Recipes with Dry Sparkling Sodas

DRY Watermelon

Dry is an increasingly popular brand of sparkling water/soda — recently revamped and now focused heavily on using as a mixer in cocktails. Here are some recipes to try out with Dry, some twists on classics, some new inventions — and all easy and refreshing for summertime.

The L&L
4½ oz. Lavender DRY
1½ oz. vodka
¼ oz. St-Germain
lemon peel for garnish

Shake vodka, ice and St-Germain in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a large martini glass. Top with Lavender DRY and garnish with a slice of lemon peel.

Southern Belle

Southern Belle
4 oz. Ginger DRY
1½ oz. bourbon
¾ oz. peach liquor
½ oz. lemon juice
lemon peel for garnish

Add bourbon, peach liquor and lemon juice to an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake, shake, shake. Strain into glass half-filled with ice and add Ginger DRY. Stir once and garnish with lemon peel.

Midwestern Sunset
6 oz. Rhubarb DRY
¾ oz. Chambord
1 oz. raspberry vodka
clementine

Pour all ingredients over ice into a bucket glass. Stir and garnish with a paper thin slice of clementine or tangerine.

Apple Old Fashioned

Apple Old Fashioned
2½ oz. Fuji Apple DRY
2 dashes Angustora bitters
1½ oz. bourbon
a touch of brown sugar
orange slice and peel
fresh apple slice for garnish

Swipe the orange around the inside and rim of an old fashioned glass, then discard the orange. Add bourbon, bitters, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and mix until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the Fuji Apple DRY, then fill the glass with ice. Garnish with fresh orange peel and an apple slice.

Pomme Island
3 oz. Fuji Apple DRY
2 oz. pineapple juice
1½ oz. tequila
2 dashes citrus bitters
fresh lime
thinly sliced lime and pineapple

Add pineapple juice, tequila, and bitters to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 15 seconds. Pour into a chimney glass over fresh ice, then stir in Fuji Apple DRY. Garnish with a lime wheel or a fresh slice of pineapple…both if you’re feeling adventurous.

Whistler WonderlandWonderland
3 oz. Vanilla Bean DRY
1 oz. Irish whisky
1 oz. Irish cream
1 oz. Kahlua

Add whisky, Irish Cream, Kahlua, and ice to a cocktail shaker and shake well. Rim a chimney glass with sugar, then add a few small cubes of ice. Strain mixture into glass, add Vanilla Bean DRY and stir lightly.

Cherry Biscotti
1½ oz. Rainier Cherry DRY
2 oz. Disaronno
Luxardo cherry liqueur
maraschino cherry for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine Disaronno and ice; shake to chill. Strain into a short rocks glass with a few fresh cubes of ice. Top with Rainier Cherry DRY and garnish with a maraschino cherry…don’t dare use an old school waxy maraschino cherry or this cocktail tool may cease to work entirely for you.

Stage Kiss
3 oz. Blood Orange DRY
1½ oz. Don Julio Tequila
1 tbsp. date-agave jam with cayenne (or your favorite jam)
1 oz. blood orange juice
blood orange wedge

Add tequila, blood orange juice, and jam to a mixing glass. Shake extra well with ice and pour into old fashioned glass. Top with Blood Orange DRY and stir. Garnish with blood orange wedge.

DRY red sangria
2 bottles of Blood Orange DRY (12 oz. each)
1 bottle red wine (750 ml.)
2 oz. brandy
1 oz. orange flavored liqueur (recommended: triple sec or Grand Marnier)
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
¾ oz. fresh orange juice
2 oz. simple syrup
½ orange, thinly sliced
½ lemon, thinly sliced
1 apple or pear, cored and cut into thin wedges

Combine everything but the DRY in a large plastic container or glass pitchers. Cover and chill completely, 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the Blood Orange DRY. Pour into poco grande glasses or highball glasses and serve.

Maçã e Hortelã
4 oz. Cucumber DRY
2 oz. Cabana Cachaca
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
½ oz. simple syrup
3 slices of Granny Smith apple
4 fresh mint leaves
apple slice

In a mixing glass, muddle apple, mint and simple syrup until apples are well crushed. Add cachaca, bitters, and ice. Shake well and double strain into iced Collins glass. Top with Cucumber DRY and garnish with an apple slice.

Greek Goddess

Greek Goddess
4 oz. Cucumber DRY
1 oz. freshly squeeze white grape juice
2 oz. citrus vodka
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
Finely sliced cucumber spears (We had to change this up and use white grapes brushed with honey and rolled in sugar.)

Stir vodka and grape juice together in a chimney glass. Add ice. Top with Cucumber DRY and mix lightly. Garnish with finely sliced cucumber spears.

