Introducing Patrón Silver Tequila in a 1-liter Bottle!

Patron Silver Flowers

Just in time for the holidays, Patrón has released its first-ever 1-liter Patrón Silver tequila bottle. This limited edition, larger bottle is decorated with the iconic bee design made from pure pewter, and is topped with an elegant glass stopper.


In the spirit of the Art of Patrón program, to help celebrate this launch, I created another DIY spin on this new bottle. It’s no Crafty Fox, but it DID get me pretty excited about setting the table for Thanksgiving by creating a fall-inspired, floral centerpiece. Disclosure – I DID get a healthy assist from one of my favorite flower shops, Stems Brooklyn. But I did have to edit down the flowers so they could fit! How beautiful does this all look?!

Patron Silver 1-liter Bottle

Don’t worry, no tequila was harmed in the creation of this project. All of that lovely Patrón Silver has just been transferred to another air tight vessel, albeit, not quite as pretty! This would be perfect to bring over for a host/hostess gift this time of year. When the guests have devoured the inside of the bottle, the outside can live on as a centerpiece throughout the holiday season!

Sponsored: This post was made possible by Patrón and this project was fueled by Tequila. As usual, all opinions are my own.

A Friendsgiving Cocktail! The Green Pear Sparkler

The Thanksgiving countdown is underway! T-minus seven days until the turkey frenzy takes over America’s kitchens and tummys and couches and zzzzz. I cannot WAIT to be a lazy mofo for three days straight! Who’s with me?! (super lethargic virtual high-five) Maybe you’ve sorted out your main menu. Maybe you’re gonna wing it like an insane person. But have you figured out the most important item to be ingested of the day?! What are you drinking?? Well, now you have. Presenting The Green Pear Sparkler, a cocktail that you can have with your family or at your epic Friendsgiving feast! Let’s talk about it!

Green Pear Sparkler Cocktail5

Hard cider is having a moment. It’s been the fastest growing alcoholic beverage category for the last three years in a row. And there are more and more cider cocktails popping up on menus in craft cocktail bars and fine dining restaurants alike. Trend watchers point to the craft beer industry and rising foodie culture for helping the popularity of hard ciders.

Green Pear Sparkler6

For many years, I’ve found hard cider to be a great addition to a cocktail, using it as a secondary ingredient, as you would with champagne or beer in a cocktail, to add some dryness and bubbles. And occasionally I’ve used it as a star ingredient. And very dry, Normandy style pear cider is one of my favorites to use. Especially this time of year.

Green Pear Sparkler

For The Green Pear Sparkler, the hard cider is an important component, but is well-integrated with the other ingredients – rye whiskey, maple syrup and some healthy dashes of Tabasco’s Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce. The result is an easily drinkable cocktail that SCREAMS autumn.

Green Pear Sparkler4

The green pepper spice from the Tabasco and the sage garnish brightens up this cocktail and lends a “green-ness” to the overall drink. Quality maple syrup and a good, spicy rye whiskey like the newly released Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye is also important for this. It’s the holidays, guys! Treat yourself right!

Green Pear Sparkler9

The Green Pear Sparkler
2 oz Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz maple syrup
4-5 dashes (to taste) Tabasco Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce
3 oz Hard Pear Cider
Garnish: pear slices and sage

Add all ingredients except cider to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into an ice-filled tumbler and top with cider. Garnish with pear slices and sage.

Sponsored: This post was made possible by TABASCO®  in conjunction with the TABASCO® Tastemakers program. This is the fourth and final cocktail in a series of posts that feature the Tabasco Family of Flavors in cocktail recipes. As always, all opinions are my own!

The Bubbly Boulevardier

We like to keep things fairly light-hearted here in the boozy world of Bit by a Fox. Cocktails (and cocktail culture) are happy making for the most part. And the tone is a pretty jovial one. Today’s cocktail post was created (originally) to honor the recent launch of the gorgeous book Paris Cocktails, written by Doni Belau creator of the popular site Girl’s Guide to Paris. And I don’t want to take away from that. But in light of the multiple tragedies that took place in Paris just a few days ago, I realized this post can’t help but take on a different tone. I couldn’t NOT address the world outside the bubble of this care-free blog, even for just a moment.

