Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mixology Monday LXVIII: Humbug!

It's time again for Mixology Monday!

As JFL puts it:
Lets face it the holidays suck, yeah I said it. You put yourself in debt buying crap people will have forgotten about in a month. You drive around like a jackass to see people you don’t even like, or worse they freeload in your house. Your subjected to annoying music, and utterly fake, forced kindness and joy. Plus if you work retail your pretty much in hell, so don’t we all deserve a good stiff drink? So for this Mixology Monday unleash your inner Grinch. Mix drinks in the spirit of Anti-Christmas. They can be really bitter and amaro filled. They filled with enough booze to make you pass out in a tinsel covered Scrooge heap. They could be a traditional holiday drink turned on it’s ear. Or they could be a tribute to your favorite holiday villain. If you celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa then you still suffer through the holidays, so feel free to join in with your Anti-Holiday drink as well. Whatever it is add a hearty “Humbug!” and make your drink personify everything annoying or fake about the holidays.

Click here to go to the roundup post.

Humbug, eh? I started thinking about the humbug candy. Although Wikipedia paints it as a peppermint candy there's usually a little more going on. Sometimes it's malty. Sometimes more like molasses or caramel. How to translate this into a cocktail? I wasn't sure.

I did consider garnishing a drink with a humbug but I didn't feel like drilling a hole in a candy. The idea of a drink named after Oliver Cromwell did creep in to my mind. After a little research I discovered he wasn't the "humbug" I had thought. It was the rump parliament that "banned" Christmas and not The Lord Protector himself. Oh well.

Mint and earthy sweetness, eh? After some tinkering I came up with this:

Candy Cane In The Dirt
10ml Rhum Barbancourt 3 Star
15ml Fernet Branca
50ml Aalborg Jubilæums Akvavit
1 dash Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce

Stir over ice in a mixing glass. Strain in to a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry, an onion, and a green cherry.

Cheers! Humbug!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I Missed Out?

So, I missed the most recent Mixology Monday. Even with the deadline extension I still didn't post a drink. I did however realise just how and when a garnish is part of the drink and when it's equivalent to a paper umbrella. What shall I do with this new knowledge? I shall use it to enhance my enjoyment of cocktails. Then I shall devise a way to convey to you just how much a garnish does or does not enhance a drink. Once I've done this I will then not ever add that information to my posts. Instead I will continue to bring you irreverence and satire.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Garnishing Hallowe'en

It's the time of year for pumpkin spiced everything and Hallowe'en themed cocktails. You can find the recipes everywhere. Everywhere but here! Instead I bring you some garnishing ideas.

Perhaps you've made a Jack O Lantern Punch. Why not garnish it with a Jack-o-Lantern?

Or you could always just drink from a pumpkin.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Murray Stenson

Eloquence escapes me. So read Doug's post:

Also, read Paul's post:

Do you have any idea how tough it is to write a blogger post on an iPhone running Safari? Not anywhere neat ad tough as what Mr. Stenson is going through, I'd wager.


Saturday, October 06, 2012

MxMo El Eks Vee Ai : Bein' Green

October's Mixology Monday is hosted by Ed of Wordsmithing Pantagruel. The theme this time is (It's Not Easy) Bein' Green. To quote:

"With the warm days of summer now fading off into the distance in our rear view mirrors, let's pay one last tribute to the greens of summer before the frosts come and our outdoor herb gardens give up the ghost for the winter. For our theme for this month, I have chosen: (it's not easy) "Bein' Green." (Perchance due in no small part to my predilection for Green Chartreuse.) I'm giving you a wide berth on this one, anything using a green ingredient is fair play. There's not only the aforementioned Chartreuse; how about Absinthe Verte, aka the green fairy. Or Midori, that stuff is pretty damn green. Crème de menthe? Why not? Douglas Fir eau de vie? Bring it! Apple schnapps? is green. I suppose if you want to try to convince me it makes something good you can have at it. But it doesn't have to be the liquor. Limes are green. So is green tea. Don't forget the herb garden: mint, basil, cilantro, you name it - all fair game. There's also the veritable cornucopia from the farmers market: green apples, grapes, peppers, olives, celery, get the idea. Like I said, wide berth. Base, mixer, and or garnish; if it's green it's good. Surprise me. Use at least one, but the more the merrier."

So, thats fairly liberal and wide open. I have chosen to make a green drink and garnish it with green things. First though, the instructions for making one of the ingredients...

Shiso Rum

In a glass jar cover 1 cup torn shiso leaves with 1 cup over-proof rum (I used St Vincent Sunset). Let steep for 24 hours. Strain. The resulting liquid should look like green food colouring and taste almost, but not quite, entirely unlike creme de menthe.

Got your shiso rum? Good, here we go.

She Sew My Tie
1 oz Rhum Barbancourt 3 Star
0.75 oz lime juice
0.5 oz Shiso Rum
0.5 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz orgeat

Shake with crushed ice. Pour unstrained into a DOF. Garnish in a cool and freindly like manner.


