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Tag Archives: grapefruit

grapefruit-jimmy-cagneyThe Twilight Lounge – February 12, 2013

As reported in my last post, I was recently in Florida.  And what do I do when I come home from Florida?  I bring home a case of Indian River grapefruit, of course – doesn’t everyone?  And just what the heck do I do with a case of grapefruit?  Make cocktails, of course!

So on the first day of spring training workouts for my beloved Cleveland Indians I thought it would be appropriate to come up with something new using all that grapefruit I have (yeah, I know, the Tribe is in Arizona, but I didn’t have any cactus laying around the Lounge).  As I thought about how to use the white grapefruit I pulled out the gin and St. Germain.  A bit of orgeat seemed in order as well as the Agnostura bitters.  Wow!  It’s not often that I hit one out of the park on the first try, but today I did.

Grapefruit League

  • 1-1/2 oz London Dry gin
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain
  • 1 bar spoon orgeat
  • 1 dash bitters
  • grapefruit juice

Combine all the ingredients but the grapefruit juice in a collins glass with a couple of ice cubes and stir.  Fill the glass the rest of the way with ice and then top with grapefruit juice, stirring again.

Very well balanced with the orgeat and St. Germain sweetening the tart grapefruit juice just enough so that the grapefruit still shines through.  The gin provides a nice base with a bit more punch than vodka would and the bitters help tie it all together into a nice, refreshing package.  The perfect sipper while contemplating dreams of World Series titles for my Indians – shhh, don’t spoil the moment for me!

Cheers!

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AP BRITAIN NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATIONS I GBRThe Twilight Lounge – January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!  It was an odd New Year’s Eve / New Year’s Day for me.  First, half the family (Gwen and daughter number 1) were in London for the New Year’s Day parade, which daughter number 1 was in.  Second, I was at Disney in Florida with daughter number 2.  Sooo, no holiday party this season at the Twilight Lounge (much to the chagrin of some of our friends) and, amazingly for me, no booze, no champagne, no beer, no nothing on New Year’s Eve.  I think I was 15 the last time that happened!

Finally, yesterday we were all back together.  Tonight was movie and cocktail night.  Hmmm…a new bottle of gin from London (Brokers), a case of fresh Indian River white grapefruit from Florida.  Yeah, you know where this is going.

London Calling

  • 3 oz Brokers gin
  • 1/4 oz orgeat
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters
  • 1-1/2 oz St. Germain
  • fresh white grapefruit juice
  • tonic water

 

Combine the gin, orgeat, bitters and St. Germain in a mixing glass without ice.  Stir vigoursly to mix.  Pour into a collins glass filled with ice, fill to nearly the top with grapefruit juice and add a splash of tonic water.  Stir and serve.

I loved this one – and nailed it on my first attempt!  The orgeat and St. Germain compliment the grapefruit and cut its tartness just enough.  It’s not sweet, but not bitter either.   The gin gives a nice base and just a hint of juniper comes through, adding a layer of complexity that vodka would not add.

So, the next time you take a split vacation between London and Florida, you know what to have to drink!  Mind the gap and stay calm and carry on!

Cheers!

Day 354, Cocktails 357 & 358

Friday night and both Gwen and I were ready for a fun evening.  I had been in Texas for the bulk of the week and it was hectic getting started up on the new job.  It had also been a busy week for Gwen with lots of activities for the girls that had to be taken care of.  So when Friday rolled around we were ready to celebrate our birthdays in style (Gwen’s is coming up next week). 

Our first stop of the evening was the Firefly Urban Bar + Grill for dinner (using my trusty Groupon!) and a drink.  Firefly is located in Wauwatos and has a very hip and slightly upscale vibe – so definately wear your best t-shirt when you go, as the one of the girls at the table next to us did.  The food is varied and ranges from appetizers to sandwiches to full dinners that are twists on traditional comfort type foods.  The pork chops that we both ordered were good, and the speciality cocktails were very good.  Gwen had the White Cosmopolitan, which I won’t report on (since I only tasted it) while I went with the Metaxa Side Car.  Consisting of Metaxa, a greek brandy that is a blend of brandy and wine, Patron Citronage, orange and lemon juice, this was a very nice, mellow cocktail.  It’s flavors were multilayered with the orange and just a hint of lemon made dark, silky and almost chocolatey by the Metaxa, with a hint of the Patron lurking in the background.  Very smooth and not too sweet but not boozy either.  I definately recommend this cocktail if you visit Firefly.

After dinner we headed back to Germantown and stopped by the Klavier Lounge.  We both had their special for the night, a Berry Mojito.  Consisting of Bacardi Dragon Berry rum, simple syrup, grapefruit, lime and garnished with a mint sprig this was propietor Kris Peters’ twist on the classic mojito.  This cocktail had a nice, sweet flavor that goes over big with the girls.  I also enjoyed mine, but one was enough for me on the sweet scale and I moved on the a Rusty Nail and then Monterrey Mules for the rest of the night.  As usual though, it was a lively time at the Klavier and we enjoyed ourselves immensely!

