They say April showers bring May flowers. And if you spend your rainy April Thursdays attending our cocktail demonstrations, you may see your mixology skills bloom just in time for summer. Every Thursday in April from 6-8pm, the Brooklyn wine store will have a different spirit expert on hand to teach you how to make cocktails at home. So come sip ‘n’ study. The events are FREE.
April 1 – Titos Vodka & McClure’s Bloody Mary Mix – Try a vodka made in Texas, taste the new bloody mary mix from famed pickle maker McClure’s (available at Provisions) and put some drawl in your Cosmopawlitan
April 8 – Sombra Mezcal – This smoky spirit takes your tastebuds a step up from tequila. Try it straight and learn how to make your margarita a Margarita 2.0.
April 15 – Ransom ‘Old Tom’ Gin – What better day to learn how to make an Income Tax Cocktail? Gin is crucial for summer slings, fizzes, rickeys and sours. Old Tom is sweeter than the London dry style and drier than the Holland style which is why it is known as the ‘missing link’ of gins.
April 22 – Canton Ginger Liqueur – Honestly we’ve never had a cocktail that couldn’t be made better with a bit of Canton added. For May’s Sakura Festival, you can serve it in ginger cherry blossom cocktails but it also spices up classic mojitos or margaritas.
April 29 – Pitu Cachaca – Muddle through mixing caipirinhas with a classic cachaca.
Tonight, Saturday October 30 from 5-7pm, meet Brad Estabrooke from Breuckelen Distilling and try his Breuckelen gin, made right here in Brooklyn! We’ll also be pouring samples of a Halloween-appropriate cocktail, the delicious Corpse Reviver #2.
Corpse Reviver #2
3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz Triple sec
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 drop absinthe (or Pastis)
Shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
We learned the importance of specifying your brand of liquor when we merely texted “rye” on a grocery list recently. Though we enjoyed our ham sandwich very much, it was not a perfect substitute for the after-work cocktail we craved.
In the case of our ryes, though, it is best to have some flexibility about brand. At any given time, either of our ryes around $20 can be out of stock. For example, right now we’re out of the Rittenhouse and there’s no more in NY warehouses (for the moment). And the article in this morning’s New York Times praising both of our ryes as value spirits isn’t going to help matters much.
Thankfully we currently have the Old Overholt in stock as a back-up. Slightly drier to the Rittenhouse’s more sweet, raisiny flavor, the Overholt is only 80 proof and the Rittenhouse is 100 proof. Both have the hallmark spiciness of rye and lack the wood and peat notes you’ll get in some scotch.
Both of our ryes make great drinks – Manhattans and Brooklyn Cocktails are the obvious but they also make a mean Whiskey Sour. Rye is also the secret ingredient in our favorite banana bread recipe. A great way to have your rye and eat it, too.
Learn a new cocktail trick at the wine stores this weekend. We’ll be pouring tastes of Crystal Head vodka (the one that comes in a SKULL) and demonstrating how to make a Halloween-themed cocktail. The event is FREE and will take place in the Manhattan wine store on Friday, October 30 from 5-8pm and in the Brooklyn wine store on Saturday, October 31 from 5-8pm.
At Provisions, we’ve got tempting treats that will prevent you from raiding the kids’ candy stock. We just got a delivery of Liddabit sweets – local handmade chocolates including amazing salt caramels and gourmet candy bars like the King Bar made with soft peanut butter nougat sandwiched between a brown sugar-brown butter cookie and a layer of fresh banana ganache, and dipped in milk chocolate. Fresh out of the oven, we’ve also got pumpkin ginger sandwiches (don’t call them “whoopie pies!”) – creamy white chocolate filling delicately spiked with white pepper sandwiched between two spiced pumpkin ginger cookies and dusted with sparkling sugar from local artisanal, inventive bakers Whimsy & Spice.
Starting tonight, the coffee bar will be adding hot cider to their drink lineup and to celebrate, we’ll be pouring free samples from 5-7pm. As with all our products made in-house, we use the same quality ingredients you find in our cases and on our shelves. The cider comes from Red Jacket Orchards in Seneca, NY and is 100% juice from New York apples.
