After a long day at the office it’s nice to come home and enjoy a cocktail, kick up your feet, and listen to some tunes that will always bring a smile to your face. This is a nightly ritual I watched my parents perform while growing up. As soon as Dad walked through the door and greeted everyone he had one responsibility – make him and Mom a cocktail.

If he had it his way perhaps he would make it to their bedroom so he could hang his suit jacket and remove his tie, but usually he was not so lucky. He had to pay Mom the toll of a gin and tonic, a kiss, and a quick catch up about their day before he could get out of his work apparel.


All grown up I enjoy having guests come over for cocktail hour and listen to some great tunes. The system that best matches my bar is the limited edition MUSIC SYSTEM THREE in copper. It has a classic look and feel even without a cabinet. If I need to make room on the bar I can easily pick it up and move it to a different area or while I prepare the ingredients I can bring it to the kitchen. Its portability and 20+ hours of battery life have made it my go to system in the home. It fills any room I place it in with full sound. And my favorite tunes to accompany cocktail hour? Try this Motown and Northern Soul playlist.


You can always enjoy your favorite drink, but here are some classic cocktail recipes with a little twist. My mom’s gin and tonic has been updated with rhubarb ginger simple syrup. On the other end of the spectrum we’re offering up a Rye Whiskey drink called a Blue Fluke, named after its creator.

I recommend preparing the syrups in advance so they have an opportunity to cool and your guests are not waiting hours for their drinks. They will keep in your fridge for months, but they are so tasty I doubt they will last that long.

Rhubarb Ginger Syrup Rhubarb Ginger Syrup

  • 3-4 cups rhubarb cut into half-inch segments
  • 5 coins of fresh ginger without skin – use more or less depending on your tolerance/love for ginger. You could leave it out, but then you loose the slight kick it offers.
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (235 ml) water
    1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the temp and let simmer until the rhubarb gets soft and the liquid thickens slightly.
    2. Through a fine meshed strainer pour the contents into a bowl. Press on the fruit in the strainer in order to get as much syrup out of the fruit as possible.
    3. Pour into a clean jar or bottle and cover. Allow it to cool and store in the refrigerator. It should keep for a very long time. SUMMER IN A BOTTLE!

    BT_syrup Black Tea Simple Syrup

  • 4 black tea bags
  • 1 cup (235 ml) water
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
    1. Boil the water and remove from heat.
    2. Steep the tea bags in the water for 5 minutes
    3. Remove tea bags and combine the tea and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stir the entire time.
    4. Once all the sugar has dissolved reduce the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes.
    5. Remove from heat and allow it to cool for 30 minutes. Once cool put into a clean bottle or jar and seal. Store in the refrigerator. It should keep for 3 months.

    With all your ingredients ready to go lets make some cocktails!

    With all your ingredients ready to go lets make some cocktails!


    Rhubarb Ginger Gin and Tonic
    2 oz Gin
    1 tablespoon rhubarb ginger simple syrup
    ½ tablespoon lime juice
    tonic water
    lime wedge for garnish

    Combine lime juice, rhubarb ginger simple syrup and gin. Add ice and top with tonic water to desired taste. (we used around 4 oz). Stir. Run lime wedge around rim and then use it for garnish.


    Blue Fluke
    3-4 Blueberries
    3 dashes of Bitters – we use Berg & Hauck’s Jerry Thomas Bitters
    1 tablespoon black tea simple syrup
    2 oz Rye Whiskey (We used Bulleit Rye Whiskey)

    Muddle the blueberries then add black tea simple syrup, rye, and bitters (Don’t over do it on the bitters. A little goes a long way.) Stir and add ice. Enjoy! One of the best parts is eating the Rye soaked blueberries in the end.




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