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Tag Archives: domaine de canton

Milwaukee, WI – March 7, 2012

So I’m sitting at the bar and I hear, in this low, almost whispering voice, “Nice pants.”  I look around and there’s no one within ear shot, so I shrug it off and take another sip of my drink.  But then I hear the voice again, “Great looking haircut.”  Again, I look around and nothing.  I try to shrug it off, but when a few minutes later the voice asks “Have you lost weight?” I call the bartender over.

“Brett, I keep hearing this voice saying things like “nice pants” and “great haircut”.  What gives, are you screwing with me?”

Brett looks me right in the eye and tells me, “It’s the peanuts, they’re complimentary.”

One of the nice things about Bryant’s (South 9th and Lapham, Milwaukee) is that you don’t have to worry about either random hours or complimentary nuts distracting your taste buds from the cocktails.  Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had occasion to stop by and enjoy these two outstanding creations by Emily.

First is the Glamour Shot, pictured above.  When Emily asked what I was in the mood for I quickly answered gin, but that I didn’t want something run of the mill or a classic.  So, out came the Plymouth gin, Domaine de Canton liqueur, Cynar liqueur, bar syrup and lemon juice.  An interesting combination I thought, between the ginger Canton and the bitter Cynar, with is derived from, among other things, artichoke.  The result was a terrific cocktail that leads with the ginger of the Canton then quickly follows with a slightly bitter bite.  The bar syrup and lemon juice round out the drink and give it balance so that it’s boozy, but in a mellow way.  An excellent offering from Emily.

The second drink is her Milwaukee Manhattan.  This drink was designed for a contest that Emily had entered (and, incidently, won) for the best variation on the classic Manhattan.  Featuring Bulliet rye whiskey with the usual sweet and dry vermouths (making this on perfect) and both Agnostura and Peychauds bitters, the twist is the addition of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur (which I love!).  Again, a very well constructed cocktail that tasted incredible.  The cherry from the Luxardo was out in front on this one, with the sweet vermouth, bitters and rye filling in behind it.  This is a complex cocktail, with layers of flavors to be discovered.  Again, kudos to Emily for a job well done.

Cheers!

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Day 363, Cocktail 363

Friday night and another movie night for Gwen and I.  I had just purchased a box of those “Cutie” clementines and figured that they would back an excellent mixer for a cocktail.  They are slightly sweeter and less acidic than orange juice, and they fit so nicely into my lemon press, so I figured why not!  I’ve also been on a bit of a ginger kick so I wanted to incorporate that into the drink as well. 

Thus, with clementines and Domaine de Canton in mind, what to use for the base spirit?  I reached for the Rehorst gin.  I wanted something more than vodka, but didn’t want the full impact of a London Dry gin.  With it’s clean aftertaste and subtle use of juniper I knew the Rehorst would be a good choice.  Next I also pulled out the St. Remy brandy.  As I thought this cocktail through I figured I would need a bit of “darker” flavor as well to balance out the juice and ginger flavors I wanted.  So, let’s see how this worked out.

  Cutie

  • 1 oz Rehorst gin
  • 1/2 oz St. Remy brandy
  • 1 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 1 oz clementine juice

Combine all the ingredients in a Boston shaker with ice and shake and roll to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Very nice, if I say so myself.  This really hit the spot and the flavors all worked together as I planned.  Not too sweet, with a backbeat of ginger from the Domaine de Canton and several layers of flavor from the Rehorst and St. Remy.  All in all, a very nice cocktail for clementine season!

So, I’m now down to two cocktails to had today to finish off my year long journey.  I’ll be having one with our mid afternoon dinner and then the final cocktail early this evening.  If you have a suggestion for my last cocktail, let me know!

Cheers!

Day 334,  Cocktail 339

After my recent visit to Great Lakes Distillery, home of Rehorst gin and other spirits, I had picked up a bottle and have been using it at the Twilight Lounge.  While clearly a gin, it’s botanicals are toned down compared to the typical London Dry gin.  However, in my book, that is a good thing and it puts the Rehorst on par with Plymouth and similar, milder gins.  What this means is that Rehorst is ideal for gin cocktails outside the traditional realm of the martini and gin and tonic.

On Friday night I pulled out my bottle of Rehorst along with my Lillet Blanc and Domaine de Canton and started to fiddle around.  Here’s what I came up with.

