Thursday, May 28, 2009

rickshaw

1 oz Applejack
1 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a sugar-rimmed cocktail glass. Garnish with a large pickled ginger slice (bottom of glass). Measurements were estimated due to free pouring.

On the walk home from Andrea's birthday dinner at Dalí on Tuesday night, we stopped in at Highland Kitchen for a nightcap. They updated their menu to have a lot more classic cocktails (including the De La Louisiane) and fewer vodka drinks (down to 3!). Instead of one of the classics, I went with a newer one (perhaps a house recipe?) and asked Claudia Mastrobuono to make me a Rickshaw. The ginger from the Domaine de Canton worked rather well with the citrus flavors. The drink was slightly on the tart side which could be quenched at will with the glass's sugar-coated rim. I let Andrea have a sip and she thought the drink had some honeydew melon notes. As I drank more of the Rickshaw, it began to get increasingly spicy. Turned out that the garnish was not a citrus peel or an apple slice but a piece of pickled ginger (not thin or pink like the sushi type); the infusion it generated was indeed a nice touch.

demerara smash

2 oz Renegade Guyana 16 Yr. Rum
1 oz Yellow Chartreuse
Lemon Wedges (~1/3 lemon)
Lime Wedges (~1/2 lime)
Mint

Muddle lemon, lime, and mint. Add rum and Chartreuse with ice and shake. Double strain through regular and tea strainer into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint, and add a pair of straws.

On Monday night, Andrea and I decided to go out to Eastern Standard after figuring that Sunday would be too crowded most places due to the holiday and thus stayed in. For one of my cocktails, I asked Nicole Lebedevitch for a drink with the Renegade Rum that Hugh had introduced me to last time. We eventually came up with the idea of a rum-Chartreuse smash which Nicole seemed rather excited about making.
The drink had a lot of mint aroma hovering over the top from the garnish. Tastewise, the rum provided a pleasant funky and smoky flavor with the right amount of hogo notes from the pot stilling. The complex rum was aided by the botanicals in the Chartreuse which also served as the main source of sweetness for this rather dry drink. The equal parts of lemon and lime gave some extra depth than either citrus would have alone. Moreover, the citrus worked well with the Chartreuse liqueur and provided a crisp bite that faded on the sip.

Monday, May 25, 2009

old new york cocktail

1 1/2 oz Genever Gin (Boomsma Jonge)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Rhubarb Syrup (see recipe below)
1 dash Fee Brothers Peach Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Last night, I wanted to make use of the rhubarb syrup that I had made the day before. One recipe that stood out was posted on the Chanticleer Society forum by Ciaran Wiese of Barrio Food and Drink in Tucson, AZ. The drink, the Old New York Cocktail, appears on their summer menu.

The Old New York Cocktail was a delight to drink on our deck last night. There was a nice scent from the lime oil, and this was followed by the rhubarb and peach flavors which made for a rather good combination. The gin's botanicals were softly evident on the swallow, and the bitter notes of the rhubarb and the dry vermouth complemented each other rather well.

To make the rhubarb syrup, I modified a recipe I found on Chow. Total time to make this recipe is under an hour:
Rhubarb Syrup
• 1 stem Rhubarb
• 1/2 cup Sugar
• 5/8 cup Water
• 1/2 oz 80 Proof Vodka (optional)
Slice the rhubarb into 1/2 (or less) inch thick pieces (should be around 5 oz by weight, a cup by volume). Add to a covered pot along with the water and sugar. Bring up to a boil and then simmer covered for 30 minutes. Stir every 5 or 10 minutes (feel free to mash up with a fork once the pieces begin to soften). After 30 minutes, let cool (still covered). Strain through a fine sieve; use a spoon to mash up pieces and extract the remaining liquid from the pulp. Pour into a sealable bottle. Optional: add 1/2 oz vodka to stabilize the mixture for longer storage (~5% alcohol final). Keep in refrigerator.

