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Archive for the ‘Cocktails & Recipes’ Category

Cocktail Hour: The Whiskey Fizz

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 29, 2016

Fizz Cocktails appeared in the late 19th century. They evolved from the more simple ‘Cocktail Sour‘ recipes of the time, and are basically a Sour lengthened with soda. The first known reference to a specific fizz recipe appeared in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomass Bartender’s Guide. This style of cocktail grew in popularity throughout the early part of the 20th century and reached its apex in the 1950’s when the bar drink hopped the ocean and became widely popular in Europe as well. 

Whiskey Fizz SAM_2371More recently, the fizz has begun to wane in popularity as the modern trend towards short cocktails has taken hold. However, if you happen to like tall ‘Rye and Ginger’ servings, do try adding a dollop lemon juice and a touch of sugar syrup. The tall, refreshing bar drink will take you back to the fifties.

Here is a Whiskey Fizz featuring the brash young flavour of Sonoma County Distilling’s, 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey.

Whiskey Fizz

1 1/2 oz 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey 
1/2 oz fresh lemon Juice
1/2 tsp sugar syrup
ice

3 oz Ginger Ale
Add the first three ingredients into a mixing glass and stir
Add Ice into a medium-sized rocks glass (8 oz)
Pour the mixed ingredients over ice
Complete with ginger-ale
Stir 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 the 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey will publish tomorrow!

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Cocktail Hour: Gin and Lime (a quaffable deck drink)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 26, 2016

Some of my favourite bar drinks are what I call ‘deck drinks’. These are libations which we can easily mix with no cocktail shakers, no fancy garnishes, and most importantly of all, no fuss! The simplest of deck drinks combine your favourite spirit with a few cubes of ice and a shot of soda. Rum and Coke, Rye and Ginger, and Vodka and Seven are all examples of the deck drink craft. Sometimes, rather than soda, I will use fresh citrus. A Screwdriver (Vodka and Orange Juice) is a good example of a citrus based deck drink.

Gin and Lime SAM_2357During my recent Gin Binge, I encountered Prairie Organic Gin, and I was struck by its subdued, relaxed flavour profile. It seemed an ideal spirit for an enjoyable deck drink. A bit of Lime Juice, a touch of Sugar Syrup, a dollop of Gin (and lots of Ice) and I was done. I suppose the proper name for this libation is the Gin Fix, but I just call it Gin and Lime.

(Perhaps it is just a hair more complicated than the average deck drink, but the results are certainly quaffable!)

Gin and Lime (Gin Fix)

2 oz Prairie Organic Gin
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice

Pour the lime and sugar syrup into a suitable glass
Add Ice
Pour in a dollop of Prairie Organic Gin
Stir and 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 Prairie Organic Gin publishes tomorrow.

 

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Cocktail Hour: The Sentimental Lady

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 23, 2016

When I began to explore mixed drinks in a more serious way, my wife purchased a large cocktail book, 1001 Cocktails (Alex Barker compiler) for me to draw inspiration from. I poured over the recipes seeing which ones I might like, and more importantly, which of those that I could also make at home with my small collection of ingredients. To my dismay, most of the recipes called for strange liqueurs, and ingredients which I knew very little of, and many of these ingredients seemed to be used only a few times in the entire book. I certainly was not going to run out and purchase them for the sake of one or two cocktails which I might not even enjoy.

This experience influenced me greatly, and if you pour through my recipes (here) you will find that a common theme to almost all of them is that the home bartender does not need to purchase fancy ingredients which they will have no further use for after enjoying their bar drink.

Having said that, Alex Barker’s compilation of recipes was not without merit for the home bartender. Here and there, (in almost every drink category) were a few recipes I could actually make with my meager bar selection. When I was studying the gin recipes Alex provided I noticed he had several recipes for ‘Lady’ cocktails:  The Lady, The Green Lady, The Fair Lady … you get the idea. His recipe for The White Lady caught my eye. It was a simple recipe mixing Gin with Lemon Juice and Triple Sec. I mixed one, decided it was too tart, so I added enough sugar syrup to suit my taste, and named my tweaked creation Lady of the Empire. It was my first ‘Lady’ Cocktail.

Sentimental Lady SAM_2352Recently when I was playing with Poli Marconi 46 Gin, I fell into the idea of constructing a Margarita Style cocktail using gin rather than tequila as the cocktail’s base. I realized suddenly, that I had made another ‘Lady’ cocktail. All that remained was to give my latest construction a name. It just so happened that a particular song by Bob Welch was playing in the background …

The Sentimental Lady

2 oz Poli Marconi 46 Gin
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
3/8 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
Lemon Slice

Place the five ingredients in a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Add a Lime Slice for Garnish

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: Tomorrow I will be publishing my review for the excellent Poli Marconi 46 Gin.

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Cocktail Hour: Grapeshot Martini

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 20, 2016

Recently, many new brands of gin have become available in my home Province, Alberta. While many have very traditional juniper forward flavour profiles, there are a growing number which seek to give other flavour elements a stronger role within the spirit. One such brand which I received recently is Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin. In addition to juniper, 29 other botanicals are used within its construction. In addition, this gin is also infused with Riesling Wine.

