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Flowers in the Form of Drinks: Mother’s Day Cocktails

Who needs to give flowers on Mother’s Day when you can give floral cocktails?! Our friends over at Serious Eats agree that botanic-inspired drinks are definitely the way to go this Sunday and hence, have compiled a list of eight blossoming concoctions and recipes. Instead of creating our own cocktails this week, we figured we’d share theirs, such as the lavender- and honey-laced H.K. Rose and the agave-tinged, bubbly punch, Jalisco Flower. We’ve also got all the spirits and wine ingredients handy, ready for you to hit “add to cart.”

Vintage Vodka?

Terroir is a common term for wine, but you don’t hear it so much for vodka. Well, EVER. That’s about to change with Karlsson’s Gold Batch 2008, a vintage vodka distilled from one specific type of potato. And you thought vodka had to be odorless and tasteless?

To catch you up to speed, Karlsson’s Gold is a collaborative project between master distiller Börje Karlsson, the guy who helped launch Absolut, and a group of Swedish potato farmers. Concocted as a blend of seven varieties of virgin potatoes from Cape Bjäre, Sweden, the vodka is distilled only once (as opposed to around seven times, like most commercial brands) to preserve the character of the potatoes.

Karlsson didn’t stop there, of course. He took it to the next level with his Batch series, debuting with the 2008 harvest. Made exclusively from the Gammel Svensk Rod (“Old Swedish Red”) new potatoes, the bottling has a distinctive sharp and complex, earthy and peppery flavor that sets it apart from blended vodkas. The label displays the name of the farmer, Bertil Gunnarsson, harvest property, and the bottle’s edition. Only 1,980 bottles exist. 

Swing by USQ every Saturday in April, from 6pm to 9pm, for sips of the Batch 2008 and Karlsson’s Gold Vodka. Both bottlings will be for sale. Find out more information here.

Taking Easter Peeps to New Heights: Yellow Chickie Martini

Easter just isn’t complete without Peeps, those sugary, marshmallowy concoctions that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. (And they are super fun to microwave. Try it.) But the classic Peep, the little yellow chicken, inspired our Easter cocktail 2012: Yellow Chickie Martini. It’s a lively combination of Karlsson’s Gold Vodka, Capri Natura Limoncello, Dolin Dry Vermouth, created by our spirits director Tom Smith. The earthy potato vodka and savory, herbal vermouth playfully balance the sweetness of the limoncello. Serve it up or on the rocks.

2 oz. Karlsson’s Gold Vodka
2 oz. Capri Natura Limoncello
2 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
Peeps Yellow Marshmallow Chicks

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish by floating a Peep in the martini. Happy Easter!

Get all the ingredients here.

A Miami Vice: Belvedere Vanilla Sour

I’m in Miami, trick! USQite Stephanie just returned from a trip to South Beach, where Belvedere seemed to be the vodka brand of choice. While strobe lights and sparkling bottle toppers may not be your evening routine, this Belvedere Vanilla Sour should make a guest appearance. Red velvet rope not included.

2oz Belvedere Vodka
1 oz vanilla syrup
1 oz lemon juice
dash Angostura bitters
dash egg white

Combine all ingredients and shake well. Strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

"Fleur de Pologne" Zubrowka Cocktail

Flavored vodkas may have gone too far with marshmallow and whipped cream, but we all agree bison grass was a good move. Zubrowka, the ubiquitous bison grass vodka from Poland, won our 2012 Martini Bowl, and finds a home with plenty of our customers. In fact, Zubrowka brand ambassadors were mixing up cocktails at The Barrel every Friday in February! Considering spring is just around the bend, try this Zubrowka-approved “Fleur de Pologne” cocktail, a delicate blend of wintry warmth and spring fling.

1.5oz Zubrowka
0.75 oz St.Germain
0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. cloudy apple juice/cider
4-5 fresh mint leaves
a few drops of rhubarb bitters
absinthe spritz in coupe, optional

Shake all ingredients well. Double strain into coupe or cocktail glass. Also, try it on the rocks in a tumbler.