Wolverines! : The Red Dawn Cocktail

Red DawnRed Dawn

I named this little number after the movie but really it’s like a sunrise in a couple of respects.

6 oz Orange juice
1.5 oz Vodka
1 oz Grenadine
1.5 oz Cherry Liqueur

In tall glass with ice pour the ingredients over the back of a spoon similar to a float.  Start with Cherry, then grenadine, then vodka, then OJ.

Don’t stir or shake.

This isn’t a super advanced drink but it does carry some nice fruitiness in a morning beverage.

AM drinking really should be simple, you’ve just woken up and I’m not one to break out the shaker at the crack of noon.

The Graduate

The Graduate

When my girlfriend’s sister had her graduation from her master’s program we all went to a big party at her house.  To commemorate the occasion I created this drink.

The Graduate

1 oz Whipped Cream Vodka
0.5 oz Galliano
0.5 oz Ginger Liqueur
0.5 oz Crema Limoncello
3 oz Orange Juice
1 egg white

Shake over ice very vigorously, expect froth.  Strain into coupe glass.

Functionally this is an upgrade of a simple screwdriver but there is so much more going on in this glass that the origin drink might as well be waving from the horizon.

You will notice that there is an egg in there.  This is a very classic thing for cocktails.  Egg white is the ultimate emulsifier and there is almost nothing in nature that comes close to the effect it has on things.  Make sure you’re using pasteurized eggs or eggs from a source you can trust.  I get a dozen eggs every couple of weeks from my mother who keeps her own chickens, but you can get them from the store pasteurized for not much difference in price.  If you must do this without eggs you’ll get much the same flavor, but without the textural component.

This drink is like a silky smooth Orange Julius.  Or a very funky creamcicle.  Galliano for those who aren’t familiar is a vanilla liqueur which is very heavy in spices, particularly anise.  Combined with the bite on this ginger that I bought from New Deal Distillery you get a complex and very very satisfying drink.

Are you trying to seduce me Mrs. Robinson?

 

The Glazed Jelly Donut: Drink Review

I ordered this drink at the Jolly Roger in John’s Landing.  On the menu it was called a Glazed Jelly Donut and while the name is apt it’s not really a description of the taste.

The drink was constructed in the glass with ice and looks to comprise:

1.5 oz 360 Glazed Donut Vodka
1 oz Svedka Raspberry Vodka
Fill glass with club soda, add splash of cream

Flavor wise the drink was great for about the first two sips.  Once I had a chance to stir it up a bit the entire thing when flat and watery.

I can see why this isn’t shaken, the club soda would fizz out and you’d have a mess to clean up.  But in the glass this isn’t anything fancy.

It could be that the bartender wasn’t familiar with the drink, or it could just be a badly constructed drink.  I think there is potential here but it needs some effort.

If I were going to make this at home I would do the following.

1.5 oz 360 Glazed Donut Vodka
1 oz Clear Creek Raspberry Liqueur
Splash of cream
3-5 Raspberries

In bar glass, muddle raspberries.  Add alcohol ingredients, shake with ice.  Strain into chilled glass, float cream on top.

Enjoy folks.

Wild Lime Soda

Contest Entry

 

This was a drink I did as a contest entry.  It contains:

1.5 oz Aviation Gin
6 oz Dry Wild Lime Soda
2 dashes orange bitters
Garnish with Lime wedge

Not bad, but as I’ve observed before the flavor in the Dry sodas is light and doesn’t hold well with gin.  I think a vodka might work better with them but I’m not tempted to experiment more than what I already have just based on the way they combine.

Blood Opal

blood opal

An Opal Cocktail is a fairly basic drink

1.5 oz Gin
0.5 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Orange Juice
2 dashes orange bitters

A bit more complex than a screwdriver and with a nice sipping quality for earlier in the day.

My own variation comes out of a desire to play with the new Dry Sodas I found at the grocery store.

