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Tag Archives: st. germain

grapefruit-jimmy-cagneyThe Twilight Lounge – February 12, 2013

As reported in my last post, I was recently in Florida.  And what do I do when I come home from Florida?  I bring home a case of Indian River grapefruit, of course – doesn’t everyone?  And just what the heck do I do with a case of grapefruit?  Make cocktails, of course!

So on the first day of spring training workouts for my beloved Cleveland Indians I thought it would be appropriate to come up with something new using all that grapefruit I have (yeah, I know, the Tribe is in Arizona, but I didn’t have any cactus laying around the Lounge).  As I thought about how to use the white grapefruit I pulled out the gin and St. Germain.  A bit of orgeat seemed in order as well as the Agnostura bitters.  Wow!  It’s not often that I hit one out of the park on the first try, but today I did.

Grapefruit League

  • 1-1/2 oz London Dry gin
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain
  • 1 bar spoon orgeat
  • 1 dash bitters
  • grapefruit juice

Combine all the ingredients but the grapefruit juice in a collins glass with a couple of ice cubes and stir.  Fill the glass the rest of the way with ice and then top with grapefruit juice, stirring again.

Very well balanced with the orgeat and St. Germain sweetening the tart grapefruit juice just enough so that the grapefruit still shines through.  The gin provides a nice base with a bit more punch than vodka would and the bitters help tie it all together into a nice, refreshing package.  The perfect sipper while contemplating dreams of World Series titles for my Indians – shhh, don’t spoil the moment for me!

Cheers!

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AP BRITAIN NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATIONS I GBRThe Twilight Lounge – January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!  It was an odd New Year’s Eve / New Year’s Day for me.  First, half the family (Gwen and daughter number 1) were in London for the New Year’s Day parade, which daughter number 1 was in.  Second, I was at Disney in Florida with daughter number 2.  Sooo, no holiday party this season at the Twilight Lounge (much to the chagrin of some of our friends) and, amazingly for me, no booze, no champagne, no beer, no nothing on New Year’s Eve.  I think I was 15 the last time that happened!

Finally, yesterday we were all back together.  Tonight was movie and cocktail night.  Hmmm…a new bottle of gin from London (Brokers), a case of fresh Indian River white grapefruit from Florida.  Yeah, you know where this is going.

London Calling

  • 3 oz Brokers gin
  • 1/4 oz orgeat
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters
  • 1-1/2 oz St. Germain
  • fresh white grapefruit juice
  • tonic water

 

Combine the gin, orgeat, bitters and St. Germain in a mixing glass without ice.  Stir vigoursly to mix.  Pour into a collins glass filled with ice, fill to nearly the top with grapefruit juice and add a splash of tonic water.  Stir and serve.

I loved this one – and nailed it on my first attempt!  The orgeat and St. Germain compliment the grapefruit and cut its tartness just enough.  It’s not sweet, but not bitter either.   The gin gives a nice base and just a hint of juniper comes through, adding a layer of complexity that vodka would not add.

So, the next time you take a split vacation between London and Florida, you know what to have to drink!  Mind the gap and stay calm and carry on!

Cheers!

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!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Well, I found this picture on my camera a couple of days ago…it’s dated May 14.  It looks delicious, doesn’t it?  I just wish I knew what the heck it is!  Obviously, made with Hendricks….

Wait a minute.  I just flipped through the spiral bound notebook that I use to write down new recipes and write my notes as I drink cocktails … and … I think I found it.  I’d swear that I’d looked before through my notebook and didn’t find this cocktail, but I’m sure this is it.  With Alzheimer’s moments like these, it’s no wonder that I’m getting AARP cards in the mail every other day.

  Mint Love and Happiness

  • 3 cucumber slices
  • 4-5 mint leaves
  • 1/2 oz bar syrup
  • 2 oz Hendrick’s
  • 1 oz St. Germain

In a mixing glass muddle the cucumber, mint and syrup.  Add ice and the Hendrick’s and St. Germain.  Stir to mix and chill.  Double strain into a chilled coupe.  Garnish with a lemon peel floating on a mint leaf (fancy, I know). 

Ahh, a twist on one of my favorite spring/summer cocktails, this takes the Love and Happiness a step further with the addition of the mint.  The flavors of the Hendrick’s, cucumber, mint and St. Germain were just made for each other – sorta  like Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice (did I really just write that?).

As you mix this baby up, put the Raveonettes latest release “Raven In The Grave” on the old Pioneer and listen to “Forget That You’re Young” while you sip.  The aural experience will match the taste experience, I promise!