Paris Cocktails8

I lived in New York City during the World Trade Center attacks. It was a devastating time. But the city, and the world around us, came together in a way that still moves me when I think back on it. When first hearing of the coordinated attacks on the beautiful City of Light this last Friday, I was immediately reminded of that overwhelming heartbreak and helplessness. I was also reminded of the generosity of spirit from total strangers and the solidarity that the rest of the world showed us during our city’s darkest hour. That was so crucial in the healing of our city.

Paris Cocktails5

To show my own sort of solidarity, I’d like to dedicate this post to the people of Paris, whose joie de vivre, lust for life is forever an inspiration to me and this little blog. The City of Light will not be dimmed by the dark hearts of others.

Paris Cocktails4

The Boulevardier is a pre-prohibition era cocktail that is often described as a whiskey Negroni. Bourbon or rye takes the place of gin. Like the Negroni, it is traditionally made with equal parts Sweet Vermouth and Campari. When I was asked to recreate a classic French cocktail or put my own twist on a favorite, I immediately thought of The Boulevardier. It’s easily one of my favorites, and is remarkably adaptable by switching out or adding additional ingredients. While this cocktail was actually created by an American ex-pat, Erskine Gwynne who was  living in Paris at the time and founded a Paris literary magazine in the 1920s called…the Boulevardier(!), the drink is most associated with Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. I thought it fitting to include a cocktail that is part New York City and part Paris. We’ve always adored one another!

Paris Cocktails

What makes this particular version even MORE French is the addition of French Whisky, Bastille 1789 (the year of the French Revolution). Hand-crafted in the Cognac region, this blended whisky, made in a Scotch style and aged in French Limousin oak, is softer and lighter than the usual bourbon or heavy-duty rye. Oh! And did I mention there’s Champagne?!

Paris Cocktails2

That’s my big twist! I ADORE adding bubbly to a Negroni. And it totally works with The Boulevardier as well. It makes it feel even more festive. This is actually the perfect type of drink this time of year. And four ingredient cocktails are a must when entertaining for the holidays…

Paris Cocktails91

Speaking of the holidays…Paris Cocktails would be a delightful gift for anyone in your life who is a Francophile, cocktail enthusiast, avid traveler or aesthetically inclined. Belau documents the rise of the cocktail culture in Paris and profiles many of the go-to bars and the bartenders that have helped shape that scene. There’s also a TON of cocktail recipes both classic and modern, inspired by the City of Light. Purchase the book directly from Belau’s site: Girls Guide to Paris.

Paris Cocktails92

The Bubbly Boulevardier
1 oz Bastille 1789 French Whisky
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Brut Champagne
cocktail cherry for garnish

In a mixing glass filled with ice, stir whisky, Campari and sweet vermouth for 30-40 seconds, until well chilled. Strain into a coupe glass with a cocktail cherry already at the bottom of the glass. Top with Champagne. Santé

Foxy Friends: Eataly New York’s Beverage Director, Emily Hand

For the second installment in our Foxy Friends series, we are featuring another Jersey girl! Emily Hand is the Beverage Director for Eataly New York, the 50,000 square foot food and drink mecca devoted to all things Italian.

Emily Hand Head Shot

Emily Hand started working at Eataly as a sommelier in early August 2010, just before the store opened. Although she had been studying wine on her own for a couple of years, it was her first foray into the wine world. In April 2013, Emily was appointed to her current role as Beverage Director for Eataly New York.”

Emily Hand has a big job – a dream job for anyone into wine and food and Italy and LIFE, but a very big job, to be sure. She oversees all 7 (SEVEN!) wine and beer lists for each of Eataly New York’s restaurants (which change-up every week!), she leads a knowledgeable team of sommeliers, keeps track of inventory, year over year sales, and even teaches food and wine classes at La Scuola…in her spare time. That’s actually one of her favorite parts of the job. Sharing her vast knowledge of Italian wines in a casual and approachable style is already Emily’s trademark. And she’s done this all in just a few short years. She must be doing something right! Here’s an inside look at Emily and her job as Beverage Director at Eataly.


