Mo-jitos for Mo’ Spring

Where ismojito2 spring?! It is late April and I am writing this post in a wool sweater with heat blasting. If you’re as ready for spring and summer as we are, why not just pretend? Maybe if we make enough spring cocktails, the warm sun will finally decide to shine on Central Oregon. Mojitos are a perfect refreshing beverage to coax the spring weather into making an appearance. So mix up your favorite mojito to sip on as you close your eyes and envision spring flowers, birds chirping and sun on your skin.  Maybe, just maybe, with enough wishing, we can actually turn this weather around!

 

Here are our picks for our favorite mojito fruit/herb combos and instructions below for how to whip up the perfect spring cocktail!

– Raspberry-Basil
– Blood Orange-Mint
– Peach-Sage
– Pineapple-Cilantro
– Cucumber-Mint

Ingredients:
2 oz. Rum or Gin
1 tbsp simply syrup, or .5 tbsp of granulated sugar
Club soda
Fruit and herbs of your choice

Directions:
1. In the bottom of a glass, muddle your fruit and herbs along with granulated sugar or simply syrup. 2-3 slices of fruit and a couple of herb leaves. Adjust this amount for your perfect flavor!
2. Add ice and liquor and stir with a spoon to combine.
3. Top with soda water
4. Garnish with fruit and herbs
5. Sip and enjoy!

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The Revival of the Shrub

shrub1Lately in the Twist kitchen we’ve been playing with shrubs, and no, we’re not talking about the bushes outside. A shrub is a drinking vinegar, often paired with alcohol and soda for a delicious refreshing cocktail.

Shrubs have been consumed for centuries all over the world. From Asia, where shrubs were used as a nutritious health tonic, to Europe, where sailors would drink shrubs to prevent scurvy. Shrubs gained popularity in colonial America as an alternative to citrus and as a way to preserve fruits all year long. Using vinegar meant that these drinks had a significantly longer shelf life than other products. With the invention of the refrigerator, shrubs eventually fell out of fashion – That is, until just a few years ago when a resurgence in the popularity of shrubs emerged in bars and restaurants.

Not only are shrubs delicious, but they also have a wide array of health benefits, from lowering blood sugar and protecting our hearts, to killing bad breath and balancing our pH levels.

If you aren’t convinced yet to try shrubs, what if I told you they taste DELICIOUS with alcohol! That’s where Twist comes in.
Here are some of our favorite shrub cocktail recipes. Give them a try, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

Summer Fruit Shrub

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ pounds ripe fruit (such as peaches, strawberries, plums, or pineapple)
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 6 ounces spirit of choice
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces vodka or gin

Bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slice fruit into medium pieces. Reserve a few pieces for serving and add remaining to pan. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 30 minutes. Strain syrup into a bowl; stir in vinegar. Cover and chill shrub.shrub

For each cocktail, shake 2 oz. shrub, 1½ oz. spirit of choice,  2 oz. vodka or gin, and ½ oz. lemon juice in an ice-filled cocktail shaker until frosty. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass; top with some reserved fruit.

The Shrubarb

  1. For the ginger-rhubarb shrub:
    • 2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1/4″ pieces (about 6 cups)
    • 1 (7-inch) piece ginger, unpeeled, cut into 1/4″ coins (about 1/4 cup)
    • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  2. For each cocktail:
    • 2 ounces gin
    • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
    • Club soda (for serving)
  1. For the ginger-rhubarb shrub:
    1. Combine rhubarb, ginger, vinegar, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is completely broken down and strands are visible, 10–15 minutes.
    2. Using a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth, strain mixture into a glass container. Let cool to room temperature, then chill.
  2. For each cocktail:
    1. Combine gin, lime juice, and 1 1/2 ounces reserved ginger-rhubarb shrub in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled Collins-style glass, filling three-quarters full. Top off with club soda.
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More winter = More warm cocktails

So we’ve finally hit March – which should mean spring is right around the corner. But living in Central Oregon, of course it can’t be that simple. As we experience more of that lovely wintery mix that Bend likes to throw at us at the most unexpected of times, why not make it an occasion to mix up some more delicious warm cocktails!

