Monday, September 24, 2018

White Way

The White Way is an outmoded term describing the main business strip, the street of a city that is electrified at night. The term could only be used seriously in the early Twentieth Century as cities were switching to electric power.

The cocktail is still true to it's name--brilliantly white and fresh. It also makes use of white creme de menthe, a liqueur that was very fashionable in the metropolises of the19th and 20th century.
  • 2 oz. gin (MurLarkey ImaGination used)
  • 1 oz. white creme de menthe (Leroux used)
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to stir up air bubbles and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Coffee Grasshopper

This is a final instillation of the Grasshopper series of cocktails that use creme de menthe and cocoa flavors in cream to make a creamy dessert drink. This time I'm using white creme de menthe to blend mint flavor into the mix without turning the whole thing a mucky green color that green creme de menthe would create when mixed with coffee liqueur.

Here again is MurLarkey coffee whiskey, a good stand in when the sweetness of creme de menthe is enough to balance. And again the rich roasted taste of real coffee infused into the whiskey makes for an interesting twist to this old cocktail. This recipe makes the original drink even stronger.
  • 1 1/2 oz. coffee liqueur (MurLarkey coffee whiskey used)
  • 1 oz. white creme de menthe
  • 1 oz. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass full of fresh ice. 

Coco Chanel

This cocktail is named after the famous fashion designer. I have trouble believing that Coco Chanel would drink such a rich cocktail, however. The recipe is simple, almost too easy, with almost three ingredients. I changed it up, however because I chose MurLarkey coffee whiskey instead of Kaluah. Since the coffee infused whiskey has no sugar, I added a tsp. of black tea and demerara sugar simple syrup that I had left over from making Swedish Punsch.

Since I've not posted the Punsch recipe, I'll give a description of my syrup: Make a cup of hot black tea and dissolve a half cup of demerera sugar into it. Allow it to cool and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin (MurLarkey ImaGination used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. coffee liqueur (MurLarkey coffee whiskey used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. half-and-half 
  • 1 tsp. black tea demerara suger syrup (optional)
 Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Yellow Fingers

This is a fun, funny dessert drink cocktail with a tropical accent. Banana liqueur and blackberry brandy are the sweetener for this creamy cocktail. But banana liqueur tastes so fake and sugary. I was glad to use the richly flavored MurLarkey Banana Whiskey. Coupled with their gin, you get a dessert drink with traction. Whiskey flavors as well as real dried banana and a mouthful of gin botanicals bombard your senses.

For the blackberry brandy, I used my homemade blackberry brandy by dissolving blackberry preserves in cognac and fine straining out the liquor.
  • 2 oz. gin (MurLarkey ImaGination used)
  • 1 oz. half-and-half
  • 1 oz. blackberry brandy (homemade used)
  • 1 oz. creme de bananes (MurLarkey banana whiskey used)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Boston Cocktail

I feel I've had this drink before. It comes from this example being another one of those gin and apricot brandy recipes that keep coming back in different proportions. Also it is another one of a long line of Boston-named drinks like the Cooler, the Sidecar, and the Sour.

Just for kicks I used the distinguished Plymouth gin which is known as its own style of gin complete in itself. It's not London or Old Tom, but it's an old recipe that has been around since the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts began, or at least soon after. This is the gin of Plymouth, England and the industrious people who sailed from there to find a better life.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin (Plymouth used)
  • 1 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine 
Combine all ingredients in a shaker full of ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Rose and White Rose

I thought it fitting to do both the Rose cocktails together in a single post with the same gin. Equally fitting is the choice of Boodles, a traditional London style gin to go with these two British houses that the cocktails signify.

It is interesting that apart from gin these cocktails have nothing in common. The Rose is one of those apricot brandy, gin and lemon juice combos that you find everywhere in old bar books. It might be the most common combinations behind gin and vermouth!

The White Rose is completely different. It is the first egg white and orange juice cocktail I've come across. There's a ton of maraschino liqueur in there too! The texture and flavors are so opposite each other that it was fun to have both at once.

Here's how to make them:

  • 2 oz. gin (Boodles used)
  • 1 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth (Rivata used)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadie
  • lemon wedge
  • sugar
Coat the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with sugar by using rubbing a lemon wedge around it and dipping the glass in sugar. You can discard the lemon wedge or use it as a garnish (and rightly so, to control the acid level in the cocktail. just squeeze more in if you find the drink too sweet as I did.) Shake all liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker full of ice and strain it into the glass.

White Rose
  • 2 oz. gin (Boodles used)
  • 1 oz. maraschino liqueur (Luxardo used)
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup 
  • 1 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake to chill and strain to remove the ice. Shake again to add foam and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Red Cloud

There are storm clouds brewing, but this cocktail is a lovely red cloud. I'm not sure if the name of this cocktail comes from the influential Oglala Lakota chief, or just a description of the drink's color. I happen to think that the use of apricot brandy, lemon juice, and gin produces a light, cloudlike cocktail.

So here is MurLarkey distillery's ImaGination gin, with rosemary, celery, grains of paradise--dark flavors that ground things. Then sweet apricot brandy and grenadine to cut the lemon juice, but not by much. Angostura bitters distinguish this cocktail from many of these red cocktails with gin and apricot brandy--a very common classic trend.
  • 2 oz. gin (ImaGination used)
  • 1 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
 Combine all ingredients in a a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Swedish Punsch

I have only just assembled the ingredients for Swedish Punsch, a rum-based lemon and spice cocktail that is designed to be enjoyed warm. This isn't surprising because the Scandinavian countries have a lot of hot drinks to battle the cold climate. What is surprising is that a Duch and East Indian spirit is integral to this particular punch drink.

