Brock Massaro has made a career out of working the service industry. Whether he’s waiting tables at Mabel Gray in Hazel Park or he’s working his side hustle as a craft cocktail bartender for hire (a company he calls Brocktails), Massaro has a passion for good food, drinks, and service. We tapped him for some drink recipes to get us through the remainder of the winter months and what he produced is a list of cozy concoctions that even the most novice mixologist can create at home (OK, you will need a brulee torch).
Winter spiced mulled apple cider Ingredients: Half-gallon cider (buy from Blake Farm, Franklin Cider Mill, or juice your own apples) 1.5 ounces honey syrup Fresh ginger Cinnamon sticks Nutmeg Anise Oranges Cloves Directions: Add cider and syrup to crockpot, then finely grate or mandolin about 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, add to crockpot. Add two cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg, two stars of anise and four slices orange (I suggest using Cara Cara oranges, which are in season during the winter) each studded with three or four cloves. Allow to simmer on low and serve as soon as cider is piping hot.
Keep it Irie: a Jamaican daiquiri Ingredients: 1.5 ounces Smith & Cross Jamaica Rum Half-ounce amaro Zucca Rabarbaro 1 ounce pineapple juice Half ounce fresh lemon juice Jerk spiced grilled pineapple Directions: Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottom shaker with ice. Shake hard for about 15 seconds and double strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with jerk spiced grilled pineapple. Directions for jerk spiced grilled pineapple: Dust one slice pineapple with Jamaican jerk allspice. Next grill over hot coals until grill marks appear and the pineapple thoroughly caramelized.
Uncle Major’s egg nog Note: This recipe requires overnight refrigeration Ingredients: 6 farm eggs, separated Half-cup confectioners sugar Quarter-cup sugar 1 pint Guernsey heavy cream 2 ounces St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram 3 ounces Ron Zacapa Guatemalan rum Nutmeg for garnish Directions: Mix yolks with a half cup of confectioners sugar, then whip egg whites until stiff peaks form, adding a quarter cup of sugar as you beat them. Next, mix egg whites with egg yolk mixture and one pint of guernseys heavy cream. Whip slightly then add two ounces allspice dram and three ounces of preferred rum — this recipe suggests using Ron Zacapa Guatemalan rum. Refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors and ingredients combine and integrate. Serve in a festive glass garnished with grated nutmeg garnish and candy cane patterned straw. Note: double rum for a boozier nog.
Savory and tonic Ingredients: 2 ounces Two James’ Old Cockney Gin 3/4-ounce Meyer lemon juice Half-ounce rosemary honey Directions: Burn the tip of one rosemary spear with your brulee torch and place underneath a upside down highball glass you will be serving the cocktail in to allow the smoke and essence of rosemary to fill the glass. Shake all ingredients in a shaker full of ice. Lift off glass and strain into highball over fresh ice and top with fever tree tonic. Garnish with burnt rosemary spear from before and Meyer lemon wheel. Directions for rosemary honey: Combine one part honey with one part filtered water and heat until combined. Add four rosemary spears and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool, remove rosemary. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.