Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Star Cocktail

This must have been the "Star Cocktail" of some party. It was ridiculously good. This is pretty much an Apple Brandy Manhattan (a subset of Brandy Manhattan which I don't enjoy as much as the original.) I like how the vermouth brings out the apple flavors of the Apple Jack and makes you appreciate the spiciness of the herbs in the vermouth. Brandy cocktails usually have so few flavors other than silky smoothness that it is nice to have a mouthwattering fruity drink that tastes what you expect apple brandy to taste like.
  • 2 oz. apple brandy
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • dash bitters
  • lemon twist
Combine apple brandy and vermouth in a shaker with ice. Shake or stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add bitters and lemon twist.

Andalusia

This was a nice mellow cocktail to follow the Union League Club. More sherry than brandy means that it is full of soft grape flavors and less spice. Andalusia is the southern region of Spain where bull fights and medieval castles can be found--the very Spanish part of Spain.
  • 2 oz. dry sherry
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz. light rum
  • 1/4 tsp. bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake or stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Union League Club

With bitters on the orange peel and a gob of sweet ruby port, this drink had a lot of the flavors of a classic gin cocktail. I'm not sure why it is named Union League Club, though. It almost sounds like three synonyms for groups, like three ingredients, thrown together. And that was pretty much the idea behind the drink.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. ruby port
  • 3-5 dashes bitters
  • orange twist
Combine gin and port in a shaker with ice. Shake or stir and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Add twist and dashes of bitters.

Barrelhound Scotch and Soda

I can't believe that as long as I have been blogging, I never posted a Scotch and Soda. Often it is my go to drink when bar hopping because everyone can make it. The trick is to use an especially light flavored blend like Chivas. Barrelhound is a blend by Chivas Brothers that is very light, containing the most airy of Speyside scotches. It makes a great Scotch and Soda for your bar hopping excursions in D.C.
  • 2 oz. blended scotch (Barrelhound pictured)
  • club soda
  • lemon twist
Pour scotch over ice in a highball or Collins glass. Top with soda and stir gently. Garnish with twist.

Bryn Mawr Cocktail

Meghan took this picture on her newer Iphone. It demonstrates just how well her camera can focus on detail with the splashes of liquid on the glass. The drink itself is the original college cocktail of Bryn Mawr. It is bright pink and tastes a lot like the Normandy Cocktail, which is why I used another apricot garnish.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
Shake all ingredients on ice in a shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Normandy Cocktail

This was a good excuse to try a cocktail with a dried apricot garnish. It's not part of the recipe, but the flavors matched perfectly. A little sweet at times, the drink is named after the Calvados region near Normandy, France.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. Calvados (apple brandy)
  • 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Apricot garnish optional.

Newport Cooler

Meghan said, "This is a really good drink!" She said it twice, it was so good. If you're tired of the everyday gin and tonic, there's a lot more going on in the Newport Cooler.

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. brandy
  • 1/2 oz. peach schnaps 
  • 1/4 tsp. lime juice
  • ginger ale
 Pour all ingredients except ginger ale over ice into a chilled collins glass. Fill with ginger ale and stir. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Scotch Orange Fix

This was an unbeatable combination for a summer drink. Barrelhound scotch did its best not to overwhelm the citrus flavors of orange and lemon. The result was similar to a vodka or brandy sour, since it didn't quite taste like bourbon or whiskey. When you do notice the scotch, it is oak and vanilla, not even spice or heat of most whiskey--just smooth.
  • 2 oz. scotch
  • 1/4 oz. triple sec
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp fine ground sugar
  • orange twist
Combine all ingredients except twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass full of fresh ice. Garnish with orange twist.
Combine all 

Scotch Sour

Barrelhound makes an especially mellow sour that, when using fresh lemon juice, is a perfect summer drink. The unpeated Barrelhound scotch is nice and light, contributing oak and vanilla flavors and a little maltiness that is very understated. This lets the fresh juice do all the work. Here's how to make it:
  • 2 oz. scotch (Barrelhound pictured)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup or 1 tsp. fine ground sugar
  • Orange slice
Combine all ingredients except orange slice in a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a lowball or sour glass. Garnish with the orange slice.

