Thursday, November 16, 2017

Poker Cocktail

If you make this drink for yourself, you're in good hands, like this high strait. Rum Martinis are not unusual, but they often rely on very dry white rums and dry vermouth. This one gives you more wiggle room.

I used a mix of white rums that I like to give the drink more flavor. Bacardi is the dry one, but Buzzard Point from District Distilling Co. gave the drink a funky sugar flavor that was very interesting. Do this when you want to sip something with taste.
  • 3 oz. light rum (Bacardi and Buzzard Point used)
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Exit 13-E (Non-Alcoholic)

A little research shows that just about every major U.S. highway has an Exit 13-E. The most notable might be New York's I-95 exit, for some reason. Everything is more important if it is in New York, if you haven't noticed. A little more research reveals that loganberry juice is almost never used in cocktails, this being the one exception! How rare that it is a mocktail as well.

So loganberries are a wild breed that is crossed between blackberries and raspberries. They are much more like blackberries in taste, but they have a red color. Good luck finding them, they aren't really harvested like other berries of this kind. So I had to get creative.

I juiced a pint of blackberries and added a previously-made blackberry syrup. This used all the juice from the blackberries just to make this one drink (something like $5 dollars worth of berries). I used the juice with no added sugar, which was a great move. Had this deep black color, but when mixed with pineapple juice it got this luster that I could barely capture with my camera. It was really beautiful and drinking it was the experience of drinking a quart of blackberries.
  • 4 oz. loganberry juice (blackberry and raspberry juice substituted)
  • 4 pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
Combine all juices in a Collins glass full of ice and stir. 

Commodore Cocktail

This navy bourbon drink ranks highly among classic drinks. There's something magical that happens when you mix a lot of creme de cacao with lemon juice. It becomes a flavor that is almost unidentifiable but it really comes down to being sugary chocolate lemon--so like a sweet chocolate sour. This is so yummy that is shows up in gin and vodka examples as well, but the bourbon variation is the richest of all with vanilla. One sip and you'll see how instantly addictive this combo is. Fall in line and obey the chain of command.
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 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. 

Red Apple Dawn (Non-Alcoholic)

I love how apple cider just makes things taste like a fall treat--even if there's no alcohol. That funky natural taste of pressed apples just suggests spirits in the making. This mocktail comes across like an applejack drink or rye cocktail with grapefruit juice. They are out there...but the fresh juicy flavor of this mocktail makes it hard not to chug, which will impress your unknowing friends who will think you are a lush.
  • 2 oz. apple juice (fresh cider used)
  • 2 oz. grapefruit juice 
  • 3-5 dashes grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Jack-In-The-Box

This is another old-world cocktail with a Laird's product. Applejack is fortified cider that is "jacked" or proofed-up by freezing and removing the water from the alcoholic cider. It is commonly known (at least a long time ago) as cider whiskey, but it isn't exactly a whiskey because whiskey cannot contain juice like applejack does.

Applejack is often misused, as this recipe illustrates. It's not the best idea to over-juice an already juicy spirit. Far better to let the natural flavor of the spirit come out, or else, you could do this with any grain spirit like vodka with the exact result--which is what I suspect the recipe intends for applejack. It doesn't respect the spirit. It is too acidic. Sugar improves the recipe, but not by much.
  • 2 oz. applejack
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 3-5 dashes grenadine 
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Marconi Wireless

Apple brandy is such a cold weather spirit. Laird's is especially rich at 7 and a half years old. Sweet vermouth and Hella orange bitters with their holiday spices really make this cocktail perfect for the winter months.

The cocktail is classic turn-of-the-century, as the name suggests. It's refers to the wireless radio telegraph invented by Guglielmo Marconi which later led to the invention of radio-wave communication that benefited military and aviation in the early 20th century. So all of this is to say, you'll feel very 19th century while drinking a Marconi Wireless. 
  • 3 oz. apple brandy (Laird's used)
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 3-5 dashes orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Mulled Cider Warmer (Non-Alcoholic)

Hot mulled cider is so rewarding in the fall that it almost doesn't matter if there's alcohol in it at all. I mean, you really enjoy it for the seasonal apple flavor, the spices and the warmth. Of course if you were to throw a shot of whiskey in this, it wouldn't detract from the experience. But for me, it was a great sober Sunday afternoon drink fit for a chilly November.

