Category Archives: Cocktails

Crystal Head Vodka MOJO

Tasty and refreshing, this delicious MOJO recipe is perfect for summer’s last hurrah.

Crystal Head Vodka’s version of the Mojito is pure deliciousness and perfect for the last 3-day weekend of summer. Raising a toast to all of you this Labor Day weekend with Crystal Head Vodka’s refreshing MOJO.

Crystal Head Vodka MOJO


  • 2 ounces Crystal Head Vodka 
  • ¾ ounces fresh lime juice 
  • ¾ ounces simple syrup 
  • 8-10 mint leaves


  1. Add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and gently muddle mint.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously for 8-11 seconds.
  3. Double strain into a tall collins glass over ice.
  4. Add fresh mint crown and lime wheel for garnish.

Ian Somerhalder’s and Paul Wesley’s Brother’s Bond Bourbon is one of the fastest selling ultra-premium Bourbon brands

The brand shipped 50,000 cases in first 4 months of launch

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley held a special toast on Wednesday, September 1st on the Brother’s Bond Bourbon official Instagram Channel (@BrothersBondBourbon) to kick off National Bourbon Heritage Month.
Read more about Brother’s Bond here.

Brother’s Bond Bourbon

Ian Somerhalder’s and Paul Wesley’s Brother’s Bond Bourbon, their hand-selected straight bourbon whiskey, continues strong momentum and growth in the first four months of launch, shipping 50,000 standard cases.

The Tasting Panel Magazine (June 2021 edition) concluded that Brother’s Bond Bourbon taste profile is exceptional giving it a 93 Rating.

“50,000 cases shipping in the first four months, is well ahead of plan,” says Vincent Hanna, CEO. “The response with roll outs in every market is overwhelming, the ReserveBar presales sold a retail value of over $1.4 M, within 2 x 24-hour periods, these record-breaking presales set the stage for unprecedented demand. Production has been scaled up to accommodate demand and reorders as online and instore retailers continue to sell out due to the consumer frenzy.

Brother’s Bond is the most followed alcohol brand on Instagram, with over 1.58 million followers.  The Brother’s Bond IG Live session with Ian and Paul was Whisky Advocate’s most viewed session, surpassing 20,000k views. This trend of exceeding expectations continues in many other media experiences, even the Whiskey Neat Podcast has well over 400,000 views to date.

September is National Bourbon Heritage month and Brother’s Bond will be part of Bourbon Heritage history. Rolling into many markets with the Time to Bond™ campaign through social media will drive excitement to the bourbon category.  By September 1, 2021, the brand will be available in 27 states including: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Brother’s Bond is now one of the fastest selling ultra-premium bourbon brands shipping 50,000 cases in first 4 months

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley by Dean Bradshaw

Select Spritz, featuring Select Aperitivo

Welcome to basil & salt’s first ever cocktail week!

I know what you’re thinking. How is this different than any other week?

This week is editor’s choice and I thought I would share my favorite cocktail recipes with readers, and I would really like to know what your favorite cocktail is!

If you would like to share, find the menu tab at the top of the page, poke ‘cocktail questionnaire’ and fill out the form. I look forward to reading your responses.

The Select Spritz


  • 3 Parts La Marca Prosecco
  • 2 Parts Select Aperitivo
  • 1 Splash Soda Water
  • Garnish: 1 Large Green Olive


  1. Pour Select, La Marca Prosecco, and soda water into a wine glass over ice.
  2. Top with a large green olive.

A PROPER Coffee, featuring Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey

Here at basil & salt we LOVE our coffee, so when I was kicking around inclusions for Cocktail Week, I made sure a few coffee cocktails made the cut.

Technically, basil & salt’s cocktail week doesn’t kick-off until September 1st, but I thought I would sneak this one in early.

Created by: Sonnu Verdini – Bar Manager, TRADE | Boston, MA


  • 2 ounces Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
  • 1.5 ounce Boston Harbor Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 ounce Mandarine Napoleon
  • .5 ounce Benedictine


  1. Shake/strain into a Nick and Nora glass.
  2. Garnish with hand-whipped cream and coffee beans.

Ian Somerhalder’s and Paul Wesley’s Brother’s Bond Bourbon Now Available In 17 States

Ian Somerhalder’s and Paul Wesley’s Brother’s Bond Bourbon is now available for sale online, at national and regional chains, and many independent retailers in 17 states including: Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The brand name is a nod to their on-screen characters, “The Salvatore Brothers” from CW’s “The Vampire Diaries,” their shared love for great bourbon, and a reflection of the sense of brotherhood they have formed over the years. From the bourbon liquid development to the brand identity, packaging, marketing and advertising, Ian and Paul have been pivotal in every step of producing the bourbon.

