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Archive for the ‘Cocktails & Recipes’ Category

Cocktail Hour: The Honey Spiked Mammy

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 12, 2016

When I recently received a bottle of John Hall’s Forty Creek Spike (Honey Spiced) Whisky, I wanted to showcase the ‘honey spiced’ flavour in a nice cocktail which could be embraced by a wide range of persons. For that purpose, I decided that a tall refreshing bar drink was the proper course of action. It turned out that I had already created such a bar drink about two years ago, the Spiced Mammy. A few tweaks to that recipe to adapt it for the honey flavour in this spiced whisky was all that was required.

My Spiced Mammy is very loosely based upon the well-known Mamie Taylor Cocktail which is a bar drink designed for blended scotch whisky. Tthe ginger-ale in the recipe certainly finds a good home next to our national whisky as well. Rather than using lime juice as we would in a Mamie Taylor, I am using lemon juice which pairs naturally with honey. The sharp lemon flavours are just the right foil for the heightened sweetness of the ‘honey spiced’ whisky created by John Hall. I also added touch of lime zest for colour (and as a compliment to the lemon flavour).

Please enjoy.

Spiced MammyThe Honey Spiked Mammy

2 oz  Forty Creek Spike
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
dash or two of Sugar Syrup
1/2 cup cracked ice
Ginger Ale
Thin Strips of Lime

Remove thin strips of lime peel from a fresh lime
Fill a tall highball glass half full of chipped ice
Add the lemon juice and the Forty Creek Spike Whisky
Top with ginger ale
Add a few threads of lime peel and stir gently.

Remember, my aim is not to help you drink more…it is to help you drink better!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

 

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Cocktail Hour: The Ruffled Pelican

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 9, 2016

This cocktail was inspired by one of my favourite gin drinks, the Darby. The Darby is a wonderful cocktail which mixes grapefruit and lime with dry gin. It is easy to mix, and it is sure to please even the most discriminating of palates.

Grapefruit and lime mix as easily with agave as they do with juniper, and so for this variation of the Darby I simply replaced the gin with a very nice Reposado Tequila from Dulce Vida. The result is very similar to the well-known Paloma albeit with much less soda.

Ruffled PelicanI call this cocktail, the Ruffled Pelican.

Ruffled Pelican

1 1/2 oz Dulce Vida Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup
Splash Soda

Pour the first three ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker are frosted
Strain into a suitable glass
Add a small splash of soda
Garnish with a slice of lime
Enjoy!

Remember to enjoy my cocktail suggestions responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more mixed drink recipes!

Note: My posting for the Dulce Vida Reposado Tequila review will publish tomorrow!

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Cocktail Hour: The Winter Cocktail

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 6, 2016

Well aged rums (and whiskies) can and should be sipped neat or on the rocks with ice. Having said that, there is no reason not to enjoy such spirits in wonderful cocktails as well. Aged spirits add a wonderful depth of character to our cocktail experience which cannot be denied. For best results, always use fresh ingredients and when mixing different spirits do your best to select spirits of similar quality.

Here is a yummy Winter Cocktail I constructed with the Flor de Caña Centenario 18 Rum in mind.

Winter CocktailWinter Cocktail

1 3/4 oz Flor de Caña Centenario 18 Rum
1/8 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao
1/8 oz Lime Juice
1/16 oz of sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
3 drops of Bitters (Fees Cocktail Bitters)
ice
coil of orange peel

Fill a metal shaker 1/3 full of ice
Add all of the ingredients into the cocktail shaker
Shake and strain into a small rocks glass
Add a lump of ice and a coil of orange peel

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

(Note: My review for the new non age stated (NAS) Flor de Caña Centenario 18 Rum will publish in just a few short days.)

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Cocktail Hour: The Ruby Manhattan

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 2, 2016

Everybody who regularly follows my reviews knows that I love to make cocktails. I am by no means a proficient at this craft, but I keep trying nonetheless. Recently, when I was tasting John Hall’s new Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony, I seemed to find light flavours of red licorice and hints of fermented red wine in the flavour profile of the whisky which made me think that a Manhattan Cocktail might be a suitable cocktail choice for this spirit.

One of the ingredients for the Manhattan, Sweet Vermouth, is tricky for the home bartender as it tend to become rather nasty soon after the bottle has been opened. For this reason I like to switch out the Vermouth and instead use Ruby Port which has a longer shelf life, and which I also can enjoy on its own. With the substitution the Classic Manhattan becomes an equally wonderful bar drink called the Ruby Manhattan. It is simple to make and with John Hall’s new Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony, it is downright tasty!

