This Month's Recommended Box Big Easy
What is now one of the largest distilling companies in the world, the Sazerac brand has humble beginnings in the world of French cognac as well as the early coffee houses of 1800’s New Orleans. Today, Sazerac rye is distilled as an homage to this long and noble heritage and is a complex spirit that brings depth and gravitas to the cocktail which bears its name. Featuring a bold, yet smooth pallet of citrus, warming spices and vanilla, with hints of pepper, anise, licorice and clove, this rye is specifically designed to emulate the flavors of the original Sazerac cocktail itself and brings a world of complexity to all the cocktails found within this month’s box, Big Easy.Get a Box
While there have been many cocktails in the Crafty’s repertoire that take their cue from the classics, the entire box for this month, BIG EASY, is nothing but. The Southern United States is the birthplace of many amazing and interesting cocktail recipes, and culinary techniques in general, with Sazerac rye and Peychaud’s bitters being chief among them. With such a rich chronicle of cocktail greatness, we felt it was time to pay homage to this incredible region and its long-standing cocktail history with a box that celebrates not only the southern spirit, but many of the other recipes and ingredients that can be found there.
Sazerac Rye is a truly unique spirit, as it has a legacy that resides deep within North American cocktail culture, being a mainstay whiskey in bars and restaurants of the South since the mid-1800’s, and has a complex, and truly amazing profile that is bursting with flavour, yet remarkably smooth.
Riding sidecar to Sazerac rye is Peychaud’s bitters, an ingredient whose history is so closely tied to this rye, and the Sazerac cocktail itself, that, for a bartender, it is hard to mention one without instantaneously thinking about the other.
This box incorporates a ton of fun, unique and hard-to-find elements with these long-time partners in cocktail crime, taking classic recipes and ingredient combinations and giving them that patented Crafty’s flair. Recipes like the Rootbeer Sazerac, which seamlessly incorporates original recipe rootbeer ingredients like sassafras, caramel and wintergreen into a ‘simple’ classic Sazerac recipe. The Cheasapeakean Ramos Fizz, which plays on the ubiquitous New Orleans recipe with intriguing ingredients like Ruby Fassinola syrup, muddled peach and Old Bay seasoning. Or simply taking a page from the book of Southern hospitality with the Streetcar Named Crafty’s, welcoming you into its humble flavour aboded with homebrewed sweet tea, lemon curd and the zip of pure citric acid.
This box blurs the lines between modern and classic. Its important to give respect where it is due, but also, we must always be moving forward in our quest for amazing cocktails. So check out this month’s Crafty Cocktails box, BIG EASY, and get better acquainted with the flavours and history of the birthplace of modern cocktail culture, the Southern United States.
Streetcar Named Crafty's
Toot toot! All aboard! Our journey on this cocktail adventure will take us through many stops within the Southern United States, none of which should be missed. To the left of your shaker, you’ll see a true brewed iced tea from Wize, and if you gander out to the right, your vision will stumble upon the beautiful lemon custard filling of a warm, homemade pie. And just over your shoulder sits a truly unique ingredient, Bitterman’s Burlesque bitters, exuding all the indulgent and spicey flavours of New Orleans. And that fine powder you see in front of you? That’s citric acid, a bartender’s secret ingredient for adding a little zip to a cocktail. Don’t let these sights pass you by; collect them in your shaker and let the landscape of flavour take you on a journey through the South, and all the wonderful flavours present there.
There is no cocktail more classic than the Sazerac. Recognized as the one of the very first American cocktails on record, it has a special place in the hierarchy of cocktail culture and is a drink every aspiring bartender should be familiar with. The same is true of rootbeer for soft drinks, as versions of this delightful soda have been brewed since the early 1800’s and has roots (pun intended) that stretch back to Native American medicinal practices. With so much history behind them, it seems like a match made in heaven. Care had to be taken however, as you can not simply add rootbeer to a Sazerac to produce a tasty, yet authentic drink. Keeping the basic elements of the original Sazerac in place, such as Peychaud’s bitters and lemon oil, the rootbeer elements were deconstructed to subtly introduce their flavours; monkfruit, muddled sassafras and caramel, thick rootbeer molasses, and wintergreen infused absinthe all add ‘rootbeer’ flavour to a very classic execution of the Sazerac cocktail.
Chesapeakean Ramos Fizz
Ramos Fizz’s are yet another example in a long line of a classic cocktails to come out of the Southern United States. While not overly complex in terms of ingredients, a Ramos Fizz’s allure resides in its intricate technique, as the traditional 10 minute shake of the egg whites results in an incredibly rich, yet light and airy cocktail that makes one appreciate the time and effort that was put in to making it. The simplicity of its ingredients, however, leaves a lot of room for manipulation, which is where we at Crafty’s come in. Substitute the gin for deliciously complex Sazerac rye, add some interesting and sweet elements such as muddled peach and ruby Fassinola syrup, a spritz of blood orange floral water, and spicy, savory Old Bay seasoning, a classic seafood spice from Cheasapeake Bay on the US’s East Coast, and you have a unique version of this classic cocktail which is nothing short of amazing.
Trust your Bartender
Everybody has their favorite spirit, but also have spirits they’re not so crazy about. These opinions are built over a lifetime of experiences; that bartender who made you the most amazing vodka cocktail you’ve ever tried, that one time you drank too much tequila… there are endless factors that may contribute to our own personal opinions towards particular types of alcohol. While these biases are completely understandable, a Crafty Cocktails box subscription is all about education in the world of cocktail creation, and it is very hard to learn new things if you don’t step outside your comfort zone. We strongly encourage you to make your cocktails with the recommended spirit for the month, even if you think you don’t like it. If a recipe is well balanced and acutely aware of the flavor profile of its given base spirit, the result can surprise even the most discerning of palettes. Conversely, an attempt to substitute the recommended alcohol for another simply because of personal preference can result in disaster, as flavor profiles tend to clash rather than compliment each other. The recipes in a Crafty’s curated box are just that, curated to suit a particular base spirit. Trust our bartenders, they know what they’re talking about; let them show how something you thought you disliked, can become something you absolutely love. If you truly can't get down with the featured box of the month, we understand! You can choose one of our past boxes to start a subscription, just send us an email and request the one you want to start with. Cheers!