Friday, December 6, 2019

Baracuda #2

I take it that the Baracuda name suggests a tropical drink. The #2, however is simple with classic lines, a far cry from the tiki-style pineapple shell drink called Baracuda #1. The flavors of fresh grapefruit juice, gin, and Benedictine are made for each other. MurLarkey ImaGination gin, with it's basil and malty tasting botanicals is a perfect match.
  • 1 oz. gin (MurLarkey ImaGination used)
  • 1 oz. Benedictine
  • 2 oz. grapefruit juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Virgin Cocktail

The is an old recipe from Harry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book. The recipe calls for the now defunct Forbidden Fruit spirit that was availible during Craddock's time but is no longer on the market. Fortunately I have reproduced this citrus and honey cognac spirit for use in these classic cocktails.

The recipe also says the drink is one third dry gin. I decided that with all the bright flavors of mint and grapefruit/ pomelo peel in this cocktail, that a wet spirit would also do well. Particularly a prohibition era style spirit that approximates an older style of gin. That is Bol's Genever. The choice may have been a mistake. The two liqueurs, creme de menthe and Forbidden Fruit, may have already been too syrupy and needed a dry gin to clean things up. On the other hand, I enjoyed the richness and was glad that my gin choice stayed in the background and allowed me to appreciate the interplay of flavors.

Mint and grapefruit are great flavors in cocktails. The Virgin Cocktail allows you to have them together in liquor form--no juice added! The herb and citrus flavors are perfectly balanced. It made for a strong drink that could be enjoyed over a long time, appreciating the rich spices of the Forbidden Fruit as it warmed up.
  • 1 oz. Forbidden Fruit (homemade recipe used)
  • 1 oz. dry gin (Bol's Genever used but a dry gin may be more appropriate)
  • 1 oz. white creme de menthe
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Amsterdamer (Original Cocktial)

I picked up this bottle of barrel-aged Bol's Genever. It is one of a few precursors to modern gin. The difference is that it is a spirit that is distilled from maltwine and infused with botanicals. That is to say, unlike gin, genever has a malted barley base and the flavors are not added during distillation but after.

All of this makes Bol's very rich with darker malty flavors with a body closer to whiskey since it is barrel aged for eighteen months. It lends itself well to a boozy, whiskey-like drink like this one.
  • 2 oz. Bol's Barrel Aged Genever
  • 1 oz. benedictine
  • maraschino cherry 
Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the cherry. 


This simple cocktail dresses up a basic Screwdriver with the rich herbal flavor of Benedictine. I love how it is surprisingly familiar, yet special--a holiday treat that you don't usually enjoy throughout the whole year.

Benedictine is a brandy spirit from France that is forty proof and flavored with fruits and herbs. It shares some similarities with the stronger Alpine spirit, Green Chartreuse.
  • 1 oz. Benedictine
  • 1 oz. vodka (Belvedere used)
  • 4 oz. orange juice
  • (optional citrus and cherry garnish)
Build the drink in a chilled highball glass full of ice with vodka and Benedictine, then top with orange juice and stir. Garnish at will.