<-- read all about it here!
The New York Daily news published this interesting article on cocktails around Manhattan that use olive oil as an ingredient. Some people infused a spirit with olive oil, others mixed it directly into the drink; I teamed up with the kitchen team and they turned the olive oil into a powder that I used to rim the glass.
<-- read all about it here!
The night began with everyone arriving in full dress-- one guest ever brought along a newspaper from 1921! We poured a cocktail tower of the Bees Knees, a classic cocktail from this era.
In the early part of the century, homemade "bathtub" gin was so noxious that people flavored it with lemon and honey to take away the sting. This cocktail became known as The Bees Knees.
The Bees Kees
2 oz. gin
1 oz. honey (watered down to 1/2 & 1/2)
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
Everyone came dressed in their Gadsby finest!
We had a box hat cake decked out with feathers and roses!
But the star of the night was this:
Coume du Roy, 1925
With each smell, you cut through layers of flavor that seemed to unfurl mysteriously in front of your nose. You get all of the expected aromas from old fortified wine: caramel, coffee, hazelnut, almond, plus some faint hints of fruit like plum skin and durant. But this wasn't just a technical wine, it had that extra indescribable element to it-- the closest word I can think of to describe this is "soul." It was amazing, and the perfect way to end the evening.
Colonial and Prohibition Era Cranberry Juice
The use of cranberry juice cocktail behind the bar in recent decades has helped shape a new generation of cocktails. Cranberries—one of just a few fruits native to North America and a wild diet staple of Native Americans for centuries—became cultivated around 1816 and seriously marketed to urban populations when cranberry cooperatives spent $5000 on cranberry advertising in 1918 and increased sales over $1 million. These early 20th century cranberries were sold either canned or fresh, though the market remained largely seasonal. In 1930 Ocean Spray put a cranberry juice cocktail on the market, though cranberry juice had been made by pilgrim settlers as early as 1683 (Eastwood, 1856).
Concerns of the ensuing Prohibition Era (1919-1933) affected the cranberry industry. Because cranberry products revolved around seasonal family holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, the industry consciously chose not to associate themselves with alcohol, which could have potentially alienated their largest consumer base (Felten, 2008). Testing the libatious waters, in 1945 Ocean Spray began to play with a cocktail called The Red Devil (vodka and cranberry juice cocktail), and in 1955 the cranberry industry released a pamphlet for the Toll House Cocktail, which had an optional addition for rum.
Cranberry Crash & Recovery
In 1959 the cranberry market collapsed when the US Department of Health announced that aminotriazole—a dangerous herbicide—tainted the cranberry crop. Producers searched to bolster their businesses through diversifying cranberry products to expand the industry market and Ocean Spray released their first cranberry juice in the form of a cranberry-apple blend. Most likely spurred by the 1959 cranberry crash Ocean Spray partnered with Tropico and released a bottled drink called “Sea Breeze” made of Ocean Spray cranberry juice and Don Cossack vodka. In 1965 they advertized for the Cape Codder—their version being cranberry juice and vodka whereas earlier 1940s versions called for cranberry juice and rum (Felten).
Demand for cranberry juice rose in the 1980s, correlating with reports about the health benefits of the fruit.
Juice or Cocktail?
There is a distinct difference between bitter and intense cranberry juice and sweet and fruity cranberry juice cocktail. The phrase “cranberry juice” is frequently used to reference cranberry juice cocktail, causing many people to refer to cranberry juice as “100% cranberry juice” to distinguish it from cranberry juice cocktail. To heighten the confusion, most cocktail recipes that use the juice call for “cranberry juice,” but really mean “cranberry juice cocktail.”
There are several cranberry cocktails that pre-date lead up to the Cosmopolitan craze of the 1990s predate:
Vodka and cranberry juice cocktail. Ocean Spray created this cocktail to promote cranberry juice cocktail circa 1945. Originally, they called it "The Red Devil."
Vodka, cranberry juice cocktail, and orange juice.
The Bog Fog
See Rangoon Ruby
Vodka, cranberry juice cocktail, and lime juice.
The Rangoon Ruby
During the 1950’s in Oakland, California, Victor J. Bergeron served the Rangoon Ruby at the restaurant Trader Vic’s (Chirico, 2009). Bergeron also invented the Mai Tai in 1944 at this same restaurant (Bergeron, 1970). The Rangoon Ruby was a highball of vodka, cranberry juice, soda, and a lime slice. The Rangoon Ruby also became popular as the Bog Fog in Miami and Palm Beach (Felten).
