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!

Monday, August 19, 2013

MxMo Seventy Six: FIRE!!

It's Mixology Monday time again. This time our host is Muse of Doom of Feu De Vie. The theme is fire. Let's play with fire begin:

Many years ago I received as a gift a cocktail book called The Complete Book Of Mixed Drinks. No, not 
this book. A different book. Possibly a semi-promotional book funded by Seagram's and sold in Australia. Possibly. For a time some recipes appeared verbatim on This last fact may still be the case or it may not. I didn't check. Anyway, amongst the typos and wrong photos and general oddness there was one drink in particular that struck me as really odd. The drink itself is pretty straight forward and tasty. The garnish of grated chocolate seems plausible enough but the second garnish is a horse of a different colour! I will give you my version then we'll move on to the verbatim version.

Cafe Nero
1oz galliano

Warm galliano and place in a warmed 5 oz cocktail glass. (The warming is key. Without it I had to spike the Galliano to up its proof in order for intro light). Swirl to coat glass. Sprinkle sugar over liqueur. Light galliano on fire! Slowly pour hot coffee into glass. (The flames should continue buring until you've nearly filled the glass). Top with cream or whipped cream.

And now the best part! It's not nearly as much fun as you think it's going to be but it's absurdity more than makes up for it:

Serve with a saucer of marshmallows.

Yeah, you read that right. Marshmallows. The little ones. The little pastel coloured ones. Here's the original recipe from the book:

Thank you Muse Of Doom. Thank you Fred Yarm. Thank you Paul Clarke. 




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mix Moe: LXXV Flip Flop

It's mixology Monday time again! I've missed a few and u think the works is none he worse for that. This mo UBS theme is bright to us by feed if cockya virginxdkut.

Uh, right. Lets try that again. This time typing with both hands and not merely one thumb… on my phone. 

It's Mixology Monday time again. I've missed the past few and, let's face it, the world is no worse off for my lack of participation. Anyway, our host this time is the indefatigable Fred Yarm of CVS and the theme is Flip Flop. At first I thought this was a reiteration of Inverted but it's not. How so? Read this.

I had a few ideas of what to flip and what to flop but they all seemed to be too time consuming on try. I've got things to do! So I took a dubious "classic" and changed two of the ingredients. Behold I give you… (it's a put on)

The Onion Front
1 jigger pickled onion juice
1 jigger akvavit

Drink onion juice rapidly. Follow immediately by drinking akvavit rapidly. Join the party dressed to kill. 

There you have it folks. The good ole Pickleback flipped and flopped. 

Thank you to Fred and to Paul Clarke. 

Cheers and be well!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 8?

I've been doing this for eight weeks!? Really? How 'bout that, whadda ya know etc etc…

When I set out to do this I had a set format and vision, almost. I was going to keep track of each and every day and decide if I'd won or lost. Then I was going to post a weekly score.  That didn't last. Things change. I may need to come up with a new format. We shall see, we shall see. 

Be well.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 7

Week seven. Really? Yes, really. 

"Damn the expense give the cat another canary."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 6 Blog Neglect

First a nutrition related confession: Today I had a chocolate chip muffin for breakfast a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and a chocolate dipped ice cream cone for dinner. I also had two coffees and a few glasses of cola. I think I should buy groceries! :P

There are mainly two ways in which my blog becomes neglected. Either I'm sitting at home feeling down and not motivated to write or I'm out living my life and barely find time to snap photos let alone write about what I'm doing. Lately it's been the latter. If any of you <a href="">follow my photos</a> you may have noticed some gaps lately. I'm not too down to take photos. I'm too busy keeping my phone in my pocket. When there are real live people around my phone goes away … mostly. That's enough news I think. 

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it people like me!" 
- Stuart Smalley

Be well. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 5 Halftime

It's midweek so I ought to post. 

My penchant for having <strike>inappropriate</strike> unusual reactions continues. Some of the time I respond in a way opposite to what one might expect. Much talk of Heaven and the eternity of one's soul left me not with hope and peace but left me unsettled and full of dread. I think this ought not be the case. Perhaps I was overly tired and already unsettled. Food, coffee, and friendly faces brought me back to normalcy, eventually. 

