For this month’s challenge I would like to take us back to the humble beginnings of the cocktail bar, the days when bartenders didn’t have the luxury of daily deliveries of ingredients from around the world. In these times bartenders would have been uncertain when they would again have the privilege to work with special ingredients so would naturally try to make the most of them. As a result of this restrictive access to many ingredients we today take for granted many methods used in home kitchens for years began to find their ways in to bars. Such methods of preservation such as syrups and preserves have been staple ingredients behind the bar ever since, while others such as shrubs and sherbets were relatively short lived.
The aim of the challenge is to go back to the days of the preserve, pick an ingredient, seasonal or not and treat it as if you won’t be seeing it again for quite some time. Syrups, sorbets, jam, shrubs and the like are all fair game, anything that will preserve the integral character of your favourite ingredient.
For this theme I’ve decided to go with a shrub, I had a varying of success a year or two ago, after reading Michael Dietsch blog post on shrubs. With midnight rapidly encroaching (and there’s already a wealth on the topic all over the internet) I’m not going to go into any detail on the history of the shrub. The flavours I’ve chosen to match with a rather nice bottle of Don Julio Anejo I had In the flat. I’ve served this in a vinegar bottle, due to the addition of white wine vinegar in the shrub, but to also offer the guest a touch of theatre to the drink. I’ve named this drink after a region of Belgium, Lambeek, a region most likely the origin of lambic beers. For anyone who has never had this type of beer, I suggest you hunt one down (try an offering from the Cantillon Brewery), sit back and enjoy. The name will then make sense!
50ml Don Julio Anejo
20ml Orange, Chilli, and Coriander shrub
15ml fresh lime juice
5ml Fernet Branca
40ml Ginger beer
Shake first 4 ingredients with ice and strain into a vinegar bottle, top with ginger beer. Serve with a rocks glass with ice, garnished with some fresh coriander
Orange, chilli and coriander shrub
1 chilli, chopped
Handful of coriander, chopped
Peel of half an orange
Muddle ingredients with 150ml volume of sugar and let infuse for 2 hours. Add the juice of the orange and any necessary water to give 150ml of liquid (in other words a syrup 1:1), gently heat to dissolve the sugar and cool. Add 50ml of cider vinegar, stir, strain, and bottle. Job done. I use slightly less vinegar than most recipes on the internet due to the fact that I’m really not a huge fan of the stuff, but used in small quantities it really does give mixed drinks a lovely sour and refreshing touch.
A while ago at work, Chris my fellow bartender came up with an idea. Fisherman’s Friend syrup. Fisherman Friend syrup!? We both knew that it had to happen. Chris’ idea was to mix the syrup in an old fashioned with a nice salty Single Malt Scotch, Genius.
For anyone who’s never tried a Fisherman’s Friend before, it’s a throat lozenge with a fantastically strong cooling menthol deliciousness. The Original Extra Strong lozenges contain sugar, liquorice extract, menthol, Eucalyptus Oil, tragacanth, and capsicum tincture.
To me that Sounds cool. But back to that later.
I’ve also being playing around with making sugar cubes recently. I watched this video here and saw how stupidly easy they where to make. The first batch I made I used Peychaud’s bitters instead of water and got some actually quite pretty pink, anis tasting cubes. Almost like Sazerac sugar cubes.
That’ll be fun, Cocktail Sugar Cubes. You could even add dehydrated liqueurs. How about Campari dust Sugar Cubes!? Or mix Cointreau dust and sugar, add Absinthe instead of water when making the cubes…Improved Cocktail cubes, just add spirit! Once formed you could pass them on to friends, sell them, take them to Glastonbury, take them on flights to add to your complimentary spirits…the possibilities.
So what about a Fishermans Friend sugar cube? They turned out great. To make the cubes I added a 25g pack of ground up Fishermans Friend to 200g of sugar, added a small amount of water, mixed and then dehydrated the mix. To dry them out I used the chefs heat lamps at work to excellent effect, but I’ve also had the same success by leaving the sugar to dry at room temp for a day or two.
Once dried I mixed the cube with some good jenever (I’m planning on using this concept for my Bols Around the World entry, which ask entrants to conceive the next big trend, a tough competition for sure.), stirred and strained. It had lovely soothing cooling effect. It was sweet, but it was also wonderful. To solve this I added some tartaric acid, first however a little history on sugar cubes and confectionary.
So the throat lozenge can be dated back to 1000 BC, but far more interestingly back in the nineteenth century throat lozenges contained Heroine and Mophine, until as late as 1879. During this period lozenges started to appear, with Pharmacist James Lofthouse founding Fishermans friend lozenges in 1845. Interesting the sugar cube wasn’t patented until 1843, with Henry Tate, the guy behind the Tate museum, getting involved with a new patent for a different way of formulating cubes in 1872.
What I find fascinating about this era of sugar formulation and creation of modern confectionary is the fact that this is Jerry Thomas era, the Golden Age of bar-tending. How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion was published in 1862, the undisputed mother of all cocktail books. Cocktails and confectionary where growing up together.
I needed to tie this altogether some how, so I’ve come up with a concept (this is also going to help me in the second round of Bols around the world competition, if I get through the first round that is. The second round will be a menu design based on your new trend, a cool competition in its own right). So the year is 1868 and physician/local druggist Raymond Smith has just opened his new pharmacy/apothecary/drug dispensary R.M. Smiths & sons. Within This pharmacy Raymond serves up the best cure all tinctures, essential oils and lozenges, but what Raymond is most famous for is his new Cocktail Confections served with a pony of spirit. Using new formulation techniques, Cocktail Confections can be administered for all sorts of ailments, simply add your choice of spirit. Raymond was taking on the bitters market, this was the new way to make a cocktail.
So here’s the first drink to fit in this Cocktail Confection concept…
R.M. Smith & Sons
Moltzer Cocktail Confections
For cough, cold and all irritations of the throat
1 Moltzer cocktail cube
Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a lemon twist
Add a small amount of water until the sugar starts to clump together, shape as desired and dry. Much the same way as the sugar cube in the video linked earlier. If you haven’t tried tartaric acid, it can be best described as sour and tasteless. Imagine sucking a lemon when you have cold. Or may recognise this sensation better as the sour sherbet you ate as a kid (sherbet being a mix of super fine sugar, tartaric acid, and bicarbonate of soda). This acid gives the cubes their balance, stopping the drink becoming too sweet as there is no bitterness helping here.
So that’s it, part one of my Cocktail Confections. I’ve just brought some sarsaparilla boiled sweets, but I’ll save that for more experiments later on.
I’ll jump straight to the description of this months Mixology Monday, which is hosted by Christa and Shaun of the great BoozeNerds blog…
We thought hard about a theme that would work well for this time of year, and after contemplating the food, booze, and decor we like for the holidays, we settled on “Resin.” From savory rosemary in a stuffing, to a delicious juniper-y gin in a martini, to a fragrant fir ornament or garnish, our friends the evergreens have a lot to offer… The challenge: come up with an ingenious creation using the resin-y ingredient of your choice. Zirbenz, retsina, hoppy IPA, pine-nut puree, even? Sure! Spirit, garnish, aroma, all are fair game. Whatever resin means to you, we want to hear it.
After a quick google on resin, I headed out to see what I could pick up, knowing I have no retsina, zirbenz or fir liqueurs behind the bar. What I came back with was some frankincense (also called olibanum) and myrrh, both of which are aromatic resins. Resins are obtained when a wound penetrates the bark on specific trees and into the sapwood, after which the tree bleeds a resin. The resins are both waxy, and coagulate quickly to become hard and glossy. At this point I had no idea what to do with it. After eating a piece of each, I scrapped the idea of the myrrh (it was so bitter and not very pleasant), and started making syrups and tinctures with the frankincense, and ended with a lovely, very aromatic, citrusy syrup.
1 Barspoon of frankincense (use good frankincense here, it should be translucent, with no black or brown impurities)
150ml by volume sugar
Heat the frankincense in the water until boiling, simmer for 1 minute and remove from the heat, strain out any frankincense that hasn’t dissolved, add the sugar and heat until dissolved.
There wasn’t much information about people doing this on the internet so it was a bit of trail and error. This give a VERY fragrant syrup, so use sparingly!
