Nellie Green’s & Stony Creek Brewery Combo Platter

…To continue where we left off after the ‘yoga and drink a beer’ Tuesday at Stony Creek Brewery last week, we then turned the corner to Nellie Green’s for a fine meal…

The driveway for Nellie Green’s is adjacent to Stony Creek’s and it is definitely walkable from the brewery. Since it’s still winter time, we opted for the comforts of our car.

Like Stony Creek Brewery, Nellie Green’s is nestled in the boatyards overlooking the Branford River and is open year round. The views were certainly more like the final hideout and chase scene in a Lethal Weapon movie vs. a marina at summer’s peak, but that did NOT effect the dining experience or amazing food (i.e., the winter silence except for the flow of the river, cavernous buildings, looming boats stacked high in the air, with villains seemingly creeping around every corner, was more a part of The Sweet and Sweaty’s imagination running wild vs. reality). Don’t let it deter your visit, just think of it more like a restaurant speakeasy… or anyway, just read on folks!

Once inside we were greeted by an inviting dining room and energetic chatter at the bar. It’s both casual and elegant, with waterfront views from the dining area, bar, and a seasonal, outdoor patio.

The server was extremely professional & hospitable, and made sure to take our cocktail orders right away:

negroni_espresso martini

The pic is deceivingly dark… don’t worry, it’s more well lit than this and very romantic! Nellie’s Negroni (Hendrick’s, Campari, Sweet Vermouth) on left; Espresso Martini on right.

The cocktails were extremely generous and the taste was to perfection, from the hands of a seasoned spirits artist.

The appetizer was one of the best that we have ever tasted, from any category: Nellie Green’s Eggplant Soufletto – careful, that’s hot!

Nellie Green's

Eggplant Soufletto: ricotta cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, basil oil ($9)

We didn’t go too crazy with starters, as robust entrees were on the way. The Sweet one married with the Rockport Lobster Trofie which, by the way, was one of the best entree’s she’s had in a long while and The Sweaty one chose the exquisite, Allen Brothers Short Rib (hover over or tap the images for full descriptions):

There was more than enough leftover from each meal for lunch the next day which is always a bonus. The short rib was supremely slow cooked and came undone exactly like a roast or brisket should, one strand at a time. It is unbelievable how balanced it was in being lean and desirably fatty all at the same time. The frizzled shallots added to every bite (battered, fried shallot pieces and strings) and you couldn’t get enough of the touches of Malbec & smoked black pepper sauce. A side of sauce would have been amazing, that might have just just drown out the natural flavors of the rib. We did NOT have room for dessert…

We will definitely be paying Nellie Green’s another visit, but we don’t know if we’ll be able to hold out long enough for the ‘spring and summer views’!

Happy dining, and let us know what you think if you’ve already been, or jump to give it a try*.

-The Sweet and Sweaty

*Either way, make sure to read the legend of ‘Nellie Green’, integral to the origin of this fine establishment – very interesting!

Nellie Green’s
50 Maple Street, Branford CT 06405
Instagram: @NellieGreens


Friday Night Cocktail Series: Martinez Cocktail

We’re going with another gin-based libation this week, in the Martinez Cocktail

We had seen Maraschino liqueur as part of other recipes, and landing on the Martinez recipe from O.H. Byron’s Modern Bartenders’ Guide, was a perfect excuse to buy a bottle.

Now, we didn’t invest in the suggested Old Tom Gin for this cocktail, so it may not be 100% true to form. Pros would know a difference in taste, but most novices should get the same great taste that we got out of ours.

It’s a strong, but balanced cocktail in that you’re not overwhelmed by the main spirit. You will definitely like the Martinez Cocktail if you are a fan of a Manhattan or Negroni though!martinez2.75 oz gin
.25 oz sweet vermouth
.25 oz Maraschino liqueur (the Cristiani Maraschino was ~$10 cheaper vs. the Luxardo brand!)
3-4 dashes orange bitters*
Tools: shot measure, cocktail shaker/strainer
Glass: chilled cocktail or coupe glass

Add three normal ice cubes and all ingredients to your shaker. Stir like a whirligig and then strain into your chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a large orange twist and enjoy!

You probably only need one of these for the night, so take things responsibly and have a great weekend!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

*Orange bitters addendum:
regans' orange bitters


Stony Creek Brewery & Nellie Green’s Combo Platter

Stony Creek Brewery & Nellie Green’s are two great places that go great together. Both establishments are within steps of each other, nestled in the boatyards off of Indian Neck Avenue in Branford, CT. The summer may be the best time overall to visit this pair with their vicinity and views of the Branford River, but they’re open year round, so you should be open to them year round as well!

