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Tag Archives: grenadine

May 25, 2011 – The Twilight Lounge

About a week and a half ago it was a quiet evening at home  – perfect for a bourbon based cocktail as I contemplated what I needed to get done the next day.  I started flipping through some of my cocktail books and found this little number.

  Gall Bracer

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/8 oz grenadine

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir.  Strain into a rocks glass with 3-4 ice cubes or an ice ball.  Squeeze a lemon twist over the top of the glass (discarding afterwards) and garnish with a cherry.

To properly mix, be sure to add the bitters first, then the grenadine and then the bourbon.  This applies anytime you are using bitters – adding it first to your ice will ensure it is fully incorporated, especially when you are stirring your cocktail (as opposed to shaking). 

In the Gall Bracer I used Knob Creek and this was a delicious sipper.  With just a hint of the Angostura and grenadine to mellow the bourbon out it really allows the flavor of the Knob Creek to come through as the king of this cocktail.  The flavors are actually reminiscent of a Manhattan, with the grenadine taking the place of what traditionally would be sweet vermouth.

Cheers!

 

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

During some random night last week I was again in the mood for a cocktail featuring egg white.  After thumbing through several cocktail books I found something called the Clover Club.  This is a classic cocktail (read as pre-Prohibition) that was enjoyed by the members of the Clover Club in Philadelphia.  The Clover Club was a group of civic minded business leaders who met regularly at the Bellevue-Stratford hotel.  Alas, while the Clover Club itself expanded to multiple cities in the early 1900’s, the cocktail didn’t make it past Prohibition.  It’s a pity too, because this delicious number beats the pants off a Cosmopolitan any day!

  Clover Club

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz grenadine
  • 1 egg white

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake for 60 seconds or more.  Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a half slice of lemon.

You really need to shake, shake, shake this cocktail, just like any other egg white cocktail.  The reason is to emulsify the egg and create an nice creamy head and fully incorporate the egg into the drink.

As for the cocktail itself – delicious is the only way to describe it.  Creamy, slightly sweet from the grenadine with just hints of juniper from the gin.  I used Bombay for this one – I wanted the full flavor of a London dry to stand up to the relatively large amount of grenadine and lemon in this one. 

Cheers!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I know that to some of my friends it seems like I just open up the liquor cabinet at the Twilight Lounge, pull out a few seemingly random bottles and whip up a cocktail that’s delicious and nutritious, just like that.  Alright, well, actually, it does sometimes work like that.  However, more times than not it takes several iterations to get a cocktail where I want it.  This week was an example of the latter as I worked on tonight’s cocktail over a span of several days, until finally I was able to say “That’s It!” to myself.

I started off with the notion that I wanted to recreate a root beer float.  That meant using the root beer flavoring from LorAnn Oils.  But what else to use?  I decided on a base of vodka, which provides pretty much a blank slate to work with.  My first crack at it was 2 oz of vodka (Sobieski, for those of you keeping score at home), 2 drops of the root beer flavor and 1/4 ounce of grenadine.  This effort was ok.  The grenadine was subtle but there, but the root beer was also subtle, and I wanted this to be bolder.  I also didn’t get the creaminess that a root beer float would have, but I didn’t want to add ice cream.  The second iteration kept the same amount of vodka and grenadine, but I bumped up the root beer flavoring to 3 drops and added 1 egg white.  Much better, as the egg white added the creamy texture that I wanted, but the root beer was still a tad muted.  Finally, version three came through when I bumped up the root beer flavor to 4 drops.  Ah yes, now I had a tasty cocktail that is evocative of the root beer float flavor I wanted to emulate. 

  Root Beer Float

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 4 drops LorAnn Oil root beer flavor
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • 1 egg white

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

When you shake this drink (as with any drink containing egg whites) give it as hard a shake as you can for 30 seconds.  This is about 10 seconds longer than I normally shake cocktails, but it is essential to get the frothy emulsification you want from the egg.  Also, as I’ve noted before, I use pasteurized egg whites purchases from my local grocer in the cardboard container (just like the milk you got at school as a kid).  It’s much easier to add the egg white to a drink when I can pour it from a carton, not to mention safer.  I use 1/2 oz of egg white when the recipe calls for 1 egg white. 

