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Tag Archives: creme de cassis

Day 269, Cocktails 269, 270 & 271

As I was preparing tonight’s post I couldn’t help but chuckle over the thought of my favorite Seinfeld episode.  It’s the one that has Jerry dating one gal, but he’s grown tired of her and is interested in her roommate.  Jerry and George spend all night in an attempt to devise a plan for “The Switch” when George comes up with the most brilliant idea he ever had – the Menage a Trois with the girlfriend and her roommate.  The idea is that the girlfriend will turn him down and break up and the roommate will be titillated by the notion that Jerry wanted to include her.  The plan “backfires” when the girlfriend and roommate are into the idea and Jerry backs out!  That’s the point at which I start screaming at the TV, unable to believe that Jerry is passing up the opportunity of a lifetime. 

So what does that have to do with brandy cocktails?  Not much, but I do have three of them for you tonight.  So let’s get to it.


  • 1-1/2 oz brandy
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz maraschino liqueur
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with a lemon wedge and then sugar the rim.  In a mixing glass combine all the ingredients with ice and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into the sugar rimmed cocktail glass.

The cocktail is excellent, I could do without the sugared rim.  I still don’t know what possessed me to do it (just because the recipe called for it doesn’t mean I will).  I ended up clearing a spot with my first few sips and sticking with that cleared path to drink from.  I’m just not a fan of salted or sugared rims.  (Spinners and rim jobs, on the other hand …).  Anyway, back to the cocktail.  It was delicious with just enough of the maraschino to provide a nice cherry flavor pop that had hints of orange from the Cointreau.  Oh, and yeah, I could also taste the brandy as well as the base for this cocktail.  Given my love of maraschino, it’s no surprise that I liked this one (Gwen thought it was too boozy).

  Cherry Blossom

  • 1-1/2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz kirschwasser
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz grenadine

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Another very nice, cherry flavored cocktail.  In fact, I’d have to say that this is the best cocktail I’ve ever had with kirschwasser.  By itself, I find kirschwasser (a cherry brandy, often German in origin) to be harsh with quite a bite.  In this drink, however, the lemon juice and Cointreau mellowed the kirschwasser out, leaving a lovely, almost (but not quite) cherry flavor accented by the orange of the Cointreau.  I’m sure the grenadine also helped smooth this cocktail out – and be sure to use the real stuff!

  Brandy Cassis

  • 1-1/2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz creme de cassis

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This is where I should insert the photo of the really, really sour face.  Way too much lemon juice in this one, it completely overpowers the drink!  I even double checked the recipe after I made it and was drinking it (as I’m writing this) to be sure – I really thought I had made a mistake.  Sadly, I did not.  If I were to make this again I would cut the lemon juice in half or add a 1/4 oz of bar syrup.  I’d favor just cutting the lemon juice in half since even if sweetened it would still overwhelm the cassis. 

So, as Meatloaf once sang, two out of three ain’t bad.


Day 189, Cocktail 187

Finally, the big day is here!  It seems almost anticlimatic, probably because for the grown ups the fun was last night!  The kids are out trick or treating, so it’s time for Gwen and I to relax with a cocktail while passing out the candy. 

Yet another web search for Halloween cocktails yeilded tonight’s drink.  This drink is ubiquitious and it’s origin is unclear.  But, it looks good, tastes good and has a name that fits!

  Black Widow

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 3/4 oz triple sec
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz pomegranate juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with black licorice strings.

This is a nice little Halloween cocktail, fruity, but not too sweet.  It has a dark, ruby, almost black color and with the licorice whips makes for a somewhat sinister presentation.


Day 154, Cocktails 153 & 154

I was ready for gin when I got home last night.  I perused the Ultimate Bar Book under the gin cocktail section and came across the Cherry Cobbler.  What caught my eye was the two variants that were listed for it.  Great,  I thought, I can get two for the price of one!  The first version is just the basic ingredients served in a chilled cocktail glass.  The second variant is to use a rocks glass and top the drink with seltzer water.

  Cherry Cobbler

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 1/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup

Combine everything in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Wow, does the cherry heering come through on this one.  The creme de cassis is there as well, but the heering really dominates this drink, almost too much.  If you are not a cherry heering fan, you will probably not like this one.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon and college football on TV (go Arkansas!).  Time to try the Cherry Cobbler topped with seltzer.  I’ll call this the fizz version.

  Cherry Cobbler Fizz

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 1/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • seltzer water

Combine all the ingredients except the selzter water in a shaker with ice.  Stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled rocks glass with a couple of ice cubes.  Top with seltzer water.

The seltzer water helps tone down the cherry heering, but it is still there in spades.  I did find this version to be more drinkable, but you’ll still need to be a heering fan to really enjoy this one.  Let me know what you think!


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!