It’s been an eventful last couple of months and it looks like Bit By a Fox Events is ending the year with a doozy of a month! Book now for your intimate holiday cocktail soiree, company mixer or end of the year blowout. This time of year is hard to escape the fox’s bite…but you might as well do it with quality booze and cocktails! Not to mention, a foxy flair!
For inquiries into availability and pricing for holiday events, contact Prairie Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the passing of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution 80 years ago today, December 5th, 1933, Prohibition ended, and the country got DOWN.
It’s hard to believe that the prohibition of alcohol lasted as long as it did: from 1920-1933 – 13 years! Of course, we all know what a failure the 18th amendment was, not only because it was highly unpopular and very difficult to enforce, but it was also responsible for ushering in a new age of violent, organized crime…and it didn’t prevent people from drinking! It was also a costly endeavor, with the government losing an estimated 11 billion dollars on federal liquor tax revenue and spending over 300 million dollars on Prohibition enforcement over those 13 years. This costly hit to the economy was especially hard during the Great Depression. Booze is good business, duh!
Many of the prominent people originally behind the powerful Temperance Movement, like the wealthy financier and philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller Jr. ended up changing their tune once it was clear that Prohibition just wasn’t working out. In 1932 he wrote a letter in favor of the Repeal.
When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before.
Those words proved to be powerful ones and a year later the repeal took place. Hurray! But it’s been a long road back to quality booze, decent cocktails and the overturning of liquor laws that have been stubbornly in place since then. As I mentioned in my very first blog post on Bit By a Fox, it’s only been about 10 years since some pivotal liquors laws have been changed to allow smaller batch spirits production to flourish. And, boy have they!
So, today, raise a glass of your favorite adult beverage and toast how far we’ve come. Happy Repeal Day!
I’m thankful for YOU! These last 6 months have been an amazing ride but I wouldn’t have been able to experience any of it without the support that I’ve gotten from all of you, foxy friends! I hope this Thanksgiving is filled with yummy food, loved ones and, maybe a little boozy treat from the Bit By a Fox archives! Happy Turkey Day!!
Like many of you, I’ll be spending the afternoon road-tripping it up through the wintry mix that is the Catskills this time of year. So today’s post will be brief!
The Breuckelen Harvest cocktail is named for it’s starring spirit, Breuckelen Distilling‘s 77 Wheat Whiskey. This has everything you want in an autumnal cocktail: Hard Dry Apple Cider, an amazing Wheated Whiskey, a bitter sweet Amaro, and pumpkin pie spices! You’ll be drinking up the season, literally.
I hope that you’ve already made that SUPER easy cranberry syrup featured on the first day of the Thanksgiving Countdown. If not, do it now and then use the leftover cranberries for your sauce or relish for the big meal in a couple of days. Better yet, throw some leftover ginger in that sauce from when you made the ginger syrup. The by-products of cocktail syrups are dope!
Gimlets are one of my favorites. They are so simple, refreshing and, when made with fresh lime juice, hard to mess up. When coming up with this cocktail in order to feature the excellent Dorothy Parker American Gin from Brooklyn’s New York Distilling Company, I wanted to riff off a classic cranberry sauce recipe. My mom always used tangerines or mandarin peels in her version and now I always do! I love those super bright flavors together. And you can’t help but get into the holiday spirit with this one. It’s fresh cranberry time!
It’s happening, you guys. Winter is Coming!!!
It has officially become puffy coat weather this weekend in NYC. There’s been a shift in color palette across the city, the vibrant trees have been swept bare and the cold, grey days have started to set in…
Buuuuut, that doesn’t mean we have to strap a turban to our heads and crawl into our cat covered bed for the entirety of the season, waiting for the long, cold, dark to pass. It’s also just the beginning of the holiday season and there’s plenty of celebrating to be had!
Start by making the Grey Gardens cocktail! Like the Holiday Highball and Red Hot American Winter, this cocktail was created for the Hometown Spirits event a couple of weekends back, and features two of my favorite local spirits, as well as the ever familiar ginger syrup!
