Cinco de Mayo Shrubarita May 04 2015
Cinco de Mayo Shrubarita
Margaritas are delicious, no question. But drinking them for Cinco de Mayo every year can get monotonous. Why not mix it up this year with a more creative tequila-based drink: the Cinco de Mayo shrub?
Shrubs are lightly sweetened, fruit-infused vinegars that can be used as an alternative sour element in cocktails. They first came into vogue when the price of limes shot up suddenly, sending mixologists searching for an alternative. You can easily make your own shrubs at home (see the recipe below) or order a premade shrub from a company like Shrub & Co.
Usually, shrubs get mixed with gin to make a light, punchlike drink perfect for summer sipping. Our version adds tequila for a little south-of-the-border kick, creating a sweet, fruit-tinged alternative to the margarita for your Cinco de Mayo celebration.
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup raspberries
¾ to 1 cup apple cider vinegar
There are multiple ways to mix up a batch of drinking vinegar, but this is the easiest. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan with raspberries and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring regularly, until the raspberries disintegrate. Then pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-safe container to strain out the raspberries. Then mix in apple cider vinegar to taste.
(Note: usually, shrubs are a roughly 1:1 ratio of vinegar to sugar. But for the recipe below, you’re going to want something on the tarter side—after all, it is replacing lime juice. Feel free to go crazy with the amount of vinegar you add to this recipe.)
Large compartment: Hornitos Silver Tequila
Medium compartment: raspberry shrub
Small compartment: Cointreau
Pour the contents of the Rejigger into a pint glass filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a coupe or margarita glass. Enjoy!
The Almost Perfect Manhattan May 01 2015
The Almost Perfect Manhattan
Mixing a Classic Manhattan is simple—almost too simple. A 2:1 ratio of rye whiskey to sweet vermouth; a dash of bitters; a cocktail cherry. And that’s it. Pretty easy for one of the most popular classic cocktails in the world.
A simple twist to the Classic Manhattan is the Perfect Manhattan which uses equal parts sweet vermouth and dry vermouth to dial back the sweetness, while maintaining the 2:1 whisky to vermouth ratio.
But here at ReJigger HQ, we have our own spin on the Perfect Manhattan. Last week, we talked about why bartenders are getting excited about mixing drinks with vermouth—the aromatised, fortified wine that goes into both manhattans and martinis.
The Almost Perfect Manhattan hops on this trend by adding a second dose of dry vermouth to the usual sweet. The result? A smoother take on the classic drink that will still make you feel like Don Draper when you drink it. We call it the Almost Perfect Manhattan, although depending who you ask, it might also be called the More Perfect Manhattan.
Large compartment - rye whiskey
Medium compartment - sweet vermouth
Small compartment - dry vermouth
Two dashes of Angostura bitters (optional)
Cocktail cherry for garnish (optional)
Ingredient Spotlight: Vermouth April 17 2015
Historically, vermouth hasn’t gotten much love from Anglo-American drinkers. (Famed martini-lover Alfred Hitchcock once said that the closest he wanted to get to a bottle of vermouth was looking at it across the room.) However, recent years have brought about a renaissance for the fortified, aromatized wine. Usually less than 20% alcohol by volume, vermouth is a great way to make low-booze cocktails with a spirit-forward taste.
It’s also a good way to update a beloved classic drink. Aficionados rave about the inverted manhattan, whose 1:2 ratio of whiskey to vermouth reverses the standard manhattan recipe. Vermouth-centric versions of the martini and the negroni also exist.
Keep in mind the three facts below, and you’ll be ready to have your own fun with this classic cocktail ingredient!
- There are multiple types of vermouth (but at least two you should know.)
Vermouth originated in the alpine foothills of what is now northern Italy and the Savoy region of southern France. This national divide created two main types of vermouth: a reddish sweet vermouth made in Italy and a lighter dry vermouth manufactured mostly in France. The sweet version is what you’ll find in drinks like the negroni and manhattan, while dry vermouth is most often found in a martini.
Those are the only two varieties necessary for a basic bar. If your palate tires of these traditional categories, however there are still many more to try. The more adventurous can mix a manhattan with bitter Punt e Mes or try a martini with bright Dolin Blanc “white vermouth.” The possibilities are endless!
- You should store vermouth in the fridge.
One common misconception about vermouth is that it belongs in the liquor cabinet. Though its relatively high alcohol content means that it won’t spoil as quickly as cabernet, fortified wine is still wine. It needs to be kept in the fridge after opening, or it’ll go bad within a couple of weeks.
- Vermouth isn’t just for cocktails.
The Boulevardier April 10 2015
It’s a time-tested method of inventing a new cocktail: take a recipe you already love, and then swap out one or two ingredients. (We at Rejigger HQ are so fond of this method, we wrote an entire blog post about it.) Swap lemon juice for raspberry shrub or dry vermouth for an amaro, and you might end up with an original, never-before-seen cocktail.
Or you might end up with a classic cocktail that you didn’t know existed.
