The Cocktail Thread

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TGigante
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#551 Post by TGigante » August 3rd, 2020, 3:42 pm

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
August 3rd, 2020, 9:43 am
Tran Bronstein wrote:
August 3rd, 2020, 9:09 am
Andrew Kotowski wrote:
August 2nd, 2020, 6:29 pm
Interesting, as I’m used to seeing this cocktail as a “White Linen,” albeit with slightly different proportions.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1019071-white-linen
I found the White Linen as well, it seems to be the same except for 1.5 parts instead of 2 parts Gin and using fresh lime juice instead of fresh lemon juice. I will definitely try out this variation.
Haven’t tried with lime; I’ve always used lemon lime the recipe above.

I substituted honeydew melon for the cucumber on one batch and it was fantastic! Definitely fun to play with the recipes.
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Cheers,
Tony

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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#552 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 4th, 2020, 5:05 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: ENTRE LAS SABANAS (Spanish variation of Between the Sheets)

My next cocktail is a remake of a classic done with a trio of twists to it. Below is the variation I did on the Between the Sheets which I have renamed into the Spanish Entre las Sabanas:

ENTRE LAS SABANAS

  • Spirits: 1 Part Brandy de Jerez; 1 part Rum
  • Liqueurs: 1 part Grand Marnier
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: None
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together with ice and pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

This is a classic sour remade with some very high-end ingredients that plays really interestingly on the nose and over the palate. On the nose, all I can smell is the Grand Marnier. But on the palate, there is an equal interplay between the smooth rum, the rich Brandy de Jerez and the bright lemon and Grand Marnier. The three spirits used are pretty much the sweetest as spirits go and the Grand Marnier of course has added sugar but the cocktail itself is surprisingly quite dry and even has quite a saline note to it thanks to the Brandy de Jerez and the rum. Now for some notes on the cocktail:
  • The original Between the Sheets recipe calls strictly for light aka white aka silver rum, Triple Sec and standard brandy as the alcoholic components in equal parts so purists feel free to use these.
  • So why my variation? Because I hate two of the standard ingredients with a passion. The abomination that is light/white/silver rum is absolutely disgusting. Rum that has had its color along with most of its flavor components and antioxidant properties stripped out via filtering for the novelty of making it a clear liquid. What you're left with can barely even be called rum. It's just mind-boggling that rum manufacturers put their product through this expensive time consuming process to deliberately produce an inferior product than that which they started out with. Even worse, the general public laps the stuff up by the barrel. Pathetic. The only other alcoholic product I find as revolting is cream sherry which goes through the exact same process. What's the damn point? May as well just drink simple syrup with artificial rum extract added into it.
  • The other issue I have is with Triple Sec, a cheap alcoholic liqueur that uses sugar to cover the fact that it contains far less alcohol and orange essence than a decent and proper 40% ABV curacao style liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier for example. Almost as pathetic as white rum.
  • I switched up the brandy to a high end Brandy de Jerez. Brandy de Jerez is aged in sherry-soaked barrels which provide nuttiness, fruitness and salinity depending on what type of sherry barrel was used to age the brandy. In my case, I used the Cruz Conde VSOP 15 year old Brandy de Jerez which is aged in PX Sherry barrels which add a touch of both salinity and raisiny sweetness.
  • I switched out the white rum for a reasonably high-end Flor de Cana 18 year old rum so I could get some real rum flavor into the drink. Then I subbed in Grand Marnier Cuvée de Centenaire for the Triple Sec. I feel this resulted in a pretty intense but delicious cocktail.
  • I'd be very curious to try this cocktail subbing in either my homemade Pineapple, Peach, Mango, or Apricot Marniers in place of the Grand Marnier to see what difference they would make to the flavor of the cocktail.
20200804_191151.jpg
Cruz Conde VSOP 15 YO Brandy de Jerez, Entre las Sabanas, Flor de Cana 18 YO rum, and Grand Marnier Cuvée de Centennaire
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#553 Post by TGigante » August 4th, 2020, 8:23 pm

Tran Bronstein wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 5:05 pm
COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: ENTRE LAS SABANAS (Spanish variation of Between the Sheets)

My next cocktail is a remake of a classic done with a trio of twists to it. Below is the variation I did on the Between the Sheets which I have renamed into the Spanish Entre las Sabanas:

ENTRE LAS SABANAS

  • Spirits: 1 Part Brandy de Jerez; 1 part Rum
  • Liqueurs: 1 part Grand Marnier
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: None
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together with ice and pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

This is a classic sour remade with some very high-end ingredients that plays really interestingly on the nose and over the palate. On the nose, all I can smell is the Grand Marnier. But on the palate, there is an equal interplay between the smooth rum, the rich Brandy de Jerez and the bright lemon and Grand Marnier. The three spirits used are pretty much the sweetest as spirits go and the Grand Marnier of course has added sugar but the cocktail itself is surprisingly quite dry and even has quite a saline note to it thanks to the Brandy de Jerez and the rum. Now for some notes on the cocktail:
  • The original Between the Sheets recipe calls strictly for light aka white aka silver rum, Triple Sec and standard brandy as the alcoholic components in equal parts so purists feel free to use these.
  • So why my variation? Because I hate two of the standard ingredients with a passion. The abomination that is light/white/silver rum is absolutely disgusting. Rum that has had its color along with most of its flavor components and antioxidant properties stripped out via filtering for the novelty of making it a clear liquid. What you're left with can barely even be called rum. It's just mind-boggling that rum manufacturers put their product through this expensive time consuming process to deliberately produce an inferior product than that which they started out with. Even worse, the general public laps the stuff up by the barrel. Pathetic. The only other alcoholic product I find as revolting is cream sherry which goes through the exact same process. What's the damn point? May as well just drink simple syrup with artificial rum extract added into it.
  • The other issue I have is with Triple Sec, a cheap alcoholic liqueur that uses sugar to cover the fact that it contains far less alcohol and orange essence than a decent and proper 40% ABV curacao style liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier for example. Almost as pathetic as white rum.
  • I switched up the brandy to a high end Brandy de Jerez. Brandy de Jerez is aged in sherry-soaked barrels which provide nuttiness, fruitness and salinity depending on what type of sherry barrel was used to age the brandy. In my case, I used the Cruz Conde VSOP 15 year old Brandy de Jerez which is aged in PX Sherry barrels which add a touch of both salinity and raisiny sweetness.
  • I switched out the white rum for a reasonably high-end Flor de Cana 18 year old rum so I could get some real rum flavor into the drink. Then I subbed in Grand Marnier Cuvée de Centenaire for the Triple Sec. I feel this resulted in a pretty intense but delicious cocktail.
  • I'd be very curious to try this cocktail subbing in either my homemade Pineapple, Peach, Mango, or Apricot Marniers in place of the Grand Marnier to see what difference they would make to the flavor of the cocktail.
20200804_191151.jpg
That’s a serious top shelf cocktail
Well done
Cheers,
Tony

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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#554 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 5th, 2020, 7:32 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: APRICOT SOUR

My next cocktail proved to be quite controversial for me in every aspect; its formulation, my choice of ingredients and its final results. I avoid low end sweet liqueurs like the plague but I came across an interesting variation of the Apricot Sour cocktail by Steve the Bartender on YouTube and decided to try it out:

APRICOT SOUR

  • Spirits: 1 Part Bourbon
  • Liqueurs: 1 part Apricot Brandy
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: 1 part simple syrup
  • Bitters: .5 part Egg white
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together WITHOUT ice aka do a 'dry' shake first to foam up the cocktail. Then add ice and shake again. Pour into a glass. Enjoy.

The original Apricot Sour cocktail only calls for lemon juice and cheap Apricot Brandy liqueur. Steve the Bartender does a version on his YouTube channel where he uses equal parts of a high-end artisanal apricot brandy and Bulleit bourbon so I decided to give it a shot. I got the apricot on the nose right away but as I continued to drink it faded out and the smoky bourbon took over. On the palate the bourbon dominates and the apricot is barely there before the sour lemon kicks in and then the smoky bourbon notes fill out the finish as the lemon makes my mouth pucker. The egg white adds a nice decorative foam on top and a touch of suppleness to the texture and mouthfeel but otherwise has no effect whatsoever on the taste as it completely separates from the liquid. For all intents and purposes, this may as well have been just a standard Whisky Sour the way the final result turned out. It is only when I completely finish my glass and let the finish linger on my palate a little do I finally get another apricot note in the finish lingering in the still quite powerful and lasting Bourbon finish which seems to go on forever.

