Browsing Tag

Cocktails

Gift Guides

From Beer to Booze: Gift Picks for the Home Bartender

October 24, 2016

Their fridge is fully-stocked with the perfect combination of craft brews and classic beers. Their wine rack is loaded with reds, whites, and maybe even a bit of the bubbly. And don’t even get them started on what it takes to mix the perfect cocktail–the glass, the garnish, whether it’s shaken or stirred–they have all of the details down. That’s right, we’re talking about the Home Bartender. Chances are, you know one of these masterful mixologists, so we’ve gathered a collection of gifts that will surely make any adult beverage connoisseur raise their glass.

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The Uncommon Life

3 Cocktails to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

April 26, 2016

Editor’s Note: Alex Abbott Boyd is obsessed with cocktails. Fascinating and colorful histories, hidden bars, innovative ingredients – he’s hooked on it all. Once he’d devoured every book he could find on mixology, he began experimenting at home with his own drink recipes. Meanwhile, hoping to become an entrepreneur, he was searching for a product he could be truly passionate about. You can see where this is going, right?

In 2012, one year out of college, Alex founded his own company, Cocktail Crate, to sell cocktail mixes based on everything he’d learned about the craft. Initially, each bottle was handmade and labeled by Alex in his home borough of Queens, and deliveries were made to local stores via the NYC subway. Today, Alex is excited to be working seemingly non-stop to bring the mixers to more and more people who appreciate a really good cocktail!

We asked Alex for some cocktail recipes to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, and he delivered con mucho gusto!

Cocktail Mixer | UncommonGoods Continue Reading…

Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Want To Get To Know Bitters Better?

September 25, 2015

Cocktail Bitters Set | UncommonGoods

Drinks have been using bitters—alcohol infused with herbs, spices, and botanicals—to create their signature cocktails since the 18th century. They balance a drink’s flavor and aroma, while also cutting any over-the-top sweetness. On their own, however, they’re rather unpleasant. Employing the commonly held belief that anything that tastes unpleasant must be good for you, bitters manufacturers in the 18th Century began claiming that the potions could cure everything from malaria to indigestion. During the Civil War, the Union Army purchased whole train cars of bitters to act as “a positive protective against the fatal maladies of the Southern swamps, and the poisonous tendency of the impure rivers and bayous.” Though the actual medical benefits were, in fact, next to nothing, the 94-proof potency certainly helped to steel nerves. Finally, in the 20th century, the government stepped in and put a stop to the false medical claims and shortly after, all but a few bitters brands began to die off. The few remaining bitters were quickly picked up by savvy bartenders who helped usher a classic cocktail revival in the 1990s. A second classic cocktail boost during the 2010s and the drinking-as-DIY phenomenon gave them a third resurgence that’s still going strong today.

Cocktail Bitters Set | $34.99

Maker Stories

Alyson Thomas’ Creative Cocktail Illustrations & Other Adventures in Art

June 18, 2015

Alyson Thomas | UncommonGoods

Attorney-turned-illustrator Alyson Thomas has always loved drawing, painting, and making things, but says she “didn’t think anything of it” until she was voted “most creative” in her college dorm. She didn’t exactly leap from law school to illustrating designs like the ones featured on our Cocktail Diagram Glasses, either.

Alyson’s career started in a very different place–the Department of Homeland Security. From doodling on sticky notes in meetings, to turning in her badge and spending a year on a drawing project, Alyson’s love of illustration grew and eventually blossomed into a full-time business. 

She took a break from diagramming delicious things, visiting “nerdy cocktail bars,” and generally being awesome, to answer a few questions about quitting her day job and the creative endeavors that followed.

Bloody Mary Diagram Glasses | UncommonGoods

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The Uncommon Life

Create Uncommon Cocktails with Mixology Dice

June 12, 2015

Sunday, June 14 is National Bourbon Day! The makers of our Mixology Dice, Liz and Sarah Downey, sent us some fun videos featuring creative cocktail recipes just in time to raise a glass to America’s whiskey.

