Girls on Food

Happy Hour

Yuppie Moonshine Diary: Chapter 1 (Ginger Brandy + Vanilla Fig Bourbon)

My new obsession = Homemade Liqueurs & Alcohol Infusions
This is the result of a recent fascination with Discovery’s
“Moonshiners” + the discovery of some fabulous homemade liqueur recipes on
Pinterest. I’ve made Limoncello a couple times for Christmas gifts with much
success for very little effort so I’m back at it and upping my game.
DIY GINGER LIQUEUR 
4 oz. ginger, sliced thin + vanilla bean, split
add to 3 cups water, 2 cups sugar. boil then simmer, 20 min.
zest 2 oranges, add to sealable glass container
once cool, add ginger syrup to zest
add 3 cups brandy (I added 4, we’ll see how that goes), seal and shake.
place in a cool, dark spot.
still to do: 
remove vanilla bean on day 2
strain mixture through a coffee filter on day 3
taste on day 4!
VANILLA FIG-INFUSED BOURBON 
1 pound fresh figs
750mL bottle bourbon
1 vanilla bean, split
figs are out of season so I’m trying dried, stems removed. we’ll see.
pour bourbon over figs and vanilla bean, seal.
place in a cool, dark spot.
still to do: 
check to see if it smells like figs on day 14. if it doesn’t, check again on day 21.
when it smells like figs, strain it through a small sieve and enjoy!
I’ll report back about how these concoctions turn out and share my favorite recipes to use them in. In the meantime, check out our Pinterest page for more liqueur & infusion inspiration!

Champagne Cocktail Time!

French 75

I’m hosting a bridal shower pretty soon so the menu planning
begins… with cocktails! We’re doing brunch, which of course calls for champagne, but I refuse to serve mimosas when there are so many more exciting options. Below are my favorite finds so far, please comment and add to the list!

French 75
gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, champagne (garnish with a
lemon peel)

This is my favorite cocktail of the moment. It’s admittedly
strong for brunch, probably more appropriate to sip over oysters later in the
day, but we’re celebrating!


Missy Bell
St. Germaine, grapefruit bitters, champagne (garnish with a
grapefruit peel)

This one is named after a friend who invented it at The
Shady Lady in Sacramento. It’s highly addictive.


Kir Royale
Crème de Cassis, champagne (garnish with a citrus peel)


Lavender Sparkler
lavender simple syrup, champagne (garnish with a lavender
sprig)



Ginger Sparkler
ginger simple syrup, champagne (garnish with a lemon peel)


Cranberry Sparkler
cranberry, Cointreau, champagne (garnish with an orange
peel)



Pear Sparkler
pear brandy, champagne (garnish with a thin pear slice)


Rosemary Lemon Sparkler
rosemary simple syrup, lemon juice, champagne (garnish with
a rosemary sprig)



Classic Champagne Cocktail
sugar cube soaked in bitters, champagne (garnish with a lemon
peel)

When I throw parties I love to offer a fully stocked bar complete with handwritten cocktail menu cards to inspire guests to be creative with their beverage selection. Flavored simple syrups are the most inexpensive way to create an impressive bar, especially when you put them in antique thrift store bottles with handwritten labels. They’re incredibly easy to make too! It’s just equal parts sugar dissolved in boiling
water and left to cool, with any flavoring you like. If you have a lot left
over it’s great with iced tea and sparkling water, or if you’re a baker it
works miracles on layer cakes! In bakeries it’s standard procedure to brush the
cakes with simple syrup to keep them moist. It’s the best kept secret that you
won’t find in recipes and when you use the flavored syrups your cakes will
taste even better!