Batavia-Arrack isn't a North African Arrack like those anise flavored grain spirits similar to Metaxa and Ouzo. Batavia-Arrack is a cane sugar distillate that uses fermented rice to kick off the fermentation. It is close to cachacas from Brazil, which are also cane sugar rums, in that it is a little funky and sweet. There's almost a rice-like bitterness in the Batavia-Arrack which I have to think has to be a part of the reason it is included with Jamaican rum, which is also very flavorful.

Batavia-Arrack is hard to find. I searched many specialty shops before finding this bottle.

So after looking at a lot of recipes that vary in size from a single serving to a whole liter, I decided to go full on and make a big batch with lots of Arrack because I'm not going to use the Arrack for much else. Swedish Punsch is useful in many recipes that will appear soon.

This is my recipe, a combination of the strong points of three I looked at:
  • 1 1/2 cups Batavia Arrack
  • 1 cup Appleton Estate rum
  • 1 cup strong black tea (Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast used)
  • 2/3 cup demerara sugar
  • 2 lemons sliced and de-seeded
  • 12 cardamon pods crushed with shells removed
  • 5 cloves
  1. Make 1 cup of strong black tea and dissolve the sugar into it until it is a thick black tea simple syrup. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  2. Slice lemons and place them in a large container that can be sealed air tight.
  3. Add crushed cardamon and cloves and pour Arrack and rum and tea simple syrup over the ingredients. Seal and store for 24 hours. 
  4. Remove the lemons from the container and strain the liquid to remove spices. Store sealed for up to five months.

Friday, September 7, 2018


Limey is the ultimate lime cocktail. It's like a Daiquiri that uses a lime liqueur, lime zest and juice to really get an intense lime flavor. I used Vitae platinum rum for the rum and Vitae orange liquor for triple sec. This triple sec is made of Virginia bitter hearty oranges and other sweet orange flavors in a rum base that tastes the same as the platinum label. 

Since there are few lime liqueurs available, I made my own. My experience making falernum came in handy here, since falernum is a lime and spice liqueur. I just made it without the spices. Instead of rum, this time I used MurLarkey Justice white whiskey. This is unaged barley and corn spirit that tastes a little like a cane juice rum. I made the liqueur by soaking the zest of two limes in six ounces of Justice for a week. When you are ready to use the liqueur, add the juice of one lime and simple syrup to taste and shake it. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 
  • 2 oz. light rum (Vitae platinum rum used)
  • 1 oz. lime liqueur (homemade MurLarkey Justice lime liqueur used)
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec (Vitae orange liquor used)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • lime twist. 
Combine liquid ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until slushy and pour into a chilled wine glass. Garnish with the lime twist.

Jamaica Hop

Jamaica Hop is a dessert drink that's not very strong, and more sweet and creamy than anything. The idea is to feature another one of Jamaica's exports: coffee.

You do get a hit of coffee, especially with natural homemade coffee liqueur. I made mine a while ago with fresh coffee and rum as well as a whole bean steeped simple syrup. The only other ingredients are Creme de cacao and half-and-half. This is a relaxing drink for any time of day because of its low proof.
  • 2 oz. coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz. white creme de cacao (but dark would be fine too.)
  • 2 oz. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Limbo Cocktail

Calypso music, dancers trying to bend beneath the limbo stick and tropical drinks on the beach all scream Caribbean vacation. This light rum cocktail has banana flavors to make it tropical. It has banana rum from Cruzan instead of banana liqueur, which can sometimes taste like banana candy. I like that this is an all rum cocktail, with Vitae platinum rum to give the drink a heady scent of rum with real flavor.
  • 2 oz. light rum (Vitae platinum used)
  • 1/2 oz. banana liqueur (Cruzan banana used)
  • 1 oz. orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Jamaica Egg Cream

The point of an Egg Cream is to have a thick and tart drink that tastes like you used egg white to create foam. Most egg creams don't have egg in them, though. This one uses half-and-half. It is an unusual combination of rum and gin: dark rum specifically.

The dark rum you use in a Jamaican themed drink should be rich and flavorful like those of Jamaica. I had the next best thing on hand, Pusser's Guyana rum is pretty close. Then I chose Vitae modern gin because it is rum-based and will keep the spirits profile consistent. This is a rich and rewarding tropical drink that is unlike most I've ever tasted. It really lets the flavor of the rum shine.
  • 2 oz. dark rum (Jamaican recommended but Pusser's British Navy used)
  • 1 oz. gin (Vitae modern gin used)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 oz. half-and-half
  • sparkling water
Combine all ingredients except half-and-half and sparkling water in a shaker with ice and shake to chill. Add half-and-half and shake again to combine. Strain into a chilled Collins glass full of fresh ice and top with sparkling water.

Peaches and Cream

This is a simple dessert drink that you can make with only two ingredients. Peach liqueur, whether it's peach schnapps (which I don't recommend, or some other kind of peach brandy or whiskey will work. Then all you need is equal parts half-and-half. I added the peach slice because I have it.
  • 2 oz. peach liqueur (Bird Dog Peach Whiskey used) 
  • 2 oz. half-and-half Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. 
 Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass full of fresh ice.