Barton Special

 Sometimes a hard liquor drink on the rocks is just you need after a hard day. This one is very good quality, and one of its qualities is being less than the sum of its parts. Let me explain. There's apple jack, but there's also a good helping of gin and scotch. It should be a mouthful of flavors, but somehow it is mellow and subdued, and this works to its favor. Here's how to make it.
  • 2 oz. apple jack (Laird's pictured)
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. scotch (Barrelhound pictured)
  • lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled highball glass full of fresh ice. Garnish with the twist.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Jewel Cocktail

The name describes this drink well. It is clear and deep looking in the glass with lots of rich and complex flavors. It is almost too much when made with Bombay sapphire and might be improved if made with an aged gin to muddy the flavors a little more. Like the Bijou, the more pre-prohibition you can go with the gin, the better the flavor.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 1/2 oz. green Chartreuse
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • maraschino cherry
Combine all liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add cherry garnish.

Self-Starter



I chose this cocktail because it's combination of Pernod and Lillet blanc, which makes this very French. I recommend using less apricot brandy so that it doesn't cover the Pernod. Too much apricot makes the drink too sweet and a little insipid.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. Lillet blanc
  • 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1/4 tsp. Pernod
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Grand Apple

I made a few modifications to this cocktail that I think improved it. First, I couldn't understand why a drink with so many strong liquors would be served on ice when it would make sense to stir them and serve them up where you can smell the orange of the Grand Marnier. The other thing I did was try to make the apple in applejack more apparent. I stole this trick from Stanton & Greene in D.C.'s Capital Hill.

Cut an apple chip off an apple and put a dash of Pernod or absinthe on the cut side. This will float under your nose and give you a spicy scent with every sip.
  •  2 oz. Calvados or apple brandy
  • 1 oz. cognac
  • 1 oz. Grand Marnier
  • apple chip optional
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with apple chip float with a dash of Pernod or absinthe on top.

Chrysanthemum

This is a proprietary cocktail created by the author for Benedictine Whitbread Enterprises Inc. My Italian friend reminded me that chrysanthemums are associated with funerals and have a strong scent. This cocktail had an extremely floral scent due to the Absente that I used in place of Pernod.
  • 2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 1/2 oz. Benedictine
  • 1/4 tsp. Pernod
  • orange twist
Combine all ingredients except twist in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

Froupe

Here begins another sprint into the French liqueur zone. There were so many French cocktails that I wanted to make, I decided to do a short series. The Froupe is supposedly named after a Frenchman who liked his cognac this way. There's not much else known about him, except his name wasn't Froupe but something that probably rhymed with it.

I should say that I was listening to French cafe music and reading Balzac's Father Goriot and my cat is named after Victor Hugo.
  • 2 oz. cognac
  • 1 1/2 sweet vermouth
  • 1 tsp. Benedictine
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Americano

The Americano is a great poolside drink with plenty of bitter citrus flavor to keep you interested.
  • 1 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 1/2 oz. Campari
  • club soda
  • orange slice or lemon peel
Pour vermouth and Campari into a chilled highball glass with ice cubes. Fill with club soda and stir. Add fruit garnish.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A. J.

This applejack cocktail solves the problem of what to do with a giant grapefruit. It's also easy to make and surprisingly light tasting. It is from the Greyhound/ Salty Dog family, and I'm sure that a salty variant would do equally well.
  • 1 1/2 oz. applejack
  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice
Shake all ingredients with ice in a shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Apple Cart

A cute name for a cute drink. This was fresh tasting and nice on a summer day. It's also easy to make.
  • 1 oz. apple brandy
  • 3/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
Pour all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass. Stir well and pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass.