UPDATE: Check out the other drinks in the wrap-up post

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mixology Monday LXV: Equal Parts

So, the esteemable Paul Clarke has handed over the reins of Mixology Monday to the indefatigable cocktail sleuth Fred Yarm. Excellent! The first go round, after a sizable hiatus, is equal proportions. (Update: read about all the drinks here in the wrap up post)

"[S]imple drinks where only one jigger is needed," says Fred.

So let's get down to it!

In keeping with Fred's comment about purists I will not make a drink with bitters, even though one or two did make my short list. "Garnish doesn't count", eh? I like that.

I thought about the Spievak Zombie but abandoned that idea. Recently I posted a 6 equal parts drink, the Ivy, but I won't retread that. Some recipes for the Lone Tree are equal and some are not but regardless there's those bitters...

So, what to do? What to do?

I flipped through my library and compiled a list. Some promising, some comical. Finally (actually first, but after considering all the other options more like "back to" and therefore "finally") I decided on the Perfect Cocktail.

Three ingredients. Three quarters of an ounce of each. No bitters. No dashes of any kind. A garnish which "doesn't count." (Remember the movie Monster Squad? No? Never mind...)

I think we all know what perfect means in cocktail parlance. Just in case though I'll refresh you: Both sweet and dry vermouths are used. The result is a drink not "dry" and not "sweet" but "perfect."  Outside of Manhattans and Martinis you don't see the term much. In my experience it is much more associated with a Manhattan than a Martini.

Anyway, here is the Perfect Cocktail. My choice for the perfect cocktail to toast the rebirth of Mixology Monday.

Perfect Cocktail
0.75 oz gin
0.75 oz dry vermouth
0.75 oz sweet vermouth

Shake, (Yes!shake!) strain, orange twist.

Curiously this drink, unlike the Lone Tree recipes I found in my library, is to be shaken. Using my usual reverse hard-shake cobbler method this results in a cloudy drink in which tiny ice chips float. Lovely. The garnish adds some nice orange elements. The orange along with the bitterness and herbs of the vermouth makes me want to try various Amer Picon cocktails. However one substitution or another will be necessary in this locality.

At first I thought this was anything but the "perfect" cocktail but as it warmed and became transparent I enjoyed it more and more. This is actually an excellent pre-prandial cocktail. Yay!

The similarity of this drink to the Lone Tree did get me thinking about cocktails whose very minor variations warrant a different name. (I'm sure someone has blogged about this before). Is this really a Lone Tree with an orange twist in place of orange bitters? Is it a Cooperstown that's shaken, in the vein of the Campobello to the Negroni? Maybe it's more like the Trinity to the Bloodhound. At any rate this drinks and it's cousins will likely become a staple of my home bar. Speaking of cousins, I think I'll go have a Bradford while I watch some fifth season episodes of The Dukes Of Hazzard.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"I Resolve To Call Her Up A Thousand Times A Day. Ask Her If She'll Marry Me..."

Sometimes you have to put your own plans aside and give the people what they want. The Federal Glass Martini and Gibson will wait. The 10 drinks from Cocktaildb with an onion garnish will wait. TNT will wait. Acapulco will wait. Daily dinners will wait. Here then, as I promised threatened long ago, is the drink to end all drinks. You think my fizz/buck had a lot of Ango? You think Erik posted an impropbable drink? Think the Stormy Mai Tai is silly? Maybe instead you think the Trinidad Sour is where it's at? Regardless,  I'll bet you think you know what cloves taste like. I doubt it. C'mon now, I dare you. I dared you to drink a Yellow Rattler. Time for a real challenge. Drink this!

Angostura Old Fashioned
2 oz Angostura Aromatic Bitters
0.5 oz cane syrup
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Build over ice. Garnish with a lime twist. But not some sissy basket weaving lime twists. No, an optical illusion!

This is good. Not so good that I don't need anything else in my liqour cabinet but good none the less.


Cheers! Pogue Mahone!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Of All The Trees That Are In The Woods..."

Some time ago I received a bottle of aged apple gin. How it got here doesn't matter. Fuhgettaboutit. Anyway, besides the White Heather and the Leap Year back in February (as if you somehow don't know when Leap Day is... sheesh) I've not been sure what to do with it. So like any good booze-nick after checking my library and coming up with nothing I went to the COCKTAIL DATABASE! There are 3 recipes using apple gin. Three. One in particular caught my attention because of it's likelihood to allow me to finish some bottles that, honestly, have outworn their welcome (cough, -cough- Bols Blue). The recipe in question is the Ivy. I figured that the aged apple gin/triple sec combo would reasonably sub for apple gin & Grand Marnier. As it is I expect that the drink is far less blue when made "according to Hoyle."  Anyway this is a tasty one, I feared that 6 ingredients might make for a muddled drinks but in this case it all works nicely together. Unless you want to make a really big drink though it means for lots of fiddly measuring. All in the name of science blue drinks!

1/6 Bombay Dry Gin
1/6 Meagher's Triple Sec
1/6 Round 5 Gin
1/6 Martini & Rossi Dry
1/6 Bols Blue Curacao
1/6 lemon juice

Shake. V-Formation

This recipe, the Cocktaildb tells us, was invented by T.E. Pooley. I don't know who that is. Oh well.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"You Put Your Left Foot In..."

