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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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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White Pike Whiskey Review and the Idlewild Cocktail

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For full disclosure I did receive this bottle as a free sample from the fine folks at White Pike. I would also like to thank Asst. Brand Manager Mr. Steven Ljubicic for an engaging and informative meeting. Clearly the folks behind this product are passionate about good spirits and it shows.

White Pike Whiskey is a relatively new product, in the trendy category of white whiskey. The problem with trends is that they do not always translate into successful and sustainable projects over the long haul. Despite this, I believe that White Pike has the correct formula for creating a lasting quality spirit.

I rarely speak on the branding/packaging of a spirit, however, White Pike has created a design that will stand out on the back bar. Its black top is contrasted by the clear bottom, reminiscent of a tuxedo. This black and white theme extends through all of their branding. Black and white is a bold and classy choice and sets itself apart in an industry where the majority of label and bottle designs follow a predictable format.

White Pike is farmed, distilled, and bottled in and around Schuyler County, NY. Finger Lakes Distillery is the brain child of Brian McKenzie and Thomas McKenzie (no relation). Master Distiller Thomas McKenzie created White Pike from a recipe of corn (59%), spelt (28%) and malted wheat (13%). Mr. McKenzie has an extensive background in distillation, making him well suited to creating a White Whiskey. After distilling, the spirit is then aged for 18 minutes. Steven mentioned that this was a play on how Scotches take their age statements seriously and proudly display them on their bottles. White Pike decided to take this idea, and has instead placed their age statement on the side of the bottle. The subtle dig/inside joke is a cool idea. These 18 minutes (give or take) in no way imparts any oaky notes to the end product.

On the nose it smells of buttered toast with a hint of creamed corn and subtle alcohol.
The spirit is rich and silky in the mouth with a subtle corn note. It finishes clean and smooth with no trace of burn. This is clearly a well crafted spirit.

Idelwild
1 oz White Pike Whiskey
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 dash of Orange Bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Notes:
This is a nice take on a Negroni. The Aperol is a good choice because I think that the Campari would have overpowered the White Pike. Its a bittersweet take on the classic

The next drink is my own creation. I wanted to do something that was clear and silky smooth with a hint of spice.
Clear as Day
1.5 oz White Pike Whiskey
.5 oz St. Germain
.25oz Velvet Falernum
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Notes:
One of the coolest things about this drink is its color, or rather lack there of. Rarely do you come across a drink that is as crystal clear as water. The floral and spicy notes smoothly dance across the tongue with the whiskey serving to support the drink.

Lastly is a simple yet flavorful drink created by me.
The Forgotten Path
1.5 oz White Pike Whiskey
1 oz Averna
.25 oz lime juice
5 oz Ginger Ale (Fresh Ginger)
Shake first 3 ingredients over ice. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with Ginger Ale
Notes:
It is important to use a high quality ginger ale with some bite. I like Fresh Ginger as it is unfiltered and contains real ginger. Its sweet and spicy and was the perfect complement to the whiskey and averna. A simple and easy cocktail to construct that does not lack for flavor.
Whiskey and Averna

ROOT Liqueur Review and the ROOT Swizzle

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I have actually had ROOT for some time but am just getting around to doing a proper review of it. When I first heard of this spirit being introduced, I could not wait to get my hands on some.

ROOT is one of the most interesting liqueurs to have come along in quite some time. It is based on an old herbal remedy called Root Tea. The Native Americans taught this age old recipes to the settlers, where it was passed down from generation to generation.

When Prohibition swept through the country, a pharmacist from Philadelphia removed the alcohol and renamed it “root beer”.

This is unlike any other “root beer” liqueur on the market. Its true flavor is not produced with artificial flavorings nor is it drowned out by sugar. Rather, ROOT, is flavored with birch bark, black tea, spearmint, wintergreen citrus (lemons and oranges), allspice, anise, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, which help to give

ROOT is delicious and spicy flavor.

On the nose, it has the classic smell that you come to expect from a root beer with just a hint of alcohol. That slight alcohol vapor lets you know this is a powerful 80 proof liqueur.

The flavor is wonderful complex. There are notes of vanilla bean, mint, nutmeg, cinnamon, and birch. As one flavor asserts itself on your palate another quickly emerges. All the flavors vie for attention on your palate, yet the spirit never seems to be out of balance, with the cane sugar keeping the bitterness in check and smoothing the drink out.

This is a great liqueur to sip neat or experiment in cocktails. My one complaint is that it can be quite challenging to work with and can easily take over a drink. Think of it like an amaro or other bittersweet herbal liqueur and the possibilities become endless.
Suggested retail is around $35 for a 750ml bottle.
Now for some drinks:

My inspiration for this drink was the Black Orpheus.

