Mixology Monday No. 82: Sours

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Once again it is time for Mixology Monday. I had missed the last several but it’s good to be back in the swing of things. This month’s theme, hosted by Andrea at the Ginhound Blog, is Sours. She’s allowing Daisies … Continue reading

3 Boozy Hot Chocolate Drinks for Cold Winter Nights

Winter Nite

Snow is rolling in across the Northeast and some places are expecting to receive up to a foot or more of snow. After a long morning of shoveling your going to need something to warm you up. Or maybe you … Continue reading

The Volstead Act Company Tonic and Ginger Syrup Review

Tonic Syrup

The Volstead Act Company is a brand new company formed in July 2013. They are a family owned and ran business. Currently they produce a limited range of 2 different varieties of bitters and 2 different syrups. In this review … Continue reading

Caorunn Scottish Gin Review

Caorunn-bottle

Caorunn is distilled at the Balmenach Distillery which dates back to 1824. It was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to be licensed to product Scotch. Simon Buley oversees every step of the distillation process. Caorunn’s recipe includes six … Continue reading

Mixology Monday – Equal Parts

So after a long hiatus Mixology Monday has returned. With a big thank you to Paul Clarke of Cocktail Chronicles for running it the past 6 years. Now the torch has been passed to Frederic Yarm of Cocktail Virgin Slut. The theme for this event, which is hosted by Frederic is as follows:

For this month, I have chosen the theme of equal part cocktails — those simple drinks where only one jigger is needed despite how many ingredients are added. These recipes have gained a lot of popularity as classics like the Negroni and Last Word have resurfaced, and variations of these equal part wonders have become abundant.

For me this is the holy grail of cocktails. We strive to create cocktails that are in perfect balance. But equal parts cocktails elevate that balance to another level.

One of my favorite cocktails that fits this criteria was the Fior di Sicily which I have written about previously. However, I wanted to offer something new for this months MxMo. After scouring around for a drink I stumbled upon the Calvados Sidecar on the Liquor.com website.

Calvados Sidecar
1 oz Calvados (Lairds 7 year Apple Brandy)
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lemon Juice
Combine equal parts cinnamon and sugar in a small saucer. Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with a lemon wedge and dip the top of the rim in the sugar mixture so that it is coated evenly. Place the glass into the freezer to let the rim harden. Combine all the ingredients in an iced cocktail shaker, shake, and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Notes:
Looking at the picture I realized that I forgot the orange twist. Oh well things happen. As I didn’t have any Calvados in my house I subbed it with Apple Brandy. The cinnamon and sugar rim is essential and marries well with the Apple brandy, reminding you of cold apple pie.

Irish Whiskey is the forgotten base spirit and while not as cantankerous and moody as it’s brother Scotch, it does not find its way into many cocktails. So what better way to celebrate Irish Whiskey than in an Equal Parts Cocktail. While it maybe cliche I wanted to combine it with Guinness. I came up with a recipe that I think works and is quite simple. Yet as I was sipping on it I thought that it would be a wonderful candidate for a topping of cocktail foam. Does anyone have any ideas for what flavor the foam should be? If so reply in the comment section below.

Every Dog Has It’s Day
.75 oz Irish Whiskey
.75 oz Guinness Syrup (infused with orange peel and vanilla bean)
.75 oz Lemon Juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Notes:
In the creation of the beer syrup I loosely followed the directions provided by http://spiritsandcocktails.wordpress.com/2007/10/02/molecular-mixology-v-kentucky-monk/. In a future post I will explain how I created my Guinness Syrup version.

To see all the wonderful drinks created for this MxMo please click here.

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Flor de Caña 4 Year Review & The Daisy de Santiago, Boukman Daiquiri

Flor de Caña is a brand of rum distributed by Compañia Licorera de Nicaragua. It was founded in 1890 by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and is today headed by a fifth generation member of the Pellas family. From it’s humble roots it has grown into one of the most widely recognized rums along with holding one of the largest rum reserves in the world.

In this post we will be taking a look at the Extra Dry 4 Year Old Rum.
On the nose there are is an initial intense alcohol aroma which assaults the nose and it is impossible to get any discernible aromas off the spirit. After it opens up there are aromas of caramel, tropical fruit (pineapple and banana), and a hint of freshly cut grass on a summer afternoon.

Upon tasting there are initial flavors of caramel and more tropical fruits. This is followed up by some earth tones, a touch of coconut and the just discernible presence of vanilla. This last subtle touch of vanilla is due to the 4 years that the rum spent in aging in oak barrels. There are hints of sweetness in the beginning but the rum has a dry finish. Not to be forgotten either, this rum is still rough around the edges and has a some alcohol burn. This is acceptable as this rum was not designed to be sipped on it’s own but rather as a wonderful additions to cocktails. Give it a try in your next Mojito or Daiquiri and it will be a rewarding experience. Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year retails for around $15/750ml. Sample provided by representatives of Flor de Caña.

