Monday, July 6, 2020

Mexicano

This cocktail comes across as bright and tropical with spicy notes from Angostura bitters and sweetened by herbaceous kummel.

It's not the a common combination; and a drink with kummel is not the first thing that comes to mind with a name like Mexicano. Wouldn't tequila be more fitting? But that belies the dominance of rum throughout the Caribbean. That's where Blackbeard's Point rum comes in. It's made in Virginia, but like Blackbeard himself, it is at home along all of the Americas' coast of the Atlantic.

This Blue Sky Distillery product is a dry and balanced blend of rum that can easily accommodate flavors of fruity drinks as well as spicy or pickled drinks like rum Martinis. The Mexicano is a little bit of both with pickling herbs like caraway, fennel, and corriander of kummel (which is sweetened by honey) and the clove and allspice of aromatic bitters.
  • 2 oz. light rum (Blackbeard's Point used)
  • 1/2 oz. kummel (homemade used)
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • several dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Stonybrook

I really liked the intense orange and nutty flavors of this cocktail. Yes, there is orange in there, but it is not a citrus drink at all. Triple sec is flavored with orange zest, not juice, and egg white and creme de noyaux soften and sweeten the drink. What you get is a burst of liqueurs with a silky texture and a pretty pink color.

I doubled down on the orange zest by substituting MurLarkey's orange whiskey for plain blended whiskey. It really improves the cocktail. You have to try it to understand.
  • 1 1/2 oz. blended whiskey (MurLarkey orange whiskey used)
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec
  • 1/2 oz. creme de noyaux (Tempis Fugit used)
  • 1/2 egg white (Or one whole egg white for two)
  • lemon or orange twist or both
Combine all ingredients except for citrus zests in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain to remove ice. Return liquid to a shaker without ice and shake again to increase foam. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with lemon or orange twists. 

Park Lane

Every so often, a sloe gin cocktail really hits the spot. I recommend a hot day where a Manhattan served up doesn't sound appealing. That is because sloe gin has that berry flavor that I associate with Slushies. It bends the flavor of a whiskey drink to something snappy and sweet and somehow familiar.

You can use any whiskey to do the Park Lane, however I recommend using an understated whiskey. Your good scotch or bourbon is wasted here, while citrus flavors are complimentary. So Canadian or Irish whiskeys are best, but for a change, try a citrus flavored whiskey like MurLarkey's lemon whiskey. 
  • 1 1/2 oz. blended whiskey (MurLarkey lemon used)
  • 1/2 oz. sloe gin (Mr. Boston used)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar syrup or to taste
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Rattlesnake

There's no snakes in Ireland, so the legend of St. Patrick says. I also think it has something to do with Irish Whiskey. There are no Rattlesnakes because the people drank them all.

This specific recipe is a Rattlesnake #1 of maybe five very similar concoctions. Irish whiskey is an appropriate choice, since blended whiskey is needed to keep the flavors milder than the bite of rye or the vanilla of Bourbon. Rattlesnakes are very old American cocktails, way back in a time when almost all American whiskey was bootleg and rum and brandy were more commonly used for cocktails. Irish whiskey was available for those 18th century drinkers who knew about it, however, and it was well regarded by bartenders like Jerry Thomas.

The drinks is basically a traditional sour with egg white and flavored with anise spirit--an amazing combo if done in moderation. It is more relaxed, however, in its being served on the rocks instead of neat in a Sour glass.
  • 1 1/2 oz. blended whiskey (Proper Twelve Irish whiskey used)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup
  • 1/2 egg white (or one whole egg white for 2 drinks)
  • several dashes Pernod (Ricard used)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Puerto Plata

What a delicious cocktail! The Puerto Plata is a surprisingly refreshing, and an inspired recipe that takes you out of the norm of tropical drinks and transports your taste buds to the Puerto Rico's tourist district. The interplay of orgeat and banana is brilliant for a vodka drink. This iteration, however, does not feature fake flavors: only real stuff like Liber & Co. orgeat and MurLarkey banana whiskey will do.

And I'm pleased that this is one time where MurLarkey Banana whiskey can be used without modifying the recipe at all. Orgeat that is rich and nutty will sweeten the whiskey and give the banana flavor something to stick to. The vodka is there only to boost the alcohol without overwhelming with flavor.
  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka (Smirnoff #57 used)
  • 1/2 oz. banana liqueur (MurLarkey banana whiskey used)
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat (Liber & Co. used)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. 

Moonshine Margarita

It's not a stretch to use moonshine in place of tequila in a cocktail. Bootleg boys of Virginia have been doing it since they've been making their own spirits in makeshift stills in the Virginia highlands. Done right, a Margarita will not suffer for having no tequila. You might even like it better, depending on the quality of the tequila you usually enjoy.

I want to point out that Climax Moonshine is a great pot still spirit made with a medley of corn, barley, and sugar. It is easy to drink chilled, but it isn't neutral like Belle Isle's moonshine. It is a white whiskey, filtered no more than twice, with character--the pinnacle of Virginia's spirit.
  • 2 oz. white whiskey or moonshine (Climax used)
  • 3/4 oz. triple sec
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • kosher salt for rim
 Rim an Old Fashioned glass with salt by pouring the salt on a flat saucer and wetting the rim of the glass with lime juice. Dip the glass into the bed of salt. Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime slice.

Danish Manhattan

Okay! I get it. Peter Heering was a Danish liqueur producer (though now his cherry liqueur is made in Sweeden). So I understand the temptation to take a whiskey cocktail and name it a Manhattan even though there is no vermouth and no bitters. The concept is good, but it doesn't taste too much like a Manhattan after all is said and done.

Seagrams 7 Crown is so mellow and Cherry Herring is so sweet, I am unable to find that bite we usually associate with a Manhattan. In keeping with the cherry theme, there's a bit of kirsch here, which does provide a little alcoholic traction, that trenchant fruit brandy flavor that is usually associated with grapa. It's not a bad drink, but maybe a little bit unnecessary. And if I'm feeling that about the name, then maybe a new name is all the Danish Manhattan needs--and maybe some cherry bitters!
  • 1 1/2 oz. blended whiskey (Seagram's 7 Crown used)
  • 1/4 oz. kirschwasser (Kammer Kirsch used)
  • 1/4 oz. Cherry Heering
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.