Bully Boy Distillers and The Cedric Street Cocktail

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Will and Dave Willis, brothers and owners of Bully Boy Distillery in Roxbury, at the launch party for their Boston Rum.  We chatted about scheduling a time to do a piece for The Boys Club, but didn't get around to it until the other week.  The Willis Brothers were generous enough to give me a private tour and sat down to chat with me a bit more about the creation of their very successful business.

Click here to check out the interview and my recipe for The Cedric Street Cocktail, made with their Boston Rum.

Pimm's and Tonic

As Eric and I packed for our weeklong trip to the Cape, we both felt it was necessary to box up some of our liquor cabinet.  What a shame it would be if we wanted to make a drink with vermouth in it, only to find we had none! Our traveling bar was chock-full of bottles of Aperol, St. Germain, Pimm's, and assorted infused syrups and bitters. Over the next seven days, more than a few of those were emptied.  We were very productive.

Unlike the traditional Pimm's Cup, which is a simple concoction of Pimm's topped with lemon-lime soda, I decided to use tonic and add a splash of Aperol to kick things up a notch.  A squeeze of lemon and a cucumber garnish turns this into the perfect late summer beverage.  It almost makes you forget how quickly this summer is flying by.

Pimm's and Tonic

Servings 4 drinks

Ingredients 8 oz Pimm's 2 oz Aperol 1 oz lemon juice 1 English cucumber, peeled lengthwise into thin strips. Tonic


1. Pour 2 ounces of Pimm's, 1/2 ounce of Aperol, and 1/4 oz lemon juice into each Collins glass.

2. Fill three-quarters of the way with ice.

3. Garnish the glass with cucumber.

4. Add tonic.

5. Give a quick stir with a spoon and serve.

Honey Green Tea and Rosemary Refresher and an Honest Tea Giveaway

I was watching Louis CK's 2011 comedy special, Live at the Beacon Theatre, the other night and was cracking up at his rant about how he believes humans are aliens because we are constantly complaining about how uncomfortable we are here on Earth.  We use air conditioning and heating units and fans to make everything juuuuuuust right.  Louis notes that it just doesn't make sense that we were meant to be on this planet.  If we were, we would just be able to deal with the extreme highs and lows without freaking out.  I'll admit that I'm one of those complainers. While I can handle winter weather alright, the heat and sweat and that stickiness that takes over from June to August is unbearable.

This weather we've been having recently, however, has been perfect... and I feel the need to say that out-loud to myself that at least once a day. "This is fantastic! It needs to stay like this forever. Ah, yes... seventy degrees and sunny with a slight breeze."  I know it won't last long, but I'm taking as much of it in as I can before it gets warmer.

You may have noticed a lot of beverages on here recently and I've been enjoying playing around with some fun cocktail recipes for you (Hope you've been enjoying consuming some of them too!).  Over the last few weeks, Eric and I have switched from whiskey drinks to gin and vodka and tequila. Just like food, our bodies crave different libations as the seasons change. So, here is a vodka "refresher" for you to all enjoy that utilizes some of Honest Tea's Honey Green Tea, which the company generously sent over for me to try.  I was thrilled with the subtle sweetness of the tea, especially since I had planned on including a little simple syrup in the cocktail.

In addition, they're offering one lucky A Thought For Food reader a chance to win a month's supply of their tea (30 drinks)!   Woo hoo!

See below for details on how to enter the giveaway:

A word from the folks at Honest Tea:

"Honest Tea would like to keep you refreshed for 30 days, on us. Brewed with organic tea leaves and half the calories and sugar of other bottled teas, we hope you’ll find it a sip in the right direction.  "

To Enter the Honest Tea Givaway:  Leave a comment here telling me what your favorite warm-weather beverage is (alcoholic or non-alcoholic).

Giveaway Disclaimer: No purchase necessary. Open to US residents only . Giveaway will end on May 27th 2013 at 12:00 pm EST. One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random using Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected. Samples of Honest Tea products and the giveaway items were provided to me by Honest Tea through the NoshOnIt Publisher Partner Program. 


