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Tag Archives: english toffee

Day 303, Cocktail 304 & 305

Ah yes, the entire Brady clan enjoyed Alice’s pork chops and applesauce dinners…be sure to sound like a wiseguy while you say it!

No, I didn’t make pork chops and applesauce for dinner last night.  Instead, it was a pork roast with a garlic, onion and thyme rub along with mashed potatoes and braised brussel sprouts with bacon.  So no pork chops and no applesauce.  However, I felt that I needed something with apple to make the night complete.  A quick search of the CocktailDB for options and the next thing I knew I was in the Twilight Lounge whipping up the Calvados Cocktail to enjoy while I made dinner.

  Calvados Cocktail

  • 1-1/2 oz Calvados
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes and shake, shake, shake to mix and combine.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, no garnish required.

A pretty decent cocktail.  A bit of a bite from the Calvados, not unusual for a brandy.  A touch of sweetness from the orange juice and Cointreau, while the orange bitters keeps the whole thing well balanced.  As an aside, the original recipe called for just one dash of orange bitters, but I amped it up and thought it was much better with two.

After dinner I was ready for dessert, and decided to try a home grown variant of the Calvados cocktail.

  Calvados Toffee

  • 1-1/2 oz Calvados
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 2 drops LorAnn Gourmet English Toffee flavoring

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes and shake, shake, shake to mix and combine.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, no garnish required.

Very similar to the Calvados Cocktail with just a hint of toffee flavor that makes the drink, to me, a bit sweeter and richer.  I thought it was a very nice after dinner cocktail, but Gwen wasn’t too thrilled with it.  I wouldn’t hesitate to make this again.

I want to mention the flavorings I’ve been using lately.  I’ve mentioned before that I found these at a local cake / bake shop.  They are all labelled LorAnn Gourmet and they are a great way to have fun with cocktails on the cheap.  If you do get some, use them sparingly, they do pack a punch!


Day 292, Cocktails 289 & 290

The Dinner Party Download has been a favorite podcast of mine for a while now.  The unique blend of cocktails, current events and food put you in perfect position, as the hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam remind you weekly, to win this week’s dinner party.  I enjoy the interviews that they do as well as the history and cocktail segment.  In this segment you get a tidbit from history and then, a cocktail to commemorate the event.  Last week’s event was the accidental loss of an H-bomb by the US Air Force during an exercise off the coast of Georgia.  The bomb is still out there somewhere, at the bottom of the Atlantic and is now known as the Tybee bomb.  And thus, this cocktail was born!

  Tybee Bomb

  • 2 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/8 oz grenadine
  • 1 maraschino cherry, soaked in moonshine for 2 days

Combine all the ingredients, except the cherry, in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to chill and combine.  Strain into a cocktail glass and drop the marinated cherry into the bottom for garnish.

Wow, what a great cocktail (and yes, I do have moonshine, so I was able to marinate the cherry in it – I think Pisco or cherry brandy would also work if you don’t have ‘shine laying about the bar).  Silky smooth thanks to the egg white with hints of cherry and just a bit of bite from the moonshine soaked cherry.  This was my first foray into egg white cocktails at home and it was delicious!  Thanks Rico and Brendan!

I would have made another on Friday while Gwen and I were waiting to go out for dinner, but we were limited on our egg availability.  So I went in a completely different direction for my second effort of the night.  I put 2 oz of Maker’s Mark bourbon in my shaker with ice and 2 orange slices and a drop of my English Toffee flavoring.  I shook hard and long and then strained it into a rocks glass with a bourbon ball and an orange slice for a garnish.  It was enjoyable, but not quite right.  I got the hint of toffee flavor that I wanted, but it was pretty strong with bourbon.  I think either Cointreau or triple sec would help this out, and maybe a dash of bitters.  I’ll have to play around with this one some more and let you know what I come up with.



Day 266, Cocktails 267 & 268

My journey into brandy based cocktails continues tonight with a pair of drinks that are similar but different.  However, before I dive into the cocktails, a bit about brandy.

What makes brandy (as well as cognac and armagnac) different from other spirits is that it is distilled from fermented grape juice (essentially wine) rather than grains.  Typically brandy is clear and picks up its brown color during the aging process in oak barrels (with the occasional addition of caramel coloring to provide product uniformity).  The French, being French, have specifically defined two regions of production where from the product is known as cognac and armagnac.  These two spirits are brandy, albeit very good brandy.

One last tidbit regarding brandy that you should be aware of is how aging is designated.  Unlike us Americans or the Brits, who simply put the number of years that a whiskey has been aged on the bottle, the French decided to be clever and use designations.  Those designations are:

  • V.S. (Very Special) – aged for a minimum of 2-1/2 years
  • V.O. (Very Old) – aged for a minimum of 4-1/2 years
  • V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale) – aged for as long as 10 years
  • V.V.S.O.P. (Very Very Special Old Pale) – aged longer than V.S.O.P.
  • X.O. (Extra Old) – a premium brandy or cognac

Cute, huh?

On to the drinks.  My first is the French Connection, although it does not bear any relation to the Gene Hackman flick of the same name.  In fact, I’m pretty sure Popeye Doyle wasn’t drinking brandy, but that’s just a hunch.

  French Connection

  • 2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz ameretto

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a rocks glass with an ice ball or large ice cubes.

Well, that was simple, wasn’t it?  Very similar to the Godfather  and Godmother, this drink has a nutty, boozy flavor that will warm you up.  The sweetness that the amaretto imparts makes this a worthy after dinner drink to enjoy with your desert.

Next, I decided to strike out on my own with a similar, yet different cocktail.

  Orange Toffee

  • 2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 drop English Toffee extract

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a rocks glass with an ice ball or large ice cubes.

Mmmm, delicious.  A nice brandy backbone with orange and just a hint of toffee, this is also a very nice after dinner drink.  Slightly sweet because of the Cointreau, you probably won’t be drinking these all night long.  But to enjoy with a cigar after a fine meal, well, that’s just living right.

You might be wondering why I used a mixing glass when the final product ends up in a glass with ice.  Two reasons.  The first is to get a good, thorough mixing of the ingredients.  If you try to do this in the rocks glass you’ll most likely end up making a small mess (or in my case, a rather large mess).  The second is to get that initial dilution of the cocktail with water melted from the ice, especially when you use an ice ball in the drink like I do.  If you don’t have that initial dilution you will knock yourself over with the strength of the drink and won’t have nearly as pleasant an experience as you should have.