Tag Archives: cocktails

Cocktails For A Crowd

When entertaining at home there’s perhaps no more stressful time than those first few minutes when guests have arrived, but you’ve yet to light the candles, put the roast in the oven, or get dressed. 

To lessen that crunch-time agita, consider setting out a simple but impressive drinks spread that your guests can easily help themselves to while you finish your prep. And with just a little bit of advance planning, you can offer bar-quality cocktails without having to play bartender when there’s so much else to do. 

What we like best about this first recipe, created by Kayleigh Speck, bar manager at The East End, is that you can make it three days in advance. This means you can have your Thanksgiving cocktails done and off your mind on the Tuesday before. 

One batch of this seasonally-spot-on and absolutely delicious recipe makes enough for a welcome cocktail for 8-10 people. It’s a snap to make, and can be easily stored and served in 33oz glass swing-top bottles. We sell this version at Bottles for just $5.99 (plus tax).

So whip up and bottle a batch or two on Tuesday and forget about it until Thursday, just before your guests arrive. All you’ll have to do then is set the bottles out on ice, alongside cocktail glasses and a bowl of orange peels for garnish, then get back to the business of the million last minute bits that will need your attention.
The Apple of My Eye, For A Crowd
8 oz bourbon
8 oz apple brandy
6 oz sweet vermouth
4 oz cointreau
3 oz water (for dilution)
8 – 10 dashes Angostura Bitters
Garnish: orange peel

Makes approximately 32 oz, enough for 8-10 guests

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. This batch can be pre-bottled up to 3 days in advance, sealed in latch top bottles, and refrigerated. Serve chilled, poured into cocktail glasses and garnished with an orange peel.

Equally as impressive – and just as easy – is the tried, true, traditional and totally cool punchbowl presentation. All that the recipe below, also created by Kayleigh, requires is that you 
pour all of the ingredients together in a punchbowl over a big block of ice just before you guests arrive. (And if you forget to prepare your large-format ice the night before, don’t fret: the punch is just as good over individual ice cubes in the punch mugs.)
FINE-Apple Punch, For A Crowd
Makes approximately 32 oz, enough for 8-10 guests
6 oz gin
2 oz cointreau
½ oz Allspice Dram***
6 oz lemon juice
8 oz pineapple juice
10 oz sparkling apple cider (non-alcohol)
Large format ice (formed in a bundt pan, or large cubes)
Garnish: cinnamon stick

 
Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl over large ice cubes or an ice-mold. To serve, ladle into punch glasses and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

***A note on Allspice Dram: this bitter and super sweet rum based liqueur is spiced (with allspice, natch), and is a key component in many of the tiki drinks that Kayleigh and her team make at The East End. It’s also terrific in an Old Fashioned, and several tequila-based cocktails. Given its unique flavor and versatility, It should be on any serious home bar.

Happy Thanksgiving!

# # #

(prices subject to change)

What to Pair with Oklahoma!

If you haven’t yet moseyed on over to see Trinity Repertory Company’s  widely-praised production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”, do it now. Mosey now.

And while you’re there, sip on “The Farmer and the Cowman,” a cocktail we created with Curt Columbus, Trinity’s Richard L. Bready Artistic Director, to pair with this quintessentially American show.

trinity_farmer

“The Farmer and the Cowman”
Fill a tall glass with ice, add 1.5 oz Bulleit Bourbon and 5-8 dashes Fee Brother’s Rhubarb Bitters. Top with soda water and garnish with a wagon wheel of lemon.

And If bourbon’s not your thing, try one of “Curt’s Picks.” They’re the bottles that Curt – a true wine lover with an experienced (and wonderful) palate – chose to pair with the show.

trinity_oklahoma_wine-sm

 

Said Curt:

Line 39 Sauvignon Blanc is dry and crisp, without being overly sharp. Some sauvignons can be too grassy, and this one has really nice round fruit to it.  We had it last night with Asian food, and it was terrific, although it is a really great Spring sipping wine!”

The Charles & Charles is a stylish American rosé, crisp and fruity, with notes of ripe apple.  LIke all of the rosés I enjoy, it is not sweet, but is great with seafood, chicken and spring pastas.  Of course, it’s also fun to sit and sip on your porch!”

Enjoy the show – and if you enjoy the wine – visit Bottles, as 20% of each bottle purchased in store will be donated back to Trinity Rep through the duration of the production.

###

 

The Irish Mountain Marma

We loved the Irish Whiskey-based cocktail that Lily created for us last week so much so we asked her to do another.