The first drink this evening comes to us from Charles H. Baker
Daisy De Santiago
2 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
1 oz Lime Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
.75 Yellow Chartreuse
1 oz Club Soda
Shake first three ingredients with ice and pour into a chilled wine glass filled with cracked ice. Add club soda and then float chartreuse on the top. Serve with a straw and garnish with mint sprigs.
Notes:
If you like daiquiris then you will enjoy this as it has the same flavor profile. It’s tart and refreshing with added herbal complexity and effervescence.

The next drink up is an original creation. I have been wanting to Bonal in a cocktail for some time. Bonal is a cross between an amaro and sweet vermouth. It has the bitterness of gentian and the sweetness of stone fruits.
Heads or Tails
2 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
.75 oz Bonal
.25 oz Amaretto (Disaronno)
Stir all ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Flame an orange coin over the drink and drape over the side of the glass
Notes:
When you bring the drink up to your nose you are immediately enveloped in rich orange aromas. The amaretto adds a touch of nutty sweetness to the background.

The last drink is a a creation from Alex Day of the Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company in Philly.
Boukman Daiquiri
1.5 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
.5 oz Cognac (Remy Martin VSOP)
.75 oz Lime Juice
.75 Cinnamon Syrup
Shake and strain all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Notes:
This is quite possibly one of my favorite rifts on the classic daiquiri. The addition of the cognac and the cinnamon adds richness and texture. This is one not to be missed and can be enjoyed year round.

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Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky Review and the Bitter Awakening

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For full disclosure I received this sample bottle from Van Gogh Imports.

Tap 357 is a Canadian Rye Whisky crafted from cask-aged 3, 5, and 7 year old rye whiskies blended with pure Canadian maple syrup. It is distilled four times before being aged in used bourbon barrels. It is then combined with “Canada 1 Light” maple syrup and left to rest until it is deemed that it is ready for release. Finally it is bottled at 81 proof.

Tap 357 pours a light golden straw color.

On the nose it evokes memories of Sunday morning breakfast with pancakes, smothered in butter and syrup. There are notes of maple and grain, with the maple being dominante.

The sweet maple flavor helps to mellow the spiciness of the rye, without overpowering it. There are notes of maple, brown sugar, and just a hint of grain.

Overall its a nice product, that is smooth and approachable. Some may find the sweetness of the maple overwhelming especially when drunk neat, but I do think that it works well in cocktails.

Tap 357 has a suggested retail price of $29.99 for a standard 750ml bottle.

You can’t have a bottle of booze without something to mix with it, so I offer you the:
Bitter Awakening
1.5 oz Apple Brandy (Lairds 7 Year)
.75 oz Tap 357
.25 oz Simple Syrup
2 dashes Fees Orange Bitters
2 dashes Fees Old Fashioned Bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain over a large chunk of ice in an old fashioned glass

Notes:
The apple brandy and the sweet maple rye work well together creating a drink that evokes the aroma of baked apples. The bitters help to keep the drink from becoming overly sweet and unbalanced.

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The Decade

The Decade Cocktail was invented by Willy Shine of the 1534 bar in NY. I came across this drink on the finecooking.com blog.

the Decade
1.5 oz Cognac (Hennessy)
1 oz Amaretto (Disaronno)
2 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
.25 oz fresh lemon or lime juice (Lime)
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pineapple leaf (I didn’t have any at the time).

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Notes:
The cognac adds depth and complexity which is balanced out by the nuttiness of the amaretto and the fruitiness of the pineapple juice. The amaretto and pineapple juice lend it a tropical flavor making this an all year addition to my stable of go to drinks.

The Beccaccino

I discovered this recipe on the Imbibe website and it sounded quite intriguing.

The Beccaccino
1oz. brandy
.5oz. Bénédictine
.5oz. Amaretto (Disaronno Original)
.5oz. Irish Mist
2.5oz. chilled, strong coffee (El Salvador Estate Peaberry)
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, stir and strain into a glass. Garnish with whip cream and 3 coffee beans. I used homemade whip cream which is rather simple to make.
Notes:
It is essential to use your favorite coffee as this is the primary ingredient. The brandy comes through in the beginning right along with the coffee. The bénédictine and Irish Mist combine to add a subtle honeyed, fruity and spicy note that dances across the palate underneath the bitterness of the coffee. The whip cream adds a sweet and creamy texture to the whole experience. I don’t get much if any amaretto although occasionally I experienced a subtle nutty flavor but I really had to search for it. In fact if I didn’t know it was an ingredient I would have never known by taste alone it was there.
If you like coffee and strong drinks then you should definitely check it out.

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