Cheers!

Day 362, Cocktails 361 & 362

…but it turned out I was mistaken.

So tonight’s mea culpa is that I had a miscount on my days.  I’ve actually been off by two days, and it’s two days the wrong way, meaning I have 2 less days to complete my journey.  Fortunately I was ahead of the count in terms of cocktails, so all is well.  However, I’m sure Andy will have something to say about all this!

Now, back to the fun stuff – the cocktails!  I did two last night, the first a recipe from Dale Degroff’s “The Craft of the Cocktail” that I selected for its ease of mixing and cool sophistication.

  Black Rose

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 dash grenadine

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill and combine.  Strain into a rocks glass over an ice ball.  Garnish with a flamed lemon peel.

For this drink I used Knob Creek bourbon and it was a winner!  The deep, charcoal flavor of the bourbon was mellowed ever so slightly by the grenadine and Peychaud’s.  It was reminiscent of a Manhattan, but without the sweetness and allowed the bourbon to still be the star.  I really liked this drink and will definitely be having it again!

Unfortunately, Gwen didn’t really appreciate the Black Rose.  She asked me to make something with cucumber, so here’s what I put together for her.

  Cucumber Mule

  • 2 cucumber slices, about 1/4″ thick
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 2 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1-1/2 oz Old Ballycastle ginger
  • Seltzer water

Muddle the cucumber and bar syrup in the bottom of a collins glass.  Add the tequila, lime juice and ginger and stir.  Fill the glass with ice and top with seltzer water.

Mmmm, a nice variation of the Monterrey Mule that lets the hint of cucumber compliment the ginger and tequila.  I thoroughly enjoyed this refreshing cocktail and can’t wait to have it on a warm summer evening – assuming summer does show up around here sooner or later….

Cheers!

Day 350, Cocktail 356

Monday, besides being the first official day on the new job,  was also my final turn into the home stretch of my cocktail journey – I’m now counting down the final 10 cocktails to complete 365 new and different cocktails in 365 days.  Number 10 was discovered on the internet via the CocktailDB, one of my better sources of cocktails during the past year.  I was still in an egg white mood, even though I swore that the Golden Fizz was my last for a while.  So I searched on egg white as an ingredient and found this fun cocktail.  I have no idea where the name came from, but it sure looked good!

  Bachelor’s Bait

  • 1-1/2 oz gin
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1/4 oz grenadine

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes and shake long and hard to mix thoroughly and emulsify the egg.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  No garnish required.

Again, a delicious drink with the egg white adding a layer of body and creamy texture that just makes these drinks so tasty and good!  With a hint of orange from the bitters complimenting the gin (I used Beefeater) wonderfully.  The grenadine provides both a hint of color and a bit of sweet taste to compliment the orange bitters.

One more note about the egg white.  I have mentioned in previous posts that I use a pasteurized egg white product from the dairy section of my local grocery store.  This makes sure I won’t make myself or guests sick and also makes it easy to make cocktails without separating a bunch of eggs.  Just use 1/2 oz of egg white from the carton when a recipe calls for 1 egg white.

Cheers!

Day 332, Cocktail 337

Last week Gwen took us on a world tour for our dinners, visiting a different country each night of the week.  On Tuesday I took her Cuban cue (Cuban sandwiches for dinner, and they were delicious!) and found a Cuban styled drink for us to have with dinner.  Rum seemed a logical choice and after a quick web search for Cuban cocktails I found this at a website sponsored by the Cuba Tourism agency.  So with my Cuban sandwich in hand, a cold El Presidente cocktail at hand, all I needed to complete my night was a Cuban cigar.  Oh well, two out of three ain’t bad.

  El Presidente

  • 2-1/2 oz white rum
  • 3/4 oz dry vermouth
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz grenadine
  • 1/8 oz triple sec

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice cubes.  Stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a collins glass and then fill with cracked ice.  Garnish with a lemon slice.

