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Tag Archives: casablanca

Day 216, Cocktails 213 & 214

Saturday night was a night out on the town for Paula, Cookie, Gwen and me.  We started by stopping by Bryant’s for a cocktail before dinner.  Proprietor John Dye was manning the bar when we arrived and I asked John for something with rye and ginger beer.  He came up with an original cocktail on the spot that has no name.  It consisted of Old Overholt rye, Gosling ginger beer, Branca Menta, Peychaud’s bitters and lime juice.  It was very tasty and had just an overtone of mint, which I originally guessed as creme de menthe, incorrectly so as it turned out.  The mint flavor came from the Branca Menta, which is a mint version of Fernet Branca.  Very herbal, almost bitter tasting, it helped round out the cocktail John made in a way that creme de menthe would never be able to do.

After our drink at Bryant’s we headed to Casablanca for dinner.  The food was excellent and the atmosphere was interesting.  We’ll definately return soon!

After dinner we headed to another favorite, the Foundation Tiki bar in Riverwest.  There I enjoyed a Blue Moana.  This tasty treat consists of vodka, blue curacao, lime juice with hints of orange and almond.  I’m sure the almond comes from orgeat syrup but I couldn’t quite figure if the orange was coming from orange juice, triple sec or Cointreau.  I also did not have a chance to quiz the bartender as shortly after we arrived a busload of pub crawlers arrived and the bar was hopping for the next hour!

All in all a great evening as we got to take my mom and Cookie to two of my favorite bars in Milwaukee.  We’re already looking forward to their next visit!


Day 150, Cocktails 149, 150 & 151

Casablanca has always been one of my favorite movies.  Rick Blaine is the penultimate man’s man.  I just love it when Major Strasse asks him about his citizenship and he responds “I’m a drunkard.”  Such was life in simpler times, heh?

Of course, life wasn’t so simple for Rick.  Remember the scene when Ilsa is trying to get his help but makes it clear that she won’t leave Victor.  “We’ll always have Paris” is her line for Rick.  As if that is supposed to make him feel better!

So just where is this all going?  Why, the Parisian cocktail, of course.  Another selection from the Ultimate Bar Book that caught my eye, although I’ve modified this a bit from the original recipe.  That original recipe called for 1 oz each of gin, dry vermouth and creme de cassis.  Hmm, that was just too much creme de cassis for me.  And just what is creme de cassis?  It is a very sweet, blackcurrant flavored liqueur.  The bottle I have is Maison Du Bouchett and is 35 proof.  It is, I must confess, almost as old as dirt as well, which may have given it an aged flavor.  Either way, it’s a very strong liqueur to be used in such quantities.  I did make the original version and it was overwhelming blackcurrant flavored, to the point that as soon as I had the room in the glass I added some more gin.  Tonight’s effort cut down on the creme de cassis and added more gin.  Still strongly flavored by the creme de cassis it was more balanced and I could actually detect both the gin and dry vermouth.

  Parisian Cocktail

  • 1-1/2 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz creme de cassis

Combine the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass.  Stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Now the more that I sipped on this, the more that the flavor of the cassis started to dominate.  I thought I had this one knocked initially, but after a while I wasn’t so sure.  So, back to the bar and I went and worked up this version.

  Ilsa and Rick

  • 1-3/4 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Combine the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass.  Stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange twist.

This is it.  I really liked this one, with the cassis now playing a supporting role with the bitters and vermouth, allowing the gin to come out and play.  To my taste buds this is what I want from a cocktail.  Slightly boozy (hey, it is an adult beverage), flavorful and complex.  Try it and let me know what you think!