Anyone who knows me enough knows I love a good drink. If you’re a friend, you’ve probably been to our place for a cocktail party. Tim and I are major cocktail enthusiasts (and wine, and beer, and spirits served neat or on the rocks or out of the bottle — just kidding) so when we got married, our super talented/interesting/passionate cocktail maestro of a friend, Faith (@barfaith on Instagram!) and her partner Dylan sent us a three month subscription to a craft cocktail kit called Shaker & Spoon.
Each Shaker & Spoon box has three recipes with four servings per recipe. Our box included super interesting ingredients, some of which (like lapsang souchong ginger honey syrup) I’d never heard! They include everything except the alcohol. (Some recipes also called for egg whites, which weren’t included.)
I let Tim choose the first drink we made, and he selected the Mystic Mule. I love ginger but I was totally hesitant about this drink because I think Moscow Mules are incredibly boring (except the mugs, am I right?).
The recipe calls for:
1 1/2 oz rye whiskey (I used my favorite, Rittenhouse 100)
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz lapsang souchong ginger honey syrup
2-3 oz ginger beer
Candied ginger (for garnish)
I enjoy making cocktails so I shook up the first two. The recipe explained how to “whip” the drink in a shaker, which was amazing because I got to learn something AND drink! The cocktail itself shocked me in how delicious it was. I loved having the pretty ginger garnish, too. At home I rarely do any non-necessary garnish. It was warming and just interesting enough without losing the richness of the rye!
The second recipe we made was the East End Sour. Tim was not excited about this one because he doesn’t love coconut, but our box was missing one ingredient so this was the only recipe we could make. (Shaker & Spoon immediately sent us a replacement item once I emailed them!)
The East End Sour was:
1 raw egg white
2 oz rye whiskey (Rittenhouse 100 again!)
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz spiced coconut syrup
1 dash habañero cocktail spice
1 handcut lemon peel
Candied fennel seeds
I LOOOOVED this cocktail! Even Tim agreed it was deliciously well-balanced, and he drank his two with no problem. I loved how smooth the texture and taste both were. The fennel seeds were intriguing to me, but it turns out they were just garnish that were floated atop the lemon peel. It was cute but I definitely don’t need them if I make it at home.
The final was the most spirit-forward. It was sort of an old fashioned, but much more interesting than the kind that some 25-year-old bro orders because he read it was cool in GQ (and he probably doesn’t have a preference on bourbon). And if you want to hop on the trend of “new twist on an old classic,” this is a great way to dip your toe in without venturing too far from the original. (PS: There are a lot of rum old fashioned recipes circulating — delish, but I think a lot of people have a lingering college-era aversion to rum. Please trust me, rum is worth the re-introduction to your bar cart!)
Sugar and Spice:
2 oz rye (continuing with my Rittenhouse overproof fave!)
1/4 oz fig-raisin syrup
2 dashes Angostura
3 dashes Bittercube Blackstrap bitters
1 spritz orange oil
2-3 spritzes Woodward Extract Co. Allspice extract
This one showcased the rye the best. It definitely isn’t for the faint palate, but if you like rye, this is going to be a dynamite one for you.
I can’t wait for our future boxes.
What’s your favorite cocktail recipe? Any new versions of old classics?