Happy Gindepence Day!

The last Monday of each month, Downtown Cocktail Room invites the best and the brightest of Vegas’ bar stars to join its staff in showcasing a great spirit as part of the Mixology Monday series. For $20, you can enjoy four hand-crafted cocktails and geek out with the industry and cocktailian crowd. At one MixMo this spring, DCR bartenders Jeremy Merritt and Bianca Scott created these two fine drinks using Bluecoat American Dry Gin. We think the American-made botanical spirit in its cobalt-blue bottle and these gorgeous red cocktails will put a little extra sparkle into your own Independence Day party. DowntownLV.net.

The Salmon Rushdie

As created by Bianca Scott for Mixology Monday

“This cocktail is meant to enhance the savory botanicals found in Bluecoat Gin,” Scott says. She was inspired by novelist Salman Rushdie, “a worldly man, and I wanted his cocktail to have worldly flavors.” “The candied fennel evokes Indian flavors while the rose and screwpine syrup marries the distinctly English Earl Grey tincture and American-style gin. Lastly, the bitter finish of the Aperol leaves your palate thirsting for more.” She adds that the salmon-color cocktail will appeal to “an erudite drinker, the more experienced imbiber and anybody who has been or will be married to Padma Lakshmi.”

Combine 2 ounces of Bluecoat Gin, 1 ounces Aperol, ½ ounce Rooh Afza rose syrup (thinned to one part water for every three parts syrup; available in most Indian/Middle Eastern specialty stores) and 2 dashes Earl Grey tincture in a mixing glass. Cover with ice and stir for 20 seconds. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass that has been rimmed with crushed, candied fennel. For the Earl Grey tincture, combine tablespoon of organic, loose-leaf Earl Grey tea with 3 ounces of high-proof grain alcohol (Scott suggests Everclear or high-proof grain vodka) in a mason jar. Leave this mixture to macerate for 4-6 hours, then strain.

Bluecoat Breakfast

As created by Jeremy Merritt for Mixology Monday

“This is a play on a 19th-century category of drinks called daisies, whose formulas were spirits with juice and a sweetener, oftentimes grenadine,” Merritt says. His playful spin capitalizes on Bluecoat’s intense citrus component to mimic the tutti-frutti flavor of Fruit Loops cereal, resulting in “an extremely approachable cocktail that brings people back to their childhood.”

“I added fresh whip to give the creaminess of milk and absinthe to bring it back to the origin of a true daisy.” Merritt recommends starting a night of tippling—apropos—with his Bluecoat Breakfast. “The flavor is delicate, so it can be easily overpowered after a couple of cocktails.”

Combine 2 ounces of Bluecoat Gin, ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ ounce simple syrup, 1 ounce house-made grenadine, 1 ounce egg white and ¼ ounce Kübler absinthe in a cocktail shaker. Cover with ice, shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Top with fresh whipped cream, and garnish with five Fruit Loops.

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1. Karma does indeed come around. The crisp, moderately dry sparkling white wine in the attractive single-serve glass bottle first took root in California and has finally washed up on Vegas’ thirsty shores this week. A four-pack of these convenient 187-milliliter bottles—cylindrical and wide-mouthed with a screw top to retain the wine’s effervescence—will run you $28, or $7 each at your local liquor store. You can also get your toast on at 30,000 feet as Karma is served on all Virgin America flights.

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