Tuesday, June 19, 2018

midnight mountain

1 1/2 oz Amaro Nardini
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/4 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Menthe (Tempus Fugit)
1/4 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Cacao (Tempus Fugit)

Stir with ice, strain into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Tuesdays ago, I ventured into the Death & Co. Cocktail Book for a nightcap to round off my work night. In the fortified wine section was an alluring amaro-driven number called the Midnight Mountain by Brad Farran circa 2013. The drink was centered around Amaro Nardini and seemed to build on the chocolate and mint notes that I often find in that liqueur such as in the Stigmata and the Bitter Swagger. Once prepared, the Midnight Mountain shared orange, herbal, and caramel notes to the nose. Next, grape and caramel on the sip slipped into bitter herbal, minty, and chocolate flavors on the swallow. The end result was something more akin to Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies than Fernet Branca.

Monday, June 18, 2018

lodge negroni

1 oz Scotch (7/8 oz Famous Grouse + 1/8 oz Laphroaig 10 Year)
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, and garnish with a flamed orange twist (unflamed twist).

To mark the beginning of Negroni Week two Mondays ago, I turned to the recipe section of Imbibe Magazine online for their suggestions. The Lodge Negroni called out to me since Scotch has worked rather well in Negroni-like drinks like the Caustic Negroni and Bitter Nail. Moreover, coffee liqueur and Campari have proven to be an excellent pairing in drinks like the Lonnie Desoto and Coffee Negroni. Therefore, I decided to give this drink by James Grant of Edmonton's Wilfred's a whirl.
The Lodge Negroni proffered a bright orange nose over peat smoke and darker coffee aromas. Next, grape and roast on the sip gave way to smoky Scotch and bitter coffee-orange flavors on the swallow.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

vert poinçon de lait

4 Lemons & 4 Limes (or 12 Limes)
1 bottle Green Chartreuse
1/2 bottle Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 bottle Batavia Arrack van Oosten
1 qt Scalded Milk
1 (or 1 1/2) qt Water
1/2 pound Sugar

Peel the citrus and steep the peels in the three spirits for 6 hours or overnight. Next, juice the citrus and add it to the mixture. Heat the milk to 180°F to scald it; add it, the water, and the sugar to the mix; and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let sit 12 hours or overnight, strain, and bottle. The recipe generates around a gallon of punch and can easily be scaled back a few fold. For a more detailed protocol on Drink's milk punch production, see this post.

Two Sunday nights ago, I was prompted by a discussion of clarified milk punches on Facebook to look into my liquor shelves. One of the participants in that thread was Drink alumni Scott Marshall who commented that he had come up with a Chartreuse Milk Punch recipe that was rather good. That reminded me that I had a small bottle of said punch that he had gifted me at Tales of the Cocktail 2011. Soon after, I sent Scott a message asking for the recipe and permission to share it, and he was enthusiastic that it would be given new light. Scott sent me two recipes that varied by citrus type, amount of water, and resting times, and I merged the two here. The name provided was Vert Poinçon de Lait, or the green hole-punch (as in a ticket punch) of milk, and the punch after 7 years of resting looked rather good albeit with a layer of sediment on the bottom. For a more detailed protocol, see the link above that leads to Drink's Rum-Hibiscus Milk Punch recipe instructions.
The bottled-aged Vert Poinçon de Lait when served at room temperature greeted the nose with a citrus notes and green herbal aroma that was oregano-like as its dominant aspect. Next, a syrupy smooth but not sweet sip shared some lime accents, and the swallow was a gentle medley of Batavia Arrack and herbal flavors. Overall, the nose was more reminiscent of Green Chartreuse while the flavor itself was more akin to Yellow Chartreuse.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

agricole daiquiri

1 1/2 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (Clement Premiere Canne)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Jamaican Pot Still Rum (Smith & Cross)
1/2 oz Martinique Petite Cane Syrup (JM Sirop de Canne)

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with lime (floated lime wheel).
Two Saturday nights ago, I ventured into Shanna Farrell's Bay Area Cocktails book and came across the Agricole Daiquiri by John Fragola of Beretta in San Francisco. Since a Daiquiri Time Out seemed appropriate, I got out my two rums, my cane syrup, and a lime for juicing and set to work. Once mixed, the Agricole Daiquiri donated a grassy nose brightened by lime aromas. Next, the lime continued on into the sip where it was balanced by the cane syrup, and the swallow gave forth grassy and funky flavors. Overall, it was bold with a lot of character all while still being rather approachable.