I’ve also recently been very much enjoying my beer, if you follow me on Instagram you may have already noticed! I love the idea of crossing over beer into cocktails, but lately I’ve been wondering about using hops to make a drink more bitter and aromatic. I’ve seen a few hop infused gins online, but for this drink I’ve made an aromatic wine with hops In replace of the woodworm used for vermouth. (I may expand on this in the near future, a range of single variety hopped wine anyone!? Or maybe dry hopped vermouth? Just a thought). For more on making aromatic wine check out Frederic’s posts over at cocktail virgin slut (He has a nice little bibliography at the bottom of the post as well, essential he’s done all the hard work for us!)
Handful of hops
Peel of 1/2 an orange
Peel of 1/2 a lemon
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
6 juniper berries (cracked)
5 cardamom pods (cracked)
1/2 star anise
1/4 teaspoon chamomile flowers
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
Simmer all the ingredients with 200ml of white wine, I used a Chardonnay here, for ten minutes in a lidded pan. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 hour, strain. Add 400ml of the original wine, 2oz of 2:1 sugar syrup, 100ml vodka, bottle and keep refrigerated.
So finally here’s my entry of this months mixology Monday
The Three Magi
50 ml Gin (I used Hendricks)
20ml hopped wine (substitute Noilly Prat)
10ml lemon juice
10ml orange juice
5ml Frankincense syrup
5ml sugar syrup
Dash of lavender bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled glass, garnish with an orange twist
Thanks to Christa and Shaun, and to Fred for hosting, and I look forward to everyone else’s entries.
Mixology Monday; Clermont Cocktail and Cathays Cocktail
So finally after missing 3 months of Mixology Monday (and any other blogging for that matter), I’ve actually got round to submitting a cocktail for Elana’s theme, of the fabulous Stir and Strain, titled ‘smoke’. Before I post what Elana has to say on the topic, I’d like to have a quick say on how wonderful her blog is, and not just that, her Instagram is a thing of beauty. Follow her on @elanabean on twitter, and elanabean on Instagram. Here’s a snippet of what Elana has to say on her announcement post…
They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire– it isn’t necessarily true if we’re down to the smoldering embers, but, well, they say it anyway. In our case, where there was fire, now there’s smoke, and it’s time to stoke your enthusiasm for the next challenge. Smoke has been everywhere this past year… For me, smoke is also a transitional element: it symbolizes the last summer bonfires, sitting around the fire pit making s’mores, and the start of the fragrant crackles from the fireplace announcing that fall is coming. For September’s theme, I’d like to see how you interpret smoke. With your liquor or ingredients? Your glassware? Will you whip out a chemistry set to transform your cocktail into ghostly vapors? Do you own a home smoker, still in the box, that’s never been used? Well then, you’re welcome. Unpack those ideas and let’s set off a couple smoke alarms this month for MxMo.
The first cocktail I made I wanted to use smoke as an aroma rather than a component in the drink, adding another layer to the drink. After playing around with atomisers, or simply by wiping an aroma around the rim with a soaked bar napkin, i found the initial sip or two to be perfect, however the aroma would soon fade. Unless I handed the customer a small bottle of perfume to add when desired, I couldn’t get an aroma to last. To overcome this I’ve made a syrup with the desired aroma (in this case a smokey islay) to steep the garnish in, this way the smokey essence lasts the whole drinking experience, if you can resist eating it that is.
Muddle the blackberries with the sugar syrup, add the rest of the ingredients, shake with ice and double strain into a chilled rocks glass over ice. Garnish with 2 blackberries soaked in a Lagavulin syrup. Serve with a hand rolled Kentucky cigarette (after all Kentucky isn’t just famous for bourbon, and this mounts topic is ‘smoke’)
For the Lagavulin soaked blackberries, cover the blackberries in 150ml of rich sugar syrup and 50ml Lagavulin 16 yo, or any other massively peated Islay (you know the ones!), leave overnight.
Never tried Underberg? Go buy some now.
Another cocktail to incorporate smoke I’ve been making recently is a cocktail I’ve called the Cathays Cocktail (the area of Cardiff in which I live and work). It’s really just Jim Meehans and John Deragon’s, of PDT, Newark Cocktail substituting Penderyn Peated Welsh Whiskey for the Apple Brandy, and dry vermouth for the sweet. For all the other cocktail geeks out there you’ll also notice that the Newark is a twist on a Brooklyn. Penderyn whiskey is a wonderful product and one that I would suggest it to any whiskey drinker, but the peated expression interestingly isn’t peated, however it is aged in ex-islay whiskey barrels. Oh and it’s great.
Singapore Gin Sling, Blood and Sand, and the Aviation wouldn’t be the same without them… But cherries in cocktails are also horribly abused, few things taste worse than artificial cherry aroma, and the description of how most maraschino cherries are made can make you sick to your stomach. So it’s my pleasure as the host of Mixology Monday… to challenge you to honor the humble cherry. However you choose to do that, is entirely up to you. You could use Maraschino Liqueur, Cherry Heering, Kirchwasser, Belgian Kriek Beer, cherry wine, or any spectacular infusions invented by you in a cocktail. Or make your own maraschino cherries for a spectacular garnish.
For this drink I twisted and aviation, and made use of as much cherry based ingredients I had behind the bar. The name comes from an old boss of mine who was obsessed with cherry juice, and would frequently ask me for a cherry based cocktail. This ones for him.
1 3/4oz Martin Millers Westbourne strength Gin
1/2oz lemon juice
1/4oz Luxardo Maraschino
1/2oz Cherry Heering
2 dashes of fee brothers Cherry Bitters
Shake and strain and garnish with a Kirsch soaked cherry. Click here to see Michael Dietsch recipe for branded cherries.
Again thanks to Andrea for Hosting, and Fred for keeping things going as ever.
Time for this months Mixology Monday round up for Witches Garden. Thanks to everyone who got involved, great to see the regulars but also to still see new participants each month! So without further ado…
First in was new comer Yagowe of Disco Ginferno with an awesome twist on the classic Black Jack from Jack Straub’s 1914 book Drinks called Jack Dandy, in which Yagowe uses a homemade Dandelion root coffee.
Next up was Nick at The Straight Up, giving us two Drinks utilising tarragon. The first, Summer Abroad, also uses Lavender bitters and lavender honey, and is based on one of my favourite drinks an Improved Holland Gin Cocktail. Wonderful. The next was The Green Orchard which pairs his tarragon with grapes
Dustin Doran brought us the Tobago Shipwreck from his blog A Pyrat Life For Me. Dustin made a fantastic sounding ‘tea syrup’ which included lime basil, and pineapple sage amongst a wealth of others ingredients, which he married with fresh basil leaves
From his fantastic looking back garden in Italy Raffaele bellomi made a Rosemary Glory for his blog The Shorter Straw. Raff whips up a Peach and Rosemary Shrub based on Micheal Dietsch recipe. What I love here is the use of Underberg bitters. This man is a genius.
Alex of the Malty Puppy uses mint to recreate Hugo Ensslin’s southside, in which he offers a wonderfully balanced version, a cross between the version in the Savoy cocktail book and the which appears in the PDT cocktail book. Alex finishes off with a fizz version the drink.
Next in line was the Mixology Monday boss, Frederic Yarm of Cocktail Virgin Slut. Fred brought a sage sazerac, the sagerac, to the party. A Rye based drink created by Jacques Bezuidenhout. I for one would also love to see Fred make us a cocktail using catnip…
The two over at Booze Nerds shared their Clark Kent with us, a drink using gin and hot pepper vodka with a herb I never would of thought of, Garlic Chives! The garlic chives also had the added bonus of making a sexy looking garnish
Home bartender Ian Lauer of Atlanta, Georgia, and owner of the awesome blog Tempered Spirits, made us 2 drinks, Destination Rome and All Glory is Fleeting. Both drinks making use of a Bay Laurel-Honey Syrup, and the later a Cinnamon Tincture. Ian also has himself some REAL peach brandy, which in its own respect is cool.
One of my favourite blogs belongs to Elana of Los Angeles called Stir and Strain. Elana whips up a rosemary and sake based drink called Fruit and Dagger Cocktail. Best looking cocktail photos on the web? Most probably.
Over in Denmark Andrea of the blog Gin Hound mixed us the drink Balmy Rhubarb, mixing Balsam Herb with mezcal and a homemade rhubarb syrup. This was bad timing as Andrea’s herb garden had been devastated by a harsh winter, but still the Balmy Rhubarb rose to the occasion!
