Saturday, September 29, 2007


Last night we went by Green Street to buy our tickets to the LUPEC tea party -- we hadn't been since well before it changed hands -- and ended up having a quick dinner there. And I ordered their Tailspin -- and it was really, really good! CocktailDB lists the recipe as such:

1oz gin
3/4oz sweet vermouth
3/4oz green chartreuse
1 dash orange bitters

stir in mixing glass and garnish with lemon twist, cherry, or olive.

Mine had an orange twist for garnish. I rather enjoyed it; well-balanced flavor and easy to drink. Tim was really pleased with his (rye) old-fashioned (he's discovered through the wonders of sense-memory that this drink is what his uncle and aunt would make at home and the smell reminds him of visiting them as a child). The food was fabulous too; we ate at a table but our server was happy to talk about the drinks with us.

I've since discovered that this is not an uncommon drink, and is listed elsewhere as using a dash of Campari in place of the orange bitters... and I believe that what I had this night used Campari, although I thought it definately had a orange bite to it. May my palate develop quickly and be more reliable! I suppose the only thing to do is make one of each and do a comparison.

And, oh! I cannot wait for the tea party. I have the deranged idea to make a period dress to wear -- and I have a gorgeous cloche I just bought for winter.

Postnote: 8/21/11 by Frederic
The Green Street cocktail book lists the recipe as:
• 1 oz Gin (Plymouth)
• 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
• 1 oz Green Chartreuse
• 1/4 oz Campari
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

absinthe: PF 1901

Details here. I figured that my first foray into traditional French Absinthe might as well be the one designed as a recreation of pre-ban Pernod Fils. Served traditionally in a roughly 3:1 water:liqueur ratio with the water poured over a small sugar cube. I can see what people are talking about when they go on about the "mouth-feel" of absinthe; it's like drinking velvet. Bringing the glass to my lips is an interesting sensory experience, picking up the scent in my nose as I take a sip. Color after adding water is a vaguely translucent, pale green glow. Strong stuff: I was feeling a mild buzz after a few sips. Next time I think I will go for a 5:1 ratio.


1oz gin
1/2oz sweet vermouth
1/2oz dry vermouth
1/2oz strawberry liqueur

Shake with ice, serve in cocktail glass. Source: CocktailDB

The second drink of the evening. Nicely balanced and easy to drink.

lucien gaudin cocktail

1oz gin
1/2oz Cointreau
1/2oz Campari
1/2oz dry vermouth

Stir with ice& strain into cocktail glass. Source: CocktailDB

Nice one. We hosted an impromptu cocktail party that indicated that I should have more than eight cocktail glasses... and I wasn't paying as close attention to what I was drinking as I should have. I did like this one, however. This seems to have been named after a skilled fencer:

Gaudin had an extraordinary fencing career from 1904 to 1929, with a first World Title in 1905. He was however not selected for the Olympic Games in 1908, and French fencers did not compete at Stockholm, so he had to wait until 1920 for an Olympic appearance. At Antwerpen, he won team silver, but was wounded by an American, so again he missed out on individual honours. At Paris, after winning the team title, at which he contributed 22 wins out of 22, with 110 hits against 21, he felt an acute pain in his left hand, and once more he had to retire. He finally won his individual Olympic titles at Amsterdam, at the age of fourty-two. He was declared 'Hors Classe' by the French Fencing Federation, an honour never before bestowed on any fencer.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

elephants sometimes fuck up

this was supposed to be an Elephants Sometimes Forget:

1oz gin
3/4oz cherry flavored brandy (Cherry Heering)
3/4oz fresh lemon juice
1/4oz dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters

shake in iced shaker, strain into cocktail glass. Source: CocktailDB

...but I somehow misread and put 3/4oz dry vermouth in. I also am really good at knocking things down on a table or dropping things before I start drinking... Hmm. Perhaps I should drink more, because it only seems to happen when I am sober.

My friend Fred had posted this recipe to his livejournal and I loved the name and it sounded really tasty. I picked up a citrus squeezer today and couldn't wait to try this one! Despite my mis-measure the result was rather good and I plan to try this one again soon.

rex cocktail

1 3/4oz gin
3/4oz sweet vermouth
1 dash orange bitters

stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Source: CocktailDB

I had thought that a dash was literally a shake of the bottle, but I've since discovered that it is actually 1/8tsp -- so the version I made the other night was not quite right. I will have to try it again with the correct amount of bitters (Fee Bros.), as we both found this to be okay but uninspired.

I tasted the two vermouths I have before mixing it up because I was curious what the difference between sweet and dry was... both were a sickly-sour that goes to show that indeed, sometimes the sum is greater than the parts.

kiss in the dark

1 1/2oz gin
3/4oz dry vermouth
3/4oz cherry flavored brandy (Cherry Heering)

stir with ice, strain into cocktail glass. source: CocktailDB (and modified to match the 1895 recipe).

The very first cocktail I have made! And no, I didn't choose the Heering to be funny/punny and actually didn't pick up on the double entendre until just now. How very appropriate of me to miss that...

Unfortunately at this point I'm not really able to say much more than I liked it and it was yummy. I tried some gin (Bombay Sapphire) straight before I mixed this because, well, I had no idea what it was supposed to taste like! I could definately see how alcoholic beverages were first developed as medicinal tonics... what a wonderful, penetrating tingle. I will have to do a taste comparison of different gins at some point.

:: an introduction ::

So welcome to this, the public record of my foray into the world of mixed drinks. I'm mainly starting this blog to keep track of what I try and record thoughts about booze in general -- but if you're reading this, it's not exactly private, no? So who knows what this will become. Likely, I'll lose interest and stop updating it!

About me: in my baby book, the first sentence I spoke is listed after my first word (for the record, no), being the succinct I want wine. My nana had something to do with that one! And I do like wine, having been introduced to it at her dining table. When we would have dinners there, I had my very own wine glass (really, a little port glass or something). Alcohol was never a big deal. And as a result, I never really was attracted to it for its intoxication effects as a teen (and a good thing, in the years of wine coolers and Zima).

But I've never really known much about what's out there, never educated myself about wines or anything. And mixed drinks? I knew even less. I'd order Whiskey Sours in bars for years, until a year ago when a friend suggested an Amaretto Sour. I knew there was a vast world of tastiness out there but I didn't know where to start, so I stuck with what was familiar.

So for some time now, a friend has been posting in his livejournal about the traditional cocktails he and his girlfriend have been trying. And it all sort of sounds neat. Then a few weeks ago, they went to an event put on by the LUPEC that was featuring Chartreuse-based cocktails. I read up about his experience and I got to thinking... I actually like herbal flavors, and I did have a stint when I was younger where I'd drink Chartreuse neat: I thought it was a really cool, weird color and I liked the nose-tickle taste. I like anise too, and other flavors that can be off-putting to some. So really, why don't I try delving into the long tradition of the cocktail and see what's to be seen? Er, tasted. Anyhow.

I've never been much of a gourmand but this is somewhere to start! My husband's on board (he's a scotch drinker, something I could never get into), our liquor cabinet is growing by the week, so here we go!