Year of the Fire Monkey

Year of the Fire Monkey

  • 1.5 oz. reposado tequila
  • 0.75 oz. banana liqueur (Tempus Fugit)
  • 0.5 oz. Ancho Reyes Poblano liqueur
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. Averna
  • dash of Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into coupe.

I’m not sure what led me down a path of bananas and chilies, but it works. I stuck with tequila to match the chile liqueur, and added lemon for some acid then some bitter amaro and Angostura.

The drink has a nice sweetness and bite. I thought the sign from the Chinese Zodiac was fitting for a name. Too bad it’s not for 2020. But the Water Rat doesn’t sound like a good drink. Though perhaps it is appropriate for the year thus far.

Tin Goose

Tin Goose

  • 1.5 oz. Dovetail Florida rum
  • 0.5 oz. Barcardi Reserva 8 yr.
  • 0.5 oz. creme de cacao (Tempus Fugit)
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. Lillet Blanc

Shake with ice and strain into coupe.

Here’s a run twist on a Twentieth Century Cocktail, one of my favorite gin drinks. Obviously rum is subbed for the gin, and the ratios were then tweaked to my taste.

Since the original drink’s name comes from the train transport between Chicago and New York City, I thought in this case with the Florida and (originally) Cuban rum it was only appropriate to name the drink after the common transport on that route back during Prohibition, the Ford Trimotor, nicknamed the Tin Goose.

There have been other Tin Goose cocktails, I must admit, but it seemed too perfect for this drink to not use. And the drink will be gone before anyone notices.

Mint Dynasty

Mint Dynasty

  • 1.5 oz. silver tequila
  • 0.5 oz. Mandarine Napoleon
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. Kina L’Aero d’Or
  • 0.25 oz. Branca Menta
  • 0.25 oz. simple syrup

Shake with ice and strain into coupe.

Here’s a little hodgepodge of a cocktail that came from me wanting to use up my Mandarine Napoleon which I’ve had on the shelf for years, a Cognac-based orange liqueur. I mixed this with lemon and mint, then some Kina for bitterness and sweetness. The latter needed a little amping up, and so the simple syrup was added.

Wasn’t sure of a name, but working from the Mandarine I went with something Chinese over Mexican or French, but really this was an international endeavor. For me, the prevailing flavor was the mint, so I focused on that with the name. Not sure the pun works, but does that really matter when you enjoy what you’re sipping?

Guerre de Course

courseDeGuerre3
Guerre de Course

  • 1.0 oz. aged rhum agricole (Clement 6 yr.)
  • 0.5 oz. Cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840)
  • 0.5 oz. sweet vermouth (Noilly Prat)
  • 0.5 oz. Maurin Quina
  • 0.25 oz. Amer Picon
  • 0.25 oz. Benedictine

Stir with ice and strain into coupe.

This one started out in a completely different place as sort of a rum Manhattan, and over iterations evolved until I noticed mostly French ingredients. So I decided to swap in rhum agricole from Martinique split with Cognac instead of the original rum, and then added a dash of Benedictine for good measure, and got this complex sipper.

The French angle had me thinking of French corsairs in place of English privateers, and doing a bit of reading found the term “guerre de course,” meaning “commerce raiding” which is such a fancy term for pirating. Fancy name for a fancy drink.

Second Breakfast

secondBreakfast
Second Breakfast

Stir with ice and strain into teacup. Garnish with fresh cinnamon.

The quince gin was a recent tasty acquisition and I wanted to play around with it. Doing a little exploration on flavor pairings I saw that quince and coffee can work together so I grabbed the Leopold Bros. coffee offering and used the apple brandy as a base (the quince gin is fairly sweet). Still needed a little additional bitterness, and that’s where the Cynar came in. The final drink had a nice sweet and bitter balance, and the cinnamon on the nose played wonderfully with the apple and quince.

Second breakfast I guess is a “thing”, though I never heard it until Fellowship of the Ring. But an apple and coffee is a common offering so it seemed perfect for this drink. Not a bad way to start the day. Again.

Moon in June

moonInJune
Moon in June

Shake with ice and strain into coupe. Garnish with three drops of rose water, a strawberry and some basil.

I recently acquired the Puerto De Indias strawberry gin and just fell in love with it. The strawberry on the nose is so pronounced, yet the flavor does not come across as artificial nor cloying, just a bright crisp strawberry essence within the gin.

It seemed only natural to match this with basil, and I had the Square One vodka on hand. Everything else just sort of fell in place. The lemon was on obvious choice for acid, the Lillet adds some sweet and bitter. That sweetness needed a little extra from the simple syrup. With a few drops of rose for the scent I had a drink.

