cocktail

Earhart

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I feel like I haven’t posted in ages and for that, I am sorry […commits seppuku]

This is definitely one of my favorite OG cocktails. Hubris? What is that? I like it mostly because it had some actual thought put into it. As you may know, good cocktails have this nice even flow to them; You add a bit of this, you had an idea to add a bit of that or you simply fucked up and added the wrong thing while watching some squirrels run around outside. Well. That’s been my experience at least. But I’m also a guy that sometimes cant recall if I put deodorant on after taking a shower, so I spend the rest of the day paranoid, trying not to sweat.

This drink was for the Aviation American Gin facebook contest that I’ve been participating in for the last 6 weeks. The contest is still going on and there have been some truly fantastic entries. Best of luck to al…..screw that…I hope I (me) win that trip to the House Spirits distillery in Portland, OR [insert maniacal laugh here]. As you perhaps know by the name, this Aviation gin inspired cocktail was an ode to Amelia Earhart. Wiki her or watch that movie, she was a total badass. The American gin signifies her, the Jameson whiskey for where she first landed and the Benedictine and Dolin Blanc for her (missed) targeted LZ. Surprisingly, this works incredibly well and makes for a great drink to sip.

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Aviation gin
Blanc vermouth
Benedictine
Irish whiskey
Bitters

If you dont have Abbott’s bitters (I’m using the stuff made by Bob’s in England), it’ll still be tasty but it’ll be missing something. I’ve made this with cherry, fig, lavender and angostura bitters and it’s been quite nice. Go crazy. Just try and stay away from the more citrus-y bitters as they throw it off quite a bit.

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My wife put it this way when she took a sip:
“it’s like a female version of a negroni”
…I’ll take that. I would have also been happy with:
“it’s like the 90’s era Michael Jackson”.

1 3/4 oz dry gin  [ Aviation American Gin ]
1 oz blanc vermouth  [ Dolin ]
1/2 oz irish whiskey  [ Jameson ]
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dashes of Abbott’s bitters  [ Bob’s ]

Get that mixing glass out and stir.
Strain into a rocks glass with a nice chunk of ice.

[ Enjoy ]

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MxMo: Witches’ Garden

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This is probably the best smelling syrup ever.

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I’m cutting it pretty close on this Mixology Monday. Call it poor planning or …poor planning? I sure cant blame it on the theme, since it was wide open to interpretation, benefiting from the broad nature of “gardens“. I guess you could make a drink with the devil’s lettuce flowers if you wanted to and it’d be cool. But maybe I didn’t know the rules to this one, so I used one of everything.

The host for this month is my mate Mark (We’re not friends yet but I’m certain I’d impress him with my respectable bow tie collection and wonderful—ly bad British accent) of Cardiff Cocktails fame. Not only does he post some impressive drinks but he’s got a rad Instagram feed as well.

lets take influence from the bartenders that once ruled the world of mixology, raid your herb garden that too often gets neglected, and start mixing. I don’t want to put too many limits on this theme so get as creative as you please, want to use roots, spices or beans as well? Sure thing. Want to make your own herbal infusions or tinctures? Sounds wonderful.

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  • dry Gin
  • curacao
  • lavender bitters
  • lemon juice
  • guava/sage gomme

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In a way I dedicate this one to my mother. She sure as hell doesn’t drink (though she did kick back a shot of Hibiki the day of my wedding) and I’m sure she wishes I didn’t either, but when I think of gardens (this month’s theme), I think of her.

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I used guava here as the base of it all because lets be honest, that fruit is fucking amazing; Not only does it taste and smell lovely but (the pink type) has this rich color too. The best is to peel and juice and strain them but to be honest, I go to this little Cuban place where they do the heavy lifting for me. Yes. I am lazy. Lavender and sage are basically naturally born BFF’s and gin, with its array of botanicals, is there to tie it all up.

If you want to be super crazy, this works wonders with a dry junmai sake instead of the gin, making it much lower in proof but twice as fun.

1 1/2 oz Hendrick's gin
3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao
2 dashes of Scrappy's lavender bitters
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 1/2 oz guava syrup*

*for the syrup, take 2 cups of fresh guava juice, 10 sage leaves, the zest of a lemon (juiced later for the drink) & a bit of grated allspice. Combine them and bring to a boil. When cooled, double strain into a glass bottle and refrigerate it. Should hold up for a week or 2.

Add all to a shaker with some ice and go to town with your preferred method of shaking. Mine’s the one that doesn’t end up all over my kitchen ’cause I failed (every damn time) to create a proper seal.

Double strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish with a few sage leaves on a single lavender branch. Once it looks like a prom corsage, you’re set.

