Old Fashioned

Photo by The Serving Wench

Photo by The Serving Wench

Full of drama, Mad Men on the AMC network, has become a world-wide phenomenon.  A period drama set in 1960’s Manhattan, NY, specifically on Madison Ave.

With the show’s impending premiere, there will be many watch parties across the globe.  This is a staple drink that should be served if you want a true Mad Men or 60’s themed party.  To anyone who are cocktail connoisseurs or know the history of this particular cocktail, knows that the original Old Fashioned did not incorporate fruit.  Somewhere down the road, fruit was introduced (rumor is fruit was added to sweeten or add flavor during the Depression).  Below I have included the traditional recipe and the one you’ll find Don Draper drinking.

Classic Old Fashioned

  • Angostura bitters
  • American Rye Whiskey
  • ice
  • sugar
  • water
  • lemon or orange peel (as garnish)

Directions:

  1. In a small rocks glass, add ½-1 tsp of sugar, add three dashes of bitters and then add a splash of water.  
  2. Muddle until it becomes a syrup.
  3. Add 2 oz. of rye whiskey
  4. Add ice and stir.
  5. Garnish and enjoy.

Don Draper’s Old Fashioned (Modern recipe, most likely served at bars)

  • Angostura Bitters
  • Bourbon
  • orange wedges
  • Maraschino cherries
  • sugar
  • water
  • ice

Directions:

  1. In a small rocks glass, add an orange wedge, a cherry, a dash of bitters, splash of water and a tsp of sugar.  
  2. Muddle until it becomes a thick syrup.
  3. Add 2 oz. of Bourbon, ice and stir.
  4. Garnish as desired and enjoy (with a cigar, if you want to get fancy and all *tailored suit required for full effect*)

 

Blackberry-Peach Sangria

Blackberry Peach SangriaSangria has some deep roots in Europe.  Wine was known to be spiced with cinnamon and ginger.  Wines would often be made from many different berries and fruits.  Water was not safe to drink until modern times, so naturally the only safe thing to drink was wine and beer.  Sangria as we know it has roots from Spain and was first introduced to America at the 1964 World’s Trades Fair.  These sangrias usually used a “claret” or “bordeaux” wine, some fruit and brandy for flavor.

Sangria has become such a big hit and a staple to serve at parties.  There are many blush, white and red sangria varieties with numerous flavor combinations.  This recipe is a red wine type.  To get the best possible flavor, make sangrias the night before as they are at its best when marinated.

Blackberry-Peach Sangria

1 btl (750 ml) red wine

1 C  peach puree

½ C brandy

½ C  Blackberry syrup

1 C  fresh blackberries

fresh peaches for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and stir.
  2. Marinate over night or minimum of four hours.
  3. Shake before serving and serve over ice.

Gift of Giving (Home/Family Series Part 2)

New Homeowners or The Newlyweds

There is nothing like owning a home or being married for the first time.  For these couples, try etching your own wine glasses with a custom made stencils.  They are super easy do.   Finding or making your own stencil will be the hardest part.  You can always do a monogram for these couples.

You can make scented candles, all items can be easily found at Michaels.  You can even add scented oils for bigger touch.

If you’re not feeling crafty, you can find custom made wine glasses online from several different stores.

Peppermint White Mocha Martini

Traffic is ridiculous.  Walking into Target is like entering the Hunger Games.  Eccentric family members.  How many Secret Santas/White Elephants am I signed up for??!!!  Yep, this time of year can be stressful and draining at times.  There’s nothing like taking the edge off of a crazy day than with a good drink.  This drink reminds of us of those Peppermint White Mocha lattes from Starbucks.  Rim some martini glasses with melted white chocolate and crushed peppermint.  For parties, you can rim the glasses ahead of time and stick them in the freezer.

So whip up a batch at your next get together or better yet, curl up by the fire with one of these with a good book by the fireplace…all…by…yourself.  Tuck your kiddos to bed and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 oz  Godiva White Chocolate liquor
  • 1 oz vanilla vodka
  • ½ oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 1 oz. of cream or half & half


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour all ingredients in mixer with ice and shake.  Strain and pour into martini glass

**We may have enjoyed these too much.  Stay tuned for pictures. 🙂

Gift of Giving (Experience Series Part 3)

Gift of Experiences

I always say I’m willing to spend money for a great experience…and really, really good food.  Traveling, hobbies, and shows are just a few great things to experience.  Go beyond the movie theater gift card or spa package, give them an experience that haven’t tried .  Do you have a friend, co-worker or family member that always talks about wishing they could learn how to rock climb or go horseback riding or never seen a broadway show?

LivingSocial and Groupon often have great deals for local experiences.  Check out your local university or acting company for plays.

We would love any feedback or comments below! 

Oskar Blues Old Chub Scottish Ale

Oskar Blues Old Chub Scottish Ale

Scottish ales are usually dark, malty and full of flavor and most have a smoky flavor as well.  Oskar Blues Old Chub Scottish Ale has increased in popularity and winning awards at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Championships.  The fact that it’s served in can, is even more of a feat and slashing those beer stereotypes.

BREWED BY: Oskar Blues Brewing Co. (Lyons, CO, USA)
STYLE: Scottish Ale
ABV (Alcohol by Volume): 8%
AVAILABILITY: Year Round

Appearance:
Dark and rich brown.

Smell:
Hints of cocoa, caramel and coffee.

