Archive for Recipe

Shishi

imperialLion

Shishi

Shake with ice and strain into Nick and Nora.

I haven’t used soy sauce in a cocktail in years, but I love it and am not sure why I don’t take advantage of it more. Well, it can overpower, that’s why. But when it’s up against bourbon and lemon and ginger with allspice thrown in for good measure, it fits in perfectly.

This one started as a riff on the Lion’s Tail and remains fairly close. Lemon is in for lime, and the ginger replaces the simple syrup. The soy is extra. Thus the name of the variant, after the Chinese imperial lions, or shishi.

Broken Wings

20200328_235016-01

Broken Wings

  • 2.0 oz. Genever (Hofland)
  • 0.5 oz. Branca Menta
  • 0.5 oz. elderflower liqueur (St. Elder)
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into coupe. Garnish with lemon “wing”.

There’s a genever drink I fell on love with years ago called Work in Progress that features genever and Fernet Branca with St. Germain. Here is my riff on that, substituting Branca Menta with its minty bite and pairing it with lemon. Floral and bright and bitter.

For the name, Hofland’s bottle features a flightless bird (looks like a pheasant to me), and maybe I had Mr. Mister in my head. Or The Beatles’ Blackbird. In either case, take this and learn to fly.

Aphrodite’s Tears

20200315_000831-01

Aphrodite’s Tears

Shake with ice then strain into coupe. Garnish with three drops of rose water.

This started with the new Copper & King’s pomegranate liqueur I had picked up. I anchored it with mezcal then added the lemon for acidity. The liqueur itself is not very sweet (comparatively), so the agave nectar came next. The rosé? Honestly, I had it on hand and thought it would mellow things out. It did. And the bitters completed it (with the Peychaud’s also adding color).

The rose water drops are the tears. One version of the myth is that roses are red from the tears she wept for the death of Adonis. Rethinking now, I might add the rose water to the main and then drop in the Peychaud’s as garnish. But I won’t cry over this arrangement.

Southern Twang

southernTwang

Southern Twang

  • 2.0 oz. bourbon
  • 0.5 oz. creme de peche (Mathilde)
  • 0.25 oz. mint tea liqueur (Five Foxes)
  • 0.25 oz. simple syrup
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice

Shake with ice and dirty pour into glass or jar. Garnish with fresh mint.

I had the mint tea liqueur and wasn’t sure what I could do with it. Starting with a mint julep model with bourbon and peach liqueur for sweetness, I meandered into sour land with the lemon, and then needed some simple syrup to even things out without losing either the mint or peach.

The end result seemed a composite of sweet tea, a mint julep and some Georgia peaches, so the name Southern Twang felt appropriate. Hope ya’ll like it.

A Saint, a Monk and a Devil Walk Into a Bar

walkIntoABar

A Saint, a Monk and a Devil Walk Into a Bar

  • 1.0 oz. Principe De Los Apostoles Mate Gin
  • 0.5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
  • 0.25 oz. Maurin Quina
  • 0.25 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • 0.25 oz. falernum (Bitter Truth)
  • 0.25 oz. lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a Nick and Nora.

I really love the “Prince of the Apostles” mate gin out of Argentina, which has a very bright mint/eucalyptus nose and taste. Using that as a base (I did try with a London Dry and, although it still worked, wasn’t as interesting to me) I added some herbal and bitter elements in the form of Chartreuse, Maurin Quina and the Lillet. Then to balance it out I added lime juice for acid and falernum for additional sweetness, liking how the spices played into the other ingredients.

The name, if not obvious from the picture, comes from the Saint referred to by the gin name, the monks who make the Chartreuse, and the devil appearing on the Maurin Quina label. If anyone can come up with a punch line for the set up, there’s a free drink in it for you.

Penultimatum

20200223_230054-01

Penultimatum

  • 1.5 oz. London Dry gin
  • 0.5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
  • 0.5 oz. Cocchi Americano
  • 0.25 oz. Clear Creek Douglas Fir brandy
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 barspoon of absinthe

Shake with ice and double strain into coupe.

