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Posts Tagged ‘Cocktails and Recipes’

An El Dorado Spring

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 12, 2015

Bitter Rum and Cola

Bitter Rum and Cola

I am not sure how it has been for everyone else; but it seems to me that this past winter has outworn its welcome. So when the sun came out this past weekend, and the temperature climbed up above 10 degrees Celsius on Sunday afternoon, the Rum Chums and I moved our bi-monthly rum tasting outdoors for the first time in almost six months. The air still had some chill; but the rum we were sipping just seemed to taste better mixed with some sunshine.

I was fortunate enough to have scheduled myself off work the next day after the tasting, and since it was another warm sunny afternoon, I spent some time making cocktails with an old friend, the El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum.

Maybe the warm weather was responsible; but those cocktails seemed to be tasting particularly good as I soaked up the afternoon sunshine and listened to my tunes on my front deck. The mixed drinks were so good in fact, that I thought I should snap a few pictures and share the recipes here on my website:

El Dorado Recipe #1: Bitter Rum and Cola (a Cuba libre’ with bitters)

El Dorado Recipe #2: Iced Rum Darby (for an afternoon in the hot sun)

El Dorado recipe #3: Lime Daiquiri à la mode (a modern take on a classic)

Of course if you are more interested in the El Dorado 3 Year Rum, you can find my most recent review here:

Review: El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum

(Note: About six weeks ago, my friends at Woodman Wines and Spirits informed me that they were about to launch this great rum in Ontario. Its been several weeks since then, and I suspect the El Dorado 3 Year Old is already on the shelves at the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). You will not be disappointed if you grab a bottle and mix a few cocktails this spring and summer.)

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on An El Dorado Spring

Review: Bison Ridge Special Reserve (8 Year Old) Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 21, 2013

BisonMy friends Connie & Lukasz were over the other day, and even though they know my cupboard is well stocked with Canadian whisky, they always try to find something that I haven’t tasted yet. On this occasion, they brought along a bottle of Bison Ridge Special Reserve Canadian Whisky to share a few drams with me. The whisky is produced (by this I mean bottled) by the Crosby Lake Spirits Company who are located in Minnesota, USA. All Canadian whisky must (by law) be distilled and aged in Canada; however, I could not locate any information as to which Canadian Distillery was the source for this brand.

You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:

Review: Bison Ridge Special Reserve Canadian Whisky

“… The initial nose reflects sweet butterscotch, some notes of corn mash, with wood spices rising in the background. As the glass breathes I notice an underlying ‘earthiness’ which reminds me of the scent of an old those fashioned damp cellars which were built with wooden floorboards lain directly over the black dirt …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a recipe recommendation, the Buckeroo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Bison Ridge Special Reserve (8 Year Old) Canadian Whisky

Review: Admiral Nelson’s Coconut Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 13, 2013

ANCocoA few weeks back, I received a bottle of Admiral Nelson’s Coconut Rum from the local importer here in Alberta, Diamond Estates. They were hoping I would taste the spirit, and perhaps write a review (if it was my inclination to do so). In doing my research I was not able to glean much information about how the Admiral Nelson’s Coconut Rum is produced. I understand that it is bottled in the U.S. by the Admiral Nelson Rum Company of Missouri (at 21 % alcohol by volume), and although the brand was previously controlled by Luxco, in 2011 Heaven Hill Distilleries acquired the rights to the entire Admiral Nelson Brand.

You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Admiral Nelson’s Coconut Rum

“… The nose is lightly sweet with a mild coconut aroma. There also seems to be a touch of vanilla sitting in the background. A light alcohol astringency is rising from the glass which surprises me in such a low proof offering; but this astringency is quite mild and is probably just a reflection of a young rum which makes up the base of the spirit …”

Please enjoy my review which includes two nice recipes, A Day at the Beach, and the Chocolate Covered Banana.

Enjoy this fine Monday everyone!


Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Admiral Nelson’s Coconut Rum

Review: Bols Triple Sec

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 12, 2013

SAM_0755 Dreadful Lemon SkyLucas Bols advertises itself as the oldest distillation company active in the world today with origins that trace back to 1575. After 438 years, the company has grown to become one of the leading global concerns in the spirits industry. Bols has a presence in over 110 countries selling liqueurs, vodka, gin, and genever. The wide range of  liqueurs is particularly impressive. With 36 naturally flavoured liqueurs, the company can boast the widest range of liqueur flavours in the world.

Bols Triple Sec is a crystal clear liqueur flavoured with sugar, Curaçao orange peel, and hints of citrus. I have met and talked with Bols Flavour expert, Peter Van’t Zelfde, and learned that all of the Bols Liqueurs are made from naturally produced flavours. These flavours have been extracted and/or distilled from base ingredients like fresh fruits and spices. The orange liqueur is bottled at 24 % alcohol by volume.

