"Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five year mission: to seek out new life, and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before."
Fun fact, I love Star Trek. I love that it's based in hope, that it demands optimism in the face of adversity, that the writers (mostly) demanded that viewers get over their shitty attitudes about race, religion, gender and class. I love too the way that it has influenced generations of scientists, actors, explorers, and pop culture makers.
And while in terms of captains I will always be a Next Generation girl (Picard forever!), I also have a deep love for the fierce and unapologetic women that have been part of the show. This is my homage to the woman who held the coms in the original series and who refused to take any shit from anyone. She would not be won like a prize, or be talked down to. She owned her talents as both a linguist and a singer and inspired a generation to believe they could be something other than a maid. Dax, Troi, Kira, Dr Crusher, Torres, Janeway and the rest all have their start in this calm, beautiful, unashamed woman.
I am so pleased to be able to raise my glass in honor of Nyota Uhura.
2 ounce Copperworks Gin
1 ounce Blood Orange Shrub
1 ounce heavy cream
.5 ounce lemon juice
1 dash orange bitters
1 egg white
Combine everything in a shaker without ice. Shake for 2 minutes. Yes, really. The longer you shake this before adding ice, the creamier the finished results.
Add ice. Shake another 20-30 seconds, until the tin becomes very cold. Strain into a chilled glass, fresh ice is optional but is nice in warmer weather. Top with about an ounce of seltzer or club soda.
This drinks like a milkshake for adults. It's creamy, with a rich foam on top, an assertive orange and juniper flavor and slightly sweet finish.
I have been totally obsessed with egg white cocktails of late. There's something about that creamy frothy texture that I just love. I knew I wanted to make a cocktail that was a riff on the much loved Clover Club, but with a lighter more spring time sensibility. I also just bought the most darling coup glasses at the Northwest Flower and Garden show which I knew would be fun to use.
The glasses have a band of etched laurel leaves surrounding slightly geometric cabbage roses, and are delightfully art deco. I wish I could get a better picture of the etching work, as it's really quite pretty. But you'll just have to settle for pictures of delicious cocktails.
For spring, rhubarb is one of my go to flavors. I've featured it in our Queen Bee and it's been featured on a few local menus in seasons past. Right now my go to mix is our Simply Rhubarb shrub, gin and a touch of rose water. For our Pink Diamond Theory cocktail, featured on the side of the bottle, we blend these three ingredients with Cava for a bubbly sip that has a lovely sharpness to it. But I wanted this to be softer, more delicate, and oh so slightly fussy.
And it is all the things I wanted it to be. Floral and lightly sweet with a tang of rhubarb and lots of herbal notes in a creamy sip. It reminded me of a favorite Steven Universe character, Pearl, who is a bit fussy and precise, but worth the effort to get to know.
1.5 ounce Aviation Gin
1 ounce Simply Rhubarb shrub
.5 ounce Dry Vermouth
.5 tsp rose water
1 egg white*
Put all ingredients in a shaker without ice and shake for at least 30 seconds. A full minute is better. This fully incorporates the egg white and is necessary for a thick, creamy foam. Add ice and shake for another 15-20 seconds to chill and dilute the drink. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
*Can substitute with 1 ounce Aqua Faba for a vegan/egg free version
Chocofest was, as it always is, totally madcap and wonderful. Pike Brewing is such a staple of the city, with so much history, that there's always a sense of roots to the space. This year we were just pleased as can be to partner with Copperworks Distilling, our wonderful waterfront friends, on a cocktail for this party. Since it was just before Valentine's Day I wanted to create something with a touch of romance, that you could sip while looking into your beloved's eyes (even if your beloved is your cat). And since we had just released our Blood Orange shrub, this seemed like a great place to start.
We've paired the Blood Orange with gin on other occasions, in our Dame Judi Dench cocktail last Spring and liberally in our g+t, so I knew the combination was a winner. Honey, with it's seductive aroma and reputation as an aphrodisiac, seemed like a great direction. And we all know honey + gin + citrus is my favorite Bees Knees cocktail. So that was an easy call to make, with the added bonus that it is a great cocktail to make in large batches.