Just the facts:

 Once while in the fortified wine aisle of one LCBO I stumbled upon Wincarnis. Back from Wikipedia? Ok. I wondered about it and how it could be used so I bought some this week without much intention other than to see if it could be substituted for Sweet Vermouth. Coincidentally Rowen posted about the Hanky Panky and he linked to Erik's post about the same drink and so I thought, "Why not use Wincarnis in a Hanky Panky?" So I made one with the Wincarnis (that's Latin kids, pronounce the W as a V) to Fogged In Lounge proportions. I was unsure of whether Wincarnis was really a good sub for Punt e Mes and wondered whether it was more a sub for Dubonnet. A sub for Dubonnet or perhaps Bonal? So, being the cocktailblog reader I am I searched Cocktail Virgin Slut for Bonal and what popped up first? Hanky Panky! I laughed. So here is my take. Like a hole in the head...

Hanky Panky 
2 oz Bombay Gin 
1 oz Wincarnis 
1/2 tsp Fernet-Branca 
stir over ice. strain. up. lemon peel (because I'm a contrarian and have no oranges)


Monday, June 25, 2012

Naming Rights

Coffee 229/365 The local sports arena/concert venue is slated to undergo a name change. It seems the John Labatt Centre will become Budweiser Gardens. This sort of thing happens all the time. The rights holder changes the name or the rights expire and go to the highest bidder which also results in a name change. There may be some public debate but ultimately we have no say. Just as I have no say in the names of cocktails at Salt Lake's Bar-X. It has come to my attention that they serve a drink called Medicine Hat. I named a drink that once. It was at TDN: Double Barreled.

So, what to do? Do I rename my drink? Do I leave it be and let two recipes exist on KC to confound future imbibers as to how one drink can have two recipes?

I don't know. Let me sleep on it, I'll give you an answer in the morning.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

"I Am A Shrubber"

June 7th at the request begging of JFL there was a low key TDN. A pop-up if you will. TDN: Berries.
After dinner in downtown Charleston the Missus and I returned to our hotel. Just to see what blueberry drinks had been concocted I logged in to twitter. Much to my surprise The "unofficial" TDN was getting tweeted from  The Mixoloseum. To the chatroom I went! JFL had left but Fred and Zach were there. As I was in a hotel room and without supplies I felt I had nothing to contribute. Fred suggested that a theoretical drink would suffice. Instead I went with a drink I had made the week before after making a strawberry gastrique. The drink, and the others from that weeks TDN, can be found here. While true that I did not offer my gastrique recipe at the time I will present it now:

Strawberry Gastrique
4 oz apple cider vinegar
2 oz raspberry balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup stewed strawberries
1 cup sugar
Bring liquid and fruit to a boil. Stir in sugar. Simmer for 20min. Strain through a coffee filter in to a Santa Claus shaped jar. Let cool. 

I used Jonny Raglin's Ginger Gastrique (as found in F&W Cocktails 2012) recipe as a starting point. The discussion at some point turned to shrubs and how they differed from gastriques. The consensus was that a shrub goes in a glass and a gastrique on a plate. Nevertheless Jonny Raglin calls his a gastrique. Who am I to argue?


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Don't Like Beets

I don't like beets.  I like many other roots and many earthy things but not beets. I did find a way to tolerate them though, courtesy of FIG in Charleston, SC. When sweetened with strawberry and surrounded with whisky, vermouth, and bitters I actually enjoy beet juice. Go figure. Beats me!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cool And Friendly-Like

Lime & Orange To make a good drink you need good ingredients. Neon "maraschino" cherries are not a good ingredient. Either buy some Luxardo cherries or make your own brandied cherries. Though to be fair I haven't even followed my own advice, yet. I'm getting by with Twilight Cherries. Anyway, the neon ones are to be avoided.  I was once tempted by some stemmed blue cherries but they stayed on the shelf.  And then...

Whilst shopping with Cutes she spied a jar of green cherries.  I paid them no mind as I figured they were for baking. Then I noticed the stems.

"You should get these," she said. "They could be a blog topic."

"I don't know," said I.

Then I read the label. May contain pits? Lime flavoured? Made by Whytes?

Lime flavoured!?

Lime flavoured!?

Yes, Doug, onions lime flavoured!

So with coercion approval from the missus I bought a jar.  I expected them to smell like green popsicles and that is exactly what I was greeted with when I opened the jar. The taste was less acidic than an actual lime but still more like lime than, say, cherry. Eating one is a bit of a trip akin to eating a Dorito and tasting a cheeseburger thought nowhere near as awesome.

So what to do with these things? I dunno...

Friday, May 25, 2012

"Tantos años tardó en cruzar el mar..."

Sailing to Tortuga

Some time ago while perusing the Flickr group Exotic Cocktails and Tiki Mugs I came across Mr Bali Hai's Tortuga. It intrigued me. Unfortunatley once I set sail I was turned away by the acrid smoke of the lime zest cannons. Overzealous garnishing and my fault entirely I'm sure. Recently, bravely, I set sail again.

