Category: Experiments

To The Point

Let’s get ‘to the point’… we are crushing on this recipe from Imbibe Magazine (with slight modifications):

🔸2.5 oz. rye whiskey

🔸¼ oz. lady grey tea syrup

🔸¼ oz. green Chartreuse

🔸1 dash angostura bitters

🔸1 dash cinsmmon

Add the whiskey, Chartreuse, syrup, and bitters to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over ice in a rocks glass.  Garnish with an orange peel and basil.  Grate cinnamon over the orange peel.

The lady grey simple syrup is easy-peasy lemon squeezy. Make a one-to-one ratio simple syrup and steep lady grey tea in the syrup while it’s warm.

Coconut Chai Fizz

Florida’s winter take on the gin fizz. The first step is to steep coconut chai in a simple syrup.  Once ready, grab your rum and fresh egg white.

2 1/2oz Bacardi 8 Rum
1/2 oz coconut chai simple syrup
1 egg white
2 dashes of orange bitters

Combine all ingredients and shake aggressively for one-to-two minutes, until the cocktail is frothy. Strain into a coupe and garnish with toasted coconut.

Smoked Rob Roy


Capturing the Smoke                  Place a small pile of wood chips in a foil pan or on non-flammable surface and light until the chips begin to smoke. Hold a vestibule over the pile, and capture the smoke, then put on the lid immediately. In the barroom we used a funnel to capture the smoke in a whiskey decanter.

Rob Roy 
1 1/2oz Scotch Whiskey
3/4oz Italian Vermouth
2 Dashes Orange bitters

Stir the concoction and strain into your vestibule containing smoke. Pour slowly and put the lid on immediately. Shake for a few seconds and slowly pour into the cocktail glass of your choice. Pouring slowly allows the smoke to linger.


Strawberry Sour


Strawberry Sour

2 Strawberries
2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon.
0.75 oz Fresh lime juice
0.5 oz Simple syrup
3 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
1 Egg white

Combine bourbon, lime, simple syrup, and egg white in a shaker and dry shake vigorously  for one minute. Muddle one strawberry. Add ice and muddled strawberry to the shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg and a strawberry.

Blood Orange Old Fashioned Orb

imageBlood Orange Old Fashioned

4 dashes blood orange bitters
1 sugar cube
1 splash water
2 oz Bourbon

Place the sugar cube (or 1 barspoon loose sugar) in an Old-Fashioned glass. Add 2 or 3 dashes of bitters and a small splash of water and muddle until sugar has dissolved. Add whiskey and ice. Stir until cold.

Ice Orb

Add water to a sphere ice mold; leave in freezer for one and a half hours. Flip the ice mold upside down and leave in freezer for an additional hour.  Remove top of ice mold and create a small hole in the sphere. You can do this by using soldering iron or heating a Philips head screw driver over the stove. Once a hole is created, use a syringe or straw and remove the unfrozen water. The hole should be large enough to insert a small cocktail funnel. Funnel your cocktail into the sphere. Using a small hammer, or the end of your barspoon, break the sphere open and enjoy.



Grenade is French for pomegranate. You’ll find grenadine in a variety of cocktails from the classics, such as a Jack Rose, to more modern cocktails, like the Tequila Sunrise.  Even youngsters and those in dry counties enjoy it in a Shirley Temple. 

Many store-bought grenadines are chalked full of high-fructose corn syrup and various dyes. Not only does fresh taste so much better, its better for you.

imageWhat you’ll Need
1/4 cup raw unbleached sugar
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 lemon (optional)
1/2oz vodka (optional as preservative)
Small sauce pan
Clean jar/bottle



Juice. One large pomegranate will yield on cup of pomegranate juice. Peel pomegranate and collect the seeds. Place into a blender and blend. Strain juice into a separate container. You can also purchase pomegranate juice with no additives, such as POM.

Combine. Combine the sugar and juice in a sauce pan. Place over medium heat on the stovetop. Stir to dissolve sugar.

Boil.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Careful, the mixture will bubble over the pan if you aren’t watching it.

 Remove from heat and cool. Taste and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice to bring out the flavors.

Bottle. Pour the syrup into a jar or bottle and label with the date. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month. Adding vodka to the mixture acts a preservative.  Your grenadine should keep for two months.

Mama D’s Basil Cocktail

If green beer isn’t your thing on this St. Patrick’s Day, your taste buds might get lucky with this refreshing cocktail! The Barrister’s Mother-in-Law introduced this cocktail to the family last summer. Like all great cocktails, it has been modified by each person in the family, this is the Barristers take on the recipe.

1.5oz Uncle Val’s Gin
3/4oz St. Germain
1/2oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Barspoon Simple Syrup
5 Basil Leaves

Add St. Germain, lemon juice, simple syrup, and basil leaves in your shaker. Muddle the basil. Add Gin & ice. Shake until cold & pour into your favorite cocktail glass.

The original recipe calls for this concoction to be topped off with club soda and includes cucumber; the Uncle Val’s adds enough cucumber flavor for the Barrister and the Barrister sees no point in time watering down a perfectly good drink.