I could explain this phenomenon more clearly but perhaps now is not the time. 

Some time ago I would often misinterpret a full bladder as leg pain. There are other examples but that springs to mind most readily. I wonder how often I've misread cues for hunger or sleep. For that matter how often have I misinterpreted cues from other people? Do I continue to? Likely. Praise and criticism are things I likely don't understand correctly. 


Be well. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 4 Pleasant Darkness

In the winter my friend was here. He was here while I had my breakfast and my morning coffee and would go on his way at sunrise. Sometimes he'd arrive before I'd had my dinner. Always he was present during my evening activities.  These days though I hardly see him. Some nights I'm asleep before he shows. Some mornings he has gone again before I've even completely awaken. Why should it be so? It ought to be the opposite but it is not. The long(er) days of spring and summer ought to bring comfort for a diurnal creature. Instead the days bring anxiety and apprehension. The days bring a sinking feeling that I've started late and will finish early. I miss my friend. I miss The Darkness. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 3 Wrap Up

I am not ever one to count my chickens before they've hatched but I'm confident that between now and Monday morning I will not sink to the depths of despair. With that in mind I'm going to say I won this week. I'm not sure what the final score was but I'm sure I didn't lose.

Several mornings this past week I was awake about an hour before my alarm went off. I was able to get back to sleep but, still, that's not anything anyone needs.

Another thing not anyone needs is to live in a mess. Most of the time I live in a mess. The living room I can keep clean but the kitchen... that's another story. I'm not sure what my problem is but my dishes always pile up. I feel tremendously better when the kitchen is clean so - as an exercise in hygiene (mental an otherwise) - I'm going to try to stay on top of my dishes. No sweeping declaration. No vow. No promise. Just the knowledge that a clean kitchen brings me up rather than down.

Be well.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 3 Halftime-ish

When you have a blog you occasionally come across a blog that is much better than your own. Today I came across such a blog. I know not what the usual subject of the blog is but lately it's about depression. Check it out. Click here to visit Hyperbole And A Half. There is some of what they call "strong language" but we're all adults here, right? We can handle that.

So what about me? I think The Demons are on holiday. Self doubt and self pity have been around but they never stay for a second cuppa. Besides, they're supposed to show up now and again. Exuberance has been around too. At least that's what I'm calling it. I think my baseline mood has levelled up so... [metaphor about a power meter in a video game]. That'll do.

Be well.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 2 Some More

"The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night's sleep."
- E. Jospeh Cossman

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 2 So Far So Good

My reset did me some good. Perhaps yesterday I was merely tired. A nap once home from work followed by a bite to eat and then straight to bed. Today was much better. This is an ongoing trend. The day after an afterwork nap is always good. Today was also Saturday and it was sunny so all of that helps.

Be well.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 2 So Far

So I wasn't really keeping score this week. I took it to mean I must be winning. Though today, Friday, I'm unsure. I'm unsure how I quantify or describe today's feelings. I plan to hit "reset" (ie have a nap) and reassess. Stay tuned.

Be well.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 1 Wrap Up

So how did Thursday end? It ended well. I'll spare you the video game analogies, this time. I received an unexpected gift. I leant a hand to someone in need. The rain stopped and the sun came out. There may have been a rainbow! I went to an event that in the past would have been far far outside my comfort zone but now somehow is within my comfort zone.

Friday I wore a shirt requiring cufflinks. You can't stop a man with cufflinks, you just can't.

Saturday was a day free from doubt. It might have been the Rabbi; it might have been the hamburgers. I suspect it had a lot to do with those who look a lot like me.

Sunday morning involved bacon and the AM In The A.M. playlist on Songza. I was in a good mood. I went for a walk around the neighbourhood and even though i was accosted in the street it didn't bother me. The day was rounded out by a nice chat over a couple of pints and that leads us to today. You will nee to wait until Wednesday or Thursday to hear about today.

