Beer + Candy!

Halloween is less than a week away, and as you are all putting the finishing touches on your costumes, here at the shop we’re brainstorming ways to make Halloween as fun for grown-ups as it is for kids.

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Buck Off That Boring Mule

The Moscow Mule, originating from the Buck, is a cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer and lime. It is a quintessential summer drink to quench your thirst on in these hot days. The Buck is a more generic recipe made up of a spirit, ginger beer/ginger ale, and citrus.  The original Moscow Mule was created by Cock ‘N’ Bull founder Jack Morgan to see how his ginger beer would mix with vodka.  It’s a great drink for anytime of the year, but can be very refreshing on a hot, humid day.  These are a few fun variations on the Cock n Bull Ginger Beer 4 Pack Bottlesoriginal.

The Classic Moscow Mule

A Moscow Mule is usually mixed in a copper mug and served with ice.  If the Cock n Bull is too sweet of a ginger beer for your taste, try spicing it up with Q ginger beer which has added cardamom, coriander, and chili pepper extract while only being sweetened with agave nectar.

The Manchester Mule

An interesting take hailing from England–typically one would use a London dry gin for this recipe, but the floral Letherbee or fresh Tattersall are two great replacements. The Pimm’s and cucumber add some bitterness and herbaceous tones to a typically citrus/spcice-centric drink. This helps to offset the bright piney flavor of the  gin and the spiciness of the ginger beer. Not to say that it doesn’t work in a more classic form: if that’s what you’re interested in, try subtracting the Pimm’s, add lime juice and Beefeater 24 gin for a slight grapefruit flavor, and replace the cucumber with a lime wedge.

Stubborn/Bourbon/Rye Buck

Who says Mules have to adhere to being clear spirit drinks? The Stubborn Buck is the classic recipe, but using Jameson or another Irish whiskey instead of vodka.  The Kentucky Buck is self-explanatory, but delicious nonetheless.  We would suggest using Buffalo Trace or Bulleit.  If you really love spiciness, you could use a rye whiskey instead.  In that case, the dry spice of Rittenhouse or sweeter styled Templeton are great ryes for mixing.  Angostura bitters always add a little extra depth to a whiskey cocktail.

There are endless variations of this drink and we fully support you going out and creating your own spin on this classic. Come on in with questions about our recipes and give us new ideas to try!

Ginning from Ear to Ear

Get fresh with a few of our favorite gins—from the tried-and-true to the fantastically funky. Check out 4 of our springtime picks, complete with suggestions for some killer cocktail recipes for each.  Let the weekend be Gin!

Letherbee Vernal 2017

Letherbee, a France 44 favorite hailing from Chicago, have graced us with a few cases of their brand-spanking-new Vernal Gin! Every spring and fall they make a different unique gin that they will never replicate. This year’s Vernal is highlighted by fistfuls of fresh lemongrass, crisp basil on the nose, and a spicy ginger that pops on the palate.

This rare gem is perfect with some Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water to highlight the fresh herbs, or in a martini with a lemon twist.

Caledonia’s “Bees Knees” cocktail

Barr Hill Gin

Caledonia Spirits out of Vermont are known for two things: Gin and Honey. They are originally an apiary—that’s right, bee farmers! As an ode to their bees, they make a very clean and simple gin infused solely with juniper, and then water it down to 90 proof with their own honey. The honey comes from clover and wildflower, and those nuanced flavors shine with the spicy juniper and sweet thick body the honey gives the spirit.

This gin is great with some crisp clean Q Tonic to cut some of the thickness or in a classic Bee’s Knees cocktail with lemon and honey.

Cannonball Navy Strength Gin

Looking for something with a little more punch? The brand new navy strength gin from Scotland, Cannonball, has you covered. Clocking in at the classic 114.4 proof that the British Navy used to carry on their ships, this brutish gin has twice the juniper of most gins with lemon peel to balance and an unusual ingredient in Szechuan pepper!

Big, bold, and spicy on the palate, this gin is best drunk with the full flavor of Fever Tree Indian Tonic or in a spicy negroni with Campari and Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth. You’ll have a blast with this one!

