Old Fashioned Cocktail Infusions


The Old Fashioned is an all time classic cocktail.  It's simple ingredients combine for a distinct taste.  After buying a Sous Vide immersion cooker a couple of months ago and being inspired by several cocktail infusion recipes I found browsing around the internet, I paired up with food stylist Jim Rude for a photoshoot. The theme?  A new take on the classic old fashioned cocktail.  

To create the infusions I pulled out some mason jars and filled them first with bourbon.  Next, we added the infusion ingredients.  In the first jar we put roasted thai chili peppers and grapefruit zest.  The next jar contained a cinnamon stick, Luxardo cherries and cherry syrup.  If you've never tried one of these cherries it is a MUST.  These are not your run of the mill red number five maraschino cherry.  They are a product of Italy and cost a pretty penny, but taste amazing!  Our other jars we filled with water to make two flavored syrups.  Both syrups started off with brown sugar and lemon zest.  Next we added fresh ginger pieces to one jar and rosemary sprigs to the other.  

After infusing the bourbon and syrups in the immersion cooker for two hours at 145 degrees, we let the liquids cool.  Now it was time to start mixing!  Here is where you can get creative and mix the cocktails however you like.  It's all about trying different flavors until you find the perfect mix of flavors.  On the scale of fun testing photoshoots, this one is defiantly at the top of my list!


Cinnamon Cherry Infused Old Fashioned

Cinnamon Old Fashioned with Muddled Luxardo Cherries & a Smoking Cinnamon Stick


A proper drink, at the right time – one mixed with care and skill in the true spirit of hospitality – is better than any other made thing…
— David Wondrich

Muddled fresh blackberries with ginger syrup, bourbon, bitters, and a splash of soda over ice.  Topped with blackberries and an orange twist.

Your favorite bourbon mixed over ice with rosemary infused syrup, honey, bitters,, and soda.  Garnished with a lemon slice and fresh rosemary sprig.

Thai chili & grapefruit infused bourbon chilled and garnished with grapefruit and a chili peper.

Cinnamon and cherry infused bourbon served at room temperature with Luxardo cherries.

Stay tuned for the full recipes coming soon to Jim's blog!  www.rudeonfood.com/jims-blog


Salted Caramel Coconut Milkshakes

Sometimes when you shoot food it's ok to get a little bit messy...

That is exactly what happened on a testing shoot that I (Nikki) did with the talented food stylist and recipe developer, Jim Rude.  I have had the pleasure of working with Jim on numerous projects for clients such as Jennie O Turkey, Farmer John's and Black Label Bacon.  While brainstorming for this project, Jim and I wanted to do something fun for summer and decided on two shakes and a stacked brownie recipe with plenty of salted caramel.  As Jim would say, "Tall, messy and lots of wow."  As you can imagine shooting anything with real ice-cream that starts to melt and change consistency immediately once you get it on set can be very challenging.  Add to that lots of ooey-gooey salted caramel and you have a lot of moving parts to capture.  After a little problem solving, teamwork, and a lot of caramel sauce we got our final, "beauty" image.  In the end we had a very successful day and walked away with three final beauty shots and a few extras... #tasteofsummer

Nikki Santavy | Tony Kubat Photography

For recipes check out Jim's blog at www.rudeonfood.com 

Photography and prop styling by Nikki Santavy.

Food styling and recipe development by Jim Rude.

Let's Make a Splash...

This photo was a fun one to shoot.  While I can't give away all my secrets, I can say that it's five exposures put together.  Since joining TKP around five months ago, I've really enjoyed experimenting with high speed photography, and getting the chance to use it with clients like Lift Bridge and Steel Toe Breweries.  

I have a new food portfolio in the works, so stay tuned for more food images with a twist.  

Thanks for checking it out!  -JD Havens

JD Havens Product | Tony Kubat Photography

Photography by JD Havens.  Click here to view JD's portfolio.


To our out of town visitors...

Minnesota and more particularly the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are a great place to visit even during the winter months. 

Stay an extra day or weekend, and see the rocky coast of our "inland sea," Lake Superior.  Our famous lakes number far more than the 10,000 that we claim. 

Holiday shopping?  No sales tax on clothing in Minnesota!


Explore Minnesota 

Mall of America

Minnesota Monthly Magazine - essential guide to exploring Minnesota.