Stony Creek’s magnificent facility is brand new, with a facade similar to that of a marina club. And the expansive walkway to the front doors has the likeness to that of an ocean pier. The walk felt even more true to this reference with the cold, wind swept mist.
Stony Creek entrance

Even though it may have been terribly damp and cold outside, it was really cozy and warm inside! Floor to ceiling windows greet you as you enter, with a full view of the brewing facility.

On to the tasting room with a roaring fireplace settling everyone in for a long winter’s happy hour. There is also an amazing outdoor deck overlooking the water (you’re one story up at this point), with plenty of space for yard games a level beneath. The deck won’t do you much good in the winter, but definitely give it a spin when the weather breaks!

We actually began our evening with a yoga session in the event space upstairs. Yeah, that’s right – yoga! Their Tuesday sessions are $15 per person and that also includes a drink ticket. The instructors, who are either outside or inside staff depending on the week, have been great the two times we have practiced. It’s really an amazing deal considering the class instruction, exercise, relaxation, and the beer that follows!
Stony Creek beers

Stony Creek’s flagship beers, seasonal’s, and experimental’s are all very good. We recommend first timers try a brew from the Cranky IPA series. There are three to choose from: a session IPA, a mid-level ABV IPA, or a DIPA. The Sweaty one’s beer appetite was quenched with their Kolsch, which was perfectly refreshing after the yoga workout. The Sweet one replenished fuel with their 9% black wheat wine-style beer, Reposado Negro.  The Reposado almost tastes like PATRÓN XO CAFE in beer form, which is very welcomed with it’s wonderful coffee notes!
Stony Creek beers window

We capped off our Stony Creek visit with a growler to go. Always a great deal if you bring an empty growler to save on the container fee.

One of our best friends always says, “There’s food in beer, but there isn’t any beer in food.” Well, The Sweet and Sweaty NEED food, so on to Nellie Green’s we went…  

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Stony Creek Brewery
5 Indian Neck Avenue, Branford, CT
Instagram: StonyCreekBeer

Friday Night Cocktail Series: The Corpse Reviver

I never used The Corpse Reviver as a hangover cure, even though it is billed as one. I actually believe it’s a better cocktail to begin your night; giving you a needed boost after a long day. It’s an easy drinker with a sour start and a sweet finish, so don’t be afraid. Whichever way you want to take it, I figured that East Coasters would need it this weekend to revive their bodies from the brutality of the Polar Vortex!

The Corpse Reviver is another classic cocktail made famous in The Savoy Cocktail Book (Harry Craddock; 1930). Tip: The mix below is most often referred to on cocktail menus as a Corpse Reviver ‘#2’
corpse reviver ingredients
1 oz gin
1/2 oz Triple-Sec (Cointreau being used most traditionally)
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 dash absinthe (being frugal, and enjoying many cocktails w/ absinthe, we instead use Pernod, an anise liqueur and a fine substitute).
Tools: shot measure, cocktail shaker/strainer
Glass: cocktail glass

Add three normal ice cubes and all ingredients to your shaker. Shake like there’s no tomorrow and then strain into your chilled cocktail glass. Begin drinking immediately in order to get the best punch out of the Corpse Reviver!
corpse reviver

In summary, I really need to thank Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco for first introducing me to this wonderful cocktail. I was intrigued by the name alone, being an enormous fan of metal music and also curious of being ‘revived’. There was nothing like it, after an extremely long day of business in the city, with many adventures to be had that night, a  ton of walking having been done and more to come.

Stay tuned for more versions of the Corpse Reviver and other delicious libations.

Enjoy responsibly and stay revived this weekend!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Friday Night Cocktail Series: Rye Whisperer

Bitter is certainly back in full force with The Negroni commonly featured on many bar & restaurant menus, craft cocktail bars are barrel-aging whiskey with obscene amounts of bitter-forward liqueurs, and many are learning of the digestive benefits of bitters in general.

