September 27, 2009

Mixology Monday XLII: Dizzy Dairy

0EE1C1B7-51D9-464A-9FD4-3362608E69F5.jpg It's time for another Mixology Monday! This month's theme is dairy, which for the purposes of the challenge, will allow milk, cream, eggs, butter, cheese, yogurt, curds, and anything else you can think of (kefir martini, anyone?). I've seldom had any milk-based drinks...the last one I tried was a White Plush cocktail, I think, made with gin, milk and Maraschino liqueur (it foamed all over my counter after shaking). So for this challenge, rather than risk mopping up gin and milk afterwards, I opted to try a different drink, another old recipe from Charles H. Baker Jr.'s "The Gentleman's Companion: Being an Exotic Drinking Book, or Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask," which proved to be tasty, though very rich.
Tiger's Milk No. III

1 1/2 oz brandy
1 1/2 oz Jamaican rum (I used Appleton)
2/3 cup half & half
simple syrup to taste
Dale DeGroff's flip spices to garnish (cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and orange zest)

Shake all but spices with crushed ice and pour into a large goblet. Sprinkle with spices to garnish.
As I said, this is an incredibly rich drink, as you're sipping half & half cut with two shots of liquor...oddly, though, it doesn't feel strong, just rich. The spices really add to it, and help it from being too one-note. I'd say this is a great one for late fall or winter, but this close to the autumnal equinox, it's still a little heavy. Tasty, though.

Tiger's Milk No. III

September 24, 2009

Hey gang! Long time no see!

I know, I's been a week since my last post. Though it has not been devoid of interest...I've started my new job, my iPod died and I tried to play Dr. Frankenstein and resurrect it (sadly, it went to that big iPod kingdom in the sky, but the Apple Store replaced it free because they're awesome and I didn't do anything wrong to it and it was not even two weeks out of warranty) and tonight, thanks to my job, I managed to procure a bit of dry ice. And if you've ever played with dry ice, you know how awesome it can be. However, I wound up getting quite a bit of it. And because I have pets that are rather low to the ground, and because CO₂ sinks, I really was kind of anxious to get it all sublimated and out of my hair. So I figured, "What the hell? Might as well toss it into a drink!" And it is through that circuitous and rather tortured train of thought that I arrived at tonight's drink, in full Mad Scientist mode:
Hell Broth

2 1/2 oz gold rum (I used Mount Gay Eclipse)
1/4 oz triple sec
1/4 oz real pomegranate grenadine
4 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters
dry ice

Combine all but dry ice in mixing glass, stirring well to combine. Pour into small goblet and (using gloves!) add dry ice (I used the equivalent of a ping-pong ball's volume of dry ice). The intelligent person would use a straw to drink it, if only to avoid small bits of frostbite on their lips.
I was going for a vaguely spicy, vaguely sweet thing here, and I think I achieved it. The Bittermens, with it's spice and chocolate notes, really lends itself to more amber liquors, and the pomegranate and orange notes of the grenadine and triple sec pair well with those flavors. The dry ice also adds a little bit, as that bite from the carbon dioxide sublimating in your glass sort of tempers the heat. For a completely improvised drink, I think this shows potential. Plus, you could serve it for your Halloween guests, and be all spooky and stuff. Blah blah!

Hell Broth

September 17, 2009

short, sweet, and to the point.

Or in this case, tall, spicy and to the point.

I finally, after almost 10 months of being unemployed, got a job. It's part time, but it promises to be fun. I go for orientation next week Tuesday. I'm very excited, so much so that I'm not even gonna do a fancy drink tonight. I'm drinking something extremely simple, but so damned good. C'mon...celebrate with me!
Double Bourbon (Rocks)

3 oz Bulleit Bourbon (if you've got some good stuff, use it, fer cryin' out loud!)
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters (good ol' Angostura will do nicely, as well)

Dash bitters over ice in a DOF glass, pour in the bourbon, swirl gently to combine. Sip.
The blog will, of course, continue, but it may take a breather here and there, depending on scheduling. Still, if I don't post at least once a week, you can comment on here saying how you're gonna kick my butt if I don't hook you all up with a drink soon.

Thanks for coming with me so far, gang...we're actually coming up on my 100th drink (I don't really think I'll count this one, as it's nothing special), and I hope to have a fantastic mystery ingredient obtained for that one. Stay stewed for the nudes! Er...stay tuned for the news. Cheers, all.

Double Bourbon (Rocks)

September 15, 2009

*insert accordion and Gallic shrug here*

Tonight's drink is just over 60 years old, at least since it's first publication. It appeared in Charles H. Baker Jr.'s seminal drink guide, "The Gentleman's Companion: Being an Exotic Drinking Book, or Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask," published in 1946. It's another way to use some of that kirsch that I proved to be less than enthralled with. First things wants you to use shaved ice. As I'm not in Hawai'i, land of shave-ice, I don't have any means of making it, so I crushed the ice, and then blended it with the liquid ingredients...not perfect, but it got the job done. Anyway, here we go:
The Parisian Cherry Ripe

1 1/2 oz London dry gin
3/4 oz kirsch
3/4 oz Cherry Heering

Blend with shaved ice (or blend well with crushed ice), pour into tumbler, float two bar spoons of Cherry Heering.
It's nice, I'll say that. The Cherry Heering tempers the funk of the kirsch nicely. That said, it's a little flat and a little sweet; next time I'll add a splash of lemon or lime juice to it, just to tart it up a little.

Certainly is un bête beaux, however.

The Parisian Cherry Ripe

September 12, 2009

Science Fiction Double Feature

"Wait! I can explain!"