Under the convenient flag of the blood orange Captain Vermouth and First Mate Grenadine sail their three masted lime hulled ship. They are a worthy match to the guns of Bergeron and San Felipe. Unfortunately their vessel is ultimately sunk in the rough waters of the crushed ice sea, but they survive. An uneasy peace is achieved. Blood oranges and cocoa are consumed in hesitant celebration. But the Cpt remains on the qui vive for more guns.

Rather than the double 151 cannons and full ounce of vermouth of the Grog Log I went with the recipe from The CocktailDB. It went something like this:

0.5 oz orange juice
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz Meyer lemon juice
0.75 oz (homemade)  Herbes de Provence Huckleberry Vermouth
1 oz Brugal 151
1 oz Trader Vic's Silver Rum
0.5 oz Meaghers Triple Sec
0.5 oz grenadine
0.5 oz Bols Creme de Cacao (white)

Shake with ice. Strain in to a candy dish of crushed ice. Garnish with a ship.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

That's Not A Gimlet

When I was young(er) a common source of refreshment was lime cordial topped with soda water.  This is as much a shorter grown-up version of that as it is a virgin gimlet. It's actually much better than I anticipated and makes me want to try the Mocktini found in The Complete book of Mixed Drinks. Another timeperhaps.

Mock Gimlet Mockimlet
0.5 oz lime cordial
2 oz tonic water
Stir with ice and  strain in to a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime flavoured cherry.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Juice A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

I found this one in The Complete book of Mixed Drinks.  There are several drinks in it calling for grapefuit, lime, and something. This one intrigued me most. The book calls for Lite-n-Low which I assume is the Aussie version of Sweet'N Low. I used stevia. Here's my adaption of the recipe.

Doctor's Orders
0.5 oz lime juice
2 oz grapefruit juice
1 sachet stevia
2 oz tonic water
Shake first 3 ingredients with ice. Strain in to a coupe. Top with tonic. Garnish with lime and straws.
Doctor's Orders


That's Not A Product Review: Wray & Nephew Rum Cream

Recently(ish) a bottle of rum cream came into my possession.  Straight from Jamaica even! The label proclaims it's made with genuine overproof white rum yet for some reason the product is brown. Hmmm. White rum + cream (assumedly white) = cafe au lait coloured product. What's that all about? Some sort of secret process by which alcohol is emulsified with cream (and stable at room temp and not requiring refrigeration) also necessitates added colour? Maybe. I'm not a food scientist. I'm not any kind of scientist for that matter.

Unlike some other products I've had that taste vaguely of alcohol and mostly of cream this is definitely made with rum. Even at 15% abv anyone else (with working olfactory senses) in the room you're in will know you're drinking rum!

So, when next someone you know goes to Jamaica and asks what (legal things) you'd like brought back as a souvenir you could do worse than to ask for Wray & Nephew Rum Cream.


Friday, May 18, 2012

A Definitive Mai Tai & A Simplified Zombie

While I appreciate comments on my blog as much as the next blogger it's a little disheartening when most of it is spam.  Sometimes it gets past the filters but it's still really spam. Here are two recent comments I've decided not to allow.  Instead i will present them here as found prose/poetry:

"Покупка автодома или каравана – серьезный вопрос. Как правило, стать владельцем собственного мобильного и удобного дома на колесах решают состоявшиеся люди. Много и тяжело работая, они уже сформировались, как сильные личности, сформировались и их представления об уровне быта, которого достойны они, их семьи и близкие люди. Наша задача – помочь реализовать возможность приобретения современного и комфортабельного автодома. Первое представление о модельном ряде даст каталог Hymer. Наши специалисты помогут подобрать Ваш индивидуальный вариант. С победой в сезоне празднуют REGINA и Antonio Cairoli который становится новым чемпионом мира в MX1! Cairoli заканчивает сезон в MX1 с титулом чемпиона мира, завоевав свой третий титул в карьере и стал самым молодым MX1-GP с номером ОДИН!. 6 апреля 2008 года в Голландии, в местечке Valkenswaard, был открыт чемпионат мира по мотокроссу. Это первый из пятнадцати этапов, которые нам предстоит посмотреть в 2008 году. В нем принимал участие наш"

Which Google-translates as: 
Buying a caravan or camper - a serious issue. As a rule, to take ownership of their ownmobile and comfortable home on wheels held the people decide. A lot of hard work, they have already formed, as a strong personality, have formed their perceptions about the level of everyday life, which they deserve, their families and loved ones. Our goal - to help realize the opportunity to purchase a modern and comfortable motorhomes. The first idea of ​​the model number of the directory will Hymer. Our experts will help you choose your individual choice. With the victory of the season and celebrate REGINAAntonio Cairoli who becomes the new world champion in the MX1! Cairoli finished the season in MX1 with the title of world champion, winning his third title in his career and became the youngest MX1-GP with the number ONE!. April 6, 2008 in Holland, in the town of Valkenswaard, was opened on the World Championship Motocross. This is the first of the fifteen steps that we will see in 2008. It involved our 

A definitive 

Mai Tai and Simplified 
 is really a really 
useful resource thanks so much! 
Today is virtuous indisposed, isn't it?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"If you can't be with the one you love,..."

