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Tag Archives: shaken

Day 347, Cocktail 355

Yes, I’m still alive – although based on my 50th some of you may have thought I’d dropped dead!  Actually, what has happened is that I’ve started a new job that requires a fair amount of travel.  Last in particular was hectic, but on the other hand I will have the opportunity to try new cocktails while travelling, so all is well.  Now to the task at hand, getting caught up here.

A week ago Friday I was back to egg fizz cocktails, finishing up the exploration I had begun earlier that week.  The last cocktail of this side journey was inspired by the earlier reported Whiskey Fizz, but with addition of egg white.  Since the gin version of this cocktail in Degroff’s “The Craft of the Cocktail” is called the Silver Fizz, I decided to name this one the Golden Fizz.

  Golden Fizz

  • 1-1/2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz bar syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • lemon lime soda

Combine the bourbon, lemon juice, bar syrup and egg white in a shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously to combine and get a nice emulsion going with the egg white.  Strain into a chilled Delmonico glass and top with lemon lime soda.

Mmmm, this is good.  The extra body and creaminess from the egg really takes what was a Whiskey Fizz to a new level.  This drink is even pleasing to the eye with its white, foamy head.  You can also use any good bourbon or rye whiskey in this one.

Cheers!

Day 344, Cocktail 351

Well, I guess this serves me right.  I didn’t take any pictures of Tuesday’s cocktail, a whiskey fizz.  I did a quick online search for photos of whiskey fizz and I found some very nice ones, but just didn’t feel right using someone else’s photograph of the cocktail.  So I got cute and thought, “hey, I’ll find something sexy to use” and did a search for whiskey chicks.  Well, you can see how that turned out…

  Whiskey Fizz

  • 1-1/2 oz rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz bar syrup
  • lemon lime soda

Combine everything but the lemon lime soda in a shaker with ice cubes and shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a collins glass filled with ice cubes and top with lemon lime soda.  Garnish with a lemon wedge.

This recipe came from Dale Degroff’s “The Craft of the Cocktail”, and it is very good – it beats just a plain rye and 7-Up anyday.  The lemon adds a much fresher component to the recipe than you would otherwise get just using the soda.  I used Jim Beam rye in this one, but a good bourbon would work just as well.

Cheers!

Day 343, Cocktails 348, 349 & 350

Monday evening found me at Ivee’s On Main to watch the NCAA basketball final.  While the game may have been lackluster, the cocktails were not!  Recently Colleen Graham had posted the Fancy Whiskey in her cocktail blog.  I thought it looked like a pretty good drink.  Plus, it easily lent itself to doing a multiple versions and some serious tasting comparisons based on the type of whiskey used.  So, in the name of science and to be able to give you a complete report I embarked on a fancy whiskey journey.

First, the Fancy Whiskey recipe is:

  Fancy Whiskey

  • 2 oz whiskey(of your choice)
  • 1 oz bar syrup
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • dash Agnostura bitters

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and blend.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

So, the recipe is pretty straightforward.  Let’s see how things worked out as I tried different whiskies.  The first was made with Maker’s Mark bourbon.  It was good, with the flavor reminiscent of a Manhattan, except orange flavored.  While 1 oz of bar syrup sounds like a lot, it did not overly sweeten the drink.  The use of triple sec helped with this cause since it is not as sweet as Cointreau is.  The bitters also help to keep the sweetness in line.  All in all, a good drink.

For the second variant I moved to Scotch and had Davey make it with Dewar’s.  It was very similar in taste to the Maker’s Mark version with a smokey peat element from the Scotch.  Depending on your specific taste you could amp up the smokey component of this drink by using a stronger single malt such as Laphroaig.  Again, a very good cocktail that I wouldn’t hesitate to order or make in the future.

Finally, for version three I switched to Canadian whiskey, Canadian Club to be specific.  This version was the least memorable of the bunch, probably owing to Canadian whiskey’s mellow character, particularly when compared to bourbon and Scotch.  It was a good cocktail, but didn’t have the heft that the first two versions had.  Think of this as the Fancy Whiskey lite!

All in all, three good cocktails.  Maybe those boys from Butler should have tried one of these, it couldn’t have hurt there shooting!

Cheers!

Day 341, Cocktails 344 & 345

Saturday night and it was, yet again, another NID night.  This month’s theme was Brazilian food, which meant cachaca was on the cocktail menu.  I’ve never had cachaca before, so I lost my cachaca virginity last night, as did everyone else there!

Cachaca is known as Brazilian rum, although the similarity to the rums we are used to from the Caribbean ends with the fact that it is distilled sugarcane.  It is generally distilled in pot stills and is not aged, leaving it fiery bite.  In fact, when I tasted the 51 brand of cachaca I was reminded more of pisco than I was of rum.  Extremely popular in Brazil, you can start to find cachaca in local liquor stores here in the US.

I was assigned the task of making two cocktails that used cachaca.  Here they are:

  Caipirnha

  • 4-5 lime wedges
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 oz cachaca

In the bottom of a rocks glass muddle the lime and sugar until the sugar has dissolved in the lime juice.  Fill the glass with ice and then the cachaca.  Stir and enjoy.

