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Curious & Unfiltered

Cocktails for Prime Citrus Season

It may still be winter in much of the US, but one of the best things about February is that it's when citrus really shines. Here are three different ways to make the most of winter's freshest flavors.

gin and grapefruit cocktails

Ingredients
1.5 parts Bulrush Gin
1 part Cocchi Americano Bianco
1 part fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1 sprig thyme

Method
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a wedge of grapefruit and a sprig of thyme.

recipe from Cocktail Party App
Bourbon Sour Blood Orange Cocktail

Ingredients
2 1/4 oz bourbon
1 oz blood orange juice
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz lime juice

Method
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add in blood orange juice, bourbon, simple syrup, lemon and lime juice. Stir until the shaker frosts. Pour into a glass with a single ice cube and garnish with a blood orange slice and a (optional!) maraschino cherry.

recipe from Our Salty Kitchen
Planter's Punch Jamaican Rum Punch recipe

Ingredients
2 oz dark rum
1 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
dash of Angostura bitters
1/4 ounce grenadine (optional)

Method
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with lime and orange wheels.

recipe from Booze and Vinyl
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Meet The Tasters: All the Whisk(e)y

An ongoing series

Did you know that every bottle available through Curiada is assessed and vetted by an unbiased taster? These knowledgeable and curious people are key to helping us determine which spirits we should feature and make available to you.

Most of our tasters are too modest to think of themselves as experts, but from our perspective, their personal and/or professional qualifications make them very well-equipped to assess spirits on our behalf.

Each taster bring a particular point of view to their tasting role, and we're happy to be able to introduce them to you!

First up: meet Josh. Josh tastes whisk(e)y, bourbon, and scotch on our behalf. (Occasionally a little rum sneaks in there, too.)

I have been a fanatic of whisk(e)y and the world of flavors it has to offer ever since my first drink of Maker's Mark. Little did I know what a rabbit trail it would lead me down over the past 13 years. For the past 8 years I have run a blog, Tipple&Text, which chronicles my whisk(e)y adventures and love for books. Since 2014, I have been a member of the Evansville Bourbon Society in Evansville, Indiana and have had the pleasure of serving on the board for the past 5 years and have been the President of the Board since 2020. We have over 200 members and have purchased over 10 single barrels of whiskey for our club members. In 2020, I joined Curiada as a Spirits Taster. It is my pleasure to serve in this role to help bring unique whisk(e)ys to the world.

 

We had a chance to ask Josh a few questions recently, here's what he shared.


How did you first start getting into whiskey?

My spirits journey all started at a party in 2007. I was sitting around chatting with a few people when the host walked in and slammed down two bottles on the coffee table: Maker's Mark and Crown Royal. The Crown was good but the Maker's caught my attention. After that day and even until today, there has been and always will be a bottle of Maker's on my bar. It was the first distillery I toured but wasn't and won't be the last. Then, I got a new boss at work and came to find out, he liked bourbon and other whiskies as well. Our work relationship turned into a friendship with whisk(e)y as the foundation. We explored all kinds of whisk(e)ys together and had some amazing trips to distilleries: sipping on bourbon and smoking cigars. When we both moved away (him to Florida and me to Southern Indiana) in 2014, I found a little club called the Evansville Bourbon Society. Since joining I have grown close to a few other members and we have explored hundreds of different whiskies and met many master distillers along the way. I am reminded every time I crack open a new bottle of whisk(e)y why I love the product: it brings people together...and it tastes damn good.


Any interesting encounters in the whiskey world that stand out? 

In 2017 I got to not only meet Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey's Master Distiller, but I got to have dinner with him twice over the course of one week. If you want to have a blast, learn everything you could ever want or dream of learning about whisk(e)y, and have a dram or two, hang out with Jimmy.

What are you experimenting with, exploring, and learning about right now?

Since 2019, I have gotten deep into tasting and researching Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Especially, different barrel-finishes and the unique flavors they can impart. I always thought I would be a bourbon man. But, I've transformed from primarily liking bourbon to liking mostly rye to now loving Scotch.


What's your desert island pour?

W.B. Saffell. One of the best bourbons to be released in the last decade. I wish I had more of it.

Most underrated whiskey? 

Mellow Corn. It is my summer dram and is super cheap. You can't go wrong with a little corn whiskey.


When you assess a spirit for its quality, what do you look for?

Integration and rich consistency from nose to finish. I want a dram that takes me on a journey. I want a dram that makes me want to immediately take a sip when I smell it, knocks me back in my chair when I drink it, and begs me to come back for another sip or three because of it's long and tasty finish.


Fill in the blank: More people should...

... try more variations of what they like. If you like whisk(e)y, try them all! 

Here are a few of recent bottles Josh has helped select:

 

Follow Josh on Instagram at @tippleandtext, and check out his blog here.  

