mixology

MxMo: Cosmopolis

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“Find a recipe, either new or old, and switch around at least two of the ingredients to sister or cousin ingredients but holding the proportions and some of the ingredients the same. The new recipe should be recognizable as a morph of the old one when viewed side by side”
-Frederic Yarm

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This month’s MxMo pulled me out of retirement (more on that later). I missed the last one and wasn’t gonna let the same thing happen again, especially with Frederic of CocktailVirgin fame (fancy-shmancy writer at large) and big Kahuna to Mixology Monday. I liked this month’s theme a lot. Whenever there’s a chance to take something old and make it new, I’m all over that. I mean. Isn’t that what mixology is all about?

As soon as I read the stipulations of MxMo LXXV I immediately thought of this great video I watched a while back by Nils Boese. So really its a series of videos (ALL IN GERMAN!) where this guy teaches you how to make classic drinks (and how to wear the tightest shirt possible) but every now and then he’ll throw something random (like a Jaeger negroni) and I’ll be feverishly trying to translate it, like an asshole, until I give up. How much are German lessons?

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  • Junipero gin
  • Cointreau
  • Leopold Bros Cranberry liqueur
  • Lime juice

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Not all cranberry juice is created equal. I stay the hell away from any juice from concentrate (aka sour mix) so in this case, I’ve replaced the cranberry juice for liqueur. It works surprisingly well and the one from Leopold Bros is nice and tarty without tasting like syrup.

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Surprising absolutely no one, this drink is pretty damn easy. The idea here is for a pleasant gin cocktail with familiar flavors enhanced by the botanicals in a good gin that vodka just simply doesn’t have, along with the richness of the liqueur. 

1 1/2 oz Junipero gin (or your favorite gin with citrus notes)
-substituted the citron vodka for a dry gin with citrus notes.
1 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Leopold Bros. cranberry liqueur
-substitutes the cranberry juice
1/2 oz lime juice

Add all these little creatures into your mixing apparatus and turn it into something tasty.
Double strain into a martini glass and garnish with an orange peel, after pressing its oils on top of the drink.

[ Enjoy ]

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To my left are the proportions used for a common Cosmopolitan. In fact, that drink in the back is a 100% legit cosmo… that I’m actually drinking right now… For this specific iteration with the gin, I would advice crankin’ up the lime to 3/4 oz, as it plays better with the liqueurs’ sweetness.

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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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The Pledge

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This is the drink that made me give a shit about Rye.

I try and be as honest as I can on here cause, well, I’m a horrible liar. Add to that my lack of filter and social awareness and you have a person that you should never ask things like ‘do these pants make my ass look fat?’ or ‘are you only dating me to get closer to my dad?’…but I digress… Rye whiskey; To me it was just “that other whiskey” that they sell next to old man bourbon at the store. And even though I’ve had a bottle of Bulleit Rye for about a year now, it was mainly to taste it and be able to hang with the cool kids.

I’ve been drinking a lot more whiskey lately (no reason. It just happened), specifically in more complex versions (Corpse Reviver #4, The Stranger, just to name a few) where the rye really comes out, does a little dance and then makes me say dumb shit. So having discovered that rye really can be enjoyable, I decided to make something where I steal take bits and pieces from recipes and really figure out how rye works, its complexity, when to use it, how much of it, etc. So if anything, I’d advise you to find or make a drink where it becomes a learning experience of how and when to use spirits that you don’t quite “get”. Not just with rye but anything really. Just know that you wont like everything that’s out there and not everything will be right for you but hey, that’s life.

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Rye whiskey
Averna Amaro
Yellow Chartreuse
Angostura Bitters

The green stuff is much too strong for my taste but its yellow little brother seems to work just fine here. As for the Averna, it’ll give it a nice soft caramel note, which you *could* swap out for some Benedictine [per se] and it will give you a great result, if slightly different.

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This drink reminds me a bit of cinnamon gum. Like one of those big red gumballs (fireballs?) that get real hot in your mouth. Yeah. Like that. But with a lot of booze.

1/2 oz Averna Amaro
1/2 oz YELLOW chartreuse
1 1/2 oz Bulleit Rye [Why Bulleit? Because its delicious! But I hear good things about Rittenhouse]
2 dashes of Angostura

Since it’s all liquor here, stir it for a bit.
Take a lemon peel, squeeze some of the oils onto the cocktail and dip it. Bam. You just made a garnish.
[Enjoy]

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