The Heart Throb with Liber & Co. Texas Grapefruit Shrub

The Heart ThrobAny great cocktail starts with a solid foundation. Some days (or months) call for a bourbon or whiskey drink to gently settle you into winter.  Some weeks only gin-based cocktails sustain. But as the recent snow puddles away and the sunshine begins peaking through, a sweetly tart cocktail that pulses with Lillet Rose is the only thing that will do.

A good heart throb will sweep you off your feet with adoring glances and a come-hither attitude. And so will this cocktail. With a heady mix of luxurious bubbles, luscious ripe berry notes, and a citrusy kick, this is one Heart Throb that’s certain to make the heart a-flutter.

Light and bright and slightly sweet, The Heart Throb is perfect before or after supper, and will endure well into the night. Lillet Rose lends a fruity aroma and playfully rosy hue. The Liber & Co. Grapefruit Shrub adds a hint of citrus fruit, a splash of acidity from the coconut vinegar, and a hit of allspice. A splash bubbles at the finish rounds out this delicately composed cocktail.  As you sip away the night with your sweet, feel your heart begin to take root in your body.

 

The Heart Throb

 

1 1/2 oz Lillet Rose

1 1/2 oz Liber & Co. Texas Grapefruit Shrub

Splash of Champagne, 5oz or so (I like Andre Clouet)

 

Pour equal parts Lillet Rose and Liber & Co. Texas Grapefruit Syrup into a fluted champagne glass. Top off with your favorite champagne, then serve. Your heart throb will thank you.

 

When springtime rolls around, add a splash of Liber & Co. Texas Grapefruit Shrub to your Gin & Tonic for a citrusy twist on the classic. Or liven up the basic Margarita. With such a well-balanced citrus shrub, the possibilities are truly endless.

 

Other small-batch cocktail syrups, tonics, bitters, and shrubs can be found at The Meadow’s online shop.

The Surly Shirley with Wild Ginger & Grenadine

The Surly Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple was a sweet, ringlet haired starlet, a childhood legend in the film and music industry. Raised by a banker father and homemaking mother, she rose to fame through 30s and 40s cinema classics like “Curly Top” and signature songs like “On The Good Ship Lollipop.” She became a household name across the country, and even had a drink named after her.

Odds are that if sweet Shirley had an alter ego, she might be a bit pin-straight haired, a little sassy and a lot surly. A true contrast to the bouncy, sparkling, and energetic Shirley we all know and love. And if in that alternate universe that Shirley were to have her own signature cocktail, this Surly Shirley Temple may just be it.

Cappelletti, a wine-based aperitif, provides a flirty edge, with fruity notes signing full force. Wild Ginger Mixer Elixir zings it up, while Jack Rudy Cocktail Small Batch Co. Grenadine dances sweetly across the palate. A Luxardo Maraschino Cherry (or two) adds a bit of velvety luxury. Just the way a surly Shirley would have liked it.

 

The Surly Shirley

4 oz Soda Water

2 oz Cappelletti Vino Aperitivo

1 oz Wild Ginger Mixer Elixir

1/2 oz of Jack Rudy Cocktail Small Batch Co. Grenadine

Luxardo Maraschino Cherry (or two), for garnish

 

Pour the soda water, Cappelletti, and Wild Ginger Mixer Elixir into a Collin’s glass with ice cubes. Dash in some grenadine and stir, then garnish with a cherry and serve.

 

Other syrups, tonics, bitters, and shrubs can be found at The Meadow’s online shop.

Basement Bitters “Bitter Frost” Aromatic Bitters

Classic, quintessential bitters like Angostura or Peychauds are elemental to drinks like the Manhattan or the Sazerac. Just a few dashes unites flavors and brings depth and complexity to your cocktail without overwhelming it.  In the past decade, artisan bitters makers have reinvigorated the market and created their own unique flavors, expanding the horizon of what we once thought possible in a bitters. The focus is often on individual flavor profiles, with bitters like cardamom, wormwood, Thai spice, bacon, and ginger.

Basement Bitters is riding the wave of this craft cocktail movement with their Bitter Frost Aromatic Bitters. An original creation from the bottling crew at Tuthilltown Spirits, this elixir is a distinctive blend of unaged rye spirit, Sarsaparilla, and fourteen other herbs and spices, balanced with local maple syrup and aged in rye whiskey cured barrels. The result is a distinctively aromatic bitters that is crisp yet warm. Each cork-top bottle is filtered and bottled in the basement under the Tuthilltown tasting room (hence the name “Basement Bitters”). Using ingredients sourced less than 10 miles away makes these bitters a throwback to the era of prohibition.

Try Bitter Frost in any drink that calls for whiskey, bourbon or rye. I especially love a few dashes of these bitters in my Manhattan when there’s frost on the trees or verglas on the kitchen window. Throw some wood and a match in the fire, chill a glass. Spin some Cat Stevens on the Marantz 4000. Pour some rye whiskey (I like 1776) and Vya Sweet Vermouth into a mixing glass with a few ice cubes, then dash in some Bitter Frost. Strain into a chilled glass, retreat from the dispiriting iciness outside and into the warm cavern of your imagination.