 "Love the one you're with!"

Apologies to Stephen Stills and Billy Preston. Now that that's out of the way...

When I began my journey through the world of booze-blogs all I wanted was one thing: A definitive Mai Tai recipe and a definitive Zombie recipe. Okay, that's two things. The Mai Tai thing was easy enough to sort out, orgeat on the other hand...

The Zombie, of course, is anything but definitive. Though this simplified Zombie might not be such a bad idea...

What is a bad idea is pining away for exotic liqueurs and impossible to find rums whilst neglecting what's actually in your liquor cabinet. While reading about other peoples booze was quite entertaining and often full of pretty pictures it mostly made me feel left out.  Brands I have previously only read about have started appearing on shelves here but there's always something (or several things) out of reach.  What's a fella to do? I'll tell you...

Search for recipes containing bottles you actually have or use your knowledge of flavours to make something tasty. It's that simple. Though sometimes we all could use a little coaxing. The last TDN of March and the first blogged about in April was Dry Vermouth, "You know it. You have some, Now use it!.." I, for one, have no trouble using my dry vermouth.  This is mostly because I don't have other aromatized wines on hand. That and the fact that I really enjoy it.  What I do have trouble using is my coffee liqueur, and my maple liqueur, etc. I had been looking for things to do with Falernum and to a lesser entext Pimento Dram.The first drink of the night, the Samuel Lord (which Fred has left out of the blog), contained both! Excellent. It also combined rum and dry vermouth which puts me in mind if the Sloppy Joe though it may put you in mind of El Presidente. The name may be a play on the Port Antonio, which I doubt, but I expect the intent is to use Bajan rum. Having earlier in the week found a use for Falernum in a variation of the Eye-Opener (or so I thought) that actually was a variation of the Eye Opener by way of a Vampyre the Samuel Lord seemed like another excellent use for Falernum and an excellent way to use up my dry vermouth.

Where was I? Oh, okay, I was now within reach of some rum(s) which had not previouly been available here but had no room in the liqour cabinet. So, to empty some bottles,  instead of the Mai Tai I was craving I had...something. This got me thinking about Dr Adam's recent post about the Negroni and his tweets about etymology. What I ended up having was a Pinky Gonzalez, mostly. I omitted the sugar syrup (a la Dr Bamboo) and added a float of cask strength Laphroaig to the lime. So I present to you:

I'll, uh... Gonzalez!
2 oz El Jimador Reposado 
0.5 oz Meaghers Triple Sec
0.5 oz Tina Orzata
0.75 oz lime juice

I'll, uh... Gonzalez!
You know how to make this.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"You Just Seem Older Than Yesterday. And You're Waiting For Tomorrow To Call."

And A Cherry On Top

When I was a lad going out for dinner nearly always meant the Swiss Chalet.  At that time the restaurant actually had a chalet style roof and the waitresses wore "Swiss" costumes blouses & dresses. The menu choices were chicken, or ribs, or chicken and ribs.  In addition to whatever was on the children's menu and the bottomless pop (served in half-pint glasses) there was always the "Kiddie Cocktail." This was a de facto Shirley Temple, they just didn't call it that.  I didn't care.  I didn't know who she was.  I just enjoyed the sweet syurpy goodness.  Eventually I outgrew the children's menu and it's Kiddie Cocktail and moved on to other drinks.  By then I did know who Shirley Temple was. (I first recall knowing of Shirley Temple while watching a televised performance of a modern adaption of A Comedy Of Errors which included the line, "Surely, not in the temple!" My parents had to explain it to me...)

The drink pictured above isn't a Shirley Temple. I'll get to what it is.  Recently I was searching for recipes in which to use my "homemade" grenadine. One recipe that kept cropping up was the Roy Rogers. While I did eventually grow to know of Shirley Temple I don't think I knew of Roy Rogers until I was in my teenage years and even then, to me, he was just a name.  His namesake drink is an even more recent discovery. I don't know why, I guess western kitsch just wasn't that prevalent in my up bringing.

Anyway, most recipes call for a small amount of grenadine.  Perfectly fine if you're using grocery store stuff that tastes like snow cone syrup.  But with this stuff I think we need to up the ante.

Roy Rogers
1oz home made grenadine
4 oz Mexican Coca-Cola

Stir with ice. Garnish with a cherry. Pull the trigger.

I can't believe it took me so long to make grenadine.  It's easy. Easier and possibly less fun than making Falernum. But still...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

True Dat

 "You can't make an omelet with urban legend eggs."  - Doug Winship

Don't Step On My Blue Suede Shoes

I pledge to make no more drinks with grenadine until I've made my own or purchased  a decent one.

