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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’re Podcasting

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We finally, after letting it collect some serious dust, pulled out our podcasting equipment and kicked it off with an alcohol-filled love letter to all things Irish.

Tune in for a recap on our Irish Whiskey tasting (with a few extras thrown in), Brown’s Irish-Tiki cocktail, Red’s homemade Irish Cream recipe and a frozen upgrade to the Irish-American guilty-pleasure: the Irish Car Bomb.

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Irish Cream Ice Cream

This comes from our Drinking…Again St. Patrick’s Day podcast where we added the addition of some Irish Cream Ice Cream for a frothy, frozen take on the Irish Car Bomb.

Irish Cream Ice Cream
Makes 1 Pint

3           Egg Yolks
1           Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2       Cup Whole Milk
1           Cup Heavy Cream
1 1/2    Tbsp Irish Whiskey
Coffee Chocolate Sauce (recipe below)

Whisk together yolks and sweetened condensed milk in a medium-sized bowl. Set Aside.

In a saucepan slowly bring whole milk and heavy cream to a simmer.

Slowly add the dairy to the bowl of yolks, stirring continuously, until fully incorporated.

Return the ice cream base back into the saucepan and stir on medium-low heat, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Pour the ice cream base into a bowl, add the whiskey and let fully cool in an ice bath or in the refrigerator, stirring often.

Make the coffee-chocolate sauce and let cool.

Churn in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s directions.

In a pint container, swirl the coffee-chocolate sauce around the bottom and edges, slowly layer the fully-churned ice cream with the sauce and swirl with a thin knife or chopstick to create swirls.

Place in the freezer for at least an hour before using.
Chocolate Coffee Sauce
1/2 Cup + 2 TBSP        Sugar
1/4 Cup + 1/t TBSP     Water
1/4  Cup                         Heavy Cream
2      TBSP                      Butter
1 1/2 TBSP                     Instant Coffee
1        TBSP                     Cocoa Powder

In a liquid measuring cup mix the cocoa powder, instant coffee and heavy cream. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, add the sugar and a 1/4 a cup of water. Cook over medium-heat until the sugar becomes a golden-caramel color. Turn off the heat, remove from the stove, and add the butter and dairy, stirring to combine.

In a small bowl add the cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 TBSP of water, mixing with a small spoon or your finger until it’s a slurry.

Return the pot to the burner and turn the heat on low. Add the cornstarch slurry and mix until the sauce has bubbled up again.

Remove the sauce from the pot and allow to cool in the refrigerator before using.

Irish Whiskey Tasting

Irish-Whiskey-TastingQuick, name an Irish whiskey other than Jameson. If you can’t it’s understandable, Jameson is a behemoth and accounts for almost 70% of the worldwide Irish whiskey market (source). And with just cause. It’s easy to drink, easy to mix, and easy to spot on the shelf. We implore you, however, as you prepare for the year’s biggest imbibing holiday to look beyond the usual and try something different this year. There’s a big world of Irish whiskeys out there and you owe it to yourself to do a little exploring. Just so you’re not completely without a map we took it upon ourselves to try a few for you. This isn’t an exhaustive review by any means, we just tried to find a good mix of approachable bottles for whatever your drinking needs. It’s hard work but somebody’s gotta do it.

Note: all prices are estimates based on averages we found in liquor stores and online. 


Powers Gold Label (about $30, official website)

Smell: Sweet, honeysuckle, vanilla, and apricot. A few drops of water moved this to richer buckwheat honey/caramel territory.

Taste: Spicy, peppery, vanilla, honey, with a slightly cedar-like finish; the burn sticks with you on this one. Adding a few drops of water smoothed things out significantly and brought out softer vanilla and leather notes.

Thoughts: This is like Jameson’s badass older brother, Camaro, leather jacket and all. It’s a good all-purpose whiskey that works well for a quick shot, base for cocktails, or as a sipper with some water or ice.


Kilbeggan (about $25, official website)

Smell: White peach, pears, and hay. Stone fruits were amplified by adding a couple drops of water.

Taste: Unfortunately indistinct. There’s some burnt sugar in here and some maltiness but it’s a little muddled. Adding water smoothed things out but didn’t bring out any particularly different flavors.

Thoughts: We were ready to give up on this one until we substituted it for the rye in a Manhattan. This is a great mixing whiskey that works like salt and pepper to dial-up other flavors in a drink and maintains a middle ground that doesn’t overpower.


Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Single Malt (about $40, official website)

Smell: Orange, lemon, and baking spices. A couple drops of water opened up some notes of honey and a little peppery spice.

Taste: Tastes like it smells; citrus, caramel, cloves and other spices. A splash of water smoothed the flavors out and brought out a little more of the wood from the barrel aging.

Thoughts: Good for sipping with some ice or a splash of water. Also adds good flavor as a base spirit in mixed drinks without being too complex.


Redbreast 12 Year Old (about $50, official website)

Smell: Sweet honey and vanilla with a woody background, hints of ripe apple and even a little melon.

Taste: Very smooth, hints of vanilla, caramel, toasted oats, toffee, hints of banana, creamy, slightly spicy at the end.

