Cacao Mulled Wine

How do you cope with cold weather? Do you embrace it, avoid it or find carefully crafted ways to enjoy it (ie. with lots of layers and warm beverages)? I’m in the last category. I appreciate the magic of winter but need to be surrounded by multiple sources of warmth to get through it with a positive attitude. Mulled wine is one of those beverages that truly elevates the winter experience. Imagine standing in the midst of a Christmas market like Chicago’s own Christkindlmarket, surrounded by twinkling lights and enjoying a steaming mug of spiced wine as fluffy flakes of snow settle softly around you. It’s hard not to admit that winter has some charm when you find yourself in such a lovely situation.

Typical spices for mulled wine include ginger, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and nutmeg. While I love the flavor and aroma of this combination, I wanted to try a different direction. What comes to mind as a natural pairing to red wine? Chocolate and cheese would be the most notable but cheese is probably not what you want actually in your wine (if you find a way to do it, more power to you). I settled on the concept of chocolate and thus decided to infuse my wine with cacao nibs, Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom and Cara Cara orange.

I looked for a rich red wine with chocolate tasting notes as the base to complement the cacao nibs. The Chilean Cabernet Sauvingon by Root: 1 was the perfect price point (I recommend not spending more than $10 on a bottle if you’ll be infusing it or adding juices) and the ideal flavor profile - black currant, mocha and chocolate.

Though I used cacao as my main flavor, I decided to add the Ceylon cinnamon and cardamom as they both pair beautifully with chocolate. I added both the peel and juice of a ripe Cara Cara orange to get both the bright essential oils of the skin and sweet tartness of the orange itself. Cara Cara oranges are my personal favorite as they’re sweeter and more flavorful than the typical navel variety.

Finally, I sweetened the wine with a German honey liqueur for both an extra kick and a smooth, richer sweet flavor. If you can’t get your hands on a honey liqueur, consider adding honey and brandy as a substitute. I prefer to make my mulled wine slightly more tart than sweet but feel free to play with the ratios to your liking.

The resulting mulled wine is warming and refreshingly bright with a delightful lingering flavor of spiced chocolate on the finish. It’s the perfect drink to share with friends or family anytime in the winter but especially over the holiday season.

Cacao Mulled Wine

  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon (Root: 1 or another variety with chocolate notes)

  • 4 oz honey liqueur

  • Juice and peel of 1 Cara Cara orange

  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs

  • 0.5 tsp cardamom seeds

  • 2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks

Add all ingredients to a pot and put on the stove on low heat. Bring to a light simmer and keep at that temperature for 45 minutes - 1 hour, stirring and tasting occasionally. Strain and serve immediately when ready. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or orange twist and enjoy with loved ones and good cheer.

Thanks to Belen Aquino for the stunning cocktail photography and to Gather Vintage Tablescapes for the beautiful vintage glasses and tray.































A Long-Awaited Spring

Living in the Midwest, you get used to unexpected seasonal patterns. Some years, we get graced with a beautiful spring but usually it's a bit of a climate roller coaster. Don't get me wrong, I love seasons. It's the change and uncertainty that make us Chicagoans appreciate nice weather when it happens and to fully take advantage of it. After six months of winter and several April snow showers, I was thrilled to see crisp green buds appearing on trees and fragrant flowers popping out of the ground. Even with some unavoidable variation in temperatures, we've been spending every evening dining on the rooftop and delighting in the sunset displays. For me, springtime evokes a transition from anticipation to wonder as life and color return to the outside world.

I wanted to capture the coming of spring in a brunch-friendly cocktail just in time for Mother's Day. My goal was to create something delicate, fragrant and wonderfully smooth. I had recently gotten my hands on some St. George California Citrus Vodka and let its crisp floral flavors inspire my brainstorming process. Gravitating typically to gin or whiskey, I hadn't previously found a vodka to write home about. I typically approached vodka as an ingredient to disappear and allow the other components of the cocktail to shine. This vodka, however, is so ridiculously delicious that it can easily be enjoyed neat at room temperature. Built on a foundation of Barlett pears with no additives, the vodka is then infused with Valencia orange, Seville orange, and bergamot peels. The resulting spirit shines with bright citrus and herbal notes with an almost sweet juicy finish. 