But why the name? Well, in searching for name inspirations I often start with pagan mythologies, especially those outside Greek and Roman tradition. I found that Kamadeva is the Hindu god of desire and love (especially sexual desire) and his bow is made of a sugar cane strung with bees. He seemed like the perfect patron for this cocktail, with it's charming light red color and sweet kiss of honey.
The sip is sweet to start, with big orange and herbal notes following. Then a touch of molasses and honey gives way to a grapefruit like finish. It's very refreshing and the addition of the seltzer keeps it light and effervescent, like new love.
1.5 ounce Copperworks Gin
1 ounce Blood Orange shrub
.5 ounce Rich Honey Syrup
2 ounce Seltzer
To make rich honey syrup, warm 2 parts honey in 1 part water until the honey is dissolved. This makes it easier to incorporate into the cocktail (or a glass of iced tea). For this syrup I used a robust wildflower honey that could stand up to the assertive flavors in the shrub and gin. Cool the syrup fully before using and store in a sealed container. This keeps until just about forever.
Put all ingredients, except seltzer, into a shaker with ice. Shake well, about 15 seconds, until the shaker is frosted on the outside and everything is well combined. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with seltzer. This cocktail is great both straight up or over ice. But either way, you should garnish it with a strip of blood orange zest and a smoldering, come hither look.
One of the nerdy rights of passage is coming back from a convention and immediately coming down with a nasty case of Con Crud. It's a blend of the flu, the common cold, and ohmygodican'tgetoffthecouch that happens when you pack a mess of people all into one place for a weekend and then go full speed, don't sleep, and live off caffeine and booze. Which is why I'm continuing the trend of late to my own cocktail party.
But holy cow it was a great round this/last month. Anime, comics, My Little Pony, birdwatching and D&D all made appearances. But I think most creative adaptation of the theme has to go to Craig E for his pangram inspired duo. If you're like me and you didn't know what a pangram was, it's a sentence that uses every letter in the alphabet. One of the most famous pangrams is "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Here we have two cocktails who's instructions are also pangrams. I love word play!
I also really love that, even though Craig wasn't the most happy with the way this turned out that we still get to see it. I'm really into seeing the thought process that goes into the craft of cocktail making so this hit several nerd themes for me.
Craig also gave us this lovely spirit forward number that I'm very keen to try out. I love me some mole bitters so this is going on my to shop for list. I'm sadly out of Mezcal. Better if you don't ask...
Our next submission was from Meticulous Mixing, and I have to admit when I first saw the title I thought we were going to get some kind of Burning Man inspired libation. And I was really keen to see where that was going. But this is better. Because it's on fire! It's inspired by a manga/anime serial/song that sounds delightfully bizarre in the way only anime can really do. Add item one bazzillion to my Must Watch list...
Also did I mention this is a shot. And it's on fire!
Our esteemed host Fred at Cocktail V̶i̶r̶g̶i̶n̶ Slut literally gave us the sun. But in cocktail format. I love the fact that he combined his nerdy love of vintage cocktails and cocktail history with his nerdy love of astronomy. Way to embrace the theme! Also this looks delicious and I super want one. It's a punch with citrus and rum and rose liqueur in it. Who wouldn't want one?
The Booze Nerds got into the theme by pulling out their favorite fantasy inspirations and gave us two beverages that I'm seriously thinking need to be had at my next D&D gaming night. The D20, named for the ubiquitous polyhedral die gamer nerds know and love/hate, sounds like the sort of Autumnal imbibeable I'm forever dreaming of. Honey Cider and Brandy? Yes please.
We also got this coy seeming number of American whiskey, Amaretto and Pomegranate juice. This seems like the perfect sort of thing for a rogueish Lady or maybe a not-so-good Cleric to sip while she counts her latest haul of treasure.
Over at Garnish, we got a glimpse into the really-not-all-that-different-from-Pokemon-Go world of bird watching. Collect them all and get super excited when you find a rare one or one that is totally outside of its usual habitat. With the bonus of being able to celebrate with this delicious sounding cocktail. Rye and Apple brandy sound like a combination I will be drinking loads of this Fall. And being in Washington there's likely a good local Applejack or Apple Brandy.