To complement the whiskey, Lily used a pantry staple – marmalade. The drink is sweet & tart, with wonderful aromatics from rosemary and a slightly bitter finish thanks to the addition of Montenegro amaro. It’s delightful anytime of the year, not just on St. Patty’s Day.

powers_lemon
The Irish Mountain Marma
makes 1 cocktail

2 oz Powers whiskey

3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Montenegro
1 tbsp marmalade*
1 small, 1″ sprig of rosemary
1 larger sprig (for garnish)

*For this recipe, orange marmalade was used but lemon grapefruit marmalade is also quite nice.

Place small sprig in shaker, add Montenegro and gently muddle once with a muddler or wooden spoon to release the rosemary flavor.
Add whiskey, lemon, and marmalade.
Fill shaker with ice and shake until frost forms on the outside of the tin.
Double-strain into a tumbler, garnish with remaining sprig of rosemary and ice.

Enjoy!

###

Drink Your Chocolate

Skip the chewable chocolate this Valentine’s Day and give your sweetie the sippable sort. We’re crushing on a few bottles made with real chocolate and genuine skill, those that are good enough to be enjoyed year-round.

Meletti Cioccolato
Thick, dark, creamy, this Italian liqueur is pure pourable decadence. It’s made in Italy with milk and Dutch chocolate, sugar and alcohol, and is intensely rich and smooth with a balanced sweetness. We’re crazy for the Cioccolato any way it’s served: cold & neat (think adult pudding pop), warmed, over ice cream, or as a mixer in any number of cocktails.
vday_meletti

 

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
This full-flavored dark beer made with chocolate malt and real chocolate is luxurious without being overtly sweet. It’s certainly a satisfying treat on its own, but for something special, consider combining it in a frosty mug with vanilla ice cream and bourbon for the ultimate grown-up float.
vday_stout

 

Nickle Creek Decadence
A Rhody original, from Foster! This beautiful bottle, reminiscent of Port, has warm flavors of cherry and plum that make way for a dark, bittersweet chocolate finish. It’s a delicious way to end a romantic dinner.
vday_decadence

Cheers and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Bourbon 101

Whether we’re turning neophytes onto bourbon or introducing new finds to long-time aficionados, we at Bottles love talking about bourbon. We love talking about it, writing about it, sipping it, mixing it, discovering new distillers and re-discovering old distillers. We just flat out heart bourbon.

To spread the love to team members that are new to the store, we give them a crash course in the beloved brown spirit. A “Bourbon 101” to prime their palates for the joys ahead.

And given the sheer volume of questions we get in-store about bourbon we’re sharing our primer with you. What follows is meant to give you the basics on what it is and how it’s made. Once you’ve got that down, come in to the store or give us a call for the fun stuff: the flavor differences between styles and producers, which is sweetest, which is strongest, how best to enjoy bourbon and which makes the best Manhattan (just our opinion , of course).

Did we mention we love talking about bourbon?

Cheers!bourbon101_info-color

 

 

A Pair of Pear Cocktails

This time of year we’re always on the lookout for easy-drinking, flavorful cocktails that don’t pack a killer wallop, i.e., those that we can sip on all weekend long. This pair of pear cider cocktails make great companions for strenuous Sunday relaxation activities such as marathon sessions of book-reading, Netflix binge-watching, and backgammon-playing.

The following recipes were created by our newest team member, Lilian Rogers, a truly skilled cocktail-crafter whose passion for the culture of cocktails is infectious. Enjoy these, and stay tuned for more from Lily!

smokymule

The Smoking Mule (photo above)
This drink is earthy, smokey and creamy with tart pear notes. The ginger beer ice cubes take their time to melt, making it a great slow-sipper. Makes 1 cocktail.

4oz Sonoma Cider’s “The Pitchfork” Pear Cider (hard cider)
1oz mezcal
.5oz freshly-squeezed lime juice
.75oz vanilla simple syrup (or, regular simple syrup with 2 drops of vanilla extract)
4 – 6  ice cubes made from ginger beer
1 fresh pear, for garnish

Fill a high-ball glass with the ginger beer ice cubes. Pour in mezcal, lime juice, and vanilla simple syrup, and stir once gently to combine. Top with the pear cider, and garnish with a slice of ripe pear and a straw.

 

The Garden Trowel
Ethereal with beautiful, complex botanicals, this cocktail is creamy and balanced by crisp pear notes. Makes 1 cocktail.

