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BBaF Podcast Episode 21: Negroni Week with Anne Louise Marquis

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In honor of Negroni Week sweeping the cocktail land next week (June 4-10), I spoke with Anne Louise Marquis, the National Portfolio Brand Ambassador of Campari America.

Negroni Week is a celebration of one of the most perfect cocktail creations – the equal parts drink of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, but most importantly it is an international charity event that raises money for a variety of global causes. It is sponsored by Imbibe Magazine and Campari and has grown into a worldwide event with over 7,000 venues and businesses participating, but it has humble origins, originally starting out as “Negroni Social” with just a couple of bartenders in Portland, Oregon.

Find out all you need to know about Negroni Week and how you too can drink for a good cause by listening to this episode with the very charming Anne Louise! “ – me

For our recipe this week we are sharing one of Anne Louise’s favorite variations, The Right Hand, a cocktail created in 2007 by Michael Mcilroy at Milk & Honey in NYC.

The Right Hand
1.5 oz Aged Rum (Matusalem Gran Reserva)
.75 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica)
.75 oz Campari
2 dashes chocolate bitters (Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters)

Stir over cracked ice until chilled, strain into a cocktail glass. Citrus garnish optional.

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Cinzano Rosso Spritz

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Vermouth is having a moment. That’s what I’ve been saying for the last four years, but I’m reallllly feeling it right now. I mean, in Italy its moment started in 1757 in Turin with Casa Cinzano, and it never really let up! It’s just taken a bit longer for us to catch up in the States…

One of the reasons we’ve been slow to catch on is because we never really knew how to drink vermouth. Besides adding it as a required ingredient to a Manhattan or a Martini – people still didn’t know what its purpose was (bone dry Martini, anyone?) – vermouth was never a vital part of our drinking culture here. The modern cocktail revival then put a major spotlight on the Negroni – which is a third sweet vermouth…and people in the U.S. started to pay attention. But the real tragedy about vermouth that keeps people from using it regularly is that many of us still don’t know how to store it! Instead of collecting dust on your home bar or hidden away on some back shelf somewhere, vermouth MUST BE REFRIGERATED. I will never stop saying this in all caps. Until every one refrigerates their vermouth, that is. Think of it as wine. Because…it is! Well, it starts out as either red or white wine and then is “aromatized” with herbs and spices, and then fortified by adding a neutral spirit which increases its alcohol content and its shelf life. But because all vermouth must be made up of at least 75% wine, it is still prone to oxidization. Keep it cold, people.

Now that we know how to keep vermouth, let’s talk about how to use it…

I love wine and herbaceous things and Italian stuff, so I’m sort of a sucker for Italian vermouth and Cinzano is the OG. I was asked to create a cocktail for their upcoming Respect the Drink campaign, and was given a choice to use one of their Aperitif Classics. I love working with sweet vermouth in a cocktail, so the spicy, botanical forward Rosso was my pick. Dry or sweet vermouth is a wonderful addition to a drink for its depth of flavor. It can also be used as a primary ingredient in a low alcohol cocktail, which is what I’ve created in the Cinzano Rosso Spritz. Have I also mentioned that I love a spritz?!

Cinzano Rosso Spritz
2 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
3-4 oz Sparkling Wine
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
Splash Soda Water
Garnish: Grapefruit Peel

Build drink in an ice-filled glass. Garnish.

Besides loving their vermouth, I’ve always adored the imagery in old Cinzano ads. This photoshoot was actually inspired by some of the graphics in Cinzano advertising over the years.


I also looked to its current logo. So clean, so graphic, so Italiano!

Try picking up a bottle of Cinzano Italian vermouth and play around with what you can make with it. Or just whip up the Cinzano Rosso Spritz. It’s a simple one and…questo cocktail è così buono!


This post was sponsored (and powered!) by Cinzano

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BBaF Podcast Episode 20: WSWA Convention

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It’s our 20th episode of the Bit by a Fox Podcast! And we’ve decided to shake it up a little….

