Artisanal Cocktails at Home

I love a good artisan cocktail. These are twists on classic cocktails using fresh and/or unique ingredients. Learning how to make one at home can seem like a daunting challenge but after much experimentation and a bit of trail and error I have found some that are my go-to cocktails at home.

It started with the Cosmo. This is a great cocktail that is vodka, cointreau, lime, simple syrup, and cranberry juice. Although this is a perfectly fine cocktail I discovered somewhere along the way it is so much better with Raspberry Vodka, specifically Stoli. The sweetness of the raspberry just offset the tartness of the lime and cranberry just enough.

This then lead me down the road of is there a juice that might be better? Cran-raspberry was a good choice but the problem I was running into was that I only needed a couple ounces to make the two cocktails and high quality juices would go bad after too long. This lead me to the question. Could I make my own juice and can it in amounts that are meaningful? The answer ended up being yes. So now for my Raspberry Cosmo I use a juice blend that is Cranberry, Raspberry, and Strawberry. They were all purchased at our local farmers market at their peek of season and made into a juice that is ah-mazing.

raspberry-cosmo-copy

Another cocktail I love is the Lychee Martini. This was simple enough. Vodka, lychee Juice, simple syrup and lychees for garnish. Well, OK, not so simple. Where do you get lychees and lychee juice? Especially when you live in the middle of nowhere? So I started with hitting up the Asian Food Store that we frequent and they had canned lychees, but the juice they had wasn’t quite right. I then went on to Amazon and found lychee juice boxes! I juice box is just the right amount to make two cocktails. So now I can have delicious lychee martini’s at home.

lychee-martini

Where I really started thinking about artisanal cocktails was when I came across a recipe for a blood orange whisky sour. This was good but the recipe was not at all it was cracked up to be plus it had to be done in a blender and there was lots of futzing with segmenting the blood oranges but the idea was good and it was a whisky drink so it was getting me outside my comfort zone of, vodka, and getting me to try something that was more my husbands liking, bourbon/whisky.

At this point we decided a juicer was in our future. We wanted to start making our own juice. Not only that but we wanted to make interesting juice blends. This lead us to getting the Breville Juice Fountain Duo. Yup, that’s right we bought a juicer to make better cocktails!

The first juice blend we had true success with with our pear blend. It’s a combination of Bartlett Pears, Asian Pears, and Honeydew. We then added this to Absolut Pear Vodka, a little Apple Pucker, and Simple Syrup. It was perfect. I nice light pear cocktail, but what’s a cocktail without a name, and then it came to us… Au Pair!

au-pair

After having such success with this recipe creation I went back to work on the whisky sour.  I got Apricots, Nectarines, Oranges, and Limes and juiced them all together. I then took that blend and added Basil Hayden, a few drops of Bitters, and Agave Syrup. We ended up with a wonderful sweet and sour combination that played against the spiciness of the Basil Hayden and then it was just in need of a new name… With the wonderful orange hues, the warm spiciness, and just a touch of bitterness this seemed like the epitome of fall, which then lead me to my favorite fall term, and we call it The Leaf Peeper!

the-leaf-peeper

The key to all of our drinks was to come up with the juice mix, can it in the portions to make 2 cocktails each, and then to make the drinks all it would take is adding the booze, maybe a syrup, shake, and pour!

Designing Featured Images

When working on launching my blog I discovered that I would have to do a lot of custom artwork for my blog. The template I picked out allowed me to put featured images on pages and categories. This was going to be the image that would be seen before a reader picked a post to read. That meant the image needed to be something that captured the essence of what the reader might encounter.  Continue reading

Roasting Pears for a Better Breakfast

Pears are a delicious fruit that seems to be notorious for being difficult to capture it’s flavor. I posted an article about our delicious Autumn breakfast, Quinoa Oatmeal with Persimmons and Pears, in which I mentioned I cooked my grains in a pressure cooker with fresh pears and spices. I was a bit disappointed that the pear flavor did not come through. So it was back to the drawing board.  Continue reading

Food Caricatures?

Working on my blog I keep running into situations that need “featured images” and or course I have to come up with something that reflects me as an artist.

I didn’t want to do pictures of dishes I have made since they will get their own posts when when having categories to sort through my posts I want images to support the categories. That’s when I came up with the idea for “food caricatures”.  Continue reading

Seared Duck Breasts with Pear Bourbon Relish…

Duck is one of my favorite meats. It’s rich and flavorful and if you can find a high-quality provider the gaminess some people dread is nonexistent. When I can’t find it locally I go to my online source D’artagnan they offer everything you can think of when it comes to high-quality meats. If you’re wanted to truly splurge this holiday season check out their selections of turkey and geese!

I recently posted about this recipe in With Autumn Comes the Pear. I wanted to go more in-depth on this dinner and share how I reached the final dish.  Continue reading

With Autumn Comes the Pear

Pears a one of my favorite things about fall. They have a bit of a deeper flavor than an apple but all the juiciness. They come in a large array of varieties and can be prepared almost every which way form poaching, to roasting, to baking, to juicing, to drying, and to eating them raw and probably plenty I am forgetting.

For a long time the pear was just another fruit for me. One that tended to get soft and brown almost as quick as a banana. It wasn’t until I came across a technique of roasting the pear packed in salt that everything changed for me.  Continue reading