Kicking off December with the Rose Bowl Buck

For those regular readers of the Bit by a Fox Blog, you may have noticed that since this past August,  I’ve been partnering with Reed’s Ginger Beer   to create fun (and delicious!) cocktails.

I love working with a brand that has a great, local story – born in LA over 30 years ago! – is an incredibly versatile cocktail mixer,  and  the leading all-natural craft ginger beer in the country. Interesting, delicious, all-natural  and the people love it? Sounds like a real winner to me! 

I also love the fact that they are NOT afraid of packing in the ginger. I’ve found their  Reed’s Strongest Ginger Beer is one of the most fun to play with  in  cocktails because it can really hold up to the booze. Especially when working with brown spirits. Ginger and whiskey, yes please!

This year, Reed’s is the  official  ginger beer for the  Rose Bowl Stadium  here in Los Angeles, so naturally, they need a special cocktail, no?! This is where the  Rose Bowl Buck  comes in.  

It’s got that familiar kick you’ll find in a Buck cocktail – the pre-cursor to the Mule – but with a little added depth, and bittersweetness coming from the Amaro. Adding a squeeze of lemon juice brightens the overall flavors and balances out the sweetness for a refreshing and crushable cocktail. Exactly what you need when you’re cheering on your favorites. 

Simple to make but with beautifully complex flavors, the Rose Bowl Buck might just be your new favorite game day crusher. 

Rose Bowl Buck 
2 oz Four Roses Bourbon 
1 oz Amaro Nonino 
4 oz Reed’s Strongest Ginger Beer 
1/2 oz Lemon Juice  
Garnish: mini roses 

Fill a shaker with ice, bourbon, amaro, and lemon juice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into an ice-filled copper mug, Collins glass or large rocks glass. Top with Reed’s Strongest Ginger Beer. Garnish with mini roses. 


This post was sponsored (and powered!) by  Reed’s Ginger Beer. As always, all opinions are my own.

BBaF Podcast Episode 79: Climate Change is Coming For Your Cocktails with Jason Horn

Listen to Episode 79: Climate Change is Coming For Your Cocktails with Jason Horn”

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast I’m talking to food and drinks writer Jason Horn about his most recent story as drinks contributor for Playboy.com: Climate Change is Coming For Your Cocktails

Courtesy Noted Media

The changing weather is rapidly affecting our food and drink, and it may even be responsible for killing what could have been the best bar in the world. 

This week’s featured cocktail is inspired by Bartender-chef Matthew Biancaniello’s love of the sea and cocktails: The Briny Martini.

The Briny Martini 
2 oz Grey Whale Gin
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth 
1/4 oz Olive Brine 

Stir all ingredients over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with two olives or pickled kelp.

Yerba Mate Hot Toddy

Here we are – mid November. On the verge of the holiday craziness, careening towards our ultimate destination: Cozytown, USA. 

I, for one, have decided a few important seasonal things – I WILL incorporate a festive poncho into my everyday wardrobe, I WILL consider hot yoga followed by hot ramen as my ultimate self care routine, and I REFUSE to get sick.

I have a tendency this time of year to pick up whatever bug is floating around and end up with no option but to just sit life out for the week. Not this year, Satan. This lady does not have time for that. My immune system is getting JACKED with vitamins.

Speaking of vitamins…

My tenure as a cocktail recipe creator for Argentine Yerba Mate for this year is coming to a close. I wanted to end with something that spoke to the season but also to me! The classic Hot Toddy is not the most exciting of drinks but it isseasonal and cozy and is an actual drink I make when I’m feeling a little under the weather. This year, I thought I’d preemptively stave off any semblance of sick coming on, and create a hot toddy that may actually have some additional medicinal benefits – with Argentine Yerba Mate added to the mix, while also adding a little extra deliciousness of course! 

I like to add a spicy rye whiskey to a toddy. It’s not as sweet as a bourbon but will lend an additional zing. A traditional toddy uses hot water, but for this recipe, we’re steeping Argentine Yerba Mate tea in its place. It will not only add a deeper, richer flavor, it will also be an energizing boost, and a rich source of powerful antioxidants, packed with B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, potassium and manganese. I WILL have my cocktails and not get sick this year, dangit!

Because this is such an easy drink to make, I could see this becoming a night time ritual – like after that hot yoga and ramen…just curl up with one of these babies. You’ll get to Cozytown in no time, with ‘night ‘night right around the corner. In your face, seasonal sick-y bug. I’ve got some powerful defenses that just happen to be delicious as heck.


Yerba Mate Hot Toddy 
1.5 oz Rye Whiskey 
1 cup Yerba Mate Tea
1 Tablespoon Honey
.5 oz Lemon
Combine ingredients in mug. Garnish with lemon wheel & cinnamon stick.

You can find Argentine Yerba Mate brands in specialty tea stores and in select Whole Foods Markets across the U.S. You can also purchase Argentine Yerba Mate on Amazon.com.