Cranberry Juice in the 1990s
Cranberry Juice Cocktail was embraced as a bar staple in the 1990s. It became one of those juices that you could ask for in almost any restaurant or bar, due to its long-term shelf life and ease of storage (no refrigeration necessary!). The popularity of The Cosmopolitan epitomizes this, and does not need much explanation.
Backlash in the 21st Century
Today, there is a backlash against cranberry juice cocktail. Ironically, people choose not to stock bars with it these days for the same reason that it was popular in the 1990s: it practically never goes bad. In the 21st Century, bartenders followed the farm-to-table ethos of their chef counterparts and moved away from pre-packaged products behind the bar. Fresh squeezed juices, garnishes, and produce, an emphasis on local spirits and products (if available), and a shift away from simple syrup as the staple sweetener occurred in the early 2000s. Cranberry juice cocktail-- an ultra-pasteurized, sugary product with only a small amount of real cranberry juice in it-- was abandoned in the search for fresher flavors.
Chain restaurants and dive bars will still carry the juice because of its easy storage, recognizability, and the popularity of cranberry juice in the wake of the cosmopolitain craze, but the respected cocktail bars of the world have abstained.
I believe that there could be a place in a high-quality cocktail bar for pure, 100% cranberry juice. It's extremely bitter and can provide a nice balance for spirits that taste sweet. Also, during cranberry season, I've seen great bars use fresh cranberries to make syrups and garnishes that go toward cocktails that make playful tongue-and-cheek references to the cosmo. In this way, The Cosmopolitan has become farcical. Still, many bartenders will not touch cranberry juice (even 100%) because there is still a sentiment to completely divorce a quality bar from the ethos of The Cosmopolitan and all of the "Sex & The City" cultural baggage that comes with it.
Eastwood, Benjamin. (1856) The Cranberry and Its Culture.
Cape Cod Cranberry Grower’s Association. www.cranberries.org
Chiriko, Rob. (2005) Field Guide to Cocktails. Quirk Books.
Saucier, Ted. (1962, original 1951). Bottoms Up. New York: Greystone Press.
Bergeron, Victor J. (1970) “The Real Mai Tai Story: Let’s Set the Record Straight.” As seen on http://www.tradervics.com/maitaistory-0.html
Felten, Eric. (2008, June 21) “Cranberry Cocktail Confusion” in The Wall Street Journal. Online at http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB121399651293592873.html
When summer begins and the grapevines in my backyard start to sprawl over the pergolas, it is time to have friends over for dinner!
To start things off, I took mint plouches and froze them in ice cubes.
Then, I picked mixed herbs from the garden (peppermint, spearmint, orange mint, rosemary, oregano, sage) and soaked these in a simple syrup (half water, half sugar, dissolved) overnight.
The recipe for this herb "julep" is:
2 oz whiskey (I used JWB)
1 oz Cocchi Americano
3/4 oz mixed-herb simple syrup
4 dashes Underberg bitters
orange zest on top
With the cocktails ready and a centerpiece of fresh peonies and grape vine cuttings from the backyard, we were ready to go.
Radishes and Herb Butter
Radishes with creamy butter are a classic way to start a French meal. We chopped up fresh herbs from the garden, mixed them into the butter, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Take out the butter about an hour before serving so it is nice and creamy when you dip the radishes in.
Where I live in the Bronx, everyone makes fresh mozzarella-- there is nothing else quite like it. You simply go to any store with a decent deli, and someone has just made it. Sometimes it is still warm when they hand it to you. I picked up some at my favorite deli and served it with basil, heirloom tomatoes that I had sauteed on one panko-crusted side.
This went great with a savory Ligurian white that I've been saving for the right occasion:
Punta Crena "Reine" Mataossu, 2009 (Liguria, Italy)
Mataossu is the name of the grape variety, and it translates to "crazy grape" due to its high vigor. This is a local variety that has been family farmed by this winery for centuries. It's practically grown in the Mediterranean Sea (from a tiny peninsula that juts out into the water). The wine tastes saline, it smells like crunchy vegetables (tomatoes, jicama) and lime zest. It was the perfect wine for this salad. This was 2009, and the acidity and flavor was so intense, this could have aged much longer.
