The Nolet family has been distilling for over three centuries. The company was founded in 1691 by Jan Lucasse Nolet and has been in business ever since. Currently it is the oldest distillery in Holland and is most known in … Continue reading
The Appletini was pretty much synonymous with everything that was wrong about drinking in the eighties and nineties: those neon colored, artificially flavored, cavity-inducing sweet cocktails featured nothing a bartender from earlier generations would recognize as belonging in a cocktail. … Continue reading
Cana Brava is the work of The 86 Co. which is made up of Simon Ford, Dushan Zaric & Jason Kosmos (founders of Employees Only), Malte Barnekow, and Kris Roth. Cana Brava is a 3 year old aged rum from … Continue reading
15 Romolo is a North Beach bar in San Francisco that has been open since 1998. They aim to provide great cocktails and delicious locally sourced food without the attitude. The Cocktail list is an ever rotating list of house … Continue reading
I love eggnog! In fact who doesn’t love it. The word eggnog has murky origins. Some say that it comes from the word “noggin” which was a wooden cup used to serve alcohol. Others believe that its a contraction of … Continue reading
The original drink appears in Trader Vic’s Bartenders Guide from 1972 and is sometimes referred to as the Floridita Cocktail. The La Florida Cocktail is the creation of Constantine Ribailagualt and was one of the signature drinks of the La Florida bar in Havana, Cuba.
It’s name is strikingly similar to the Floridita Daiquiri but they are two different drinks. The daiquiri contains maraschino liqueur while the cocktail uses crème de cacao, sweet vermouth, and grenadine as the sweeteners. This particular version of the drink appears in the PDT cocktail book and is the creation of Jack McGarry.
La Florida Cocktail
2 oz Banks 5 Island Rum
.75 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizard)
.25 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cinzano)
1 barspoon Grenadine (Hibiscus Grenadine)
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy.
The drink is well put together and despite the .5 oz of Crème de Cacao the chocolate flavor is still subtle and interwoven with the herbal qualities of the vermouth. The final flavor is not one you would except but its delicious and well worth exploring.
7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days continues tomorrow with the: Royal Daiquiri
Sometimes you want something that is simple to prepare, light, and refreshing for those hot summer days. Many people turn to Gin and Tonic as that classic summer sipper or a crisp white wine. For that reason I have taken Gin and Proscecco in order to create the:
The Journey to Eden
8 ozs London Dry Gin (Gordon’s)
3.5 ozs Rhubarb Syrup
2 ozs lemon juice
8 dashes Peach Bitters (Fee Brother’s)
2 dashes Grapefruit Bitters (Fee Brother’s)
12 ozs Prosecco (La Marca)
It is crisp, light and without being cloyingly sweet. The bitters dance in unison with the sparkling wine as it has notes of fresh summer peaches and ripe grapefruit. The rhubarb and gin unite, creating a uniquely satisfying flavor. It is like summer in a glass with both floral and fruity notes tickling your nose and soothing. A note on the Prosecco, it is a steal at around $12/750ml. It is light and crisp. The flavor is ripe and fresh, full of citrus, peaches, apples, and grapefruit with hints of spring flowers on the nose.
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.
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.
Looking for a drink can be a daunting task at times. Often I find myself flipping through recipes looking for something that calls out to me. I picked up a copy of Left Coast Libations which has a range of interesting and exciting cocktails from some of the best bartenders on the West Coast. One cocktail that immediately caught my eye was the Fior di Sicily, created by Chris Ojeda.
Unlike most cocktails, the Fior di Sicily does not contain a base spirit; there is no gin, rum, whiskey, vodka, etc. Secondly all of the ingredients are in equal proportions which is just as rare. It combines an interesting amaro, an orangey aperitif, one of my favorite sweet vermouth’s, and an elderflower liqueur.
Fior di Sicily
.75 oz Averna Amaro
.75 oz Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
.75 oz Aperol
.75 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Stir all the ingredients with ice for 30 seconds (wet ice) or 50 seconds (large ice). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Flame the orange peel over the cocktail then drop in the peel.
The color is rich and alluring. The orange oils float on the surface of the drink and its scent draws you in closer daring you to take a sip. The sweet notes of floral combine with the bitter and herbal notes to create a harmonious spirit. It has all the qualities of a fine wine that has been enriched and enhanced. This drink truly is greater than the sum of its parts.
44° North Huckleberry Vodka is produced by the 44° North Distillery in Idaho. According to their website, it is the first vodka approved to wear the Idaho Potato Commission’s official seal. It is distilled from 100% Idaho potatoes, blended with sweet Rocky Mountain water, and infused with mountain huckleberries.
It is sweet and fruity on the nose with a rich berry smell. It doesn’t smell artificial, in fact it has a fresh and natural smell that entices you to take a sip. The natural smell carries through on the taste filling your mouth with a burst of berry flavor. It is silky smooth and well balanced, finishing with a warming sensation rather than a harsh burn.
It is on par if not better than some of the other flavored vodkas available from many of the major and more well known distillers.
I used the Royal Toast as my inspiration for the drink below.
1.5 oz 44° North Huckleberry Vodka
1 oz Lillet Blanc
.5 oz Cherry Brandy (Cherry Brandy)
1 dash of Orange Bitters
stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
The rich cherry brandy and light berry flavor of the vodka are balanced out by the complexity of the Lillet Blanc. The vodka also adds an alcoholic punch that helps to open up the other flavors and bring out the nuances of the Lillet.
The 2nd drink is called:
2 oz 44° North Huckleberry Vodka
.5 oz – .75 oz Coffee Liqueur (depends on the strength of your liqueur. the stronger the coffee flavor the less you need.)
1 tsp of lemon juice
shake and strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This one tastes just as you would imagine. It has a strong coffee flavor with a fruity background provided by the vodka. The lemon juice helps to brighten and lighten both of the stronger flavors and bridge the gap between them. Try this in place of your next black or white russian and let me know what you think.