English sparkling wine is suddenly all the rage with wine experts and enthusiasts alike. But it’s been bubbling up for the last 30-40 years, spearheaded by the leading English sparkler (and apparently the royal family’s fave), Chapel Down.
I recently sat down with head wine maker Josh Donaghay-Spire while he was in town, and we chatted about the exciting category of English sparkling wine.
This week’s cocktail recipe is an English winemaker’s twist on the classic French 75…
English 75 1.5 oz of London Dry Gin .5 oz lemon juice .5 oz simple syrup Chapel Down Brut
Shake the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup over ice. Strain into a chilled flute or coupe glass, and top with Chapel Down Brut.
A few summers back – an especially scorching one from what I remember – a pink frothy frozen libation swept the country and, seemingly overnight, every restaurant and bar had their own version of blush colored concoctions to please the masses.
With the rising temps, the feverish interest in all things rosé, and the perfect portmanteau of frozen + rosé, the stars aligned and Froséwas born.
Three years later, the trend seems to have slightly chilled (sorry!). The interest has dipped partly because people were finding out that many of these frozen versions of wine cocktails contained far more sugar than expected. As many of us know, massive amounts of sugar combined with wine and hard alcohol results in a super slushie sized hangover the next day. Talk about brain freeze!
The beautiful thing about this adult slurpee, however, is it doesn’t even need all that sugar. I mean, it has blended fresh fruit and juice in it, so you can practically treat it like a smoothie…with wine!
I really took that idea to heart and even added a powerful boost of Argentine Yerba Mate tea for my version of Yerba MateFrosé. Welcome to your summer future, guys.
For this recipe, I created a simple yerba mate tea syrup for that bit of sweetness and earthy depth of flavor.
We’re on the other side of Memorial Day weekend, June 8 is National Rosé Day, and there is no better time than the present to ready those blenders, chill TF out of your favorite dry rosé, and commit this recipe to memory for all of your al fresco fetes!
Yerba MateFrosé 1 Bottle Full-bodied Dry Rosé Wine 1/4 cup Argentine Yerba Mate Simple Syrup* 2 cups Frozen Strawberries 2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice 1 cup Ice
Pour bottle of Rosé Wine into ice cube trays and freeze 6-12 hours. Once frozen, combine rosé cubes in a blender with the simple syrup, strawberries, lemon juice, and about a cup of ice. Blend until it is a smooth, slushie like consistency. Serve with fresh, edible flowers.
* Steep one cup of Argentine Yerba Mate and strain. Add steeped Yerba Mate liquid to a small saucepan with one cup sugar. At medium-high heat, whisk until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 months. (good for about two batches of Yerba Mate Frosé)
You can find Argentine Yerba Mate brands in specialty tea stores and in select Whole Foods Markets across the U.S. You can also purchase Argentine Yerba Mate on Amazon.com.
The Bit by a Fox Podcast is now on its fourth episode in the Bartender Interview Series – The Master Blend. In collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast is hosting a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders.
This week’s interview is with Christine Wiseman, Bar Director of LA’s most fabulous rooftop cocktail bar, The Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. We discussed her 20 year journey through the industry, from managing the busiest Outback Steakhouse in the country to creating scratch and sniff cocktail menus, and spearheading the LA cocktail scene with a heavy dose of her signature sparkle along the way.
Hobbiest mixologist, viral video personality, and cocktail book author of Suck It Up: Extraordinary Cocktails for Everyday People, Dan Magro has a real-talk and hilarious approach to mixing drinks and taking names. We talked about the proliferation of multi-hyphenates in LA, his deep love of brunch as a lifestyle, and his ultimate, if unexpected, drinking buddy.
This week’s cocktail recipe is a brunch favorite from Dan’s book, Suck it Up, Lavender Mimosas.
Lavender Mimosa – served in a champagne flute Brut Champagne or Sparkling Wine Lavender Honey Infusion* a lemon, quartered Garnish: fresh lavender
Rub the lemon slice around the rim of the flute, squeeze the juice into the glass, and the drop the wedge in. Fill the glass with 3/4 of bubbly, top off the remainder of the glass with the lavender honey syrup. Garnish with lavender.
