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Tag Archives: luksusowa

Day 328, Cocktail 334

Last Saturday our friend Jenny threw a surprise 40th birthday party for her husband Kevin.  They had just finished their basement, including a nice bar set up.  Naturally, our gift to Kevin was a variety of barware and a bottle of vodka, Cointreau, some ginger beer, lemons and limes.  To go with this starter package was a list of four cocktails that could be made from the box.  On that list were the Moscow Mule, Kamikaze, Lemon Drop and Caipiroska.  Another advantage of inviting me and Gwen to the party is that you get a built in bartender!

I actually started out the evening sticking with the Moscow Mule, which I’ve had before is in the index.  Simple and straightforward, it is the cocktail that turned America into a vodka drinkers in the 1940’s.  Using ginger beer instead of ginger ale really makes this a treat!  However, after a couple of the mules (and a Cincinnati loss to UConn in the tournament) I was ready for something different and tried out the Lemon Drop.

  Lemon Drop

  • 1-1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1-1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz orange juice

Rub the edge of a chilled cocktail glass with a lemon wedge and then rim with sugar.  Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to chill and combine.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

I used Luksusowa, a good Polish potato vodka.  This is a nice, girly cocktail, with the lemon and orange flavors sweetening the vodka.  If you like Cosmopolitans then you will like this one as well.

A word about vodka.  Please, please, please, don’t overspend on vodka!  You can easily spend $40 to $50 on premium vodkas.  However, unless you are a master distiller who has spent a lifetime tasting and comparing distilled spirits, you will not be able to distinguish the difference between a $20 vodka and a $50 vodka.  If you want to keep one premium around, and in the freezer, for shots (which I sometimes do), that’s fine.  My current selection of vodka includes two premiums, Grey Goose (given to me as a gift) and Chopin (purchased on sale for $30, $20 off the regular price).  The rest of my vodka selection is Sobieski and Luksusowa, both value priced at around $20 for a 1.75L. 

Cheers!

Day 24, Cocktails 23 and 24

It’s a two ‘fer post with a couple of variations on the same theme, always an interesting way to compare cocktails and their ingredients!

The first drink I have for you tonight came from the television show “Great Cocktails”.  It’s hosted by Steven Phillips, a long time bartender from New York.  It’s a decent show, with lots of good tips as well as fun facts and plenty of cocktail history.  You can catch it on Fine Living Network.  Check it out and see if you don’t learn something. 

The topic of this particular episode was vodka.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy vodka (heck, my last post was a vodka drink).  But I have a little bit of trouble taking it too seriously.  By itself, a good vodka is devoid of any flavor or character.  Which is why we have the proliferation of flavored vodkas on the market.  They make life very easy (too easy, if you ask me) for the mediocre bartender.  A really good bartender will rarely work with flavored vodkas – that’s what juices, liqueurs, bitters and other flavor adders are for.  However, I do admit that when I want to whip together a quick drink, vodka is sure easy to use because of the lack of flavor.  (Editorial note – potato vodkas do offer some distinct tastes, and I’ll get to those sometime this year.)

So, enough pontificating.  The drink that caught my eye was the Moscow Mule.  Here it is.

  The Moscow Mule

  • 1 oz Luksusowa vodka
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • ginger ale

Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.  Add the vodka, lime juice and top with ginger ale.  Stir to mix and garnish with a lime wedge.

With the vodka receding to the background the interplay between the lime and ginger ale is interesting.  It’s light, refreshing and pretty good.  I wouldn’t hesitate to have this one again or to serve it to friends.  It’s definately different.

So, as I was making this I thought, hmmm, I wonder how this would taste with tequila in place of the vodka.  I mean the lime and tequila go together like white on rice.  Fast forward several hours and I did just that.  Thus, the Monterrey Mule was born.

  The Monterrey Mule

  • 1 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • ginger ale

Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.  Add the tequila, lime juice and top with ginger ale.  Stir to mix and garnish with a lime wedge.

I have to admit that I’m not nearly as enamored with the result of this one.  To me, the tequila and ginger ale seem to be bickering amongst themselves while the lime sits on the sidelines.  Maybe a pinch of salt would help bring this together…if it does, I’ll let you know.  Until then, give it a try and let me know what you think.  It may be just me that doesn’t like this one.

Cheers!

 

Day 23, Cocktail 22

Last spring we went to Florida and spent a week with my mom and stepfather.  My stepfather is a wonderful man who goes by the name of Cookie.  While we were there he introduced me to a great variation of the usual vodka and cranberry.

  The Cookie Anne

  • 2 oz Luksuswa vodka
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz cranberry juice

Combine all the ingredients in a rocks glass filled with ice.  Stir to mix.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

This is a light, refreshing cocktail, perfect after a day at the beach…it won’t be long, will it?

Cheers!