I thought the vodka would pair nicely with a jammy flavor so I incorporated some cold-brewed hibiscus tea. Hibiscus has a stunning natural hue and a vibrant tartness that I thought would enhance, rather than overpower, the vodka's citrus notes. Then I decided to get a little weird and try out an ingredient that has always mystified me in cocktails: yogurt. Though it sounds bizarre, Greek yogurt in particular can add to a cocktail's tartness while also imparting a creamy texture. I promise that it doesn't taste like eating a spoonful of plain yogurt - you just need to be smart about the other ingredients you mix it with. I chose to work in a wildflower honey syrup to take the bite our of the yogurt and blend it in as a more complimentary rather than center-stage component. The honey worked beautifully to tie everything together and balance out the tartness of the hibiscus and Greek yogurt. 

I finished the drink with some stunning edible flowers I spotted at Whole Foods. I have been hunting for these in stores for some time and haven't yet had the chance to plant them in my own garden. Whole Foods packages up a variety in the refrigerated herbs section - just be sure to get them shortly before you plan to use them as they do spoil quickly. I love how the flowers enhance the vibrant character of this cocktail and create an extra special treat for whoever you choose to share it with. The resulting cocktail is lightly tangy with notes of citrus and jam rounded with a creamy sweet smoothness. It's delicious at any time of day, but I think it would be especially wonderful with brunch.

A Long-Awaited Spring

  • 1.5 oz St. George California Citrus vodka
  • 1 oz cold-brewed hibiscus tea*
  • 0.5 oz wildflower honey syrup**
  • 1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • Edible flowers, for garnish

Add all ingredients other than flowers to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until chilled and frothy. Strain into a Nick and Nora or other stemmed glass and garnish with 1-2 edible flowers. Enjoy outdoors to complement the delicious brunch you prepared for your mother.

Thanks to Belen Aquino for the stunning cocktail photography and to Gather Vintage Tablescapes for the beautiful vintage glasses.

Vinyl Hour

If you're a Chicago local, have ever visited our city, or simply follow the spirits industry, there's little chance that you haven't heard of The Violet Hour. Hidden behind a wall that regularly rotates between contributions from various artists, The Violet Hour is an intimate speakeasy lounge that focuses largely on pre-prohibition era cocktails. Their rotating cocktail menu is simultaneously creative and highly formulaic, and all of the drinks I've had the pleasure of trying are both complex and perfectly balanced. 

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Lucky for us, The Violet Hour has now made a taste of their signature flavors available for home bartender use. Managing Partner Eden Laurin crafted the first cocktail syrup, Batch No.1, with a natural blend of scorched demerara sugar, vanilla, orange, and bittering agents like wormwood, caccia bark, and licorice root. Her idea was to create a one-stop, approachable product that would efficiently offer sweetness and depth. My husband and I enjoyed the syrup in a Pimm's Cup and Sazerac while visiting the bar, but it's really so delicious that I could add it to just about anything or simply have a spoonful for dessert. One of the things that I found particularly meaningful is that Eden has used this product release as a means to help others. A portion of the proceeds goes to her nonprofit project, The Drinking Fountain, which aims to give back to communities who struggle with clean water access.

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The syrup was so packed with flavor that I didn't need to do much to make it shine. Eden's recommended recipe is to adapt the syrup into an Old Fashioned with 2 oz of your favorite spirit and a citrus peel. I ran with that inspiration but added several complimentary components. 

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I knew I wanted to pair the syrup with KOVAL bourbon given it's lovely vanilla sweetness but decided to pack in more fall flavor by infusing the bourbon with fresh black figs. Since figs aren't in season for long, infusing them into a spirit is a great way to make their flavor last. You could also try this with frozen figs (I've seen some at Trader Joe's) or even dried figs (though look for ones without any added sugar). The infusion took only 5 days and was so tasty that I would gladly just sip it on ice. I then chose to add fresh-squeezed navel orange juice for some citrus brightness that wouldn't distract from the drink's velvety sweetness. While lemon and lime are excellent in lots of applications, they tend to steal the show pretty quickly and can distract from the rich profile of whiskey

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I finished off the drink with flamed orange peel for a deeper, roasted citrus oil scent and flavor. For garnish, I added fresh figs but you could use the citrus twist if you're making this drink after fig season is over. The resulting drink was strong yet delightfully smooth with an uplifting scent, rounded sweetness, and lingering complexity.