Mouthfeel:
It had a pleasant feel, immediate flavors were chocolate and a caramel sweetness, but then an espresso aftertaste that lingers on the tongue.  Reminded us of a cup of Italian Roast coffee.

Overall:
It’s an instant favorite.  This definitely isn’t for someone who doesn’t like dark beers or someone who enjoys hoppy beers, but this is definitely a keeper in the Serving Wench’s go to beer list. (5/5 stars)

Pairings:
Any dishes that are smoky, grilled or hearty.  Try a smoked pork tenderloin or hearty beef stew.

Have you already tried it or interested?  Please leave us your opinion on the beer in our comments section.  We love discussing beers!

Photo courtesy of http://www.oskarblues.com

Some information was retreived from http://www.oskarblues.com/the-brews/old-chub and to check a more comprehensive (let’s just say these are beer experts) review of this and any style beer, check out www.beeradvocate.com

San Tan Hefeweizen

San Tan HefeWeizen

For our second beer review, we’ve decided to highlight a local Arizona brewery who prides themselves in making craft beers, San Tan Brewing Company.  The fast growing popularity of San Tan is due to the company owner and Brewmaster, Anthony Canecchia.  I’m sorry to say, that so far the distribution has only spread to through out Arizona and not further.  So if you are travelling through Arizona this summer, I definitely recommend stopping by Chandler to their restaurant and check out their weekly cask beer specials or ask the watering hole you’ve stopped at if they have any San Tan available.

BREWED BY: San Tan Brewing Co. (Chandler, AZ, USA)
STYLE: Bavarian Wheat
ABV (Alcohol by Volume): 5.0%
AVAILABILITY: Year Round

Appearance:
Golden, nice head

Smell:
Fruity with citrus notes.

Taste:
Orange and lemon flavors are distinct.  Some clove and sweetness.

Overall:
I’m pretty particular about my hefeweizens, however this one was refreshing and thoroughly pleasing.  3.7/5

Pairings:
According to the San Tan Brewing Co. website, this beer pairs well with curries and sweet dishes as well as fresh cheese such as Mozzarella and Chevre.  I suggest a nice fruit salad or cheesy appetizer with this beer for any summer party.

Toyko Ice Tea

Photo Provided by The Serving Wench

I was having lunch one day with a friend at Bison Witches and couldn’t decide what I wanted to drink.  The lovely bartender recommended the Tokyo Ice Tea.  It sounded interesting, so I said, “Why not?”.  A few minutes later I was greeted with this vibrant green drink that would’ve made the Hulk jealous. 

It had a delightful, yet mellow flavor, however this drink can and will sneak up on you, like its cousin, the Long Island Ice Tea.

There are many variations to the recipe, but I believe this is as true to the original as I could possibly find.  Some recipes call for sweet and sour mix or lemonade, but I try to use fresh squeezed juices as much as possible to cut down my sugar intake.  Just like The Perfect Margarita recipe, freshly squeezed may not always be conducive, so I still definitely recommend the Simply line of juices. 

Single Serving: Bulk (16 drinks)
½ oz. vodka 1 C  vodka
½ oz gin 1 C  gin
½ oz tequila 1 C  tequila
½ oz rum 1 C  rum
½ oz Midori (or any Kiwi/Melon liquor) 1 C Midori or melon liquor
Splash of triple sec (orange liquor) ½ C  triple sec
1 oz.  fresh lemon juice 2 C  lemon juice (or lemonade)
Splash of 7-up 12 oz. 7-up

Single Serving:

In a tall highball glass, build all ingredients (except for the 7-up) and then fill will ice.  Give the glass a quick shake and top off with a splash of 7-up to fill the glass and garnish with a lime wedge if you wish too.  The drink should have a bright green color resembling a glass of iced green tea

Bulk:

Fill a glass with ice and add about 3-4 ounces and shake.  Add a splash of 7-up and enjoy!

The Perfect Margarita

Nothing is more wonderful than sitting by the pool and sipping on a delicious margarita!  Growing up in the southwest, we are pretty picky about our margaritas.  You can’t beat freshly squeezed lime juices to make the perfect margarita.

Not everyone has a juicer and/or the patience to freshly squeeze lemon, limes and oranges.  If you want an authentic margarita, fresh is the only way to go.  However, sometimes patience or time is not on our side, so I find the Simply© line of juices to be a great substitute. 

My bulk recipe will fit in a standard 2 quart pitcher without ice.

So cheers to a lovely afternoon!

INGREDIENTS:

Single Serving: Bulk (12-16 drinks):
1 ½ oz.  100% pure agave tequila 3 C  100% pure agave tequila
½ oz.  Cointreau or Grand Marnier (orange liquor) 1 C  Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1 oz. fresh lime juice 2 C  fresh lime juice or Simply Limeade©
Splash of orange juice ¼ C orange juice
Splash of lemon juice* ¼ C lemon juice*
Margarita or Kosher Salt Margarita or Kosher Salt

*The lemon juice is an option and is not considered to be a part of an authentic recipe but I find this to be my secret ingredient to give my margaritas a little extra yum!

DIRECTIONS:

Single Serving:

Build all ingredients in a tall highball glass, and then fill glass with ice.  Shake or stir whichever is your preference.  Pour into a salt rim glass if you prefer salt with your margarita!

Bulk:

In a salt rim or unsalted rim glass, fill with ice and pour margarita and enjoy!

Stay tune to later this summer, we’ll be posting about how to make the perfect frozen margarita and flavored margaritas!

We would love any feedback or comments below!