Listen to Episode 35: Maker’s Mark with Rob Samuels”
I’ve written quite a bit over the years about Kentucky bourbon brand Maker’s Mark, and created many a cocktail recipe with their whisky on this very blog. I’ve even had the opportunity to visit the distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, walk the storied Maker’s Mark campus, and meet the family behind it all. It’s hard to think of a time before this historic bourbon made its mark on America and the world.
Maker’s Mark is so iconic with its squared bottle dipped in red wax and that consistently familiar flavor profile; It is recognized and beloved the world over. Apparently, not without a shaky start.
According to Rob Samuels, who currently runs the company, it took a good 30 years for the billion dollar brand to turn a profit.
He should know. His grandparents (Bill Samuels and Margie, pictured below) started Maker’s Mark in the 1950s when American whiskey was at an all time low, his father Bill Samuels Jr. helped to usher in this country’s bourbon boom, and for the last 8 years, Rob has been leading the brand into the next generation as COO.
For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, I caught up with Rob (pictured below with a Bit by a Fox Podcast pin!) at the recent BevCon conference here in LA and he gave us the super insiders take to all things Maker’s Mark, the Samuels Family and Kentucky bourbon.
This week’s featured cocktail is the signature drink for Kentucky horse race institution, Keeneland.
1 1/4 oz Maker’s Mark
splash Orange liqueur
splash Ginger ale
splash Fresh squeezed orange juice
Rocks glass and ice
Fill rocks glass with ice, add the bourbon, orange liqueur and fresh orange juice, top with ginger ale, give it a stir and garnish with an orange wedge.
Listen to Episode 34: Amaro Liqueur with Brad Thomas Parsons
Amaro, the Italian bitter liqueur, has been used as a digestive in Italy and produced for hundreds of years, and has had a resurgence due to the craft cocktail revival. And yet, outside of Italy and this niche-y industry, the Amaro category is still fairly unknown, and often misunderstood. To be fair, the category can be confusing to even seasoned spirits experts. James Beard award winning author and spirits & bitters expert Brad Thomas Parsons to the rescue!
In our deep dive into all things Amaro in this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, we discuss what exactly makes an Italian bitter liqueur an Amaro, and whether or not Campari, Fernet Branca or Jagermeister fall under that umbrella.
This week’s featured cocktail recipe is the Negroni Sbagliato from BT Parson’s book – Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. lightly sparkling wine
Garnish: orange slice or peel
Combine vermouth and Campari in an ice-filled rocks glass. Top with sparkling wine, stir to combine and garnish.
Author and cocktail photos: Ed Anderson
Listen to Episode 33: Sother Teague “I’m Just Here For the Drinks”
After a two week break on the Bit by a Fox Podcast, we are coming back in with a bang! Our guest this week is Sother Teague – a greatly admired veteran barman, teacher, and cocktail expert. He is the Beverage Director at the New York bitters and amaro haven Amor y Amargo, Wine Enthusiast’s Mixologist of the Year in 2017, co-host of the ‘Speakeasy’ podcast on Heritage Radio Network…and he’s just added published author to his long list of accomplishments.
His first book I’m Just Here For the Drinks: A Guide to Spirits, Drinking and More Than 100 Extraordinary Cocktails is coming in hot just this week. We talked about how this book came to be, his circuitous road from the being a chef to getting behind the stick, and ultimately knocking it out of the park at every turn.
This week’s featured cocktail recipe is a Negroni variation from Sother’s book I’m Just Here For the Drinks:
1.5 oz London Dry Gin
.75 Amaro Montenegro
2 dashes of Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
Stir all the ingredients over ice until well chilled. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
Now that we’re in the dog days of summer and more than half way into our first season of the Bit by a Fox Podcast, we’ve decided to take a wee two week break for summer holiday!
This is the perfect time to sip on a cocktail or two, and catch up on allllll those Bit by a Fox Podcast episodes you might’ve missed along the way. We’ve been recording every week since January and we’ve built up quite the library of boozy episodes. I KNOW some of y’all have a missed a few.
During this week’s shot sized episode, I suggest some of our top episodes so far, and I read (and comment, naturally!) over some episode suggestions that we got from our recent late bloomer launch party. And for the first time ever, we turn to our listeners for future episode suggestions. Take a listen, go back into our archives and throw out any ideas YOU think would make the podcast even better!
