We polled the crew here at TB about their favorite cocktails and mixed drinks and shared that with
@icarusrex for inspiration. Here's the cocktails he came up with (of course, we had to test the recipes, and yes they're very good) plus a couple of amateur creations of our own, just in time for New Year's.
TB Cocktail (Sweet & Spicy)
1 1/2 oz. bourbon whiskey (@icarusrex used Elijah Craig 12 Year; we used Woodinville Whiskey Company)
1/2 oz. Zirpenz Stone Pine Liqueur (see note below)
1/2 oz. real maple syrup
3 oz. ginger beer (@icarusrex used Goslings; we used Trader Joe's)
Shake bourbon, pine liqueur and maple syrup with ice and pour in a glass with ice. Top with ginger beer. Substitute honey syrup for maple syrup for a different flavor.
Note: We had difficulty finding the Zirpenz Stone Pine Liqeur, so we got a little creative; we brewed Douglas Fir tea, made ice cubes out of it, and added that to the drink, replacing the liquid with.... more whiskey.
Northwest Sky AKA Seattle Seagull* or "tastes like you'd expect") (our own amateur cocktail creation)
1 1/2 oz. Tito's Vodka
Sparkling water to fill the glass
Salt the rim of a small mason jar, camping mug, or whatever you happen to have around. Add ice cubes, packed snow, or icicles. Pour in vodka and sparkling water.
*Years ago when Tom managed the AYH hostel in Santa Cruz, he met a laconic young man from Denmark who claimed to have been raised in Greenland.
“Wow... tell me something about life in Greenland. What do you recall from living there?”
After some moments of thought, the young man replied “I remember we ate seagulls.”
“So... what do seagulls taste like?” Tom had to ask.
After some further long moments of reflection, the young man shrugged and said “pretty much like you’d expect.”
Seagulls, it turns out, taste like you’re expect them to.
Ever since then Tom has used this story to illustrate a situation when something is more or less self explanatory.
TB Non-Alcoholic Cocktail
2 oz. apple juice or apple cider
1/2 oz. real maple syrup or honey syrup
3 oz. ginger beer
Mix in a glass of your choice. Garnish with curled lemon or orange peel.
Cucumber and Fir Non-Alcoholic Cocktail
3 Cucumber slices
Douglas Fir for garnish
Optional: Douglas Fir Ice Cubes*
Combine sparkling water with two cucumber slices and ice in a glass. Cut the third cucumber slice as a garnish and add it to the rim of the glass along with a piece of Douglas Fir. This very simple drink is quite refreshing, especially for those who prefer a less sweet taste.
*Douglas Fir Ice Cubes
To make: brew Douglas Fir tea. Either collect your own Douglas Fir spring tips (the very bright green, new growth of the tree; take care not to collect all of the tips from the same tree, or same section of the tree) in the spring and dry them for use year 'round or purchase this ready-to-go tea from Juniper Ridge. Let the tea cool and pour it in an ice cube tray. Freeze.
Many thanks again to @icarusrex. See also: his article on Mile High Bartending.