4oz Sonoma Cider’s “The Pitchfork” Pear Cider (hard cider)
1oz botanical gin (such as Uncle Val’s Botanical, Hendrick’s, Farmer’s Organic Botanical)
.75oz freshly-squeezed lemon juice
.75oz vanilla simple syrup (or, regular simple syrup with 2 drops of vanilla extract)
1 fresh pear, for garnish

Combine gin, lemon juice, and vanilla simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until slight film of condensation forms on the outside of the shaker. Strain into a rocks glass (8oz or larger), top with 4 oz pear cider. Garnish with a slice of ripe pear.

Cheers and Enjoy!

The Bitter Peruvian

BITTER_PERUVIAN
The popularity of aperitif-based cocktails — those with Campari, Aperol, etc., such as the Negroni — shows no sign of abating anytime soon. And we’re good with that, as we very much like their balanced sweet/savory combination, and their grown-up (aka, bitter-ish) finish.

Our version here is modeled on these aperitif cocktails in that it has as its main ingredient “Baladin Ginger,” a bitters-based Italian soda that interestingly enough does not have ginger in it. (Oh those wacky Italians.) Rather, it’s made with natural brown sugar, lemon, herbs, bitters and orange zest – aromatics similar to those used in bitter liqueurs, minus the alcohol. We mix it with pisco – the Peruvian wine-based spirit – to create an easy-drinking, delightfully tart cocktail. It’s low in alcohol, and has a lovely bitter finish.
bitter_2

INGREDIENTS
1oz pisco
1oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
1 bottle (100ml) of Baladin Ginger Italian soda
3 dashes Fee Brothers Rhubarb bitters

INSTRUCTIONS
Combine pisco, lemon, and simple syrup over ice in a pint glass and stir gently to combine.
Top with Ginger soda and 3 dashes of bitters.
Garnish with lemon slice.

Cheers!
-Lilian

The Bottles’ 2015 Gift Guide

We scoured the wide world of beverages to select the perfect gifts for wine, beer and cocktail enthusiasts this year. They’re the bottles that are in-demand, on-trend, highly-acclaimed, and flat-out awesome.

Here’s what to give (and get) this holiday season:

gift1Four Roses Private Label Bourbon: Bottles’ Barrel #3 

Available only at Bottles: our private barrel (hand-selected by us!) of this highly sought-after bourbon: extremely rich & uncut – ideal for the hard-to-shop-for bourbon lover. Limited quantities availability. 

$59.99

 

gift2True Born Gin “The Belgian Wheat Act” – Sons of Liberty 

First released earlier this year, this genever-style gin distilled from beer brewed with traditional gin botanicals is for beer and gin lovers alike. Locavores, will love it, too – it’s made in RI.

$34.99

 

gift3Fifty-Fifty Eclipse Imperial Stout 

Delicious esoterica for the beer geek: award-winning Imperial Stout (various flavors) aged in oak bourbon barrels. The color of the wax enclosure indicates which bourbon casks were used.

$29.99 (22oz)

 

gift42010 Barolo 

The gift for serious collectors: 2010 is widely regarded as the most outstanding vintage for Barolo in the past several decades. Choose from our selection of acclaimed producers of this iconic wine.

$45 and up

 

gift5Creme de Noyaux Liqueur – Tempus Fugit Spirits 

Hand-crafted, all-natural almond & hazelnut creme liqueur for the serious at-home bartender and after-dinner drink aficionado. It’s what we want this year. Limited quantities available.

$39.99

 

gift6Sotol Por Siempre 

Wildly popular with the country’s most talented mixologists, this regional mezcal is made with wild-harvested sotol rather than the standard agave. A must-have for the tequila / cocktail enthusiast.

$44.99

 

chartreuse_giftGreen Chartreuse V.E.P 

The limited-edition, V.E.P bottling of this classic, secret-recipe liqueur is given special treatment with long aging in oak barrels. Each bottle is hand numbered and encased in a collectable wooden box. A truly special gift.

$164.99 

 

etna_giftMt. Etna (Sicilian) Wine 

They’re what sommeliers across the country are buzzing about: wines from this volcanic region are the most interesting being produced in Italy today. An outstanding gift for all wine enthusiasts. 

$15 – $65

 

gift_yellow_wine1999 Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes 

One of the world’s most iconic wines is at the top of the bucket-list for many an oenophile. The pricing on the critically-acclaimed 1999 vintage makes this a splurge-worthy gift-of-a-lifetime. Don’t miss out.

$249.99 (375ml)

 

nips_giftBottles’ Mystery Box of Nips 

Five tiny bottles of booze all in one mystery box – who knows what they’ll get? One of our most popular gifts year after year. Makes a fun stocking stuffer or contribution to the Yankee Swap.

$14.99

 

AND, for true one-stop-shopping, ask a team member about our various, festive wrapping & gift card options.