You can read my notes on the cocktail below but quick bottom line is that you should skip the use of Bourbon and go with 2 parts apricot brandy alone or 1 part apricot brandy and 1 part regular brandy:
  • The original Apricot Sour calls for Apricot brandy liqueur and lemon juice only. I wouldn't trust a commercial apricot brandy to contain anything other than sugar, water, cheap alcohol and artificial apricot flavor. I passed in favor of my own homemade Apricot Marnier. Much better quality. So much so that maybe I should have just used two parts of it without the Bourbon as I'll discuss further below because I really don't get any apricot flavor in the finished cocktail and the apricot flavor of my homemade Marnier is quite intense on its own.
  • While Steve uses Bulleit in his variation, I used a single ounce of my Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 25 year old Bourbon. This will induce either awe or horror in anyone reading this, but this is the only Bourbon I have on hand and it was just an ounce so in it went. It completely dominated the cocktail. Now this could be because the premium bourbon I used is simply too strong of a bourbon for this cocktail. On the other hand, that kind of implies a much weaker bourbon is actually necessary in order to balance the cocktail which IMHO is wrong. If a better ingredient unbalances a cocktail, IMHO something is wrong with the cocktail and not the ingredients. Given that the standard recipe calls for just cheap apricot brandy liqueur, I feel I was better off using a full 2 parts of my Apricot Marnier instead and not using any bourbon at all and continuing with the recipe. Or maybe 1 part Apricot Brandy and 1 part regular brandy which I feel would've been a much more complementary spirit than Bourbon now that I've had it.
  • This is the first sour cocktail recipe that directly calls for the addition of an egg white that I've done. I see many sour cocktails that call for the addition of egg white and many that don't. I've been hesitant to use it for fear of how it might alter the taste of the cocktail. I needn't have worried. Aside from the nice visual of the egg white foam on top of the glass and a slight suppleness to the texture, I really didn't find it altered the taste in much of any way. So much so that I would've been just fine without it. That's probably because the egg white immediately separates itself from the rest of the liquid as it floats on top. I'd be just as happy ditching the egg white out of any sour cocktail that calls for it after this. And if I'm being honest, it's just a mess to clean out of the cocktail shaker so there's that disincentive as well. Looks cool, though, I'd definitely do it if I was making the drink to impress someone else but I can pass on egg whites in the future if just for myself.
  • If you're wondering why I've listed the egg white as a bitter, it's because as a weightlifter and fitness fanatic who drinks egg whites for breakfast every morning, I can assure you that raw egg white has an odd flavor that can only be described as a bland slimy bitterness. It's not a very strong bitterness, but it's definitely there. And that does allow me to slot it into my formula easily. Not that I'll be using egg whites in any future cocktails, I think.
20200805_214421.jpg
Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 25 bourbon, Apricot Sour, and my homemade 20 YO Apricot Marnier
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#555 Post by Andrew Kotowski » August 5th, 2020, 10:12 pm

On this site, you have to hit Roulot’s apricot liquor!!!

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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#556 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » August 6th, 2020, 5:38 am

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
August 5th, 2020, 10:12 pm
On this site, you have to hit Roulot’s apricot liquor!!!

I was going to mention that.

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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#557 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 6th, 2020, 4:27 pm

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
August 5th, 2020, 10:12 pm
On this site, you have to hit Roulot’s apricot liquor!!!
I'd love to but it is unavailable here in Canada. The SAQ in Montreal does carry his pear eau de vie for the astonishing price of $167.25 CDN for a 500 ml bottle. That must be some damn awesome Poire Williams at that price. [swoon.gif] Hope his apricot liquor is the same.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#558 Post by Andrew Kotowski » August 6th, 2020, 4:44 pm

Tran Bronstein wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 4:27 pm
Andrew Kotowski wrote:
August 5th, 2020, 10:12 pm
On this site, you have to hit Roulot’s apricot liquor!!!
I'd love to but it is unavailable here in Canada. The SAQ in Montreal does carry his pear eau de vie for the astonishing price of $167.25 CDN for a 500 ml bottle. That must be some damn awesome Poire Williams at that price. [swoon.gif] Hope his apricot liquor is the same.
It’s super expensive :)

It’s also super delicious.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#559 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 6th, 2020, 4:58 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: APRICOT BRANDY SOUR -- FIXING THE APRICOT SOUR

I really should be moving on to the next new cocktail but I can't because since last night's post I've been obsessed with fixing the Apricot Sour. I can't have a cocktail called an Apricot Sour without having any actual apricot flavor to it! So after sleeping on it I decided to fix this thing by switching out the Bourbon from Steve the Bartender's recipe for some Brandy:

APRICOT BRANDY SOUR

  • Spirits: 1 Part Brandy
  • Liqueurs: 1 part Apricot Brandy
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: none
  • Bitters: .5 part Egg white
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together WITHOUT ice aka do a 'dry' shake first to foam up the cocktail. Then add ice and shake again. Pour into a glass. Enjoy.

Now this is much better. The brandy is far, far more complimentary to my homemade Apricot Marnier and I can smell and taste the intense natural apricot this time. Since I'm using my Cruz Conde VSOP 15 YO Brandy de Jerez, I'm getting a nice raisin note in there as well on the palate but that's really just a bonus. In essence, this has become an apricot flavored version of a classic Sidecar. I'm totally okay with that. A couple of quick notes.
  • In fixing this cocktail, I completely omitted the simple syrup used in Steve the Bartender's version as I figured it would be sweet enough as it is. I was correct. Note that the Brandy de Jerez adds a touch more sweetness due to the aging in PX barrels but honestly this would really be fine without the simple syrup even if you used brandy aged in regular oak casks.
  • In comparing the two, I'd say the main difference is that the lack of signature Bourbon char and smoke flavor overpowering everything is why this is working so well now. Which means that a weaker Bourbon is in fact required to make the original cocktail work. As I said in my last post, that to me indicates it is the cocktail formulation that needs changing and not the ingredients.
  • I omitted the egg white this time but honestly it wouldn't affect the taste so feel free to add or omit as you like. Just remember to dry shake first to foam up the egg white if you're going to use and then add ice to your shaker and shake again.
20200806_191556.jpg
Cruz Conde VSOP 15 YO Brandy de Jerez, the improved Apricot Sour sans egg white, and my homemade Apricot Marnier
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#560 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 7th, 2020, 5:52 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: APRICOT CANUCKLEHEAD SOUR -- FIXING THE APRICOT SOUR II

Still obsessed with fixing the Apricot Sour, I began to wonder if any whisky other than Bourbon would complement the apricot brandy as well as the Brandy did. I know the Bourbon doesn't work so Irish, Scotch and Canadian whisky are the remaining candidates. I decided to go with Canadian whisky as it is the closest to Steve the Bartender's recipe:

APRICOT CANUCKLEHEAD SOUR

  • Spirits: 1 Part Canadian Whisky
  • Liqueurs: 1 part Apricot Brandy
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: none
  • Bitters: .5 part Egg white
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together WITHOUT ice aka do a 'dry' shake first to foam up the cocktail. Then add ice and shake again. Pour into a glass. Enjoy.

Yes, this works as well. The Canadian Whisky is a much better matchup than the Bourbon was. The nose is a mix of apricot and buttered popcorn. No surprise there given both the high corn content of Canadian Whisky but without the strong char and caramel notes of Bourbon. On the palate, the apricot flavor dominates but there's a nice creamed corn note to complement it as well as a slight touch of salinity. While the Brandy de Jerez was a superior match for my Apricot Marnier, this really isn't that far behind it and maybe even just a tad more complex.
  • Like we Canadians ourselves, Canadian Whisky lives in the shadow of its American friend and neighbor, destined to forever be the unwanted bridesmaid next to the juggernaut that is American Whiskey aka Bourbon. To be fair, there is a difference in both the process of making both whiskies and the end result that are quite marked despite using the same main ingredients in their mashbills: corn, rye and barley. Famed and now retired Canadian distiller and winemaker John Hall once explained the difference to me. Bourbon's mashbill is usually cooked together and the distillate famously aged in heavily charred American oak barrels. Canadian Whisky's components are distilled and aged separately in barrels of varying chars and then blended together to compose a final product. The corn goes into the highest toasted barrel. So in essence, American style Bourbon is actually one of the components of Canadian Whisky. Fancy that.
  • Of course, the end result is quite different. Bourbon is strong, powerful, and in your face with powerful notes of caramel, vanilla, toasted grain and smokiness. Canadian Whisky tends to much softer and rounder with a creamy texture and nutty flavor. That probably explains why it works so well in this readjusted sour. It doesn't want to be the star player, it just wants to get along with everyone. How typically Canadian.
  • The Canadian Whisky I'm using isn't exactly a slouch. The Gooderham & Wort's Wellington 49 is a special release that uses not only corn, rye and barley whiskies but also some Canadian grown Winter Red wheat whisky which does in fact give the whisky a bit of a reddish hue as you can see in the picture below.
20200807_200149.jpg
Gooderham & Wort's Wellington 49 19 YO Canadian Whisky, Apricot Canucklehead Sour, and my homemade Apricot Marnier
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#561 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 8th, 2020, 1:36 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE "MIDORI" SOUR aka Japanese Slipper

Time to move on. I was intrigued by the idea of a Midori sour but Midori liquor is impossible to get here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Therefore, I did a lot of research and came up with the original creation below.


"MIDORI" SOUR aka Japanese Slipper

  • Spirits: 1.5 parts Gin OR Blanco Tequila (see notes below)
  • Liqueurs: .5 Part Grand Marnier
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon; 1.5 parts Cantaloupe
  • Sweets: .5 parts Simple syrup
  • Bitters: .5 part Egg white (optional)
  • Sodas: None (but can be optionally added to turn this into a Highball/Fizz style cocktail; see notes below)
Shake all ingredients together WITHOUT ice aka do a 'dry' shake first to foam up the cocktail. Then add ice and shake again. Pour into a glass over ice. If omitting the egg white, simply shake all ingredients together with ice and pour into a glass over ice. If turning into a highball style fizz cocktail, top up in the glass with 4 ounces of soda. Enjoy.