 My opinion of grenadine had been somewhat similar to Mr. O'Neill's.  That is to say it's for sweetness and colour. It certainly isn't pomegrante syrup.  If it were it would be called Pomegreante Syrup. It`s not that, it`s Grenadine. There's usually something else going on flavourwise. Perhaps orange flower, perhaps Jamaica flower, most likely vanilla.  In fact sometimes vanilla only. This is what most people know of grenadine.  Then again, most people think a frozen strawberry daiquiri is a legitimate drink. Viewing grenadine as I did, my use of it-a dash at a time-was to add some sweetness and colour to a drink. I've been able to get away with it.  Then I went and flouted it. Oops.

Boozeblogging is funny business.  We can set aside political divides and all get along whilst making questionable concoctions and insulting each other's lineage, etc. Just don't use grocery store grenadine. Especially not Rose's. And once you've not done that don't not pass it off like its no big thing.

So there I was thinking that an ingredient used one dash at a time and just really for sweetness and colour needn't be anything more than coloured syrup.  I got all smart-assy about it. And then.....

Doug went all "hard shake" on me in the comments; so he should. 

 I'm sorry if I made anyone cry.

Seeing the error of my ways (somewhat like Rick's reveleation about pineapple juice) I've decide to not use any grenadine until I have some actual grenadine.  Not a hardship.  I imagine tasting the real thing will be an eye-opener.

Speaking of an eye opener...

Café au Piment Drachme
0.25 oz pimento dram
8 oz strong coffee

Pour pimento dram into heated mug.  Top with coffee.

What's that have to do with grenadine? Nothing.
Sort of the point...

However, I will keep using Rose's Lime Cordial.  Here's why:

Water, sugar, juice, acid, preservative, colour.

Get over it. Suck it Trebek!

I will also still put Rose's in my toast too.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Oh, It's, ..uh.., Good.... For You.

 Disclaimer: I used Rose's Grenadine. Get over it.

If one searches online one will find a recipe for a drink called El Cid.  Likely named after Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar.  The recipe(s) you are likely to encounter will contain (among other things) Rose's Lime, Midori and orange juice.  The connexion being....Valencia? I dunno.

Anyway, in one of my books is a drink called El Cid that bears no resemblance.  Having, as I did, a new bottle of tonic water and not one in need of using up before it`s bubbles expire I decided to give the El Cid (is that redundant, like The La Brea Tar Pits?) a try.

El Cid as written:

El Cid
1½ oz. tequila
1 oz. lime juice
½ oz. almond-flavoured syrup
tonic water
dash of grenadine

1. Pour tequila, lime juice, and almond syurp into a Collins glass
2. Stir well
3. Fill with tonic water
4. Add a dash of grenadine to top
5. Garnish with a lime slice

from: The Complete Bartender by Robyn M. Feller

So, let's see, we've got pomegranate lowering blood pressure and fighting cancer, almonds lowering cholesterol, limes warding off scurvy, quinine warding off malaria and fighting fever, inflammation and pain.  Then we've got tequila and sugar....undoing it all?

Ok, so it isn't actually good for you. But it is made of things I have on hand and sounds refreshing.  Let's give it a try.

El Cid as made:

El Cid
1.5 oz El Jimador Resposado¹
1 oz lime juice
0.5 oz Tina Orzata
2 oz GV Tonic Water²
dash of Rose's Grenadine³
lime wedge

El Cid

Shake tequila, juice and syrup over ice.  Pour over ice in a Collins highball. Top with tonic.  Add a dash of grenadine.  Leave lime wedge on cutting board and take a photo of the drink.

Turns out this is quite refreshing.  Pouring in the pop and not stirring means that the first few sips contain the most soda, and the most noticeable taste of the tequila.  Sort of like a Tequila & Tonic giving way to a fizz, or a fix, or a daisy, or something. The basic formula then is 3:2:1 of spirit, citrus, syrup, topped with something fizzy and a dash of something. Watch out, this format may just catch on...


¹ I expect that blanco was intended in the original recipe but as I have on hand two reposados and one anejo I chose one of the former(s)
² My spies tell me this is made by Cott for Wal-Mart.  It's damn tasty! Ranking somewhere above Boylans but below whatever brand of Tonica it was we drank in Cuba.
³ I can't bring myself to throw this out. It's almost gone, honest. I will make my own or buy better stuff. Besides, it was mostly for colour in this drink anyway.

Dry Juniper Berry Soda

It's made by these folks:

It looks like this:
Juniper Berry Soda

To me, it tastes like this:

Simple syrup topped with S.Pellegrino in a gin rinsed glass.  Subtle and refreshing.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Well, What Would You Call It?

UPDATE March 19 2012: Camper has dubbed this the Pom-Pom. So it shall be.

-drinking vinegar-

0.5 oz cinnamon-vanilla-pomelo syrup
0.5 oz UB Dessert Vinegar Pomegrante Comdiment**
1 oz water
2.5 oz ginger soda

Sake first three ingredients over ice in a shaker. Pour over crushed ice into a rocks glass. Top with ginger soda. Garnish with a candied pomelo slice.

