Wednesday, December 23, 2015

MxMo One Oh Four: Parade Of Forgiveness

I did my best to offer more than one definition of a Forgiving Cocktail. Let's see which aspect most struck a chord:

First to arrive is Dr. Gary Elliot of His Eponymous Mixology with an appealing twist on a drink with a ratio that can't be nailed down.

Second is Pete Barmeister (is that his real name?) of Meticulous Mixing who encourages us to relax, perhaps in the tub, and find a rug with which to tie the room together. Maybe have a second drink too...

Third I, your humble host, make a template out of a New Orleans classic.

Fourth we have Leigh of Salt & Bitters sandwiching gin or tequila or whatever between celery and some bubbly!

Fifthly fabulous Fred forgive's Fleming's figurative firewater fiasco fortuitously forgoing filtered foreign... bottlings.

  Sixth to arrive are the Boozenerds with three takes on a classic we all "Count" on from time to time.

Seventh is Joel of Southern Ash with another bubbly concoction. This one indicative of his Italian roots.

So there you have it folks. I'll leave the door unlocked as I'm hoping a few more guests will drop by...

                                                              *      *     *

Here's one now! It's the tikitender himself JFL (Eddie?) from Rated R Cocktails riding into town on fumes with a Tiki Skeleton.

Next is Marius Iordache of Arcane Potions with a tropical libation and laissez-faire approach to measuring citrus juice!

Finally (so far) is Thiago Barbosa of the Bartending Notes blog with thoughts about the prescribed verus the practiced, the Italian outlook, and a bottle of Spumante.

I can't say which aspect of forgiveness was most appealing to people (bubbles?) but I thank everyone who participated! Thank you to Fred Yarm for allowing me to host and thank you to DJ Hawaiian Shirt for suggesting I host this theme!

If I've left anyone out or misspelled anything please let me know.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

MxMo 104: Forgive This Old Square

I'm unsure wherefrom came the phrase "forgiving cocktail." It may have been in Rumdood's review of Cuban 151. Perhaps not. With Fred's help and for the purposes of the MxMo I expanded my earliest definition of a forgiving cocktail. I wasn't thinking originally of a drink that allows for error or weakness but was thinking more of templates, or gospels, or... sandwiches. Stay with me.

A sandwich. You could try different bread, or even toast it. A new cheese, a different meat. Spinach rather than lettuce. Avocado in place of mayonnaise. An undigested piece of potato. No, wait not that last one. Anyway, change what you will a sandwich is still a sandwich and is still recognisably so. Much like Rowen's call for Manhattans there are drinks which when altered still retain their identity. This is what I first thought of as a forgiving cocktail. I've mentioned one such drink before but today we'll be seasonally appropriate and be bitter and stirred.

Vieux Carré
0.75-1 oz whisky
0.75-1 oz brandy
0.75-1 oz vermouth
0.5 tsp - 1 tbsp benedictine
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
1-2 dahses Peychaud's bitters
citrus twist, peel, or slice (omit if desired)

Choose a desired volume and maintain a 1:1:1 ratio for the first three ingredients. Stir, or shake. Strain, or not. Up or down. Rocks or neat. Garnish or not.

I've discovered recently that it is canonical to shake a Vieux Carré. So here is a drink that could be averaged much like that chocolate chip cookie recipe that made the rounds a few years ago. If you google the Vieux Carré you'll find disagreement about measurements, methods, and garnish but agreement about the ratio and that it's an excellent drink. My recent experiments with yellow Chartreuse VEP in place of Bénédictine didn't offer any marked improvement or intrigue but my variation on one of Erik's variations did. Give it a go!

A photo posted by dagreb (@dagreb) on

Vieux Carré (Variation à Dagreb)
1 oz Ballantine's blended scotch
1 oz Pâpidoux calvados
1 oz Cinzano sweet Vermouth
0.75 barspoon Bénédictine
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters

Stir vigouroulsy amongst whole and cracked ice. Sieve into a chilled coupe. Garnish with peel of oro blanco.

Forgive me!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Mixology Monday CIV: Forgiving Cocktails

I'll be honest, when the MxMo theme is too metaphorical I struggle with the concept; usually I opt out. Hopefully my theme for this month doesn't vex you in a similar fashion. The idea has been rolling around in my head for a while, the idea of forgiving cocktails. I'll attempt to explain.

It could be the antithesis of a drink so delicately structured that even 1/8 oz too much or too little of an ingredient causes a train-wreck. I'm not suggesting all out free-pouring but perhaps you've come across a recipe that can roll with the punches of an over/under pour now and again. Perhaps you're at a ballroom or a hotel and the unenthusiastic and/or fresh-faced (bar) staff don't inspire confidence. They may not know Campari from calamari but If you want a cocktail what do you do?  Order something that can't go too wrong. A Manhattan? Perhaps a Negroni or whatever in your wheelhouse is the drink equivalent of pizza, ...or sex. (you recall that old adage don't you?)

This idea of forgiving cocktails first began for me when one night I swapped the "bottom shelf" for the "top middle shelf" and was delighted by the results. It wasn't exactly the same but it was delicious none the less! The idea continued with other drinks that wlecomed whicever brand I was pouring. Perhaps for you similar things have happened with a Mai Tai or an Adonis. Perhaps you've made a stinger with Spanish brandy and been pleased with the reuslts? Whatever it may be find or invent a drink you feel is a forgiving cocktail and share the results.

How do you participate?

- Discover or invent a recipe that is your idea of a Forgiving Cocktail!

- Include the MxMo logo and a link back to Mixology Monday and Nihil Utopia in your post. 

- Alert me of your submission in the comments on this blog-post or tweet me @dagreb (with the hashtag #MxMo please).

- The deadline is December 21st. Please be punctual as I would like to have the roundup posted before Christmas Eve.