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Tag Archives: russell’s reserve rye

Day 264, Cocktails 263 & 264

Friday night was a stay in family night for us.  The kiddos picked out Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the DVD player and Gwen and the daughters put together a mini Tapas of appetizers for us.  My job was to whip up cocktails for us, non-alchoholic for the daughters, of course.

I had a can of Lychee fruit juice, which has become a favorite at the Twilight Lounge, especially for daughter number 2.  I started by mixing up her non-alcholic cocktail.  I began with a pint glass filled with ice.  Next I added about 3 oz of the lychee juice, 1 oz of orgeat, juice from 1/2 a lime (about 3/4 oz) and then topped it with tonic water.  Sometimes I’ll also drizzle in a bit of grenadine on the top for color, although I did not do that this time.  You can also top this with seltzer water or lemon lime soda – my daughter happens to like the tonic water.  It was soooo good that she had another!

You’ve seen orgeat in some of my cocktails, mostly tiki type fare.  It is an almond flavored syrup and is usually available in larger liquor stores with the other flavorings such as grenadine or bloody mary mix.  It is thick and sweet, so it doesn’t take too much to flavor a cocktail.  It is just one of those ingredients I always have on hand.

Now, what to make for the adults?

  Almond Lychee

  • 1-1/2 oz Appleton Estate VX amber rum
  • 1 oz lychee juice
  • 1/4 oz orgeat syrup
  • 1/2 oz lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  You really need to work this one over to make sure the orgeat gets thoroughly incorporated.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lychee fruit.

I know, my picture doesn’t have a garnish – I didn’t have any lychee fruit in the house, but next time I will!  This is a nice, tiki style cocktail with a twist from the lychee juice.  The closest I can come to describing how it tastes is pear – but a little lighter.  There’s a bit of the molasses flavor from the rum and the lime helps provide a bit of tart, cutting the sweetness of the orgeat. 

The Almond Lychee was so good that we had two while watching good ‘ol Harry once again beat off the advances of what’s his name that shall remain unnamed.

Later last night I went down to the Twilight Lounge to write yesterday’s post.  As usual, I poured myself a whiskey on the rocks to sip on while I wrote.  Normally I would have had a scotch (Cutty Sark is my house blended) but instead decided to use Russell’s 6 Reserve Rye last night.  After a couple of sips, which I did enjoy, I decided to tinker.  After fooling around and adusting a bit here’s what I came up with.

  Blog Sipper

  • 2oz Russell’s Reserve Rye
  • 3 dashes Angosturo orange bitters
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice

In a mixing glass, combine the ingredients (bitters first) with ice cubes.  Stir for 30-45 seconds to combine and chill.  Strain into a rocks glass with large ice cubes or an ice ball.

Mmmm, that lovely combination of orange flavors and rye with just a touch of lemon is delicious.  The perfect cocktail to sip on while I muse over the cocktail world!


Day 209, Cocktails 200 & 201

Well, it was an interesting week, to say the least.  A good chunk of my time was spent starting up a job search, which has me excited but also nervous.  I also spent a fair bit of time finishing up the new floor at the Twilight Lounge.  I’m glad that project is over and the new cork look floor looks great!    Finally, it was a whole bunch of other little things as we get ready for my mom Paula and Cookie’s visit to us for Thanksgiving.  Whew!

To celebrate the reopening of the Twilight Lounge our friends Greg and Patti came over for dinner.  It’s always fun to get together with them for good food, games, conversation and cocktails.  Inevitably, the evening goes much longer than planned and Saturday was no exception!

I started the evening off with the Caramel Apple and it went over well with Greg and Patti.  Greg noted that it would be a great cocktail to sip while smoking a fine, full bodied cigar.  Frankly, I agree!  After a couple of these tasty treats we moved on to dinner.  After dinner it was time for a liquid dessert and I broke out the Pecan Pie.  Again, a bullseye!  Even Greg enjoyed it, even though he doesn’t like pecan pie! 