On the nose, the gin dominates. But on the palate, the smooth sweet melon flavors take hold along with the gin's botanicals, followed by sweet lemon drop and then finally the gin's botanicals linger on the palate only to fade out and let the melon sweetness return. Nice.
  • Midori is of course the famous sweet Japanese melon liqueur produced using muskmelon and Yubari melons aka the Japanese versions of what we call cantaloupe. The liquor's green color might fool you into thinking that honeydew is the main flavor but it is in fact cantaloupe that we're after. To be honest, that artificial neon green color turns me off and I'd rather not use Midori even if I could get my hands on it. Rather than attempt to make a steeped Midori style liquor which would take time, I chose to use both fresh cantaloupe juice and simple syrup in the cocktail instead to replicate the flavors.
  • Getting cantaloupe juice is easy as long as you have a hand press citrus juicer and not a reamer. All you have to do is take a few cantaloupe chunks and put them into a hand press citrus juicer and squeeze away until you have the required amount of cantaloupe juice.
  • The biggest issue was deciding which spirit to use as the cocktail place. The original Midori Sour/Japanese slipper calls for just Midori liqueur so a neutral spirit base would have made sense but for the fact that I abhor vodka. So the next obvious choices would be brandy, gin or tequila. I found that gin gives a nice savory menthol like note thanks to the juniper and the botanicals whereas the Tequila actually helped punch up the melon and the lemon flavors quite a bit more and added a touch of smokiness. It really depends on your personal tastes. I was surprised that the Gin version actually tastes a touch sweeter than the Tequila version, I was expecting it to be the other way around. I liked both variations equally but they're very different and if I was forced to choose between them I'm surprised to find myself going with the Gin version.
  • I know absolutely nothing about Gin. What research I've done shows that there seems to be two streams of thinking in crafting gin. The first is "less is more" where Juniper and as few botanicals as possible are used to make a very dry herbal style. Tanqueray, for example, uses a mere four botanicals. The other is "more is more" where as many different botanicals as possible are used to create a unique gin. On top of that, you also have to choose between the large commercial brands and the craft distillers. I hedged my bets and chose a half bottle of Bombay Sapphire to start crafting gin cocktails with as it is a known high quality commercial brand but uses a large number of botanicals. I will likely go with a craft artisinal gin after my half bottle of Bombay Sapphire is done.
  • Tasting it straight, I have to say that Gin is probably the only spirit I would never drink straight. I appreciate the herbal flavors but I feel they work best mixed in cocktails. I feel Chartreuse is much more enjoyable overall as a straight herbal liqueur when I'm in the mood for that. In fact, it might be interesting using Chartreuse as the base spirit in this cocktail.

20200808_153645.jpg
Bombay Sapphire Gin, hand squeezed cantaloupe juice, "Midori" Sour, and Grand Marnier Cuvée de Centennaire
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#562 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 10th, 2020, 1:39 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE PENNICILLIN

My next cocktail is an updated version of the Pennicillin that doesn't require the hassle of making ginger honey syrup beforehand but does require a little bit of extra care due to the use of fresh grated ginger:

PENNICILLIN

  • Spirits: 2 Parts Scotch Whisky BONUS VARIATIONS: 1 Part Rum + 1 Part Bourbon; or 2 Parts Bourbon only (see notes below)
  • Liqueurs: none
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: .5 Fresh honey
  • Bitters: 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • Sodas: None
Place the Scotch whisky, lemon juice and honey in a shaker and stir very gently with a spoon until the honey is dissolved. This won't take more than a few seconds. Drop in the freshly grated ginger. Fill the shaker with ice. Double strain through the shaker and a hand held mini sieve to ensure no ginger root shreds end up in your drink into a glass filled with ice. Enjoy.

As one of the very few popular Scotch cocktails around, I had to give this a try. On the nose, the ginger and honey dominate. On the palate, sweet creamy barley hits first followed by honey sweetness, lemon tartness, and then spicy ginger which lingers long into the finish. Very nice but you better really like the taste of fresh ginger if you want to enjoy this cocktail.
  • The original recipe for a standard Pennicillin calls for you took together your own honey-ginger syrup which IMHO is a complete waste of time. No matter how much or how little you make, you now have an ingredient that is only useful for either making more Pennicillins or you hope a food dish or dessert that happens to require both honey and ginger in it. Not to mention that it will lose its freshness just sitting around in the bottle. Better to just use straight honey and fresh shredded ginger.l
  • This cocktail is essentially just a classic Scotch whisky sour kicked up with the addition of honey instead of sugar and fresh ginger. The fresh ginger does provide quite the bite, even just a little teaspoon full, so be prepared. If your idea of a ginger flavored drink is commercial canned ginger ale, this is going to be a shock. It's closer to a high end ginger beer.
  • Speaking of which, feel free to add 4 ounces of soda to turn this into a highball style drink.
  • I have pretty much exited the Scotch whisky scene on principle due to what I feel is overpricing and the general ripping off of the consumer but decided to pick some up for the specific purposes of making Scotch based cocktails. I chose the Chivas Regal 18 which I thought was a good choice for a high quality base yet still relatively affordable at $100 CDN. It's actually a very good whisky and I'd be happy to sip it on its own with a single rock as well.
  • If you're going to go high-end as I did with the liquor, don't cheap out on the honey and the lemon. Use some artisanal preferably local honey as I did and freshly squeezed lemon juice. You'll be glad you did.
  • BONUS: While researching this cocktail, I came across two other interesting variations. They differed only in their spirit : the first used equal parts Rum and Bourbon and the other used Bourbon entirely to replace the Scotch whisky. My friends and I were not terribly impressed with the Rum/Bourbon variation as the combined spirits seemd to allow the ginger to take over completely making for a very hot cocktail. The fully Bourbon only variation, on the other hand, was magnificent. Where the blended Scotch lent a mellow sweetness and a touch of smoke to the cocktail, the Bourbon's intense smokiness and caramel char went perfectly with the ginger. So much so that for me it was a genuine tossup which version I enjoyed more. I recommend giving the Bourbon variation a try as well as the Scotch variation and see which of the two you prefer. You might end up loving them both as I did.
20200810_151454.jpg
Chivas Regal 18 YO blended Scotch whisky, Pennicillin cocktail, and some local artisanal Mangrove honey
Last edited by Tran Bronstein on August 25th, 2020, 6:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#563 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 11th, 2020, 6:13 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE ARTIST'S SPECIAL

My next cocktail is the first I've made to involve Sherry and it required quite the tweaking from the original:

ARTIST'S SPECIAL

  • Spirits: 1.5 Parts Scotch Whisky
  • Liqueurs: 1.5 parts Oloroso Sherry
  • Fruit: .5 part Lemon
  • Sweets: .5 Pomegranate molasses, raspberry syrup or red currant syrup
  • Bitters: none
  • Sodas: None
Place the Scotch whisky, sherry, lemon juice and fruit syrup in a shaker with ice and shake. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Enjoy.

On the nose, I get the nuttiness of the sherry and a little of the sweet whisky but no lemon or pomengranate. On the palate, the pomengranate and lemon dominate as the sherry and whisky provide the backbone. Some notes on the cocktail.
  • The original recipe for a standard Artist's special calls for just 1 part each of whisky and sherry. I found this way, way too weak and completely overpowered by the lemon and pomegranate in my case, requiring me to add more of the Whisky and Sherry to balance out the cocktail with richness and nuttiness. Good decision.
  • The original recipe also calls for a red berry syrup with the option of pomegranate, raspberry or red currant. Now I'm not sure if the cocktail creator was using artificially flavored sugar syrup or cheap grenadine, but I used natural pomegranate molasses which is both extremely flavorful and very tart and it completely overwhelmed the sherry and Scotch with the original proportions. So I doubled the amount of Scotch and Whisky and voila, flavorful cocktail. Now you could argue that the cocktail was never intended to be made with pomegranate molasses which is just natural pomegranate syrup. I say again, if a high-end ingredient upends a cocktail, there is something wrong with the cocktail itself and not the ingredient. I would highly recommend using natural pomegranate molasses and my proportions listed above.
  • This cocktail is actually supposed to be a hue of bright red in color, but again, I can presume this comes from using artificially colored syrup as an ingredient. Natural pomegranate molasses is a dark reddish brown, hence the same color in my cocktail pictured below. As I was only serving myself, I cared more about flavor than appearance in this specific case so the brownish color of the cocktail really didn't bother me and it shouldn't bother you either.
20200811_203845.jpg
Chivas Regal 18 YO blended Scotch whisky, El Maestro Sierra 15 YO Oloroso sherry, Artist's Special cocktail and natural pomegranate molasses
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#564 Post by TGigante » August 11th, 2020, 7:24 pm

Tran Bronstein wrote:
August 8th, 2020, 1:36 pm
COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE "MIDORI" SOUR aka Japanese Slipper

Time to move on. I was intrigued by the idea of a Midori sour but Midori liquor is impossible to get here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Therefore, I did a lot of research and came up with the original creation below.


"MIDORI" SOUR aka Japanese Slipper

  • Spirits: 1.5 parts Gin OR Blanco Tequila (see notes below)
  • Liqueurs: .5 Part Grand Marnier
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon; 1.5 parts Cantaloupe
  • Sweets: .5 parts Simple syrup
  • Bitters: .5 part Egg white (optional)
  • Sodas: None (but can be optionally added to turn this into a Highball/Fizz style cocktail; see notes below)
Shake all ingredients together WITHOUT ice aka do a 'dry' shake first to foam up the cocktail. Then add ice and shake again. Pour into a glass over ice. If omitting the egg white, simply shake all ingredients together with ice and pour into a glass over ice. If turning into a highball style fizz cocktail, top up in the glass with 4 ounces of soda. Enjoy.

