BBaF Podcast Episode 65: English Sparkling Wine with Chapel Down’s Josh Donaghay-Spire

Listen to Episode 65: English Sparkling Wine with Chapel Down’s Josh Donaghay-Spire”

English sparkling wine is suddenly all the rage with wine experts and enthusiasts alike. But it’s been bubbling up for the last 30-40 years, spearheaded by the leading English sparkler (and apparently the royal family’s fave), Chapel Down.

I recently sat down with head wine maker Josh Donaghay-Spire while he was in town, and we chatted about the exciting category of English sparkling wine. 

This week’s cocktail recipe is an English winemaker’s twist on the classic French 75…

English 75
1.5 oz of London Dry Gin
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
Chapel Down Brut

Shake the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup over ice. Strain into a chilled flute or coupe glass, and top with Chapel Down Brut.

The Future of Frozen Rosé: Yerba Mate Frosé

A few summers back – an especially scorching one from what I remember – a pink frothy frozen libation swept the country and, seemingly overnight, every restaurant and bar had their own version of blush colored concoctions to please the masses.

With the rising temps, the feverish interest in all things rosé, and the perfect portmanteau of frozen + rosé, the stars aligned and Frosé was born.

Three years later, the trend seems to have slightly chilled (sorry!). The interest has dipped partly because people were finding out that many of these frozen versions of wine cocktails contained far more sugar than expected. As many of us know, massive amounts of sugar combined with wine and hard alcohol results in a super slushie sized hangover the next day. Talk about brain freeze!

The beautiful thing about this adult slurpee, however, is it doesn’t even need all that sugar. I mean, it has blended fresh fruit and juice in it, so you can practically treat it like a smoothie…with wine!

I really took that idea to heart and even added a powerful boost of Argentine Yerba Mate tea for my version of Yerba Mate FroséWelcome to your summer future, guys.

As a resident recipe creator for Argentine Yerba Mate, I’ve mentioned my love of using Argentine Yerba Mate before as a cocktail ingredient, not only because of its tea-like flavor profile, but also because of its many health benefits – vitamin C, zinc, potassium, and a bunch of powerful antioxidants – even more than green tea. 

For this recipe, I created a simple yerba mate tea syrup for that bit of sweetness and earthy depth of flavor.

We’re on the other side of Memorial Day weekend, June 8 is National Rosé Day, and there is no better time than the present to ready those blenders, chill TF out of your favorite dry rosé, and commit this recipe to memory for all of your al fresco fetes! 

Yerba Mate Frosé
1 Bottle Full-bodied Dry Rosé Wine
1/4 cup Argentine Yerba Mate Simple Syrup*
2 cups Frozen Strawberries
2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 cup Ice

Pour bottle of Rosé Wine into ice cube trays and freeze 6-12 hours. Once frozen, combine rosé cubes in a blender with the simple syrup, strawberries, lemon juice, and about a cup of ice. Blend until it is a smooth, slushie like consistency. Serve with fresh, edible flowers. 

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. (good for about two batches of Yerba Mate Frosé)

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: Christine Wiseman

Listen to The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Christine Wiseman”

The Bit by a Fox Podcast is now on its fourth episode in the Bartender Interview Series – The Master Blend. In collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast is hosting a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders.

This week’s interview is with Christine Wiseman, Bar Director of LA’s most fabulous rooftop cocktail bar, The Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. We discussed her 20 year journey through the industry, from managing the busiest Outback Steakhouse in the country to creating scratch and sniff cocktail menus, and spearheading the LA cocktail scene with a heavy dose of her signature sparkle along the way.

Christine Wiseman’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail: Crème de Ciel 

Crème de Ciel 
2 oz BERTOUX Brandy
.50 oz Gentian Infused Chinola*
.75 oz Lemon Juice
.75 Blue Curacoa
1/8 oz Simple Syrup 

Combine all ingredients in tin and shake, double strain into a coupe. Garnish with a marigold.  