Thoughts: This is by far our favorite Irish whiskey and in our top 5 of all whiskeys. An extremely smooth sipper that, in our opinion, shouldn’t be wasted on mixed drinks. Pour yourself a couple of fingers worth, kick back, and relax while everyone else jockeys for position at the bar for a green beer.

Red & Brown Wedding Cocktails

Red & Brown Cocktail Menu

When we started planning our wedding, it was of critical importance that we make this ultimate party on the same level of all of our parties we’ve thrown over the years: personal and fun. We are so excited to have our wedding photos and be able to share them with friends and family and wanted to share our 4 wedding cocktails, which Brown developed.

Weddings can be expensive and in order to save costs and be authentic to ourselves (we are a cocktail business) we went an alternate route; instead of a full bar or just one signature drink, we offered 4 “signature cocktails”, plus 2 kinds of kegged beer and a red & white wine. For those of you wondering if any picky relatives complained or missed out on cranberry vodkas: our maple walnut old fashioned was gone after only an hour into the wedding and everyone remembers how memorable the bar was.

Here are our cocktails, straight from Red & Brown Get Married 11.15.14. Want to see more of our wedding? Check it out on Martha Stewart Weddings.

Classic Martini 
Maple Walnut Old Fashioned
Fall in Jalisco
The Red Heron


If you’re newly engaged, planning a wedding or are having another special event, we can help you develop a delicious, unique and cost-effective beverage program that all of your guests will remember for years to come. E-mail us for more information:  

Photo Credit: Keira Lemonis Photography 2015

Fall in Jalisco


From Red & Brown’s Wedding Cocktails. We wanted to please the tequila drinkers without going the margarita or shot route, but something that also stayed with the season and occasion. After much thought, we decided what could truly be better than fresh apple cider during a nice fall day except apple cider with the warmth of cinnamon syrup and some añejo tequila? 

Fall in Jalisco
Makes 1 Drink

In a cocktail shaker add the cider, syrup, and tequila.

Fill it with ice and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a collins or highball glass filled with ice.

The Red Heron

From Red & Brown’s Wedding Cocktails. One of our favorite parts of traveling is getting to find new drinks in other parts of the country. Red stumbled upon a variation of this during a weekend in upstate New York and fell in love. It’s easy to be skeptical at first- really? Salted-Caramel vodka? But with one sip, you’re hooked. It’s like the adult Shirley Temple (a favorite of Red’s when she was a little girl). We switched it up with using one of our favorite sodas, the southern institution Cheerwine, for a drink that goes down easy and is great with some fried chicken and mac & cheese.


The Red Heron
Makes 1 Drink

Fill a collins or highball glass with ice and pour in the vodka. Top it with Cheerwine and stir gently to incorporate the ingredients. Garnish with a cocktail cherry and add a straw if desired.

Maple Walnut Old Fashioned


From Red & Brown’s Wedding Cocktails. We are both huge old fashioned fans, but wanted to give it some new life and a nod to our business at our wedding. In November, nothing is more comforting than some maple syrup and with the addition of some walnut bitters, we created a drink that wasn’t just a crowd pleasure, it flew off the bar. 

Maple Walnut Old Fashioned
Makes 1 Drink

In a pint glass or mixing glass add the maple syrup, whiskey, and bitters. Fill with ice and stir thoroughly for 10-15 seconds.

Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube (or 3 regular-sized ones) and garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Classic Martini


From Red & Brown’s Wedding Cocktails. Although we were more than happy to create some new recipes for our wedding, we knew we wanted some classics too and what could be more classic or classy than a Martini? We used one of our favorite vodka’s and a locally-produced gin for our guests to choose from and topped it with our signature cocktail tomato for garnish. 

The Classic Martini
Makes 1 Drink

In a pint glass or mixing glass add the liquor and fill with ice.
Stir thoroughly for 10-15 seconds, strain into a martini glass and garnish with a cocktail tomato or olive.

Cinnamon Syrup

Cinnamon Syrup
Makes about 1 Cup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

In a medium sauce pan add the sugar and water and whisk together to incorporate as much as possible. Place the pan over medium heat, add the cinnamon and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool before using (be sure to remove the cinnamon sticks once cool too). For best results, refrigerate overnight with one cinnamon stick left in the syrup.


The Jake


It seems only appropriate to honor Brown’s birthday with his signature cocktail, The Jake.

As the story goes, Brown went into a local watering hole last summer to watch the World Cup. This establishment happened to sell egg creams and in a fit of drunken genius Brown asked the bartender to add a shot of bourbon to one for him. The bartender fielded the request and admitted to Brown that it tasted pretty good.

Unreasonably proud of his accomplishment Brown declared “You’re welcome. I think you should put it on the menu and call it the Jake.” While this honor was never bestowed upon Brown, he was given the courtesy of not being kicked out of the bar for being obnoxious.

Under more sober circumstances he’s tweaked the recipe with the addition of Cherry Heering for a celebratory, symbolic cherry on top.

  • 2 ounces Four Roses bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce Cherry Heering
  • 1/2 ounce Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup
  • 2 ounces whole milk
  • 4 ounces seltzer water

In a cocktail shaker add ice, chocolate syrup, milk, and bourbon. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.

Pour into a collins or pint glass, ice and all, and top off with seltzer water. Give the drink a gentle stir, insert a straw, and serve.