Angel Face

This drink took me a long time to acquire the ingredients, and I'm still not sure it was worth it. I bet a higher quality apricot brandy is the key. Otherwise, it started out as a classic tasting cocktail with gin and apple jack, but when it warmed up it became almost too syrupy.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1/2 oz. apple brandy
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Antibes


This cocktail is the result of having a lot of grapefruit juice I needed to use. Meghan wanted a sweet citrus drink, and this fit the bill.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 1/2 oz. Benedictine
  • 2 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • orange slice
Combine all ingredients except orange slice in a mixing glass with ice. Stir well and pour into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with orange slice.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Apple Swizzle

This is a swizzle, which is a really cool way to serve rum. The nice thing I've found is that apple jack makes for a great dark rum substitute. There is no garnish for this recipe, but I thought a granny smith apple would be perfect to compliment the sour flavors.
  • 2 oz. apple brandy
  • 1 1/2 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup
  • 2-3 dashes of bitters
Mix all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Stir well until very cold. Pour into a Collins glass full of fresh ice.

Apple Brandy Cooler


This is another fun drink to make with brandy and apple juice. It gets a lot of flavor from the apple juice and lime. A very refreshing cooler.
  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. dark rum
  • 4 oz. apple juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • slice of lime
Combine all ingredients except dark rum and lime slice with ice in a shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled Collins glass full of ice. Float dark rum on top and garnish with a lime slice.

Apple Blossom

This is the brandy version of the "Blossom" category of drinks. It's different because of the addition of apple juice, which makes this a richer, darker drink with tropical flavors. It isn't at all a fall drink, nor does it taste much like apples.
  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 1 1/2 oz. apple juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • lemon slice
Combine all ingredients except lemon slice in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Pour into an Old Fashioned glass and garnish with lemon slice.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Dog's Bollocks



The Dog's Bollocks is a proprietary drink of the new Barrelhound Scotch Whisky, a member of the Chivas Brothers and Pernod Ricard family. The drink itself is a wonderful combination of Galliano and whisky that is similar to the Wally Harbanger I tried earlier, even more similar since Barrelhound is an unpeated scotch with bourbon flavors. More about that to come... Here's how to make the drink.
  • 2 oz. Barrelhound scotch
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1/4 oz. Galliano
  • 2 dashes bitters
Muddle sugar, butters and Galliano in an Old Fashioned glass until the sugar dissolves. Add whisky and ice and stir.

Barrelhound is so new that it is only available in D.C. and Brooklyn, N.Y. It is a "new breed" of scotch, a "mutt" of Speyside flavors from the Chivas Brothers best barrels of malt and grain whiskys (including corn), but none of them are peated. The whiskys are married and aged in American white oak, which gives it soft vanilla notes like bourbon. Bourbon drinkers will really appreciate this scotch/ bourbon crossover and cocktail drinkers will find that its versatility means you can mix it into almost any drink. Think Old Fashioneds and Manhattans, but don't shy away from Rickeys, Swizzles and Tonics. Expect me to make a few more drinks using Barrelhound for future postings.



Brandied Apricot

I liked the Brandied Apricot better than the Lugger because of the fresh citrus and apricot flavors. It still had a bland flavor to it before it warmed up a little. At that point I contemplated adding a liqueur to sweeten it even more. I don't know what this says about me and my tastes right now, but a dash of The Knot did a lot to make the drink more interesting.
  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
 Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add a dash of bitters or sweet cordial (Rose's Lime, etc.) to taste, optional.

Lugger

The Lugger is a brandy cocktail with three different brandy flavors. Unfortunately, it is fairly bland when you use dry, pale brandies. The recipe calls for a large portion of plain brandy, and it is a stiff drink overall, which might provide the lug in Lugger. (Update 2017: a lugger is a small sailing ship with three or four masts flying a lugsail.) I recommend using more apricot brandy than this calls for (floating it chilled on top of the glass rather than shaking it in with the other brandies).
  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 1 1/2 oz. apple brandy or applejack
  • 1/2 tsp. apricot brandy
Combine brandy and apple brandy in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Float apricot brandy on top.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Negroni Night at Prequel


Cap off Negroni Week with a night of Negroni tasting. Prequel (918 F Street NW) is hosting a Negroni event benefiting Miriam's Kitchen. Try 20 Negronis from the creative bar teams of some of D.C.'s best restaurants.

