My friends over at Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur — one of my favorite little independent distillers, and not just because I’m obsessed with all things ginger — asked me to help get the word out about their INTENSE Gingerita cocktail competition. I was like, “Duh. Yes! But could you pretty please send me [yet another] bottle?” I mean, I go through this stuff like it’s water and to be honest, we were running low at The Boozy Bungalow, and I was getting antsy.
Anyway, they’re looking for creative recipes using Barrow’s and an agave spirit, and the contest runs through May 21. If you like booze swag and Instagram glory, you should head on over to their Instagram account to learn how to enter.
Since it would be totally unfair for me to win, I toned down the creativity on my own entry (you’re welcome), but my Triple Threat Gingerita it still really fucking good, and pretty damn easy. So even if you don’t enter, you should give this a try.
TRIPLE THREAT GINGERITA
1.5 ounces Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur
1.5 ounces tequila
1.5 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 dashes Angostura orange bitters
Pinch sea salt
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker or wide-mouth mason jar with a handful of ice. Shake the shit out of it and strain into a ridiculously gorgeous vintage margarita glass. Garnish with a slice of lime or candied ginger. Enjoy.
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This Saturday happens to be Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day. And really, what’s more festive than an excuse for Americans to get wasted on margaritas and a celebration of animal cruelty happening on the same damn day? Nothing, I say! But it’s totally not classy to have a julep in one hand and a margarita in the other — and I’m all about being fucking classy here, people — so I sort of just combined the two. I mean, not tequila and bourbon in the same drink (what kind of monster do you think I am?), just the essence of the two.
It was a happy little accident, really. Last week, when I made a small batch of jalapeño-basil syrup for my spicy marg, I also made a huge fucking batch of plain old jalapeño syrup, thinking I’d use it for an event. Then I put it in the freezer and forgot about it for a week. Oops. It was a nice surprise to find it in there, but even nicer to find it hadn’t totally exploded (just a little leakage). Since I needed simple syrup for a julep anyway, I decided to go with it, and then I figured if I was adding that, a little lime wouldn’t hurt, either. And that’s how this beautiful little Mexituckan fusion cocktail baby was born. If I didn’t call it a julep or a margarita, you wouldn’t even think twice about it. But I want you to think, like, 17 times about it, so here you fucking go.
For the syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 fresh jalapeños
For the drink:
A shitton of fresh mint leaves, plus a fuckton for garnish
2 ounces jalapeño syrup
2 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice (approx. the juice of two limes)
2-3 slices fresh jalapeño, optional
2 ounces bourbon
To make the jalapeño syrup: Combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Once it reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat and add 4 (more if you want it really spicy) fresh jalapeños (sliced however, with seeds). Cover, and let it steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discard the solid shit, then set the syrup aside (or refrigerate it) to cool. This will make about 1 cup and the extra will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to two weeks (and honestly, it will probably keep longer but I’m covering my ass here, okay?).
To make the drink: Muddle a light handful (or about 12-ish) fresh mint leaves with the jalapeño syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker or wide-mouth mason jar with a wooden spoon. I like to add a few slices of fresh jalapeño here for extra kick, but I’m a total freak and it’s absolutely not necessary. Add the bourbon along with a handful of ice, cover, and shake the shit out of it. Double strain (or just strain if you don’t mind mint and possibly jalapeño seeds) into a julep cup (or just a regular fucking cup) filled to the brim with crushed ice. Add a ridiculous amount of fresh mint leaves for garnish and enjoy!
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I barely got it done on time, but here’s your free printable May 2018 calendar! I’m keeping it simple this month with black and white dandelion seeds — BECAUSE LIFE IS FUCKING BANANAS RIGHT NOW. And I like dandelions; I have a tattoo of one on my arm. Anyway, whoever told me it was a good idea to renovate my kitchen over the course of a couple of weekends while also holding down 17 jobs and having a toddler is a real asshole. (Oh, wait, IT ME. I’m the asshole — the asshole who is turning 36 in eight days!).
As usual, the this pretty little calendar is free, and as you probably know by now, the only catch is that you need to “buy” the file from my store before you can download and print it. And you have to deal with a printer — so ha ha, joke’s on you! You don’t have to pay any money or give any credit card info or anything like that. Nope, you just have to plug your information into some little boxes. But I promise I won’t sell your email address, or stalk you (unless you’re super cool and I want to be you), and if you create an account it makes it really easy to download it next time — as well as go back and re-download your previous purchases. Some people plug fake information into those boxes, and while it is slightly annoying, as long as you follow me on Instagram in return, I don’t really give a fuck. But if you do plug in email@example.com, you won’t get the email with your download links or my newsletter (you know — when I finally get my shit together enough to do it in, like, three years). So there.