Back in the fall, I worked a wedding where we served a home made mulled wine. For those that aren’t familiar, picture a warm sangria filled with cinnamon, spice and everything nice. I have been thinking about that mulled wine every since! Take one sip and you’ll be transported to a cozy cabin among the pines, snuggled up next to a blazing fire.

If you’d prefer some liquor to warm you up from the inside out, may I suggest a maple bourbon chai tea toddy? This cocktail combines all my favorite things, a little kick of spice and caffeine from the chai tea, accompanied by a nice bourbon and sweet irresistible maple.

Maybe winter for a few more weeks isn’t so bad!? Check out our recipes below:

Mulled Wine
4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
4 oranges, peeled, for garnish

Directions:  Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.

Maple Bourbon Chai Tea Toddy
6 oz. of homaple bourbon hot toddyt water
2 chai tea bags
2 oz. Knob Creek Maple Bourbon
1 oz. half and half
Cinnamon Stick for garnish

Directions: Pour the steaming water over the chai tea bags in a heatproof mug. Let steep for 3 minutes, then remove the tea bags. Add the maple bourbon and half-and-half and stir to combine. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

 

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Top 4 Tips for Planning Your Central Oregon Wedding

He got down on one knee. You said yes. Your friends and family oo’d and ah’d over the ring. Now everyone keeps asking that ever important, overwhelming question; “When’s the big day?!” Planning a wedding certainly takes a lot of dedication and hard work, but it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Having worked in the Central Oregon wedding industry for years, your friend’s at Twist have learned a thing or two about the do’s and don’ts of your big day in the High Desert. Here are our favorite tips for planning your perfect wedding in Central Oregon.

Central Oregon Wedding

Central Oregon Wedding

  1. Get your invitations out early and get your guest count.
    Before doing almost anything else, you need to know how many people are actually going to attend your wedding. While Redmond airport is conveniently close, it can also be significantly more expensive, and may deter guests from attending. Make sure your guests know all of their travel options, such as flying into Portland if it better suits their budget.
    It’s also important to consider the date of your wedding – does it fall on a holiday, or during a festival or other large event in the area? These types of situations can significantly raise the cost of travel for guests. Once you have a general idea of how many people will be able to make it, you’ll be able to pick the perfect venue to fit your wedding day needs
  2. Book your venue early.
    As soon as you have a general idea of your guest count, book your venue ASAP. Central Oregon has some amazing wedding venues – From ranches, to barns, to museums and parks, options may appear to be endless, but they are definitely limited. Many locations are booked over a year in advance, so it is truly never too early to start looking for the best place to say “I do”.
  3. Consider the weather
    While we are lucky in that generally, Central Oregon is dry, warm and sunny in the summer, you never know what can happen. While it is not always possible, it is a good idea to try and choose a venue that can accommodate guests both inside and out. If you’re wedding is in the spring or fall, you may run into an unexpected rainy day or unusually cold weather. If you’re wedding is in mid summer, you may encounter a blazing hot day, which can be both unpleasant and unsafe for guests.
  4. Connect with the best vendors
    Bend and Central Oregon has a great selection of local vendors for everything from food catering to flowers, equipment, photographers, and of course cocktail caterers. Since our community is so tight-knit, don’t be afraid to ask a vendor for recommendations for other services. Chances are, since we are constantly working with each other, we will have some great advice on who to call next.

    Ready to make your wedding the best day EVER? Check CentralOregonWeddings.com for all of your wedding needs.
    And when it comes time to plan out your bar, you know just who to call! Let Twist make your big day that much easier. Call us today at 541.633.5855 to chat about your perfect Central Oregon Wedding

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Valentine’s Day in Bend

Along with snow, rain and sleet, I think there’s something else in the air in Central Oregon – Love! While everyday should be an occasion to show your loved one just how much they mean to you, it doesn’t hurt to have that extra incentive a.k.a. Valentine’s day! Whether you’re an outdoorsy couple who loves to spend your days together skiing Mt. Bachelor or hiking at Smith Rock; or a romantic couple that loves walks along the Deschutes River and a glass of wine by the fire, there’s something for everyone this Valentine’s day in Bend and Central Oregon. Here are a few of our favorite picks to make your V-day extra special.

