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Tag Archives: kirschwasser

Day 317, Cocktail 320

So what happens when you don’t hit a nail square on the head?  It gets bent, of course!  I know, I’m grasping here, but (in the words of Brett Hertzberg, the father of modern bartending in Germantown) it’s all I got.

So the Bent Nail is a variation of the classic Rusty Nail.  How it get the name Bent Nail is beyond me as my research turned up nothing.  If you happen to know, please share with me and my readers!

So, without further adieu:

  Bent Nail

  • 1-1/2 oz Canadian whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Drambuie
  • 1/4 oz Kirsch

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to chill and mix.  Strain into a coupe.

I used the coupe for this since this a relatively small drink at just 2-1/4 oz of ingredients.  When accounting for ice melt while mixing it probably comes in at a little less than 3 oz.  As for the taste, it’s good.  Just a hint of cherry from the kirsch, which also helps cut the sweetness of the Drambuie.  It’s not as bold as a Rusty Nail, given that the Canadian (I used Canadian Club) doesn’t have the smokey, peaty components that Scotch does.


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 186, Cocktail 182

There are few things as quintessential at Halloween than a black cat.  Often associated with witches and bad luck, few domesticated animals are as routinely persecuted as the black cat.  However, and interestingly enough, black cats are considered good luck in England.  Women in seek of suitors will use black cats to bring them luck (although any woman who is already a wife will wonder just why a single woman would want suitors).

So, when I found this recipe for a Black Cat cocktail in Colleen Graham’s cocktail blog I just knew that I’d have to try it.

  Black Cat

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz kirschwasser (cherry brandy)
  • cranberry juice
  • cola

Fill a collins glass about 3/4 full with ice.  Add the vodka and kirschwasser and then fill the rest the glass the rest of the way up with equal amounts the cranberry juice and cola.

This is a very interesting cocktail.  The blend of the kirschwasser, cola and cranberry gives a distinct, berry like flavor that has a tart quality.  I have to admit that the first sip didn’t exactly sit too well with me, but the more I’ve drunk, the better it has gotten.  Give this kitty a try and let me know what you think!


Day 41, Cocktails 34 and 35

While sitting around this afternoon contemplating how to get caught up on my cocktails I pulled my copy of The Cocktail Bible off the shelf.  As I flipped through the classics section I came upon the Singapore Sling.  I’ve never had a Singapore Sling I thought to myself…well, no time like the present!

  Singapore Sling

  • 1 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 oz cherry brandy
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz grenandine
  • seltzer water

Place several ice cubes in a shaker.  Add the gin, brandy, lemon juice and grenadine.  Shake well to mix.  Pour into a rocks glass half full with ice cubes.  Top with seltzer water and garnish with a lime peel and cocktail cherries.

To be honest, I wasn’t wild with this one.  It may be because I used Kirschwasser as my cherry brandy.  This is a German style brandy that borders on the harsh and is not at all sweet.

However, undaunted, I decided to try a variant using Heering cherry liqueur in place of the brandy.

  Heering Singapore Sling

  • 1 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1/4 oz Heering cherry liqueur
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • seltzer water

Combine the gin, Heering, lemon juice, and bar syrup in a shaker with ice cubes.  Shake well to combine.  Strain into a rocks glass about 1/2 full of ice cubes.  Top with seltzer water and garnish with a cherry and lemon peel.

This was a better effort than the original Singapore Sling, but still not quite right.  I had actually cut the Heering in half from my first version, but I think this one still needs some tweaking.  Give it a shot, put your twist on it and let me know what you come up with.


Day 23, Cocktail 21

Time to get caught up from a busy weekend.  Saturday night started with a cocktail at Bryant’s with Gwen.  She had her usual Love and Happiness while I asked Michael for something with rye and maraschino liqueur.  His answer was an unnamed cocktail that featured rye, maraschino, chartreuse and bitters.  Technically, I should use this as one of my cocktails, but I’m going to pass for a couple of reasons.  First is that I don’t have the exact recipe, although I’m pretty sure I can duplicate it.  The second is that, frankly, I felt the chartreuse overpowered the cocktail.  I’d need to play around with this one before I used it.

After Bryant’s, it was on to Eddie Martini’s for dinner.  We had are usual martinis before dinner which were very good.  The foie gras appetizer was outstanding the filets were very good.  It is tempting to lay my martini recipe on you, but I’m saving it for a classic coktails week.

So, to get going, I have one last maraschino cocktail.  This cocktail is called the Charleston and comes from The Cocktail Bible. 


  • 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  •  1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo marschino liqueur
  • 1/2 oz kirschwasswer

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes. Shake to chill thoroughly (and allow the 20% or so by volume of water that any boozy cocktail needs to melt off the ice). Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

The Luxardo and kirsch blend to dominate with their cherry flavors. I have to admit, I was tentative about making this one tonight because, frankly, I don’t like kirsch. Fortunately, the Luxardo, sweet vermouth and Cointreau subdue the harsh flavor of the kirsch while the gin and dry vermouth provide the underpinnings for this cocktail. As I sit here sipping it (while listening to Nancy Sinatra sing “Bang Bang” from Kill Bill) this drink is growing on me. I don’t know that it would ever be one of my favorites, but it is easy for me to imangine that 100 years ago bartenders were mixing drinks that tasted a lot like this one.