This recipe makes for six servings, but can be adjusted accordingly.
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1 oz. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 5 cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp. orange peels
  • 6 cinnamon stick
Combine all ingredients except cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and stir over high heat until the honey dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or longer (covered). Pour into warmed coffee mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks. 

Huntress Cocktail

This is the creamy female version of the Hunter's Cocktail with rye and cherry brandy. Bourbon gives this cocktail a vanilla-forward flavor with cream and cherry from the Heering as sort of a flourish. Another flourish--that dash of Cointreau that keeps even this heavy dessert drink tasting nice and bright.
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. cherry liqueur (Heering used)
  • 1 oz. half-and-half
  • dash Cointreau
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Blueberry Shake (Non-Alcoholic)

Sometimes I wonder why the New York Bartender's Guide of the 90's would have such a drink. At times it seems revolutionary in terms of cuisine back then. It also seems unlikely that a bar would have fresh blueberries because it was the 90s.

This is a great non-alcoholic drink to make at home with breakfast. Super healthy and filling, it's the kind of thing you might want to boost your workout. So again, I'm wondering why it ended up in a bartender's guide.
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup milk
Combine all ingredients in a blender with cracked ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cherry Raspberry Shake (Non-Alcoholic)

Try this frozen mocktail that tastes like a berry smoothie. Cherry cider or tart cherry juice is perfect for mixing, and blending sorbet adds a sugary smoothness to a blended cocktail. You'll notice I upgraded my straw selection to include wide-mouthed straws that work better with frozen drinks. Those skinny ones couldn't cut it.
  • 4 oz. unsweetened cherry cider
  • 4 oz. raspberry sorbet
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients with ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. 

Union Jack

The Union Jack is the colloquial word for the British flag. Only a British gin will do for this cocktail! This drink has all the lines of a classic gin cocktail in English style. These usually use a berry or liqueur sweetener, twists, or juices. This one happens to make use of sloe gin, a very English ingredient that lends its bold red color.
  • 2 oz. gin (Tanqueray used)
  • 1 oz. sloe gin
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Ideal Cocktail

There's something to be said about the pursuit of the ideal cocktail. This may well be it--a drink with very classic lines and plenty of taste to recommend it. I like that it doesn't shy away from taking a Martini and adding that ever-so-important ingredient, maraschino liqueur. The flavor trends toward fruity and sweet, but gin keeps things spicy.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. maraschino liqueur (Luxardo used)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • maraschino cherry
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.



Cherry Cherry (Non-Alcoholic)

Unsweetened cherry cider is the trick to the Cherry Cherry, a very tart treat of a mocktail that looks like some kind of Sea Breeze. It's tasty! And this virgin drink may be one of the best recipes I've made involving unsweetened cherry juice.
  • 4 oz. unsweetened cherry cider
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • sparkling water
  • lemon slice
Pour cherry cider, and lime juice in an Old Fashioned glass full of ice and stir. Top with sparkling water and garnish with the lemon slice. 

Pineapple Cooler

This is a very exotic tasting drink that is somehow familiar and re-assuring after so many strong tasting tropical drinks I usually make. Viognier is a semi-sweet white wine with a lot of character that won't be hidden in a cocktail. That is why it makes for an ideal spirit for this low-alcohol cocktail you can enjoy any time of the day.

  • 3 oz. white wine (Gayda viognier used)
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • sparkling water
  • lemon twist
Combine wine, pineapple juice, lemon juice and sugar in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Top with sparkling water and garnish with the lemon twist.

Mango Delight (Non-Alcoholic)

It's unusual to have a mango around just to make a smoothie with--and a non-alcoholic one at that. But I made an exception for this drink. And I was really pleased how nice it was, even with no added sugar or coloring. This is basically a slushie made with lime juice, mango and strawberries. All-natural goodness that's perfect for a high-vitamin snack.
  • 1/4 cup chopped mango
  • 3 fresh strawberries
  • 1 oz. lime juice 
  • lime slice and strawberries
Combine mango, three strawberries and lime juice in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled wine glass. Garnish with lime slice and strawberries. 