Be well.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 1 Wrap Up (Not So Much)

I will tell you the tale of how the week ended but I will do it tomorrow. It's too late tonight and I am too tired. I am tired from being creative, from helping my neighbour, and from spending time with a friend. Take that, Demon!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Andrew vs The Demons: Week 1 Halftime

First let me say I'm not sure exactly how these battle reports will take shape. At first I thought of it like a boxing match but observers write about those. Next I considered thinking of it like a video game or something. We'll see.

Our Intrepid Hero (like Spaceman Spiff!) has made it to lunchtime on Thursday. How's the battle so far?

The Demons took Monday and ran with it. Andrew retaliated on Tuesday aided by the coffee fuelled monkey on his back. Wednesday might have ended in a draw had it not been for an unexpected mood power up. The absurdity of Wednesday's weather also helped. It fuelled Andrew's laughter and kept The Demons at bay like a blover blowing away fog and balloon zombies. Thursday morning - despite coffee, much goodwill from others, and more absurd weather - The Demons kept Andrew on his heels.

How did Thursday turn out? Who will win the week? Stay tuned there's more after the break!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A 52 Week Battle

The keen observers amongst you will have noticed that my recent posts haven't actually been blog posts. This isn't just a post modern exercise. I've been having a struggle. I've decided that the small circle with whom I share things needs to expand. I'm going to fight Depression. I'm going to win. I'm going to keep score.

I'm not sure yet how these posts will take form but I'll at least post a weekly "score."
Andrew vs The Demons. So far this week (if the week starts on Monday) we're tied. I figure Depression is a liar and doesn't fight fair. So why should I fight fair ? I'm gonna call that bastard out!

Stay tuned. Stay healthy.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

[singapore sling]

UPDATE: April 23, 2013
This post is going to sit this way for a while. I have written the post. I have not yet photographed the drink. I'm just going to wait. Trust me, the wait will be worth it.

[story about drink]



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Penguin Month: Entry #10

Making a drink cold is important. It's as important as not having "tepid potato salad" (a real dish from a now defunct local restaurant)!

There are many ways to achieve a cold drink an The Kaiser did some research on our behalf.

Fred of Cocktail Virgin Slut also did some research, not on ice but on glassware chilling. Put these two studies together and there's no reason to have a drink at the wrong temperature ever again!

While Fred tested with a "vodka martini" The Kaiser chose the Fancy Gin Cocktail. Let's have one shall we?

Fancy Gin Cocktail
2 dashes simple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash curaçao
2 oz gin
lemon peel

Shake with ice. Strain in to a chilled coupe. Twist lemon peel over drink and drop it in.

I used Dillon's Unfiltered Gin 22 as it is the fanciest gin I have in the, uh, "cabinet."

I find that while I enjoy good gin in simple cocktails such as this one I prefer cheap gin in other drinks. This seems especially the case in drinks first made to hide the off flavours of bathtub gin. I find that the masking ends up masking too much with good smooth gin. On the other hand cheap gin seems to shine (or maybe clobber its way) through. Cheap gin seems to also go quite well with pickled onions, but that's a story or another day.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Penguin Month: Entry #9

I had not properly prepared for my deadline of this post so instead I posted some Lorem Ipsum and some descriptions in square brackets. This caused some confusion, I think. I've published the comment it elicited.

When first I read the forthcoming drink recipe I figured it would be similar to a Mai Tai. It is, perhaps drier. Wether you drink it from a straw or sip it from the glass I think might alter the perception of it. Anyway, here it is:

1.5 oz lemon juice
1 oz curaçao
0.75 oz orgeat
1.5 oz light Cuban Rum
1.5 oz Jamaican Rum
3 oz crushed ice

Blend all except Jamaican Rum with crushed ice. Pour into a DOF 2/3 full of crushed ice. Float Jamaican Rum. Garnish with a lime wheel and an orchid.

The original calls for light Puerto Rican rum buy as I'm in Ontario I take that to
mean "use Havana Club." If you're out of orchids you could always, well, stay tuned....


