Monday, August 26, 2019

Pina Colada For Friends

I'm not sure why this cocktail gets it's own entry in the New York Bartender's Guide. The Pina Colada is a blender cocktail, so you can make a scaled up version of the single serving recipe if you like. But because it is listed in the book, I had to find an occasion to make the recipe that serves four people!

That is the reason why this is the last recipe in my quest to complete the New York Bartender's Guide 1997 edition. This has been a journey of more than four years, some of it frenetic during spurts of drinking activity and some of it drawn out as rare ingredients proved a challenge to find or make. All in all it has been an amazing journey and one that really made the mundane career as a bartender far more rewarding. It required me to go beyond the popular, the ordinary, and the safe. I had to create ingredients like Amer Picon, falernum, Forbidden Fruit and apricot brandy. I went on quests to find Lillet Blanc, Dubonnet Rouge, Pomelos, Batavia Arrack and Combier. And best of all, I learned how to make the most obscure and out of fashion cocktails just as the cocktail revival was underway, bringing these forgotten classics back to light. Now people ask for Aviations, Brookland Cocktails, and Swizzles and I can make them. So this goal, as arbitrary and costly as it was as, has enriched my bar-tending skill and my life.

Here's the final recipe of my long-awaited finale: the Pina Colada For Friends.
  • 1 cup light rum (Flor de Cana Extra Seco used)
  • 2 oz. dark rum (Pusser's Navy Rum used)
  • 5 oz. coconut cream
  • 10 oz. pineapple juice
  • 2 oz. half and half
  • 4 pineapple spears and leaves
Combine liquid ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into four chilled Collins glasses. Garnish with pineapple spears and leaves. 

Saturn (Smuggler's Cove Recipe)

The Saturn is another modern gin Tiki cocktail from the Smuggler's Cove recipe book. It is densely flavored, something that it's pale, cloudy look doesn't belie. The garnish--two lemon zest rings--seems to connect to the theme, while the flavor is the real attraction.

Falernum, orgeat, and passion fruit syrup team up to make this cocktail a transporting experience. I make my own Falernum, and the passion fruit syrup I used is from cooked down juice. I didn't make the orgeat this time, so Liber & Co. gets credit in the picture.

This is the final cocktail in this series with Roku gin, a very dry and floral gin by Suntory. I really dig the sakura blossom scent that is always noticeable when mixed, and the green tea flavor when you enjoy it neat.
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 1/4 oz. orgeat (Liber & Co. used)
  • 1/4 oz. Falernum
  • 1 1/4 oz. dry gin (Roku used)
  • 2 lemon zests cut into wheels
To make the zests, use a zest tool or a knife to score the peel of a lemon: cut three circles around the middle of the fruit, about 1/2 inch apart. Using the tool handle or the blunt side of the knife, lift the peel off of the fruit being careful not to break the rings. Place the rings inside each other and rest them on the cocktail glass.

Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with the lemon zest rings.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Max's Mistake (Smuggler's Cove Recipe)

Max's Mistake is similar to the Hinky Dink's Fizzy in its presentation in a snifter, and that it is a gin-based tiki cocktail. Again, I used Roku gin for it's dryness and floral botanical blend. A special change to the recipe came about when I got Fever Tree Bitter Lemon soda! You get the impression that this drink is a balance between sweet and biter, and this soda does that perfectly.
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. passion fruit syrup (homemade used)
  • 1/2 oz. honey syrup (honey diluted with hot water)
  • 2 oz. dry gin (Roku used)
  • 1 dash angostura bitters
  • 2 oz. lemon soda (Fever Tree bitter lemon used)
  • mint sprig
Combine all ingredients except mint garnish in a blender with ice. Flash blend and pour into a large snifter and garnish with mint. 

Bitter Lemon Collins

This was a wonderful find: the combination of Fever Tree Bitter Lemon soda and Ketel One Cucumber and Mint botanical edition. It's the perfect summer drink for rooftop or dockside sipping.
  • 2 oz. Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint
  • Fever Tree Bitter Lemon
  • lemon slice
  • mint mint sprig
Build cocktail in a Collins glass by adding vodka, then ice, then topping with lemon soda. Stir and garnish with lemon and mint.

Old South Martini

Greet tomatoes are just so southern. On a recent vacation in Virginia, I picked up these Tomolives, pickled greet tomatoes. These Old South tomatoes look like olives, but the explode with dill pickle flavor. I had to make a vodka martini with these.
  • 3 oz. vodka (MurLarkey Divine Clarity used)
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth (Carpano dry used)
  • 3 Tomolives
Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with Tomolives.

Hinkey Dinks Fizzy (Smuggler's Cove recipe)

This cocktail is featured in Smuggler's Cove. It comes to us originally from Trader Vic's celebration of their fiftieth anniversary in the 1980s. A few things have made this cocktail a treat. I made passionfruit syrup specifically for this recipe and bought sparkling wine in small-format cans. I even got this stemless snifter that is large enough to hold this drink simply for the presentation.

But Roku gin is probably the best addition I made. It is very floral and somewhat bitter. Even mixed in this cocktail, you can taste or smell the cherry blossom botanicals. The drink has a great appeal with its blended ice and fizzy taste. Use a straw to drink this one!
  • 2 oz. sparkling wine
  • 1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. passion fruit syrup (homemade used)
  • 1/2 oz. apricot liqueur (Jaquin's used)
  • 1 oz. London dry gin (Roku used)
  • 1 oz. blended lightly aged rum (Flor de Cana extra seco used)
Pour sparkling wine in the bottom of a large brandy snifter. In a blender add ice and the rest of the ingredients. Flash blend and pour into the snifter. Garnish with a mint sprig. 

Grand Royal Margarita (With Royal Combier)

You know the Cadillac Margarita with Grand Marnier. This is a similarly rich rendition of the classic with Royal Combier, a cognac-based spirit flavored with oranges and Mediterranean spices.
  • 2 oz. gold tequila (Sauza Anejo used)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 oz. Royal Combier
  • coarse salt
  • lime wedge
Place coarse salt on a saucer. Wet the rim of an Old Fashioned glass by rubbing it with the lime wedge and dipping it in the salt. Combine all liquid ingredients and sugar in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into the Old Fashioned glass. Use the lime wedge for garnish.