Sunday, March 23, 2014

MxMo Eighty-Three: Preserves

It's time again for Mixology Monday.  Our host this time is Craig at A World Of Drinks. The theme is preserves. Here's a little blurb:

 The aim of the challenge is to go back to the days of the preserve, pick an ingredient, seasonal or not and treat it as if you won’t be seeing it again for quite some time. Syrups, sorbets, jam, shrubs and the like are all fair game, anything that will preserve the integral character of your favourite ingredient.

20140323-222951.jpgThere you have it. I must've glossed over the inclusion of syrups on my first reading as I was going to opt out. I didn't think this was really up my alley, in my wheelhouse; Within my purview etc. After some cajoling from Muse & Joel I decided to throw my hat in the ring after all. There was a brief dalliance with red pepper jelly (and a dalliance with onions) and then I spied something in the Spring 2014 issue of Food & Drink. (The seasonal magazine offered by the LCBO.) What I spied was the Blue Lavender Collins. It's construction making it more a fizz than a Collins but that was moot as blueberry-lavender jam was not in the pantry. In the pantry was Niagara peach-lavender jam! 

Niagara Fix
scant 1.0 oz peach-lavender jam
0.5 oz lemon juice

Stir with crushed ice in a small glass. Garnish with mint and with lavender blossoms. Serve with a straw.

And now a word of warning: You can't make this drink! Even if you do somehow have Dillon's Gin 22 you certainly don't have Kate's jam! But I'll bet there is a small distillery somewhere near you and that they make gin. I'll also bet someone even more near you makes jam. Hell, make your own jam!! So your drink won't be exactly like my drink. So what? Your Monday won't be exactly like my Monday but it'll still be Monday. Mixology Monday, even! 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I Shoulda Know Bettah

It's been a good news/bad news week and it's only Tuesday! Don't worry though the news is all booze related, nothing too serious. 

First the good news:
Dillon's Distillers ( has opened their online store! This means I can order small batch spirits and bitters and have them delivered to my door direct from the distillery!! This may be old hat in some jurisdictions but this is a big deal in Ontario! 

Now some bad news:
The other night I broke my Swing-A-Way (style) ice crusher. Not the entire thing but part of the inside which happens to be made of plastic. It still works but is more of a corner-rounder-offer than a crusher. Boo. 

Today I learned that eBay considers Angostura Bitters to be "a bottle of alcohol" and as such I've had my money refunded from an auction I won and I am not the proud owner of a still sealed pre-1992 16oz bottle. Boo-urns. I suppose it is a bottle of alcohol though… sort of like how vanilla extract is a bottle of alcohol or like how a Hungry-Man dinner is a box of salt. Ah well, lesson learned. 

Be well. 

Sunday, March 02, 2014


The gardener sat anxiously beside the driver. Neither was sure if the shop they were heading to was still open. As the storefront came in to view the gardener asked if the shop was open. 

"I can't really tell from here," the driver replied. "Maybe once we're through the intersection we'll be able to see."
"I see a red sign."
"That's a good sign!"
"No, it's an open sign."

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mixology Monday 82: Sours

Welcome readers! Once again it's Mixology Monday!

Thank you to Paul Clarke for creating it. Thank you to Fred Yarm for (resurrecting and) sustaining it. Thank you to Andrea Of Ginhound for hosting it.

The theme is sours. No, not Sourz! Sours. The class of drink! When I was a younger man I knew of the Whisky Sour and didn't realise that other drinks I enjoyed were also sours. (I also may have thought sour mix was needed to make a sour. Maybe.) What is a sour? For a lesson about sours check out 12 bottle bar. For some avuncular wordsmithing of what a sour is check out Doug's submission for this month.

Alright, got it? Good! Andrea went as for as to allow Fizzes and Daisies in as Sours but we needn't go that far afield. Usually when it's MxMo time I flip through my books and search blogs looking for ideas. Sometimes I even put together my own drink(s)! Not this time though. I knew what drink I'd make from the get go! (No, it isn't the signature drink of that happening club right across the street from right across the street.) The drink in question is the one that started me down this cocktail blogging rabbit hole. Sure I drank cocktails before and sometimes blogged about it but I didn't really "get it" back then. I had yet to discover proper grenadine too so my first makings of this drink were quite pink. Nowadays, since I use homemade-ish grenadine, it looks more like a daiquiri made with amber rum. Yeah, that's the ticket. I also used vermouth well past it's prime in those fledgling days. Believe you me these days I do things proper! 

I did get a couple of things right from the start. I used fresh lime juice and Cuban rum. Havana Club Anejo Blanco just happened to be the "house rum" if you will, but it couldn't have been more fitting...

So, what is this drink? Where did I encounter it? By happenstance I came across it in one of my books and it piqued my interest. It's mere name enticed me. The ingredients as well sounded up my alley but it was the name that drew me in. At that time although I had several drink books I only considered one to be a serious book. Charles Schumann's American Bar was that book and therein was this drink (along with many others which haven't borne nearly as much repetition of imbibetude.) This is the drink that really opened up my repertoire and broadened my horizons beyond Sidecar-at-home/Manhattan-when-out. From before my time and before your time, the booze-cruising tourist trap libation, from "Where the wet begins", (it's Kismet!) I give you:

The Sloppy Joe
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 tsp triple sec
0.5 tsp grenadine
0.75 oz dry vermouth
0.75 oz white rum

Shake; Strain; Up. Let your world expand.


Sunday, February 09, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

MxMo LXXXI: Hi-Ball

It's January. It's time to simplify. Our host Joel at Southern Ash has given us the theme of highballs for this months Mixology Monday. I could give you a tasty recipe using that bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced you got for Christmas from some well-meaning soul. I could do that but instead I'll climb a mountain of crushed ice and party with a penguin. Behold! 

    JWray & Ting
    2oz JWray 
    6oz Ting soda
    Build over ice

Simple yet effective. 

Cheers and be well!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mixology Monday 77: Smoke

This Month's Mixology Monday theme is smoke. Our host is @elanabean of Stir& Strain. I thought about doing something with Islay scotch. I mixed things with mezcal that ought not be repeated, or mentioned. I trapped smoke in my Boston in a less than fruitful attempt to smoke a drink. Ultimately I remembered that in F&W Cocktails 2012 there is a drink with smoke (and salt and cucumber) in the name. I didn't make that. Instead I made this delicious iced tea from the same book! From Anu Apte of Seattle's Rob Roy is the…

Rusty 2-60D
6 oz boiling water
1 tablespoon Lapsang Souchong
5 saffron threads
2 whole cloves
1 tablespoon honey

Combine water, tea, saffron and cloves. Steep for 8 minutes. Stir in honey until dissolved. Strain and cool. Once cooled pour in a chilled and ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with a lemons wedge.

It goes well with spicy stir-fry. But don't take my word for it…

Be well!