Cheers!

Day 304, Cocktail 306

Wednesday’s cocktail was less than spectacular, so this will be a relatively short post.

  Blinker

  • 1-1/2 oz rye
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 oz grenadine

Combine in a shaker with ice to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.

I have to admit that this cocktail just did not hit the spot.  The initial flavor was odd – the rye came through and it was very tart and almost tasted like there was lime in it, although there is none.  It was very disjointed and never did come together in the glass.  I suspect that a bit grenadine or bar syrup and perhaps a dash of Peychaud’s might help, but I didn’t the time Wednesday to fool around with it.  Maybe another day!

Cheers!

Day 301, Cocktails 301 & 302

We had some fresh grapefruit in the house, which is currently one of number 2 daughter’s favorite snacks.  I figured that she wouldn’t miss one (it’s not like their that big or anything…), so I grabbed one and took it down to the Twilight Lounge with me.  I didn’t have anything in mind, figuring I’d just experiment and see what I could come up with.

For my first effort I wanted to use the Death’s Door gin that I had in the cabinet.  I was almost out and figured that maybe this would be a good way to use it up, particularly since it is not overly botanical like the London dry gins.  As I looked throught the liqueurs cabinet my eye was drawn to the Luxardo maraschino liqueur (another shock, I know).  I also grabbed the bar syrup figuring that the tart grapefruit would need a little sweetness beyond what the maraschino would provide.  Thus, after a little tinkering, the Death by Grapefruit was born.

  Death by Grapefruit

  • 2 oz Death’s Door gin
  • 1 oz ruby red grapefruit
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 oz bar syrup

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

Even though I only used 1/4 oz of the Luxardo, it is the maraschino flavor that comes front and center initially, followed by the tart grapefruit and then the juniper of the gin.  It definately needs the bar syrup, otherwise this would be a very tart cocktail.  All in all, a pretty good effort, if I say so myself.

For my next cocktail, I decided to stay in the same vein of gin, but swapped out the Luxardo for Ty Ku, the delightful mangosteen and melon flavored liqueur.  Again, after a little bit of trial and error, here is what I settled upon.

  Ty Ku Grapefruit

  • 1 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1 oz Ty Ku
  • 1 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup

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

As with the Death by Grapefruit, the supporting liqueur is what comes through first, in this cast the Ty Ku.  It is then followed by hints of grapefruit and then even more subtly the Plymouth.  I had chosed the Plymouth because of its relatively neutral presentation (for a gin, that is), and because I was almost out of the Death’s Door.

Of the two drinks from last night, I’d have to give the nod to the Death by Grapefruit, although I thought both were good.  Give ’em both a try and let me know what you think!

Cheers!

Day 257, Cocktail 256

Friday night was a date night for Gwen and me.  No kids, no friends, no worries, just the two of us (isn’t that a song?)  I decided to try someplace new and did a web search for Milwaukee bistro.  A number of interesting choices popped up and I chose one that was relatively close to home – NSB Bar and Grill.  Formerly known as the North Shore Bistro it has undergone a few changes, including the name.

When we arrived it was going to be 10 – 15 minutes for a table.  Fortunately, there were seats at the bar (I know, a shock that we’d wait at the bar), which ran the length of the dining room.  I was pleased to see that it was well stocked with liquor and liqueurs and also pleased to see a number of tempting selections on the speciality cocktail list.  While Gwen went for her usual dirty Bombay martini I opted to try out the Pear Flower.  This consisted of Grey Goose la Poire, St. Germain, grapefruit juice, lemon juice and bar syrup.  The result is pictured here and was delicious!  The pear flavored Grey Goose was a perfect match for the St. Germain and grapefruit juice.  The lemon juice added just the right amount of sour to offset the sweetness of the St. Germain.  Regular readers know that I’m no fan of flavored vodkas, but this cocktail makes a strong case for them. 

As for dinner, Gwen had the Pan Seared Tilapia with Pistachio Lemon Butter while I opted for the Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  Both meals were also very good and made for a great evening out for us.

Cheers!

Day 213, Cocktails 207 & 208

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today is that day for us to gather and reflect on what we have to be thankful for…for me it is my family and friends, my health, and…the hope for a Brown’s win on Sunday!  We’re having several friends over along with Paula and Cookie.  Not sure if I’ll get into any new cocktails today as I plan on serving up Caramel Apples and Pecan Pies.  If I do, you’ll read all about in the next post.

Yesterday was a day for a couple of new drinks.  Much of the day was spent in final preparation for today.  By dinner time we were winding down and playing shut box down in the Twilight Lounge.  I mixed up a drink I found on the CocktailDB.

  Southern Bride

  • 1-3/4 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur

Combine the ingredients in a shaker and shake, shake, shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a coupe.