Please click on the following Excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Bols Triple Sec

“… According to the information I have been given, Bols Triple Sec is produced from a blend of citrus fruit which includes Valencia oranges, and lemons. However, the main ingredient, (and the one on full display in both the taste and the aroma) is slightly bitter but highly aromatic Curacao orange …”

My review includes a very nice tequila based cocktail, the Dreadful Lemon Sky.

Please enjoy!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Orange Liqueur | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Bols Triple Sec

A Reivew for Cinco de Mayo

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 5, 2013

PaQui Tequila (Silver)It is commonly believed that May, 5th or Cinco de Mayo is a well celebrated holiday in Mexico roughly equivalent to the US Holiday of Independence on July, 4rth. The truth of the matter is that Cinco de Mayo is not really a major holiday in Mexico and is more widely celebrated in the United states than it ever has been south of their border. It is not even a holiday related to Mexico’s actual Independence Day known as El Grito de la Independencia (“Cry of Independence”). That phrase was first spoken on September 16th, 1810 by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest in the small town of Delores. That moment is said to have marked the beginning of  Mexico’s War of Independence against Spain.

Cinco de May commemorates an entirely different event, the 1862 Battle of Puebla, in which the Mexican Army met and drove back an invasion force of the French. This battle ended in a victory for the Mexican Army over a much stronger and better equipped occupying French force. Although the French continued their push towards Mexico City, the Battle of Puebla provided the Mexican people a much need morale boost which eventually led to their ultimate victory over the French. (History it seems is full of remarkable parallels.)

Thus in recognition of the Battle of Puebla for which Cinco de Mayo is celebrated, we may raise a glass of Tequila today. The glass I am going to raise is one of PaQuí Tequila (Silvera).

Here is an excerpt from my review:

Review: PaQuí Silvera Tequila

” … The aroma from the glass is laid back.  An earthy agave scent is present, but it does not jump from the glass, rather it seeps out slowly. Very light citrus tones follow, but they do not try to assault the nostrils, rather they lie very gently in the breezes …”

Of course I am going to enjoy a few cocktails today, most probably a Metro Mexico Cocktail, and perhaps as the sun gets warmer, a Royal Alexander Margarita.

Posted in Blanco Tequila, Cocktails & Recipes, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on A Reivew for Cinco de Mayo

Review: Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 4, 2013

GranMarI have been given a few Orange liqueurs to review from a few different sources over the past few months, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, from Cognac Ferrand; and Citrónge, from Patron Spirits just to name two. Rather than reviewing those spirits in isolation, I have decided to grab a few of my orange flavoured spirits from my shelf, and review them as well. Hence today, I am publishing my review for Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, a popular orange-flavored, brandy based liqueur created by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle in 1880.

It is apparently produced from Cognac, neutral spirit, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar. The Cognac in particular is important as fully 51 % of the final volume of the spirit is blended Cognac. This aged spirit is blended with water and a neutral spirit which contains the distilled essence of bitter orange. The final liqueur is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume, and is meant to be served neat as an aperitif or used as an ingredient in fine cocktail recipes.

You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:

Review: Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

“… The overall structure of the liqueur seems to be always at the edge. The orange is almost too bitter; the sugar is almost too sweet; and the wood spiciness is almost too biting, yet never do these flavours build to the point where the spirit becomes cloying. It is a well constructed spirit which walks a path along the precipice, but which never tumbles over …”

Please enjoy my review and the suggested recipe Maximiliano Tequila, which mixes Grand Marnier to great effect with aged tequila.


Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Liqueur, Orange Liqueur | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

Review: Patrón Citrónge

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 2, 2013

SAM_0722 Margarita with CitrongePatrón Citrónge is a relatively new orange liqueur from Patron Spirits produced in Jalisco, Mexico at the same distillery which makes Patron Tequila (although in a separate building, as per CRT regulations). The orange based liqueur is produced from an agave based neutral spirit, and of course natural orange flavours. There may be other ingredients in the mix; but if there is, Patron is not telling me. The spirit is bottled at a full 40 % alcohol by volume, and I was provided with a sample bottle by Select Wines & Spirits who are the distributors of Citrónge here in Alberta.

You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:

Review: Patrón Citrónge

“… Alongside the aroma of fresh-cut navels oranges is the unmistakable aroma of herbaceous agave. It is not as firm as what one would notice when snooting a glass of blanco tequila; but it is unmistakable. Hints of white pepper, fruity aromas of garden squash and grilled pineapple are all represented in the air above the glass. The normally clear orange scents are somewhat masked by this herbaceous aroma …”

Please enjoy my review of this interesting orange Liqueur, and of course, enjoy my new cocktail recipe included in the review, April Showers.