  Ginger Flower

  • 1-3/4 oz Rehorst gin
  • 3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice cubes.  Stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

It took me 3 trys to come up with this formulation, but in the end it was worth the work (and thanks to Gwen for helping to drink all this versions!).  The floral notes of the Lillet blend wonderfully with the Rehorst.  The Domaine de Canton provides just a hint of ginger, which is what I was after.  Overall, I think this is a nice, refreshing summer type sipper.

If you haven’t already, I suggest you try out the Rehorst gin – you wont’ be disappointed.

Cheers!

Ginger Rye Fizz at the Twilight Lounge

Day 306, Cocktails 307 & 308

Friday night, and after a dinner of wings and oven fries Gwen and I settled in to watch another James Bond film, this one Pierce Brosnan’s “Tomorrow Never Dies”.  The cocktails for the evening, however, were anything but traditional Bond martinis. 

I had recently purchased a carton of pasteurized egg whites to use on cocktails.  Why?  Well, I am very interested in pursuing additional egg white cocktails for one.  Second, by using the pasteurized egg whites I’m assured of not getting any nasty little bugs in my drink.  Finally, it’s a lot easier to just measure out the amount of egg I need than having to crack open an egg and then figuring out what to do with the unused yolks.

So, down to the Twilight Lounge I went.  I already had my first cocktail in mind.  I had been anxious to take my rye whiskey, orange juice and ginger flavor combination to the next level with the addition of an egg white.  Here’s the result:

  Ginger Rye Fizz

  • 1-1/2 oz Jim Beam rye
  • 3/4 oz Domaine de Canton liqueur
  • 3/4 oz orange juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 dash Agnostura orange bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  No garnish required.

Mmmm, this was a very nice cocktail.  Silky smooth texture from the egg white that complimented the balanced ginger, orange and rye flavors of my liquid ingredients.  We both thoroughly enjoyed this cocktail!

After we finished this first cocktail (about the time that Terri Hatcher bit the dust in the movie) I paused the DVR and it was back down to the Lounge to come up with the second cocktail of the night.  Basically, I used the same recipe with different ingredients.

  Elderflower Gin Fizz

  • 1-1/2 oz Beefeater gin
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain liqueur
  • 3/4 oz orange juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 dash Agnostura orange bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  No garnish required.

Another very well balanced, silky smooth cocktail.  In this one the interplay between the orange and the elderflower flavored St. Germain is divine, with the botanicals of the Beefeater chiming in to perfection.  Again, I could drink these all night!

As it was, this drink got us to the end of the movie (of course, Bond vanquishes his foe and gets the girl) and we called it a night shortly thereafter.  But I hope you give one or both of these a try and let me know what you think.  If you haven’t had a cocktail with egg white in it, you really should try one!

Cheers!

Day 276, Cocktail 278

I was armed with several fresh oranges and a hankering for something Asian tonight (maybe Gwen’s homemade fried rice for dinner had something to do with my urges). 

When I hit the Twilight Lounge I started to rummage through the liquor cabinets.  The Ty Ku came out and then after pondering for a moment I pulled out the Domaine de Canton as well.  My reasoning was that the ginger in the Domaine de Canton was first, an Asian flavor and second, would meld well with the Ty Ku and its melon overtones.  I was also pretty sure I could use my orange as well.  This is what I came up with.

  Ty Ku Dream

  • 2 oz Ty Ku
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 3/4 oz orange juice

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  Garnish with an orange twist if desired.

This is a nice, summer weight cocktail – slightly sweet yet refreshing.  The Ty Ku with its mangosteen and melon flavors is front and center with a distinct ginger flavor chiming in from the Domaine de Canton.  And, because the Ty Ku is only 40 proof and the Domaine de Canton only 56 proof you’re not going to get as tipsy as quickly as if you were drinking vodka or gin.  That’s like a double winner in my book!

Cheers!

Day 270, Cocktail 272

As I’ve meandered through brandy cocktails this week I’ve come to appreciate brandy as a base spirit.  It’s really quite versatile and has been working quite well with a number of flavors.  I’ve also noticed the number of cocktails that use Cointreau, the orange flavored liqueur.  This got me thinking about what could I come up with that would use brandy?  Orange seems to work well, but what else would?  I let my mind wander (something its good at, just ask my teachers) and finally reached the Cooper Brothers cocktail that I had created earlier in this journey.  I decided to give it a whirl, using brandy in place of the rye whiskey.