I liked the idea of putting Owney’s and Atsby Vermouth together, and I originally was going to do a take on the Palmetto – a cocktail in the same vein as a Martini and Manhattan – equal parts spirit and vermouth with a few dashes of bitters – typically white rum and dry vermouth. But I kept thinking back to the first time that I tried Atsby “Armadillo Cake” Vermouth, and how taken I was by the earthy, chamomile and tea-like flavors that came through when sipped on its own. I love using tea in cocktails and Earl Grey tends to summon wintery cozy-time by the fire feelings in me this time of year, so that was clearly going to be an ingredient in one of my winter creations! It also lends a really lovely, almost smokey quality to the bright, vanilla, butterscotch flavors in Owney’s Rum. It all worked! And turned out to be one of the most popular drinks of the night.
3 more days until Turkey Day!
And this lady is pretty pleased with herself…
Why is this lady-pilgrim-pin-up riding a gigantic turkey so happy?? Because she’s discovered a real crowd-pleaser of a cocktail: The Holiday Highball! I, personally, have tested the popularity of this Vodka/Cranberry/Ginger combo on a number of crowds big and small, recently, and I’m here to report, the lady-pilgrim-pin-up is on the money. You can’t go wrong with this tall glass of delight.
If you are unable to find the divine Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, you can substitute it for the ginger syrup that I know you’ve all made already. It will be a little less boozy, but will result in a similar flavor profile. If, however, you’re more of a Gin drinker, and you have notions of switching out the primary booze because you turn your nose up at the most popular girl in school – Vodka…well, first of all, get over it, second of all, you’re missing out and third, you have to realize that it’s cocktails like this that are MADE for the clean, neutral taste of vodka, like Brooklyn’s Industry City Distillery Vodka, distilled from sugar beets. I know, whiskey and gin have a sexier reputation as of late, but there’s room in the cafeteria for everyone – the cool kids (whiskey), stoners (um), goths (bitters), jocks (Jäger), princesses (vodka) and theater nerds (coconut water). (I just watched Breakfast Club again recently and this analogy couldn’t be helped. Sorry!) Disclosure: I was a teetotal-ing theater nerd in high school. Surprise!
The Holiday Highball is the homecoming queen of cocktails. But don’t hate, Judd Nelson. You know you’re gonna fall in love.
In continuation of our Thanksgiving Countdown, I hereby present this spicy, hot number:
Last Saturday, I wanted to have a hot cocktail. I’m a huge fan of boozy, hot apple cider this time of year and Van Brunt Stillhouse Bourbon was a great addition. I also wanted to highlight the spices in the clove-forward Sorel Liqueur. Truth be told, this cocktail was inspired by the fact that I was suffering from a nasty cold and I was making a version of this for myself nearly every night that week leading up to the event! There is something therapeutic about all of these ingredients together, especially with the addition of the freshly made ginger syrup. I know it made me feel a little better!
Since I use ginger syrup in a lot of the cocktails featured on this blog – because it can add so much(!) – I’ve finally included a recipe. I haven’t, until now, because my portions have varied over the years…and I haven’t always measured the amount of ginger I use. I usually just put as much in as the pot can handle! I like it extra zingy!
Bit By a Fox Ginger Syrup Recipe
This syrup is also cuh-razy good drizzled over ice cream or used to create your own, home made ginger-ale, as a sweetener for tea, or in place of simple syrup in cocktails cold or hot!
Makes about 2 cups
2 cups of peeled ginger, sliced into discs (I prepare this way because I like to save the left over ginger for other uses after I’m done)
2 cups of Sugar
2 Cups Water
In a large stockpot, bring everything to a boil then reduce to a simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Let cool, strain and bottle.
You can use the left over ginger for candied ginger, amazing muddled in an old fashioned or nibbled on its own! Both should keep for up to a month.