"Crab on the Cob"
Crab on Polenta-Corn Cake with Corn Pudding and Tarragon Oil
We made polenta cakes and lined the bottom of the pan with fresh corn kernels. When we cut out the polenta circles after it set, one side of the cake had fresh corn stuck to it. We sauteed these, along with some lump crab meat. The sauce is pureed corn that was passed through a fine mesh-- doesn't get much fresher than that. We made tarragon oil by blending high quality olive oil with tarragon leaves, and then straining this through cheese cloth.
I paired this with a barrel-fermented, oak-aged chardonnay.
Smoked Asparagus and Ramp Ravioli with Hollandaise and Mezcal
We took a few woodchips that we used to smoke the asparagus and ramps and put them into a few ounces of Mezcal to soak overnight. We sprayed this smokey Mezcal on top of the dish tableside-- I saw this done to a cocktail a while back and was inspired to use it on a dish!
I paired this with a rich sparkling mauzak from France. The funkiness of the wine brought out the smokiness of the dish, and the acidity cut right through the hollandaise.
Duck, Maitake and Yorkshire Pudding
You can probably tell by the picture-- I am bringing back the parsley garnish! We grow it like crazy in the backyard, and it was the perfect herb to temper the meatiness of this dish.
I paired this with an earthy red from Jura.
Pear and Fennel Sorbet, with Pear and Fennel Chips
This sorbet was inspired by one of my favorite morning drinks-- fresh squeezed pear and fennel juice. Usually, I juice 2 heads of fennel and 5 pears together with a bit of ginger. The drink is delicious and it gives you so much energy. I took the juice that I normally drink, added a bit of simple syrup, and spun it into a sorbet.
I added a few spinach leaves for green color, but to no avail-- the pear juice oxidizes almost instantly so it's difficult to avoid that brownish tint.
I paired this with a sweet Alsacian pinot gris.
Riesling Cake with Goat Cheese Ice Cream, Cherries, and Saba
When I went to make this cake, I didn't have any lemons or lemon juice and the recipe called for half a cup. So I substituted half a cup of dry riesling, which-- I figured-- is also very high acid, and I added several healthy splashes of orange bitters to add some citrus aromatics. It did the trick and this was one of the best cakes I have ever made!
Here is my riesling-altered recipe:
Riesling and Olive Oil Cake
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup high quality olive oil, plus 2 tbs
1/2 cup very dry, high-acid riesling
1 tbs sherry vinegar
8 drops of orange bitters
Use 2 tbs of olive oil to grease two 8 inch cake pans.
Blend dry ingredients, blend wet ingredients, then blend wet into dry ingredients.
Pour into oil-greased pan & bake at 350F for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the sides start to brown.
Whenever we make fresh pasta (like the ravioli course above) we always have a meringue dessert of some sort-- those extra egg whites have to end up somewhere! These are simple meringue petit four crisps, and they went great with coffee.
The chocolatier scene in Manhattan is creative, inspiring, and inventive. Chocolatiers all over the city make whimsical treats, and the world of chocolates often overlaps with savory flavors, pastry concepts, mixology, and wine.
I see chocolatiers as an elite group of pastry chefs, known for their creativity and ability to work well with such a finicky product. They work at a unique intersection where all flavor concepts are viable: a chef may rarely get to work with cacao, but a chocolatier will work with any of a chef's main ingredients on a given day. A pastry chef may send out for truffles, but a chocolatier must know how to work with all sorts of pastry concepts. A bartender may never use chocolate behind the bar, but chocolatiers work with alcohol on a regular basis.
Chocolate has always overlapped with beverages; it has been drunk as a beverage for several thousands of years, and only over the last few centuries have solid chocolates emerged as a mainstream concept.
Especially when considering chocolate's beverage-oriented history, it is interesting to see how today's beverages have influenced the production of solid chocolates. When it comes to drink-inspired chocolates, sometimes a chocolate will be inspired by a particular wine, at other times, a chocolate will emulate a popular cocktail. It is popular to fill chocolates with booze and ganache. Tea powders or essences might be used, or chocolates might be meant to artistically resemble or evoke the idea of a beverage.
Here are a few of my favorite drink-inspired chocolates from around Manhattan:
At Bond St. Chocolates, the chocolatier is a former restaurant pastry chef veteran. She is not messing around with her Elijah Craig bourbon chocolates, or her rum chocolates. Once you are good and buzzed off of these, it is interesting to ponder the gilded chocolate mini-statues she makes of the Buddha, Mary, and other religious figures.
