Happy National Tequila Day!

BeFunky_margarita popsicle.jpg

 Summer on a stick!

To celebrate National Tequila Day, instead of doing sloppy body shots this year, why don’t you make a batch of these boozy pops? It takes the frozen margarita to the next level and you can still keep your dignity after you’re done. That is, if you don’t eat the entire batch. These are so simple to make, you may want to clear out your freezer for these beauties…

Margarita Popsicles
1/2 cup Simple Syrup
1 cup Fresh Lime Juice (10-12 limes)
1/2 cup Blanco Tequila
1/4 cup Orange Liqueur
1/4 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice (2-3 lemons)
tsp salt
12 (3 oz) Dixie Cups
12 Wooden Popsicle Sticks

  • Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, stir until well blended
  • Pour into dixie cups.
  • Move the frozen peas over to make room in the freezer
  • After a few hours, place a popsicle stick into the middle of each cup
  • Return to the freezer for 4-5 more hours until frozen.
  • Seriously, wait, you lush. It’s not that long.
  • Tear the cup at the seam to remove
  • Enjoy slowly to avoid brain freeze

Pretty sure the Aztec people would’ve made these babies if they had freezers. Salud!

Bit By a Fox Events!

Mopub Photo Booth.jpgI had to sample the cocktails, of course! This wasn’t fun at all.

This past weekend was the unofficial launch for Bit By a Fox Events! The events ranged from a large corporate party on Park Avenue South with 200+ people Thursday night…

MoPub Cocktail Menu

 The cocktail menu featured Ginger & Pink Peppercorn Syrups.

MoPub Syrups.jpg

…to an in-store, neighborhood cocktail tasting in Brooklyn on Friday night…

ac barrel aged gin cocktail tasting

 The Famiglia Royale makes a cameo here…remember this one?

Imperial Barrel Aged Cocktails

…to a private birthday party in a lovely pre-war apartment building near Prospect Park on Saturday night.

me and the birthday boy.

 Me and the Birthday Boy.

Tae BDay Menu Bar

 Elegant menu designed by the birthday boy.

 Party Favors!

 The Party Aftermath!

And this all happened in the midst of a bonkers heat wave here in New York City. Nothing says glamour like grating 20 pounds of ginger, juicing 60 lemons and cooking up massive batches of cocktail syrup in a kitchen without an air conditioner, not to mention lugging 200 pounds of glass bottles around on the subway. Thanks, Q Train riders for helping a gal out!

But, all in all, It was a wonderfully exhausting weekend. I was thrilled to get Bit By a Fox out there on the streets and in the offices and homes and businesses that would have me. I learned a ton, met some lovely people and had some very delicious cocktails come out of all three events. And there were some clear favorites. I can’t wait to share them with you! Stay tuned to find out which cocktails most preferred…to get Bit By a Fox!

Cool Down With a Little Spice

There is a heat wave going down in much of the country, my friends. Did you know that spicy ingredients can actually help you to cool down?? It’s true. So is the fact that this is one freaking delicious cocktail. Spice up your Monday with this guy:

spicy papa2* Ginger, Pink Peppercorn Syrup
Take 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. whole pink peppercorns, 1/4 cup peeled, thinly sliced ginger. Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Gently simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve, then cool to room temperature.

My Moment With Owney’s Rum

I’m having a Rum moment. Or more precisely, an Owney’s Rum moment. I’ve been wanting to try this Brooklyn made spirit ever since I’d heard about the bad ass lady making it. Distilling, batching, labeling. EVERYTHING. By herself. Since before the launch in 2011, this has been a one lady show. Why would you NOT want to support that. Oh! And the Rum is amazing! It’s a dry, white Rum and is smooth and delicate and perfect with summer fruits and herbs. The other night, I made this little number:
Owney's Cocktail
The Rum Pink Me Up
2 oz. Owney’s Rum
4 cubes Watermelon (set aside a cube for garnish)
1/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz. Ginger Syrup
1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz. Black Currant Juice
3 Mint Sprigs
Salt

  • Muddle watermelon and mint in a Shaker
  • Add Rum, Maraschino Liqueur, Syrup, Juices & Salt (to taste)
  • Fill shaker with ice
  • Shake about 10 seconds
  • Strain into coupe glass
  • Garnish with watermelon cube

Truth be told, I’ve been a little under the weather and while at my all natural grocer the other day, I picked up a bottle of black currant juice…because it said it would help with my immune system. So, naturally, I devised a way to incorporate it in a cocktail! And my lovely bottle of Owney’s has been sitting on my bar, begging to be used. I was pretty happy with how this turned out. I’m pretty sure my immune system benefited from all the ingredients!