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Penguin Month: Entry #8

Fourscore and four months ago the Kaiser presented a Mai Tai recipe Comparison, for St Patrick's Day. I won't deviate from tradition. Well, I won't deviate too much. I think the Mai Tai is past the point of needing a comparison and we now all agree on how to make one, more or less. Some eschew the rock candy syrup (or simple syrup) and I think this is entirely dependent on the sweetness of the other ingredients. Martinique rum is not available here so for the longest time I used only Jamaican rum.  I now use Barbancourt as a sub for the Martinique and this is not without precedent so don't go thinking I've committed some Tiki heresy or something. Anyway, enough about that and on with the show!

Mai Tai
1 oz Jamaican Rum 
1 oz Barbancourt 3 star
0.75 oz lime juice
0.5 oz orgeat
0.5 oz triple sec

Shake with crushed ice. Pour unstrained in to a bucket. Garnish with spent lime shell and mint.

The very first time I made a Mai Tai I used Gosling's. It was deliscious! It reminded me of an Outerbridge's Rum Swizzle, but better. Way better. The way I make them now it no longer reminds me of Bermuda and instead is its own sensation.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Penguin Month: Entry # 7

The Bobby Burns is another one of those cocktails upon which my library disagrees. I suspect your library is no different. Why even the CocktailDB gives us three versions! Anyway, since we're waddling and all why not use the Penguin's recipe?

Bobby Burns
2 oz scotch
1 oz sweet vermouth
0.25 oz Benedictine

Stir; Strain; Up

It is a little Rob Roy-ish isn't it?


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Waddling-Through-The-Kaiser Month: Entry #6

On the 12th of March the Kaiser reviewed products from Fee Brothers. Uh, right. I do have some Fee's products but instead of a review I will give you a non-alcoholic drink. (Fee's bitters are a glycerine solution and contain no alcohol).

Celery Bitters Highball
8-12 dashes Celery Bitters
1 dash simple syrup
club soda
lemon twist

Add bitters and syrup to a highball glass filled with ice. Top with soda and lemon twist. Stir

There you have it. A refresher for those not drinking or an "evening extender" for those who are drinking.


Monday, March 11, 2013

<strike>Mystery</strike> Waddling Through The Kaiser Month: Entry #5

Today is March 11th. Time to add Peychaud's Bitters to your bar. Don't have them? Get some. Can't find them? Order them online. Can't be shipped to your region? Uh, make a Barnum?

Anyway, here's tonight's drink:

2 oz gin
1 oz apricot brandy
3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
0.75 oz lime juice.

Shake? Strain; Up


Saturday, March 09, 2013

(Not So Much A) Mystery Month: Entry #4

It's March 9th. There will be no recipe comparison. The will be no question at the end of the post asking if you've ever seen The Seven Year Itch. There will be no quote from Anthrax's I'm The Man '91. There sadly is no +1 Barspoon Of Panache. There is no mystery.

Muse Of Doom of Feu de Vie has guessed correctly! The Aviation is next; I'm "Stomping Through" Kaiser Penguin.

Why am I doig this? Why not? Besides these are all good drinks and if you do follow along at home you'll equip your bar nicely by the time we've finished.

On with the show!

1.5 oz gin
0.5 oz maraschino liqueur
0.5 oz lemon juice
Shake; Strain; Up; Coupe; lemon twist

I used the recipe from F&W Cocktails 2012 provided by Charlotte Voisey. Just like KP you may find disparity amongst (within?) your books when seeking this recipe. Perhaps an informal recipe comparison isn't a bad thing to do in ones home. Anyway, this recipe omits Crème de Violette and as that liqueur is absent from my bar I decide on using the rather floral Dillon's Unfiltered Gin 22.

Even though it was the booze-blogger's darling the Aviation eluded me for quite some time. Maraschino is now (and has been for a few years) available in Ontario but not in every city. I may have stumbled upon a suitable and even funkier(!) substitution however. Stay tuned.


