Archive for the ‘Bourbon Belle’ Category

Rain Plaque

by Pink Lady

Bourbon Belle took first place in the Rain Organics Signature Drink Contest held at Persephone last Wednesday! We couldn’t be more thrilled. The competition was stiff – particularly from fellow contestants from Middlesex and Persephone – and the judges – Liza Weisstuch, Jackson Cannon, and Angela Traver – were not to be trifled with. Bourbon Belle remained cool and calm despite the pressure, turning out her drink, the Glass Eye (recipe below), with precision, poise and grace. (Perhaps her recent BarSmarts training had something to do with it?) We’re thrilled that David Sardella, the Patron Saint of LUPEC, convinced the oh-so-talented Bourbon Belle to compete.

The Grand Prize is a free trip to Tales of the Cocktail, where Bourbon Belle may compete in the Great Rain Organics Mix-Off before celebrity judges for $1,000 cash. Keep your fingers crossed for LUPEC Boston’s own. And next time you see her, do congratulate her on the fancy plaque she won.

Cin cin!

2 oz Rain Cucumber Lime vodka
.75 oz Pimm’s No 1
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz lemongrass simple syrup*
2 slices of peeled cucumber

Muddle 1 slice cucumber in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add all ingredients, then fill mixing glass with ice and shake well.

Strain (through a fine mesh strainer) into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a thin slice of cucumber.

*To make lemongrass simple syrup
Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium high heat, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Keeping on heat, add 2 stocks thinly sliced lemongrass, cut on the bias.  Reduce heat to low medium, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain lemongrass from syrup, cool, and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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DIY Syrups

by Bourbon Bellephoto

In Part I of the Syrup Series, we discussed that making your own home made versions of the highly available (and highly artificial) syrups used in modern and classic cocktails (like simply syrup and grenadine), is almost as easy as strolling down to your corner liquor store and purchasing a bottle.  This week we’ll focus on creating your own original flavored syrups, because what you’re looking for, doesn’t actually exist!

I encountered this “problem” today, when I was trying to create a cocktail with a certain flavor profile.  I was interested in seeing what the flavor of lemongrass would impart in a tipple, so I decided I would make my own lemongrass syrup.

I started by making a basic simply syrup, then added some chopped lemongrass and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  Next, I strained out the lemongrass and let the syrup cool. What could be easier than that?!

I had also been thinking about making my own ginger syrup.  Although there are some pretty good ones on the market, I really wanted to capture the spice and punch of fresh raw ginger, which I feel the others are lacking.

I stared by juicing about a cup of whole fresh ginger root. If you don’t happen to have a juicer, you can pulverize the ginger in a food processor, then place the ginger in cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice. The yield will be lower, so you’ll have to use more ginger than with the juicer method.

Once you have your ginger juice, simply add some of the juice to your simple syrup, and voila!

You can try making your own flavored syrups like these, with any number of herbs, spices, fruit peels, etc.  Be creative!

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 stocks lemongrass

Cut the butt end off of the lemongrass stock, and cut again about 4 to 5 inches from bottom. Discard the top and bottom. Slice the remaining stock into 1/8 inch slices, on the bias (to obtain the most surface area).

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir until sugar dissolves.

Add the lemongrass to the simple syrup, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain out lemongrass. Let syrup cool, and store in an airtight jar for up to 1 week.


Juice 1 cup of fresh ginger root, peel on

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger juice for every 2 oz of simple syrup.

Some simple recipe ideas using these syrups!

In a tall glass, filled with ice, add:
1 slice peeled cucumber
2 oz Pimm’s No 1
2 oz  ginger syrup
4 oz soda water
Muddle cucumber in the bottom of a mixing glass.  Add Pimms and ginger syrup. Fill mixing glass with ice and shake vigorously.  Pour contents into a tall glass and top with soda water.
Garnish with a slice of cucumber and enjoy!


In a tall glass, filled with ice, add:
2 oz London Dry Gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz lemongrass syrup
fill with soda water and garnish with a wedge of lemon

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mxmologoLUPEC Boston is honored to be hosting today’s Mixology Monday at our humble abode.  Inspired by a chance encounter that Pink Lady had with a cocktail novice, we’ve decided to consider those cocktails that would be suitably delicious for the first timer.

Obviously there are a couple things to consider when offering up advice to the amateur cocktailian.  First off your suggestions need to be balanced.  Something too bitter, too sweet or too boozey results in our possible convert spending an eternity in vodka/soda purgatory.

And secondly we should consider accessibility.  Folks are afraid of words they don’t know or understand.  And rather than ask for guidance and clarification they will often just turn and run.  Cocktails for the first timer should be relatively simple and incorporate common ingredients.  Not only do we want the cocktail newcomer to enjoy and understand what they’ve just imbibed, we want to be able to write down the recipe and make it clear that it is something they can easily create for themselves at home!

Let’s hear from some of lovely ladies of LUPEC Boston.  How would they pave thelupec_logo72 way to cocktail glory for an amateur?

Pink Lady is a firm believer in the power of the Jack Rose.  “I think in sweeter incarnations and made with a little Peychaud’s, it could easily trick booze-fearing drinkers into swilling back something made with a brown liquor.”

Bourbon Belle chimed in with the Sidecar.  She describes “the combination of the bold and interesting flavor of brandy that is juxtaposed with the sour kick of fresh lemon juice and balanced with the sweet orange flavor of Cointreau” as a great well-balanced cocktail that goes down easy for the novice drinker.

Pink Gin agrees that the brown spirits tend to be an easier sell to the cocktail beginner.  She suggests a Mint Julep (hopefully served in the proper vessel) or perhaps her father’s favorite, a Bourbon Manhattan.  If Pink Gin gets her charm from her father I’m sure he could successfully put a Manhattan in the hands of any teetotaler!