 

[ Enjoy ]

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Guava gomme infused with sage & lemon zest: Initially I had this as a syrup with lavender in it but after making it a few times, it just works so much better when mixed with some gum Arabic, thickening it a bit and using lavender bitters instead. Serious Drinks has an easy tutorial on gomme syrup which you can quickly adapt this with.

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The Architect

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This one’s for you, Tony. You classy ol’ fox.

I struggled making this cocktail at first. Which brings me to my first point: don’t force a drink. Sometimes they just need to be unceremoniously discarded and forgotten; Much like Lindsay Lohan. I got the idea for this one a little while back while getting some refreshments @ Drink (yes. I know I’ve talked about this place before but you wouldn’t shut up about that place either if you had a drink blog). I was alone that day, putting out the vibe*; Which is when I met the most regal 70 year old man. In the 2 hours that followed, we talked about 2 things: architecture & absinthe. He was even kind enough to draw me a diagram. Class act, that Tony.

So none of that info, or “a story of forbidden love” as I like to think of it, was pertinent to the actual drink except for the fact that it’s where it gets its name, along with its inclusion of absinthe. I would like to end this post saying that if he were to taste this, he would love it but that’s bullshit. In fact, I’m sure he would hate it and go back to Drink, only to burn it to the ground.

*the vibe: Raul standing uncomfortably in a room, sweating profusely and giving the distinct impression that he just strangled someone in the men's room.

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Absinthe
Ramazzotti
Fernet Branca
Bitters
salt

For the salt, I used Elana’s recipe from Stir and Strain for ‘vanilla salt‘. That site deserves way better than just a side note here (it’s been on my ‘Read‘ list since day 1) and you NEED to check it out (now) but I’ll have a full post dedicated to her site shortly.

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This is a stirred drink, served over ice.

1 1/2 oz Sweet vermouth  [ Cocchi Vermouth di Torino ]
1/4 oz Absinthe  [ St. George Absinthe Verte]
1/2 oz Ramazzotti amaro
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
8 drops Brooklyn Hemispherical Black Mission Fig bitters

Add all these guys into a mixing glass with ice and stir.

Add a large ice cube into a rocks glass and pour the cocktail around the cube.
Take a pinch (what’s less than a pinch? well that) and place it on top of the ice.
[ Enjoy ]

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Red Queen

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I’m a sucker for all things Alice in Wonderland…

So this drink was meant to go in last week’s regularly scheduled programming buuuuut I was trying to prove to myself (and my dad) that I can build shit. Like for REAL build things, not just a 5 piece table from Ikea. Well kids, turns out I cant. I was trying to build a set of soft boxes for lighting and I’m pretty sure that starting off by using an old wet box from Crate & Barrel as the base for it was ill advised (in retrospect). I’ll keep trying (doubtful) but given that I have the attention span of a chipmunk (I don’t even know what that means), I’m all but certain I’ll be day drinking to accommodate my photography for
the time being.

This week’s drink is all booze. Now before you get all excited, it’s not very strong -insert sad trombone here-. Made it a couple weeks back when mixing a drink called ‘Elixir No.1′ from The American Cocktail by the folks from Imbibe magazine. I’m sure that drink would have been great (?) but since I didn’t have all the ingredients for it, I started to throw some random shit in there until I ended up with a mutated (but highly “drinkable”) version that I liked a lot. So who likes “drinks that don’t make you immediately have to calculate how many sips of them you can have before getting sloppy”?! I DO.

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B&B
Campari
Dry Vermouth
Velvet Falernum
Bitters

I bought a bottle of B&B thinking it was the same as regular ‘ol Benedictine and boy was I wrong. So I’ve been trying to find new and exciting ways to use this stuff. This being one of them. If you have the OG Benedictine, I’d advise against the Falernum  [amp it up to 1 oz each] since that stuff is pretty sweet too.

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3/4 oz B&B  [ Benedictine & Brandy ]
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth  [ Dolin Dry ]
3/4 oz Campari  [ er…Campari ]
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum  [ John D. Taylor’s ]
Dash of Peychaud’s
10 drops of Abbot’s  [ Bob’s ]

Stir them in your favorite glass candle holder that you use as a mixing glass when nobody’s watching.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Take an orange peel and press the oils over the drink, then discard it [let it go. It’s OK]
Garnish with some cherries.

[ Enjoy ]

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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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MxMo: Drink Your Vegetables

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I almost didn’t participate. Mainly ’cause I’m a big baby.

Making a cocktail that tastes good, looks good, smells good and more importantly, would make you want to have another (cause lets face it, we’ve all downed some shit drinks one time or another just to be polite) is no simple task. To put things into context:

This month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Rowen of Fogged In Lounge where vegetables take center stage. Yeah. You know, those things that sprout from the ground that you normally avoid at all cost.

