Best Bar Essentials Buying Guide

Happy Holidays Everyone!
It’s been a bit of a hiatus for me, but I’m back in the saddle (a.k.a. desk chair!) and ready to keep the season’s festivities rolling along with some stellar finds for entertaining in style when it comes my favorite part of a party- the drinks!  Continue reading

Entourage Elixir ~ A Tequila Cocktail

Happy National Tequila Day!
entourage exlixir-1

I created this tequila and bitter lemon drink right after seeing the Entourage Movie. If you saw it, then you’ll know why tequila was on my  brain. As soon as I walked in the door, I went over to my liquor cabinet, pulled out the Tequila Avión Reposado (that’s my fav, and looks like I need to buy more!), then rummaged around the “mixer” compartment in my fridge –better known to most people as the crisper bin, but alas mine has never seen even a leaf of a vegetable, just lots of stuff to mix with booze!–and found a bitter lemon mixer. Viola, my Entourage Elixir was born. Talk about the power of suggestion huh!

If you aren’t familiar with the Entourage tie-in, read the full story here. But here’s a quick explanation: the original Entourage series on HBO® first introduced the Tequila Avión brand to the masses here in the U.S. through an on-going storyline with one of the characters. Most people thought it was just a made up brand for the series. They had no idea it was a real Tequila. Once people realized they could buy it….well, the rest is history. And movie spoiler alert: we learn it’s ultimately how Turtle made his millions. Zoing!
tequila avion reposado | whiskandmuddler.com
tequila avion reposado | whiskandmuddler.com

My choice for the mixer– no brainer- had to be FeverTreeI love their brand of tonics and mixers. I typically use their Bitter Lemon or Sparkling Lemon. They’re truly a cut above the rest. Can’t wait to try their new Elderflower tonic water too! What I like about either of their lemon bottlings is the bitterness is mixed in with just a touch of sweetness. They both have the undeniable flavor of true British bitter lemon soda. And bubbles add a nice touch to any cocktail right!
fevertree and san pellegrino mixers | whiskandmuddler.com
fevertree and san pellegrino mixers | whiskandmuddler.com
entourage exlixir | whiskandmuddler.com

If you really want to get into the spirit of today (ha, pun totally intended), then enjoy this sip with my Margarita Shrimp Tacos. Cheers to the conclusion of a great show and all-things Tequila.  Salud!


Entourage Elixir
yields one serving |  Entourage Elixir- A Tequila Cocktail PDF

3 ounces Tequila
half bottle (3.5 ounces) FeverTree Bitter Lemon or Sparkling Lemon Mixer
juice of one lemon and one lime
lemon or lime slice to garnish

Combine tequila and citrus juices in a shaker over ice. Shake well. Pour into tumbler glass over ice. Top with lemon mixer. Garnish with citrus slice.


Notes:
If you can’t find FeverTree Bitter Lemon or Sparkling Lemon, use any bitter citrus soda like San Pellegrino Pompelmo (grapefruit)….or a brand you like. For the Tequila, I used Reposado (my favorite) but a Blanco/Silver or Añejo works fine too. Just make sure it’s the good stuff!
*not a sponsored post*

Wild Plum Simple Syrup

Cocktail anyone? Specifically a Wild Plum Whiskey Sour? If you answered yes (and of course you did!) then you’ll absolutely want to make this Wild Plum Simple Syrup. For those of you following the #wildplumchronicles on my Instagram, you know I’ve been knee deep (well, to the ankles at least) in wild plums. Both trees on the property decided in unison to drop their fruit on my patio, backyard, garden, walkways….you name it….it’s everywhere. At night, I hear the plums thumping down onto the roof, rolling down, and then bouncing off the barbeque below. But hey, when these little guys are this sweet and juicy, that’s music to my ears.

 The trees have yielded so much fruit, it’s incredible. The picture above is only a fraction of what I’ve harvested so far. I’ve given a bunch away already to the neighbors and friends, along with making Wild Plum Jam too. I swear they multiply overnight. I can’t seem to wrangle them in fast enough! These wild plums with their imperfect skins and brilliant hues of purple and crimson are packed with flavor. Small but mighty as they say! So for this recipe, don’t even bother trying to pit them. The skins and pits will come away from the fruit during cooking. I like the tart flavor of plum,  so I hold back on some of the sugar, especially when the fruit is so ripe like it is now. These nuggets will give off quite a bit of liquid too, so use less water than you normally would for a simple syrup. And if your farmer’s market or specialty grocery doesn’t have wild plums, no worries. Just use any good eating plum like a Japanese, Santa Rosa, or Black Plum. Whatever you can get your hands on.


wild plum simple syrup | whiskandmuddler.comWild Plum Simple Syrup
yields 12 ounces | Wild Plum Simple Syrup PDF

2/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups wild plums (measured in a liquid measuring cup)

Add sugar and water to medium size sauce pan. Warm over medium heat, just until the sugar has dissolved. Add the whole plums and simmer on low-medium heat uncovered for 10-12 minutes. Plums tend to be foamy when cooking, so stir frequently. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 20-30 minutes to fully infuse the syrup.

Strain pulp and liquid through a fine mesh strainer or china cap into a large bowl. Then strain that liquid again through a cheesecloth or paper towel over a smaller bowl. This will ensure the final syrup is as clear as possible and free from pulp. Allow to cool, then pour into an airtight bottle or jar. This syrup is best when used within 3-4 weeks from making it, but it can store up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator if need be.

Mix into cocktails, spoon over ice cream or pound cake, macerate fruit in it, or add a few drops to plain bubble water for refreshing sip.


wild plum whiskey sour | whiskandmuddler.comWild Plum Whiskey Sour
yield one 5-ounce serving | Wild Plum Simple Syrup PDF

3-4 wild plums  + 1 for garnish
2 parts whiskey (I used a Rye Whiskey)
1 part Wild Plum Simple Syrup
1 lime, juiced
lime flavored sparkling water for topping

In a cocktail shaker, place wild plums in whole and muddle to release their juice. Add in ice, whiskey, Wild Plum Simple Syrup and lime juice. Shake well. Pour into a rocks glass over ice. Top off with lime sparkling water (I like LaCroix) and a plum garnish. Note: you can use regular plums in this drink. Since they are bigger, you’ll only need one or two for muddling.

simple syrup collection | whiskandmuddler.com

my current simple syrup stash: (clockwise) wild plum, thyme, mint, rhubarb, fennel

I’m a bit simple-syrup-obsessed at the moment. You’ll find all of these in my fridge, awaiting their turn to star in my next cocktail creation! The fun part of simple syrups is you can take unusual ingredients and create drink mixers in a jiffy. The Fennel syrup is so tasty in a Bloody Mary and the Thyme syrup is used often (okay, A LOT ) right now with my new favorite Meyer Lemon & Thyme Whiskey Sour. I use the Mint syrup in my smoothies in the morning, and also a drop in an herbal tea for just a hit of minty sweetness. There are so many ways to use a simple syrup—let your mind and taste buds wander and you’ll be making syrups of all kinds before you know it.