Review: Crop Organic Spiced Pumpkin Vodka

Crop Spiced_Pumpkin_Final‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin… which brings us to our first pumpkin spice-flavored vodka here at Drinkhacker, from (of all people) Crop Organic.

Crop has a well-deserved reputation as a purveyor of high-end organic spirits, and despite the novelty nature of anything pumpkinesque, Crop somehow hits another home run with this hip flavor.

Appropriately burnt orange in color, Crop Spiced Pumpkin offers a quite sweet nose with a fragrant, cloves/cinnamon/vanilla spice to it. The body has the inimitable pumpkin spiciness to it — difficult to put into words, but distinctly nodding toward holiday tipples. That said, it is extremely sweet, to the point where you’ll have no idea whether you’re drinking a flavored vodka or a dense, sugary liqueur. From the orangey appearance, observers would be well justified in assuming you’re sipping on Grand Marnier.

Clearly one would never do that — save your intrepid critic — as this is a mixer through and through. With that in mind, Crop has provided a number of recipes for your enjoyment. See below.

70 proof.

A- / $25 /


Crop Organic Pumpkin Ginger Cooler 
(Arley Howard, Top of the Hub) 
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 lemon slice
2 parts Crop Organic Spiced Pumpkin Vodka
1 part ginger liqueur
1 part sour mix
Ginger ale

In a highball glass, muddle brown sugar with lemon and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Add ice, Crop Organic Spiced Pumpkin Vodka, ginger liqueur, and sour mix. Shake contents and then top with ginger ale.

Plymouth Rock Julep 
(Nick Nistico, Premier Beverage Company) 
2 parts Rye whiskey
1 part Crop Organic Spiced Pumpkin Vodka
1/2 part cinnamon syrup
5 dashes Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters

Swizzle all ingredients with ice and then top with crushed ice.  Garnish with a candy-corn pumpkin and grated cinnamon.

Pumpkin Cocktail 
(Nick Nistico, Premier Beverage Company) 
1 part Crop Organic Spiced Pumpkin Vodka
5 dashes bitters

Top with pumpkin ale.

Pumpkin Collins 
(Nick Nistico, Premier Beverage Company) 
2 parts Crop Organic Spiced Pumpkin Vodka
1 part fresh lemon juice
1/2 part simple syrup

Shake with ice and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel dusted with cinnamon.

Recipes: Fall Friendly Cocktails, 2014

We’ve been getting hit with several recipe ideas to share for fall, so we figured we’d pass them along as an alternative to all of the pumpkin stuff that seems to be quite the craze this time of year. Enjoy!

SpicyPearCoolerSpicy Cutty Pear Cooler
1.5 oz. Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition
0.25 oz. Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
0.25 oz. lemon juice
0.25 oz. honey
2 oz. ginger beer
1/8th of a ripe pear

In a mixing tin, muddle the pear with honey and lemon. Add the Cutty Pro and Ancho Reyes and shake. Double strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a pear slice.

(Created by Julie Reiner, New York)
1 ½ oz. Hangar 1 Straight vodka
1 ½ oz. Cocchi Americano Rosa
¼ oz. Ramazzotti Amaro
2 dashes orange bitters
1 lemon twist (for garnish)

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Dixie Dew
1.5 ounces Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve bourbon
½ teaspoon Hiram Walker white crème de menthe
½ teaspoon Cointreau
Fresh mint, twist of orange (for garnish)

Fill glass with ice, then add each ingredient. Stir to mix and garnish with fresh mint or a twist of orange.

Rooster’s Vengeance
(Courtesy of the Warehouse, Charleston, SC)
2 oz Espolon Reposado
1 oz cinnamon syrup
.5 oz fresh lemon
2 dashes Tabasco
4 oz spiced apple cider

MidnightCowboyStir ingredients together and add Tabasco to taste (note: the recipe calls for 2 dashes, but we added a bit more for extra kick).

Midnight Cowboy
2 oz Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
1 oz Myer’s Dark Rum
½ oz heavy cream

Fill a low ball or rocks glass with ice. Add each ingredient and stir until the cream is mixed. Serve with a plate of cookies if desired.

Recipes for National Coffee Day, 2014

Monday, September 29th is National Coffee Day; a holiday which all folks in love with the caffeinated bean can most certainly get behind and celebrate. We’ve received a few recipes to celebrate this festive occasion, although we suggest maybe not drinking them around the office (unless your boss is cool with that sort of thing).

