Saturday, January 26, 2019

German Cocktail

I wanted to take another swing at the K.G.B. Cocktail, you know, that one that is supposed to stand for the three ingredients: kirschwasser, gin and brandy, but the ingredients are really kirschwasser, gin and apricot brandy (for sweetness). I guess that a K.G.AB doesn't sound as cool. But I figured, what if this drink could be done with all German ingredients?

Until recently, this wasn't possible. Then Monkey 47 came along and changed everything. I should warn the potential drinker or mixologist who tries this one out. Unlike the K.G.B., there is no sugar from the apricot brandy. That means that this cocktail is make of only overproof spirits. It is dry and strong and should take any normal person a little while to finish. This is good. Slow down and enjoy this drink. Good things take time.
  • 3/4 oz. kirschwasser (Kammer Kirsch used)
  • 2 oz. gin (Monkey 47 used)
  • 1/4 oz. brandy (Asbach Uralt used)
  • lemon twist
Combine all liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist. 

Rue The Day

(Photo By Ned Drummond)

Here's an original cocktail with Forbidden Fruit, gin and a ton of fresh citrus. It is both bitter and tart and like nothing you've had before in a cocktail. That is because it and the Forbidden Fruit spirit it contains are made with Pomelo, a grapefruit-like fruit from the rue family. Other rues include tangarine, lemon, lime, orange and blood orange. It is as if the entire rue family is represented in this very exotic drink.

Going along with all that bitterness is the very herbaceous MurLarkey ImaGination gin. It doesn't get lost in all of that flavor and Forbidden Fruit, which tends to flatten out base spirits. Instead, it's rosemary notes shine through and add depth.
  • 1 1/2 oz. MurLarkey Imagination Gin
  • 1 oz. Forbidden Fruit
  • 1 oz. pomelo juice
  • 1/2 oz. tangerine juice
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • pomelo peel twist
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with pomelo peel.

Carrol Cocktail

Yet another Brandy Manhattan style cocktail, the Carrol is closest to the original Manhattan proportions than many others. It is sweeter than most variants, having no added bitters, so the brandy and vermouth get all the attention. It's rich and rewarding. I'm featuring Mt. Defiance sweet vermouth from Virginia to give this recipe a sweeter and more of a local appeal.
  • 2 oz. brandy (Asbach Uralt used)
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth (Mt. Defiance used)
  • maraschino cherry
Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry. 

Verboten Fizz

This original cocktail is a fun way to combine awesome German spirits and my homemade Forbidden Fruit recipe that I've been trying to find uses for since I made it.

Here Monkey 47 is the base flavor of brilliant botanicals while Asbach Uralt adds richness. The forbidden fruit provides the honey balance against the citrus and I use Raft hibiscus lavender syrup to add to the floral and sweet notes and create an exotic experience. This is a refreshing citrus cocktail, with lots of complexity. The gin and brandy combo is always unexpected for ordinary gin drinkers, and Forbidden Fruit leaves most drinkers wondering what creates the complex flavors in this cocktail.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin (Monkey 47 used)
  • 1 oz. brandy (Asbach Uralt used
  • 1 oz. Forbidden Fruit
  • 1/4 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp. Raft Hibiscus Lavender Syrup
  • sparkling water
  • grapefruit wedge
Combine all ingredients except sparkling water and grapefruit wedge in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir. Garnish with grapefruit peel. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Panama Cocktail

I really am not sure how this drink fits the Panama theme of its namesake. It is a dessert drink with lots of sugar and cream and rich brandy flavors. The color might be similar to a Panama hat, but I think that's a stretch. The Panama Cocktail is a tasty, if a little boring, drink with slightly more than one note of milk chocolate covering the rich brandy.