And, really, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram. Honor system. Don’t be a dick.
Guys, I’ve really been slacking in the cocktail department lately. I have, like, 75 jobs right now and I thought it would be a good idea to also remodel my kitchen and do most of the work myself. Oh, and to get myself a related assignment with DIY Network to cover some costs so I’d also be on a super tight deadline. You may very well be asking, “What the fuck is wrong with you?” And believe, me, I’m asking the same damn thing.
Anyway, it was warm for about a day and a half in the Midwest this week, and I got in inspired to make a spicy basil margarita. The spice comes thanks to a jalapeño basil syrup, and is totally something you can adjust depending on your tolerance for heat. You could also infuse the tequila with jalapeño — which honestly might have been a better way to do this. But do you think I actually plan any of this shit ahead of time?
Since I’m all about layering flavors (and apparently making things complicated), in addition to the basil and jalapeño in the syrup, I like to add fresh versions to the shaker when mixing the drink, too. You get subtle variations on flavors if you’re extracting with heat versus shaking the shit out of something with ice. So now you have to do all the things. But really this is all pretty easy. Except after adding the fresh jalapeño slices to the shaker, you should double strain the cocktail — use a regular strainer and a mesh strainer — unless you want seeds in your drink (which honestly is not really a horrible thing, especially if you like heat).
SPICY BASIL MARGARITA
2 ounces tequila
3 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 ounce basil-jalapeño syrup (see below)
½ fresh-squeezed orange juice
Sea salt (and some grapefruit) for garnish
Extra basil leaves and jalapeño slices
Lime wedge for garnish
Club soda, optional
Moisten the rim of an old fashioned or stemless wine glass with a lime wedge, then gently roll the rim of the glass on a plate of sea salt and set aside. Add the tequila, lime juice, basil-jalapeño syrup, and orange juice to a cocktail shaker or wide-mouth mason jar with a handful of ice, a few basil leaves and a few slices of jalapeño (with seeds), then shake the shit out of it and double strain it into the salt-rimmed glass. Add a handful of ice or a large ice cube, garnish and enjoy! Oh, and I sometimes like to give it just a tiny splash of club soda for some effervescence, but it’s totally unnecessary.
To make the basil-jalapeño syrup: Combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Once it reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat and add 4 (more if you want it really spicy) fresh jalapeños (sliced however, with seeds) and about a cup of loosely-packed basil leaves. Cover, and let it steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discard the green shit, then set the syrup aside (or refrigerate it) to cool. This will make about 1 cup and the extra will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to two weeks (and honestly, it will probably keep longer but I’m covering my ass here, okay?).
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Get your hot glue guns ready (kidding, I’ll bring at least three) for my next craft event in Kansas City. Paper Crafts + Boozy Drafts (the hoppy, malty version of Crafts + Cocktails) is coming back to Boulevard Brewing Company‘s Tours & Rec Center on Thursday, April 26. And if you couldn’t tell from my fucking amazing Bob Ross diorama (and, well, the headline), this time we’re making my favorite elementary school craft EV-AR: DIORAMAS!!! As always, I’ll mix up a boozy beer cocktail you can enjoy while creating a miniature world inside an up-cycled Boulevard beer box!
Now, obviously, your diorama doesn’t have to be as intricate and thought out as mine. But I still want to talk about mine for a minute. Humor me, please.
First, YES. I painted that tiny little canvas. And, no, I am not a painter and I definitely don’t consider myself artist. I can’t even draw a straight line. I honestly have no idea how it turned out so well, but I’m going to give credit where credit is probably due: All those hours I spent watching Bob Ross paint his happy trees on PBS.
Second, can you believe I free-hand sewed those tiny fucking clothes? I don’t sew but I make shit work. The top is the sides of a Spider-Man Pull-up, and the jeans are from one of those little iron-on patches you get in a pack in the household section at Target. Of course, the first pair of “jeans” I made were too skinny and wouldn’t even go on (story of my own damn life) but still. Are you impressed yet? BECAUSE YOU FUCKING SHOULD BE. I mean, I want you to be impressed, but I also don’t want my diorama skillz to intimidate you, because this shit took me days, and we’ll just have two hours on the 26th. But they’re going to be two fun-filled, booze-induced hours you do not want to miss.
Third, his hair is the inside of my dog’s bed. Mic drop.
ARE YOU EXCITED YET? BECAUSE I AM! Like I mentioned, Boulevard will supply the boxes, and I’ve already loaded up on craft supplies and figurines, but feel free to bring your own creepy dolls, dog bed hair, pull ups, etc.
Seriously, you guys. I cannot fucking wait for this night of magical miniature making. ARE YOU WITH ME?!
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