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Archive for the ‘Vodka’ Category

Christmas Cocktail Bazaar: Orange & Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 25, 2018

Although it will be Autumn until December 21, the truth is that up here in Canada, the first winter snowfalls arrived in mid-October and the cold weather settled in early in November. This means that it is time to switch up my Cocktail Bazaar with servings that reflect the coming of the cooler Christmas Season. And as this much cooler weather arrives, it is not unusual for me to sip on a nice cup of hot chocolate in the evening.

Here is a delicious recipe which mixes a steaming cup of Hot Chocolate with Smirnoff Peppermint Twist and a dollop of Triple Sec. The indulgence is the creation of Kendra Darling (Simply Darrling) and it is a wonderful seasonal addition to my Cocktail Bazaar.

The serving is perfect for the upcoming Christmas Season when friends and family gather.

Orange & Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1 oz Smirnoff Peppermint Twist
1/2 oz Triple Sec
8 oz Hot Chocolate
Whipped Cream with Caramel Drizzle
Candied Orange Peel

Combine Hot Chocolate, Triple Sec, and Smirnoff Peppermint Twist in a large mug
Stir to mix
Top with Whipped Cream and Caramel Drizzle
Garnish with a strip of Candied Orange Peel

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!

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Smirnoff Peppermint Twist is a limited seasonal offering from Smirnoff Co. bottled at 30% alcohol by volume. It features a ‘scratch and sniff’ bottle allowing you to enjoy the seasonal scent of peppermint and candy cane before you even open the bottle. You may read my full review of this flavoured vodka here:

Review: Smirnoff Peppermint Twist

” … The peppermint flavoured vodka is perhaps a touch on the sweet side, then again it is the flavours of peppermint and candy cane which are featured and the spirit would not be a true holiday spirit if it did not accurately reflect this sweetness …”

I hope you enjoy the review, Chimo!

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Fall Cocktail Bazaar: The Kamikaze

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 14, 2018

My Cocktail Bazaar was made possible by the many recipes and sample products sent to me by Smirnoff Vodka through their USA Media Team. Today I am looking at their flagship product, Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka served in a Kamikaze Cocktail.

The word Kamikaze entered into the popular vernacular of North America near the end of the Second World War. This is because Kamikaze were special aviation attack units within the Japanese Military who carried out suicide missions with their planes attacking US military warcraft near the end of the Pacific Campaign. The Kamikaze units were often featured in American film and television after the war which led to the word kamikaze coming to represent not just Japanese Kamikaze fighters, but also all manner of extreme, dangerous or reckless behavior. It’s not surprising that the word with all of its implication would become (in the mid to late 1970’s) the name of a reckless ‘shooter style’ cocktail.

We can however, look at both the word Kamikaze, and the Kamikaze cocktail, in a different light. You see, the term kamikaze actually came about in 1281 when the Mongols under Kublai Khan tried to invade Japan. The Mongol soldiers were being carried by ships across the Japanese Sea when the Mongol fleet was destroyed by a tsunami off the coast of Japan. The tsunami wind was referred to as a kamikaze or “spirit wind” by the Japanese who were seemingly saved by this divine intervention.

Just as the word Kamikaze seems to have dual implications, I suggest that the named cocktail does as well. Although (according to cocktail historian Dave Wondrich (see here)) the Kamikaze began its life as perhaps the first shooter cocktail (a reckless serving indeed), as time has went by, the bar drink has been re-examined and now is recognized by the IBF (International Bartenders Association) as a classic New Era Drink.

The Kamikaze represents a well-balanced proportion of sweet (Triple Sec) and sour (Lime Juice) constructed in equal proportions with Vodka (in this case, Smirnoff No. 21). The ingredients are shaken (or stirred) over ice and served in a simple cocktail glass. Rather than shooting the contents down the gullet, I recommend sipping slowly so as to savour the lightly sweet and tart flavour combination.

Here is the Kamikaze served with Smirnoff No. 21 (red label) Vodka.

Kamikaze

1 oz  Smirnoff No. 21
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Ice
Lime Wedge

Add the three ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker frosts.
Strain into a nice cocktail glass
Add the ice from the shaker with a slice of lime

Garnish (if desired) with a wedge of lime
And of course…enjoy!

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

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Note: Smirnoff No. 21 is a triple distilled spirit, produced on a large multi-column still from North American prairie grain. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

You may read my recent review of Smirnoff No. 21 here:

Review: Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka 

“… Because Smirnoff is perceived by many to be mass-produced and therefore an economy brand, I received a bit of online criticism for my favourable review of the spirit four years ago. However, so far in the tasting session, the spirit is again showing itself to be a much better vodka than its price would indicate …”

Chimo!

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Fall Cocktail Bazaar: Berry Lemonade Mule

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 7, 2018

Recently the folks at Smirnoff (well actually it was one of their media companies) reached out to me wondering if I was willing to feature some of their new flavoured products including the Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer Malt Beverages on The Rum Howler Blog. I found the idea rather interesting. Although I am primarily a reviewer of spirits, I do share cocktail recipes from time to time as well. So I responded by saying that if they could send me product samples as well as recipe suggestions which I could make at home, then I would share the recipes which I liked in a sort of Cocktail Bazaar during the fall.