Thursday, March 07, 2013

Mystery Month: Entry #3

I mentioned last time that I'm inadvertently doing something. I'm purposely doing something to: The Mystery! (Post in the comments if you've figured it out.) before we get to the inadvertent thing I need to tell you a little, uh, story.

I imagine most of my readers are like me as have a sizeable home bar. As such making a drink on a whim is no problem whether it be in a book, in a magazine or on a blog. It wasn't always the case for me. When first I waded into the waters of reading booze-blogs I found that most drinks I couldn't make; I simply didn't have all the bottles! There was some frustration. There was some longing. Mostly there was research. A lot of research. This research came in the form of blog (archive) reading and in making notes - mental or otherwise - of recipe sources. I didn't dare join the Mixoloseum chat - not yet - or comment on any blogs but read I did.

What I did not read until mug later was advice on how I properly stock my home bar. I went about it a little backwards. I went completely back wards with amari. I bought Fernet before Campari. I bought Fernet before nearly everything! (Where oh where from could such a ridiculous idea have come?) If you want good advice about stocking a bar I could point to a few places or you could just make all the drinks I'm posting this month. You needn't keep pace but if you do make all these drinks you'll have a decent collection at the end and the necessary bottles to make many other drinks too!

So, it's March 7th. That must mean its time to add Campari to your bar!

Lucien Gaudin
1 oz gin
0.5 oz triple sec
0.5 oz Campari
0.5 oz dry vermouth

Stir; Strain; Orange twist.

Yet another drink you might find in VSFC ... or you might find elsewhere.


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Mystery Month: Entry #2

Alright kids I'll throw you a frickin bone. I'll at least tell you what my March theme isn't. I am not devising new, mostly facetious (and potentially fatal) drinking games similar to my The Thin Man game. I am not following through on my (mostly facetious) plan to reblog the entirety of Cocktail Virgin Slut. In addition to what I'm doing I am inadvertently doing something else. I'll touch on that "something else" next time. For now on with the show!

Ever do you find yourself in a cocktail slump or an uninterested funk? Make one of these drinks. Hell, make four!

2 oz London Dry Gin
1 oz Apricot Liqueur
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
0.5 oz lemon juice

You might find this drink almost too sweet, until the gin hits. You might find this drink gets you out of a slump, if ever you're in such a thing. You might find this drink in Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails and you just might find it somewhere else too!

Before I go I have a question for you.
What do you mix up to bring back your joy of cocktails?

Monday, March 04, 2013

Mystery Month: Entry #1

It's March. How do we follow the awesomeness that is Tiki Month 2013? However we please. Doug simplifies with Old Fashioneds and the like. Everyone else? Wait and see I suppose...

I've come up with a project for March. Rather than tell you outright what it is I'm going to see how long I can obfuscate what the, uh, "theme" actually is.

If you think you've got it please comment! I will for my part walk the line between obvious and obscure when it comes to clues. Anyway, as it is March 4th I will take a drink already renamed for the purpose of confusion and rename it again.

1.5 oz rye
1.5 oz pastis
1.5 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
1.5 tsp egg white


This drink may have come from a book by Charles H. Baker and it came to my attention from somewhere else. That somewhere else is my theme for the month. I used Rittenhouse Rye. The original recipe calls for Pernod but I used Ricard because I am a contrarian that's what I have. I used Martini & Rossi Vermouth and I used Fee Bros. Bitters (even though potentially better quality bitters are available).

The pastis comes through first to
me followed by the rye. The bitters make vague suggestions later on. Strangely the vermouth is almost undetectable to me; Usually Martini & Rossi is a force to contend with. Perhaps I should investigate this phenomenon with some rye Manhattans? We'll see....

Calle Calle Cutta!
(Kali Kali Kuta!)

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Lousy Smarch Weather!

