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Archive for the ‘Cocktails & Recipes’ Category

Cocktail Hour: Playing with the Lions

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 23, 2016

I like to experiment, and a recent trip to the grocery store gave me the perfect opportunity. For the first time in months I noticed that Blood Oranges were available again, and for the first time ever, I saw Meyer’s Lemons. Blood Oranges, for those who do not know have red flesh and their juice has a taste that is drier and perhaps more tart than regular navel oranges. The Meyer’s Lemons I bought advertised themselves as lemon’s with a touch more sweetness than an ordinary lemon. I also noticed after I tasted one that it also had an earthy quality which is absent from regular lemons.

G&JSAM_2470Here is a new serving of mine which combines Meyers Lemons and Blood Oranges with the goodness of Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin. The recipe is basically the same as Arthur Tarling’s, Red Lion Cocktail, except that I used the aforementioned citrus in place of regular oranges and lemons. Of course, the new fruit makes the cocktail taste entirely different.

I call the new libation, Playing with the Lions.

Playing with the Lions

1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin
3/4 oz Orange Liqueur (Patron Citron)
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Meyer’s Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice
3/8 oz Sugar syrup
ice
Lemon twist

Add the first five Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lemon zest twist

And of course enjoy responsibly!

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

Note: my review of Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin publishes tomorrow!

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Cocktail Hour: The Modern Gin Cocktail

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 20, 2016

Leo Engels, published his Bartender’s Guide, American and Other Drinks, in 1878. It is a fascinating glimpse into early mixology at a time when bar drinks and cocktails were just beginning to evolve and spread through North America and Europe. At that time, the word ‘cocktail’ was reserved for a specific serving, which resembles what we call the Old-Fashioned cocktail today. Other bar drinks had their own names, the Crusta, the Smash, and the Julep just to name a few.

Gin Cocktail SAM_2473Nowadays, all of these libations are part of the entire class of mixed drinks called cocktails; but back then, they were each their own serving and the cocktail was its own mixed drink, separate and distinct. How the word ‘cocktail’ evolved to encompass all classes of bar drinks is unknown to me; but if you want to go back in time and build an original ‘cocktail’, Leo Engels’, American and Other Drinks is a great starting place.

Here is a modern version of Leo Engels’ recipe for the Gin Cocktail made with Berkeley Square Gin.

Modern Gin Cocktail

2 oz Berkeley Square Gin
1/8 oz Orange Curacao
Dash of Angostura Bitters
1/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
Orange Peel

Fill the shaker 1/3 full of ice
Add all ingredients and shake well
Strain into a glass

Garnish with a strip of Orange Peel and Enjoy!

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 of Berkeley Square Gin will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Scotch Whisky Old Fashioned

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 17, 2016

In the beginning (actually sometime immediately after distilled spirits began to be produced and consumed for enjoyment) someone, somewhere decided that their Brandy just didn’t taste all that good. (Maybe it was actually Whiskey or Rum, but most of my research indicates that Brandy was the original cocktail spirit so we will go with that for now.) Anyways, someone, somewhere decided that drinking these distilled spirits ought to be just a little easier and a little more enjoyable than it was so that person added a bit water and sugar to the spirit in an attempt to make it just little more affable. In fact, this type of experimentation with distilled spirits probably went on for many years (and in many different places) as there was certainly many more persons who wanted to better enjoy their spirits (and to stop grimacing after every swallow).

At some point, (soon after the turn of the nineteenth century) this idea had coalesced into a recipe of sorts and the first ‘cocktail’ was born. And that is exactly what the serving was called, a cocktail. This early form of the recipe was quite generic; it was basically a mixture of distilled spirit, sugar, water and bitters.

As time went forward, the idea evolved, and if you research the recipes from the mid-nineteenth century you will find that new constructions had come forward which built upon this original. If a bit of fruit and a sweet liqueur was added the cocktail became a ‘Fancy Cocktail’. If a sugar rimmed glass was introduced the serving became a ‘Crusta’, and if mint was muddled into the rest of the ingredients the results were a ‘Smash’.

