Friday Happy Hour: The Amaretto Sour

We’re back this week with another low-proof cocktail! This one’s based on a sweet liqueur, Italian Amaretto. Liqueurs can be a bit tricky to turn into cocktails by themselves, because their intense sweetness can turn the resulting drink into a cloying mess. But we cribbed a recipe from bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler that points towards a solution for this problem and opens up a world of low-proof possibilities. – Andrew

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Amaretto-Sour-Cocktail-Recipe-Card-Shauna-Lynn-Illustration-OSBP

Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Amaretto Sour

1 1/2 oz Amaretto
1/2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Demerara Syrup
1/2 Egg White
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters

Lightly whisk the egg white, then add it and all your other ingredients to an empty cocktail shaker. Give it a quick shake without ice to froth up the egg white (otherwise known as a dry shake). Then add ice to the shaker and shake again (the wet shake). Strain into a chilled rocks glass or tumbler and garnish with citrus peel or a brandied cherry (or both!).

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Amaretto is an almond-flavored Italian liqueur (we used Luxardo Amaretto) made with the pits of stone fruit – almonds, of course, but also apricots and bitter herbs. A traditional Amaretto Sour consists of just the sweet liqueur and lemon juice and is wildly, overwhelmingly sweet. This version cuts and fortifies the liqueur with a dash of bourbon (we used Four Roses Small Batch), helping the drink to taste like a real cocktail and not candy, but without adding too much extra alcohol with just half an ounce of full-proof spirits.

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I’m on the fence about the Demerara syrup, a simple syrup made from equal parts water and raw or Turbinado sugar, because the drink is already plenty sweet, but it does help balance the bitters I’ve added to the recipe. We went with Havana & Hide bitters by 1821 Bitters, a deeply masculine and savory bitters made by one of my new favorite cocktail ingredient companies. It’s a nice way to add a contrasting complexity to an otherwise straightforward Sour. The egg white is, of course, optional. But it adds a velvety texture and dense foam on top of the drink that are worth trying.

Many low-proof cocktails are based on aromatic fortified wines, like vermouth or sherry (or both, as in the Adonis cocktail we featured last fall, or on bitter Italian amari liqueurs, like Campari. But this recipe shows that it’s not too hard at all to start with a sweet liqueur and temper its sweetness with the right layers of flavor.

(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we’ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! Spring is in the air – my favorite season here in DC! Sadly my entire family seems to be working through a cold this week – so I’m really looking forward to a couple of days of rest and recuperation. But in the meantime…

Thuss Farrell Paper to Petal via Instagram

Photo by Thuss Farrell via Instagram

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

Check back this afternoon for this week’s cocktail recipe! Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday! xoxo

Calligraphy Inspiration: Wondrous Whimsy

This month, I’m excited to share the work of Samantha Burnett, the talented hand behind Austin, Texas-based Wondrous Whimsy. With a background in graphic design, Samantha taught herself the art of calligraphy, which was a wise decision in my opinion. Her wide array of lettering styles vary from dip pen to airy washes of painted letterforms. Her website and Instagram feed are filled to the brim with calligraphic inspiration. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to stop by her Etsy shop where you can pick up prints, custom stamps, and more. –Julie

Calligraphy Inspiration: Wondrous Whimsy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Wondrous Whimsy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Wondrous Whimsy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Wondrous Whimsy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Wondrous Whimsy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Wondrous Whimsy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo credits: 1 Jen Dillender Photography; 2, 4 Diana McGregor Photography; 3 left + right, 5 Jessica Christine Photography; 6 left Seen Photography, right Taylor Lord

DIY Tutorial: Neon Floral Save the Dates

After the dreary days of winter, we are in serious need of bright colors and cheerful designs. This save the date was inspired by an eye grabbing neon floral paper that we recently found. We used a standard highlighter to create the awesome pop of color on the save the date card. Who knew that it would make such a fun addition to the design? Bailey and Emma of Antiquaria

DIY Neon Floral Save the Date Tutorial by Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Materials

Camellia Floral Save the Date Stamp

Laurel Wreath Return Address Stamp

Stamp Pad

Embossing Stamp Pad

Embossing Heat Tool

Embossing Powder

A6 Notecard (we used Pure White)

A6 Envelope (we used Fuchsia)

Highlighters

Decorative Paper

Envelope Liner Templates

Double Sided Tape

Calligraphy Pen

Finetec metallic watercolor set

DIY Neon Floral Save the Date Tutorial by Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Step One: First, you will want to stamp your save the date (we used our Camellia Save the Date design) on an A6 card. When stamping your card, ink the stamp with the stamp facing you. Center the stamp over your card and press firmly and moderately (not too hard or the image will smudge) and gently lift the stamp off of the paper. Set aside to dry. Please watch this video for more information on inking and stamping an oversized stamp.

DIY Neon Floral Save the Date Tutorial by Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Step Two: To add a fun pop of color, we used a highlighter to color in the leaves and the center of the stamped flowers. This simple touch really makes the design come alive!

DIY Neon Floral Save the Date Tutorial by Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Step Three: Wanting to bring in some of the awesome neon pink from the patterned paper, we decided to use fuchsia envelopes and a tonal, neon grapefruit embossing powder to pull everything together. To emboss, simply stamp your desired return address stamp on the back flap (either in matching ink or with Versamark glue ink, as pictured) dust the powder over it, tap off the excess and heat set the print. For more information about how to emboss using stamps, please watch this instructional video.

DIY Neon Floral Save the Date Tutorial by Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Step Four: Since this suite was directly based off of this amazing paper, it was an easy decision to incorporate it into the design as an envelope liner. We traced the liner template and cut out each liner by hand. Then, we used double sided tape (alternatively, you could use stick glue) to install the liners into the envelopes (adhere around the top triangle).

DIY Neon Floral Save the Date Tutorial by Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Neon Floral Save the Date Tutorial by Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Step Five: It’s time to address your save the dates! We used a beautiful finetec metallic paint palette (the silver one) with a calligraphy pen for this design. Experiment with styles until something feels natural to you! You could also use a silver gel pen and your fanciest handwriting to achieve a similar look.

DIY Neon Floral Save the Date Tutorial by Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Anti­quaria is a mem­ber of the Designer Rolodex – you can see more of their beau­ti­ful work right here!

Photography by Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Inspired By: Swans

I love flamingos as much as the next girl – but I think swans are getting ready for a moment in the spotlight, don’t you?

Trendspotting: Swans by Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. Swan card by Hello!Lucky

2. Ceramic paperweight by Xenia Taler

3. Sweater by Virginia Johnson

4. Wedding card by Banquet Workshop

5. Swan Lake wallpaper by Osborne & Little

6. Sleeping Swan Pillow by Mini Bohème