I have a thematic idea. It will carry me the blog through the entire month of March. I could go all year (or several years for that matter) but I think one month is sufficient. I'd like to see how long I can go without actually saying what the theme is. We'll see if any readers make the connection. We'll see if I make the clues too obscure or too obvious. I invite you to pay along at home. Sorry though there's no recipe tonight. No recipe but a picture. I'll let you imagine what was in it. It's unintentionally fitting that I drink that particular drink. Perhaps it is only fitting for me; we'll get to that. I will leave you with a question.

What would you have put in this vessel?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Inverted: LXX, MxMo

It's MxMo time again and I can't be bothered with much of a preamble or much prose of any kind. Our host is Putney Farm. The theme is Inverted. I'm giving you two drinks. Here they are:

Flourishing Heir
1 oz gin
1 oz brandy
0.5 oz ginger syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
4 oz lime soda

Stir first four ingredients over cracked ice in a highball lass. Top with soda. Garnish with a silver spoon (not pictured).

Speaking of Angostura bitters, as I was finalizing my research I received a special request from DJ Hawaiian Shirt to revamp my Angostura OF. So if the tall sweet one doesn't appeal try this shirt bitter bevvie:

Dagreb's Old Farshioned
2 oz Angostura Bitters
2 dashes over proof Bourbon
1 dash orange bitters

Stir over cracked ice in a DOF (see what I did there?) Garnish with a dash of orange bitters and a rock candy swizzle.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Flipping A Float

Some friends text you and keep you constantly up to date. Other friends you meet for a pint or a coffee and you catch up with stories of the past week or month or what have you. In the Cocktail Blogosphere Fred at Cocktail Virgin Slut is the latter. Instead of the immediacy found in Instagram and twitter Fred tells us what he drank... last week. In this vein I will tell you of what I drank several Thursdays ago...

I was looking for an after dinner cocktail. I chose the Hair Of The Lion. I had all the needed ingredients and having previously not really enjoyed the Lion's Tail I was curious to see how much improved the rum for bourbon swap made the drink. I was not disappointed. Well, not in this regard. I was let down in my desire for a dessert drink. Tasty as the Hair Of The Lion was is was too light and frothy for what I was looking for. Maybe something with an egg yolk? (There was of course an egg yolk waiting patiently in the kitchen.)

I quickly searched CVS and found a drink I'd noted either mentally or browserly (I'm unsure which) when Fred first posted it and I'd been meaning to make it. Did I have all the ingredients to make a Suhm Heering Float?

Old monk? Check!
Cherry Heering? Check!
Mole bitters? Uh, Crème de ... Cacao.
Root beer? Not today!

So basically I turned a float into a flip. Like so:

Suhm Heering Flip
2 oz Cherry Heering
0.5 oz Old Monk
0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1 egg yolk

Dry shake ingredients. Shake again with ice. Double strain in to a chilled coupe. Garnish with mint sprig.

This is a very rich drink. Definitely a dessert cocktail. Old Monk always makes me think of rum balls and I don't know why that is. The sense memory of rum balls added to the chocolate and the cherry along with the unctuous quality of the egg yolk make for a decadent drink. You can't have too many of these nor can you have them too often. When you do have them though, that's livin!


Sunday, February 03, 2013

Tic Táck, Nostra Nera &The Muse

Two Thursdays ago it was Brandy Alexandr Day. Really. Everyday is something these days. Lots of them are beverage related. For Brandy Alexander Day, Muse Of Doom of Feu de Vie posted a recipe for the Rotorblade. It intrigued me but I was missing two key components. Mainly the brandy and the Alexander. As I nearly never have milk or cream on hand I considered making the drink with an egg white. The eggs I've being getting of late have had whites of approximately 1 oz so I figured a straight swap for the cream would do. Alas I had no cachaça. I do however have El Salvadorian (unaged) cane spirit called Tic Táck. Yes, that'll do.

So this is what I made:

Rotorblade (remix?)
1.5 oz Tic Tack
1 egg white
0.75 oz Cherry Heering
0.25 oz Starbucks Coffee Liquor
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters

Dry shake ingredients. Shake again with ice. Double strain in to a cocktail glass rinsed with Black Sambuca (I used Nostra Nera). Garnish with drops of bitters.

