BBaF Podcast Episode 19: The One-Bottle Cocktail with Maggie Hoffman

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast we feature Maggie Hoffman and her recent book  “The One-Bottle Cocktail” a collection of drinks recipes with a seasonal and culinary bent that focuses on using just one type of spirit per drink.

We spoke about what ingredients can replace liqueurs and amaros and modifiers in a cocktail so you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make your favorite drinks.

Listen to Episode 19: The One-Bottle Cocktail with Maggie Hoffman” – me

The featured cocktail this week is a refreshing strawberry-gin drink, created by Shannon Tebay Sidle of New York’s Slowly Shirley and Death & Co.

The secret ingredient is a dollop of unsweetened Greek yogurt, which gives the cocktail a tangy flavor and subtly creamy texture.” – Maggie Hoffman, The One-Bottle Cocktail

Slippery When Wet – Makes 1 drink
1 large or 2 small ripe strawberries, halved
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce undiluted honey
2 ounces gin
1 heaping teaspoon plain Greek yogurt
Garish: freshly ground black pepper and a vertical slice of strawberry

Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and honey in a cocktail shaker and muddle until well broken up. Add gin and Greek yogurt and fill shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice, then double-strain cocktail into it. Grind black pepper on top and garnish with the strawberry slice.

“Reprinted with permission from The One-Bottle Cocktail: More than 80 Recipes with Fresh Ingredients and a Single Spirit by Maggie Hoffman, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.”
Photography copyright: Kelly Puleio © 2018

BBaF Podcast Episode 18: Cocktail Italiano with Annette Joseph

This week’s podcast episode is a fun one, especially if you’re a real Italophile, like myself.

I spoke with food stylist, cook book author, hostess and spirit guide to all things la dolce vita in Italy, Annette Joseph.

She recently wrote Cocktail Italiano – a guide to Apertivo hour on the Italian Riviera. We spoke about Aperol Spritzes, the beach culture in Italy and the art of the Italian Apertivo. This episode will undoubtedly make you want to sip a beachside spritz no matter what the hour!

Listen to Episode 18: Cocktail Italiano with Annette Joseph” – me

For this week’s recipe we had to include THE drink of Apertivo Hour – the Aperol Spritz. This recipe, however, is a slight twist on the classic with the addition of a lemon sugar rim and bitter lemon soda or lemonade – as the recipe below demonstrates. This spritz, featured in the book, Cocktail Italiano, is the signature cocktail of the beautifully restored 19th century villa overlooking the Gulf of Alassio, Villa Della Pergola. This drink actually makes an appearance in the Cocktail Italiano book trailer. Check it out!

Villa Della Pergola Aperol Spritz
1/2 cup lemonade (recipe below)
1/2 cup Aperol
Splash prosecco
1/4 orange slice, for garnish
Lemon sugar, for the rim

Fill a shallow saucer with lemon sugar. Rub the rim of a white wine glass with water and dip into the lemon sugar to coat.
 Add 1⁄2 cup ice and the lemonade to the glass, and then add the Aperol, Top off the glass with the Prosecco, garnish with an orange wedge, and serve with a straw.

Lemonade – Serves 8
This is how to make fresh lemonade, but you can also substitute storebought lemonade or lemon soda.
1 1/2 cups lemon juice (4 to 5 lemons)
1 3/4 cups sugar
8 cups of water
Stir together all ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate until needed. If you have leftover lemonade, just cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

BBaF Podcast Episode 17: Woodford Reserve with Elizabeth McCall

In honor of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, for this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, I spoke with ELIZABETH MCCALL, the newly named ASSISTANT MASTER DISTILLER at the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby” – WOODFORD RESERVE. We spoke about her trajectory from psychology student to sensory scientist and Master Taster, to one of the youngest female distillers in the country.

Listen to Episode 17: Woodford Reserve with Elizabeth McCall” – me

Because you should always have a classic Mint Julep recipe in your arsenal for Derby Day, we are sharing Woodford Reserve’s own simple recipe.

