Friday, September 22, 2017

Gin Swizzle

I love a good Swizzle on a hot day. The Gin version of this typically rum drink is no less refreshing. Note the napkin wrap designed for easy gripping when the glass is so cold that it frosts over. Note also the swizzle stick. This is yet another gin cocktail that is built in the glass and requires a lot of stirring, as any Swizzle should.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitter
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • sparkling water
Combine sugar and lime juice in the bottom of a chilled Collins glass and stir to combine. Add ice and gin and stir to melt ice. Add more ice as necessary to top off and also top with sparkling water. Serve with a swizzle stick.

Gin Sangaree

Sangaree is exactly what it sounds like (we know it by the Spanish pronounciation, Sangria.) A Gin Sangaree is strong, however, and a punch-like soda drink that doesn't back down, unlike wine Sangrias.

There is wine, however, in the tablespoon of porto spooned on top. You can see the porto passing around the ice cubes after it was added. This drink is slightly sweet and winey, but it is also pretty strong.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 tbsp. ruby port (Sandeman used)
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • sparkling water
Combine water and sugar at the bottom of a chilled highball or Collins glass and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add gin and ice and stir. Top with sparkling water and float ruby port on top. 

Gin Fix

As I've said before, a fix is what we have come to understand as a Sour--a lemon and sugar drink that should have egg white in it and served up. The Fix is served on the rocks. It's built in the glass and it should be in an Old Fashioned or rocks glass.

The NY Bartender's Guide recipe seems to have a misprint, showing a highball symbol for the recommended glassware. This won't work with a built in glass cocktail. The liquid will only go halfway up! I'll print the recipe below with the proper glassware.

Glendalough Wild Botanical gin is one of the new and excellent Celtic Gins to land in the U.S. and cause a stir. It is unbelievably fresh and is probably my favorite gin right now. Glendalough is a whiskey distillery, and I have to say that this is by far their best product, and one that will be well received in D.C. where gin is very in.
  • 3 oz. gin (Glendalough Wild Botanical gin used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. water
  • lemon slice
Combine sugar and water in an Old Fashioned or rocks glass and stir to partially dissolve the sugar. Add lemon juice, gin and ice and stir until chilled. Garnish with a lemon slice. 

Gin And It

The simple and cryptic name is perfect for a cocktail with only two ingredients, and one that is even more unusual in that it is not even chilled. While the idea of drinking a warm gin cocktail sounds pretty bad, a good gin will carry the day with a good sweet vermouth. Caorunn is a Scottish gin from the Balmenash distillery in the highlands. It contains a few Celtic botanicals in addition to traditional ones, including dandelion, bog myrtle, rowan berry, heather and coul blush apple.

The effect of the Gin and It is like having a red wine, where each of the flavors are more pronounced when they are not chilled. You really seem to be able to pick out floral notes in the gin or the bitterness in the sweet vermouth. Don't shy away from this drink if you have the good stuff.
  • 3 oz. gin (Caorunn used)
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth (Cocchi used)
Combine both ingredients in a mixing glass and stir. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.


This is the original snowball. It is strained into a cocktail glass, not served on crushed ice like the Roman Snowball. The Pernod does cloud up in a yellowish precipitation of herbs, so half-and-half is needed to keep this drink looking white.

I am enjoying the richness of Mt. Defiant absinthe superior when it comes to making the Snowball stronger and drier than it would be with Pernod. Do as you wish, but if you have a good absinthe, you should consider using it.
  • 2 oz. gin (Plymouth used)
  • 1 oz. Pernod (Mt. Defiance absinthe used)
  • 1/2 oz. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Beachcomber (Non-Alcoholic)

Like the Polynesian Sweet and Sour, the Beachcomber is a great tropical mocktail that really fools you into thinking that it is an alcoholic treat. That happens because  the lime tang is sweetened by raspberry syrup and thick guava nectar. The drink doesn't call for a garnish, but I had these plump strawberries on hand when I served these to two minors who visited the restaurant.
  • 2 oz. guava nectar
  • 1 oz. raspberry syrup
  • 2 oz. lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a chilled Collins glass.

