We really enjoy seeing our products in the wild, especially in the hands of creative people. We noticed an amateur mixologist, Robin Karides, a.k.a. @TheHouseMouse, on Instagram was concocting some incredible cocktails with our maple and honey. She not only has inventive drinks and gorgeous pictures of them, but there is always a short story about her inspiration for it. That said, her drinks range from happy to sad, clever, dark, whimsical and nostalgic.
We were so taken with her creations that we asked if we could use a few that contained our maple, honey, and bitters on our website. She agreed and we hope you check out all the new additions here. We also wanted to know more about her so she graciously gave us a mini-interview which you can read below.
Where do you live and what do you do besides make fabulous cocktails?
Right now, I live in Michigan. We are in the process of moving to California; LA to be exact. I am in the automotive industry, so the move to LA will help with both my daily job and my cocktail game. More options for incredible spirits in California than in Michigan.
What initially hooked you on cocktails?
I started out as a Cheese Blogger. Yes, really…The House Mouse started back in 2008 during the recession as a way to keep my writing skills current while in between jobs. My mother nicknamed me The House Mouse due to my love of cheese, which is where I got the name. Over time, I branched out to other aspects of the fermentation nation; starting with beer, then wine, then I got really into bourbon. Bourbon became a true passion for me, which led to having way too many bottles and no way to consume them all on my own. Cocktails seemed to be the next logical step and I just really became fascinated with the whole mixology process. When the pandemic hit, my social media feed was just full of sad and divisive content. I figured that everyone can agree on cocktails, so I made a commitment to post one cocktail a day until the pandemic ended…which still hasn’t happened. Since 2020, I have branched out from just bourbon to other spirits as well.
Where do you get such diverse glassware?
I was fortunate enough to inherit some beautiful MidCentury Modern glassware from my grandparents and my mom. I also love thrift shops, estate sales, and Etsy for unique glassware. Etsy really has some fantastic vintage finds, Japanese glassware, as well as independent artists like Counter Couture who made my skull, anatomical heart, and crow glasses.
Photographing drinks is particularly challenging to do well, yet yours are stunning. How did you develop your style of photography?
When I started out, I just took straight shots without any thought to style. When a friend came down with COVID, I made a post wishing them well and used my Portrait setting on my iPhone and it just looked so hauntingly beautiful that I began to develop my style from there. I’m a bit of an Edward Gorey fan and tend to lean toward the dark side of things, in general. Halloween is my favorite holiday.
If you were advising someone who wanted to start making their own drinks at home, what are your recommendations for a “starter” bar?
A good starter bar has the following:
Gin, Whiskey, Tequila, Vodka
Angostura, Peychaud, and Orange bitters
Aperol and/or Campari
Vermouth – both sweet and dry
This is a very basic list, but will get folks started on basic cocktails. If someone wanted to add a little extra, I would highly suggest a bottle each of St. Germain, Lillet, and Chambord. These three will open up the possibilities and are very versatile.
It seems most mixologists have strong opinions about ice. Thoughts?
I use clear ice, as much as possible with distilled water. Ice made with tap water, especially well water, looks terrible and can alter the flavor of a drink. That being said, I’m not a snob about it and say use what you have. It’s your drink.
Non-alcoholic and low ABV cocktails are becoming increasingly popular. What are two of your favorites that don’t taste like dressed up fruit juice?
Seedlip has some fun flavors that go well in spritzers or mixes and I really like the complexity of Ghia.
What is your personal favorite liquor to work with?
That’s a tough one, because I really like working with bourbon and gin. I guess if I had to choose, I would pick bourbon because I just love a Paper Plane cocktail.
What are your recommendations for using honey or maple syrup in a cocktail?
I am a honey junky. I even use it in my coffee rather than sugar. For honey, I just love a Bees Knees cocktail. It’s sweet, refreshing, tart, and can even be made in batches for parties. Maple Old Fashioned cocktails are just indulgent and my go to after a long day of work.
Where do you hope to take @TheHouseMouse?
I would really love to make a cocktail book, which I am sure every cocktail creator says. The difference for me would be that every cocktail I create is based around a story or memory and I have been able to evoke emotion from readers because of that. I have no idea how to even begin the process, but it is my end goal…someday.
Check out all of our featured recipes from The House Mouse here.
We highly recommending checking out Robin’s full Instagram page @TheHouseMouse to get inspired by her ever-expanding repertoire. She celebrated Dry January with a month of non-alcoholic beverages that were just as enticing as the boozy ones so even if you don’t drink bourbon or gin, there is plenty for everyone.