Madeleine Popelka from the Neighborhood Kitchen (again one of my favourites, and she also has an excellent Instagram) makes us a classic style cocktail called The Witch’s Remedy using a fantastic looking Stinging Nettle Syrup, married with Bourbon and Absinthe.
Another productive blogger Todd Yard of Concoctails, brings us 2 cocktails for this months theme. Todd makes use of a Rosemary infused Gin for his drink The Walkabout, and a Lemongrass infused gin for his Thai Phoon. Both drinks look wonderful with balance being brought from acetic acid in 2 different Vinegars.
Last months host Rowen Leigh of the Fogged in Lounge, stirs us up a sage and rosemary infused mix of Cognac and Port called Reynardine, this looks like the most delicious after dinner tipple I’ve seen for a long time!
Joel Dippa is next up with a orange peel and clove infused Lillet, mixed to perfect ratio with earl grey tea and tequila called Witches’ Brew. Joel can be found over at Southern Ash where he blogs about food, drinks, and cigars
Of to Dubai where Dominik of the Opinionated Alchemist makes us the drink Rum n’ J! using Ron Matusalem Platino and a frankly delicious sounding home-crafted jasmine soda!
The Putneys of Putney Farm made a beautiful looking drink titled The Strawberry Witch, which mixed thyme with strawberries, gin and sparkling wine, with one more appropriately named ingredient Strega.
Scott Diaz from Shake, Strain & Sip makes us a smashingly good cocktail the Green Tea & Basil Smash, a gin smash using basil instead of mint, ginger liqueur, green tea syrup, and lavender bitters. I must say Scott, this sounds incredible.
The lovely K.Muse of Feu de Vie blog (who’s twitter feed keeps me very well entertained) makes us a Acrasia’s Bower, a wonderful grappa based drink with strawberries and mint, and lengthens with a really interesting carbonated chai green tea!
I have to thank Mixology Monday for introducing me to Raul’s blog Death to Sour Mix when he first posted his drink for the Crass to Craft theme. Since then I’ve been following this one intently! Not only is he funny he’s a dab hand with a camera and photoshop. Oh yer and the drinks are great. This month we get the Elysium, a gin based cocktail which uses a Guava/sage/lavender syrup.
The Sexi Mexi is a awesome sounding drink made for us by Forrest Cokely of A Drink With Forrest...the drink mixes mint with Amargo Vallet and Mina Real Reposado.
Here my post the Loch Indaal Smash, a scotch whiskey smash I made using mint and lemon balm
The last but not least post was that from the blog Foothills Fancies, and it’s an EPIC adventure into making a herbal liqueur - they sourced 62 herbs and spices to male their very own Chartreuse. How cool is that and what a fantastic way to wrap up this months Mixology Monday
Thanks to everyone who got involved and a special thanks to Fred for keeping things flowing! Sorry if i’ve missed any one, drop me a message and i’ll amend asap. See you all next month!
This month it was my turn to host Mixology Monday, something a year ago I’d never though I’d be able to do. The topic I chose for this months cocktail party was ‘Witches Garden’, in which in my announcement post I asked professional and home bartenders alike to create a mixed drink that utilised fresh herbs. For my drink I chose to make a Smash
As Jerry Thomas said in his 1862 Bartender’s Guide ‘The ‘Smash’ is in effect a julep on a small plan. However as Erik Ellestad points out in his excellent blog Savoy Stomp a ‘Fancy Smash’ can be made by straining the mixed drink into a glass with no ice, I.e. served straight up (taken from Harry Johnson’s outstanding and seminal 1888 New and Improved Illustrated Bartender’s Manual). Also I noted while reading through William Terrington’s Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks from 1869 that he liked to include Lemon Verbena to his Smashes. Not a bad idea.
The thing is though, I don’t really like juleps. I don’t find the mint bitter enough to balance the sweetness, and here in Wales the crushed ice seems pointless, it’s just never that warm here! Legendary Bartender Dale DeGroff seemed to agree with the balance of the smash and popularised a Smash in which he muddled a few slices of lemon. Although not technically a Smash any more (as Ellestad points out, it’s beginning to look more like a fix), in my opinion it yields a more palatable drink.
So by mashing all my favourite aspects of the different Smashes I created my drink for this months Mixology Monday
Loch Indaal Smash
-60ml Bowmore single malt whiskey
-10ml Honey syrup
-2 lemon slices
-Handful of mint and lemon balm (I substituted balm for the verbena)
Muddle the lemon slices, avoiding as much as the pith and peel as possible, with the honey, mint and lemon balm. Shake with cracked ice and strain into a chilled rocks glass, garnish with a sprig of Lemon balm.
I’m not usually one for muddling fruit, or not measuring out my citrus, but it just felt right here, being called a Smash after all. That leads me nicely onto the name, named after the often rough loch which batters the Bowmore distillery in Islay, Scotland.
Heres my entry for the Crystal Head Rolling Stones inspired cocktail compeition. didnt win this one but got into the final and met Dan Akroyd, which was pretty cool…
- 37.5 ml Crystal Head Vodka
- 20ml Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth
- 20ml Noilly Pratt
- 20ml fresh blood orange juice
-10ml sugar syrup
-Teaspoon Regan’s Orange Bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled goblet. Finish with expressing orange zest oils over the top of the drink, garnished with dehydrated orange and a bag of cocaine(sherbet - sugar, tartaric acid, bicarbonate of soda)
The inspiration behind the drink was the song ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ which is sung by Jagger as a first person narrative from the view point of Lucifer. The name ‘professor Woland’ is Lucifers guise in the book ‘The Master and Margarita’, a Russian novel which Jagger said his influence for the song came from. The cocktail is a twist between a forgotten cocktail Satan’s Whiskers and a blood and sand, with a bit more bitterness in the form of jäger (it seemed more rock and roll than say Chartreuse!). Each part represented the lyrics within the song, the vodka represented the time ‘I stuck around st. petersburg’, the pefect vermouth combination ‘Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints, as heads is tails’. The Jäger represented ‘when the blitzkrieg raged’ with the sherbet (cocaine lookalike) to symbolise the ‘traps left down for the troubadours’
It’s my pleasure to be hosting the 73rd Mixology Monday here at Cardiff Cocktails, with the herbaceous theme Witches’ Garden. As far back as we can look, the use of fresh herbs have been prevalent in the world of mixed drinks. From the early days of the julep, through Williams Terrington’s 19th century Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, to Don the Beachcomber’s ahead of their time Tiki drinks, fresh herbs have always been at the forefront of mixology. So 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. Here’s how to participate.
1. Create or find a drink which utilises the use of fresh herbs (or barks, roots, beans etc). There’s plenty to play with here, be it mint, basil, rosemary or thyme, or something further a field such as balm, verbena, angelica, or eucalyptus, so get mixing!!
2. Make your drink and post it on your Blog, or on egullet’s spirit and cocktail’s forum if you don’t have one, with a picture, the recipe list, and any thoughts on the drink or theme.
3. Add the MxMo logo to your post with a link to the Mixology Monday website, and one to Cardiff Cocktails
4. Lastly comment on this post by clicking here, with a link to your entry, or you can email me at holmeandpub(at)hotmail.co.uk or tweet me on twitter @markholmes16. Do all this by midnight on the 20th may.
So open up your newly bought Drunken Botanist book, get creative and have fun! Cheers, Mark.
This months Mixology Monday we go over to San Francsico and to Rowen, from the blog Fogged In Lounge. The theme for the month is titled ‘Drink Your Vegetables’. Here’s what Rowen had to say
What to get more vegetables but you’re always easting on the run? Maybe you hate vegetables but feel you should get more of them? 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.
For this task I decided to use a romano peppers juice. After seeing Danil Nevsky use a fantastic bell pepper juice in last years Flor De Cana competition, this was a juice I’ve been wanting to recreate it for a while (he also mentioned in a conversation over twitter that he recently had a Harvest Negroni in Amsterdam, which was made using gin infused with frozen peas. I hope someone uses peas this month, and is something which I’ll definitely be playing with soon!). My first initial instinct was it should be tequila based, but after going through a recent patch of loving a nice smokey tequila/mezcal Blood and Sand, I decided a good peaty scotch could work well here.