Gin Cobbler

Cobblers are just a way to sweeten and showcase the flavor of a base spirit. You enjoy these with a little soda and sliced citrus to give the drink a whiff of juice. But it is really just spirits and soda. And even a dry gin like Broker's comes out tasting rich and rewarding in this very old recipe.
  • 2 oz. gin (Broker's used)
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup 
  • sparkling water
  • orange slice
Build cocktail in a highball glass with sugar syrup and gin. Fill with ice and stir. Top with sparkling water and garnish with the orange slice. 

Polynesian Sweet and Sour (Non-Alcoholic)

Not a bad tropical mocktail with plenty of tangy flavors. You'll feel like you got the Polynesian Sour, the light rum drink from which this virgin version originates. It is definitely sweet, though. Orange juice and guava nectar are all the sugar that this mocktail needs to balance the lemon juice.
  • 2 oz. guava nectar
  • 2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. orange juice
 Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Gin Buck

As all Buck drinks are ginger ale, lime juice, and the named spirit, the gin buck is simple and straightforward. But wait! This recipe calls for lemon juice. Why? It doesn't matter, really, but in keeping with the standards for Bucks, I opted for lime juice. And you can't see it, but there's a lime slice in there as well. Do as you wish, but I disagree with or consider the lemon juice as an error or misprint.
  • 1 oz. lemon juice (lime juice used)
  • 2 oz. gin
  • ginger ale (Q used)
Build drink in a Collins glass with lemon juice and gin. Fill with ice and top with ginger ale. Stir gently. 

Carrot Cocktail (Non-Alcoholic)

This non-alcoholic drink is for anyone who loves carrots so much that they want to drink them. I'm surprised by how much carrot flavor comes through when the only other ingredient is pineapple. Carrots win out and even are small enough to fit through a straw in this thick carrot smoothie.
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple juice
  • 2 small or one large carrots chopped
Combine all ingredients with cracked ice in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a chilled highball glass.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lawhill Cocktail

This is a very nice dry and herbal whiskey cocktail. I'm not sure that I'd have appreciated it as much years ago as I do now that I am drinking more Pernod and anise liqueurs. It is really well balanced, and I think that the recipe calling for blended whiskey is a good move. You don't want a whiskey with too much character to stand out in this drink. The real stars are the bitters, maraschino and Pernod in this cocktail, so Black Velvet Special Reserve was appropriately reserved as stated.
  • 2 oz. blended whiskey (Black Velvet Special Reserve used)
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 tsp. Pernod
  •  dash Angostura bitters
 Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Roman Snowball

The Snowball cocktail takes advantage of anise liqueurs' tendency to cloud up, and the Roman Snowball counts on sambuca's bright white color when it is diluted with water. It's a very pretty drink and super tasty if you like anise liqueur. Compared to absinthe, sambuca is pretty sweet, like a dessert liqueur.

The trick to getting the look right is to use crushed ice. Fill a champagne flute with crushed ice and use more crushed ice to shake the sambuca. Then strain it in. The five espresso beans are some kind of New York thing, and you are supposed to eat them after they soak in the sambuca a while, according to the New York Bartender's Guide.
  • 3 oz. sambuca
  • 5 espresso beans
Shake sambuca in a shaker full of crushed ice and strain into a champagne flute full of more crushed ice. Garnish with espresso beans. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Yellow Parrot

This enormous cocktail has a pretty name. And I can see the resemblance to a parrot's plumage. But that's where the similarities between bird and beverage end. This is one of those self-destructive cocktails designed to wipe you out with one drink. It is three drinks in one!

The recipe calls for Pernod, an absinthe substitute. You can just as easily do it with real absinthe like Mt. Defiance. The reason is that yellow Chartreuse is milder and sweeter with honey and herbal flavors. But the sugar in yellow Chartreuse settles the strength of the absinthe a little. With Pernod you may consider switching your Chartreuse to the green label because it is less sweet, but Pernod has sugar of its own.