One of the first recipes they sent me was a Mule-style serving which mixes Smirnoff’s Spiked Sparkling Seltzer Lemonade with Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka, Lemonade and Ginger Beer. It is certainly a recipe which is easy to prepare at home. So I mixed one up and decided that this delicious combination should be the first recipe for my Fall Cocktail Bazaar.

It’s a dandy recipe, I suggest you try one as well.

Berry Lemonade Mule

2 oz. Spiked Sparkling Seltzer Berry Lemonade
1 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
1 oz. Lemonade
1 oz. Ginger Beer
Ice
Raspberry and Lemon for Garnish

Add Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer Berry Lemonade, Smirnoff No. 21 vodka, and lemonade to a tall mixing glass
Add ice and stir until well chilled.
Pour over ice into a mule mug
Top with Ginger Beer
Garnish with a fresh raspberry and lemon

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

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Note: Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer Berry Lemonade is a premium malt beverage brewed and bottled at 4.5 % abv. by Smirnoff Co.. The product contains zero added sugar (sugars produced during brewing are not removed), no artificial sweeteners, no preservatives and natural flavours

 

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Review: Banff Ice Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 1, 2018

Banff Ice Vodka is a Vodka brand owned and produced by Alberta Distillers Limited (Owned by Beam Suntory) based in Calgary, Alberta. This is a triple distilled grain spirit  bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. It is sold throughout Western Canada and even makes its way into Ontario via the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario).

Earlier this summer, I organized a small Vodka tasting for a few friends. We tasted Russian Standard Vodka, and Strait Vodka 40 alongside Banff Ice comparing each for sipping, for shooting, as a palette cleanser, and in cocktails. This review has been written based upon the tasting notes I constructed during the Vodka Tasting as well as from the comments of my friends, and from my impression during a subsequent tasting I did by myself with the spirit in isolation.

Here is a link to the results for Banff Ice Vodka.

Review: Banff Ice Vodka

“… The spirit was only slightly thickened, and when I raised the glass to my nose I could detect very little aroma. There was a light spiciness and a hint of menthol, but that was all. The first sip brought forward bits of grain spice and a touch of citrus zest, but again, that was all. When chilled, Banff Ice is an extremely clean, crisp spirit …”

Please enjoy my review of this surprising spirit!

 

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Review: Smirnoff Moscow Mule

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 21, 2018

The Moscow Mule is a popular vodka cocktail which mixes Vodka (often Smirnoff Vodka is called for specifically) and Ginger Beer with a small amount of lemon or lime juice. The origins of the cocktail are somewhat obscured with different ‘origin stories’ placing the first named ‘Moscow Mule’ in different locations ranging from Manhattan, New York to Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The most popular story is that in 1941, three friends, John A. Morgan, President of Cock ‘n’ Bull Products (know by his friends as Jack) which produced a brand name ginger beer (also the owner of the Hollywood Cock ‘n’ Bull Restaurant), John G. Martin, President of G.F. Heublein Brothers Inc. and Rudolph Kunett, President of Pierre Smirnoff (which was Heublein’s vodka division) were in the Chatham Hotel and they began to experiment with Morgan’s Cock ‘n’ Bull ginger beer and Kunett’s Smirnoff Vodka served with a twist of lemon juice. (source:New York Herald Tribune, 1948)

Whether it was introduced at the time, or the idea arrived afterwards, the Moscow mule quickly became associated with a unique serving vessel, a copper mug. The introduction of the copper mug is usually attributed to Russian immigrant, Sophie Berezinski who apparently arrived in North America with 2000 copper mugs which had been manufactured by her father in a copper factory in Russia known as the Moscow Copper Co.. She apparently walked into John Martin’s Cock ‘n’ Bull Pub in Los Angeles, where Jack Morgan and John Martin where either introducing the cocktail to the Sunset Strip (or perhaps this is really where the cocktail was invented) and the idea to serve the mixed drink in Sofie’s copper mugs was born (source: Moscow Copper Co – The Story of the Moscow Mule).

Recently, Smirnoff in a nod to its association to the original Moscow Mule, introduced their Ginger and Lime infuse Moscow Mule (flavoured vodka). According to the folks at Smirnoff the spirit (bottled at 30 % alcohol by volume) is a ready-to-mix combination of zesty ginger and tangy lime flavors which is meant to be mixed with ginger-ale (or ginger beer).

Here is a link to my full review of this new (and highly recommended ready-to-mix serving from Smirnoff:

Review: Smirnoff Moscow Mule

” … The lime and ginger infused vodka is not supposed to be sipped neat; but when I did so I was quite pleased with the lightly sweet lime and ginger flavour I encountered. I added a cube of ice and frankly I could sip and enjoy this rather easily …”

Please enjoy my review, Chimo!

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