Tuesday, April 27, 2021

19th Century (Death & Co. Recipe)

 

Trying to encapsulate a century in a cocktail sounds like a difficult task, but not when you consider that France made the cocktail what it is today before the 20th century. As spirits moved from punches of port and rum to single servings of cognac and whiskey mixed with juices and liqueurs, the French contributed with aromatized wines and cremes. 

This recipe works with Byrrh, Dubonet Rouge. or Lillet Rouge--all are brilliant ruby wines bittered up with quinine and citrus. These wine spirits give drinks their tannin traction on the tongue where otherwise they would feel extremely silky (which isn't always a bad thing.) 

Creme de cacao is more of a sweetener, but it adds a candy chocolate depth that makes the overall experience less acidic and better rounded.

  • 1 1/2 oz. bourbon (Ancient Age used)
  • 3/4 oz. Lillet Rouge (or other French red aromitized wine) 
  • 3/4 oz. white creme de cacao
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Broken Oath (Death And Co. Recipe)

 

Death & Co. has many Martini and Old Fashioned variations among their recipes. This is one of their Manhattan variations with Mezcal--a perfectly suitable substitute for whiskey. In addition to the vermouth and main spirit, they added Galliano and rich sherry. This takes this drink in a cordial direction, and that is fitting because they serve it in a Nick& Nora glass. (I'm using a cordial glass because I don't have a Nick & Nora.) Chocolate and cinnamon from the Aztec bitter is a perfect finishing touch to this new classic showing off the spirits coming to us by way of Mexico and Spain.

  • 1 1/2 oz. mezcal (Del Maguey Vida used)
  • 3/4 oz. Lustau Amontillado sherry (Lustau East India Soleara used)
  • 3/4 oz. cocchi vermouth di Torino
  • 1/2 oz. Galliano
  • 2 dashes Aztec bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. 


Howlin' At The Moon (Death & Co. Recipe)

 

I was looking for a fun spring seasonal Old Fashioned that I had the ingredients for and it turns out I needed this. I was most intrigued that this cocktail is made with Bols Barrel-Aged Genever, which doesn't get a lot of attention in the cocktail world for its being very divergent from London dry gin. But that is all to Bols' advantage when making an Old Fashioned variation. 

I also happened to have cherry bark bitters since my early days of bartending. Making bark bitters is as easy as infusing bark in high-proof spirits. This little bottle of mine also includes blossoms and green tea and it is very bitter. There's also creme de cacao for some chocolate sweetness and the traditional orange twist. But the addition of the lemon twist in the mixing glass was new to me and gave the drink a refreshingly light nose. 

  • 1 lemon twist
  • 2 oz. Bols Barrel-Aged Genever
  • 2 tsp. white creme de cacao
  • 1/2 tsp. cane sugar syrup
  • 2 dashes cherry bark bitters
  • 1 orange twist garnish

Muddle lemon twist in a mixing glass before adding ice and the remaining ingredients. Stir and strain into an Old Fashioned glass with one large ice cube in it. Twist the orange zest over the glass and drop it in.

Tommy And The Ron-Dels (Death & Co. Recipe)

 

This is almost like having a Tiki redux cocktail in a handy Old Fashioned glass. It's got all the wild, exotic flavors of the Carbbean spirits mixed with the most herbaceous spirits of Europe. The Death & Co. recipe calls for Ron Del Barrilito Puerto Rican rum, which is where the name comes from. But it is also the base recipe for a Margarita by this bartender there named Tommy. 

Often enough, I find that I want to enjoy tequila and mezcal in ways that don't involve lime juice or take the form of a Margarita. This was different enough that I took it for what it was--something far richer than an ordinary Margarita.

  • 3/4 oz. reposado tequila
  • 1/4 oz. Del Maugey mezcal
  • 1 oz. Ron Del Barrilito 3-star rum (George Boman used)
  • 1/2 oz. Galliano
  • 1 dash absinthe (Ricard used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. agave nectar
  • 1 dash tiki bitters (Angostura used)
  • 1 lime wheel garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass over 1 large ice cube. Garnish with the lime wheel. 

