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. Notes:
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.
The earliest known reference to the El Diablo cocktail is found in Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink published in 1946. In that book it is referred to as the “Mexican” El Diablo. Some more interesting history on the El Diablo Cocktail can be found at the Alcademics blog.
This cocktail combines the classic combination of tequila and lime, sweetens it with creme de cassis, and toughens it up with a spicy backbone of ginger beer.
Creme de Cassis is a sweet-tart liqueur flavored with blackcurrants. The better and more expensive versions are made by macerating the blackcurrants in alcohol, which extracts all of the nuanced flavors of the fruit. Other less expensive versions are made by adding flavoring and sugar to a neutral grain spirit.
El Diablo 1.5 oz 100% Reposado Tequila (Pueblo Viejo) .75 oz Creme de Cassis (Mathilde) .5 oz lime juice Ginger Beer (Fever Tree) Shake the first 3 ingredients with ice and strain into an ice filled highball glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime wheel and straw. Give a quick stir to incorporate all the ingredients.
The original calls for blanco tequila, but I like the added dimension that reposado brings to the table. The spicy agave notes pair well with the kick of the ginger beer. The creme de cassis adds a sweet fruity note that helps to bind all of the flavors together. If you enjoy margaritas, give this drink a try and let me know what you think.
Before any other frozen beverage such as the: slurpee or smoothie there was the milkshake. The earliest printed reference to the milkshake was in 1885, but the drink contained whiskey. Furthermore it was served as a health tonic as well as a delicious cold treat.
Ivar “Pop” Coulson is often credited as the inventor of the milkshake. In 1922 he added ice cream to the traditional malted milk and the milkshake was born. From there it’s popularity has skyrocketed and it continues to soar with new variations based on this same formula.
For this variation on the milkshake I decided to go back to the milkshakes roots and create an alcoholic version.
Young’s Double Chocolate Milkshake
8oz chocolate stout (Youngs Double Chocolate)
1.5oz rum (Brugal Anejo)
.5oz port (Noval Black)
2 dashes chocolate bitters
2 scoops vanilla ice cream (Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean)
Combine all the ingredients an blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled pint glass or whatever you have on hand and enjoy
The beer really shines in this drink. The chocolate and maltiness of the beer combine well with the creaminess if the ice cream. The rum gives a little extra backbone to the drink with the port adding a touch of fruitiness on very the backend leading to a dry slightly bitter finish. You can’t go wrong with this. Try it and let me know what you think.
Have you ever tried Young’s Double Chocolate Stout? What’s your favorite milkshake.