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Day 342, Cocktail 346

Ok, I admit it.  Yesterday was about the laziest cocktail day I’ve had in past year.  I spent a good chunk of the afternoon working on a braised beef brisket dinner, which wasn’t the original plan.  The original plan was to BBQ the brisket in the smoker.  But a late start Sunday morning (thanks to Jenny and NID) and a crappy weather forecast (it rained and hailed all day) forced me to plan B.  Oh, yeah, I didn’t have a plan B!

A quick search on Recipebridge.com yielded a braised brisket with root vegetables recipe that looked good, although a bit winterish, considering it’s now April.  But I wasn’t in any position to fight it, so that’s what I went with.  Five hours later I had a terrific dinner for the family…and no cocktail!

Typically, with a dinner like this I would have just opened a hearty red wine and not worried about it.  Then I remembered that I still had a bottle of Rex-Goliath Cabernet that would probably turn to vinegar before Gwen would drink it.  We’ve had a bunch of value priced red wines over the years, but for some reason Gwen just didn’t like this one.  So I pulled the Ultimate Bar Book off the shelf, found the wine section and viola, my cocktail of the day!

  Red Wine Cooler

  • 6 oz chilled red wine
  • 4 oz lemon lime soda

Fill a collins glass with ice and add the wine.  Top with the lemon lime soda and garnish with a lemon wedge or slice if desired.

Yes, I admit it, this is lame!  But, I accomplished three objectives.  First, I used up a bottle of wine that would have been undrunk otherwise.  Second, I had my red wine with dinner.  Third, I got in Sunday’s cocktail and the opportunity to share it with you fine folks.  Not bad if I say so myself – a true triple threat!

Cheers!

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Day 324, Cocktail 328

An elderly woman lived on a small farm with her grandson, just yards from the border with North Dakota.  The land had been the subject of a dispute with the US for decades as to whether the farm was in the US or Canada.  One day her grandson came rushing into the house, waving a letter.  “Good news Grandma!” he shouted.  “There’s been an agreement reached between Canada and the US and our farm is in North Dakota.  You have the final approval to accept or reject the agreement.  What do you want to do?”

“Why, approve it of course” was the woman’s reply to her grandson.  “I can’t take another winter in Canada!”

Bada bum!

Ok, maybe that wasn’t my best lead in, but it was a lead in.  I found this drink while thumbing through the Ultimate Bar Book, looking for something straightforward and simple.  This fit the bill.

  Canadian Cocktail

  • 2 oz Canadian whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 2 dashes Agnostura bitters

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or into a rocks glass with an ice ball or several large cubes.

This was a nice sipper, with just a hint of orange from the Cointreau and a nice flavor punch from the bitters.  No surprise here that I liked this, having enjoyed orange flavors in my whiskey cocktails for some time now.  By the way, I used Canadian Club for the whiskey, which is my house Canadian.

So just what makes Canadian whiskey Canadian?  Most Canadians use a base of rye, however, do not confuse them for nor substitute them in for rye whiskey.  The reason for this is that corn and other grain based neutral distilled spirits find their way into Canadian whiskey.  Flavor wise, Canadians are perhaps the most mellow and easy going of the whiskey family, often times with notes of vanilla and sweetness not found in other whiskeys.

Cheers!

Day 319, Cocktail 322

Ok, so not everyone is into Nutty Irishmen or Car Bombs (or Guinness for the matter) for St. Patrick’s day.  Some of us are looking for leprechaun’s and their pots of gold.  Poor little buggers, working their fingers to the bone making shoes, only to have some blundering idiot steal their earnings!

Whew!  Well, I had come across a cocktail called the Dancing Leprechaun in the Ultimate Bar Book while getting ready for last Saturday’s NID.  It looked good, but a little to complicated to mess with at a dinner party, so I didn’t use that night.  However, it was just the drink for Thursday night.  So I mixed one up and hoped to find a leprechaun’s pot of gold…

  Dancing Leprechaun

  • 1-1/2 oz irish whiskey
  • 3/4 oz Drambuie
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • ginger ale

Combine the ingredients, except the ginger ale, in a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to combine then strain into a collins glass filled with ice.  Top with ginger ale and garnish with a lemon twist or wedge.

This would make a very good mid day break from the Guinness on St. Patrick’s day.  Light, refreshing with just a hint of whiskey and the honey sweetness of the Drambuie.  There’s even a connection between the Scottish Drambuie and the Irish whiskey – both Ireland and Scotland have chafed under British rule, so it’s natural that they join forces, at least in a cocktail!

