Salvatore's Gift- Bourbon, Averna, citrus juices, @Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters, vanilla bean soda

Salvatore's Gift

1.5 oz. Bourbon (Michter's US *1 Small Batch)
1 oz. Averna
1/3 oz. Blood orange juice
1/3 oz. lemon juice
2 dash cherry bark vanilla bitters (Bittercube)
1/4 inch vanilla bean
Top with vanilla bean soda (opt.) (Dry Soda)
lemon oils

Shake all ingredients except soda (if using) over ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Top with soda. Express lemon oils with zest over cocktail. Discard zest.

This cocktail was created with vanilla as the star ingredient. Bourbon and Averna have a natural affinity and herbaceous richness, and Michter's US*1 Small Batch Bourbon is a top choice and excellent candidate for this drink. Blood orange juice was used for color and flavor, but any orange juice can be substituted. We had to play with the ratios a bit, the first version was made without lemon juice, but the following attempt included lemon juice which helped to brighten the flavors and pull out cherry and cocoa notes and a lively tartness not quite achieved with the blood orange juice alone.

Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters further complement the Averna, and add floral, fruit, and spice complexity as well as further evoking the chocolate notes in the Averna with its own hint of cocoa . For a lighter cocktail, try topping it off with Dry Sodas Vanilla Bean one example from Dry Soda's portfolio that showcase how natural ingredients, lightly sweetend with pure sugar, and champagne-style small-bubble carbonation can yield fantastic and exciting results with endless pairing options.
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The Lantern- 1.25 oz vodka, 1 oz @DomainedeCanton, .75 oz satsuma and .5 oz lime juice, dash @Bittercube Jamaican #1, absinthe rinse

The Lantern:

1.25 oz vodka (Organic Nation)
1 oz. ginger liqueur (Domaine de Canton)
.75 oz Satsuma juice
.5 oz lime juice
Absinthe rinse (Pernod)
Dash Jamaican #1 Bittercube bitters

Shake over ice. Pour into chilled cocktail glass after first rinsing chilled glass with absinthe.

We haven't created many vodka cocktails on the blog, but intend to change that going forth. Part of this inspiration came from the recent attendance and the high quality cocktails of the Belvedere Unfiltered release at Teardrop Lounge covered in depth at DrinkSpirits.com, and part came from the shift taking place within the vodka realm where flavor (not artificially added) is now a desired attribute (Belvedere included) after years of clean, though most often flavorless premium vodka brands. We aim to highlight more of these craft vodkas in upcoming posts.

Organic Nation is a family run small craft distillery located in Ashland Oregon that is a great example of a company creating a delicate, yet flavorful vodka, and take things one step further by ensuring that every ingredient that goes into the spirit is certified organic by the Oregon Tilth, an organization with some of the strictest standards for organic certification. The vodka is a blend of rye (65%), wheat , and corn (% not listed), and evokes notes of cocoa, hay, and grain. It is great on its own, as well as a joy to mix with.

The cocktail is a fantastic amalgamation of flavors. Satsumas are a fun citrus fruit to work with, though sweet, and therefore trade high amounts of citric acid for sugars. The lime is included to make up for the lacking acid, and creates a nice blend of citrus flavors. Ginger plays very nicely with citrus of all kinds, and we have found it makes a particurly good partner with Satsumas. The bitters add a bounty of spice notes, with the flavor profile for Bittercube Jamaican #1 listed as Jamaican spice overtones, ginger, and black pepper. The bitters help transcend the cocktail from good to great, a difficult chasm to cross. The absinthe rinse also adds it own herbal richness on the nose, and lingers faintly on the swallow.