TSL Homestead Cocktail of the month – Harvey Wallbanger June 2021

This was our second attempt recording this video as Facebook made some changes to its “go live” function. Pretty sure we still don’t know what we are doing! We managed to get something recorded though.

Our TSL Homestead Cocktail of the month was chosen by the Mad Farmer in celebration of Father’s Day. The Harvey Wallbanger became popular in the 1970’s . Here is an interesting post on the history of the drink. It was fairly extensive, albeit a little underwhelming. It provided the ridiculous tag line “Harvey Wallbanger is the name and I can be made!”

The Harvey Wallbanger is a dressed up version of a screwdriver – the dress being Galliano. Galliano has a licorice like flavor and is yellow. The bottle says it has over 30 herbs and spices – seems like maybe there could have been a different note to bring out instead of licorice. A little surprisingly, it does add a nice flavor to the drink. However, if you are not a fan of licorice, you may want to stick to the screwdriver.

We took our recipe from the Galliano site and you can find it here. If you give this cocktail a try, let us know what you think!

Please, drink responsibly and get into the spirit of things!

TSL Homestead Cocktail of the Month – Mint Julep May 2021

The first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby so the Mad Farmer and I thought it would be fun to do a Mint Julep for our May cocktail. We were busy the first Saturday in May, so we did not watch the Kentucky Derby. However, not watching does not equal not celebrating 馃槈

Since there is an event tied to the cocktail this month, right out of the gate it seemed reasonable to do a bit of research on the race and the drink. So first, a little information on the Derby.

The Derby was started by Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., grandson of William Clark of the William and Clark expedition [An interesting book about the Lewis and Clark expedition is called: Or Perish in the Attempt: Wilderness Medicine in the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Dr. David J. Peck. While it is out of print, you may be able to find a used copy]. Clark modeled the Kentucky Derby on the derby held at Epsom Downs, in England, that he saw while traveling abroad. That derby was started in 1780 by the 12th earl of Derby. The first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875 at Churchill Downs race track in Louisville, KY. The race is 3 year old thoroughbreds racing 1.25 miles. The original distance was 1.5 miles but was changed in 1896 after complaints that the distance was too long. It is the longest running sports event in the country.

In 1884, Clark gave the winner of the Derby roses. This tradition continued and in 1925 a sports writer dubbed the race the ‘Run for the Roses’ and it stuck. Later, in the 1930s, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes were grouped together and called the Triple Crown. And, while everyone may not be familiar with the Preakness or the Belmont, most folks know that the Kentucky Derby is known for extravagant hats and mint juleps!

Well, it turns out that the julep has a very different beginning than what we currently know as the mint julep. For starters, it used to just be a julep., no mint – or bourbon. They were typically rum, water and sugar. The word julep is derived from a Persian word then it went to Arabic and then Latin and eventually we got to julep. The original Persian word meant sweetened rosewater. Early juleps were made with cognac or other French brandies. Sadly, an infection of grapevines in France in the mid 1880’s and an excise tax on American made brandies made whiskey the staple for the julep after the Civil War. The first reference to mint julep goes back to 1784 when they were used as medicine. The first print mention of the mint julep is 1803 in the book by John Davis called Travels of Four and a Half Years in the United States of America.

Fast forward a little bit, 1938 – and we find the mint julep becoming the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. Fast forward a bit more, 2015, and we find Old Forrester being the official whiskey. They serve 120,000 mint juleps at the Derby – yes, 120,000. The race is one lap around a track. I can’t imagine how many it would be if it were two!

Hope you have enjoyed our stroll through the history of the Kentucky Derby and its official drink, the mint julep. We are including two recipes for your enjoyment, one with cognac, and one with Old Forrester. If you have the time, mint, and patience, do make the mint simple syrup – it is delicious!

Please, drink responsibly, and get into the spirit of things!

The Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe from KentuckyDerby.com

路         2 cups sugar

路         2 cups water

路         Sprigs of fresh mint

路         Crushed ice

路         Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whisky

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight.

Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Old Forester Kentucky Whisky.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Cognac Mint Julep from Hennessy.com

1.75 oz Cognac

8 mint leaves

.5 oz simple syrup

1 fresh mint branch to garnish

Place the mint leaves in a tall julep glass and gently press the mint leaves with a pestle (or spoon) to release the oils. Add the simple syrup and cognac. Stir completely and finish with crushed ice. Garnish with mint.

TSL Homestead Cocktail of the Month – Blue Hawaii April 2021

This month we are celebrating our 10th anniversary with a drink that reflects our honeymoon to Hawaii – the Blue Hawaii. Hard to believe we are rounding the corner to 10 years. What a fun journey it has been!

This cocktail was created in 1957 by Harry Yee, while he was working at the Village Hotel in Waikiki. Mr. Yee was approached by a representative of Bols (a Dutch distiller) and asked to create a drink using their liquor, Blue Curacao – and so the Blue Hawaii was born.

Blue Curacao uses the peel of the Laraha citrus fruit for the taste (think orange-ish) and color is added to make it blue. Here’s a fun video about how to pronounce Curacao

The liquor we used was Combier Le Bleu. They have been making Curacao for 180 years. Their recipe was created by J.B. Combier while serving time in prison in the French village of Nantes (Combierusa.com).

