Skip navigation

Tag Archives: seltzer

June 30, 2011 – Fargo, ND

One of the benefits of my job is getting to find neat cocktail lounges in places I’d never otherwise visit.  The HoDo Lounge in downtown Fargo is just one of those places.

It is located in the historic Hotel Donaldson and draws a crowd as eclectic as the drink menu.  The band added to the fun, playing a mix of original music and covers that kept the crowd moving all night long. 

The first drink that I had was the Firetruck.  It was an amazing cocktail that consisted of St. Germain, seltzer water, and (drum roll please) 10 year old Laphroaig.  Even though there was just a 1/4 oz of the Laphroaig in this drink it comes through loud and clear.  The St. Germain sweetens this up just a bit and softens the peaty flavor of the Laphroig, while the seltzer makes this a tall glass sipper that is refreshing.  An inventive and very interesting cocktail.

The second cocktail of the night was the unusually named Cucular Caley (pictured).  A melange of pomegranate vodka, Hendricks gin, Sailor Jerry rum and cucumbers, all topped with a bit of seltzer, this was an amazing drink.  It was slightly sweet, slightly spicy and slightly fruity, yet still boozy enough to remind me that it packs a punch.  Kudos to the staff for this fantastic cocktail!

With that it was time for me to head back to my hotel and get a good nights sleep before my drive back to Milwaukee.  You can be sure, though, that I’m looking forward to my next visit to Fargo!

Advertisements

June 17, 2010 – Wauwatosa, WI

A week ago Friday Gwen and I (with daughter number 2 in tow) went the Firefly Urban Bar & Grill in Wauwatosa to use our Groupon.  We’ve been to the Firefly before, and enjoy the casual atmosphere, good cocktails and some pretty good food.

Of course, I started with a cocktail, and ordered up the Pearly Cucumber off their cocktail list.  A straightforward and refreshing drink, it consisted of cucumber vodka, fresh lime juice and a splash of seltzer water.  The cucumber and lime flavors complimented each other well and this was a great alternative to my traditional summer gin and tonic.  My only quibble with the cocktail was the garnish.  That big, lengthwise slice of cucumber looks awfully cool in the glass, but actually makes it hard to drink.  I ended up using the straw, which I really don’t like to do when sipping a cocktail.  What can I say, it reminds me of being a kid slurping down a fast food soda.

Shortly after the drinks arrived our appetizer followed.  I had ordered a the smoked gouda and cheddar fondue.  It was delicious.  The texture was nice and silky and the flavor was awesome, with just a hint of smokiness.  Lightly toasting the bread cubes was a nice touch, and the granny smith apple slices were a nice contrast to the cheese.

Fondue at Firefly

All in all, another nice night at the Firefly.  I’m sure we’ll return again soon!

Day 339, Cocktail 343

Those of you who have been following my cocktail journey for a while will undoubtedly realize that Thursday’s cocktail was inevitable.  Newer readers will get the chance to learn first hand about one of my primary booze fetishes.  Yes, I am talking about maraschino liqueur!  Whenever I see a cocktail with gin and lemon juice as foundational elements I am always ready to add the maraschino to make it an Aviation, one of my favorites.  So when I made the Silver Fizz on Wednesday I knew that I would be adding maraschino to it on Thursday to try it out.  It took me a couple of tries (thank heaven’s Gwen was around to help drink the prototypes) but I finally worked out the correct amount (for my palate) of Luxardo maraschino liqueur to add.  Here it is:

  Cherry Silver Fizz

  • 1-1/2 oz Rehorst gin
  • 1-1/2 oz bar syrup
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 1 egg white
  • seltzer water

Combine all the ingredients except the seltzer water in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds.  Strain into a Delmonico glass and top with seltzer water.

Ah yes, just a touch of cherry from maraschino liqueur really adds a level of complexity and depth to the original Silver Fizz.  This, to me, makes an even better warm day sipper than the original.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Cheers!

Day 338, Cocktail 342

Ok, so not the catchiest of titles.  Honestly, I sat here for a good 10 minutes and nothing, absolutely nothing witty or pithy came to mind.  Either blog fatigue has set in or I’ve finally reached my limit.  Nah, can’t be that!

So, last night I started thumbing through Dale Degroff’s “The Craft of the Cocktail” and stumbled into the fizz section.  According to Degroff a fizz is a spin-off from the sour, made possible by the development of widespread appearance of soda water.  There are basically two types of fizz.  The first includes egg white for a creamy texture and nice, foamy head.  Fizzes made with egg white are typically served without ice, and thus require a smaller Delmonico glass.  The Delmonico glass is very similar to the collins glass except that it is in the 8 to 10 oz range rather than 12 oz.  The glass in my picture is a 10 oz Delmonico.  The second type of fizz is made without egg white and thus, is usually served over ice in a collins glass.