“Want to get more vegetables but you’re always eating on the run?… Well then, how about a vegetable cocktail? No, not that nice little glass of red stuff Grandma put at each place setting—we’re talking something with a kick in it. You can definitely start with the little glass of red stuff and expand it to a Red Snapper-style drink like a Bloody Mary. Or how about a cucumber-scented cooler like a Pimm’s Cup, or maybe a cocktail featuring a vegetable-based ingredient like Cardamaro or celery bitters? Maybe you’ve been wondering if you can get more mileage out of that juice extractor before consigning it to the garage sale. However you get them in that glass, be prepared for the most fun with vegetables ever.”

I thought everyone would be making something with carrots or cucumbers, since they lend themselves so well for this. Add to that the fact that I already have cucumber drinks on my blog and I was running out of options. I mean, I STRONGLY entertained the idea of using roasted asparagus for a long time (too long). But then I imagined everyone’s face when they asked what was in it and I said “asparagus”. In case you’re wondering, I imagined them giving me the “ew. who just farted?” look.

My fiance suggested radishes which I love and don’t even consider a vegetable. Probably ’cause I’ve been eating them with salt and lime since I was running ‘Death to Sour Milk’ and how many kids do you know that like vegetables? They’re bright and a bit spicy in nature so I added a bit of red pepper flakes to give that spiciness a high 5 and a few drops of rhubarb bitters to finish it off.

Hope you like it. I know I did.

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Pisco
Nigori Sake
Bitters
Radish syrup*
Lemon juice 

*For the syrup, take equal parts water, sugar and chopped radishes (washed but not peeled). Boil. Then add a bit of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. Simmer. Bottle unstained when cool.

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1.5 oz pisco [ Porton ]
3/4 oz nigori sake [ Rihaku ]
1 Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
6 Drops of rhubarb bitters [ Brooklyn Bitters ]
3/4 oz radish Simple*
1/2 oz lemon juice

Pour all contents into a shaker and add ice.
Shake it like you would a tanned European lover.
Double strain into a chilled coup
e.

For the garnish (my favorite part this time around), take 2-3 small radishes, peel them, rub the leftover lemon on them and then dip them in some salt. If you have some funky salt, now would be the time to use it.

[ Enjoy ]

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Black Flag

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-Insert clever Henry Rollins joke here-

I infused Cognac because I don’t care much for it. In fact, I infused about 1/2 a bottle of Courvoisier that I got for Christmas yet had never really used other than to show people that French is not only difficult to pronounce but even harder to spell. I’m sure I’ll be infusing other spirits soon (looking @ you, bottle of Knob Creek bourbon) based on this experiment. Vanilla beans. Herbs. Buffalo chicken wings. You name it; I’ll be on it.

I didn’t infuse an entire bottle because I wasn’t sure what the result would be, nor if I would want 750 ml of black tea infused cognac (which came out pretty great), so I only infused about 10 oz of it. Will I be making more? Definitely. But I think I’ll use a different brand of cognac next time or may just switch to Brandy altogether. The name comes from the black tea and the black mission fig bitters from Brooklyn Bitters . I was originally going to call it “Fuck, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing here and this drink is strong. Oh god its so strong” but opted against it at the last minute. Maybe next time?

So here’s a booze-only drink (one of many to follow) for those that like a good cocktail with depth and variety.

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Tea infused Cognac
Benedictine
Fernet Branca
Dry vermouth
Bitters
Demerara simple

I used Dolin Dry here (after testing Lillet Blanc and Martini dry) and felt that it worked much better than sweet vermouth (Dolin Rouge) which would make it more Vieux Carre in nature and a bit sweeter.

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1 1/2 oz Bavarian Berry black tea infused Courvoisier cognac*
3/4 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz Dolin Dry vermouth
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
10 drops Brooklyn Hemispherical Black Mission Fig bitters
Couple dashes of demerara simple

*To infuse the cognac: take a single serving of your favorite black tea (I used Bavarian Berry Black, which is nice and bright with little hints of fruit) and steep it in a separate glass bottle with about 8 oz of cognac (or technically any spirit) for about 12-24 hours. Fine strain it into yet another bottle to remove any and all leaves and sediment. That’s it really. Keep it in the fridge and it’ll last for about a week. 

Pour everything in a mixing glass. Even the dashes of syrup.
Stir it nicely. In fact, let this be the therapeutic part of the process. Yeah.
Strain into a sandwich bag. Just kidding. A coupe.
Cut a fresh lemon peel and squeeze the oils in and around the glass. Discard when done.

[Enjoy]

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