two birds

2 oz Rye (Sazerac 6 Year)
3/4 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Dolin)
1/4 oz Creme de Cacao
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
On Friday after dinner, Andrea wanted to try Paul Clarke's new cocktail that he crafted for his entry in the Hotel Monteleone Cocktail Contest. The drink was perfect for the contest because the taste combination of rye and Peychaud's immediately screamed New Orleans to me when I sipped it. The Peychaud's complemented the light bitter notes of the Aperol on the swallow rather well. Andrea's comment was that the "aftertaste is spectacular -- rather chocolaty"; the quarter ounce of the creme de cacao was at a perfect level to add flavor but not dominate the drink. Paul's rationale for the cacao notes in the recipe was how well they pair up with orange flavors which appear here in the Aperol and in many sweet vermouths.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

cat's pajamas

1 oz Gin (North Shore Distillery #6)
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Maple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Flame an orange peel over the top.

Last night while making dinner, I decided to make a cocktail from the current issue of Imbibe magazine. One that stood out was the Cat's Pajamas created by George Austin Sproule who bartends at Las Vegas' Downtown Cocktail Room. Besides the intriguing combination of Campari and Chartreuse, the recipe was attractive as it provided a good excuse to try out the North Shore Distillery gin that Andrea brought back from her recent trip out to Indiana.

The drink was definitely very Campari-driven but the Chartreuse lended a lot of surrounding flavor. Moreover, the Campari and freshly squeezed orange juice complemented each other rather well. The drink had the right degree of sweetness with a hint of the maple flavor appearing in the first part of the sip. Perhaps the flavors of this cocktail were a bit too intense to fully appreciate the new gin; however, there were no other regrets in making this tasty cocktail.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

[pineapple martinique]

2 oz Rhum JM Blanc
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Clove-Demerara Sugar Syrup
2 dash Sasparilla Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass (this one looked like a sherbert glass).

For my second cocktail at Drink, I waited until most of the tingle of the Tabasco was gone before asking Sam Treadway for recommendations for my second drink. The topic of the sasparilla bitters that the bar received came up. One Drink bartender I saw at Eastern Standard a week or two ago inquired if they were mine; while they are in the same bottles that I use, they were not and Sam informed me that they were from another Drink patron, Craig. I got to try the bitters themselves and they did taste very much like sassafras with perhaps a bittering agent or perhaps solely the root's bitterness itself. Sam could detect vanilla notes, but perhaps my palate was a little shot from the Mexican Love Affair. From there, I asked what Sam could do with them and rhum agricole and off he went with an idea.

In this drink, the rhum agricole and pineapple worked together well to produce a great dry Tiki-like taste. In addition, the light clove and sasparilla flavors mingled quite nicely with the hogo notes from the pot-stilled rum. Overall, a great palate cleanse from the heat and spice assault from the previous round, and otherwise a tasty and refreshing drink to boot.

mexican love affair

1/2 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
1 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1 dash Tabasco Sauce

Shake with ice and strain into a parfait cocktail glass.

On Sunday late afternoon, I went to Drink and showed up at the cusp of the first wave there. I found a seat at the very edge of the center bar and was greeted by Sam Treadway. He was about to make a spicy cocktail for another patron who had come up with this drink a previous time there, so I jumped aboard the shaker order. The drink had a pleasant richness from the honey and brandy. The spice from the ginger and allspice liqueurs appeared on the swallow followed by the heat from the Tabasco. While the chili heat built up over time on my upper lip, the rest of my mouth was fine. Strangely, the heat detected at the back of my throat at the swallow quickly dissipated each time instead of lingering and intensifying. The drink was enjoyable to sip with the heat level not being overwhelming; however, it did leave making the next drink choice a challenge. I ended up opting for waiting it out with my Kingsley Amis' Everyday Drinking and my water glass before moving on to my next beverage selection.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