Rosy Amneris

Spring is not far from view. Blossoming flowers and warm sunshine awaits. Today is the District’s first “spring-like” day. We escaped for a few hours to enjoy a long walk along the water. The soon-to-bud tulips and roses inspired a crafty concoction for the Barrister’s Bar Room. We present our own cocktail, the Rosy Amneris. Enjoy the first taste to spring.

Rosy AmnerisRosy Amneris

3 oz. Gin (Uncle Val’s)

3/4 oz. Rose Water Syrup (Homemade Rose Water + Simple Syrup)

1/2 oz. Elderflower Liqueur

1/2 oz. Lime Juice (Fresh)

1-2 Dash Peychaud’s Bitters

Grated Green Cardamom

2-3 Slices Cucumber

Prepare a mixing glass with Gin, Rose Water Syrup, and 2-3 Slices Cucumber. Muddle mixture. Strain into clean mixing glass with ice. Add Elderflower Liqueur, Lime Juice, and 1-2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters. Stir until ice cold. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with grated Green Cardamom and cucumber.

Negroni (Barrel Aged)

Negroni (Outside)The Negroni likely originated in 1919, Florence, Italy, after a bartender substituted gin for soda water in an Americano. Bringing some strength to the Americano and replacing the traditional lemon garnish for an orange peel, the Negroni was born.

After nearly a century, the Negroni still holds its own next to other classic cocktails such as the Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Well-balanced, like the Scales of Justice, the Negroni consists of three ingredients, all in equal proportions – making this libation incredibly difficult to mistake.

NegroniNegroni (barrel aged)

One (1) part Gin

One (1) part Vermouth Rosso

One (1) part Campari

For our cocktail, we used “Green Hat” gin – a gin near and dear to our hearts because of fellow attorney and Navy veteran turned distiller, Michael Lowe, who brought craft distilling to Washington, DC in 2011. Cinzano is our base vermouth. We aged this cocktail to perfection for around 7 days in an American white oak barrel.  Our American white oak barrel was previously used to age a variation of the “Poor Man’s Pappy;” so, this Negroni has undertones of bourbon. It’s by no means a Boulevardier; but, you can certainly pick up on the bourbon’s caramel and vanilla notes. The Green Hat gin holds up well with its citrus forward aroma. The bitterness of the Campari lingers on the palate. For garnish, we used an orange peel from our family’s Florida Orange tree.

I doubt this Negroni will last long in the Barrister’s Bar Room.

Barrel Aging Bourbon

Barrel Aging BourbonAging Bourbon to perfection with our American oak barrels.

Bourbon is uniquely American. On May 4th, 1964, the U.S. Congress recognized Bourbon as a “distinctive product of the United States.”

“[T]he word “bourbon” shall not be used to describe any whisky or whisky-based distilled spirits not produced in the United States.”  27 C.F.R. 5.  In order for a spirit to be called bourbon, it must meet certain legal qualifications; bourbon’s legal definition, and how it differs from other whiskies, is the source of some confusion, so we’ll start with the basics:

  • While bourbon is whiskey, whiskey is not necessarily bourbon. Bourbon is a whiskey (not “whisky,” which is the Scottish spelling — although Maker’s Mark does spell its name “whisky” because it uses a process similar to that of Scotch).
  • Bourbon must be at least 51% corn.
  • Bourbon must be aged in new white oak barrels that have never been used before, the insides of which get charred with a torch before being filled with the liquor for aging.
  • Also, for a spirit to be called bourbon, it can’t have any flavor or color additives: just corn, water, wheat or rye, malt, and the coloring effects of the inside of a charred oak barrel.
  • Bourbon has to be between 80 and 160 proof (although, very few clock in above 130). Bourbon may be stilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof and entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof. Bottled at 80 proof or more.
  • *Water is an essential ingredient in any spirit. Many local Kentucky distillers have long said the commonwealth’s unique limestone water distinguishes Kentucky bourbon from competitors. (This is not part of the law, but a fun fact and an argument many may make regarding the legal definition of bourbon).

Where did we get the barrels?

We’ve purchased our barrels from I recommend the 1 Liter, anything bigger than that requires a lot of liquor.

What kind of bourbon do we use?

For our first batch, we tried a white dog whiskey from New Mexico, Coyote Silver, however after different barrels and different whiskey’s and bourbon’s, our favorite go-to is Buffalo Trace. You will use a whole liter of Buffalo Trace.  Also, something to keep in mind, the Angels take their share – meaning part of of your bourbon will evaporate over the weeks. Each week we check and add more bourbon to top off the mix, its important you don’t allow air in your barrel until you are satisfied with the aging process.  We don’t always top off the angels share with Buffalo Trace, sometimes we take a spicier or sweeter bourbon and add it to the mix; my favorite blend thus far has been Buffalo Trace topped off with Eagle Rare.

How long do we leave bourbon in the barrel?

We have discovered that the first time you are using the barrel, it is better to let the bourbon sit for 8 weeks. After that, we have left bourbon in the barrel from 3 to 8 weeks. We’ve discovered that 6 weeks is almost perfect.

Can the barrel be reused?

Yes. We have reused a barrel up to 6 times. At that point, we use the barrel as a decanter (wine or spirits). We are also getting ready to try a barrel aged cocktail with one of the barrels thats on its last bourbon aging run.