Sunday, December 9, 2018

Three Tea Whiskey Fix

It's not enough to call this drink a Sour. It breaks off of the Sour family early on and sits somewhere more tropical with tea syrup and MurLarkey Three Tea Whiskey. This is a bit of a preview of MurLarkey's newest product that I can tell will be a handy tool in the craft bartending scene in Virginia. Three Tea Whiskey is made from infusing their white whiskey with Darjeeling, English Breakfast, and Earl Grey teas. It has a strong, earthy, and in the case of Earl Gray, floral scent that adds so much to a drink.

I thought a simple drink would then be to sweeten a basic Sour or Fix with MurLarkey whiskies with a black tea and demerara sugar syrup. See how to make this on my Swedish Punsch recipe page. 
The rest of the recipe follows:
  • 1 1/2 oz. whiskey (MurLarkey Heritage used)
  • 1/2 oz. MurLarkey Three Tea Whiskey 
  • 1/2 oz. black tea and demerara sugar syrup 
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • orange and lemon twists and a maraschino cherry garnishes
Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with fruit peels and maraschino cherry.

Hot Swedish Punsch

This hot black tea cocktail is perfect for winter with its clove and cardamon spices and exotic rums. Swedish Punsch is a Scandanavian treat that was once available commercially worldwide, but now can only be found in its home country. The Hot Punsch is simply that, heating and serving the liquor hot. But if you have to make this drink from scratch as I did, there are a lot more steps to it than that. You'll need Batavia Arrack.

Batavia Arrack is one of the main ingredients in many punches of yesteryear. It is difficult to come by, but it is finding its way back to prominence with the cocktail and punch fad of late. Once you have it and some gold rum you can make the recipe that I posted a while back.

Now it is simply a matter of heating the entire punch and serving it in warm mugs with a lemon slice garnish. I did a nifty clove studded lemon slice that worked out nicely.

Coffee Eggnog

This is my final Eggnog post of the New York Bartender's Guide. It may be my final Eggnog post of the year. That has yet to be seen. As it stands I've done all of the other Eggnog drinks on the list, and I have to say that I think this is better than most, particularly the ones that use brandy, sherry, or cider. I guess I'm just partial to coffee. And there is something to that feeling that you are getting your coffee with your liquor in this holiday drink. That and the fact that this cocktail is blended for extra fluffiness, and you have your cold Coffee Eggnog Latte right here.

The original recipe calls for instant coffee. That seems a little basic nowadays, but I can see the logic. A coffee liqueur back in the 90s didn't have the real coffee taste of cold brew coffee. It would be mostly rum and sugar, so adding instant coffee would just accentuate the real coffee flavor. But you are blending this drink, so there's no harm in using a pinch of real coffee. Better still, substitute MurLarkey Coffee Whiskey for the coffee liqueur, and you will have an all-whiskey Eggnog that tastes more like real coffee. Nothing else needs to change in this recipe except that you can add more sugar syrup to taste.
  • 2 oz. blended whiskey (MurLarkey Heritage used)
  • 1 oz. coffee liqueur (MurLarkey Coffee Whiskey used)
  • 6 oz. milk
  • 1 oz. half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. sugar syurp
  • 1/2 tsp. instant coffee (or fine ground coffee as I did)
  • 1 egg
  • ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients except nutmeg in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Sprinkle nutmeg on top. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

DIY Aquavit/ Akvavit With MurLarkey Spirits

Aquavit or Akvavit is a Scandanavian spirit that's enjoyed during the winter holidays. It is easy to make, and inexpensive. All you need is vodka and a few herbs and spices.

The primary flavor in Aquavit is caraway seed, but cumin, coriander, fennel and dill are common ingredients. The best thing about making your own Aquavit is the fun of experimenting with your botanical blend and ageing times.

I usually use about three tablespoons of caraway, cumin, coriander and fennel in a bottle of vodka like Smirnoff 57, which is 100-proof and can really absorb flavors quickly. Store this in a sealed container in a cool dark place. I remove the solids after about two days to a week.

This is my third batch of Aquavit and I'm doing things differently. First I wanted to get away from an entirely neutral grain base. MurLarkey Divine Clarity vodka is pretty tasteless, but it is made from potato. I used two cups of this vodka. (Note: any clear distilled spirit can be used to make Aquavit as long as it is not already flavored.) Then I used a cup of MurLarkey Justice white whiskey. It has a grassy taste of a young whiskey that I think will compliment my botanicals.

Speaking of...in addition to the usual caraway, cumin, coriander and fennel, I added Icelandic birch leaves for dry earthiness and angelica seeds for floral spice. This should be an amazing batch this winter and I am excited to see how it turns out!

Bee's Kiss

If you're turned off by the sound of the sweetness or milkiness of this cocktail, don't be. It's quite harmless. The name Bee's Kiss is apt, because it is only a kiss of honey and cream that makes this drink work. A rum with a bit of character helps as well. That is why Vitae Platinum rum is used here. You get that soft sugar notes of molasses from Vitae that you won't find in heavily blended white rum.

I went for organic honey because you don't know what you're getting these days in the plastic bottles that look like bears. The rest is surprisingly easy.
  • 2 oz. light rum (Vitae platinum used)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Tom and Jerry

It's not the overtly violent kids cartoon of analogue television days. The Tom and Jerry is a hot Eggnog drink that dates back to the 1820s. The idea is intriguing. Eggnog is quintessentially Christmas, when it comes to drinking. But in the winter, at least in most places, a hot drink is desired. Tom and Jerry meets both needs.

The trick, which this recipe addresses, is making a hot milk/ egg cocktail without turning it into a hard boiled mess. Some of that involves separating the egg and heating the milk with sugar. I can't explain why beating a yolk separate from the white helps, but someone came up with it and who am I to second guess them. The drink came out pretty good, too.
  • 1.5 oz. light rum (Vitae platinum used)
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • hot milk
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 egg separated
  • grated nutmeg
Warm milk with sugar in a saucepan on low heat, stirring occasionally. Separate the egg yolk from the white and beat them. Pour brandy and rum into a warmed mug. Recombine eggs with the spirits and whisk. Pour in hot milk and sugar mixture and whisk. Top with grated nutmeg.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

White Lilly

This is a floral cocktail that is designed to be strong and herbal. The herbal notes are very subdued and are replaced by an extremely potent combination of liquors.

I took the White Lilly as another invitation to combine a number of Vitae Spirits, as I've done before. The recipe calls for gin, rum and triple sec, all of which Vitae makes at their distillery in Charlottesville, VA. The gin and orange liqueur are dry and use the Virginia hardy orange as one of the flavors. It is bitter and a little funky, a unique taste in the gin world. Their rum is rich for a white rum, with a little toasted or warmed sugar scent. Together these spirits and a dash of Pernod make an unusually deep drink that will take a moment to appreciate but about an hour to finish.
  • 2 oz. gin (Vitae modern gin used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. triple sec (Vitae orange liqueur used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. light rum (Vitae platinum rum used)
  • 1/4 tsp. Pernod 
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.