The fizz that caught my eye was the Silver Fizz.  Here it is:

  Silver Fizz

  • 1-1/2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 oz bar syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 oz seltzer water

In a shaker with ice  combine everything but the seltzer water.  Shake long and hard (at least 30 seconds) to mix, chill and emulsify the egg.  This is an important step if you want the frothy head and creamy texture that the egg white will impart.  Strain into a chilled Delmonico glass and top with the seltzer water.

This was a delicious cocktail!  Very light, with a sweet, creamy taste and mouth feel, with just a touch of effervescence from the seltzer.  A hint of lemon and the botanicals from the gin (I used Rehorst) finish off this drink.  If summer ever does get here (there’s still ice on my pool) this would be a great cocktail for a warm evening on the patio.

Cheers!

Day 302, Cocktail 303

Yesterday’s cocktail was also courtesy of what appears to be the now defunct Tiki Bar TV (moment of respectful silence).  During it’s 5 year run it was at times funny, at times tawdry but always true to its tiki roots.  The last episode came out in December, 2009 and despite rumours during 2010 that there would be more, alas, there hasn’t been.  Dr. Tiki, Johnny Johnny and Lala you are missed!  And now, for the cocktail.  This little gem is from the second episode when Dr. Tiki writes this prescription for a guy trying to get out of a bad relationship. 

  Trap Door

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz spiced rum
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • seltzer water

Combine the gin, rum, orange and lime juice in a shaker with ice.  Shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a tiki glass filled with cracked ice.  Top with seltzer water.

I usually don’t used spiced rums in cocktails (I used Sailor Jerry, which is what I stock in the Twilight Lounge) but I have to admit that it worked out well in this cocktail.  The spice from the Sailor Jerry mellowed out over time, giving the drink a smooth, silky feel that wasn’t too sweet.  The gin (I used Beefeater for this one) is a base, but with its botanicals, is present to the taste buds.  The lime and orange balance each other out well.  All in all, a nice, tropical, tiki style cocktail.  In fact, it was so good I had two!

Cheers!

Day 293, Cocktails 291 & 292

Saturday night and daughter number 1 was hosting a boy / girl Valentine’s Party in the Twilight Lounge.  That means two things.  First, Gwen and I got to stay home Saturday night to chaperone.  Second, the liquor cabinets were locked for the night as well!  What to do, then?  Well, a little advanced planning and move a few key bottles upstairs to the kitchen, that’s what to do!

I had a full bottle of pomegranate juice that had been around a for awhile and decided it was time to put it to use.  I poked around Colleen Graham’s cocktail blog (see the links list below) and found something called the Blushing Geisha.  I didn’t have the rose water that it called for, but went ahead anyway with this variant (that is the beauty of cocktails – you can change ’em any way you want to!).

  Blushing Geisha

  • 2 oz Ty Ku
  • 1 oz pomegranate juice
  • 1/8 oz lemon juice
  • seltzer water

In a shaker combine the Ty Ku, pomegranate juice and lemon juice.  Shake to chill and combine.  Strain into a rocks glass filled 2/3 with ice.  Top with seltzer water. 

I was really suprised how well the Ty Ku flavors, especially the melon tones, came through in this drink.  I really expected the pomegranate to overpower the drink, but it didn’t.  This turned out to be a very nice showcase for the Ty Ku and would make a great cocktail for a warm summer night – and those aren’t that far off around here.

Next up was a totally off the cuff creation.  I had already figured to use vodka and the pomegranate in some type of cosmo type concoction.  Hmmm, I wonder how the Lillet Blanc would play with these?  And what about staying Asian themed by using some lychee juice?  Here’s what I came up with.

  Lychee Pom

  • 1-1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 1/8 oz lychee juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lychee fruit or leave ungarnished.

Wow, does the lychee ever stand clear!  It’s amazing the flavor that is packed into the lychee juice.  Sweet, and the closest I can come to describe it is pear flavors, but not quite as syrupy as pears are.  Either way, the small amount in this drink was still enough to have it become the defining the flavor, with notes of orange and floral flavors coming from the Lillet Blanc.  We enjoyed this one so much that we each had two.  By the time we were through with the second the party was also finishing up and we called it a night.

Cheers!

Day 235, Cocktail 233

On Thursday night I stopped by the Klavier to talk cocktails with Kris Peters.   I filled her on some more options for her ginger flavored brandy and then we started to talk about some of the other liqueurs and liquors that she has.  It didn’t take very long for Kris to pull a bottle of Van Gogh Acai Blueberry flavored vodka down.  I have to admit, it smelled just like blueberries.  Most of this stems from the fact that Van Gogh flavored vodkas are infused with the flavors they are adding rather than just using added flavorings.  The infusion process yeilds a much truer and deeper flavor.  Regular readers know that I’m not a big fan of flavored vodkas, but I have to admit that this was pretty good.

The drink that Kris made was a Blueberry Press.  It consisted of the aforementioned Van Gogh Acai Blueberry vodka, a dash of Limoncello (a delightful Italian lemon flavored liqueur), seltzer water and lemon lime soda.  Kris garnished the drink with a lemon wedge.  It was terrific!  Light, refreshing and tasting like blueberry pancakes, I could easily drink several of these in a night!

