Fancy Sugar Cubes

• 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!

Advertisements

Homemade Coffee Liqueur: Vanilla, Cinnamon, or Chocolate?

Liqueurs_Cin.Choc.Van_262x325

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?

Old Fashioned_Rege_James Oliver_433x325

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?

I 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!

Homemade Coffee Creamer (Amaretto Version!)

Amaretto Coffee Creamer:

  • 3.5 Cups- Water
  • 1.0 Cup- Granulated Sugar
  • 0.5 Cup- Brown Sugar
  • 2 TBL- Almond Extract
  • 2 tsp- Vanilla Extract
  • Milk or Heavy Cream

  1. Combine Water, Sugar, and Brown Sugar in a pot on the stove and heat until all sugar has dissolved, and a hot syrup results
  2. Let syrup cool
  3. Add and mix Almond and Vanilla Extracts
  4. Brew your favorite mug of coffee and add Amaretto Syrup and Milk/Cream to taste!

Like many Americans willing to be honest about it, my girlfriend and I sometimes love a good dram of flavored coffee creamer in our coffee. However, we at the same time dislike spending the seemingly $937 that one must shell out to stock our house with a single week's worth of delicious flavored coffee creamers.

Thus, a quick check of the internet revealed that it can be exceptionally easy AND economical to make flavored coffee enhancements at home! Above is the recipe for Amaretto Coffee Creamer that I have tweaked and developed. Stay tuned for the Irish Coffee Creamer version next week!

Highway Robbery: Up, or on the Rocks?

The Rob Roy is the black sheep of the illustrious martini family. It is simply a Manhattan made with scotch, instead of bourbon. However, unlike the Manhattan, it’s namesake can be traced back to a a single and specific entity. This drink is named after an 18th century Scottish outlaw.

Born into a family of bandits in 1671 Robert “Roy” MacGregor grew up cattle rustling. As he grew older he adopted the moniker “Roy” because it means “red” in Gaelic, and by all accounts he was a big ol’ ginger. In addition to overseeing several roving bands of cattle thieves, MacGregor operated a protection racket that would charge nearby farms 5% of their annual rent to guarantee that their cattle would not be stolen.

When a business deal with the Duke Montrose went sour, MacGregor absconded with some of the duke’s assets, and then proceeded to sneakily raid Montrose’s property over the next eight years. Eventually he settled down, and even received a full pardon from the king.

In honor of this scotch cocktail in honor of this Scottish highwayman, here are another pair scotch recipes.

Rusty Nail:

  • 1.0 oz. blended Scotch
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash absinthe
  • 1 dash pomegranate grenadine
  1. Stir all ingredients pour straight up into a coupe glass

 

Hair of the Wolf:

  • 1.5 oz. Scotch
  • 0.5 oz. Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 6.0 oz. stout
  1. Shake Scotch, Kahlua, and Grand Marnier and pour into empty rocks glass.
  2. Top with stout

Strawberry Vodka à la Spoon!

Step 1: Infuse Vodka with sliced Strawberries!

  • Slice up enough strawberries to fill your container HALF WAY.
    • Whether you use a 106 oz. jar like I did below, or an 8 oz. mason jar fill it half way with SLICED Strawberries, and then TOP with Vodka
  • Let sit 5 days, flip it over daily, and then strain out the strawberries

Infusion_Strawberry Vodka_How To_SC_338x162

 

Step 2: Add Gelatin

  • In order to avoid cooking out the alcohol add your STRAINED Strawberry Vodka to a cold pot, THEN turn heat to medium.
  • Add 1/3 of the recommended amount of Unflavored Gelatin, and stir constantly
  • As soon as small bubbles begin to form at the bottom of the pot TURN OFF heat, and continue to stir until gelatin disappears.

Step 3: Set the Vodka Gel

  • Portion Strawberry Vodka with Unflavored Gelatin into bucket glasses
  • Allow to set until firm in fridge with 3 oz. shot glasses placed into center of each bucket glass
  • When Gel is firm, remove 3 oz. shot glasses to reveal a void through the center of the Strawberry Vodka Gel
    • Pouring hot water into the 3. oz shot glasses can help loosen them and make for a more clean removal!

Dessert_Whipped Cream Vodka_04_SC_206x275

 

Step 4: Add Whipped Cream Through Center and Over Top to Taste!

  • I whipped Heavy Whipping Cream with Vanilla Extract and Crême de Menthe, then piped it all the way down and over top with a Pastry Bag, but your preferred delivery system (including spray can if you’ve already waited long enough!) will do nicely.

Enjoy!

Dessert_Whipped Cream Vodka_06