Friday, June 15, 2018

victor

1/2 Sherry (1 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado)
2 dash Crème Yvette (1/4 oz)
2 dash Pineapple Juice (1/2 oz)
2 dash Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Cocchi)
1 dash Picon Bitters (1/4 oz Torani Amer)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Two Friday nights ago, I had just closed up the bar and needed to get some sleep before I opened the bar for brunch the next day. However, I felt the need to pamper myself with a drink, so I compromised and took a low proof approach that would not muck with my sleep quality as greatly. For a selection, I opted for Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 and found the Victor. The Victor had the curious combination of Crème Yvette and Amer Picon that I recalled working well in the Manhattan riff the La Salle from the same book, and the presence of pineapple juice could do no harm in this sherry cocktail.
The Victor offered a bright floral and berry nose with darker undertones from perhaps the sherry and Picon. Next, grape and pineapple mingled on the sip, and the swallow gave forth nutty grape and floral flavors with a tropical bitter orange finish.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

phoenix feather

1 1/2 oz Cognac (Courvoisier VS)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Campari
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
Two Thursdays ago, I was browsing the BarNotes app for interesting recipes when I spotted a Cognac Negroni riff called the Phoenix Feather in a section dedicated to the upcoming Negroni Week. The drink was crafted by T. Read Richards while at the Valkyrie in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and he described his creation as, "An original that was conceived as a quick insomnia cure. A brandy Negroni, with altered proportions and a touch of earth from the Benedictine." Once mixed, the Phoenix Feather shared a grape and orange aroma that preceded a grape-driven sip. Next, Cognac, bitter orange, and herbal flavors rounded out the swallow. Overall, it was not as bitter as many Campari cocktails perhaps due to the smoothing effect of Benedictine, and Andrea noted that the combination here offered a hint of Coca Cola.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

sherry tonga

2 oz Amontillado or Oloroso Sherry (Lustau Amontillado)
1/2 oz Brandy (Camus VS Cognac)
1/2 oz Curaçao (Pierre Ferrand Dry)
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Grenadine
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Orange Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, and fill with crushed ice. I garnished with a mint sprig, but an orange slice and cherry would not be out of place here as a garnish (in addition to the mint or in place of it).
Two Wednesdays ago, I was in the mood for a lower proof drink to round out the evening. I began thinking about Tiki drinks that I could alter to utilize an aromatized or fortified wine as the base, and I ended up on Trader Vic's Tonga from the punch section of his 1946 Book of Food & Drink. To the original, I replaced the rum with dry oxidized sherry, swapped passionola for passion fruit syrup, and changed the proportions of lemon, orange, and grenadine. Once prepared, the Sherry Tonga greeted the nose with mint aromas over brandy, berry, and tropical notes. Next, orange, lemon, passion fruit, and berry on the sip led into nutty sherry on the swallow with a tropical finish.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

mandarin house zombie

2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (1 3/4 oz Coruba + 1/4 oz Smith & Cross)
1 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Añejo)
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Grenadine

Shake with ice and pour into a Tiki mug (shake with ice, strain, and fill with crushed ice). Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a cherry (mint sprigs).
On Tuesday night two weeks prior, I was in a Tiki mood and began thumbing through David Montgomery's Zombie Horde book. There, I spied the Mandarin House Zombie that appeared like a Planter's Punch more than a Zombie with layers of complex flavor and spice; the recipe was a more modern one created at the Mandarin House restaurant in San Diego during the juice-forward era of the 1970s. Once prepared, this Zombie riff offered a mint aroma over a vague fruit note and the dark rums' caramel. Next, caramel, berry, lemon and tropical flavors on the sip led into pineapple and dark rum on the swallow with rum funk and additional pineapple notes on the finish.

Monday, June 11, 2018

san remo

2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Amaro (Averna)
1/4 oz Crème Yvette

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass; I added an orange twist to the recipe.

Two Mondays ago, I ventured into the Tales of the Cocktail 2009 recipe book, Stir Your Soul, to uncover a lost gem. There, I spotted the San Remo by Thomas Waugh then of Death & Co. who offered up this drink at the St. Germain tasting room that year. I pondered the vagueness of the "amaro" ingredient and figured that was the reason why I had passed over this recipe each time. San Remo is in on the coast in the northwest part of Italy, and S. Maria al Monte is produced somewhat nearby. However, I lacked that amaro and opted for Averna instead figuring that it would allow the featured Crème Yvette to shine. I did consider Campari especially with how well it worked with the liqueur in the El Brioso.
The San Remo gave forth an orange oil, whiskey, and berry bouquet to the nose. Next, grape and berries on the sip preceded rye, cherry, bitter herbal, and floral elements on the swallow. Overall, the San Remo reminded me of a more complex Caboose.