Skip navigation

Tag Archives: grenadine

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 234, Cocktail 232

Wednesday was a mellow day – typical for mid-week most of the time around here, especially in the winter.  A laid back cocktail was in order as well.  Nothing too boozy or too hard to make.  I did a search of the CocktailDB for rye whiskey and found this drink.

That is the Whiskey Squirt pictured to the left.  I like it’s nice, pink hue and it looks really good in my Christmas themed highball glass!  I have several different sets of holiday themed glasses – and the secret is to shop Goodwill for them.  You can find some really neat glasses for very little money there!

  Whiskey Squirt

  • 1-1/2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • 1/2 oz grenadine
  • seltzer water

In a shaker combine the ingredients with ice.  Shake to mix.  Strain into a collins glass filled with ice.  Top with seltzer water and give a quick stir. 

This drink is very similar to the fizz style drinks that I’ve had previously.  It’s light, refreshing and the grenadine provides just a hint of pomegranate flavor to mesh with the whiskey.  To really make this drink pop, use real grenadine, which is a pomegranate based syrup.  If you use Rose’s or similar grenadine all you are getting is red colored corn syrup and you’ll miss out on the real flavor of this drink.


Day 218, Cocktail 216

Yesterday was a quiet evening at home with a ton of stuff to catch up on after Paula and Cookie’s visit.  So a simple cocktail was in order and this little number from the Ultimate Bar Book seemed to fit the bill. 

  Ward 8

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 bar spoon grenadine

Fill a rocks glass with a couple of ice cubes.  Add the ingredients, stir and then top the glass with ice.  Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

What can I say, I just love the combination of orange and rye.  I used Jim Beam rye for this one and it was delicious.  The lemon really made this tart.  Next time I think I’d add a dash of bar syrup and perhaps a dash of bitters as well. 


Day 188, Cocktails 185 & 186

Saturday night, in addition to being alright for a fight, was also the night for the Germantown pub crawl.  Gwen and I popped up to Ivee’s and followed my usual tradition of letting the pub crawl to me…meaning we stayed there and just enjoyed as wave after wave of crawlers stopped in at Ivee’s.  It was a fun night and we saw a few of our friends and made a couple of new ones to boot!  The jukebox was pumping out a great mix of Halloween themed songs, everything from Thriller to Rob Zombie to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.  I had my typical Freddy Krueger get up on and I wasn’t alone.  By my official count there were five Freddies by the end of the night.  I think I need a new costume next year!

Getting ready for the night entailed a cocktail at home.  I found this recipe on line (and honestly can’t remember where I got, otherwise I’d tell you) and decided to mix it up.  Based on my quick research, however, this is a cocktail that dates back to the Savoy Bar and the 1930’s.

  Satan’s Whiskers

  • 3/4 oz Bombay gin
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 oz dry vermouth
  • 3/4 oz orange juice
  • 3 bar spoons triple sec
  • 1 bar spoon plus two dashes Agnosturo Orange bitters

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

Wow, this has been my favorite cocktail of the week, by far.  I love what the orange bitters does, giving the drink a wonderful bite that is not too bitter and mellows out the sweetness of the juice and sweet vermouth wonderfully.  It adds a nice fall flavor to the orange flavors, if that makes any sense.  I hope it does.  I enjoyed this so much that I actually had a second one while making dinner!

After dinner and just before leaving I had to mix up a shooter for us that I’ve been waiting for a year to make.

  Brain Hemorrhage

  • 1 oz chilled peach schnapps
  • 1 bar spoon chilled Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/2 bar spoon chilled grenadine

Pour the peach schnapps into a shot glass.  Float the Baileys on top of the schnapps.  Top with the grenadine.  The Baileys will end up looking like a coagulated mess in the midst of the schnapps while the grenadine will float to the bottom, dragging some of the Baileys with it.  It looks a lot like the name implies!

This is a nice, sweet shooter that is tasty – just right for the ladies!  Even Brett at Ivee’s agreed, after making a couple for me last night, that it was finally a good use for Baileys!



Day 186, Cocktail 183

Thursday night found me at Ivee’s for Beat Stan at Trivia night (among other things).  Yes, I did lose, once.  I also won five or six times during the night, so I think Idid alright.  Normally I would sip on a Manhattan made with Maker’s Mark or maybe a gin and tonic, but since I’m in the midst of Halloween week I needed something appropriate.  I checked with Davey Iverson, the Thursday night bartender, to see if he had Black Cherry flavored vodka.  I was in luck, he did.  So, my cocktail of the evening was Dracula’s Kiss.  Just like Dracula, it’s sweet at first, but if you have enough you’ll find yourself asleep!

  Dracula’s Kiss

  • 1 oz Black Cherry flavored vodka
  • 1/2 oz grenadine
  • cola

Pour the grenadine into a rocks glass and give it a good swirl to coat the glass.  Fill the glass with ice, add the vodka and then top with cola.  Give a quick stir and garnish with a cherry.

The black cherry and grenadine blend very nicely with the cola to make this very much like cherry coke, just not quite as sweet.  I enjoyed it and it is a great Halloween cocktail for your friends that don’t like boozy drinks.


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.


  • 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….


Did This Confuse Me?