The name recalls sappy lyrics from the Tin Pan Alley era, where “moon,” “June,” and “spoon” were common rhymes in love songs. But as the June moon is known as both the Strawberry Moon and the Rose Moon due to June ripening and blossoming, it seemed a perfect name. Sappy doesn’t necessarily mean insincere, and I sincerely love this drink!

124 Conch St.

124ConchSt

124 Conch St.

  • 1.5 oz. Plantation Pineapple rum
  • 0.5 oz. The Funk Jamaican rum
  • 0.5 oz. pineapple liqueur (Giffard)
  • 0.5 oz. Velvet Falernum
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. Benedictine
  • dash of Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain over cracked ice in tiki mug.

Pineapple tiki without pineapple juice, which I often don’t have on hand. Here I combined some Jamaican Funk with the Stiggins’ Fancy from Plantation. For more pineapple kick I added Giffard’s Caribbean Pineapple liqueur. Lemon was my acid tartness, and for more sweetness I reached for the falernum. Finally, my go to for rounding out many a drink, tiki or not, is Benedictine and Angostura. I stand by that.

The name comes from the address of that certain sea dweller who lives in a pineapple under the sea. Are you ready, kids?

Splice the Mainbrace

20200531_225718-01
Splice the Mainbrace

  • 1.0 oz. aged Jamaican rum (Appleton Reserve)
  • 1.0 oz. aged rhum agricole (Barbancourt 8)
  • 0.5 oz. coconut liqueur (Kalani)
  • 0.5 oz. lime juice
  • 0.5 oz. passion fruit syrup (Yes Cocktail Co)
  • 0.25 oz. amaro (Brovo Amaro #14)
  • 0.25 oz. Green Chartreuse

Shake with ice and strain over cracked ice into a mule mug. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Every so often I have no rhyme or reason and start playing with a bunch of flavors, often with a tiki direction. I had the passion fruit syrup on hand and used split rums as a base, then just went at it. It doesn’t always work not having a plan. But here it worked wonderfully.

I was surprised I couldn’t find this name attached to a cocktail. There were several Mainbrace cocktails I could find, but not the full phrase, which was slang for giving sailors their daily ration of rum. If it’s a good night maybe double that ration.

Nothing Rhymes With Orgeat

20200531_235913-01

Nothing Rhymes With Orgeat

  • 1.0 oz. Mt. Gay Eclipse
  • 1.0 oz. Bacardi 8
  • 0.5 oz. lime juice
  • 0.5 oz. orgeat (Yes Cocktail Co)
  • 0.25 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz. allspice dram (Bitter Truth)
  • dash of Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain over cracked ice in hurricane glass. Garnish with orange peel.

I was continuing to play with the orgeat from Yes Cocktail Co and thought adding orange would be a nice flavor combination. I split a rum base to have both a lighter and more aged. You can certainly play with these a bit. The lime of course is there for the acid, and the allspice and Angostura add some spicy depth.

There’s a common saying in lyric writing that nothing rhymes with orange (at least no perfect rhyme of a single word, though you can get there other ways). Since here I had an orangey drink, and also since everyone seems to pronounce orgeat differently (hard T? orgeAt? orgeAHt?) I thought this name appropriate.

But since there will certainly be those who contradict the meaning of the name:

I was never really taught
How to utter “orgeAHt.”
But then maybe “orgeAt”
Is the proper form of that?
If you’re French or think like me
Try “orzjah” without a T.

Kona Nightcap

20200531_202750-01
Kona Nightcap

  • 1.5 oz. Dove Tale Florida rum
  • 0.5 oz. Cruzan Black Strap
  • 0.5 oz. coffee liqueur (Kahlúa)
  • 0.5 oz. orgeat (Yes Cocktail Co)
  • 0.5 oz. lime juice
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. Benedictine
  • 0.25 oz. vanilla liqueur (Giffard’s Vanille de Madagascar)
  • dash of Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into tiki mug over crushed ice. Garnish with lime moon.

I wanted to do a tiki cocktail with a strong coffee presence. I have made a Last Word variation in the past that combined coffee with lime and tequila, so knew that the coffee and citrus could work together, but found this much harder than I expected. In the end it came down to which coffee liqueur. I had others that tasted more of coffee and imparted more bitterness, but those didn’t blend as well into the final drink. The sweet and richness of Kahlúa worked best, and the vanilla and orgeat complimented it nicely.

I’ve only had the chance to get to Hawaii once, and it was to the Kona coast on the Big Island. The coffee was fantastic and the best way to start the day. I wouldn’t mind having this drink to end it.