It is now less than a week until Turkey Day!! And for many of you hosting, you may be in full on planning mode…or panic mode, depending on your level of hosting duties or stress management skills! Whether you are hosting a house full of family and friends, or your plans next week involve apartment hopping various Friendsgivings before sneaking off to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire alone, we can probably all agree on one thing: The holidays are MUCH easier to handle with a few adult beverages on hand. But what do you serve your picky aunt Debbie, your wine snob friends or that late-blooming college buddy people still refer to as PBR Pete? Most likely, you won’t be able to please everyone, but there are a few sure-fire, seasonal tipples that I thought are worth sharing!
Every day until Thanksgiving, I’ll be featuring a cocktail that you can serve while waiting for that turkey to plump or alongside those marshmallow, sweet potatoes. And beyond. Each of the cocktails that were created for last Saturday’s pre-holiday Brooklyn spirits event will be featured as well a few others that seem appropriate. These were all designed to be simple to make, with minimal ingredients. But, still crowd pleasing. Low maintainance cocktails with high maintainance results!
The first cocktails featured in this Thanksgiving Countdown series are two recipes that I’ve created for Quinciple’s Thanksgiving box going out next week. If you live in New York and don’t know about Quinciple yet, you MUST check it out. It’s a locally based subscription service of finely curated farmer’s market ingredients, as well as products from specialty food purveyors. It maintains the ethos, convenience and quality of farm fresh ingredients that you might get in a CSA but also includes higher end products from their favorite bakeries, cheese makers and small producers. And they also always include recipes!
Kate Galassi, the dynamo behind Quinciple, wanted a few cranberry-inspired cocktail recipes to accompany the gorgeous, hand-picked, heirloom, no-spray cranberries that are to be included in their special Thanksgiving box. I was more than happy to oblige! I also included the recipe for my cranberry citrus syrup that can be used with booze, soda or drizzled over vanilla ice cream, for post-turkey gobbling!
Harvest Old Fashioned (featured on Quinciple’s blog)
12 Fresh Cranberries
Large Slice Orange Peel
3-4 dashes – Regan’s Orange Bitters or Aromatic Bitters
tsp – Maple Syrup
3 oz – Bourbon or Rye
At the bottom of a rocks glass, muddle 10 cranberries, orange peel, bitters and maple syrup with a splash of club soda. Add large cubes of ice and stir in whiskey. Optional – Top with a splash of soda, garnish with speared orange wedge and cranberry.
1 oz. – Gin
1/2 oz – Cranberry Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
3 Fresh Cranberries
Combine gin, syrup and lemon juice in an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake 10-12 seconds. Strain into champagne flute or coupe glass. Fill rest of glass with dry sparkling wine. Garnish with floating cranberries.
Last Saturday, Atlantic Cellars Wine & Spirits and Bit By a Fox partnered up to celebrate the small batch spirits industry that has exploded in New York in recent years…and to kick off the holiday season!
All of the seasonal cocktails were made from the local spirits featured during the evening.
And some of the cocktails included new Bit By a Fox cocktail syrup flavors for the holidays…
The place was pretty festive…
I was SO grateful to have Kelsey lend a helping hand in the 200+ cocktails we made for the evening!
It got pretty packed!
It was a great night and an awesome opportunity for distillers, local businesses and fans of their products to get together and start to feel a little ok about the temps taking a dip and the days getting shorter! It’s a little easier to welcome the chilly, dark days to come when you’re surrounded by friends with some hot apple cider and bourbon! Check out the other amazing pics of the night taken by the very talented Tiffany Oelfke of Luciebelle Photography http://luciebelle.com, on the Bit By a Fox Facebook Page.
Thanks to all of the exciting, local spirits that participated in the event: New York Distilling Company, Breuckelen Distilling, Industry City Distillery, Van Brunt Stillhouse, Sorel Liqueur, Atsby Vermouth, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur and Owney’s Rum. And neighboring restaurants, Three Letters and Pilar Cuban Eatery for supplying delicious grub and pickle backs! AND thank you to everyone who came out to support these incredible, small businesses. We all felt the Brooklyn looooove!