Basement Bitters “Bitter Frost” Aromatic Btiters are exceptional in that they lend a warm, woodsy essence and maplely finesse to cocktails in a way that simply can’t be achieved with Angostura or Peychauds.  These bitters will truly change the way you think about and use aromatic bitters in your cocktails.

 

More from Tuthilltown:

Before Prohibition more than 1,000 farm distillers produced alcohol from New York grains and fruits.  Tuthilltown Spirits brings the tradition of small batch distillation back to the Hudson Valley, distilling whiskeys, which were the first legally distilled and aged grain spirits produced in New York since Prohibition. The handmade spirits, which start at the farm distillery as raw grain and fruit, are made without added flavor or color and are not chill or carbon filtered. The farm distillery also produces rum, eau de vie, brandy, absinthe, and infusions.

 

You can find Basement Bitters “Bitter Frost” Aromatic Bitters for sale at The Meadow’s online shop.

Bittered Sling Vintage Extracts Gift Pack

Cocktail bitters gifts sets…  What to say?  I’ve never been the biggest fan of gift sets.  The idea of a pre-conceived summary of a certain set of products packaged up and offered to me along with the rest of the world is slightly insulting.  At least, that’s what I thought I thought.  Smart gift sets, at their best, can offer not only the convenience and value of a pre-packaged gift, in their best instances they offer the producer an opportunity to share their internal logic.  A good gift made by an artisan or similar small company set has something of the DNA of the producer in it.  At the very least, you get a story.  Ideally, you get what the producer believes is a complete tool kit. Such is the case with the Bittered Sling Gift Pack.

Bittered Sling has just introduced a Sample Pack featuring six 25 mL bottles of their signature extracts: Orange & Juniper, Grapefruit & Hops, Lem-Marrakech, Plum & Rootbeer, Moondog and Denman.  They tell a story, I think, of the cosmopolitan soul of the cocktail movement, and of the history of cocktails.

  • Orange & Juniper bitters is floral, bitter, sour and bright. This is a fresh addition to foods and beverages.
  • Grapefruit & Hops bitters is bitter and herbaceious.  Use it as you would citrus in food and drinks.
  • Lem-Marrakech bitters takes you to the spice markets of Morroco.  This extract offers spice and complexity.
  • Plum & Rootbeer bitters is spicy, rich, everlasting and velvety.  It adds depth and spice to robust food & drink.
  • Moondog bitters is smokey, earthy, rich and complex and works best as a bridge between ingredients.
  • Denman bitters is spicy and complex, inspired by Vancouver’s Denman Street, and adds depth to food & drink.

Handcrafted in small batches using regional ingredients in the cocktail hub of Vancouver, Bittered Sling Extracts celebrate the natural expression of quality products using a traditional method of preservation for the palate, plate and potion.

For recipe ideas using each of these bitters, visit The Meadow’s online store, or find them on the inside flap of the gift box (see, another good thing about gift packaging!) here>>  Yes it’s the perfect holiday gift for the cocktail maker in you, or in your life.  It’s also a powerful bartending mixology kit that reveals the nuance and adventure of the the adventure of the modern cocktail.

Bitter End Thai Bitters – A New Kind of Spicy “Citrus” Bitters

Products like Regan’s Orange #6, Angostura Orange, or Fee Brother’s Orange exemplify the qualities of traditional citrus bitters. But over the last few years, there’s been a host of new citrus bitters on the marketplace, showing the true variety and potential that can be reached when artisans challenge and redefine what citrus bitters means.

Bitter End’s Thai Bitters may not have the word “orange” or “citrus” in its name, but it was created as an alternative to the citrus classics. Bitter End makes bitters rooted in different real-world spice traditions that have one component in common – chile peppers. Habanero, chipotle, and cayenne pepper define Bitter End.

A Different Kind of Citrus

Bitter End creator Bill York explains the Thai Bitter’s creation: “I had an idea for Curry down the road when I was developing the Thai so I really wanted to focus on the “Tom Yum” flavors that I love so much — the Kaffir lime, the lemongrass, the galangal. I thought the smoke from galangal would make a great twist and would keep with our sensibilities. I didn’t want to create just another citrus bitters.”

He recommends using Thai Bitters with lighter spirits like gin and vodka. But, he cautions, these bitters aren’t just a straight substitution for citrus bitters. “If you consider using them, you’re straying from traditional recipes. There are some really great products out there if you want to make a recipe out of Embury’s ‘The Art of Mixing Drinks.’ If you use our flavorings, you won’t get an accurate representation of those time-tested recipes. If you do use the Thai Bitters as a replacement for classic flavorings, you’re going to get something new.”

For the home bartender, Bill recommends trying Thai bitters in a Negroni.

Read our profile of Bitter End Bitters.

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