On the nose, the gin dominates. But on the palate, the smooth sweet melon flavors take hold along with the gin's botanicals, followed by sweet lemon drop and then finally the gin's botanicals linger on the palate only to fade out and let the melon sweetness return. Nice.
  • Midori is of course the famous sweet Japanese melon liqueur produced using muskmelon and Yubari melons aka the Japanese versions of what we call cantaloupe. The liquor's green color might fool you into thinking that honeydew is the main flavor but it is in fact cantaloupe that we're after. To be honest, that artificial neon green color turns me off and I'd rather not use Midori even if I could get my hands on it. Rather than attempt to make a steeped Midori style liquor which would take time, I chose to use both fresh cantaloupe juice and simple syrup in the cocktail instead to replicate the flavors.
  • Getting cantaloupe juice is easy as long as you have a hand press citrus juicer and not a reamer. All you have to do is take a few cantaloupe chunks and put them into a hand press citrus juicer and squeeze away until you have the required amount of cantaloupe juice.
  • The biggest issue was deciding which spirit to use as the cocktail place. The original Midori Sour/Japanese slipper calls for just Midori liqueur so a neutral spirit base would have made sense but for the fact that I abhor vodka. So the next obvious choices would be brandy, gin or tequila. I found that gin gives a nice savory menthol like note thanks to the juniper and the botanicals whereas the Tequila actually helped punch up the melon and the lemon flavors quite a bit more and added a touch of smokiness. It really depends on your personal tastes. I was surprised that the Gin version actually tastes a touch sweeter than the Tequila version, I was expecting it to be the other way around. I liked both variations equally but they're very different and if I was forced to choose between them I'm surprised to find myself going with the Gin version.
  • I know absolutely nothing about Gin. What research I've done shows that there seems to be two streams of thinking in crafting gin. The first is "less is more" where Juniper and as few botanicals as possible are used to make a very dry herbal style. Tanqueray, for example, uses a mere four botanicals. The other is "more is more" where as many different botanicals as possible are used to create a unique gin. On top of that, you also have to choose between the large commercial brands and the craft distillers. I hedged my bets and chose a half bottle of Bombay Sapphire to start crafting gin cocktails with as it is a known high quality commercial brand but uses a large number of botanicals. I will likely go with a craft artisinal gin after my half bottle of Bombay Sapphire is done.
  • Tasting it straight, I have to say that Gin is probably the only spirit I would never drink straight. I appreciate the herbal flavors but I feel they work best mixed in cocktails. I feel Chartreuse is much more enjoyable overall as a straight herbal liqueur when I'm in the mood for that. In fact, it might be interesting using Chartreuse as the base spirit in this cocktail.


20200808_153645.jpg
Flashback to the 80’s for me with the Midori.
Must have drunk 1000 frozen Midori daiquiris at the Steak and Ale chain and from the home blender.
Kind of like Margaritaville. But there’s booze in the blender....
Cheers,
Tony

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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#565 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 12th, 2020, 5:49 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE "MIDORI" ILLUSION

I decided to use the last of my fresh cantaloupe juice to make another "Midori" flavored cocktail with a more tropical bent for the late summer heat:

"MIDORI" ILLUSION

  • Spirits: 2 parts Brandy
  • Liqueurs: none
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon; 1 part Pineapple; 1.5 parts Cantaloupe
  • Sweets: .25 Simple syrup
  • Bitters: none
  • Sodas: None
Place the brandy and juices in a shaker with ice and shake. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Enjoy.

On the nose, I get the fruitiness of the cantaloupe and pineapple right away. On the palate, the cocktail is surprisingly dry given the amount of fruit juice in it and the smooth cantaloupe tames the sour lemon quite a bit. The brandy comes through on the finish but the fruits are the main players here.
  • The biggest surprise is how dry and refreshing the cocktail is. I cut down the sweetener in half from my "Midori" sour due to the added pineapple juice and the light sweetness is perfect. The cantaloupe and pineapple and lemon play together very well in this cocktail.
  • I could easily see this recipe working with a substitution of either Rum or even Vodka in it.
Skipping the pic this time as there are no new ingredients to show in the photgraph. Next time.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#566 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 13th, 2020, 4:59 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE CUCUMBER MARGARITA

It's hot out here in Toronto and I was in the mood for a Tequila cocktail to beat the late summer heat:

CUCUMBER MARGARITA

  • Spirits: 1.5 Parts Tequila
  • Liqueurs: .5 Parts Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • Fruit: 1 part Lime; 1 part Cucumber
  • Sweets: .5 Part Agave syrup
  • Bitters: none
  • Sodas: None
Place the Tequila, orange liqueur and juices in a shaker with ice and shake. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Enjoy.

The cocktail is a dark earthy green thanks to the cucumber juice. On the nose, it's smoky tequila all the way. On the palate, Sweet agave and lime are mellowed out by the savory cucumber. Absolutely delicious.
  • This cocktail leans towards the sweet side as Margaritas tend to do so make sure to have plenty of ice in your glass.
  • To make cucumber juice, simply shred some cucumber on a grater into a sieve fitted over a bowl. Press down on the shreds with a spoon or spatulat until you extract every last drop of fresh cucumber juice.The leftover cucumber shreds can be added to homemade Tzatziki dip or a salad.
  • You could further change the flavor of this cocktail by switching out the Grand Marnier/Cointreau for a different flavor fruit brandy.
20200813_192425.jpg
Don Julio Platino Tequila in a nice decanter, organic Agave syrup, Cucumber Margarita, fresh lime juice and fresh cucumber juice
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#567 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 15th, 2020, 5:41 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: PASSION FRUIT DAIQUIRI

It's still hot out here and I decided to go for a tropical variation of a daiquiri by adding my favorite tropical fruit of all, passion fruit:

PASSION FRUIT DAIQUIRI

  • Spirits: 2 Parts Rum (original calls for white rum; see notes below)
  • Liqueurs: none
  • Fruit: 1 part Lime; 1 whole Passion Fruit
  • Sweets: .5 Part Simple syrup
  • Bitters: none
  • Sodas: None
Cut open the passion fruit and spoon the seeds and pulp into a shaker. Add in the rum and lime juice and ice. Shake and pour over ice into a glass. Strain if you don't want any seedlings in your drink. Enjoy either way.

The cocktail is a golden brown-yellow thanks to the dark rum and fresh passion fruit. On the nose it's all rum. On the palate, the lime and passion fruit take center stage as the rum provides a nice intense hit of molasses and heat on the finish. The seedlings provide a nice crunch snack to finish on.
  • The Daiquiri traditionally calls for the abomination that is white rum to allow it to take on the color of whatever fruit you add. I used the high end Flor de Cana 18 because quality and taste were more important than appearance to me. Just be aware that using real rum will take away from the traditional crystal clear pleasing aesthetics of a traditional Daiquiri. In return, you will get actual, you know, rum flavor in your drink.
  • Shaking your cocktail will rip the passion fruit pulp away from its seedlings and imbue its tangy sweet tropical flavor into the drink. If you don't care for the seeds, feel free to strain the cocktail when you pour it out into your glass. I prefer to keep the seedlings for both the contrast in appearance as the dark black seedlings settle at the bottom of the gold brown-yellow cocktail and also to munch on them afterwards. Tasty and full of antioxidant goodness for you.
20200815_185158.jpg
Grilling and chilling on the BBQ with my Passion Fruit Daiquiri
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#568 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 15th, 2020, 5:54 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE HIGH PRIEST OF CALIFORNIA

It's the weekend so I went for a second cocktail after my Margarita to help cool me down. This time I went for an unusual tiki cocktail that uses Brandy instead of Rum as its spirit base:

HIGH PRIEST OF CALIFORNIA

  • Spirits: 1.5 parts Brandy; .5 parts dry Sherry
  • Liqueurs: none
  • Fruit: 1 part Lime or Lemon; .5 part Pineapple
  • Sweets: 1 part Orgeat
  • Bitters: .5 parts Campari; a few dashes bitters
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together and pour over ice into a glass. Feel free to use lots of ice, as this is essentially a tiki cocktail.

Creamy reddish pink in the glass. Surprisingly, the sherry dominates on the nose above all else. On the palate, fruity and complex flavors of lime, almond cream, toasted nuts and smoke with a nice bitter backbone. Really delicious.
  • This cocktail is the most complex I have made to date, with no less than 7 different ingredients. It'd be advisable to have everything ready to go when making this one. Trust me, it's worth the effort.
  • As mentioned above, this is really unusual in that it's essentially a tiki cocktail but uses Brandy as its base. To be honest, I'd have absolutely no problem subbing in Rum instead of the Brandy and neither should you.
20200815_200236.jpg
High Priest of California cocktail flanked by most of its ingredients
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#569 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 17th, 2020, 12:40 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE PAPER PLANE

I decided to take another crack at a Bourbon based cocktail and I think a classic may have helped crack the formula:

PAPER PLANE

  • Spirits: 1 part Bourbon
  • Liqueurs: 1 part 40% ABV Amaro
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: none
  • Bitters:1 part Campari, Aperol, Rosso Antico, Martini Bitter or other red bitter aperitivo of your choice
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together with ice and pour over ice into a glass. Enjoy.

Reddish brown in the glass. Surprisingly muted on the nose. The palate is another matter, bursting with flavors of smoky bourbon, sweet fruit, coffee, and the lemon acidity to carry it all through. Smoke, bitterness and lemon on the finish lingers on.
  • Now this is a great Bourbon cocktail. Yes, I used my 25 YO Orphan Barrel Rhetoric and it worked perfectly. The key here to me was the 1:1:1:1 ratio. Everything was perfectly balanced and unlike my first Apricot Sour, the smoky flavorful Bourbon didn't overpower everything else and played well together with all the other ingredients. It would be interesting to go back to the Apricot Sour and try it with just 1 part of Bourbon and 2 parts of Apricot Brandy instead.
  • My Amaro is a blend of equal parts Fernet Branca, Unicum, and China-China. The key here is that all three of these Amari are 40% ABV and as strong as your typical spirit. You should be wary of using Amari that clock in at 30% or less as they are using more sugar instead of alcohol to provide flavor and body. Using them just adds more sugar to this cocktail which is completely unnecessary.
  • Note that simple syrup is not an ingredient in this classic. It's got more than enough sweetness from whatever red bitter aperitivo you choose, not to mention that Bourbon and Amaro taste naturally sweet on the palate as well. Any more added sweetness would overload this cocktail. That's why you should not use an Amaro of less than 40% ABV as mentioned above.
20200817_151847.jpg
Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 25 YO bourbon, my own blended Amaro, Paper Plane cocktail and Rosso Antico
Last edited by Tran Bronstein on September 11th, 2020, 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#570 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 18th, 2020, 4:57 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: LE CHAMPS-ELYSSES

Here's a Brandy based cocktail named after the famous French landmark as well as the song:

CHAMPS-ELYSSES

  • Spirits: 2 parts Brandy
  • Liqueurs: 1 part Chartreuse
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: .5 Simple syrup
  • Bitters:few dashes Angostura bitters (or your favorite brand)
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together with ice and pour over ice into a glass. Enjoy.