Prairie Rose: What is an aspect of the job that would be the most surprising to people who don’t know what you do?

Emily Hand: The most surprising part of the job is probably the least glamorous parts such as organizing cases upon cases of product, and crunching lots of numbers as part of being a responsible buyer.  I can certainly be spotted tasting wine with various sales reps and with my team throughout the week, but I am a spittin’ fool. Cant be slowed down by drinking!

What was it that initially drew you to wine? Have you always been interested in Italian wine, in particular? What’s your favorite region?

I love the way wine incited such passion in people as they spoke about it…maybe it was the Italians, they are a passionate people. I became very interested in Italian wine when I went to Italy during college for a week-long wine trip/scholarship. There is much to offer from opening up a bottle alone, but to backtrack through the import/export process and back into the vineyards and wineries, to meet the people behind the wine, that is what sealed the deal for me. I’ve studied (and tasted!) wines from around the world, and enjoy other old world wine regions as well, but I’ll always come back to Italy.  My favorite region is Toscana because that is where I fell in love with Italian wine.


What would you consider a (perhaps, lowbrow) guilty pleasure?

I truly don’t consider it lowbrow, but if I’m out at a bar after work, you’ll almost never catch me drinking wine (dinner, yes, bar, no). I love tequila…not frozen margaritas per se but a nice aged tequila on the rocks with lots of lime…that’s my jam.


People are always looking for a deal but still want quality. What is your go-to, bang for your buck pick right now?

My bang for the buck will typically come from the lesser known regions of Italy, and usually fall geographically on the outskirts, the far north such as Trentino Alto Adige and Valle d’Aosta  or far south such as Calabria, Sicila, Sardegna. You can pick up the Odoardi Terra Damia (Gaglioppo) on the shelf at the wine store for $20.80, it’s a crowd-pleaser.


With the seasons changing, what do you foresee being in everyone’s glasses in the next couple of months?

Whisky, Whiskey and more WHISKEY– tis the season for the beverage that warms you from the inside out.  There are a lot of local distilleries breaking onto the scene right now, just as local food is all the rage (and hopefully a permanent ideology), the movement of handcrafted, small-batch spirits is making waves. I like the whiskey lineup from Hudson distilleries. Also cider, I am a big cider fan so that’s what will be in my glass. I’d like to add some cider influenced cocktails to the lineup. I experimented with that last weekend. Research is exhausting :)

Do you have a favorite cocktail to make? To drink?

My favorite cocktail to make is a Bloody Mary because I feel like a chef with all of the ingredients and variations, it’s a challenge to create the perfect balance. I’m a savory cocktail nut, always have been. My favorite cocktail to drink is a dirty vodka martini, the more olives the better. So dirty I want the bartender to blush.


What are you most excited about right now at Eataly?

That’s a tough question because so much is going on…I get excited as the seasons change and we delve deeper into the fresh and local bounty of the tri-state area. We integrate seasonal changes into the cocktails and beer/wine selections just as the chefs do on the food menus. Right now I am excited about two huge wine events we are hosting, a walk-around Brunello tasting with Jancis Robinson and Walter Speller (exclusive 2010 vintage!) and a seminar with Angelo Gaja, that man is a legend!

What has been your biggest learning at Eataly to date?

My biggest revelation here at Eataly has been my ability to roll with the punches, and that managing people-not just managing them but investing in them, caring about their development as much as your own, is the key to success.

A Halloween Cocktail! The QUInutButter Cup with QUI Tequila

I love this time of year: crisp, clear, sunshine-y days, the fiery yellow and gold leaves underfoot, and, because…HALLOWEEN(!), we can finally allow ourselves to indulge in obscene amounts of candy.

QUInutbutter Cup 2

Peanut butter cups have always been one of my all-time favorites. When you’re a kid and you hit a house with full size peanut butter cups, you know you’ve hit the mother-load. This year, instead of making yourself ill from downing half a bag of “snack sized” treats, try this elevated peanut butter cup inspired cocktail made with QUI Tequila, dark chocolate, and hazelnut liqueur.