1 1/2 oz peaty scotch whisky (I used Talisker here)
1 oz romano pepper juice (fresh raw peppers de-seeded and ran through a juice extractor)
3/4 chilli infused Carpano Artica Formula vermouth (2 de-seeded birds eye chillies left in a bottle of vermouth for 2 hours)
3/4 fresh lemon juice
1/4 sugar syrup
Shake and stain into a chilled coupe, no garnish.
The smoke from the peat worked really well with the sweetness of the peppers here, and the chilli vermouth worked wonders for giving it an unusual but welcome spice. Thanks to Rowen for hosting this month and look forwards to seeing other peoples vegetable cocktails
This drink I made to utilise a cardamom tincture I made last week (a tincture being an alcoholic extraction of plant material, in this case cardamom which I cracked and left in high proof vodka for 1 week). Tinctures are great to have handy, and REAL easy to make, and the best thing is you can make them with just about anything. Cardamom has been one of my favourites so far. To compliment the cardamom I’ve used rosewater in a stock syrup, and by using this flavour combination in the structure of a classic John Collins, made a real refreshing drink ideal for the spring (if it ever comes over here!).
Cardamom and Rosewater Collins
50 ml Gin
25 ml Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
12.5 ml Rosewater Syrup (25ml rosewater per cup of sugar syrup)
dash of Cardamom Tincture
dash Peychaud’s Bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled Collins glass and top with soda, garnish with a lemon twist and a few cardamom pods.
This Cocktail was the first cocktail I’ve made using a foam, the idea being that the foam on top compliments the drink underneath - I wanted to create something that would actually aid the experience of the drink, and not just be there for novelty reason. For me foams are definitely one of the more useful (and more approachable to work with) trends to arise from the boom of Molecular Mixology of recent years.
The flavour profile of the drink was based on the Brown Derby from Hollywood Cocktails by Buzza & Cardozo, 1930. For a full history on the drink check out Michael Rooney’s article at his great blog The Liquid Culture Project. The simplicity of the Brown Derby is beautiful, much like that of the Daiquiri, a simple 3 ingredients which just work and work so well.
50 ml Bourbon
25 ml Grapefruit Juice
15 ml Honey Syrup (1:1 honey & hot water)
Shake and strain into a chilled coupe.
building on this flavour profile to create the 30-3 I decided to use the honey in the foam to compliment the grapefruit and whisky below, sweetening it with simple syrup. The foam is then balanced with lemon juice.
The name was to commemorate Wales’ huge Victory over an unbeaten England to win this years 6 Nations (I’ve sold out here as I’m English, but if there’s one thing the Welsh love more than winning the Rugby it’s beating the English, and it sells!)
50 ml Penderyn sherrywood single malt Welsh whisky
25 ml grapefruit juice
15 ml simple syrup
shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, top with a honey and lemon foam.
Honey and lemon foam
200 ml egg white
100 ml fresh lemon juice
50 ml simple syrup
50 ml honey syrup
Add all the ingredients into a cream whipper and charge with 2 NO2 cartridges. Refrigerate for an hour before use.
I thought this months Mixology Monday was a great theme and one in which I totally believe in. Hosted by Scott Diaz at Shake, Strain & Sipthe theme he chose was titled ‘From Crass to Craft’, and focuses on the use of ingredients so many of us (bartenders) now consider, as the title suggests, crass. Here’s a snippet from Scott’s announcement post…
‘The evolution of the cocktail has been a wondrous, and sometimes, frightful journey. From its humble beginning, to the ”Dark Ages” of most of the later 20th century, to the now herald “Platinum
Age” of the cocktail, master mixologists and enthusiasts alike have elevated its grandeur using the best skills, freshest ingredients and craft spirits & liqueurs available. But with all this focus on "craft" ingredients and classic tools & form, it seems we have become somewhat pretentious. The focus on bitter Italian amari, revived and lost ingredients such as Batavia Arrack or Creme de Violette, the snickering at a guest ordering a Cosmopolitan or a Midori Sour; has propelled us into the dark realm of snobbery. Many scratch bars and Speakeasies have gone as far as to remove all vodka and most flavored liqueurs from their shelves. Some even go as far as to post "rules" that may alienate most potential imbibers. Remember, the bar was created with pleasing one particular group in mind: the guest.
The first few things that came to mind when thinking about ‘crass’, was mainly different cocktails I regularly get asked for that wouldn’t be considered as ‘the right thing to drink’, rather than specific ingredients, and one cocktail I get asked a lot for is an Amaretto Sour. Amaretto I thought was a pretty reasonable place to start. I started by mixing a few drinks with some apricot infused bourbon I made last week, with some pretty pleasing results. But in the end I really wanted to make a cocktail that would please a guest who likes an Amaretto Sour, after all it’s for the guest.
With this in mind, I decided to use vodka to give the amaretto the kick it lacks, but with out changing too much of the almond like taste. Just to point out here, I don’t really consider vodka crass, marshmallow vodka yes, but straight unflavoured vodka rightfully deserves its place behind the bar. the main focus here is on amaretto.
Another ingredient I’ve used, but again like the vodka wouldn’t consider crass, is a preserve, more specifically apricot preserve. Using preserves in cocktails is nothing new, Harry Craddock’s Marmalade Cocktail (1930) and Salvatore Calabrese’s Breakfast Martini (2000) both come to mind.
So here it is, my drink for this months Mixology Monday using amaretto as a crass ingredient to craft a more palatable cocktail.
15 ml Disarrano Amaretto
50 ml Vodka
20 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Bar spoon apricot preserve
2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
white of 1 egg
Muddle the cloves with the apricot preserve and vodka. add the rest of the ingredients and dry shake to start emulsifying the egg white. Shake with ice and double strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon twist
Check out the round up post here and a big thanks to Scott for hosting
After a brief spell of not writing anything up due to working on a new menu (and missing last months Mixology Monday), I’m finally getting around to posting the recipe for some Lemongrass bitters I made back in January. These are my first set of bitters and I have to say they came out pretty good. The basic method I used to make them (thanks to Brad Thomas Parson) was to make the bitters in one small batch, rather than making tens of tinctures and blending them (I have plenty of bottles of booze already and to be honest, having an excess amount of mason jars just wouldn’t fit in my flat). For more detail on making bitters check out, If you don’t own it already, Brad Thomas Parsons excellent Book called Bitters.
5 Lemongrass stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped dried citrus peels *
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon prickly ash
1/4 teaspoon cloves
small piece of chenpi
1/2 teaspoon cassia chips
1/4 teaspoon quassia Chips
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
1/4 teaspoon licorice
1/4 teaspoon Zedoray
1 craked tsao-ko
1 Vanilla pod halved and seeds scraped out (use both pod and seeds)
500ml High proof spirit (I used Spiritus - a 95% polish spirit)
2 tablespoons sugar syrup (2:1)
This looks like a lot of ingredients but if you can find Mujur spice from your local Chinese supermarket you’ll save yourself a whole bunch of money and time (Mujur consists of fennel, prickly ash, cloves, chenpi, cassia, bay leaves, anise, licorice, and tsao-ko). The only other unusual items to pick up is your Spiritus, which can be found in most local Polish food shops, and quassia chips, which is an internet job.
*Dried Citrus Peels - Zest and finely chop the peels 3 grapefruit, 8 lemons, 8 limes, and 6 oranges. Preheat the oven and bake for 30 mins at 90 degrees Celsius. Store in an air tight container. This makes about half a pints worth of peel so you wont need to do this again for a long time.
To make the bitters add all the ingredients except the water and sugar in a large mason jar, seal and store at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 2 weeks, shaking daily.
after the 2 weeks strain all the solid through cheesecloth until all the sediment has been separated out, squeezing the solid to expel any excess liquid. seal the liquid in a clean jar and add the solids to a saucepan. To the saucepan add the water and bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes
After the 10 minutes remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Empty the saucepan into a clean mason jar (i.e. not the one with the infusion from earlier), seal and store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight for a further week, shaking once a day.
After the week is up, filter the jar with the solids in as before, and add to the jar with the original solution. This time discard the solids. Add the sugar and shake. Leave this final solution at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 3 days, but do not shake.
After the 3 days are up and the sediment has settled, filter one last time through cheesecloth. now your bitters are ready for bottling.