With the Sweaty one LOVING this bitter comeback, we’d like to feature a bitter winner for this week’s cocktail – the Rye Whisperer
Amaro Averna

This cocktail uses another great bottle to have in your arsenal, Averna. It’s a classic digestif and I’m thinking about using it in some other upcoming cocktails that call for  different types of Amaro Italian liqueurs. They’re all just slightly different in profile, so it will be interesting to see how it compares to some cocktails we have out on the town.
IMG_30501 oz. rye whiskey
1/2 oz. Averna
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1/4 oz. Bénédictine
2 dashes aromatic bitters (Scrappy’s aromatic bitters are what we use). You could certainly get away with using Angostura bitters, if that’s all you have on hand. 
Tools: shot measure, mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: Bada Bing cherry (fancier than a maraschino; natural ingredients & no preservatives)

Drop two ice cubes into your mixing glass and combine all ingredients up through the bitters. Stir vigorously. Strain the contents into your cocktail glass (i.e., this is served “up”),  and drop your cherry into the glass. Wa-lah! Now you’ve got a tasty beverage for your Friday night.

Good luck with the snow any East Coasters out there and as always… enjoy responsibly folks!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Friday Night Cocktail Series: The Old Fashioned


Disclaimer: This one is totally Sweet & Sweaty style. Some like it with muddle and some don’t like any muddle at all. We like both versions, but for this lesson it’s going to be a Sweet and Sweaty style combo. And, we believe this will be a better whiskey cocktail gateway drink for everyone anyway.

In fact, there is even debate on which is the ‘right way’. The original Old Fashioned was made only with rye, sugar, bitters, water, and a lemon peel garnish. Many modern day cocktail artists take to sweetening up the joint by adding orange slices and maraschinos, they mix in soda water, and/or use bourbon more often than rye whiskey.

Let’s get to it though so you can get on with your weekend and enjoy this tasty beverage!
2 oz bourbon
.25 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 Maraschino cherries
1 orange slice, peeled
Tools: shot measure, mixing glass*, barspoon*, strainer*, pearing knife, muddler or a tiny whisk
Glass: old fashioned / tumbler (chilled)
Garnishes: lemon and orange twists
*Pictured in addendum at bottom of post

Note: We’re currently on a bottle of lower-shelf, Four Roses Bourbon Yellow and it makes a fine cocktail. Inexpensive and still satisfying.

Make your simple syrup as soon as you get home as it will take some time to cool. Also, put your Old Fashioned glass in the fridge or freezer to chill while you’re making the simple syrup:

Combine 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool. An empty jar makes for a good storage receptacle! Store in the fridge once packaged. We’ve used simple syrup over the suggested 2-3 week ‘shelf-life’, so I wouldn’t fret too much. The best solution would be to label it and start over after 30 days.

Once your simple syrup is cooled, drop two ice cubes in your mixing glass. Next, add the simple syrup, bitters, cherries, and orange slice. Muddle the cherries and orange slice with the simple syrup. Add the bourbon and muddle some more.

Get your chilled glass, and drop in an oversized cube or two normal ice tray cubes. Strain the contents of the mixing glass over the ice in your chilled glass, and garnish with both lemon and orange twists/peels. We always like squeezing some zest from the peels over the drink and running the peels around the glass rim, before they adorn, or are dropped in the glass – awwww yeah.

This will certainly give you a sweeter version of the Old Fashioned. If you like to eat your drink while you drink it, like we do: use normal cubes vs. the oversized cube, forego straining, and then you’ll be able to easily stab and eat the fruit while you imbibe. Or… if you like a stronger drink, forego the orange slice and cherries all together!

We’d love to hear your feedback on this cocktail. Especially in regards to which version you like best of all, if you’ve done some experimentation. Enjoy responsibly and have a great weekend!

-The Sweet and Sweaty

*Addendum – mixing glass, barspoon, and strainerOld Fashioned

Friday Night Cocktail Series: Abbey Cocktail

This bittersweet gin, juice, and aperitif elixir is sure to warm you up while you battle any snowstorm or if you just want to snazz up brunch!
Abbey Cocktail

It’s back to the complexity this week with the aperitif wine, Lillet Blanc, orange bitters, and a fancier cherry. Don’t worry though folks, these ingredients will pay back in spades with upcoming cocktails, recipes, and suggestions from yours truly!
Abbey Cocktail
1.5 oz gin
.75 oz Lillet Blanc
.75 oz freshly squeezed orange juice (cut a nice navel in half & juice it!)
2 dashes orange bitters
Tools: shot measure, cocktail shaker/strainer, garnish stick
Glass: coupe (pictured above) or a cocktail glass
Garnish: Bada Bing cherry (fancier than a maraschino; natural ingredients & no preservatives)

Drop 3 ice cubes into your shaker. Pour all the ingredients except the cherry over the ice. Shake it like you mean it, until the shaker is chilly to the touch. Pour through your shaker’s strainer into a coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Tip on the Bada Bings: We have found these delicious cherries at Whole Foods Market and local speciality foods stores. They are less expensive vs. Luxardo’s and they still do the trick. We even add these cherries, with a splash of the cherry juice, to simpler club soda & vodka mixed drinks – it really enhances the flavor!