American Flyer

American Flyer is a champagne cocktail with one of the New World's favorite spirits--rum! In fact, this is pretty much a champagne version of a Daiquiri, an excellent drink in itself. I'm especially fond of how light and citrus-bright the flavor is with a bruit sparkling wine or champagne.
  • 1 1/2 oz. light rum
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar syrup
  • champagne or sparkling wine
Combine all ingredients except bubbles in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine or champagne. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Parisian

This drink could be all kinds of bad if you use poor quality ingredients. But that option is becoming less likely as bars up their selections of gin, vermouth and liqueurs. G.E. Massenez creme de cassis is the real deal. French cremes, while sweet, are leaps and bounds better than the junk peddled in the U.S.

Dolin dry vermouth is also an amazing dry vermouth (some of the best that France has to offer.) In fact, the French are so known for their production of dry vermouth that old recipes specifically called for French vermouth when they wanted to indicate dry vermouth.

When mixed with Hendrick's gin, you have a top shelf cocktail that will win over the staunchest Martini drinkers. And it is this kind of quality that exemplifies a cocktail bearing the name Parisian, with two French spirits boosting a quality gin.
  • 2 oz. gin (Hendrick's used)
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin) used. 
  • 1/2 oz. creme de cassis (G. E. Massenez used)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Park Avenue

This is a typical New York cocktail that doesn't mention Manhattan in its name. It turns out that this is one of two of NY drinks use pineapple juice. I'm thinking of the Harlem Cocktail, for instance. Pineapple juice adds foam to what would be a wet Martini. It's not all that original of a drink, but it was probably invented a long time ago when pineapple juice would have seemed exotic. And the cocktail has a certain appeal, very drinkable compared to a wet Martini.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Faux Kir / Faux Kir Royale (Non-Alcoholic)

This mocktail can be done in two ways: the Faux Kir with grape juice and raspberry syrup, and the Faux Kir Royale with sparkling cider and raspberry syrup. Both are good if you make your own raspberry syrup from fresh raspberries cooked in water and sugar and mashed. You get this brilliant color and the taste of real raspberries on top of whatever juice you pick.
  • 1 1/2 oz. raspberry syrup
  •  sparkling cider (Faux Kir Royale or white grape juice (Faux Kir)
  • lemon twist
Pour syrup into a chilled wine glass. Add a half glass of juice of choice and stir gently. Twist lemon peel over the glass and drop it in. 

Friar Tuck

This drink is an obvious nod to the Robin Hood tales' drunken friar. It's even more obvious with its use of Frangelico, the monk-shaped bottle with the rope belt like a Franciscian friar would wear.

Then all semblance of a monkish cocktail vanish when crushed ice, grenadine and citrus turn this cocktail into a sort of nutty tasting tiki. And it's a good one to know. How many Frangelico cocktails are out there that are not creamy dessert drinks? Almost none.
  • 2 oz. Frangelico
  • 2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  •  orange slice
Combine all liquid ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass, garnish with orange slice. 

Applejack Collins

At some point, most of the popular cocktails have been tried with Applejack as an experiment. This is one that goes over very well. Applejack is less like a brandy and more similar to whiskey, and it has a neat herbal scent not unlike gin.

More strange discrepancies with this recipe: no Collins should be a blender drink, so I'm amending the recipe to a shaken cocktail as it should be. You'll see the original directions below, however.

Do this if you have applejack and the mood arises for a Collins in the fall.
  • 2 oz. applejack (Laird's used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 3-5 dashes orange bitters
  • sparkling water
  • lemon slice
Combine all ingredients except sparkling water and lemon slice in a shaker (blender?) with ice. Shake (blend until smooth?) and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Top with sparkling water and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Little Prince (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a nice mocktail--similar to an Apricot Daisy--if you can find apricot nectar. I couldn't so I got apricot preserves and warmed it in a sauce pan with equal parts water, then strained out the solids. This worked like a charm. There was strong apricot flavor, a lemon zip, and that fun fall cider sparkle on the tongue.