A couple of weeks ago I visited the 75th annual Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Convention at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. It’s the largest gathering of distributors, wholesalers and products in the wine and spirits industry. It’s where you go to see and be seen. If you’re a wholesaler or distributor, you go there to shop for new products. If you’re a new brand, this is where you go to launch, and look for distribution. It’s often a beta test for brands to see how it is reflected in the industry first before bringing it out to consumers. And it’s overwhelming. SO. MUCH. BOOZE. Over 500 exhibitors, two giant exhibit halls and massive suites turned into brand activations. It’s just a sea of products. It’s difficult to stand out amongst so much, but I found my favorites and wanted to share them with you. This is my first podcast out on the road and I had a portable mic to interview folks in their booths and it was so much fun. #FoxInTheField!

Listen to Episode 20: WSWA Convention” – me














Brands featured:
Look out for these exciting new products in the coming year!

Doug French from Scorpion Mezcal and Sierra Norte Oaxaca Whiskey
Gray Whale Gin from Golden State Distillery with owner Marsh Mokhtari
Priqly (prickly pear liqueur) with owner Jeffrey Friedman
Haikara Sake is up next with Sales Manager Petra Stone
Bom Bom (cream liqueur) with owners Kevin and Eva
Tom’s Town Distilling Co. from Kansas City with the owner Steven Revare
Ginja9, (sour cherry liqueur) from Portugal with owner Alexander Dias
Ararat Brandy with Brand Ambassador Christopher Adams
Bedlam Vodka of Graybeard Distillery from North Carolina (last year’s WSWA Brand Battle winners) with distiller Scott Russ

I was on my way to the airport when the Brand Battle – a competition towards the end of the convention where top 7 brands battle it out – was taking place, so unfortunately I missed it, but I was sure to stay glued to social media to get the word once the winners were announced. And Gray Whale Gin took home the first place award. The buzz around the convention seemed to predict this win but I was super happy for them. In honor of their win, I wanted to share a simple cocktail of theirs for our recipe this week. Stay tuned for an upcoming episode devoted just to them.

The Skinny Gray Whale
1 part agave syrup
1 part lemon juice
2 parts Gray Whale Gin

Shake with ice, strain, and garnish with a spray of lime and orange

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“The Busy Bee” – A Yerba Mate Bees Knees Cocktail

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Much of the country is in the throes of that most delicious time of year – late springtime. The days are longer, the light is shifting to a warm, golden amber, and the cusp of summer is visceral. It’s also bee season! This is when the honey bees are werking up a storm out there. Get that nectar, queen! Those worker bees are motivated, yo.

The “Busy Bee” cocktail is inspired by this time of year and one of my favorite simple classics – The Bees Knees. Typically made with just gin, lemon juice and honey, I decided to make a honey syrup infused with Argentinan Yerba Mate for an extra buzzzz. Hehe, YOU KNOW I HAD TO.

As mentioned in my previous posts featuring the Yerba Mate Horchata and the Yerba Mate Cooler, as a resident recipe creator for Argentina Yerba Mate, I’ve found it to be a pretty amazing cocktail ingredient. It has an earthy, tea like quality, and can lend a beautiful depth of flavor to a simple cocktail such as the Bees Knees.

Yerba Mate is a stimulant, with about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee but without the jitters or caffeine crash you might get from java. And I love that it is packed with powerful antioxidants, vitamin C, zinc, potassium and B(eeee) vitamins! lolz, YOU KNOW I HAD TO.

You can find Argentinian Yerba Mate brands in specialty tea stores and in select Whole Foods Markets across the U.S. You can also purchase Argentinian Yerba Mate on Amazon.com.

The Busy Bee (Yerba Mate Bees Knees) – served up
2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Yerba Mate honey syrup*

Garnish: lemon peel

Shake all ingredients over ice until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

* Steep one cup of Argentinian Yerba Mate and strain. Add steeped Yerba Mate liquid to a small saucepan with one cup honey. At medium-high heat, whisk until honey dissolves. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 to a month.


This post was sponsored (and powered!) by Argentinian Yerba Mate

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BBaF Podcast Episode 19: The One-Bottle Cocktail with Maggie Hoffman

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For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast we feature Maggie Hoffman and her recent book  “The One-Bottle Cocktail” a collection of drinks recipes with a seasonal and culinary bent that focuses on using just one type of spirit per drink.