This cocktail comes from Jerry Thomas’ 1862 cocktail guide ‘How to Mix Drinks or the Bon Vivants Companion’.
3 dashes of Lemongrass bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a couple pieces of lemon peel, discarding one.
It’s mixology monday again and this month it’s being hosted by Jordan Devereaux over at the excellent Chemistry of the Cocktail. He has set the task of using fortified wines such as sherry, port, maderia etc (but not infusions such as vermouths and quinquinas). As Jordan explains over on his announcement post fortified wines have been around for hundreds of years, so I felt it was suitable to choose a drink which predates the cocktail, a drink that was the pinnacle of drinking fashion and one which Harry Johnson called ‘without doubt the most popular drink in the country’ in his 1888 classic Bartender’s Manual…The Sherry Cobbler.
This drink I find fasinating due to that fact it was one of the first drinks to utalise ice, and the small cobbles of ice are most likly the reasoning behind the name. The Cobbler also brought around the necessity of two more new inventions, the straw, and the cobbler shaker (similar to todays more fashionable boston shaker).
Drinks writer/drinks historian David Wondrich explains in Imbibe! that the first documenation of the Sherry Cobbler he has come across dates from 1838, and in 1840 a New York weeky calls it “the greatest ‘liquorary’ invention of the day”.
So here it is, a drink with so much influence on the current cocktail world and one which we so rarely hear about (this recipe is adapted from Jerry Thomas’ 1862 How to Mix drinks, or the Bon Vivants Companion)
4oz Amontillado sherry
1.5 Teaspoon of fine sugar
2 slices or orange
muddle the flesh of the oranges with the raspberries and sugar, adding a litle water to dissolve. Add the sherry and crushed ice, shake and pour unstrained into a large bar glass. Garnish with a couple fresh orange slices and straws.
This cocktail is a result of playing around with new bottle of Edmond Briottet Rhubarbe Liqueur I bought the other day, and also double as my entry into the Pink Pigeon (a vanilla infused rum from Mauritius) competition. This also comes with help from bartender Chris Lewis over at Browns Cardiff, who bounced off ideas and mixed up the different drinks. After a few failed attempts at grasshopper twists, and borderline rhubarb daiquiris (both which just plain didn’t work) we ended up with this flip, which I must say I rather enjoyed.
The name came after I posted my dismay of trying to name cocktails on twitter. with broad suggestions of names such as Irie Rhubarb Flip through to John, I ended with Jens Kerger's, of Pinta Cocktail bar, random suggestion of Caribbean Nut Shot. Odd I know, but after hitting a wall, it humoured me.
25 ml Vanilla spiced Rum
25 ml Rhubarb Liqueur
5 ml Rich Demerara sugar syrup
1 whole fresh egg
Dry shake the egg to start emulsification and to break up the yolk. Add the rest of the ingredients, shake hard with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Un-garnished and un-tarnished.
Having received a beautiful punch bowl from Amy for Christmas I thought it would almost be rude not to post a recipe capable of filling it. For this punch I turned to David Wondrich’s (the absolute king of Punch and other historical drinks) book on Punch. The recipe I adapted was James Ashley’s Punch, a recipe Wondrich sourced from Grub Street Journal, January 1736.
This is a simple Punch to prepare, with pretty much all the work being done while preparing and bottling the shrub. Once this is bottled it’s as simple as it gets. For this Punch I give the recipe using 1 whole bottle of spirit.
Cosy Orange Punch
700 ml Bottle of Brandy
700 ml Bottle of Orange, Clementine, and Lemon Shrub
700 ml Bottle of Mineral Water
Pour ingredients into the punch bowl, add a large block of ice and grate nutmeg over the top. Be warned, this punch goes down very easy.
Orange, Clementine, and Lemon Shrub
For every bottle of shrub you plan to make, take the peel, avoiding as much pith as possible, of 2 Seville oranges (sometimes called bitter oranges, the kind you use for making marmalade), 1 Clementine, and 1 lemon. Save the fruits for latter. To the peel add half a pint (1 cup) of light raw sugar and muddle until the sugar starts to absorb the oil from the peel. let stand for 1 hour. This is your oleo-saccharum.
To this oleo-saccharum add 500 ml of hot water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Squeeze and strain 200 ml of the juice from the fruit reserved earlier, squeeze more if necessary. Chill, bottle, and refrigerate ready for use.
I have to give credit to everyone at Measure and Stir for this one. Having played with beer in cocktails before, it never really inspired me (the best results I got where from a syrup I made using oak aged Innis and Gunn). However after reading the cocktails they made during their beer week, I thought I’d give it another go. Glad to say the result was rather pleasing. The beer I chose to use was a stout (more accurately a porter), and more precisely Bath Ales Darkside. If unavailable substitute Guinness here.
1 1/2 oz Tequila
3/4 oz lime
1/2 oz kahlua
1/2 oz Dark Caramel syrup
3 oz Porter
Dash Angostura bitters
For a bit of theatre I like to ‘throw’ this drink by passing it back and forward from a ice filled tankard and another empty tankard, keeping the ice in place with a julep strainer. Here’s Charlotte Voisey showing us how it’s done on the excelent Small Screen Network. Serve in a half pint tankard with ice and a lime twist.
Dark Caramel Syrup
Here’s a great guide to making caramel syrup by Darcy O’Neil from Art of Drink
In all honestly I love christmas. It does have its minor annoyances, but the positives far out weigh the negatives, and one positive for me is all the wonderful flavours we get to enjoy to get us through the cold days. After mixing up Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Clyde Common Egg Nog for a few friends the other night (who after initially turning their noses up to the idea, smashed through the whole batch in no time at all) I wanted to make my own Egg Nog or Flip, and here’s the end result…
25 ml Jamaican Rum
15 ml Oloroso Sherry
15 ml Walnut orgeat*
20 ml Date juice**
20 ml Whole milk
1 Whole fresh egg
Dry shake the egg to emulsify, shake the rest with ice and strain into a chilled glass, garnish with a grating of at least 70% cocoa chocolate
Not technically orgeat (orgeat is, in the easiest term, an almond sugar syrup) due to the fact it’s not made from almonds but walnuts, but the word describes the process of making the walnut syrup well. The method I used was the same as Darcy O’Neils orgeat, but substituting walnuts for almonds and can be found by clicking here.
Blend 1 cup of dates with 2 cups of milk, strain and bottle. easy.
This cocktail I’ve made based on a request from my brother-in-law to use Dr Pepper in a drink. Instead of using Dr Pepper as it is, it’s been reduced by 3/4 to give it a thicker consistency and more intense flavour (Don’t worry Matt it’s easy - heat in a pan until reduced to 1/4 of it’s original volume), a similar idea to a cocktail by Brad Thomas Parsons in which he reduces coca cola to use in his Fernet & coke.
I’ve also noticed a run of rum cocktails, but I know he likes rum, so one more and I’ll promise to change the base spirit next time.
What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
50 ml Dark Rum (I used Gosling’s Black Seal here)
25 ml Dr Pepper Reduction
20 ml Fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled glass, garnish with a lemon twist.
Mixology Monday - Last Christmas in Club Tropicana
It’s less than 3 weeks till Christmas and for those of us who work in hospitality, that means unimaginably long weeks, slaving over God knows how many pots of mulled wine, Wham!’s last Christmas 8 times a day, and everybody’s favourite inexperienced drinker who for some reason thinks their Christmas party means drink as much as they can on the bosses tab and act like a dick. Rant over. That however fittingly brings me on to this months Mixology Monday.
The (anti)seasonal theme this month is ‘Humbug!’ and has been chosen by JFL over at Rated R Cocktails. Designed to bring out our inner Grinch, we’re mixing drinks in the spirit of anti-Christmas.
For me, here in Wales, Christmas is cold. It’s all about mulled wine/cider, Sherry, Eggnogs, and toddies. So going against all of that I set out to make the most tropical drink I could; I thought Seychelles, the Maldives, and Mauritius and went from there. So next time the Christmas shopping or bad weather gets you down, mix up one of these and think white beaches, rather than white Christmas.
Last Christmas in Club Tropicana
40 ml spiced rum
10 ml lychee liqueur
15 ml grapefruit and star anise sherbet (see below)
20 ml Green tea
20 ml fresh squeezed lime juice
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled glass, garnish with cinnamon, star anise, and a lime twist.