Here's the recipe as written:
  • 2 oz. Pernod
  • 2 oz. Brandy (cognac please)
  • 2 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Coco Cola (Non-Alcoholic)

Turn your Coke into a tropical dessert drink with the Coco Cola. It's non-alcoholic and good any time of the day. It is on the sweet side, but fortunately the coconut milk balances out the lime and changes the texture of the cola a little.
  • 2 oz. coconut milk
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • cola
  • lime wedge
Combine coconut milk and lime juice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass full of ice. Top with cola and stir. Garnish with the lime wedge.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Brazilian Chocolate (Non-Alcoholic)

If you've ever wanted to try making hot chocolate at home, you know it isn't as simple as melting chocolate in a pan or the microwave and adding milk. This was tough, but worth the effort.

Brazilian hot chocolate involves coffee, rich dark chocolate and cinnamon. There's vanilla extract (or real vanilla bean if you like) in there as well, which makes this a spicy and tropical breakfast drink, or a drink for anytime, actually. But you have to get your stuff together to do this one.

Melting dark chocolate is a pain. Put it in the microwave or on direct heat and you get a hard, burning mess. The recipe calls for a double boiler, but I don't have one. Fortunately I have two sauce pans that stack tightly on top of each other. Boiling several cups of water in the pan beneath gave the right indirect heat to melt the chocolate.

Taza chocolate is a rich stone-ground chocolate with grainy cocoa nibs. It actually melts well but gives a thick texture to the hot chocolate drink.

The recipe is for four servings, which is good. If you go through this much trouble, you should have something to show for it.
  • 1 oz. unsweetened dark chocolate (Taza used)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • dash salt
  • 8 oz. boiling water
  • 8 oz. hot half-and-half
  • 12 oz. hot coffee
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Heat water in the bottom of a double boiler on medium high heat. Add chocolate, sugar and salt to the top sauce pan of the double boiler and melt it. Pour heated water on the chocolate and stir to dissolve it. Add coffee, and half and half and continue to stir while heating on the burner. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon and transfer to coffee mugs to serve. 

Glad Eyes

This is a great Pernod cocktail, and not too tarnished by its use of peppermint schnapps. I was concerned, and rightly, that Pernod would be too sweet to blend with schnapps. It wouldn't even be drinkable. I had the idea to use Mt. Defiant absinthe, which is real absinthe, as the base and use the schnapps to sweeten the bitter licorice of real absinthe.

The effect was awesome. The peppermint schnapps did add sweetness and a minty finish but the flavor remained strong and bracingly alcoholic. The shaking aerated the absinthe and made it turn white and spaced the flavor out so that it became a cool absinthe liqueur similar in flavor and thickness to Pernod. Do it this way if you do it at all.
  • 2 oz. Pernod (Mt. Defiance absinthe superior used)
  • 1 oz. peppermint schnapps
 Combine both in ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Apple Frazzle (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a pretty sweet apple mocktail that finds balance with lemon juice. You hardly notice the lemon, though. It's a bit like an apple soda when you get down to it. For mocktail newbies, this one is easy to make with readily available ingredients. You can even order it at most bars.
  • 4 oz. apple juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • sparkling water
Combine all ingredients except sparkling water in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a Collins glass. Top with sparkling water. 

Gin Rickey

The Rickey is a D.C. classic. The Gin Rickey is a little more prevalent as more people are likely to associate gin and lime juice than bourbon and lime juice. Both are good and low sugar drinks that purportedly cool you down on hot days.
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • sparkling water
Combine gin and lime juice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir.

Cranberry Cream Cocktail (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a creamy and juicy cocktail that is satisfying and low sugar and fat. Its darn good too. Cranberry is a bit of an afterthought, used for color, when lime juice and apple juice take over the palate. But there's great lacy foam from coconut cream that shines through as you drink down the slush.

Coconut cream is easy to make if you add equal parts coconut milk and simple syrup to a blender and blend on high speed. I add a dash of almond extract to increase the nuttiness.
  • 2 1/2 oz. cranberry juice
  • 2 oz. apple juice
  • 1/2 oz. coconut cream (homemade used)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 2 dashes grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until slushy and pour into a wine goblet.