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Vinyl Hour

  • 2 oz black fig-infused bourbon*
  • 0.5 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 barspoon Violet Hour Batch No. 1 Scorched Demerara Cocktail Concentrate
  • Strip of orange peel
  • Fresh fig, for garnish

Stir all ingredients other than orange peel and fig with ice until chilled, then strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Run a flame along the orange peel and then express the orange oils onto the surface of the cocktail. Cut the fig in half lengthwise and slide both halves onto a cocktail spear. Enjoy while getting cozy under blankets and jamming out to your latest vinyl finds.

*To make fig-infused bourbon, place 4 sliced black figs into a 16 oz jar and fill with bourbon to the top. Put in a dark place and allow to infuse for 4-5 days, shaking and tasting occasionally. Strain with a fine mesh strainer when you're happy with the flavor. 

Thanks to Belen Aquino for the stunning cocktail photography and to Gather Vintage Tablescapes for the glass. 

Vice Grip

My tolerance for spicy foods is basically nonexistent though I've been challenging it diligently ever since leaving for college. This tends to be pretty typical when you're Eastern European and grow up primarily with salt, (small amounts of) black pepper, parsley and dill. Somehow, I went from a fairly limited spice exposure to deciding upon Mexican as my favorite food category. I love the brightness and variety of the seasoning and the way the different ingredients balance each other out if mixed in just the right way. While I prefer mixology over cooking, I appreciate the cross-functional concepts you can apply if you're avidly learning both skills. 

I chose to create this drink to channel that flavor vibrance and to find a way to enjoy spice in liquid form as much as I've grown to approach it in cuisine. My thought process led me to the classic screwdriver cocktail - a drink that's very straightforward but often leaves you wanting. I aimed to take the concept of vodka and orange juice and to dress it up with better ingredients and a fiery kick. Perhaps the most critical way to improve on the classic is to pick the right vodka.

Though vodka is often disregarded as a spirit that is simply neutral, I believe that a good vodka will disappear amidst other ingredients while a great vodka will blend smoothly and add flavor interest. I was thrilled to incorporate BET Vodka, a particularly great Wisconsin spirit made from co-op grown sugar beets. It starts smooth and therefore plays nicely with most cocktail ingredients, but also adds a bit of a peppery body and a lingering vanilla sweetness. I don't often get excited about vodka, but BET left quite an impression with both its flavor profile and beautiful minimalist branding. 

Instead of orange juice from a carton, I used the juice of an entire fresh navel orange. It takes a bit more effort but it is so incredibly worth it. Not only is fresh juice additive-free, but the flavor is so much brighter immediately after extraction. Oranges are also fairly easy to find throughout the year and affordable to grab in bulk. If you'd like to make this drink for a group and don't have an efficient way of juicing fresh oranges, grab some freshly squeezed juice from the grocery store on the same day you make this cocktail. Just remember that you'll still need fresh orange peel for the syrup.

To finish the drink, I crafted a syrup with orange peel and habanero pepper. Adding the spice element in syrup form gave me plenty of control over the final flavor balance of the cocktail. I worked with incredibly spicy habanero peppers, so I just added one to my syrup for a minute to get the level of spice I was looking for. Make sure to taste the syrup as it's simmering. If you'd like more spice, simply throw in another pepper or leave the one pepper in for a little longer. 

The resulting cocktail is bursting with citrus freshness and a pleasant spice finish. It's perfect for a hot summer day but would be equally lovely to break up the gloom of a rainy autumn or cold winter.

The Vice Grip

  • 2 oz vodka
  • Juice of 1 fresh orange
  • 0.25 oz orange habanero syrup*

Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain into chilled glasses. Garnish with a habanero pepper and enjoy on a scorching summer day. 

