The Stinger Cocktail Recipe

The Stinger Cocktail RecipeDeath and Taxes
It’s unavoidable, we hear. This little something might help to take the sting out—becasue even if you don’t owe, tax prep can be tiresome.

Some form of the Stinger Cocktail was known before prohibition, and its name brings to mind upper-crust citizens like the Vanderbilts. It is a simple and delicious cocktail that is hard to mess up.

For variety, you can serve it with a twist of lemon or a splash of your favorite bitters.

The Stinger Cocktail Recipe
Yields one drink  Read more…

Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe

Mai Tai Cocktail RecipeThe classic Mai Tai cocktail is unforgettable, an icy rum and fresh lime juice drink with a subtle hint of oranges and almonds. It can be garnished with and a sprig of fresh mint, or some lime, or even an orchid…

The Mai Tai may be Polynesian in name, but it has origins right here in the Bay Area. It originated in the East Bay in 1944. Our legendary restaurateur, the late Vic Bergeron of Trader Vic’s fame, came up with the idea for a cocktail with lasting appeal. And, it stuck!

Mai Tai Cocktail
Yields 1 cocktail Read more…

Spring Thyme Sparkling Cocktail

Spring Thyme Sparkling CocktailThis Spring Thyme Sparkling Cocktail Recipe is fancy enough for a holiday brunch, and delicious enough to drink on its own. We love the herbal flavor the thyme syrup imparts to this simple, sparkling cocktail.

Spring Thyme Sparkling Cocktail Recipe
Yields one cocktail  Read more…

How to Make Your Own Akvavit

How To Make Your Own AkvavitAkvavit (also spelled Aquavit) is a Scandinavian spirit that dates back to the 1500s. It is made by flavoring a neutral spirit with botanicals. Caraway and dill are two traditional flavors. In Scandinavia, home cooks make the spirit with an infinite variety of spices, herbs, and flowers.

The specific herbs and spices used to flavor akvavit are determined by local preference and cuisine. Danish akvavit leans heavier on dill, coriander, and caraway. Swedish aquavit features more anise and fennel flavors. It’s quite different in Norway, where aquavit is barrel-aged and can include diverse aromatics like cumin and citrus peel.

If you want to toast like a Viking, pour your akvavit into a shot glass, raise it high, shout Skaal! while maintaining eye contact, and toss it back in one long draw.

You can also substitute akvavit for vodka in cocktail recipes for a bold and savory kick.

We have posted a starter Akvavit recipe below. And, here are some suggestions for other flavors to experiment with. Many of these grow wild around the Bay Area at different times of the year. You may want to make a few batches to taste test.

  • Red rhubarb lends a vibrant glow to the akvavit—the alcohol tempers rhubarb’s tartness.
  • Juniper berries, give off a menthol spice with just a hint of sweetness.
  • Caraway seeds provide a musky, rye-bread flavor.
  • Fresh Dill brings a grassy note with a mild celery-like flavor. You can also try fresh, wild anise.
  • Cherry blossoms impart a floral note with a touch of bitter almond. You can try elderberry flowers when in season, too.
  • Lemon verbena and lemon balm add a citrus kick.
  • Fennel seeds add a licorice flavor
  • Star anise gives a strong anise flavor
  • Lemon, orange, and other citrus peels (with the pith removed) add a bright citrus flavor

And if you want to forego the wait, we have several bottles for sale in our Wine and Spirits department: Linie, Aalborg Jubilaeums, and Aalborg Taffle Akvavit.

Akvavit Recipe
Yields 2 cups

Be certain to sample the infusion as you go to check if it has reached your ideal flavor. If you prefer an intense aquavit, let the spices steep for a longer amount of time—up to two weeks. Orange zest can be used in place of lemon if desired. Read more…

The Women’s Day Cocktail

The Women's Day CocktailThe Women’s Day Cocktail is reminiscent of a cosmopolitan, but with saké giving it an international and interesting twist. The saké also adds an interesting depth of flavor and not too much alcoholic content—so you can keep your wits about you. And, goodness knows we need all of everybody’s wits!

So, enjoy this delicious cocktail in honor of International Women’s Day. And, naturally, it can be served all year round.

The Women’s Day Cocktail
Yields 1 cocktail

Read more…