Mint Julep
2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
½ oz Simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
3 Fresh mint leaves
Crushed Ice

Rub the fresh mint inside the glass to express the oils. In the same glass, add simple syrup, bourbon, and half a glass of crushed ice. Stir well. Add more ice and garnish with the rest of the mint.

BBaF Podcast Episode 16: Applejack with Lisa Laird Dunn

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast episode I spoke with the First Lady of Applejack, Lisa Laird Dunn. Lisa is a ninth-generation family member of America’s oldest family-owned distillery, Laird’s Applejack. She is Vice President and World Ambassador to Laird & Company, which has been producing “Jersey Lightning” for 300 years.

Few spirits have the rich legacy that Applejack has. It is a part of the fabric of American drinking history – a favorite of George Washington’s, served in Abe Lincoln’s tavern, and even managed to legally produce spirits through Prohibition. Laird’s Applejack is also a key ingredient in the recent cocktail revival.

This is an episode for fans of brandy, classic cocktail enthusiasts and American history buffs alike!

Listen to Episode 16: Applejack with Lisa Laird Dunn” – me

Our cocktail this week is an Applejack recipe originally created at NoMad in NYC, and then generously shared with us by Adam Fournier, the bar manager at the new-ish NoMad here in Los Angeles. Lisa and I met over this cocktail the night before our podcast interview and we all fell deeply in love with it!

Scotch Dumpling
1 Egg White
3/4 oz black pepper syrup
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 Laphroaig 10 years
1 oz Laird’s Applejack 100 proof

Dry shake all ingredients (without ice). Then shake with ice until well chilled. Then double strain into a coupe glass.


BBaF Podcast Episode 15: Kala Maxym and Song & Tonic

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast episode I spoke with Kala Maxym, A professionally-trained opera singer and the Founder and Chief Event Composer of Five Senses Tastings, an LA-based event experience that pairs live music with a wine.

Kala and I have recently joined forces to create a similar events company around cocktails and music called Song & Tonic.

Listen to Episode 15: Kala Maxym & Song & Tonic” – me

We discussed her musical beginnings, what drew her to the wine world, and how we eventually came together to form Song & Tonic.

We also discussed an upcoming Song & Tonic event we have planned for May 6th at Feastly LA here in Venice, California. We have partnered with chef Luis Pechan of Hundred Miles LA and The Spirit Guild, a boutique distillery making gins and vodkas from distilling local clementines.

This event is a love letter to La La Land! Inspired by Chef Louis’s dedication to using hyper local ingredients, Song & Tonic will tell the story of Los Angeles by pairing and deconstructing three LA inspired songs with three artisan cocktails featuring LA-based distillery, The Spirit Guild. Each cocktail ingredient will be paired with an instrument, harmony, or melody from the featured song. As we mix, shake & stir, musicians play melodies and sounds that emulate the ingredients and explore their relation to the full song. And THEN we’ll sit down to a 10-course family style dinner prepared by Chef Louis.

For more information and to purchase tix, head HERE. Use this Foxy Friend discount code to get $25 off: SONGANDTONIC25

For this week’s recipe we decided to share one from our upcoming event, the La La Lemon Drop featuring The Spirit Guild’s Vapid Vodka.

La La Lemon Drop
2 oz Vodka (preferably The Spirit Guild’s Vapid Vodka)
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon of lemon curd
2 fresh basil leaves (preferably wild black sage which is indigenous to California)

Add the vodka, lemon juice and lemon curd to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into an icy cold coupe glass, and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Photography by Leslie Rodriguez  on behalf of Feastly.SaveSave

BBaF Podcast Episode 14: Lost Spirits Distillery

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast episode I spoke with Bryan Davis, founder of  Lost Spirits Distillery here in Los Angeles. Recently named one of the best distillery tours in the world, I had to go down the rabbit hole myself…

This phantasmagoric distillery is like no other – part theme park and mad science lab…with booze, this is where computer technology, molecular mixology and amusement park fantasy converge. Lost Spirits is making award-winning rums and whiskeys using cutting edge distilling techniques and helping to disrupt the industry along the way. Come along for the ride!

