Friday, September 28, 2007

Link Mania!

Since I was so lazy last week in the posting arena I thought I'd dazzle you all with even more content. In the form of links! Content with me not having to actually work! Also, exclamation marks!

The Old Fashioned - Robert Hess has been doing a great series of videos about all cocktails for a while now, and his most recent video was about the Old Fashioned. This is one of my favorite drinks, and other than the Martini it's one of the most abused drinks I know of. Robert gives a great little history of the drink then shows how to do it right. Just to reiterate cause it's my biggest pet peeve - Soda water should even be in the same room as an Old Fashioned.

The state of the state of cocktails - A fantastic treatise on not only the scourge of Vodka, but the overall state of the American tradition of the cocktail.

Gin rules! - From the same author of the above comes an elegant explanation as to not only why Martini's should always be made with Gin, but also why Vodka should have a minimal role in the world of cocktails.

Beer liqueur - Jamie Boudreau is the mad genius (well, I don't know if he's actually mad) at Seattle's famed Vessel. His blog is a must read, but his recent post about his home made beer liqueur was particularly intriguing. If I'm not careful I'm going to end up with a closet full of beer liqueurs.

DIY Gin - Jeffrey is currently tending bar in my home town of Eugene, Or. Per the city charter I am forced to believe therefore that he is surrounded by a radioactive cloud of awesome (I am also obliged to love the Ducks, complain loudly about urbanization, and insist that anything less than a monsoon-like downpour is "picnic weather"). Fortunately his blog is clear evidence that he is surrounded by a radioactive cloud of awesome (and makes it ever more imperative that I get home for a visit) so I don't have to fake it.

He recently took the saying that Gin is just an infused Vodka to the test by infusing his own Vodka in an attempt to make his own Gin sans distilling. I'll just add that to the list with beer liqueur on it. It'll be right after "add more shelf space".

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

15) La Flor

1 oz. Partida Blanco Tequila
1 oz. St. Germain
.5 oz. Strawberry Cointreau

Add all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass.

I know, I know - We're really going to the well too many times. We can't help it, our obsessions have become nearly solipsistic. We'll be breaking out of the rut next week. I promise. Besides, you're getting two for one this week cause I was lazy last week. How great is that? I know! It's Awesome!

This one came when we were sitting around trying to figure out what to use, and H. told Ed that there was a cocktail contest happening the next evening for Partida Tequila so we decided to see if we could do something with that. Our aforementioned St. Germaine fetish kicked into overdrive, and Ed had recently refreshed the supply of strawberry Cointreau so we figured what the hell. We went fairly heavy on the St. Germaine as we wanted it to have a bold presence in the drink and also stand up against the Tequila.

In the initial run we also added .5 oz. of lime juice, something to balance against the Cointreau. It was ok, but I felt the lime juice was too much, and overpowered the more delicate notes of the drink. I told Ed that I thought we were going to have to make up another one and omit the lime juice to see how that went. He was skeptical but indulged me (thanks Ed!). The removal of the lime was a definite improvement. The floralness of the St. Germaine played well against the strength of the Blanco but neither one was too up front. The loss of the lime also let the Cointreau play a role in some subtle spicy/fruity notes as well.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

14) The Aviator

1 oz. Beefeater Gin
1 oz. St. Germain
.5 oz. Maraschino Liqueur
.5 oz. Lemon juice

Add all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass.

So, uh, guess it's been a bit since I got a drink up here. We were still cranking them out, I just seem to have not written anything. I'm claiming a coma. Yeah, that's a good one.

I recently had, for the first time, a cocktail called the Last Word which I liked a great deal and thought it would be an interesting drink to use as a platform for a drink. I wanted to replace the Maraschino with St. Germain (I know, it's always St. Germain with me) but Ed was more keen on replacing the Chartreuse with St. Germain. The argument was short lived mostly cause the bar was out of Chartreuse.

So it was that we were more in the realm of a sort of variation on a Aviation. Sort of. We went a bit heavy with the St. Germain as we wanted it to really be the dominant player, but weren't will to make the sacrifice of using vodka to pull that off. The result was a very pleasant combination of the floral components of the St. Germain with the botanicals of the Gin. The Maraschino was very subtle, but definitely something that one would notice were it not in the cocktail.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

13) The Tickle and Slap

1 oz. Tezon Blanco Tequila
.5 oz. Mango Juice
One thin slice jabenero pepper

Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a shot glass. Top with a light sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

For some time now Ed has been wanting to do a shot. I wasn't sure why, but who am I to judge such a nice young man? We never really seemed to get around to it though. Probably cuase I’m such a wet blanket. Well, I was recently (once again) at my beloved Cantina, and had the opportunity to try a drink they were making which was shaken with a slice of pepper as part of the spicy kick it had. It was an interesting idea and the final drink was rather tasty. As I was heading home, and continued to think about it more, I wondered if I could drink an entire cocktail with those spicy flavors without my palate getting tired.

Enter the idea of a shot! It seemed like it would be a fun experiment, and having made a shot Ed could die happy (as of this writing Ed is neither dead nor happy).

When I presented him with the idea, he was a little skeptical. I insisted that it would be great, and he relented to my overwhelming charms. Also, he had been slammed for many hours prior to my arrival and was too tired to put up a fight. Since I am lazy and prefer the obvious I was all, "let's just make, like, a Margarita shot with pepper". Since Ed knows what he's doing he was all, "you're lazy and prefer the obvious. We're not doing that, though I like using Tequila". He quickly spotted a bottle of mango juice behind the bar and we were off to the races.

The shot was surprisingly bracing without being to overwhelming. The notes of the Tequila and juice hit the palate first and as they fade, the spiciness from the pepper begins to burn through (pun intended) without being to much. And the name? Oh you know that's all Ed.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

12) A&E Manhattan

1.5 oz. Rittenhouse 100 Rye
.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
.5 oz. Strawberry Cointreau

Sunday afternoon as I was enjoying a bit of coffee and wondering why the sun was trying to kill me with it's heat, I received a somewhat cryptic text message from Ed - "Strawberry Cointreau" was all it said. You may recall, as I did, that we recently made a Strawberry Margarita using strawberries macerated in Cointreau. Still I wasn't entirely sure what Ed meant by his message. When I arrived at the bar, he triumphantly exclaimed that he had found the container of strawberries, once thought lost to the grasping hands of the cooler. I cracked open the container and was hit by an awesome aroma of orangeberry goodness. Trying some of the long strawberry infused liquor I knew then what Ed's message meant, "We are bound by the laws of the very universe itself to use this in a cocktail".

We initially thought we would honor national bourbon appreciation month using, you know, bourbon. Ed whipped out the good ol Jim Beam and we went to work making a sort of Manhattan kind of thing. We went pretty easy on the Strawberry Cointreau wanting to make sure we didn't go overboard and added a little sweet vermouth for spice. The finished product was not bad, but not great. The Beam really didn't measure up to the Cointreau and Vermouth, so we decided to screw national bourbon appreciation month, and bring out the heavy guns - Rye.

We used Rittenhouse 100 cause we wanted something that would stand up and be front and center against the Cointreau and Vermouth. The final product was exactly what we were looking for. The Rye was most certainly the dominant flavor (as you might imagine what with Rye being the delicious, ham-fisted brother of bourbon), but the power was tamed by the Vermouth while the subtler flavors were brightened by the Cointreau. As the Rye faded hints of strawberry and orange lingered on the tongue.