allspice

Royal Armada

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Condensation can go suck it.

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Apparently I have to start chilling, not only my glassware and spirits but also my house when shooting for the blog, unless I want to end up with photos of sweaty cocktails. And that concludes the ranting part of the tour…

So I’m back, kids. I’ve had a weird couple of months trying to be (the best stripper in Boston) super healthy where I’ve emerged (like a beautiful butterfly some might say) with the following 2 truths about myself:

1. I can’t quit craft cocktails & burritos from Chipotle.
2. No matter how much weight I lose, skinny jeans is just not working. I need to stop that shit.

I’m an avid (yet admittedly suck at it) crossfitter and was following  Whole30 for around 50 days (yeah that math doesn’t make sense to me either), which meant no booze. So I would just stare at my home bar at nights and wipe the dust and cobwebs off my bottles. But I got around to cooking a lot, which actually helped me think of new cocktail ingredients and recipes for the future of DTSM… cause you can bet your sweet ass that I’m enjoying the sweet, loving embrace of gin and whiskey again. Downside is that I suck at drinking at the moment and I have to be real selective with what I make, ’cause chances are that’s gonna be my only drink for the night [picture me nursing a warm negroni all night].

So there. That’s my excuse for the lack of posts lately and now that I have your forgiveness, I’ll give you a quick rundown of this drink, which was intended to be a tribute to Spain but then the west indies got in the mix and it became some weird Frankenstein history lesson that tastes a bit heavy but has a lot of depth.

 

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INGREDIENTS:

Dark rum (Aged)
Brandy de Jerez
Amontillado sherry
Licor 43
allspice dram
Angostura bitters

 



VARIANTS:

This is the first drink I made with sherry, where I tested both Oloroso and Amontillado, 2 of the most common "heavier" ones; The Amontillado won this time but I'll be sure to make something with the Oloroso soon. I dont know what took me so long to start using this stuff but I guess you get used to vermouth after a while... 

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Measure and pour the following into your trusty mixing glass (which you should have chilled slightly beforehand by stirring the lonely ice and straining out the water):

1 1/2 oz Appleton Estate 12 yr rum
1 oz Lustao Amontillado Sherry
1 oz Gran Duque D Alba Brandy de Jerez
1/2 oz Licor 43
1 barspoon St. Elizabeth AllSpice Dram
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Now perform your preferred stirring technique.
Strain into a Nick & Nora glass [if you’re cool like me] and garnish with a lemon peel monstrosity like seen above.

[Enjoy]

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Summertime Sadness

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 These are the drinks that kept me busy during this past summer.

I posted a little while ago on twitter on how glad I was that summer was over, making room for some wonderful stirred drinks… and pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks that nobody seems to shut up about. I mean, they are tasty, much like a pumpkin beer with extra cinnamon on the ri– focus!— I love the fall. Not because I’m lazy and enjoy wearing sweaters and Uggs as much as possible, but because it’s the perfect time to go for a walk without the fear of melting onto the sidewalk, you can meet with friends and not have to cringe internally at their 3rd degree sunburns all around the contours of their sunglasses or better yet, you can stop drinking bud lite lime now.

This past summer, I kept cycling 3 cocktails at home that were tasty representations of summer. Each one with its own merit and nuance but all 3 of them incredibly refreshing and uniquely flavorful. Oddly enough, each one has spirits that I wouldn’t traditionally consider as “summery” but damn if they don’t all work in their own way. In a summer full of margaritas, juleps and bud Lite Lime, these were the ones I kept coming back for when it was time for a refreshment.

Dead Man’s Mule

Originally from Met Bar, London
Presented here as modified @ Drink, Boston
 

I’m a fan of mules. Not the ones that put little balloons full of drugs into their bodies but the kind that you drink out of a metal cup full of crushed ice. This is an odd drink and one that at first you may not like but damn if it’s not tasty as hell! At Drink they make their own delicious ginger beer but if you don’t want to be bothered with it, Fever Tree makes a mean one that works perfect with cocktails.