The look of the drink is great, too. Definitely do this one this fall.

One note, there was a huge error in the directions for this drink (first to place all ingredients in a mixing glass and second to shake all ingredients on ice.) It made no sense at all. Below you'll find how the recipe should read.
  • 2 oz. sparkling cider
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. apricot nectar
  • lemon twist
Shake lemon juice and apricot nectar in a shaker with ice and pour into an Old Fashioned glass. Top with sparkling cider and stir gently. Garnish with the lemon twist. 

Pink Lady

This drink should be pink and fluffy with egg white foam, but I used a homemade grenadine with less die. This is probably a good thing, but it made the photo wash out unappetizingly.

I like Vitae rum-based gin for its wetness in dessert drinks. This one is already pretty sweet and I feared that too much cream and juice will water it down. Vitae is 45% alcohol, so no danger of that.

There's a lot that can go wrong with this drink and I took special pains to prevent the tsp. of half-and-half from curdling into a ball in the middle of the shaker. If you are at all worried about this happening with your good gin, omit the cream altogether.

But the cream makes egg white bubbles firmer when mixed with lemon juice. So I see where this is going. Just shake all ingredients first, strain out the liquid into another shaker and add the cream. Shake again to create foam, then pour.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. half-and-half
  • egg white
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice (or follow above paragraph on how to prevent curdling). Shake and strain (and follow above paragraph on using a second shake for the cream) into a chilled cocktail glass.

Baby Bellini (Non-Alcoholic)

The idea is simple, yet a tad more complicated than a virgin Mimosa. Bellinis usually use peach liqueur in champagne. The mocktail Bellini is sparkling cider, lemon juice and peach nectar. It's actually pretty awesome! Martinelli's cider is quite nice on its own and this mocktail has all the look and feel of the classic brunch cocktail.

Use chilled juices or shake them beforehand for the best results.
  • 2 oz. peach nectar
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • sparkling cider
 Pour juices in a chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling cider and stir gently.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Pall Mall

This drink is strangely named after the old cigarette brand with the same name. It is a Martini variation that ups the herbal flavors of gin and vermouth with orange bitters and mint liquor. The recipe calls for white creme de menthe, but I can only find peppermint schnapps, a fair substitute when it is used in so little proportion. A good creme de menthe is wonderful in large amounts, and peppermint schnapps tends to taste too much like candy cane.

Green Hat gin is a local prohibition style gin in D.C. It is a good ingredient for a cocktail that has that wet, funky, prohibition style flavor.
  • 2 oz. gin (Green Hat used)
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 tsp. creme de menthe (peppermint schnapps used)
  • dash orange bitters
 Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Spencer Cocktail

This is a great combination of flavors, both in theory and in fact. It is pretty much a Martini variation with juice and bitters and bright fruit flavors. Apricot brandy gives it that air of mystery and old-world charm. A good fall and winter variation for you Martini drinkers.
  • 2 oz. Gin (Glendalough used)
  • 1 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. orange juice
  • dash angostura bitters
  • maraschino cherry
  • orange twist
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist and cherry.

Tempter Cocktail

Satan is known as the "Great Tempter," and this cocktail, a nearly black looking cocktail made with port and apricot brandy, looks like something you'd see Satan drinking. It's not a stretch to equate this drink with the Devil. Ruby port appears in many of the "Devil family" of drinks because it adds a bloody appearance to the cocktail. This one is by far the most sumptuous, very sweet and strong.
  • 1 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
  • 2 oz. ruby port
 Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Blue Angel

This is a dessert drink that uses cream, blue curacao, and vanilla liqueur with brandy to give a blue-white glow to a cocktail. There's a few problems with it though. First, there's not enough blue curacao to make all that cream look blue. (It really is blue-ish, even if the photo doesn't show it.)