There is another blue cocktail called the Blue Hawaiian, which is a blended drink and has Creme de Coconut in it. That may be for a different show…

The recipe we used came from Imbibemagazine.com and their recipe is from The Pink Squirrel:

3/4 oz white rum – we used Barcardi

3/4 oz vodka – we used Tito’s

3/4 oz blue curacao – we used Combier Le Bleu

3 oz of fresh pinapple juice – we used Knudson’s

1 oz fresh sour mix (recipe below)

Sour mix

1 C water

1 C granulated sugar

Heat the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature then add:

1 C fresh lemon juice

1/2 C fresh lime juice

This stores in the fridge up to a week. I think I am going to try it in margaritas…

Mix in a shaker and strain into a glass with ice – if you have a hurricane glass, use that. Enjoy!

TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 The El Diablo

Videocast 006 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 The El Diablo Cocktail

The Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy explore another Tequila based cocktail recipe. The earliest mention of this cocktails appears to be in the Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide from 1946. Hard to tell if that is actually the first mention or if Trader Vic’s invented it. Any way you slice it, it’s pretty tasty, so try it out.聽

El Diablo

El Diablo Cocktail Recipe (imbibemagazine.com):

El Diablo
1陆 oz. reposado tequila
陆 oz. cr猫me de cassis
陆 oz. fresh lime juice
2鈥3 oz. ginger beer
Tools: shaker, strainer, fine strainer
Glass: highball
Garnish: lime wedge and fresh blackberry or candied ginger (optional)

Combine all ingredients, except ginger beer, and shake. Fine-strain into an ice-filled Collins glass, top with ginger beer and garnish.



Spruce Eats

Difford’s Guide

Videocast 006 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 The El Diablo Cocktail

TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series – Tequila Sunrise

Videocast 005 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 Tequila Sunrise

The Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy found there are several different recipes for Tequila Sunrise. The oldest Miss Mercy found was supposedly invented by the Arizona Biltmore hotel in the 1930’s. The Biltmore version does not include Orange Juice and does include a Black Current Liqueur called “cr猫me de cassis“.

Your humble hosts found the original Biltmore recipe to be a bit lighter and a bit more interesting than the more common recipe, but both are a fine drink on a hot summer day.

Arizona Biltmore Original Tequila Sunrise Recipe (patrontequila.com):

  • *1.25 oz Tequila
  • *.75 oz cr猫me de cassis
  • *Fresh lime juice
  • *Club soda
  • Ice: Cracked Ice
  • Glass: Tall Glass
  • Garnish: Lime Wedge Instructions: Fill a tall glass with cracked ice. Add the tequila, cr猫me de cassis and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Fill with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge. Fill to top with ice and blend. For kid friendly drinks just remove rum.

Traditional Tequila Sunrise Recipe (spruceeats.com):

  • Ice Cubes
  • 2 ounces Tequila
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine
  • Glass: Highball
  • Garnish: orange slice
  • Garnish: maraschino cherry
  • In a highball glass filled with ice cubes, pour the tequila and orange juice.
  • Stir well.
  • Slowly pour the grenadine around the inside edge of the glass. It will sink and gradually rise to mix with the other ingredients.
  • Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.


Tequila Sunrise (1973)(The Eagles)

Tequila Sunrise (1988) (with Mel Gibson, Kurt Russel, Raul Julia, Michelle Michelle Pfeiffer)

Travel Writer David Lansing on the Biltmore Tequila Sunrise

Olmeca Altos Reposado Tequila Review The Tequila Hombre

Videocast 005 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 Tequila Sunrise

TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 Beachcomber


Videocast 004 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 The Beachcomber

The Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy are a little behind for June so we are putting up a “two-for-one” with our June Cocktail, The Beachcomber and a “Bonus Track” for the ever popular Boat Drinks (Jimmy Buffett inspired, of course)!

The possible inventor of the the Beachcomber was ‘Donn Beach‘, a restaurant owner and generally considered the “founding father” of the Tiki culture. Donn was born Ernest Raymond Beaumont Grant (1907-1989) and opened the “Don’s Beachcomber” Tiki bar in Hollywood in 1930’s. Miss Mercy wasn’t able to confirm that Donn was the actual inventor of the Beachcomber rum drink, but since he invented many rum based cocktails it’s not unlikely.

There is also a possibility that Victor Bergeron (founder of Trader Vic’s), a competitor of Donn’s based on the East Coast, actually created the Beachcomber cocktail. The Beachcomber did appear in Victor’s book, the 1947 Bartender’s Guide.

No matter who invented the drink it’s refreshing and perfectly suited to a hot summer day. The Tiny Homestead is using the recipe we found on the Cointreau.com website. The recipe is simple:

  • 1.75 OZ WHITE RUM

Shake in a cocktail mixer with ice and pour into a coup glass and garnish with a lime slice if desired. Very tasty!

