Category Archives: Cocktails

Windsor Earl Grey – Sage Vodka!

I stopped by my local wine and spirits store today and was introduced to a new vodka that is perfect for fall.  So of course I needed to buy a bottle and attempt some cocktails.  The vodka is from EG Spirits and is called Windsor.  It is vodka flavored with Earl Grey tea and Sage.  Here is a link to the website:  http://www.egspirits.com/spirits/windsor-2/

When I first smelled this vodka, I was hit with a strong sage smell, but as soon as I tasted it, the Earl Grey tea flavors came through.  I personally like Earl Grey tea as it is flavored with Bergamot Orange.  The combination of these two aromas is wonderful.

I decided to try a simple cocktail first, with just the Windsor vodka and a splash of Orange Bitters.  Thinking that the Orange Bitters would accent the Earl Grey flavors of the vodka.  I put 1.5oz of vodka in a cocktail shaker, added about 4 good dashes of orange bitter, added ice and shook it.  After pouring it into a martini glass I tried it.  Yumm, it tasted very good.

Next I wanted to make a more fall-like concoction, so I repeated the recipe above, but added a small amount of pure maple syrup.  It seems like it was about 1/4 of a teaspoon.  Then shook it up with some ice.  The maple syrup made the drink much smoother, and gave it just a hint of maple flavor.

Now for dinner we happened to be having some fall squash, and this cocktail went really well with the squash, surprisingly well.

For fun I also tried making a simple vodka tonic using the Windsor Earl Grey and Sage vodka.  I also was delicious.  The flavors in this vodka are very good, but fairly subtle, so adding it into something like a vodka tonic will let it shine, but if you add it to a bloody mary, it will probably be lost.

If you can find the EG Windsor Earl Grey and Sage vodka, I highly recommend it.  If you come up with fun recipes using it, share them in a comment.  Cheers!

Tim

 

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Velvet Falernum

There is a local wine store here in Maryland that has been holding spirits tastings over the past few months, letting people try different vodkas, gins, rums, etc.  In a recent tasting I was introduced to a new liqueur called Velvet Falernum – a rum based liqueur from Barbados.  It is sweet but has a unique spice flavor to it, apparently from cloves and other herbs.  It is a unique and very good taste that I really like.

I have developed a winter-time taste for rum based Manhattans using a dark rum, a good sweet vermouth (such as Dolin) and old fashioned bitters.  So I decided to try my favorite Manhattan with Velvet Falernum to see what would happen.  Ummmm!  It was a great change of pace.

The Velvet Falernum was sweeter than the vermouth I usually use, so I had to dial back the amount.  And since the Velvet Falernum had some spice flavors, I also cut back on the amount of bitters used.  Here is the recipe I used:

  • 1.5 ounces of dark rum (I used Blackwell Jamaican Black Gold Special Reserve)
  • 1 to .75 ounces of Velvet Falernum liqueur (use 1 oz if you like sweet drinks, if you like less, go with the .75)
  • 7 dashes old fashioned bitters (I used The Bitter Truth Old Fashioned Bitters, my favorite)
  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake
  • Pour into a martini glass and enjoy!

I have been trying to come up with other uses for the Velvet Falernum and found several on the Internet that look promising.  I think it would also be a good addition to a Mojito, used in place of the sugar syrup.  I plan to try that as soon as the fresh mint is available.

Tim