This drink started as a Last Word variant that took a hard left turn, then another left and right, and finally did some donuts over ice before reaching its final destination. I kept the gin and swapped in yellow for the green Chartreuse and lemon for the lime. I didn’t want too sweet, so instead of a liqueur I grabbed the Cocchi vermouth, which added all I needed with some additional bitterness. It was nice, but nothing outstanding or standout. I played with adding a bit of Kummel, which was an interesting move in the right direction, but still not it. At that point a friend suggested the douglas fir brandy or a bit of absinthe. I opted for both, and the result was exactly what I was looking for.

The name reflects that journey a little bit. Ultimatum is more a last choice than a last word, but it fit for me. But the evolving progression of this drink didn’t suggest “final” to me, but maybe close to. Thus the portmanteau of Penultimatum, a made up word for made up drink.

Peach, Love and Understanding

peachLoveAndUnderstanding

Peach, Love and Understanding

  • 2.0 oz. bourbon (Bulleit)
  • 0.5 oz. peach liqueur (Mathilde)
  • 0.5 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • 0.25 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 dash Bitter Truth lemon bitters

Stir with ice and strain into glass.

The Mathilde Peche has a lovely, peach flavor that is not too syrupy or at all offputting, as many a cordial can be, and yet a recent search of this site showed me I hadn’t used it once in a single cocktail. I’m not sure why, but here is my remedy for it.

Bourbon seemed to be the natural base for me, and the Yellow Chartreuse worked well with the peach while adding some more herbacious notes. I wanted just a little bitterness and brightness for a rich drink at this point, and the Lillet Blanc did that work for me. Still, a dash of lemon bitters felt needed to bring it all in balance.

The name came after a brainstorm of quite a few peach puns. Oh, there’s enough of them that there will inevitably be more peach concoctions posted in the future. What’s so funny ’bout that?

Tropic Plunder

20200223_211355-01

Tropic Plunder

  • 1.5 oz. Mount Gay Eclipse rum
  • 0.5 oz. Plantation overproof rum
  • 0.5 oz. creme de cacao (Tempus Fugit)
  • 0.25 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into glass over shaved ice.

I wanted to make a rum cocktail with chocolate and passion fruit. It really didn’t need much more than that. The lemon juice brought needed acid to the sweetness of the other mixers, and the Angostura deepened the flavor. I was missing the rum in the end so added a strong kick from the overproof.

Short and sweet and delivered exactly what I wanted in a tropical sipper at the moment. The choice to age it in a used treasure chest is yours, but I’ll take mine now.

Napoleon in Exile

20200215_221041-01

Napoleon in Exile

  • 1.5 oz. bonded rye (Rittenhouse)
  • 0.5 oz. Brovo Amaro #14
  • 0.5 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 0.25 oz. green Chartreuse
  • dash of Peychaud’s bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a Nick and Nora.

This was a spur of the moment cocktail created over New Year’s with my good friend Dan Prior (who also named it). I had brought to his New Year’s Eve party the delicious Brovo amaro for a tasting, and in playing with it while mixing this cocktail emerged. And then was requested by many others through the night.

The amaro has an herbal kick with a chocolate/vanilla/cinnamon bite that is a fantastic sip. Here we paired it with spicy rye, sweetened it a little with the vermouth, and added to its herbal character with the Chartreuse. The bitters were a necessary addition that completed the picture.

Happy New Year’s! Two months in and I’m still mixing this one up.

400 Rabbits

20200202_183718-01

400 Rabbits

Shake with ice and double strain into coupe.

Spicy Mexican chocolate. That was my goal for this one. That, and a strong agave profile from the base spirits. For that I used the Fortaleza still strength (you can use the regular proof or another brand, but I might then up the pour a little) and a bit of mezcal. The ancho chile liqueur came next, and although I usually keep the chocolate down to 0.25 oz. or it gets a little syrupy, against these strong flavors a half ounce worked just fine. The Lillet and lemon juice brighten things up a bit and add some acid, and the mole bitters rounds it all out and pulls it together.

The name comes from the Aztec myth of Mayahuel and her 400 rabbit god children who represented all the levels of intoxication (read here). This drink isn’t THAT boozy, but it’ll get you a few rabbits in at least.