These new forms of mixed drinks were popular; but at some point, patrons began to yearn for that ‘Old Fashioned’ Cocktail which started it all. All that fancy stuff, the sugar rimmed glass, the slice of fruit, and the muddled mint seemed to some to be too complicated and pretentious. I can imagine frustrated patrons gazing at the complicated mixed drink menu proclaiming, “All I want is an old fashioned Cocktail!”

That original ‘old fashioned’ cocktail never did fully reappear in its original form. By this time ice had replaced water, and the fruit garnish never went completely away. What evolved as the Old Fashioned Cocktail was mixed drink which sat somewhere in between a Fancy Cocktail and the original Cocktail. A strip of citrus zest replaced the fancy slice of fruit, and as indicated, ice was added instead of water (and in some cases a touch of Orange liqueur was added in place or in conjunction with the sugar).

Today the Old Fashioned Cocktail has become the standard-bearer of mixolgy, and it is widely regarded as the first truly Classic Cocktail.

W&M Old Fashioned SAM_2491Today I am mixing an Old Fashioned Cocktail with a special 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky from independent bottlers, Wilson and Morgan. The point I am making by using such a special whisky is that the Old Fashioned Cocktail in its present form is a libation that is easily elevated by great ingredients. The better the spirit, the better the cocktail; or in this case, the better the Scotch Whisky, the better the Old Fashioned Cocktail.

This is a stunning serving which reaches an entire new level of greatness because of the wonderful whisky which is used in its construction, the 30 Year Old Cameronbridge Single Grain Whisky from Morgan and Wilson.

Scotch Whisky Old Fashioned

1 1/2 oz 30 Year Old Cameronbridge Single Grain Whisky
1/2 tsp Sugar syrup
1 dash Dry Orange Curacao
1 dash bitters (Angostura Orange Bitters)
3 large Ice Cubes
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!

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 of the fantastic Morgan and Wilson 30 Year Old Cameronbridge Single Grain Whisky publishes tomorrow, Chimo!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Captain’s Spiced Hurricane & a Review of the Captain’s 100 Proof

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 14, 2016

The Hurricane is a tiki-style cocktail popularized in the 1940s by New Orleans tavern owner Pat O’Brien. Apparently O’Brien had an overabundance of rum which local alcohol distributors had foisted upon him, and he needed to find a way to sell more of it to make room for other spirits including a few cases of higher priced Scotch and Whiskey. The libation he came up with mixed different styles of rum with passionfruit and citrus juice, and over time it became a local sensation. The drink is still popular in New Orleans where it is served in a Hurricane-style glass which is apparently how the cocktail got its name.

HurricaneRecently, Captain Morgan has been expanding their rum line-up beyond the spiced category, and into the flavoured and white rum categories. To promote the new spirits they send bloggers like me recipes and samples. I decided it was a good time to review more of the Captain’s line-up, and when they sent me their take on the Hurricane, I thought the recipe was interesting and worth sharing too.

Here is Captain Morgan’s take on the classic Hurricane.

Captain’s Spiced Hurricane

3/4 oz. Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum
3/4 oz. Captain Morgan White Rum
2 oz. Passion Fruit Juice
1 oz. Orange Juice
1 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup
1/4 oz Grenadine
Ice
Orange slice and cherry for garnish

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Pour into a crushed ice-filled hurricane glass
Garnish with orange and cherry.

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

And for those interested, my original review (published in 2011) for Captain Morgan’s 100 Proof Spiced Rum can be found here:

Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum

” … This rum is smoother than its lower proof sibling even though it carries more of an alcoholic punch. The flavours which I associate with good rum like oak spices which meld into a nice rummy caramel are more apparent in the stronger version of the rum …”

Note: My review for the new Captain Morgan’s White Rum will publish tomorrow.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Gin and Tonic #2

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 11, 2016

Gin and Tonic (G&T) has arrived to us all the way from India in the nineteenth century. This was when the British Army supporting the British East India Company was in control of large parts of the sub-continent. At that time quinine was used to treat stomach ailments and tropical diseases such as malaria which were a constant nuisance (and even real medical threat) to the British soldiers stationed there. Quinine is quite bitter, so the medical personnel began to add sugar, lime and finally gin to the medicine in order to make it taste better. (The addition of gin was not surprising as British soldiers in India were given a ration of gin each day to improve morale much like the members of the Royal British Navy who were given their daily tot of rum.) Amazingly, the strange concoction caught on and over a short time evolved into one of the most quintessential summertime libations, the Gin and Tonic.