mandragroni

The theme for this month’s Mixology Monday (MxMo XXXIX) is "Amaro" as chosen by Chuck Taggart of the Gumbo Pages blog. The concept was to make a drink with "Amaro, which refers to the bitter liqueurs usually drunk as an after-meal digestive, either alone (neat or on the rocks) or in some kind of mixed drink or cocktail. They tend to all share certain characteristics -- drinking bitters are generally made of alcohol with any number of herbs, plus sugar and some kind of coloring. The word "amaro" means bitter in Italian, and although the more famous drinking bitters tend to come from Italy our amaro theme this month is most certainly not limited to that country. Amaro, amer, amargo, what have you. Italy, Spain, France, America, Serbia, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland ... wherever somebody drinks a bitter liqueur, that's a source for your drink this month."

While thinking about this topic, I was considering going out and buying a new amaro, such as Mirto, to play with and to add to our collection of Chartreuses, Averna, Becherovka, Amer Picon, and others. However, there was one on our shelves we had never even opened -- a bottle of the Spanish mandrake liqueur Mandrágora. We had received this bottle as a gift from a friend who was really into pre-legal era Absinthes and ordered this similarly forbidden liqueur before a health condition befell her that forced her to give up drinking alcohol permanently. What I could find about it was the lore, "This Liqueur is made through a maceration of various herbs, and eucalyptus honey. The Mandrake root is a well known plant since ancient times for its hallucinogenic properties. In the Middle Ages, so the legend says, witches used to drink the mandrake in liquor or as an infusion, so that they could communicate better with the spiritual world." While that marketing attracts many people to this bitter liqueur, people generally seem greatly underwhelmed by the hallucinogenic effects (similar to thrill seekers drinking Absinthe) as well as by any aphrodisiac quality associated with mandrake root.
Tasting it straight to figure out what to do with it, the only botanical of the eight I could identify was something in the mint family. The other flavors which predominated besides the muddled bitter notes were the eucalyptus honey used to sweeten this liqueur and a whiskey sort of base spirit. I figured that using it in a Negroni variant would be a good first step and it would give me an excuse to try our new bottle of Dolin blanc vermouth. My other idea was to make it in a Toronto variant called the Toledo (which is about 300 miles away from where the Mandrágora is made); however, the liqueur falls rather short of the also minty/mentholly but rather overwhelming Fernet-Branca found in the Toronto. Indeed, the Mandrágora seemed more like it would play well with a gin rather than a rye, although it might give a Mint Julep effect to whiskey.
Mandrágroni
1 oz Mandrágora
1 oz No. 209 Gin
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1 dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Overall, the Mandrágroni was a pleasant sipper. Its botanicals worked well with those in the gin and the vermouth, but the drink itself was no thing of beauty like the Negroni or some of the other variants I have tasted. Then again, the liqueur was not created to be a cocktail reagent or digestive, but more likely as a flavor blend to mask the mandrake's taste. Well, at least my curiosity about this once dusty bottle on my shelf has been quelled and perhaps I will get around to buying that bottle of Mirto the next time I see it after all.

the bosc word

3/4 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Mathilde Pear Liqueur
3/4 oz Aperol

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For my last drink at Rendezvous on Thursday, I spotted the bottle of Mathilde pear liqueur on the shelf and was curious what Scott Holliday could do with it. We eventually got on the topic of what it would be like in a Last Word variant but we needed a bitter liqueur to round out the quartet. I suggested Aperol since it seemed gentle enough to go against the pear liqueur. In the drink, however, it seemed to require perhaps a slightly stronger bitters like Chartreuse or Campari to add some extra zing characteristic of the Last Word, so perhaps Scott's first thought of yellow Chartreuse would have been better. Otherwise, the lime-pear-rhubarb(from the Aperol) gave an almost papaya like flavor to me and a watermelon like flavor to Scott. The latter observation made Scott think of trying the combination next time with tequila. Whether or not tequila would be tasty in this, the gin did work well with the combination though, and Beefeater's juniper notes stood out quite nicely in the drink.