I picked up a small bottle of a new ingredient today, and decided to play around with it a little bit tonight. I'm frankly kind of disappointed in it, but since it was a little bottle (not a 50ml sample, but nowhere near full size) I'm not out too much money, only about $4.50 or so. I will survive.

The ingredient is kirsch, also known as kirschwasser. It's a cherry brandy of's not sweet, as other fruit brandies frequently are. Truth be told, it tastes remarkably similar to it's cousin, maraschino's got a sort of funk that stems, in part from being fermented (or macerated, in the case of maraschino) with the skins and stones. Kirsch is typically made from Morello cherries, rather than the eponymous Maraska cherries of maraschino, but they're remarkably similar in taste...the big difference is that the kirsch is a lot drier, not being a liqueur.

Anyway, I mixed it with two drinks tonight both of which sound like they could be from 1950s B-grade sci-fi movies; one drink fared far better than the other...let's get to them, shall we?
Blackthorn Cocktail

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz Dubonnet rouge
1/2 oz kirsch

stir all in a mixing glass with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Eh. It's not a fantastic's still orders of magnitude better than what you'd find at your local fraternity dive bar, but it really strikes me as one dimensional. The kirsch and the Dubonnet run together (which surprises me), and it's left as being ginny with some unnameable-but-rather-sweet fruit flavor floating in the background.
Blackthorn Cocktail

Our second drink proved to be rather better than this one.
Cat's Eye Cocktail

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz kirsch
dash lemon juice

stir all with ice in a mixing glass, strain into chilled cocktail glass.
This one is not nearly as sweet or boring...the lemon juice and dry vermouth keeps it more balanced, and the tiny bit of orange you get from the Cointreau works very well with the cherry and almond notes the kirsch brings to the drink.

Cat's Eye

September 10, 2009

"Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel..."

This drink, which I'm posting quickly upon realizing it's been more than 5 days since my last post, is called the Blinker Cocktail. "Blinker" was another word for "blinders" as a mule or horse might wear to keep them looking forwards. I'm not sure what connection that has to the drink, but hey, if Ted Haigh researched it, it's good enough for me.
The Blinker Cocktail

2 oz rye whiskey or, failing that, a bourbon with a lot of rye, like Bulleit
1 oz grapefruit juice
2 barspoons (about 1 teaspoon) raspberry syrup (it's available commercially, or you can mash 1/2 pint of raspberries and put it in to boil with your next simple syrup batch)

shake all with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass.
It's a nice balancing act this walks; tart from the grapefruit, sweet and tangy from the raspberry syrup, and spicy from the rye (or bourbon). But it works. And it's such a lovely color.

The Blinker Cocktail

September 4, 2009

Appropriately, it's a short drink...

Tonight I feature a new ingredient for the blog, one that'd read about for months on end, but until lately, have not tried. It's called Dubonnet, and like vermouth, it's a fortified wine. Unlike vermouth, however, it contains quinine, which makes it a quinquina. Among the fortifying spices and flavorings in Dubonnet Rouge, the red variety that's by far the most common, are chamomile, cinnamon, orange zest, and unroasted coffee beans. (I must tip my hat to Tim, of the previously-mentioned Ginger Bitters blog for turning me on to the existence of this drink in the first place, as well as his helpful information on Dubonnet. If all bars were like the New Zealand bar he manages, the drinking scene would be vastly improved. As ever, Cheers, Tim!)

So, this drink is sort of a kissing cousin to the Fifth Avenue Variation I mixed up last month; gin based, has a little Fernet Branca backing up the fortified wine, but instead of dry vermouth, we've got a sweeter Dubonnet taking up that role, and some citrus is added with the inclusion of orange curaçao (I used a good triple-sec, a.k.a. white curaçao, but Cointreau or Grand Marnier could work, as well.) Furthermore, this drink is first and foremost a gin drink...there's four times as much gin as the other ingredients combined. Despite that, there's still a remarkable complexity to it... Here's how it's made:
The Napoleon Cocktail

60 ml (about 2 ounces) London dry gin
5 ml (about 1 teaspoon) Dubonnet rouge
5 ml (about 1 teaspoon) Fernet Branca
5 ml (about 1 teaspoon) orange curaçao/triple-sec/Cointreau/Grand Marnier

Combine all ingredients with ice, stir well to combine, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe.
Thanks to the properties of the Fernet and the Dubonnet, this is really an ideal after-dinner drink, for calming down the stomach and kicking the digestion of the meal into gear, a traditional digestif/digestivo. As I said it's a remarkably complex drink, but a very enjoyable one. Dubonnet is remarkably inexpensive, so go get a bottle and start playing around with it.

The Napoleon Cocktail

September 2, 2009

I wouldn't have guessed this would be as tasty as it is...

You're all familiar with gin and tonics and vodk tonics, I'm sure. Ever heard of a rum tonic? You wouldn't expect it to work, but it does, and it's as spectacular as it is simple. You just need to make sure you've got a good rum, as you're gonna taste a lot of it.
Rum Tonic

2 oz good amber rum (I used Mount Gay Eclipse)
tonic water to top
slice of lemon
grapefruit or orange bitters

build over ice in a tumbler.
See? Super simple, but it's incredibly good. I was doubtful at first...I couldn't imagine the slightly bitter tonic water finding a match with the rum, but it all ends up being smoothly tempered, and quite tasty. I like using Bittermens Grapefruit bitters here, just to add some extra tartness to the lemon, but orange bitters would work too, I think. Give it a try...I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Rum Tonic