Saturday, July 14, 2018

Maiden's Prayer

This is a tropical tasting gin cocktail that could easily be done with rum, and it probably has. I wanted to keep that sense of the exotic and use an unfamiliar gin flavor of Vitae Modern Gin as the base for my example. It takes you out of the mode of thinking that gin tastes like juniper  (though this one does) and gives you a lot of other fresh botanicals to consider while sipping. And Vitae is molasses based, just like their Orange Liqueur. This liqueur enhances the hearty orange flavor that is already present in the gin.
  • 2 oz. gin (Vitae Modern Gin used)
  • 1 oz. curacao (Vitae Orange Liqueur used)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Manhattan Cooler

What is it with New York drinks and dry red wine? This cocktail reminds me of the New York Sour without the blended whiskey. This, then, is a low ABV cocktail that makes a red wine more palatable for summer drinking. I can't figure out why the gold rum is called for in such a small quantity. I can see using fresh-pressed cane juice rums instead for their distinctive sugar flavor that would add richness to a dry red wine. The one I picked is the Breaux Vinyard cabernet franc.
  • 4 oz. dry red wine (cabernet franc used)
  • 2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. gold rum (Cruzan 151-proof used)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass (or in a chilled highball glass for simplicity's sake). Stir well (and strain into the highball glass if you opted for the mixing glass.) 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Velvet Hammer

I've made this drink before with vodka and dark creme de cacao. Everyone I made the Velvet Hammer for enjoyed it as a strong dessert drink, as the name suggests. Using MurLarkey cocoa whiskey changes it a little (add a tsp. of sugar syrup if you do this). The flavor of cocoa nib whiskey adds more traction that I liked. The drink is less velvety (which I take it to mean smooth and soft like a creamy dessert.) I think that cocoa whiskey works here for the whiskey drinkers who like to taste the spirit in the drink.
  • 3 oz. vodka (MurLarkey Divine Clarity used)
  • 1 oz. creme de cacao (MurLarkey cocoa whiskey and 1 tsp. sugar syrup used)
  • 1 oz. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Anna's Bannana

This is a very approachable tropical cocktail that tastes a lot like a frozen Banana Daiquiri. It is a simple blender smoothie with vodka as its power and lime juice and banana as its base. There's no artificial flavor used here, which is nice, and the drink is pretty tart. Honey adds richness, though and is another natural ingredient. No fake bananas!
  • 2 oz. vodka (MurLarkey Divine Clarity used)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 small banana slice
  • 1 tsp. honey or almond syrup
  • slice of lime
Add all ingredients except the lime slice in a blender with cracked ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled wine glass. Garnish with the lime slice.

Georgia Peach Fizz

Here comes another Fizz variation, this one is a mash up of a Brandy Fizz and a Georgia Peach. I used Bird Dog peach whiskey here instead of peach brandy, which is a fine substitution. Most peach brandy is flavored brandy, not a brandy made from peaches, so the flavor is mostly the same.

Strangely, and very fitting in a culinary sense, creme de bananes is also in the recipe. Which is fine. I love that banana can add richness without tasting like a different fruit. My change is to use MurLarkey banana whiskey--probably their most versatile flavored whiskey. The rest is typical Fizz ingredients, lemon, soda and sugar.
  • 2 oz. brandy (Christian Brothers VSOP used)
  • 1 oz. peach brandy (Bird Dog Peach Whiskey used)
  • 1 tbsp. creme de bananes (MurLarkey banana whiskey used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup
  • sparkling water
  • peach slice
Combine liquors, lemon juice and sugar syrup in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Top with sparkling water and stir gently. Garnish with the peach slice.  

Fuzzy Martini

Not a real Martini (with dry vermouth). Just sayin'! But that aside, this is a pretty good cocktail in much the same spirit of the Martini. The recipe calls for three kinds of flavored vodkas: vanilla, peach and coffee. I am not someone who keeps flavored vodkas around; I flavor them myself, which I did in the case of the vanilla vodka. I happened to have two whiskies that are flavored, however. This changed the character of the original 90's era cocktail to something a little more pioneer-style with young whiskey notes on top of rich vanilla vodka. This cocktail had all the hallmarks of a craft drink, not some fake Martini.
  • 3 oz. vanilla flavored vodka (homemade infusion used)
  • 1/2 oz. coffee flavored vodka (MurLarkey Coffee Whiskey used)
  • 1 tsp. peach schnapps (1/2 oz. Bird Dog Peach Whiskey used)
  • peach slice
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the peach slice.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Red Lion

I've been waiting to do this cocktail since making it's brother, the White Lion, a few years ago. It is really awesome and especially tasty when it's constituent parts are local and share the same base spirit.

O.K. It is really only possible to use Curacao and gin from the same distillery with the same base if you use Vitae Modern Gin and Vitae Orange liqueur. The effect, though was strong. The orange liqueur is twice as strong as most triple sec and contains almost no sugar. It is flavored with natural oranges, including Virginia's hearty orange--so it is bitter, not sweet. That's a positive change for this drink, which I imagine would be very sweet with a sweet triple sec or Curacao.
  • 2 oz. gin (Vitae modern gin used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. orange liqueur (Vitae orange liqueur used)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. grenadine 
 Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.