RoseWithoutThorns_whiteRose Without Thorns
1.5 oz Hennessy VS
2.5 oz cold brew coffee
4 raspberries
.5 oz ruby port
.5 oz simple syrup
Raspberries (for garnish)

Place 4 raspberries in a shaker tin, muddle, add other ingredients add ice and chill shake. Fine strain into a rocks glass (also works with Martini and Coupe glasses).

The Bold & Fresh
1.5 oz Hennessy
.75 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz lemon juice
1 splash Chambord
2.5 oz cold brew coffee

Muddle raspberries in a shaker tin and add all other ingredients with ice and shake until well chilled. Fine strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Sweet Lavazza
1/2 oz. espresso
1/2 oz. Amaretto di Saronno
1/2 oz. cognac
1 bowl vanilla ice cream

Prepare in a shaker, serve in a cocktail glass, and top with grated bitter chocolate.

GMAGN_whiteGood Morning and Goodnight
1.5 oz coffee-infused Hennessy VS
.5 oz Tia Maria
.5 oz Madeira
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash cherry bitters
Coffee beans (for garnish)

For infusion: let espresso beans sit in Hennessy for an hour. Add all liquids to a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube and garnish with 3 coffee beans.

Recipe: Labor Day Cocktails 2014

The end of summer is upon us, signaled once again by the extended Labor Day weekend — one final summer holiday to salute and celebrate those who work hard throughout the year and to welcome in the upcoming fall season. It’s been a fantastic summer, so here’s a few of the more interesting submissions we’ve received, compiled for your consideration and usage. Safe travels during this holiday season!

EarlEarl of Paradise Punch
3 parts Malibu rum
2 parts apple juice
4 parts chilled Earl Grey tea
1 part fresh lime juice
½ part simple syrup
Fresh raspberries

Muddle the raspberries with syrup and then add the rest of the ingredients. Chill by stirring on ice and garnish with mint and citrus wheels.

Red Sunrise Punch
1 part (50-60 ml) Malibu Red
2/5 parts (20 ml) fresh lime juice
3/5 parts (30 ml) fresh pink grapefruit juice
2/5 parts (20 ml) raspberry syrup
A dash (5 ml) of Pernod Ricard Absinthe

Stir all the ingredients on ice in a rock glass. Top with a dash of absinthe.

KOneKetel One PK
1 oz. Ketel One Vodka
.5 oz. Pimms No. 1
1 dash Angostura bitters
3 cucumber slices
Lemon-lime soda

Place two cucumber slices at the bottom of a Collins glass. Top with ice. Add Ketel One Vodka, Pimms No. 1, and Angostura bitters. Top with lemon-lime soda. Stir. Garnish with remaining cucumber slice.

FizzCanadian Fizz
1 ½ oz. Ungava Gin
1 oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
3 oz. soda water
Orange zest and cherries for garnish

Add Ungava Gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a tall glass and top with soda water. Garnish with orange zest and cherries and serve.

BellaBella Frappe
1 oz. Lucid Absinthe
2/3 oz. triple sec
Dash of Monin Sirop de Framboise
6-8 fresh raspberries
Juice from 1/2 lime

Muddle raspberries, Monin Framboise, and juice from half the lime in a cocktail shaker. Top with ice,Lucid Absinthe, and triple sec. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Top with Champagne and garnish with remaining fresh raspberries.

Recipe: National Rum Day Recipes, 2014

This Saturday (August 16th) marks yet another turn in the calendar for National Rum Day. We’ve had several emails from distilleries come through our inbox over the past week, and here’s a sampling of some of the best of the bunch:

image001Guayaba Arabica
1 ½ parts Bacardi rum
1 part Goya guava nectar
¾ part fresh squeeze lime juice
¾ part coffee scented simple syrup
5 cilantro leaves
1 pinch of salt

To make the coffee scented simple syrup, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil, blanch 1 cup of espresso beans into the water for approximately 30 seconds, strain the espresso beans, add 1 cup of sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Place all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and shake until the ingredients are well combined, then strain the mixture through a small mesh strainer or tea strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with freshly grated espresso bean.

Mosquito Coast
2 oz Flor de Cana 7 Years Old
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz pistachio syrup
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
Chile de Arbol Tincture to taste
A dash of Angostura bitters

Add all ingredients except for the bitters in a glass, stir add crushed ice, use a swizzle stick. Top off with angostura bitters.