The photo above by photographer, David Parise is part of a series of photos taken of vintage Barbie and Ken dolls and I’ve recently become OBSESSED. Check out more of his work and purchase one of his prints at BarbieAndKenPhotos.Com
Listen to Episode 31: Tam O’Shanter and the Great Wall of Scotch”
This week we’re exploring one of the most fascinating restaurants in the country, the legendary and whimsical Scottish-themed restaurant the Tam O’Shanter.
Tam O’Shanter, Ryan Tanaka 2018
Tam O’Shanter is the oldest continuously operated family run restaurant in Los Angeles, now in their 4th generation, and it’s considered to be one of the first themed restaurants in the country. Built in a distinctive Storybook style in 1922 by Hollywood set designer Harry Oliver with some help from movie-studio carpenters, the Tam is Old Hollywood meets Scottish pub meets…Walt Disney – who was a key player in the Tam O’Shanter history books.
Tam O’Shanter, Ryan Tanaka 2018
To get the inside scoop on their nearly 100 year history, I interviewed John Lindquist, the GM of Tam O’Shanter. The second half of the episode is devoted to Tam’s infamous Scotch collection. Upon walking in the door, you are greeted with the Great Wall of Scotch, an immense display that holds about 200 of their 400 plus bottles of single malts and blends from distilleries around the world. For the second half of the episode, I spoke with Martin Ridell – the in-house Tam O’Shanter Scotch ambassador who knows a thing or two about the water of life.
This week’s featured recipe is one of Martin’s favorite Scotch-based cocktails, The Scottish Goodbye:
The Scottish Goodbye
Scotch Whiskey (Martin recommends Teachers Highland)
Mist of Laphroig
Garnish: lemon twist
Stir all the ingredients over ice until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass. Give it a wee mist of Laphroig. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Brunch is the most important meal of the day. That’s the saying, right?!
It truly is a very important weekend occasion…especially when you spend half your day doing it! My favorite is getting together with friends for a late breakfast and then stretching it out to the late afternoon/early evening, so it really does live up to its name and covers two meals of the day. It’s economics, people. They don’t call it brunch for nothing!
You know what restaurants don’t like from their brunch guests, however? People who linger for half the day. I know from experience. I’ve gotten my fair share of side eye during multiple shift changes over the years.
That’s why hosting at home with friends is no-brainer. You also have more control over the food and drink…and for this theme loving gal, it couldn’t be more perfect. This past weekend I hosted a Provençal themed brunch with strawberry crepes & crème fraîche, fresh fruits and cheeses and a delightful (and luckily very large) bottle of Mathilde Chapoutier “Grand Ferrage” Côtes de Provence Rosé.
This time of year, a nice chilled bottle of crisp, dry rosé is a perfect complement to brunch with friends.
I fell in love with Provençal style rosés last July when I spent a few weeks in the region. Frankly, they drink it like water there, but it’s like a BILLION times better than water. It is also such a great food wine. I’m not gonna lie – the strawberry & crème fraîche crepes were definitely one of my most inspired pairings.
My rosé choice for this past weekend’s brunch was the namesake of creator and owner, Mathilde Chapoutier, daughter of renowned winemaker Michel Chapoutier. Made in sunshine-y Côtes de Provence, Mathilde created a rosé she would want to drink – dry and bright with stone fruits of peach and apricot, but elegant and round with a silky mouthfeel.
Honestly, it went perfectly with our delicious spread and disappeared faster than I anticipated. Ladies get thirsty during brunch!
I love that the compass rose on the label symbolizes Mathilde’s love of travel and her on-going quest to visit the world’s greatest wine regions. Same, girl, same.
Here’s to transporting your brunch to the south of France with a little jeuge and a bottle of Mathilde Chapoutier “Grande Ferrage” Rosé. Santé!
This post was sponsored and fueled by Mathilde Chapoutier Rosé. All opinions are my own.
Listen to Episode 30: The Booze World’s Worst Ideas with Jason Horn
Wine for dudes? Boozy gatorade? A clear aged whiskey ala Pepsi Crystal? The adult beverage industry has historically made questionable choices and we’re just here to razz tf out of them on this week’s Bit by a Fox podcast. Resident snark expert, LA-based food and drinks writer Jason Horn and I kick off a new series all about the booze world’s worst ideas.