The shop is very tiny, and the chocolate making area is right behind the counter, so you can always smell what fresh chocolate is in the works.
Green Apple and Calvados Caramel from Chocolat Moderne
<--- Here is Chocolat Moderne's Green Apple & Calvados infused caramel.
They also make one called "Player," filled with Peaty Single Malt Scotch flavored caramel.
Chardonnay Oak Smoked Chocolates at L'Atelier
<-- L'atelier makes this interesting chardonnay and oak-smoked chocolate.
Caipirinha Chocolates at Marie Belle
At Marie Belle, they offer several cocktail-inspired chocolates.
Here is their "Caipirinha" made with white chocolate, cachaca and lime---->
They also have a "Mojito" chocolate made from rum and mint.
Frangelico Chocolate at Marie Belle
<--- At Marie Belle they also have some chocolates inspired by spirits, like this Frangelico chocolate.
Xocolatti Interior and Sake Truffle
<--- At Xocolatti their wall is lined with chocolate boxes; you feel as if you are literally inside of a chocolate box! They have a blue-tinted sake flavored truffle.
Champagne flavored chocolate at Royce
Royce chocolates are a bit different- these come from Japan, and you can purchase boxes of chocolate covered potato chips, green tea flavored chocolate bites, or Champagne flavored chocolate.
Kee's is one of my favorites in the city-- these chocolates are always homemade and fresh. Their drink-inspired chocolates include: Cognac, Green Tea, Mango-Green Tea, Mint Mocha, and Champagne.
Maison is old school and professional-- all the employees have perfect posture and are always buttoned up. The chocolates line up ever so perfectly, and the service is on point; but you might want to let lose when you have a bite of their "Bacchus" chocolate made with rum and flambe raisins!
<---Bacchus - Rum & Flambe Raisins
Clos Fantine grenache/syrah/mourvedre/carignan (Faugeres, France)
This heart-warmingly good South of France red blend is my favorite go-to wine, it's made by three siblings-- they have grown the grapes (super biodynamic) for 30 years, but have been bottling their own label for about 10 years now.
Graf v. Shonborn grauer burgunder aka pinot gris (Franken, Germany)
This juice is it! It's picked around auslese brix levels then fermented to dry. The result is a crazy rich aroma, and a dense, concentrated palate that is breathtaking and transcendent, while still remeniscent of good ol' familiar pinot gris.
Industry cliche, I know, but it's just soooo good.
Everyone has their trick, and mine's a 'lil different, but here's my favorite way:
1/2 oz Bols Genever
1.5 oz Carpano Antica
1 oz Campari
Maine Beer Company "Peeper Ale" (Maine)
Hands down one of the best beers I've ever had.
Chateau Jiahu, by Dogfish Head Brewery (Delaware)
This is a very cool drink that I wrote about earlier in the year. Chateau Jiahu is a fermented beer-like recipe made from honey, grapes, rice, barley, and hawthorne. The beverage is an attempt to recreate what people were drinking in China 9,000 years ago, based on residues found in pottery.
A few days ago Tomas Estes (of Tequila Ocho), Dale DeGroff (King of Cocktails) and Mark Drew (Herradura) joined forces, stopped by work, and gave a masterclass on tequila to our staff. We tasted through two single field Tequila Ocho blancos (Tomas' take on terroir-driven tequila), then side-by-side a Tequila Ocho reposado and Herradura reposado, then side-by-side a Tequila Ocho anejo and Herradura anejo. As they discussed tequila production, I couldn't help but think of correlations in the wine world, and how interesting it would be if the approaches that guide the production of each product could be synthesized for the benefit of both tequila and wine.
Tomas Estes has an interesting view of what tequila is and should be. Listening to him speak is more like hearing a yoga instructor talk about energy/form than it is sitting in a classroom. He is a meta thinker concerned with the big picture, yet he searches for the beauty in nuance.
"Why tequila? It's all about the agave," he says. "These plants sit for 6-8 years under the Mexican sun absorbing the sun's energy. It's a very different base product from other spirits."
The fructins in the agave plant are what make it special, and, to Tomas, make tequila (and agave nectar) a better and healthier product than market alternatives. The way he sees it, the energy highs and lows associated with sugar addiction are avoided in agave nectar and agave spirits, because the fructins release energy at a more even pace and are more readily assimilated by our bodies.
"Because of the fructins, the distillation process of tequila is unique. It creates a unique product with different psychotropic effects than other spirits that come from sugar. Drinking really good artisinal tequila-- it creates a different high, it has its own flavor."
