While I've enjoyed a good cocktail for some years, it's only been in the last year or so that I've delved very deeply into the bourgeoning cocktail culture. I should first thank the wonderful people at House Spirits for this renewed interest. My local alumni association was kind enough to schedule a tour of local distilleries last September and our first stop was at House Distilleries. After the usual tour of their facilities and the tasting room, we sat down to try cocktails made with their main spirits. Christian Krogstad, one of the founders, was mixing the drinks and did a fantastic job of explaining how each of the spirits worked with the other (often fresh) ingredients. It was a revelation, as I'd previously only thrown together rather hack-job cocktails before. I left with my mind buzzing (in more ways than one) and was almost instantly hooked.
As I have long held a strong affection for House Spirit's Aviation Gin, that quickly became the focus of my cocktail experimentation. Many of the experiments had their basis in the Bee's Knees and the Bridgeport Bramble from Jeffery Morganthaler's blog, another source of inspiration. Many of the variations included homemade ginger syrup, which can often add a delightful kick to these cocktails.
Soon my interests turned to other spirits, but that's a story for another time.