OOOH, research project!
Southern Ash got us into some classic nerd places with his ode to Cyclopes and the X-Men. In the greater scheme of things, I agree that Scott gets glossed over in favor of the bad boy (Logan) but he was clearly the better choice for Jean's affection. I'm really excited to see him celebrated in this Negroni inspired number. I totally ship this Gin/Campari/Dry Curacao triangle.
Speaking of Logan... Mr. Muddle gave us maybe my favorite garnish for his ode to Wolverine. I mean, he made a claw out of blueberries and lemon peel. I die.
I also really want to drink this Fernet and whiskey concoction. Probably while smoking a cigar and having a super bad attitude.
By Grabthar's Hammer I want this cocktail. I have no idea what Nitrogen Cavitation is but I love that probable chemistry was involved in making this nerdy cocktail. I also love Gin bitters, and as I need to make more I might just steal Doc Elliott's recipe. For the next time I need to make a virgin G&T.
In the meantime I think I need to rewatch Galaxy Quest for the eleventybillionth time. Because Sigourney Weaver.
Totally not last to the party (that was me) but bringing in a fandom I'm not super familiar with, is WJM Beverage with this My Little Pony inspired apple tiki tipple. With a hand painted mug no less! Seriously this is cosplay on a whole other level. Also rum and apples might be a thing I need to experiment with more because this sounds really good.
And then there was me. Inspired by Steamposium, and Steam Punk in general, I got to play with one of my favorite wholesale partner's gin and a good friend's tea. The Airship Captain was a really fun cocktail for me to develop and even funner for me to stage the picture of. How cool is that vintage flight hat?
Huge giant thanks to everyone who participated, and to Fred especially for keeping us all involved. Also for putting up with me being late on everything. I hope this inspired you to look in new and interesting places for your cocktail inspiration and that you all had fun learning about each other.
So, of course I'm late to my own party...
To be fair I've been getting ready to vend at a SteamPunk Convention here in Seattle, which is sort of in the vein of the prompt. It's also the inspiration for my contribution.
Steampunk, for those of you not in the know, is an aesthetic/literary movement based on the steam powered/industrial revolution era with an emphasis on Victorian England. It combines science fiction, alt-history, costuming and tea. It's delightfully fun, and you get to play dress-up! And while yes there are loads of men in frock coats and women in corsets standing around and making delightful eye candy, there is also a very strong maker community that creates props, art, sculpture, modifies electronic devices, and more!
As a litterary movement, there are loads of fun adventure/horror/mystery stories to explore. Anything by Jules Vern or H. G. Wells, the original era writers. Comics like Girl Genius, Hark a Vagrant, Lady Mechanika and others. Modern books like The Parasol Protectorate series, The Difference Engine, Infernal Devices, and Boneshaker are great places to start.
The thing I love best about Steampunk is it's blending of what was with what could have been, and what never was. Often advanced science is powered by steam creating monstrous mechanical marvels, while genteel people take tea and discuss the latest Penny Dreadful. Alternative histories where dashing airship captains swashbuckle for the glory of Queen and Country brush up against horror novels where Jack the Ripper stalks and the undead roam.
So, how am I going to make all THAT into a cocktail? Well I wanted to start with gin, of course. A solid London Dry style gin from Copperworks Distilling seemed like the perfect choice. Their name is even a bit reminiscent of the Steampunk genre. I also knew I wanted to incorporate tea into my cocktail. I've been having tons of fun with tea in cocktails lately, and it so happens that I have an amazingly talented friend who blends and sells the most delightful geeky teas. If you're a tea fan, I can't say enough good things about Friday Afternoon Tea.
Our Apricot Rosemary shrub seemed like the perfect choice for this tea and gin concoction, both because of its color and because I've used it in both gin and tea based cocktails before. I mixed the three components together and felt like it needed a little something more. So into the bitters drawer, and first thing my eye sees are Teapot Bitters which I've been looking for an excuse to play with. They add a spicy note to this cocktail that speaks of danger and dark places well brought up young ladies shouldn't go (but do anyway because it's fun).