Bright Eyed FizzBright Eyed Fizz
1 1/2 oz Zacapa Rum 23
2 oz sparkling water
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz honey
1/4 oz fresh ginger extract
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground turmeric

Combine Zacapa Rum 23, fresh lemon juice, honey, fresh ginger extract, ground cardamom and ground turmeric into a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain contents into a highball glass over ice. Top with sparkling water.

Recipe: Lavazza Coffee Cocktails, 2014

As I type this it’s an early Sunday morning and I’m currently hurting from a bit too much celebrating the night before. Thanks to a hyperactive child who is wired beyond reason, I am unable to sleep in. While I’m patiently waiting for my coffee to brew and some children’s show is blaring in the other room, I’m clicking through my inbox, where I found these recipes sent over from Lavazza. Right now, they’re looking pretty great. I have yet to try them, but will report back if I get the motivation and/or will to live any time soon.

Lavazza Grand Slam
1 oz. Lavazza espresso
1/2 oz. Kahlua
1 oz. Grand Marnier

Prepare in mixing glass, serve it topped with fresh cream in a Martini cocktail glass.

image001Lavazza Espresso Match Point Martini
1 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. Kahlúa
1 oz. Lavazza espresso
lightly whipped cream for topping
1 malted milk ball (instead of an olive, of course)

Fill mixing glass with ice cubes, add ingredients and stir quickly to chill, strain into a chilled Martini glass and top with layer of whipping cream and garnish with malted milk ball, if desired.

Recipes: 2014 Summer Cocktail Roundup

As w near the close of the summer season, we decided to publish a few cocktails worthy of consideration, but which didn’t necessarily fit into some other thematic concept.

image003Raspberry Ganache
2 oz. Sobieski Raspberry Vodka
2 oz. Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
½ oz. cream
Splash of cherry juice
Rock candy and cherries for garnish

Add all ingredients into a blender with ice. Blend and pour into a tall glass. Garnish with rock candy and cherries.

Crimson Hero
(courtesy of Zachary Blair, mixologist at KANU Lounge at Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, New York)
3 oz Charbay Blood Orange
.5 oz Barenjager
.5 oz vermouth
Splash of lemon
Orange twist and sage leaf (for garnish)

Mix ingredients together, shake well and strain, pour over ice, add garnish and serve.

muleMexicue Mule
(courtesy of Mexicue Kitchen and Bar)
2 ounces bourbon
1 oz ginger syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ cup chilled ginger beer
Lime wedge (for garnish)

Fill tall glass with ice. Add bourbon and lime juice, then ginger beer; stir to mix. Pour into high ball. Garnish with lime wedge. (Note: Mexicue recommends Kings County bourbon, but we used Beam Double Black and it turned out just fine.)

image002Frozen Fairy
1 oz. Lucid Absinthe
1 oz. rum
4 oz. piña colada mix
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. melon liqueur
Pineapple for garnish

In a blender add Lucid Absinthe, rum, piña colada mix, pineapple juice and ice. Blend until smooth. Pour the frozen mix in a tall glass and float the melon liqueur on top. Garnish with pineapple

Recipe: National Tequila Day, 2014 Edition

July 24th brings us another mid-week holiday we can all get together and celebrate: the 2014 edition of National Tequila Day. We offered some great tequila recipes last year, but here’s a few more that have come across our inbox you might want to check out.

Tequila thingThe Garden Fresh Skinny Summerita
Created by Travis London, celebrity chef
1 oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 oz. Cabo Wabo Blanco
juice of half a lime
3 sprigs fresh cilantro
3 thin slices of fresh cucumber
3 thin slices of a fresh jalapeño pepper
cucumber wheel for garnish

(NOTE: We did not have any X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, nor did we have any of Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo styled tequila around, but we did have some tequila and other stuff, and things worked out just fine)

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker (except cucumber wheel) filled with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with cucumber wheel.

summerzapBitter Summer Zapatista
Created by Borys Saciuk of 15 Romolo in San Francisco
1.5 oz. Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila
0.75 oz. Campari
0.75 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
0.25 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. agave nectar
Fresh Egg White
Pinch of Indonesian Pepper

Beginning with agave nectar and pepper, combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice into a tall glass. Garnish with long grapefruit peel.

Cherry Valance
1 ½ parts Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila
½ part applejack
½ part fresh lemon juice
1/3 part pomegranate syrup
Egg white

Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and shake extremely vigorously until egg whites are mixed well. Serve in a coupe glass.

