Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Grand Autumn

So a visit with family in Columbus gave me the opportunity to work with some different liquors and make a new cocktail. This is a very refreshing drink that is made even better with Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale. It turned a Grand Autumn into a Merry Christmas!

2 oz. rye
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. St. Germain
Ginger ale

Combine all ingredients except ginger ale in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass full of ice. Top with ginger ale.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Shanghai Cocktail

The Shanghai Cocktail is an odd pairing of Pernod and dark rum. It doesn't sound like it would be a good idea, but, as I am finding out, absinthe can be the ingredient that sets a drink apart from its familiar cousins. It makes sense then that this is named after an Asian city and not some Pacific or Caribbean island. The French liquor influence is both bitter and distinctive.

  • 2 oz. dark rum
  • 1/2 oz. Pernod
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel is a French liqueur drink that really features the sweet orange flavor of Grand Marnier. It's pretty stiff as most classics are. Here's how to make it.
  • 1 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • dash of lemon juice
  • lemon peel
Combine all ingredients except lemon peel and juice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel over the glass and drop it into the drink.

Roy Howard

This was a nice, sweet, and mildly alcoholic cocktail. It looks attractive, too, owing to the dashes of grenadine. A good afternoon drink for any season.

  • 2-3 oz. Lillet blanc
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • several dashes of grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Linstead Cocktail

I am often surprised how well blended scotch can make amazing tropical flavors. I am also learning that while a lot of absinthe can overwhelm, a little serves like a bitters or perhaps even gives a tart crispness just like cherry liqueur. You could use it in a tiki in place of orgeat syrup and no one would be the wiser.

The Linstead Cocktail is a great anytime of the day drink with lots of fruit and frothiness, it feels really luxurious.

  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 1/4 tsp. Pernod
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. bar sugar
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Affinity

A very drinkable before-dinner cocktail. It seems primarily a vermouth drink with lots of wine flavor and a good scotch bite at the center. Here's what you need to make it.

  • 1 1/2 oz blended scotch
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Saratoga

It's a rich drink with sweet fruity flavors. I think I would be in favor of serving this in a highball glass rather than up. It has all the hallmarks of a tropical drink, albeit a rich one.

  • 3 oz. brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. Luxardo
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. pineapple juice
Combine all ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Sazerac

This is an oldie and a goodie. It's dark and bitterly spicy with complex flavors. It really serves you well to make it with flavorful rye that will balance the Pernod and bitters.
  • 3 oz. rye
  • 1/2 tsp. Pernod
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 1 tsp. water
  • lemon twist
Pour Pernod into an old fashioned glass and swirl it to coat the inside of the glass. Add sugar, water and bitters. Muddle until the sugar is dissolved. Add ice and rye to the glass and stir. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Tennessee Cocktail

There must be a lot of rye in Tennessee because there's a lot of rye in the Tennessee Cocktail. A spicy rye perfectly balances the Luxardo, which sweetens and changes the drink into a classic tasting drink.
  • 2 oz. rye
  • 1 oz. maraschino liqueur
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Cherry garnish optional.

Melon Cocktail

There's no melon in the drink and no melon liqueur, but there's no complaints about this bright and tart drink either.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. Luxardo
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • maraschino cherry and lemon wedge or twist
Combine all ingredients except fruit in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry and lemon.

Matinee

The Matinee is a bit rich for most gin drinkers. It is unusual (not in the classic cocktail sense, but in terms of up drinks today) in that it includes a full ounce of sweet vermouth. Not many cocktails use that much sweet vermouth anymore. Still, it is a slow sipping pleasure that tastes much like a whiskey drink and suitable for special occasions.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. green Chartreuse
  • 1/2 oz. orange juice
Combine all ingredients with cracked ice in a shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Pago Pago

A splendidly refreshing tiki drink, the Pago Pago is a pleasing combination of gold rum, juice and Chartreuse. There's just enough spice and sweetness to negate the need for sugar. Drinkers say that it has a hallmark dryness of classic tikis.

  • 3 oz. gold rum
  • 1 tsp. white creme de cacao
  • 1 tsp. green Chartreuse
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice in a tiki glass or highball.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Killdrummy

I've been working on a drink to appease my bourbon drinking friends who can't stand scotch. This might do the trick. It was less scotch and more a bouquet of flavor. Here's how it's done.