Beachcomber as seen on Cointreau.com

One thing that also happens in June is the Mad Farmer’s birthday and Father’s Day. Two holidays that cry out for a summer drink containing rum!

Many years ago, when the Mad Farmer was a much younger pup his family and friends threw a Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville theme Birthday Party.

Happy Birthday !

Shark fins on the fence, cardboard palm trees and a full blown Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville Corona party pack on display everywhere.

Decorations at Margaritaville I

A call was made in secret to the Margaritaville Bar in Key West (long distance charges were a thing – look it up kiddies) and the recipe for a bar favorite, Boat Drinks, was acquired. Only problem was the recipe was for six gallons – a bit more than necessary for the size of the surprise gathering. Adjustments were made but the first few years the drinks were pretty strong and the rum was noticeable. After years of tinkering with the recipe the Mad Farmer finally found the perfect mix (you can even make popsicles out of it)!

Boat Drinks:

In Blender mix:

Fill to top with ice and blend. For kid friendly drinks just remove rum


Beachcomber Recipe (Cointreau.com)

Jimmy Buffett’s Cabin Fever Virtual Concert Series

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Bar (Key West)

Videocast 004 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 The Beachcomber

TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series – The Manhattan

Videocast 003 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 The Manhattan

The origins of the Manhattan are lost in time. The Democrat newspaper remarked in 1882 that, 鈥淚t is but a short time ago that a mixture of whiskey, vermouth and bitters came into vogue鈥. The Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy aren’t sure when the Manhattan originated, but we are happy that it did.

Researching this cocktail Miss Mercy discovered several things: First, it’s the oldest history we have for a cocktail so far – reaching back at least to the 1880’s. Second, Vermouth comes in two flavors, Sweet (any red vermouth) and Dry (any non-red vermouth). Third, there are various liquors you can use to make the drink –


聽 聽 History of the Manhattan

The Modern Bartender’s Guide (1884)

Videocast 003 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 The Manhattan

TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series – Dark & Stormy

Videocast 002 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 Dark and Stormy

Miss Mercy and the Mad Farmer explore the best cocktail so far, Gosling Rum’s Dark ‘n Stormy. The Dark and Stormy is a simple cocktail using only two ingredients:

聽 聽 1.5 oz of Goslings Dark Rum

聽 聽 1 can Goslings Ginger Beer.

聽 聽聽 聽聽 聽聽 聽聽 Dark ‘n Stormy

Videocast 002 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 Dark and Stormy

TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 Amaretto Sour (Part 3)

Videocast 001 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 Amaretto Sour (Part 3)


In the last podcast Miss Mercy and the Mad Farmer tried the Amaretto Sour with more natural ingredients. That was way better than using the store-bought mix but we thought we could still do better. This week, for the last attempt of the month, we decided to attempt the “Best Amaretto Sour in the World”. This recipe has been created by Jeffery Morganthaller who is apparently a bartender.

In the interest of full disclosure neither Miss Mercy nor the Mad Farmer personally know Jeffery Morganthaller and, we haven’t tried all the recipes for Amaretto Sour that exist, so we’re not actually sure if this is the best or not. The good news is you don’t have to know someone to try out their recipe for cocktails! We did, we aren’t sad, and we hope you follow along…


Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Amaretto Sour

  • 1陆 oz/45 ml amaretto
  • 戮 oz/22.5 ml cask-proof bourbon
  • 1 oz/30 ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp/5 ml 2:1 simple syrup
  • 陆 oz/15 ml egg white, lightly beaten
  1. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake without ice or (even better) use an immersion blender to combine and froth.
  2. Shake well with cracked ice.
  3. Strain over fresh ice in an old fashioned glass
  4. Garnish with lemon peel and brandied cherries, if desired..

Videocast 001 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 Amaretto Sour (Part 3)

TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series 鈥 Amaretto Sour (Part 2)

Podcast 004 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series – Amaretto Sour (Part 2)

In the last podcast Miss Mercy and the Mad Farmer explored the standard version of the Amaretto Sour and we really didn’t find it to our liking. Over the last several years we have been making a real effort at eating healthier food. Ingesting fewer artificial flavors, cutting as much high fructose corn syrup, processed sugar, growing as much food for ourselves as we can and cutting out as much processed food as possible.

What does this have to do with cocktails you ask? Great Question! The answer is, so far almost everything! Every time we replace a processed ingredient, like store-bought grenadine, with a homemade version the taste is night and day. Replacing canned cherries packed in syrup with organic maraschino cherries you can tell the difference. Changing out a packaged sour mix that tastes like something I would be ashamed to feed to a pet with a natural sour mix of hand squeezed lemons makes a world of difference.

Last week we made an Amaretto Sour with a packaged mix, it was hideous. This week we tried a recipe from MixthatDrink.com with all natural ingredients and it was worth having. One of the few recipes we’ve tried so far that says mix the ingredients then pour into a glass with ice. Take a listen, try it out. We think you will like this one. And tune in later this month when we try a more complex mix that is touted as the best in the world!


Amaretto Sour (MixThatDrink.com)

Podcast 004 : TSL Homestead Signature Cocktail Series – Amaretto Sour (Part 2)