Listen to Episode 14: Lost Spirits Distillery” – me

Bryan’s recommended cocktail was a Painkiller made with Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum 61.

Navy Strength Painkiller 
2 oz Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum 61
4 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz cream of coconut
Garnish: grated nutmeg and pineapple wedge

Add all of the ingredients into a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled. strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish wth nutmeg and pineapple wedge.

Restart Your Spring with a Cocktail Inspired by a Spa Visit: Sparkle & Glow with Chareau!

I love the whole idea of Spring being a time of rebirth and renewal. There’s no better time to shake off the winter cobwebs and refresh your whole jam. I always feel especially inspired this time of year. Those ideas that may be lying dormant during the winter months finally have a chance to come out of hibernation..

It is often the little things that provoke inspiration –  like tasting the first in-season spring peas, or enjoying sunshine on your bare shoulders after months of covering up. I had two different experiences recently that inspired this fresh, spring cocktail pictured here.

I recently indulged in a facial with Melissa Lekus Skincare Consulting here in Los Angeles, and was reminded that I need more of that in my life. Melissa, my new SKIN LIFE COACH, slathered the most heavenly combo of ingredients onto my face and neck – like strawberry enzymes, honey, citrus, cooling aloe serum and cucumber toner. Don’t tell me that’s not a recipe for a delicious cocktail!

Melissa Lekus. Photo by Susanica Tam

Not only did it leave me glowing for days and feeling like I got a total life reboot, but I (of course!) came away wanting to create something yummy from that experience.

A week after that dream facial, I came across another inspiring moment; I tried California made spirit Chareau for the first time. This aloe liqueur is made from an eu de vie created from California grapes; Cucumbers, spearmint, muskmelon and citrus – all harvested in the southern California area – make up the main ingredients. And then fresh aloe vera juice is added at the end to create such a delicious and unusual and fresh tasting spirit. It is like tasting California in a glass. It is also like a little spa visit in a glass.

The mint and cucumber really shine through this liqueur, while the aloe creates a silky texture that gives it some heft. I knew this had to be part of my cocktail inspired by my luscious facial!  It all came together for the Sparkle & Glow…

In conclusion, my recommendation for a Spring life refresh is to treat yourself to a luxurious (but also VERY reasonably priced) facial from Melissa Lekus Skincare Consulting, get yourself a bottle of the gorgeous Chareau (available nationwide), and make yourself this spa inspired cocktail. You’ll be sparkling and glowing in no time!

Sparkle & Glow
2 oz Chareau Aloe Liqueur 
4 cucumber slices (1 for garnish)
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 TBS strawberry preserves
3-4 oz sparkling wine

In a shaker tin, add strawberry preserves, cucumber slices and lemon juice. Muddle all ingredients well. Add Chareau and ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a large coupe glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with single cucumber.


BBaF Podcast Episode 13: Wine Travels with Lauren Mowery

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, I spoke with journalist, award-winning wine blogger, photographer, Masters of Wine candidate, and newly appointed Travel Editor for Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery.

As we sipped from a bottle of bubbly from an up-and-coming wine region (that Lauren brought along to the podcast studio), we discussed her exciting new role as Travel Editor for Wine Enthusiast. She gave us some great travel tips, what regions she’s most looking forward to visiting this next year, and which wines should be on our radar.

I love Lauren’s relatable  approach to wine, her insatiable curiosity about the world, and never-ending wanderlust. It was so great to have her on for this episode and to get a chance to celebrate her enviable new job!

Listen to Episode 13: Wine Travels with Lauren Mowery” – me

Lauren’s recommended cocktail was a simple one that included wine, of course!

Sauternes is a type of sweet wine from the Bordeaux region in France. They can be incredibly cost prohibitive because the grapes are hand picked and the cost of production is very high. However, there are affordable bottles to be had with a little searching. It is SO worth it, I assure you! This Sauternes Aperitif is a wonderful way to enjoy one of these bottles come spring and summer…

Sauternes Aperitif
Pour 5-6 ounces of chilled Sauternes over ice, twist the orange over the glass and drop into the drink. Enjoy!