And TOMORROW, I will be making another cocktail with Owney’s Rum. And I’ll be right alongside Bridget Firtle, the owner/distiller/badass of The Noble Experiment, which produces Owney’s. She is pouring and I’m shaking up a twist on the Hemingway Daiquiri. How cool is that?? Atlantic Cellars Wine and Spirits in Brooklyn will be hosting their first ever Spirit & Cocktail Tasting series, and we’re helping them kick it off! From 6-9pm, I’ll be there shaking things up. Stop by, say hi and try a glass full of summer.

Let’s get bit!

Cocktail Crush, California Edition: Ventana Inn’s Basil Gimlet

I want to drink all of my Basil Gimlets by an open fire and the sun going down over the Pacific.

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

I’m not going to lie. The moment captured above looks ALMOST as enchanting as the actual experience itself. No wonder I fell head over heels for this smooth operator. I mean, it didn’t hurt that I had some of my favorite ladies with me or that Big Sur, California is the definition of magic (seriously, my head is still spinning from the jaw dropping beauty of it all)…but sometimes a bartender just gets it right. Jill, who was behind the stick at The Ventana Inn when we dropped in, is the real deal. And her Basil Gimlet, featured on their cocktail menu, is a sock blower off-er. Having tried a number of cocktails around Big Sur, keeping with the Gin theme for the month, this one was clearly the winner.

Gimlets are traditionally 1/2 booze and 1/2 Rose’s Lime – a sweetened lime juice. I’ve always found them ridiculously sweet but more and more places are starting to add fresh lime juice and splashes of soda to cut the syrupy taste. This Gimlet didn’t have any Rose’s Lime and that was just fine with me! And even though it launched in New York over a year ago, it was the first time that I was able to try Bombay Sapphire East in a cocktail.

Bombay Sapphire East

This new Gin extension from House of Bombay is London Dry Gin infused with lemongrass and Vietnamese black peppercorn. Lime juice, Basil and Simple Syrup rounded out this little Casanova, and I was smitten. The bright basil and lime flavors contrasting with the dry Gin, hints of peppercorn and lemongrass was such a delight, I hardly noticed the craziness happening around me. The expansive sky turning to absurd colors, the light hitting the hills behind us just so, combined with the glow of the fire pit in the middle our table, casting an Elizabeth-Taylor-White-Diamonds-commercial type filter on all of us. Everyone looked so goddamned lovely. I’m pretty sure this is how everyone should enjoy a Gimlet.

The First Day of Summer!

Famiglia Royale CocktailToday is the first official day of summer! And you know what that means. It’s officially summer cocktail time!

The Negroni is really having a moment. This cocktail has been a cult favorite for some time but it is finally getting the attention it deserves and more people are starting to enjoy this classic. Equal parts Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth, the Negroni is also an incredibly simple cocktail to make while maintaining fairly complex flavors. You don’t even need a shaker! But that little twist of orange at the end is pretty important. Don’t forget that! The Famiglia Royale Cocktail, featured here, is essentially a Negroni with Champagne added. And this addition makes it all the more summery, don’t you think? I was so overcome with this combo during a recent visit to new Lower East Side cocktail den, Attaboy, that I couldn’t help but highlight it here. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Happy Summer!

The Gin Fizz

gin fizz“…An early-morning drink with a definite purpose – a panacea for hang-overs,”
– legendary bartender, Trader Vic

Classic cocktails are like Mexican food. (I realize Mexican cuisine is a complex mix of ingredients native to Mexico and those brought over by the Spanish conquistadors, but stay with me here…) Tacos, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas – the proportions are slightly different, the preparations and presentations vary but the ingredients are pretty much interchangeable for each dish – rice, beans, cheese, maybe meat, guac, sour cream, tortilla…For classic cocktails, the same is true. The basic ingredients for creating a balanced cocktail have made it so there are so many similar types of cocktails. Sometimes it’s just the glassware that is different! There is a reason why even skilled bartenders have a recipe book handy.

The Gin Fizz, for instance: Gin, lemon, sugar and seltzer has the same ingredients as the Tom Collins. Both cocktails date back to the late 1800s, became incredibly popular in America between 1900 and the 1940s, and are essentially Gin-flavored, fizzy lemonades. I’ll take two!