Pinky Gonzalez pipes in with some options to help a newbie recover from any previous gincidents.  She’s used the Left Bank (Gin, St Germain and Sauvignon Blanc) to make “gin-drinkers out of many an unwitting soul.”  She also recommends the Vesper, saying “it’s good for vodka drinkers/gin fearers; the idea that there is vodka in there is enough for some to ‘go there.’  The Lillet offers the vermouth-fearer an alternative and the James Bond reference is a good hook for some folks.”

As someone who spends a big chunk of my life behind the stick making drinks for the general public I’m constantly considering gateway cocktails.  There is nothing more gratifying than introducing someone whose “usual” is a vodka and soda to the wonderful world of flavorful, balanced cocktails.  For this reason I’ve taken to calling them my greatway cocktails.  For our purposes today we will be focusing on gin and whiskey, the two base spirits that seem to be most misunderstood by the masses.

Let’s start with gin.  There is an erroneous fear of gin running rampant through our society that LUPEC is attempting to quell.  Gin is delicious and according to our good friend Patrick Sullivan it makes you smarter.  Armed with this fact and a few cocktails conversion is imminent.

Fine and Dandy Cocktail (from the Savoy Cocktail Book)

1/2 Plymouth Gin

1/4 Cointreau

1/4 Lemon Juice

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

The Fine and Dandy is a greatway cocktail for many reasons.  Like Bourbon Belle’s suggestion of the Sidecar, the sweet and sour aspects of this cocktail are wonderfully balanced but do not overwhelm the nuances of the gin.  In addition this cocktail gently introduces bitters, a cocktail ingredient that unnecessarily frightens the cocktail neophyte.

imagesThe Stork Club Cocktail

1.5 oz Gin

.5 Cointreau

1 oz Orange Juice

.25 oz Lime Juice

1 Dash Angostura Bitters

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Orange juice equals breakfast, the start to one’s day.  Why not start one’s cocktail journey with the juicy house cocktail of one of Manhattan’s most historic hot spots.

As a lover of all brown spirits I can’t imagine not enjoying a perfectly made Manhattan.  But as I know this is not the case for all let’s consider a couple of whiskey based greatway cocktails.

The Scofflaw Cocktail

1 oz Rye Whiskey

1 oz French Vermouth

.5 oz Grenadine

.5 oz Lemon Juice

1 dash Orange Bitters

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This delicious cocktail is perfect for introducing someone to the joys of whiskey and vermouth.   It’s sure to make a newbie ooo and ah.

The Algonquinothers_46780_8

1.5 oz Rye Whiskey

.75 oz Dry Vermouth

.75 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Another juicy option for introducing folks to the joys of marrying whiskey and vermouth.  Encourage the newbie to raise her or his glass to Ms Dorothy Parker, one of our favorite forebroads and member of the Algonquin’s famed round table.

Thank you to all who have participated in our Mixology Monday saluting First Timers.  Check back in the next couple of days for our round up!

Cin Cin!

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by Pink Lady

We’re thrilled to announce that our very own Bourbon Belle is a finalist in the Marvelous Hendricks’s Limerick & Cocktail Competition taking place tonight at the Edison in Downtown Los Angeles!

Some of you may recall Bourbon Belle’s glorious victory at the Hendrick’s Gin Beantown Bartender Battle last August with her delicious drink, Nobody’s Darling. First prize was a complimentary trip anywhere in the US and an opportunity to compete in the Grand Finale this February 17th in Downtown Los Angeles.

Guests will be treated to a champagne punch and given a playbill for the evening. The playbill will outline the evening’s performances, that is to say, the competitors, their cocktails and their lovely limericks!

Bourbon Belle’s winning recipe is below, as well as the limerick that helped her take first place, and a brand new limerick that she’ll debut at the event. We’ll be mixing these up at home and toasting in Bourbon Belle’s honor as we await the results back home in Boston!

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add:

2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
.5 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 oz Angelica Root infused Honey*
.75 oz fresh celery juice
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
Shake and strain into a chilled coup glass.

Pour 6 oz boiling water over 2 oz dried angelica root (in a tea strainer) and let sit for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove angelica.  Add 4 oz Wildflower Honey to the Angelica “Tea” and pour into a saucepan. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Bourbon Belle mixes up the winning cocktail, Nobody's Darling

Bourbon Belle mixes up the winning cocktail, Nobody's Darling


An elixir of cucumber and rose
With a scent that amuses the nose
Angelica-honey we’ll pair
Then some celery sounds fair
Yellow Chartreuse, lemon juice and there goes!

Ladies and Gentleman, I must confess
I’m quite nervous and in some distress
I’ve heard it helps to propose
Your observers unclothed
Please indulge me and just get undressed

Photo courtesy of C. Fernsebner.

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It’s the romantic day of the year…according to Hallmark, anyway.

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day gives us all good reason to kick back a few. Here are some LUPEC approved vaguely pink concoctions to get you through:

Bourbon Belle suggests…

The French Velvet

In a champagne flute add equal parts

Champagne or Sparkling Wine
.25 oz Chambord

Sounds like a delightfully butch take on V-Day, n’est-ce pas? Thanks, BB!

Moscow Mule didn’t think Sex on the Beach sounded dreamy & romantic enough. Instead, try…

Bachelor’s Bait

1 1/2 oz gin

1/4 grenadine

Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain. Serve in a cocktail glass.

Is it bait for the bachelor or bait for the objet d’amour? Thanks, MM!

Now let’s all raise a glass to love and the color pink!

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