A standard Gin and Tonic is a tall serving which mixes 1 part of gin with 3 parts of tonic water and is typically served with a lime garnish. It is extremely refreshing and very easy for the home bartender to mix.

Gin and Tonic #2 SAM_2468Many variations on the theme exist, and my favourite is a recipe I stumbled into when I held my Gin and Tonic Challenge in the summer of 2014. In the lead up to my competition, I experimented with various Gin and Tonic recipes and ratios in an effort to determine which construction suited my palate and allowed the gin to shine. The recipe I settled upon uses real lime juice and a cucumber garnish mixing the gin with much less tonic water than the standard serving. This shorter serving remains my favourite G&T construction.

I call it simply, Gin and Tonic #2.

Gin and Tonic #2

1 3/4 oz Dry Gin (Empire Gin is a great choice)
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
2 oz Q-Tonic
Cucumber Chunks

Add the first three ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with cucumber

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

I should point out that I normally use an extremely dry Tonic Water, Q-Tonic. I like this dry tonic much better than many of the sweeter alternatives, because I like to control the sweetness of the serving, and it is much easier to begin with a very good dry tonic and add sugar syrup to suit my taste, than it is to begin with a tonic water which may be overly sweet already. If you are happier with a different Tonic Water, you will probably have to use much less (if any) sugar syrup.

Note: My review for Empire Gin will publish tomorrow.

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Cocktail Hour: Cucumber Cooler

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 8, 2016

Spring continues to struggle its way forward, and my anticipation for the warmer weather is completely whetted. And when the weather finally turns completely I plan to enjoy myself on my back deck on the weekends with my Rum Chums as we have grill burgers and dogs and combine those good times with a few cocktails and bar drinks. Those who are long time followers of my spirits reviews know that during the lazy days of spring and summer, I am most likely to be to enjoying servings of the long tall variety.

Cucumber Mint Cooler SAM_2485Here is one such tall serving which, if you happen to have a penchant for gin, is just perfect for those back deck barbecues, the Cucumber Cooler.

Cucumber Cooler

2 oz De Kuyper Genièvre
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3 slices Cucumber
4 Mint Leaves
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1)
Ice
Sparkling Water

Add the Mint, Cucumber, and Lime into a Mixing Glass
Add the Genièvre and muddle until the cucumber is thoroughly crushed
Double strain into a large glass filled with ice
Complete with Sparkling Water

Please enjoy Responsibly

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

Note: my review for De Kuyper Genièvre will publish tomorrow!

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Whoa Nellie!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 30, 2016

I stumbled upon this recipe when I was looking for a nice rye-based cocktail I could add to my repertoire. Two things attracted me to the libation which caused me to give it a long look. The first was the combination of rye whiskey and dark rum which is an unusual combination to say the least. The second was the relative simplicity of the serving. So many of the modern cocktails require exotic liqueurs and syrups which, either are not available to the home bartender, or require too much effort to find (or make) for the sake of a single cocktail. This modern creation however uses a mix of ingredients (Rye Whiskey, Dark Rum, Orange liqueur, Lemon Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Bitters and Sugar Syrup) which are all easy for me to work with.

Whoa Nellie SAM_2399

The bar drink was apparently put together by Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin (In the Land of Cocktails) with the assistance of Ted Haigh (Dr. Cocktail) when they were gathered at Lally’s House to celebrate the first Mardi Gras after Hurricane Katrina. The name is an homage to Lally’s and Ti Adelaide’s grandmother, Nellie Valentine.

Whoa Nellie!

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Sonoma County Rye)
1/2 oz Dark Rum (Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum)
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Cointreau)
1/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/3 oz Lemon Juice
a few dashes of Bitters (Fees Cocktail Bitters)
1/3 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
Grapefruit Twist

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with plenty of ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of Grapefruit

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

And if  you are interested in more recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for my mixed drink recipes!

Note: My review for Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum will publish tomorrow, and my review for Sonoma County Rye will publish two days after that.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Apple Blossom

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 26, 2016

The Apple Blossom is another recipe found in W.J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book. (This cocktail is attributed to R.G. Buckby.) As originally published the serving calls for 2/3 Dry Gin, 1/3 Orange Juice and a dash of Calvados (Apple Brandy), to add a little character.