*To make orange habanero syrup, combine 2 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar, peel of 1 orange (try to avoid the pith) in a small saucepan and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1 chopped habanero pepper and simmer for another minute. Strain out the solids and store excess in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. The pepper oil will separate to the surface so be sure to give the jar of syrup a shake before using it next.

Thanks to Belen Aquino for the stunning cocktail photography and to Gather Vintage Tablescapes for the beautiful vintage glasses and tray.

Campfire Tale

Lovers of bitter flavors rejoice - this cocktail is the first (and most potent) in a three part series covering my exploration of bitter spirits! Not a fan of bitter cocktails? You're probably best off avoiding this one - but I have some more manageable options coming your way. My goal was to find a spectrum of bitterness that everyone could enjoy so the two recipes to follow this one will be less booze/bitter forward and lighter in flavor profile. 

I was inspired to create this cocktail after a trip to Fonda Frontera in Wicker Park. They offered a modern take on the classic Vieux Carré cocktail with Añejo tequila replacing the cognac. I loved the smoky, bitter feeling of the drink and wanted to give it a try with the ingredients I had on hand in my home bar. 

I'm not much of a tequila drinker but I tend to love all forms of aged spirits for the richer, woodier taste they take on through barrel aging. Añejo tequila is aged in small oak barrels from 1 to 3 years and features an amber color and pleasantly smoky flavor and aroma. I recently received a bottle from Grand Centenario, and it's hands down the best tequila I've ever tried in terms of flavor and mouthfeel. 

I used Koval Distillery Rye but Rittenhouse Bottled-in-Bond Rye could be an alternative if you're looking to limit your costs. For the bitter element, I chose St. George Bruto Americano. I first discovered this delightful spirit when looking for a natural alternative to Campari (which uses red food coloring). I had a lot of faith in the St. George brand for their diverse line of gins and Spiced Pear Liqueur. Their take on an aperitivo liqueur certainly left an impression. The Bruto really packs a punch and can be used sparingly to add citrusy, woody and bitter complexity. 

I finished the drink off with a few dashes of orange bitters and an orange-peel wrapped Amarena cherry garnish to emphasize the citrus in the Bruto. The resulting cocktail is wonderfully deep in wood and smoke flavors yet surprisingly smooth given that it's 100% alcohol!

Campfire Tale

  • 1 oz Añejo tequila
  • .75 oz Rye whiskey
  • 0.5 oz St. George Bruto Americano
  • 3 drops orange bitters

Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice to chill, then strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist, cocktail cherry, or both and enjoy while sharing gripping tales around a campfire. 

Thanks to Belen Aquino for the stunning cocktail photography and to Gather Vintage Tablescapes for the tray and hollow stemmed coupes. 

Winter Spice Sangria

No matter your comfort level with mixology, cocktails aren't made in a vacuum. Rather, cocktails are the embodiment of our performance as a host to our friends and loved ones. It's crucial to be a good listener and to adapt to the preferences of your audience because their satisfaction is your ultimate reward. The key is creating an experience rather than simply a beverage. You know how sandwiches always taste better when someone else makes them for you? Cocktails follow the same principle.

One of my biggest goals has been to develop recipes that align with the tastes and preferences of my family. They're open to new things if I make them, but I know that they love red wine and tend to stay away from harder spirits. Therefore, I've looked for ways to ease the alcohol content of some of my favorite recipes and created new recipes built upon lower ABV ingredients.

This sangria recipe is family tested and both mother and father approved!

To me, a well-made sangria is dressed with fruit flavors that complement rather than mask the underlying wine. In other words, it should taste like a wine cocktail rather than fruit soda. For this time of the year, I chose to add fresh squeezed Meyer lemon and orange juice as well as bottled apple cider and tart cranberry juice. I recommend using fresh squeezed juices whenever possible or checking the sugar content on the bottles you purchase so you're not surprised by the sweetness of the final product.

In order to give this sangria a holiday feel, I added flavors reminiscent of mulling spices. The quickest way to do this is grabbing a bottle of Chicago-based Jo Snow's Christmas in a Cup syrup (think brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, molasses and orange). A little bit of this delicious, small batch and all-natural syrup goes a long way and it's equally wonderful in cup of coffee. If you prefer to make you own, I'd recommend using brown sugar or dark maple syrup along with cinnamon sticks, cloves and several strips of orange peel. 

