Archive for Boozy

Rose Merry Tea-Ni [Holiday Cocktail]

Well, kids, it’s one month to Christmas. As usual, I am woefully unprepared.

I promised my offspring in… oh, July? that this year for Chirstmas, he’s be getting the new NES Classic game system. You see, even though he’s 13, he’s really into stuff I was into at 13, like Mario Brothers. The problem is; these game systems are really popular since they came out earlier this month, and finding one has been impossible.

What’s a girl to do? Drink.

rosemary-smoked-gin-legend-distilling

My friend Chantal is a rep for a great local artisan distillery out of Naramata called Legend Distilling. They do some really interesting and different spirits, like a spiked coffee, vodkas infused with sour cherry or other berries, and gin. This gin caught my eye, because it’s nothing I’ve ever seen before: it’s infused with smoked rosemary.

Now, to me, smoked rosemary gin just hollers to be part of a holiday cocktail. Something a little floral, something a little earthy…

Whenever I go to visit Chantal in Victoria, one of my must-stops is always the Silk Road Tea company on the edge of Chinatown. I love it there. They have teas, essential oils, kitchy kitcheny stuff, and natural skin care, and, happily, they just opened up a store on W 4th, so I no longer have to take a ferry to get there.

One of my favorite teas of theirs is Sour Cherry. It’s a green tea that smells like spring when the cherry blossoms are out. For some reason, I thought these two things, the gin and the tea, would make a nice holiday cocktail, and it turns out, I was right.

The floral perfume of the cherry green tea goes really nicely with the juniper notes in the gin. The rosemary adds a warmth, and makes the whole thing smell like Christmas.

By the way, the name I have to credit to my pal Fred Armstrong. I did a live FB video the other day, making the cocktail, and asked my friends for name suggestions. There were some great ones.

Here’s a lovely cocktail to serve at your Christmas party or your open house this year. And cross your fingers Santa can get his hands on one of those game systems…

rose-merry-tea-ni

Rose Merry-Tea-Ni [Holiday Cocktail]

Ingredients

Method

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, place the water and the sugar. Using a vegetable peeler, take strips of rind off of the limes, and add them to the water and sugar. Allow the whole thing to come to a boil and simmer for a few minutes, until the sugar is entirely dissolved. Remove from heat. Cut the two limes in half and juice them into the sugar syrup, stir well, and then strain out the lime peels. Ideally compete this step earlier so the syrup has a chance to cool completely.
  2. To make the martini: fill a cocktail shaker with about 6-8 ice cubes. Pour in 1 ½ oz Black Moon Smoked Rosemary Gin, then the tea, then add 3/4 oz of the sweet-sour syrup. Shake well for about 30 seconds, until the outside of the martini shaker is very cold.
  3. Pour the drink into a cocktail glass. You can strain out some of the ice if you like, but I like to keep a little in there. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary and a couple frozen cranberries and serve immediately.

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Cherry Basil Vodka Cocktail

I love how here in Vancouver, we are slowly but surely making a name for ourselves in the world of booze. It started with the Okanagan, and the wines that are grown and produced there. Then, it spread closer to home, with the proliferation of micro- and craft-beer breweries. It’s such an exciting time to be living in this city! The variety of these new, locally-brewed beers, wines and ciders is inspirational.

cherry basil vodka cocktail

The next wave of artisanal booze is spirits. There are lots of great things happening in the city right now, with Long Table, Liberty, Odd Society, Sons of Vancouver, and others brewing up gins, vodkas, and even amarettos.

The newest guy to join this cavalcade of craft spirits is Sid. Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka, to be exact. Located in Delta, this brand-spanking new distillery is putting out some pretty great product.

For me, the mark of a really good spirit is if you can sip it, neat (or maybe on the rocks), solo. No mix. Just the spirit by itself. If it tastes good, if it’s smooth, that is the hallmark of a good liquor.

sids handcrafted vodka

So, of course the first thing I did after I cracked open my bottle of Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka was try it, neat. And it’s good. Smooth and easy to sip.

The second thing I did was make a cocktail out of it.

Now, it’s August, which means it’s stonefruit season, and that means cherries. This recipe combines sweet with savory, which is one of my favourite things right now.

I actually juiced up some cherries in my juicer to make this, but you could just as easily buy some ready-made cherry juice.

This would make a great end-of-day cocktail, to be sipped while watching the world go by from your porch or patio. I actually served this at brunch, and it was a pretty good match. For brunch, though, I’d serve it in a champagne flute, rather than a martini glass.

cherry basil vodka cocktail

Cherry Basil Vodka Cocktail

(recipe courtesy of Big Oven)

Ingredients:

  • fresh basil leaves
  • 1.5 oz cherry juice
  • 1.5 oz chilled vodka (I used Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka)
  • sparkling wine to top (like Prosecco)

Method:

  1. The day before, place 6 basil leaves (one in each of 6 holes) in an ice cube tray, cover with water, and freeze, so that you have ice cubes with basil leaves frozen inside them.
  2. Place one basil leaf in your glass, and lightly muddle it. Add two frozen basil ice cubes to the glass, then pour over the vodka and the cherry juice. Give it a bit of a stir. Top with sparkling wine and serve immediately.
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