Friday, May 3, 2019

Bristow Brandy Bramble (Original Recipe for MurLarkey Distillery)

The Bramble has been a reliable summer sour drink for decades. Blackberry liqueur floated on gin and lemon juice in crushed ice is a refreshing combination. But it was rare that bars had blackberries back in the 80s when the Bramble was invented. Creme de Mure was the blackberry ingredient until the cocktail revolution occurred.

This a small break from tradition by using muddled blackberries and sugar for the natural blackberry flavor. The sherry is best when floated on top of the ice to add richness and oak.
  • 2 oz. MurLarkey ImaGination gin
  • 1 oz. E&J VSOP
  • 1 oz. cream sherry
  • 7 blackberries
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • mint sprig
Combine 5 blackberries, sugar and lemon juice in a shaker and muddle to break up the berries. Add brandy, gin and ice and shake. Double strain into an Old Fashioned glass full of crushed ice. Float cream sherry on top and garnish with mint sprig and three blackberries.

Banana Brandy Rose (Original Recipe for MurLarkey Distilery)

The most famous cocktail in the Rose series is the Jack Rose made with apple jack. These cocktails, which can be made with any spirit, are all sour drinks that are usually sweetened with grenadine. I thought that the unusual pairing of brandy with the rich flavor of MurLarkey banana whiskey would balance better than the Jack Rose. I wasn't wrong.

For one thing, I was going for the sweetness and pleasant flavor of the banana whiskey that makes it very drinkable by itself. The banana flavor pairs well with lime juice in an almost tropical combination. The brandy smooths out the whiskey notes and takes the drink in the direction of an aged brandy style of Rose cocktail. The drink was still sour, but far more interesting, providing in turns dried banana, spicy whiskey, and oak.
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime slice. 

Tea Time (Original Recipe for MurLarkey Distillery)

This drink takes its inspiration from the Ice Pick, a cocktail with the dubious intent of hiding alcohol in an innocent looking glass of iced tea. Using flavored spirits and sparkling water enhances that basic recipe: I wondered what would happen if the liquor tasted like tea?

MurLarkey makes Three Tea Whiskey that is infused with Earl Gray, Darjeeling and English breakfast teas. I like a raspberry iced tea, so Chambord black raspberry liqueur suggested itself. My thinking was that a really enjoyable summer cocktail shouldn't feel like a basic iced tea. It should be a treat for a special occasion, or at least turn a typical summer afternoon into a special occasion. This was a very special recipe.
  • 2 oz. MurLarkey Three Tea whiskey
  • 1 oz. Chambord
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • sparkling water
  • blackberry, lemon slices, and mint sprig garnishes
Combine whiskey, Chambord and sugar in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Collins glass full of fresh ice. Place a lemon slice in the glass and top with sparkling water. Stir gently and garnish with mint sprig, blackberry and lemon slice.

Brooklyn Cocktail (Revisited with Homemade Amer Picon)

Manhattan has it's signature cocktail with rye. Brooklyn's is less well known, perhaps because it is more complicated and one of its ingredients has all but gone extinct. I've made this cocktail before with Catoctin Creek rye, but I used Picon Biere instead of Amer Picon--the hard to find ingredient. This time I did it with my homemade Amer Picon from a recipe that gets as close to the original as possible without going to France to get it.

The cocktail is exactly the same as the Quebec Cocktail (in slightly smaller proportions) but it is rye that centers the drink in New York not Canada. Using rye with such flavorful spirits is a good idea because it holds its own. You can taste the whiskey in concert with bitter cherry and orange flavors. The cocktail is rich but brighter tasting than a Manhattan, perhaps owing to the dry vermouth in stead of sweet vermouth.
  • 1 1/2 oz. rye (Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye used)
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth (Carpano dry used)
  • 1/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino
  • 1/4 oz. Amer Picon (DIY Amer Picon used)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (Maraschino cherry garnish recommended.)

Italian Orange Fizz (Original Recipe for MurLarkey Distillery)

This attractive drink is refreshing and herbacious. It relies on two spirits that have an underlying vanilla note. Galliano is a rich Italian spirit with a saffron color. It contains a vanilla liqueur as well as an anise and herb spirit reminiscent of Italian Christmas cookies.

MurLarkey makes their orange whiskey with an infusion of orange zest and vanilla. The only thing this cocktail needs is more fresh squeezed orange juice and more fresh herbs (i.e. mint). This was a memorable innovation you can see below.
  • 1 1/2 oz. MurLarkey orange whiskey
  • 1 oz. Galliano
  • 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 7-10 mint leaves
  • mint sprig
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • orange slice
  • sparkling water
Add juice, mint leaves and sugar to a shaker and muddle to break up the mint. Add Galliano, orange whiskey and ice and shake. Double strain into a chilled Collins glass full of fresh ice. Put the orange slice in the glass and top it up with sparkling water. Stir gently and garnish with the mint sprig.

Quebec Cocktail (Revisited with Homemade Amer Picon)

I'm almost done with my cycle using Amer Picon I made with orange bitters, Combier and Rammozzotti. This drink is intended to bring together a very French ingredient (Amer Picon) and Canadian whiskey. This time I picked Crown Royal as a quintessentially Canadian whiskey.

The rest of the cocktail is very international with Italian dry vermouth and maraschino liqueur. It is still a big drink (in terms of proportions) and huge on flavor with several of the most heavily flavored spirits like Picon, Luxardo maraschino and this amazingly bitter Carpano dry vermouth. With all of that going on, the Canadian whiskey gets completely lost. It is as if the whiskey is a vehicle for combining all of the other bodacious spirits--which is exactly what Canadian whiskey does. Crown Royal is such a mild whiskey. Any time you see Canadian whiskey in a recipe, it is chosen because of its smoothness and mixability.
  • 3 oz. Canadian whisky (Crown Royal used)
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 oz. Amer Picon (DIY Amer Picon used)
  • 1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Monahan (Revisited with Homemade Amer PIcon)

Whoever this Monahan guy was, he had a brilliant idea for a bitter Manhattan made with Amer Picon. Though I've made this drink before with Picon Biere, I felt that it needed another try with the Amer Picon I made myself a few weeks ago. It is more bitter and stronger than the sweet-ish liqueur you add to a glass of beer.

Cocchi Dopo Teatro also keeps things bitter with its amaro sweet vermouth with big vanilla notes to offset the deep bitter herbal flavors. The recipe calls for either bourbon and rye, so I chose neither: MurLarkey Heritage is a whiskey made mostly of corn and finished in wine casks. It has a bittersweet note to match the other ingredients, and I was very pleased with the revisited drink all around.
  • 1 1/2 oz. bourbon or rye (MurLarkey Heritage old country whiskey used) 
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth (Cocchi Dopo Teatro used)
  • 1/2 oz. Amer Picon (DIY Amer Picon used)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.