Grapeshot Martini While examining the spirit, I decided that its character would be well suited to Martini cocktails where the many nuances of flavour within the gin would not be lost. I decided that a Vesper-like cocktail which combined a high quality vodka (Belvedere) with Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin would be an ideal starting point.

The Riesling wine infusion inspired a green grape garnish. I placed the grape in the freezer first such that as it thawed in the cocktail it would be more inclined to release some its flavour to enhance the serving.

The result was quite delicious!

Grapeshot Martini

1 oz Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin
1 oz Belvedere Vodka
1/6 oz Stock Vermouth
Ice
Green Grape

Place a green grape in the freezer 2 hours before serving
Chill your Martini Glass
Slice the semi frozen grape in half and place it in the chilled glass
Add Gin, the Vodka and Vermouth into a metal shaker with lots of ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker are frosted
Double strain into the chilled martini glass

Of course, you should enjoy responsibly!

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

Note my review of Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin will publish tomorrow.

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Cocktail Hour – The High Test Daiquiri

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 17, 2016

Wray and Nephew recently introduced their Overproof White Rum into the Alberta marketplace. This is a 63 % alcohol by volume offering which has many of my friends shaking their heads wondering what the heck they are supposed to be doing with a white rum with this much raw power. As if to intimidate everyone even more, the rum features strong Jamaican Pot Still flavours within that thrust of alcohol push.

It just so happens that I love those strong pot still flavours, and my advise to those who are mixing with the Wray and Nephew is to embrace tropical tiki drinks and daiquiris which use fresh squeezed tropical fruit as the mixing base rather than soda.

I thought I would begin my exploration of the Overproof Wray and Nephew by adapting it to the quintessential white rum cocktail, the Daiquiri. This is a serving which requires only three ingredients, white rum, fresh lime juice, and sugar syrup.

High Test Daiquiri SAM_2376To modify the bar drink for a full flavoured overproof white rum, I suggest that we add in one more ingredient, Triple Sec. Not only does the orange liqueur’s flavour mix wonderfully with the pot still flavours of the Wray and Nephew Rum, adding 1/2 ounce of Triple Sec and decreasing the amount of overproof white rum by the same amount serves to dilute the alcohol content of the cocktail making it more approachable. We still have a very strong bar drink; but if you try it, I am sure you will agree that the High Test Daiquiri is delicious.

High Test Daiquiri

1 1/2 oz Overproof White Rum
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Triple Sec/Orange Curacao
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
ice

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into suitable cocktail glass

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 outstanding Wray and Nephew Overproof White Rum will publish tomorrow, along with a another great recipe, the Dragon Zombie.

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Cocktail Hour: The Presbyterian

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 14, 2016

The Presbyterian Cocktail is a simple serving which mixes just three ingredients: whisky, ginger ale, and soda water. There is no specific IBA (International Bartenders Association) formulation, and this means that many variations of the bar drink exist sometimes with extra ingredients such as lemon or lime juice. The cocktail appears to have originated in North America; however, because the Presbyterian Church is so strongly tied to Scotland (the National Church of Scotland follows a Presbyterian ecclesiastical polity), it has become commonplace to serve the cocktail with Scottish Whisky.

Catto'sLike most highball cocktails, the Presbyterian works wonderfully as a back yard deck drink. It requires no frills, no martini shakers, and no expertise on the part of the back deck bartender. Because the serving is lengthened with both ginger-ale and with soda, it is a refreshing drink with a muted sweetness which many persons enjoy.

Here is my preferred formulation served with Catto’s Rare Old Scottish Blended Scotch Whisky.

The Presbyterian Cocktail

2 oz Catto’s Rare Old Scottish Blended Scotch Whisky
1 1/2 oz Ginger Ale
1 1/2 oz Soda Water
Ice

Add Ice to a rocks glass
Pour Scotch Whisky over the ice
Add Ginger Ale and Club Soda and stir

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 Catto’s Rare Old Scottish Blended Scotch Whisky will publish tomorrow.

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Valentine Cocktail: The Red Lion

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 13, 2016

This cocktail traces its roots all the way back to 1933 when Arthur Tarling of the London’s Café Royal created a simple gin recipe which won a cocktail competition in jolly old England. The recipe he created, the Red Lion, mixed equal parts gin, orange liqueur, and a combination of lemon and orange juice. In most constructions I have seen online, a dollop of grenadine is used as the sweetener which gives the cocktail a pale red hue which is perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Red Lion SAM_2425Tarling’s recipe has stood the test of time, and can usually be found in the gin section of most good cocktail books.

The Red Lion

1 1/2 oz Gin
1 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Grand Marnier)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/8 oz Grenadine
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 cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: Tomorrow I tackle the Presbyterian Cocktail made with Catto’s Rare Old Scottish Blended Scotch.

Enjoy the Valentine’s Weekend everyone!

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Cocktail Hour: The Cosmopolitan

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 11, 2016

The cocktail presented today is the modern Cosmopolitan, which according to the IBA (International Bartenders Association) is a cocktail made with Vodka Citron (lemon flavoured vodka), Cointreau (orange liqueur), Cranberry Juice, and freshly squeezed Lime Juice. The serving is by no means consistent, and if you order a Cosmo (as the bar drink is frequently referred to) you will most likely receive a variation on the recipe usually using a regular vodka instead of the lemon flavoured variety.

