50th Post!! 7 Cocktails I Want to Try

7 Cocktails I Want to Try
In the following list you will see cocktails inside an ice egg, cocktails with foam, carbonated cocktails, cocktails that use unique syrups and even one with smoked ice. I’ve never had any of them but I hope I get the chance to try them all.

7. Vessel 75

This drink is a creation from one of my favorite bartenders, Jamie Boudreau, whose blog and now video series I continue to look to for innovation and inspiration. It was a tough choice in deciding between this and the Mexican Cloud. In the end they both managed to make it onto the list. This is a beautiful take on an old fashioned with the foam adding a wonderful demention to the drink without seeming overwhelming.

6. Eve’s Answer
This cocktail is the creation of Charles Joly of the Drawing Room in Chicago. It is a complex blend of reposed tequila, raisin syrup, cider, cinnamon and a rinse of mezcal. The raisin syrup really drew me in. This is something that I would never have thought of but I feel that the flavors would work well together. It sounds like the perfect drink to usher in the cooler days of fall.

5. Otro Clavo
This is a mix of gin, Aperol, St. Germain, pineapple juice, and almond tincture that is carbonated and bottled. It looks tropical and refreshing with just enough fizz to keep it dancing on your tongue. This cocktail can be found at Botanica in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

4. Don Draper
The Don Draper was created by Adam Brewer for the 2011 Australian World Class Bartender of the Year competition. It is a mix of Ron Zacapa Centernario 23 year, Coffee Infused Sweet Vermouth, Apricot Brandy, and Sun Dried Pineapple Syrup. They are flavors that I would not have put together and while I made pineapple syrups many times I’ve never came across a sun dried pineapple syrup.

3. Smoke Signals
Scotch and Mezcal are often used to add smoke to cocktails. Then there are the new wave of smoked cocktails in which the entire cocktail is added to a smoke filled container before being poured into the glass the cocktail is served in. However this cocktail goes in a completely different direction by smoking the water that is used to make the ice with hickory chips. The cocktail consists of Tennessee whiskey, sherry, pecan syrup, lemon juice, and bitters shaken and poured over a large smoked ice cube. I can just imagine the drink getting smokier as the ice slowly dilutes into the drink. This drink was created by Daniel Shoemaker of the Teardrop Lounge.

2. Old Fashioned In the Rocks

This cocktail was created at the Aviary in Chicago. The drink is simply an old fashioned but it makes it’s way onto the list for its inventive presentation. A cocktail that is incased in ice; how can you go wrong?

1. Mexican Cloud

Another original by Jamie Boudreau of Canon. I can only imagine how the tartness of the pomegranate juice intermingles with the richness of the agave and the silkiness of St. Germain foam. I couldn’t decide between the 2 so I put both of them on the list.

Question of the Day: What is a cocktail that you really want to try or think that I need to try and where can it be found?

The Mix Lab’s Guide to: Strawberry Shrub

After coming across shrubs I had immediately placed it on the back burner. Vinegar did not jump out at me as something that I wished to add to my homemade ingredient repertoire. It was one of those ingredients which I thought I would never attempt myself, that is until…

I came across this wonderful version of a strawberry shrub on the Imbibe website. The recipe sounded exceptionally good with the addition of port, cloves, and aged sherry vinegar. The only difference between the one found here and on the Imbibe site is that my shrub is cold processed.

How to Make Strawberry Shrub


Slice 20 fresh strawberries, place them in a glass bowl and mix in 2 cloves and 3/4 cup cane sugar.

Cover and refrigerate for 36 hours.

Strain off the strawberry solids and any excess sugar that may be remaining in the bowl. Add 6 oz aged sherry vinegar (Columela Solera 30) and whisk together making sure all the sugar is incorporated. Add .75 oz Ruby Port, 1 oz of Vodka, bottle and store in refrigerator.

I would have never thought that the combination of fruit and vinegar would be so pleasant and delicious. The sweet fruit and tangy acid envelops your mouth; It awakens your senses. This recipe can be used as the basis for experimenting with other fruit shrubs. Try it with mangoes, raspberries, pineapples, pluots, or your favorite fruit. Stay tuned for the Strawberry Shrub Swizzle with Rum and Ginger Beer.

The Mix Lab’s Guide To: Rhubarb Syrup


Rhubard is a perennial vegetable. It has a unique tart and tangy taste that is often used in sauces and pies. It was initially grown for medicinal purposes in Asia some 2,000 years ago and is still used extensively in chinese medicine. It wasn’t until the 18th century that it was used for culinary purposes in the US.
Interestingly enough, within the US, rhubarb is considered a fruit. This is because, in 1947, a New York court ruled that since its use was primarily as a fruit, it would be counted as a fruit for regulations and taxes.

Rhubard Syrup
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch slices
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir in the sugar until all the sugar is combined. Once the sugar is combined, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rhubarb begins falling apart and turning mushy, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, strain the rhubarb solids off and discard them. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, add about .5 oz of vodka and keep refrigerated.


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The Mix Lab’s Guide To: “Complex” Simple Syrup

I have decided to add an on going series to my blog, entitled “The Mix Lab’s Guide”. In this section I will guide you through the process of creating various homemade ingredients. This will include syrups, infused liquors, and anything else that can be used to enhance a cocktail with quality ingredients. I hope you can use this to increase your cocktail making experience.

Simple syrup is, like it’s name rather simple to make and is an essential ingredient in a vast majority of cocktails. Furthermore it is the base for the majority of flavored syrups and shrubs.

Simple Syrup
1Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of Water
Heat water and stir to combine the sugar. Once the sugar is fully incorporated turn the heat off and allow to cool before bottling. Add about a .5oz of vodka to help preserve the syrup and keep refrigerated.

As you can see in the above recipe I use a 1:1 ratio when making my simple syrup. Sometimes you will see some people use a 2:1 ratio for their simple syrup. I believe that in order to keep it “simple” the ratio should remain at 1:1 unless specifically called for. All the recipes found on my blog use a 1:1 ratio; unless I mention rich simple syrup, in which case that will be a 2:1 ratio.

Often when making simple syrup I simply use white sugar because it imparts the least amount of additional flavor to a cocktail and thus only imparts sweetness without additional flavor. Sometimes I like to sub out the white sugar for richer sugars such as Turbinado, Demerara, or Muscovado Sugar, thus creating “Complex” Simple Syrup.

Turbinado sugar is a relatively unprocessed cane sugar, unrefined and crystalized through evaporation. The crystals tend to be large and tan with hints of caramel.
Demerara sugar is very similar to Turbinado sugar in both color and texture yet has a stronger molasses note with hints of toffee.

Muscovado sugar is an unrefined sugar in which the molasses is not removed during production. Its color is a rich dark brown and has a texture of wet sand, much stickier/wetter than other brown sugars. It has the strongest molasses flavor out of the above 3.


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