Friday, May 15, 2009

bull rider

1 1/2 oz Luna Azul Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz Kahlua
1/2 oz Santa Maria al Monte Amaro

Stir with ice and pour into a rocks glass. Add a wide lemon twist and a pair of straws.

On Thursday, I went to Rendezvous and asked bartender Scott Holliday if there were any drinks he was excited about showing me. One he thought of was invented by the other bartender there, Jason. The drink is a take on the classic Brave Bull which is 2 parts tequila to one part Kahlua, but with an added twist. The extra ingredient is the funky Alpine amaro S. Maria al Monte that I wrote about when I had the Rude Boy. In the Rude Boy, it added a lot of mint and menthol notes to the drink. In the Bull Rider, it mingled with the rich notes in the Kahlua such that it "somehow all tastes like a Tootsie Roll" according to Scott. Indeed it did. The drink had a pleasant lemon nose that lead in to the spiciness of the tequila. The end of the sip had a rich and complex swallow to it.

end of days

2 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1 1/2 oz Amer Picon
1 dash Abbott's Bitters
1 barspoon Henri Bardouin Pastis

Stir rye, Amer, and bitters on ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Float the pastis on top.

For my second drink at No. 9 Park on Tuesday, I asked Matthew Schrage for a drink with pastis. Eventually we narrowed it down to rye as a base spirit and that was enough for him to go on. For the pastis, Matt chose to layer it on top which made not only for a stunning appearance but an intriguing flavor gradient. The first few sips of this cocktail were all pastis in flavor. Shortly after, the second notable wave was the pastis slightly diminished with hints of the rye creeping in. Around half way in the drink, there was less anise from the pastis, more rye, and the orange notes of the Amer Picon starting to show. By the last part, the trend continued along with the Abbott's bitters beginning to really shine.

The cocktail was named after the depleting Amer Picon stock and how the recipe had a fin de siècle sort of degeneracy and decadence to it. Also, the halo of pastis floating over the drink added to the end of times symbolism.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

martin voiron

1 oz Miller's Gin
1 1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 1/4 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Tuesday, Andrea was in Boston getting her hair cut and afterwards I met up with her for dinner in Chinatown. Post-dinner, we stopped by No. 9 Park to pay bartender Matthew Schrage a visit. The drink I ordered off of the menu, the Martin Voiron, was created by Rick Messier, another bartender at No. 9. The base spirit for the drink is Martin Miller's Gin which is heavy on the licorice notes but lighter on the juniper berry. Despite gin being the base, the two liqueurs, St. Germain and yellow Chartreuse, each contributed heftily to the recipe.

The cocktail itself had a rather pretty translucent yellow color from the liqueurs and lemon juice. The juice gave the drink a good amount of tartness and balanced the sugar in the liqueurs quite nicely. The combination of St. Germain, yellow Chartreuse, and lemon juice has proven in the past to be a successful trio such as in the Yellow Jacket, and in the Martin Voiron it was no exception. Matt commented that the drink was "Last Word-y", and Andrea thought it was a rather "sophisticated lemon drop".

I did some sleuthing about the drink name and could not find any one famous by that name. However, it dawned on me that the first name referred to the gin and the last name is the location in France where Chartreuse is produced.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

floridian cocktail #3 variant

2 oz Michter's Rye
1/2 oz Carpano Antica
1/2 oz Creole Shrub
1 dash Abbott's Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist orange peel over the top and discard.