We spoke about what ingredients can replace liqueurs and amaros and modifiers in a cocktail so you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make your favorite drinks.

Listen to Episode 19: The One-Bottle Cocktail with Maggie Hoffman” – me

The featured cocktail this week is a refreshing strawberry-gin drink, created by Shannon Tebay Sidle of New York’s Slowly Shirley and Death & Co.

The secret ingredient is a dollop of unsweetened Greek yogurt, which gives the cocktail a tangy flavor and subtly creamy texture.” – Maggie Hoffman, The One-Bottle Cocktail

Slippery When Wet – Makes 1 drink
1 large or 2 small ripe strawberries, halved
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce undiluted honey
2 ounces gin
1 heaping teaspoon plain Greek yogurt
Garish: freshly ground black pepper and a vertical slice of strawberry

Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and honey in a cocktail shaker and muddle until well broken up. Add gin and Greek yogurt and fill shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice, then double-strain cocktail into it. Grind black pepper on top and garnish with the strawberry slice.


“Reprinted with permission from The One-Bottle Cocktail: More than 80 Recipes with Fresh Ingredients and a Single Spirit by Maggie Hoffman, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.”
Photography copyright: Kelly Puleio © 2018

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BBaF Podcast Episode 18: Cocktail Italiano with Annette Joseph

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This week’s podcast episode is a fun one, especially if you’re a real Italophile, like myself.

I spoke with food stylist, cook book author, hostess and spirit guide to all things la dolce vita in Italy, Annette Joseph.

She recently wrote Cocktail Italiano – a guide to Apertivo hour on the Italian Riviera. We spoke about Aperol Spritzes, the beach culture in Italy and the art of the Italian Apertivo. This episode will undoubtedly make you want to sip a beachside spritz no matter what the hour!

Listen to Episode 18: Cocktail Italiano with Annette Joseph” – me

For this week’s recipe we had to include THE drink of Apertivo Hour – the Aperol Spritz. This recipe, however, is a slight twist on the classic with the addition of a lemon sugar rim and bitter lemon soda or lemonade – as the recipe below demonstrates. This spritz, featured in the book, Cocktail Italiano, is the signature cocktail of the beautifully restored 19th century villa overlooking the Gulf of Alassio, Villa Della Pergola. This drink actually makes an appearance in the Cocktail Italiano book trailer. Check it out!

Villa Della Pergola Aperol Spritz
1/2 cup lemonade (recipe below)
1/2 cup Aperol
Splash prosecco
1/4 orange slice, for garnish
Lemon sugar, for the rim

Fill a shallow saucer with lemon sugar. Rub the rim of a white wine glass with water and dip into the lemon sugar to coat.
 Add 1⁄2 cup ice and the lemonade to the glass, and then add the Aperol, Top off the glass with the Prosecco, garnish with an orange wedge, and serve with a straw.

Lemonade – Serves 8
This is how to make fresh lemonade, but you can also substitute storebought lemonade or lemon soda.
1 1/2 cups lemon juice (4 to 5 lemons)
1 3/4 cups sugar
8 cups of water
Stir together all ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate until needed. If you have leftover lemonade, just cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

The post BBaF Podcast Episode 18: Cocktail Italiano with Annette Joseph appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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BBaF Podcast Episode 17: Woodford Reserve with Elizabeth McCall

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In honor of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, for this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, I spoke with ELIZABETH MCCALL, the newly named ASSISTANT MASTER DISTILLER at the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby” – WOODFORD RESERVE. We spoke about her trajectory from psychology student to sensory scientist and Master Taster, to one of the youngest female distillers in the country.

Listen to Episode 17: Woodford Reserve with Elizabeth McCall” – me

Because you should always have a classic Mint Julep recipe in your arsenal for Derby Day, we are sharing Woodford Reserve’s own simple recipe.

Mint Julep
2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
½ oz Simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
3 Fresh mint leaves
Crushed Ice

Rub the fresh mint inside the glass to express the oils. In the same glass, add simple syrup, bourbon, and half a glass of crushed ice. Stir well. Add more ice and garnish with the rest of the mint.

