Swig & Swill

The Hippocrene

the hippocrene

I was recently lucky enough to be asked by the fine folks at the Poetry Foundation to whip up a fancy-pants cocktail to celebrate 100 years of Poetry magazine. The cocktail was to be called the Hippocrene after the mythological fountain created by Pegasus. After much experimentation and some very helpful taste-testers, I ended up with:

The Hippocrene

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce ginger liqueur (domaine de canton)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mint tea (brewed at double strength) and chilled
  • 2 ounces dry, sparkling wine
  • Fresh basil, for garnish
  • Dash or two grapefruit bitters

Method

Single glass preparation:

Combine all ingredients except sparkling wine, basil, and bitters (if using) in a mixing glass over ice. Stir and strain into a glass and top with remaining ingredients.

Punch preparation:

Combine all ingredients (in greater quantities) except sparkling wine, basil and bitters in an adequately sized serving bowl, along with some large blocks of ice. It’s best to let this mixture chill and dilute a little while before adding everything else, but if time is short, it could be refrigerated beforehand and water (sparkling or still) can be added along with the rest of the ingredients at service time. The basil should still be added directly to the glass, as it is the aroma and not necessarily the flavor that you’re after. It would also be nice to garnish the mixing bowl with some citrus slices, for color and a generally vigorous appearance.

 

 

Featured, Out & About

Dollymoon: Louisville

21 C Hotel in Lousville, Kentucky

We’ve been dragging out our Dollymoon recaps for awhile, but now it’s time for our final look back. After taking in the fine sights, smells, and tastes of Woodford Reserve distillery, we headed further west to Louisville to spend two days dining, relaxing, and exploring the so-called “Austin of Kentucky.”

infinity mirror in 21 C

We decided to stay at the 21c Museum Hotel, which is part art gallery, part hotel located right downtown. It sounds a little strange, but it was definitely cool to be living in a place surrounded by art installations for a few days (like the infinity bulbs in the elevator, pictured above).

21 C Hotel room

Our room was minimalistic and modern with smart and whimsical touches throughout like the rubber ducky in the shower.

exposed brick in a 21 C Hotel room

bird art in Proof on Main in Louisville, Kentucky

We ate at Proof on Main the first night, which is a fairly fancy restaurant located within 21c. It tends to get pretty good reviews, but we were a bit disappointed. The food just didn’t quite meet our expectations.

Brian West and Sarah Ervin in Proof on Main in Louisville, Kentucky

bison burger from Proof on Main

Louisville Slugger manufacturing building

Downtown Louisville is also home to the Louisville Slugger factory, which you can peer into from the street. If you are having trouble locating the factory, just look for the really large replica of Babe Ruth’s bat outside!

Louisville Slugger and golden David statues in Kentucky

There was full moon on our walk…

Brian West falls in love with a red penguin from Louisville's 21 C hotel

And Brian met a friendly penguin.

Hillbilly Tea in Louisville, Kentucky

Our final full Kentucky day started out at Hillbilly Tea, which had an incredibly charming aesthetic and some great food and…well, tea. The iced mint green tea was just perfect for the weather.

Louisville's Hillbilly Tea

vegan pancake breakfast from Hillbilly Tea in Louisville, Kentucky

Next up was a stop at Glassworks for a walk-in glassmaking workshop, which turned out to be a major highlight for Sarah. After just a few minutes of instruction, we were on our way to making a little Arkansas shaped magnet and a ring for Sarah. Talk about honeymoon keepsakes!

making glass magnets at Louisville's Glassworks

Glassworks studio in Louisville, Kentucky

The whole process was surprisingly simple and fun.

blue, green, and red glass fragments at Louisville's Glasswords

glass owls

Within the Glassworks building was also the Flame Run gallery filled with colorful glass creations, including the owl bobbleheads above. That’s right–their little owl heads bobbled!

handmade glass ornaments and vases

Flame Run glass studio

We even got to see some glassblowers in action!

glass artwork at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville

Next we walked down to the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft to see their current exhibit, 50 Years of Studio Glass. Their were some beautiful glass pieces, and some fun glass pieces, and some downright weird glass pieces.

tacos from Louisville's Taco Punk

All that craft and culture made us hungry, so we headed to Taco Punk in Butchertown for some radically scrumptious tacos and guac.

Taco Punk in Louisville, Kentucky

Scout in Louisville, Kentucky

Then we perused the eclectic shops in the area, including Scout, a super fun home decor & jewelry boutique. Sarah snagged a handmade necklace and a peanut eraser.

interesting housewares at Louisville's Scout

baby limb figurines at Scout in Louisville, Kentucky

Gifthorse in Louisville, Kentucky

We also found some deals and a tired dog at gifthorse.

fashion and accessories at Louisville's Gifthorse

Dot Fox in Louisville, Kentucky

Before calling it a day, we headed up Bardstown Road and stopped in Dot Fox where we got some fun cards and Sarah snagged some snazzy clothes.

fashion and accessories at Louisville's Dot Fox

cool women's fashions at Louisville's Dot Fox

The final stop on our shopping excursion was Why Louisville for some souvenir T-shirts and a few postcards.

Brian West, the strongman, and Sarah Ervin, the bearded lady

shopping in Louisville, Kentucky

We had to head back to the hotel and take a break (and take inventory), before heading out to dinner at the Blind Pig. If you happened to follow our last trip to Louisville, you might remember this was one of our favorites restaurants. It didn’t let us down this time, either.

The Blind Pig in Louisville, Kentucky

Before saying goodbye to the South and heading back North to Chicago, we took a walk to the Ohio river.

The Ohio River

And said hello to the Belle of Louisville. Maybe we’ll take a boat ride next time. We can’t wait to go back…

The Belle of Louisville riverboat

Swig & Swill

Seelbach

Seelbach Cocktail

With the Kentucky Derby just around the corner, it’s not too early to dust off your mint julep recipes to make sure they’ve still got it. What’s that? You’re afraid you’ll catch mint julep fatigue before the big day? Never fear. Just work the classic Seelbach cocktail into your derby repertoire. The Seelbach was created in 1917 at the famed Louisville hotel of the same name. If you happen to like manhattans and champagne more than mint, this may end up being your derby cocktail of choice.

  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 7 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • Champagne

Add all ingredients except Champagne to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir and strain into a coupe and top with chilled Champagne and a lemon peel.

Leave a comment
Tagged , , , |
Out & About

Out & About: We left our hearts in St. Louis

vintage Brewer's House in St. Louis, MO

Our recent excursion to St. Louis, Missouri was too extraordinary for words. So! We’ll express it’s greatness to you through images. Like a picture book! And like many a picture book, let you be forewarned, this story has many a picture… (and a few captions).

Continue reading