Morning Cocktail

This is one of many Corpse Reviver cocktails that use brandy and sharp flavors to shock a hangover out of your system. As far and I can tell, it would work if you can stomach such a rich cocktail. I recommend using cognac for more smoothness. Orange bitters, maraschino liqueur and Pernod spice things up quite a bit. I love the complexity of this cocktail that is as good in the morning as before or after dinner.
  • 2 oz. brandy (D'usse cognac used)
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 tsp. curacao
  • 1 tsp. maraschino liqueur
  • 1 tsp. Pernod
  • 3-5 dashes orange bitters (Hella used)
  • maraschino cherry
Combine all ingredients except maraschino cherry in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry. 

Bite of the Apple (Non-Alcoholic)

It's apple season and a cinnamon and apple slush seems very appropriate to the cooler weather. It's the mocktail version of the Big Apple. The "Bite" is non-alcoholic and comes from orgeat, which makes this drink pretty tropical tasting. Apple sauce and juice, though seem like familiar flavors for fall.
  • 5 oz. apple juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat
  • 1 tbsp. apple sauce
  • ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients except cinnamon in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled pilsner glass. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. 

Gin Daisy

The Daisy is a sweet grenadine and lemon fizz drink. The booze you use is up to you, so it is named after the choice of liqueur. Everyone loves a Daisy, it's stronger than it looks with 3 ounces of hard liquor. The gin version is more approachable than other ones.
  • 3 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. grenadine
  • 1 tsp. sugar syurp
  • sparkling water
  • orange slice
Combine gin, lemon juice and syrups in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Collins glass. Top with sparkling water and stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

Coconut Cooler (Non-Alcoholic)

This mocktail is pretty exotic! Put equal parts lime juice in coconut milk and shake to chill. The coconut milk foams up beautifully. There's little sugar in it so it is a lot like a lime soda with milkiness.
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 2 oz. coconut milk
  • sparkling water
  • mint sprig
Combine lime juice and coconut milk in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir. Garnish with mint sprig. 

Kiss Me Quick

What a nice Parisian cafe-style cocktail with lots of fizz and anise cordial flavor! This would be a green cocktail except for the Angostura bitters that turn it orange. It is flavorful, sweet and fizzy. A good drink for the afternoon before moving to stronger stuff.
  • 2 oz. Pernod
  • 1/2 tsp. curacao
  • 3-5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • sparkling water
Combine all ingredients except sparkling water in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir gently. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Prince Of Wales

I was afraid I wouldn't be able to enjoy this cocktail until I had the trifecta of brandy, Madeira and champagne. But I had them all at once in this drink at work last night. Madeira is a fortified wine (sherry) made on the Portugese island of Madeira, It is strong and nutty with a dry wine flavor. It loves being mixed with brandy (cognac please) and champagne, as it is in Prince of Wales.

The primary flavor of this cocktail is orange, however, due to the presence of an orange slice garnish and curacao. The effect is a fizzy sangria that sneaks up on you with round oakiness from cognac and Madeira.
  • 1 oz. brandy (cognac)
  • 1 oz. Madeira
  • 1/2 oz. white curacao
  • 3-5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • champagne or sparkling wine
  • orange slice
Combine all ingredients except champagne and orange slice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled wine glass. Top with champagne and garnish with the orange slice.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Champagne Cup

This is an easy champagne drink to make if you have cognac and curacao around. It is light and refined, like a cafe cocktail enjoyed in Paris. I kept thinking about the drinks you find in Paris along the Champ Élysées now. You'll find fortified wine or champagne with mint and fruit in them. This is light drinking, Paris style.
  • 1/2 oz. cognac (Remy Martin 1738 cognac used)
  • 1/2 oz. dry curacao
  • orange slice
  • mint sprig 
  • champagne
 Build drink in a wine glass with cognac and curacao and a single ice cube. Stir until the cube dissolves. Top with champagne and garnish with the orange slice and mint sprig.

