A few weeks ago, I had the honor of creating a cocktail for The Cheeseletes Kick-Starter Fundraiser! It was so great to create an aperitif cocktail that would wet the palates of everyone invited, and prepare them for cheese tasting and education. It was also a nice treat to have a photographer there — I am rarely on the other side of the camera when it comes to cocktail stuff, so it was nice to see myself creating cocktails, rather than photographing them!

All photos in this post are by Amy Lashelle Photography

A bit about The Cheeseletes:

The Cheeseletes are on a mission to promote the education and enrichment of the cheese industry. Jess Perrie, an amazing cheese educator and friend of mine is trying to ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive intellectually and ethically. The Cheeseletes commitment is to create a platform for cheese non-profits to increase community awareness and involvement. Through collaborative efforts, they pay their cheese love forward through organizing fundraising events benefitting the educational non-profits within the cheese community.

The Cocktail: The Yellow Brick Road
By Ritual & Craft

The Yellow Brick Road is one of my favorite cocktails that I have created — and it is actually a bit of a departure for me in regards to what I regularly like to drink. The main inspiration behind it, besides getting folks ready for lots of cheese, was Beehive Distilling’s new Organic Vodka!

The Yellow Brick Road

2 oz Beehive Organic Vodka
1 oz Aperol
2 oz Fresh Pressed Tangerine Juice
.5 oz Tangerine Simple Syrup
5 Dashes Bitters Lab Charred Cedar & Current Bitters

Shake all ingredients over ice and pour into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a flamed orange peel and rosemary sprig.

Tangerine Simple Syrup: Combine equal parts sugar and water over high heat. Add 4-5 tangerine wheels and bring to a boil. Once sugar and water combine, strain into a jar and refrigerate.

To flame an orange peel: Make sure your orange peels are super fresh. Take the match to the orange peel for a moment to warm the oils in the peel (about 5-7 seconds). Then, express the oils from the peel onto the flame and over the cocktail. This technique caramelizes the oils, adding a more intense and earthy flavor to the cocktail. *Don’t burn yo’self!*

Because this cocktail was on the lighter, sweeter side, the flamed orange, as well as the charred cedar and current bitters and rosemary, really helped to add depth and complexity. The aroma from these components alone make for a sensory experience that goes beyond the easy-to-sip cocktail.

And, the Beehive Vodka was PERFECT. Beehive Vodka is unique because not only is it organic and gluten free, but it is made with sugar cane, rather than a grain or potato. This makes for a very crisp and clean vodka, which is MADE for cocktails.

I want to thank Jess Perrie, Tiffany Spegar, Heather King, and everyone else who was involved in this super fun and educational evening. I had SO MUCH fun talking to everyone about Beehive Vodka, Bitters Lab, cocktails, fire, and all the things! I can’t wait for more opportunities to share my love of craft cocktails with others!

Interested in having Ritual & Craft create cocktails for your next event?

Contact me at ritualandcraft@gmail.com.



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