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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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

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.

Confessions of a Mixologist: Negroni

If you’re not familiar with this classic cocktail, it is widely known as an aperitif but most certainly can be enjoyed as a cocktail at any time. The drink’s origins are pretty much unknown but what we do know is how it got its name. A Count by the name of Camillo Negroni asked his bartender at a small cafe in Italy in the early 1900s to make a few alterations to the already existing drink, such as gin in place of soda water and an orange garnish instead of lemon. Shortly after the drink grew in popularity, the Negroni family opened their own distillery and started creating a ready-made version of this classic cocktail.
 
According to imbibe and Campari, the official Negroni Week is June 2nd to the 8th, but we won’t tell anyone if you decide to drink a few of these any other day of the year. Recipe after the jump!
 

Negroni

 
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