Light brownish in the glass. Surprisingly the Brandy carries the nose, not the herbacious and more potent Chartreuse. The Brandy and Chartreuse are the heroes here followed by the lemon acidity and the bitters just linger on the finish. Tasty cocktail but not as mind-blowing to me as the Paper Plane was. No additional notes for this one, it's a pretty straightforward cocktail.
  • I used Chartreuse V.E.P. which is Chartreuse that has been cask aged for 15 years. The additional long aging gives the Chartreuse a richness and depth that makes regular Chartreuse taste like a Ricola candy. Pricy but very worth it IMHO.
20200818_193949.jpg
Brandy de Jerez, bitters, Champs-Elysses cocktail, Chartreuse V.E.P.
Last edited by Tran Bronstein on August 25th, 2020, 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#571 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 19th, 2020, 2:32 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE CUCUMBER GIMLET

Here's a refreshing Gin cocktail to help take you out of summer and has opened me up to new possibilities:

CUCUMBER GIMLET

  • Spirits: 2 parts Gin
  • Liqueurs: .5 part St-Germain elderflower liqueur
  • Fruit: 1 part Lime; 1 part Cucumber
  • Sweets: .5 parts Simple syrup
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together with ice and pour over ice into a glass. Enjoy.

Semi-translucent green in the glass. Subtle aromas of elderflower, cucumber and juniper. Very refreshing and balanced blend of juniper, cucumber, elderflower and lime flavors. Finish is a bit short but this is so refreshing it doesn't matter because you'll have another sip right away.
  • The Gimlet is to Gin as the Daiquiri is to Rum and the Margarita is to Tequila. It's the basic sour cocktail formula for the base spirit of Gin. Basic but it works. Cucumber juice and St-German elderflower liqueur provide a fruity depth when combined with the lime. Great little cocktail and easy to make.
20200819_154155.jpg
Bombay Sapphire Gin, Cucumber Gimlet, and St-Germain elderflower liqueur
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#572 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 20th, 2020, 2:02 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE FLAMINGO #2

It's been a while since I had a Rum based cocktail. Time for something a little tropical:

FLAMINGO #2

  • Spirits: 2 parts Rum
  • Liqueurs: None
  • Fruit: 1 part Lime; 1.5 parts Pineapple
  • Sweets: 1 tsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Pour all ingredients in a shaker and stir a little first to dissolve the thick Pomegranate molasses. Then add in ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

Semi-opaque brown like brown sugar in the glass. Beautiful head of foam that never dissipates thanks to the pineapple juice. The pineapple aromas dominate the nose, but the cocktail is actually pretty well balanced between the pomegranate, lime, rum and pineapple flavors. Not too sweet as there is no added simple syrup. Nice little cocktail.
  • There was a previous post on using aquafaba (chickpea liquid) to create foam for a cocktail instead of egg white but there's something even better. Pineapple juice naturally produces a long-lasting foam that lasts as long as your cocktail does. Of course, unlike egg white or aquafaba, pineapple juice completely flavors your cocktail with, well, pineapple flavor. :) So you have to like that flavor if you want to use it as an option.
20200820_153423.jpg
Flor de Cana 18 Rum, Pomegranate molasses, Flamingo #2, Pineapple juice
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#573 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 21st, 2020, 5:27 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: EL AVION PERDIDO

Good news. Another heat wave starting this weekend in Toronto and forecast is for summer type heat to last well into September. So it's time for a pair of refreshing sour cocktails starting with this rum based variation of the modern classic Paper Plane cocktail called the Lost Plane which I then tweaked with dry Sherry and renamed into the Avion Perdido:

AVION PERDIDO

  • Spirits: 1 part Rum
  • Liqueurs: 1 part dry Sherry
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: None
  • Bitters: 1 part Amaro; 1 part Campari (or other red aperitivo)
  • Sodas: None
Pour all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

Reddish brown in the glass. Unlike the Bourbon in the Paper Plane, the Rum takes a supporting role here. Flavors of coffee bean, toasted nuts, brown sugar, sweet red fruit, lemon and bitters. Good cocktail and well balanced.
  • The major aspect of this cocktail is that both Rum and Sherry are being used to emulate the effects of Bourbon. Whereas Bourbon by itself provides caramel, smoke and vanilla flavors to the Paper Plane, here Rum provides brown sugar sweetness and Sherry provides nuttiness instead of smokiness. Both are great but I must admit I prefer the smoky Paper Plane. You can't go wrong with either cocktail, though.
20200821_145416.jpg
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#574 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 21st, 2020, 5:50 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: RASPBERRY MARGARITA

Next up is a Margarita enhanced by fresh raspberries and raspberry liqueur:

RASPBERRY MARGARITA

  • Spirits: 2 parts Tequila
  • Liqueurs: .5 part Chambord or Raspberry brandy
  • Fruit: 1 part Lime; 10 fresh raspberries
  • Sweets: .5 Agave syrup
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Pour all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. No need to muddle, the shaking will rip the raspberries apart into the cocktail. Pour into a glass over ice, straining if desired. Enjoy.

Semi-opaque ruby red in the glass. Raspberry and agave aromas dominate. Smoky tequila, lime and fresh raspberry flavors with texture provided by the raspberry pulp and a bit of crunch from the seeds as I chose not to strain. Refreshing and tasty.
  • A frozen Margarita gets its texture from being blended with ice but the problem is the texture will lessen as the ice melts. Further the large amount of blended ice really dilutes the cocktail. Here, the texture is provided by the fresh raspberry pulp and never dissipates. Plus, dilution is controlled by the more minimal amount of ice in the glass that you fully control.
  • Raspberry seeds aren't to everyone's liking so feel free to strain out the seeds by double straining into your glass. Just be aware that you will also lose a great deal of raspberry pulp as well if you choose this option. I prefer to keep the seeds.
cid_78.jpeg
Raspberry Margarita
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#575 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 23rd, 2020, 8:02 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE BILLIONAIRE

My next cocktail is a rather complex Bourbon based sour to which I have made an interesting alteration based upon my experiences with the Apricot Sour:

BILLIONAIRE

  • Spirits: 1 part Bourbon; 1 part Canadian Whisky (original calls for 2 parts Bourbon)
  • Liqueurs: .25 Absinthe
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: .5 Simple syrup
  • Bitters: .5 Campari, Aperol, Rosso Antico or any red aperitivo
  • Sodas: None
Pour all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

Reddish brown in the glass. Tastes of smoke, tobacco, cream, licorice, herbs, and sweet red berries. Very nice sour cocktail with more complexity than usual.
  • This is my first use of Absinthe in a cocktail. Some consider it a liqueur, others consider it a bitter. I consider it more of a liqueur due to the very high ABV, even higher than that of green Chartruese and matching a cask strength spirit. I was expecting it to be herbal based on the complex ingredient list but the most predominant flavor is actually anise, to the point where I honestly felt that a Pastis liqueur could also do the job. My internet research shows that Pastis was in fact invented when Absinthe was hard to acquire. Feel free to substitute as you like.
  • The original Billionaire cocktail calls for 2 parts Bourbon. Based on my experience of the Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 25 YO Bourbon overwhelming the Apricot Sour, I decided to split the spirit base into equal parts of the hefty Rhetoric and the Gooderham & Wort's Wellington 49 19 YO Canadian Whisky. Right call. I get the classic smoke, char and sweet vanilla from the Bourbon tamed by the creamy backbone of the Canadian Whisky. I will likely use this combo for future mixing when Bourbon is called for.
  • You will find many recipes on the Internet for the Billionaire that calls for grenadine instead of a red aperitivo. My research shows that this is either a widespread error or possibly an attempt to get by with a cheaper ingredient in the cocktail. Either way, it is incorrect. It is the Millionaire cocktail that calls for grenadine syrup and the Billionaire that calls for an Italian red aperitivo. Proportions for the Millionaire are exactly the same as above just substituting in grenadine for the aperitivo. would advise using pomegranate molasses instead to at least get genuine pomegranate flavor.
20200823_192316.jpg
Orphan Barrel 25 YO Rhetoric Bourbon, Gooderham & Worts Wellington 49 19 YO Canadian Whisky, Billionaire cocktail, St. George Absinthe, Rosso Antico
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#576 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 24th, 2020, 1:41 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: COME SEE THE PARADISE -- AN ORIGINAL COCKTAIL

I finally feel confident enough to do an attempt at a wholly original cocktail that hasn't been done before. I even gave it its own pretentious name so it has to be good! [wow.gif] Behold my creation:

COME SEE THE PARADISE

  • Spirits: 2 parts Gin
  • Liqueurs: .5 St-Germain
  • Fruit: .5 part Lemon; 1 whole Passion fruit (either small purple or a larger Grenadilla will do)
  • Sweets: .5 Agave syrup
  • Bitters: .5 Campari, Aperol, Rosso Antico or any red Italian aperitivo
  • Sodas: None
Scoop the pulp and seeds of 1 whole passion fruit into your shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for several seconds. The whip action will crush the passion fruit pulp and extract its juice, but you may certainly muddle before shaking if you wish. Pour into a glass over ice, straining it if you don't want to munch on the passion fruit seeds. The pitch black seeds do make a a nice visual contrast in the glass, however, as they fall to the bottom of the cocktail. EIther way, enjoy.

