Monday, May 10, 2021

Mexi-Gin Martini (Death & Co. Recipe)


With all the parts of this cocktail that are not Martini ingredients, this Mexican-themed Martini is very much what it says. Yes, it is basically a Martini with ingredients added, but it is so much more than that. 

Mezcal, celery bitters and alpine spirit really lift the standard Gin Martini to new and more festive heights. The flavor of the Mexi-Gin Martini is very Mexican, similar to tequila Martinis I've had at nicer Mexican restaurants in D.C. It's super herbal with a little burn of jalapeno-infused blanco tequila. Mezcal itself adds to herbal and fruity flavors, and it helps to have a heavily botanical gin like ImaGination from MurLarkey to carry off the gin portion of the cocktail.  

Finally celery bitters is the lifting effect that bridges the connection between dry Martini and fruity tasting spirits. Celery adds earthiness as well as additional herbal boost to hold together juniper from the gin and smokey mezcal by Del Maguey. 

  • 2 oz. dry gin (MurLarkey ImaGination used)
  • 1/2 oz. Dolin dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz. Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal
  • 1/4 oz. jalapeno-infused blanco tequila
  • 1/4 oz. Green Chartreuse (Dolin Genepy used)
  • 1 dash celery bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Camp Council (Death & Co. Recipe)


This is a strange concept for a tequila cocktail. When I think of summer camp, I'm thinking of a rye cocktail with maybe some pine smoke and apple juice. But the concept of the Camp Council is sound. This is a woody reposado tequila with herbal flavors that imitate pine needle scent. 

Death & Co. specifies Zirbenz Stone Pine liqueur for its cultivation and distillation of stone pine fruits that give the liquor a spicy pine flavor. I, on the other hand, have juniper berries--the other pine fruit. To make a quick pine liqueur, I used MurLarkey gin and fresh juniper berries. I didn't have time to infuse the berries and I'm not sure that was the flavor I was going for. Gin already has infused juniper. I wanted crushed juniper, so I muddled the berries into the gin and built the drink in the shaker around that.

The result achieved a noticeable pine note in the final drink. Dolin Genepy was also a way to get alpine herbs into the drink (similar to the listed Yellow Chartreuse.) Overall, this was a different way to enjoy tequila. I'm not convinced that it is a summer camp drink that I envision, but it is still good, especially on a hot day.

  • 1 1/2 oz. reposado tequila
  • 1/2 oz. Zirbenz stone pine liqueur (5 juniper berries muddled into gin)
  • 1/2 oz. Yellow Chartreuse (Dolin Genepy used)
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 mint sprig garnish

If using my juniper berry substitution muddle 5 juniper berries in 1/2 oz. of gin in a shaker. Add ice and the remaining ingredients. Shake and double strain into a pilsner glass full of crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Deadpan Fix (Death & Co. Recipe)


I'm used to a Fix being in a rocks glass, but anything goes in cocktail naming, and I'm not sure there is anything fixed about the meaning of the word Fix. 

This is a fun way to get the whiskey to go down, which is the real point of a Fix--make it as easy to drink as possible and it will fix you up. Some fun ingredients in this, including Campari and ginger syrup. The Grand Marnier adds sweetness and citrus in a cocktail that already has a lot of both. My substitution is homemade Mandarine Napoleon. This just adds more mandarin orange and spice notes that Grand Marnier doesn't have. 

  • 1 1/2 oz. Catoctin Creek 92-proof rye
  • 1/4 oz. Campari
  • 1/4 oz. Grand Marnier (homemade Mandarine Napoleon used)
  • 3/4 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. ginger syrup (homemade ginger brandy and simple syrup used)
  • 1 orange twist garnish
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with the orange twist. 

Double Fill-Up (Death & Co. Recipe)

Pomegranate molasses is a store-bought ingredients that I don't have in my neighborhood. I don't really understand what makes it molasses, anyway. I imitate the flavor (I imagine) is in the ingredient listed in the Death & Co. recipe by using a little blackstrap molasses in pomegranate syrup. The rest of this cocktail is very much in keeping with the Rose family of drinks with a good helping of mint muddled into it to give it freshness and spicy rye for that high-test punch.

