Category Archive: Cocktails

Book Review – Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails

Photo Aug 31, 6 35 22 PM

When I was offered the opportunity to review a beautiful new book about seasonal, handcrafted cocktails, I didn’t need to be asked twice.  Instead, I jumped at the chance to take a look at Shake:  A New Perspective on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams.  I was already a fan of their Mason Shaker and couldn’t wait to read more about their inspiration to create a cocktail shaker with the Farmhouse Style that I love.  The promise of an entire book of cocktails created to celebrate each season of the year definitely caught my attention.

When the book arrived, I was not disappointed.  The photographs throughout the book are stunning.  They highlight the cocktails, the simple tools used to create them, and the seasonal ingredients that inspired them.  The photos inspired me to want to make every cocktail in the book.  Each one seemed to be more beautiful and interesting than the last.

It wasn’t just the photographs that appealed to me.  I loved the style of this book.  It was best summed up by this line which appears on the title page.  “Cocktails should be fun. Cocktails should be simple.  Cocktails should be social.”  I couldn’t agree more.  While a delicious cocktail is a wonderful way to celebrate the day, it’s certainly more enjoyable with a equal parts of fun, simplicity, and friends.

Photo Sep 12, 11 14 06 AM

I’m drawn to anything that highlights what is fresh and seasonal throughout the year.  That’s our goal here at 1840 Farm:  to enjoy what is at its seasonal best all year long.  I don’t think that I have ever had the pleasure to peruse a book about cocktails that did the same.  Sure, there are plenty of frozen drinks for the heat of the summer.  Yet I have never encountered a book that so clearly gave consideration to the four seasons when creating each cocktail.

In this book, you’ll find winter drinks featuring sage alongside a recipe for ‘Nog that I can’t wait to try once our New England winter roars in.  The fall cocktails highlight apples and spicy fall flavors.  Spring is represented with fresh berries, blooms, and herbs.  While summer might seem like the easiest season to pack full of standard cocktails we’ve seen a million times before, prepare to be amazed.  Instead, the summer cocktails in this book are innovative twists on old favorites and completely unique cocktails that would be the perfect way to spend a summer’s day right outside on our farmhouse porch.

I can’t wait to work my way through this book, taking it a season at a time.  As we celebrate the last weeks of summer and watch the leaves begin to turn and the temperatures begin to drop, I wanted to work at least one great summer cocktail into the season.  We love bourbon, so the recipe for The Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour seemed like the perfect place to start.

So, on a Sunday afternoon, we gathered Shake, the Mason Shaker, our favorite bourbon, and a healthy dose of rosemary fresh from the garden.  We followed the simple steps to create this beautiful cocktail and toasted a great summer and growing season here on the farm.  The drink was delicious and perfect for the occasion.

I think that you’ll find that the cocktail recipes in this book will be a welcome companion to your celebration of each season of the year.  You don’t need to take my word for it.  You can catch a glimpse of their great content by following Mason Shaker on Facebook and Instagram.  They constantly infuse my newsfeed with beautiful photos, interesting articles, and fantastic cocktail recipes.

I couldn’t wait to share the recipe for the first cocktail that we enjoyed from this fantastic book.  There’s still plenty of daylight in our summer to enjoy one (or two) of these.  Cheers!

The Rosemary Maple Bourbon SourPhoto Aug 31, 4 11 01 PM
makes two drinks

3 shots bourbon (we used Buffalo Trace)
1 1/2 shots freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 shot dark amber maple syrup
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish
2 slices fresh lemon for garnish

Crush the large sprig of rosemary in your hand and add it to the Mason Shaker.

Add the bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

Strain the mixture into rocks glasses containing large cubes of ice and garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs.

 


The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge by the Blogging for Books Program in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. The book that I reviewed was sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to evaluate it. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/09/book-review-shake/

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

This recipe is a staple in the 1840 Farm kitchen.  I always have it on hand in the refrigerator, waiting to be called into action.  With a small amount, I can add sweetness and incredible vanilla flavor to summer berries or cold drinks.