While the bartender who stirred up the rickey in the featured video opted to pour 2 ounces of rye when he rolled “whiskey,” we encourage our readers of legal drinking age to give the cocktail a try with some tasty bourbon if you choose to imbibe this weekend. Many of these recipes can also be made with bourbon or your whiskey of choice.

 

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: How to Make Cocktail Bitters

December 19, 2013

Morgan | Bitters

Research
I’m a devoted whisky (and occasionally whiskey) drinker and usually enjoy my Scotch like I enjoy the top shelf of my dresser: neat. But I was intrigued to see if bitters might prove an opportunity to salvage a liquor I’ve all but quit–rum. The recipe calls for a high-proof rum, so I picked up one of my favorite antiseptics, Bacardi 151. I also bought an aged rum (to test my bitters in later) that I was hoping might change my opinions of the drink. That rum, Plantation Grande Reserve (note the fancy pants name), was a vast improvement over any rum I could remember tasting (in either direction), in my younger days, so I was looking forward to a different experience, perhaps.
Bitters 1

Bacardi 151? Hello old friend.

Hypothesis
I don’t think I’ve ever tried bitters before, but I’m coming in with a semi-open mind. I like bitter things. There’s something smart-sounding about the word “bitters.” As I have a general preference for straight alcohol, I’m not sure how much this will “add” to the experience, but perhaps since I’m less predisposed towards rum, it may make that drink more enjoyable. (Spoiler alert: I cheated and came up with this last line after the experiment.)

Experiment
Preparing the mixture is actually a good bit of fun, adding the composite spices and ingredients as if your high school science teacher were a part-time bartender. (I didn’t see you and you didn’t see me, Mr. Chard.)

DIY Cocktail Bitters | UncommonGoods

Here I am masterfully peeling an apple and not cutting myself, the skins to be mixed into the jar of rum and spices. No blood! Easy enough.

The preparation requires a morning and evening shake of the mixture in its jar, which is a fun way to interact with your little blooming bundle of joy, and to appreciate the visual richness and beauty of the concoction as it does its thing. Eventually you’ll forget to shake it one morning and you’ll feel guilty for the rest of the day. Just let it go–it’ll be fine.

DAY 1 TEST
Finally, after a long and eager wait, 2 weeks are up and it’s time to open my present! Hold on there just a minute, bud–a few more steps before we’re ready for cheers. First we have to strain through cheesecloth (which doubles as gauze if you cut yourself peeling that apple earlier–try to use the clean portion).

Bitters | UncommonGoods

The liquid is separated from the solid ingredients, which are placed on the stove to simmer with water then cool. This is a good opportunity to be extremely impatient, blow on the mixture, and just dump it in hot anyway. (Again, you’re probably fine.)

Bitters in Process | UncommonGoods

After cooling, we strain the mixture once again. OK, this is your exit solids! In the trash you go! We then get started on simple syrup (a sugar and water mixture that is heated and added in equal parts to the rum mixture). Add to dropper bottle then the big payoff.

I decided on bourbon because, well, I like bourbon and it seems to feature in a good number of bitters cocktails. I could make a cocktail, but I’d rather really taste the bitters here just to see how they work with the alcohol. A bit of bitters drip drop into some Buffalo Trace bourbon.

Drinking Bourbon

Unfortunately, it wasn’t doing it for me. Nope. Had I done something wrong? I don’t think so. Was it last Friday when I neglected to shake the bitters? Were they exacting their revenge? Nah – I don’t think bitters hold grudges (although they are called bitters…). I think it was just the combination. The iconic Buffalo Trace flavor now muddled into something indecipherable and a bit all over the place. I added a bit more but that just added to the confusion. My eyes saw the Buffalo Trace and my mouth was failing to compute.

Give up? No way. We’ll try again tomorrow.