Strawberry Mojito
created by Traci York

For the Mint Simple Syrup (Yields enough for 2-3 Servings):
1/2 cup sugar or evaporated cane juice
1/2 cup water
2 mint leaves

For the Mojito (yields one drink):
1/2 in Lime cut into 4 wedges 3 wedges cut 1/2, save the last wedge for garnish.
4-8 whole mint leaves Whole Mint
4 large strawberries (3 cut in quarters for muddling; 1 for garnish)
1 1/2 oz. mint simple syrup cooled
2 oz. light rum
Watermelon DRY

To make the Mint Simple Syrup:
Pour the sugar and water in a two-quart saucepan, then add the mint and bring to a boil. Stir. Boil until all the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to steep for 10 minutes and allow the syrup to cool. Remove the mint leaves and pour into a lidded container for storage in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the Mojito:
In a 16 oz. highball glass, layer the cut lime wedges, mint leaves, and three quartered strawberries. Pour in the simple syrup and use a muddler to muddle the mixture for about 30 seconds. The goal is to squeeze out the lime juice, mash the berries and to allow the mint to release its oils. There should be bits of strawberries left when muddling is complete. Add the light rum to the muddled mixture, then add crushed ice. Top off with Watermelon DRY. Stir well. Garnish with a lime wedge, medium strawberry, and mint stem.

drysparkling.com

Book Review: How to Drink French Fluently — A Drinker’s Guide to Joie De Vivre

How to Drink French Fluently—A Drinker’s Guide to Joie De Vivre.

How to Drink French Fluently, a book sponsored by St. Germain (aka St-Germain), is gorgeous. The photos interspersed throughout are lush and beautiful, making this a perfect coffee table book.

This book is a drinker’s guide, but it has so much more to offer than just cocktail recipes. Of course there are plenty of those from acclaimed bartenders, and each centers around St. Germain. For the elderflower liqueur lover, these thirty cocktails are sent from heaven.

The book is divided into five times of the day when a cocktail is considered appropriate—brunch, daytime, aperitif, dinner, and as a nightcap. Each section contains an explanation of the history of cocktail traditions for that time of the day and what to serve with each of the drinks during those occasions. Then come the wonderful cocktails included in each section. We have to fess up to trying nearly all of them, except for two which contain fruits not yet in season.

There is one small section near the back of the book which is particularly impressive. These pages explain how to make the unique ingredients called for in the book’s recipes. Among those ingredients are Gewürztraminer syrup, strawberry shrub, lemon cordial, St. Germain sorbet, smoked tomato-infused St. Germain, and even ice cubes made with St. Germain. We loved the ice cubes so much, we tossed a few into a tall glass of iced tea for a new take on sweet tea.

Here are a few of our favorite cocktails from the book. Once you try them, you’ll want to try the rest.

Rivington PunchRivington Punch
1 oz. dry rosé wine
½ oz. St. Germain
1 ½ oz. Aperol
¼ oz. Combier Framboise
1 oz. soda water
1 strawberry
1 grapefruit crescent

Stir all of the ingredients in a wine glass over ice. Garnish with a strawberry and a grapefruit crescent.

Voodoo Down
2 dashes orange bitters
¼ oz. ginger syrup
¼ oz. honey syrup
¾ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. St. Germain
½ oz. Trinidadian Rum
1 oz. 12-year-old Elijah Craig bourbon

Put all ingredients into a shaker and shake with ice. Strain over ice into a double rocks glass and serve. No garnish is needed.

Voodoo DownMidnight Bouquet
1 dash grapefruit bitters (We used orange bitters instead)
½ oz. St. Germain
¾ oz. Amaro Averna
¼ oz. San Andres Alipus mezcal
1 ½ oz. añejo tequila
1 grapefruit twist

Stir all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Then strain into a coupe glass. Next, express the oils from the grapefruit twist over the surface before using it as a garnish.

A /$20 / [BUY IT NOW FROM AMAZON]

Review: Tobermory Single Malt Scotch Whisky 10 Years Old

Scotch drinkers quickly learn the four major regions in Scotland that produce whisky: Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, and Islay. But they aren’t the only parts of Scotland producing whisky, just the ones producing the most. Tobermory hails from the Isle of Mull, located to the west of the mainland and about 23 miles north of Islay. The distillery was built near the northernmost part of the island in the town from which it draws its name.

Tobermory is not a new distillery. The label notes that it was established in 1798. But the distillery closed periodically throughout its history and changed hands many times. As a result, the quality of the scotch has varied over time and one might be wary of giving this young malt a try. But recent years have seen the quality of the scotch improve significantly, and now it stands as a bold, enjoyable (and affordable) dram worthy of serious attention.