At Sunriver Resort, take your beau to a five course dinner at Carson’s American Kitchen for just $60. If V-day for you also means VEGAN, check out the High Desert Museum’s special Valentine’s day dinner featuring a delicious vegan multi-course meal from A Broken Angel food cart (also check them out behind Palate on any other day!). Would you rather bring your love to downtown Bend? In that case, enjoy a 3 course meal and two drinks each for $50 at everyone’s favorite South American eatery, Barrio. After dinner head over to Crux for their special beer and dessert pairings sure to leave you drunk on love and maybe an IPA or two.

Don’t have a date? There’s activities for us single folk too. Check out the Single’s Paint and Sip party at Art, Oh my! Or check out one of the many live music options awaiting you this V-day. Groove with Orgone and Monophonics, two funk bands sure to bring the house down at The Domino Room on the 14th. And who knows, maybe you’ll meet your valentine on the dance floor?

And of course, we couldn’t call ourselves Twist without recommending a delicious cocktail to make this V-Day just a little more enjoyable!

Pomegranate Citrus Crush

2 T Pomegranate seeds

1 t superfine sugar

Juice from half a lime

1.5 oz Vodka

2 oz Pink Grapefruit Perrier

Place pomegranate seeds, sugar and lime in a glass and muddle until seeds are slightly crushed. Add ice, vodka and Perrier. Drink and love responsibly.

Central Oregon and Bend Valentine's Day

Central Oregon and Bend Valentine’s Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Holiday Cocktails Week 2: Bourbon

With snowstorms galore in Central Oregon and everything covered in that beautiful fluffy white stuff once again, we are feeling inclined to hunker down with a warm drink. This weather beckons comfy clothes, cozy blankets, roaring fireplaces and of course, booze!

Bourbon is an all time favorite for warming the body from the inside out, and providing that extra fuzzy feeling after knocking a few back. For Week 2 of our Holiday Cocktail Month we are featuring warm bourbon drinks. Enjoy!honey-bourbon-toddy

Honey Bourbon Hot Toddy
Ingredients:
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 1 cup hot water
– 6 tablespoons bourbon or Apple Bourbon (see below for recipe)
– lemon peel
– cinnamon sticks

Directions: Stir honey and water in a 2-cup measuring cup until honey dissolves. Add bourbon (or better yet, Apple Bourbon, in which case you’ll use 1 Tbsp. honey). Divide between 2 Toddy glasses. Twist a strip of lemon peel over each drink, then add to glass. Stir each with a cinnamon stick and serve.
To make Apple Bourbon, combine a 750-ml bottle of bourbon, 4 cored, sliced Fuji apples, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a pitcher. Cover; chill for 3 days. Strain and sip of use in recipe above.

Hot Butter Bourbon
Ingredients
– 1 cup apple cider
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
– 1 tablespoon honey
– 1/4 teaspoon cloves
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1/2 cup (4 ounces) bourbon
– Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Directions: In a small sauce pan over low heat, bring cider to a gentle simmer. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, honey, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger with a spoon until combined. Add the butter mixture to the cider, whisking just until it melts.
Remove pan from heat, whisk in the bourbon and serve immediately. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.

 

All this cocktail talk getting your excited to plan your next party? Call us today! 541.633.5855

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Let Holiday Cocktail Month Begin!

The weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and we are all getting a bit antsier as the holiday season approaches.
Whether you love the holidays and cannot bare the wait until Christmas, or would love nothing more than to skip this hectic month and go straight to January, I think we can all agree the holiday’s are a great reason to have a drink.
During the month of December we will be featuring new and unique holiday cocktails every week. So take a break from your day and try out one of our tasty recipes, you won’t regret it.

