NOT-SO-AMATEUR HOUR >> RECIPES
RUSSELL HOUSE TAVERN'S ORANGE BITTERS
Combine the zests of 8 fresh oranges with ½ cup dried orange peel, ¼ cup coriander seeds, ¼ cup gentian root, 1/8 cup black peppercorns, and 20 cardamom pods in a nonreactive sealable glass container (i.e., a Mason jar). Add 2 750 ml bottles of 100-proof vodka and shake vigorously. Store the jar in a dark, temperature-controlled environment. Shake daily, or whenever you see the jar. Taste after a week, and taste daily until desired flavor profile is achieved. When the taste is right, fine-strain over a chinois and coffee filter or cheesecloth. Sweeten to taste with simple syrup, honey syrup, or whatever sweetener you'd like. This makes 1.5 liters; dilute if desired.
Best Use » A no-bullshit gin martini. Combine 3 oz of London dry gin, 1 oz of nice, dry vermouth, and 3 dashes of orange bitters. Garnish with a twist.
BOOZE ÉPOQUE'S GINGER/BLACK-PEPPERCORN SYRUP
Use a standard juicer to juice ½ cup fresh peeled ginger root. Combine ginger juice, 1 cup water, 2 tbs lime juice, and 1 cup turbinado sugar in sauce pot and bring to a boil. Add ¼ cup thinly sliced ginger root, 2 tbs whole black peppercorn, 1 tsp lime zest, and 1 dash cayenne pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour mixture into blender; blend on high until all ingredients liquefy. Triple strain with a fine mesh strainer into a Mason jar.
Best Use » Mix ½ oz of syrup with 2 oz of rye and serve on ice. It can also be mixed with some club soda as the "ginger beer" for a Dark and Stormy, or used simply as syrup to spice up plain seltzer.
ISLAND CREEK OYSTER BAR'S RHUBARB VERMOUTH
Pour 500 ml brandy in a jar. Slice fresh rhubarb and add as much to the jar as you can while keeping the rhubarb completely covered by the brandy. Let stand for one week.
Bring 5 g bitter orange peel, 2 g wormwood, 1 g angelica root, 1 g bay leaf, 1 g cinnamon, 1 g coriander, 1 g gentian root, 1 g ginger, 1 g green cardamom pods, 1 g nutmeg, 1 g oregano, 1 g rosemary, 1 g sage, 1 g thyme, and 1 g vanilla bean to a boil with 750 ml of rosé wine. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then add 250 ml of ruby port to the herb/spice wine.
Dissolve 600 g white sugar with 1 to 2 tsp of water over heat, and bring to a caramel that is the color of peanut butter. Remove from the heat and add the infused brandy immediately and carefully. Mix thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved in the brandy. Use a heat-safe spatula, never a whisk.
Pour remaining 1.5 L of rosé into a large container and add the herb/spice wine/port mixture. Add the sugar/brandy mixture and stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Microplane zest of ¼ an orange into the container. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. Strain, bottle, and store in the refrigerator between uses.
Best Use » The Scarselli. Combine 1 oz gin, 1 oz Aperol, 1 oz rhubarb vermouth, and 1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters. Mount in a mixing glass, add ice, and stir. Strain into a chilled lowball over fresh ice and garnish with a lemon twist.
JM CURLEY'S FIVE-SPICE-INFUSED RUM
Combine equal parts Szechuan peppercorns, pre-ground dried ginger, ground cinnamon, ground clove, and ground star anise. Take 1 tablespoon and funnel it into a 1 L bottle of Gosling's Black Seal rum. Let it infuse for 24 hours. Strain the mixture through a coffee filter to remove spice blend. Enjoy.
Best Use » The Zen Den. Take 2 oz five-spice-infused Gosling, ½ oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, ½ oz lime, and ½ oz ginger syrup. Shake all ingredients together and double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
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