Winter Spice Sangria

  • 1 bottle red wine (I recommend a Cab)
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 6 oz Jo Snow Christmas in a Cup
  • 0.5 cup VSOP brandy
  • 0.5 cup tart cranberry juice
  • 0.5 cup apple cider
  • Club soda, to top
  • Citrus slices, for garnish

Mix all ingredients other than soda and citrus slices in a large pitcher, bottle or jar (at least 1.5 liters). For both flavor and ease, I strongly recommend making the sangria in advance and storing in the fridge for 1-2 days. When you're ready to serve, simply pour into a punch bowl, top with desired amount of club soda and garnish with fresh slices of orange and lemon. Enjoy with family.

Thanks to Belen Aquino for the stunning cocktail photography and to Gather Vintage Tablescapes for the lovely punch bowl and cups.

A Grand Entrance

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, meaning it's time to marginally freak out about hosting or contributing to the greatest feast of the year. After years of helping my family with cooking and taking my first shot at hosting both families with my husband, I've learned to seek that perfect balance between dishes that are impressive yet reasonably simple to prepare. This is one of the few occasions you can depend on for meaningful interaction with all your family or friends. You want to spend that time engaging with them and experiencing the meal for yourself, not running around madly until you collapse on the nearest couch.

I'm here to help you achieve just that on the cocktail front with three inventive autumnal beverages. Either prepare all three as you progress through the evening or select your favorite to share with the lucky guests. As always, I'll provide the inspiration and you'll choose your own adventure. 

The first cocktail of the series is inspired by my FAVORITE relish recipe and is the ideal libation for welcoming your guests. A sweet-tart syrup of cranberry, raspberry and orange shapes the main flavor profile while ginger liqueur adds a a hint of spice, lime maintains balance and club soda bubbles keep it festive. I chose to feature vodka in this cocktail for flavor neutrality but you could experiment with bourbon or rye whiskey if you or your guests prefer it to vodka. As an added bonus, this cocktail can be prepared individually or as a punch, just scale up the recipe if needed. 

A Grand Entrance

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 0.5 oz ginger liqueur (I recommend Domaine de Canton)
  • 1.5 oz cranberry raspberry orange syrup*
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Club soda to top
  • 3 cranberries for garnish

To make individual drinks. mix first four ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake until chilled and strain into a stemmed glass. Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with fresh cranberries on a cocktail spear. To make the drink in bulk, scale up the recipe for your desired quantity and add first four ingredients (ideally chilled) to a punch bowl. Top with club soda (no more than 1 oz per drink) right before serving and add some floating cranberries, raspberries and/or orange slices for decoration. Enjoy while welcoming your loved ones to gather around the Thanksgiving table.

*To make syrup, add 6 oz cranberries, 6 oz raspberries, 3 strips of orange peel (try to avoid the white pith as it adds bitterness), 2 cups water and 0.5 cup sugar to a small saucepan. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until berries start to fall apart. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, using a spoon to press out all the liquid. Allow to cool and store excess in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Note that this recipe makes about 16 oz of syrup (or enough for roughly 10 drinks) so scale it up if you're planning for more.

Thanks to Belen Aquino for the stunning cocktail photography and to Gather Vintage Tablescapes for the lovely glasses, dishware and other table adornments.

 

Strawberry Season

I have a confession.

I don't like tequila. While it has grown on me tremendously since college, you won't find me sipping any on the rocks or volunteering to consume it in shot form. Maybe being Eastern European gives me a poor tequila tolerance to offset my excellent vodka tolerance?

That being said, a lot of other people find tequila enjoyable so I can't leave it out of my cocktail repertoire. It's good to stick with the ingredients you know you love but challenging yourself to move beyond your comfort zone can have surprisingly good consequences. This cocktail is one of those good consequences.

In the past, I've started with a traditional margarita recipe and tried adding egg whites. Why? I thought the foam created by egg whites could smooth out some of the bite of the tequila flavor and bring it down to a level I could find agreeable. The egg whites accomplished exactly what I was hoping for and so much more. 