Week 1 features our favorite Gin recipes – Enjoy!

gin-fizzPomegranate Rosemary Gin Fizz
2 oz Gin
1 oz Pomegranate juice
.5 oz Lemon juice
Splash of club soda
Rosemary sprigs and pomegranate seeds for garnish
>>Shake gin, pomegranate juice, a few rosemary sprigs and lemon juice. Strain over ice, top with soda and garnish with rosemary and pomegranate seeds.<<

Orange Cranberry Gin and Tonic
2 oz Gin
.5 oz simple syrup
1 oz fresh orange juice
Splash of tonic water
1 (2-inch) orange rind strip
1 tbsp. fresh cranberries
>>Muddle the cranberries and orange rind in a shaker. Add simple syrup, gin and orange juice and shake. Pour over ice and top with tonic water. Garnish with more cranberries and an orange rind.<<

Ready to book your holiday party after all this cocktail talk? Call Twist today at 541.633.5855 and we’ll bring the bar to you!

 

 

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Have your pie and drink it too

imageQuick, before the triptophan kicks in! Instead of having that second slice of pie, how about a liquid version of your favorite turkey day treats? There are many ways to turn classic cocktails into delicious seasonal drinks. Add fresh cranberries to a Moscow mule and you’ve got yourself a cranberry ginger mule. Warm up some red wine with cloves and oranges and you’ve got a cozy cup of hot spiced sangria.

Or for those of us too busy cooking the turkey to think about what’s for dessert, skip the apple pie and go straight to Apple Pie vodka from Cascade Alchemy. Mix it with some of their bourbon and bitters and you’ve got the perfect old fashioned to cap off your night (see recipe below).

Ready to book your holiday party after all this cocktail talk? Call Twist today at 541.633.5855 and we’ll bring the bar to you!

>>Apple Pie Old Fashioned<<

2 Parts Cascade Alchemy Apple Pie
1 Part Cascade Alchemy Bourbon
2-3 Dashes Orange Bitters

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain into rocks glass. Garnish with orange slice. Enjoy!

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Almost Thanksgiving means almost Christmas, right?

T-Minus 39 days until Christmas! Is it too early to start counting down? We don’t think so. Yes we realize it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but isn’t Thanksgiving just a warm up for full fledged Christmas partying?

Now is the time to start planning your holiday party. Just because that neighbor down the street already has their house decked out in lights doesn’t mean you can’t have the best party on the block!

At Twist we have been experimenting with all sorts of new and exciting holiday cocktails. From warm spiced sangria to rosemary lemon-drops, we are hard at work creating the perfect cocktail menu for your event.

drinks-2Below is our recipe for a holiday twist on the classic Moscow Mule – The Pomegranate Reindeer.

Pomegranate Reindeer
2 oz vodka or bourbon
1 oz pomegranate juice
.75 oz lime juice
.5 oz honey
Ginger beer to top
Pomegranate seeds and lime wedges to garnish

Mix liquor, lime juice and pomegranate juice over ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Cheers!

Sound like the perfect addition to your holiday festivities? Call us today! 541.633.5855

 

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Meet the Newest Addition to the Twist family – Decanter Mobile Tap Room!

Back in the spring of 2016 the Twist ladies were racking their brains for new and exciting cocktail-ventures when the idea of a mobile bar came up. After searching far and wide for the perfect party on wheels, they discovered a 1986 Rice horsebox trailer on a farm in Tumalo. The trailer had been used for hauling hay for rescue horses, and although this is a very worthy cause, we felt it was time to give her a new home.

decanter-8

After several months of renovation and manpower from our friends at Blue Pine Designs, that horsebox trailer became a mobile taproom aptly named, Decanter. For those of us that aren’t involved in the world of horses, canter is horse lingo for the swagger of a horse somewhere between a trot and a gallop. Decanter is cocktail lingo for a type of pitcher used to pour wine. And voilá, just like that we had found a perfectly punny name for her!

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Since getting Decanter out the stables she has been seen around town at various events as the perfect party addition, no matter the occasion. From weddings to horse club parties to fundraisers, she’ll go just about anywhere with a field or lot to park in and people to drink her libations. With two kegerators, ample shelving for wine and liquor, and some pretty talented bartenders taboot, she really is becoming the talk of the town.

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Want to know how you can get Decanter at your next event? Visit www.DecanterMobileTaproom.com for more information. Can anyone say yeeeehaw!?

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