(Really – this post is written exactly as my mind worked through it – I really didn’t know what the drink was in the picture as I uploaded it – do you really think I could make this stuff up?)

Ginger Rye Fizz at the Twilight Lounge

Day 306, Cocktails 307 & 308

Friday night, and after a dinner of wings and oven fries Gwen and I settled in to watch another James Bond film, this one Pierce Brosnan’s “Tomorrow Never Dies”.  The cocktails for the evening, however, were anything but traditional Bond martinis. 

I had recently purchased a carton of pasteurized egg whites to use on cocktails.  Why?  Well, I am very interested in pursuing additional egg white cocktails for one.  Second, by using the pasteurized egg whites I’m assured of not getting any nasty little bugs in my drink.  Finally, it’s a lot easier to just measure out the amount of egg I need than having to crack open an egg and then figuring out what to do with the unused yolks.

So, down to the Twilight Lounge I went.  I already had my first cocktail in mind.  I had been anxious to take my rye whiskey, orange juice and ginger flavor combination to the next level with the addition of an egg white.  Here’s the result:

  Ginger Rye Fizz

  • 1-1/2 oz Jim Beam rye
  • 3/4 oz Domaine de Canton liqueur
  • 3/4 oz orange juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 dash Agnostura orange bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  No garnish required.

Mmmm, this was a very nice cocktail.  Silky smooth texture from the egg white that complimented the balanced ginger, orange and rye flavors of my liquid ingredients.  We both thoroughly enjoyed this cocktail!

After we finished this first cocktail (about the time that Terri Hatcher bit the dust in the movie) I paused the DVR and it was back down to the Lounge to come up with the second cocktail of the night.  Basically, I used the same recipe with different ingredients.

  Elderflower Gin Fizz

  • 1-1/2 oz Beefeater gin
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain liqueur
  • 3/4 oz orange juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 dash Agnostura orange bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  No garnish required.

Another very well balanced, silky smooth cocktail.  In this one the interplay between the orange and the elderflower flavored St. Germain is divine, with the botanicals of the Beefeater chiming in to perfection.  Again, I could drink these all night!

As it was, this drink got us to the end of the movie (of course, Bond vanquishes his foe and gets the girl) and we called it a night shortly thereafter.  But I hope you give one or both of these a try and let me know what you think.  If you haven’t had a cocktail with egg white in it, you really should try one!

Cheers!

Day 299, Cocktails 296 & 297

Tonight’s first cocktail is courtesy of the Dinner Party Download (to which, if you are not already subscribed to, you should be!)  The history behind the cocktail was the marriage of Charles Sherwood Stratton, better known as Tom Thumb, to Lavinia Warren in 1863.  The wedding was a huge spectacle, and may have been the wedding of the century.  Although many at the time considered yet another publicity stunt by P.T. Barnum, by all accounts the couple was very much in love.

The cocktail itself was created by John Ginetti of 116 Crown in New Haven, CT, the birthplace of Stratton and Sherwood.  It’s called the 4th and Clyde.

  4th and Clyde

  • 1 oz Hendrick’s gin
  • 1 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 1 oz St. Germain
  • 1/8 oz honey
  • pinch of chili flakes

In a mixing glass, with no ice, combine all the ingredients and stir to combine.  You need to do this warm in order to get the honey to incorporate.  Once blended, add ice and stir to chill.  Double strain into a chilled coupe.

A very nice cocktail that is well balanced.  Slightly sweet from the honey and St. Germain with a touch of heat from the chili that helps bring the bourbon forward.  I really enjoyed this cocktail.

This led me to tweak the recipe just a bit to create what I called the Tom Thumb.

  Tom Thumb

  • 1 oz Hendrick’s gin
  • 1 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 1 oz St. Germain
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/8 oz maple syrup

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.

Subtle changes to the ingredient list, but big changes in flavor.  The orange of the Cointreau really balances very nicely with the St. Germain’s elderflower, but maintains the sweetness.  The maple syrup replaces the chili flakes, taking the heat away, but allowing the bourbon to still come through nicely.  Not what I’d consider a boozy cocktail with all the sweet ingredients, but not overly sweet either, as was the case with the 4th and Clyde.

Give this pair a try and let me know what you think!

Cheers!

Day 295, Cocktail 294

St. Valentine’s Day…not to be confused with Harry Potter and his goblet of fire, but it does have a certain ring to it, don’t you think?  Anyway, we celebrated in fine style at the Twilight Lounge this past Monday.  I provided the cocktail, an asparagus and crab salad appetizer while Gwen whipped up the veal marsala for dinner and I closed with a Bananna’s Foster variant for desert.  A very nice evening, indeed!