Cheers everyone!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Orange Liqueur | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Patrón Citrónge

Review: Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 28, 2013

In 1856, John Gibson purchased 40 acres and built a distillery along the shore of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. By the turn of the century, the Gibson’s Distilling Company was the largest producer of rye whisky in North America. Unfortunately, early in the new century, fate dealt the company a tragic blow, in the name of Prohibition. Consumption of legal whisky all but dried up, and Gibson’s Distilling Company went bankrupt. In 1923, the entire contents of the distillery including the stills, the aging barrels, all of the remaining spirit, (and even the grain which was on site) was sold via Sherriff’s auction to Schenley Industries of New York. Fifty years later this whisky brand, which was born on the US side of the border in Pennsylvania, was resurrected by the brand owner at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec. Now, of course, it has become one of the iconic brands of Canadian Whisky.

Of course the story continued and Shenley Distillers underwent re-organization at the end of the 20th century. As part of that reorganization, the Gibson’s Finest Whisky brand was purchased by William Grant & Sons in 2002. Some time after the acquisition, William Grant & Sons moved the production of Gibson’s Whisky from the Schenley plant in Valleyfield, Quebec to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario.

You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:

Review: Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old Canadian Whisky

“… The initial aroma is spicy with a firm oak presence. The breezes above the glass are filled with tobacco, rye, and (what I am going to term) clean firm oak spices. These dominant scents are accented by caramel, butterscotch and vanilla. Some dusty dry notes of freshly harvested grain, autumn cornstalks, and dry straw rise into those initial breezes as well …”

Please enjoy my review, and my suggested bar drink, The Old Fashioned Cocktail.

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Caorunn Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 17, 2013

SAM_0692 Dandelion MartiniCaorunn Gin is rather unusual in that it not only uses six botanicals which are seen as traditional in the gin trade; but it also contains five non traditional Celtic botanicals which are found growing in the hills which surround the Balmenach Distillery where the gin produceded by Gin Master, Simon Buley is crafted. According to the Caorunn Gin website, the six traditional botanicals are, juniper berries, coriander seed, orange peel, lemon peel, angelica root, and cassia bark. The non traditional Celtic ingredients are rowan berries, heather, bog myrtle, dandelion, and coul blush apple.

The gin is hand-made in small batches (about 1,000 litres per batch), using a quadruple distilled grain spirit as its base, with the flavours from the hand-picked botanicals infused into the spirit when the distilled vapour of the final distillation passes through the trays of the Balmenach Distillery’s vintage 1920′s Copper Berry Chamber which contain the botanicals.

(Note: I was provided a sample bottle of Caorunn Gin by The Bacchus Group, who are responsible for its importation here in Alberta.)

You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:

Review: Caorunn Gin

“… my initial impression was that this spirit seems to look and smell very much like a traditional London Dry Gin. The scent of juniper is foremost (as it should be) and citrus accents of lemon and orange peel fall nicely in behind. However, after the glass sits for a minute or two I begin to notice a sort of herbal spiciness in the air …”

I have included two excellent cocktail suggestions as part of the review, The Dandelion Martini, and The Grange Cocktail.

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Caorunn Gin

Review: Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 15, 2013

Crown Royal ResereCrown Royal Canadian Whisky is currently produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian whisky brand. In 1992, a premium version of Crown Royal was introduced as Crown Royal Special Reserve. This whisky was produced from specially selected casks which were tasted and monitored closely by the Crown Royal Master Blender. These ‘premium casks’ represented whiskies with special character, and they were allowed to age longer with the aim of producing a more premium whisky.

In the fall of 2008, this more premium Crown Royal Special Reserve was relaunched as Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky. I reviewed this whisky back in January of 2010, and I began to suspect something was amiss when I tasted the whisky for a second time in a blind format in the fall of 2011, almost two years later. I was on the jury for the Canadian Whisky Awards, and although my blind scores were for the most part reasonably close to my review scores; this particular whisky was one which stood out as an anomaly. When exactly the same thing occurred in the fall of 2012, I decided I had better revisit the whisky and re-score it. (I am not above admitting I might have gotten something wrong.)

You may click on the following excerpt to read my new review!

Review: Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky

“… I smell distinct impressions of ginger and wood spices. As the whisky breathes some baking spices begin to rise with vanilla, nutmeg, and cloves. These are accented by a touch of maple and some spicy tobacco spice. Some tart apples make their way into the breezes as well as some impressions of sour fruit and canned peaches …”

Please enjoy the review and the two recipes included at the end, the Royal Bang, and the Evening Salute.

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky


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