The event will be $60 (including tax) and feature 20 Negronis and small food items. People can buy tickets for the event on Prequel's website: click here

Participating bars for the event:
  • Brick & Mortar 
  • Founding Farmers 
  • Farmers Fishers Bakers 
  • Provision No. 14 
  • The Gibson 
  • Dino's Grotto 
  • Chaplin's Restaurant 
  • Lincoln 
  • McClellan's retreat 
  • Graffiato 
  • Kapnos 
  • MXDC 
  • Roofers Union 
  • Jug & Table 
  • Jack Rose 
  • Copy Cat 
  • Brine Restaurant (VA) 
  • Lupo Verde 
  • Wit & Wisdom (Baltimore) 
  • Tico

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Kentucky Colonel

This was an exceptional bourbon and Benedictine drink that completely transformed the profile of the bourbon. Like William Faulkner's character Colonel Sartoris, I have a feeling that the gentlemanly air of the Benedictine was really a sartorial consideration, but not one without results. The flavor of this drink is nothing like the down-homey vanilla of a Manhattan and much more like a French cocktail with a little redneck mixed in. I'm finding that Benedictine mixes better with whiskey than Chartreuse will, and it is equally tasty, but different from Chartreuse, when mixed with gin.

  • 3 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. Benedictine
  • lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Twin Hills

 This is another whiskey sour drink similar to the Frisco Sour. I think it is called Twin Hills because it uses both lemon and lime juice and lemon and lime wheels for garnishes. But that could be complete conjecture. Anyway, Meghan loved it, which is a good endorsement for a sour drink.

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. Benedictine
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup
  • lemon and lime wheels
Combine all ingredients except fruit wheels in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over new ice in a highball glass. Garnish with lemon and lime wheels.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Naked And Famous

Naked and Famous is the last drink I'm doing for Negroni Week. A nice cocktail for a stormy day, and probably my favorite drink name of all time. You're not naked and alone, you're famous--but still naked. Aperol plays well with mezcal and tequila. I can see doing more drinks like this.

  • 3/4 oz. mezcal
  • 3/4 oz. Aperol
  • 3/4 lime juice
  • 3/4 yellow chartreuse
  • lime slice
Combine all ingredients except lime slice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime slice.

Adonis

This was a rich tasting cocktail that was light on alcohol but heavy on wine flavors. Do this for day drinking or after dinner.
  • 3 oz. sherry
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth (Amaro shown)
  • dash orange bitters
  • orange peel
Combine sherry and vermouth in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Aperol Negroni

I really like the flavor of Aperol in the summer. It has a rhubarb taste that is sweeter and lighter than Campari. It's also less alcoholic, and good for sipping on a hot day.
  • 1 oz. Aperol
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth (Lillet Blanc for a lighter color, Amaro for more bitterness)
  • 1 oz. gin
  • orange peel
Combine all ingredients except orange peel in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an old fashioned or highball glass. Garnish with an orange peel

Old Pal

I've two versions of this drink: the first uses the traditional Campari recipe, the other uses Aperol and an Amaro.

Original Old Pal
  • 1 oz. rye
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • orange peel
Combine all ingredients except orange peel in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Lighter Old Pal
  • 1 oz. rye
  • 1 oz. Aperol
  • 1 oz. Amaro
  • orange peel
Combine all ingredients except orange peel in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Boulivardier

This is the bourbon version of the Negroni. It's really pleasant, even on hot days. Definitely do this one if you have bourbon but no gin.
  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • orange peel
Combine all ingredients except orange peel with ice in a shaker. Shake and pour over fresh ice in an old fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Missouri Mule

This is a drink that tastes almost exactly like a Negroni but with no gin. It belongs to the Mule class of applejack drinks. It also has a lot of similarities to the Mississippi Punch. Glassware for the drink is debatable, even in the same recipe I found on my phone app.
  • 1/2 oz. bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. applejack
  • 1/4 oz. Campari
  • 1/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • orange peel
Shake all ingredients except orange peel. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over ice in an old fashioned glass.

Negroni

Today is the first day of Negroni Week, the first week of June! As such, I am submitting several Campari drinks that are based on the original Negroni. It's a bitter cocktail that has simple proportions and an easy to follow recipe.
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. Gin
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • orange peel.
Combine all ingredients in a shake with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice in an old fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange peel