Wicked Bitte: Rhubarb & Tulips
I relish the time of year when we get to enjoy beautiful pink stalks of rhubarb and tulips at the same time. I know it’s high spring when I start seeing rhubarb and tulips at my local co-op and at the farmer’s market. I designed “The Rhuby Tulip” for the Wicked Bitte Virtual Cocktail Party at Wicked Tulips, a 7-acre tulip farm in Exeter, Rhode Island. The event was quite a success and we look forward to hosting future live streaming events in the field!
The Rhuby Tulip
1 1/2 oz Barr Hill by Caledonia Spirits Vodka
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz rhubarb syrup*
Garnish with edible tulip petals
4 cups chopped rhubarb (4 large or 8 small stalks)
1 cup honey
1 cup organic cane sugar
4 cups water
Rhubarb Syrup* In a medium saucepan, add rhubarb and sugar over medium-low heat and sweat the rhubarb for 2 minutes while stirring the batch. Add honey and water and bring up to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the solution resembles the consistency of liquidy jam. Cool the batch to room temperature, pour in a blender and pulse for 20 seconds. Strain the solution though a fine mesh strainer and funnel into a clean bottle or mason jar. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Let Me Tell You About…
The Birds N’ Bees
Here’s The Birds N’ Bees, my favorite spin on Ada Coleman’s Hanky Panky recipe from 1925. We make ours w/ Gin, Fernet Branca, Sweet Vermouth, bee pollen & orange blossom. Seriously sultry, herbaceous & bright. A dose of sunshine for your future cocktail hour! Huge hugs going out to LA-based Future Gin: women-owned, distilled & distributed. YES, to the Future!
Birds N’ Bees
1 1/2 oz Gin (Future Gin)
1 1/2 oz Sweet vermouth
2 dashes Fernet Branca
2 drops orange blossom water
pinch of bee pollen
lemon wheel garnish
Preparation: Add liquid ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until frosty, 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled Rialto glass and garnish with an lemon wheel*
The Maple Mint Julep
The Maple Mint Julep. It’s been a big garden clean-up week and I’ll be back at it again after breakfast. While the sage and lavender are still sleeping, the mint has started to perk up! Here’s my favorite Julep recipe adapted for the recent sugaring season and in celebration of the first sprigs of mint in the garden. Hope is on the horizon!!!
Maple Mint Julep
3 oz Bourbon
8 mint leaves
1/4 oz maple syrup (this season’s if you can get it)
Mint for garnish
Glass: julep or highball
Tools: muddler, bar spoon
- Place mint leaves in the bottom of chilled julep glass or tin. Add maple syrup and muddle gently.
- Pack glass with crushed ice, pour 3 ounces of bourbon over ice. Stir until glass frosts, 20-30 seconds.
- Add more ice for the dome effect and garnish with 1-2 springs of mint for aromatics.
“Now’s the time to get your Julep recipes into shape! By the time The Kentucky Derby is here, you should be a maverick.”– Little Bitte
How to Build Your Own Tropical Oasis
Today’s lesson in building your own personal cocktail oasis: The Painkiller. I learned this recipe down in the Virgin Islands and I bring it out when I need to lighten the room with a little sunshine. Frothy coconut and pineapple have a remarkable knack for lifting the spirits! Or is that the Navy-proof rum? The traditional recipe calls for Pusser’s Rum, but I love to use Smith & Cross Rum, a Jamaican Navy-strength rum as the base because it’s oaky funk and earthy spice anchor the tropical fruit in a most beguiling way. Fresh grated nutmeg is essential- that’s where you start feeling the tropical breeze and the sand beneath your feet.
2 oz Navy-proof Rum (We love Smith & Cross Rum )
1 oz fresh pineapple juice (canned, unsweetened works too!)
1 oz coconut cream
1 oz orange juice
fresh grated nutmeg for garnish
Preparation: Combine liquid ingredients in a bar tin, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into glass filled with ice and garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.
❤️ Little Bitte
DIY: The Quarantini
Today is National Cocktail Day! I believe the most appropriate way to celebrate this most pious day is with the new contemporary classic, The Quarantini. You’ll find that you will not need a packet of orange Emergen-C and you definitely won’t need a bottle of Corona. (Although it wouldn’t be a bad chaser!) The Quarantini is super simple, bright and refreshing. And you’re in luck, because you probably already have all of the ingredients in the pantry! So what are we waiting for? May I present to you, The Quarantini: tart, immunity-boosting and divinely refreshing.
1 1/2 oz Vodka (We love Bar Hill Vodka, use what you have on hand!)
3/4 oz native honey syrup (equal parts honey + warm water to dissolve)
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
Preparation: In a bar tin, combine liquid ingredients, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh herbs from the garden or the first edible blossoms of the spring!
“The Quarantini is super simple, bright and refreshing. And you’re in luck, because you probably already have all of the ingredients in the pantry!”– Little Bitte
I am sending love, cheers and socially responsible air hugs to you, our friends and family. I cherish you and raise a glass to you during this supremely weird time of social distancing. Just because we can’t share a cocktail in the same room doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy cocktail hour together! Stay-tuned for Little Bitte’s Guide to Throwing a Virtual Cocktail Party!
<3 Little Bitte
The Garden Party! Just in time for spring….
The Garden Party
I spend a good deal of time fantasizing about garden parties, especially in the months when it just isn’t possible to pick up the festivities and take them outdoors. The truth is, most gardens and edible blossoms here in New England don’t really flower until the end of May or early June, so we need a little help from dried botanicals and blossoms while we wait. My solution is a Flower Power honey syrup: a blend of dried rose petals, lavender and hibiscus flowers that woos the senses with floral majesty. Use this syrup to make a nonalcoholic sparkling lemonade or add gin and Italicus, a bergamot citrus cordial for a sweet and zesty Gin Gimlet variation. Rain, snow or sun, The Garden Party cocktail ensures a festive parade of florals on the palate no matter the season. In cooler months, garnish your drink with a pinch of dried blossoms from your Flower Power mix or use fresh rose petals and lavender leaf from the garden for the full effect.
The Garden Party
1½ ounces gin
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce Flower Power Syrup*
½ ounce Italicus Bergamot Liqueur
Fresh organic rose petals for garnish
Fresh lavender sprig for garnish
Combine liquid ingredients in a bar tin, add ice, shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh rose petals and or lavender sprig.
*FLOWER POWER SYRUP
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried lavender
1 teaspoon dried rose petals
1 teaspoon dried hibiscus tea
*Flower Power Syrup
1 cup honey
Preparation: In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil, remove from heat and add dried lavender, rose petals and hibiscus tea. Infuse for 1 hour. Fine strain and discard solids, return infusion to the pot, heat gently and add honey, stirring to dissolve. Cool the solution, funnel into a clean bottle or Mason jar. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
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