QUInutbutter Cup 1The QUINutButter Cup
2 oz. QUI Tequila
1/2 oz. Creme de Cacao
1/2 oz. Hazelnut Liqueur
1/2 oz. Chocolate Syrup (Dark Chocolate Preferred)
1 tbsp. All-Natural Unsweetened Peanut Butter
Pinch of Salt
Chocolate Syrup and Justin’s Mini Peanut Butter Cup (for Garnish)

Preparation: In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Drizzle chocolate syrup on the inside of a chilled martini glass. Pour blended mixture to the top. Garnish with mini peanut butter cup on the rim of the glass.

BOOK GIVEAWAY! The Art of American Whiskey By Noah Rothbaum

Hey there! Do you consider yourself a bit of a whiskey nerd? Are you also into American history, and like to geek out over vintage advertising, graphic and industrial design? Am I just describing myself? Is this a dating profile?? Stay with me here.

Art of American Whiskey_cover

I KNOW I’m not the only one around these parts who is a fan of all of the above. Even if you only have a passing interest in history, design and American whiskey, but appreciate a thoroughly researched, visually appealing page turner, you’ll very much enjoy The Art of American Whiskey: A Visual History of the Nation’s Most Storied Spirit, through 100 Iconic Labels by Noah Rothbaum.

Unlike the glut of whiskey books out there concentrating on what is inside the bottle, The Art of American Whiskey tells the story of this revered spirit by focusing on what has been created to appear on the outside.

Fans of historic Four Roses would be sure to spot this ornate box decorated with its signature flowers on the pharmacy shelf. This particular bottle was prescribed to a patient in Sparks, Nevada, in 1924. According to the label, two ounces of whiskey were to be mixed with hot water.” (excerpt from the chapter: Prohibition)

Four Roses

Four Roses, p 32 (Photo courtesy of Four Roses)

Turns out, the iconic labels and packaging that have helped to market the spirit that is so ingrained in American culture and history, have their own story to tell.

Bourbon Falls was the first whiskey sold by Heaven Hill, which started up right after the end of Prohibition. This striking Art Deco label was used in the late 1930s.” (excerpt from the chapter: Life after Temperance)

Bourbon Falls, p 53 (Photo courtesy of Heaven Hills Distillery)

Bourbon Falls, p 53 (Photo courtesy of Heaven Hills Distillery)

Rothbaum, clearly a whiskey enthusiast, does a wonderful job as story-teller, historian, and booze archaeologist. He uncovers a rich visual history starting in the late 1800s, going through Prohibition and the Great Depression, into “The Swinging Sixties” and even through the “Dark Ages” – The 70s, 80s and 90s, finally taking us up to the present booze-soaked renaissance we currently seem to be in, “The New Golden Age”.

This 1969 label perfectly encapsulates the progression in liquor packaging design, with a sleek Manhattan cocktail image, gold chain link borders, and modern font, while still paying tribute to the brand’s historic roots.” (excerpt from the chapter: The Swinging Sixties)

Jim Beam, p 95 (Photo courtesy of Beam Suntory Inc)

Jim Beam, p 95 (Photo courtesy of Beam Suntory Inc)

In each chapter, Rothbaum includes cocktails of the time, with recipes contributed by legendary bartenders, distillers and spirits writers and historians. The below cocktail, The Scofflaw Cocktail featured in the Prohibition section of The Art of American Whiskey, was contributed by writer, bartender and cocktail legend, Gary (“Gaz”) Regan.

The Scofflaw Cocktail – Contributed by Gary Regan
2 ounces of Bourbon or Straight Rye Whiskey
1 ounce Dry Vermouth
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce grenadine
2 few dashes orange bitters

Put all ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Giveaway Alert!

A signed copy of The Art of American Whiskey can be yours! With the holidays coming up, this is PERFECT for that special whiskey fan in your life. It’s also a wonderful addition to your own bar library in case you want to keep it all for yourself. You have a bar library, right?! In the comments below, write about your very first experience (that you can remember) with American whiskey and if the bottle design had any influence on your decision to drink said spirit.

All the labels featured here: “Reprinted with permission from The Art of American Whiskey by Noah Rothbaum, copyright 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.”