This cocktail has a definite bite that the sweetened lime juice doesn’t completely tone down.  It has a fiery element, just like the dancing in the streets you’d see during Carnivale!

  Batida de Coco

  • 2 oz cachaca
  • 1/2 oz bar syrup
  • coconut milk

Combine the cachaca and bar syrup in a shaker with ice.  Shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a collins glass filled with ice cubes.  Add the coconut milk and stir.

To my suprise, the coconut taste is mellowed out nicely by the cachaca and sweetness of the sugar (I am not a fan of coconut and this is the first recipe I’ve done with it).  Sweet and creamy, this was a nice compliment to the bite of the Caipirnha, and went much faster among the diners.

These two cocktails, along with some great Brazilian food made for a fun evening…in fact I seem to remember Gwen and Jenny on the bar (again) before the night was over!

Cheers!

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 333, Cocktail 338

So what does a cocktail and the Slinky have in common?  Well, the Slinky was named by Betty James and last Thursday’s cocktail is named the Betty James.

Betty’s husband Richard actually invented the Slinky after he saw a torsion spring fall of a table and go through it’s gyrations along the floor.  In 1945 the couple convinced Gimbal’s department store to purchase 400 Slinky’s and display them on a ramp in the store.  The Slinky sold out in just 90 minutes at the handsome price of $1 each.  From there the couple was in the toy business, with Betty running the company from 1960 until it was sold to Poof Products in 1998. 

As for why this cocktail is named the Betty James, I have no idea.  My research turned up absolutely nothing about the naming, which is too bad, because there has to be a story there somewhere.  If you know the story, please let me know!

  Betty James

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes Agnostura bitters

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

A close cousin to the Aviation, this was a delightful cocktail.  I used Rehorst gin and it provided a very nice backbone.  The bitters provided a nice bite to compliment the maraschino and lemon flavors.  Overall, a very good cocktail!

Cheers to you Betty!

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 325, Cocktail 329

The day before St. Patrick’s day and I was going to have one last Irish cocktail to prepare myself for my all day pub crawl with my buddies Mike and Brett.  As I thumbed through the Ultimate Bar Book I found a cocktail named Everybody’s Irish.  How could I lose with this cocktail, right?  Well, I lost.  Big time.  For once my thought that there’s no way this combination of ingredients can taste good came true.  I’m going to post the recipe here, but I can not suggest that you actually try this one, unless of course, some person in the distant future attempts to recreate my journey because I’ve become famous.  Even then, though, I’d give dispensation to skip this drink!

So, without further adieu, I give you Everybody’s Irish.

  Everybody’s Irish

  • 2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1/4 oz green Chartreuse
  • 1/4 oz green Creme de Menthe

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a green olive.

Overwhelming mint and anise flavors just knocked me on me ass with this one.  While I did drink it all, it was awful, with the brine from the olive just adding injury to the insult of this cocktail.  I think it’s whole purpose is to be green, which it is – a very bright, almost flourescent, green!  One last note, Chartreuse is one of the few liqueurs not in stock at the Twilight Lounge, so substituted Pernod.  The flavors of the two are very similar although the Pernod is not green like the Chartreuse.

My next post will get into our adventures from St. Patrick’s day.  Until then…

Cheers!

Day 321, Cocktails 326 & 327

Last Saturday, after the couple of tiki cocktails that I had whipped up, the girls were ready for something different.  There’s been a bit of a buzz over the last year for cocktails that are mixed with tea (and for liquor bottled with tea) that I’ve largely ignored.  However, with a couple of adult beverages already in me, my inhibitions were lowered and I decided to give tea based cocktails a try.

For this effort I pulled out my bottle of Evan Williams bourbon and my Stirrings Peach liqueur.  These are two flavors that go well together and also seemed a natural to go with a Southern inspired tea based cocktail – particularly since I’d be using Gwen’s sweet tea.  After fooling around with the bourbon, peach liqueur, tea and maple syrup (yes, that’s right, maple syrup – it adds depth to the flavor profile)  I settled on two versions of the same cocktail.  One is sweeter and one is more boozy, thus fitting Gwen’s and my tastes.

  Sweet Peach Tea

  • 1-1/2 oz Evan Williams bourbon
  • 1/8 oz Stirrings Peach Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz maple syrup
  • 4 oz sweet tea

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously to chill and combine.  Pour into a collins glass, adding ice if needed.  Garnish with a peach slice.

This drink has a nice, sweetly mellow flavor.  I really had to cut down on the peach liqueur, having started with 1/2 oz.  Even that small amount overwhelmed the drink.  However, for my taste, this was a bit too sweet, so I adjusted it for my taste.

  Peach Tea

  • 2 oz Evan Williams bourbon
  • 1/8 oz Stirrings Peach Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz maple syrup
  • 4 oz sweet tea

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously to chill and combine.  Pour into a collins glass, adding ice if needed.  Garnish with a peach slice.

This version gets closer to the boozy cocktails that I prefer while still maintaining all its southern charm.  With more bourbon and less tea there is a deeper, smokier quality and the maple notes come through stronger as well, which make a nice compliment to the bourbon and peach.

By the time we got through these cocktails it was definitely time to call it a night…which, of course, we didn’t do.  The cocktail experimenting was definitely over though!

Cheers!