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stir and strain

Stir and strain

While the glass (preferably a Martini Glass) is cooling with ice and water, fill the Boston or Mixing Glass with ice, then agitate it with the aid of a bar spoon to freeze the internal side of the container: after a few seconds throw away the water produced by the melted ice, holding it into the container using a strainer.Then pour the ingredients of the cocktail in the Boston/Mixing Glass, mix gently with a bar spoon to avoid other ice melting, and filter through the strainer into the frozen Martini Glass.

Cocktails that can be prepared with this method:

Stir and strain While the glass (preferably a Martini Glass) is cooling with ice and water, fill the Boston or Mixing Glass with ice, then agitate it with the aid of a bar spoon to freeze the

Stir & Strain

Coming back online // you can’t wear a mask and drink at the same time

Trying to drink a cocktail with a mask on was not something I planned on dealing with this year. Both of my kids starting school full time, renovating our house, fitting into a bridesmaids dress, these were what I thought would be my most challenging issues when 2020 started. And yet, here we are.

I will not break down how this year has been challenging; I’m late to that game and frankly rehashing all of it will not be therapeutic for me or for you dear readers. And it’s been done. Over and over a million times now, and it’s not even over yet.

So where will this site go from here? Well, for a start, I never planned on taking such a long break. I think the longest break I took from writing on here was about three months years ago. Next year will mark 10 whole years of Stir and Strain and that feels monumental, and maybe what brought me back here to say hello.

I’m going to take some time to shuffle through some posts and put together some resource guides both for use at home, and where you can help out in the wild (from the safety of your home). It’s in the works but with my current workload of full time virtual school for two youngins, the pace over here has slowed down considerably.

As always, I appreciate you stopping by and showing support reading these recipes. Please feel free to say hello! I’m still here but I might not answer you for a week (or more).

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Filed Under: Notes Tagged With: notes

Home Bar Spring Favorites

We’re having some grey, dark days right now. So while I’m staying inside watching the weather, I think it’s time to brighten up the home bar with these pops of color! Sunny days ahead! At least with my drinks…

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Monday Booze News A new low-abv drink to try, jello shots for St. Patrick’s Day, and getting to know Tennessee whiskey

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Monday Booze News All about Chartreuse, sleep where your beer is made, and more tiki mugs you’ll want to buy!

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Tequila Cazadores: Cristalino Launch

This post was made in partnership with Tequila Cazadores. Ideas are my own.

This past year I’ve been really lucky to work with a brand that I have loved, and drank, for years: Tequila Cazadores. When starting this partnership I found out that I was going to have a really exciting task, introduce a brand new type of tequila to the market! I mean, it’s not everyday that a totally new category comes across your desk. 15 flavored vodkas, yes. An amazing crystal clear tequila that is actually aged 2 years and then using activated charcoal to absorb all its color… nope!

I’m honored, flattered really, to have been chosen to let you all know about this new product from Tequila Cazadores. So, let’s talk about Cristalino!

Even though Cristalino is clear, like their Blanco expression, it’s not for mixing. In fact, the suggested serving vessel is a wine glass, like how you see here. A wine glass also signifies you’re not shooting the stuff and chasing it with a lime. Just don’t do that. It’s meant to be sipped.

The reason that this aged tequila is crystal clear is due to the filtration process that is Cazadores uses. Activated charcoal is added to the liquid and all that caramel color you usually associate with an aged tequila is gone. Next, that mixture is sent through a press filter which captures all the charcoal and tannins from the barrel aging and filtration process. When it’s done, if you close your eyes, take a whiff and then a sip, you’d swear you were drinking an añejo tequila.

You’re still getting aged wood, vanilla, caramel, and apples, but there’s also this soft, floral nose to it as well. It’s just so delicious and I loved each sip.

And now YOU, and everyone else in the US, can experience this new kind of tequila as Tequila Cazadores Cristalino is now available in the United States.

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Mixed Citrus Margaritas for Margarita Day Learn to make a squash syrup (no, not the vegetable!)

This post was made in partnership with Tequila Cazadores. Recipes and ideas are my own.

We have a tangelo tree in our backyard. It’s the only citrus tree that has not succumbed to years of neglect in the jungle outside our backdoor; it is tenacious to say the least. This year, after finally cutting back the honeysuckle that was blocking most of the sunlight from hitting its leaves, it produced an insane amount of fruit. Smaller than what we’ve got in years past, but abundant. It’s not a fruit I like to sit and just eat, so I make things like Tangelo-cello out of it, or use it in syrups, or just put in a box marked “free” in my driveway and pass on the burden to my neighbors.

Last month I wrote about making squash, a syrup whose liquid content is comprised primarily of juice, for Simply Recipes. And that got me thinking about juice content in Margaritas. Now, a straight up Margarita with just enough lime juice is a beautiful thing, but sometimes I like to change it up with flavors. My biggest pet peeve though in restaurants and bars is when they up charge you for a fancy Margarita in a big ass glass and what you realize you’ve gotten is mostly orange juice with a teeny tiny amount of tequila in it. Blarg!

What I wanted to do here is recreate some of those sweet and flavorful citrus notes without watering down my Margarita to the point of making it a breakfast drink. That’s when I thought that a squash syrup might work in this case. And then I could celebrate National Margarita Day on February 22 with a big batch of these! Oh yeah, it’s that wonderful time of the year already!

As many of you know, we partnered with Tequila Cazadores, an authentic Mexican tequila brand, last year because we have been big fans of this tequila for years and love their commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices. We’re using their Blanco expression here for this Margarita, made with 100% blue agave, because of its clean taste and soft finish. It doesn’t fight with the other ingredients, but also doesn’t get lost in the flavors. It’s just a straight up delicious tequila.

Like I mentioned above, a squash uses a high ratio of juice to water in making a syrup. So, you can do 4:1 juice to water, or 1:1 juice to sugar with no water, something like that. Then you either shake it up until the sugar dissolves (cold process), or warm your mixture until the sugar dissolves (hot process). Today I went a step further and reduced the syrup down almost by half to get a thick, viscous syrup to use in drinks. By doing this, it’s the consistency of a rich syrup, and there are deep, caramelized citrus flavors while still also tasting tangy and bright.

I am using mixed citrus here since I also had a delivery of Meyer lemons from my grandparents I did not want to let go to waste. Honestly, any mix of lemons, oranges, or other citrus could be used here so feel free to experiment.

When used in this Margarita, the drink is sweet, tart, with sharp caramelized flavors from the Meyer lemon and Tangelo squash syrup. Subtle agave and grassy flavors from the Tequila Cazadores Blanco contrast with the floral hints from the lime. There is a juiciness to the flavor without tasting watered down, and a nice mouth feel from the viscosity of the syrup.

Mixed Citrus Margarita

2 ounces Tequila Cazadores Blanco
1 ounce Tangelo-Meyer Lemon Squash (see recipe below)
1/4 ounce lime juice
small pinch kosher salt

In a shaker filled 2/3 with ice, add in the Tequila Cazadores Blanco, Tangelo-Meyer Lemon Squash syrup, lime juice and small pinch of salt. Shake well 20 seconds and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Serve with a tangelo wheel.

Tangelo-Meyer Lemon Squash

1/2 cup freshly squeezed tangelo juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar

In a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine both fruit juices, water, and sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once a boil is reached, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until syrup reduces by half. Depending on your stove, that can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature when finished and either use right away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge up to one month.

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