Tuesday, August 28, 2007

11) Pisco Pom

1.5 oz. Pisco
.5 oz. Cointreau
.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
.5 oz. Pomegranate juice
.5 oz. simple syrup

Add all ingredients into an old fashioned glass with ice. Stir briefly and garnish with a twist of lemon.

It began as it does almost every week. Ed and I staring forlornly at the rows of bottles.

"So, what do you want to use today?"
"I don't know. What do you want to use?"

In short order Ed was holding up a bottle of Pisco (a liquor distilled from grapes in Peru and Chile). It's been seeing somewhat of a resurgence recently and is a sprit I myself have only recently had experience with. Having only had it in cocktails, Ed and I decided to take a taste, and boy howdy is it a potent brew. It had, however, a rather pleasant finish of grape that had us intrigued. In thinking about what we might use to foil the Pisco I recalled that the bar had recently got some pomegranate juice recently and figured it would at least be an interesting attempt.

We knew that we were going to have to go fairly light on the pomegranate juice as it is a potent flavor which could easily overwhelm the Pisco. The Cointreau and lemon juice came out of me somewhat at random. Well, the Cointreau was there to brighten the overall drink, but really I was just kind of blurting. Our first pass was sans the simple syrup, and the finished product was seriously chalky. The tartness of the pomegranate was really overwhelming. Ed being the calm voice of reason blithely suggested a little bit of simple syrup and we were set.

The Pomegranate was, of course, front and center but the syrup toned down its power. The Cointreau brightened the drink overall, and there was a nice, subtle finish of both grape and lemon.

Got any favorite Pisco recipies? Leave a comment. Or you can send us an e-mail at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Where has the day gone?

Sorry folks - Haven't had so much as a speck of a moment to post this weeks drink. If I'm not able to get to it later this evening I'll get it up tomorrow. Promise!

Monday, August 20, 2007

10) Cantina

1.5 oz. Tanqueray Gin
1 oz. Limoncello
.25 oz. lime juice
2 dashes orange bitters

In a shaker add the all the ingredients except the brandy. Shake briefly, just to mix the ingredients then strain into a Collins glass full of ice. Add a brandy float on top and garnish with a cherry.

This came about from a drink that Aaron, one of the fantastic bartenders at the fantastic Cantina, recently made for Ed. He was in the mood for a Pegu Cocktail (a delightful drink made with gin, Cointreau, lime juice, orange and Angostura bitters), but Aaron was feeling a little experimental and asked Ed if he minded replacing the Cointreau with Limoncello. Ed, always up for an experiment, consented. The result was quite tasty with the tartness of the Limoncello was an interesting compliment to the Gin. Both Ed and I immediately thought that the result, over ice with some soda water, would make for a fairly refreshing libation.

We were not so right.

We tried mixing up another sans soda at first, and it really didn't taste at all the same. Aaron, that rapscallion, must have done some other doctoring in secret to keep us on our toes. We added a small amount of soda hoping that it would brighten up the drink, but it just left the flavors flat and lifeless. Except for the bite of the gin. That wasn't going anywhere. Stupid gin. We decided to scale back on the gin and remove the Angostura bitters. Then I yelped, "Oh! We should add a brandy float!" I have no idea why I said that, but sometimes it best not to question such things.

The results were delightful. The Limoncello cut the bite of the Gin, but left the botanicals on the forefront. The citrus and subtle hints of the Brandy sat nicely on the palate as the initial blast of the botanicals faded. The best part was that the drink aged very well. As the ice melted into the cocktail it opened up the Gin and caused subtle changes to the character causing the flavors to pop even more.

Feel free to leave us a comment, or if you'd like to e-mail hit us up at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

9) Strawberry Margarita

1.5 oz. Corralejo Reposado Tequila
.5 oz lime
Two large strawberries hulled, halved, and macerated in Cointreau overnight

In a lowball glass muddle the strawberries then fill the glass with ice. In a shaker add the Tequila and lime juice. Shake well then strain into the glass. Garnish with a strawberry.

Remember last week when I said we were going to have two cocktails for you? Yeah, those were good times. It turns out that what I meant to say was that I was going to put it off until this week.

This was an easy one that was an easy one that came about from an idea I had a while ago which was macerating strawberries in Cointreau and using them for, well, something. We finally got around to the macerating, and when it came time to make the drink both Ed and I pretty much immediately thought Margarita. The strawberries had absorbed just enough Cointreau to keep us from having to add any, and the strawberries added an nice rounding out of the Tequila deliciousness.

Monday, August 13, 2007

8) The Wry Jack

1 oz. Michter's Rye
1 oz. Applejack
.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1-2 dashes Peychaud's bitters

Add all ingredients in a shaker filled wit ice. Stir until well chilled and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.

I was feeling an itch to do something with Rye as I feel it's rather ignored, and unjustly so. As Ed and I were decided which Rye to use he casually mentioned that he'd like to do something with Applejack some day. "Well", I said "why not do something with Rye and Applejack?" We chose Michter's for its smooth yet complex flavor, and then it was deciding what to do with our ingredients. I began thinking about variations that we might be able to do on a classic and suggested either a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. I pushed for the Manhattan as it is my favorite cocktail, and I thought the orange component of the Old Fashioned might be a bit too much.

We went fairly light on the vermouth as we were wary of overpowering the subtle apple flavors of the Applejack, and it turned out to be a good choice. The final cocktail was very well balanced with the vermouth adding just a slight spicy note without overwhelming the two liquors. There was just the slightest hint of the apple which turned out to compliment the Michter's well.

If you'd like to get in touch with us feel free to direct your praise or vitriol towards drinkaweek at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

7) Aperol Martini

1.5 oz. Junípero Gin
.5 Aperol
3 dashes peach bitters

Sorry for running a litte late on getting this week's drink up. As a bonus we'll have another one for y'all later this week.

Place all three ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously till ice cold and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

This one came pretty easy, thanks to Ed. The first cocktail we tried was my idea - I had wanted to use Hendrick's gin and Pimm's in a sort of super abstract Pimm's Cup sort of thing. It looked fantastic, but somehow we stumbled upon some sort of unholy alchemical algorithm which created a drink that tasted almost exactly like water (I was convinced that if one were to drink the entire cocktail they would see visions of their own demise). We spent a fair bit of time saying things like "what the fuck happened?", and "shouldn't some sort of flavor be coming through?" before we decided to try a different angle.

Undaunted (and trying to shake me from the pondering of my own mortality) Ed decided to veer into the world of Aperol. Aperol is a new favorite of Ed's - It's an orange flavored Italian apéritif which is frequently compared to Campari, but is not quite as bitter. He chucked the bottle of Hendrick's noting that it is a wee bit on the light side to stand up to something like Aperol. To provide a sturdier base we chose Junípero Gin, a fantastic Gin made by Anchor Brewing here in San Francisco. We weren't sure about the peach bitters, but found that they added a very subtle note that didn't present itself much, but we felt would be noticed without it.

I've decided to try and open up comments to see what happens. I'll be moderating them before posting and I've got the verification deal running as well, so there are few minor hoops but hopefully not anything too daunting. If you hate all that crap and want to let us know, or tell us just how freaking awesome we are you can e-mail us at drinkaweek at gmail dot com.