Last night, Andrea and I went to the French Library of Boston to hear a Christophe Laudamiel give a talk about the chemistry, neurobiology, and design and marketing of perfumes. Afterwards, we walked up Marlborough Street towards Eastern Standard to grab some dinner and a drink at the bar. Once some seats opened up, Hugh Fiore warmly greeted us. After handing him a bottle of the Abbott's bitters replica I had made, he was excited to put it to use. With the hint that the bitters work well with vermouths, he set to work. The closest drink I could find to what he made up for me is the Floridian Cocktail #3:
Floridian Cocktail #3
1 1/2 oz Rye
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Orange Curacao
1/4 oz Amer Picon
1 dashes Aromatic Bitters
Add lemon twist.
Here, the Creole Shrub substituted for the curacao and Amer Picon (which sadly is now absent from the Eastern Standard's bar) in that recipe. The orange notes of the Creole Shrub were present under the more prominent bittery and spicy flavors. The Abbott's gave the drink a nice finish as well as some delightful clove notes. The flavor that stood out the most for Andrea was a strong cinnamon one which was probably from the synergy of the Carpano Antica vermouth with the cinnamon in the bitters.

conquistador collins

2 oz Lustau Oloroso Sherry
1 oz Rhubarb Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice. Fill collins glass with ice cubes (4 KoldDraft) and 2-3 oz club soda. Strain sherry and juices on top. Serve with a straw.

On Sunday night, Andrea and I went to Craigie on Main. While looking over the menu, the Conquistador Collins intrigued me. The base alcohol was not listed with the description of "Spanish spirit, Spring Cooler", and I was imagining a Spanish brandy of some sort. When I ordered the drink, I was pleasantly surprised that Carrie pulled out a bottle of sherry instead. Sherry can often add a lot of character to drinks especially as a substitute for vermouths. Here though, it was the base spirit. The dry nuttiness of the sherry worked well with the sweetness and flavors of the rhubarb juice. Moreover, the crispness of the lemon juice and soda water gave the drink a bit of an edge that complemented the sherry. My only complaint being that it was rather light and perhaps an ounce of brandy could bolster the drink's strength to match the Conquistador name. Otherwise, I was not disappointed by this tasty and refreshing drink.

Friday, May 8, 2009

sinatra smash

4 Fresh Blackberries
1 oz Lemon Juice (or 1/2 oz Lemon + 1/2 oz Lime)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Creme de Cassis
1/4 oz Vanilla Simple Syrup
1 1/2 oz Whiskey

Muddle blackberries in lemon juice. Add rest of ingredients, shake, and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Yesterday, Andrea pointed me to a recipe she had spotted in this year's James Beard Foundation blog for a cocktail served at the reception. The bartenders at the reception included Boston's own Misty Kalkofen and Josey Packard (see their recipes on this LUPEC Boston blog post) and other female bartenders including Patricia Richards of the Wynn Las Vegas. Patricia created the Sinatra Smash which sadly was the only cocktail recipe to make it into the James Beard blog.
I interpreted Patricia's recipe in a few ways. For the 1 1/2 oz fresh sweet and sour mix, I used 1 oz lemon juice and a 1/2 oz simple syrup, but feel free to substitute your favorite homemade sour mix recipe (ones include equal parts simple, lemon, and lime and sometimes even a touch of egg white). For the vanilla infused simple syrup, I added a dash of vanilla extract to a 1/2 oz of simple syrup since we did not have the Sonoma one that she had. Lastly, her recipe used Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey and we subbed in a spicy rye, Rittenhouse 100, instead.

Overall, it was a tasty and refreshing drink. I would have preferred a drier drink with less simple syrup to bring out the crispness of the citrus (perhaps 1/2 oz simple instead of 3/4 oz total); however, the drink was not overly sweet. Andrea and I disagreed on how much of a role the whiskey played in the drink. I thought the whiskey was understated with it giving some rich notes and spiciness whereas Andrea felt it was very much in the forefront for her. Indeed, increasing the whiskey to 2 or 2 1/2 oz would certainly keep in theme of honoring Frank. Lastly, strainer choice can greatly effect this drink. Our three part shaker had somewhat small diameter holes which decreased the amount of muddled berry bits that made it into the drink (most of the bigger bits stayed back with the ice); the use of a Hawthorn strainer would have given the drink a lot more texture. So choose your straining method accordingly to taste and desired result.

