Friday, September 14, 2018

Boston Cocktail

I feel I've had this drink before. It comes from this example being another one of those gin and apricot brandy recipes that keep coming back in different proportions. Also it is another one of a long line of Boston-named drinks like the Cooler, the Sidecar, and the Sour.

Just for kicks I used the distinguished Plymouth gin which is known as its own style of gin complete in itself. It's not London or Old Tom, but it's an old recipe that has been around since the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts began, or at least soon after. This is the gin of Plymouth, England and the industrious people who sailed from there to find a better life.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin (Plymouth used)
  • 1 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine 
Combine all ingredients in a shaker full of ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Rose and White Rose

I thought it fitting to do both the Rose cocktails together in a single post with the same gin. Equally fitting is the choice of Boodles, a traditional London style gin to go with these two British houses that the cocktails signify.

It is interesting that apart from gin these cocktails have nothing in common. The Rose is one of those apricot brandy, gin and lemon juice combos that you find everywhere in old bar books. It might be the most common combinations behind gin and vermouth!

The White Rose is completely different. It is the first egg white and orange juice cocktail I've come across. There's a ton of maraschino liqueur in there too! The texture and flavors are so opposite each other that it was fun to have both at once.

Here's how to make them:

  • 2 oz. gin (Boodles used)
  • 1 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth (Rivata used)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadie
  • lemon wedge
  • sugar
Coat the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with sugar by using rubbing a lemon wedge around it and dipping the glass in sugar. You can discard the lemon wedge or use it as a garnish (and rightly so, to control the acid level in the cocktail. just squeeze more in if you find the drink too sweet as I did.) Shake all liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker full of ice and strain it into the glass.

White Rose
  • 2 oz. gin (Boodles used)
  • 1 oz. maraschino liqueur (Luxardo used)
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup 
  • 1 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake to chill and strain to remove the ice. Shake again to add foam and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Red Cloud

There are storm clouds brewing, but this cocktail is a lovely red cloud. I'm not sure if the name of this cocktail comes from the influential Oglala Lakota chief, or just a description of the drink's color. I happen to think that the use of apricot brandy, lemon juice, and gin produces a light, cloudlike cocktail.

So here is MurLarkey distillery's ImaGination gin, with rosemary, celery, grains of paradise--dark flavors that ground things. Then sweet apricot brandy and grenadine to cut the lemon juice, but not by much. Angostura bitters distinguish this cocktail from many of these red cocktails with gin and apricot brandy--a very common classic trend.
  • 2 oz. gin (ImaGination used)
  • 1 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
 Combine all ingredients in a a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Swedish Punsch

I have only just assembled the ingredients for Swedish Punsch, a rum-based lemon and spice cocktail that is designed to be enjoyed warm. This isn't surprising because the Scandinavian countries have a lot of hot drinks to battle the cold climate. What is surprising is that a Duch and East Indian spirit is integral to this particular punch drink.

Batavia-Arrack isn't a North African Arrack like those anise flavored grain spirits similar to Metaxa and Ouzo. Batavia-Arrack is a cane sugar distillate that uses fermented rice to kick off the fermentation. It is close to cachacas from Brazil, which are also cane sugar rums, in that it is a little funky and sweet. There's almost a rice-like bitterness in the Batavia-Arrack which I have to think has to be a part of the reason it is included with Jamaican rum, which is also very flavorful.

Batavia-Arrack is hard to find. I searched many specialty shops before finding this bottle.

So after looking at a lot of recipes that vary in size from a single serving to a whole liter, I decided to go full on and make a big batch with lots of Arrack because I'm not going to use the Arrack for much else. Swedish Punsch is useful in many recipes that will appear soon.

This is my recipe, a combination of the strong points of three I looked at:
  • 1 1/2 cups Batavia Arrack
  • 1 cup Appleton Estate rum
  • 1 cup strong black tea (Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast used)
  • 2/3 cup demerara sugar
  • 2 lemons sliced and de-seeded
  • 12 cardamon pods crushed with shells removed
  • 5 cloves
  1. Make 1 cup of strong black tea and dissolve the sugar into it until it is a thick black tea simple syrup. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  2. Slice lemons and place them in a large container that can be sealed air tight.
  3. Add crushed cardamon and cloves and pour Arrack and rum and tea simple syrup over the ingredients. Seal and store for 24 hours. 
  4. Remove the lemons from the container and strain the liquid to remove spices. Store sealed for up to five months.

Friday, September 7, 2018


Limey is the ultimate lime cocktail. It's like a Daiquiri that uses a lime liqueur, lime zest and juice to really get an intense lime flavor. I used Vitae platinum rum for the rum and Vitae orange liquor for triple sec. This triple sec is made of Virginia bitter hearty oranges and other sweet orange flavors in a rum base that tastes the same as the platinum label. 

Since there are few lime liqueurs available, I made my own. My experience making falernum came in handy here, since falernum is a lime and spice liqueur. I just made it without the spices. Instead of rum, this time I used MurLarkey Justice white whiskey. This is unaged barley and corn spirit that tastes a little like a cane juice rum. I made the liqueur by soaking the zest of two limes in six ounces of Justice for a week. When you are ready to use the liqueur, add the juice of one lime and simple syrup to taste and shake it. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 
  • 2 oz. light rum (Vitae platinum rum used)
  • 1 oz. lime liqueur (homemade MurLarkey Justice lime liqueur used)
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec (Vitae orange liquor used)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • lime twist. 
Combine liquid ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until slushy and pour into a chilled wine glass. Garnish with the lime twist.

Jamaica Hop

Jamaica Hop is a dessert drink that's not very strong, and more sweet and creamy than anything. The idea is to feature another one of Jamaica's exports: coffee.

You do get a hit of coffee, especially with natural homemade coffee liqueur. I made mine a while ago with fresh coffee and rum as well as a whole bean steeped simple syrup. The only other ingredients are Creme de cacao and half-and-half. This is a relaxing drink for any time of day because of its low proof.
  • 2 oz. coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz. white creme de cacao (but dark would be fine too.)
  • 2 oz. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Limbo Cocktail

Calypso music, dancers trying to bend beneath the limbo stick and tropical drinks on the beach all scream Caribbean vacation. This light rum cocktail has banana flavors to make it tropical. It has banana rum from Cruzan instead of banana liqueur, which can sometimes taste like banana candy. I like that this is an all rum cocktail, with Vitae platinum rum to give the drink a heady scent of rum with real flavor.
  • 2 oz. light rum (Vitae platinum used)
  • 1/2 oz. banana liqueur (Cruzan banana used)
  • 1 oz. orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.