*Lavender Honey Infusion Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/3 cup of honey and stir for 3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium. Add 1/4 cup of dried lavender, and stir for 1 minute making sure all lavender is immersed in water. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit overnight. Strain the cooled liquid, discarding the solids. Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
The Bit by a Fox Podcast is now on the third episode in the Bartender Interview Series – The Master Blend. In collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast is hosting a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders.
This week’s interview is with Devon Tarby who discusses her bartending beginnings at famed cocktail bar The Varnish where she met her future partners in the highly successful hospitality firm, Proprietors LLC. We talk about her music background and how she incorporate that into her cocktail creations, how she stays sane with such a busy scheduled, and what it’s like to be nominated for a James Beard Award.
This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast marks our first foray into the world of Cachaça, the Brazilian spirit made from sugarcane, that many may only be familiar with because of the Caipirinha – Brazil’s national cocktail.
Avuá Cachaça, which officially launched in the United States in 2013, is a Cachaça brand that is a very good place to start. Peter Nevenglosky, co-founder of Avuá Cachaça was in town briefly for a tiki competition and took the time to sit down with me to discuss the category of Cachaça and it’s rich history, how he got involved in this Brazilian spirit, and how a little known cocktail legend named Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey was the first to give this little brand a leg up.
This week’s cocktail recipe is the Pan Am cocktail created by Cervantes Ramirez from Milk & Honey in New York City.
Pan Am by Cervantes Ramirez 1oz Avuá Amburana 1 oz Dry Vermouth 1 oz Dry Curaçao orange twist
Add ingredients and ice to a mixing glass, stir until well chilled, strain into a rocks glass over ice. Swipe rim of glass with orange peel, squeeze, and drop into the glass.
In collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast will host a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders.
This second interview is with Yael Vengroff, one of the most decorated young bartenders out there. While she runs the award winning cocktail program at The Spare Room in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, she has her hands in a number of other LA bars, and still makes time to feed her love of dancing and movement.
We discussed the importance of body mechanics in her personal and professional life, and how creating a strict sense of structure actually helps to free up her wild child creativity.
This week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast episode is a great deep dive into what it’s like to start and run a successful micro distillery.
Catoctin Creek, a microdistillery in Purcellville, Virginia founded by husband and wife team, Becky and Scott Harris in 2009, is known for their award winning rye whiskies and their devoted cult following. On the cusp of their 10 year anniversary, I spoke with Scott about their journey into the distilling world, and their path to success over this past decade.
This week’s cocktail is Scott’s favorite Manhattan recipe…
Catoctin Creek Manhattan 2 oz Catoctin Creek 92 Proof Distillers Edition Roundstone Rye 1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth 1 dash aromatic bitters or another favorite 1 tsp Maraschino cherry juice Maraschino cherry for garnish
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish.
This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast, we are kicking off an exciting new series, The Master Blend – A Bartender Series.
In collaboration with Bertoux Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast will host a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders. They’ll be discussing their distinct style, inspirations, and journey to influencing today’s cocktail culture.
Kicking off this first episode in the series is Aaron Polsky. Part Mad Scientist, part Jimmy Page, part sweet Jersey boy, Aaron is the creative bar director behind the lively Rock & Roll cocktail bar in Hollywood, Harvard & Stone.
Aaron’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail recipe is a riff on the French 75, named after a Kiss song, Black Diamond.
Black Diamond 1.5 oz BERTOUX Brandy .5 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur .5 oz homemade elderberry or blueberry liqueur* .75 oz fresh lime juice Champagne
Shake BERTOUX Brandy, liqueurs and juice over ice. Strain into coupe with sugared rim. Top with champagne or sparkling wine
**Blend 1/2lb fresh elderberries or blueberries with 500mL vodka. Strain, combine with 500mL simple syrup and bottle. Will hold indefinitely.