This is a nice cocktail, although the flavor profile was dominated by the dry vermouth and then the lemon juice, with just a hint of rum.  The grenadine and triple sec help balance things out a bit, but I tend to think that a little less vermouth and lemon would allow the rum flavors to come out a bit more.  All in all, this wasn’t as emblematic of Cuba as I had hoped it would be. 

Cheers!

Day 320, Cocktail 323

Another Friday night at the Twilight Lounge (and yes, the lights are low there).  With nothing else planned, Gwen and I went with the tried and true formula of home made pizza, cocktails, and, of course, a James Bond movie.  This weeks’s movie was Goldeneye, Pierce Brosnan’s first appearance as 007.  One of my favorite scenes is when a former Russian KGB officer turned mobster jokingly asks Bond if he wants his martini shaken, not stirred.

As for the cocktail, I was back to egg whites.  I found this recipe on the CocktailDB and thought I’d give it a whirl.

  Whiskey Daisy

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 3/4 oz grenadine
  • 1/2 egg white

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker and shake to mix.  Add 3-4 ice cubes and shake to chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

The first flavor across my tongue was the lemon, followed by the fruit of the grenadine and then the rye.  I had used Jim Beam for the rye, which is on the mellower side.  I had also cut down on the lemon from the original recipe, which called for 1-1/2 ounces of lemon juice.  That was just too much and overpowered the drink.  The egg white, in addition to adding a frothy “head” to the drink that is visually appealing also added a slight creaminess to the drink.  Overall, very nice and a nice compliment to the action from 007 on the screen.

Notice that I initially mixed this drink without ice.  I did so to create more of an emulsification with the egg.  Doing so warm creates a better and more airy mixture.  Add the ice after you’ve given this a good hard shake and then shaking gently will maintain that airiness while chilling the cocktail.

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 284, Cocktail 282

Today was back to normal around here…schools open, roads cleared…and mountains of snow everywhere.  It was kind of fun to see just how much there was.  It also gave me the opportunity to play around with yesterday’s Blizzard cocktail after a reader (yes, you Sally) suggested dropping the grenadine and trying bitters.  So that’s just what I did.  I figured that Peychaud’s would be a good choice because it has a slightly spicey quality.  I was also tempted to try the orange bitters, but after sniffing both several times I settled on the Peychaud’s.  It seemed like a better match for the cranberry that’s in this cocktail.

  Blizzard Revisted

  • 1-1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1-1/2 oz cranberry juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Combine the ingredients with 5-6 ice cubes in a shaker.  Shake to combine and chill.  Pour into a rocks glass.

Sally, I have to say, this is pretty good.  Different from the original in subtle ways, and good.  It’s not as sweet, and I did add the 1/4 oz of bar syrup after removing 1/2 oz of grenadine – I knew I’d still need some sweet to offset the lime juice.  Without the grenadine to help reinforce the cranberry against the lime, the lime flavor is more predominant.  However, the spicy flavor of the Peychaud’s compliments it very nicely.  I like them both equally.  For you, it will be a matter of your personal taste. 

Cheers!

Day 283, Cocktail 281

It won’t be news to many of you to learn that we were slammed by the northern edge of the storm that rocked about half the country last night.  I’m sure we got off easy with just a lot of drifted snow and no ice.  So the power stayed on all night as the girls and I watched movies together, Gwen having left a day early for her Mexican fiesta in order to beat the storm.  So she’s in Cancun now while I spent a good chunk of today clearing snow – the piles are now nearly 6 feet tall!

So what cocktail would be appropriate for today?  Why, a blizzard, of course.  I googled Blizzard Cocktail and found two completely different variants with the same name.  One was made with brandy, irish cream, coffee and whipped cream.  The other used bourbon, cranberry and lime juice and grenadine.  Care to guess which one I made?

  Blizzard

  • 1-1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1-1/2 oz cranberry juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz grenadine

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake to mix and then strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice.

Tasty, with the combination of lime and cranberry making this a tart drink, with the slightly oaked, woody finish from the bourbon.  The ingredient list is very similar to that of the Cosmopolitan, but the flavor, because of the bourbon, is nothing like a Cosmo.  A nice way to finish of a day of snow shoveling!

Cheers!