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Porch Swing

1.5 oz Vodka (Boyd & Blair)
.75 oz June Liqueur
.75 oz Bergamot orange juice (or use lemon)
Dash Cherry and Vanilla Bark Bitters (Bittercube)
Lemon zest

Shake over ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

This cocktail is named for it's easy going, delicate, and refreshing nature. We will be sipping many more of these come summertime, though bergamot oranges may be hard to come by so we wanted to take advantage of their unique tartness now. We opted for a regular lemon zest in place of the bergamot zest, as it can often be overpowering, and let the Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla serve as the aroma enhancer. This was our first time mixing with both June and Boyd and Blair Potato Vodka and were impressed with both products. The June liqueur is a delicate blend of botanicals similar to that of Dolin Blanc, but sweeter with a more sugary, cotton-candy flavor. Boyd and Blair Potato vodka is simply one of the best we've tasted. I would not consider myself a vodka fan and rarely find myself getting excited about vodka, but this elicited a true "wow" reaction. We look forward to many more cocktails with both products. 

Coat of Armor- @bluecoatgin, Pelinkovac, lemon juice, Cherry Heering, egg white, @bittercube bitters, lemon zest

Coat of Armor:

1.5 oz gin (Bluecoat)
.75 oz. Pelinkovac
.75 oz. Lemon juice
.5 oz. and a dash Cherry Heering
1 egg white
Lemon zest
Cherry bark vanilla bitters (Bittercube)

Shake all ingredients without ice to get fluffy egg-white foam. Shake all ingredients with ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with bitters and lemon zest.

While working with Pelinkovac in previous cocktails, we thought it would make a good flavor pairing with cherry, hence the inspiration for this drink. The juniper heavy, American-made Bluecoat Gin seemed a worthy candidate to stand aside the bold bitter. Usually the farther from London you are, the less pronounced the juniper, but this Philadelphia company doesn't tame things down for the American palate, though this isn't to say that it's harsh (especially considering it's 94 proof) or single note, as there are rich citrus and herbal tones, gentian and citrus zest are most predominant with hints of cardamom and other botanicals

In our first attempt, we omitted the egg white, but the Pelinkovac was a bit astringent and dry on the finish, probably aided a bit by the high proof gin. The egg white proved to soften and round out the flavors for what we considered a more successful cocktail. There was a citrus cherry sweetness on the nose, juniper forward sip, a tart citrus and herbal wormwood/angelica/gentian bitterness on the swallow, with the extra dash of Cherry Heering keeping the bitterness from overpowering the drink. Bitter drink-lovers may choose to keep the Cherry Heering at a 1/2 oz. The citrus makes this cocktail lighter than other bitter (but delicious) drinks like the Negroni, making the Coat of Armor a good intro to Pelinkovac.

 

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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