Kate’s Famous Bloody Marys

Anyone who has been to our house for brunch or spent a Sunday morning with us at an event knows that Kate makes the world’s best Bloody Marys. Trust us.

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Kate's Famous Bloody Marys
 
The following proportions are for one cocktail, but Kate usually makes Bloody Marys by the pitcher, using a 3:1 ratio of tomato juice to vodka and seasoning to taste. For a fabulous variation, try a Bloody Maria by substituting tequila, lime juice, and Tapatío hot sauce for the vodka, lime juice, and Tabasco.
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktail
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 4 ½ oz tomato juice (we’re fond of Campbell’s)
  • Freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
  • Several dashes Tabasco sauce (to taste)
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes celery bitters
  • ½ tsp prepared horseradish (or more to taste)
  • A splash of dry sherry (we use amontillado)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (don’t be stingy with the pepper)
Instructions
  1. Add tomato juice to a shaker or pint glass without ice.
  2. Stir, adding the balance of the ingredients one at a time.
  3. Taste frequently until it’s spicy/salty/acidic enough.
  4. The drink should be well-balanced, but with an assertive presence of lemon and spice.
  5. Add vodka, stir thoroughly, and pour into a tall glass filled with ice.
  6. Garnish with a stalk of celery, a couple of pickled green beans, or a skewer of pimento-stuffed olives and peeled cooked shrimp.

 

Celery Tonic

I promised three drink recipes this week and here is number two. This is another one that features our celery bitters and which can be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic. As crazy as it may sound, we usually make the non-alcoholic version.  If you don’t have a bottle of Two Drunkards Celery Bitters, some good commercial ones have recently become available. I urge you to steer clear of Fee Brothers Celery Bitters, though. They have a very artificial flavor.

Celery Tonic
 
We’ve discovered that there aren’t a lot of things that are more restorative after overindulging, or just refreshing on a hot day, than a tall glass of soda water and ice flavored with several dashes of bitters. We usually don’t add any sweetener, but a little bit of simple syrup really helps bring out the lovely vegetal notes of the celery in this drink.
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 1 cocktail
Ingredients
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 3-4 dashes celery bitter (or more to taste)
  • 6 oz soda water
Instructions
  1. Add simple syrup and bitters to a tall glass and stir.
  2. Add several cubes of ice, fill with soda, stir again and enjoy.
  3. Garnish with a twist of lemon if you’re feeling festive.

I usually enjoy this as a non-alcoholic drink, but there is no reason you couldn’t replace an ounce of the soda water with vodka or London dry gin. In that variant, I would add the alcohol to the glass with the ice and stir before topping off the glass with soda.

The Fourth Regiment Cocktail and an update

A lot has happened since our last blog post, but the most important thing has been the very successful Indiegogo campaign to fund our licensing as a cottage food business. Thanks to our very supportive friends, and a surprising number of supportive strangers, we raised enough money to do some necessary improvements to our kitchen, do repairs to one of our ovens, purchase some new kitchen equipment, and get the Two Drunkards registered as a fictitious business name and licensed as a cottage food business. At this point we are still, I’m embarrassed to say, working on fulfilling the perks promised to our contributors, though I am happy to be on track to putting cocktail bitters and biscotti in the mail to the folks who chose those perks by the end of this week. Then I have a lot of bread to bake.

To celebrate the first shipment to our quarterly bitters club, which includes two ounces each of celery and orange bitters, we’re going to post three cocktail recipes this week. Here is the first one.

The Fourth Regiment Cocktail
 
Our intrepid hero Charles H. Baker, Jr. picked up this variation on the Manhattan from the commander of a British sloop of war in Bombay in 1931, and kindly recorded it in his Gentleman’s Companion. This version varies from the Manhattan by using a 1:1 rat ion of rye to sweet vermouth, instead of the usual 2:1, and adds orange and celery bitters to the standard Angostura. The resulting cocktail is a bit sweeter and rounder than a Manhattan with a nice savory vegetal undertone from the celery bitters.
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 1 cocktail
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ ounces rye (Rittenhouse 100 proof is our favorite)
  • 1 ½ ounces sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica or another old formula vermouth works best here)
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash celery bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir.
  2. Strain into a coupe or Nick and Nora glass.
  3. Garnish with a twist of lime peel.

 

Happy Apple Day

So I juiced some Fuji and Granny Smith apples that we had in the house yesterday and was inspired to work it into a cocktail this evening after the epic homemade orecchiette with butternut squash, chile and hazelnuts that we made for dinner. So, the Happy Apple Day was born.

The house made Bosc pear bitters that I used, which we made from the recipe in Brad Thomas Parsons’ amazing book “Bitters,” gave the cocktail a hit of baked pear, vanilla and spice that really worked with the crazy fresh apple juice.  If you don’t happen to have any pear bitters in your bar, a few dashes of an aromatic bitters, such as Angostura, will also make a great drink. 


1.5 ounces blended Scotch

1 oz freshly squeezed Apple juice

Several dashes of pear or aromatic bitters

Shake in an ice-filled shaker and strain into a cocktail glass. 

Marvel at how delicious it is. 

The Negroni

I fell in love with Campari in my twenties the first time I tasted a Campari and soda. Campari’s bright bitterness and brilliant red color paired perfectly with the sparkling water for a refreshing, visually appealing and relatively low alcohol aperitif. I’ve enjoyed Campari in a lot of different cocktails since then, but it has only been in the last few years that Kate and I have settled on the classic Negroni as our favorite.

IMG_0301The Negroni has gotten a lot of press lately, with Imbibe Magazine promoting an international Negroni week this past June. Not bad for a cocktail that is probably at least a hundred years old. Originally one of the variations of a class of Campari based cocktails called Camparinetes, the folks at Campari renamed this predominate version the Negroni in the 1950s. The cocktail is purportedly named after Count Camillo Negroni, a Florentine nobleman, who was a devotee of the drink in the 1920s.

With equal parts of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, finished with a twist of orange, the Negroni is a serious aperitif that is packed with flavor. The botanicals from each of the component liquors mingle in the glass to create a complex harmony that is sweet at the front, herbaceous and fruity in the middle and bitter on the finish. It is simply fantastic as a pre-dinner cocktail, particularly if dinner is built around red meat or pasta. It actually makes me hungry just writing about it.

You should also try two excellent variations of this basic formula: the Boulevardier, which substitutes bourbon for the gin resulting in a rounder cocktail which should be garnished with a brandied cherry; and the Americano, which leaves out the gin and adds soda water and ice. Built in a tall glass over ice, with a wedge of orange or lemon, the Americano has long been a favorite of mine for refreshment on a hot afternoon. Kate and I often make our own house variation of the Americano, which includes the gin, that we call a Negrano.

If you’d like to play along at home, we’ve shot this video of me mixing a Negroni.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce London Dry Gin (we like Tanqueray for this cocktail)
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • A few dashes of orange bitters
  • Orange twist for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Stir with ice in a mixing glass until frosty and strain into a cocktail glass.
  2. Garnish with a twist of orange peel. The oils from the peel add a lovely orange note to the nose of the cocktail.