This was going to be a one-off episode until we dug in and realized we’d most likely never run out of material. Note that no booze brands were harmed in the making of this podcast. We’re not naming names – except for the historic fails – and we’re doing various tastings with an open mind. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.
This Week’s Recipe is from a pitch from a hotel trying to capitalize on the royal wedding. I didn’t make it, so I don’t have a pic. :/ In honor of the groom…
Hooray for Harry
1 oz Grey Good Vodka
1 oz Red Bull
Pour over ice into a Collin’s glass. Cucumber Garnish.
You get the gist.
Listen to Episode 29: Meet the Teetotaling BBaF Podcast Producer, Anna Tivell”
The Bit by a Fox Podcast is now 7 months in, 29 episodes deep and just past that mid-season mark. There is no better time than now to introduce listeners to the producer, editor, gorgeous eccentric, and lovable Swede who helps to make this all happen every week, Anna Tivell.
I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know this beautiful little weirdo this past year and I know you will too. She has such an interesting perspective on drinking based on her Swedish upbringing and her experience living in Iceland for a number of years where there was a prohibition of beer up until 1989. She drank moonshine as a kid, but now drinks very little. Her journey with alcohol has been a fascinating one.
Our featured cocktail for this episode is from Anna and her husband Billy’s popular LA restaurant, Salazar. It is one of my favorite summer cocktails, The Paloma. This mezcal version is one of the best I’ve ever had:
2 oz. Fresh grapefruit juice
3/4 oz. Fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. Agave nectar
Pinch of salt
Bar spoon of habanero tincture
Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker and shake until well chilled.
Strain into a Collins glass with chile lip
Add 2 oz grapefruit soda
Top with crushed ice and grapefruit wedge garnish
Listen to Episode 28: Talking Champagne with NoMad Los Angeles Wine Director Ryan Bailey”
For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast I spoke with wine prodigy Ryan Bailey at his home base in downtown LA’s beautiful new NoMad Los Angeles. As Wine Director, Ryan oversees the classically inspired wine program that is roughly 1000 selections and features Champagne as a focus. We delve into Ryan’s early interest in wine, his experience in Michelin starred restaurants at a very young age, and we do a deep dive into Champagne and all things bubbly.
Our featured cocktail for this episode includes sparkling wine AND one of Ryan’s favorite spirits – RUM! The Old Cuban, created by New York City’s Pegu Club owner Audrey Saunders is also one of my favorites.
Old Cuban – served up in a coupe glass
1½ oz. aged rum
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
6-8 mint leaves
2 oz. dry sparkling wine (try a quality dry Champagne in this!)
Muddle the lime juice, syrup and mint in a shaker. Add the rum, bitters and ice and shake until well chilled.Double-strain into a chilled coupe glass, top with bubbles and garnish with mint leaves.
Portrait of Ryan Bailey provided by Chef’s Roll
Old Cuban cocktail pic from Honestly Yum
Listen to Episode 27: Mead – History’s Oldest Drink with Fred Minnick”
For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, we talk about the oldest adult beverage known to man, enjoyed by Queen Elizabeth, the Vikings and even the Greek gods: MEAD.
You’ve probably read about it in school or in some romantic tale – it’s one of the most documented boozy beverages in history – and maybe you’ve had a chance to try it, But many are still unfamiliar with this storied drink of fermented honey. Well, it’s experiencing somewhat of a comeback. As award-winning author and spirits expert Fred Minnick puts it, it becomes popular about every 2000 years.
And he should know. Fred is the author of the new book Mead: The Libations, Legends and Lore of History’s Oldest Drink and is this week’s guest. Take a listen and find out what all the buzz is about. ut.
This week’s cocktail, created by Fred Minnick and Jeremy Johnson, owner of Meta in Louisville, Kentucky, is the Mead Vesper – basically a Vesper cocktail with the addition of mead.
1 ounce of Gin
1 ounce of Vodka
.25 ounce of oxymel mead
.25 ounce of vermouth
lemon twist and cocktail glass
Stir all the ingredients over ice until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.