*Gentian Infused Chinola
750 ml Chinola
3 oz Gentian
Infuse for 1 hr and strain

BBaF Podcast Episode 63: Suck it Up with Dan Magro

Listen to Episode 63: Suck it Up with Dan Magro

If you caught this week’s #BoozeMailMondays live tasting on Instagram, then you already know how fun the most recent Bit by a Fox Podcast guest is! I’m currently OBSESSED…

Hobbiest mixologist, viral video personality, and cocktail book author of Suck It Up: Extraordinary Cocktails for Everyday People, Dan Magro has a real-talk and hilarious approach to mixing drinks. We gabbed and laughed about the proliferation of multi-hyphenates in LA, his deep love of brunch…as a LIFESTYLE, and his ultimate, if unexpected, drinking buddy to get bit by a fox with!

This week’s cocktail recipe is a brunch favorite from Dan’s book, Suck it Up, Lavender Mimosas.

Lavender Mimosa – served in a champagne flute
Brut Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Lavender Honey Infusion*
a lemon, quartered
Garnish: fresh lavender  

Rub the lemon slice around the rim of the flute, squeeze the juice into the glass, and the drop the wedge in. Fill the glass with 3/4 of bubbly, top off the remainder of the  glass with the lavender honey syrup. Garnish with lavender.  

*Lavender Honey Infusion
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/3 cup of honey and stir for 3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium. Add 1/4 cup of dried lavender, and stir for 1 minute making sure all lavender is immersed in water. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit overnight. Strain the cooled liquid, discarding the solids. Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. 

The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Devon Tarby

Listen to The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Devon Tarby”

The Bit by a Fox Podcast is now on the third episode in the Bartender Interview Series – The Master Blend. In collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast is hosting a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders.

This week’s interview is with Devon Tarby who discusses her bartending beginnings at famed cocktail bar The Varnish where she met her future partners in the highly successful hospitality firm, Proprietors LLC. We talk about her music background and how she incorporate that into her cocktail creations, how she stays sane with such a busy scheduled, and what it’s like to be nominated for a James Beard Award

Devon Tarby’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail:

Perfect Timing
1.5 oz BERTOUX Brandy
.75 oz Fusion Verjus Blanc
.75 oz Ramazzotti Aperitivo
.25 oz Giffard Creme de Peche
1 tsp. Simple Syrup
2 dashes acid Phosphate
2 drops of salt solution

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with edible flower.

BBaF Podcast Episode 61: Avuá Cachaça with Peter Nevenglosky

Listen to Episode 61: Avuá Cachaça with Peter Nevenglosky”

This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast marks our first foray into the world of Cachaça, the Brazilian spirit made from sugarcane, that many may only be familiar with because of the Caipirinha – Brazil’s national  cocktail. 

The Cabana Crush

Avuá Cachaça, which officially launched in the United States in 2013, is a Cachaça brand that is a very good place to start. Peter Nevenglosky, co-founder of Avuá Cachaça was in town briefly for a tiki competition and took the time to sit down with me to discuss the category of Cachaça and it’s rich history, how he got involved in this Brazilian spirit, and how a little known cocktail legend named Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey was the first to give this little brand a leg up. 

This week’s cocktail recipe is the Pan Am cocktail created by Cervantes Ramirez from Milk & Honey in New York City.

This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast, Peter Nevenglosky, co-founder of Avuá Cachaça discusses the category of Cachaça and it’s rich history, how he got involved in this Brazilian spirit, and how a little known cocktail legend named Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey was the first to give this little brand a leg up.

Pan Am by Cervantes Ramirez
1oz Avuá Amburana
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1 oz Dry Curaçao
orange twist

Add ingredients and ice to a mixing glass, stir until well chilled, strain into a rocks glass over ice. Swipe rim of glass with orange peel, squeeze, and drop into the glass.

The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Yael Vengroff

Listen to The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Yael Vengroff”

This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast, the second installment goes up on the Bartender Series collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy – The Master Blend.

In collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast will host a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders.

This second interview is with Yael Vengroff, one of the most decorated young bartenders out there.  While she runs the award winning cocktail program at The Spare Room in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, she has her hands in a number of other LA bars, and still makes time to feed her love of dancing and movement.

