Saturday, February 28, 2015

Passion Cup

Ok. I got some passion fruit juice. Don't ask me how or where, it's a secret. That's how it feels when you are on the hunt for this rare juice. I'd love to be able to buy the fruit and juice it myself, but that's impossible at most stores.

Once you have the juice, the rest of this cocktail comes together pretty quickly. And it is really worth it. Even without the vodka, the flavors of the juices are amazingly tropical.
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. passion fruit juice
  • 1/2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. coconut milk
  • maraschino cherry
Combine all ingredients except cherry with cracked ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a white wine glass. Garnish with cherry.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Scorpion

The Scorpion is a great tiki drink that, like the Zombie, has the curse of making you numb faster than you can finish the drink. I'm having fun with my blender lately, and it is easy to double the recipe as needed when you use a blender. You can even make a big batch and serve it in a vase or punch bowl with straws for intimate tippling. Here's the recipe for one drink.
  • 2 oz. gold rum
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. orange juice
  • orange slice (wheel quarter pictured)
Combine all ingredients except orange with ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a sour glass garnished with orange slice.

Fog Cutter

The Fog Cutter is a Hemingway favorite I think. At least he is known for saying that rum itself is a great way to lift your spirits on a foggy day. This drink has plenty of rum.

  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 tsp sweet sherry (Cherry Heering pictured)
  • 1 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orgeat syrup
Combine all ingredients except sherry in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice.

Zombie

Zombies are a stroke of genius. It has something to do with all the different rum, which makes them strong, and all the strong flavors of Pernod, orgeat syrup and fruit juices. You can't beat the tropical flavor in a Zombie, and you almost can't identify what makes them so great. By the time you are finished, you can't complete a thought, too. So there is that. It's a good idea to limit people to one or two of these or else you'll have a zombie apocalypse on your hands.
  • 2 oz. dark rum 
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. 151-proof rum (The Knot 100 proof liqueur pictured)
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 1 tsp. Pernod
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. guava nectar (optional here)
  • 1 tbsp. orgeat syrup
  • 2 tbsp. grenadine
  • (Optional garnishes: mint sprig, pineapple spear, cherry, orange wheel, lime twist, etc.)
Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into chilled Collins glass or tiki mug.

Golden Gate


The Golden Gate is very Pacific coast with lots of citrus. It was almost too much and I recommend using 2 tsp. orgeat syrup to balance it out. The whole orange slice gives it that San Francisco bridge color.
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. white creme de cacao
  • 1 tsp. 151-proof rum
  • 1 tsp orgeat syrup (2 tsp. pictured)
  • orange slice
Combine all ingredients except orange slice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass and garnish with the orange slice.

Isle Of The Blessed Coconut

So I got my hands on some orgeat syrup and I will be using it to make tropical drinks and tikis. This one would be equally good served in a tiki mug.
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. cream of coconut (coconut water pictured)
  • 1 tsp. orgeat syrup
Combine all ingredients with cracked ice in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Diplomat

This was a great international cocktail that was light on alcohol, but had lots of flavor to keep you interested. It gets its red color from sweet vermouth, and that small amount of maraschino liqueur makes for a very pleasing cherry flavor.
  • 2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. maraschino liqueur
  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Lemon slice and cherry as garnish
Combine all ingredients except fruit in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry and lemon wheel. 

Grapevine

This is like one of those drinks that only parents of little kids can enjoy. It's not like you have a lot of liquor in the house, just that bottle of Gilby's gin someone left at the baby shower. Picture this: it's the late 70's  and you're a tired dad looking for a beer, except the fridge is empty. You go to make a cocktail with the old bottle of gin, but that's all you have. You look in the fridge and you don't even see orange juice. Then it hits you...grab a kid's juice box, and you're set.

It doesn't sound like an endorsement, but I say that if you have the stuff for this, you owe it to yourself to try it.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 2 oz. grape juice
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup
  • dash of grenadine
 Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass full of ice.

Sanctuary

There seems to be a monastic theme going on with these drinks. I'm not surprised given the use of French aperitifs. The recipe calls for Amer Picon, which is a bitter orange tasting wine. I had to make a little myself (not having the real thing won't matter for small quantities.) I started with soaking orange zest in pino grigio. Then I added triple sec and bitters to get the bitterness and alcohol content a little stronger. It sat for about a day before I used it. Here's what I did with it:
  •  2 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • 1 oz. Amer Picon (My home made recipe)
  • 1 oz. Cointreau (I used triple sec)
  • lemon peel
Combine all ingredients except lemon peel in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Nightmare Abbey Cocktail


The Abbey is such a light, winy and juicy drink with a little gin to give it heft. This is a darker twist on it that is rich and strong. As you can see it is made with Cheery Heering, and the color comes from Dubonnet.
  •  1 1/2 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. cherry brandy or Peter Heering
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry (optional).


