The Bee’s Knees Cocktail

12/10/2015 § Leave a comment

Quite Continental: Bee's Knees

A honey of a cocktail if there ever was one, the Bee’s Knees cocktail is a relatively simple gin tipple that I frequently make at home.  All you’ll need are a few fresh ingredients, a bottle of your favorite gin, and a shaker.

The Bee’s Knees
2 oz. Brooklyn Gin
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. honey syrup (1:1)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, garnish with a fresh slice of lemon.

But wait, what the heck is honey syrup (1:1)?!
Don’t you worry girl, I got you.

Grab a small mason jar and your honey container.  Put equal parts honey to warm water in the jar.  You won’t need much to make one cocktail, but having a bit on reserve in the fridge is a classy move, so let’s do 2 ounces each of honey and water.  Screw on the lid and shake it up until it is thoroughly mixed.  Voila, you just made honey syrup!  Refrigerate any unused portion and throw it away after two weeks.

Cheers!

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Tending Bar: The Seven Year Itch

28/05/2012 § 2 Comments

While I may not be much of a cook, I do quite enjoy tending bar.  With an exceptionally warm Memorial Day Weekend (what thunderstorms?!?) and friends visiting from out of town, I took the opportunity to make my first pitcher cocktail of the season.  A bit bubbly, a bit tart, and completely refreshing, I’m calling this gin-based concoction of mine The Seven Year Itch.  To make it, you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cup of gin. I used Brooklyn Gin.
  • 1/2 cup elderflower liqueur.  I used St. Germain.
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 1 large handful of fresh raspberries
  • 1 handful of fresh mint, additional sprigs for garnish
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • ice
  • large pitcher, wooden spoon or muddler, cocktail glasses

First, take all of the fresh ingredients and add them to your pitcher.
Take care to wash everything and slice up the lime and lemon.

Muddle, muddle, muddle.

Next, add a good amount of ice to the pitcher, and then pour the liquors and the club soda over the ice.  Serve immediately to avoid the club soda going flat and the ice melting.

Voila! Garnish with a raspberry and a mint sprig.

So, what’s with the name?

One of the most iconic Marilyn Monroe movies — yep, the white dress/subway grate one — The Seven Year Itch was directed and co-written by Billy Wilder and was released in 1955.  Featuring an exceptionally hot summer in New York (ahem), the story details the overactive imagination of publishing executive Richard Sherman (a role that Tom Ewell originated on Broadway), who has been left to his own devices in the city while his wife (yep, of seven years) heads off to Maine for the summer with their son.  Settling in for a long, hot few months, Mr. Sherman is surprised to find his upstairs neighbors have sublet their apartment for the summer to a model (Monroe).  Proper Wilder-esque hijinks then ensue. It’s a lovely little film and one of my very favorites.  And when I thought about what I wanted to call my cocktail, I immediately thought of Marilyn’s dress, crisp and fresh in the hot city night.  Perfectly fitting, no?

Cheers!

Quite Continental Charm School: Day 21 — Drink More Gin

21/02/2012 § 9 Comments

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

Women in a New York City bar, 1941. Taken by Nina Leen for Life Magazine.

Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce our next guest speaker!  My good friend Marisa Zupan is a journalist, writer and the founder of the excellent men’s style blog The Significant Other, where she provides a thoughtful and studied female opinion on issues, brands and individuals important to the well-dressed man.  If your boyfriend/father/boss/anyone! is in need of a bit of a sartorial upgrade, please forward him to Marisa posthaste.

After I learned of our shared love of wearing beautiful neckties, I guessed we would get along famously, and I was right.  Marisa is one of the most grounded and supportive individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and I’m also quite pleased she chose to write about gin, one of my favorite libations.  If you are not yet familiar with Marisa, or The Significant Other, it is my pleasure to introduce you.

Without any further ado, Marisa’s tip for a charmed life.

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Day 21: Drink More Gin
Let’s face it ladies, you’ve been drinking mostly vodka your whole life. In high school it was vodka and crystal light (everyone did that right?), college it was vodka and whatever the hell juice your roommate had in the fridge, and in your young adult life it’s been some vodka martinis with the occasional ironic whiskey on the rocks to switch things up. Through all of this, gin has really gotten the short end of the stick.  I’ll admit, in my younger less classy days, I thought gin tasted like licking the underside of a moss covered rock, but those days are over and this year will be the one when I educate my much more mature palate.

Like its flavor profile, Gin’s history is varied and complex. It was discovered by Italian monks, used as medicine during the bubonic plague and, because it was cheap and (too) readily available, gin became associated with people and places of disrepute in London. Despite its sordid past, gin made a come back in the British colonies and has since then been the spirit of choice in some of the classiest and most popular cocktails. In my efforts to become more gin-knowledgeable, I discovered Brooklyn Gin, a company based right in my backyard. The ingredients, fresh citrus and juniper berries, are bought at a market only a 10 minute walk from my apartment, and distilled 30 minutes out side of the city. Local and delicious, what more could a lady ask for? A cocktail recipe. Below is just that, I hope you enjoy, here’s to kicking the vodka habit and getting more sophisticated in 2012.

Olive Rosemary Martini (via Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

2 ounces gin
2 teaspoons dry vermouth
1 rosemary sprig
Pitted olives

To Make: 

Shake 2 ounces gin and 2 teaspoons dry vermouth with crushed ice; strain into a stemmed glass. Strip leaves from bottom 2 inches of a rosemary sprig, skewer through pitted olives, and add to the drink.

by Marisa Zupan, of The Significant Other.

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The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

The Aviation Cocktail

19/08/2011 § 4 Comments

One of my favorite drinks is the Aviation, a classic, pre-prohibition era, gin-based cocktail.  I’d say it is a perfect summer cocktail, owing to its sky blue color and crisp tartness…but I enjoy the hell out of it the other three seasons of the year as well.  To make the Aviation, you’ll need:

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce of crème de violette
  • 2 dashes of maraschino liqueur

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake well and then strain into a cocktail glass.  Some bartenders will garnish the drink with a twist or a cherry, but I prefer mine without.

The crème de violette, a violet flower based-liqueur, will be the ingredient hardest to find.  It’s not exactly rare, but it did take me a few tries to find a shop in Manhattan that had it.  Also, make sure you’re purchasing actual crème de violette.  Rothman’s is the standard.  There are other “violet” liqueurs, like Parfait d’Amour, but they have an entirely different taste.  (Sidenote: There is some debate about the inclusion of Crème de Violette, as the recipe that appeared in the first edition of the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) mistakenly omitted it, and decades of bartenders have poured the drink without it.  I prefer mine pre-prohibition style.)

I use Brooklyn Gin for my Aviations, due to its smoothness and how its citrus notes compliment the liqueurs, but also because the gents behind the tiny distillery are personal friends.  The handsome bottle also pretties up a bar quite nicely, no?  Look for Brooklyn Gin at select bars and liquor stores around New York.

Brooklyn Gin: Website // Facebook // Twitter

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