Champagne Cooler

D'USSÉ Cognac and triple sec are the main ingredients of this champagne cocktail. It is boozy and decadent to say the least. I found that the proportions of hard liquor were such that they needed to be chilled. Don't follow the NY Bartender's Guide on this or you will have a warm drink. Shake the spirits and strain into the wine glass. Top with champagne and work really hard to get that mint leaf to stay upright with no ice in the glass.
  • 1 1/2 oz. cognac (D'Ussé VSOP used)
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • champagne or sparkling wine (Gruet used)
  • mint leaf
Shake cognac and triple sec on ice to chill. Strain into a wine glass. Top with cold champagne and garnish with a mint leaf.

King's Peg

Champagne and cognac are perfect together, both being made with French grapes. The King's Peg is supposed to knock you over quickly with that combo of bubbles and brandy.
  • 1 1/2 oz. Cognac (Dusse used)
  • Champagne (Gruet used)
Build drink in a champagne flute with cognac and top with champagne. 

American Rose

Nothing says American like brandy and peaches. American brandy, that is. And Gruet is an American sparkling wine inspired by French champagne, so it is perfect for the fizz in this cocktial.

America is of course the inventor of the cocktail, and combining French liqueurs and wines into strong spirits like brandy. The trick with this drink is to peel your peach half and dice it before muddling it in the shaker. A wide straw helps to suck up the pulp.
  • 1 1/2  oz. brandy
  • 1 tsp. grenadine 
  • 1/2 fresh peach peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 tsp. Pernod
  • Champagne or sparkling wine (Gruet used)
  • peach wedge
Combine all ingredients except peach wedge and champagne in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a wine glass and top with champagne. Garnish with the peach wedge. 

Colony Club / Deep Sea

This is a double post for two very similar cocktails. The Colony Club is a very classic and stiff tasting cocktail with the anise flavor of Pernod coming through the gin and orange bitters. There's not much to it.

The Deep Sea is a wetter cocktail with a whole ounce of dry vermouth. The Pernod and bitters are not as noticeable while vermouth is prominent.

Colony Club
  • 2 oz. dry gin
  • 1 tsp. Pernod
  • 3-5 dashes orange bitters
Deep Sea
  • 2 oz. dry gin
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. Pernod
  • 3-5 dashes orange bitters

 Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cafe de Paris

This is a very Parisian-like cocktail and it gives off an air of cafe drinking on Montmartre. Egg white and a touch of cream make it a high-caloric cocktail with the feel of a thick absinthe drink. You should do this in a fancy crystal glass to accentuate the absinthe cafe appeal.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 tsp. Pernod
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (crystal goblet recommended.)

Apricot Shake (Non-Alcoholic)

This was one of the most complicated non-alcoholic drinks I've made, and I'm not sure it was worth all the effort. I can see a slushy shop with lots of syrups and juices on hand blending this up as part of their menu of frozen drinks. I just can't see someone, even me, doing this at home.

That is because I couldn't find apricot nectar, so I had to use apricot jelly and cook it into a syrup. I also made cherry syrup by cooking down cherries in tart cherry juice. All of this was fun and experimental, but a lot of work for a drink that pretty much tasted like pineapple and lime juice.
  • 3 oz. apricot nectar
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. cherry syrup
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Daniel's Cocktail (Non-Alcoholic)

Whoever Daniel is, he doesn't drink much. This is a very basic mocktail, one I've done before in a Collins glass on ice. The cool thing about this drink is that it looks like a Cosmo or some other pink New York cocktail. That's why I'm guessing that this Daniel is a New Yorker, a rare one who doesn't drink. At least, not all the time.
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. grenadine
Shake all ingredients on ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 


The cocktail is very pale because Pernod releases its flavors into the dissolved water from the ice through precipitation. The green liquid becomes a cloudy yellow. The name Blanche is intended to indicate this.

Overall this is a simple and very herbal cocktail. I like it because a hefty dose of triple sec gives the sharp anise flavor of Pernod a soft orange flavor. Please use a good triple sec like Cointreau or Luxardo for this.
  • 1 oz. Pernod
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz. white curacao
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  

Hair Raiser Cocktail

Look at that gorgeous hair on the can of Slow & Low.

