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Day 330, Cocktail 335

At the height of the empire, it was common for officers in British Army to complete a tour of duty in India, the crown jewel of Britain’s holdings.  However, Indian foods and climate didn’t always agree with the men or their officers, requiring a remedy to soothe bouts of digestive system distress.  Hence, the Pink Gin.  With its combination of bitters, originally formulated as a digestive remedy that was full of a multitude of other fanciful health benefits and gin, which is, in my opinion, a remedy for nearly everything that ails me, how could her or his majesty’s officers and troops go wrong?

In keeping with name, I elected to use Peychaud’s bitters with this cocktail.  Using Angostura would have imparted a brown color, and then I’d have had to call this post Brown Gin…and that just doesn’t sound nearly as appetizing.

  Pink Gin

  • 2 – 1/2 oz gin
  • 5 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Add the gin to a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill.  Add the Peychaud’s directly a chilled cocktail glass.  Swirl the bitters around in the glass and then pour the bitters off (you’ve just “rinsed” your glass).  Strain the gin into the glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist, if desired.

This was a very nice, tasty alternative to my typical martini.  I used Plymouth gin, which is somewhat mild for gin and allowed the Peychaud’s to come front and center.  The earthy, herbal essence was backed up almost to perfection by the gin.  This cocktail was incredibly sippable, boozy, but not overwhelming. 

Interestingly enough, for you Bond fans, this was also Ian Fleming’s favorite drink.  Why he never had James Bond drink this is a mystery, but I wish he had.  I would have had one much sooner than now!


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.


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!


Day 300, Cocktails 298, 299 & 300

Saturday night marked day 300 – I’m in the final stretch now!  Since we stayed home Saturday night it was easy to knock back three new cocktails while we enjoyed watching Dr. No (a James Bond classic with Sean Connery) and then Frost Nixon.  Both movies were evocative of classic style cocktails, so that’s what I stuck with for the night.

The first cocktail was from the old Tiki Bar TV podcast.  Unfortunately, Tiki Bar TV seems to have met its demise, but the catalog of 40 some odd episodes is still available on ITunes.  Check it out – it’s the most!

  Suffering Bastard

  • 1-1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz lime
  • ginger ale

In a mixing glass combine the gin, bourbon and lime juice and stir.  Strain into a tiki glass with cracked ice.  Top with ginger ale and garnish with a mint sprig.

This is really a variant on the classic mules, although the use of the bourbon and gin makes it quite different from the versions using tequila and vodka.  It was quite tasty, and with the mint garnish, really has a tiki feel to it.

After the Suffering Bastard, I switched us to a gin based martini style drink.  We were watching Frost Nixon by then, and a martini just seemed like the drink to have.  I picked out something called the Sweet Martini from The Martini Book by Sally Ann Berk.

  Sweet Martini

  • 3 oz gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Combine the ingredients in mixing glass with ice and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

The sweet version of my classic martini, this was good.  The use of orange bitters instead of the standard Agnostura was nice, offsetting the sweetness of the vermouth. 

After the orange bitters flavor of the Sweet Martini, I had a hankering for something with rye and orange – I know, a big surprise!  Here’s what I put together.

  Frost Nixon

  • 2-1/2 oz Old Overholt rye
  • 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • orange slice

Place an orange slice in a shaker with ice cubes and add the rest of the ingredients.  Shake, shake, shake to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled coupe.

A combination of a Manhattan and my favorite rye and orange combination.  Very tasty with hints of fresh orange juice and the orange bitters providing depth to the rye and vermouth.

As I finished up this cocktail the movie also finished up and it was time to call it a night.  And some night it was!


Day 201, Cocktails 196 & 197

If you are a regular reader then you know the Friday night is martini night at the Twilight Lounge.  Since starting this whacko journey of 365 cocktails in 365 days it’s hard to limit myself to my traditional martini on Fridays.  However, I can and do imbibe in a martini style cocktail (or two, as was the case this past Friday).

I cracked open Sally Ann Berk’s “The Martini Book” and started perusing.  This is the first one that caught my eye.