Many cocktail aficionados—even bartenders—aren’t familiar with the boulevardier. That’s the classic cocktail you get when you add whiskey to a negroni instead of gin. The boulevardier still has the bitterness of Campari and the smoothness of sweet vermouth. But instead of gin’s herbal notes, it gets whiskey’s dark complexity. That’s one experiment good enough to deserve its own unique name.
Many consider the boulevardier a winter cocktail, the kind you nurse by a roaring fire in a mahogany-paneled library. But we say that the grapefruit-y flavor of Campari still makes it suitable for summer garden parties and the like. After all—a truly good cocktail has no season.
Small compartment: sweet vermouth
Medium compartment: Campari
Large compartment: Bourbon or rye whiskey
Note: If you want to dial down the Campari, you can put it in the small compartment and have the sweet vermouth in the medium compartment.
Pour the contents of the Rejigger into a pint glass. Shake, then pour into a rocks glass over ice. Enjoy!
Happy St. Patrick's Day! March 17 2015
Ireland isn’t famous for its cocktails—but that doesn’t mean that your St. Patrick’s Day celebration has to be limited to green beer and straight whiskey. Here are two Rejigger cocktail recipes to help you celebrate the joys of the Emerald Isle, whether you’re spending the holiday searching for four-leaf clovers at home or cheering a parade through the streets.
If Don Draper were a leprechaun, this would be his go-to drink. Sophisticated and spirit-forward, this manhattan-like cocktail gets a tinge of greenish color from chartreuse—a sweet herbal liqueur crafted by French monks. A dash of Jameson Irish Whiskey ensures the drink keeps an Irish pedigree.
Small compartment - Green chartreuse
Medium compartment - Dry vermouth
Large compartment - Jameson Irish Whiskey
Pour the contents of the Rejigger into a pint glass, along with ice. Shake well, then strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy!
Boozy Shamrock Shake
When we at Rejigger HQ were kids, St. Patrick’s Day was all about one sweet treat: the McDonalds Shamrock Shake. Even today, its minty taste and bright-green color bring back sweet fast-food memories. This year, we decided to give the childhood favorite a grown-up update—by mixing it with a Rejigger full of booze. Besides the obligatory shot of Jameson, there’s also Bailey’s Irish Cream and crème de menthe to enhance the drink’s creamy, minty taste. Slainté!
(If you’re unable to procure a Shamrock Shake, then a vanilla milkshake should work just as well. The crème de menthe will still turn the drink a pale, St. Patrick’s-y green.)
Small compartment - Crème de menthe
Medium compartment - Bailey’s Irish Cream
Large compartment - Jameson Irish Whiskey
Small (12 oz.) McDonalds Shamrock Shake
Skim the whipped cream and maraschino cherry off the top of the Shamrock Shake. Then pour the Shake and the contents of the Rejigger into a pint glass and stir with a spoon. Pour into two coupes or a single highball glass and enjoy!
Valentine's Day Cocktails February 12 2015
Happy Valentine’s Day!
There’s nothing like a carefully mixed craft cocktail to show a loved one you care. That’s why this Valentine’s Day, we at Rejigger HQ are sharing two new cocktail recipes designed to inspire romance. The first of our red-and-pink drinks is a little more traditional, and easy for a home cocktail newbie to master; the second gives a standard drink an adventurous, savory twist.
A glass of champagne is romantic on its own. But mix it into a light, fizzy cocktail, and you’ve got a love potion as potent as a hit from Cupid’s arrow. In this adapted Collins recipe, we swap out the usual soda water for a pour of bubbly; fresh raspberries turn the final cocktail candy-heart pink.
Large compartment: Gordon’s London Dry Gin
Medium compartment: lime juice
Small compartment: simple syrup
Champagne or prosecco to top off
Pour the contents of your Rejigger into a pint glass. Add the raspberries and muddle them thoroughly, until the drink turns a light pink. Add ice and shake, then strain through a fine mesh strainer into a Collins glass or champagne flute. Top off with champagne, prosecco, or another sparkling wine. You can also drop in a few raspberries for garnish!
*If you don’t want to deal with muddling fresh fruit, a spoonful of raspberry jam works here, too. Then, you can ditch the fine mesh strainer and use the Rejigger to strain as usual.
Chocolate-covered strawberries, candies in a heart-shaped box—the traditional Valentine’s Day foods are definitely tasty, but also so predictable. That’s why this February 14, we at Rejigger HQ challenge you to consider the romantic possibilities of a different edible: the humble beet.
Before you laugh out loud and close this tab on your web browser forever, hear us out for a second. Why not beets? They’re red, they’re heart-shaped—everything anyone could ask of a Valentine’s Day treat. And they add vibrant color to this margarita variation, which we’ve adapted from Saveur magazine. In our version, an infusion of fresh jalapeño pepper gives your romantic evening a little extra spice.
Large compartment: Sauza Gold Tequila
Medium compartment: lime juice
Small compartment: Cointreau
2 tbsp. pureed beets
A chopped jalapeño pepper for muddling
Pour the contents of your Rejigger into a pint glass. Add the chopped pepper and muddle thoroughly, then pour in the beets. Shake well and strain into a margarita or cocktail glass.