The Hair Raiser is a tart vodka cocktail that is only sweetened by Rock And Rye. This is a little bit too bad, because Rock and Rye has a great flavor that is largely covered up by the tart lemon juice. The result is a puckeringly sour Lemon Drop that has some flavor of rock candy, rye and a dash of orange zest.

Slow & Low rock and rye is flavored with citrus zest. It is a good cocktail in itself. I think the point of this cocktail is that you can sort of call it a whiskey cocktail, and it is so sour your hair might stand up.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz. rock and rye
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Rock And Rye Cooler

So Rock and Rye is a cocktail itself. It comes bottled, but it would be easy to make at home. It is basically rock candy sugar and rye.

This Slow & Low Rock and Rye is all over the Virginia liquor store counters lately. It comes in these 100 ml. cans that make for a quick drink when you pop the top. You're good for about two drinks with a single can.

So the cooler is really potent because it is basically a Vodka Collins that uses Rock and Rye as the sweetener. It's good, if a little bland. But it does its job as advertised. If you use 100 proof vodka and 86 proof Rock and Rye, like I did, there's no need for a second drink.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz. rock and rye
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • bitter lemon soda
  • lime slice
 Combine vodka, rock and rye and juice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with soda and garnish with the lime slice. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Depth Charge

The Depth Charge is intended to flavor your beer in some unnatural way. Europeans are very adept at this, choosing a flavored schnapps to give an uninteresting beer more flavor and alcohol. It's almost unnecessary in this age of craft brewing. Not to mention that flavored schnapps get a bad reputation.

I can see taking a PBR and adding peach schnapps, but I don't want to drink that. And in an earlier entry I used Kolsch and Absolut Ruby Red vodka to make a beer cocktail. But grapefruit vodka goes great in an IPA. Deschutes has an incredible hoppy IPA with more bitterness than citrus flavors. Throw in ruby red vodka and you have a cool beer drink.
  • 1 bottle of beer 
  • 2 oz. schnapps of your choice 
Add both ingredients to a frosted mug.

Apricot Sparkler (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a pleasant mocktail that reminds me of an Apricot Brandy Fizz or something like that. Very light and refreshing. Getting the apricot nectar can be a challenge, so buy fresh apricots, remove the pits, and cook them down in water until they are soft enough to mash. Then strain to remove the pulp and add sugar. Return to heat and reduce.  (I don't really follow a recipe with these drinks, I just go by texture that I am looking for. But as a rule, I use nearly equal parts fruit and water. The sugar is really a matter of taste.)
  • 2 oz. apricot nectar
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • sparkling water
  • lemon peel
Pour apricot nectar and lemon juice in a Collins glass full of ice. Top with sparkling water and stir. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Beer Buster

I can't believe I've never done this one before. It seems so simple: and it is. Just a double shot of 100-proof vodka in beer and Tabasco sauce. Not to be taken lightly, though; this drink will knock you over with potency and spice. It's best to enjoy it with a heaping portion of enchiladas or some filling Tex-Mex food that pairs well with the chili sauce. You'll notice the alcoholic wallop sneaking up on you about halfway through the mug of beer.
  • 1 bottle of cold beer
  • 2 oz. frozen vodka (stored in the freezer)
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
 Add vodka and beer to a chilled beer mug and dash Tabasco sauce to taste. 

Sparkling Peach Melba (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a top-notch mocktail! It calls for pureed raspberries with the seeds strained out. But if you have a shaker with a built-in strainer, just add fresh raspberries to the shaker with, of course, peach nectar, and shake pretty hard to break up the berries. Strain through fine mesh, and you should have a nice pink raspberry and peach juice blend. Pour it directly into the glass over ice.
  • 4 oz. peach nectar
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • sparkling water
Shake raspberries and peach nectar in a shaker with ice. Double strain into a Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with soda and stir. Recommended garnish: one peach slice. 

Shandy Gaff

If a Shandy is lemonade and beer, then the Shandy Gaff is also a near-beer cocktail that uses ginger ale. A good spicy ginger ale like Q is a good idea for this one. You don't want to water down flavor when weakening your beer, which is what this drink is intended to do.

