Last night Boston Bloggers hosted an event at Saloon, a cozy speakeasy-style bar, located in Davis Square.  The folks at Saloon invited us in for a Whiskey 101 tasting, and it was such a fun (educational!) experience. Our expert for the evening, Manny, was so knowledgeable, and it was a treat to hear him tell stories about each of the distilleries and histories of the brands. I learned a ton, including the different types of whiskey (we tasted four kinds: Bourbon, Rye, Irish Whiskey, and Scotch), fun facts about some of the regional differences (did you know that Irish Whiskey is spelled with an “e” and Scottish Whisky is spelled without one? Americans spell it both ways, because we do what we want).  I know I’ll be a little more adventurous, and knowledgeable, next time I’m picking a whiskey cocktail off the menu!

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I have the delicious drink recipes from our Ladies Whiskey Party to share with you today! One of my favorite details from this day  was the incorporation of the recipes into the event — I wrote the ingredients out on brown paper bags and tied them on whiskey bottles to match each drink so it was easy to identify each one. And because the idea of the party was all about sharing these whiskey drinks and making whiskey drinking a bit more approachable, we gave everyone a stack of recipe cards with the ingredients and instructions written out on them so they can recreate them at home. Now, onto those recipes!

aUrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_003aClassic Whiskey Smash

  •  Half a lemon, cut into wedges
  • 6 mint leaves
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon

In a shaker, muddle lemon wedges with mint leaves and simple syrup. Add ice and bourbon, shake vigorously. Strain over crushed ice and garnish with a tall mint leaf.

UrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_093aUrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_074The Ladies Manhattan

  •  2 oz Michter’s Rye
  • .75 oz Dolin sweet vermouth
  • .25 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
  • Cherry garnish

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, cherry garnish.

aUrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_097 UrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_087The Bee Keeper Punch

  •  1.5 bottles Overholt Rye
  • 16-18 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 25 dashes bitters
  • 2 cups honey spice simple syrup (go slowly to taste)
  • 1 bottle inexpensive Prosecco

Combine first four ingredients and chill for several hours. Before serving add Prosecco. Serve over rocks with a twist of lemon.  (To make simple syrup: 16 oz clover honey, 16 oz water, 1/4 cup mulling spices. Bring all ingredients to boil, turn off heat. Steep for 15-30 minutes. Strain the ingredients and cool the syrup.)

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Cocktail Recipes, Ingredients, and Event Space: The Urban Grape, Photography: Brian Samuels, Vintage Glassware: Farm & Fable

If you head on over to Style Me Pretty Living today you’ll see some pictures from a Crafts and Cocktails party my girlfriends and I threw to kick off the holiday season earlier this month. But before I share a few of my favorite pictures from the day, I thought I’d focus on the signature cocktail I whipped up for the event, priorities, right? I called it the Cran-Bourbon Fizz — just a little sweet and a little strong, a perfect combination if you ask me. And the cranberry and anise garnishes look so darn festive, don’t they? Full recipe below!
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Cran-Bourbon Fizz

2 oz Bourbon
.75 oz Grenadine
Seltzer water
Cranberries
Star Anise
Ice

Mix bourbon and grenadine over ice and stir to combine.
Top the glass with seltzer water to taste.
Garnish with cranberries and star anise.

All images by Bring To Light Photography, floral design by Little Flower Cottage

I’m still so excited over our apple-picking porch party that was featured on SMP Living last week. And it’s not a party without a signature cocktail — our autumn apple punch was a perfect pairing for our tasty treats. We mixed up Bulleit Rye, apple cider, and cardamom clove simple syrup with a squeeze of lemon juice and served them in mason jar mugs with an apple garnish. I’m not going to lie, we had quite a few of these that weekend, and they were so darn delicious—I had to share the full recipe with you below!
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Ingredients:

  • Apple cider
  • Bourbon or Rye
  • Royal Rose’s cardamom clove simple syrup
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Apple for garnishing
  1. Combine 3/4 cup of apple cider, 1/3 cup of bourbon or rye and 1 tsp of cardamom clove simple syrup over ice.
  2. Squeeze a slice of fresh lemon juice into the mixture and divide into glasses.
  3. Garnish with a fresh apple slice.

All images by Bring To Light Photography

Blueberry mint simple syrup is super easy to make, I whipped up a batch this weekend to top off prosecco for a sweet, seasonal cocktail. To make the syrup, combine one cup of sugar, half a cup of water, a handful of fresh mint leaves, a few pieces of lemon rind, and two cups of blueberries in a saucepan. Bring all of the ingredients to a boil, and let them cook down for about 10 minutes. Next, strain the berries, leaves and rind and leave the liquid in a bowl to cool down. I was impatiently awaiting a cocktail, so I cooled mine in the freezer for a short time. After cooling, strain the syrup one more time. To make the cocktails, pour a glass of champagne or prosecco three-quarters of the way full, and then add the simple syrup to taste–  I like mine a bit sweeter, so I added about one full tablespoon to my drink. Then garnish with lemon, mint, and fresh blueberries — and cheers! I’m thinking ways to use the leftover blueberry mint simple syrup — perhaps on a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream?

Cocktail_Styled006Cocktail_Styled005bCocktail_Styled005Cocktail_Styled007 Cocktail_Styled008 Cocktail_Styled029 Cocktail_Styled031All Images by Bring to Light Photography

It has been unbearably hot in Boston for the past week, and when prepping for a bridal shower this weekend, I was worried about keeping our big drink dispensers of cocktails cool. There is nothing worse than a warm drink, except for perhaps, a watered down drink. So in an effort to keep things cool and strong, I chopped up lemons and berries and filled up ice cube trays with just a splash of water to hold them together. The result was bright, colorful frozen fruit cubes that I added into the mixed drinks — chilly and pretty, a win win! berry ice cubes DSC_0041