Norseman Gin Strawberry Rhubarb

Norseman Strawberry Rhubarb Gin

Northeast Minneapolis’s local staple Norseman is back at it again with their Strawberry Rhubarb Gin. This lighter style gin is made with Minneapolis grown rhubarb and is great for those in your life that think they don’t like gin and need a little nudge in the right direction. The slight sweetness from the strawberry gives it body while the juniper and rhubarb play together with interesting complexity. Remember that rhubarb itself is almost 100% water, so the note of rhubarb is light. But with a squeeze of fresh citrus (squeeze that lime!) the rhubarb brightens up and becomes tart.

Best served with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic for added dry floral tones and a hefty squeeze of lime.




4 Ways to Beat the Winter Doldrums

You know exactly where your favorite gin is located on the shelves. You inadvertently make a beeline to your tried-and-true brandy as soon as you come in the store. You get flustered when your staple vodka has relocated to a different section. But there’s another part of you that’s always looking out for something new, different, and a little off the well-worn path. Liquor Tom is the perfect guy for this job, and he’s unearthed a few hidden gems to bring some pizzazz into these dreary winter doldrums!

Letherbee Autumnal Gin | $34.99 750ML

A France 44 favorite, Letherbee Distillers out of Chicago releases two Letherbee Fall Autumnal Gin 2016one-off seasonal gins per year, one in the spring and one in the fall—and they never release the same one again. This year’s Autumnal prominently features earthy flavors of dill, cumin, beets, caraway, and black pepper on top of their already-floral original gin. These fall flavors make for a hybrid gin verging on aquavit, the Scandinavian staple Minnesotans love oh-so-much. We’ve already sold out of Minnesota’s allocation and have now received a slice of California’s allocation. This earthy gin is perfect for a Bloody Mary, Hanky Panky or a Dirty Martini!

dirtymartiniCocktail: Classic Dirty Martini

Stir and strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with 3 Filthy Bleu Cheese Olives.

Copper & Kings Craftwerks Sierra Nevada Smoked Porter Finished | $49.99 750MLCopper & Kings Craftwerk Brandy Sierra Nevada

Copper & Kings has been producing high-quality craft brandy out of
Louisville, Kentucky for nearly a decade, and have started to create some of the most unique spirits on the market today. Last year they started to release collaborations with breweries around the country, where they send each brewery brandy barrels for them to age beer in. The breweries then send the barrels back to Copper & Kings, who then finish their brandy in the now-twice-used barrels for a whole calendar year. Our favorite was their brandy finished in Imperial Smoked Porter barrels from Sierra Nevada. It shows creamy malted vanilla tones, a slight hint of hoppiness and a lingering smoky note. It’s a brandy with scotch and bourbon tones that’s a beer drinker’s delight!

Cocktail: Stick it in a glass on the rocks and drink it!

Image result for manhattan drinkOr a Brandy Manhattan

Stir and strain into a coupe glass

Glenfiddich 14 Year Old U.S. Exclusive | $44.99 750MLGlenfiddich 14 Year Bourbon Barrel Reserve

Great Single Malt Scotch at a good price is becoming harder and harder to come by. That’s why it was a breath of fresh air for Glenfiddich to come out with a 14 year Single Malt, aged exclusively in bourbon barrels and finished in newly charred American oak as an homage to our bourbon culture. What’s more, this delicious Scotch retails for the awesome price point of $44.99! This single malt is brimming with brown sugar, honey, vanilla, toasted oak spice, coconut, green apple, pear, and orange zest. Perfect for the bourbon drinker who would like to try out scotch!

godfatherCocktail: Stick it in a glass and drink it neat!
Or in a Godfather:

Drink in a lowball glass with an ice ball

Amarula Cream Liqueur | $18.99 750MLAmarula Fruit Cream Liqueur

For anyone who’s always on the search for a quality replacement for Bailey’s at a lower price point, look no further than Amarula Cream! Made in South Africa with a blend of their native marula fruit and fresh dairy cream, Amarula shows bright caramel and butterscotch notes and a faint tropical fruitiness. The marula plant is unique to Africa and is in the same family as mangos, pistachios, and cashews. It holds a special place socioeconomically in South Africa due to the high amount of nutrients found in it. Some proceeds from each bottle purchased go to protecting elephants (closely tied to the marula tree) from being poached across Africa.

Image result for amarula drink
Amarula Spiced Dram

Drink in a lowball glass on the rocks