The main difference between these two cocktails is the addition of ice and the size of the glass. A 12 oz. Collins glass, of course, is used to accommodate the ice for the Tom Collins. And the Gin Fizz is traditionally served up, without ice and in an 8 oz. glass. There has also been speculation about the type of Gin used in both cocktails. Old Tom Gin – a slightly sweetened type of gin, a precursor to London Dry Gin, that is difficult to find on the market nowadays, was probably most commonly used for both. Some claim the type of Gin was never specified in earlier recipes of the Gin Fizz and that Hollands Gin, or as we know it, Genever Gin was to be used specifically in the Tom Collins. In any case, the lighter, dry English styles tend to work best with both of these drinks.

Variations on the Gin Fizz:
Silver Fizz – with egg white added
Golden Fizz – with egg yolk added
Royal Fizz – with whole egg added
Diamond Fizz – Sparkling Wine instead of Club Soda. Also known as the French 75!
Ramos Gin Fizz – the addition of lime juice, egg white, cream, orange flower water

Bit By a Fox Gin Fizz
2 oz. Gin
1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Large Spoonful of Superfine Sugar
Club Soda

Shake Gin and lemon juice over ice.
Strain into 8 oz glass.
Top with Club Soda.
Stir with the large spoonful of sugar to make this drink FIZZ!

The sugar stirring at the end is an old bartender’s trick to make this drink extra fizzy! And who wouldn’t want that? You can also put the sugar in the shaker, but that’s just not as fun.

Enjoy!

Spirit of The Month: Gin, Glorious Gin!

Gin bottles3
An entire month devoted to GIN!!

Wait, What? I know what you’re thinking. An entire month devoted to GIN??

Now, I happen to be a fan of the stuff but it actually took me a while to come around to this polarizing spirit. I know a number of people who have either had a bad experience with Gin or they think it just isn’t for them. Gin has that crazy-making reputation like Tequila in some ways, conjuring up images of London’s Gin Lane in the 1700s, with mothers dangling their dirty babies over railings while swigging on bottles of Mother’s Ruin (Gin’s unfortunate nickname at the time). But that was when Gin was mixed with TURPENTINE, you guys. It WAS crazy-making!

But for most people I know of who don’t care for Gin, it is the botanical aromas that tend to be the turn-off, many people claiming that it’s just too medicinal for them. I suppose that was my issue for while, too. It didn’t help that I came of drinking age when Vodka was king – that innocuous spirit that could be mixed so effortlessly with liters of Sprite and frozen cans of pink lemonade for a fancy New Year’s Eve “punch” my junior year at college, for instance. That shit was a HIT! It was the 90s. And those ‘Pink Fuck Me Ups’ were exactly what our college palates demanded – a slightly more grown up version of Capri Sun. Gin was never a consideration. We didn’t want to TASTE the booze.

While Vodka is still king in terms of sales in this country, our hard liquor options have expanded in recent years and our collective palates have come of age. Complex flavors are starting to be welcome again in our adult beverages and that has opened the door for Gin to make a comeback in a big way. Sans turpentine, of course. While it may have taken me a while, as well, to come around to the herbal, floral, and perfume-y nature of Gin, I eventually became one of its biggest champions. So much so, that I have decided to devote the month of June to my favorite late spring, early summer spirit. Over the course of the month, I’ll be touching on the history, different styles, popular brands and their flavor profiles as well as the experimental and small batch brands that are popping up around the country. I’ll also be featuring classic Gin cocktails as well as twists on those classics, original recipes with seasonal flavors and my favorite mixers that balance out the spirit best.

Come to the Gin side, why don’t you?

Cocktail Crush: Viva la Vida

I am going to make out with you.

I am going to make out with you.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥ ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥
The picture doesn’t do this gorgeous cocktail justice. But trust me on this, you guys, I think I’ve found the ONE! At least for now. I’m crushing so hard on the Viva la Vida from Momofuku Ssäm Bar in NYC.

Viva la Vida – gin, pulla chili, lemon, maurin quina, kochukaru

This is such a great example of a well balanced drink. The gin, spices & liqueur blend beautifully & it pairs incredibly well with Momofuku’s dishes.

Since it’s on their Seasonal menu, I’m a little worried what I’m gonna do when it leaves me. I may have to come up with something similar on my own…

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