Obedient Ingredients

A place to put cooking ideas to the test.


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Cocktail Youtube Channel: Distinguished Spirits

I want to promote a Youtube channel that I’ve been following for a while: Distinguished Spirits.

I think these are the best shot cocktail recipe videos on Youtube.

Here is an example of a drink I love (of course it uses mezcal):

Youtube Channel

Distinguished Spirits Twitter

 


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Pickle Brine in Cocktails? Taste Test #1

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This is what I imagine cocktail creation looks like.

Especially when it comes to a new, unique ingredient that seems hard to incorporate.

Pickle brine.

Yup. And now it’s being canned for the general public to drink.

To many this may seem odd and quaint. Even if you love pickles you may raise an eyebrow at brine marketed as a beverage. As for me, I already know the power of drinking vinegar in the form of shrubs (sugar + fruit + vinegar) by itself or in a cocktail, so drinking brine by itself does not seem far off.

It helps to have a friend who is in the canning business, because when this local pickle company approached my friend to can their brine, I got excited because that means I get to try it before it’s on the market.

For the first time ever, I feel hip as s***!

But can this tasty, savory and salty drink find its way into a cocktail recipe? That’s what I’m really curious about today.

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Organizing potential cocktails for a (Harry Potter Christmas) Party

What do I serve at my upcoming (second annual) Harry Potter Christmas Party?!

Here is my Google excel sheet to organize my ideas!

Harry Potter cocktails

There are so many good ideas, but I NEED to narrow some drinks down. This is how I organize all of my thoughts together. The ones in yellow I have already decided I will make.

I already know I’ll be making Butterbeer, with a new and improved recipe which I will share soon.

My roommates have vodka they want to be used, so I’ve been researching how to use this liquor for the first time, since I never use it. I’m currently infusing pear, ginger, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a mason jar now. I also added some syrup I made using Pumpking beer and Amaretto, shook that on ice with vodka and lemon juice, and it was great!

Things to consider for providing cocktails at a party:

  • What booze do I already have on hand?
  • What ingredients do I already have on hand?
  • Can something be made into a punch? If it’ not a punch, then that means I will need to bar-tend (which I already need to do for the Butterbeer, since that is heated and should be drunk after I serve it).
  • If I buy a special ingredient for one drink (for example, Champagne) can I use it for a second drink, or a third drink? In other words, how can I be economical with what I am buying?
  • Will the drinks be diverse? I can’t have four whisky-based drinks that are all super sweet and have similar flavors (cinnamon, wintery spices, etc).
  • Will the drinks be unique enough to leave an impression, off-kilter a bit so they fit with the “magical” theme of Harry Potter, yet universally liked/tested so people will enjoy them?


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Homemade Bitters

This summer’s project is homemade bitters.

The best way I’ve seen bitters described goes something like this: You can have all of these great ingredients and amazing flavor combinations in a cocktail, but the addition of bitters makes you come back for me.

I’m not sure where I read that, but I enjoy the sentiment and agree; bitters in a cocktail add a depth to the drinking experience that is enticing.

I made four bitters:

  • House bitters
  • Coffee-Pecan
  • Charred Cedar
  • Apple

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Everything is taken from this great book by Brad Thomas Parsons called Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All with Cocktails, Recipes and Formulas. Check it out.

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The Bowery Fix Cocktail (Tequila and Yellow Bell Pepper) – My #1 Favorite Cocktail

This is the drink that got me interested in craft cocktails.

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When I visited a good friend of mine in New York City 5 years ago, he said “Here’s a bar I know you’d like.” He said that because he and I appreciated good food and cooking (he was a teacher for most of his life, but he is now a pastry chef at a really reputable NYC restaurant). He was right.

He took me to Saxon + Parole on Bowery St. in the Lower East Side of New York City. It was late afternoon and the place was mostly empty. We walked through an empty yet elegant dining room to the bar, with a marble bar, bartenders in striped aprons, and an array of herbs, fruits, vegetables and other colorful whole foods adorning the bar. Behind the bar tenders was a huge block of clear ice that they used a chisel and pick to create the ice cubes. This type of bar is not for everyone, and some may use words like pretentious or hipster, but I loved it. Every molecule in this bar screamed “we care about the drinks we make and serve.”

At $13-$15 a cocktail, I experienced very well-balanced creatively constructed drinks that were a delight. However, one stood out, and really opened my eyes to the world of hard alcohol. That drink is called The Bowery Fix.

Almost five years later, I decided to dive into the hobby of craft cocktail making. Mixologist. Home bartender. It helped that the recipe for my favorite drink I had at Saxon + Parole finally made its way online. When I decided to make the Bowery Fix at home, I purchased bottles of liquid I couldn’t pronounce and have never heard of.

I made it, and it was amazing.

Here is how to make the Bowery Fix, my absolute favorite cocktail.

All credit goes to Naren Young.

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Creative Cocktail Challenge: Apples

First experiment in a long time! Happy almost-autumn, my favorite time of year.

I’ve been very busy getting curious and excited about cocktail making recently. This post will be the first of many, I hope, to showcase some of the things I’ve learned.

I’m participating in a group that comes together to test their skills in mixology by focusing on a certain theme. This challenge’s theme is apples. That means incorporating apples in any part of your drink.

In my excitement to dive into cocktail testing, I may have gone overboard. The following showcases my notes of exploration and eventually a drink I came up with that uses apples!

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Pictures from San Francisco Trip

I took 6 days to visit SF, a city I’ve never been to before. While I was happy to see some good friends (and make new ones), the primary purpose of the trip was for food and drink.

Here are some photos. Below is a list (with links) to every place I stopped at.

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More after the break.

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