Honey Green Tea and Rosemary Refresher

Yields: 2 drinks

Glassware Highball glass

Ingredients 3 fl. oz. vodka, optional 1 fl. oz. rosemary simple syrup, see recipe below 2 tsp. lemon juice 1 16 fl. oz. bottle of Honest Tea's Honey Green Tea Ice Rosemary sprig, for garnish Lemon slice, for garnish


  1. In each glass, pour in 1.5 oz vodka, .5 oz rosemary simple syrup, and 1 tsp. lemon juice. Stir together with a spoon.
  2. Fill the glasses half way with ice and then top with the tea.  Give another stir with a spoon.
  3. Garnish the rim with the lemon slice and insert the rosemary sprig into the glass.



Rosemary Simple Syrup

Yield: Approx. 1 cup

Tools A small pot Whisk

Ingredients 1 cup water 1 cup sugar 1 rosemary sprig


  1. Put water and sugar into the pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Whisk until sugar dissolves.
  3. Add rosemary sprig
  4. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.  Once it has cooled, it can be used in the cocktail.
  5. Store in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


The Greyhound

A few weeks ago, Eric and I took my dad to Drink, a very trendy Boston bar where the mixologists create libations based on your desired flavor profile.  There's no menu available, so they ask what kind of liquor you like or if there's a specific cocktail you're fond of.  It's also common for patrons to tell the bartender what mood they're in... or what mood they'd like to be in.  See... totally trendy. But, you know what, they always nail the drinks.  Like, spot on.  You end up leaving with a new respect for the craft of mixing cocktails.

I think it was a fun experience for my father, who enjoys scotch and beer and wine, but hasn't really dabbled with cocktails.  With a little guidance from us during our visits home, he's starting to learn a bit more about creating them.  He especially likes drinks with citrus and bourbon.  On our night out, we had the bartenders whip up versions of the Brown Derby (bourbon, grapefruit, honey syrup) and with each sip, his eyes lit up.  We sent him home with a few recipes... now he has to try them on his own.

Eric and I have been working on a lot of grapefruit cocktails (we're a little obsessed actually).  I've done bourbon, gin, vodka, tequila... all of them work in their own way.  This is my take on the Greyhound.  I've made a few modifications from the original recipe.  I've seen many that call for vodka over gin and I just prefer the herbaceousness gin lends to a citrus cocktail.  To create depth, I've added in a few dashes of bitters, which brings in some spice, and a squeeze of lime to give it a zip.  These go down rather easily, which is never a bad thing for a cocktail. Just beware.


The Greyhound

makes 1 drink


4 oz fresh grapefruit juice

2 oz gin

.5 oz simple syrup

Angostura bitters

1 lime wedge



1. Pour the grapefruit juice, gin, simple syrup and 2 dashes of bitters into a cocktail shaker with three ice cubes.  Squeeze in the lime juice.  Shake until chilled, about 10 seconds.

2. Add ice to a rocks glass and pour the drink over it.  

Tags: Beverages


Bloody Mary

Typically, when I'm drinking a Bloody Mary I'm not in the best physical or mental state. Therefore, how it tastes is less important than how it's going to make me feel.  But, when it comes down to it, there is a huge difference between a Bloody Mary that's shown some love and one that's been thrown together without any thought.  As I discuss in this post over at The Boys Club, everyone has their own spin, but one that's well made, like any libation, is going to be balanced.  A little kick, a bit of acidity, and some garnishes to nibble on at the end.

Get the recipe and read more about the Bloody Mary over at The Boys Club.

Irish Whiskey Smash

Eric and I have lived in South Boston (known as "Southie" in these parts) for a number of years and have grown to love the character of the neighborhood.  Take, for instance, the local St. Patrick's Day celebrations.  It's not classy by any means... but it's a heck of a lot of fun.  People are cheerful (ok, they're tipsy) and everyone hangs out on the street.  It's one giant party.  We typically start the day with a big brunch (mimosas and sometimes stronger concoctions are consumed) and then we make our way through apartments (this is where we stumble into a party thrown at our friend's cousin's coworker's brother's place).  By around five, we've had it and the group scrounges up a bit of food for an early dinner.  Bed soon follows.

As I said, it's not classy.  But we have a great time.  This year, though, we'll actually be heading up north to celebrate my mother-in-law's 70th birthday, but we'll be thinking of our friends and neighbors in Southie, who I am sure will be having a blast.  Maybe they'll mix up this Irish Whiskey Smash in honor of the holiday.

Get the Irish Whiskey Smash recipe over at The Boys Club.