The start of cider season also has us looking forward to breaking out the recipe for a Chimayo cocktail, one of the most unusually delicious cocktails we’ve tried and a perfect segue into fall.
1/4 oz lemon juice
1 1/4 oz premium tequila (we used Cabrito)
1 1/2 oz unfiltered apple cider
1/4 oz Creme de Cassis
apple wedges, thinly sliced (optional for garnish)
Add tequila, creme de cassis, cider and lemon juice to a shaker. Blend well and pour over ice into glass. Garnish with an apple wedge.
It’s Halloween. Normally staid women dress provocatively and kids raised on watered-down juice eat twice their weight in candy. Which is why every year we briefly stray from our mission of providing you with affordable, handcrafted wines and offer you something new, odd, strange, and worthy of bringing to a Halloween party. We call it our “spooky spirit” – an eerie convergence of marketing savvy and the spirit world.
The race for Spooky Spirit 2009 was over before it began. Dan Aykroyd of Ghostbusters fame has just released a vodka quadruple-distilled then triple-filtered over herkimer diamonds and packaged in a handblown glass replica of a HUMAN SKULL. Inspired by the legend of the crystal skulls, alleged ancient Mayan artifacts that give the possessor supernatural powers, this year’s selection may give you everlasting life and the ability to see into the future. Last year’s Spooky Spirit merely came in a bottle that glowed green when you poured it. And if the packaging and provenance didn’t seal the deal, this marketing video, which refers to Crystal Head as “the most challenging of the legal recreational consumables” did.
We’ll be pouring tastes of Crystal Head vodka straight and in cocktails in the Manhattan store on Friday, October 30 from 5-8pm and in the Brooklyn store on Saturday, October 31 from 5-8pm. Join us!
Tonight from 5-7pm in the Brooklyn wine store, join us for a spirit tasting of 4 New York state-made spirits all made on a working farm upstate. With the success of Core, a vodka made from apples grown on the same land as the distillery, Golden Harvest farms has branched out to other ap-peeling spirits. With fruit from 2 other farms (Fix Brother’s Farm & Eger Brother’s Orchard), they recently perfected a pear brandy similar to a european eau de vie de poire or “Poire William” and will be bringing samples of their fuji apple brandy and a new applejack distilled in Kentucky at the famous Woodford distillery that’s not even available for sale yet.
Tonight in Brooklyn, join us for 2 fabulous tasting events. Our October apple spirit tasting series continues from 5-7pm tonight at the wine store at 765 Fulton where we’ll be pouring samples of Calvados, a french apple brandy, from Lecompte. Then stop by Provisions at 753 Fulton from 6-8pm for a special beer tasting from He’Brew and Coney Island. We’ll pour Coney Island Albino Python, Coney Island Freaktoberfest, He’Brew Origin Pomegranate, He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. and He’Brew Rejewvenator 2009.
Though it’s hard to pick a favorite out of the beers to be poured we’re particularly looking forward to the Coney Island Albino Python. A white beer, it absolutely erupts with flavors of ginger and coriander.
Would a cocktail by any other name still taste as sweet? What if the inventor of the Jack Rose cocktail enjoyed by those who attended the first of our October apple spirit tastings on Friday night used his real name, Frank May, instead of his nom de bar, Jack Rose? Would this perfect combination of apple brandy, tart citrus and sweet grenadine still have been as popular? Would it still have been the drink Mrs. William Astor chose to begin her soirees in her Manhattan brownstone?
Since the recipe we used Friday differed from the one we posted before and because our applejack has changed from the one blended with neutral spirits to the full-on 20 lbs. of apples for every 750ml bottle version, we thought we’d repost a Jack Rose cocktail recipe. This with a reminder that mixing cocktails counts as cooking. You have to taste, taste, taste and adjust according to what ingredients are available to you and your palate (we think the recipe below can use up to 2 1/2 oz. of apple brandy).
Jack Rose Cocktail
1 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy (bottled in bond)
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. grenadine
Place ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into cocktail glass.