  • 2 oz. Catoctin Creek 92-proof rye 
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pomegranate molasses (half pomegranate syrup and blackstrap)
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1 mint leaf garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with the mint sprig. 


Monongahela Mule (Death & Co. Recipe)

What a beauriful name for a Mule cocktail made with rye (especially Catoctin Creek). It refers to the Monongahela national forest in the Allegheny Mountains. This mule gets its red color from muddled raspberries and its ginger flavor from ginger syrup (ginger liqueur in my modification.) Mint--which is a great addition to any Mule drink--really stands out as a gamechanger here. 

  • 4 raspberries
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 2 oz. rye (Catoctin Creek 92-proof used)
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. ginger syrup (simple syrup with ginger liqueur used)
  • 1 mint sprig garnish

Muddle mint leaves and raspberries in the shaker tin before adding the remaining ingredients and ice. Shake and double strain into a highball glass full of fresh ice and garnish with a mint sprig.


Blown Rose (Death & Co. Recipe)


The coaster in this picture says it all. Death & Co. has some of the most innovative cocktails back when nobody knew how to make a Manhattan. This one is especially fun to make as well as to drink. For starters, I've never muddled apple slices before. This is easier than it looks. Also, chamomile rye is the perfect pairing for apple and cinnamon flavors. The pineapple and lime juice sound tropical, but they just lend sweet acids and balance to the spirits giving the overall effect of having apple pie in a glass. 

Just looking at the name of this drink, you'd assume it has a natural relationship to the Jack Rose or any Rose cocktail that usually involves a spirit, lime juice and grenadine. But there is so much more going on here. A few of my modifications happened naturally based on what I have available and my personal preferences for stocking my kitchen. 

The chamomile tea is Republic of Tea's Chamomile Lemon, which has no lemon in it but it does have lemon balm in it. This is an herbal flavor that doesn't step on but adds to the complexity of other flavors. The cinnamon syrup is a mix of my cane sugar syrup and MurLarkey cinnamon whiskey--the best shortcut for syrup making I've ever come up with. (MurLarkey infuses cinnamon into their spirit so you don't have to.)

It is important to use Fuji apples, as a Granny Smith or Golden Delicious just won't taste the same. Cut the slices thin so that they are easy to muddle. The rest takes care of itself.

  • 3 Fuji apple slices
  • 2 oz. chamomile-infused rye (Rittenhouse used)
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. cinnamon bark syrup (simple syrup and MurLarkey cinnamon whiskey used)
  • 1 lime wheel garnish

Muddle apple slices in the shaker before adding the remaining ingredients with ice. Shake and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.  

Waterloo Sunset (Death & Co. Recipe)

One of the most fabulous spirits and juice cocktails in a rocks glass ever! That's high praise, and well worth the effort when you make this cocktail. I love how vegetel, citrusy and herbaceous this drink is. The flavor goes from fresh mint and lime juice to a spicy gin and watermelon center and finishing with a numbing peppery taste backed up by more mint. It was a very cool (and hot) experience. 

There's a lot of steps to this drink. There's the infusion of Szchuan peppercorns in gin. Then juicing, then muddling and making the syrups. And it is a cocktail involving two gins. I used my Szchuan pepprcorn-infused MurLarkey ImaGination gin as the first ingredient and my homemade dry gin as the second spirit (which keeps the peppercorns from being too spicy.) I also juiced the watermelon rather than pay for a large jug of watermelon juice this time. (I know you can freeze it, but I don't need that much watermelon juice when a few pieces of fruit will do.)

Once you have all that ready, we can proceed with the recipe.

  • 7 mint leaves
  • 1/2 oz. cane sugar syrup
  • 1 oz. Szechuan peppercorn-infused gin (MurLarkey used)
  • 1 oz. dry gin (homemade with asparagus botanical used)
  • 1/2 oz. Dolin blanc vermouth
  • 1 1/2 oz. watermelon juice
  • 3/4 oz. lime juice
  • mint sprig garnish

Muddle mint leaves in the syrup in the shaker before adding ice and the remaining ingredients. Shake and double strain into a double Old Fashioned glass over a large piece of ice. Garnish with the mint sprig.