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BBaF Podcast Episode 16: Applejack with Lisa Laird Dunn

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For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast episode I spoke with the First Lady of Applejack, Lisa Laird Dunn. Lisa is a ninth-generation family member of America’s oldest family-owned distillery, Laird’s Applejack. She is Vice President and World Ambassador to Laird & Company, which has been producing “Jersey Lightning” for 300 years.

Few spirits have the rich legacy that Applejack has. It is a part of the fabric of American drinking history – a favorite of George Washington’s, served in Abe Lincoln’s tavern, and even managed to legally produce spirits through Prohibition. Laird’s Applejack is also a key ingredient in the recent cocktail revival.

This is an episode for fans of brandy, classic cocktail enthusiasts and American history buffs alike!

Listen to Episode 16: Applejack with Lisa Laird Dunn” – me

Our cocktail this week is an Applejack recipe originally created at NoMad in NYC, and then generously shared with us by Adam Fournier, the bar manager at the new-ish NoMad here in Los Angeles. Lisa and I met over this cocktail the night before our podcast interview and we all fell deeply in love with it!

Scotch Dumpling
1 Egg White
3/4 oz black pepper syrup
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 Laphroaig 10 years
1 oz Laird’s Applejack 100 proof

Dry shake all ingredients (without ice). Then shake with ice until well chilled. Then double strain into a coupe glass.

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BBaF Podcast Episode 15: Kala Maxym and Song & Tonic

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For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast episode I spoke with Kala Maxym, A professionally-trained opera singer and the Founder and Chief Event Composer of Five Senses Tastings, an LA-based event experience that pairs live music with a wine.

Kala and I have recently joined forces to create a similar events company around cocktails and music called Song & Tonic.

Listen to Episode 15: Kala Maxym & Song & Tonic” – me

We discussed her musical beginnings, what drew her to the wine world, and how we eventually came together to form Song & Tonic.

We also discussed an upcoming Song & Tonic event we have planned for May 6th at Feastly LA here in Venice, California. We have partnered with chef Luis Pechan of Hundred Miles LA and The Spirit Guild, a boutique distillery making gins and vodkas from distilling local clementines.


This event is a love letter to La La Land! Inspired by Chef Louis’s dedication to using hyper local ingredients, Song & Tonic will tell the story of Los Angeles by pairing and deconstructing three LA inspired songs with three artisan cocktails featuring LA-based distillery, The Spirit Guild. Each cocktail ingredient will be paired with an instrument, harmony, or melody from the featured song. As we mix, shake & stir, musicians play melodies and sounds that emulate the ingredients and explore their relation to the full song. And THEN we’ll sit down to a 10-course family style dinner prepared by Chef Louis.

For more information and to purchase tix, head HERE. Use this Foxy Friend discount code to get $25 off: SONGANDTONIC25

For this week’s recipe we decided to share one from our upcoming event, the La La Lemon Drop featuring The Spirit Guild’s Vapid Vodka.

La La Lemon Drop
2 oz Vodka (preferably The Spirit Guild’s Vapid Vodka)
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon of lemon curd
2 fresh basil leaves (preferably wild black sage which is indigenous to California)

Add the vodka, lemon juice and lemon curd to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into an icy cold coupe glass, and garnish with fresh basil leaves.


Photography by Leslie Rodriguez  on behalf of Feastly.SaveSave

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BBaF Podcast Episode 14: Lost Spirits Distillery

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For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast episode I spoke with Bryan Davis, founder of  Lost Spirits Distillery here in Los Angeles. Recently named one of the best distillery tours in the world, I had to go down the rabbit hole myself…

This phantasmagoric distillery is like no other – part theme park and mad science lab…with booze, this is where computer technology, molecular mixology and amusement park fantasy converge. Lost Spirits is making award-winning rums and whiskeys using cutting edge distilling techniques and helping to disrupt the industry along the way. Come along for the ride!

Listen to Episode 14: Lost Spirits Distillery” – me

Bryan’s recommended cocktail was a Painkiller made with Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum 61.

Navy Strength Painkiller 
2 oz Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum 61
4 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz cream of coconut
Garnish: grated nutmeg and pineapple wedge

Add all of the ingredients into a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled. strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish wth nutmeg and pineapple wedge.

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