Monday, November 19, 2018

Vieux Carre

The Vieux Carre is a great New Orleans historical cocktail. It refers to the "Old Square" in the city's French Quarter. Like most New Orleans drinks, it combines distinctly American ingredients with old French spirits. This cocktail is made with rye, cognac, sweet vermouth, Benedictine and a few dashes of Angostura and Peychaud's bitters.

There's lots of ways to do this drink in terms of glassware and garnishes. In New Orleans these days, they do it on the rocks with no garnish. I like it up with an orange twist or a sprig of rosemary if you are feeling festive. A rocks serving is enjoyable if you let it soften a while, because it brings out the herbaceousness of the liqueurs.
  • 3/4 oz. cognac (Courvoisier used)
  • 3/4 oz. rye (Filibuster Boondoggler used)
  • 3/4 oz. sweet vermouth (Cocchi di Torino used)
  • 1 tsp. Benedictine
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or pour over ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with citrus or herbs. 

Jockey Club Cocktail

I feel like this drink has the making of a classic and I can see why it was a club favorite back in the heyday of social clubs and cocktails. But this recipe seems unbalanced and a little blown out. If the goal was to make this drink unique among social club cocktails, it succeeds. But as written, the cocktail is too tart and bitter for it to have mass appeal.

At issue is its out-sized amount of lemon juice with only a hint of creme de cacao to balance it. It is unfortunate and disappointing when you don't get any richness from what would be a great tropical drink with just a bit more liqueur. The Angostura bitters almost seal the deal by themselves, but using more than a dash--which normally would bring the flavors together--just blows everything out and all you can taste is bitter lemon.
  • 2 oz. gin (MurLarkey ImaGination gin used)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. white creme de cacao
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Brandy Flip

A flip is a dessert drink that takes any spirit and shakes it up with a whole egg, sugar, and cream and is topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg. The Brandy Flip, by nature of its being a primogenitor of early Industrial Era spirits, is likely to be the first kind of flip--unless you count sherry or porto. Let's say that this drink goes way back to the first mixing of distilled spirits with eggs, sometime in the early 1700s.
  • 2 oz. brandy (Copper and Kings used)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tbsp. half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • fresh ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients except nutmeg in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled sour glass. Garnish with sprinkles of nutmeg.

Gingersnap

I've been waiting for a long time to make this cocktail, weighing making my own ginger wine or using a store-bought liqueur being part of my hesitancy. But a cold snap finally made up my mind and I went with a homemade ginger liqueur to pull this one off. The reason for my hesitancy is that the recipe calls for ginger wine, a spirit you brew yourself like a beer but with sugar water and fresh ginger using wine yeast. Who does that? Even I was daunted by the process.

I felt that the flavor of ginger wine, however would be more authentic, and funky tasting than a store bought ginger liqueur. My solution of a homemade liqueur was a good compromise.

Ages ago, I set aside some ginger slices in vodka. After a few days I strained out the solids and added sugar syrup. This ginger liqueur was hot and sweet, but less strong than the vodka was itself. I had just enough of it left to make this drink. I bought candied ginger and used it to good effect to flavor the drink even further.
  • 3 oz. vodka (MurLarkey Divine Clarity used)
  • 1 oz. ginger wine (homemade ginger liqueur used)
  • sparkling water
  • slice of candied ginger
Combine vodka and ginger wine in a Collins glass with ice. Top with sparkling water and stir gently. Garnish with candied ginger. 

Suissesse Cocktail

This cocktail is a nod to Switzerland's love and history of making absinthe. It also uses the French spelling of Switzerland or Swiss to honor Pernod's contribution to dessert absinthe drinks. After drinking Pernod or absinthe by itself, this drink seems very light and spaced out, much more approachable for the after dinner drinker. This is the first egg white cocktail that I've done with Pernod, thought the Pernod Flip is a good example of something even heavier with its whole egg, if you want to move in that direction.
  • 2 oz. Pernod
  • 1/2 oz. half-and-half
  • egg white
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Froth Blower

The point of this drink is to look pretty. Blending egg white and gin together makes such for such a creamy foam with all that air beaten into it. Despite the crushed ice, it is light and fluffy and the small amount of grenadine helps to keep it balanced and a pretty shade of pink.

I used a bold gin in this recipe because there are so few ingredients and crushed ice can spread most gins pretty thin. I like that Icelandic Vor has a bold barley taste that is so prominent that it is listed on the bottle as one of the botanicals.
  • 2 oz. gin (Icelandic Vor used)
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • egg white
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. 

Silver Cocktail

What a classic tasting gin cocktail! All the bitter and sweet flavors are in perfect balance in the Silver Cocktail. The maraschino liqueur, though in small quantity, really goes well with the bitterness of the dry vermouth and gin. Orange bitters, also in small quantity, link up with the lemon twist to send the drink in a citrus direction. It's bold and interesting, yet not so strong as to cause you to wince. All evenly spaced. Maybe that is why this cocktail is called "silver," despite there being no egg white to affect the color.
  • 2 oz. gin (MurLarkey ImaGination used)
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth (Rivata used)
  • 1 tsp. maraschino liqueur
  • 3 dashes orange bitters (Hella used)
  • lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except lemon twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel twisted over top.