Brother’s Bond had the most successful pre-sale launch in the history of Reserve Bar (highest velocity of sales in a 24hr period) following pre-sales last fall and again in January. Brand momentum and excitement have surpassed all expectations and early indicators point to the bourbon being the fastest-selling super-premium bourbon in the USA. In the first 60 days of the launch, over 40,000 cases have shipped. The brand has already accumulated over 1.4 million followers on their official Instagram page (@brothersbondbourbon).

Brother’s Bond Bourbon

“Our characters bonded on-screen over bourbon and so it made sense that we would do the same off-camera. Never could we have imagined that our creation would come this far and help establish new bonds as well as strengthen old ones. We are so proud of the success of our initial release and are excited to say that this is just the beginning,” said Ian and Paul. 

“The positive consumer response has exceeded our expectations,” says Vincent Hanna, CEO. “Everywhere we go people are lining up to buy a bottle, two or three and this is magical. When you see your strategy come to life in such an authentic way, it really gives our whole team the drive to know we are doing something very special.”

Brother’s Bond had the most successful pre-sale launch in the history of Reserve Bar (highest velocity of sales in 24hrs)

Brother’s Bond Bourbon

Brother’s Bond Bourbon is elegant and exceptionally smooth, complex, and balanced with a touch of sweetness and spice. The four-grain, high rye bourbon is 65% corn, 22% rye with the percentage of wheat and barley kept a secret. Aged for a minimum of four years in virgin American oak barrels, the barrel staves with #4 char and the barrel heads with #2 char.

Product description: Hand-selected and rooted in the desire to create the perfect bourbon, Brother’s Bond Bourbon features aromas of baked banana bread, jammy ripe fruit with walnuts and orange honey, and tastes of rich dried fruit and honey sweetness accompanied by hints of black tea and warm rye spice. The toasted cereal grains are rounded out with notes of honeysuckle and the finish of fresh-cut oak is energetic and smooth with perfectly balanced warm spice.

ABV: 40%

Bottle sizes available: 750ml

Suggested retail price: 39.99

It’s Time to Bond with Brother’s Bond Bourbon. Drink Responsibly.

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley by Dean Bradshaw

Quick Bites: Oak & Eden Re-releases Seasonal Caribbean Rum Infused Rye

Inspired by the coastal life, Rye & Rumba begins with Oak & Eden’s award-winning rye whiskey, and is finished with a Caribbean Rum-soaked American Oak spiral.

Oak & Eden originally launched Rye & Rumba in the summer of 2019, which consumers quickly made clear the desire to keep the product as a rotating seasonal. This will be the product’s first encore into the market since launch.

Oak & Eden Whiskey has pioneered a patented process called “In-Bottle Finishing,” where they place a 5″ long spiral-cut piece of wood, called the Spire, into their fully-aged bottle of whiskey, imparting new flavors and characteristics to the whiskey that wouldn’t be achieved in a single barrel alone. In the creation of Rye & Rumba, Oak & Eden steeped an American Oak spire into a craft Caribbean Rum for two weeks before placing it into a bottle of rye whiskey.

Oak & Eden Re-releases Seasonal Caribbean Rum Infused Rye

“Rye & Rumba is among our most balanced & flavorful whiskeys,” says Joe Giildenzopf, cofounder and CEO of Oak & Eden. “There is a delicate complexity of flavors that exist when you introduce Caribbean Rum into rye whiskey. Putting the two together creates a rich, aromatic whiskey that is full of flavor and a clear fan favorite.”

The patented technique of In-Bottle Finishing has led Oak & Eden to producing and launching 10 unique whiskeys into their portfolio, such as Bourbon & Vine (Cabernet infused Bourbon), Bourbon & Brew (cold brew coffee infused Bourbon), the Ale Series (beer infused whiskeys), among others.

Oak & Eden has taken home 30+ Platinum, Double Gold, and Gold medals across the industry’s most prestigious competitions since 2019, and has been named among the Top 10 Whiskies Made in the U.S. by Best Products, one of the Spirits Business’ Top 50 Innovative New Spirits, and has been included on Top 10 whiskey lists by publishers such as Forbes, Wide Open Eats, Brobible, UPROXX, and many others.

Rye & Rumba is available for sale across most of the 22 states that Oak & Eden distributes within, and is also available for sale online at

Learn more about Rye & Rumba at

Celebrate Ferragosto With Refreshing Italian Cocktails

August 15th is Ferragosto and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate this Italian holiday than with some refreshing Italian cocktails.

Ferragosto is a big national celebration that marks the height of the Italian summer, and includes concerts, outdoor festivals and many feasts with friends and family before they head away on vacation. 

