Not Your Grandma's Pumpkin Pie

We're looking forward to heading home for Thanksgiving this week, and in that spirit, we would like to share a pumpkin pie cocktail with you. This cocktail is creamy, sweet and delicious, and we don't skimp on the booze. So instead of arguing with your relatives about the election, why not bring something everyone can agree on to the table this year. 

Not Your Grandma's Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Puree
  • 3/4 oz Half and Half
  • 3/4 oz Clove Syrup
  • 2 oz Sailor Jerry or your choice of spiced rum
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Nutmeg

Make a clove infused demerara syrup by gently heating equal parts demerara sugar and water in a saucepan. Add a healthy handful of cloves and warm the syrup over a low flame, never allowing it to boil. 

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake ingredients to blend. Open the shaker and add ice. Shake very hard in order to create a delicious foamy texture. Double strain into a rocks glass with no ice. Garnish with powdered nutmeg. Double straining is the process of using both your hawthorne (cocktail) strainer, and a sieve to filter out any remaining ice bits or pieces of ingredients that would take away from a perfectly smooth finished product.  

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving from Two Parts Spirit!

Whisky Classics

Last week we talked about bourbon and rye. We hope you took the opportunity to try some out and find something that suits your tastes. Now, here's a couple of classic whisky cocktails to make at home. 

THE OLD FASHIONED

The old fashioned is perhaps the quintessential whisky cocktail, and there are many ways to serve one. It's served on the rocks, but some people like to muddle an orange in theirs, or a cherry, or both. Some are garnished with orange slices, others with twists, and the eternal debate rages among cocktail bartenders whether to use raw sugar or demerara syrup. Our take on the old fashioned is simple, smooth and classic. 

Demerara syrup is a natural sugar syrup. It's easily made by combining equal parts hot water and sugar in the raw. We prefer to use demerara syrup because it makes for a smooth cocktail without sugar granules in the bottom of your glass. 

  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1/4 Ounce Demerara Syrup
  • 2 Ounces Bourbon
  • Twist of Orange
  • Twist of Lemon                                                                                                                                                           

Combine bitters, bourbon and demerara syrup in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with twists of orange and lemon. 

 

The Manhattan

The manhattan is an iconic rye whisky cocktail invented in New York City. While the exact origins are debated, it's an undeniably elegant and classic cocktail, whether served up, as it is traditionally served, or on the rocks. Don't forget, bourbon and rye have many similarities, so you may be breaking a bartenders taboo by making a Maker's Mark manhattan, but we encourage you to enjoy this drink any way you like it. 

An easy way to remember how to make a manhattan is to use the area code 212 that covers much of Manhattan. 

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 ounces rye whisky                                                                                                                                                                                                

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice and stir. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a brandied cherry. 

Your choice of sweet vermouth can also make a big difference in this cocktail. Our favorites are Carpano Antica Formula, or Punt e Mes, but use any type as long as you keep it chilled in the fridge in between uses, and not in the back of a cabinet like your grandmother does. 

It's Whisky Season

We’re well into Autumn now, the jackets and sweaters are coming out, and people are swapping their margaritas and mojitos for fall cocktails. That means its whisky season! 

As the popularity of American Whisky has increased, we’ve seen manhattans, old fashioneds and variations on other classic whisky cocktails come to be a staple on cocktail menus. Maybe you’ve even been to a whisky bar or a bar-b-que restaurant hosting 50+ bottles of American whiskies. For the uninitiated, it can be an overwhelming task to select a bourbon or rye that is right for you, and you may not have wanted to ask the leather apron clad, tattooed bartender what the difference is between all these products while he’s stirring two cocktails or tapping into a mini aging barrel on his bar. 

If you know this stuff, go ahead and skip to the photos, but here’s a little information about what exactly you’re drinking when bourbon season rolls around. 

What is bourbon?

Bourbon is American whisky. Like for Champagne or Tequila, there are strict standards in effect to protect the integrity of this product. Bourbon whisky must be from the United States, though Kentucky is the historical home of bourbon. It must be made at least 51% corn, and it must be aged in American oak barrels that are new and charred on the inside. The charred barrels give bourbon its flavor and caramel color. Many drinkers are surprised to see that Jack Daniels, the famous Tennessee whisky, is actually clear when it leaves the still, as are all bourbons and ryes. They take on their signature flavor and color after the aging process. 

Straight Bourbon has even more stringent criteria. In addition to all the above regulations, it must be aged for at least 2 years. 

Bonded Bourbon follows all these regulations but is bottled at 100 proof, or 50% alcohol

What is Rye?

