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DIY Craft Cocktails

Bars, wine, beer, cocktails, drunken escapades

DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby kimm » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:57 pm

I'm getting bored with homebrew and with the saturated craft beer market and have found myself wandering back towards cocktails. We are trying some DIY craft cocktailing at home. Making homemade bitters this week and just soaked some cokecherries from our backyard in vodka for three days. Tried it last night with basil and some homemade sour mix. Awesome.

Anyone here into craft cocktails and have some "must have" easy essentials you recommend making for our bar stock? Resources that you love? We've just started poking around the net for ideas (and of course hitting some bars for ideas).
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby rabble » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:28 pm

I like a bottle of Magner's Irish Cider with a shot of Old Sugar Distillery's Honey Liqueur in it.

I don't have a lot of mixology tools but the ones I use repeatedly are muddler, metal shaker, and strainer.

Helps to have a planter full of mint in the backyard.

Edit. Oh, you wanted craft cocktails. Sorry. You mean like a Pousse-café?
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby donges » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:32 pm

A friend of mine does vodka infusions and blogs about it Here. Some good recipes, even though I wasn't all that keen on the marshmallow infusion.
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:35 pm

rabble wrote:Helps to have a planter full of mint in the backyard.

Let me emphasis in a planter, as mint will otherwise take over your yard. I grow mint for mojitos.
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:44 pm

Try to keep limes, lemons(or the squeeze bottle ones. Not as good, but last a long time) olives, marishino cherries, and other pickled goods on hand. They last forever and always spice up a drink.
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby fennel » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:04 pm

Limes also add zest to food, so I always, always have them on hand.

I don't care for the typical Bloody Mary (bleh), but this is the time of year for the real ones. Perfectly ripe, real tomatoes, a little fresh lime, horseradish, tobasco, and (yes) a dash of fish sauce. Try Akvavit in place of vodka.
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:14 pm

fennel wrote:I don't care for the typical Bloody Mary (bleh), but this is the time of year for the real ones. Perfectly ripe, real tomatoes, a little fresh lime, horseradish, tobasco, and (yes) a dash of fish sauce. Try Akvavit in place of vodka.


No Worcestershire? Also, do you puree the tomatoes? I've never had a bloody with fresh tomotoes, only juice.
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby Ducatista » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:21 pm

donges wrote:the marshmallow infusion.

Shitty to drink, maybe, but not a bad band name.
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby Ducatista » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:24 pm

Oh, and lemons and limes, yes, always. Buy 'em real, use 'em up. There is no substitute.
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby fennel » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:42 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
fennel wrote:I don't care for the typical Bloody Mary (bleh), but this is the time of year for the real ones. Perfectly ripe, real tomatoes, a little fresh lime, horseradish, tobasco, and (yes) a dash of fish sauce. Try Akvavit in place of vodka.


No Worcestershire? Also, do you puree the tomatoes? I've never had a bloody with fresh tomotoes, only juice.
I put them through a food mill, so it's slightly pulpy juice. I've also done it by blanching, peeling, and pureeing. In that case, it's a bit like a smoothie.

Worcestershire if I have it, but I don't think it's critical.
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby Galoot » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:12 pm

I'll put in my Brazilian suggestion, since I'm living in Brazil now. I am fairly sure that you can find cachaça in Madison, so make yourself some caipirinhas for your guests.

The key seems to be getting a thick-bottomed glass, cutting up a lime quarter into smaller pieces, and then using a kitchen pestle to grind up the lime pieces with lots of cane sugar in the bottom of the glass to release the juice. Add more sugar, add the cachaça, and enjoy!
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby fennel » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:42 pm

I tried cachaça once, and it haunted me for days. Is there a particular variety that's more refined, say? I've had a wide variety of rums and had no real problems. But that cachaça was like General Sherman's forces run amok.
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby john_titor » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:39 pm

Granted, my first mistake was drinking with Brazilians, but cachaça (you can get it at Woodman's) kicked my ass-a.

I have witnessed others making infusions and bitters, but haven't done so myself. I would be interested in the results of your research kimm (and a good drink idea).

Why not go hardcore? I have been wanting to make/buy a still for a long time. I have been told that they are marketed as water purifiers and essential oil extractors.

Fresh tomatoes for a bloody mary has me interested. Would it be wrong to put vodka, better yet tequila, in gazpacho? After Labor Day?
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby fennel » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:15 pm

john_titor wrote:Fresh tomatoes for a bloody mary has me interested. Would it be wrong to put vodka, better yet tequila, in gazpacho? After Labor Day?
Go wild! But rembember, the blood has to be fresh and from freshly bled ripe tomatoes that were bred to bleed – not supermarket tomatoes that were bred to be shipped.
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Re: DIY Craft Cocktails

Postby kimm » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:15 pm

Donges-thanks for the blog link. Excactly what I'd hoped for.

Caparhinas...I agree that all cachaça is not created equal. I've never purchased a bottle, but have had some good and some bad ones served to me over time. Unfortunately, I had one at Samba that wasn't the greatest. I was surprised.

Speaking of limes, clarified lime juice seems to be popular for cocktailing. We went to the Teardrop Lounge during an Oregon (state) vacation recently, so a Teardrop bartender's blog drew me in. I have so much to learn. Agar? Clarifying coffee? Wow.

http://www.jacobgrier.com/blog/archives/4354.html
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