So, what's it like?

Tasty. Frothy. Anisey. Cherry-y. Oh hell, make one yourself!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Okole Maluna

Coffey Park Swizzle

I'll be brief. Once upon a time I presented a recipe for Falernum. Somehow I overlooked the fact that it called for far too much ginger! Anyway, I amended the recipe. Here's what you'll need:

150ml rum (I used JWray)
8 limes, zest of
50g ginger, julienned
50 cloves
25g almonds, chopped or slivered
400ml rich simple syrup (2:1)

Here's what you do:

Zest the limes. Combine zest with ginger. Toast the cloves and almonds in a dry pan. Combine cloves & almonds with zest & ginger in mason jar. Cover the mixture with rum. Let steep for 24 hrs. Strain through cheesecloth being sure to squeeze to get all the liquid out. Combine flavoured rum with syrup.

And then:

Use your falernum in a tasty libation. Such as this one that combines it with the sherry you've got from last month's MxMo and Barbancourt 3 Star. Enjoy!


ps Why make falernum on January 30th?
Because February is Tiki Month!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

MxMo El Eks Ai Eks: Munitas Vinas

Well kids, sit back, relax, this is gonna take a while. Why don't you make yourself a drink? Oh, that's what you came here for? Really, here? Well, uh, this can't be your first stop wether you've arrived from the MxMo announcement post or the roundup post. Surely you've fixed a drink (or two) already. At least read a recipe? Make one of those while I explain what's going on.

If you haven't arrived via the MxMo posts and you're new here (increasingly statistically unlikely) it goes like this:

Each month a theme is picked. The host announces the theme on his/her blog. We all write our own post and link to our posts in the comments of the announcement post. The "event" happens on a Monday. On a Tuesday (or later) the host will compile all our pretty pictures and link back to or blogs. Got it? No? I'll go on. The Mixology Monday website itself is really a calendar of upcoming events and an index of past ones The "party" doesn't actually happen there.

Paul Clarke (blogger turned published writer) used to be the convenor. Now blogger cum author Fred Yarm is our organizer. This month Blanche Jordan Devereaux at Cocktail Chem chose the theme of Fortified Wines. Port, Sherry, Madeira, Marsala. Hell, even Pineau! You can find the announcement post here. And the roundup here (once active).

So, my first thought was to use sherry. There's a sherry cocktail coming down the pipe (puntastic!) on this blog but that's for another day. Since I was buying sherry anyway I figured why not?

I don't think I've ever made a Port cocktail and the only one that really tempted me was the Tempter Cocktail but you'll need to find that recipe on your own. So, back to Sherry. The Bamboo first came to mind as a good choice. The version I'm familiar with calls for equal portions dry vermouth and dry sherry and a dash of orange bitters; Nothing more.

Second I thought of the Brazil. Using the version from American Bar wherein Herr Schumann eschews the bitters and the twist I thought I was all set. Then something happened while I was drinking the Brazil. A discussion on Twitter turned to talk of olives (and other things but that matters not).

"Olives," I thought I myself, "A tasty snack that would make."

So, I ate some olives. I ate some olives and consulted the CocktailDB. There's another Bamboo! With sweet vermouth. A Sweet Ba(m)boo!

So this was going to be my MxMo drink:

1 oz dry sherry
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters

Stir with ice and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with an olive.

No, really, an olive!

While I was searching databases and my library it occurred to me that many Sherry cocktails are quite old recipes. Nothing wrong with that per se but what of newer creations? I consulted the index of F&W Cocktails 2012 and the first drink under the Sherry heading caught my eye. This drink had then been on my mind since, well, since I started contemplating what to present for this MxMo. After the olive garnished Bamboo - not immediately after, mind you, as there may have been a meal in between - I decide to give this other drink a try. This modern cocktail called for white rum and all the white rums I had on hand were (and still are) over proof. This wouodn't do. I decided instead to use an "80 proof" (pardon my Americanism) Jamaican rum. That rum was Blackwell.