The other problem with the color is that there's a lot of brown liquor in there, which turns the drink a little green-ish. Finally, lemon juice curdles cream. It's a nice touch, but this cocktail would be better made if it was sweetened with coconut cream instead to prevent separation. This drink is pretty bad--just sayin'.
  • 1 oz. brandy (Remy Martin VSOP used)
  • 1/2 oz. blue curacao
  • 1/2 oz. vanilla liqueur (Tuaca used)
  • 1/2 oz. half-and-half
  • dash lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Thanksgiving Cocktial

This is the only classic cocktail that bears the name of America's most signature holiday. Thanksgiving requires a good dose of something that tastes old-fashioned--and not like the whiskey cocktail. I mean apricot brandy, that sweet and old-world tasting cordial that rounds out the gin in the Thanksgiving cocktail.

Unfortunately, there's not enough sweetness to balance the lemon juice, which I felt could have been omitted altogether. Something about the tartness of lemon seems unnecessary in a cocktail that I would have enjoyed more if it was richer. Maybe a lemon peel not the juice could accomplish that.
  • 2 oz. gin (Caorunn used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • maraschino cherry
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry. 

Tango Cocktail

I chose Vitae modern gin for the Tango cocktail because it is a rum-based gin with 17 botanicals, and an understated juniper flavor. This is a pretty soft tasting gin with a thick mouthfeel that reminds me of an aged or malted barley gin, but Vitae is a rum!

This cocktail too was a wet Martini with lots of vermouth and a sizeable smack of Cointreau to make it citrus-forward.
  • 2 oz. gin (Vitae modern gin used)
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec (Cointreau used)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Frostbite

Lunazul tequila is a smoky one-hundred percent blue agave tequila that's very reasonably priced. Find it here in this dessert drink that looks like a blue ice sickle. There's a lot of cream in here, so it comes across strange and orange tasting with a whiff of smoke, not "blue" tasting at all, whatever that is.

My take away from this recipe is that it is a dated dessert drink much like the Golden Cadillac with Galliano. The idea is that the drink is creamy and boozy and has a distinctive color. That's all folks.
  • 2 oz. tequila (Lunazul used)
  • 1/2 oz. creme de cacao
  • 1 oz. blue curacao
  • 2 oz. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled sour glass or champagne flute.   

Grand Passion

This drink gets a unanimous applause for being an excellently balanced cocktail. It's post-tiki in the sense that it has a lot of the passion fruit and citrus flavors but uses gin and is served up. I made this passion fruit syrup myself by cooking down passion fruit nectar, but you can buy a Monin syrup, which works just as well.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • orange peel
Combine all ingredients except orange peel in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Margie's Mimosa (Non-Alcoholic)

It doesn't get any more "basic brunch cocktail" than a Mimosa. And this mocktail Mimosa is just as easy and as good to make, provided you have non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice. The difference is obviously that the sugar in the juice is very much intact and so this sparkling mocktail comes across very sweet when compared to an actual Mimosa.

Whoever this Margie was, she didn't mind sweetness, but was more concerned about her sobriety. We all should be when at brunch, though.
  • sparkling grape juice
  • orange juice
Fill half a chilled champagne flute with orange juice and fill to the rim with sparkling grape juice. Stir gently.

Day Dream (Non-Alcoholic)

This simple spiced mocktail is an imitation of the Mister Pip's St. Thomas Special, that tiki boat drink that really comes across with its exotic spice. The spice and passion fruit remain, but the drink has no rum. So really, it's not even a bad idea to try even if you are a drinker and a lover of tiki-style cocktails.
  • 1 1/2 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 3 oz. orange juice
  • freshly grated nutmeg
Pour passion fruit syrup in a chilled Collins glass and add ice. Fill with orange juice, stir, and sprinkle nutmeg on top

Depth Bomb

This sounds like one of those beer cocktails that you drop a shot into. It's not. It's actually way better than that. Think a whole bunch of brandy that's flavored and sweetened. And you sip it on the rocks while it gets diluted to the point that the richness abates enough to really enjoy it.

So I think that the depth in Depth Bomb refers to this drinks flavor and alcoholic potency as you try to take on this much brandy in one cocktail.
  • 2 oz. brandy (Cognac please!)
  • 1 oz. apple brandy (Laird's Old Apple Brandy used)
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass full of fresh ice. 