As the night wore on the music got louder, the new floor was given a dance workout and a couple of new cocktails were invented and enjoyed.  The first came about as we were talking about blending flavors and sniffing some of the various liquors and liqueurs in the Twilight Lounge.

  Greg’s Kringle

  • 1-1/2 oz Kajmir
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Amaretto

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

Yummy is the only way to describe this drink!  Greg’s immediate reaction was that it tasted like a kringle, a Wisconsin favorite.  He was right too.  This comes out slightly nutty, slightly vanilla and just the right amount of sweet to be a great after dinner cocktail.  We’ll be having this one again!

While Greg was enjoying his kringle, I was ready for more rye and orange flavors.  Here’s the result.

  No Name

  • 2-1/2 oz Russel’s rye whiskey
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo orange bitters
  • 1 bar spoon bar syrup

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a large cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Again, another winner!  The ginger of the Domaine de Canton adds a new dimension to the rye and orange that is slightly exoctic.  The orange bitters help tie it all together and the bar syrup softens the rye just a tad but does not make this a sweet cocktail by any stretch.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t inspired with a name for this one — but I’m open to suggestions!  Give me your ideas and I’ll publish the winner and personally make it for you!

From this point on it got late enough and sloppy enough to switch to rum and cola’s…between the music and dancing we didn’t leave ourselves any time for proper cocktails.  All in all it was a great evening with great friends!



Day 191, Cocktail 189

Even before the day began I knew that we were screwed.  As if it really matters which bozos are running the show in Washington or your state’s capital.  I “love” (that’s dripping with sarcasm, by the way) all the Republicans who say that they are going to change the way business is done in Washington.  Really?  Which party was in charge when about 75% of the current total national debt was rung up?  Oh, right, Republicans.  Don’t get me wrong, the Democrats aren’t any better.  Which is why it was easy to name tonight’s cocktail

  We’re Screwed

  • 2 oz Russell’s Reserve Rye whiskey
  • 1 oz Drambuie
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 6-8 good dashes of Agnosturo orange bitters

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

I love what the orange bitters does in this drink.  It just comes alive and nearly leaps out of the glass and says “hey, I taste great!”.  The combination of the bitters and Drambuie really complements the rye extremely well.  I can tell I’m going to have a lot of fun playing with the orange bitters this winter.  It sure beats watching what the jackasses in Washington do!


You gotta love fresh cherries!

 Day 41, Cocktail 33

Gwen and I have belonged to a dining group that meets monthly for several years now.  The gatherings are always fun and the food is good.  Yesterday’s theme was Tailgaiting and we expected to be outdoors at another one of our member’s home.  Unfortunately, the weather was completely uncooperative and we ended up subbing as last minute hosts since we have a bit more room indoors.  

So what does this all have to do with cocktails?  Well, I was expecting to take beer to the event – it’s a classic with tailgate food.  But, since we were hosting at our home, well, the Twilight Lounge was calling.  I started off with a couple of bourbon and colas to keep it simple.  However, by the time we were done with dinner Mark and I started messing around in the bar with Cherry Heering.  Mark came up with a really good concoction using rye, Cherry Heering, lemon juice, simple syrup and lemon mint.  Hopefully I’ll get the recipe from him soon to post (my memory of the exact recipe is a bit fuzzy).  During the course of our experimentation Mark suggested trying a Manhattan using the Cherry Heering.  It sounded like a good idea to me! 

  Cherry Manhattan 

  • 2oz Russell Reserve Rye
  • 1/2 oz Cherry Heering liqueur
  • dash of Angosturo bitters

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker over several ice cubes.  Shake to mix and chill.  Serve in a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cocktail cherry (not a maraschino cherry!). 

The Cherry Heering works wonderfully with the rye to give a neat, spring flavor to this classic cocktail.  I enjoyed this one thoroughly and will be having one again soon!  

Have you ever experimented with new ingredients in a classic cocktail?  If so, let me know what you did and how it turned out!