Bartender Style: Speed Rack’s Ivy Mix & Lynnette Marrero

Bartender Style is a collaboration between Bit by a Fox and photographer Rose Callahan. This monthly series, exclusively on the Bit by a Fox blog, will explore and document the personal style of some of the best bartenders in New York City and beyond. This month, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are featuring two of the baddest babes in the bartending biz, who are also the powerhouse team behind Speed Rack, the first international, all-female bartending competition that donates 100% of their proceeds to breast cancer awareness, prevention, and research. Meet Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero!

Ivy affectionately calls Lynnette her “work wife”. As far as long-term relationships go, these ladies have this “work marriage” thing on lock.


In the four years that Ivy and Lynnette have successfully run Speed Rack, “the roller derby of cocktail competitions”, they have raised over $350,000 globally for breast cancer research and charities, have built an international network of women who consider them mentors, and have created a unique fundraising model that spirits brands and charities alike continue to look to as an example of grassroots success.

093015_7922And all this has happened in between their constant globe-trotting, serving as judges for other cocktail competitions, guest speaking at seminars, and consulting with a variety of brands, all the while getting behind the stick on a regular basis. Oh, and then there was that time back in May after building out an entire restaurant in Brooklyn Ivy decided to run a half marathon the same week it opened. A mere two months later, she went on to win the prestigious title of Best American Bartender of the Year at the Tales of the Cocktail Festival’s Spirited Awards, which is pretty much the Oscars of the booze industry.




And just this last month, they were awarded together as some of The Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink 2015 from Food & Wine and Fortune Magazine for their impressive work with Speed Rack.

This latest accolade is a cherry on top of the many awards and achievements these two have scooped up separately during their esteemed careers behind the bar, including a James Beard Award given to Lynnette in 2009 for being one of America’s Leading Female Mixologists. You’re looking at the Beyoncés of the cocktail world, people. These ladies get to WERK!

And they both always seem to look so fetching while doing it.


On the surface, Lynnette and Ivy are pretty different. Lynnette is a curvy pin-up type, drawn to feminine silhouettes (one of her go-to online shops is the Bettie Page Store), and she strictly wears dresses behind the bar.


Lynette, a former pageant princess (she was Miss Manhattan in a past life!), is not afraid of bright florals and prints and a little decolletage, and is often seen with a tropical flower tucked behind her ear at events.


Noticing at a young age that she had a good amount of gray coming in, she was finally convinced by her art director husband a few years ago to let her hair go natural.


Barely into her 30s, she knew that it would take great confidence to pull it off. Luckily, Lynnette has that in spades. But no matter, because, turns out, she has GORGEOUS salt and pepper locks that complement her skin tone beautifully. So much so, that she seems to glow behind the bar or in front of it!


Ivy is the leggy tomboy who may have perfected her effortless half-damp top knot thrown up at the last possible minute and the all-American fresh-faced look while she was a budding equestrian in her youth in Vermont, or when she was the captain of her lacrosse team in high school or while studying abroad in college…


Whenever this casual, cool, Noxzema-girl look came together really doesn’t matter. The point is, it’s totally working for her. May we all look this radiant on so little sleep!


Ivy has a love of rompers (she calls them onesies!). She pretty much sticks with this uniform, which she also refers to as her “work pajamas”, while working at Leyenda, her newly opened Latin American cocktail bar in Brooklyn with partner and mentor Julie Reiner of Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge fame.


Ivy lived in Guatemala for four years post-college, and it was there that she first fell in love with bar culture while working at a place called Café No Sé. When it came time to conceptualize her own place, Ivy decided that she wanted to bring that part of the world into the charming Cobble Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn, merging the places she loves so much.


Her attraction to religious iconography and symbols can be seen throughout. And her idea to merge the Latin American culture and what we have come to recognize as a Brooklyn restaurant aesthetic can be seen in the rustic woodwork and the details in the tin ceiling spanning the place.




While Ivy admits to borrowing dresses from Lynnette because she’s “bad at being a girl”, and prefers wearing Timberland boots behind the bar because of the supportive heel versus Lynette who likes to wear fancy Crocs because they are light and washable…

093015_7911_lores…the ladies’ style converges when it comes to the signature look for Speed Rack. The overall look for the high energy cocktail competition is a combo of sporty and bad-ass with heavy retro inspiration from Rosie the Riveter.

