Holiday cocktails and how to make tasty new versions of seasonal drink favorites is shared by Jenn Wong ahead of Thanksgiving. From sparkling cocktails to a Snap Old Fashioned; Hot Toddy and Travelling Emporium Punch recipes with new artisan brands of booze and mixers, we get a few tips on how to improve our holiday gatherings with mind blowing drinks, hosted by Leslie Durso.
Jenn Wong is the type of girl who doesn’t like to be a type. She loves the bleeding edge of technology & detests spelling errors. On Way of the Wong, she is known as the Urban Ninja, who knows where to find everything from unique gifts to cutting edge apps for their smart phones. Jenn’s insatiable need-to-know-everything often leads her down a rabbit hole of new tech toys, downtown sample sales, best of lists, or dark alleys with unmarked doors leading to the occasional pop up restaurant/speakeasy/cabaret.
As the publisher and host of Way of The Wong, Jenn has developed a clear voice as the go-to guide for adventurous L.A. urbanites who seek the unusual. She has written about the LA cocktail community for Angeleno Magazine, as well as tech and travel for Levo League. Additionally, she is one of the founders of Move LifeStyle, a lifestyle destination for the modern working woman, where she serves as the Creative & Technical Director. Jenn is also a voice-over actress in Los Angeles.
At The Entertaining Shoppe, we are excited and ready for the new year and all of the possibilities it holds. We are hunkering down for winter as the snow falls outside. In celebration of a new month and a new year, we want to highlight a few “somethings” we are excited about! So here they are… 8 January Favorites!
| Something to Sip |
While home in Texas creating handcrafted holiday cocktails, Hayley came across Art in the Age spirits. We can’t wait to try sage, root, snap or rhuby in our cocktails and recipes.
Someone is always firing up the old blowtorch at The Other Corner Charcuterie Bar in Hampden. Usually it’s the charcuterie chefs applying a brulee to the amazing Green Hill camembert.
But the bartenders at The Other Corner are also pretty handy with the blowtorch, known in some circles as a kitchen torch or kitchen blowtorch.
And when we saw bartender Kara Schooley applying the torch to a rosemary sprig, which briefly rose into flames, we had to know what it was for.
Schooley told us she was sugaring the rosemary for a cocktail she created called the Spiced Tea. A bracing blend of sweet, sour and bitter liquors and elixirs, I thought it was the perfect refreshment on a mid-December night, when you can barely keep your eyes open. And the fresh rosemary was like having aromatherapy.
Probably because the sugared rosemary resembled snow on evergreen branches, I assumed that Schooley thought up the Spiced Tea as a winter cocktail.
I assumed wrong, as Schooley explained in an email.
“I developed this cocktail in the late summer,” she said, “and honestly it came to me easily. I was looking to make an enjoyable cocktail with an exciting garnish. I have been familiar with the Art in the Age rhubarb and was looking to pair it with some new elements. We had just received the Damoiseau rum, and I was a huge fan, so I decided to combine the two.”
Schooley said she added the ginger shrub to keep the drink from being just another sugary summer cocktail. “I was a fan of its ability to balance cocktails while also leaving a signature ginger bite at the end. I had to include it.”
Schooley said she was inspired to set the rosemary aflame by a cooking documentary that showed a chef sending out flaming leaves on his dishes.
“It’s to give the patron a total sensory experience,” Schooley said.
How To Make the Spiced Tea
1 1/2 oz. Art in the Age rhubarb tea
1 oz. Damoiseau virgin cane rum
1/2 oz Shrub & Co. spicy ginger shrub
Lemon for juice and peel
1/4 cup pure cane sugar
First, prepare lemon peel and pour a 1/4 cup of cane sugar on small square plate.
Then pour the rhubarb tea, rum and ginger shrub into a double rocks glass. Splash with fresh lemon juice, fill glass with ice and pour back into the rocks glass. Roll the lemon peel over the cocktail to release its essence, slide it along the rim of the glass and drop it in.
Quickly dip the rosemary sprig into the cocktail to wet it and then roll it on the plate of sugar. Next, using a kitchen blowtorch, heat the rosemary sprig for about 10 seconds or until you see the sugar bubble and harden. Lay the candied rosemary sprig upside along the rim of the glass and serve.
Where to Get the Spiced Tea
The Other Corner Charcuterie Bar
850 W. 36th St. Hampden
If you’re looking to reorganize your cookbook collection in the new year, don’t forget about the cocktails. Here’s a look at six cocktail books — some old, some new — to add to your collection.
This is the optimum cocktail coffee-table book, and there’s a reason its featured prominently at Anthropologie: The book cover feels like soft suede. Along with full page photos and recipes, authors Eric Prum and Josh Williams, the duo behind the Mason jar cocktail shaker, include stories of sunshine-filled horse races and ice cold mint juleps. Prum and Williams give readers an inside look at their envious lifestyles and explain the inspiration behind their seasonal cocktails. Following a little cocktail-making 101, with basic information on glasses and ice, drink recipes are categorized by season. For summer, “hop, skip, go naked” is made with vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, lemon slices and summer ale; and for winter, “sage advice” is made with sage liquor, grapefruit zest, pink grapefruit, winter sage and cava.
Tim Federle, author of the literary cocktail book “Tequila Mockingbird” has created a book featuring cocktails inspired by classic nursery rhymes. Like most books for young children, “Hickory Daiquiri Dock” is a board book, but it’s intended for a toddler’s parents. The book features fun illustrations and cocktails with names such as Jack and Coke (and Jill), Ring Around the Rose, and Old MacDonald Had a Flask. You can always read it to an age 21-plus friend before bed.