Este Lado
Created by Mixologists Ben Scorah and Marshall Altier
1 1/2 ounces Don Julio Blanco
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Slice of English Cucumber
Mint sprig
Additional mint and cucumber (for garnish)

Muddle English Cucumber and mint sprig in simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice and ice. Shake well. Strain Contents over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with mint sprig and cucumber wheel.

rosemaryBlushing Rosemary Margarita
2 parts Milagro Silver Tequila
1 part fresh lime juice
¾ part agave nectar
4 watermelon chunks
1 rosemary sprig
1 lemon wheel
2 dashes Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters

In a cocktail shaker, muddle fruit and herbs. Add remaining ingredients. Shake and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with Rosemary Sprig and Lemon Wheel.

charroCharro Negro
2 oz. Trianon Blanco Tequila
1 ½ oz. cola
Fresh lime juice
Sea salt
Lime wheel for garnish

Rim a glass with salt and fill with ice. Add lime juice, cola and Trianon Blanco Tequila. Add a pinch of salt and stir. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.

4th of July Cocktail Recipes, 2014 Edition

Once again we present a wide assortment of July 4th inspired cocktails for you to experiment with over the long holiday weekend. We received a ton for consideration of inclusion, but after sampling many of these over the previous week we felt the recipes below were at the top of the class. Everyone stay safe and enjoy the holidays!

Liberty LemonadeLady Liberty Lemonade
(created by Andrea Correale)
2 oz. triple sec
2 oz. limoncello
1 handful of raspberries
2 oz. mint leaves
A dash of grenadine for color
A pinch of raw sugar
Juice of two lemons
Club soda

Add raspberries and mint to the bottom of the glass and sprinkle raw sugar on tome. Muddle ingredients until it has the appearance of jam. Add the Triple Sec, Limoncello and lemon juice to your glass. Add a dash of grenadine for color, and then add the ice and top if off with club soda. Stir and serve with a sprig of fresh mint on top

FirecrackerThe Firecracker
1 oz. strawberry vodka
1 oz. NOHO Gold energy drink
½ oz. peach schnapps
Splash of cranberry juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

Strawberry Fireworks
3 oz. Hornitos Plata Tequila
Handful of fresh strawberries
Juice from 1 lime
2 teaspoons superfine sugar
Fresh pepper
6 oz. club soda

Put strawberries in a small pitcher and mash to your desired consistency. Add juice, club soda, tequila and combine along with 4 good grinds from the pepper mill. Fill 2 glasses halfway with ice and divide drink among glasses.

Red Berry Sangria
1 oz. Red Berry Ciroc vodka
1 oz. rose wine
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
2 oz. berry tea

Combine ingredients, stir over ice in wine glass.

Yankee DoodleYankee Doodle
½ oz. Lucid absinthe
1 oz. Sobieski vodka
¼ oz. simple syrup
Splash of lemon juice
Drizzle of raspberry brandy
Ginger beer
Fresh blueberries and sugar cube for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, add fresh blueberries and simple syrup and muddle. Add absinthe, vodka, lemon juice and shake. Strain into a highball glass and top with raspberry brandy and ginger beer. Garnish with fresh blueberries and a sugar cube and serve.

Recipe: Father’s Day Cocktails 2014

On Father’s Day, most dads are just perfectly content with a glass of their favorite spirit, a can of their favorite beer or a glass of their favorite vintage. However, there are some fathers whose palate run a bit more refined. Here are a few recipes which show a bit more effort than just another tie or poorly designed ashtray.

image001Tart Daddy
1 part UV Vodka
3 parts grapefruit juice
1 dash of sour mix
Mix and serve over ice in a lowball glass.

Basil Hayden’s Dad’s Day Off
(Created by Zachary Brian Taylor, San Francisco)
1 ½ parts Basil Hayden’s bourbon
¾ parts Lemon Juice
½ part brown sugar syrup
1 sprig of Rosemary
Ginger Beer

Combine Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, lemon juice and brown sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker. Remove rosemary needles from the bottom 3/4 of the sprig and add to the shaker. Save the top of the sprig for use as a garnish. Add ice to shaker and shake. Double strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with the remaining rosemary sprig.

(Note: Didn’t have any Basil Hayden’s in the house, but tried this with Knob Creek Single Barrel and it worked just fine.)

image009Endless Days
1 ½ oz. Ketel One Oranje
1 oz. Aperol
½ oz. fresh orange juice
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
3-4 dashes rhubarb bitters
Club soda

Combine first six ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a long orange twist.