Bright yellow reddish in the glass. Passion fruit dominates the nose with a slight touch of juniper. In the mouth, lovely refreshing tastes of passion fruit, juniper, elderflower, bitters and red berries. Very refreshing.
  • This is my first wholly original cocktail. It is not taken from any other source, nor is it a variation of a previously existing one. A Google search aftewards for the terms gin, passionfruit, St-Germain and Campari yields some that are surprisingly close like the Old Friend, Sun Fruit, but not close enough. I have succeeded. Mine is different enough that I can claim it is a true original. Yay me.
  • This is a fruit forward cocktail and the gin is a supporting player, not the star of the show. It leans towards the tropical but is not quite a tiki cocktail as it lacks orgeat or coconut cream. However, I could certainly see this working with either addition and changing out Gin for some Rum.
  • I used Agave syrup for its flavor profile but you could certainly use plain old simple syrup if you wished.
20200824_145951.jpg
Bombay Sapphire Gin, St-Germain, the Come See the Paradise cocktail, organic Agave syrup and Rosso Antico
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#577 Post by ClarkstonMark » August 25th, 2020, 6:22 am

Tran, could you post your shaker next time you post a cocktail?

Or anyone, I am looking for a better shaker - any recommendations?
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#578 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 25th, 2020, 7:03 am

Hi Mark,

The cocktail shaker I use is a stainless steel Trudeau cocktail shaker. It's a cobbler style shaker with built in strainer and cap/2 oz measure. If you Google it up you will see that they have since updated the design twice. The first time to be less rounded and more angular. Presumably so that it looks like something designed in the era of smartphones and tablets and not the 1970's. The second time was to print recipes on the outer layer of the cup and add a useless second steel jacket with little oval windows so you can read the recipes. My personal feeling is that they should have stopped at the second angular design and not gone with their latest iteration which looks kitschy and is a huge step backwards IMHO. Anyhow, here are my pics of my shaker below:

20200825_093137.jpg
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#579 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » August 25th, 2020, 3:55 pm

ClarkstonMark wrote:
August 25th, 2020, 6:22 am
Tran, could you post your shaker next time you post a cocktail?

Or anyone, I am looking for a better shaker - any recommendations?
https://www.cocktailkingdom.com/all-bar ... aking-tins
A large and small shaker will make a set. Metal is best for shaking or stirring, it keeps the drink coldest with minimal dilution.

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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#580 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 25th, 2020, 4:56 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE KING'S JUBILEE

Time for another cocktail found on the Internet. This is a Rum sour variation that might appeal to people :

KING'S JUBILEE

  • Spirits: 2 parts Rum
  • Liqueurs: 1 part Maraschino liqueur
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon
  • Sweets: None
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Shake all the ingredients together with ice. Pour over ice into a glass. Enjoy.

Light gold brown in the glass. The Maraschino dominates the nose. Tastes of brown sugar, almonds, cherry essence and lemon. Well integrated and evenly balanced cocktail. Tasty but not necessarily exciting.
  • This Rum sour variation relies on Maraschino liqueur and it's a make or break deal. The Maraschino is either the hero or the villain of the cocktail depending on how much you enjoy that flavor. If you like it, you'll enjoy that cocktail. If you don't, you're going to hate this. IMHO there really isn't any two ways about this as Maraschino is the only igredient that separates this from a traditional Rum sour.
  • If you don't have Maraschino liqueur on hand there's a couple of easy substitutions you can use instead. The first is 1 part syrup from a jar of Maraschino cherries. The other is 1 part Kirsch and .5 parts simple syrup. In case you didn't realize, Maraschino liqueur is in fact nothing more than a mix of Kirsch and simple syrup.
20200825_192811.jpg
Flor de Cana 18 YO Rum, King's Jubilee and Maraschino liqueur in a nice decanter
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#581 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 27th, 2020, 12:50 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE IRISH MAID

Another classic cocktail using Scotch Whisky and an unusual array of ingredients. Let's go:

IRISH MAID

  • Spirits: 2 parts Irish or Scotch whisky
  • Liqueurs: .5 parts St-Germain
  • Fruit: 1 part Lemon; 1 part Cucumber juice (or 2 slices fresh cucumber per serving; see notes below)
  • Sweets: .75 Simple syrup
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Shake all the ingredients together with ice. Pour over ice into a glass. Enjoy.

A bright yellow gold in the glass. Cucumber surprisingly dominates the nose followed by the Scotch. Tastes like smooth cucumber lemonade with touches of sweet elderflower, smoke and barley sweetness. A really high saline note at the beginning, more so than any cocktail I've ever made to date. Surprisingly well integrated cocktail. Even more surprisingly, it is the cucumber and St-Germain that take center stage as the heroes while the Scotch only plays a supporting part. I really didn't think these ingredients would actually work but they actually do go well together. Just know that the whisky will be more of a background player.
  • This is essentially just a Scotch/Irish whisky sour varation is enhanced by the addition of cucumber and elderflower. I would have thought these would be a huge contrast with each other but as I said above, they surprisingly work very well together. I could easily see this working subbing in Tequila, Vodka or Canadian Whisky as the main spirit instead of Irish or Scotch whisky. I might hesitate a little with Bourbon, but Internet research shows there is a cocktail out there called the Kentucky Maid so it's already been done. Shows what I know.
  • The original recipe calls for 2 cucumber slices to be muddled together in the shaker first before shaking with the rest of the ingredients and for the final glass to be decorated with an additional cucumber slice. However, if you remember from a previous post, you can easily shred and then drain cucumber to get some fresh cucumber juice. You'll just have to do something with the cucumber shreds afterwards (like putting them in a salad or making fresh Tzatziki dip). If the idea of leftover shredded cucumber doesn't appeal to you, then use the 2 muddled cucumber slices per serving method instead.
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Chivas Regal 18 YO Blended Scotch whisky, Irish Maid cocktail, and St-Germain liqueur
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#582 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 27th, 2020, 1:20 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: SWEET LIBERTY

Here's a variation of a Sherry Cobbler I tried last night with dinner:

SWEET LIBERTY

  • Spirits: 2 parts dry Sherry
  • Liqueurs: .5 parts St-Germain
  • Fruit: 1 part Grapefruit; .5 part Pineapple
  • Sweets: .25 honey (or. 5 honey syrup if you use that instead)
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Stir the ingredients lightly in a shaker tin first in order to dissolve the honey. If you use honey syrup instead, there is no need to stir first. Shake all the ingredients together with ice. Pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

An opaque yellow brown in the glass. Nuts and pineapple on the nose. In the mouth, well-combined flavors of nuts, honey and fruit with an incredibly smooth cocktail that has a bit of a glycerin feel to it. Stunning how smooth the texture of this is going down. I didn't think nutty sherry and tangy grapefruit and pineapple would work together but it really does so very well. My favorite non-spirit cocktail to date.
  • The classic recipe calls for a Fino, the lightest and youngest of the dry Sherries, but feel free to substitute any dry sherry in that you wish. Any Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Palo Cortado or Oloroso should do as long as it's dry. Just keep in mind that the higher you go, the nuttier your cocktail will taste.

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El Maestro Sierra Oloroso sherry, St-Germain liqueur, local artisinal Buckwheat honey, Sweet Liberty cocktail, fresh grapefruit juice, pineapple juice
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#583 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 27th, 2020, 7:43 pm

Hey guys, over in the Epicurean Exploits forum I've put up a long tangentially related post on how to make clear ice for your cocktails. you can find it at viewtopic.php?f=6&t=172768
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#584 Post by Tran Bronstein » August 28th, 2020, 4:58 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE SPARKLING SHAMROCK

So I found a sparkling highball cocktail called the Sparkling Shamrock that uses French spirit and liqueur as its main components. Go figure. Naturally, I had to give this a try:

SPARKLING SHAMROCK

  • Spirits: 2 parts Eau de Vie (i.e. clear fruit spirit)
  • Liqueurs: .5 parts St-Germain
  • Fruit: .5 part Lemon
  • Sweets: .5 Simple syrup
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: 4 parts Soda (or carbonated water of your choice)


Shake the eau de vie, St-Germain, lemon juice and syrup with ice in shaker. Pour into a highball glass or frosty mug filled with ice. Enjoy.

Bright golden yellow in the glass from the elderflower liqueur and lemon juice. Refreshing taste of stewed fruit in elderflower lemonade. Taste isn't as diluted as you'd think it would be given the large amount of ice involved in making and serving as well as the additional soda. Nice on a hot summer day.
  • How this cocktail made using French ingredients as its base got its name I'll never figure out. It's not even green in color!
  • The original recipe calls for using Poire Williams, the classic French pear clear distillate, as its spirit base but it can be made with any fruit eau de vie: Poire Williams, Kirsch, Vieille Prune, Melocotogne, whatever you fancy as long as it's fruit based and unsweetened. I used Kirsch myself.
  • The bartending technique of adding soda or any other carbonated beverage to a cocktail is referred to as lengthening the cocktail and it's how you turn any standard cocktail which are often referred to as lowball cocktails into a highball cocktail.
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Kirsch, Sparkling Shamrock cocktail, sparkling spring water made in a Sodastream, St-Germain liqueur
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#585 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 4th, 2020, 1:27 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE ROLLS ROYCE

It's rare to find a shaken cocktail that relies on orange juice as the citrus. I was curious and found one to try. Now I know why this is the case:

ROLLS-ROYCE

  • Spirits: 1.75 parts Brandy
  • Liqueurs: .75 parts Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Triple Sec orange liqueur
  • Fruit: .75 parts Orange
  • Sweets: None
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Shake the ingredients togther with ice in shaker. Pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

Dark brown in the glass from the Brandy de Jerez, but honestly it just would've been light brown using a regular brandy. All brandy on the nose with a very slight hit or sweet orange aroma. In the mouth, the brandy flavor completely dominates with only just the barest hint of orange from the Grand Marnier and fresh juice. There is no balancing acidity and this drinks like a non-sour ancestral style spirits only cocktail. I would've been much better off either using lemon juice to make this into a classic Sidecar or sprucing it up with Vermouth and/or bitters. As is, it is absolutely nothing exciting. It doesn't even showcase the orange flavor from the liqueur which is allegedly the star of the show here.
  • This is the first truly disappointing cocktail I've made and had since embarking on this journey of mine. The really puzzling thing is that I found it on the Cointreau website. You'd think they'd list a cocktail that really shows off what orange liqueur can do.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#586 Post by Eric Michels » September 4th, 2020, 5:14 pm

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
August 25th, 2020, 3:55 pm
ClarkstonMark wrote:
August 25th, 2020, 6:22 am
Tran, could you post your shaker next time you post a cocktail?