If you are in the vicinity of Germantown and haven’t stopped by the Klavier yet, you really should.  Ask Kris to make one of their speciality cocktails or presses and tell her that Stan sent you!

Cheers!

Day 234, Cocktail 232

Wednesday was a mellow day – typical for mid-week most of the time around here, especially in the winter.  A laid back cocktail was in order as well.  Nothing too boozy or too hard to make.  I did a search of the CocktailDB for rye whiskey and found this drink.

That is the Whiskey Squirt pictured to the left.  I like it’s nice, pink hue and it looks really good in my Christmas themed highball glass!  I have several different sets of holiday themed glasses – and the secret is to shop Goodwill for them.  You can find some really neat glasses for very little money there!

  Whiskey Squirt

  • 1-1/2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • 1/2 oz grenadine
  • seltzer water

In a shaker combine the ingredients with ice.  Shake to mix.  Strain into a collins glass filled with ice.  Top with seltzer water and give a quick stir. 

This drink is very similar to the fizz style drinks that I’ve had previously.  It’s light, refreshing and the grenadine provides just a hint of pomegranate flavor to mesh with the whiskey.  To really make this drink pop, use real grenadine, which is a pomegranate based syrup.  If you use Rose’s or similar grenadine all you are getting is red colored corn syrup and you’ll miss out on the real flavor of this drink.

Cheers!

Day 230, Cocktails 227, 228 & 229

Saturday night was another Christmas movie night – the weather forecast here was just too lousy to plan anything else. 

We watched a couple of movies, including on of my all time favorites, “A Christmas Story”.  I just love the whole leg lamp scene, from the moment the major award arrives to the ignominious end, a shattered relic of its glory.  “Not a finger” is all poor Darrin McGavin can blurt out when he sees what’s happened to his prized lamp, and that just cracks me up every time!

Of course, nasty weather outside, a roaring fire and Christmas movies inside all lend themselves to cocktails being mixed with care in the Twilight Lounge!  We ended up with a lineup of three new cocktails, so let’s get to it.

  Gwen’s Red Carpet

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz pomegranate juice
  • 2 oz Pinot Grigio
  • seltzer water

Fill a collins or highball glass with ice cubes.  Add the ingredients in the order listed, topping with selzter water.  Give a quick stir and serve.

This was a recipe that Gwen found and originally called for champagne.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any about, so I improvised with the Pinot Grigio and seltzer water.  This was a nice starter cocktail, and I could easily enjoy several of these since they are not too sweet.  In fact, Gwen did have a second while I moved on to my next cocktail for the evening.

  Maraschino Manhattan

  • 2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/8 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters

Fill a shaker with ice cubes and add the ingredients, bitters first.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

This was very, very good.  You know how I love the flavor of Luxardo’s Maraschino liqueur and there was just a hint of it evident along with the bourbon and vermouth.  It was a very nice, slightly drier version of a sweet manhattan.  As much as I liked this I think it is the new house manhattan of the Twilight Lounge.

Finally, cocktail number three was an off the cuff mix prepared after I ran out of Pinot Grigio for the Gwen’s Red Carpet. 

  Not a Finger

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz pomegranate juice
  • 2 oz lychee fruit juice
  • lemon lime soda

Fill a collins or highball glass with ice cubes.  Add the ingredients in the order listed, topping with lemon lime soda.  Give a quick stir and serve.

This one really hit the spot, especially for Gwen.  In fact, she labelled it the best of the night!  The lychee adds a really bright, fresh flavor that I have a hard time describing…somewhat pear like, but it is a unique flavor that is really good.  If you can find lychee fruit juice in your local market pick up a can and try it out, you’ll love it!

Cheers!

Day 216, Cocktail 212

The Ohio State – Michigan game is always a big game for me.  Growing up in Ohio, The Ohio State University is the team I follow in college football.  And Michigan is the rivalry game for the Buckeyes.

With the game on today, I looked around for an appropriate cocktail.  I found something called the Buckeye Martini, which is my basic martini using a black olive as the garnish.  Interesting, but I couldn’t see myself swilling a martini while watching a football game.  I found another drink called the Buckeye that used Red Stag Cherry Bourbon.  Well, I don’t have any of that, but thought it could make the base for this drink.

  Buckeye Fizz

  • 2 oz Evan Williams bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Cherry Heering liqueur
  • 1-1/2 oz lemonade
  • seltzer water

Fill a pint glass about 1/3 of the way full with ice cubes.  Add the bourbon, Heering and lemonade and stir.  Fill the glass the rest of the way with ice and top with seltzer water.  Give a quick stir and enjoy.

A nice blend of the smokey cherry flavor of the Heering and the sweetness of the lemonade.  A nice, if not slightly more potent, alternative to a beer while watching the game.

Oh, and the results…The Ohio State University 37, Michigan 7. 

Cheers!