This is my last cocktail needed to finish the New York Bartender's Guide circa 1997. I still have several punches to go before I can claim to have done them all.
  • 2 oz. brandy (Asbach Uralt used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. white creme de cacao
  • 1 1/2 oz. half-and-half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Brandy Vermouth Cocktail

I skipped this cocktail for some time because, with ordinary vermouth, it would turn out no different from a Brandy Manhattan. I decided to hit the Brandy Vermouth cocktail again just to try out this new Virginia vermouth by Mt. Defiance. This vermouth--like all sweet vermouths--is made with white whine. It is golden in color, though, and its herbal sweetness is backed up by bitterness in the botanicals and in the whine itself, which is a little wild tasting. Mt. Defiance really stands out in larger proportions in this cocktail--try it to experience a sweeter Brandy Manhattan.
  • 2 oz. brandy (Asbach Uralt used)
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth (Mt. Defiance used)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Kahlua (Coffee Whiskey) Toreador

I've done the Kahlua Toreador before: egg white, coffee liqueur, brandy blended--done. But it's not really living up to the name of Toreador if there's no topping, no fluffy whipped cream.

This Toreador is rich, but not so much as those dessert cocktails that included blended half-and-half. The egg white adds the creaminess that you expect from a coffee dessert drink. The fun thing about this recipe is that chocolate chunks are perfect to pair with brandy and MurLarkey coffee whiskey.
  • 2 oz. brandy (Asbach Uralt)
  • 1 oz. MurLarkey coffee whiskey
  • 1 tsp. sugar syrup
  • 1/2 egg white
  • whipped cream
  • grated dark chocolate
Combine brandy, coffee whiskey, sugar syrup, and egg white in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. 

Charles Cocktail

Bitter Brandy cocktails are fashionable in the winter. They taste like rare antiques, beautiful in the correct setting. It's not a bad idea to dust off this old recipe that has a lot of similarities to a Brandy Manhattan.

To increase bitterness, I chose Punt E Mes vermouth, one of the most bitter sweet vermouths on the market. I also go liberal with the Angostura bitters. When given a choice to use between three and five dashes, I always use five.
  • 2 oz. brandy (Asbach Uralt used)
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth (Punt E Mes used)
  • 3-5 dashes Angostura bitters
 Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Stirrup Cup

The idea of the Stirrup Cup goes back to drinking at the village in the days of horse travel. A drinker, probably a big spender, finishes up a session of drinking and requires help getting on his horse. Once his feet are in the stirrups, he is given a combination of liquors that he had been drinking already in a cup of booze that will ensure he is done with drinking for the night. He passes out in the saddle and the horse takes him home.

A main ingredient in Stirrup Cup cocktails is brandy, and I just got a bottle of Asbach--not cognac--to try with it. Cherry Heering is a rich black cherry liqueur, and it is sweet enough to balance an equal portion of lemon juice.

  • 2 oz. brandy (Asbach Uralt used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. cherry brandy (Cherry Heering used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass full of fresh ice. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Jungle Bird

The Jungle Bird is a newer tiki cocktail to come along recently. Campari makes it a bitter red blended drink and blackstrap rum makes it rich and sweet.

The bottle of Cruzan 151 is shown because it was an ingredient in the homemade blackstrap rum I made to pull of this drink. You can use Goslings Black Seal if you like. I used the one-and-a-half ounces worth or 151 that goes into the drink and white rum and added a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses to it (shaking it up and straining it through a coffee filter) to make it a black rum.
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. demerara syrup
  • 3/4 oz. campari
  • 1 1/2 oz. black rum
  • pineapple fronds garnish
Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a blender with cracked ice. Flash blend and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Garnish with pineapple fronds.

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Smuggler's Cove)

This cocktail is aptly named after the brilliantly colored Hawaiian state fish. The cocktail itself is beautiful and flowers and fruit accent it. One of the best things about Hawaiian drinks is that there is no spirit native to Hawaii. So you can use a gin; you can use a gin from Virginia; you can even use ImaGination.

If you have the ingredients and a blender, this drink is easier to make than it is to pronounce.
  • 2 oz. gin (Murlarkey ImaGination used)
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat
  • flowers/ maraschino cherry garnishes
Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a blender with cracked ice. Flash blend and pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with flowers and cherry. 

Norwegian Paralysis (Smuggler's Cove)

This is such a fun use of aquavit, the savory herb-infused spirit of the Scandinavian countries. The bottle pictured is Swedish Osterlenkryddors akvavit herb kit, but I refilled it with my own aquavit recipe. The rest is remarkably simple--you make a fruit punch. Aquavit is savory, with coriander, caraway seeds, fennel seeds and other herbs. (I added birch and angelica seeds in mine.) It goes great with citrus and pineapple.
  • 1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 12 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 demerara syrup
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat
  • 1 1/2 oz. aquavit (D.I.Y. used)
  • lemon wedge and umbrella garnish
Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled highball glass full of fresh ice. Garnish with a tiny umbrella stuck into lemon wedge.

