Bring the Bar Home with These Expert Tips and Tricks
At The Woods, we have always chased the seasons through our cocktail menus – getting continually inspired by the fresh produce that appear in the wet markets at various times of year.
We’re now here with Sassy to show you some easy DIY-at-home recipes to serve up come October and November to get into the Autumn spirit. Even though the leaves don’t change colour in Hong Kong, there’s nothing that welcomes Fall like sweet spices!
Fall Spiced Old Fashioned:
Ah, the Old Fashioned- the most classic of cocktails and time and again labelled as a gentleman’s favourite – but we see no reason why only men can enjoy them! Plan ahead a little with this cocktail, as we recommend a bourbon infusion.
Spiced Bourbon Infusion
– One 750ml bottle of Bourbon (our favourite at The Woods is Michter’s* – from a small-batch family owned distillery in Kentucky)
– 6 x Cinnamon sticks
– 1 x tbls Cloves
– 2 x tbls Allspice
– Any other sweet spices that strike your fancy! We also like throwing in some star anise and even some vanilla pods. At The Woods, we like getting our spices whole (not in powdered form) at our local spice store – Yuan Heng Spice Co. on 19 Tung Street near PoHo. The shop owners will even give you little tid bits like how cloves make a fantastic cockroach repellent!
Place your ingredients in an air-tight, non-reactive container and just let them sit. Taste your infusion every day or two to see how it is progressing. About one week should be more than enough to do the trick, but two will really allow the spices to shine. Strain out the ingredients when you think it is ready, and now it’s time to get to work on your cocktail!
– 60ml of your homemade spice-infused Bourbon
– 1 x brown sugar cube moistened with Angostura Bitters*
– 1 x apple wedge
– 1 x orange twist
1. Take a sturdy mixing glass, a muddler (if you don’t have one, any kitchen utensil with a blunt end or a strong spoon will do!) and go to town on the brown sugar cube, orange twist, and apple slice – express as much juice as you can!
2. Add the bourbon and some ice, stir.
3. Strain the drink into a rocks glass with fresh ice (preferably one large round cube) and garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon stick… done!
If you enjoyed this, you’ll also like our classic Peach Old Fashioned and the Apple Butter Rum from our Fall seasonal menu at The Woods.
Ginger Pear Bellini
This little number is perfect for spicing up that weekend brunch with friends!
– 60ml of freshly juiced pear (be aware that the juice does brown after half hour!). As for types of pear – we like the Concorde variety pictured for its sweetness, but the common Bartlett pears are just as good for this recipe.
– 15ml of ginger-rosemary syrup
– Champagne (our favourite at The Woods is Billecart-Salmon for the luxe end, or Chandon for the budget end – both available at Watson’s Wine Stores)
– half cup sugar
– 1 x cup water
– 1 x large piece of ginger (no need to peel!) chopped into small pieces
– 2 x sprigs of rosemary
1. Add water, ginger, rosemary and half the sugar to a small saucepan and bring to gentle boil.
2. Add in remaining sugar while continuously stirring.
3. Allow syrup to simmer for at least 10 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and allow syrup to cool down before straining. For a more punchy syrup, allow the syrup to sit overnight before straining.
To make the Bellini, simply add the juice and syrup directly into a glass, and top with Champagne! Garnish with a thin slices of pear arranged into a ‘fan’ shape, or a sprig of rosemary.
If you enjoyed this, you’ll also like our Ginger Pear made with umeshu (plum wine) and St. George pear brandy (from a California based distillery) from our Fall seasonal menu at The Woods – a favourite from past years making another appearance!
Apricot Jam Cocktail
We are finishing this ode to Fall (drinking) with a dessert-y favourite! Feel free to get creative and substitute this recipe with any other jam of your choice (homemade or otherwise), or even spruce up existing jams with some extra zing – such as strawberry jam cooked with jalapenos!
– 2 x tablespoons of Apricot Jam
– 45ml Aperol
– 45ml London Dry Gin (we love Sipsmith’s London Dry Gin at The Woods!*)
– 20ml Lemon juice
– 1 x Egg white
This drink requires a method called “dry shaking” to produce the creamy textured egg white foam on the top of the cocktail. This involves shaking all the ingredients in a shaker (if you don’t have one, any container with a lid/cap will do!) without ice for a minute before adding ice to chill and shake again. This works as egg white foams better when warm, and be sure to use fresh eggs if possible as it produces a more stable foam.
Alternatives to this method include beating the egg white with an immersion blender and topping the cocktail made separately from it, or even giving all the ingredients a quick whirl in the blender.
If you enjoyed this, you’ll also like our classic Oak Whiskey Sour at The Woods!
Feel free to email us at [email protected] if you are interested in purchasing spirits and cocktail equipment, or simply drop by and have a tipple or two while you’re at it. We’ll even make you complimentary cocktails with your purchased bottle for you and your girlfriends that evening if you mention Sassy!
If you are interested in taking a more in-depth cocktail class with us, be it for a bachelorette party, birthday, or corporate team building, email us at [email protected] and we can tailor a package to suit your needs. You can do a Cocktail Bootcamp 101, focus on specific types of spirits complete with flights and blind tastings, or even participate in a MasterChef-style competition!
The Woods, L/G, 17 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2522 0281, www.thewoods.hk