My take on a "Jack Rose" cocktail, with applejack, grenadine, and lime. Warm, sweet, and holiday-esque.
Originally mixed for a holiday cocktail episode of DIY Downunder, I've been meaning to do something inspired by applejack for a while and this was a pretty good excuse. Applejack is a traditional-ish american spirit that was originally made by repeatedly freezing the water out of cider until it proofed, so like an ice wine but with apples. It's usually just done as a distilled apple brandy now, but it's still delicious stuff that tends to be less subtle and a bit more obnoxious than something like Calvados. I do think it fits in the colder weather really well, and it's something that feels seasonal without tasting like pumpkin spice.
Shoutout to MlNikon for putting the bug in my ear about FA Liquid Amber being the best brandy flavor out, because I completely ran with it. I think a lot of failed attempts at making an applejack were down to putting the apple first. I just flipped it, and throw an ungodly amount of liquid amber in to mix to see what it would do. I liked it. 3% is indeed a whole lot of liquid amber, but it's used as an actual flavor and probably the crux of the recipe instead of the usual sub 1% additive range. It has a decent amount of texture and a really nice warmth to it to.
The applejack is filled out with some of the amazing funk and depth of FLV Apple Cider at 1%. The good applejack, the bottled in boud stuff from Laird's, is aged in oak. So that's the last flavoring component here. Some TPA Red Oak at 1% gives a solid bourbon char. I feel like it's less dry and astringent than FA Oakwood so that's probably a good fit.
The rest of the cocktail is pretty easy. TPA Pomegranate Deluxe is fuller, sweet, and doesn't have any weird off notes. Seems like grenadine to me. I just wanted a light touch of grenadine here, so 2% seemed about appropriate. And the lime juice. Oh the lime juice. I like FA Florida Key Lime for a non-candied lime juice flavor that doesn't fade out too hard. 3% got me where I wanted to go.
So there we go, a holiday cocktail that doesn't involve LB White Chocolate Peppermint. Look upon my works and tremble.
A spin on the classic-ish "blood and sand" cocktail, using scotch, orange, red fruit, and vermouth. It's sweet, smoky, bitter, boozy, and herbal all at the same time.
Mixed for Jarvis's Fantasy Mixing Hootenanny. I took "Fantasy" as a bit broader direction .... because miss me with that elf shit. I'd been working on a blood and sand for a minute and wanted to find a good hook related to fiction. I could have went "Dune" but kindground has an Arrakis remix that is pretty good already. Also, I never read the dune books. Star Wars is for dorks, so no Tatooine or whatever. I started drifting more into horror and ended up on "The Voice of the Beach" by Ramsey Campbell. I had originally read it after reading someone complain that "Beachworld" by Stephen King was derivative, it's an older short story about an all-consuming beach and a mysterious pattern. We got blood, we got sand, and we got another non-sequitur of a name. FANTASY!
This recipe is going to look like kind of a lot, and it is. The original cocktail is also kind of a lot. Scotch is such an aggressive flavor, you have to do some really intense things to push it around. So we did some intense things.
The Scotch base here is mostly FA Whisky. It's pretty mild, it's a bit fruity, it has some peat. We crank it up to 4% (fetch the fainting couch) because we want the peat to come through and everything else going on here is going to need some that mildly boozy, fruity base to play off of. EXTRA CREDIT: Vape Train Scotch Whiskey is super, super intense. If you have it, and you enjoy the funkier boozier parts of this, throw in a couple drops. I wouldn't go beyond .25% , but it adds a really aggressive edge to the booze here. Not included in the recipe because not everyone wants to annihilate their sinuses all the way, but it's pretty fun if you're broken like me.
There is a whole lot of FLV Cranberry in here. 2% will dominate most mixes you throw it in, and this isn't really an exception. It's sweet, sticky, and dark. I put some (very weak but at least not plastic) TPA Cherry Extract in there at 5% to kind of bend into a heering profile, but it's still pretty recognizably cranberry. And at 2% of FLV Cranberry you do have to contend with some serious off notes, it gets boozy and warm... It's almost like we planned it.
The INW Shisha Orange is a pretty good cocktail orange that has some nuance depth beyond just the generic acidity that you'd get from real orange juice. It's strong even at .5%, but the rest of this recipe is strong too. You can handle it. It also fades a bit, so you may even bump up to .75% if you want to steep this for a while.
