Posts in Whiskey
Blueberry Bourbon Reviver with Blueberry Thyme Goat Cheese Crostinis

Blueberry season is in full swing and I’m making the most of several pounds of freshly picked berries with a pairing that’s just as good during these hot, late August days as when the first leaves begin to fall. With cooler weather just around the corner, I went with bourbon for this simple, equal parts cocktail. Toasty crostinis topped with goat cheese, blueberries, and thyme make the perfect accompaniment, with balanced sweet, savory, and tart flavors. The best part of this simple combo is that you only need to put the work into making one blueberry compote that can then be used both for the cocktail and hors d’oeuvres!

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The Best Lemonade Recipe Ever. Seriously.

If there’s one drink that’s the embodiment of summertime in America, it’s good ol’ fashioned, homemade lemonade! The simple, timeless combination of lemons, sugar, and water creates the most refreshing beverage during these dog days of summer. Pretty much every recipe out there will tell you to juice some lemons, add sugar and water, stir well - and voila! Good stuff. The really smart recipes will instruct you to make a quick simple syrup first, which is a big improvement. But I have an upgrade that will make for the best damn lemonade you’ve ever tasted - and you still only need those three ingredients: lemons, sugar, and water!

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Foraged Cocktails: Sumac Berry Lemonade

August is here, and in southern New Hampshire, the ripe, crimson cones of sumac trees are dotting the edges of roadways and fields everywhere you look. The Staghorn sumac, or Rhus typhina, is very easy to identify thanks to those spiky red cones coated in fuzzy fibers, reminiscent of velvety deer antlers. Sometimes confused with Poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), the staghorn, smooth, and winged sumacs that grow throughout the US are actually all edible - and quite delicious! Fortunately, there is no confusing the edible from the non-edible sumacs, as Poison sumac produces white berries, and edible varieties produce red ones.

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Foraged Cocktails: Wisteria Blossom Syrup + Blueberry Wisteria Whiskey Sour Recipe

One of the most fragrant and beautiful of all the plants surrounding our house is wisteria. We have a trellis outside our sunroom that’s been taken over by wisteria and trumpet vines over the years, and this time of year, the gorgeous purple blossoms hang down from overhead, their clean, sweet scent wafting through the house.

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Tomato Nectarine Whiskey Smash

This cocktail is one of my 'kitchen sink' creations, which I make by finding inspiration with whatever is hanging around in my produce drawer and starting to look a little sad. Yeah, I know, tomatoes and nectarines won't be in season until at least May, but it's never too early to get a jumpstart on summer drinking plans!

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Wormwood + Marshmallow Root Tea

The very kind folks at Standard Wormwood Distillery recently sent me some of their rye to experiment with and I’ve been having a lot of fun working with its unusual wormwood flavor. After reading up on wormwood and its uses throughout history, I decided to create a tasty medicinally-inspired cocktail.

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An Apple A Day - an Apple, Ginger, Cucumber and Rye Cocktail

I tend to make a lot of gin-based cocktails because gin + botanicals are a natural fit, but I’ve been working on expanding my booze horizons a bit lately. I’m loving Whistle Pig rye and Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, so I’ve paired them in this delicious, fresh, dare I say ‘healthy’ cocktail. I’ve made this several times over the past few days, and the fresh flavor of the juice makes it well worth the extra effort!

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My Medicine - a Mood Enhancing Cocktail with Chocolate + Reishi Mushrooms

I don’t know if it’s the general New England dreariness, the cold, or the lack of sun, but I tend to get a serious case of winter blues this time of year. After reading about the benefits of reishi mushrooms for improving mood and lowering anxiety (and also that their flavor blends well with chocolate), I was inspired to make myself an anti seasonal depression cocktail.

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Whiskey, Bourbon, RecipeAmy Traynor
Black Cherry Vanilla Shrub & Whiskey

The hubs recently picked up a bottle of New Hampshire Hall of Flags American Whiskey, which benefits preservation of a collection of historic flags. It’s a light, easy drinking blended whiskey, so I decided to create a simple cocktail using black cherries in a simple homemade shrub syrup made with vanilla beans, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. 🍒

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Recipe, Bourbon, WhiskeyAmy Traynor
Tulsi Hot Toddy - Organic Cinnamon Rose Holy Basil Hot Toddy

In the spirit of the new year, I’ve been trying to make healthier choices, but let’s be real, saying no to chocolate is stressful, so I decided to make a drink. 🍫🍩🍪
This mostly organic riff on a hot toddy blends my favorite stress relieving beverage, cinnamon rose tulsi basil tea, with bourbon, lemon, and hibiscus for a soothing, hot cocktail that’s fragrant, floral, and perfectly tart. And it’s served up in a beer mug because beer mugs hold more tea than tea cups. And because it’s what I had available.

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Whiskey, Bourbon, RecipeAmy Traynor