Background on the Abbey Cocktail:
This is a variation on the classic made famous by The Savoy Cocktail Book (Harry Craddock; 1930). Brad Thomas Parsons, author of Bitters (2011), marries Lillet Blanc and orange bitters from Dale DeDroff’s recipe found in The Craft of the Cocktail (2002). Parsons is spot-on in that the bittersweet orange flavor of the Lillet compliments the freshly squeezed OJ and the orange bitters.

Good luck with any snow that might come, stay safe, and as always… enjoy responsibly folks!

-The Sweet and Sweaty


Friday Night Cocktail Series: The Dirty Martini

Let’s get back to basics folks with this week’s cocktail – The Dirty Martini (at the request of some who read last week’s more complex installment – The Vieux Carré).

The Dirty Martini is a great way to ease into martinis, as the salty addition of brine/olive juice cuts the bite out of the gin, while also calming the fumes of the dry vermouth.

The Dirty Martini is also more versatile vs. your Classic Martini (traditionally just gin, dry vermouth, and a lemon twist), because not only can you play with the measure of dry vermouth in a Dirty, but you can also regulate the amount of brine/olive juice to your taste.

My father liked his martinis so dry (very light on the vermouth), that he would request a dehumidifier on the side. He’s probably why I’m a fan of ‘dry’ as well, but for the purpose of this lesson we’re going to try a more ‘perfect’ mixture of 3-to-1 for the spirits. As this is a better place to start before you make your own adjustments:
Dirty Martini
3 oz. gin
1 oz. dry vermouth
1/2 oz. juice from olive jar (experiment with a bit more the 2nd time – you might like it better!)
Tools: shot measure, cocktail shaker/strainer, garnish stick
Glass: martini
Garnish: olives

Drop 4 ice cubes into your shaker. Pour the gin, dry vermouth, and olive juice over the ice. Shake like a madman, until the shaker is freezing to the touch. Pour through your shaker’s strainer (hopefully it’s dual purpose) into a martini glass. Garnish with at least 3 olives.
Dirty Martini

The resulting clarity should be cloudy. Ours will be deeply cloudy due to upping the juice measure. We’ll also typically do 4-5 olives because that’s just how we roll. And, as we always say, it’s more fun to eat and drink while you drink your drink.

Bombay Sapphire is our go-to gin and Martini & Rossi for the dry vermouth. As for the olives, we bought a ‘fancier’ jar over the holidays (in pic toward top), but we normally buy what’s on sale. Tip: The easiest jar to work with as far as pulling olives and pouring the juice is from Reese – they’re tasty & convenient!

Let us know what your favorite mix of measures is for the Dirty. Others may benefit from your tastes/experimentation! Enjoy responsibly folks and have a great weekend!

-The Sweet and Sweaty





Rye House Party

As you’ll come to find with us, great cuisine and drink establishments add even more of an attraction to the events we attend. In the words of one of our favorite bands, we Seek & Destroy.

We first seek out an entire list of possibilities well in advance, filter based on reviews, uniqueness, history, word-of-mouth, past experience, and reservation availability, and then launch our attack with precision. Note: longer trips do include more cultural and historical attractions outside of food and beverages, but we’re only talking about a night out / pre-concert in this case. 

Hence this article, because if you commit to an event at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, we promise you’ll have more to cheer about than just the show.

Treat yourself to a pre-dinner drink at Rye House – at the corner of Willet & Main St. It’s a 5 minute walk from The Cap and less from Metro North if you’ve trained it in. Tip: Take Broad St. or King St. over to Willet Ave. (from either location) to avoid the congestion of where Westchester Ave. meets Main St.
Rye House

We have yet to try the food at Rye House, only because we have another place we haven’t strayed from yet (we’ll write about that soon). But, we have only had great experiences with the  craft beer and cocktail selection at Rye House.

It’s also a great, open but cozy atmosphere with a very friendly staff and you will tend to see the same cocktail artisans doing their magic behind the bar. Sit at the bar as they are always doing something interesting to observe. We’ve seen these professionals actively cooking their own simple syrup, infusing their next special spirit for mixing, comparing all the bitters in their arsenal, filling pourers with freshly squeezed juice, and preparing herbs and citrus fruits for the night ahead. During your visit, you’ll be immersed in the school of what it takes to craft cocktails.