Tomas brings what seems to me to be a winemaker's perspective to tequila. He is looking for vintage and field variation. He makes single-field tequilas to explore the terroir that is captured by the agave. And he uses minimum aging requirements in semi-neutral wood because he feels that if you leave the wine too long in oak, "the wood takes over, and you lose the flavor of the agave, which is what it is all about." He described once trying a heavily wooded tequila blind, and guessing that it was a rum because of the intensity of the oak influence.
He is also experimenting with some interesting concepts. Agave harvest time is literally year round. Some harvesters will go into a field and cut the entire field despite variations in ripeness between different pineapples-- they believe this adds some complexity to the distillate base, and it also allows them to plant the field with crops that will replenish the soil in one swoop. Other harvesters will go into the field and only harvest the plants that they believe are ripe. The agave takes about 6-8 years to ripen, so if a harvester is selectively harvesting based on ripeness, it can take them 3 years to finish harvesting the field. The rainy seasons complicate things more. In the Highlands especially, the agaves are less concentrated during and after the rainy season, and they are the most concentrated just at the end of the drought period. Tomas is experimenting with single field tequilas that are harvested right at the end of the drought (before the rains) to see if it makes a more flavorful tequila.
Tomas' son stepped in and described the technical elements of tequila production, from harvesting, roasting the pineapples, fermenting the aguadulce, then distilling the agave "wine" or "beer" into tequila.
Mark Drew (pictured left, with Dale DeGroff on the right) makes the tequila at Herradura. He described Herradura's natural fermentation in open-top tanks in the middle of an orchard (a rich, yeasty environment). He believes that 65-70% of tequila flavor emerges in the fermentation, and this is why he goes for ambient yeasts. At Herradura they want a little bit of natural organic "funk" in the tequila.
Hmmm, this sounds so familiar to the big yeast discussion happening in the wine world. How integral are ambient yeasts to terroir? Mark would argue that they are indispensable.
Mark also spent some time discussing the agave crisis of 2000. Because the agaves were (and really, still are) such a focused strain of monoculture, a pestilence hit and destroyed about 4 out of every 5 agave plants. This happened at the same time when global demand increased for 100% agave products. So suddenly, demand was up but supply was way down.
Part of the problem is that agave plants are halted from flowering and therefore prohibited from sexual reproduction. There is a consensus among growers that once the agave flowers, the quality of the pineapple decreases and it will not make as good of a product. To get more plants growers simply take rhizomes thrown by the agave and replant them (essentially, it's cloning-- or using identical genetic material to grow a new plant). As tequila producers saw the potential end of their business, the agave crisis of 2000 led to deeper studies about disease resistant strains of agave, and now, agave breeders are working to expand the genetic health of the plants by allowing sexual reproduction in some plants to reintroduce healthy genetic material to the strains that could help the agaves grow stronger through genetic diversity and be more disease resistant.
A wine correlation to this discussion would be deeper studies of crossings. With so many of the world's most desired varietals being 300-1000+ year old clones, the wine world has been able to build upon the past to create incredibly focused and beautiful wines, but it has also limited natural selection and genetic diversity to a potentially dangerous end. Most of the wine industry is built upon fragile monoculture. If vineyard owners didn't have the option of inter-species grafting, would winemakers dealing with phylloxera back in the 1890s have experimented more with disease resistant crossings between varietals, much like agave growers are doing today? The idea of introducing new crossings into the wine market seems like sacrilege (especially to the closely monitored varieties in EU vineyards, restrictions of which ironically only apply to the scion), but if we look at what happened to the agave plants in 2000 and admit that a similar tragedy could happen to our vineyards, experimenting with new crossings seems-- to me, at least-- a necessary and prudent safety net. Sure, I love drinking amazing and transcendent wine from 1000 year old varieties full of fragile genetic material as much as the next guy, but I'd hate more to see the loss of the entire species or large portion thereof on which we base most of our wine production solely because we are too snobby about the sticky concepts of "purity" and "tradition" to do more experimentation with crossings. But enough on that, let's end on tequila.
Dale DeGroff capped the class by making everyone a tequila cocktail-- he made something similar to a margarita, but with yuzu, shiso leaf, and a spritz of smokiness on top. It was awesome.
I love a good limoncello and after making it the first few times I started experimenting with other citruses. Here is a play-by-play of one experiment that emerged to be one of my favorites: Grapefruit & Rosemary Cello. It's simple, easy to make, and very refreshing.