My first observation is that this is a dainty ‘lil ‘ol thing, only filling my coupe about 2/3 of the way with a nice, pink hue.  It is a tasty cocktail with the maraschino taking front and center, followed by the grapefruit and then gin as a supporting platform.  I used Plymouth gin for this one.  If you want more “bite” from your gin, use Bombay or Beefeater.

Later in the evening we headed over to Brett’s house for his night before Thanksgiving party.  We don’t get to see Brett outside of Ivee’s nearly enough and he always throws a good bash.  Last night held true to form.  After several bourbon and cokes Gwen cajoled Brett into making up his own speciality cocktail.  It’s called Brett’s Passion Fruit Mojito and consists of Cruzan Aged Rum, lime juice, mint, powdered sugar and seltzer water.  Wow, was this ever delicious!  The Cruzan has a nice, silky and slightly smokey flavor.  The passion fruit and mint blend wonderfully together and it was just sweet enough.  Well done Brett!  If you want, give me your exact recipe and I’ll publish it!

Cheers!

Day 183, Cocktails 178 & 179

Sometimes, the sequel is as good as the first movie, like the second Godfather.  And some time, it’s not so good, like Legally Blonde 2.  Sunday’s cocktails were kinda’ of the same thing, sequels, both good and bad.

The first sequel was the Love Potion No. 9.  I decided to make a fizz version to enjoy while watching football.  I got out a mixing glass, filled it with ice and started pouring.  Vodka, check.  Chambord, check.  Cranberry juice, oops…no cranberry.  Well, how about grapefruit juice then?  So, on I went substituting ruby red grapefruit juice for the cranberry.  Of course, I did have the lemon juice, whew.  So, I put all the ingredients together, gave a good stir and then poured the drink into a collins glass, filled it with ice and topped it with seltzer water.  Well…it’s not bad, but it’s not really a knockout drink either.  The grapefruit juice and chambord is disjointed and the drink never really came together. 

The great thing about sequels is that you can always find another drink to reprise.  For my second sequel I chose the Majesty’s Pomegranate that I had just enjoyed at the Klavier the night before.  This was a delicious combination of Ketel One Citrus vodka, grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice and lime juice.  Since I don’t have any citrus vodka I improvised by adding a bit of lemon juice to the cocktail.  Here’s what I came up with.

  Majesty’s Pomegranate Fizz

  • 2 oz Smirnoff vodka
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1-1/2 oz pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.  Stir well and pour into a collins glass.  Add ice to fill the glass and top with seltzer water.  Garnish with a lemon wedge.

This one really hit the spot.  The pomegranate is the featured flavor with the citrus playing a supporting role.  And, unlike my last effort, there is a nice balance of flavors. 

So, sometimes the sequel works, and sometimes it doesn’t.  You just never know until you try!

Cheers!

Day 182, Cocktail 177

Yesterday marked the start of the Halloween “season”, at least for me.  Just like I don’t think Christmas should last for 6 months, I don’t think Halloween should last the entire month of October – a week is enough for me.

As we did last year, Gwen and I headed to the Hartford Jaycees haunted house in Slinger with the Newcomers group.  We had a total of six of us and the girls made good work of a flask to add some entertainment to the 90 minute wait.  Finally, our group was called and it was through the haunted forest and then all three levels of the house.  If you’re looking for a haunted house this Halloween, definately give the Hartford Jaycess a try!

Also, as we did last year, we started at the Klavier Lounge in Germantown.  This was a our meeting point and a good place for a cocktail.  Kris Peters has done a great job of bringing an upscale lounge to Germantown with good cocktails and a great atmosphere.  The Klavier features a long list of house speciality cocktails.  I had the Majesty’s Pomegranate and it was delicious! 

  Majesty’s Pomegranate

  • Ketel One Citrus Vodka
  • grapefruit juice
  • pomegranage juice
  • lime juice

The juices all blend very well together, with the lime and grapefruit mellowing out the sweetness of the pomegranate.  There is just enough Ketel One to let you know that it is there, but its not overpowering.  It really is a very good blend of fruity and boozy — just right!

Enjoy your Halloween season!

Cheers!

Day 68, Cocktail 64

They say every thing is bigger in Texas.  Personally, I think Alaska is a bit bigger, but I guess I won’t quibble on the size issue.  What I do know is that this particular cocktail, sampled earlier this week while I was on my grapefruit binge was pretty good.  The original recipe called for honey, but I substituted Krupnik, my Polish honey flavored liqueur.  The results were very satisfying, producing a drink that was pleasant and balanced.  I continue to be amazed at how the krupnik / grapefruit combo works in so many different cocktails!  Saddle this one up on a warm, sunny afternoon and head for your favorite beach or pool!

  Tex Collins

  • 1-1/2 oz gin
  • 1-1/2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz krupnik honey liqueur
  • Seltzer water

Combine the gin, grapefruit juice and krupnik in a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a collins glass filled with ice cubes.  Top with the seltzer water.

Cheers!