The other night I tried to make a shrub or some sort of drinking vinegar.  All attempts came out poorly.  Last night I decided to slice up some pomelo and simer it in my cinnamon-vanilla syrup.  The result was something that may or may not resemble Don's Mix. Though it likely resembles Don's Mix moreso than it resembles, say, a spare tire, it probably is only vaguely similar. Anyway, tonight I was looking for some refreshment and didn't want to (yet again) reach for a bottle of fizz, corn syrup and food colouring. Instead I combined vinegar, white sugar and fizz, corn syrup and food colouring.

Oh well.

Baby steps, man, baby steps.


*It will also answer to the name Berry White.
**photo, and possible blog post, to follow

Witch's Kiss

-Witch's Kiss-

Witch's Kiss
5 oz tropical fruit juice*
dash lemon juice
dash sugar syrup
0.5 oz grenadine

Shake with ice and pour in to  hi-ball glass. Top-up with soda water. Garnish with a lemon slice, straws and optional decoration.

paraphrased from The Complete book of Mixed Drinks

Sort of the Collins to the Pussy Foot's fizz, or something like that...

*I used a tetra-packaged non-juice juice.  Use whatever floats your boat you consider "tropical."


Oh, The Circularness!

Almost one year ago Erik brought us the Clayton's Pussyfoot.  I now bring you the version (with some minor tweaks) from Schumann`s American Bar:

Pussy Foot
1/4 oz lemon juice (1/4 oz lemon juice)
dash grenadine (freepour Rose's, so sue me)
1 3/4 oz orange juice (1 5/8 oz blood orange juice)
1 3/4 oz grapefruit juice (1 3/4 oz pomelo juice)
stemmed cherry (Twilight Cocktail) 

Shake well over ice cubes in a shaker, strain into a small highball glass over ice cubes, garnish with cherry.

Pussy Foot

Unfortunately I do not have proper highball glasses so there was some room left at the top.
Nevertheless I enjoyed this thouroughly!
However I do think this drink would be equally good, and longer lasting, with some soda or some water added.  Hmm, citrus juice, syrup and soda pop.  Where have I heard that before?


This post is one in an erratic and unplanned series in my lackadaisical effort to make most of the drinks (or most of the drinks that pique my interest) in Charles Schumann's American Bar.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Ginger Ale vs Ginger Beer II

So what have I found out? Nothing difinitive. Some say beer has more sugar, some say ale is sweeter. Some say beer tastes more of ginger, some say ale tastes more of ginger. Mostly the information that is out there suggets that Eric's comment on my original post is on the money. In addition to capsaicin and other adjuncts some makers of ginger beer add a clouding agent to their soda. I suppose this is to mimic the natural cloudyness of a fermented product?

There is some imformation on wikipedia on the subject, both ale and beer.  Of specific interest to me was learning of the ginger beer plant which is not a plant but a specific yeast/fungus/bacteria.  I suppose the cause of my confusion in the first place was the fact that Mr Brown calls it ginger ale and Mr Morgenthaler calls it ginger beer even though the recipes are very similar.  My opinion is that ale was the US term and beer was the UK term for the same product but eventually as we came to this age of mass produced carbonated syrup drinks ale has become the dry one and beer has become the sweet spicy one.

Nevertheless I must make some again. Whether ale or beer a tasty beverage it shall be!

Yerba Mate Chai Latte

I'm going to make some assumptions. I'm going to assume you know how to make tea, and that knowing how to make tea you know how to make strong tea. I'm going to assume you have a device (such as this, though possibly less cool looking) with which to steam milk. I'm also going to assume that you actually know how to steam milk. (i.e. you have a thermometer, etc). I'm going to assume that you will forgive me for calling something Chai when it is in fact not tea. I think that's all the assuming I'm going to do tonight, ...we'll see.

Yerba Mate Chai Latte
8 oz strong Mate Chai
5 oz steamed spiced milk

Pour milk into mate. Top with foam.

It should look something like this:
Mate Chai Latte


Oh, right, one more thing.

Spiced Milk
12-16 oz cold milk
5 cloves
4 whole berries
1/5 tsp Dominican vanilla extract*. 

Add spices and extract to milk. Steam until properly frothed.

*It has just come to my attention that this may not be what it appears to be. Proceed with caution. I'm a little concerned...

Friday, March 02, 2012

Caffe Americano Con Sciroppo D'Acero

You didn't expect a recipe, now did you?


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

It's a leap year.  Some time ago (possibly last year when 12 Bottle first posted it) I made a mental note that I should have a Leap Year cocktail the next occurring leap year. I didn't think much more of it until this month.  Like most of us I was caught up in Tiki Month and didn't think of the Leap Year until this week (more or less). So, I consulted Schumann's American Bar and OhGosh! and discovered that i did not have all the needed ingredients. Egads!

How could this have happened? It doesn't matter...

Anyway, to be thorough i checked another source and saw that this cocktail was listed as the variation and the original contained (of all things) Orange Gin! Something I've never had on hand. Okay...

So there i was without Grand Marnier, without regular gin (so sue me) but with a lemon.  A lemon and triple sec and aged gin. I figured that the aged gin would nicely take the place of the woody component of the Grand Marnier and we'd have a nice approximation.  An  approximation but really another variation. Or maybe a (syrup-less) Fancy Aged Gin Sour. Hmmm, maybe not.