These cocktails will make you feel like you have been transported to Italy to partake in the Ferragosto celebrations this year!

Download both the Italian Spirits and the Italian Spirits Recipe Booklets below the cocktail slideshow at bottom of post.

Ferragosto is a public holiday celebrated on 15 August in all of Italy. It originates from Feriae Augusti, the festival of emperor Augustus, who made the 1st of August a day of rest after weeks of hard work on the agricultural sector. 


Strega Daiquiri


  • .5 ounce Liquore Strega 
  • 1.5 ounces white rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • ⅔ ounce brown sugar


Shake, strain, pour over ice

Paloma Bianco


  • 1 ounce Tequila Blanco 
  • 2/3 ounce Luxardo Bitter Bianco 
  • 2/3 ounce Fresh pink grapefruit juice 
  • 1/3 ounce Fresh lime juice 
  • ¼ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Originale 


Shake, strain, pour over ice

Nicola Scattola’s Amaro and Stormy


  • 45 ml. Amaro Nardini
  • 100 ml. Ginger beer
  • 15 ml. Lime juice 
  • 1 fresh mint sprig 


Build in a tall tumbler and mix gently. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Amber Martini


  • 2 cl whitehouse bitter wine
  • 4 cl London Dry Gin 


Stir and strain cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel 

Content provided by
Italian Trade Agency’s Italian Spirits Promotion Project

We love Bombay Sapphire Gin’s® new campaign, ‘Senses Stirred’

First Major Campaign for the Brand in the US Launches this Summer

Here at basil & salt we love all things beverage and culinary and when we spy imagery consistent with our theme, we love to share. Cocktail recipe below. Enjoy!

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin®, the world’s leading premium gin brand by volume and value, announces the debut of its first campaign film dedicated to the BOMBAY & Tonic cocktail. Titled “Senses Stirred”, the film was brought to life by renowned director Alan Masferrer and shows viewers that the perfect gin and tonic goes far beyond being a cocktail – it is an experience for the senses. All five senses are awakened, manifesting the bright, fresh, botanical flavor profile of the heralded, vapor-infused London Dry Gin from BOMBAY SAPPHIRE combined with the precise balance of premium tonic water. From the clink of the ice cubes swirling in a prismatic dance, to the botanical garden enveloped in vapor at sunset, and buoyant balloons rising to burst with botanicals, each element of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE and its iconic serve, the BOMBAY & Tonic, is represented metaphorically through a collage of visually arresting, larger-than-life artistic installations.

As Director Alan Masferrar explains, “I have a particular affinity for the BOMBAY & Tonic as it was the drink my parents met over, so I was definitely excited to collaborate with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE on this campaign to illustrate this story of the ultimate sensory drink experience through our metaphorical installations of the bubbles, vapor mist, sparkling ice cube, citrus and botanical ingredients.”

For more information on BOMBAY SAPPHIRE and products please visit See cocktail recipe below.

G&Pea Cocktail courtesy


  • 25ml Bombay Sapphire
  • 10ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 100ml Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic (chilled & freshly opened)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of frozen garden peas
  • 3 large watercress sprigs


  • Large balloon or Burgundy red wine glass
  • Tablespoon
  • Measuring device
  • Bottle opener for the tonic water


  1. Add the frozen peas & 2 sprigs of watercress to a balloon glass
  2. Pour in the Bombay Sapphire & the elderflower liqueur
  3. Swirl well to infuse
  4. Fill the glass with cubed ice then top with elderflower tonic
  5. Gently fold/stir to mix then garnish with the third sprig of watercress

Bartender Notes

Watercress works really well with Bombay Sapphire because it amplifies the gentle spicy tones of our gin, but don’t let this limit you. Why not try adding rocket salad, micro cress, long peels of carrot, even thinly sliced yellow, orange or red pepper make an amazing, colourful flavour combination.

Hosting a cocktail party? Follow these simple tips to make it a success

Throwing a party is the easy part – invite a few friends and it’s an event! Successfully hosting your gathering and making sure your guests are well taken care and entertained, is another thing altogether.

Below are a few tips to consider as you write your guest list and menu to ensure that you create both an unforgettable experience and lasting memories.

Know Your Audience

Most of us have different groups of friends. Our weekend ball crew for sporting events, family and friends for special events and backyard cookouts, work friends and colleagues and then there’s the swanky, after-hours cocktail crowd. Keep your party theme appropriate for your guest group with food, drinks, and music, setting the overall ambiance for the evening.

