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. 

Hawaiian Cocktail

Another cocktail that is almost a tiki--the only exception is that this one is made with gin and few fruit juices so it falls slightly short. Rather it is a fitting cocktail expression of Hawaii. Use either a dry or "wet" gin here, it won't matter since there's so much sweetness from pineapple and triple sec.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Harlem Cocktail

There's so much about this drink that makes sense. Real crushed pineapple (and juice from a fresh pineapple) maraschino liqueur, and gin. It's urban, its tropical, it served in a rocks glass for easy toasting. What's not to like? Plus, New York gets so many cocktails from the NY Sour to the Manhattan. Why not Harlem?
  • 2 oz. gin (Strange Monkey used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp. maraschino liqueur
  • 1 tbsp. fresh pineapple chunks
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. (Pineapple chunk garnish optional.)


I'm doing a lot of pink egg white drinks lately. Sevilla is a dessert-like drink with a whole egg, a rich rum if you have it, and port. If done right, the foam will be very tall, and no ice will be necessary to keep the drink cool. It's like fruity rum ice cream when really cold.
  • 2 oz. light rum (Buzzard Point rum used)
  • 2 oz. ruby port
  • whole egg
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
Shake all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker to chill. Remove ice by straining into another container. Return liquid ingredients into the shaker and shake vigorously to create foam. Pour into a chilled wine glass. 

Elk's Own

I'm betting this is the official drink of one of those funny fur hat-wearing men's clubs of bygone days. Its fruity and strong with a flashy pink foam and pineapple spear. Most unusual, it is made with rye.
  • 2 oz. rye 
  • 1 oz. ruby port
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • egg white
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • pineapple spear
Combine sugar, rye, egg white, lemon juice and port in a shaker and shake vigorously. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain with gated finish into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the pineapple spear.

Vodka Sling

As I've said before, a sling is an easy way to drink a particular liquor. The Vodka Sling is citrusy and sweet and a good rocks sipper if you really like your vodka. Aylesbury Duck wheat vodka was especially smooth when done this way.
  • 2 oz. vodka (Aylesbury Duck used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • orange twist
Dissolve sugar in water in a mixing glass. Add vodka, lemon juice and ice and stir. Pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange twist. 

Honolulu Cocktail

The Honolulu Cocktail is pretty much a tiki cocktail. It is complex, tropical and bittersweet. The point, though was to do this in a cocktail glass so that it was fashionable or easy to do in a non-tiki restaurant. I've done it both up and in a tiki mug for this recipe. The difference is really just a matter of ice and garnishes.
  • 2 oz. gin (Strange Monkey used)
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon  juice
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • dash orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. For the tiki version, strain into a tiki mug full of crushed ice. Top with garnishes and flowers.

September Morn

I can see waking up to this rosy drink on a cool morning, as the name suggests. There's egg white, rum, lime juice and grenadine. Not too original except for the time of day that you consume it.
  • 3 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • egg white
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker to produce foam. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain with a gated finish into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Saxon Cocktail / Santiago Cocktail

This is a two-for-one post because these two drinks are remarkably similar. The Saxon Cocktail, probably so named because...well there's no obvious correlation between a tropical rum drink and Saxons, but I like to think there is by way of pirate ships and islands. It is proportionally stronger than the latter.

Santiago Cocktail has more lime juice and no orange twist, which makes it a juicier drink. It requires a half tsp. of simple syrup to cut the acidity.

Saxon Cocktail 
  • 2 oz. light rum  
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. grenadine 
  • orange twist
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange twist. 

Santiago Cocktail
  • 2 oz. light rum  
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar syrup 
  • dash grenadine
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Gin & Ginger

This is the ginger brother to the Gin & Tonic. It's seldom done anymore, but with the arrival of quality of tonics and ginger ales like Q, I feel like it deserves a second look.
  • 2 oz. gin (Broker's used)
  • Ginger Ale (Q ginger ale used)
  • lemon twist
Build drink in a Collins or highball glass with ice. Top with ginger ale and twist lemon peel on tip and drop in.

Fine And Dandy

Such an old-school accolade for a name. Fine and Dandy is a Britishism that signifies that all is going well. And it is, with this cocktail with plenty of citrus bitterness. Strange Monkey gin is a fruity backbone to an ounce of triple sec, one of lemon and a dash of orange bitters shower.
  • 2 oz. gin (Strange Monkey used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • dash orange bitters (Hella bitters used)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 


Frenet Branca is so bitter and rooty that you don't find it in many cocktails. People either love it or hate it, and there's not much a cocktail can do to change that. The Yodel, however is the best Frenet Branca cocktail I've tried. It has some of the "just brushed my teeth and drank orange juice feel," but with soda, it's not unpleasant. And it might even turn people on to this fernet.
  • 3 oz. Fernet Branca
  • 4 oz. orange juice
  • sparkling water
Build drink in a highball glass full of ice. Top with sparkling water and stir.