Rye whisky follows a similar set of regulations, but must be made up of at least 51% rye grain instead of corn. Rye grain, like in rye bread, often gives this type of whisky a slightly more spicy, savory flavor. Consider the difference between rye bread and cornbread when selecting between bourbon and rye. However, the other 49% of grains in the mash that makes your whisky have much to do with the finished product, and you can find bourbons that are more savory and ryes that are more sweet and creamy. The only way to find out what you like best, is to try some!

Keep in mind that there are other sub-categories of American whiskies; blends, sour mash style, and white dog (unaged whisky,) but for our purposes we will focus on bourbon and rye. If you get interested in whisky, start experimenting with different styles for fun and comparison. But buyer beware! Some blended American whiskies contain neutral grain spirits. This is an indication of a lower quality spirit. 

On that note, here are a few products that we like to sip on at home or use in our cocktails.  

The budget option- Under $20

Old Overholt Rye

Old Heaven Hill Bourbon

The Middle of the Road- $25-35

Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Rittenhouse Rye

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The Discerning Taster- $45-60

Templeton Rye

Blantons Single Barrel Bourbon

Special occasion $80+

Willet Pot Still Reserve Straight bourbon

Whistlepig 12 year Old World Rye

The Legend of Pappy Van Winkle

If you have any experience with bourbon, you’ve probably heard of Pappy Van Winkle, the impossible to find, waiting list only, outlandishly expensive bourbon. It comes in several ages, starting at 10 and going up to 23 years; the 23 going for upwards of $3000 online. Our opinion? While Pappy is a delicious, smooth and complex bourbon, it’s become too famous for the average drinker. You can easily find comparable bourbons in the $100-200 range. Leave the Pappy for the collectors, and experiment with some lesser known brands if you’re feeling adventurous. But, if you’re rich uncle breaks it out around the holidays, drink up, and buy the man a cigar. You could probably take a weekend vacation with the price of your glass of whisky. 

Fall Flavors

Now that summer is over it's time to bust out your favorite sweater and head over to your local farmer's market. Here at Two Parts Spirit we are always looking for ways to incorporate local ingredients and fresh produce into our events, it's a great way to support local farmers and ensure we are offering the best quality cocktails to our guests.

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Fall brings an array of amazing ingredients to choose from, we visited our local markets and filled our tote bags with apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, and rosemary to play with in our test bar.  

We came up with a Two Parts Spirit original cocktail using apple brandy, bourbon, house cinnamon syrup, burnt orange zest, and an apple slice for garnish. We used Laird's Apple Brandy. It's one of the oldest spirits produced in the USA, distilled in New Jersey since 1780. 

This is a stirred cocktail that is perfect for you old fashioned drinkers out there.  The fruit forward apple brandy pairs well with bourbon and the cinnamon adds a rich depth of flavor.  The burnt orange zest adds an aromatic element and brings the cocktail to life.   

The Autumn Fashioned

  • 1.5 oz Laird's Apple Brandy                                                                                                       
  • .5 oz Bourbon                                                                                                                                
  • .25 oz Cinnamon Syrup                                                                                                                
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters                                                                                                  
  • Twist of orange                                                                                                                      
  • Apple cinnamon garnish                                                                                                

Combine bitters, Laird's Apple Brandy, bourbon and cinnamon syrup in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Pour over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Zest an orange twist over the glass and discard. Garnish with apple and cinnamon. Enjoy!

Welcome!

Welcome to Two Parts Spirit - a blog dedicated to bridging the gap between the world of craft cocktails, weddings & corporate events, and home entertaining.  

Two Parts Spirit is a mixology company that specializes in creating customized cocktails for events. We create unique and exciting craft cocktails for your event, and take care of planning and production, so you can simply enjoy. The most important feature of Two Parts Spirit is that we create cocktails to your theme or inspiration, and we deliver them with the speed and quality that you can expect from the top cocktail bars in New York City.

Join us on our journey as we share our insights, inspirations, and love for our craft.   

About us

Max MOORE, founder 

After 7 years behind the bar honing his craft, Max ventured out from behind the bar and into beverage consulting and bar management.  Through his experience working at the Dirty French at the Ludlow Hotel, the Surf Lodge, and the Soho Grand Hotel to name a few, Max approaches the events world with an in depth knowledge of service and cocktail know how.  Max founded the company in 2013 and later brought in Harry McNamara to complete the duo that is now the driving force behind two parts spirit.  

Harry MCNAMARA, Lead Consult 

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Harry grew up in the service industry, beginning as a dishwasher in his Mother's catering kitchen. In New York city, he has worked in hotels, restaurants and cocktail bars, creating unique cocktails and memorable experiences for his guests. He has also worked in planning and executing events for such brands as Absolut Vodka, Jameson, The New Museum and the Northside Music Festival.

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