BBaF Podcast Episode 56: From Barley to Blarney – A Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Ireland

Listen to Episode 56: From Barley to Blarney – A Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Ireland”

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, we have a bonus St. Patrick’s Day episode!

I recently got a chance to sit down with two charming Irishmen in town to discuss the launch of their new book. Jack McGarry, co-founder of famed NYC Irish bar The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, and return guest Tim Herlihy, Brand Ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey, are two of the authors behind ‘From Barley to Blarney – A Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Ireland’

Jack McGarry & Sean Muldoon from The Dead Rabbit with
Tim Herlihy, Ambassador to Tullamore D.E.W.

To research the book, Muldoon, McGarry and Herlihy conducted two, month-long whirlwind tours in a VW bus driven by McGarry’s father. They logged over 4,000 miles, visited 111 pubs and every single working whiskey distillery on the island. In the process, they explored 29 counties and recorded 120 hours of interviews with distillers and publicans.

Every step was documented by Elaine Hill, a noted photographer, whose images grace the book. Drinksology, the Belfast firm behind The Dead Rabbit’s award-winning menus and its two cocktail tomes, designed this handsome book.

This week’s cocktail recipe is the legendary Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee recipe from the book

Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee
1 oz Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup
3 1/2 oz medium-dark roast, made in a French Press
Thumb of prepared whipped cream
Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg 

In an Irish Coffee glass, build all ingredients, top with whipped cream and grated nutmeg

BBaF Podcast Episode 55: Cannabis & Booze with Humboldt Distillery

Listen to Episode 55: Cannabis & Booze with Humboldt Distillery”

On this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, writer, Jason Horn and I discuss how cannabis is infiltrating the booze industry, and whether or not this is one of The Booze World’s Worst Ideas!

For the second half of the podcast, we interview Abe Stevens, founder and distiller of Humboldt Distillery, located in Humboldt County in Northern California, where some of the best marijuana crops in the world grow.

Four years ago he launched ‘Humboldt’s Finest’, a cannabis infused vodka. They were one of the first spirits brands to dip their toes in the cannabis industry and his efforts have recently payed off.

This week’s cocktail recipe was created after I took the bottle of ‘Humboldt’s Finest’ Cannabis-infused Vodka home and tinkered with a martini recipe.

 Martini Sativa 
3 oz Humboldt’s Finest
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth 
1/2 oz Olive Brine 

Stir all ingredients over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with green olives.

BBaF Podcast Episode 54: Distilling in Wine Country – Visiting the Paso Robles Distillery Trail

Listen to Episode 54: Distilling in Wine Country – Visiting the Paso Robles Distillery Trail

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, we go on the road to the Central Coast of California – in San Luis Obispo County.

There’s been a recent booze boom in this already thriving wine country, with nearly a dozen distilleries now forming a Paso Robles Distillery Trail.

The wine makers turned distillers I spoke with shared how SLO may be one of the most exciting new regions for spirits production in the country.

Alex and Monica Villicana from Re:Find Distillery

Our last stop on the Paso Robles Distillery Trail was KROBAR Craft Distillery where I interviewed founders, Joe Barton and Stephen Kroener about making whiskey in wine country.

This week’s cocktail recipe was inspired by a drink I had at Fish Gaucho in Paso Robles, made entirely of local ingredients. It was one of my absolute favorites on this trip, “The Highwayman”.  

The Paso Robles Cocktail
2 oz Re:Find Gin
1/2 oz Yes Cocktail Co. Orgeat
1/2 oz Meyer Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Lavender Honey Syrup
a few dashes of Slo Bitter Co. Charred Cedar Blackstrap Bitters
Sparkling Water 

In an ice-filled shaker, shake all ingredients except for the soda until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with a large cube. Top with sparkling water and edible flowers to garnish. 

Overlooking Daou Vineyards. One of the most beautiful views in Paso Robles.

Watch my Instagram Story of my trip to SLO, touring the Paso Robles Distillery Trail for more behind the scenes!

A Galentine’s Day Cocktail: The Pink Lady Colada

“Oh it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”

Ever since the character Leslie Knope introduced the world to Galentine’s Day on an episode of Parks and Recreation 9 years ago, the unofficial holiday of ladies celebrating ladies has been embraced by singles and attached alike.

Last year, I celebrated with some ladies and chickens and cocktails, and it was the BEST! I’m officially a fan of this fake holiday!

