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Curious & Unfiltered

Vaquero: the Winter Daiquiri of your Dreams

Like a daiquiri, but make it winter.

Whether you're into bitter, sweet, sour, or spicy, with this drink you'll enjoy a taste of it all.

The secret ingredient? Ancho Chile Reyes Liqueur.

This vibrant red liqueur is made from roasted, sun-dried poblano chilies. Roasting deepens the flavor and the rich, complex smoky, spicy heat of dried chile adds perfect depth and delicious zing to all your favorite drinks.

Here we recommend it in this winter riff on a daiquiri, which builds layers of flavor with lemon juice, Campari (the original recipe calls for Aperol, but we like to amp up the bitter), fresh pineapple, Ancho Chile Reyes, and an herbal note of sage.

You can easily tweak this recipe to your preferences -- up the sugar if you like a sweeter side to your bitter, or add more Ancho Chile Reyes to turn up the heat.

Ingredients

1.5 oz bourbon
.75 oz Ancho Chile Reyes Liqueur
.75 oz lemon juice
.5 oz Campari
.25 oz demerara sugar
4 fresh pineapple chunks
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 fresh sage leaves

Method

Muddle pineapple and sage in a cocktail shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake well. Fine strain into a couple glass and garnish with a sage leaf.

Recipe from Punch, credited to Simone Goldberg of Narcissa
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The Little Italy: a cocktail featuring Cynar

Something to savor.

Something to remember.

In our cocktail explorations we've developed a sweet spot for the wonder that is amari.

One like Cynar is particularly special because of its unique properties and its distinctive bittersweet flavor.

Cynar is a modern amaro, created in 1952 by an Italian entrepreneur. It draws on what are believed to be the flavor-enhancing properties of artichokes (though it doesn't taste like artichoke.)

It's the type of spirit you really have to consider.  And it rewards that consideration in spades, with a nuanced experience of earthy aroma, rich flavor, and lingering complexity, evolving over time.

In this cocktail, which made its debut at Pegu Club (RIP Pegu Club) in New York City, Cynar makes a particularly good match with the higher proof rye. The interplay of flavors create a delicious harmony of intensity.

We love this simple spirit-forward cocktail and find it particularly good after a delicious, rich, and satisfying meal. (Or while making one!)  

Ingredients

2 oz Wild Turkey 101 Rye
1/2 oz Cynar
3/4 oz sweet vermouth (we recommend Cocchi Torino or Carpano Antica Formula)

Method

Stir all ingredients with ice until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Recipe via Punch magazine, from Audrey Saunders of the late, great cocktail joint Pegu Club
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The First Curiada Single Barrel x Rare Character Whiskey Collaboration

Rare Character Whiskey Barrel - Sunday Read Announcement

Originally distributed on Sunday November 21st to everyone who follows along to our email newsletter.

We've been particularly excited to write this week's little missive because we have something pretty special to share with you all.

Since beginning this business in Spring 2020, we've been inspired by and, frankly, a little in awe of, the wide world of whiskey lovers and whiskey connoisseurs.

You all have introduced us to so many fantastic bottles, and along the way we've discovered so much about all the nuanced characteristics of whiskey sampling and savoring (and sourcing!). A special shoutout to Josh and the Evansville Bourbon Society, The Bourbon Thieves, the Mash & Journey Whiskey Club, and many others who've helped us along the way.

We've also learned a ton from our supplier partners, who've been at this for a lot longer than we have, and have been so generous in sharing their knowledge and expertise and enthusiasm with us.

So when the opportunity came up to be one of the very first to select a barrel from the Rare Character Whiskey Co., a new and exciting project, how could we say no?

Rare Character Whiskey Co. builds on the unique relationships that Pablo Moix, an LA restaurateur and whiskey expert, has forged with top distillers and distilleries over the last two decades of working with them. He's been sourcing unique, "out of character" barrels from these top distilleries for years. And now he's offering these same barrels to select groups who want to have something truly distinctive and one-of-a-kind to sip and share.

Each barrel is an exclusive release that has never been released before and will never be released again. 

Here at Curiada, we're thrilled to announce that we've selected a barrel to share with you all. We aren't sharing specifics on the bottle just quite yet -- but if you want to be the first to know and the first to have the opportunity to purchase a bottle (or two!), we've got you.  Sign up here.