  • Music is one of the most important components of the evening. Keep it just low enough to encourage conversation and in relative theme of your guests likes and dislikes.
  • Stock the bar: Knowing in advance what your guests prefer goes a long way. Whether you are setting up a self-host bar with premade cocktail pitchers and their favorite beer and wine or you’ve a skilled bartender on hand, your guests will appreciate this small attention to detail.
  • Scheduling: If you’re scheduling an after-hours networking cocktail event, weeknights directly after work are preferred. If your event is pleasure only, weekends are best. Keep in mind if your event is late afternoon/early evening dinner hour, you should have foods heavier than light appetizers available. After 7? Appetizers and dessert items should be available.
  • Special Diets: Know your guests. Allergies? Vegetarian? Vegan? Dieting? If any of your guests are following a preferred diet, make sure there are delicious food options available. Again, this attention to detail makes an impression.
  • Time: Send out invitations within one week to 4 weeks before the party. Give everyone plenty of notice and touch base with your guests 2 weeks out and again a couple of days before your cocktail event.

The Menu

Keeping your guests happy and satisfied is key to a successful cocktail soiree. Everyone should feel welcome and well attended to. Mix, mingle and pull people into conversations.

  • Make sure you cater to everyone’s needs, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.
  • Finger foods that can be taken in 1-2 bites are excellent options for cocktail parties.
  • Creating a beautiful and well-designed charcuterie board shows attention to detail, offers many flavor and texture combinations, and will be photographed often. If you have more than one room where guests gather, ensure food platters are sprinkled evenly throughout each room, are easily accessible and refill them before they reach ¾ empty.
  • If your party falls during mealtime, make sure you have some heavier alternatives on hand, serve with crackers and/or bread. 

The Bar

A fully stocked bar is essential.

  • Serve a variety of spirits including vodka, rum, tequila, and whiskey, as well as mixers like soda, tonic, fruit juices, and syrups.
  • Make sure you have a few bottles of wine on hand. White, red, or rosé. Your wines will taste as they should as long as they are served at the proper temperature. This is why a wine cooler or beverage center is a must-have! 
  • Always keep mixers and carbonated options on hand. You may want to get a kegerator – it keeps ice cold beer on tap and allows you to serve your guests efficiently.
  • Make a signature cocktail and give it a name.
  • Have plenty of ice! You can always buy ice bags from your local store and keep them in refrigerators or make your own with ice makers.
  • If you decide against a self-host bar and don’t wish to play bartender all evening, consider hiring a professional.
  • Non-alcoholic mocktails should be an option.

These minor details may seem insignificant, yet they have the biggest potential to make or break your celebration.

The Playlist

Setting the mood is crucial. Again, know your guests. If swanky, jazzy cocktail tunes are their preference, set your playlist accordingly.

  • Your playlist should be long enough to last the duration of your event, so it never repeats.
  • If possible, use a separate device to stream the playlist instead of your phone. 
  • Start with soft music and work your way up to the bigger bounce once the party gets going.
  • Include pop or retro songs that people remember and will sing along to, for later in the evening.
  • If you’re not sure you’re up to the task of creating a successful playlist, consider hiring a professional for the evening.

Create a Master Plan List

Creating a list will take a lot of stress out of party planning. The following list types will assist in keeping you on track:

  • Menu and food
  • Spirits, beer, wine and cocktail ingredients
  • Preparations, décor, etc.
  • Timeline: Shopping day, food prep day, décor, etc.

Flow and Set-up 

To ensure traffic moves with ease, keep the following items in mind:

  • Place potential bottlenecks away from each other. The bar and food should be in completely separate areas.
  • Seating should be moved to “clusters” for conversation and out of foot traffic areas.
  • Collection trays for plates, cups, glasses should be placed in several areas and emptied often. Discreet trash bins should be in multiple locations and again, emptied often.

Visual Cues

Creating a restroom sign for your guests is a small touch that makes a big difference.
If you’ve added foods for your guests’ diets, gluten-free, vegetarian, etc., make sure they are well defined. Small chalkboards are simple and can be altered and utilized event to event.


Create a great ambiance, circulate the room and chat with your guests often. Most of all, relax and enjoy yourself.

Content provided by: Wine Coolers Empire
Edited by: Karie Engels
This is NOT paid or promoted content, basil & salt magazine did not receive compensation in any form, payment or product for publishing this post.

try our new favorite summer whiskey cocktail, high west’s “the horse’s neck”.

Simple and delicious this whiskey cocktail is perfect for summer sipping on the front porch while you watch the world go by.

the horses neck


  • 2 ounces high west double rye
  • .25 ounce ginger juice, fresh
  • .25 ounce lemon juice, fresh
  • 2 ounces ginger beer
  • lemon twist for garnish


Add ingredients to chilled cocktail shaker, shake and pour into an old-fashioned glass with chip ice. Garnish with lemon.

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