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In the mood for...cocktails

Four fun ways to celebrate this month of love.

Coupe glass with Mr Black & rye whiskey cocktail

Ingredients

1.5oz Ry3 Whiskey
.75oz port wine
.75oz Mr Black Coffee Liqueur
.75oz cinnamon apple spiced cordial
.75oz heavy cream

Method

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker shake. Shake for 10 seconds. Double strain into a coupe glass.



Ingredients

1 sprig rosemary
1 oz vodka
1 oz gin
.75oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
.5oz simple syrup
1 egg white
fresh raspberries

Method

Muddle rosemary in a cocktail shaker. Add all the rest of the ingredients, including 5-10 raspberries, and shake vigorously. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with 3 raspberries on a skewer.

 
 

Ingredients

1.5oz bourbon
1.5oz Ramazzotti amaro
.5 oz Bénédictine
2 dashes chocolate bitters
1 tsp single-malt scotch

Method

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a flamed orange peel.

 

 

Ingredients

1.5oz gin
1.5oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Fernet Branca

Method

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Hanky Panky cocktail with vermouth, gin & fernet branca
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Valentine's Day is for Lovers (of Spirits)

Make this season's gifting extra delicious with these craft spirit choices. Set the mood with these gorgeous and tasty bottles which complement classic Valentine's Day gifts.  
Chocolate, coffee, bourbon. All the good stuff.


Botanicals and florals that smell (and taste) absolutely divine.

The hard-to-get, limited edition, only-comes-around-once kind.

For when a sunny-spot getaway isn't in the cards but you still want to vibe like you're oceanside without a care in the world.

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Cocktails to Showcase Tanglin Gin

This new gin from Singapore has a delicious blend of unusual botanicals that bring unique flavors to classic cocktail recipes.

Ingredients

1 part Tanglin Gin
4 parts tonic
Cinnamon stick
Orange wheel

Method

Fill a glass with ice. Pour in gin. Top with tonic (Mediterranean preferred.)  Garnish with an orange wheel and a single cinnamon stick.

Ingredients

3 parts Tanglin Gin
2 parts Americano Cocchi Rosa
1 part Fernet-Branca
Orange peel

Method

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir until very cold, then pour into a fresh glass (ice or no, your choice.) Express the oils of an orange peel into the glass and garnish.

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Celebratory Cocktails

A few favorite cocktails featuring bubbly that are perfect for festive occasions!

cocktail in champagne flute with coffee liqueur

Ingredients

1 part ODVI (or another armagnac, cognac, or brandy)
1 part Mr Black
3 parts bubbly of your choice
Luxardo Maraschino Cherry.

Method

Place a maraschino cherry in the bottom of a champagne flute. Combine cognac and Mr Black in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into the champagne flute over the maraschino cherry. Top with chilled bubbly.

French 75 champagne flute with lemon peel garnish

Ingredients

1 tsp simple syrup
1/2 part fresh lemon juice
2 parts gin
4 parts champagne*

*any dry bubbly will work beautifully

Method

Add simple syrup, then lemon juice, then gin to a champagne glass. Stir. Pour champagne atop.

Note: This is best served very cold, so ideally the bubbly (and even your glasses!) should be chilled. If using a sweeter sparkling wine, adjust simple syrup amount to taste.

The airmail cocktails with lime garnishes and confetti strewn about

Ingredients

1.5 parts aged rum
.75 parts fresh lime juice
.75 parts honey syrup* (or to taste)
3 parts champagne or sparkling white wine

Method

Add all ingredients (except the bubbly) to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled. Strain into a tall, ice-filled glass. Top with sparkling and garnish with lime.

*Honey syrup: mix equal parts honey and hot water. Let cool. Store refrigerated. 

French 95 bourbon cocktail aerial view with orange twist

Ingredients

1 part bourbon or rye
.75 parts simple syrup
.5 parts fresh lemon juice
4 parts champagne*

*any dry bubbly will work beautifully

Method

Add simple syrup, lemon juice, and bourbon to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until very cold. Strain into a well-chilled champagne flute and top off with bubbly. Garnish with citrus. 

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The New Classics: A Craft Spin on Iconic Cocktails

Experiment with something new in a classic cocktail favorite. Try these recipes, they're simple to prepare and don't call for anything crazy.

All you need on hand are a few top-quality craft spirits and you'll soon be enjoying drinks that are a cut above the usual. Another sign of your excellent taste.

 

Del Maguey VIDA Mezcal

Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Ragtime Rye - New York Distilling Company

St. George Absinthe Verte

All Points West Kill Van Kull Rum

Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur 

Dorothy Parker Gin - New York Distilling Company

Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Abelha Organic Cachaça

Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Bespoke Bourbon Cream

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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Spooky Sips for Halloween

This year, Halloween is on a Saturday. Prime spirits time.