Cheers!

Day 310, Cocktail 312

Ok boys and girls, let this be a lesson to you…do not let middle aged men drink and have access to bermuda shorts. 

With that said, Tuesday night I was again somewhat aimlessly wandering through the Ultimate Bar Book, looking for a cocktail for the evening.  A few pages after the not so special Barton’s Special I found Tuesday’s drink.  Thinking of Bermuda got me thinking of warm weather, summer and fun.  Yes, the pool is still buried under several feet of snow and ice, but it is March.  Spring training is under way and it won’t be long before the warm breezes reach us, the tiki torches are lit and we are on our way to summer fun.

In the meantime, the Bermuda Highball (and those guys in the funny shorts) will have to sustain me.

  Bermuda Highball

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz brandy
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • ginger ale

Combine the gin, brandy and vermouth in a mixing glass with a few ice cubes and stir to mix.  Pour, ice and all, into a collins glass, fill with ice and top with the ginger ale.  Give a quick stir to mix.

A pretty tasty cocktail that is well balanced.  I used St. Remy brandy and Beefeater gin in this one and they both blended well with the vermouth.  There were hints of the vermouth that came through the ginger ale, with the gin and brandy playing nice supporting roles.

So breakout the shorts and get ready for summer!

Cheers!

Day 309, Cocktail 311

Monday, Monday, Monday…it was just a blah kind of day this past Monday.  Very little to make it remarkable or even notable.  So how to cheer up Monday?

I pulled the Ultimate Bar Book down off the shelf in the Twilight Lounge and started flipping through it.  I headed right to the very beginning of the cocktails by spirit section, which is brandy.  I’m fairly well stocked in brandy between the cognac, brandy and Calvados that I have, so it seemed like a good place to start.  And then, there it was…the angels started singing and a single spotlight illuminated the entry.  The Barton Special Cocktail.  If this cocktail can’t make Monday special, what can?

I attempted to do some research on the history of this drink.  It does appear in the Savoy cocktail guide, but I really couldn’t find anything definitive regarding its history or just how Barton is.  However, I didn’t let that stop me from mixing one up.

  Barton Special

  • 1-1/2 oz Calvados
  • 3/4 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz scotch

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

Ok, so I’m sure the selection of gin and scotch would make a difference in this drink.  I went with the Beefeater for the gin, figuring this would need all the oomph that a quality London dry would provide.  I used the Johnny Walker Red because, well, its what I had.  However, it’s big, smokey flavor figured to stand up to the Calvados.  Which is does, almost.  The clear flavor of this drink is the Calvados, backed by the smoky scotch.  The gin gets totally lost in this.  It really is just a huge shot…not much going on here with flavor to make this a distinctive cocktail.  I suspect some lemon and bitters would help pull this three headed beast together and tame it.  That experiment, however, will have to wait for another day.  So, alas, my Monday remained uninspired.

Cheers!

Day 297, Cocktail 295

When I selected the title for this post I had no idea that there was already a book entitled “Death Warmed Over”, written by Mary Collins and published in 1949 AND a movie by the same title, released in 1984.  Good thing I’ve got this internet thingy, huh?

So why death warmed over?  Well, I still had some champagne left over from Monday’s Valentine’s Day celebration (shocking, in and of itself, I know).  So I started thumbing throught the champagne section of the Ultimate Bar Book and found…drumroll please…the Corpse Reviver No. 3!  The Corpse Reviver and Corpse Reviver 2 are well known in the cocktail world, but this was the first time I had seen number 3.  Mittie Hellmich, the Ultimate Bar Book author credits is origin to the Cambon Bar at the Paris Ritz Hotel, having been created by Franck Meier in 1926.  So I thought to myself, let’s give it a try.  Heck, my champagne is half dead anyway!

  Corpse Reviver No. 3

  • 1-1/2 oz Pernod
  • 3-5 oz chilled champagne
  • 1/4 lemon wedge

Pour the Pernod into a chilled champagne flute.  Top with the champagne and then squeeze the lemon wedge over top of the champagne.

If you like Good & Plenty, you’ll like this since it tastes like a fizzy version of the licorice candy.  This won’t be making the list of my all time favorites any time soon, but it did help me use up the champagne!

Cheers!

Day 294, Cocktail 293

Yes, I’ve fallen a bit behind with the posts…not the drinks, mind you, just the posts.  This post actually harks back to last Sunday (and you thought I was going to write the herald angels sing, didn’t you!). 