Winter ManhattanRuby Manhattan

2 oz Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony
3/4 oz Offley Ruby Port Wine
Dash of Angostura Bitters (optional)
3 Large Ice cubes
Brandied Cherry (See recipe here)
Twist of Orange Peel

Add the whisky, the Port Wine, and the optional bitters with 3 large ice cubes in a Martini Shaker.
Shake vigorously to chill the mixture.
Add a brandied cherry to your chilled glass.
Strain the mixed ingredients over the cherry but do not add the ice.
Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink. (This will release the oil from the orange zest into the drink) Discard the peel.

Garnish with orange peel if preferred.

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: My review for Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony will be published tomorrow.

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Autumn Margarita

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 13, 2015

dulce vida autumn margarita SAM_1712A few days ago, I made the point that as the weather turns cooler, my preferences with respect to the style of cocktail which I enjoy begins to change. When the evenings turn chill, I often want a stronger more intense cocktail than the typical tall deck drink offers. Making such a bar drink with an aged spirit rather than a young clear spirit also offers a cocktail with more depth and character.

Here is my Autumn Margarita made with those cool evenings in mind.

Autumn Margarita

2 oz Añejo Tequila (Dulce Vida Organic)
3/4 oz Orange Curacao
1/2 oz fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Lime Slice

Add the first five ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Add a Lime Slice for garnish

Enjoy!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more mixed drink recipes!

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Classic Cocktail: Rum Old Fashioned

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 10, 2015

Most persons consider the Old Fashioned Cocktail to be a bar drink primarily for whisky lovers. And the mixed drink does taste great when made with an aged whisky. However, when made with an aged rum of quality, the cocktail is just as tasty. I like to experiment a little when I make bar drinks and for the recipe shown below I have used two kinds of bitters for my cocktail (Angostura bitters and Fees Cocktail Bitters). The Angostura bitters add a very nice hit of cloves (amongst other flavours), and the Fees Cocktail bitters seem to be heavier on the cinnamon. For myself the combination works well. I have also experimented with different citrus rind, but I always seem to go back to orange peel for the best results.

Paired with some nice bittersweet chocolate, the Rum Old Fashioned is a spectacular evening indulgence.

Rum Old Fashioned SAM_1708Rum Old Fashioned

2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva
1 tsp simple syrup
2 or 3 drops Angostura Bitters
1 or 2 drops Fees Cocktail Bitters
3 large ice cubes
1 twist of orange peel

Add the first four ingredients to a rocks glass over the ice cubes
Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink. (This will release the oil from the orange zest into the drink)
Drop the peel into the cocktail if desired.

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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Cocktail Hour: The Autumn Daiquiri

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 5, 2015

Aged rums are not just for sipping neat or mixing with cola. In fact, daiquiri-style cocktails made with aged rum have an added dimension of flavour which is very appealing. Here is one such mixed drink I recently created for the cool autumn evenings which are sure to be on their way.

Dark Wing Daiq SAM_1694Autumn Daiquiri

2 oz Flor de Caña 5 (Añejo Clasico)
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
3/4 oz fresh Lime Juice
3/4 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Lemon slice

Add the first five ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Add a Lemon Slice for garnish

Enjoy!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more mixed drink recipes!

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Mixed Drink: The Honeylemon Ginger Julep

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 2, 2015

Here is a tall refreshing deck drink suitable for summer evenings with friends and family.

Honeylemon Ginger Julep SAM_1707Honeylemon Ginger Julep
(an Arctic Wolf Recipe)

2 oz Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon
1 oz Wild Turkey Honey
1 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
ice
Mint
a splash of ginger-ale to fill

Muddle 2 sprigs of mint with the sugar syrup in the bottom of a shaker
Add the Wild Turkey 81, the Wild Turkey Honey and the Lemon Juice
Shake over ice until the cocktail shaker frosts
Fine strain into a tall glass filled with ice
Complete with a splash of ginger-ale and stir
Garnish with another sprig of mint

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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Martini Monday: The Gin Martini

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 29, 2015

Gin Martini

Gin Martini

Gin appears to be the original Martini spirit. There is some speculation as to how exactly this bar drink evolved, the beginnings of this cocktail form was perhaps initiated as early as 1888 when a recipe for a bar drink which consisted of half a wine glass of Old Tom Gin, and half a wine glass of Vermouth was published (Johnson, Harry (1888), The New and Improved Illustrated Bartenders’ Manual; Or: How to Mix Drinks of the Present Style). Over time this simple bar drink evolved and changed into the present day Martini.  