Happy Holidays, and Cheers!

Party Math: A Guide to Buying – and Serving – Booze

The good news is the party’s a raging success and your guests are having the time of their lives. The bad news is the party’s a raging success and you’re about to run out of booze. Here’s how to never let that happen again.

party_web

Now that you have that down, ensure your party’s a smash by following these 8 Tips for Entertaining from team Bottles:

1. Don’t forget mixers & garnishes. Figure 1 liter of soda water/tonic/juice for every 3 guests; plan on 1 lemon/lime/orange for every 3 guests as well.

2. Have on hand at least 1 lb. of ice per person for storage & drink-making purposes. Which means your ice trays aren’t enough. Just go buy ice already, and put it in a cooler on the back porch. Trust us.

3. White wine is to be served chilled, not ice cold. Take your whites out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving. Most red wine is to be served a touch cooler than room temp. So don’t store it in direct sunlight, or, gasp, near the oven.

4. Worried about temperature fluctuations when buying cold beer? Fear not. Too much light and extreme heat (think noon heat in an un-airconditioned-car in August) are what will damage your brews. Subtle temperature changes are fine.

5. Always serve food alongside alcoholic beverages.

6. Place pitchers of water near the bar – and keep them filled.

7. Have a designated driver – or your Uber account – queued up for over-indulgers.

8. Reduce party stress by ordering your bottles in advance either in-store or via phone, and Bottles will deliver to your door day of!

Cheers!

 

 

8 Easy Summer Cocktails – Plus, How to Pre-Batch Cocktails

How to Pre Batch Easy Summer Cocktails

When it’s summery and gorgeous outside, and you’re having a party or attending one, the last thing you want to be doing is spending hours making the drinks. You also don’t want to be making cocktails for everyone all night long if you’re hosting.

What’s the solution?

Pre-make and bottle your cocktails in big batches, or choose simple recipes that take two seconds to make. Keep scrolling to get inspired by our favorite, easy and summery cocktail recipes. Plus, look for our in-store display of all the ingredients you’ll need!

 

HOW TO PRE-BATCH COCKTAILS

SUPPLIES – swing-top glass bottles, funnel, measuring cup

TIMING – Make the batched cocktail 3-4 days in advance and refrigerate. If you’re using fruit juices, make it the day of—they’re perishable and best the day they’re squeezed.

ADDING WATER IN ADVANCE – When you shake a cocktail with ice, the ice actually melts and dilutes the drink. So, when you pre-make a cocktail that usually needs to be shaken, add some water—about 1/5 the volume. This ensures that each drink will taste balanced.

MATH – Our recipes here are in parts, so that you can make as much or as little as you need. One drink or serving usually has around 2 oz. of the base spirit.

SERVING – Serve each cocktail according the recipe directions. Some are over ice, others are poured into a chilled glass, and others are blended with crushed ice.

 

Download & Print Cocktail Recipes (2 pages) > 

 

Pisco Sour drink recipe

PISCO SOUR

Pisco is a type brandy (it’s distilled from the juice of grapes), usually made in Peru or Chile (where the Pisco Sour is the national drink). Icy, frothy, sweet and tart, this drink is super refreshing and great for summer.

Ingredients
– 2 parts Pisco (Try Ocucaje Pisco)
– 1 part Simple Syrup (Try Stirrings Simple Syrup)
– 1 part egg whites
– 1 part fresh lime juice

Garnish: Dash of Bitters (Try Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters)

Directions: Combine and blend all ingredients. When ready to serve, add crushed ice in a blender or shaker. Blend on high for 15 seconds, or shake for 1 minute, then serve. Garnish with 3 dashes of bitters.

*A bottle of Ocucaje Pisco makes around 12 drinks, with 2 oz of Pisco per serving.

Canale Torino Cocktail Recipe

CANALE TORINO

If you like Aperol or Campari, you’ll like this recipe which uses Cappelletti Aperitivo, a red, tasty, wine-based bitter aperitif made in Italy. This Canale Torino recipe is based on one by chef Jimmy Bradley at The Harrison, NYC.

Ingredients
– 2 parts Cappelletti Aperitivo
– 2 parts Dry Vermouth (Try Noilly Prat Extra Dry Vermouth)
-1 part Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao

Garnish: Orange Peel Twist

Directions: Combine all ingredients and ⅕ volume with water if pre-batching. When ready to serve, pour into a glass of ice & garnish. If making individually, add ingredients with 2 cups of ice into a shaker. Shake, then strain into a glass. Garnish with orange peel twist.

*A bottle of Cappelletti Aperitivo makes around 12 drinks, with 2 oz of Cappelletti per serving.