So, last Sunday I was at a bit of a loss so I picked up the Ultimate Bar Book and just started thumbing through the gin section.  I came across the Guggenheim, which fit my needs for something relatively simple and for which I had everything on hand.  It also kind of fit the stream of consciousness motif I’ve been in.  You see, this is a variant on a cocktail known as the Between the Sheets, which is itself a variant of the classic Singapore Sling

  Guggenheim

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz brandy
  • 1 oz Cointreau

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill and combine.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  No garnish necessary.

A nice cocktail.  The orange of the Cointreau takes control of the flavor profile while the brandy and florals of the gin (I used Beefeater) played supporting roles.  Not too boozy, not too fruity, this one is just right.

Cheers!

Day 154, Cocktails 153 & 154

I was ready for gin when I got home last night.  I perused the Ultimate Bar Book under the gin cocktail section and came across the Cherry Cobbler.  What caught my eye was the two variants that were listed for it.  Great,  I thought, I can get two for the price of one!  The first version is just the basic ingredients served in a chilled cocktail glass.  The second variant is to use a rocks glass and top the drink with seltzer water.

  Cherry Cobbler

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 1/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup

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

Wow, does the cherry heering come through on this one.  The creme de cassis is there as well, but the heering really dominates this drink, almost too much.  If you are not a cherry heering fan, you will probably not like this one.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon and college football on TV (go Arkansas!).  Time to try the Cherry Cobbler topped with seltzer.  I’ll call this the fizz version.

  Cherry Cobbler Fizz

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 1/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • seltzer water

Combine all the ingredients except the selzter water in a shaker with ice.  Stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled rocks glass with a couple of ice cubes.  Top with seltzer water.

The seltzer water helps tone down the cherry heering, but it is still there in spades.  I did find this version to be more drinkable, but you’ll still need to be a heering fan to really enjoy this one.  Let me know what you think!

Cheers!

Day 132, Cocktails 132 & 133 

This post references back to last Friday, the 133rd of the journey.  It was dinner at home and Gwen was making burritos, so tequila seemed logical.  I pulled Mittie Hellmich’s Ultimate Bar Book down off the shelf (heck, who am I kidding, it resides right on top of the bar these days) and started thumbing through the tequila section.  Since I still had some pineapple juice left, the Matador caught my eye. 

 
                           A Pair of Matadors 

   Matador

  • 1-1/2 oz gold tequila
  • 3 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cube.  Garnish with a cherry.  

This turned out to be quite tasty and a very nice compliment to the burritos (which were spicy).  I also love the way this drink looks with the foam on top from the hard shaking that the pineapple juice recieved.  It adds a visual element to the cocktail that is very pleasing to my eye. 

Once dinner was over I was ready to try another cocktail and delved back into the tequila section of the Ultimate Bar Book.  This time it was the Blue Margarita that caught my eye. 

Blue Margarita

 

  Blue Margarita 

  • 2 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1 oz blue curacao
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes and shake, shake, shake.  Rim a chilled cocktail glass (you’ll need the 6 oz version for this cocktail) with a lime wedge and then salt the rim.  Strain the cocktail into the glass. 

This twist on a margarita is more visual than flavor changing since the curacao has an orange flavor, not unlike the Cointreau or triple sec.  The blue is dramatic, and I’ve used it in several other cocktails in the past.  Just check out the Cocktail List & Index page for a complete list of drinks that I’ve done with blue curacao (or any other liquor or liqueur for that matter).  With the extra shot of orange flavored liqueur the tequila is not quite as up front and center like a margarita usually is, but it is still there. 

So there you go, a nice pair of tequila drinks to try out the next time you have Mexican, or any thing else for that matter! 

Cheers! 

Day 131, Cocktail 131

Live and learn…and maybe someday I’ll learn.  I was flipping through Mittie Hellmich’s Ultimate Bar Book looking for a bourbon recipe tonight.  I saw several candidates, but kept looking, not sure what I wanted.  Then I saw it, the Mint Condition.  I’ve got two bottles of peppermint schnapps that I’d love to get rid of (but cant’ bear the thought of throwing it away), and this recipe used peppermint schnapps.  Never mind that there’s a reason that I want to get rid of this stuff.  I was gonna’ make this cocktail!

  Mint Condition

  • 3/4 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Kahlua

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  No garnish required!

Well, if you like mint flavored mouthwash, you’ll love this.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend trying it. 

That said, I do think that toning down the peppermint schnapps volume and boosting the Kahlua might work.  Maybe taking it down to just 1/4 oz of peppermint schnapps and using 3/4 oz Kahlua.  That combo will have to wait for another day though.

Cheers!