The opening portion of this is the same we simply replace the orange juice with one of their Dry Blood Orange sodas and garnish with a lemon wheel.

I liked the opening smells on this.  The orange from the cointreau and the drink are both there and the lemon gives a bit more sweetness.

I think on reflection I used too much soda.  The dry sodas are only lightly sweet being much more in the realm of a flavored sparkling water than a soda.  The lack means that they soak pretty much every other flavor out much like club soda would.  I filled the glass there but I think 2-3 oz would be more than enough to get this where you want it.

I reworked it again to try some other things.  I started by muddling the lemon in the glass with the bitters, then shake the cointreau which I upped to a full ounce with the gin and add to the glass, add soda and then stir a bit.

Much better with more lemon in it but the soda is still a flatline compared to something like campari.

Eris’ Kiss

The great goddess Eris was the only one of the Olympians not invited to the wedding party on Mount Olympus.  Eris is the goddess of discord and Zeus was probably thinking that if she showed there would be problems.  He was half right.  Turns out, she was going to cause problems in any case, and in this particular event she threw a golden apple into the punch bowl, right in front of three of the most haughty and jealous goddesses.

That golden apple was inscribed Kallisti, which in greek means “To the Prettiest one.”  The ensuing scuffle and the rather tragi-comicly fickle nature of Greek Divinities resulted in the trojan war, Homer’s odyssey and the eventual downfall of anything named Paris.

Eris promptly forgot her prank, (such is the nature of chaos) and went to console herself by eating a hotdog.  It is in honor of the Goddess Eris that on Friday all proper Discordians consume a Hot dog,  this Devotive Ceremony is to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns).

On this particular Friday, in the consumption of your hot dog, I humbly suggest the following cocktail to wash it down.

Eris’ Kiss

2oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Sour Mix
1/2 oz Amaretto
1/2 oz Apple Juice

Shake over ice, serve in an old fashioned glass, garnish with lemon peel and maraschino Cherry

The mix is sweet without being cloying, the sourness mostly overtaken by the sweetness of apple and amaretto.  Be careful in your selection of amaretto, some are not much better than syrups.

Even False things?
All things are True.

Hail Eris!

Amaretto Sour

Asour1

There are numerous examples of things which have been classified as “chick-drinks”.  The moniker has probably been around as long as drinking itself when it was felt that women couldn’t handle the kind of hard drinking that men preferred.  This is nonsense of course, but that didn’t stop the Victorians on down from relegating women to things like wine-spritzers instead of the really hard stuff.

I do have friends who prefer drinks where the flavors of alcohol are muted or absent.  Picking drinks where there is little to no hard alcohol, or replacing it with liqueurs is one sure way to ensure that they’re not put off by a concoction.

Perhaps the king of those type of drinks is the Amaretto Sour.  Where many casual drinkers run for the soda fountain to mask their libations, I personally started out with these.   At 24% ABV amaretto isn’t exactly topping the charts and cut in half with sour mix you’re topping a heavy wine or a hefty microbrew for punch.

Amaretto Sour:

1.5 oz Amaretto
2 oz Sour Mix
Add ice, Stir, Garnish with Maraschino Cherry.

 

Asour2

Now a couple of things to note here.  If something calls for sour mix in the future I will be making my own.  I’ll try to make that clear, as I have seen other bloggers and YouTube people who don’t mention that they make their own and it occasionally puts people off of a drink.

Next, I’m not using the maraschino cherries I made awhile back.  They’re not done yet, so they stay in the jar and I get to use up the last of the processed ones that were hanging around the fridge.

The quality of amaretto is everything there.  The stuff I’m using, as you can see above, is a local product.  That doesn’t make it good.  It’s cheap, and sweet, and that’s about all one can say in favor of it.  I often find with this brand that I have to water my drinks just to get something that isn’t cloying.  Be picky about your amaretto.  While to most people it tastes like cherry, most amaretto is made from almond extracts.