Cheers to the Chairman of the Board!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

sherry punch

2 1/4 oz Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz Black Pepper Simple Syrup
1 dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

Stir with ice and strain (or scaled up in a punch bowl with a large ice chunk and ladeled) into a punch cup. Garnish with pickled almonds on a skewer dusted with freshly cracked black pepper.
Last night we returned to Drink after being invited to a private event by John on Monday. We found seats at Ben Sandrof's bar and he offered us a cup of sherry punch. Andrea had tried this on Monday night as they were working out the recipe and she was rather willing to have it again. The punch was nutty with the pepper flavor arriving at the end. It was not overly dry like many Amontillados, but pleasantly sweetened due to the simple syrup. The garnish was rather funky -- the green almonds were pickled in a sweet bread and butter sort of style. The black pepper sprinkled on the almonds gave a good continuity between the punch and the garnish, but how you utilized the garnish and its extra flavors were up to the drinker. Sam Treadway, the bartender who came up with the recipe, stopped by as we were drinking the punch. Andrea commented that Monday's version was a lot more peppery and when Sam tasted it, he agreed. Sam thought that the punch last night was made closer to a 5:1 instead of the 3:1 ratio he devised (which is the recipe given above), or perhaps a new batch of pepper syrup was made which was a tad lighter on the spice.

appetizer a l’italienne

2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica)
1 oz Fernet Branca
1/8 oz Absinthe (Kübler)
1/8 oz Simple Syrup

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

On Monday night, Andrea and I went to Drink. Scotty made me my first cocktail and when I suggested that I was in the mood for vermouth, one of the cocktails he recommended was the Appetizer a l'Italienne. When I heard the recipe, it seemed intriguing although I feared the Fernet-Branca was going to dominate this drink especially since the Toronto seems like the right amount of Fernet at a quarter ounce. The drink itself was not as Fernet-y as expected; the absinthe and sweet vermouth seemed to reduce its intensity and it made for a surprisingly balanced cocktail. When I gave Andrea a taste of the drink, she immediately picked out some chocolate notes perhaps from the Carpano Antica. She exclaimed, "It's almost chocolate mint... like a Girl Scout cookie!" As a historical side note, I was later able to trace the recipe back to William Schmidt's 1892 book The Flowing Bowl (not on my bookshelf yet, but GoogleBooks has it).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

kamehameha rum punch

1 oz Light Rum (Lemon Hart 80 Proof)
2 oz Unsweetened Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Blackberry Brandy (Creme de Cassis)
1 tsp Grenadine
1 tsp Sugar Syrup
1 oz Dark Rum (Goslings Black Seal)

Shake everything but the dark rum with ice and strain into a tall or rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Float dark rum on top, and garnish with a pineapple chunk speared to a cherry.

After the Queen's Road, the other drink that stood out in Sippin' Safari on Saturday night was the Kamehameha Rum Punch. The book credits the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii, as the origin of the drink around 1960. For ingredients, I wanted to use our new bottle of Lemon Hart Demerara Rum instead of some of the lighter rums in our collection. We did not have any blackberry brandy so I went with some Creme de Cassis instead. Also, I used Andrea's ginger simple syrup instead of preparing some regular simple syrup for this drink. One neat thing about the preparation of this drink was in floating the dark rum on top -- it actually floated over the ice as well. Overall, a rather pleasant sipper that we enjoyed on our deck. The dark rum added a bit of character but unfortunately disappeared early in the drink the way we drank it; the photo in the book shows the drink served with a straw which would have changed the effect of the dark rum from our experience. The scary green cocktail cherries were a gift we received at one of our parties and seemed like a festive garnish at the time. Actually, they did not taste half bad but when I sliced them, they eerily bled green blood on my cutting board. Strange foodstuff there.