GIVEAWAY ALERT!
Be sure to stay tuned to my Instagram this week as I’ll be running a very generous giveaway from the fine folks at Argentine Yerba Mate that may or may not include a delicious shopping spree at Whole Foods!


This post was sponsored by National Institute for Argentine Yerba Mate

The Master Blend: A Bartender Series – Nicolas Torres

Listen to The Master Blend: A Bartender Series – Nicolas Torres”

This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast we’re continuing our Bartender Interview Series – The Master Blend – a collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy 

This bi-weekly series of interviews will have each bartender discuss their distinct style, biggest inspirations, and how they’re making their mark on today’s cocktail culture. This week’s guest is Nicolas Torres, owner and bar director at popular San Francisco bar True Laurel.

We spoke about what it takes to create a sustainable cocktail bar, the California influence on True Laurel, and the lighter direction the drinks industry as a whole is taking.  

The featured cocktail this week is Torres’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail currently available at San Francisco’s True Laurel:

SILK THE SHUCKER  
.75 oz. Corn Cob infused BERTOUX Brandy
.75 oz. Amendoa (or Amaretto)
.5 oz. Corn Silk-Infused Whiskey
.25 oz. Lemon Juice
.25 oz. Sweet Vermouth (Torino style) 

Combine ingredients and add to 1.25oz. of milk, let curdle and then strain, and strain again through collected curds until clear.


All photographs by Anthony Parks on behalf of BERTOUX Brandy

The Master Blend: A Bartender Series – Michael Kudra

Listen to The Master Blend: A Bartender Series – Michael Kudra

This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast we’re continuing our Bartender Interview Series – The Master Blend – a collaboration with Bertoux Brandy. 

This bi-weekly series of interviews will have each bartender discuss their distinct style, biggest inspirations, and how they’re making their mark on today’s cocktail culture. This week’s guest is Michael Kudra, lead bartender at three Michelin starred restaurant Quince in San Francisco.

Kudra, formerly from Chicago’s famed Aviary, moved to California in 2017 to take over the fine dining bar program at Quince. We discussed how his move to California has helped to encourage his biggest inspirations behind the bar, including literature, hyper seasonality, and salt. So much salt.

The featured cocktail this week is Michael Kudra’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail currently featured on the menu at Quince in San Francisco – The Naturalist

THE NATURALIST  
1.5 oz. BERTOUX Brandy
1/3 oz. Amaro Nonino  
1/3 oz. Aperol  
1/3 oz. Lillet Rose  
.5 oz. of Lemon Sherbet  
.5 oz. Acid-Adjusted Grapefruit Juice   
2 Dashes Lemon Saline  

Shake, double-strain and garnish with Grapefruit Pearls.  Serve up, in a Japanese Martini Glass. 


All photographs by Anthony Parks on behalf of BERTOUX Brandy

Happy Halloween! Beer Witches, Spirited Spirits, and a Magickal Podcast!

Listen to This is Where the Magick Happens: Ep 22 Possessed by Spirits”

For this #ThrowbackThursday, I thought I’d post on the blog (since I didn’t back in July!) the time I was a guest on the hilarious witchy podcast This is Where the Magic Happens. This new-ish podcast is all about witchcraft, the paranormal, spirit guides, astrology, mysticism…with magickal (and hilarious) humans Ryan Singer & Angela Lovell.

I HAD THE BEST TIME. I talked about witches making beer, and Goddesses of beer and the women brewmasters behind all the witchy tropes we identify with today. We also talked about the magic of Big Sur and the Sedona vortex and POLITICS.

This was their July 4th episode but I thought it would be a perfect one to bring back for Halloween! Please listen to this beautiful episode and be sure to subscribe!

BBaF Podcast Episode 76: Four Roses Bourbon Master Distiller Brent Elliott

Listen to Episode 76: Four Roses Bourbon Master Distiller Brent Elliott”

For this week’s episode on the Bit by a Fox Podcast, I got to sit down with the Master Distiller of one of the most iconic bourbon brands in the world – Four Roses Bourbon. Master Distiller, Brent Elliott and I connected while he was in Los Angeles launching the first permanent addition to the Four Roses lineup since 2006 – and what he refers to as the “Fourth Rose” – Four Roses Small Batch Select.

We got to chat about the dramatic journey that Four Roses has had since 1888, how they were one of the few distilleries in America to survive Prohibition, and how Seagrams nearly destroyed the brand in the 1950s. The Four Roses story, as well as Brent’s, is a fascinating one! I got a chance to try the Small Batch Select for the first time on-air and, spoiler alert, it’s pretty darn good!

Since Brent didn’t recommend a specific cocktail (true whiskey distiller that he is!), I chose a simple, modern classic that would let the Small Batch Select shine – The Gold Rush.

This cocktail tends to be my go-to every time I visit DTLA’s Seven Grand, where the interview took place. It was also the drink that I was sipping on throughout the interview! The Gold Rush Cocktail was created by T. J Siegal at Milk & Honey in New York City nearly 20 years ago It has since become a modern classic. This simple recipe with only 3 ingredients is essentially a whiskey sour using honey syrup in place of simple syrup.