I was recently contacted by Endometriosis UK, the leading national charity supporting women with endometriosis, to see if I’d be interested in creating a cocktail recipe to be included in their fundraising packs. March is endometriosis awareness month and during the month, the charity runs a fundraising campaign called Endo The Night. The campaign is all about encouraging people to get together with friends and family and have a big night in to raise awareness and money for Endometriosis UK…and make cocktails for their friends!

I thought this Pink Lady/Pina Colada mashup was the perfect cocktail for ladies celebrating ladies!

For those who may not be familiar, Endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It may also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems. Around 1 in 10 women are currently living with the condition, and I’ve had a number of women in my life who have battled with it. This is a cause I think more people should be made aware of, and I’m honored to take part!

Whether you’re celebrating Galentine’s Day this year, bringing about awareness to a depilating condition that women face every day, or you’re just wanting a delicious drink that Leslie Knope would most likely slurp down with her frittatas, this Pink Lady Colada has your name written all over it.

Pink Lady Colada – single serving 
2 oz Gin
1 oz Coconut Water
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice 
1/2 oz Grenadine
Garnish: pineapple wedge and cherry

Shake all ingredients over ice until well chilled, Strain into an ice-filled highball glass. There should be a light foam formed on top. Garnish with pineapple and cherry. 

For the mocktail version, you can omit the gin and prepare the same. 

BBaF Podcast Ep. 53: Sipsmith Gin with Lucy Ellis

Listen to Ep. 53: Sipsmith Gin with Lucy Ellis

On this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast we’re talking about one of MY favorite spirits, GIN. And one of my favorite London Dry style brands, Sipsmith Gin.

The launch of Sipsmith Gin in 2009 was a critical moment for craft distilling in the UK. Not only was it the first copper-pot based distillery to open its doors in London since 1820, but with this historic birth of a new London Dry style gin, Sipsmith helped to usher in a slew of other small batch distilleries across the country. They especially helped to change the landscape for handcrafted, small batch gin in the UK. From the moment the gin arrived in the states, it was embraced by the bar community…that is when and if they could get their hands on it.

Since becoming a subsidiary of Beam Suntory in 2016, Sipsmith has gone from hard to find to seemingly everywhere overnight. Bartenders and booze nerds alike had been waiting for this accessibility for years. Sipsmith Gin also owes a good deal of its popularity to the hardworking brand ambassadors that have made sure to get those bottles into the market, behind the bar, and directly to consumers.

I recently got to catch up with Sipsmith Gin’s West Coast Brand Ambassador, the very charming Lucy Ellis. She oversees all of California and Pacific Northwest territories for the brand. She is also a spirits industry veteran, having worked in notable bars in the UK, New York City and right here in Los Angeles.

This week’s cocktail is Lucy’s take on a very booze forward Gin & Tonic named after her husband’s grandparents, Dar & Elmer.

Add 3 oz of Sipsmith London Dry Gin to a rocks glass and fill with two large cubes.

Top with a splash of tonic. Add a lemon twist AND a green olive. Enjoy!

BBaF Podcast Episode 52: Hangover Cures with Jason Horn (The Booze World’s Worst Ideas)

Listen to Episode 52: Hangover Cures with Jason Horn (The Booze World’s Worst Ideas)”

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, in a continuation of our series, The Booze World’s Worst Ideas, food and drinks writer, Jason Horn joins me once again to take a deep dive into the questionable choices made by the adult beverage industry. This week we’re talking hangover cures – or rather the seemingly endless products out there now that are billing themselves as a cure to the dreaded hangover.

BBaF Podcast Episode 51: Season Two Announcement

Listen to Episode 51: Season Two Announcement”

Listen up all you foxes. There’s a special announcement on this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast.

Now that we’re officially into the second season, there’s going to be a few changes around these parts. Listen in on this shot-sized episode for all details! And find out next week’s guest!

BBaF Podcast Episode 50: Clean + Dirty Drinking with Gaby Mlynarczyk

Listen to Episode 50: Clean + Dirty Drinking with Gaby Mlynarczyk”

It’s our one year anniversary of the Bit by a Fox Podcast and we are diving headfirst into our second season with Episode 50! In continuation of our discussion from last week about mindful drinking or not drinking, and wellness, this week’s episode has a little bit of everything. I spoke with Gaby Mlynarczyk – bartender, drinks writer, and author of Clean + Dirty Drinking, 100+ Recipes for Making Delicious Elixirs, With or Without Booze.