Rye House
City Harvest:
Persimmon-infused Four Roses Bourbon, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, lemon, and clove – topped with bourbon-soaked persimmon!

Eat the persimmon, it’s earthy and tastes like a cube of ‘fall’, but it actually adds to sipping the City Harvest. For a cold drink on a cold day, it certainly warms you up!

Rye House
The Riddler:
Green tea-infused vodka, St. Germain, honey, cucumber, mint.

The mint rang through in this concoction more than the green tea, but that may be up to your own taste buds. It was still very delicious and at $10-$12 a pop, their cocktails are worth every penny in their potency, freshness, complexity, and craftsmanship.

If Rye House’s cocktail selection isn’t enough for you, there is always a wide variety of top-notch brews available on tap, or in bottles & cans.
Cigar City Brewing

Since it’s not distributed in CT, we were overjoyed to indulge in a Jai Alai from Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, FL). This IPA can definitely go toe-to-toe with our New England favorites in The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, Lawson’s Sip Of Sunshine, or New England Brewing Company’s G-Bot.

See, it’s almost like we’ve had a full night even before dinner or the show we attended! Stay tuned for more on a pre-event restaurant and other tips on visiting Port Chester and The Capitol Theatre.

-The Sweet and Sweaty

Rye House PC
126 N. Main St., Port Chester, NY
RyeHousePC (Twitter)
ryehousepc (Instagram)

Rye House NYC
17th St. (Union Square neighborhood)
New York City, NY


Friday Night Cocktail Series: The Vieux Carré

Making it through that 1st full week following the holidays isn’t easy. If you’re on the East Coast it’s freezing, the work didn’t disappear since you took off, and your calendar probably isn’t filled with fun and exciting plans just yet.

If you’re not on a New Year’s resolution cleanse, then treat yourself to a New Orleans classic – The Vieux Carré, while you kick back & relax this weekend. It’s similar to a Sazerac or an Old Fashioned, but definitely a more complex spin on these classics.
Vieux Carre New Orleans classic cocktail1 oz. rye whiskey
1 oz. Cognac
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1/4 oz. Bénédictine
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Tools: shot measure, mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: thick lemon twist

Combine all the ingredients except the garnish in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a chilled old-fashioned-type glass over one large ice cube. Garnish with a thick lemon twist (as with all our drinks, we usually squeeze the garnish over the glass to release some citrus notes). Enjoy!

Big ice cubes make the biggest difference in saving the flavor of your cocktails when they call to be poured over ice. Get some king-sized molds. Trust us, you’ll use ’em all the time!

As for all of the ingredients, you may need to take some of that holiday bonus and invest to make this mildly complex concoction.

The alternative is to bookmark it for another day and slowly amass your collection! That’s what we’ve done. Liquor gifts aren’t always appropriate, but it sure does help justify building a greater assortment of spirits & bitters to experiment with.

Another tip is to start by buying in smaller volumes. You’re never going to pour as much Bénédictine (herbal liqueur; $35) as rye whiskey when tackling classic cocktails, so buy small.

Vermouths on the other hand are a much more common additive and relatively inexpensive, so we keep larger bottles in the closet and refill the miniatures on our shelf. Noilly Prat is in many bars’ arsenals and is still reasonably priced at ~$12.

Redemption Rye (~$26) isn’t as solid of a sipper as WhistlePig, so we’ll use it in cocktails. Bulleit Rye (~$24) is another alternative that won’t break the bank and still mixes well.

We substitute Armagnac for Cognac in our drinks, as it has better body / is more complex in flavor. Note: Both Armagnac and Cognac are in the Brandy family and are distilled wine made from white grapes that’s aged for at least 1-2 years.

Especially because of the  price you pay for the bottle, you’ll want Armagnac anyway for a better sipping option. Don’t worry, you won’t use it as often as rye whiskey in cocktails, so it should last.

Tariquet Bas-Armagnac VSOP (~$45) isn’t difficult to find. Steep price yes, but we’ve had a bottle for almost a year now and it’s still almost 3/4 full!

Some of you make think we’re crazy when you add up everything above, but you’ve gotta look at the averages here. A classic cocktail will run you $10-$17 at any of the area speakeasy’s/cocktail bars when you can instead make 10’s of drinks at home over the course of years, for much less.

Plus, it’s a lot of fun and you can adjust ingredients to your taste. Enjoy responsibly folks and have a great weekend!

-The Sweet and Sweaty