Recipe: Rum Manhattan

I am not going to say too much, I am just going to leave this right here: 

I am calling it a Rum Manhattan. It may have another name somewhere in the world, but as this classy Mad Men-esque drink came directly from the brilliant mind of Jacob, I don't know what that name is. The drink is reminiscent of a good Whiskey Manhattan though (one of my all time favorite drinks), so Rum Manhattan it is.

It goes something like this: one part spiced rum, one part sweet vermouth. Off to a good start, aren't we?

Then we add in some Grand Marnier for a decadent orange edge, balance it out with some lemon, and add two types of bitters for depth and complexity. 

Are you sold yet? Thought so, here's the recipe:

Recipe: Spiced Chai Vodka Cocktail

And just like that, autumn has arrived. 

Autumn has always been my favorite season for all the clichés - scarves and boots, pumpkins and comfort foods, air that is simultaneously crisp and warm, changing leaves, and the promise of the holidays on the horizon. When my family moved to Southern California however, autumn disappeared. The first day of fall was just as hot as any other summer afternoon. My longing for crisp weather meant that anytime the thermostat fell beneath 60 degrees I dusted off my parka with glee. 

Here in Austria however, autumn kicked off well before it's time. After years of missing cool weather, I am not disposed to complain...but maybe you should ask me again four months down the road. 

Jacob dreamt up (or as he would say, "skillfully mastered") this cocktail in honor of fall and all the flavors that make food-lovers sing for autumnal joy.

Vodka has never been my favorite of the spirits - I love my drinks with deep, complex flavors. As it turns out however, throw a couple of bags of chai tea into the vodka and surprise!, a couple of hours later you have gorgeously flavored vodka with the taste of chai front and center. Dress it up a bit - bitters, some citrus and sweetness to balance the spice - and soon you will be trading in your afternoon pumpkin spice latte for one of these. 

Recipe: Silk Road Cocktail {Bourbon}

Happy half-way-through-the-work-week-day! (Anyone want to sign a petition to officially change the names of the week? Monday can become "Not Again", Wednesday will be "Finally", and Friday can be changed to "THANK GOD".)

Who wants a recipe? Ok, how about a Bourbon cocktail you can dream about through your day and make a pitstop for ingredients on your way home? Thought so. 

Silk Road Bourbon Cocktail

Some time ago Jacob and I succumbed to the craft cocktail craze and began hunting down trendy local bars to purchase interesting overly priced concoctions. Some of our hunting resulted in remarkable finds (jalapeno-infused tequila Bloody Mary = winner), others - not so much. This recipe however, adapted from a drink served by Craft & Commerce called the Eastern Prospector, has become one of our favorites to make at home. 

Dubbing our version the "Silk Road", this recipe makes for an incredibly refreshing drink with complex flavors that complement the natural earthiness of the bourbon. Best of all, the recipe does not require any odd ingredients only to be found in an expert bar tending set-up. If you are feeling fancy however, you can always throw a couple of black tea bags and orange slices into the bourbon for a couple hours to give it a nice smokey tea flavor (thus the name "Silk Road").