My Valentine’s cocktail came courtesy of Colleen Graham’s cocktail blog.  I already had everything I needed (the champagne still unopened from New Year’s Day) and it looked like something that we could enjoy several of through the evening – although I must confess to also opening a bottle of Jadot Chassagne – Montrachet, one of my favorite Chablis’ of all time.

  Cherub’s Cup

  • 1 oz St. Germain
  • 2 oz Hendricks gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • 1 strawberry (for muddling)
  • dry champange or sparkling wine

Muddle the strawberry gently in the bottom of a shaker with the bar syrup.  Add ice and the gin, St. Germain and lemon juice.  Shake vigorously to mix and chill.  Strain into a collins glass with ice.  Top with your champagne and garnish with a strawberry.

Mmmm, delicious!  The elderflower flavors from the St. Germain play wonderfully with the strawberry and lemon.  The gin, with it’s floral and slightly cucumber flavor provide a nice base and the champagne gives it just a touch of fizz.  We enjoyed several of these with our desert and beyond that night!

Cheers!

Day 275, Cocktails 276 & 277

After last Saturday’s French Gimlet I was in the mood last night and tonight to continue to play around with the St. Germain.  It’s just soooo delicious and I want to see just where I can take this.  On Sunday Gwen and I watched a couple of episodes of “Drink Up” that I had on the DVR.  This is a 1/2 hour long show on the Cooking Channel and features several cocktail recipes in each episode, along with a number of other food and entertaining tidbits. 

One of the drinks that caught my eye used St. Germain and bourbon.  I’ve paired the St. Germain with rye previously, so I was pretty sure that this would be a winner, and it was.

  Westlake Cocktail

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz St. Germain liqueur
  • 3 dashes orange bitters

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a rocks glass over cracked ice or ice cubes.  Garnish with a big, oversized orange peel.

Oh, yeah…this is a lovely blend of elderflower, orange and smokey bourbon flavors.  It’s very well balanced, not too sweet but yet the St. Germain is prominent.  I used Maker’s Mark for this cocktail, but I’m sure any quality bourbon would work well.

Tonight I wanted to continue the theme and did a search on the web for St. Germain cocktails.  I found this one, and though it was very similar to the Westlake, I decided to try it so that I could compare and contrast.

  Elderflower Manhattan

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz St. Germain liqueur
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo bitters

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Very, very nice.  This is a twist on a perfect Manhattan, with the St. Germain filling in for sweet vermouth.  With the dry vermouth this is a bit more boozy than the Westlake since it is drier.  I could drink way too many of these in one sitting – its just that right mix of sweet and dry.

Give these two takes on bourbon and St. Germain a try and let me know which you liked best.

Cheers!

Day 272, Cocktail 275

Saturday night rolled around with no big plans, so it seemed like a good night for a gin based cocktail.  Besides, after a week of brandy, I was ready for something along the lines of a good martini.  So I started perusing some of the other blogs I’ve come across and realized that the drink I was seeking must be in Daddy-O’s Martinis Blog.  John Apodaca is the erstwhile Daddy-O and specializes in vintage cocktails and cocktails with a vintage twist.  While perusing his blog I came upon this little number that used not only gin but St. Germain as well.

  French Lemon Gimlet

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1-1/2 oz St. Germain
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice

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

Ok, so I did a certain liberty by replacing the lime juice from the original recipe with lemon juice.  The reason is actually pretty simple.  I had fresh lemons and no fresh limes on hand!  The result is a cocktail that really allows the St. Germain to shine without being overly sweet.  You can the lemon and gin for that.  It must have been good since I ended up making three of them for Gwen!

Cheers!

Day 271, Cocktail 274

Liz Phair rocked at Turner Hall last night!  And to really make my night she mostly played cuts from her “Exile in Guyville” disc, which is my favorite!  The only song I she didn’t play that I would have really liked to have heard was “Flower”, but hey, I guess you can’t always get what you want.

After the show I headed home and found our friends Patti and Greg down in the Lounge with Gwen.  I was just in time to help out with the last round of cocktails.  Before the show I had come up with my Liz Phair cocktail.  While I was working on it, in the back of mind, I had a similar drink that I wanted to call Flower in honor of the song.  So I tried it out….and it didn’t work.  I used the Knob Creek again, but replaced the orange bitters with Peychaud’s and tried St. Germain instead of the Luxardo maraschino.  It was not very good.  The St. Germain and the bourbon clashed and the Peychaud’s just didn’t jibe with either in this drink.  I made a note to myself last night to try adding Cointreau, and maybe that would help, but I doubt it. 

Fortunately, the concert was much better than my post show drink!

Cheers!