If you are familiar with Blackwell rum you know it is far from a white rum. But what the Hell? I used El Dorado EHP when I made the Iron Mine! Both these drinks are creations of Leo Robitschek. The Iron mine being the "twist" and the Heart Of Stone Daiquiri being the "reinvention" of the "classic" Daiquiri. (Food & Wine Cocktails 2012 follows this variations on a theme format throughout. Some drinks also get a "mocktail" variation). Both of these variations are quite tasty. The Heart Of Stone being tasty enough to make me reconsider my choice for the MxMo. Did I say that already? Well here, with my bottle choices in parenthesis, it is:

Heart Of Stone Daiquiri
1 oz white rum (Blackwell)
0.75 oz amontillado sherry (Real Tesoro Del Principe Amontillado Muy Viejo)
0.5 oz apricot liqueur (Bols Apricot Brandy)
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice (fresh squeezed lemon juice)
0.25 oz cane syrup (Maple Crest #1 Medium maple syrup)

Shake and strain in to a chilled coupe rinsed with 0.25 oz St. Elizabeth allspice dram (homemade Serious Eats pimento dram)

Delicious! It tastes at once of tradition and of modernity. I figured I was all set. I even instagrammed my drink. About this same time aphonik did the same thing with the all too similar Flor de Jerez. The Flor de Jerez is a Joaquin Simo drink that came to aphonik's attention via Camper English and Gaz Regan. I decided I must try this newly know drink... for comparison purposes! Besides, I had half a lemon still on my cutting board just waiting... The lemon might go bad, right? Best to juice it now!

So, I made the Flor de Jerez. It too is a tasty drink. A nuttier, drier, closer-to-a-fancy-sour drink. The El Mariachi to the Heart Of Stone's Desperado or something like that. Again I took some liberties with the ingredients. On comparison night I used the Appleton Reserve as called for but tonight I couldn't resist putting Flor de Cana Centenario in the Flor de Jerez. It makes the drink sweeter and smoother and perhaps a little too easy to drink. Either that or there is a tremendous disparity in the sweet to sour balance of the lemons I bought! Stick with Appleton.

Flor de Jerez
1.5 oz amontillado sherry (RT Del Principe)
0.5 oz Jamaican rum (Appleton Reserve)
0.75 oz fresh lemon juice (:P)
0.5 oz cane syrup (Maple Crest #1 med.)
0.25 oz apricot liqueur (Bols)
1 dash aromatic bitters (Angostura)

Shake; strain; up.

As I mentioned this drink is drier than the Heart Of Stone. It is drier and nuttier and tastes less of candied fruit. This is neither good nor bad just something to keep in mind as per your current state of mind and your palate.

So there you have it kids: A fancy sour, a modern cocktail, and an old-school-bizarro-garnish cocktail. I've still got half a bottle of amontillado to go!


Sunday, January 06, 2013

Hello Russia

I may have deleted actual comments in my flurry of deleting Russian spam. We'll see if anyone re-comments...

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Chapter 5: Revenge Of The Giant Head

Last night I watched Inglourious Basterds. I hadn't seen it before and it turns out there's more to it than you might think. As I was watching it I wondered if it's more enjoyable if one speaks German and/or French in addition to English. I guess I'll never really know...

Immediately afterward my thoughts went to what a challenge it must be for an actor to portray Hitler or Goebbels and I briefly thought of the film Max. Today, though, I find I am thinking about film in a way I haven't for quite a while. I've thought about a movie the day after seeing it. Lately it's been of the type of "wasn't that funny" or "that scene was cool" or "that was unrealistic." Today is different. Today I'm thinking not about what was cool or gory or implausible. Today I'm thinking about subtext and acting and framing a shot and foreshadowing and a glass of milk and so on and so on.

So, thank you Mr Tarantino. It's a good start to the year for my, uh, intellect.


ps I am still a booze blogger and booze hound after all. The paint on brick advert for Byrrh did not go unnoticed. Neither did the Picon sign in the tavern or that delicious looking old bottle of Chartreuse ...