  Brandy Cooper Brothers

  • 1-1/2 oz brandy
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain
  • 1/4 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 1 orange slice

Muddle the orange slice in a mixing glass.  Add ice and the liquid ingredients.  Stir to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Nice, very nice.  This may even taste a bit better than the original rye whiskey version – it’s a little mellower and the orange flavor seems to really pop.  You might also be wondering why I muddle the orange slice instead of just using juice.  The reason I muddle the orange slice is that I really work over the peel, getting the oils from it to release and mix with the liquid ingredients.  This adds quite a bit of flavor and aroma to the cocktail.  It’s an extra step worth taking!

Cheers!

Day 225, Cocktails 222 & 223

Nothing like watching Monday Night Football with a win for your fantasy football team already in the books.  Except watching Monday Night Football with the number one seed already locked up for my fantasy football team!

As I watched the game I contemplated what to drink.  I was in the mood to use the Stirrings Peach Liqueur I had recently acquired, but didn’t know what.  I quick check of the Stirrings website didn’t really anything that excited me.  They had a few cocktail recipes that used the peach liqueur, but not very many and nothing that looked simple.  Not that complicated would normally deter me, but I was tired and wanted this to be easy.

So after a few minutes of thought I decided on Maker’s Mark as my base.  Peach flavors and bourbon work well together, so I knew this would be reasonably safe.  But I did want to push the envelope a bit and after a lot of bottle sniffing (doesn’t everbody sniff bottles of booze?) I settled on Domaine de Canton for my third flavor. 

My first effort was 2 oz of Maker’s Mark, 1 oz of Stirrings Peach liqueur and 1/8 oz (one bar spoon) of the Domaine de Canton.  My first sip was nice – the peach was out first with bourbon just behind it.  The ginger flavor of the Canton was a subtle note on the tail, but it was there.  My first impression was, mmm, not bad.  However, as I sipped this over the next 30 minutes or so the sweetness of the Stirrings Peach began to overtake the cocktail.  By the time I was done it was too sweet and syrupy for my taste.  A reformulation was in order.

  Just Peachy

  • 2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Stirrings Peach liqueur
  • 1/8 oz Domaine de Canton liqueur

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

I liked this version much better.  The sweet component of the Stirrings Peach never takes over and the ginger of the Domaine de Canton actually comes through a bit more. 

As for my bottle sniffing, I do owe an explanation.  Taste is a matter of smell.  You taste what you smell (if you don’t believe me take a mouthful of whatever you want while holding your nose – you won’t taste a thing).  So, by holding two bottles together and smelling them I can get a pretty decent idea of how they will taste together.  Try it – you’ll be glad you did!

Cheers!

Day 209, Cocktails 200 & 201

Well, it was an interesting week, to say the least.  A good chunk of my time was spent starting up a job search, which has me excited but also nervous.  I also spent a fair bit of time finishing up the new floor at the Twilight Lounge.  I’m glad that project is over and the new cork look floor looks great!    Finally, it was a whole bunch of other little things as we get ready for my mom Paula and Cookie’s visit to us for Thanksgiving.  Whew!

To celebrate the reopening of the Twilight Lounge our friends Greg and Patti came over for dinner.  It’s always fun to get together with them for good food, games, conversation and cocktails.  Inevitably, the evening goes much longer than planned and Saturday was no exception!

I started the evening off with the Caramel Apple and it went over well with Greg and Patti.  Greg noted that it would be a great cocktail to sip while smoking a fine, full bodied cigar.  Frankly, I agree!  After a couple of these tasty treats we moved on to dinner.  After dinner it was time for a liquid dessert and I broke out the Pecan Pie.  Again, a bullseye!  Even Greg enjoyed it, even though he doesn’t like pecan pie! 

As the night wore on the music got louder, the new floor was given a dance workout and a couple of new cocktails were invented and enjoyed.  The first came about as we were talking about blending flavors and sniffing some of the various liquors and liqueurs in the Twilight Lounge.

  Greg’s Kringle

  • 1-1/2 oz Kajmir
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Amaretto

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a coupe and garnish with an orange peel.

Yummy is the only way to describe this drink!  Greg’s immediate reaction was that it tasted like a kringle, a Wisconsin favorite.  He was right too.  This comes out slightly nutty, slightly vanilla and just the right amount of sweet to be a great after dinner cocktail.  We’ll be having this one again!

While Greg was enjoying his kringle, I was ready for more rye and orange flavors.  Here’s the result.

