Surprise, surprise. It has now been revealed that Ciroc’s latest offering, Ciroc VS (Very Special) is actually a French brandy. Given that past Ciroc releases have included coconut, apple, and red berry-flavored vodkas, the decision to release a brandy is certainly unexpected. My guess is that Ciroc VS is Ciroc’s response to the increase in millennials purchasing craft bourbons/whiskeys. Ciroc putting out a bourbon/whiskey isn’t really an option, but a French vodka releasing a French brandy does work.
Given that brandy has always come across as a fall/winter spirit to me, I wanted to create a summer-friendly Ciroc VS cocktail perfect for the upcoming holidays. Given that sangria is absolutely the first cocktail that comes to mind when I think of brandy, I knew that “Ciroc Very Special Sangria” was the one. I also wanted to offer up a classier cocktail, so I opted for a twist on the Old Fashioned cocktail, which I’ve dubbed the “Amour Old Fashioned.”
You can find both drink recipes below, and look out for Ciroc VS when it’s release this June. Cheers!
Ciroc Very Special Sangria
1 Bottle Red Wine (750 mL) 1/2 Cup Ciroc VS 5 oz. Ciroc Pineapple 1 Cup Orange Juice 1 Cup Pineapple Juice
Pineapple Chunks And Orange Slices
As an Old Fashioned lover, I immediately became curious after reading about ASW Distillery’s “2nd Best Old Fashioned.” If you’re a little taken aback by the title, don’t worry, it came about after a patron at ASW happily made the shady declaration after taking a sip of the Old Fashioned served at the distillery. It does make for a pretty funny story, and an incentive for the cocktail curious, like myself. So, I recently paid a visit to the ASW Distillery to try out their take on the Old Fashioned. First off, the space is amazing. Hues of blue and lots of wood surround the open bar/lounge space.
As far as the “2nd Best Old Fashioned,” it’s definitely a solid Old Fashioned. It’s got a nice amount of kick thanks to the Fiddler Unison Bourbon, and there’s just the right amount of sweetness. The latter of which is where most Old Fashioneds fail, in my opinion. And if you’re interested in checking out the “2nd Best Old Fashioned” for yourself, you can either visit the ASW Distillery, or try out one of these variations they’ve created on the “2nd Best Old Fashioned.”
“2nd Best Old Fashioned” Recipe No. 1
2 oz Fiddler Unison Bourbon ⅓ oz Simple syrup 5 drops 1821 Prohibition Aromatic Bitters 5 drops 1821 Tart Cherry Saffron Bitters Splash Fresh orange juice
Orange peel (for garnish)
“2nd Best Old Fashioned” Recipe No. 2
2 oz Fiddler Unison Bourbon 2 tsp warm water 1 tsp raw sugar 3 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange wedge (for garnish)
“2nd Best Old Fashioned” Recipe No. 3
2 oz Fiddler Unison Bourbon 2 tsp Fig cordial 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar Regan’s Orange Bitters
Lemon peel (for garnish)
If you’ve found yourself in a last-minute bind when it comes to a gift for dad this Father’s Day, let the gift of booze be your saving grace. Last week, I took part in a live Tips And Sips video workshop with Maker’s Mark in honor of Father’s Day. My favorite part of the workshop was when Pamela Wiznitzer (National President of the United States Bartender’s Guild) showed us how to make two, different Old Fashioneds. I personally love Old Fashioneds, so it was pretty cool learning how to make one from an expert.
And since dads love simplicity, I am hereby declaring the Old Fashioned the official (but mostly unofficial) cocktail of choice for Father’s Day. So, grab yourself a bottle of Maker’s Mark for dad, and check out this Old Fashioned recipe from Pam Wiz.
Pam Wiznitzer’s Old Fashioned
2 parts Maker’s 46 3 dashes bitters of choice (i.e., Angostura or 18.21) Simple syrup of choice (i.e., cinnamon or tea-infused)
Citrus of choice (orange, lemon or grapefruit)
In a rocks glass, muddle choice of syrup with choice of sliced citrus. Add ice, Maker’s 46 and bitters. Stir and enjoy.
I’ve been sitting on this recipe idea for quite a few months now and finally chose to whip it up earlier today. And now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long because it’s super easy to make and hella tasty. Also, if you’ve found yourself slightly intimated by the Old Fashioned then this is a nice way to ease yourself in. The addition of Piehole Pecan Pie Whiskey gives it a nice layer of dessert-y sweetness while the Bulleit Bourbon still makes for a pretty solid Old Fashioned.
Another cool thing about this cocktail is that you can really add your own twist to it by using flavored bitters. I used good ol’ fashioned Angostura bitters for my cocktail, but a vanilla or walnut-flavored bitter would really take this drink to the next level.
Check out my Pecan Pie Old Fashioned recipe, below. Cheers!
1 oz Bulleit Bourbon 0.5 oz Piehole Pecan Pie Whiskey 1 or 2 Sugar Cubes 2 Dash Of Bitters
Splash Of Water
Add sugar cube(s), bitters, and a splash of water to an Old Fashioned glass. Muddle sugar mixture with the back of a spoon. Add Bulleit Bourbon and Piehole Whiskey to your glass. Stir and add ice. Garnish with cherry.
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