  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • several dashes of Pechaud's bitters
  • several dashes of absinthe
Build in an old fashioned glass full of ice. Garnish with an orange peel.

Blood, Sand and Smoke

Every once in a while, the right ingredients and conditions combine and you have an example of a stroke of genius. This is one. In an attempt to level-up a Blood And Sand, I hit upon a recipe that is unbeatable. You have to see this.

  • 1 oz. Lagavulin 16 single malt scotch
  • 1/2 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. Luxardo cherry liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
Shake all ingredients on ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lightly singed orange peel.

Scotch Holiday Sour

The holidays require something extra. A sour isn't enough without that extra additive. In this case it is Cherry Heering. Here's how to make this drink.

2 oz. scotch
1 oz. Cherry Heering
1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a sour glass rimmed with sugar. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Hoot Mon

"Hoot Mon" is a Scottish greeting. Kind of like "Hooot, mon. Seh grrrreet to see ye." This was a great drink, too. Like a Rob Roy but sweeter. Here's how to make it.

  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 1/2 oz. Lillet blanc
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
Combine all ingredients in a shaker full of ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cosmopolitan

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. cranberry juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

The trick to getting this drink right is in the balance of vodka and cranberry juice to lime and triple sec. If you change the proportions of lime juice, the triple sec must be altered in kind. The same is the case with the vodka and cranberry. Ideally, a cosmopolitan should be a fruity drink, not a vodka Martini with juice. It should be faintly pink with a lot of lime and orange flavors--more interesting than strong. For a guide to the appropriate color, see the nebula image on the opening scene of Cosmos.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Presto

Another cocktail with orange juice and French liquor. This one has an unappetizing color because of the sweet vermouth and juice. Orange juice is like a double-edged sword. It makes drinks taste great but it can wreak havoc with the color of the drink. I recommend using an orange liqueur like Cointreau and a little lemon juice in place of the orange juice to get beyond this problem. Here's the recipe:

  • 2 oz. brandy (Courvoisier V.S. pictured)
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. absinthe
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
Shake on ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (Cherry garnish optional)

This drink is delicious and evenly balanced between sweet and bitter. Very aromatic with just a touch of liquorish flavor from the absinthe, which comes across as maraschino in the orange juice. Just a rich and sweet cocktail that pleases the taste buds if it offends the eyes.  

Abbey

I really liked this cocktail as a tropical drink. It was light and refreshing and still had a strong kick to it. I could see making it as a tiki in a tall glass with ice. Bitters helped round out the flavor, too. I was afraid it would be too sweet, but it had a certain charm from the Lillet that made it very enjoyable and pretty to look at.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1 1/2oz. Lillet blanc
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 3-5 dashes of angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel and cherry.


International Cocktail

This was a rich, full-bodied cocktail that took me a long time to finish. I had to put it in the freezer to save for later. That may be because 2 ounces of cognac is a hefty pour or it might be because I don't like absinthe very much. Still, it seemed in perfect proportions (which is what the vodka is intended to preserve so as not to be overly flavorful like the Four Score) and it was mighty strong to boot.
  • 2 oz. brandy or cognac (Corvoissier V.S. pictured)
  • 1/2 oz. absinthe 
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec
  • 2 tsp. vodka
Combine all ingredients in a shaker full of ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Bijou

As promised, here is my own recipe for a Bijou. I have to say that I enjoyed the on-tap version I had at the Iron Gate restaurant better than this one, but that may be because I used green Chartreuse instead of yellow. You be the judge.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin (Old Tom or Plymouth recommended)
  • 1 oz. yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • dash of orange bitters
  • cherry or lemon peel garnish
Combine all ingredients except bitters and garnish in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add bitters and garnish.

Hoopla

  
A pleasant before dinner cocktail, the Hoopla is based on a few ingredients that are very complimentary in equal proportion. Check out what the Hoopla is all about with this recipe!  
  • 3/4 oz. cognac
  • 3/4 oz. Lillet blanc
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. triple sec
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lemon wheel garnish optional.