What a lot of people don’t know is that apricot pits carry some of the same flavors, as do a number of other stone fruits.  Disaronno in particular is entirely made from apricot pits.  Some of the cheaper brands may even go so far as to use Benzaldehyde the chemical in natural flavoring that gives things like Cherry Coke their flavor.

So when you are looking at amaretto don’t assume that since you’re likely going to mix it, that flavor doesn’t matter.

As a mixer it has a lot of flexibility and is a frequent substitute for Orgeat syrups in tiki drinks.

Make Your Own: Sweet and Sour Mix

Sourmix1

Part two in my lovely series of how to replace the horrible mixers that you buy at the store.  This one is a big one, sour mix is probably one of the The go to party mixes of anything out there.  It’s a component in the amaretto sour, the whiskey sour, dozens of tiki drinks and even cheaper end margarita mixes.  Holding some of the most baseline flavors in the cocktail world this is something that you should have on hand for any party and making even a big batch is pretty easy.

A lot of the difficulty in this recipe comes from the fact that there are few ingredients.  This may seem counter-intuitive but if you think about it, the fewer things you put into it, the greater weight each has in the outcome.

Much like my adventures in making limeade taste is everything.

Sour Mix:
2 oz Lime Juice
2 oz Lemon Juice
2.5 oz Simple Syrup
Mix all ingredients in a squeeze bottle, shake well, refrigerate.
Like the simple syrup itself this will keep for about 2-3 weeks unless you add vodka to it.

This is my version, and I will stress from the get go that it is not the perfect ratio to please every taste.  This happens to be a very simple outgrowth of the ingredients at their basest.

 

 

 

 

Sourmix2

 

Using fresh limes and lemons is essential.  If you let them sit too long the pith starts to make the juice bitter and all kinds of things can happen to the outcome.  Your average sized store lime/lemon will press for ~2 ounces of juice.  Larger or smaller than normal you can kinda guess but if you’re shooting on drinking for two people, the juice of one of each will suffice for this project.

The 2.5 ounces of simple syrup come from my previous MYO posting where I used 1/3 of a cup of sugar to get the syrup.  This turns out to be perfectly balanced based on the amount of juice you get from one each of the fruit.

The result is a somewhat neutrally acid, sweet mixture that works well in most cocktails.

To get the right kind of taste for your palate, I would recommend the above amounts of base ingredients. Instead of mixing them all together in a squeeze bottle as I’ve done, put varying amounts into a shot glass to taste.  Half ounce increments in either direction will let you give the mixture a bit of play until you find the spot that tickles your tongue.  I would start by scaling back on the simple syrup and see how you like it at an even 2 parts each then raise or lower the lime and lemon until it’s right.

Make Your Own: Maraschino Cherries

In the category of “put-up or shut-up” I present to you my current project.

Oregon is really the second best place to do this, (the best being Italy).  The cherry trees are plentiful, there are a number of different varieties to choose from and we have a long happy growing season all summer.

Step one is almost solved for you, find some good cherries.  Much like making a pie sour cherries are nice for this kind of things but Mascara cherries are actually sweet so go wild.  I think next time I do this I’m going to find some nice yellow and red ranier’s to give the whole thing some splash.  Pit your cherries and remove any stems.

General ingredients and equipment:

maraschnio1

1 mason or ball jar with a self sealing lid
enough cherries to fill the jar without having to force them
2 teaspoons of sugar
enough maraschino liqueur to cover the cherries

Step Deux: Fill the jar with enough cherries that it’s not going to be a problem to get the lid on.

maraschnio2

 

Step the Third: Add a small quantity of sugar (2 tsp).  I recommend bakers sugar if you have it, it’s finer grained and will dissolve much more quickly.

maraschnio3

 

Step Quatro: Fill the Jar with Maraschino Liqueur.  For this run I’m using Luxardo, If I run out I’m going to see if I can find a different brand.  Nothing bad on Luxardo I just want to shop around.

maraschnio4

 

Step the Last: Close the Jar, shake until the sugar is fully dissolved, refrigerate.  Shake the jar a couple of times a day to keeps things mixed up, and check the jar in a week or so to see how they’re coming along.

