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.
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…
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.
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?
Shake and strain into a chilled glass, garnish with a lemon twist.
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
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
Blend with crushed ice and pour unstrained into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a mint sprig.
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
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.
Matt enjoying The Delicious Sour
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Grilled Pineapple Curacao Daiquiri