We discussed the importance of body mechanics in her personal and professional life, and how creating a strict sense of structure actually helps to free up her wild child creativity. 

Yael Vengroff’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail, East Broadway Sour, is currently being served at LA institution, Genghis Cohen.

East Broadway Sour
2 oz BERTOUX Brandy
.74 oz Lemon Juice
.75 oz Chinese
5 Spice Syrup
2 dashes Toasted Pecan Bitters
1 oz Red Wine Float 

Shake all ingredients, except the wine, over ice. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Float 1 oz of a full bodied red wine. Garnish with orange wheel & grated nutmeg.


BBaF Podcast Episode 59: Catoctin Creek Distillery & Scott Harris

Listen to Episode 59: Catoctin Creek Distillery & Scott Harris”

This week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast episode is a great deep dive into what it’s like to start and run a successful micro distillery.

Catoctin Creek, a microdistillery in Purcellville, Virginia founded by husband and wife team, Becky and Scott Harris in 2009, is known for their award winning rye whiskies and their devoted cult following. On the cusp of their 10 year anniversary, I spoke with Scott about their journey into the distilling world, and their path to success over this past decade.

This week’s cocktail is Scott’s favorite Manhattan recipe…

Catoctin Creek Manhattan
2 oz Catoctin Creek 92 Proof Distillers Edition Roundstone Rye
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1 dash aromatic bitters or another favorite
1 tsp Maraschino cherry juice
Maraschino cherry for garnish 

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish.

Introducing The Master Blend – A Bartender Series on The Bit by a Fox Podcast

Listen to The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Aaron Polsky”

This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast, we are kicking off an exciting new series, The Master Blend – A Bartender Series

In collaboration with Bertoux Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast will host a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders. They’ll be discussing their distinct style, inspirations, and journey to influencing today’s cocktail culture.

Kicking off this first episode in the series is Aaron Polsky. Part Mad Scientist, part Jimmy Page, part sweet Jersey boy, Aaron is the creative bar director behind the lively Rock & Roll cocktail bar in Hollywood, Harvard & Stone

Aaron’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail recipe is a riff on the French 75, named after a Kiss song, Black Diamond.

Black Diamond
1.5 oz BERTOUX Brandy
.5 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
.5 oz homemade elderberry or blueberry liqueur*
.75 oz fresh lime juice
Champagne

Shake BERTOUX Brandy, liqueurs and juice over ice. Strain into coupe with sugared rim. Top with champagne or sparkling wine 

**Blend 1/2lb fresh elderberries or blueberries with 500mL vodka. Strain, combine with 500mL simple syrup and bottle.  Will hold indefinitely.

BBaF Podcast Episode 57: Don Papa Rum


Listen to Episode 57: Don Papa Rum”

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, I spoke with Andrew “ AJ” Garcia, the co-founder of Filipino Rum brand Don Papa Rum. This premium small-batch rum made from native sugar cane  in the Philippines was created in 2011 by the Bleeding Heart Rum Company, but has only recently been making its mark on the states.

Don Papa Rum co-founders, Andrew “AJ” Garcia and Stephen Carroll

In town from the Philippines, AJ and I discussed the genesis of this spirit, the unusual barrel aging process, if spirits can have a terroir and the inspiration behind the name, Don Papa. 

Don Papa Rum National Brand Ambassador, Ben Rojo
Photo by Eric Medsker for Thirsty Mag

Ben Rojo – the national brand ambassador of Don Papa Rum was also in town and sat in on my interview with AJ. I wanted to get his take on the rum category as a whole, and the difference in Rum culture in the states versus other countries. 

This week’s cocktail recipe is a simple daiquiri recipe that works great with the 7 year Don Papa Rum expression.  

Don Papa Rum Daiquiri 
2 oz Don Papa Rum
1 oz Lime Juice 
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
Garnish: Lime Wheel 

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake until very cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel. 

This week's Bit by a Fox Podcast features interviews with the co-founder and brand ambassador of Filipino rum brand, Don Papa Rum.

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