We recently put together a fun citrus-filled afternoon cocktail party with Celeste Noche Photography, and I'm so pleased to be able to share these recipes with you. Celeste made a delectable vanilla cake with blood orange and Cointreau frosting to pair with our brand new blood orange cocktail.
Do note that the cocktail is on the sweeter side. If you like a stronger drink, you can add an extra 1/2 oz. of spirit and reduce the measure of the vanilla almond syrup by 1/4 oz.
Our "Lovers' Lane" cocktail features citrus bitters from Hella Bitters, based in New York. Historically prescribed for their medicinal properties, it wasn’t until early in the 19th century that these potent remedies became a fundamental ingredient in cocktails.
Bitters formulas can be highly coveted and are well guarded by their keepers. Some famous bitter aperitifs are said to have upwards of 130 botanical ingredients ranging from roots to fruits to flowers. Bitters formulas are famous for the quantity and obscurity of ingredients used to render the final product.
Hella Bitters is no exception. They source high-quality ingredients and carefully peel the fruit, slice the ginger and bundle the spices together in fine mesh bags to ensure a consistent infusion batch to batch. All of these ingredients are then added to stainless steel tanks with neutral grain spirit and filtered water.
Over the next 30 days, the mixture will be stirred and tasted daily as the spirit extracts the essential oils and transforms from a clear, odorless substance into our vibrant aromatic bitters. Finally, they filter and sweeten with homemade caramel syrup before bottling.
I love to use Hella Bitters' unique concoctions in cocktail creations that need that extra kick of something special!
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish with an orange peel.
Here's how to make Celeste's delightful frosting. The frosting is naturally colored with the brilliant red juice from the oranges. You could make any cake you want then just add this frosting-- it's mildly citrusy, nice to look at, and has a little kick from the Cointreau. Topping the cake are little candied orange peels that I made from the Polish cookbook, Sugared Orange. This cookbook is my new obsession, so be on the lookout for even more Polish-inspired drinks in the near future!
Blood Orange Cointreau Frosting:
If you live somewhere cold like we do, "room temperature" is strangely close to refrigerator temperature so mix the butter until soft. Add half of the sugar, the Cointreau, then a splash of the orange juice. Mix until smooth, then add in the second half of sugar, slowly adding more juice until you get the consistency you want.
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