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Day 313, Cocktails 314 & 315

Two new cocktails were created at the Twilight Lounge last Friday night.  You’ll be welcome to have the first, the Pear Tequila, anytime that you come by.  This was the first of the night and was inspired by my simple desire to play around with the Old Ballycastle Ginger and tequila.  I have no idea what put that idea into my head, but it was there so I went with it.

The second drink of the night was the End Of The Line (pictured).  I decided to use Kajmir, the vanilla flavored brandy – vodka blend.  And why did I name it End Of The Line?  Well, I’m almost out of Kajmir, and since it is no longer made, when its gone, its gone…of course, freeing up a space for a bottle of something else (hehe).  So, I’ll get back to this in a minute, but first I want to go back to the Pear Tequila.

  Pear Tequila

  • 1-3/4 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1-1/2 oz Mathilde Poire liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Old Ballycastle Ginger
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice cubes and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist, if desired.

This turned out to be pretty good.  The recipe above was the second iteration – I had too much tequila and not enough Mathilde and Old Ballycastle in the original attempt.  It’s a multi-layered cocktail, with the pear and ginger flavors both subtly intertwined and complimenting the Cazadores nicely.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

With my first effort under my belt, I turned my attention to my nearly empty bottle of Kajmir.  I really don’t know what led me to pull out … maybe it was just my desire to clear out a space for something new.  Whatever the reason, as I sniffed the now open bottle I started thinking about what else could I pair with this to create a cocktail.  I wanted to stick with the Old Ballycastle Ginger, but I’d need something else as well.  I finally settled on orgeat as my third flavoring ingredient.

  End Of The Line

  • 2 oz Kajmir
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/4 oz Old Ballycastle Ginger
  • 1/8 oz orgeat

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice cubes and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a rocks glass with an ice ball.  No garnish needed.

This is also a very nice cocktail…a hint of nuttiness from the orgeat, a bit of spice from the ginger and the smooth, slighty smokey vanilla of the Kajmir.  I added the extra shot of vodka (I used Sobieski) to give this drink at list a little heft since the Kajmir is only 40 proof.

I’d ask you to try this one out as well, but unless your one of the three people in the world who still have a bottle, you’ll have a tough time finding it.  Of course, if you get over to the Twilight Lounge soon, I still have enough for a couple more!


Day 311, Cocktail 313

Wednesday was my friend and Men’s League founder Mark’s birthday.  I had invited him to come over to the Twilight Lounge for a drink, but he instead invited me over for a cocktail so he could show off his latest effort, as well as his new bar room in his basement.  The room is spectacular, with stone walls, a beamed ceiling and a table and benches that Mark assembled and antiqued himself – and this table is so solid I’m sure it could take a direct hit from a cruise missile!

The cocktail was also solidly built and delicious.  Here it is:

  Mark’s Bourbon Pear

  • 1-1/2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 1 oz Mathilde Pear liqueur
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz bar syrup

Combine the ingredient in a shaker with ice and shake to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a couple of basil leaves.

Excellent cocktail Mark!  The pear is evident and softens the bourbon, making for a very drinkable, yet boozy cocktail.  And the basil garnish adds a nice botanical scent and flavor to the drink.  A cocktail that I highly recommend!


Day 261, Cocktail 260

I know you’re looking at that post title and wondering just what the heck is coming up.  You are, aren’t you? 

Well, it’s like this.  Sometimes it’s harder to name the cocktails that I concoct at the Twilight Lounge than it is to actually concoct them.  After yesterday’s rather lame effort with my two new pear cocktails I decided today was to be an inspiring effort, one worthy of great plaudits and driven by outsized ego and ambition.  Thus, the Peary is born.  As in Robert Peary, intrepid explorer of the North Pole (although the second man to reach it).  And why is Robert Peary the inspiration for tonight’s cocktail.  Actually, its only because his name is Pear-y.

  Peary Cocktail

  • 2 oz Death’s Door gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Mathilde Poire liqueur
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain liqueur

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir vigorously to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Another very nice cocktail from the Lounge.  Light citrus and elderflower notes at the beginning of this followed by just a hint of pear.  It’s slightly sweet and the “brandy” feel of the Mathilde Poire is totally subsumed by the lemon and St. Germain.  If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll note that the only differences between this and yesterday’s Elderflower Pear is that I dropped the Lillet and amped up the St. Germain. 

