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Category Archives: Barware

Day 338, Cocktail 342

Ok, so not the catchiest of titles.  Honestly, I sat here for a good 10 minutes and nothing, absolutely nothing witty or pithy came to mind.  Either blog fatigue has set in or I’ve finally reached my limit.  Nah, can’t be that!

So, last night I started thumbing through Dale Degroff’s “The Craft of the Cocktail” and stumbled into the fizz section.  According to Degroff a fizz is a spin-off from the sour, made possible by the development of widespread appearance of soda water.  There are basically two types of fizz.  The first includes egg white for a creamy texture and nice, foamy head.  Fizzes made with egg white are typically served without ice, and thus require a smaller Delmonico glass.  The Delmonico glass is very similar to the collins glass except that it is in the 8 to 10 oz range rather than 12 oz.  The glass in my picture is a 10 oz Delmonico.  The second type of fizz is made without egg white and thus, is usually served over ice in a collins glass.

The fizz that caught my eye was the Silver Fizz.  Here it is:

  Silver Fizz

  • 1-1/2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 oz bar syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 oz seltzer water

In a shaker with ice  combine everything but the seltzer water.  Shake long and hard (at least 30 seconds) to mix, chill and emulsify the egg.  This is an important step if you want the frothy head and creamy texture that the egg white will impart.  Strain into a chilled Delmonico glass and top with the seltzer water.

This was a delicious cocktail!  Very light, with a sweet, creamy taste and mouth feel, with just a touch of effervescence from the seltzer.  A hint of lemon and the botanicals from the gin (I used Rehorst) finish off this drink.  If summer ever does get here (there’s still ice on my pool) this would be a great cocktail for a warm evening on the patio.

Cheers!

Day 234, Cocktail 232

Wednesday was a mellow day – typical for mid-week most of the time around here, especially in the winter.  A laid back cocktail was in order as well.  Nothing too boozy or too hard to make.  I did a search of the CocktailDB for rye whiskey and found this drink.

That is the Whiskey Squirt pictured to the left.  I like it’s nice, pink hue and it looks really good in my Christmas themed highball glass!  I have several different sets of holiday themed glasses – and the secret is to shop Goodwill for them.  You can find some really neat glasses for very little money there!

  Whiskey Squirt

  • 1-1/2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • 1/2 oz grenadine
  • seltzer water

In a shaker combine the ingredients with ice.  Shake to mix.  Strain into a collins glass filled with ice.  Top with seltzer water and give a quick stir. 

This drink is very similar to the fizz style drinks that I’ve had previously.  It’s light, refreshing and the grenadine provides just a hint of pomegranate flavor to mesh with the whiskey.  To really make this drink pop, use real grenadine, which is a pomegranate based syrup.  If you use Rose’s or similar grenadine all you are getting is red colored corn syrup and you’ll miss out on the real flavor of this drink.

Cheers!

Day 162, Cocktails 157 & 158

The local Newcomer’s International Dining group has been offering me new cocktail opportunities for several years now.  Usually we have enough couples participating each month to do it at one of the member’s home with everyone bringing a dish.  This month, though, the attendance was light so the group decided to dine out.  Bingo, a cocktail adventure in the making!

We had dinner at a south side Mexican restaurant.  The food was very good, but unfortunately the cocktails did not match the quality of the dinner.  I had what was listed on the menu as a Polamos cocktail.  I asked our waitress what was in it and she told that it was tequila (Don Julio to be exact) with sour and lime juice.  It sounded like the tequila version of a whiskey sour, so I gave it a whirl.  It was served on the rocks with a salted rim and tasted like, well a mediocre restaurant margarita.  A lackluster start to the evening as far as cocktails are concerned.

My fortunes were soon to improve.  After dinner Gwen convinced our group to head over to the Foundation Bar for more fun and cocktails.   You regular readers already know that this is one of my favorite bars in Milwaukee and always provides a new cocktail experience.  Tonight was no exception.  After perusing the speciality cocktail menu I settled on the Pirate’s Grog.  Served in a you get to keep it ceramic pirate head glass it features Coruba dark rum along with Bacardi 151 and a light rum.  There is also apricot brandy and a couple of fruit juices (pineapple and orange, I believe) and a couple of secret spices.  This is a delicious drink with the flavor of the Coruba rum really coming through.  It’s bold and slightly spicy and I really enjoyed it.

After finishing off the Pirate’s Grog I had another classic, the Singapore Sling.  Since I’ve previously posted the Singapore Sling here I won’t go into all the details.  Suffice it to say that the Foundation Bar uses the original 1910 recipe from the Raffles Bar in Singapore.  This is a classic and is a quite a treat.

Cheers!

 

Day 81, Cocktails 84 & 85  

On Thursday night Gwen and I decided to try out Foundation Bar in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.  It had been suggested to me by John Dye at Bryant’s as a great tiki bar.  John, you are correct! 

From the moment we walked in to the shotgun style establishment I was taken by the total tiki atmosphere.  Lights, paintings and tiki’s galore were all spot on.  Bamboo, monkeys and surfboards are everywhere.  When we arrived around 8pm softer, lounge style tiki music was playing (think Ultra Lounge).  By 10pm the music had shifted to a more up tempo surf vibe that was perfect. 

