Entries in Anu Apte (4)


Dispatches from Kentucky: Between the Barrels

It's a sweltering 80 degrees in Lebanon Junction, but Anu has seemed to escape the boozey, sweat-filled air of the camp and tour the rickhouse at Heaven Hill Distillery. It's the birthplace of Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Rittenhouse Rye, among many other familiar aquae vitae. Aromas of American Oak, dust, and pepper fill the air in the 7-story complex,  and my what a beautiful sight!





Dispatches from Kentucky!


 What does summer camp in Kentucky, keeping some of the country's bestbartenders out of trouble, and our very own Anu Apte have in common? The Lush Life produced, Camp Runamok, is what. 

This week, Anu will be heading up a group of amazng bartenders as one of 16 camp counselors, and she'll be sending dispatches from the remote campgrounds in Lebanon, KY. Aside from sharing trade secrets, competing in a talent competitions, and being on time to breakfast, campers will be helping to spruce up the grounds for future campers to enjoy! 

Of course, it wouldn't be a summer camp for bartenders without a tour of Kentucky's greatest distilleries. First stop on the itinerary: Four Roses Bourbon.










Recap: Build Your own Home Bar

Their homes are going to have bad ass bars

I'll be re-teaching this class sometime in the spring so stay tuned! 

We covered spirits that every home bar must have.  The four clears, the browns, the liquers.  I also mentioned that every home bar should have what I call the "trend" spirit.  For Seattle right now, that booze is definitely, Fernet.  Also, don't forgot to love, respect, and treat your vermouths right.  Basically, it comes down to building something that you will love so buy spirits that you love...and hey, splurge a bit on certain items while saving on others

We talked bartools, mixers, syrups, bitters, hijinks and shenanigans.  It was a whole lot of fun.

Here's the recipe for the Hot Toddy that I made for the class.  I was giving an example of how you can use ingredients found in your kitchen to make tasty tasty things.

Kitchen Spices Hot Toddy

2 ounces of any base spirit you want.  Aged spirits work better, I used bourbon.

1/4 oz maple syrup

1 clove

1 cinnamon stick

1 cardamom seed

dash of fresh ground black pepper

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Lemon wedge


It's pretty simple.  Put some water in a mug and heat it up in the microwave.  This pre-heats your mug so it doesn't cool down your drink too fast.  

Empty your mug of the "pre-heat" water.  Add your ingredients.  Squeeze the lemon wedge and put it in the mug.  Add 3 to 6 ounces of boiling water depending on the booze intensity you desire.  Stir it up and sip away.


For those of you who took the class feel free to email me with any questions or come prepared with them at the Build Your own Home Bar 2.  I'm looking forward to it.




Recap: American Apple Brandy Class

I'm so happy Paul Clarke taught this class.  He is such a wealth of information it was an 1 1/2 hours of non stop interesting and informative conversation.  You can check out his blog for details on his talk.  I'll focus on the drinks.

The class started off with the...

Josey Packard, Boston

2 oz. apple brandy
1 oz. fresh apple cider
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. apricot liqueur

It's shaken and served up.  For this class I chose to make candied Angostura Apple peels wrapped around a fresh cranberry for the garnish.

How to make Candied Angostura Apple Peels:

In a heavy bottom sauce pan put 1 cup of water to 1 cup of Demerara sugar.  Start warming up the liquid.  Add thinly sliced apple peels from one apple.  I used a y-shaped peeler to get a nice swath.  Bring to a boil and stir for 2-5 minutes.  If the sugar starts to reduce to quickly remove the pan from heat.  You don't want to burn the sugar!  Trust me, I have before and it sucks.  Add 2 healthy dashes of Angostura bitters, stir, and let boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Watch it carefully.  Some crazy chemical reaction happens and can cause the peels to burn.  Okay, okay, it's not really a crazy chemical reaction.  It can all be explained.... but that shall be done in another blog post.  It has to do with alcohol, herbs, heat, etc.  Back on track - Remove peels from syrup using tongs and place on wax paper.  Place them on the wax paper in the shape you want them to cool in.  Obviously, straight lines are the easiest and save your fingers from burns.  I was determined to wrap the peels around the fresh cranberries so I had to move very quickly as to not burn my fingers.  Sometimes, I pretend I'm a ninja.  That was impossible in this case.  A few hot moments and profanities happened.


{Here are a few of left over Angostura Candied Apple Peels.  They were eaten by the end of the class}


 Next, we enjoyed a variation of...

Old Waldorf Bar Days, 1927

2 oz. apple brandy (Laird's bonded)
1 oz. sweet vermouth
2 d. orange bitters

This drink is stirred and served up.  Garnish with a brandied cherry.

We "bumped up the complexity" by using Punt e Mes instead of standard vermouth and I added 1/8 oz of Maraschino.










After more history, anecdotes, and information we went on to taste some lovely American Apple Brandies.

 Laird's Bonded and Laird's Applejack 

Laird's 12 year

Clear Creek 4 year

Clear Creek 8 year

                                                                                 Oh yes, and Paul had this gem for us to try.






{Fruit House Winery Apple Brandy.  It was well, hot.  It was nice to try it alongside the other brandies and allow our palettes to experience a broad range.}


I'm really looking for to the Holiday Cocktails (that don't suck) class that Paul is teaching on the 10th and 11th.  

Goodnight all, I'll see you tomorrow at the Build Your Own Bar, part 1 class tomorrow.


Swig Well,

Anu Apte