Negroni Cocktail Recipe with Melletti 1870

NEGRONI

A Negroni has just three parts: gin, Campari, & sweet vermouth. You can customize it by swapping out the ingredients, and we love Meletti 1870. A sweet/bitter orange Italian aperitivo, Meletti 1870 is a new, deliciously complex recipe from the Meletti distillery.

Ingredients
– 1 part Gin (try Ford’s Gin)
– 1 part Meletti 1870
– 1 part Dolin Rouge Vermouth

Garnish: Orange Wedge

Directions: Combine all ingredients. To serve, pour over a glass full of ice, and stir well. Garnish with orange wedge.

*One bottle of Meletti 1870 will make around 16 servings, with 1.5 oz per drink. You’ll have leftover gin!

Maine Cooler - Royal Rose Lavender Lemon Syrup

MAINE COOLER

Just like a Tom Collins with vodka, plus yummy lavender-lemon syrup by Royal Rose. Refreshing, sweet, sour, and with a touch of lavender! Try Aylesbury Duck Vodka, which is clean, grainy, spicy and plays well in mixed drinks. (Based on the creation by Andrew Volk of the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club.)

Ingredients
– 2 parts Vodka (Try Aylesbury Duck Vodka)
– 1 part Royal Rose Lavender Lemon Syrup
– 1 part Lemon Juice
– Top off club soda

Garnish: Lemon Twist

Directions: Combine vodka, syrup, & lemon juice. Serve over ice and with lemon wedge. If making individually, shake ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass and top with soda.

*One bottle of Aylesbury Duck Vodka makes around 16 servings, with about 2 oz. of vodka per drink.

Paloma Drink Recipe - Tequila Cabeza

PALOMA

Ahh, the Paloma. Popular in Mexico, it’s a winning mix of tequila, grapefruit soda, and fresh lime juice. Try it with Tequila Cabeza, which is made from 100% agave, grown in the Los Altos region by the Vivanco family for five generations.

Ingredients
– 2 parts Tequila (Try Tequila Cabeza)
– 1 part Lime Juice
– Top with Pellegrino Pompelmo (grapefruit soda)

Garnish: Lime Wedge & Salt Rim

Directions: Combine tequila and lime juice. When ready to serve, fill a glass with ice, add mixture, pinch of coarse salt, and top with grapefruit soda. Stir.

* One bottle of Tequila Cabeza will make you around 16 servings, with about 2 oz. of tequila per drink.

Grumpy Cup Drink Recipe - Pimm's

GRUMPY CUP

Our own recipe! A Grumpy Cup is just like a Pimm’s Cup, but with Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Proceed with caution.

Ingredients
– 2 oz Pimm’s
– ½ btl. Crabbie’s Ginger Beer
– Lemon Juice

Garnish: Lemon Wedge

Directions: Fill a glass with ice, pour over with Pimm’s, and top off with Crabbie’s. Stir. Squeeze lemon wedge.

*A bottle of Pimm’s makes about 15 Grumpy Cup servings.

Kalimotxo - Red Wine and Coca-Cola - Drink Recipe

KALIMOTXO

Red wine and Coca-cola?! Don’t knock it till you try it. Popular in Basque-country, it tastes kind of like a sangria, minus the namby-pamby chopping of fruit. Especially refreshing with a squeeze of lemon, say hello to your new summer favorite!

Ingredients
– 1 part Red Wine (try Taron Rioja)
– 1 part Coca-Cola de Mexico

Garnish: Lemon Wedge

Directions: Fill a glass with ice, and combine equal parts red wine and cola. Garnish with lemon wedge.

*A bottle of Taron Rioja makes around 8-10 Kalimotxo’s, with 3-4oz of red wine per serving.

Bittermilk Charred Grapefruit Tonic  - Drink Recipe

CHARRED GRAPEFRUIT TONIC

A cool twist on a classic tonic, and easy to make! Bittermilk Charred Grapefruit is the perfect combination of citrus juices, organic cane sugar, cinchona bark, and fresh charred grapefruit peel.

Ingredients
– 1 part Rum (Try Caña Brava Rum)
– 1 part Bittermilk No. 5 Charred Grapefruit Tonic
– 1 part Club Soda

Garnish: Lime Wedge

Directions: Combine all ingredients, serve in a glass over ice. Garnish with lime wedge.

*One bottle of Caña Brava Rum and Bittermilk No. 5 Charred Grapefruit Tonic will make around 12 servings, with about 1.5oz of each ingredient per serving. You’ll have plenty of leftover rum!

 

Cheers!