Monday, April 16, 2018

Fancy Brandy

People ask me to make a cognac drink that really shows off the flavor of the brandy. This Fancy Brandy cocktail really does this. It's really similar to an Old Fashioned cocktail made with brandy.

I originally hoped to do this drink with a rich American brandy, but not finding one that is suitable when the desire struck me, I opted for cognac. I was glad that I did. This will be the perfect drink that fits that guest request for the cognac drink. The portion is small, so rather than use a cocktail glass, I like to serve it in a sour or cordial glass.
  • 2 oz. brandy (cognac please)
  • 1/2 tsp. Cointreau
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except lemon twist in a shaker with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (cordial glass pictured) and garnish with a lemon twist.


What a beautiful name for an amazing rum cocktail. Rum and tonic is not so bad an idea in itself, but all of these tropical additions really up the game of this rum and tonic drink. First, the recipe calls for gold rum--which is really more a description of a color of the rum more than anything to do with it's flavor. Cruzan rums only include the label stating "aged rum" no matter the color of the spirit. But just for fun I used Cruzan 151-proof and the silver rum to give this drink some richness and a real punch of alcohol.

There's also lime juice, maraschino liqueur and curacao in there to make things even more tropical. I used Q tonic for an especially rich and bitey rum cocktial.
  • 2 oz. gold rum (1 oz. Cruzan rum and 1 oz. Cruzan 151-proof rum)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 tsp. curacao
  • tonic 
  • lime slice
Combine all ingredients except for tonic and lime slice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Collins glass full of ice. Add tonic and stir. Garnish with lime slice. 

Count Stroganoff

I've made this drink before. It has that unmistakable taste of lemon juice sweetened by creme de cacao. But the last time the drink had more lemon juice and possibly a gin base. This cocktail makes a lot of sense, it tastes classic, if not a bit too sweet, but there's nothing unplesent here. And that I think is the point of Count Stroganoff, a classic Russian-themed cocktail named after the famous Russian historian, art collector and philanthropist (Sergei Gregoryevich--I think) and owner of the Stroganov palace.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. creme de cacao
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Shark Bite

More shark drinks with grenadine, this one is a delicious frozen dark rum cocktail. Dark rum tends to have a sweet taste, and this drink goes further with sweetness, adding a whole ounce of grenadine. This might not be necessary. The orange juice does a lot to spread the tartness out, but for a boat drink, the Shark Bite is very nice.
  • 2 oz. dark rum (Pusser's British Navy Rum used)
  • 3 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled wine glass. 

Caribbean Champagne

Caribbean Champagne is a rummy sparkling cocktail with banana notes. You can do it with creme de bananes and light rum, but that makes the drink cloudy with sugar and yellow dye. Cruzan banana rum is sweetened and flavored rum that doesn't have any artificial coloring. Skip using light rum and just use the banana rum instead for a clear sparkling wine cocktail with Caribbean appeal.
  • 1/2 tsp. light rum
  • 1/2 tsp. creme de banana (use a whole tsp. of Cruzan banana rum for simplicity and clarity.)
  • champagne or sparkling wine
  • banana slice
Add rum and banana liqueur in a chilled champagne flute. Top with champagne and garnish with a banana slice. 

Devil's Tail

This is a final Devil-themed cocktail, notably a blended drink in a champagne flute with a curious green twist of lime peel. It looks devilish, but I imagine the name comes from it being a rum drink and the old slander for the spirit--Demon Rum!

I like that this light fruity cocktail can still have a rich center with a tasty rum like Buzzard Point by District Distilling Co. This panela sugar rum has a natural and unrefined taste of the fresh pressed cane sugar that it is made from.
  • 2 oz. light rum (Buzzard Point used)
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 2 tsp. apricot brandy
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 2 tsp grenadine
  • lime twist
Combine liquid ingredients in a blender with cracked ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled champagne flute and garnish with a lime twist.

Purple Passion

I just wanted to begin with a rant against grape juice that is mostly apple juice. When the bottle says 100 percent juice, it doesn't mean grapes. That's why when you mix with it, the drink doesn't become purple like the juice.

This drink is quite nice, whatever the color. I'm sure it would be more purple if the juice was 100 percent grape juice, but I doubt it would be much different with four ounces of grapefruit juice in there as well.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 4 oz. grape juice
  • 4 oz. grapefruit juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled highball glass full of fresh ice.