November Cider (Non-Alcoholic)

The November Cider is a mocktail that comes pretty close to many of the punches involving black tea and cider. It's not a bad idea to put these flavors together, but I noticed a big flaw in the recipe. Too much lemon juice does not do cider any favors. If you make this, sweeten it with a black tea syrup, or some kind of spiced syrup. It is not enough to just assume orange juice can cover for all that tartness.

Even once you do that, you have a very tropical punch drink on your hands and not one that lends itself to fall sipping in November.
  • 3 oz. apple cider
  • 3 oz. orange juice
  • 3 oz. cold black tea
  • 1 1/2 oz. lemon juice (Use less or add sugar syrup)
  • lemon slice
 Combine all ingredients in a Collins glass full of ice and stir. Garnish with the lemon slice.

Calm Voyage

This may well be a tropical drink. At least I think that is the way this cocktail is leaning. Passion fruit syrup and light rum seem to suggest a cruise cocktail. The thing I couldn't figure out is the Strega. Then I made the drink with the egg white for creaminess and the Strega adding yellow hues, and I tasted it. Very tropical, with Strega adding just that hint of mint and spice that one often associates with trips to the islands. Much better than the Golden Frog, the other blended Strega cocktail, this one is a must do if you have a bottle of this stuff.
  • 1 1/2 oz. light rum
  • 1/2 oz. Strega
  • 1 tbsp. passion fruit syrup
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled champagne glass. 

Golden Frog

I love the combination of Galliano and Strega. Both are Italian herb liqueurs. Strega is very minty and citrus forward, while Galliano tastes like vanilla and anise and so much more. They are strong, rich, and very golden.

So I was looking forward to enjoying this cocktail very dry with vodka. Instead, the recipe calls for blending with ice. So it is a slushy drink that uses the liqueurs to add the fruity essences. And it's not bad for all that. For one thing, it tames the really potent flavors and alcohols of the two liqueurs. So it may just be appealing to ordinary drinkers, and not those accustomed to Italian liqueurs.

The name? Well it certainly is a golden drink, but I think the addition of Strega--or the witch, in Italian--is an indication of the thinking of this cocktail. It's a bumpy, slushy golden thing like some kind of witchy magic.
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. Galliano
  • 1 oz. Strega
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients with ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Blue Moon

It may not be germane to use blue curacao, but you have to admit that the Blue Moon is a beautiful drink when put next to a bottle of Bluecoat gin. This dry gin has the right character to hang with the bittersweet liqueur known for its color but not a quality flavor. It enhances the overall cocktail, though and feels pretty elegant.
  • 2 oz. gin (Bluecoat used)
  • 1 oz. blue curacao
  • lemon twist
Combine gin and blue curacao in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon over the drink and drop it in. 

Gin Sidecar

This is the gin version of the brandy drink that's all the rage right now. And it is being served up, as it should be. The Gin Sidecar is more relaxed, shaken but served on the rocks. A good gin and triple sec will really improve your experience with this cocktail since there's no added sugar. Triplum or Cointreau will keep things strong on alcohol and preserve a fresh citrus flavor that the drink should properly give off all around.
  • 2 oz. gin 
  • 1 oz. triple sec (Triplum used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an Old Fashioned glass full of fresh ice. 

Golden Dawn

This is another juicy gateway gin cocktail that's sweet and pretty tropical tasting. You really notice the apricot liqueur (brandy in this case) and the grenadine that is used to give the drink this rosy color.

There's so much juice in this drink that it it's only half as strong per ounce as a Martini, which is why beginning drinkers will gravitate to it. That doesn't mean that if you drink the whole thing you won't get as tipsy, though. A sweet drink will affect you as much as a dry one, if not worse for all that sugar.
  • 2 oz. gin 
  • 1 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • dash grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Gilroy

Other than being a small town in California, I'm not sure if there is any significance to this cocktail's name. It must then belong to some now unknown bartender or some drinker with this unique gin preference.