 Pink bandannas are their trademark, tying the breast cancer awareness signature color and the feminist cultural icon together.


The resulting Speed Rack image is confident, feminine and fierce, not unlike the ladies who dreamt up the concept of Speedrack in order to showcase women bartenders around the world, and elevate their status in the business, while simultaneously directly impacting breast cancer awareness. They’ve managed to change the face of the bartending world on an international scale, making a difference on a number of levels, and they happen to be having a kick-ass time doing it.


Both ladies shared Latin inspired cocktail recipes with us. Lynnette’s Flor de Rosa is a beautiful, ruby-hued tipple inspired by spirits writer Kara Newman’s Caramel Negroni.




Flor de Rosa – Lynette Marrero, Drinks at 6
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Angostura Amaro
1 oz Aged Rum
Garnish: orange twist and orchid.

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Ivy shared an unusual pisco sour variation called Buena Onda (good/awesome wave) off the Leyenda menu. I haven’t had a bad cocktail yet at Leyenda and this is one of my favorites!





Buena Onda – Ivy Mix, Leyenda
2oz Yerba Mate infused Kappa Pisco
1/2 oz fresh lime
1/2 oz fresh lemon
3/4 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz egg white

Dry shake, add ice, shake again. Serve up and garnish with grapefruit bitters..

Speed Rack’s fifth national tour kicks-off on November 15, 2015 in the United States and travels to eight cities – Chicago, New York, San Antonio, Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Boston before crowning a winner at the Speed Rack U.S. Finals in New York in May 2016. For more information, head to their website.

Art of Patrón Has Named a Winner!

Remember all the way back to the middle of May when I put the call out to all the boozy crafters in the world for the Art of Patrón bottle art contest?!


courtesy of Patrón

And then I made my own piece of “art”, and was pretty proud of myself

Just look at that little fox! (I’m clearly still pretty proud of myself)

Surprisingly, I did not win. But, no hard feelings! After seeing the amazing entries this year, I may never craft again. These guys are true artisans. And these many months later, the agave powers that be have finally selected a Grand Prize Winner. Last week Patrón threw a party in New York City to celebrate!


courtesy of Patrón


courtesy of Patrón


courtesy of Patrón


courtesy of Patrón

Patrón knows how to throw down. And Rebecca Stoneback, this year’s Grand Prize Winner, was the belle of the ball.

016  Her stunning necklace, La Abeja, was created out of a single Patrón Silver Tequila bottle, melted and sculpted into 60 beads “to represent the 60 hands it takes to make each bottle. Her creation “was inspired by the flavor of the tequila and the spirit of the people behind it.”


courtesy of Patrón

Rebecca even sculpted the iconic Patrón bee and turned it into a mini bottle of its own, containing….you guessed it, Patrón Silver Tequila!


courtesy of Patrón

I was able to catch up with Rebecca at the Art of Patron party last week and she was kind enough to give us all a little peek into how this all came to be:

Prairie Rose: How did you hear about the Art of Patron project?

Rebecca Stoneback: I saw something about the contest on the internet, it might have been the chess table from the last contest. I loved the chess table and ended up becoming interested because of that. I thought I might have a chance to win so I ran out to Bourbon Street, a local chain in Hunterdon County, NJ and picked up a bottle of Patron Silver and an instruction form for the contest.

PR: What got you into glass blowing in the first place?

RS: I’ve actually been kind of obsessed with glass since I saw glassblowers in Murano on an episode of Mr. Rogers. I think I was around 5 years old. I had my mom take me to the library and took out every book they had about glass blowing. After being obsessed with it for years I finally took a class when I was around 18 or 19. It used to be very difficult to find anywhere at all that had any kind of class teaching lampwork or glass blowing. After my first class I bought everything I needed to do lampwork–small glass work done using a torch mounted on a bench–and basically taught myself for the next 5 years until I had the opportunity to go to Murano. I studied glass intensively in Murano–officially in classes and just observing and learning from artists. I came home with all new handmade tools, a handmade torch, and over a hundred of kilos of glass I hand-picked. I’m in love with glass work–both glass blowing and lampwork–but I mainly focus on lampwork because of a neck injury I had in my teens that keeps me from being able to lift and handle the heavier glass.

