Tales of the Cocktail!!
We got back from Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and turned right around and went to Chicago for Lollapalooza (post on that coming soon). But, we had such a great time in the voodoo city and wanted to share some of the best parts …
First, thanks to everyone who came by to see us at the Cocktail Fresh Market and the Spirit of Texas Luncheon at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse. It was amazing to meet all of the incredible people who descend upon New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail in celebration of our favorite things – drinking great cocktails and sharing them with friends!! As always, we learned so much from mixologists and distillers at the forefront of our industry, and feel so fortunate to be part of this amazing extended family.
This summer, we are focusing on fresh infusions, traveling the country and teaching people how to infuse their Tito’s at the bar or in the kitchen. Why rely on artificial flavors or someone else’s idea of what lemon tastes like when there is beautiful fresh produce available at your local farmers’ market and infusing is so so easy?!? Many of the people who stopped by our Tito’s Handmade Infusions display had questions about how we made the fresh flavors we were showcasing, so we wanted to share those recipes with you all:
Blueberry: A simple infusion that is as beautiful to look at as to drink, this one is delicious served over ice, or mixed with a bit of St Germain and club soda! Simmer 8oz of fresh organic blueberries with 1 teaspoon organic evaporated cane juice over medium heat to help breakdown the fruit. Add to 1L Tito’s Handmade Vodka and let sit 5 days, or until desired flavor is reached. If your blueberries aren’t sweet enough, add a bit more organic evaporated cane juice to taste. You can also use frozen blueberries for this recipe – the freezing actually helps the process along by breaking down the cell structures beforehand.
Lemon-Jalapeno: We love this one in bloody marys or as a hot shot to get your appetite revved before a bbq. Peel the rind from one fresh organic lemon, being careful to take as little of the white pith as possible. Add to 1L Tito’s Handmade Vodka and let sit 3-5 days until desired flavor is reached. Slice 1 jalapeno into discs and add to lemon-flavored vodka. Let sit 10-60 minutes, until desired heat is reached, then strain off the liquid. Be sure to keep an eye on it once you add the peppers – this one can get really hot really fast!
Cantaloupe: Smooth and just sweet enough, there is no better way to enjoy this infusion than on the rocks or shaken over ice and strained into a martini glass. Cut half of one ripe organic cantaloupe into 1-inch cubes and add to 1L Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Let sit 5-7 days until desired flavor is reached, then strain and enjoy!
Orange Chai: A warm, spicy infusion, the orange chai is a surprising flavor mixture that can stand up equally in a dessert drink when mixed with cream and simple syrup, or as a refreshing cocktail mixed with ginger beer. Peel the rind from one fresh organic orange, being careful to take as little of the white pith as possible. Add to 1L Tito’s Handmade Vodka and let sit 3-5 days until desired flavor is reached. Steep 3 black chai tea bags in orange flavored vodka for 15-30 minutes, then strain off the liquid.
Cucumber: It’s a day at the spa in a glass!! Try this one chilled and neat, or mix with a splash of watermelon juice and top with champagne. Peel and dice one organic cucumber into 1/2-inch cubes, then add to 1L Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Let sit 5-7 days until desired flavor is reached, then strain and enjoy!
Bacon-Jalapeno: This was the sleeper favorite of the week! We got compliments on the true bacon flavor rather than a smoky, nitrate-y flavor. One of the secrets is to use non-smoked bacon; we like the center cut uncured version from Whole Foods. Makes a KILLER bloody mary, especially when mixed with our favorite Divine Mary Mix. Fry 1/2 pound of bacon and drain on paper towels. Chop and add to 1L Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Let sit 3-7 days until desired flavor is reached. Slice 1 jalapeno into discs and add to bacon-flavored vodka. Let sit 10-60 minutes, until desired heat is reached, then strain off the liquid.
We love to hear your cocktail and infusion ideas. Get creative with Tito’s and send your ideas and pictures our way!!