Overall the sip on this is herbaceous and the tea gives me earthy notes of leather. I think making this with a touch of smoked tea next time would deepen that. The sweetness is present but not overpowering and there's just a little bit of alcohol bite from the gin.
1.5 oz over brewed black tea
1.5 oz Copperworks Gin
.75 oz Apricot Rosemary shrub
4 dashes Teapot Bitters
Combine everything in a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a steely gaze and a captain's hat.
The thing that unites everyone who participates in MxMo is our love of of cocktails. We love the history, the alchemy, the artistry, and of course the drinking. Loads of us go to conventions, collect memorabilia, read books about all manner of boozy subjects, and tour distilleries like they're sacred places. One might say, we're nerds.
I say, what else are you nerdy for?
For the purposes of this challenge I'm going to define a nerdy pursuit as: anything from or related to science, science fiction, fantasy, video games, role playing games/characters, or comics. Come up with a cocktail that celebrates or is inspired by a nerdy thing you love. A cosmo variation for Neil deGrasse Tyson? The perfect sip for Sarah and her Goblin King to share? A beer based cocktail for that barbarian you played in your college D&D game? Star Trek? Anything you are enthusiastic about. And since the best part of being nerdy is sharing that enthusiasm with others, tell us about the thing you're drawing your inspiration from.
I can't wait to see what else we have in common.
Here's how to play:
If you've met me at an event, you've probably heard me call myself a nerd. I mean, my company name is a Monty Python joke reference, so I think it should be pretty clear but sometimes maybe it's not...
So let me go on record then as saying, I'm a nerd. I play D&D with my friends (3.5 thankyouverymuch), rock out with my hubby to video games, and still cry when Artex dies in The Never Ending Story. Which meant that when Pokemon Go launched a few weeks ago I was totally excited to put that app on my phone.
I have had a blast wandering around catching monsters and sharing knowing looks with strangers as we both stand on the sidewalk flicking our fingers across our phone screens. There's even a hot spot near my house where 3 Pokestops are clustered that has become a nearly perpetual Pokemon party. Seriously, some guy was out there a week ago with a portable speaker and about 50-60 people were jamin', talking and playing Pokemon.
I'm a huge people person so I love this!
But... right about the same time, this Buzzfeed style list of Pokemon cocktails started showing up on my Facebook. It's been around a while, and it's a cute way for adults to enjoy applying their nerdy things to another thing they enjoy. Having said that, these shots and cocktails are more about appearance and getting the right colors to layer than they are about enjoyable cocktails. They all look like syrupy sweet concoctions guaranteed to leave you feeling like a Beedrill has taken up residence in your head. No thank you.
I firmly beleive that everyone deserves delicious cocktails, so here is the first of our Pokemon Go team cocktails: Team Mystic. Since blue is a very difficult color to get naturally, and I didn't want to put a bunch of over sweetened things in this cocktail, I went with our brand new Blueberry Lemon shrub. It's a rich blue violet, which IMO is more mystical anyway... A quick word on the rum. I used the Mt Gay Black Barrel rum for this because it tastes somewhere between rum and whiskey. Any full bodied aged rum should work here, just try not to pick one that's very sweet.
.75 oz Blueberry Lemon shrub
1.5 oz aged rum
.5 fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 oz Ginger Beer
In a shaker with ice, combine everything except the ginger beer. Shake well, 15-20 seconds, and strain into a chilled tumbler of at least 8 oz capacity. Top with fresh ice and ginger beer. Sip mystically while catching all the Pokemon.
In the Pokemon Go playing universe Team Mystic and Team Valor are rivals of the first order. They have competing ideas about what Pokemon are and how to best make use of them. And it's really fun to have someone to lightly banter with.
Despite the fact that Team Valor is awful (jk... but seriously Mystic 4ever) I think they deserve a delicious cocktail to sip while they battle for gyms and catch all the Pidgeys. And of course it has to be red, like the blood of their enemies! Or like their red shirts, which would be a terrible thing to wear if there was ever any Star Trek/Pokemon crossover. Which there isn't to my knowledge but now that I've said something there probably is.