Apple Blossom SAM_2448My opinion is that the cocktail is perhaps a touch too dry for my liking, and the dash of Calvados which is supposed to provide a flavour accent is easily be lost especially with a flavourful gin. When I experimented with the libation, I found that the addition of sweetener in the form of a small amount of both Grand Marnier dash of sugar syrup improved the flavour considerable. I also added a touch more Apple Brandy such that its flavour could more forcefully play with my selected gin (Eau Claire Parlour Gin).

Apple Blossom

2 oz Eau Claire Parlour Gin
1 oz Orange Juice
3/8 oz Calvados (Apple Brandy)
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Orange Twist

Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Double strain into a cocktail glass
Twist on orange peel over the top to release some zest

Please 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 Parlour Gin will publish the day after Easter Sunday.

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Cocktail Hour: The Abbey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 23, 2016

Here is a recipe which arrives to us from W.J. Tarling’s, Cafe Royal Cocktail Book (Coronation Edition) which was published in 1937. An interesting point about the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book is that Mr. Tarling used the left side margin to credit the ‘inventors’ of many of the cocktails. Presumably, the cocktails which are not credited in the book were well-known servings at the time and either did not need to be credited or the creators of these cocktails were unknown to Tarling.

The Abbey is one of these cocktails whose creator was not credited, and today there is very little information about where the cocktail originated. Modern versions of the cocktail often substitute Vermouth for Lillet (as I have done) or eliminate the aromatized wine altogether from the recipe.

The Abbey SAM_2436The elimination of aromatized wine from the recipe is probably because this serving only works well with fresh vermouth. Many persons (and unfortunately many bartenders) do not realize that aromatized wines will begin to oxidize immediately after being opened and exposed to the air. They can undergo a very undesirable change in the matter of only a few weeks. This oxidized flavour has a deleterious effect upon both the vermouth and the cocktail.

However, if fresh Vermouth is used, the Abbey Cocktail is quite wonderful.

The Abbey

2 oz Pinnacle Gin
1 oz Lillet (Sub Fresh Vermouth)
1 oz Orange Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
ice
orange peel garnish

Add the first five Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lemon zest twist

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

Note: My review of Pinnacle Gin will publish tomorrow as the Gin Binge continues.

Chimo!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Cocktail Hour: 1878 Gin Crusta

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 20, 2016

Bols Genever is based upon a recipe which Lucas Bols introduced in 1820. The spirit is produced from malt wine distillate which is made from long-fermented rye, corn, and wheat which is triple-distilled in copper pot stills. This malt wine, is then infused with a carefully selected distillate of botanicals and brought to 42% alcohol by volume. The manner in which this spirit is produced pre-dates the advent of the Coffey still, and as such it represents a very early style of gin.

It occurred to me that Bols Genever may be the ideal spirit for me to explore early gin cocktails from the nineteenth century. To that end, I have reconstructed an early Gin Crusta recipe from that era which is found in the Bartending Manual written by Leo Engels, (American and Other Drinks) and published in 1878.

1878 Gin CrustaThe formulation provided by Engels is rather hard to follow because it bases its construction upon another early recipe,  the Fancy Cocktail, which in turn bases its construction upon a more generic serving which Engels simply calls the Gin Cocktail. Weaving my way through the tangle of recipes, I have brought forward Leo Engels’ Gin Crusta from 1878. (The cocktail was a favourite of my tasting group at a recent tasting I held where we were comparing both different styles of gin and different gin cocktails.)

1878 Gin Crusta

2 oz  Gin (Bols Genever made with recipe from 1820)
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/8 oz of Orange Curacao
1/8 oz Sugar Syrup
1 or 2 drops of Angostura Bitters
1 or 2 drops Fees Cocktail Bitters
1/3 cup cracked ice
Lemon Spiral (paring from half a lemon)
Lump of Ice

Rim a wine glass with a lemon slice
Dip the glass in powdered sugar
Pare 1/2 a lemon and place the paring inside the wine glass
Place the ingredients in a tumbler and strain into the wine glass
Add a small lump of ice

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

Note: My review for Bols Genever will publish tomorrow.

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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