Tobermory’s light golden color attests to the fact that it was aged entirely in ex-bourbon barrels and for only ten years. Un-chill filtered and bottled at 46.3% alcohol, the whisky is both assertive and complex. On the nose, Tobermory is floral and offers honey and vanilla with some pepper, a slight herbal element, as well as a bready component. It also has a distinctive briny quality that makes the whisky stand apart from other bottlings.

Tasting Tobermory, one might guess it was made with lightly peated malt, but the touch of smokiness and stronger saltiness derive entirely from the water the distillery uses, which runs over peat bogs near the distillery. Following a bright, briny entry, Tobermory offers flavors of honey, dried fruit, and pepper. The whisky has a surprisingly long, sweet finish for its age, exhibiting no bitterness at all, although the high alcohol content does lend the dram a bit of a burn. Still, I wouldn’t recommend adding water to Tobermory. The alcohol level seems well suited to the Scotch, whose flavors really pop at the slightly high abv. Tobermory is probably not a Scotch for newbies, but it might be a treat for someone who has tried and enjoyed more straightforward single malts and wants to sample something powerful yet nuanced.

92.6 proof.

A- / $55 / tobermorydistillery.com

A Visit to Moonlight Brewery’s Tap Room, Santa Rosa, California

Moonlight Brewery is located in Santa Rosa, California. While it is a small brewer, the brewery is best known for its beer Death and Taxes. We recently visited its tap room, which is on the brewery site.

Unfortunately the brewers were not available to interview. However, the hosts of the tap room were very gracious and friendly, and they offered a look at the boiling tank workroom and the massive, covered brewing kettles. Moonlight may be small, but the size of these boys is impressive.

On tap, six beers were offered, so a sample slat of those was in order. From left to right in the above photo, we tasted:

Toast Burnt Lager – This beer, typically brewed for New Year’s celebrations,  is a light amber body color with a creamy head. At first sip, a nice maltiness is noticeable. The burnt flavor comes through on the back end without being harsh. It is dry and not sweet at all. 6% abv A

Tipple Winter Ale – This dark brown ale is a type of “winter warmer,” brewed for fall and winter. It has a nice, rich, tan head. The first pass under the nose has a citrusy hop note which carries through the first sip. The hoppy overtones are more subtle with the second taste. 6% abv. A

Reality Czeck – A pale yellow pilsner, Reality Czeck is a light and refreshing Czech style beer. It does have the traditional floral hops flavors which are stronger after the first taste, but it reminded me a bit of a Budweiser. 4.8% abv. B

Twist of Fate Bitter Ale – Moonlight calls this English style ale ESB-ish, which means it as a touch of the extra special bittering hops that are noticeable in the taste and scent. I agree this is true to its name. Its hoppiness comes through, but it’s not overpowering. 5.6% abv. A

Lunatic Lager – This lager has a bright yellow body (slightly darker than the Reality Czeck) with a light scent revealing a touch of yeast. It is refreshing with a slight lingering aftertaste which was ever so slightly soapy in texture. 5% abv. B

Death and Taxes – It is a San Francisco style black lager–a common style of lager. The dark, chocolate brown body and thick, creamy, tan head are very welcoming. There are chocolaty notes but more of a dark roast coffee taste than anything. This one remains a favorite. 5% abv. A+

All of these are approximately $7 per 16 oz. draft, depending upon where you buy them.

moonlightbrewing.com

Review: Bear Republic Barrel 188 This Little Figgie Ale

Barrel 188: This Little Figgie Ale

Just as there are dessert wines, I definitely classify Barrel 188 This Little Figgie from Bear Republic as a dessert ale. The initial sweetness is light and certainly that of figs, though they are not overpowering. The head is a nice tan color and also light. The body is a darker gold, almost the shade of dark brown sugar with a slight red tinge when held up to the light. It is pleasantly inviting.

At first sip, there is a bright effervescence bubbling on the tip of the tongue. As the ale warms, the effervescence bursts remain to tantalize your taste buds similar to those of a fine champagne. At this point, the richly sweet black Mission figs (California organic) warm up and step forward. Sip it, hold it on your tongue a moment, and enjoy all of the rich flavors for as long as you can.

The bottle comes with a re-sealable flip top cap which includes a rubber seal. While I appreciate the opportunity to save some for later, I doubt most folks will ever use it. One sip and you’ll want to finish the whole thing, particularly if shared with friends.

I cannot say if pairing This Little Figgie with a dessert with figs in it or snacks like fig-filled cookie bars is a bad thing, though I can recommend it with a German chocolate cake or a cheesecake. A brandy-soaked fruitcake could be delightful because the brandy from the barrels and the fruitcake would mingle in a nice way.

This rare, vintage 2016, brandy barrel aged golden ale is 10% abv per 750ml bottle. It is only available through Bear Republic’s Wild Club.

A+ / $30 / bearrepublic.com