Champagne Punch

(Photo by Ned Drummond)

This is a reasonably sized punch for a small gathering, and a really good use of sparkling wine and spirits to produce a strong and balanced communal drink. The photo I used is a half portion, so it doesn't fill the bowl completely. But it was the perfect amount for three big drinkers. The full-size punch makes 15 servings.
  • 1 cup cognac (Mewkow used)
  • 1 cup cherry liqueur (Cherry Heering used)
  • 1 cup triple sec (Cointreau used)
  • 1/4 cup sugar syrup
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 bottles (750 ml.) Champagne or sparkling wine (Korbel brut used)
Combine juice, spirits and sugar in a bowl and refrigerate up to two hours before serving. Fill with large cakes of ice (snack bags filled with water and frozen beforehand are great.) Add Champagne and stir when ready to serve.

Hinky Dink's Fizzy (Smuggler's Cove)

I really enjoyed this drink for its rum flavor and dry spiced gin--wholly different from the flavors associated with spiced rum. For this cocktail I chose Monkey 47 to keep the drink dry like a champagne cocktail.

This cocktail comes from Smuggler's Cove. The Hinky Dink's reference points to the 30's vintage Tiki bar in Oakland, California. The drink itself was invented in the 1980s. Better modern rums and gins are now available, so a drink like this gets a facelift with Monkey 47 dry gin and Vitae modern rum.
  • 1 oz. blended lightly aged (white) rum (Vitae Platinum used)
  • 1 oz. dry gin (Monkey 47 used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. passionfruit syrup
  • 1/2 oz. apricot liqueur
  • 2 oz. sparkling wine
  • mint sprig/ flower garnish
Combine all ingredients except sparkling wine and mint sprig in a blender with crushed ice. Flash blend and open pour into a large snifter or wine glass with the two ounces of sparkling wine in it. Garnish with mint or flowers.

Josiah's Bay Float (Revisited With Pineapple Shell Cup)

I had previously tackled this cocktail and the Baracuda #1 in the New York Bartender's Guide several years ago. It is amazing, as you'd expect with rum, sparkling wine and Galliano, which gives the drink a smooth and slightly anise spice flavor. It is amazing how suitable Galliano is to tropical cocktails.

This time I wanted to take up the suggestion of making the drink in a pineapple shell. I lucked out when I got a moderately ripe pineapple that was easy to carve up. You basically cut the leafy top off, several inches down at the point where the fruit is widest. The bottom two thirds of the pineapple will make up the container with the drink. Using a sharp knife, cut a circle approximately one inch inside the shell, leaving a good portion of the fruit as the wall of the container. Cut diagonally inward in a circle to remove a cone-shaped segment of the core. The remaining core and fruit can be scooped out with a spoon, but leave more than two inches in the bottom of the container space.

If the pineapple sits a little lopsided, you can even it out by cutting into the base of the fruit, but this only works if you left plenty of room beneath the container space or else you end up with a hole in your container.

Use the pineapple container right away or freeze the pineapple for up to a week to use it when you want to.

Here's the recipe again:
  • 1 oz. gold rum
  • 1/2 oz. Galliano
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 2 tsp. sugar syrup
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • champagne or sparkling wine
  • lime slice
  • maraschino cherry
  • hollowed out pineapple shell (optional)
Combine all ingredients except champagne, lime slice and maraschino cherry in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a hollowed out pineapple shell or hurricane glass. Add champagne and stir gently.

(Simple Times) Blueberry Lemonade Punch

My sister gave me a bottle of Blueberry Lemonade Simple Times mixer. This is awesome, especially when it comes to making a quick cocktail or punch while traveling for the holidays. You don't have time to shop for ingredients or count on someone else's bar to furnish what you need for a punch. So Simple Times is really a time saver that simplifies your mixing life.

This was a basic punch that went off really well with family members. All it took three cups of gin, three quarters of the Simple Times lemonade bottle, a liter of soda water and lemon slices. For extra garnish I made ice blocks with blueberries and cranberries frozen in them.