Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Royal Rose Hot Toddy

Make this with any syrup or sweetener- it would be delicious with Royal Rose Cardamom-Clove Syrup, honey, or just a teaspoon of sugar.  Another great combination would be bourbon and maple syrup.  This version is extra-special, with warming Saffron Syrup and piping hot peach tea.

1/2 oz. Royal Rose Saffron Syrup
1 1/2 oz. brandy, or to taste
3 dashes Boker's bitters
hot brewed peach herbal tea

Add the syrup and brandy to a mug.  Fill the mug with hot tea, then add bitters.  Garnish with lemon peel. Sip and relax.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Meet Saffron Syrup

The newest member of the Royal Rose family has arrived!

Our Saffron Syrup is a brilliant rusty-golden hue, with threads of saffron in each bottle.  Sweet and spicy cinnamon sings backup.  Try it with dark rums, bourbon, brandy- excellent in aromatic cocktails (without lemon or lime).

Some other ideas:

-sweeten your morning oatmeal (and add chopped apple & walnut)
-stir into hot tea or coffee
-drizzle over fruit (think: bananas, orange segments, grapes)
-mix into a sweet glaze for shrimp
-spoon over vanilla or chocolate ice cream

Saffron Syrup will be available in our online shop over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fall Updates & Brussels Sprouts

Well, it's been an exciting season so far.  We have new distribution: Cream Wine Company, in Chicago, The Crafty Bartender in Toronto, and Beverages, Etc., in Kansas.  And, Forrest and I made a trip to a post-Sandy New York City- luckily, most all of our vendors make it through the storm with little or no damage.  We did tastings at Blue Apron Foods, Brooklyn Larder, Stinky, and Brooklyn Farmacy.

Forrest at Stinky- he's so into it!

Here he is at Blue Apron foods, more contemplative.

Our syrups on the shelf at Foragers Market in Dumbo.

This year, I think I OD'ed on fall's usual suspects (see this blog post from last year), so I've been experimenting with some different autumn flavors.  Forrest and I are now obsessed with vegetables roasted in the oven and glazed with Three Chiles Syrup.  The recipe is so easy- also try it with asparagus, squash, carrots, or your favorite root vegetable.

Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts
2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed & quartered
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
salt, to taste
2-3 tablespoons Royal Rose Three Chiles Syrup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the vegetables, ginger, garlic, salt, and oil together in a mixing bowl and turn onto a baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the brussels sprouts are beginning to brown and the leaves are getting crisp.  At this point, drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of Royal Rose Three Chiles Syrup over the vegetables and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pepper Pot

Making Three Chiles syrup is always a process, but last week, we had an extra challenge: filling, labeling, and shipping a billion mini bottles. (Well, okay, maybe not a billion technically...)

For our chile syrup, we use three different kinds of peppers: fresh jalapeno peppers, fresh poblano peppers, and smoked and dried ancho chiles.  We (by which I mean I) slice the fresh peppers into rings to prep them for the pot. I use kitchen shears to snip the dried ancho chiles into smaller pieces.  Here you can see all the kids in the pool:

A blend of peppers creates a balanced syrup that doesn't set your mouth on fire.

I'd like to tell you more details about our process, but then I'd have to kill you. 

After we funnel the syrup into bottles, hand-cap and label each bottle, you see the finished product:
2 oz. samples

Here are more adorable little 2-oz. bottles, all packed snug in their beds and ready to go out on that big brown truck:

These particular bottles are going out to Julibox, a very cool company that delivers subscribers a curated box of spirits and mixers. You can read more about them here.

Forrest and I love our Three Chiles Syrup- it's one of the most versatile flavors in our collection.  There are lots of cocktail recipes that call for this syrup, but it's so easy to improvise when you have an ingredient that compliments virtually every spirit (tequila and rum, of course, but also mezcal, whiskey, vodka, and more).  Three Chiles Syrup makes an excellent glaze for meats or vegetables (think brussels sprouts with garlic, ginger, and a Three Chiles drizzle) and adds a little bit of sweetness, smoke, and spice to salad dressings and sauces.

I'll leave you with this recipe for a Mexican hot chocolate- it's sweet and chocolatey with mild heat from the peppers.

2 cups milk (I used organic 1% milk)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon Royal Rose Three Chiles Syrup
cinnamon stick, for grating

Heat the milk until very hot, then whisk in cocoa and Three Chiles Syrup until smooth.  Pour into mugs and grate fresh cinnamon to taste.  Makes 2 servings.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Artist's Special

I've recently re-discovered the pre-dinner cocktail.  There is something that feels so good about treating yourself to a real libation before you eat dinner.  It reeks of- dare I say- sophistication?  Maybe I just feel civilized while drinking an aperitif because it means I'm not inhaling snacks before dinner and spoiling my appetite, I don't know- but I do know that not just any cocktail will do.  You could make something from this book:

(Where I found my new favorite drink, the Tuxedo: gin, vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and orange bitters.)
Or you could just make a well-balanced, hard-hitting, drink-it-while-it's-still-smiling-at-you drink.  In case you're looking for something special, you can try out this variation on the classic drink from the Savoy Cocktail Book, the Artist's Special. Rye whiskey, amontillado sherry, and our Cardamom-Clove Syrup make for a delicious combination.

1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey (I used Bulleit)
1 1/2 oz. amontillado sherry
3/4 oz. Royal Rose Cardamom-Clove Syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
3 dashes Boker's bitters

Combine ingredients with ice and shake.  Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Concord Cup

It's that time of year when you start seeing those beautiful, deep purple orbs on the grocery store shelves.  I actually grew up in Concord, Massachusetts- the birthplace of the Concord grape (invented in my hometown in 1849 by a guy named Ephraim Wales Bull- thanks, Wikipedia!). 

I can't recall my mom ever buying grape juice for me and my sister when we were little- not sure if that was because she thought it was too sugary, or because spills left a really bad stain.  In any case, bottled purple grape juice has pretty much nothing on the real, fresh Concord grapes.  They are sweet, tangy, and aromatic- a perfect cocktail ingredient, you may say.  Well, read on- you just might find the perfect recipe for your evening tipple.

The Concord Cup
1 1/2 oz. Cold River gin
1/2 oz. Drambuie
1/2 oz. Royal Rose Strawberry-Fennel Syrup
1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
a handful of fresh Concord grapes (6-8)
a small sprig of rosemary

First, muddle the fruit and herbs: add the grapes, reserving one or two for garnishing, to a pint glass.  Add the rosemary and muddle for a moment or two to release the grape juice, colors from the skins, and the oils from the rosemary.  Next, measure and pour in the syrup, lemon juice, Drambuie, and gin.  Ad ice to the top, then shake to combine.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a grape.  Toast to Thoreau, Emerson and Alcott.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Doctor is in.

Forrest made this hot toddy for me last night- it didn't cure my cold, but it definitely made me feel better!

1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
1/2 oz. Royal Rose Lavender-Lemon Syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
3 oz. boiling water (more or less to taste)

Stir everything together in a mug and sip slowly.