Short Rib Death & Co. Recipe)

 

Just like the Caribbean Shrub in the following post, this cocktail is based on ingredients used in cooking food. The name Short Rib indicates that molasses and jalapenos used in a short rib recipe appear in in liquid form in this spicy tequila drink.

I didn't have or know how to make pomegranate molasses, but I have a bottle of blackstrap that really only gets used in tropical drinks. Knowing that pomegranate molasses is a much lighter and sweeter than blackstrap, which is really thick and salty, I thinned out my black strap. I used equal parts grenadine and blackstrap to approximate pomegranate molasses and I think it worked. 

The other homemade ingredients is jalapeno-infused blanco tequila. This worked almost too well with jalapenos left over from enchiladas. I infused the chopped peppers for four days, and the tequila was about as spicy as you can stand to drink by itself. (You never know how hot a chili is going to be until you try it, and even then your infusions can surprise you.) So it turned out that this was a very spicy, sweet and savory cocktail, just like short rib sauce.

  • 2 oz. jalapeno-infused blanco tequila
  • 3/4 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp. pomegranate molasses (mixture of equal parts grenadine and blackstrap molasses)
 Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe. 

Caribbean Shrub (Death & Co. Recipe)

I've drank shrub cocktails before. I rather like them. This is the first I've made from scratch. A shrub is a mixture of vinegar, fruit and sugar. Some barenders keep living shrubs in jars, feeding them with leftover wine. This shrub is a balsamic gastrique, which is more like a dark, tangy sauce drizzled on cooked meats or vegetables as an accent flavor. 

The reception of this cocktail was tremendous. Sweet cocktails need balance with acid, and this acid (the strawberry balsamic gastrique) had barrel aged balsamic vinegar and strawberries cooked into it. The chemical formula of vinegar is different from citric acid, your typical lemon juice acid, and we take notice with our senses. But the drink works. It transports you to a colonial time when shrubs were used to preserve fruits and add acid to cocktails that haven't been in fashion for 200 years.

To make the strawberry-balsamic gastrique combine 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 1/2 cups of water. Cook over low heat stirring constantly the sugar is dissolved. Add 2 cups of cut strawberries and simmer for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and raise heat to a boil while stiring contiuously. Lower the temperatore and allow to thicken for 30 minutes, still stirring. Allow to cool and strain through a cheesecloth. This gastrique will keep if refrigerated for up to three weeks.

For the Caribbean Shrub recipe:

  • 1 oz. Appleton Estate rum (George Bowman used)
  • 1 oz. Rhum Agricole blanc (Barbancourt 4-year-old used)
  • 3/4 oz. strawberry-balsamic gastrique
  • 3/4 oz. cane sugar syrup
  • 1/2 strawberry garnish

Shake all liquid ingredients with three ice cubes in a shaker to chill. Strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with the half strawberry.

 

Dangerous Liasons (Death & Company Recipe)

 

I just picked up a new bottle of MurLarkey Heritage whiskey from their distillery. I've really missed this craft whiskey on my bar. This batch seems to have been aged in barrels that previously held Cabernet or Merlot because it has a rich red color and the kind of tannin traction you'd expect from a full-bodied wine. I'm looking forward to their reading this post because they might let me know if I'm right about this. 

The only "dangerous" thing about this drink is that it puts a potent whiskey in sweet honey and tart citrus juices for a summery-tasting sour. It goes down all to easily. But I don't lament using my good whiskey--that "old country whiskey" comes through in the finish.

  • 1 1/2 oz. MurLarkey Heritage whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. Dolin blanc vermouth
  • 3/4 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. acacia honey syrup
  • 1 grapefruit crescent.

Shake all liquid ingredients with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with the grapefruit crescent.