Grapefruit & Star anise Sherbet
First remove the peel of a grapefruit (I used a red grapefruit) taking away as little of the pith as possible. muddle the peel with 1/2 cup of sugar and a couple of star anise and let sit for an hour (this is called an oleo saccharum). To make a sherbet combine the oleo saccharum with the juice of the grapefruit (should be about 1/2 a cup).
I’m not even going to bother going into the history of Punch. David Wondrich has an entire book on it, and is far more literate than myself. I will however show you a neat little technique I saw a bartender from The Voodoo Rooms (sorry, I forget her name) use to infuse smoke into a drink, without the need to purchase a smoke gun. With only 2 days until December, it seems appropriate to share this nice little festive twist on the Milk Punch. The basic formula of such can be found in Jerry Thomas’ 1988 How to Mix Drinks or The Bon Vivant’s Companion.
Cinnamon Smoked Milk Punch
1 1/2 oz Brandy
3/4 oz Rum
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup
3 oz Milk
To infuse the smoke, burn a cinnamon stick until it lights then place it on a plate underneath a Boston tin. Add all the ingredients above into a Boston glass, add ice, and then quickly using the smoked filled tin, cap, shake and strain. Finish with a grating of nutmeg.
Here’s the second cocktail I’ll be making at the Angostura Cocktail Challenge a week Thursday. Designed around the flavour profile of the Angostura 1824, the bitters this time take a back seat compared to the rum, with the honey, vanilla and chocolate all helping to try and pull the flavours out.
The cocktail itself is a twist on the swizzle, a sour drink originating in the Caribbean and characterised by its preparation. Built with crushed ice it is mixed using a branch from a Quararibea Turbinata tree, or swizzle stick, which is submerged in the drink and rubbed between both hands. Although I do own a collection of toby jugs, Like most people I don’t own a stick from a Quararibea Turbinata tree - so instead I used a bar spoon… Here is the basic formula for a swizzle.
2 oz spirit
1/2 oz Lemon or lime juice
1/4 oz Sugar syrup
I’ve named my swizzle after Malcolm Barcant, who is know for his collection and research on the some what vast butterfly collection in Trinidad and Tobago. There are 623 know butterflies on the islands and is also the symbol which graces the Angostura’s rum collection.
50ml Angosrura 1824
10ml Honey mix (1:1 runny honey to water)
20ml Fresh squeezed lime juice
5 dashes Agostura aromatic bitters
2 drops Vanilla extract
10ml dark creme de cacao
swizzle in a rocks glass with crushed ice. Express orange oils over drink and garnish with an orange peel butterfly.
Thanks again to Mixology Monday for getting me into gear. This months topic has been hosted by Joseph Tkach over at Measure and Stir, an awesome blog centred around some awesome craft mixology. The topic he chose is titled ‘Garnish Grandiloquence’ and if you didn’t somehow guess it’s all about ‘the art of the garnish’. Joseph sets the task of ‘mixing up drinks where the garnish plays a central role in the experience of the drink’.
The drink which I have chose to make is not an original, but it caught my attention in Harry Johnson’s 1888 book ‘New and Improved Bartenders Manual’. Although not the first print of the recipe (one can be found in Jerry Thomas’ How to mix drinks or the bon vivants companion back in 1862, and I’m sure there are probably earlier prints) but it was this picture which made me chose it…
(picture from New and improved Bartenders Manual, H. Johnson, 1888)
If that isn’t a good garnish then I don’t know what is.
The drink itself seems to be a simplified version of Punch A La ford, a punch which Jerry Thomas quotes from Benson E. Hill’s 1842 The Epicure’s Almanac, who in turns credits the punch to ‘The late General Ford, who for many years was the commanding engineer at Dover’. But I digress.
It also could be a variation of Punch A La Romaine, a similar punch as above but with the addition of meringue, and a topic I’ll leave for another day (Although for an amazing history on Punch check out David Wondrich’s Punch; The delights (and dangers) of the flowing bowl, which personally I couldn’t put down). So without further ado here’s the recipe I used for my Roman Punch…
1 oz Jamaican Rum
1 oz brandy
1/4 oz Curacao
1/4 oz Sugar syrup (1:1)
1/4 oz Raspberry syrup
1/2 oz Fresh lemon juice
Stir well with crushed ice using a spoon and decorate with fruits in season, here I used an orange slice, pineapple slice, blueberries, blackberries, grapes and strawberries. Serve with straws and a spoon.
I really enjoyed this drink, and it made a pretty good snack as well. If you haven’t tried mixing rum and brandy before I highly recommend it.
When I first joined the on-line cocktail world back in June I came across Mixology Monday, a monthly cocktail challenge which is set by a different cocktail enthusiast and blogger, with their own new theme each time. It was what convinced me to stop being lazy and set up a blog myself, so a quick thanks to Paul Clarke is in order, because if it wasn’t for his idea, I wouldn’t be doing this today. So here it is…my first Mixology Monday.
This months theme, Bein’ Green, was chosen by Ed over at Wordsmithing Pantagruel blog. For this one I’ve decided to tie in a little history about the medicinal use of alcohol, and how we’ve got to where we are now in terms of herbal liqueurs such as the Green Chartreuse which I’ve used in my cocktail.
Although probably all early civilizations produce fermented drinks, it was in Greece sometime before 460 B.C. where herbs were first mixed with wine. However it wasn’t until the 7th century when Islamic Universities recognised the uses of alcohol for medicinal purposes. Two Persians, Geber (in the 8th century) and Rhazes (10th century), would develop distillation, using it to concentrate alcohol to be taken as an anaesthetic. Later in the 10th century a man named Abulcasis described the use of distilled alcohol as a solvent for drugs.
Between the 12th and 14th centuries alchemists across Europe experimented with distilling different fermented items, but medicines continued to be given as infusions with water and decoctions of single herbs. Two Spanish alchemists in the 13th century, Arnold of Villanove and Raymond Lully, started to make spirits using wine (today we know it as brandy) as a solvent for medicine, which would latter be used as medicine by itself and eventually recreationally. At the same time in the UK and northern Europe whiskey was being produced by distilling fermented grain.
It was in the 16th century however when a German-Swiss physician/botanist called Paracelsus really popularised the use of distilled alcohol as a solvent for herbs and chemicals to produced tinctures. These Elixirs became extreamly popular across Europe, especially with monasteries, and began to become more and more complex, often using over 100 different herbs and spices. Most of these Elixirs were very bitter, and used as a digestive before meals, some where sweetened and are still being sold today. It is this physician I’ve named my cocktail after, after all without his work in the medical field we probably wouldn’t be able to enjoy liqueurs such as Benedictine and Chartreuse.
Going back to the whole point of this post, here is my Bein’ Green cocktail. I’ve used a splash of Pernod and a home made mint syrup to compliment all the wonderful herbaceous flavours of the green Chartreuse, oh and they were all green so it just seemed to make sense.
The wonderful Matthew Jones of Browns in Cardiff popped into work to say hello last night. Returning that day from a holiday in France, he arrived with a bottle of absinthe, crème de peche, calavdos, and a rather bohemian looking bottle of armagnac based passion fruit flavoured liqueur. Happy days.
The First cocktail we mixed up was The Delicious Sour, although we used a slight variation on the original ingredients but hey, we just got 4 new bottles of booze and we planned on making the most of them. The Delicious Sour is a recipe which dates from 1892 and is found in The Flowing Bowl by William Schmidt, a highly celebrated bartender from New york, producing his finest work at the turn of the 20th century. Schmidt’s book produces some exquisite cocktails and some rather…well, peculiar ones, this one however, as the name suggests, was delicious.
The Delicious Sour
2 oz applejack
1 oz peach brandy
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 egg white
1 teaspoon sugar
shake all but the soda in a shaker with no ice to start emulsification. Shake with ice and strain into goblet or large cocktail glass, top with soda. Garnish with an apple wheel.
For our sour we used Simon Difford’s variation; we subsituted the applejack with calvados, the peach brandy with crème de peche and cut the amount down by half, finally exchanging the lime for lemon. A number of differences, but I’d definitely take another one, no matter which way it came.