Thankfully, this gin cocktail is pretty interesting with a fun interplay of flavors. A powerful blast of Angostura bitters is offset with sweet cherry brandy. Now quality spirits like Bluecoat gin and Dolin dry vermouth add booziness behind lemon tartness. Did you get all that? Here's the recipe to help you through it.
  • 2 oz. gin (Bluecoat gin used)
  • 1 oz. cherry brandy
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin used)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 3-5 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an Old Fashioned glass full of fresh ice. 

Maurice

The name of this cocktail is as unexpected as the line from the Steve Miller Bands The Joker: "Some people call me Maurice." It's just not an especially sexy  or sophisticated sounding name. And I can see that this cousin to the Bronx Cocktail is not especially sophisticated, but more like a gateway gin cocktail. That said, much can be made of a juicy drink like this as long as there's some good ingredients.

First off, Caorunn Gin is this native Scotland gin with plenty of local botanicals to remind you that you've been away from good gin for too long. Then I opted to use Byrrh Quinquina instead of standard sweet vermouth to give the drink a whiff of violet bitterness.
  • 2 oz. gin (Caorunn used)
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth (Sole used)
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth (Byrrh Quinquina used)
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • dash Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Russian Bear

Another Russian Dessert drink, this one with dark creme de cacao where coffee liqueur is often found. It's creamy and sweet and stronger than it looks, so don't underestimate the bear.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. dark creme de cacao
  • 1/2 oz. half and half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Gin Cassis

A sweet but solid drink suited to after dinner or cafe drinking, perhaps with a coffee, the Gin Cassis really takes a French twist on a gin cocktail. Like the Vermouth Cassis and Byrrh Cassis, G. E Messenez creme de cassis adds sweetness of black currants to the base liquor. Its really quite nice.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. creme de cassis (G. E. Massenez used)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an Old Fashioned glass full of fresh ice. 

Gin Sling

The Gin Sling is just an easy way to drink gin. Unlike the Gin Fix, which is really similar, it is not made in the glass like an Old Fashioned. This cocktail is stirred in a mixing glass, which is unusual for a drink with this much juice.

Glendalough Wild Botanical gin takes on a cloudy appearance when it is stirred because of its being unfiltered. The herbs, fruits and spices of the gin release into the water for a very intense drink.
  • 2 oz. gin (Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin used)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • orange twist
Combine sugar and water in a mixing glass and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add lemon juice, gin and ice and stir to chill. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass full of fresh ice and garnish with an orange twist. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blue Monday

I like the classic 80's lines of this drink--like a Lamborghini Countach. It is bright and angular. It's also powerful. The Blue Monday says "I don't care if my drink tastes like orange, it still looks blue." And sometimes having a drink that screams for attention from across the bar is exactly what you want.

When I made this for a restaurant worker after his shift, it really turned heads. So this is definitely the drink to order when you want to be noticed.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz. blue curacao
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Coney Island Baby

I see what this drink is doing. It's a sugary soda drink that tastes like a non-alcoholic cocktail. It's not especially strong but sugar and soda will take their toll and you will be feeling flush pretty quickly.

Coney Island  has this association of walking with sweethearts with an ice cream or soda in hand. The syrupy sweetness of Coney Island Baby doesn't disappoint.
  • 2 oz. peppermint schnapps
  • 1 oz. dark creme de cacao
  • sparkling water
Combine schnapps and creme de cacao in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled highball glass full of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir gently.

Jupiter Cocktail

The Jupiter Cocktail gets its celestial color from creme de violette, a purple floral liqueur. It has a heavenly taste too, like violets and herbs. The problem is that the cocktail has proportion issues. 2 tsp. is hardly enough creme de violette to color the drink. The addition of the same amount of orange juice means that it is cloudy and grey. Not an attractive color for a drink.
  • 2 oz. gin (Plymouth used)
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin used)
  • 2 tsp. orange juice
  • 2 tsp. creme de violette
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Xeres Cocktail

Manzanilla sherry has this light dry taste, with a good boozy punch. It is so good chilled by itself. This cocktail adds orange zest flavors to an already citrusy tasting spirit.
  • 3 oz. Manzanilla sherry
  • dash orange bitters
  • orange twist
Combine sherry and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange twist.