Day 161, Cocktail 156

Last Sunday I was at Ivee’s to watch the Browns – Ravens game.  As usual, I watched a Browns lead slip away as they turned a win into a loss.  I guess I’ve grown used to it, but still, having a lead in the second half against the hated Ravens and then watch it slip away was painful.

As I was watching the game I began with a Bloody Mary.  However, during the second half I wanted to switch to something else.  Typically I drink bourbon and cola at Ivee’s, but I saw another patron order a vodka cranberry and I thought that sounded good.  So when Terry came over to ask what I’d like next I promptly ordered a vodka rum…and then realized that didn’t make sense as Terry stood there with a startled look on her face.  Uh, make that a vodka bourbon I spit out…what!?!  Oh boy, this was getting worse by the moment…uh, how about a vodka cranberry I finally managed to croak out.  Terry was looking at me like I had horns growing out of my head and laughing the whole time she made my drink.  In fact, she was still giving me a hard time about it last night!

While Terry thought it was bizzare to have vodka and rum together, I knew that it wasn’t as strange as it sounded.  So a little research on the CocktailDB revealed a number of likely candidates.  The Powerhouse looked interesting, so that’s what I tried this afternoon after spending a couple of hours scraping carpet pad up off the floor of the Twilight Lounge.


  • 1 oz Galliano
  • 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz 151 rum
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz bar syrup
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/8 oz grenadine

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a collins glass filled with cracked or crushed ice.

This is a tasty drink, but it seems just a tad disjointed.  The Galliano clashes a bit with the orange juice and there’s a general lack of harmony.  Perhaps a dash of Agnosturo would help pull this together, but that is an experiment for another day.

Tonight we are visiting a new (to us) Mexican restaurant with friends.  While that probably won’t yield any new cocktail opportunities, we are hoping to land at Foundation afterwards and that will yield a new cocktail opportunity!  Stay tuned…


Day 122, Cocktail 117

Back in the saddle, finally!  The vacation was great with plenty of inspiring scenery, a few hikes and lots of family time.  The only thing the Black Hills weren’t terribly good at was providing cocktail opportunities. 

While driving back across South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin I had plenty of time to think about what would make a good Black Hills inspired cocktail.  I’ve got several ideas, and this is the first one.  If I say so myself, I think it’s a pretty good and is emblamatic of the Badlands – dry, smokey and featuring  bourbon.

  Badlands Cocktail

  • 2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • 1 drop liquid smoke

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 5-6 ice cubes.  Shake, shake, shake to chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  No garnish required, just like the Badlands.

Be very careful with the liquid smoke – any more than a single drop will overwhelm the drink!  The smoke flavor evokes bison being grilled over a live flame while the bourbon represents the hard backbone that the Badlands provides.  The maraschino helps keep this drink dry while adding a bit of flavor that represents the bounty that this land once provided.  Take a trip to the Badlands and mix one up!


Day 102, Cocktail 101

Nothing like a little plop plop, fizz fizz when you’ve overindulged, heh?

So my dad and step mom arrived today for a visit with us, and we’re glad they’re here.  I made my first cocktail – a gin and tonic – for my dad, oh, about 40 or so years ago.  He’d tell me to fill the glass with ice and then add gin to here, pointing to an imaginary line on the glass and then fill it the rest of the way with tonic.  I was on my way….

So, fast forward, and I decided to treat my dad to a twist on the ‘ol gin and tonic.  I found this recipe last week and it blends Wisconsin’s favorite (no, not bratwursts) with gin. 

  American Fizz

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz brandy
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz grenadine
  • seltzer water

In your mixing glass combine the gin, brandy, lemon juice and grenadine over ice.  Stir to chill and mix.  Strain into a collins or highball glass filled 2/3 of the way with ice cubes.  Top with seltzer water.

The brandy adds a “darker” flavor to the gin and lemon, providing an almost smoky or woody backbone.  The grenadine softens the lemon juice a bit and adds just the hint of pomengranate and sweetness to pull it all together.  And please, please, please, use real grenadine!  We both enjoyed sipping this refreshing cocktail as we got caught up with each other.

Over the next few days I’ll do a little more exploring of the fizz genre of cocktails.  Basically, a fizz consists of a base liquor, a citrus juice (typically lemon) and soda water.  Variants of the fizz have been around since the dawn of cocktails in the early 1800’s.  The Ramos Fizz may be the most famous in cocktail circles, but I’ll bet anything that the fizz you’re familiar with is the Sloe Gin Fizz (it sure worked for me at the Gear Ball).  Stay tuned!


Day 73, Cocktail 73

I’m sure of you have a bottle of Rose’s Grenadine somewhere in the house.  You know it, it’s that kinda’ short bottle with a the bright red syrup in it.  The problem is that real grenadine is a pomegranate syrup and the Rose’s variety is made from high fructose syrup dyed red.  In general, I prefer not to have anything with high fructose corn syrup, especially in my cocktail.  So recently I found a bottle of real grenadine and finally had a chance to put it to work.

The cocktail I chose tonight is the New Yorker.  I just had a taste for rye tonight and thought it would be ideal way to showcase my newly acquired grenadine.

  New Yorker

  • 1-1/2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 1/8 oz grenadine

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes and shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Boy, did the grenadine make this drink pop!  It was the perfect complement to the lime and rye.  I thoroughly enjoyed this cocktail and am looking forward to more grenadine!