Side note: Like most things you make yourself these do not have anything in them to act as a preservative.  Even if you’re using canning jars the process we use here isn’t sterile and won’t hold up like freezer jam.  Once these start going they won’t stop so plan to use them once they get to the right concentration.  If you need a reason I can comfortably point you to my Hard Cherry Limeade which benefits from a good garnish.

Vesper Martini

Vesper1As I’ve probably said about a dozen times now the “real” James Bond martini is not just a vodka martini (shaken not stirred).  The original and recognized drink of 007 is the Vesper, a drink he essentially created on the spot during the course of Casino Royale and named for the traitorous double agent Vesper Lynd.

There’s a lot of history on this drink, including a great deal of debate as to whether Ian Fleming created the drink or simply encountered it, but in 1953 Bond uttered the following:

“Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”

In the course of trying to recreate this drink there are a number of factors that could make any number of difficulties but let us look first and foremost at the recipe.

3 oz Gordon’s Gin
1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Kina Lillet

If you’ve been following my little scribblings here at all you can already see at least one problem.  The drink was created in 1953 and since that time Lillet has reformulated their line giving Lillet Blanc and entirely different flavor than what Fleming might have gotten from his buddy Ivar Bryce.  It has been intimated that Cocchi Americano is an acceptable and equal substitute for our lost Kina.

Another factor comes into play here, Gordon’s Gin was also reformulated at one point for the UK domestic market.  Gin is an incredibly complex spirit and even the slightest change is likely to result in a big flavor difference.  In the UK modern Gordon’s is an 80 proof Gin, the more traditional Gin is 94 proof.  I’m told reliably that the version exported to America is 94 proof but it is a good idea to check your gin before you mix if you want to be “authentic”.

Next up we have the vodka.  Bond recommended a grain vodka as opposed to a potato vodka.  I think in the US right now you’re actually more likely to find a grain vodka than a potato one.  After doing some research it also appears that vodka in the 50′ s was far more likely to be 100 proof.  Modern vodka tends more towards 80 proof.

Combined together we see that Bond was asking for a much stronger drink that what we might make with off the shelf bottles. Stoli makes a premium 100 proof vodka today which I gather would be the vodka of choice in trying to make this work.

So updated for the modern age the recipe might resemble something like this:

3 oz Gordon’s Gin
1 oz Stoli Premium Vodka
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano

Sadly I lack any of those ingredients.  What I do have is a perfectly good bottle of Lillet Blanc slowing losing flavor in my fridge.  So we improvise.

3 oz Aviation Gin
1 oz Crater Lake Vodka
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
Thick slice of lemon peel twisted

 

On first sip I can say that I’m not a fan.  This is a huge, heavy drink without any of the bells or whistles.  It’s also a lot of gin, and I’m a big fan of gin.  The drink is heavy and doesn’t move along any flavor.  It may be that I’m using aviation, which is not a dry gin but I think this needs some tweaking for my taste.  I power through this one and step back up to the shaker.

vesper2

Version 2: Here I went with slightly less gin, closer to 1.5 oz than 3.  Still an ounce of vodka but I upped the Lillet to a full ounce.  The shift is remarkable.  For starters I don’t feel like I’m drinking a fishbowl of booze.  For another the fruity notes in the Lillet are coming in loud and clear.  The vodka is doing the job of keeping the gin’s wilder tendency in check, and the Gin is dancing the fandango all around the herbal components in the Lillet.

I can’t say I’m going to make any more of these once my Lillet runs out, they’re simply dull.  But as a change from the Gin and Tonic they’re a temporary diversion.