This recipe for the Blue Moon comes form a book called Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies’ Companion, 1941 (I know this because of a wonderful book titled Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, by Ted Haigh). However this is not the first recipe. The Blue Moon appears first in Hugo Ensslin’s Recipe for Mixed Drinks, 1917, but uses dry vermouth in lieu lemon juice and adds orange bitters. I prefer Gaige’s.
A cocktail with a similar name, The Blue Train can be found in the Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930, which consists of gin, Cointreau, lemon and 1 dash of blue vegetable extract - essentially a White Lady with dye. I’m going stick with this one…
The Blue Moon
2 oz gin
1/2 oz Creme Yvette (I used Creme de Violette)
1/2 oz Fresh lemon juice
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
After getting through to the finals of the Angostura cocktail Challenge (which takes part in a few weeks, and to say I wasn’t nervous for my first competition would be a massive understatement) I’ve decided there’s no harm in going for some more. This one I’m entering into ‘The Grand 7 Florita Cocktail Competition 2012’.
The inspiration for this has really come from two fantastic cocktail enthusiasts. The first one is a blog called the Savoy Stomp by Erik Ellestad. A great blog where Ellestad is working his way through all 750 drinks in the Savoy Cocktail book. It was after reading about the drinks he made using Kola tonic, that I thought I wanted to do a sort of Cuba Libre style cocktail, but keeping it classic. The second was a video of Tristan Stephenson making a Wormwood vodka Martini - topping it off with an Absinthe air made using Lecithin and a fish tank pump. Using this method I’ve topped the cocktail of with a foam to compliment the cocktail (in this case a coconut foam to compliment the Flor de Cana 7 yr Grand Reserve) to try and give the illusion of a fizzy cola. To top the cola theme off I’ve served it in an old glass cola bottle.
50ml Flor de Cana 7 yr Grand Reserve
20ml Fresh Lime Juice
20ml Claytons Kola Tonic
12.5ml Sugar Syrup (2:1)
Shake the first 4 ingredients with ice and fine strain into an old chilled glass cola bottle.
5ml Fresh Lime Juice
1g Lecithin (Lecithin is a soya bean extract which is traditionally used as a food supplement. Lecithin however is here being used as a stabiliser for the foam and can be found at most health food stores)
for the foam mix the Malibu, Lime, Lecithin and water using a fish tank pump. pour the foam over the cocktail in the cola bottle.
Serve in the botle with a cocktail glass and a lemon twist.
Cobblers, now out of fashion, were at their peak of popularity during the mid 1800’s. Consisting of a base (generally a form of wine, the original being that of sherry), sugar, and fresh fruit. What made the cobbler so popular at the time was the original use of ice, from which the drink got its name, and a straw - the paper straw wasn’t patented until 1888 & it appears we have the cobbler to thank.
Here’s the basic original formula for a cobbler
4 oz of spirit/wine
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 to 3 slices of orange
Shake well with crushed ice, garnished with berries in season, and imbibe with a straw. This sweet drink when made well is balanced by the acidity and tannins present in the wine.
For my take on a cobbler I’ve added citrus, which I guess technically means it’s no longer a cobbler. However its the principle which I have based it on and one to which I’ll pay homage to.
1 1/2 oz Brandy (I used v.s.)
2 1/2 oz Shiraz Red Wine
1 oz Amaretto
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Shake with ice and strain over crushed ice into a large chilled wine glass. Garnish with seasonal berries, a mint sprig and a couple of straws. To arrange my berries I made a basket of ice by compressing crushed ice in a Mexican elbow.
When I read about the painkiller and about how the bartenders would grate Viagra tablets onto the drink, the child in me decided to make it. Viagra included. According to tiki archaeologist Jeff Berry the drink was created by George and Marie Myrick of the Soggy Dollar Bar in 1971. A quick word on the bar…situated on the picturesque island of Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands, the island lacks a dock. So to get to the bar, you have to swim. The bar does however have a clothes line for customers to hang their soggy dollars, hence the name. This is a bar I’ve added to my bucket list.
The Painkiller is now trademarked by Pusser’s Rum, which means to sell a Painkiller and call it a Painkiller Pusser’s Rum must be used. I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of trademarking drinks. Not today.
4 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz cream of coconut
1 oz fresh orange juice
2 1/2 oz Pusser’s rum
Shake with crushed ice and pour unstrained into a chilled cocktail glass (Pusser’s do an awesome mug in which they serve theirs. I unfortunately don’t own one. Garnish with fresh ground nutmeg. Tiki being tiki I garnished mine with ground and whole cinamon, an orange wheel and a pineapple wedge. oh yer and ground up Viagra.
Here’s my entry for the Angostura Cocktail Challenge 2013. The drink backbone is based on Trader Vic’s fog cutter, which I chose because I wanted to make a drink which incorporated gin and rum (looking for a British/tiki crossover). I’ve also had a weird obsession with toby jugs for a while now, and I’ve wanted to use them as cocktail mugs from the start, giving me that extra little bit of British influence I was looking for.
Ingredients wise I’d been wanting to make my own bitters heavy cocktail for a while, after making Giuseppe Gonzalez’s (Clover Club, New York, USA) absolutely wonderful Trinidad sour along with a few of Jamie Boudreau’s (Cannon, Seatle, USA) Bitters heavy concoctions. Thankfully Angostura gave me the perfect excuse to stop being lazy and do so.
37.5ml Light Rum
12.5ml Plymouth Navy Strength Gin
50ml Fresh squeezed lemon juice
25ml Fresh squeezed Orange juice
25ml Orgeat syrup
12.5ml Angostura aromatic bitters to float
shake the first five ingredients with crushed ice and pour unstrained into a toby jug. Float Angostura bitters and garnish with an orange wheel and mint sprig.
This is the drink I find myself ordering the most, and also the one which I so often suggest to the indecisive drinker. Its simplicity, yet perfect balance is just sublime. Here I’ll show how to make the perfect daiquiri, and a few twists on the classic, but first we’ll start with the history…
The man behind the creation of the daiquiri was an American engineer named Jennings Stockton Cox. Cox was working in the Sierra Maestra Mountains in south-eastern Cuba, leading an exploration for Iron-ore in 1898, near a village called Daiquiri. Well paid, with good rations of tobacco and Bacardi Carta Blanca, Cox started to experiment, making drinks with what ingredients Cuba had to offer- rum, lime, and sugar. Another account suggests that cox made the drink while entertaining American guest and ran out of gin, not wanting to serve straight rum he created the mix of rum, lime and sugar.
The first print of the Daiquiri was in Basil Woon’s 1928 book titled When It’s Cocktail time in Cuba, and documents the christing of the Daiquiri…
'The boys used to have three or four every morning. Most of the worked in the Daiquiri mines, the superintendent of which was a gentleman named Cox - Jennings Cox. One morning in the venus Cox said; “Boys, we've been drinking this delicious little drink for some time, but we've never named it. Let's christen it now!” The boys milled around a bit and finally Cox said: “I'll tell you what, lads - we all work at Daiquiri and we all drank this drink first there. Let's call it a Daiquiri.”'
The original recipe can also be found in Cox’s personal dairy, a rarely well documented origin one of today’s classic cocktails. It calls for “The juice of six lemons; Six teaspoons full of sugar; Six Bacardi cups (‘Carta Blanca’); Two small cups of mineral water; Plenty of crushed ice”. This serves six. The fact that Cox calls for lemons is due to the fact that in Cuba limes are named `limóns. In 1898 lemons in cuba were almost unheard of, yet limes abundant.
In 1948 David A. Embury released his seminal Book Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, in which he produced a superior method of mixing a Diaquiri using a ratio of 8:2:1 of rum,lime and sugar respectively. Embury also suggests using a sugar syrup as caster sugar does not readily dissolve in alcohol, and to add dilution he suggest to ‘Shake vigorously with plenty of finely crushed ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glasses’. This makes a great daiquiri, but not perfect…
More recently Simon Difford suggested ‘a small increase in the lime but in proportion to a similar small increase in the rum’ leads to a more balanced daiquiri, a ratio of 10:3:2 (however he still prefers Embury’s ratio when using aged rum). Difford also prefers a more precise dilution which he obtains by shaking ‘with large cubes of double frozen ice taken from a freezer with the addition of 1/2 shot iced water’. Shake vigorously.