I particularly enjoy this margarita variation when paired with another fruit flavor. Since strawberries are currently wonderfully ripe and abundant, they served as my fruit of choice. As an extra step, I spent a few hours infusing my tequila with a few bags of wild strawberry tea (steps: put tea bags into tequila -> taste until desired flavor is achieved -> take tea bags out of tequila). The bottle I had on hand was a cheap one but excellent for mixing, especially when given some extra flavor with an infusion. You can snag it for under $10 at Trader Joe's!

One final word of advice - having tested multiple ways of preparing strawberry cocktails, I highly recommend either boiling them to create a syrup or blending them if you prefer to have the fresh fruit. You simply can't get as much goodness out of them if you muddle and then strain. 

Strawberry Season

  • 1.5 oz strawberry tea infused tequila
  • 2-3 blended strawberries
  • 0.5 oz orange liqueur (I swear by this one)
  • 1 small lime
  • 1 egg white

Cut a slice out of the center of the lime and set aside for garnish. Juice the rest of the lime into a shaker and add all other ingredients. Shake without ice for 10-15 seconds, making sure to periodically release the pressure from the top of the shaker (pressure will build as the egg white starts to foam). Add ice and shake until chilled, then strain into a stemmed glass and garnish with a lime wheel. Enjoy outdoors with good company.

Photography by Belen Aquino, glassware by Gather Vintage Tablescapes

Sunshine State of Mind

One of the reasons that I so love mixology is that it's an ever-changing science experiment. New inspiration is constantly popping up in terms of ingredients, tools and methods. While I try to keep this blog beginner-friendly, I also want to encourage you to have some of your own science experiment fun alongside me (and to hopefully learn from where I've struggled).

This cocktail features several techniques I've been curious to try out - roasting and dehydrating. The bad news is that both require some degree of planning ahead. But trust me, it's so worth it if you want to take your flavor profile and garnish game to the next level. Plus, no complex tools are necessary - a simple oven does the trick.

Let's start with roasting.

Roasting your citrus (oranges, in this case) with some sprinkled sugar brings out the juicy sweetness and achieves a nice, slightly caramelized flavor. After a bit of research, I chose to follow the instructions that I found here and was very satisfied with the end results:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Slice oranges in half and top with a pinch of brown sugar
  3. Bake on a parchment-paper lined sheet for 30 minutes
  4. Finish the process by broiling for 5 minutes (the goal is to get the oranges slightly browned but make sure to check on them frequently so they don't burn)

If the summer heat has you avoiding the oven at all costs, try grilling the oranges instead. You'll get a more smoky flavor using the grill and will need to adjust cooking time accordingly. 

Dehydrating is a completely optional bonus step if you're feeling adventurous.

If you've never before seen dehydrated citrus garnish at a cocktail bar, think of a typical citrus wheel with a more papery, translucent texture and shrunken size. The cool thing about this type of garnish is you can make it in bulk and have it on hand for a long time (drying something out is a basic means of preservation). If you don't have the time to devote to this extra step, a thin slice of fresh orange will also make a beautiful martini topper.

Citrus dehydration steps are as follows:

  1. Slice citrus into 1/4" thick slices
  2. Place citrus slices onto a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet
  3. Bake at 170 degrees for 6 hours (turning rack every 2 hours)

I didn't have the luxury of time so I baked my orange slices at 200 degrees for 4 hours. While they weren't completely dried out, they were most of the way there and achieved the look I was going for. 

To craft the Sunshine State of Mind martini, I juiced the roasted oranges, and added vermouth, gin, orange bitters and homemade honey syrup. The result was delightfully sweet with a refreshing orange freshness and a nice depth given by the gin. 

Sunshine State of Mind

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 roasted orange
  • 1/2 oz honey syrup*
  • Dash of orange bitters

Fill shaker with a handful of ice, then add juice from the roasted orange. Top with the remaining ingredients and shake vigorously until shaker is frosted (this is a boozy one so the colder, the better). Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel or a thin orange slice. Enjoy while soaking up the sun on your next beach getaway.

*To make honey syrup, heat 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup water over medium heat until honey dissolves. Make sure to stir frequently and turn down the heat if the mixture starts to boil. Syrup can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a few weeks.

Photography and glassware by Belen Aquino.