Prohibition did its part to popularize the Martini as its main ingredient, Gin, was very easy for an illicit establishment to produce (illegally), and by the time prohibition ended, the Gin Martin may well have been the most popular bar drink served in North America.

Today, it remains a popular cocktail. Like the Vodka Martini (which arrived later on the scene), the Gin Martini can be served at varying degrees of dryness depending upon the amount of aromatized wine (usually vermouth) is used in its construction. The traditional recipes found in the cocktail guides from the 1920’s usually recommend a ratio of gin to vermouth of 2:1. Modern recipes contain much less vermouth, and in fact my brother-in-law’s favourite recipe calls for his cocktail glass to be rinsed with Vermouth only and the rest of the volume of his cocktail to be gin and garnish.

Traditional Gin Martini (cucumber garnish)

Traditional Gin Martini (cucumber garnish)

At the recent Belvedere Martini Seminar hosted by Ali Dedianko, Belvedere Vodka Global Ambassador, she made the point that we should perhaps explore also a larger range of garnishes than the typical olive or lemon peel. One of the garnishes she suggested was cucumber, and that is the direction I have chosen to go for this particular construction of my Gin Martini which combines No. 3 London Dry Gin and Stock Vermouth with thin slice of cucumber in an excellent Martini cocktail:

The following link will take you to my recipe page:

Gin Martini (with cucumber garnish)

Note: I made this point with respect to the traditional Vodka Martini, and it bears repeating again with respect to the Gin Martini. Once you open any bottle of vermouth, it is important that you realize that all aromatized wines have a very short shelf life. This is because the wine will begin to oxidize almost immediately, and after only one short week (even if the bottle is refrigerated) it’s flavour will have undergone a noticeable and undesirable change. I suspect in fact, that it is experiences with bad vermouth that have led many people to decrease its volume in the classic martini cocktail, not understanding that the vinegary component they are tasting is not a normal flavour component of good vermouth.

Please use fresh vermouth whenever you are serving Martini cocktails.

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Martini Monday: Reversing the Vesper

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 22, 2015

Ali Stirs up a Cocktail

Ali Stirs up a Cocktail

Two weeks ago I introduced the Vesper Cocktail (see recipe here) which was conceived and popularized by Ian Fleming in his 1953 James Bond novel, Casino Royal. It is basically a dry Gin Martini with a dollop of Vodka added. Some have claimed the dollop of Vodka served the purpose of smoothing out the relatively strong flavour of Gordon’s Gin which Bond called for in the original recipe. (If you read my Gordon’s Gin Review written several years ago, I make mention of the unusually strong flavour of this dry gin.)

The Reverse Vesper is a variation upon the original cocktail, and it was introduced to me by Belvedere Global Ambassador, Ali Dedianko. Ali was in Edmonton this past Spring presenting a “Crafting the Perfect Belvedere Martini” seminar for an intimate gathering of local media. Ali featured the Reverse Vesper and even had all of us sampling the delicious bar drink at the event. We were shown that by reversing the proportions of Gin and Vodka in the original Vesper, we create the reverse cocktail. In this case, rather than using a dollop of Vodka to soothe the flavour of a sharp gin, a dollop of dry gin is used instead to add a light piny character to the traditional Vodka Martini.

Reverse Vesper with Cucumber and Lemon

Reverse Vesper with Cucumber and Lemon

When I decided to reconstruct a Reverse Vesper at home for a few of my friends, I decided to employ a premium vodka which would add its unique flavour and character to the cocktail as well. For this purpose I chose Belvedere Unfiltered Vodka which is distilled from 100 % Dankowski Rye grain grown on a Single Estate. The Belvedere Unfiltered features wonderful light chocolate tones within its rye forward flavour profile. I also decided to use a better gin than Gordon’s, in fact I used one of my favourites, No. 3 London Dry Gin. To give the martini an additional twist, I employed both a cucumber garnish (the flavour of which works very well with both the gin and the vodka), and a twist of lemon peel which pairs well with both dry gin and with the added cucumber.

All of the combined flavours within the Reverse Vesper are simply divine, and you can find my recipe page  here:

The Reverse Vesper Martini

Note: Once one goes down the path of adding a little Gin to their Vodka Martini, or in the case of the Vesper, adding a little Vodka to their Gin Martini; then suddenly a whole new range of mixing possibilities opens up to those inclined to be creative. Many standard cocktails including Gimlets, Daiquiris, Fizzes, and Collins can be the subject of this type of experimentation with the aim of building new cocktails this summer. I embrace this form of creativity, and I encourage all who read my postings to do the same.

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