I have no idea why Flavorwest manufactures such a good vermouth flavor, but I'm not arguing. It's called "martini," but I get no gin. Solo, it's more of a dry vermouth than sweet, but we got plenty of sweetness in this mix to compensate. This acts like the vermouth in the cocktail, namely adding some bitter and herbal counterpoints for all that sweetness and alcohol. Is 3.5% A bit much? Probably, but we are fighting that 2% FLV Cranberry and 4% FA Whisky and everything has spun fully out of control at this point.
This sort of ended up being a cocktail vape for people that really like cocktail vapes. I'm not sure I'd try to convince anyone with this one. I've found this can be a bit much at super high wattages, I prefer it more out of a smaller rta at like 12mg.
An accessible and dead simple green apple hard candy for people used to paying way more for juice. The fancy label and booth babes are in your mind.
Special shoutout to Flavorah and Liquid Barn for putting together the DIY Extravaganza at the Vegas Vape Expo. Mixers were breaking down DIY for attendees. This recipe was my attempt to create a quick, tasty, and "commercial" vape juice right in front of people on the fence about trying DIY.
As a "simple" juice, this is mostly about bolstering a single flavor into a fuller vape. Luckily, CAP Green Apple Hard Candy really doesn't need all that much help. It's a green apple jolly rancher, full stop. I don't get any of the acetone off-notes present in a lot of green apple concentrates here. It's almost perfect for a sweet, sticky and slighty warm hard candy vape. It's a simple profile, but executed really well. This recipe was specifically formulated to 16% to work with the liquid barn basic bottles, so the 12% is a bit arbitrary, but it works well there.
FLV Sour Apple brings in some support. It's another green apple candy flavor, but it isn't quite as full and sweet. The "Sour" part is pretty great though, and it just provides a bit of punch to keep the jolly rancher from building into something too sticky and cloying. Most "sours" aren't all that tart and the malic acid will gradually eat at the flavors underneath, hollowing out your juice. FLV Sour Apple doesn't seem to mute nearly as bad over the long term, and it really helps to set off the CAP. 3% of this flavor is a lot, but we're not in overflavoring territory and the CAP GAHC soaks it all up.
And Capella Super Sweet, well, it's a sweetener. The acids there seem to help further enliven candies and this is pretty much the perfect place for it. 1% is a bit high for a DIY recipe, but it's still on the low end for "commercial" stuff. It's also a candy recipe, soooooooooo..... But whatever, use as much or as little as you like. It's DIY. If Super Sweet is a bit harsh for you, then try FW Sweetener at 2 or even 3% for a comparable level of sweetness. This isn't the recipe for TPA or EM, and the muting with those options is probably detrimental with any kind of steep. I feel like you actually want a bit of bite with all that sweetness.
Can you add cooling? Yes, it's DIY. The recipe will work fine with it. Stick with a neutral coolant instead of something like menthol. I like .5% of 30% WS-23. You can go as cold as you want though. 1% will be "icy." 2% will be brutal. Again, it's DIY.
So there you go, this was actually relatively popular with the people I talked to, and I hope it's a pretty good illustration of how easy DIY can be if you stay out of the way of the flavors and just want to vape something that tastes good. For just 2 flavors and some sweetener, you get a good balance of sweetness, tartness, and depth of flavor. The level of flavor may be a bit obnoxious, but that's the point. You could make this more complex or less overwhelming, but I wanted to target an audience of people that were not already invested in the community.
I'll get back to 10 flavor existential nightmares soon enough, but I thought this might be worth sharing. As much as I enjoy the nerdier side of mixing, the show was a good reminder that DIY can be a bigger tent and I need to do something to help make it one.
Also, Shyndo came up with the name. I'm not sure if the DIY snobs or the juice line goons are Camp Tigerclaw in this scenario, but it's a cool ass name and sometimes that is enough. BIG TENT.
Mixed live for Fresh's SaturDIY show on 8/25. We did bases, and I wanted to try a fuller implementation for VT Milkshake Base.
FW Vanilla Bean Ice Cream was my vanilla ice cream of choice, primarily because I didn't want to bury this all with peppery acetyl propinyl. It's good, but it's a bit thin. The vanilla is also pretty bright.
FA Fresh Cream is for some volume. It's filler, basically, but I like my milkshakes a bit on the the thin side in general.
The LB Vanilla Ice Cream was added back in for some richness. It was running thin without it. You could go higher than that, of course. But I'm joyless and I don't like my milkshakes super rich. I'm about that soft swerve life.