BBaF Podcast Episode 12: Mezcal with Cecilia Rios Murrieta

For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, we dive into Mezcal, the wild and smoky and often misunderstood cousin of tequila. I spoke with Cecilia Rios Murrieta, founder of Oaxacan brand, La Niña del Mezcal.

Cecilia established one of the first blogs about Mezcal and the culture that surrounds it. She is a certified Mezcalier, and a proponent of preserving the traditional production processes of artisan Mezcal.

Listen to Episode 12: Mezcal with Cecilia Rios Murrieta” – me

We spoke about the basics of Mezcal, what differentiates it from tequila, the proper way to drink it, and how she first fell in love with agave spirits.

Cecilia shared with us her favorite cocktail using La Niña del Mezcal Espadin – a Mezcal Old Fashioned. 

On the podcast I refer to this recipe as a Oaxaca Old Fashioned, but that is actually a cocktail created by bartender Phil Ward in 2007 at New York’s Death & Co. and also includes tequila. This version is more of a traditional Old Fashioned recipe with the Mezcal as the base spirit and agave nectar as the sweetening agent.

Mezcal Old Fashioned – served in a rocks glass with ice
2 oz La Niña del Mezcal Espadin
Angostura Bitters
1/2 oz agave syrup
garnish: Orange Peel

Add the agave syrup to your rocks glass, 3-4 dashes of bitters and a large ice cube or a couple of smaller ones. Then pour in about 2 oz mezcal. You can give that a good old stir to make sure everything gets mixed properly and cooled down a bit. Rub the rim of the glass with an orange peel, twist and garnish.

Boozy BOM BOM Egg Cream Sodas

Spring has sprung and some bunny has been verrry busy…*hic*

This holiday weekend it is all about boozy egg cream sodas – the grown up treat you WISH appeared in your Easter basket come Sunday morning. I mean, nothing says Easter like chocolate and egg things….and booze. Amirite?!

These are not your grandma’s egg creams, which traditionally have neither eggs nor cream…nor booze for that matter! But we’re bucking tradition with these spiked versions because there’s a new cream liqueur in town, and their fun flavors are just begging to be turned into egg cream sodas.

BOM BOM, which means “good good” in Portuguese and is slang for “my sweetie” in Spain,  launched a year and a half ago and they currently market two products: Coco Mochanut – a blend of chocolate, coffee, coconut and Caribbean rum, and Nilli Vanilli, made with rum, almond milk and vanilla cookie flavors. BOM BOM is now sold in 11 states, and growing, and it sounds like a third flavor is on the horizon very soon.

The Coco Mochanut Liqueur was the first flavor BOM BOM released. It is basically an adult version of chocolate milk. The coconut and hazelnut flavors are fairly subtle but what really rounds this combo out is the little unexpected coffee kick. When I tried this for the first time I thought it was great on its own but no doubt aMAHzing in a Coconut Mocha Egg Cream!

Coconut Mocha Egg Cream
2 oz BOM BOM Coco Mochanut Liqueur
2 oz Whole Milk
1 oz Gold Rum
1 oz Chocolate Syrup

In a chilled 16 oz glass, pour in syrup, milk, rum, and BOM BOM Coco Mochanut Liqueur. Add ice and then top with seltzer and stir until there is a light foam on top.

Technically, a cream liqueur is just a liqueur with cream added to it. Even though Nilli Vanilli  Liqueur is actually dairy free it was recently named the #1 Cream Liqueur for 2017 by the International Review of Spirits. The almond milk keeps it lighter than most cream liqueurs and the vanilla cookie flavor thankfully tastes like real vanilla and is not too sweet. Perfect for the Cookies & Egg Cream Soda!

Cookies & Egg Cream Soda
2 oz BOM BOM Nilli Vanilli Liqueur
2 oz Almond Milk
1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup

In a chilled 16 oz glass, pour in syrup, almond milk, vodka, and BOM BOM Nilli Vanilli Liqueur. Add ice and then top with seltzer and stir until there is a light foam on top.

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