What you get is a nice foamy ginger ale with some alcoholic content. I recommend using a dark lager like a dunkel or Negro Modelo because the roasted malt sweetness goes well with spicy ginger.
  • ginger ale
  • beer
Pour equal parts ginger ale and beer into a pint glass at the same time.

Knicks Victory Cooler (Non-Alcoholic)

Don't know the story behind this mocktail, but it obviously has something to do with a certain New York team. It is a non-alcoholic version of a Bronx Cheer that uses apricot brandy. Apricot nectar is the substitute and the raspberry soda and raspberries are par for the course.
  • 2 oz. apricot nectar
  • Raspberry soda
  • orange peel 
  • fresh raspberries
Pour apricot nectar in a chilled Collins glass filled with ice. Top with raspberry soda and stir. Garnish with orange twist and raspberries. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Ginger Beer

I'm glad I trusted my instincts with the selection of Negro Modelo for the dark beer needed for the Ginger Beer. This beer cocktail is really delicious, but you don't want to use a stout like Guiness or a porter. It's not really a dessert drink.

Rather, it is a way to make a beer taste like ginger beer and give it a strong ginger brandy kick. It's actually amazing!

Negro Modelo is a dry and slightly malty dark beer. Other dunkels will work. I suspect that a dark beer is called for so you don't see the brandy in the drink causing discoloration.

You can use Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, which is brandy based, for the ginger brandy. But it is pretty easy to make the ginger brandy yourself with fresh ginger. I used D'Usse cognac and several slices of fresh ginger in an infusion that rested for about two days. It was brilliantly spicy and silky at the same time. I really recommend doing this over buying a bottle of such a specific spirit.
  • 2 oz. ginger brandy
  • dark beer
Fill a beer mug 3/4 full with dark beer and drop the ginger brandy in the mug. 

Pink Creole

This was a difficult drink to pull off and photograph. That is because it is a lime drink with cream and no egg white. Put these two ingredients together and you get a curdled mess. Get around this problem by shaking the other ingredients first and then adding and shaking the cream.

I also had to make the rum soaked cherries. Something about Creole drinks suggests tricky cherries. I just soaked farmer's market red cherries in light rum and used the rum from the infusion to make the drink.
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • 1 tsp. half-and-half
  • black cherry soaked in rum
Combine rum, lime juice and grenadine in a shaker with ice. Shake to chill and add half-and-half. Shake again to combine and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry. (Note: for an especially cherry flavored drink, use the rum the cherries are soaked in.)

Honey Bee

This is the rum answer to the Bee's Knees. Do it the same way as the more popular gin cocktail, with honey syrup, so that the honey dissolves when you shake it. Use equal parts hot water and honey to make this syrup and use a little more of it than the recipe calls for because its diluted. This drink is tart and sweet and very rewarding.
  • 2 oz. light rum 
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. honey (1 oz. honey syrup)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Corn And Oil (Smuggler's Cove Recipe)

Corn And Oil is a recipe from Martin Cate's book on Smuggler's Cove rum drinks. According to Kate this is a traditional Barbados recipe and must be done with Barbados blended and aged rum. There's not much else to it: John D. Taylor falernum and Angostura bitters. The trick is to make a swizzle in an Old Fashioned glass. This must be done with lots of crushed ice to get that frosted glass you can see in the photo above. See the recipe below.
  • 2 oz. blended and aged Barbados rum
  • 1/2 oz. falernum (homemade falernum used)
  • 2-4 dashes Angostura bitters
Build drink in a double Old Fashioned glass and pack to the top with crushed ice. Stir until frost forms on the outside of the glass.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

London Cocktail

Broker's gin is a quintessential London dry gin. It is strong, dry and spicy, and it sports a bowler cap. The London cocktail tries to capitalize on zippy flavors of a spicy dry gin and a dry maraschino liqueur and orange bitters to be especially stiff tasting.

Keep calm and carry on.
  • 3 oz. London dry gin (Broker's used)
  • 1/2 tsp. maraschino liqueur
  • 5 dashes orange bitters (Hella used)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except twist in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.