Happy Pisco Sour Day! February 01 2015
Unlike with last week’s cocktail—the piping-hot Irish coffee—It’s not immediately clear why this sunny yellow drink from South America would have its day in darkest February. But many of the pisco sour’s elements—from warming brandy to a blanket of egg-white froth—give it a lot in common with other midwinter drinks. It’s also a good drink for a fan of whiskey sours who wants to start experimenting with specialty alcohols.
Pisco itself is a brandy distilled from grape wine, common in both Peru and Chile. Both countries also claim the pisco sour as their country’s national drink. For the Rejigger version, we followed the traditional Peruvian recipe, which calls for slightly spicier Peruvian pisco as well as a sprinkling of bitters on top. A dose of lime juice adds a strong kick, so feel free to up the dosage of simple syrup in the final cocktail as needed.
Large compartment: Pisco Porton
Medium compartment: lime juice
Small compartment: simple syrup
One egg white
Angostura bitters (optional)
Pour the contents of your Rejigger into a pint glass, and add one egg white along with some ice. (Check out this YouTube video for tips on separating the egg white from the yolk.) Shake vigorously, until the egg white gets frothy, then strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Add one to three drops of bitters on top, if desired, then sip and enjoy.
Happy National Irish Coffee Day! January 25 2015
With its blend of warming whiskey and eye-opening caffeine, the Irish coffee may be the ideal drink for getting through a long winter night. So it makes sense that National Irish Coffee Day comes in the dead of winter—January 25, to be exact. And it also makes sense that the drink was invented to warm people up in cold weather.
That was back in November 1943, at an airport in Foynes, Ireland. When a flight to Nova Scotia was stranded there by a snowstorm, the chef at the airport’s restaurant took pity on the waiting passengers, and began adding a small tipple of whiskey to their coffees. When asked if coffee was Brazilian, he jokingly responded that no, it was “Irish coffee”—and a new cocktail was born. (You can read more about the history of Irish coffee at the website of the Foynes Flying Boat Museum.)
Today, we celebrate National Irish Coffee Day—and the unique warming qualities of Irish whiskey—with a brand-new Rejigger cocktail recipe. Traditional Irish coffee contains nothing but whiskey and brown sugar, with a dollop of cream on top. But for the Rejigger version, we decided to fancy things up, adding Kahlua instead of sugar and replacing regular cream with the Bailey’s Irish variety. The result is a rich and boozy drink that could sustain any traveler through a long, cold wait for a trans-Atlantic flight.
Small compartment - Bailey’s Irish Cream
Large compartment - Jameson Whiskey
Medium compartment - Kahlua
About 8 oz. strong black coffee
Brew up a full cup of coffee, and pour it into a pint glass (you’re going to have more drink than the average coffee cup will hold). Pour the contents of the Rejigger into the glass slowly, so the Bailey’s doesn’t curdle. Once everything is mixed, pour it out into your chosen container—which could be a Irish whiskey glass with a handle, a tulip glass with a short and sturdy stem, or your favorite coffee mug. Enjoy!
Holiday Gifts For Home Cocktail Revolutionaries December 12 2014
We all know that the best gift for the cocktail lover on your list is the ReJigger. But for those of you who bought ReJiggers to stuff last year’s stockings, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite bar accessories to help take your loved one’s home cocktail game to the next level.
These restaurant-grade glasses are graceful enough for a fancy holiday party, but they are also pretty much unbreakable (since they’re made of the same high grade resin as ReJigger), easy to stack in your cabinet, and dishwasher safe. As if that wasn’t enough to make us fall in love, they fit the ReJigger perfectly, for those nights you want to make a single serve cocktail directly in the glass.
There are lots of muddlers out there, but we love the shape of OXO’s easy-to-grab handle - and the nylon tip means you won’t accidentally scratch your glassware. Mojitos, here we come! Those mint leaves won’t stand a chance.
Tovolo’s silicone tray makes 15 perfectly square 1 ounce ice cubes. These good-looking cubes melt more slowly than the boring ice cubes from your current trays, giving you more time to get the perfect Instagram shot. We put 3 cubes into our pint glass when we’re mixing. Plus, the trays are stackable, durable, and come in a variety of fun colors.
Sure, you can sip a ReJigger cocktail out of any old glass, but nothing classes up a drink like a proper coupe! And if you’re on a budget this year, we’ve had great luck hunting down cool vintage coupes at our local thrift store.
A home bar full of craft spirits should also be full of craft bitters! Adding a flavored bitter is the perfect way to get out of a cocktail rut. We love Napa Valley Bitters Co.'s Tamarind Lime Chili Bitters in a ReJiggered Tom Collins or their Pecan Coffee Bitters in the ReJigger Manhattan. Flying home for the holidays? Cocktailpunk's sampler pack is small enough to fit into the ziploc bag of toiletries in your carry-on! Suddenly delays don’t seem so bad.
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