What’s New at Medley Drink Designs HQ?

Mystery SyrupThere are some exciting developments coming down the pipes that concern not only this webpage, but anyone potentially interested in trying out some of the recipes developed and debuted here, as well!

Featured in this photo is a special new simple syrup currently under development in the Medley Drink Designs Lab. So far it stands up wonderfully to bourbon, vodka, coffee, hot tea and actually everything into which our scientists have thrown it.

Very soon, curious drinkers just may be able to get their hands on a sample of this mysterious ingredient!

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Plum Wine Sangria

Plum Wine Sangria_sc_244x325Plum Wine Sangria:

  • 1.5 litres Gekkeikan Plum Wine
  • 6.0 ounces Raspberries (halved)
  • 2.5 ounces Lychee (peeled & sliced)
  • 1 naval Orange (cut into quarter slices)
  • 2 Star Anise pods
  • Dry Sake
  • Club Soda
  1. Combine Plum Wine and prepared fruit in a large serving pitcher
  2. Let sit 24 hours
  3. Cut level of sweetness with a dry Sake to taste
  4. Scoop fruit into serving glasses, fill with ice, pour 3/4 full with sangria, top with soda water.

I Still Need a Still…

img_6564Yesterday I saw this little gem in the 50% off cart at the bookstore. The opening chapter makes it seem like distilling one’s own spirits is a breeze!

While I most certainly am looking forward to creating liquor from scratch, that day lies waiting somewhere in the future. Coming up early next week, however, is a overview on the result of my first attempt at making 11 different varieties of Cocktail Blueberries!

The closing chapter of this book has a wide array of cocktail recipes that I believe would translate quite nicely into drinks made with whiskey, rum, and vodka infusions for anyone looking to jazz up their next holiday party!

Fancy Sugar Cubes

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• 1/4 Cup- Sugar

• 1/2 tsp- Water

  1. Mix sugar and water until it reaches an even consistency.
  2. Press mixture into molds (I picked up these 1/2 cube trays in the candle-making section at the craft store) and let sit at room temperature overnight.

Now for a tasty twist on this classic try using fruit juice or muddling fresh fruit and/or herbs into the sugar for flavored sugar cubes.

Here I muddled fresh Mint Leaves into Pomegranate Juice. Stay tuned for a Pomegranate-Mint Rum Old Fashioned!

Homemade Coffee Liqueur: Vanilla, Cinnamon, or Chocolate?

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Medley Drink Designs Coffee Liqueur:

  • 1/3 Cup- Coffee Crystals
  • 2 Cup- Sugar
  • 3 1/3 Cup- Vodka
  • 1 Cup- Water
  • 1 Vanilla bean/Cinnamon Stick/TBS Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  1. Mix Coffee Crystals, Sugar, Vodka, and Water until everything has dissolved.
  2. Pour into seal-able container, and add flagrant of your choice (Vanilla bean/Cinnamon Stick/Cocoa Powder).
  3. Let sit for 2 weeks, then pour through a fine mesh strainer.

By my calculations the end result of this process will be a roughly 20% ABV flavored coffee liqueur that is thoroughly enjoyable IN coffee, on the rocks, and mixed into cocktails (ever wondered what a Cinnamon White Russian tastes like?).


On a recent whiskey-bound trip through the liquor isle of the supermarket I paused and took note of how many variants of Coffee Liqueur there are these days. When I turned 21 and sought to fill out my home bar I seem to recall only having that trusty bottle of Kahlúa available.

I also didn’t have such a robust internet available, so DIY recipes for coffee liqueurs were not readily accessible. Above is the result of the research and development that I have personally executed on crafting homemade coffee liqueurs. The original recipe I found called for a Vanilla Bean-infused & sweetened Coffee + Vodka solution.

I am here to tell you that not only is it delicious, but the Cinnamon & Cocoa variants I tried out make for superb White Russians, as well!

Happy Brunch, folks!

Old Fashioneds: What’s Right & What’s Wrong?

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Medley Drink Designs official Old Fashioned recipe:

  1. Add 1 tsp. of sugar into an empty bucket glass.
  2. Pour just enough Bitters to saturate the sugar + 1 more drop. If you tilt the glass back and forth at this point there should be 1 drop flowing freely around the bottom of the glass.
  3. Add a splash of water and muddle 1 Maraschino Cherry, then squeeze by hand 4 drops from an orange slice then drop said orange slice into the glass (if you LOVE pulp go ahead and muddle the orange slice with the cherry).
  4. Pour 3.0 ounces of RYE WHISKEY! Old Fashioneds are standardly “doubles” so they call for twice the 1.5 oz standard pour.
  5. Add Ice, then toss back and forth once, and enjoy!

Google “Old Fashioned Recipe” and you will find almost as many different instructions as there are people who drink them. In case you have ever wondered what the TRUE recipe for this timeless cocktail is: the answer is that there really is very little consensus, and any attempts to discuss the topic ends in heated arguments and un-friending.

So after many years of delicious research I have concluded that the above recipe is the best way to make an Old Fashioned. Please share any stories of heated arguments and unfriending to which this recipe leads!

Homemade Coffee Liqueur: Vanilla, Cinnamon, or Chocolate?

img_6141I know where the whiskey is, and sometimes after work my feet take me directly to its spot on the shelf, make an about face, and bee-line it for the checkout lane. Last visit, however, my feet were in a meandering mood and stopped me in front of the Coffee Liqueur section. It was at this point I discovered the abundance of coffee-flavored liqueurs—which was followed immediately by an upwelling of curiosity as to what undiscovered means of enriching your basic Kahlúa.

Luckily the internet abounds with recipes to replicate this classic, and my first step is to find one that can stand up to the original. My second step should be to modify that recipe with other exciting flavors that would pair well with Coffee. But since these recipes take 2-3 weeks (it’s an infusion of Vanilla & Coffee Crystals into a Simple Syrup & Vodka solution) and I don’t care to abide patience where I can help it I’m attempting Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Cocoa separately and simultaneously.

In mid-September they’ll be ready to sample, and as soon as I have a suitable recipe worked out I’ll make it available here, and begin working on more flavors!