Although Foundation claims to have Milwaukee’s best Mai Tai (and I’m sure they do after watching several of them being made, we didn’t try one on this trip (I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities in the future!).  Instead, I chose from the large tiki drink menu, selecting cocktails that included the glass.  Yep, that’s right, order a Surfrider or Bora Bora Headhunters Punch and you keep the glass!  (The refill, by the way is only$7, a $3 discount from the price with the glass).  

So, first, the fellow on the left. 

Bora Bora Headhunter Punch 

In addition to the rums used peach schnapps give this punch a distinct flavor, melding with the citrus and pineapple juices.  Very tasty, but also very strong (think Long Island Iced Tea or Brainbuster here), you don’t want more than one of you want to enjoy the rest of your evening! 

                                                                      

Surfrider 

This is a vodka based drink, which is nice as it lets the blend of fruit juices take center stage and not have to compete with the stronger flavor of rum.  A very tasty cocktail that went down easy and was not too syrupy as juiced cocktails can get.  

By the time I was into my Surfrider Don Nelson, one of the forces behind Foundation, arrived behind the bar.  I had the chance to chat a bit with Don and found that his passion for tiki is real.  He has handpicked the decor items himself, using authentic sources from points around the South Pacific.  Don, you’ve done a great job!  I’ll be back, that is for sure! 

Cheers!

Day 78, Cocktail 80

Tiki week continues tonight with another new cocktail.  But before we can drink, we need a glass to put it in!  If you are a regular reader, you’ve already read my rantings regarding cocktail glasses.  However, when it’s tiki time, the rules get thrown out the window and cool, retro tiki barware takes center stage.  Most of my tiki recipes can be served in one of these fun glasses – I have a set of 6 of the center fellow while his two friends are one offs.  Half the fun of tiki glasses (the not drinking from them half) is in acquiring them.  I never buy my tiki glasses “retail”.  Rather, thrift shops, rummage sales, flea markets, craigslist and ebay are my sources, and so much more fun!  And don’t worry about them matching, finding different glasses is what makes using them so much fun at a party!

Now, about that cryptic post title.  Some of you of a certain age should remember the old Hai Karate cologne.  You know the one that drives women so mad with the desire that the unsuspecting wearer has to resort to karate chops to keep the many attackers at bay.  (Yeah, like that really happened to me!)  Well, tonight’s cocktail is named the Hai Karate is a Beachbum Jerry original from his Intoxica recipe book.

  Hai Karate

  • 2 oz amber rum
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/8 oz maple syrup (the real stuff!)
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 6-7 ice cubes.  Skake well to mix and then pour (ice and all) into a tiki glass or collins glass.  Garnish with a lime or orange wedge.

A very nice tropical, fruity blend that allows the rum (in this case, Appleton Reserve) to shine through.  The maple syrup adds just a touch of woody sweetness that blend very well with this drink.  Once again, I’ve looked at a recipe and thought “you’re kidding” but it really does work!

Cheers!

PS – I will be doing a second tiki week in August, so if you have a favorite tiki recipe, let me know!  If I use your recipe during tiki week II you’ll win an official Twilight Lounge keepsake of your very own!

Day Five, Cocktail Five
 
I want to take a moment and talk about the cocktail glass.  As with food and other assorted past times, the right equipment aids in the enjoyment of whatever it is you’re doing.  In the case of cocktails, the right glass adds to the enjoyment of a well made drink. When I said I wanted to talk about the cocktail glass I am referring to a specific glass and not the entire range of glasses that drinks are served in (although over time, I’ll get to all of them).  The glass I am talking about is what you may think of as a martini glass.  However, to me (ever the purist, although my friends just call me anal) it is properly called a cocktail glass.  Of course, a martini is just one the may cocktails that are served in this glass.  But don’t take my word on it…check it out for yourself:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocktail_glass has the same definition as mine. 

A few of the cocktail glasses from The Twilight Lounge

 
So why use a cocktail glass?  Well, the drinks served in this glass will generally share two characteristics.  They will be served chilled and at least one of the ingredients will be an aromatic (the stuff you smell in your food and drinks).  Just like a wine glass, the stemmed cocktail glass allows you to hold your drink without warming it with your hand.  And, again, similar to the wine glass, the large bowl allows you to breathe in the aroma of your drink as you sip (yes, I said sip – these drinks aren’t made for slamming!).  The glasses I have at The Twilight Lounge are either 4 or 6 ounces.  I generally use the 4 ounce glasses for boozy drinks like martinis or manhattans.  For drinks with more juice that are fruitier such as a cosmopolitan I’ll use the 6 ounce glass.  For the recipes I publish, a good guide to remember is that with 3 ounce of ingredients you can use the four ounce glass and if there is 4-5 ounces of ingredients use the 6 ounce glass.  You’ll be filling the glass up since the you’ll pick up some additional liquid from the melting ice that your drink will be mixed with.
 
I have a number of cocktail glasses that have been collected over the years.  Some have come from Goodwill – hey, don’t knock it, it’s a great place to find “vintage” barware on the cheap!  Others were gifts or purchased because I liked the look.  That’s the fun of collecting barware in general.  It allows me to express myself and have fun!