1 oz Green Velvet Absinthe
1 oz Wilks & Wilson orgeat
1/2 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1/2 oz lime juice
Fever Tree ginger beer to top
 
If you have a copper mug, now’s the time to use it.
Add crushed ice to the mug about 1/2 full (or 1/2 empty if that’s how you choose to see the world). 
Pour in everything except the ginger beer. Stir lightly (swizzle even!)
Add more crushed Ice and top with the ginger beer. 
 

Eulogy

Anvil Bar, Houston
 

This is my favorite one of the 3. It’s a bit sweet tho, which is why I add a bit of crushed ice to it so it doesn’t become that overtly sweet drink that you like at first but hate towards the end. Tons of flavor here. So much flavor here on the first sip. Such that I went out and bought a bottle of Strega and Batavia Arrack the very next day.

 
3/4 oz Batavia Arrack van Oosten
3/4 oz Jonh D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum
3/4 oz Strega
3/4 oz lime juice
 
Pour all ingredients in a shaker with ice and show it who’s boss.
Strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.
 

Art of Choke

The Violet Hour, Chicago
 

This is like a mojito that threw away its self tanner, stopped partying, went to college and got a job. If you’re a drink snob by now, then just reading that last sentence plus the the fact that this thing has Cynar as a main ingredient is making you salivate.

 
1 oz Banks 5 Island Rum
1 oz Cynar
1/4 oz green Chartreuse
bar spoon of lime juice
bar spoon of Demerara sugar syrup
handful of mint leaves
 
Lightly muddle the mint in your shaker.
Add the rest and shake it with some large pieces of ice.
Double strain into a rocks glass with a single ice cube. Garnish with a small mint sprig.
 
 
 
 

La Muerte Chiquita

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This is my first real foray into mezcal-based drinks. I think I’m in love.

I’ve been ordering drinks with mezcal as much as I can to get a feel for how it works and the subtle (sometimes not so subtle) differences between one another; How smoky is this one? Does it work better with this juice or that one? Does it even mix well with other spirits without being a bully? Does it make me look fat in these pants? Based on the few that I’ve had, I can tell you that mezcal is a beautiful addition to a home bar (any bar really) in the way that absinthe is or like having both, bourbon and rye.

I’ve been trying to get my hands on a bottle of Montelobos mezcal for a while. To the point where I became obnoxiously slightly obsessed with the notion that if I was going to buy mezcal, it was going to be that one or none at all. That’s stupid. I know. Long story short, I got me a bottle and now we’re like best friends. I wanted the first drink I made to be more evocative of its origins (Oaxaca), so I went all Mexican up in this bitch…by way of Brooklyn, NY? Wait. what?? The xocolatl mole bitters are a must but the real treat is the chocolate extract that Taza (MA local) and Bitterman’s made, which gives it a rich flavor. To round it out, you have the dram which is basically being all creepy and coy (like Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club) until the very end, where it comes out, almost enhanced by the smokiness making it a pleasure to sip.

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Mezcal
Allspice Dram
Absinthe
Bitters
Mandarins

Fun fact: Initial trial runs had tabasco and creme de cacao which work well with the mezcal but didnt do it for me here. I wanted this to be a mix of a Monkey Gland & 20th Century, while maintaining some of the more traditional aspects of mezcal.

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1 1/2 oz mezcal   [ Montelobos ]
1/4 oz allspice dram   [ St. Elizabeth ]
1/4 oz absinthe   [ St. George Absinthe Verte ]
1 1/2 oz mandarin orange juice
2 dashes of Taza Chocolate Mexicano Extract
2 dashed of Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole bitters

Prepare your glass with an absinthe rinse (like you would a Sazerac):
Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice and distribute the absinthe over it.
This will coat the glass with absinthe and help chill the glass.

Pour all ingredients into a shaker and beat the devil out of it.
Ditch the ice from the rocks glass which should now have a lovely absinthe aroma.
Strain into the rinsed glass and garnish with a flamed mandarin wheel.

[ Enjoy ]

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Heart of Darkness

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Don’t try and use lemongrass as a straw. It just doesn’t work and you end up winded as f*ck.