Below find four of our favorite craft spirits to help set the Halloween mood. 

Compass Box Whisky - The Peat Monster

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St. George Spirits - Absinthe Verte

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It had to be the Peat Monster. Just look at that ghoulish face on the label. Savor the monstrous smokiness of this top-quality Scotch for a delicious Halloween treat.

How To Enjoy: Pour yourself a dram and sip away!

A serious contender for most essential Halloween spirit, not only because of its ghoulish green color. Many of the classic Absinthe cocktails fit right in on a frightful night: consider Death in the Afternoon and The Corpse Reviver #2.

How To Enjoy: Experience a Death in the Afternoon with one part Absinthe to four parts dry bubbly.

All Points West No Added Sugar Kill Van Kull Rum Buy Online
 

Corsair Distillery - Ryemageddon

All Points West Distillery - Kill Van Kull Single Pot Still Rum

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Ryemagedon is your must-have whiskey for any apocalyptic-themed Halloween eve. Rye-ding out the end times is the only way to go.

How To Enjoy: Make the bracing Brain Duster. It's equal parts rye, absinthe, and Italian vermouth. Like a Manhattan with extra oomph.

Enjoy this wholly original rum with a scary sounding name: Kill Van Kull. (Though to be fair, it's named after a tidal strait between New York & New Jersey). 

How To Enjoy: Make a Deadly Dark & Stormy by adding 1/4 ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur to the traditional lime, ginger, beer, and dark rum drink.

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Fall Cocktails We're Feeling

Here are a few delicious drinks perfect for when the weather starts to turn!

All Points West Whiskey bottle with maple syrup for Maple Whiskey Sour recipe

Maple syrup season is reason to celebrate. This is a drink that's tasty chilled, or can even be served warm for a spin on a hot toddy.

Ingredients  

1.5 oz All Points West Malt & Grain Pot Still Whiskey
1 oz fresh lemon juice
2-4 tsp maple syrup (to taste)
pinch of cinnamon

Directions
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker 2/3 full of ice. Shake well. Add fresh ice to a glass, strain in the cold cocktail mixture. Sip and savor!

 

Damn the Weather (Gin & Vermouth) cocktail macro close-up

Pairs well with fall's dark and brooding mood. Delicious botanical dimension from the gin and vermouth adds a welcome complexity to the sweet sour of orange. 

Ingredients
1 oz Bulrush Gin
1/2 oz orange juice
1/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth
1/4 oz Triple Sec
Orange twist

Directions
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Serve on the rocks or strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

 

French 95 bourbon cocktail recipe

Swap bourbon for gin, add a splash of bubbly and enjoy the sophisticated counterpart to the French 75 which just so happens to be perfect for fall.

Ingredients
3/4 oz Black Button Four Grain Straight Bourbon
3/4 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Champagne (or another kind of bubbly)

Directions
Shake the first four ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe. Splash in champagne (any kind of bubbly will do!) 

Drinkware recommendation: an Urban Bar Crystal Coupe from our friends at KegWorks.

We curate collections of excellent, hard-to-find spirits. Explore our selection here. For a limited time we're offering free shipping on select bottles.

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Delicious and Easy Cachaça Cocktails for At Home Mixing

Cachaça isn't as well-known a spirit as some of the others, but man, it makes for a crazy good cocktail.

Here are a few suggestions for the best simple and easy to make at home cachaça cocktails.  These will have you savoring delicious flavors in no time. 


All recipes courtesy of Abelha Organic Cachaça, a new-to-the-US brand that we are proud to be featuring here on Curiada!

The Classic Caipirinha

A long-time bartender friend - she really knows her stuff - said of this one, "It makes a damned good Caipirinha and the flavor doesn’t disappear when you add lime juice."

1.5 ounces Abelha Organic Cachaça Prata
2 tsp sugar (caster or superfine if you have it)
1 lime

Muddle half a lime with the sugar in a glass.  Add crushed ice, then pour the cachaça atop and stir. Top up with a bit more ice and enjoy!

 

The Latin Fashioned

Enjoy this in front of a fire or as an after-dinner drink for a Brazilian riff on an iconic cocktail.

2 ounces Abelha Organic Cachaça Ouro
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 sugar cube
few dashes plain water
Orange slice
Luxardo cherry

Place sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass and saturate with bitters, then add a dash of plain water. Muddle until dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add aged cachaça. Add an orange slice and a cocktail cherry if you're in the mood.

Drinkware recommendation: switch it up with Nautical Rocks Glasses

 

The Plantacao

A beautiful pink hue and a taste to match.

1.5 ounces Abelha Organic Cachaça Prata
.75 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
10ml sugar cane syrup (or simple syrup)
1 tsp Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine-strain into a chilled coupe. Twist a lime zest over top and discard. Cocktail cherry on top if it suits!

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