ROOT Swizzle
1.5 ozs Gold Rum (Brugal Anejo)
1 oz ROOT
1 oz lime juice
.5 oz Vanilla Bean Syrup & .5 oz simple syrup
1 dash Fees Old Fashioned Bitters
half spent lime shell 4 or 5 mint leaves
Shake all ingredients with ice then double strain into a high ball glass and add the spent lime shell. Add crushed ice and swizzle until the glass becomes frosted on the outside.
Notes: The ROOT is the major player with its complexity evident throughout the drink but it does not dominate or overwhelm the other flavors. The rum is a smooth undercurrent helping to provide a base for the ROOT. The syrup and mint create extra layers of flavors to dance across the tongue.

The next drink is the Pennsylvania Dutch Manhattan created by Jason Wilson, who writes an excellent column at the Washington Post.
Pennsylvania Dutch Manhattan
1.5 oz rye whiskey
.5 oz ROOT
.5oz Bianco or Bianc vermouth
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

For the last drink of the night, I offer up my variation of the Pennsylvania Dutch Manhattan.
To Live or to Exist?
2 oz rye whiskey (Redemption Rye)
.5 oz ROOT
tsp Luxardo Maraschino
1 dash of Regan’s Orange No.6 Bitters
1 dash Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Commodore Cocktail: A Pink Cocktail With Hidden Fangs

I discovered this recipe while skimming through the 75th Anniversary Edition of Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide. The recipe calls for 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, which I did not have on hand. The notes for the drink state that this particular bourbon has a higher than average content of rye. I decided to go with a rye whiskey (Redemption Rye), although Bulleit Bourbon would have been another excellent choice.

Commodore Cocktail
2 oz 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon Whiskey (Redemption Rye or Bulleit Bourbon)
.75 oz white crème de cacao
.5oz lemon juice
1 dash (tsp) of grenadine (hibiscus grenadine)
shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Some recipes call for equal parts of the first 3 ingredients and do not specify a high rye content bourbon. This will create an overall sweeter drink compared to the recipe I have listed. You should experiment to see which suits your palate best.

Notes:
While its pink color may lure you into thinking its a sweet drink with no bite, beware for the rye gives it its fangs. There is sweet chocolately goodness throughout the drink with the rye making its presence felt near the end.

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Elks Own Cocktail

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I came across this cocktail on Cocktaildb.com

Elk’s Own (special) Cocktail
1.5oz rye whiskey (Redemption Rye)
.75oz Port (Noval Black)
.5oz lemon juice
.25oz simple syrup
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients and dry shake for approximately 10secs. Then add ice and shake for another 10. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice (I didn’t have any at home)

Notes:                                                                                                                                                  The rich purplish red color is extremely alluring with a soft cloud of egg white resting on top. The egg smooths out the drink and helps all the flavors to meld together. The port added a rich fruitiness to the cocktail with the rye and lemon juice keeping it from being overly sweet.

The Bourbon Renewal

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The Bourbon Renewal was originally created by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
I however first discovered this drink on the Sloshed blog.

Bourbon Renewal
2oz bourbon (Makers Mark)
1oz fresh lemon juice
.5oz creme de cassis
.5oz simple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake all ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker and pour over cracked ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel or lemon wedge whichever works for you

Notes:
This drink was sweet, fruity, tart with a faint hint of spice. The bourbon is evident throughout and complemented by the spiciness of the Angostura. Next time I will up the bitters to 2 or 3 dashes to add a heavier spice note.

In the process of making this drink I noticed that I still had some hibiscus simple syrup in the fridge. I made a second drink and replaced the simple syrup with the hibiscus. I found that this creates a softer drink with the floral notes of the hibiscus pairing well with the cassis and toning down some of the bourbon flavors. I garnished it with a lemon wheel and an edible hibiscus flower. Hibiscus flowers taste like a combination of sweet raspberry and tart cranberry.

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The Leatherneck and The Green Men

Leatherneck is slang for a U.S. marine Corp soldier. The term was derived from the high collar that both British and American marines wore in the late 1700’s.
The Leatherneck cocktail is an eclectic mix of ingredients. Not to often do you see whiskey paired with blue curaçao.
The Leatherneck
2oz blended whiskey
.75oz blue curaçao
.5oz fresh lime juice
shake in an iced cocktail shaker, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Notes:
The first thing you notice about this drink is the striking color. The blended whiskey is a perfect choice here as it melds well with the flavors of the curaçao and lime. It plays a supporting role without being overwhelmed and lost in the mix.

On Dr. Bamboo’s website there is am similar cocktail called the The Green Man. It has essentially the same ingredients with the major change being the subbing out of the blended whiskey for an Irish Whiskey. Personally this cocktail does not taste quite as balanced as the The Leatherneck. The Irish Whiskey is completely dominated by the lemon and the curaçao. Given this lack of balance I decided to slightly tweak the recipe and came up with:

The Green Man #2
2oz Irish Whiskey
.75oz blue curaçao
.5oz lemon juice
half an egg white
combine all the ingredients and dry shake in a cocktail shaker for approx 10secs. Add ice and shake for approximately another 10secs then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Notes:
The Irish Whiskey makes it’s presence known without dominating the drink. The flavors meld well together and the egg white added a smooth mouthfeel to the drink

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