La Mûre Sauvage - Ransom Old Tom Gin cocktail

In the Pacific Northwest, you never want summer to end. When there is a dry warm stretch in the forecast, the rivers and hiking trails are filled with people soaking in their Vitamin D. Everyone calls in sick if it's over 85 degrees. In the city the terraces, patios, and rooftops are packed with locals and tourists alike, sucking down tall refreshing fruity cocktails and craft beers. Today, the former struck my fancy, and I wanted to use the wild blackberries behind my house for something special. What says summer more than a giant hurricane glass full of gin and organic wild berries?

La Mûre Sauvage


2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1 oz Lime Juice
handful of wild blackberries (frozen, if you must)
3/4 oz Mint Simple Syrup
Soda Water to top, Tonic if you like more sweetness


In a shaker tin, muddle blackberries, add Gin, Lime juice, mint simple syrup, shake with ice. Double Strain onto fresh ice in a hurricane glass. Top with soda water and garnish with blackberries and mint sprig. Savor. The end.


No Way Rosé! Watermelon Sorbet Recipe

Need a way to beat the heat?
What better way than some summer favs combined in a frozen, adult drink. 

August 3rd is National Watermelon day, celebrate with this delightfully refreshing cocktail
As always, drink responsibly!

"No Way Rosé" Watermelon Sorbet

(1 batch serves 4-6) 
1 Bottle (750 ml) Rosé
2 Cups Watermelon Puree* (strained)
2.5 oz Fresh lime juice (strained)
6 oz Mint Simple Syrup**

*Watermelon Puree: cube a small seedless watermelon, puree in a blender or food processor until smooth, strain or use cheesecloth to remove seeds and large pieces. 

**Mint Simple Syrup: In a heat proof container combine 1 cup each sugar and boiling water. Add 4-5 mint sprigs and let steep uncovered until room temperature. 

Combine all ingredients and put into a freezer safe container, after 2-3 hours when ice crystals begin to form on the surface, stir and return to freezer. Serve in a wine glass with mint sprig garnish 

The Solera System- Recipe: The Spanish Attic

The Solera system (as it is called in Spain) is a finishing and blending technique to develop flavors of Sherry. By reserving a portion of a barrels older contents, you add the younger product in. This infuses the younger spirit or wine with a touch of the older more developed product, giving layer upon layer of development and character to the final product. 

Imagine a pyramid of barrels stacked, with those closer to the ground being the oldest. When the most mature batches are ready for bottling, a portion of the contents are left in the cask. Then, the barrels from above are used to top off the lower barrels, with a portion of contents left inside, and the process is repeated with each layer until the top barrel is filled with new batch. This is very labor intensive, no barrel is ever emptied completely, and very little product in the Solera system will be bottled for each cycle.

That means, each year the Solera is in cycle, the output has a higher concentration of older and older product. It could contain portions of 3 year old and 20 year old Sherry in the same vessel. I imagine this takes an extraordinary amount of organization and care. Enjoying these Lustau Solera Reserva products makes me respect the process even more.

Now that you know a little about the Solera system, you will have a deeper appreciation for the Lustau Brandy and Sherry products used for my recipe: The Spanish Attic

Full Recipe and Inspiration can be found on the Chilled Magazine Site