Confessions of a Mixologist: Minneapolis Hustler

The taste of bourbon is a bit too austere for some. Fret not; there are some wonderful cocktails that can soften it up a bit. One such example is the Minneapolis Hustler. I came across this gem on one of my favorite mixology websites, Cocktail DB. This cocktail has much in common with a classic cocktail from years past known as the Oriental Cocktail. It’s an interesting mix of citrus, sweet and sour with a touch of subtle herbaceousness to boot.

 

Minneapolis Hustler

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Confessions of a Mixologist: Monte Carlo

Bourbon is back in a big way. The Manhattan, for example, has once again become many peoples’ go to way to enjoy America’s spirit. (Sure you can make a Manhattan with bourbon. Why not? -ed.) So check out this splendid reworking of the Manhattan called the Monte Carlo. The key difference is the substitution of Benedictine in place of vermouth. Benedictine is an aromatic liqueur that has been produced in France since the 18th century. If fact, B&B (Benedictine and Brandy) was one of the first packaged premixed cocktails. Benedictine is a versatile mixer and makes a great addition to any liquor cabinet. Also, if you simply mix Benedictine with bourbon, you just created a Kentucky Colonel. This distinguished elixir is perfect for sipping on your front porch as the last days of summer wind to a close.

 

Monte Carlo

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Confessions of a Mixologist: Eastern Sour

Give this unconventional bourbon cocktail a try. The key ingredient in this drink is Orgeat syrup, a sweet and nutty syrup familiar to Tiki devotees like myself, but a mystery to many. Do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle tout suite. This delicious almond syrup is the magical ingredient in dozens of tropical drinks, most famously the Mai Tai. While most tropical drinks use rum as the base spirit, the Eastern Sour substitutes Bourbon and the results are delicious. The Eastern Sour was created by Tiki drink legend, Trader Vic Bergeron. Below is my version which is refreshingly sour. If you want to sweeten it up a bit, just add simple syrup.

 

Eastern Sour

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Confessions of a Mixologist: Pliny’s Elixir

Bartender Angie from the Binny’s Lincoln Park Tasting Room got the inspiration for this potion after hearing about how much Pliny the Elder enjoyed his pears. It’s a well-balanced cocktail, with bitterness from amaro pairing perfectly with the spiced pear flavors of the St. George Liqueur. Be sure to stop by the next time you’re in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, say hello to Angie, and try a Pliny’s Elixir for yourself! You will not be disappointed.
 

Pliny’s Elixir

Pliny's Elixir

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Confessions of a Mixologist: 4 Epic Bramble Cocktails

The dog days of summer are upon us. The solution for this sticky summer slog? The bramble cocktail. It’s a concoction that usually includes blackberry and gin, but variations feature raspberry, blueberry and more. And if gin isn’t your style, vodka makes a great substitution, too. With the many twists on this fruity sipper, it was hard to narrow down the list to just our top four. And if you’re up for something different, check out these Bramble Jelly Shots.

 

The Classic Bramble

Bramble

Photo and cocktail recipe courtesy of Liquor Wire. Continue reading

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

Confessions of a Mixologist: 5 Sangria Recipes You Need To Try

Wine + Fruit = Perfection.

 

There really is nothing better than a warm summer night, a chilled cocktail and good company. Next time you’re hosting or want to whip yourself up a refreshing drink, try one of these exciting sangria recipes. Share ‘em with your friends and let us know what you think online. Click here to see more of our favorite cocktails.

 

Tropical Frozen Sangria

Sangria
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Confessions of a Mixologist: Cocktail Ice Cubes

Have you ever thought about dressing up your ice cubes? They are the boringist (it’s a word) part of the cocktail and it’s time to step up your game. Try these ice cube substitutes in mixes ranging from sangria to wine spritzers to mojitos.

 

Minty Ice Cubes

Fruit Ice Cube

via designlovefest.com
 

Simply just slice and dice your fruit, mint or herbs and add them to water in your ice tray. Freeze over night and voila – fun and colorful ice cubes that will add an extra spark of flavor to any cocktail.
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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: Wild Strawberry

This is one for the books. The Wild Strawberry was handcrafted by Caitey, one of the lovely bartenders you should visit at our new Lincoln Park Tasting Room. This cocktail is essentially the adult version of a strawberry limeade. It’s a bright, sour and tart mix that will have you salivating for more. Its main spirit ingredient is cachaca. If you’re not familiar with the sugarcane spirit, we highly recommend you try it. Very similar to rum, cachaca has two varieties, unaged (white) or aged (gold).
 

National Cachaca Day falls on September 13th. If you feel like celebrating, this is the cocktail we recommend you try. Also try the caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail. Recipe after the jump!

 

Wild Strawberry Cocktail

 

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