This week’s cocktail recipe – Gaby’s Carrot + Cardamom cocktail – includes the “Clean” and “Dirty” version

Clean:
1/4 cup and 2 Tbsp of fresh carrot juice
2 Tbsp of Cardamom Simple Syrup*
1 Tbsp fresh yuzu juice or fresh lime juice
1 drop of alcohol-free gentian root tincture
Ice cubes for shaking and serving
fennel frond, parsley sprig, or pea shoot for garnish

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add 5 ice cubes, and shake hard for 3 seconds. Fill a stemless wineglass or double Old-Fashioned glass with ice cubes. Using a Hawthorne strainer, strain the drink into the glass. Garnish with the fennel frond, parsley sprig, or pea shoot.

Dirty:
3 Tbsp Old Tom Gin or other dry gin
3 Tbsp fresh carrot juice
1 1/2 Tbsp Aperol
1 Tbsp fresh yuzu juice or fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp Simple Syrup
2 dashes of Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
Ice cubes for shaking
fennel frond, parsley sprig, or pea shoot for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, carrot juice, Aperol, yuzu and lemon juices, syrup, and cardamom bitters. Add 5 ice cubes, and shake hard for 3 seconds. Follow the same instructions for the Clean version, garnish and enjoy!

*Cardamom Simple Syrup
First make a simple syrup with 1 cup sugar & 1 cup water.
Add 1/4  cup ground cardamom to 4 cups warm simple syrup. Stir and let sit for 2 to 3 hours to get a full infusion before using.


photo of Gaby by Eugene Lee
photo of Carrot + Cardamom Cocktail by Grant Cornett

BBaF Podcast Episode 49: Dry January with Selena Donovan

Listen to Episode 49: Dry January with Selena Donovan”

I’m doing Dry January this year and dragging you all with me! For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, at least! In this week’s episode (our last in the first season, btw!), I brought in seasoned spirits industry vet Selena Donovan, West Coast Grey Goose Brand Ambassador, who is also going dry this January. We spoke at the cozy cocktail den, Melrose Umbrella Co. in Hollywood about why we both decided to dry it out for this month…and we drank lots of delicious water!

The cocktail recipe this week is Selena’s take on a lighter version of the Pornstar Martini with and without alcohol:

Pornstar Martini Soda:
1.5oz Grey Goose La Vanille
1/2 can Passionfruit La Croix
.5oz Lime

No ABV version:
1/2 can of Passionfruit La Croix
.25oz Vanilla Simple Syrup
.5oz Lime

In an ice-filled highball glass add all ingredients. Give it a good stir and enjoy!

BBaF Podcast Episode 48: Glögg, Nog, & The Coquito – Drinking Christmas Around the World

Listen to Episode 48: Glögg, Nog, & The Coquito –
Drinking Christmas Around the World”

Happy Winter Solstice, my Foxy friends! It’s officially the first day of winter, it’s going to be a full moon tonight, and there’s even a chance we can witness a meteor shower in the next day or so. AND Christmas is only FOUR. DAYS. AWAY. It feels especially magical and witchy and almost as good as that last winter special episode of the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m in the holiday spirit AF. So for this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, I wanted to document traditional holiday drinks from around the world. It’s just a sampling, and it’s not the ENTIRE world, but it’s a great example of what different cultures deem festive this time of year. Spoiler alert: there’s a commonalty with all of them. People have been mixing up boozy cups of cheer for centuries. Here’s a little peek into the stories behind those Glöggs, Nogs, & Coquitos!

Homemade eggnog inspired by one from the Bit by a Fox Blog archives is featured for this week’s cocktail: Foxy Nog

MM eggnog5

Foxy Nog
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (or for a dairy free version, 4 cups of Almond Milk)
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
4 oz brandy
4 oz spiced rum
2 oz sherry
fresh nutmeg for garnish

Place the eggs in a blender by themselves and beat for just under a minute. Add the sugar for another 40 seconds, until blended and then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until it looks like everything is well combined. After the mixture has a chance to chill for at least an hour, you are ready to get your nog on! You can serve this drink up in a coupe or a teacup or you can add a few cubes of ice to lighten it up. But remember the freshly grated nutmeg for the topper is key.

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