So there you have it, the Daiquiri, created by Cox, perfected by Difford
2 1/2 oz Bacardi
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz sugar syrup (2:1)
1/2 oz chilled mineral water (only use if you have the luxury of double frozen ice)
Shake with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, garnish with a lime wedge
Click the links below to see a few daiquiri twists.
This recipe I found from the Difford’s guide which they discovered from the Bellagio, Las Vagas. A slightly sweet daiquiri, this is a great drink for customers who don’t appreciate their drinks on the tart side.
Bella Donna Daiquiri
1 1/2 oz Gosling’s black seal rum
1 oz Amaretto
1/2 oz lemon
1/4 oz sugar syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cinnamon rimmed cocktail glass. Here I garnished with a cinnamon stick instead of the rimmed glass.
This cocktail is named after one of my favourite beaches to visit in South Wales, and an acknowledgement to the dark days of smuggling. It’s no secret that in the early 18th century the British coasts where rife with pirates and smugglers. Ogmore River more specifically was a perfect way to transport contraband to nearby Bridgend. Allegedly when the New Inn, situated on the Ogmore River, was demolished a cave big enough to hide a whole ships cargo was found underneath the kitchen - along with a graveyard in the garden where the smugglers had berried many of their unfortunate victims.
To make my sour I have chosen to use Phillips of Baths Shrub Cordial. The shrub is based on recipes dating back to 1739, during the height of rum smuggling in the UK, and was used to hide the bitterness of sea water which may have entered the barrels of smuggled rum when undertaking its journey from boat to shore.
2 oz aged rum
1 oz Phillips Shrub Cordial
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 egg white
1/2 oz sugar syrup (1:1)
Dry shake the first five ingredients to start the emulsification of the egg, then shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass. I used a mister the spray Angostura onto the top of the cocktail as I was trying to stencil a skull and crossbones. It didn’t work. I’ll have to try that one again and I’ll upload the photo when I get it nailed. I also garnished the glass with a piece of driftwood I found at Ogmore itself.
Here’s a cocktail I’ve made while enjoying all the success we’ve been having at the Olympics. Named for Dai Greene who will be running the 400m hurdles for Great Britain later this evening, it’s essentially based on a green coloured daiquiri, fitting no?
4-5 kaffir lime leaves
2 oz aged rum
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz crème de menthe
scant 1/2 oz sugar syrup (about 10ml)
Shake the first 5 ingredients with ice and fine strain into a absinthe washed chilled coupe, garnished with kaffir lime leaves. Good luck Greene!
This is my version of a cold flip. The earliest version of a cold flip (opposed to a hot flip which pre-dates 1700) can be found in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 How to Mix Drinks or the Bon Vivants Companion, and consists of one wineglass of spirit, one whole egg, a teaspoon of powdered sugar, garnished with a grating of nutmeg. The addition of the whole egg is what makes this drink special for me, giving the drink a rich eggnog flavour, and giving rise to the wonderful looking froth and silky, foamy texture.
To give my flip some originality I delved back in to Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks, and found a recipe for an English Bishop..
'Stick an orange full of cloves, and roast it before a fire. When brown enough, cut it in quarters, and pour over it a quart of hot port wine, add sugar to the taste; let the mixture simmer for half an hour.'
Click here for my more detailed recipe for making an English Bishop. All that was left was to mix it up.
1 1/2 oz Brandy
1 oz English Bishop
1/4 oz sugar syrup (1:1)
1 whole egg
Dry shake to start emulsifying the egg, then shake with ice. Strain into a flip glass if you own one, if not like me, choose any you desire. Dust with a grating of nutmeg… makes one fine desert cocktail.
Felt I had to make this drink. It looked so similar to the Missionary’s Downfall, a drink which I have posted the recipe, and which can be found in the same book- Jeff Berry’s 2010 Remixed - A Gallery of TikiDrinks. This however is an original from Berry, created in 2005, which he describes as a ‘semi-frozen, semi-deconstructed Mojito’ and a drink with a bit more novelty than the classic.
The deconstruction comes in the form of the mint syrup, which you can find out how to make by clicking here.
My idea for this cocktail was to create a drink in honour of Auguste Escoffier. Born in 1846 and referred to as the “King of Chefs and Chef of Kings”, Escoffier was a legendary chef who was hugely responsible for the development of French cuisine as we know it. Apart from his excelence in haute cuisine, he also brought discipline into the kitchen through his ‘brigade de cuisine’ hierarchy, which is still being used to organise kitchens today. If that wasn’t enough he then went and wrote the pivotal 1903 Le Guide Culinaire, one of the greatest culinary textbooks every written.
More specifically the cocktail is a homage to Escoffier’s Peach Melba, and was also a great way to use a shrub I’d been meaning make. Click here to find out how to make a shrub.
A recipe for The Brazilian Lady was given to me by the awesome Alex Dann of Peppermint, Cardiff the other day. As the name suggests it’s his homage to the White Lady, a drink with a lot of history, so much I thought I’d get this one out the way first, and give the recipe for Alex’s Brazilian Lady next.
The White Lady was created first by Harry McElhone in 1919 while he was doing a stint at Ciro’s Club in London, and consisted of Cointreau, crème de menthe, and lemon juice - hardly the most appealing cocktail.
Here’s a Don the Beachcomber recipe to celebrate all the faux-Polynesian tiki bars popping up around Cardiff, before long we’ll all be sipping Navy Grog and drinking out of treasure chest. No complaints from me. It’s another one of which I found in Jeff Burry’s Remixed a Gallery of Tiki Drinks, 2010, although this time it was not name that drew me to make this.
With the earliest recipe dating from 1937, Berry points out that the Missionary’s Downfall is a drink far ahead of its time. It is only recently that bar tenders have again began to experiment with herbs and spices, and the lost skills of such influential tiki bartenders, like that of Donn Beach, have been rediscovered.
Published in 1937 in the Cafe Royal Bar Book (the unofficial recipe book of the United Kingdom Bartender’s Guide), the twentieth century cocktail’s roots seem firmly planted as a variation of the Corpse Reviver #2. For me, looking down the list of ingredients meant I simply had to make this drink, and I’m glad to say, I wasn’t dissapointed.
It was definitely the name of this cocktail which caught my attention while flicking through Jeff Berry’s 2010 Remixed - A Gallery Of Tiki Drinks. Berry credits the drink to the Palm Spring Don The Beachcomber’s 1953.
The drink is named after a German physician who worked in Samoa called Bernard Funk. Awesome name aside, Dr. Funk created a ‘stiff drink of absinthe with lemonade or limeade’. A basis on which the drink obviously credits, so here’s to Dr. Funk.
I find jelly fascinating, the fact that you can set any liquid into a wobbly solid jelly opens itself to a whole new world of experiments. Gelatin, the magic ingredient, is a processed form of collagen (a protein found in animals), made from grinding usually pig and cow skin and bones with acids or bases and then boiled. The gelatin is then skimmed of the top.
Dissolving gelatin in hot water breaks the bonds which hold the collagen protein chains together, and once cooled it will form bonds between the amino acids in the protein. The liquid in which the gelatin is cooled gets trapped between these polymer chains as they become more secure, producing the jelly.
Another simple, well balanced drink that I just love to drink. Originating from Hugo Ensslin 1917’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks, the drink contained gin, fresh lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and crème de violette.
However most Aviations ordered today lack the use of crème de violette, mainly due to its availability, even Harry Craddock drops the use of the liqueur in his 1930’s masterpiece the Savoy Cocktail book.
The first published recipe for the Last Word comes in Ted Saucier’s Bottoms up! cocktail book, however it is credited to Frank Fogerty who worked as a stand up comedian at the Detroit Athletic Club in the 1920’s. After falling into oblivion sometime in the first half of the last century it was rediscovered in 2004 by Murry Stenson of the Zig Zag Cafe, Seattle. And thank God he did…
Right. My first recipe blog…best make it a good one. For this one I’ve called upon my favourite ’hair of the dog’ cocktail, the wonderfully named Corpse Reviver #2.
The first Corpse Reviver was published in 1895 within Drinks of All Kinds, but has subsequently become more of a class of drink, rather than a single recipe. The Second in the series of the ‘Reviver’ drinks, and the one I give the recipe for, was originally published in Harry Craddock’s 1930s Savoy Cocktail book. This by far my most preferred reviver/hangover cure, with Craddock quoting ‘Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again’. Well said.