As for Admiral Peary, I hope he doesn’t mind that I borrowed his name.


Day 260, Cocktails 258 & 259

Monday I was inspired to follow up on the delicious Pear Flower that I had just last Friday at the NSB Bar and Grill.  I had previously purchased a bottle of Mathilde Poire liqueur that I had intended all along to pair with St. Germain, but I just had never really gotten around to it.  The Mathilde Poire is made from D’Anjou pears and is 36 proof.  It definately smells and taste like ripe pears and also has a brandy like backbeat to it.

So with the Mathilde Poire in hand, what else to use?  Death’s Door gin quickly joined it on the top of the bar followed by Lillet Blanc.  Just smelling each of these seperately and then together was good – I was pretty sure that I was on to something that would turn out good.

  Death’s Door Pear

  • 2 oz Death’s Door Gin
  • 1 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1/2 oz Mathilde Poire Liqueur

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with cubed ice.  Stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  No garnish required.

On my initial taste I got a bit of sharpness from the Mathilde (that brandy backbeat I talked about), but it was quickly mellowed by the floral qualitites of the Lillet.  After the drink had a chance to mellow in my glass it had a nice pear flavor that was complimented nicely by the juniper in the the Death’s Door.  By the way, using another gin in lieu of the Death’s Door will definately change the flavor profile and may overwhelm the drink, especially if you use a London Dry gin.  If you can, use the Death’s Door.

One cocktail was not enough this evening.  I was on a roll and ready to introduce St. Germain to the mix.  Here’s what I came up with.

  Elderflower Pear

  • 2 oz Death’s Door gin
  • 1 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1/2 oz Mathilde Pear Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz St. Germain Liqueur

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with cubed ice.  Stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  No garnish required.

Oh my god, this is a homerun!  The addition of the St. Germain adds both a touch of sweetness and just enough of the elderflower flavor that combines just right with the pear flavors of the Mathilde.  The flavors just exploded on my tongue, providing me with the perfect balance between the boozy gin, the floral Lillet and the two liqueurs.    This drink alone is enough reason to have the Mathilde around, especially if you are a fan of St. Germain.

Try them out and let me know what you think!


Day 21, Cocktail 20

An unplanned trip to Germantown’s Maifest last night delayed yesterday’s post.  Don’t worry, I still got the cocktail in!

So, as I’m driving home from work yesterday my mind was spinning through how to finish up maraschino week.  I had already used most of the recipes that I had the ingredients for.  I was itching to see if I could come up with something original.  Gwen had already called to tell me that she would be sitting out front with our neighbors Mark and Pam enjoying a drink (like that’s never happened before…).  Wait, I’m rambling…where was I, oh yeah, what to mix maraschino with…

Orange and strawberry both have seemed like good candidates to me.  As I thought this through, I decided to use vodka as my base.  You won’t see me using vodka that much, especially flavored vodkas.  But in this case I thought vodka would be a good base to allow the other flavors I wanted to use to come through.  I also have a bottle of Mathilde Pear Liqueur that I’ve been anxious to try (more on that in a future post).

So, when I got down to the Twilight Lounge I pulled together my ingredients.  Smirnoff vodka, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Mathilde Pear Liqueur, fresh oranges and strawberries, bar syrup and seltzer water.  As I played around with the Luxardo and Mathilde I realized that between these two and the fruit I was going to use that the bar syrup wasn’t going to be needed – there was plenty of sweetness to go around with add more sugar.  After a couple trials, I came up with this mix:

  Maraschino Soda

  • 1-1/2 oz Smirnoff vodka
  • 1/2 oz Mathilde Pear Liqueur
  • 3/8 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 2 orange slices, about 1/8″ thick
  • 1 large strawberry, stem removed
  • seltzer water

In a rocks glass muddle the orange slices and strawberry.  Add the vodka, Mathilda and Luxardo.  Stir thoroughly.  Fill the glass with ice cubes and top with seltzer.  Garnish with a strawberry and orange wedge.

This definately hit the spot as a light, refreshing cocktail that I will definately be enjoying poolside when it warms up.  The vodka provides a nearly invisible base for the pear and maraschino flavors, which hold up well to the orange and straweberry juices.  Topping with the seltzer adds an evervescence that refreshes.  I hope you like this one!