PR: What are you going to do with the $10, 000??

RS: I’m planning to buy more equipment and update my studio.

PR: What’s your favorite Patron cocktail?

RS: I’m not very well versed on cocktails, but my favorite, by far, from the event, was the El Califa.


courtesy of Patrón

El Califa (created by Rob Kreuger from Extra Fancy)
1 oz Roca Patrón Reposado
1 oz Patrón Citrónge Mango
1 oz Amaro Montenegro
¾ oz Fresh lemon juice
2 oz Doc’s draft cider

To check out any of Rebecca’s other work, you can head to her website The Sugarbee.

Sponsored: This post was made possible by Patrón.

Chipotle Cherry Bourbon Smash

The ‘Smash’ is in effect a Julep on a small plan.”
– Harry Craddock, The Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930

Chipotle Cherry Smash

What is a smash? It sounds fun! According to cocktail lore, it is essentially a julep. Sooo…spirit, sugar, water, mint and ice. A smash usually uses fresh, seasonal fruit. Muddled or…smashed, as it were! Some smashes have other herbs instead of mint, like basil or sage. The Chipotle Cherry Bourbon Smash uses neither fresh fruit nor green herb, buuut here’s another thing about a smash: it’s a pretty flexible drink! And as we head into the cooler seasons, I wanted to experiment with the basics of the smash cocktail using ingredients that you can find all year round, preserved fruit and hot sauce! And whiskey, of course! Plus chipotle peppers, preserved cherries and bourbon just SOUNDS like a mashup that needs to happen. Here you go!

Chipotle Cherry Smash3

Instead of fresh cherries, I thought it would be fun to use cocktail cherries. Not the chemical laden, neon colored kind that have given cocktail cherries a bad rap. Oh, those little sugar bombs are still everywhere (check out pretty much any chain restaurant bar’s garnish caddy), they are pretty pervasive. But now we have some beautiful options, often infused with brandy or bourbon. Mess Hall Cocktail Co. is making some lovely preserved cocktail cherries at the moment. They source their cherries from farms near their home in Chicago, Illinois and then steep them in sugar and spices and a good amount of bourbon. YES, PLEASE.

Chipotle Cherry Smash2

I’m not going to admit what a revelation it was when I found out that chipotle peppers are just smoked, dried jalapeño peppers. Wha?? I guess this is common knowledge?! And makes total sense. Because…look at them! I suppose I found this so surprising because they are so much less spicy than their fiery cousins. Their distinct smoky quality is treasured for packing a flavor punch to so many dishes. But ever since I tried Tabasco’s Chipotle Sauce I wanted to use it in a cocktail.

Chipotle Cherry Smash4

This one is far less spicy than their Original Red Sauce and is a little less acidic. It has that dark smoky flavor distinctive to chipotle peppers and just a few dashes work beautifully with Mess Hall’s sweetened cherries. It also highlights the barrel aged wood smoke in the Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old Bourbon that I used. DREAM TEAM!

Chipotle Cherry Smash5

Another nice thing about using these preserved cherries is that you don’t need to add any additional sugar. The cocktail cherries lend just the right amount of sweetness. If you’d like it a little sweeter, you can always add a teaspoon of the syrup from the cherry jar.

Chipotle Cherry Smash6

Chipotle Cherry Bourbon Smash
1.5 oz Bourbon (Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old Bourbon works well with this)
5-6 cocktail cherries (Mess Hall Cocktail Co)
1/4 oz lemon juice
2 dashes Tabasco Chipotle Sauce

Muddle cherries, lemon juice and Tabasco in a rocks glass. Add bourbon and ice. Top with seltzer and give a stir. Garnish with cocktail cherry.

Sponsored: This post was made possible by TABASCO®  in conjunction with the TABASCO® Tastemakers program. This is the third cocktail in a series of posts that feature the Tabasco Family of Flavors in cocktail recipes. As always, all opinions are my own!

1 2 3 19