AND THE VT MILKSHAKE BASE. It's cool. It's not a base per se, but it adds a certain indefinable milkshake quality. It's malty, a bit funky, and deepens the cream and waters down the ice cream. It's a bridge flavor, basically, if we're going to use weird DIY terms.
This is built to just drop stuff on top of and go. I've tried it with 5% FW Blackberry and then 4% FA Kiwi and been really happy with the results. Break it if you want.
Mixed live for Fresh's 6/9 show. The design brief was "Not a Dessert" and someone named dropped a Tobacco Leaf and Coffee Custard. This is an attempt at that profile.
The custard base is straight stolen from the beautiful @EdibleMalfunction. His S&V custard base is pretty tight, yo. No need to reinvent the wheel when you can just plagiarize?
And the tobacco/coffee. You know what's a non-awful coffee flavor? Half of FLV Connecticut Shade. Plus, it has some cool cigar wrapper type of cocoa notes. Strong stuff, and a bit hard to use as the only tobacco in a recipe. It's filled out with some FLV Cured, because it's one of the leafier straight ahead FLV Tobaccos.
My hot take: This is pretty solid. Since it's a S&V custard base with FLV Tobaccos it actually works surprisingly well off a shake. I'm digging this. Should follow the same general rule as other FLV tobaccos though, so it'll probably die down after 3 days and come back in a couple weeks.
A pile of smashed up chocolate covered raspberries with a whiskey chaser, AKA Sad Valentines Day v2. A rework of a previous recipe, "Beat The Champ.
Same profile as beat the champ, but bigger, and bolder.
I just went with an old friend, FW Razzleberry. The original recipe used some FLV Cranberry and FA Raspberry for something raspberry-ish. This is a little complicated, a little punchier, and for some reason FW Razzleberry works really well with chocolate too, so bonus. And the raspberry here is reinforced by the berry notes in the TPA Ruby Chocolate.
Hey, TPA Ruby Chocolate. This is newer. I dig it. I dig the semi-sweet chocolate thing, and the red berry hints are pretty darn nice. The Cereal 27 is just bringing in some AP and seems a bit weird, but settles into boosting up the chocolate. And FW White Chocolate because why not back up that chocolate and add some richness. Also TPA tastes like black pepper. Fite Me.
Not really a straight bourbon. I'm playilng around here a bit. FA Whisky is a scotch, but like a fruity scotch. It works pretty well with red berries in general and I love it. The red oak is there for some char and some tannic mouthfeel. And I have no idea why the Lemon Grass works here, but it does. I promise, the lemon grass is worth it.
So, let this steep for about a week. It calms down, smoothes out, and the AP from the Cereal 27 vanishes into the chocolate.
A hopped apple cider pudding.
This started out as a riff on Mill's "Soursop Pudding." I loved that recipe. The pudding base was on point, and I dug how he used hops as an accent to soursop. I took the basic idea and ran with it.
FLV Vanilla Pudding is the base of the recipe, bringing a smooth texture and some body to the table. The FLV Coconut is in here mostly to accentuate the richness of that pudding base. The errant bits of coconut flavor actually work pretty well, but I'm mostly after the buttery richness of that flavor.
I really wanted an excuse to try to make apple and hops work together. For some reason, I had never tryed it out, but I really dig how the hops plays with the boozy notes of FLV Apple Cider and the Apple Pop is there to really punch in the apple profile.
The cinnamon was the final addition to temper some of the clash between the boozy notes of the cider and the rich pudding. Plus, the warm spice makes this feel even more comforting and like a vaguely macho dessert you'd get at some boutique hunter's lodge. Shoutout to LimeDrive for testing an earlier version of this via Mixer's Club and suggesting cinnamon. Turns out, it ties the whole thing together.
The city light is too bright to save me or be seen. Welcome to Deer Lodge.
A dry, heavily aromatic sandalwood tobacco with grapefruit and vanilla accents. It's sharp, distinct, and fairly well balanced for dealing with an aggressive and distinct sandalwood. This works okay subohm but that sandalwood can be a whole lot to deal with. I prefer it mixed 50/50 in a MTL tank, preferably with a heavy dose of nicotine salts. It helps me from strangling people while I try to find my inner peace. This settles down a bit on a 2 week steep and is probably essential for a subohm type of application, but honestly I've done this after 3 days in a MTL tank without any real ill effect.