  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 1 bar spoon maraschino liqueur
  • 2 bar spoons lemon juice

Combine the ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

This worked out well, particularly since we were watching James Bond flicks on the DVR (Thunderball, to be exact).  I used Smirnoff vodka and Luxardo’s Maraschino Liqueur.  Just a hint of the maraschino comes through and balances out the vermouth very nicely.  I definately recommend this one. 

Since we were watching James Bond, one is just not enough.  Back to “The Martini Book” and this lovely offering.

  Bronx Terrace Cocktail

  • 3 oz gin
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz dry vermouth

Combine the ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime twist. 

The recipe in the book called for a maraschino cherry for the garnish.  Perhaps if I had a real maraschino cherry that had been soaked in vodka I might have, but I couldn’t see the sweet, red cherries sitting in my fridge sitting in this drink.  For the gin I used Bombay.  This one is different.  Because of the lime juice, it’s almost like drinking a margarita, just, well, different.  I might try this one again, but I won’t be in any hurry.

By the time we finished the second drink Bond was in a life raft with Domino…lucky him!


Day 82, Cocktail 86

Ok, first, before you start to flame me, I know that today is actually the 84th day of my journey.  But, this post is about Friday’s cocktail – I’m a day behind on my reporting…so, it is the 86th cocktail on the 82nd day.

Friday night was another stay at home evening for us.  Not that we’re boring old coots or anything, but we did go out on Thursday and had plans for Saturday night as well.  So, it was homemade pizza (Hawaiian, of course – it is Tiki Week after all) and Goldfinger on the DVR.  This is one of my favorite Bond movies of all time.  I mean, really, from my perspective what’s not to like when the Bond girl is named Pussy Galore?

Since we were staying in I thought it was a good time to try out a heavy duty tiki drink.  This recipe comes from Beachbum Jerry’s Intoxica! recipe book.  However, the credit for this recipe goes to Harry Yee.  This is a recipe that Yee developed at the Hawaiian Village Hotel bar on Waikiki Beach.  I don’t know if Yee had a limit on how many of these he would serve a customer, but I know that after two I was seeing double!

  Tropical Itch

  • 1-1/2 oz Bacardi 151 rum
  • 1 oz dark Jamaican rum
  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz orange curacao
  • 8 oz passion fruit juice
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo bitters

In a large mixing glass add all the ingredients and stir well.  Fill a large hurricane glass (or double collins glass, a large tiki glass or even a pint glass) with crushed ice.  Pour the mixed cocktail in over the ice.  Garnish with a pineapple chunk and a sprig of mint leaves.

What can I say – this was outstanding!  First, the passion fruit gives this drink a fruity dimension without being overly syrupy like pineapple juice can get.    The 151 is potent (duh!) and I used Appleton Reserve for the dark rum and Maker’s Mark for the bourbon – both high quality spirits that worked well.  Like I said above, after two of these each we were ready for a nap!


Hey, save some for me!


Day 58, Cocktails 51, 52, 53 

Whew, another Polish Fest is in the books!  To say it was fun would be an understatement.  The food – pierogies, stuffed cabbage, kielbasi…hmmm!  The polka music and dancing.  And of course, the vodka!  You have to love a festival that features vodka tastings! 

My vodka weekend started Friday night with a classic vodka martini.  Yes, I normally prefer to drink gin martinis.  However, the vodka martini is sometimes a nice change of pace and is the only other cocktail that you will see me refer to as a “martini”.  Besides, if it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for me! 

  Vodka Martini 

  • 3oz Chopin vodka
  • 1/4 oz Martini & Rossi dry vermouth
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Combine in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake vigourously to chill and mix.  Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with three unstuffed cocktail olives.  

Enjoy as all your troubles slip away! 

Saturday was the big day for us.  We piled into the van with Brett, Greg and Patty and headed down to Polish Fest.  Sue and Mark and Don and Dawn joined us after a delicious dinner for the main even of the evening – the Sobieski vodka tasting!  We actually tasted 6 vodkas and then 4 meads – another Polish delicacy.  I am taking the liberty of counting the vodka tasting as one cocktail and the mead tasting as one cocktail.  Considering that the tastings covered a total of 10 shots (OK, so they were only 1/2 oz, but still), I think they count towards my mission. 

