russian standard

Lost in Translation

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The purpose of a great craft cocktail, one made with thought, skill and care, is to delight.

 

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Holy crap did this post take FOREVER! I was planning on posting this at least 2 weeks ago and then I may have been abducted by aliens (the non-butt-probing kind) or something ’cause I never got around to sharing this delightful post with all of you wonderful alcoholics humans.

I have an upcoming “educational” (say what?!) post on sake where I lie to you all with non-confirmed facts (mainly because I was too lazy to “bing it”) about that deliciousness from Japan. It’ll basically be a “rule of thumb” type of post if you’re interested in sake to sip it instead of boring wine (if you’re feeling sexy) or to mix it with other spirits (if you’re feeling adventurous). In that post I go over soju (used here) which is not a sake but if you can keep a secret, I’ll have you know that this stuff makes for a fantastic vermouth sub. Yup.

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  • Soju/Shochu
  • Vodka
  • Apricot Eau De Vie
  • Triple-Sec
  • Bitters
  • Simple syrup

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Soju or Shochu? At this point its the same thing. Soju is traditionally from Korea, while Shochu is of Japan. This Kaikouzo Soju is actually Shochu marketed as soju. Usually they are all under 25% ABV and are distilled very much like a neutral grain spirit (potatoes used quite often), with the master distiller infusing flavor throughout the process or at the very end.

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I wanted to make it easier to start remembering hot to make my drinks. This is a simple stirred drink in a 4,3,2,1 method where you start with one spirit and from there you add 1/4 less of the next. Yeah that was confusing:

1 oz Kaikouzo Soju
3/4 oz Imperia Vodka
1/2 oz Metté apricot Eau De Vie
1/4 oz Cointreau
2 dashes of Dr. Adam Elmegiram’s Teapot Bitters
1 dash of simple syrup (just a dash)

Add all into a chilled mixing glass full of ice and stir. With every drink you make you’ll start refining your stirring technique. When I started, I was a subtle as a blender on max. It was ugly.

Strain into a smaller martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

[ Enjoy ]

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This drink plays close to a vodka martini, what with its crystal clear appearance and velvet flavors. The soju itself could potentially be used as a blanc vermouth of sorts, but there is definitely a broader flavor profile in it making you want to sip it slow to let those flavors do their work. 

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Moscow Mule

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Enter the dragon mule. This cocktail is best kicked back (see what I did there?! …you know… cause mules ki… ANYWAYS) in a frosted copper mug (it doesn’t have to but man does it make it recognizable) while imbibing with friends. Or alone, if that’s your thing but really, don’t be that guy.
i prefer to use Russian vodka in my mules, simply because it makes it feel authentic. Though this cocktail wasn’t invented in Russia, it would feel weird to drink it with vodka from another country. Kinda like kissing your cousin. Unless thats your thing, but for fuck sake, really try not to be that guy.
Its crazy simple, is open to so many variations and its fun ’cause you get to build it in the copper mug itself.

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Vodka
Lime juice
Ginger beer

I use Stoli Gold vodka in my mules but it is very common to see ‘Russian Standard’ used, which in a drink like this, is more than serviceable.

As for the ginger beer, this is really the key ingredient in a great mule, so the better the beer, the better the taste. I’ve used Maine Root ginger beer here.

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Build your mules within the copper mugs. There’s no shame in doing it all in the shaker and then topping off your mug with the ginger beer but I’m pretty sure that your street cred (the one you’ve been working on so hard over the last 15 minutes) will be all but erased. Your call, tough guy.

4 parts Stoli Gold Vodka
1 part lime juice
Fever-Tree Ginger Beer

Take your sweet-ass copper mug and fill it about 1/2 way with crushed ice.
add the 4 parts of vodka and the freshly (oh so fresh and so clean) squeezed lime juice.
Add some of that ginger beer that has been waiting for its turn, but leave some room.
Stir it a bit with your barspoon [not nearly as much as you would a martini]
Add a bit more crushed ice to make it look pretty and keep it chilled.
Garnish with a lime wedge or wheel [some folks add a cucumber spear but I don’t get that]
[Enjoy]

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