Gold Rush 
2 oz Four Roses Small Batch Select
3/4 oz Honey Syrup*
3/4 oz Lemon Juice 

Shake all ingredients over ice until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with ice. Lemon peel garnish is optional.

*Honey Syrup Recipe
Combine 1 cup water with 1 cup honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until honey is dissolved. Cool before using.

Buenos Aires Pear Spritz

Seasons are funny in LA. They’re especially bewildering after having spent nearly two decades on the east coast where time is very much marked by the changing temperatures, and periodic closet rotations. I used to know what time of year it was based on my boot and puffy coat accessibility!

During my first year here, I lived in a summery vortex where I didn’t ever know what month it was (let alone what day – one of the pitfalls of being a freelancer with odd working hours). But after a year or so in, I started to notice the subtle changes of the Southern California seasons…

…the slight shift in lighting, the cool mornings and cooler drop in temps around dusk, and the occasional scent of wood smoke – from outdoor fire pits, of course! As a recipe creator I was especially relieved that my seasonal cravings started coming back – red wine and brown spirits in the winter, floral and aromatic in the spring…

As a resident “Masters of Mate”  – cocktail recipe creator for Argentine Yerba Mate – I like to think seasonally. Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons to create recipes for. While this Spritz could essentially be drunk all year round, it has a decidedly autumnal twist. I love the heady combination of gin, pear and rosemary. The simple syrup infused with Argentine Yerba Mate adds tea tannins, earthy notes and a little zing.

I may no longer need to bundle up quite as much as I used to come November, but I’m welcoming fall this year with a pear spritz in hand and an extra thick poncho to wear around those autumnal bonfires. 😉

Buenos Aires Spritz 
1 oz Gin
1 1/2 oz Organic Pear Juice
1/2 oz Argentine Yerba Mate Tea Syrup*
Sparkling Wine
Garnish – sprig of rosemary

Shake gin, pear juice and syrup over ice until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with rosemary sprig.

Steep one cup of Argentine Yerba Mate and strain. Add steeped Yerba Mate liquid to a small saucepan with one cup sugar. At medium-high heat, whisk until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 months.

You can find Argentine Yerba Mate brands in specialty tea stores and in select Whole Foods Markets across the U.S. You can also purchase Argentine Yerba Mate on Amazon.com.


This post was sponsored by National Institute for Argentine Yerba Mate

The Master Blend: A Bartender Series – Natalie Lichtman

Listen to The Master Blend: A Bartender Series – Natalie Lichtman”

This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast we’re continuing the second chapter of the Bartender Interview Series, The Master Blend – a collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy.

This bi-weekly series of interviews will have each bartender discuss their distinct style, biggest inspirations, and how they’re making their mark on today’s cocktail culture. 

This week’s guest is San Francisco bartender Natalie Lichtman. She may come off as an elegant pink-haired Holly Golightly behind the bar, however Natalie’s quick rise in the intense restaurant and bar world of San Francisco has proven that she has ambition and the chops.

We talked about the importance of mentors, getting that big break, and how she finds a way to feed her unique artistry behind the bar and away from it. 

The featured cocktail this week is Natalie’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail, The Aperitif, currently featured at San Francisco’s Nico Restaurant.

The Aperitif
1.25 oz. BERTOUX Brandy
.75 oz. Verjus Blanc
.5 oz. Kina L’Aero D’or
.5 oz. Bigallet China-China Amaro 

Stir all ingredients over ice, strain, and serve up in a Nick and Nora glass. Garnish is a petite corvette rose with small shards of lemon pith and sage leaves tucked between the petals.


All photographs by Anthony Parks on behalf of BERTOUX Brandy

BBaF Podcast Episode 74: Plymouth Gin Master Distiller Sean Harrison

Listen to Episode 74: Plymouth Gin Master Distiller Sean Harrison”

This week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast is an exciting one. I got to sit down with the Master Distiller of one of my all time favorites, Plymouth Gin

Sean Harrison joined Plymouth Gin 25 years ago as Assistant Manager and is now the Master Distiller and keeper of one of the oldest and iconic gin recipes that has been passed down verbally to every Master Distiller since 1793.

Sean was in town celebrating World Martini Day, so naturally, I reserved some time for a chat. We spoke about Sean’s beginnings as a fledgling distiller, what it’s like to be the maker of such a historic brand, and how he’s witnessed the gin craze grow bigger than he ever imagined over the last two decades all while working at one of the most beloved gin brands in the world.

This week’s featured cocktail is one of Sean’s favorites, a 50/50 martini using Plymouth Gin and Lillet Rosé:

Rosé Fifty-Fifty 
1 part Plymouth Gin 
1 part Lillet Rosé 
Grapefruit Twist (Sean prefers no garnish!)

Stir and serve up or in a rocks glass over a large cube of ice, garnish optional.


Photos courtesy of Plymouth Gin.

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