I’m letting you know that this drink is a pain in the ass to make. I shouldn’t say that when the whole point of my site is to provide cocktail recipes that anyone can make but it’s a delicious labor of love for what it’s worth. For that I’d advise that if anyone reading this actually decides to make it, make a lot of it. You’ll find that its remarkably easy to drink and if you enjoy Thai food (I do and I find that remarkably easy to eat. All of it) then this is a drink that’ll have a lot of those familiar flavors and aromas.

Lets get this out of the way: making your own tamarind juice is delicious but it’s kinda gross to work with. You buy this block of seedless pulp (@ basically any Asian market), then you have to warm it up, strain it, dilute it, bottle it. But once you’re done, you have this nice tarty juice that has this subtle acidity to it that’s just begging to be used in cocktails. Because of said acidity/tartness, I didn’t really use much citrus in this drink and if you use more tamarind, you may not even need any at all.  If you already make your own ginger beer, then I highly advise you use it here. Especially if you make it with a lot of that ginger spice (not that one but you know you were into them at some point. Don’t lie to yourself).

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Spiced rum
Tamarind juice
Allspice dram
Angostura bitters
palm sugar / lemongrass  simple*

This drink is a take on the ‘Dark & Stormy’ which is pretty much a rum based Moscow Mule. So to make it more interesting, I added a lot of South East Asian flavors to make it more unique.

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*For the palm sugar / lemongrass simple:
Instead of using regular simple, take 1 part palm sugar (natural sugars from coconut trees) to equal part water; Add to that a couple 4″ pieces of fresh lemongrass  (pro tip: beat them up a bit with a muddler to loosen  up the fibers and release its flavors). Boil. simmer. cool. strain. bottle. You know the drill.

1 3/4 oz Sailor Jerry spiced rum
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
2 dashes Angostura bitters
3/4 oz palm sugar / lemongrass simple
3/4 oz tamarind juice
1 wedge of lime (bout an 1/8 of a lime in size)
Shake all of the above and strain into a Collins glass with some fresh ice.
Top up with ginger beer (Fever Tree here).
Garnish with a stick of lemongrass, a lime wheel and a kaffir lime leaf.
[ Enjoy ]

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Lion’s Tail

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If you’ve never been to Drink [in the now frozen tundra that is Boston], the place consists of connected bars where they tailor cocktails based on your preference and suggest different drinks in accordance to it. That’s probably an accurate, yet oversimplification of this place but if you know what you like or want to try new things, this is definitely the place.

Some of our libations from that evening:

a vodka Monkey Gland.
a Pegu Club style gin-gin mule(?) Warning: drinking this was like tasting chocolate for the first time.
Dead Man’s Mule (shutTheFrontDoor was this good)
Chartreuse tasting [I now know the difference between the 2, you guys!]
Allspice Dram sampling [This is what lead to the conversation on the Lion’s Tail]

…basically anything with their in-house ginger beer could not go into my mouth fast enough.

This cocktail, though not my “favorite of all time!” is special because it was given to me as a birthday gift. Not the drink itself, but the knowledge of it, in the form of a hand written recipe [taken from some old looking book from the back of the bar], along with a tiny bottle of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram wrapped in tape with the words “happy birthday”. It was a night of first (I’ve never been 31 until that day. I think Im doing fine with this age. I could do without the peeing blood part but that’s normal, right?), I’d never been to Drink and I had never met such a bad-ass working the stick as Estrellita, our bartender for the evening.

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Bourbon whiskey
Allspice Dram
Lime juice
Demerara syrup*
Angostura

*I first tested this out with regular simple syrup (1/1) before making some Demerara syrup and I gotta say, it really is better with the Demerara, as it gives it a subtle difference in the sweetness along with reinforcing the rich color of this drink.

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The real point of focus here, where your drink will really excel is the Bourbon, as the cocktail itself can be slightly on the sweet side in itself, you’d want to stay away from sweeter tasting bourbons (Maker’s Mark for example. Though that is still my favorite for a whiskey sour) and just the same, you don’t want to kill it with something that’s gonna kick its ass (I’m looking at you 101 wild turkey).

1 3/4 part Wild Turkey 81 bourbon
1/4 part St Elizabeth allspice dram
1/2 part lime juice
1/2 part demerara syrup
2 dashes of Angostura bitters

shake it like it owes you money.
double strain into a martini/coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
[Enjoy]

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