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The Smoke and Sigh cocktail recipe

Italicus cozies up to mezcal and the result is something unique and delicious.

Image and recipe courtesy of our friend, the Cocktail Contessa.

This is a drink for those seeking something that's a bit of a departure from the usual.

Though these ingredients may first call to mind summer, this cocktail more than holds its own in the fall and winter months. Its complexity of flavor stands up to the richness of holiday food while the bright notes serve as a lovely counterpoint.

Here we recommend the Corte Vetusto Espadin, which is a terrific mezcal with a balanced profile. The smoke doesn't overwhelm, but adds underlying flavor and depth.

And a winter drink featuring Italicus?  Yes please. 

Ingredients

1 oz Italicus
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Corte Vetusto Espadin 
1 oz grapefruit juice
8 drops grapefruit bitters (or rosemary grapefruit peppercorn bitters)

Method

Shake all ingredients with ice until very cold, 10-12 seconds. Double strain into a rocks glass with large cube. Garnish with a fresh grapefruit slice and a sage flower if you have it.

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The Lingonberry Sour Cocktail Recipe

Looking for an easy but distinctive cocktail to enjoy as fall slips into the holidays? We've got you.

RIGHT Gin is a citrus-forward gin that is blended and made in Sweden.

A terrific complement to fresh, seasonal flavors, here it's paired with a Swedish favorite, Lingonberry Jam. (Grab a jar on your next IKEA run!)

This unique spin on a bramble brings merry flavor to the season - lingonberry tastes similar to cranberry!

Ingredients

2 oz RIGHT Gin
.5 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
3 heavy barspoons lingonberry* preserves

Method

Shake all ingredients with ice until well diluted. Double strain into a rocks or old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with an extra scoop of preserves.

*or similar red berry

 

 

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The Earl Collins - a new Craft Cocktail Recipe

This riff on a Tom Collins brings a delicious summer-into-fall flavor. Here a smoky blended scotch from Compass Box is paired with a tart, floral, and slightly sweet bergamot syrup made exclusively for the esteemed whiskeymaking house. 

For a limited time, any purchase of Glasgow Blend Scotch Whisky will be accompanied by a free 375ml bottle of this Bergamot Syrup, crafted specifically to be paired with this excellent blended scotch!

Get Yours!

Cocktail in a larger round glass filled with ice, a warm yellow color, with a sprig of fresh rosemary as garnish

The Glasgow Blend plays beautifully against the creamy citrus notes and light sweetness of the bergamot syrup.  Add fresh lemon juice and effervescent club soda and you have a delightful balanced and refreshing highball.

Ingredients

1.5 oz Compass Box Glasgow Blend Scotch Whisky
.75 oz Bergamot Syrup
.75 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Club soda, to taste
Fresh herb to garnish (the Curiada variation)

Method

Add whisky, syrup, and lemon juice to an ice-filled cocktail shaker.  Shake for about 10 seconds and strain into an ice-filled glass.  Top with club soda and stir lightly. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme or basil. Continue reading

Old Bay Ridge Craft Cocktail Recipe

Caraway and Rye. Here they marry in the quintessential Old-Fashioned, savory flavors kissing sweet. Perfectly matched, kind of like your favorite cozy sweater and your new Fall boots.

Svöl Aquavit Danish Style brings a bright caraway intensity to the rich spicy rye. And how can you call it an Old-Fashioned without bitters and a twist?  

Please enjoy this toast to sweater season. 

Ingredients:

1 tsp Demerara syrup
 

Method:

Combine ingredients in Old-Fashioned glass with one large ice cube and stir until chilled. Twist a large piece of lemon zest over the drink and drop into the glass.

Recipe by Dave Wondrich, featured in The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World's First Classic Cocktail by Robert Simonson

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Stereo 18 Craft Cocktail Recipe

Classic cocktails fans will enjoy this one. Take an Aviation charmingly off course with the addition of Dry Curaçao and starring attraction ODVI.

ODVI is the modern incarnation of armagnac, cognac's older, lesser-known cousin. Fresh, juicy, and fruit-forward, ODVI brings a delightful interplay of flavors to every drink you mix.

Ingredients:

1.5 oz ODVI
0.25 oz Lemon juice
 

Method:

Shake all ingredients with ice. Double strain into a glass rimmed with sugar. Garnish with a lemon peel and enjoy.

Photo credit: Charlotte Deckers

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