wendy Crispell, Certified Specialist of Wine

Buy all your booze here. (Search on TYLER, LUXARDO, VIOLETTE)

GINUARY 28th: Southside Cocktail

This signature drink of NYC’s 21 Club is really a riff on a mojito. The origins of this cocktail are a bit fuzzy but it’s rumored Al Capone and his gang sipped on these in Chicago!

2 oz. Tylers Original City of London Dry Gin
Juice of one lemon
2 tsp. simple syrup
1 tbsp. of fresh mint leaves, torn into small pieces

How to:
To prepare the drink, place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously to bruise the mint leaves; then strain into a chilled collins glass filled with ice.

- Wendy Crispell, Certified Specialist of Wine

 Buy Tylers Original City of London Dry Gin here. (Search: TYLER)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

GINUARY 27th: French 75 with Rose Syrup

There are many conflicting stories about the origin of this cocktail. Many believe this drink was created in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris, by barman Harry MacElhone. The combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun. It’s also called a "75 Cocktail", or "Soixante Quinze" in French. It was later popularized in America at the Stork Club.

1 oz G’Vine Florisan Small Batch Gin
½ oz. fresh lemon
½ oz. rose syrup
Dry sparkling wine

How to:
In shaker filled with ice add gin, lemon juice and syrup. Shake and strain into chilled champagne flute, add your favorite dry bubbly.
Don’t be scared of the rose syrup. It’s another easy riff on the simple syrup recipie:  1 cup sugar, 1 cup water simmered till clear. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons food grade dry rose petals. Let steep for 1 hour. Strain and refrigerate.)

Bonus tip: If you’re located in NYC check out Kalustyan’s for dried food grade rose petals and a dizzying array of other cocktail/syrup fixings. If not Amazon sells some that are a click away.

- Wendy Crispell, Certified Specialist of Wine

Buy G'Vine Florisan here. Search: FLORISAN)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

GINUARY 26th: Foghorn

This recipe is mentioned in Waldorf Astoria’s cocktail guide. You may see some early recipes that call for ginger beer, which adds a bit of flair. Whether you use ginger beer or ginger ale, spring for the good stuff, like Fever Tree or Q.

1 ½ oz Tuthilltown Half Moon Orchard Gin
Juice of ½ lime
Ginger ale to taste

How to:
Build in cocktail glass filled with ice, stir and garnish with lime.

- Wendy Crispell, Certified Specialist of Wine

Buy Half Moon Orchard Gin here. (Search: MOON)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

GINUARY 25th: Ramos Fizz

This cocktail is pure New Orleans through and through! Huey P. Long (Governor of Louisiana, 1928-1932) was rumored to have brought a New Orleans bartender to New York to train servers, just so he could have a proper Ramos Fizz whenever he was in the city.

1.5 oz. Dorothy Parker Gin
1 oz. simple syrup
½ oz. each fresh lime juice and lemon juice
1 egg white (the freshest one you can find)
1 ¼ oz. fresh whipping cream
3 drops orange bitters
1 oz. Perrier sparkling water

How to:
Place all ingredients except Perrier in cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously for a few minutes and strain into glass. Top with Perrier and stir. Serve in large zombie glass with orange slice.

A note on the egg: Many early cocktail recipes include egg whites and it does make a difference in the froth and texture of the drinks. Please use only the freshest egg white you can find. And if you’re ordering at a bar, beware the powered egg white option!

- Wendy Crispell, Certified Specialist of Wine

Buy Dorothy Parker Gin here. (Search: PARKER)


Saturday, January 24, 2015

GINUARY 24rd: Orange Blossom, Frankly Style

A fresh spin on a classic Prohibition cocktail. Delicious… just delicious!

4 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
2 oz. Tylers Original City of London Dry Gin
½ oz  Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
½ oz. Dolin Blanc Vermouth

How to:
Build over ice in shaker. Stir briskly and strain into chilled up glass. Garnish with orange peel.

- Wendy Crispell, Certified Specialist of Wine

Buy booze here. (Search: TYLERS. Search: FERRAND. Search: DOLIN)