DAY 2 TEST
New shirt, new day, new opportunity to drink.

Back on the saddle and off the wagon with something a bit more compatible, perhaps – rum. Yes, my aged rum would make a late-game, surprise guest appearance in a highly unscientific evaluation.

In one glass – straight aged rum
In the other – that same rum with a few drops of bitters.

Bitters and Rum

This one makes sense. The rums obviously blend well, and this time I’m able to actually taste the spiced apple. Not overpowering, but definitely adds another dimension. Yeah – I get it.

Conclusion
I could see this enhancing a mediocre rum or allowing for a drinker to taste a decent one from a different perspective. I imagine you could mix into a number of different cocktails with different alcohols. (The instruction booklet names a few.)

The highlight for me though was the process. Enjoying a drink usually consists of nothing more than opening a bottle and pouring it. Occasionally this might involve stirring in a few extra ingredients–and sure–there are even bitters you could buy. But there was something very satisfying about the process; in the interaction with all the individual ingredients, in the ultimate unification of those flavors. There was something satisfying in the wait. Alcohol is one of those things that can take longer than anything to get right. We buy liquors that have been waiting for years, heck, decades to taste just right, then we sip them and they’re gone.

This kit represents the process, the time, the care that goes into a good drink. This probably won’t change my lineup of standby drinks or undying love of a good straight Scotch, but it was an interesting ride, I learned a bit, and I have something new to taste along with some of my old favorites. Nah, I ain’t bitter.

The Uncommon Life

7 Mixtape Mixed Drinks: A Week of Cool Cocktails & Toe-tappin’ Tunes

September 16, 2013

We’re super excited about our new Mixtape Glasses. Our Product Development Team put in some hard work to create these rockin’ low balls, so we had to do a little more to celebrate than just raise a glass to toast to the finished product. Instead, we raised all 6 glasses, each filled with a different cocktail (and we added in wine, too, to round out the week!).

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe

Check out these delightful mixed drink recipes and the playlists that go best with them, compliments of folks across departments here at UncommonGoods.

Manhattan Cocktail Recipe | UncommonGoods

Throw back a Butterbee and put on this playlist of sweet-as-candy jams selected by our Quality Control Specialist, Kim.

Savor a Sweet and Lowdown and celebrate swing with this mixed drink and mixtape created by Human Resources Manager Mindy.

Mix up a Manhattan and listen the sounds of the city–a New York playlist picked by Carolyn, Our Director of New Business and Product Development.

Celebrate summer any time of year with a Creamsicle and some sunny songs selected by Operations Manager Lee.
French 75 cocktail recipe

Find yourself in France as you sip a French 75 and sing along with Senior Merchandising Coordinator Heather’s mixtape of music inspired by the City of Light.

Weather any storm with a mellow music mix from our Inventory and Drop Ship Operations Manager, Sean, and don’t forget to drink a Dark ‘n Stormy while you’re at it.

Finally, when you’re not in the mood for a cocktail and want an easy way to take it easy, wind down with a glass of wine and Marketing Assistant Emily’s playlist of songs for a lazy day.

The Uncommon Life

Mixtape Mixed Drinks: Dark ‘n Stormy Cocktail Recipe

September 14, 2013

A Dark ‘n Stormy is drink with a kick. It’s perfect for a rainy night, and so is this playlist.

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe

A Dark ‘n Stormy in a Mixtape Glass is bright idea.

The Drink:
1.5 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer

Fill your glass with ice add 4 – 5 oz of Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer, and then top with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Garnish with a lime wedge (optional).

The Playlist:
1. Downeaster Alexa–Billy Joel
2. Fool in the Rain by Led Zeppelin
3. Bartender–Dave Matthews Band
4. Folding Chair–Regina Spektor
5. Ballentines–Aimee Mann
6. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa–Vampire Weekend
7. Pretty Girl From Annapolis–The Avett Brothers

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