For those of you who are of the independent nature, then your natural spirits and liqueurs of choice would be those that are made by independent producers. Last month, Touch in NYC hosted the Indy Spirits Expo. I had the pleasure of working for Square One Organic Vodka this day, and you can’t get more boutique and indy than Square One. Made from organic rye harvested from the fields of Idaho, this brand is headquartered just outside of San Francisco, and their brand ambassador, H. Joseph Ehrman (of Elixir SF), is one of America’s best barmen.
I had free reign over one of the bars at Touch. I took full advantage and mixed up some great drinks (if I do say so meself.) I’ve included the recipes below. Please make sure you check out the Square One website: www.squareonevodka.com. You can buy it at Astor Wines and Spirits in NYC.
Square One Botanical Basil Gimlet
(Square One Botanical is the brand’s newest bottling. It includes nearly a dozen different botanicals, many of which are in today’s new age gins. It’s not a flavored vodka, and it’s not a gin. It’s a unique spirit that is barrels of fun when blending cocktails.)
1 1/2 oz. Square One Botanical
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. agave syrup (equal parts agave nectar and water)
3 large basil leaves
Directions: Press the basil leaves in between palms of your hands, then place into mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients with ice and shake well. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish: floating basil leaf
The Vanderbilt Avenue Martini
(this cocktail was created by me and is served at The Campbell Apartment Terrace in NYC)
1 oz. Square One Organic Cucumber Vodka
1/2 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
3/4 oz. pineapple juice
2 sage leaves
Directions: Slap 1 of the sage leaves in the palms of your hands and place into mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients (except for last sage leaf) with ice and shake well. Strain into chilled cocktail glass with *vanilla-infused cane sugar rim.
Garnish: 1 floating sage leaf
*to make vanilla-infused cane sugar: place 1 vanilla bean, sliced open, inside 1 mason jar full of sugar in the raw. Allow to infuse for 24 hrs or until desired flavor.
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