I got a little feedback on my last post that there was still a step between it and a drink directly from a bartender, in terms of difficulty. Lucky for you, I know some awesome brands that help simplify some of my advice down even further. In support of us being at home a bit more than planned, I thought I would share a few products and brands that I like. I hope you find a business or two that you can support. They all offer online stores so you can order from your living rooms. Now, it’s time to enjoy some even easier cocktails at home. Cheers!
I had the pleasure of visiting Straightaway Cocktails last week when I was in Portland, Oregon. I had come across their pre-bottled cocktails via Instagram–I was super drawn to their graphic design. They invited me in for a tasting (making this portion of the post sponsored) and I had to go check it out. As a bit of a cocktail connoisseur, I haven’t had many pre-made beverages that I like, and certainly none that fooled me into thinking that someone had just made me a cocktail.
So, as you can see, this was no ordinary tasting. (And when it’s fine to venture out again, you definitely need to seek out a tasting in person.) I tried five of their six bottled creations (everything but the Martini). They said that they’d spent seven years in research & development, and they’ve been in business for 15 months. I was highly impressed. The presentation and branding are super clever and the pairing of each drink with a snack is perfect. My two favorites were the Negroni and the Oregon Old Fashioned. Oh, I also really liked the Paper Plane. I was SO impressed with the quality and taste. In my previous experience with bottled/canned cocktails, they are always too sweet and have no distinct flavor profile. These were very passable as a drink you would find in one of Portland’s amazing cocktail bars. (And I am not just saying that!) You can order yours here.
If there’s one thing I love as much as cocktails, it’s entrepreneurs. I had so much fun visiting Craig and Lindsay and learning about Crude Bitters, that I decided to meet another cocktail business owner. Even more fun for me, they’re in my backyard in Kansas City! Cheryl Bisbee is a lawyer who loves cocktails. She was frustrated with the fuss and cost people had to go through to make their own cocktails at home and figured there had to be a better way. Boozy Botanicals is a line of the most delicious simple syrups made from all-natural ingredients. In addition to helping you make a simple, and nearly perfect-every-time cocktails, the syrups are great for other things. When I chatted with Cheryl, she shared that she enjoys using the syrups in mocktails, Italian sodas, baking, salad dressings, and more. She mentioned adding the Vanilla Allspice to baked sweet potatoes. Yum!
The best thing about Boozy Botanical syrups is that you don’t have to overthink your drink. The suggested recipe for a cocktail is just one part Boozy, two parts booze, served over ice with club soda and a dash or two of bitters (if you want to get fancy). You can mix and match your favorite spirit and syrup. Add in some fresh squeezed fruit juice. Swap out the club soda for tonic water, if you like your drink sweeter. Make it a mocktail by skipping the booze. It’s up to you! Check out all the flavors and order online here.
I initially fell in love with Bittercube before even trying their bitters. Their Instagram feed is super creative and beautiful. Give it a scroll! In addition to having a great eye for design, their team is also very gifted in making delicious bitters. From Root Beer to Cherry Bark Vanilla, you will definitely find flavors of bitters not made by anyone else. If you are new to bitters, you can check out my post about them. They are a fantastic flavor enhancer for both cocktails and general cooking and baking.
For an example of their unique flavor profile, the Jamaican No. 2 bitters feature grapefruit and hibiscus overtones and underlying spice notes of allspice, ginger, black pepper, and vanilla. They suggest using it in your Daiquiri, Margarita, Tiki, Punch, Mojito, or Highball. Their website also has great recipes you can try out as well. You can see all the flavors and purchase their bitters here.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit, you might recognize Vena’s Fizz House from my blog post about the Best Bars in Portland, Maine. In addition to their amazing bar, they also have an awesome cocktail supply store that features some of their in-house creations. From bitters to infusion jars to bitters-infused sugar cubes, they have you covered. They also feature the local flavors of my childhood like blueberry and pine, so I am a HUGE fan. You can see more of what they have for sale online.
I hope some of these help make your home bar efforts even easier. It seems safe to say that a little treat is what we could all use right about now. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!