This got me thinking about cocktail variations and when something merely needs variation added to the end of it and when it needs a new name. Of course this brought to mind the DJ and his remixes. Remix standing in as a synonym for variation is good and all but the music metaphor only goes so far. I had planned to go on about this for a good portion of the post and recommend that everyone read This Is Your Brain On Music. Then go an a little more and kidnap Doug and have him point out that if your booze-blog contains this much prose before a drink recipe there`d better be a picture of "cheesecake" to hold the readers interest.

I think you just did that.

Right, Rule 6.

Rule 5!

So, why am I telling you about what I was going to do rather than just doing it? Because of this repost:

Leap Year Cocktail | 12 Bottle Bar

This recipe says orange liqueur, not Grand Marnier. D'oh! So, I did have the ingredients! Just not the proper gin.

So, somewhat sheepishly, here it is:

Leap Year

A Modest Proposal Frederic's Birthday
0.75 oz "Round 6" Aged Gin
0.25 oz Vermouth Rosso
0.25 oz Triple Sec
0.25 tsp lemon juice

Shake together over ice, strain, serve in a cocktail glass. Or, if you have one, in a Klein Cockail Glass.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

MxMo LXIV: Tiki!

It's Mixology Monday time!

February's MxMo is hosted by Doug. Doug has really outdone himself this time Tiki Month with many blog posts and side-blog posts, not just about drinks but about Tiki decor and music and all things tiki. I will admit I've not read everything and just skimmed some of the posts but you should read them all. No, really, you should read them all.

What is Mixology Monday, you ask? It's the monthly online cocktail party. What would a cocktail party be without food?  Well, it would just be a bunch of people getting drunk wouldn't it?  Despite my agreement with Joe's recent comment that all the tiki drinking should be offset by tiki eating I will leave the food recipes to other blogger(s) and offer you some beverages for the drivers and tee-totallers. You only invited drinkers you say? Just like the unfortunate appearance of douchebag Steve the people you invite and the people who show up are not always the same. So you must offer (along with food) some low or non-alcholoic drinks for your guests.  John and Marsha drove to your party and they're going to drive home too*. So, whoever loses (or maybe wins) at Rochambeau must remain sober. You could be predictable and offer pop soda or (plain old) coffee but in the spirit of a Tiki party why not make everything out of hard to find ingredients? Here we go:

Jamaique Fleur Cafe
2oz (strong) Serrano coffee 
1/4 tsp Zuko Jamiaca mix
1 pineapple chunk

Brew coffee in a Moka pot. If you have a more Episcopalian less Italian coffee maker use twice the amount of grounds you normally would. Stir in Zuko powder. Garnish (you heard me!) with a pineapple chunk.  Encourage your guest(s) to add the pineapple to the coffee. 


If you do add the pineapple to the cup the result is a flavour combination favoured by both Tiare and Col Tiki.   Two wonderful folks for whom Tiki month happens all year and if they like those flavours, well...

For the following drink use a non-alcoholic falernum.  Say, like this one from Rick.

3oz horchata
6oz soda
2oz falernum

Build as an egg cream in an ice cold glass.

There you have it folks. Two tiki-flavoured drinks for the non-drinkers at your party.

Oh, just one more thing:

Some music for your party. It is a party after all, get up and dance. None of this relaxing sounds of Martin Denny nonsense.

*John and Marsha live in a subdivision a) not serviced by the bus and b) full of convoluted streets. That makes directing a taxi driver an exasperating task when sober, let alone when coming home from a Tiki party.

Powdered Red Beverages

Perhaps it should be red powdered beverages. I'm not sure...

Anyway, I had a canister of Gatorade powder. I brought it to work to replenish myself after my lunchtime "workout."  One of my co-workers had brought hot chocolate mix.  We noticed the ease with with hot chocolate dissolves in hot water and the lack of ease with which the Gatorade powder dissolved in cold water.  So, in Julian Smith fashion (and mostly as a joke) we made some Hot Gatorade figuring that the powder would dissolve very easily. It turned out to be rather tasty too.  Who knew?  

Whilst grocery shopping we (the missus and I) encountered Zuko Jamaica flavor drink mix.  Already familiar with Jarritos Jamaica soda (and armed with the knowledge that allspice is also called piment de la Jamaïque) I was expecting a clove-nutmeg-cinnamon drink. I was not expecting fruit punch. But there it was. Cloves and fruit punch. Wha!? Further research revealed that it is actually hibiscus (or flor de Jamiaca) flavoured.  So too, allegedly, is the Jarritos drink. I'll need to sample that again and report back...

Hmmm, what will I do with this fantastic flavour from the Caribbean? 

Watch out!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


From my Flickr

Doug and the MxMo

I've participated in the past in the monthly cocktail party that is Mixology Monday.  I've missed the last few several but spurred on by Doug's enthusiasm and prolific posting for Tiki Month I feel I must participate once again.

Hey, why don't you participate too?

Stay tuned!