Or anyone, I am looking for a better shaker - any recommendations?
https://www.cocktailkingdom.com/all-bar ... aking-tins
A large and small shaker will make a set. Metal is best for shaking or stirring, it keeps the drink coldest with minimal dilution.
I second this recommendation. I find the style that Tran posted to work pretty well as well but have a personal preference for the double tins. Previously I had a couple of single tin with pint-style mixing glass setups and I found the double tin to be a significant improvement in speed and texture.

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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#587 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 4th, 2020, 6:40 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE JAMAICAN MULE

I was introduced to this cocktail by an Appleton Estate representative doing a presentation at the LCBO last summer and now that I'm a full-fledged cocktail fanatic, it's time to give this upscaled version of a classic cocktail a whirl:

THE JAMAICAN MULE

  • Spirits: 2 parts Rum
  • Liqueurs: None
  • Fruit: 1 part Lime
  • Sweets: None
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: 6 oz Ginger Beer

Add the rum and lime juice together to a large glass filled with ice. Gently pour in ginger beer. No stirring needed, the flow of the ginger beer combined with the carbonation will do all the mixing for you. Enjoy.

Muddy brown in the glass from the Rum. Almost looks like a blonde craft beer up close. Equal parts rum and sweet ginger on the nose. On the palate the smooth rum leads into sweet ginger and then the tangy lime kicks in. Those flavors then fade out as the ginger spice lingers on the finish for a long time. Not terribly complex and in fact I'd even go so far as to say it actually doesn't integrate well, but so incredibly tasty and refreshing it truly doesn't matter. Enjoy it for the upscaled fun drink that it is.
  • The original cocktail this is based on is of course the Moscow Mule, which uses the same formula above substituting in flavorless vodka instead of rum and allowing the lime and ginger to completely dominate. If Rum isn't your thing, feel free to stay true to the original.
  • This upscale modified cocktail is often championed by Appleton Estate who of course are a premier Jamaican Rum. They are in fact who introduced me to this cocktail.
  • Substituting in milder ginger ale for the ginger beer converts this drink into a Jamaican Buck.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#588 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 7th, 2020, 4:36 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE CANADIAN EXPAT

It's been a while since I've had a Bourbon cocktail. Here's my updated version of an Expat cocktail:

THE CANADIAN EXPAT

  • Spirits: 1 part American Whisky (aka Bourbon); 1 part Canadian Whisky
  • Liqueurs: None
  • Fruit: .5 part Lemon; .5 part Lime
  • Sweets: .5 Simple syrup
  • Bitters: a few dashes Angostura bitters
  • Sodas: None
Shake the two whiskies, lemon and lime juice together with ice. Pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

Reddish brown in the glass. Muted Bourbon smoke and lime on the nose. Tangy lemon and lime and Bourbon smoke and char on the palate followed by a touch of creaminess. An enjoyable upscale from a traditional Whisky Sour.
  • The original Expat cocktail calls for 2 parts Bourbon and 1 part Lime. Feel free to adjust this way if you'd like to make the original cocktail.


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Rhetoric 25 YO Bourbon, Angostura bitters, Canadian Expat cocktail, Gooderham & Worts Wellington 49 19 YO Canadian Whisky
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#589 Post by Andrew Kotowski » September 7th, 2020, 5:57 pm

Went top shelf on a Oaxaca Old Fashioned tonight. Has to be the first time in 10 years we haven’t had an orange in the house (garnish).

3 oz Casa Dragones Tequila Blanco
1 oz Mezcales de Leyenda Guerrero
4 dashes Angostura
2 tsp agave nectar
Orange peel garnish

Recipe from Death and Co book (doubled), created by Phil Ward.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#590 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 8th, 2020, 12:33 pm

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 5:57 pm
Went top shelf on a Oaxaca Old Fashioned tonight. Has to be the first time in 10 years we haven’t had an orange in the house (garnish).

3 oz Casa Dragones Tequila Blanco
1 oz Mezcales de Leyenda Guerrero
4 dashes Angostura
2 tsp agave nectar
Orange peel garnish

Recipe from Death and Co book (doubled), created by Phil Ward.
Did you double the recipe for a single serving or two servings? Because that must pack a heckuva wallop for a single person. Not that there's anything wrong with that. [cheers.gif] Just seems quite potent if for a single serving. But hey, they didn't invent the phrase "Make it a double!" for no good reason! [wow.gif]
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#591 Post by Andrew Kotowski » September 8th, 2020, 12:38 pm

I doubled it for myself; the ice cube makes it look bigger ;)
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#592 Post by Craig G » September 8th, 2020, 12:39 pm

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 12:38 pm
I doubled it for myself ;)
2020 formula.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#593 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 8th, 2020, 12:49 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE STRAWBERRY GIN FIZZ

Look it's a Gin based highball cocktail with fresh fruit:

STRAWBERRY GIN FIZZ

  • Spirits: 1.5 parts Gin
  • Liqueurs: None
  • Fruit: .5 part Lemon; 2-4 whole strawberries (depending on size)
  • Sweets: .5 Simple syrup
  • Bitters: .5 Vermouth
  • Sodas: 4 oz Soda

Dry shake all the ingredients together without ice. This will essentially tear the strawberries apart and blend it in to the cocktail. When they are fully pulverized and integrated, add ice to the shaker and shake again. Pour into a highball glass or frosty mug filled with ice. Top with the soda. Enjoy.

Semi-opaque reddish-pink in the glass. Strawberry dominates the nose, but on the palate the juniper enjoys equal status with the fresh strawberries as the tart lemon provides a backbone. This is dry and refreshing despite the added syrup because the fresh strawberries aren't high in sugar content and the sweetness is diluted by the soda and kept in check by the Gin. Very nice highball drink.
  • You can pull off this cocktail using frozen strawberries as I did by dry shaking. This will chill your shaker as if you had ice in it but it will not dilute the cocktail. Instead the strawberries will slowly disintegrate into the drink. Bear in mind you will have to shake for a bit longer than usual but it will be worth the effort. Once the berries are incorporated, feel free to add ice and shake again and then finish with ice and soda in a glass.
  • You are looking for essentially an ounce of strawberry pulp in the drink so eye your strawberries accordingly. I listed 2-4 with the idea that 2 large strawberries or 4 smaller ones might do the trick but you could be looking at more if you are using locally grown strawberries which tend to be much smaller than commercially grown ones. Judge accordingly. Just remember as you add more strawberry it becomes more of a dominant player as opposed to playing equally with the gin.
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Strawberry Gin Smash and Bombay Sapphire Gin (Cocchi Vermouth di Torino not pictured)
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#594 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 9th, 2020, 1:07 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE UPSCALE MAI TAI

For my next cocktail, I decided to seriously upgrade a classic Mai Tai tiki cocktail into something much grander and worthy of a Berserker to drink:

UPSCALE MAI TAI

  • Spirits: 2 parts aged Rum
  • Liqueurs: .5 parts Pineapple liqueur (see note below) OR Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Curacao or Triple sec liqueur
  • Fruit: .5 part Lime
  • Sweets: .15 part Pomengranate molasses (see below for measurement note); .5 parts Orgeat
  • Bitters: .None
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together with ice. Pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

Creamy brown in the glass thanks to the Orgeat and Rum. Rum and roasted pineapple dominate the nose. On the palate, a smooth creamy texture carries brown sugar, tart lime, sweet almond and pomengranate flavors. The pomengranate mixes with the lime to provide a lasting tart finish that mingles with the alcohol. The tart lime in particular lasts very long. Very complex and tasty for a tiki cocktail. A little sweet, you may want to add lots of ice for dilution.
  • The original Mai Tai calls for cheap rum and a cheap orange liqueur. I upscaled both by using high-end rum and my own homemade Pineapple Marnier for a more tropial flavor. You can make your own using dried pineapple and following my instructions on my homemade Marnier thread, but you can also find many pineapple liqueurs on the market so you don't have to make one yourself. Or you can substitute in a traditional orange liqueur for the classic recipe.
  • I also used homemade orgeat which I created by combining almond milk, orange flower water and sugar. You can of course buy your own as well but buyer beware -- many orgeat syrups on the market are simply sugar syrup with almon extract added. That means you are paying premium price for water and sugar you could have boiled together yourself into a syrup and added almond extract to afterwards.
  • Because it is often made by bars using cheap light or white rum and cheap orgeat syrup, a traditional Mai Tai has very little color to it and is often served with a float of cheap grenadine syrup on top which adds even more sweetness and virtually no flavor. This upscale version requires you to use real pomegranate molasses which is both extremely sweet and extremely tart. Assuming the parts you are using is ounces, .15 part of pomengranate molasses is a scant teaspoon. Do not use any more than this, pomegranate molasses is extremely powerful stuff and is best used in moderation. Once you taste it, however, you will never go back to cheap grenadine syrup ever again for your cocktails.
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Flor de Cana 18 YO Rum, Upscale Mai Tai, Pomengranate Molasses, homemade Pineapple Marnier
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#595 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 10th, 2020, 5:51 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE FAIRBANKS LOAN NO. 2

I found this rather pretentiously named and complicated to make cocktail on the Punch website which appealed to my snobbery so I immediately set out to make it:

FAIRBANKS LOAN NO. 2

  • Spirits: 1 part Gin
  • Liqueurs: 1 part Pineapple liqueur OR Pineapple Rum (see note below)
  • Fruit: .25 parts Lime; .25 parts Lemon
  • Sweets: .25 Honey
  • Bitters: .25 Vermouth; .125 Amaro; .08 Campari (or other red Italian aperitivo) (see notes below on measurement)
  • Sodas: None
Place all ingredients in a shaker and stir or dry shake gently to dissolve the honey. Then add ice and shake. Pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

Light translucent brown in the glass. No particularly dominant aroma though I can smell some juniper and Vermouth spices. On the palate this is very well integrated with complex flavors of herbs, spices, red berry fruit, and lime. Not too sweet but not too tart either. A particularly smooth texture and body, almost like wine despite the presence of the ice. Nice cocktail.
  • The original cocktail recipe calls for Pineapple rum. Now I don't know about you guys, but I have yet to encounter any pineapple flavored rum that wasn't cheap artificially flavored garbage. As such, I called for using pineapple liqueur as an option. In my case, I used my homemade Pineapple Marnier.
  • The original cocktail also calls for a half part of something called Lilletpertif. I'd never heard of this before and annoyingly it turned out to be a mix of 1 part Lillet, .5 parts Vermouth and .25 parts Campari. This resulted me in having to annoyingly calculate a correct proportion of each individual ingredient to equal that .t part. If my numbers above annoy you in terms of figuring out the proportions, this might help: assuming a single serving and that each part in my formula is exactly one ounce, then you need .25 ounces Vermouth to substitute for the Lillet (or you can use actual Lillet or any bottled Americano), 3/4 tsp Amaro and a scant 1/2 tsp Campari. You could also mix your Lilletpertif but bear in mind that I have yet to find any other cocktail that uses it which is why I figured out the exact proportions for a single serving.
  • This sour cocktail is very different from the nearly identical named Fairbanks No. 2. which is an ancestral cocktail highlighted by its use of Creme de Noyaux or Amaretto. Do not get them confused with each other.


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Bombay Sapphire Gin, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Rosso Antico, Fairbanks Loan No. 2 cocktail, my homemade Amaro blend and my homemade Pineapple Marnier
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#596 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 11th, 2020, 7:51 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE O-FISH-ALLY OPEN

This cheery and cheekily titled cocktail is actually quite unusual in that it's pretty much a Gin based tiki cocktail:

O-FISH-ALLY OPEN

  • Spirits: 1 .5 parts Gin
  • Liqueurs: .25 part Absinthe
  • Fruit: .75 parts Lemon; .25 parts Grapefruit; .25 parts Orange
  • Sweets: .25 Simple syrup
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Shake all ingredients together with ice and pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy.

Golden yellow in the glass thanks to the unusual blend of ruby pink, white, orange and green colors of the juices and Absinthe. Anise rules the nose followed by citrus. In the mouth, well integrated tart citrus and sweet licorice flavors play the heroes while the herbacious gin subtly blends into the background.

  • The original cocktail calls for no simple syrup. After one small sip, I deemed this absolutely necessary as the combination of both lemon and grapefruit citrus was far too astringent and bitter together, not sour. Once a touch of sweetness was added, everything magically came together. Feel free to omit it though if prefer a drier cocktail.
20200911_210129.jpg
Bombay Sapphire Gin, O-Fish-Ally Open, St. George Absinthe
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#597 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 13th, 2020, 4:03 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE STYGIAN MOJITO

Here's an interesting variation on the classic Mojito made better by the simple addition of one choice ingredient:

STYGIAN MOJITO

  • Spirits: 2 parts Rum
  • Liqueurs: None
  • Fruit: 1 part Lime
  • Sweets: .5 Simple syrup
  • Bitters: .5 Amaro
  • Sodas: 4 oz Soda

Shake the Rum, mint leaves, lime juice and simple syrup together over ice. Pour over ice into a tall Collins glass or frosty mug. Add the soda water. Enjoy.

Light brown in the glass due to the Rum and Amaro, almost beer colored. Sweet mint rules the nose followed by citrus. In the mouth, well integrated mint, lime candy, and brown sugar flavors. Not too tart and not too sweet, either. Well integrated and made refreshing by the soda water. The bitter Amaro is basically just an accent that only shows up on the finish. Basically this is a soda for adults.

  • This cocktail is just your classic Mojito along with an addition of Amaro bitters to enhance it a bit. I don't really notice the bitters until the finish, but I am using top shelf rum instead of cheap white rum so that may be why it's more of a background supporter than a star player in this drink. You may notice it more if you use classic white rum.
  • Alternatively, you could just use a few dashes of Angostura bitters instead of the Amaro.
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Flor de Cana 18 YO Rum, Stygian Mojito, homemade Amaro and fresh Mint
Tran's the smart one!- M Grammer

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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#598 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 14th, 2020, 5:05 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY

Been a while since I've done a Scotch cocktail. Here's a new one to try:

PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY

  • Spirits: 1.5 parts Scotch whisky
  • Liqueurs: 1 part Drambruie
  • Fruit: 1 part Lime
  • Sweets: None
  • Bitters: .5 Campari, Aperol, Rosso Antico or other red apertivo
  • Sodas: None
Shake all the ingredients together over ice. Pour over ice into a glass. Enjoy.

Translucent brownish-red in the glass. Nose is quite muted, faint hits of Scotch and Rosso Antico. In the mouth, however, a nice melange of smoke, barley, bitter herbs, and honey sweet lime. There is no star player or hero in the cocktail, you can get a sense of everything individually and together.
  • This cocktail ingredient list reads almost like a trainwreck but in the end everything plays well together. Though it would be anathema to Scotch purists, it does make a very interesting base for sour cocktails.
  • The Chivas Regal 18 blended Scotch I use here isn't a peaty smokehouse, but I think this would actually be slightly better with some peat flavor in it. I may have to invest in some Johnny Walker 18 in the near future and try this again.
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Chivas Regal 18, Plausible Deniability cocktail, Drambruie liqueur and Rosso Antico aperitivo
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#599 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 16th, 2020, 6:54 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: A RED CAR NAMED DESIRE

It occurred to me that I had yet to try a single Ancestral style cocktail that only required booze so I decided to give one a crack tonight and The Educated Barfly just happened to post a new one today so I tried it:

A RED CAR NAMED DESIRE

  • Spirits: .5 parts aged Bourbon; 1 part Canadian Whisky (original calls for 1.5 parts Bourbon)
  • Liqueurs: .5 parts Cherry Brandy (original calls for Maurin Quina); .5 parts Maraschino
  • Fruit: None
  • Sweets: None
  • Bitters: .5 parts Amaro (original calls for Cynar specifically)
  • Sodas: None
Shake all the ingredients together over ice. Pour over ice into a glass. Enjoy.

Translucent brown in the glass. Nose is muted, mostly Bourbon smoke and char and not a hint of cherry despite using two different cherry flavored spirits. On the mouth, I get really just mostly the smooth Canadian whisky and smoke and char from the Bourbon. I'm getting no bitterness from the Amaro and absolutely no cherry flavor at all. The large amount of booze is actually making the drink feel heavy the more I drink it.

If I'm being honest, this is really quite the letdown. It lacks the sweetness and complexity of a Manhattan made with quality Whisky and Vermouth. In fact, now that I think about it the entire formulation seems geared to getting the cherry spirits and the Amaro to do the job of the Vermouth and they're failing at it. I really wasn't enjoying this so I decided to add .5 parts fresh lime juice and .25 of Agave syrup to turn it into a sour where the flavors at leasted blended together into a tolerable sour. It's somewhat insane to me that five high quality spirits somehow turn out a less than average cocktail in my eyes. This may be enough to actually get me to stick to just Manhattans and sour cocktails. I'll definitely try a Sazerac or a Boulevardier next to try and redeem Ancestral cocktails.
  • This is a booze only cocktail. They are often referred to as Ancestrals, nightcaps and lowballs. The major characteristic is no citrus juice additions of any kind.
  • To be fair, the original calls for Maurin Quina which is not a cherry brandy but a fortified wine that uses cherry brandy to fortify it and then adds spices and quinine. A cherry flavored Vermouth or Lillet if you will. That may have spruced it up a bit more than using pure cherry brandy which I used here with my homemade Cherry Marnier.
  • On the other hand, it uses the artichoke based Cynar as the bitter component which is an acquired taste, to say the least, even for those of us that love sipping Amaros neat or on ice by themselves. I can't imagine that additional vegetal note adding more to this cocktail.
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Gooderham & Worts Wellington 49 19 YO Canadian whisky, Maraschino, Amaro, homemade Cherry Marnier and Rhetoric 25 YO Bourbon in the background. A Red Car Named Desire cocktail in the foreground.
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Re: The Cocktail Thread

#600 Post by Tran Bronstein » September 18th, 2020, 9:43 pm

COCKTAIL CHRONICLES: THE BREAKFAST MARTINI

I've never been one for Martinis but this was honestly more of a sour than a Martini so I gave it a try:

BREAKFAST MARTINI

  • Spirits: 1.75 Gin
  • Liqueurs: .5 parts Grand Marnier (I used my homemade Pineapple Marnier)
  • Fruit: .5 Lemon; 1 tsp marmalade, jam or preserves (I used cherry)
  • Sweets: None
  • Bitters: None
  • Sodas: None
Shake all the ingredients together over ice. Pour over ice into a glass. If you don't want the jammy fruit in the glass, then strain when you pour. Enjoy.

Dark red in the glass due to the jam. Smooth nose of gin and cherry. In the mouth, the gin is actually the star player and combines with the jam for a very smooth texture and lightly sweet taste accented with just a touch of lemon sour. Really smooth and nice cocktail.
  • This is the smoothest Gin cocktail I have had yet and is the first to really make me actually consider the texture of the cocktail
20200918_203035.jpg
Pineapple Marnier, Breakfast Martini, Smuckers Cherry jam, Bombay Sapphire Jam
Tran's the smart one!- M Grammer

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