“Distilled“ (Available April 2015)
What’s a spirit? What are the different types of distillation? Authors Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley are looking to be your “sherpa up the mountain of distilled drinks.” Rather than being a guide to every spirit ever (the book is only 224 pages), Harrison and Ridley choose spirits you would typically find at a well-stocked bar. There’s a chapter on vodka, gin, tequila, absinthe, rum, whiskey, brandies and more. After hosting more than 250 spirit tastings around the world, the authors offer information on the best way to drink each spirit, its ingredients and the method in which it’s made. And if you really want to impress your bar companions, there’s an entire chapter on the 21 words distillers can’t live without.
If Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” focused on cocktails, this book would be it. Author Dave Arnold, who is also the founder and president of the Museum of Food and Drink, owns the New York food-and-drink research lab and bar Booker and Dax and hosts the radio show “Cooking Issues.” He introduces readers to his mad-scientist mind in “Liquid Intelligence,” which features more than 120 recipes but is not a cocktail recipe book. Arnold explains the science behind everything from clear ice cubes to nitro-muddling fresh basil to create the perfect cocktail. Drink enthusiasts can expect lessons on clarifying cloudy lime juice, working with liquid nitrogen and making homemade sodas.
Jeff Hollinger and Bob Schwartz, bartenders at San Francisco’s Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, give readers a look at their version of barroom artistry. The two like to enhance recipes for classic cocktails with various herbs and syrups made from scratch. Hollinger and Schwartz describe themselves as “the mad scientists with bottles and shakers strewn before us, stirring potion after potion until we find the perfect combination to send a customer’s tastebuds on a euphoric journey.” That translates to recipes for martinis and Martinezes, Sazeracs and more. And along with cocktail recipes, there are mini history lessons on everything from bitters to absinthe — and the first Old Fashioned.
Whether you’re a Springbank, Highland Park or Glenmorangie fan, Charles MacLean’s “Malt Whisky” will serve as your bible. The award-winning book was republished in a portable size so whiskey drinkers could tote it around as a sort of reference guide. There’s a full directory of Scotland’s most famous distilleries, tips on buying malt whiskey with color label photos and more.
Sometimes a lush, but always classy about it. Follow me on Twitter@Jenn_Harris_
Today’s cocktail was created as a joke but turned out so amazing that I wanted to share it with everyone. Lately I have been obsessed with the spirit line from Art In The Age,which is innovative liquor brand that features a line of spirits dedicated to bringing back flavors we all loved as a child, such as root beer, gingersnaps and strawberry pie. As a bar manager, I am fortunate that I have access to so many spirits and get to experiment with drink recipes on a daily basis. One day while browsingPinterest, I came across an image for Art In The Age Sage and was so inspired to create something beautiful, I began to play with different flavors. Hangar 1 Vodka, out of Alameda, CA, is one of my favorites and I have had a bottle of their Maine Wild Blueberry that has been taunting me to create something magical. With the bottles of Art in the Age Sage and Hangar 1 Maine Wild Blueberry in hand, I closed my eyes and pictured what would enhance these two dynamic flavors. Suddenly, I had a vision.
About six months ago, my co-worker, pain-in-the-ass , and friend, Drew (who hails from Maine) was telling me about Cold River Vodka from his home state and would not stop talking about their blueberry flavor. We searched every liquor distributor in the area and were disappointed that we could not find in here in the sunshine state. He told me that their “Maine Squeeze” was a delicious concoction that combined Cold River Blueberry, lemonade, soda water and fresh Maine blueberries. I love the combination of lemon and blueberries and thought that sage would enhance the two and yield a delicious libation.
Excited, I combined Hangar 1 Maine Wild Blueberry, Caravalla Limoncello, Art In The Age Sage, muddled blueberries and a splash of fresh lemonade. The end result, in my opinion, was pretty dang spectacular. Besides, I am a Nor-Cal Gal and ANYTHING from Hangar 1 makes an ordinary cocktail an extraordinary cocktail.
My final product was a refreshing blend of citrus and sweet blueberries enhanced with a touch of earthy sage. I must say, this is one of my favorite creations.
Here is my recipe, enjoy!
Drew’s “Maine Squeeze”
A spin on the classic “Maine Squeeze”
Sons of Anarchy is over. Let’s raise a glass.
Come Join the Murder [ Recipe ]
• 4oz Guinness Stout
• .75oz Root liquor
• .5oz Gosling’s Black Rum
Easy one, pour the liquor into a double rocks glass, top with Guinness.
Why the Name? Sons of Anarchy overused music montages as a device to close episodes, but they nailed it for the finale with a song called “Come Join the Murder.” Such an odd, disturbing phrase and it perfectly summed up the entire series.
Why the Ingredients? SAMCRO had plenty of trouble with the Irish, so Guinness was a must. A nice black stout matched the MC’s favorite color, so I stayed true to the palate with black rum and a black liquor called Root.
This is a Learning Mixology Original Cocktail Recipe
It’s no secret that here at Lamps.com we are experts at lighting up a place, but in terms of libations, well, we quite enjoy that kind of getting lit as well! And in the spirit of ringing in the new year, what better time to share some of our favorite cocktail recipes over the past year. Some include local liquors like Art in the Age, some are home brews, some are cocktails created while on vacation. Any way they come, they are bound to make your night glisten! Happy New Year and CHEERS!!!
As the ball drops, countdowns begin and people start angling for their first kiss of 2015, do you really want to be drinking warm Champagne from a plastic cup? If your answer is yes, well, you’re probably a lot of fun. Enjoy yourself out there. But if you’re looking to spike your Champagne with a little something extra, we’ve got five New Year’s Eve cocktails for your consideration.
1.5 oz Reyka Vodka
0.75 oz Art in the Age Rhubarb
0.75 oz lime juice
0.5 oz strawberry puree
Shake with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe. Top with one ounce brut Champagne and garnish with a dried lavender sprig.