Monday, May 4, 2009

queen's road

1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Honey Mix (1:1 Honey:Water)
1 1/2 oz gold Puerto Rican Rum
1/2 tsp (1 barspoon) Ginger-Infused Simple Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Earlier in the day on Sunday, Andrea was at a bridal shower where she brought the fixings for virgin Ginger Bellini Punch (recipe is in this month's Imbibe magazine from Preggatinis the book). When she got back from the event, she was in the mood for cocktails and I set off to search for a drink to use the surplus ginger-infused simple syrup she had made for this punch. The first book I grabbed was Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari which did indeed have a few ginger simple syrup-laden recipes. The one we chose was the Queen's Road Cocktail; the book provides the following history, "As served in the Mandalay Bar of the Colonel's Plantation Beefsteak House, cerca 1958. Created by Donn Beach sometime before 1941, when it first appeared on the Hollywood Beachcomber's menu."
Ingredients-wise, we had to made two substitutions. First, we did not have oranges or orange juice, so we punted with some pink grapefruit juice. And second, we did not have a Puerto Rican rum (save for the Bacardi 151 which I use for bitters making), so we went Nicaraguan with Flor de Caña. The drink itself was very citrusy with the honey contributing a bit of flavor. The ginger syrup was somewhat detectable and added to the complexity along with the Angostura bitters. The ginger either needs to be upped or the ginger needed to be grated or slice thinner to extract more flavor during the syrup making process. Or perhaps, the hint of ginger was all that Donn Beach wanted in this drink and the syrup itself is indeed the correct strength.

chauncey

1/4 Tom Gin (3/4 oz Hayman's Old Tom Gin)
1/4 Whiskey (3/4 oz Eagle Rare Bourbon)
1/4 Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz Dolin)
1/4 Brandy (3/4 oz Courvoisier)
1 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. No garnish was specified but I added a Luxardo Marasca cherry.

On Saturday night, we stayed in and made cocktails. To follow up the more modern Alto Cucina that Andrea made, I cracked out the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book to search for a drink to try out our new bottle of Dolin Sweet Vermouth and to kill off the last of a cognac bottle to make room on the shelf for its replacement. I found the recipe for the Chauncey to satisfy both requirements. Other than the drink being pre-Prohibition era, the book could not provide any more information or narrow down who was the Chauncey of the cocktail save for the speculation that it "must have been named after the most distinguished person of that prenomen, a famous orator and wit".

The drink itself smelled rather floral which we attributed to the Dolin vermouth; Andrea thought that it was almost a geranium scent. It was rather difficult to decipher one alcohol from another except for the gin due to the botanicals. The orange bitters, however, did stand out and worked rather well with the citrus peel flavors in the vermouth. The Chauncey was very much like a Saratoga Cocktail with the addition of gin and the swapping of aromatic bitters for orange ones. Like the Saratoga, the drink was rather boozy, and Andrea commented that it was indeed "a manly drink" (which is funny since she enjoys drinking whiskeys neat more than I do).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

jimador sour

2 oz Siembra Azul Tequila
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Galliano L'Autentico Liqueur
1 dash Tiki Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass with 5 Kold Draft ice cubes.

After leaving Rendezvous on Thursday, I stopped in at Craigie on Main for a nightcap. There were a few new drinks but one that seemed appealing was yet another reformulated Galliano recipe and I figured I would give that one a try. The Jimador Sour's menu note was "spiced herbal treat reformatted" and I pondered to Carrie the bartender whether mixologists were that excited about the new product or whether the Galliano rep was aggressively getting around town. She had no answer for that, but Carrie let me taste a bit of the Galliano in a cordial glass and it seemed more licorice and anise and less vanilla than I remember the previous one tasting. In this drink, the licorice of the Galliano worked rather well with the Green Chartreuse's herbalness. The lime flavor really stood out; it was not balanced by much sweetness yet it did not seem out of place. Indeed, the lime matched the sharpness of the other ingredients including the tequila.

rum frisco

2 oz Old Monk Rum
3/4 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Abbott's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