Cosmopolitan (Big Rig)Like most home bartenders, I do not have a ready supply of Vodka Citron, nor a suitable lemon vodka substitute in my home bar. However, I wanted to construct a Cosmopolitan which would be similar to the IBA formulation. I did this using my newly acquired Big Rig Premium Vodka, and tweaking the recipe by adding a touch of lemon juice and decreasing the lime juice by the same amount. I tried different garnishes, and decided that orange peel seemed to suit the overall flavour profile of the serving (the IBA formulation states a lime slice garnish).

Here is a delicious Cosmo, which you can make at home:

Big Rig Craft Distillery Cosmopolitan

2 oz Big Rig Premium Vodka
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Cranberry juice
3/4 oz Lime juice
1/4 oz Lemon juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Orange Peel

Add the first six Ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass
Garnish with Orange Peel

Note: 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 Big Rig Craft Distillery Premium Vodka will publish tomorrow!

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Cocktail Hour: Crannon Blast

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2016

Cannon Blast Bottle ImageCaptain Morgan Cannon Blast began to appear on store shelves throughout North America in the fall of 2015. The new spirit from Captain Morgan (apparently produced from Captain Morgan Rum as well as natural flavours and spices) is being touted as a rum meant for the shot glass.

With that in mind, I invited my friend Lucas to sample the spirit with my last fall prior to my review. When he and I sampled it for the first time, we each took a cautious sip, and then downed shots to see how the spirit fared. I saw Lucas grimace, and I am sure he saw me grimace, as the tart flavour of sour citrus candies filled our mouths and overwhelmed our ability to control our reactions. The overt spiciness which followed contributed to our discomfort. Let’s just say that neither of us were fans at that point.

Having said that, my review for the Cannon Blast (see down below for a link) has been the most popular article on my website since I published it. Many people seem to be curious about the cannon ball shaped bottle and the rum inside.

Because of the spirit’s apparent popularity, I thought I would share a simple shot-style recipe sent to me recently by the media team for Captain Morgan Rum which mixed the Cannon Blast with Cranberry juice. Although the combination does not work for me, it apparently is quite popular at bars and clubs where the Cannon Blast is sold.

________________________________________________

Crannon Blast

Cannon_Blast_Crannonblast-0031 oz. Captain Morgan Cannon Blast
1/2 oz. Cranberry juice
Ice
Shot Glass

Chill the Shot Glass in the freezer
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of your shaker begins to frost
Strain into the chilled shot glass.
Enjoy Responsibly!

_______________________________________________________

And if you are interested in how I scored the Cannon Blast, here is a link to my full review:

Review: Captain Morgan Cannon Blast

“… The aroma carries an obvious rum-like caramel aroma which is tainted by the sweet and sour scent of a lemon drop candy. The lemon drop candy scent grows stronger as you let the rum breathe, and as well I begin to notice a light spiciness, which reminds me of ginger and cardamom …”

Please enjoy this review which includes another recipe, Blasted Brew, which mixes the Cannon Blast with Lager Beer.

Chimo!  (#Boom)

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Cocktail Hour: El Padre’

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 8, 2016

Amaretto is a sweet almond flavoured liqueur which I like to mix with well aged oaky spirits. The sweet almond flavour tends to meld into the sappy oak notes and the combination results in a wonderful sipping (slightly sweet) cocktail. This is not a new idea, the classic scotch whisky cocktail, the Godfather, is exactly this style of bar drink. Several years ago I built a very similar cocktail using a well aged rum instead of whisky as its base. A good friend of mine named Forrest (see his website here) helped me tweak the recipe, and we gave the bar drink the new name, El Padrino which of course, is Spanish for Godfather.

When I was thinking of a suitable cocktail for my latest rum acquisition, Vizcaya VXOP Cask No. 21, I wanted to explore this theme with a similar cocktail. However, I hoped for a bar drink which would showcase the flavour of the Dominican Rum. I decided that adding a second complimentary flavour, Orange Curacao, might be a good idea. The almond notes within the rum would be accented by the Amaretto, and the orange peel notes within the rum would be accented by the Orange Curacao. When I experimented, I found that a single dash of Fees Cocktail Bitters (with its cinnamon and clove flavours) enhanced the cocktail even more.

As this cocktail was a shortened (albeit more complex) form of the original El Padrino (Godfather), I settled upon the shortened (perhaps also more complex) name El Padre’ (Father) for my new cocktail.

I hope you like it.

El Padre'El Padre’

2 oz aged Vizcaya Cask 21
1/8 oz Luxardo Amaretto (see review here)
1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao (see review here)
few drops Fee’s Cocktail Bitters
crushed ice (1/3)
ice cubes (2/3)
Lime slice

Add the first four ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker
Add both crushed ice and ice cubes
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Double strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a slice of lime
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 for Vizcaya V.X.O.P. Cask No. 21 Rum will publish tomorrow.

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