I also wanted to capture the fiery spirit of the Valor folks I know, as well as their team mascot. Which gave me the perfect excuse to pick up a bottle of Ancho Reyes liqueur, which is a smokey/spicy blend of ancho chilis and cane spirits. A little of this goes a long way if you're sensitive to spicy things, so use sparingly (or throw caution to the wind and drink it straight because it's delicious but has some heat). It's a natural pairing with tequila and that seemed to keep with the fiery theme of this cocktail, but I didn't want to add anymore smoke, so a tasty agave forward blanco seemed like a perfect choice. But Team Valor was not to be denied their smokey deliciousness, and the reposado was a better match. Cocktail evolution, like Pokemon evolution, can sometimes be wild and fun!
Now for the red part... Our Raspberry Lime shrub is super red and super delicious with tequila. Plus it has all this sassy snap from the limes we use in it. So we have smokey, spicy, lime and tequila which was already most of the way to a margarita variation. It was just missing a touch of orange, which we added via bitters to keep the cocktail from getting too sweet. This is the perfect thing to drink while mourning all your gyms turning blue... I mean to celebrate all the gyms being red. Good job Team Valor!
.75 oz Raspberry Lime shrub
1.5 oz Reposado tequila
.5 oz Ancho Reyes liqueur
.5 oz fresh lime juice
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Put a bit of tequila on your finger and run it around half the lip of your glass. Dip the moistened end into flakey sea salt. Skip if you don't care for a salted rim on your margarita. Put everything in a shaker with ice. Shake well, 15-20 seconds, and pour into prepared glass. Add more ice if needed and toast your fellow Pokemon trainers!
July here in Seattle has been unexpectedly gloomy and rainy and then sunny and warm, and then gloomy again. I feel like I might get weather related whiplash. Which may sound like a silly complaint from someone who moved to Seattle for the weather, but I've grown to love our brief Summers full of 80 degree days and I want more of them. In succession.
There are an abundance of Summer outdoor festivals, movies in the park and every deck is packed with people enjoying the long days and mild nights. Typically with a beverage in hand. These long evenings, and our partnership with the amazing folks at Letterpress Distilling, helped inspire this cocktail. We got to have them as our neighbors at Proof this year, which was beyond fun. Seriously if you haven't been to see them, do it. They make an excellent craft vodka and one of my two favorite Limoncellos on the market.
It is from this Limoncello that we get our lemons actually. From the beginning I have always wanted to celebrate the produce that comes from Washington State. We have berries galore, stone fruit to die for, pears that are some of the best ever, apples that are one of our best known fruits and so many more things I'd never heard of until I moved here. What we don't have, much to the sadness of my California heart, is citrus. Sure, I use it sparingly in things like our Raspberry Lime shrub, but making a flavor that was focused on a citrus fruit just went against one of the main ideals of my company: Highlight local fruit, grown in state by small to medium sized growers.
And then Skip and his team posted to Facebook about wanting to find someone with a use for a bunch of blood oranges and lemons that they used for making their products. Which is how we ended up with our (sadly now sold out) Blood Orange and Lemon Lavender shrubs. So when I was planning for Proof 2016, I knew it would be super fun to make a cocktail with them to showcase the partnership we'd built. And it was super fun.
It also gave me an opportunity to work with the seriously awesome folks at Addition Cocktail Spice. They make uncomplicated things to add to your cocktails that give a finishing touch, like the best stocked spice rack. But for booze. When I'm formulating a cocktail I want three or so flavor things going on in each sip. Since La Tenerreza was a vodka based cocktail, I knew we'd need something other than the spirit to give those three distinct notes. So I added a few drops of tarragon and just fell in love.
La Tenerezza (Tenderness)
1.5 oz Letterpress Distilling vodka
.75 oz Lemon Lavender shrub
6-8 drops Tarragon cocktail spice
Chilled cava or brut champagne
In a shaker with ice, combine the vodka, shrub and cocktail spice. Shake well, 15-20 second, until the outside of the shaker is well frosted. Strain into a chilled champagne flute or coupe glass and top with the chilled bubbly.