  No Name

  • 2-1/2 oz Russel’s rye whiskey
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo orange bitters
  • 1 bar spoon bar syrup

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a large cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Again, another winner!  The ginger of the Domaine de Canton adds a new dimension to the rye and orange that is slightly exoctic.  The orange bitters help tie it all together and the bar syrup softens the rye just a tad but does not make this a sweet cocktail by any stretch.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t inspired with a name for this one — but I’m open to suggestions!  Give me your ideas and I’ll publish the winner and personally make it for you!

From this point on it got late enough and sloppy enough to switch to rum and cola’s…between the music and dancing we didn’t leave ourselves any time for proper cocktails.  All in all it was a great evening with great friends!

Cheers!

 

Day 177, Cocktails 171 & 172

Oh what a happy day it was when the new Woodmen’s store near us opened up!  Among the many wonders is the very large selection of Asian foods.  It is the best selection you can find around here without going to an Asian market.  So what, you ask?  Well, in addition to the pork and leek dumplings for dinner tonight it was the lychee juice that I was able to purchase there that has me excited.  I”ve been itching to work with lychee flavors in cocktails ever since having the Springtime cocktail at Bryant’s way back in the beginning of June. 

So with my can of lychee juice in hand, it was time to see what I could do.  My first effort was actually a nonalcoholic cocktail for daughter number 2.  She enjoys the tart, lemon juice based concoctions that I create for her and she loves lychee.  Here’s what I put together for her.

  LuLu

  • 2 oz lychee juice
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • seltzer water

Combine the ingredients, except the seltzer water, in a pint glass.  Stir and then fill the glass with ice and top with the seltzer water.  Garnish with a lemon wedge or slice.

This is a nice, slightly sweet, lychee flavored cooler that would be great for sipping poolside or with an Asian meal.  The great thing about this is that it is not overly sweet, so sipping on one for the afternoon won’t leave you with that syrupy flavor in your mouth!

With Lulu satisfied, it was time to take care of Gwen and me.  I figured that the same flavors (or thereabouts) should work well for an adult cocktail as well.  Thus, the Lucky Fortune was born.

  Lucky Fortune

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz lychee juice
  • 3/8 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz grenadine

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Hmm, hmm good is all I can say.  The lychee really pops in this, while the lemon juice keeps it from being overly sweet.  The vodka (Smirnoff, in this case) is there, but is really just the backbone while the grenadine provides a subtle layer of flavor.  I could drink this all night and be very be very lucky indeed!

With the Lucky Fortune under my belt and me writing about it I started to think about what other flavors would work with the lychee.  Ginger came to mind, being one of those quintessential Asian flavors.  So back to the bar it was.  It took a couple of tries to get the balance right (good thing Gwen was here to drink the samples) and this is what I settled on.

  Lucky Ginger

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz lychee juice
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 3/8 oz lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.  If you’re feeling adventurous, use pickled ginger or even a water chestnut for garnish instead of the lemon peel!

Well, there you have it, a very satisfying night of lychee inspired cocktails.  I’ve still got a little left, so we’ll see what I come up with tomorrow.  Until then….

Cheers!

Day 175, Cocktails 168 & 169

After a full day of working on the floor at the Twilight Lounge I’m happy to report that the old carpet pad is finally and completely gone, leaving me with a bare concrete floor.  That will be remedied soon – the new cork laminate floor has been ordered and will arrive in a couple of weeks.  By early November it will be back to normal!

So, what to do now to relax?  Well, since I know it won’t be long before the Twilight Lounge is more suave and debonair than ever, what better way to unwind than with the Debonair Cocktail?

  Debonair Cocktail

  • 2 oz Scotch
  • 1 oz Domaine de Canton liqueur

Combine the scotch and Domaine de Canton on a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to chill and combine.  Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a lemon twist.

This is a cocktail that will really change based on the scotch that you used.  I kept it basic by using my house blended Scotch, Cutty Sark (although I do admit I’d love to try this with the much smokier Laphroig some day).  I enjoyed this cocktail but the sweet ginger of the Domaine de Canton completely overwhelmed the Cutty Sark.  With that thought in mind it was back to the bar.  I knew I could come up with a better balance.

  Suave and Debonair

  • 2-1/4 oz Scotch
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton

Combine the scotch and Domaine de Canton on a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to chill and combine.  Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a lemon twist.

Now this effort really hit the spot!  The scotch is mellowed just enough by the Domaine de Canton to allow both flavors to intermingle and shine through.  I really enjoyed the balance and flavor of this cocktail.

Got a time when you adjusted a cocktail to suit your tastes?  Let me know and I’ll share with my readers!

Cheers!