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Royal Roost

I went all out with this one, a bourbon drinker's drink with lots of tropical flavors you wouldn't expect.
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • 1/4 tsp. white curacao (I used triple sec)
  • 1/4 tsp. Pernod
  • dash of Peychauds' bitters
  • lemon twist
  • pineapple spear
Combine all ingredients, except fruit, with cracked ice in a mixing glass. Stir and strain into chilled old fashioned glass over ice cubes. Garnish with fruit.

Appetizer

I am glad I tried this one. I am finding more and more ways to use Dubonnet Rouge that really highlights its flavor and mixability. I am really glad I went with a fresh squeezed orange for this one too, which keeps the color less opaque and the flavor more fresh, if not as consistent.

  • 2-3 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • juice of one orange
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Satan's Whiskers

I've been waiting for the right occasion or person to try this drink on. It sounds good in theory, and should be tasty for just about anybody who likes Sangria. It turns out to be a bit on the bitter side, which doesn't bother me, and I would only advocate for adding more Grand Marnier and juice.

  • 1 1/2 oz. sweet vermouthy
  • 1 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 3-4 oz. orange juice
  • several dashes of orange bitters.
  • orange wheel
  • lemon wheel
  • cherry
 Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a wine goblet. Garnish with orange, lemon and cherry.
  •  

Mary Garden Cocktail

So I am feeling a little under the weather, mostly better now, but you can see that my posting frequency has lagged. I decided to go for lower-alcohol content cocktails (up drinks) made with fortified wines like vermouth as the main ingredient. This was a good first drink, nice and dry and not unlike having a glass of wine.

  • 2 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Japanese Tea Garden

This is a new creation, and one I am pretty proud of. I was struggling to find a drink that would reflect Japanese tastes without using rum, but still within the means of my bar. I can't just get shochu at the corner, man. So I dabbled and came up with this monster, which is pretty pleasing. I like that I threw in a little Bushmills, because what is a Japanese drink without whiskey?
  • 1 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire East
  • 1 oz. Republic of Tea Ginger Peach Tea
  • 1/2 oz. Bushmills Irish Honey
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ginger liqueur (Domaine Canton)
  • 1 tsp. St. Germain
Shake all ingredients with ice in a shaker. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a pineapple spear.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bombay Cocktail

This was a rich and warming rocks drink not unlike a rocks Manhattan. I used the same ingredients as in the NY Bartenders' Guide, but modified the preparation.

  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. triple sec
  • dash of Pernod
Build this drink in a highball glass without ice by adding all ingredients except Pernod. Add large cubes or spheres of ice and stir gently to slowly cool liquor for 20 seconds making sure not to get the top layer of ice wet with liquor. Add dash of Pernod to the top layer of ice that has not been melted by the liquor. This adds a powerful aroma that stands apart from the flavor of the drink while you sip.

Rum Dubonnet

I'm finding that rum and Dubonnet Rouge go very well together. It is interesting that you can control the richness of the drink with the proportion of Dubonnet. This is a dry and tart cocktail, very different from the Bushranger.

  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1/2 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lemon twist optional.

Bushranger

A nice round cocktail with lots of Dubonnet Rouge warmth to balance the dryness of the rum. This makes you feel a bit like you're on a classy safari, dressed for the hunt.

  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 /12  oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • dash of Angostura bitters
  • lemon twist
Combine rum and Dubonnet in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add bitters and garnish with twist.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Barbed Wire

This was a flavorful drink that was way better than I expected. Anything with so much vodka comes across as kind of a Martini with a touch of flavoring. This was more than that, and you'll see why.

  • 3 oz. vodka
  • 1/4 tsp. Pernod
  • 1/4 tsp. Chambord
  • lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with lemon juice. Garnish with twist.

Blenheim

This is one of those masterpieces of aperitifs and liquors that really comes together well. I've been waiting for months to get all the right ingredients and it was really worth it. I did make a small modification because I don't have yellow Chartreuse, and the green can be overpowering. So I swapped out the amounts of Chartreuse and Lillet. You'll see what I did, it makes a softer drink that is easier to enjoy.
  •  2 oz. cognac
  • 1/2 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • 1/2  oz. (1 oz. modified) Lillet
  • 1 oz. Yellow Chartreuse (1/2 oz. Green Chartreuse modified)
Combine all ingredients with ice in a shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Between The Sheets

 

Not a bad drink, but a bit tart due to the half ounce of lemon. I recommend a half ounce of simple syrup to balance it. Once I did that, it was a nice, smooth cocktail.
  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 1 1/2 oz. light rum
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. white curacao
  • (1/2 oz. simple syrup or to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.