This week we had the opportunity to attend and showcase our shrubs at the amazing Women in Beer party/fundraiser hosted by local favorites Pike Brewing. They always put on a super fun event full of talented folks making delicious food and drink and this time was no exception. Craft beer from all over the state was flowing freely, foods flavored with or meant to accompany beer were being relished, and several local craft spirits (what happens when you distil beer) were giving out tastings. My favorite bite was a self made beer float with Balleywood Creamery's chocolate malt ice cream and an espresso stout from a brewery I didn't get the name of (but if you did please leave it in the comments because I seriously need more of that in my life).
In honor of the event, and because I know outdoor grilling party season is here, we made a punch. Now, most of you have probably seen these sorts of 'beer punch' recipes where you dump a 750 mL of cheap vodka in with a 12 pack of Bud and a bunch of lemonade. That sort of beverage has its place, I suppose, but around here we like things a little more flavor full and a lot more refined. I mean, just check out the vintage glass dispenser we brought. So classy.
Classic punch form is based on linearly progressive ratios of 5 ingredients. Which is to say 1 part sour, 2 parts sweet, 3 parts strong and 4 parts weak plus spice to taste. Given these ratios you can see that classic punches, which predate the cocktail by around 100 years, could be quite high in alcohol content. Not that that's a bad thing, but it doesn't lend itself as well to the style of 'sip all day at the bbq' type of punch I prefer. While I use all the same flavors of a classic punch, I like to tweak the ratios and let some of the ingredients play double duty.
2 parts shrub: this is both sour and sweet
1 part spirit: this is the strong part
4 parts beer: this is the weak part and also add some spice/bitter
4 parts seltzer: also weak
1 or 2 pieces of fruit or herbs: citrus add sour and both add spice/bitter
One final note on making punch. It's something that's best started a few hours before you plan to serve it. While it's no longer necessary to condition the spirits, it does enhance the flavor greatly if you blend the shrub and spirit together with the fruit/herbs ahead of time to let all the alcohol soluble flavors get into the mix. 2-3 hours is ideal, but you can get away with just 1 if you're pressed for time.
With the above ratios you can experiment with all kinds of flavor profiles. Changing the spirit and the beer will give you very different results. For example here are two options with our Blood Orange shrub. Blood Orange shrub with a nutty brown ale, rye and a lemon would be rich and delicious. Blood Orange shrub with gin, a blond ale and rosemary would also be delicious, but a bit little lighter and much more herbaceous.
For the Women in Beer event, this is what we did.
Queen Mab in Her Cups
makes around 1.5 gallons punch
32 ounces Apricot Cardamom shrub
16 ounces Ide Hour Whiskey from Seattle Distilling, or your favorite sweet whiskey
64 ounces Naughty Nellie beer from Pike Brewing, or your prefered blond ale
2 liters of Seltzer
1 lemon organic if available, or well scrubbed
1 orange organic if available, or well scrubbed
Cut the lemon and orange into quarters, and then each quarter into 3 or 4 pieces. Put in a large jar of at least 1/2 gallon capacity. Add to this the whiskey and shrub. Shake well to combine everything and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour at minimum, and up to 4.
When you're ready to serve, get out your punch bowl or drinks dispenser. If you have time before hand, make frozen water balloons so you have extra big pieces of ice. Just peel off the latex and give the ice a rinse before you add it to the punch. DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU OR YOUR GUESTS HAVE LATEX ALLERGIES. You can also use a silicone ring or square mold that will fit into your punch bowl. I like having the big ice because it melts much slower, so the punch stays cold longer and doesn't get watery.
Add the punch base (shrub/spirit/fruit mixture) to the chosen vessel. Add the beer and seltzer and stir gently to combine. Add the ice, as gently as possible since the punch vessel will be very full and you want to keep as much of the carbonation as possible. Drink deep and enjoy your outdoor event. Also, this is still around 7-10% abv so make sure you don't forget to drink water, and don't drive under its delicious influence.