Confessions of a Mixologist: 3 Rocking Mojito Cocktails

Originating from Cuba, the Mojito is traditionally a five ingredient cocktail that consists of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint. The mint, sugar and citrus combined amplifies the rum flavor. Take a break from your summer garden work, sit back and enjoy a few of these refreshing highball classics.

 

Orange Basil Mojito

Orange Basil Mojito
 
Photo and cocktail recipe courtesy of Dine and Dish. Continue reading

Barrel Report: 2014 Binny’s Handpicked Single Malts

The committee gathered, tasted and voted, and now the 2014 Binny’s Handpicked Single Malts are on their way. Brett’s annual trip to Scotland yielded excellent whiskies this year. Now that we have sorted through all the options and honed the selection to just the best of the best, we can hardly wait for these selections to arrive (and they always take months and months, of course). Until then, get your wish list ready:

 

Binny's Handpicked Single Malts

 

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Whiskey Hotline Hits the Road: Cedar Ridge

Ever heard of Swisher, Iowa? It’s home to Cedar Ridge Vineyards Winery & Distillery and most importantly, where we picked our latest batch of Handpicked bourbon barrels. Yup, plural. We just couldn’t pick one. But more about Cedar Ridge first.

 

Owners Jeff and Laurie Quint have built quite the distillery/winery. Located in eastern Iowa, it’s just a short drive from Cedar Rapids or Iowa City. Jeff serves as Master Distiller and Master Winemaker. In addition to crafting award winning small batch spirits (like our Handpicked barrels), Cedar Ridge produces wines from their own estate-grown grapes. Fun fact: Cedar Ridge is the first licensed distillery in the state of Iowa since the age of prohibition.
 

Cedar Ridge

 
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Wild Turkey and Anderson Valley Extravaganza!

Here is your chance to talk shop and have a drink with Jimmy Russel himself. Yes, that Jimmy Russel.
 
Meet Wild Turkey Master Distiller and living legend Jimmy Russel, plus owner of Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Trey White. Why these two? Anderson Valley has an exclusive partnership with Wild Turkey, making them the only brewery getting Wild Turkey’s gently used bourbon barrels for beer aging. And let us tell you, they make for some tasty beer.

 

Info after the jump…

Jimmy Russel Wild Turkey
 
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Confessions of a Mixologist: Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail staple and has stayed the most consistent since its origin compared to other long standing cocktails. In the early 1800′s when the word “cocktail” was defined as a “potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water and sugar,” the Old Fashioned was called a bittered sling. The only slight change we’ve seen over the past 200 years or so is the popular switch from rye whiskey to bourbon.

 

We won’t judge your choice of bourbons, but it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t recommend Wathen’s for your Old Fashioned. Not too long ago, the Whiskey Hotline went to Kentucky and picked out our own single barrels of Wathen’s. Our Handpicked Wathen’s are full of sweet characters like maple, vanilla and raisins, and also open up with some spice notes that make for a pleasant bourbon with flare. The bottles are somewhat limited, but definitely still around and at a very good price if you want to get your hands on some. Otherwise, stop in to our Lincoln Park Tasting Room and give it a try in your Old Fashioned. Check out the recipe after the jump!
 

Wathen's Bourbon

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Confessions of a Mixologist: Lion’s Tail

Never heard of it? All you need to know is that it’s another cocktail with bourbon, and it’s fantastic. There’s not much history on this mixology masterpiece besides the fact it was probably created before prohibition, as it was first published in the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book by W.J. Tarling in 1937 at a time when bourbon was scarce.

 
The cocktail includes a liqueur called Pimento Dram. It’s an herbal liqueur with a rum base, and is flavored with a spicy berry of the pimento tree. It mixes well with the bourbon in the Lion’s Tail and creates a sweet and spicy cocktail. The Angostura bitters add a level of spice. Recipe after the jump.

 

Lion's Tail Continue reading

Golf’s Best Round is on the House

Summer is being outside. Wearing short-sleeved, collared shirts that wick away moisture. Sipping superpremium imported French vodka. Veering across extremes – the frustration of slicing into a parking lot to the elation of crushing a 300 yard drive. So I’ve heard. Also driving those little carts. Summer is golf.

 

Grey Goose is again offering you the chance to score one free round of golf when you purchase a 750mL or larger bottle of any of their fine vodkas. You might have heard about it on 670 The Score. To redeem, buy a bottle of Grey Goose, pick a golf course, and then fill out the form and mail it in. You’ll get one complimentary round of golf per foursome, good for 18 holes plus a cart. Just watch for the official rebates on bottles of Grey Goose at a Binny’s near you, or click here for more info on participating courses and to download the mail-in rebate and complete terms & conditions.

 

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More info and participating courses after the jump…

 
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Confessions of a Mixologist: Pegu Club

So the story goes, this classic dates back to the early 1920′s and was served at Burma’s Pegu Club in Rangoon, Burma to men of elite status within the government and such. This gin-based gem is simple to make but is full of complex and robust flavors. Our bartenders picked Martin Miller’s Gin as the base for its botanical complexity and mixably higher proof. If you’ve never tried it on its own, be sure to ask for a small pour on the side. Recipe after the jump.

 

Pegu Club Cocktail

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Confessions of a Mixologist: Mint Julep

The combinations for this three ingredient cocktail are limitless. Although we prefer ours with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, with our selection of over 300 bourbons, you could have a different variation of the Mint Julep every day of the year.

 
This minty concoction was thrown together in the early 19th century. It was originally consumed as a spirituous liquor that has mint steeped in it. Rum was the main ingredient, but after being popularized by Kentucky, it quickly switched to bourbon.
 

Bourbon at Binny's

 

Mint Derby


 
2 1/2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 oz Water
4 Sprigs of Mint
 
Muddle the sprigs of mint with the simple syrup. Pour in bourbon and water. Serve on the rocks with a mint sprig garnish!

 
Let us know what you think either in the comments below or via Twitter! Check out some of our other favorite cocktails on our blog and our Pinterest.