You will need:
a paring knife
a sauce pan
1 liter bottle of vodka
5 rosemary sprigs
5 cups of sugar
5 cups of water
a large vessel with a lid, preferably glass or ceramic, that can hold at least 2 liters of liquid.
(I usually use a large pickle jar; in the photos I'm making a larger batch and using a giant plastic tub).
1 coffee filters (preferably unbleached)
Harvesting the Zest
Peel the grapefruits with a peeler. I use about 5 grapefruits per liter of vodka, but you can use more. Save only the peels and discard the fruit (I, of course, eat the fruit right away!).
Sometimes the peels have a a thick strip of the white pith attached to the back. This imparts a very bitter flavor to the final product. If you like bitter flavors, then leave them as is. I don't enjoy that bite, so I fillet the pith from the zesty skin with a small paring knife.
Making Flavored Simple Syrup
Then I make simple syrup by boiling equal amounts of water & sugar together in a saucepan. I add some rosemary to the pot (2 springs per 5 cups of sugar) to give the final product a very rosemary-intense aroma. But, we will be infusing the cello with rosemary later, so adding the rosemary to the simple syrup is optional if you want to keep it simple (no pun intended). When the liquid turns clear (usually this happens just as it reaches a boil), remove the pot from heat and let it cool with the rosemary still in the pot. When cool, strain out the rosemary and discard the spent herbs.
Mixing It Together
Once you have all of this ready, find a large clean vessel with a lid- preferably glass or ceramic- and toss in the peels, the fresh rosemary sprigs, 1 liter of vodka and 1 liter of rosemary infused simple syrup. Save the empty vodka bottle so you can decant the finished product back into the bottle when the infusion is complete. Keep in mind that because of the simple syrup addition you will have about 2 liters of final product to decant back into bottles, so while the cello is infusing try to find another empty vodka bottle in addition to the one you have saved.
Now it is a waiting game. Cover the vessel with a lid, label and date the infusion, put it in a cool, dark place, and forget about it for a while. It will be infused in about 7-10 days, but it can continue to infuse for up to 40 days (and some would argue even longer).
I find that citrus peel vodka infusions are good and ready when the vodka itself changes color. You will notice this after about 12-14 days-- the once clear vodka will take on a dark hue of the color of whatever citrus peel you have used.
Some purists are against filtration (and I feel this way about most wines), however, I do like to filter my vodka infusions. I don't think they look appetizing when they are cloudy or have debris floating in them. Also, if you don't filter, "stuff" accumulates at the bottom and at the meniscus when you store it, and it is a visual turn-off.
I filter these through a good, old-fashioned coffee filter that lines a funnel. I put the funnel into the vodka bottle opening, line it with a coffee filter, and pour away.
Some people believe that cellos should be stored in the freezer and served ice cold. In order for the cello not to freeze in the freezer after the simple syrup dilution the vodka used must be 100+ proof. If you will be storing the product in the freezer, definitely seek out a vodka with a high proof.
I don't think storing these in the freezer is necessary, so I don't do it. I also don't like intense alcohol heat of high proof vodkas, so I don't use a vodka with a super high proof-- I'm going for a more balanced taste. The one I've been using recently is 42 proof, and I keep the final product in the fridge. Some die-hard limoncello drinkers argue that it is "traditional" to store it in the freezer, but limoncello most likely has origins in hot citrus growing climate of Italy, and freezers didn't become a regular household product in Italy until after WWII so storing it in the freezer can't be a very longstanding tradition.
Once you finish you can enjoy this on its own as an aperitif or an after dinner drink. Sometimes I decant them into small bottles and give them as gifts.
It also works great in cocktails. I've mixed it with soda to make a grapefruit rosemary vodka soda. I've added grapefruit juice and made an herbaceous Salty Dog. I've also mixed it with bitter amaro (so many to choose from!) and citrus juice and served it up. The possibilities are endless!
Citrus infusions are great ways to re-use waste, which is one reason I began to make them in the first place. I was juicing lots of citrus and began to think of ways to use the spent citrus shells. Now I make marmalade, infusions such as this one, and I compost the rest.
I’m Erin, and I’m thirsty for drinks and the secrets they hold. Wine is my main game, but I’ve been known to love a cocktail here and there, and who doesn’t like a good beer on the regular? This blog is for wine/spirits/beer geeks. No beverage will be left unsipped!