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup is also my favorite way to sweeten cold drinks.  Using a simple syrup is the perfect way to sweeten and enhance iced coffee and iced tea in the summer without ending up with a pile of undissolved sugar in the bottom of your glass.

I like to use vanilla bean pods that have been used to make our homemade vanilla extract for this recipe.  After the pods have been used to make two batches of extract, they can be used to flavor this syrup or pastry creams and custards with excellent results.  I remove the pods from the cooled mixture but leave the vanilla bean specks in the syrup.  If you prefer a clear syrup, simply strain through a fine mesh strainer or piece of cheesecloth before storing it in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean pod, split
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise using a sharp knife.  Using the dull edge of the knife, scrape along the length of the inside of the pod to remove the thousands of beans inside.  Transfer the beans and pods to a small pot with the sugar and water.  Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir to combine.

Place the pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.  Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer if you would like it to be clear and free of vanilla beans specks.  The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I like to store mine in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator.


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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/07/vanilla-bean-simple-syrup/

The Summer Solstice Cocktail

When I am trying to develop a new recipe, I happily take inspiration wherever I can find it.  In the case of this cocktail, I happened to find it in three places.  Lucky for you, I’ve combined them into one delicious, refreshing cocktail recipe just in time for your Fourth of July celebration.http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3719/9065963801_04570a669f_z.jpg

The first inspiration was the arrival of summer last Friday.  Since then, we’ve seen temperatures well into the 90s with oppressive humidity.  Apparently, Mother Nature wants to drive the point home:  summer is here!

A recent trip to a local favorite, GiGi’s York Beach, provided additional inspiration.  On my last visit, I was treated to a delicious cocktail they call the “Shiso Good”. Good was an understatement.  The combination of vodka, house made shiso syrup, and fresh lemon was divine.  If you’re looking for a little inspiration, you can see more of the amazing food and drink from GiGi’s in our Local Food Photo Gallery

Not to be forgotten is a book that I am currently reading.  Bitters:  A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All is a fascinating read for someone like me who can’t seem to get enough of the stranger than fiction history of the food on our dinner plates and drinks in our cocktail glasses.  I’m not alone in liking this book.  It was selected as a James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner and also won The IACP Cookbook Award.

So, picture me at the end of a hot and humid day, exhausted from the farm’s daily chores.  I was craving a refreshing, cold drink and thought of the crisp Shiso Good and the fresh ginger-lime simple syrup that I had made from a recipe in Bitters.  The possibilities seemed like a winner to me.

My husband is the resident mixologist here at 1840 Farm.  I get wild ideas about combinations and concoctions which he politely listens to and then goes about the creative business of transforming inspiration into a perfectly balanced libation.  Occasionally, he needs a second attempt to perfect one of our house made cocktails, but he mastered this one on the first try.

One sip and I knew that this would be my summer drink of choice.  Mr. 1840 Farm agreed.  This recipe was perfect and ready to share with the world.

I hope that you will enjoy what we aptly named The Summer Solstice all summer long.  If you’re find yourself still searching for your summer drink of choice, don’t despair.  We’ve got a few more recipes in development.  Yes, it will be a struggle to taste test them before sharing the recipes with you here, but I’ll soldier on.  It’s amazing the things that I’ll do in the name of researchl!

Ginger-Lime Syrup
adapted from Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 ounces ginger root, peeled and sliced into coins
zest from 1/2 a lime

Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir to combine.  Place pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely.  Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids.  The strained syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I like to store mine in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator.

Summer Solstice Cocktail
makes one generous serving (and one happy farmer)

We have made a non-alcoholic version of this drink for the farm kids who both gave it a thumbs up.  Simply substitute lemonade or carbonated water for the vodka depending on your preference.

2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 1/2 ounce ginger-lime syrup
4 ounces lemonade

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice.  Shake until well mixed.  Strain into a glass with fresh ice and serve.  At 1840 Farm, we like to serve the Summer Solstice in a wide mouth mason jar.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/the-summer-solstice-cocktail/