For my second drink at Rendezvous on Thursday night, Scott Holliday wanted to make me a drink with the Abbott's bitters replica that I made. I figured that the tonka bean which is rich with vanillin components would work well with the vanilla-infused Old Monk Rum. Benedictine seemed like it would add a bit of complexity to the drink, and Scott suggested the concept of a Frisco-like drink. Indeed, there was a great synergy with the vanilla notes. The drink was surprisingly dry and it had a lingering melody of herbal notes on the swallow. Scott also tinkered with the Abbott's to make a Batavia Arrack and Scotch Old Fashioned. While the Batavia Arrack took over a lot of the flavor, the clove and bay (Pimenta racemosa) flavors stood out more in this drink than in the rum Frisco.

whiskey-a-go-go

1 1/4 oz Sour Mash Bourbon
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Galliano L'Autentico Liqueur
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
~ 2 oz Prosecco (Vincent Toffoli)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Top off with the sparkling wine.

On Thursday night, I stopped into Rendezvous to visit Scott Holliday. I spotted the Whiskey-A-Go-Go as the new drink on the menu and decided to give it a try. The cocktail features the new formulation of Galliano, or better stated the return to the pre-1989 recipe. In this drink, the licorice and other botanicals from the Galliano worked rather well with the pineapple juice which followed these flavors on the sip. The prosecco gave a lightness to the drink as well as contributed a sharpness to the pineapple flavor. The Bourbon served as a backbone of the drink but was not a dominant flavor. Overall, the WAGG was a refreshing drink with some interesting notes, and it will find its perfect home as the mercury starts creeping up on the thermometer. Probably in a similar way as the Algonquin Cocktail (2 oz rye, 1 oz pineapple juice, 1/2 oz dry vermouth) served as my summer drink two years ago.

Postnote 6/17/14: Scott mentioned that this was his whiskey variation of the Barracuda.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

[a summer flip]

1 1/2 oz Renegade Guyana Rum 16 Yr.
1 oz Cherry Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur
1 Egg

Shake once without and once with ice. Strain into a coupe glass pre-rinsed with Lustau East India Solera Sherry.

For my second drink at Eastern Standard on Monday night, I asked Hugh Fiore for a flip. He pulled out a Demerara rum from the Renegade Rum Company and gave it a sniff. Hugh said that something about the smell of that rum screamed "cherry" so he decided to use the housemade simple syrup with natural cherry extract added. In the flip, the rum and cherry flavors did work rather well together and the sherry donated a bit to the mouthfeel. As the drink warmed up, the blackstrap rum flavors began to appear more. Andrea seemed a bit envious of my "summer flip" and Hugh seemed a bit proud of what he had just created and for good reason.

Friday, May 1, 2009

[pisco disco] carnivale

2 oz Pisco
1 oz Campari
1 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist an orange peel over the top and drop in.

On Monday night after I DJed up the street at AnTuaNua, Andrea and I went to Eastern Standard for some cocktails. Bartender Hugh Fiore had an idea with pisco for my first cocktail and I let him do his magic as I focused on the food menu for a late dinner. When I looked up, the drink was there and I was unaware of what spirits he had used. Upon my first sip, I asked Hugh what else was in the drink besides pisco and Aperol. Turns out that there was no Aperol at all, and that I was tricked yet again by the combination of Campari and Maraschino Liqueur. While Campari is a much sharper and more bitter liqueur than Aperol, the sweetness and mouthfulness of the Maraschino seems to neutralize some of Campari's attack; this combination might serve as a good gateway to Campari cocktails for the uninitiated. A swallow of this drink started with the smokiness of the pisco brandy and had the bitterness towards the end followed by a lingering Maraschino flavor on the aftertaste.

Postnote 10/31/10: Bartender Kevin Martin informed me that this is his drink called the Carnivale that he created for a pisco competition (I believe it was Capel). Hopefully, someone else will create a drink called the Pisco Disco for it really needs to exist.