Vodka (Wodka) Tasting 

I’ll give my review of each of the vodka’s in order of least favorite to most favorite. 

Sobieski Vanilla – I’m no fan of flavored vodkas, as my regular readers know.  I’ve had other vanilla vodkas, and to be honest, this one just wasn’t very good.  I’m sure it could be mixed with something that would make it worthwhile to drink, but I’d rather add vanilla extract if I want vanilla flavoring in my drink.  The taste was harsh and almost more coffee flavored than vanilla to me. 

Sobieski Citron – Pretty much the same story here.  Although this was better than the vanilla, I thought it was a bit harsh and not all that lemony.  Real lemon juice mixed with vodka tastes much better. 

Sobieski – This is the flagship of the Sobieski brand.  This vodka is an exceptional value!  At about $18 for a 1.75l bottle, it is cheaper by far than premium vodkas, yet compares very favorably.  It is very smooth, particularly when chilled.  This is good enough for a martini, and as I said, at half the price of the “premium” brands, you just can’t lose. 

Stawski Koneser – This is a slightly “premium” label for Sobieski.  Like Sobieski, it is distilled from Polish rye.  Just a bit smoother than the Sobieski, it was very pleasant to drink.  You may have a harder time finding it, but it’s definately worth the work. 

Debowa Oak Tree – OK, so I know, this is a flavored vodka.  The difference here is that its flavor is primarily derived from a sliver of oak that is placed in the bottle.  The oak combined with Black Elder flower makes for a delightful vodka to sip.  Smooth yet oakey (really?) I would drink this one neat. 

Polmos Extra Zytnia – This was the class of the bunch for me.  A high quality rye vodka with the very small addition of apple spirits, this was delicious, mellow and smooth.  This would be great with a twist or on the rocks with just a touch of cranberry.  Again, harder to find, but worth it. 

Mead Tasting 

Polish mead is a honey based liqueur that is aged between 1 and 6 years before aging.  Most meads also incorporate additional flavorings.  Not quite as sweet as krupnik, but very, very tasty nonetheless. 

Bernardynksi Royal Mead (4 years) – This mead has subtle cherry flavor with the honey.  I bit harsh on the aftertaste, this ranked fourth for me. 

Kurpiowski Polish Mead (5 years) – A lighter color than the Bernardynski, this mead spent 2 of its 5 years in oak barrels, contributing to its complexity.  Smoother, this was my third favorite. 

Lednick Mead (1 year) – Suprisingly dark and with little beyond the honey on the palate, this was very good.  I was suprised given that it had been aged only for 1 year, but the bright flavor really appealed to me. 

Jadwiga Miod Pitny (6 year) – The best of these meads, this compared very well to many of the better tawny ports that I’ve had.  Ideal for an after dinner drink, this had a deep amber color and was rich and mellow.  I really enjoyed this one and am looking to pick a bottle up. 

Well, there you have it, the final Polish Fest report.  I hope you can make it next year! 


Octopussy, anyone?

Day 48, Cocktail 43

I figure there were at least 5 different James Bonds, so I can have at least 5 different James Bond martini style cocktails.  Hey, it sounds logical to me!

Anyway, Gwen and I watched Roger Moore in Octopussy Friday night.  The scenery is exotic (mostly set in India) and Maud Adams is fabulous as the “Bond” girl.    Whenever we watch a Bond film a martini style drink is in order.  For tonight, we had a variation of the Smokey Vesper.


  • 4 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 oz Martini & Rossi dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Cutty Sark scotch
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake vigorously to mix and chill.  Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with three cocktail olives.

As with all my Bond cocktails, the quantities above make 2 (hey, I’m always watching Bond movies with Gwen!).  The gin takes front and center in this one, with just a very subtle smoke flavor from the scotch.  Enjoy with your favorite Bond or Bond girl!