This recipe ties together a lot of preoccupations for me.
It was originally conceived as a way to use FLV Wood Spice. It's a really accurate take on sandalwood, but a bit outside of the normal spectrum of flavors in vaping. Trying to figure out a way to use it, I ended up staring at aromatherapy pairings. Turns out lt's used with citrus a lot, including grapefruit.
FLV Pink Guava is another obsession of mine. It's a bit unhealthy. It has some sweeter, fruitier body but the top notes taste a whole lot like Cascade hops with a distinct kind of grapefruit thing going on. And vanilla, why not? I like vanilla with grapefruit and it actually works really well against woody flavors. I was struggling with other vanillas, Vanillin was too bland, and most of the other vanillas bring a lot of cream baggage. But then Flavorah dropped their vanillas. FLV Vanilla Bean is like a darker version of vanillin. Still dry, but darker and more robust than straight vanillin.
I basically had an aromatherapy pairing going on. But it didn't vape all that well. It needed some more dry body. So... why not use tobacco as a base? FLV Cured had some light sandalwood notes going already but was a pretty strait-laced not particularly aromatic tobacco. It was also an opportunity to make an aromatic tobacco that wasn't a big damp mess.
Shoutout to mixers club and cokecan for suffering through earlier versions of this. The input I got was invaluable. I kept on tweaking. The original percentages on cured and pink guava were a bit too delicate and the vanilla wasn't coming through as strong as I had I hoped. Enter FLV Smooth Vanilla. It's a pretty staggering price point, but it's a nice, smooth vanilla with a good body thats also ridiculously concentrated. And I had it. So I threw caution to the wind, added it, and ended up here.
And I picked "The Prayer" for a name because I'm insufferable. This also tastes a lot like incense (in a good way I hope, but the comparison is definitely there.) I've just been praying I could get these flavors to work together.
A dark, bready tobacco with a fruity fig finish. Something like eating a sleeve of fig netwtons and a freshly opened pack of cigarettes at the same time, but at least moderately more pleasant than that. It's a bit obnoxious, really. But obnoxious can be fun, and sometimes I need a tobacco that doesn't screw around.
This recipe has a long and tortured genesis. The original base for the recipe was a recipe called "Gravity" from a MixLife grudge match between myself and the mighty ID10-T. The original parameters of the mixoff were five flavors, all flavorah. I came up with a fig newton after messing around some of the darker, bolder flavors from the flavorah line. I eked out a win (shoutout to making stupid, risky choices) with this recipe:
.25% FLV Apple Pop
.25% FLV Cookie
2% FLV Ginger Snap
.25% FLV Raisin Rum
.75% FLV Sweet Fig (Subbed out for .5% FLV Fig, as the judges didn't actually have sweet fig.)
It was good enough to win, but it was overall just a bit too dark and intense for a fig newton cookie.
But hey, Ckemist suggested turning into a tobacco, so that's what we did. Lean into the darkness.
Not a ton has changed from the original gravity recipe here. I've cut the FLV Ginger Snap in half, just because that tobacco is already pretty darn dark and I didn't need everything going too bitter and burnt. I've also just embraced the sub for FLV Fig as opposed to FLV Sweet Fig. There isn't much of a difference, and the straight Fig is quite a bit more popular.
I don't really have a solid enough grasp with tobaccos to start throwing 4 at a time in here, so I just settled for one of my favorite non-aromatic tobaccos at the basic bitch percentage of 2%. Messing around with the tobacco here is a good idea. Make it work for you. I'd generally stay away from anything aromatic. If there's anything too close to an ammonia flavor in there it's going to push that FLV Fig into some weirder off notes. This also doesn't seem to work particulary well with oriental/turkish/herbalish tobaccos. You just want something solid for all the newton to bounce off of. Kentucky worked for me here. Cured felt a little lighter but it was a'ight as well.
I'm a bit of masochist, but adding .5% FA Black Fire adds a really interesting sweet smoke to this... I thinks it's a bit too dark to really work well with INW DNB or FLV Classic Cigarette for anything too overtly ashy. This also benefits quite a bit from .25% FA MTS if it's coming across as too harsh for you.
Steep time here is mostly going to be dictated by the Tobacco. This works pretty well after an overnight, and starts to fade out a bit on day 3. That tobacco should come back in about 2 weeks though, so maybe forget about it for a while, okay? I find it works best as a high nic mtl banger but do whatever you want.