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Summer Cocktail #4: The Margarita (Part 1)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 24, 2017

The Margarita based upon the 1953 Esquire Magazine formulation.

The Margarita Cocktail is perhaps the most popular cocktail in the entire world. Unfortunately for cocktail historians, the origin of this famous mixed drink is clouded as researchers and drinks companies have offered conflicting stories as to where and when the original Margarita was served. I’ll try to unravel some of the mystery in this two-part posting. This posting (Part 1) posits that perhaps a libation called the Tequila Daisy was the genesis of the Margarita.

This argument is bolstered as one of the earliest mention of a Margarita style bar drink is the Tequila Daisy from articles in the Syracuse Herald in 1936 (Source: Imbibe). The Spanish word for the daisy flower is Margarita, and it is easy to see how the Tequila Daisy Cocktail could have quickly became known in Mexico (or Spanish-speaking communities in the Southern USA) as the Margarita. Although the Syracuse Herald failed to provide a recipe for the Tequila Daisy, we can make a good guess as to the its construction by noting that the popular cocktail upon which the Tequila Daisy was based was the Brandy Daisy.

The original recipe for the Brandy Daisy (1876, Jerry Thomas, The Bartenders Guide (Second Edition)) is:

3 or 4 dashes gum syrup, 2 or 3 dashes of Curaçao liqueur, juice of half a small lemon, small wine-glass of brandy, and 2 dashes of Jamaica rum
Fill glass one-third full of shaved ice, Shake and strain and fill up with Seltzer water

If we swap out the Brandy and Rum in Jerry Thomas’s Daisy recipe for tequila, his recipe now bears a strong resemblance to the earliest known published Margarita Recipe (found in Esquire Magazine’s December 1953 issue):

1 ounce tequila, Dash of Triple Sec, Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Pour over crushed ice and stir, Serve in a Salt Rimmed Glass

Although this line of reasoning provides a clear path for how the Tequila Daisy became the Margarita, it does not address the question of the actual person (bartender) who gave the Margarita Cocktail its current form. I’ll tackle that  issue later this week in Part 2 of this Summer Cocktail Posting.

In the meantime, here is a modern variation of the Margarita I developed using Casamigos Blanco Tequila and California grown Cara Cara Oranges:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Cara Cara Oranges are a navel variety orange grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley. They have a bright orange peel with just a touch of a pinkish hue, and their interior flesh is distinctively pinkish similar to a pink grapefruit. The flavour of this orange is unique representing a sort of hybrid mixture of tangerine and traditional navel orange flavour with an unusual (but delightful) sweetness which is ideally suited for cocktails.

Carra Carra Margarita SAM_1544Cara Cara Margarita

2 oz Casamigos Blanco Tequila
1 1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Cara Cara Orange Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (1:1)
Ice
Cara Cara Orange Peel

Add the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain into a chilled martini glass
Garnish with a small peel of Cara Cara Orange
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!

________________________________________________________

Casamigos Tequila has been in the news recently as the brand was recently acquired by Diageo Spirits in a deal which was rumored (italics because the key work is rumored) to be potentially (note again the italics) worth up to $1,000,000,000.00 (yep those are italics again). I thought the recent acquisition was a good excuse to revisit my reviews for the Casamigos brands and I shall begin with the Blanco.

Here is a link to my revised Review:

Review: Casamigos Blanco Tequila

I noticed both grapefruit and lime zest weaving in and out the air within the mild white pepper and highland spice, and I also noticed a subtle smokey tone wrapped up within the fruity agave aroma.

Chimo!

 

 

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Posted in Blanco Tequila, Cocktails & Recipes, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Summer Cocktail #3: The Whisky Splash

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 18, 2017

Some of my favourite mixed drinks are what I call ‘deck drinks’. I have written about this serving style before; they are libations which we can easily mix with no cocktail shakers, no fancy garnishes, and most importantly of all, no fuss! The best deck drinks have only three ingredients, a base spirit, a mixer (soda or juice) and ice. Rum and Coke, and Gin and Seven are good examples of the deck drink craft. Sometimes, rather than soda, I will use fresh citrus juice. Vodka and Orange Juice (a Screwdriver) is a good example of a citrus based deck drink.

Although I like short cocktails (shaken or stirred), the truth is that when I am on my back deck with friends, I sometimes do not want to take the time to measure ingredients into my cocktail shaker or mixing glass let alone taking even more time to shake and double strain the final serving into a fancy glass. And in fact, it is not unusual for me to have a variety of juice and sodas with ice in my back yard cooler so everyone who has joined me can mix their own servings with whichever spirit they happen to have brought over that day.

Recently, the good folks at Glazer’s sent me a bottle of Revel Stoke Deluxe Canadian Whisky  which is a product of the Phillips Distilling Company. The spirit is named for the town of Revelstoke, located in the mountains of British Columbia. The whisky itself is not produced in British Columbia; instead it is distilled on the other side of those mountains at an undisclosed Canadian Distillery. According to the producer’s website, the whisky is produced by blending a young 3-year-old whisky (the youngest allowed by Canadian Law) with a more mature 8-year-old whisky. The final blend is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume, and during our recent spate of hot weather I found it to be an ideal spirit to enjoy in the Deck Drink format. The Whisky Splash made with Revel Stoke Deluxe Canadian Whisky is the third mixed drink in my Summer Cocktail round-up.

The Whisky Splash

2 oz Revel Stoke Canadian Whisky
2 Large Ice-cubes
Splash of Ginger-ale (1 -3 oz depending upon your preference)

Add the Ice-cubes to a rocks glass
Pour the Revel Stoke over the ice
Add a splash of Ginger Ale (to taste)
Garnish with a lime slice
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!

______________________

BTW: Here is a link to my previously published review of this wonderful Canadian Whisky:

Review: Revel Stoke Deluxe Canadian Whisky

“… The flavour of the whisky leads out with a lightly sweet impression of toffee alongside both bitter and spicy rye grain. The mouthfeel is soft, however the whisky has plenty of wood spice to both heat and pucker the palate between sips.  This is a dusty dry whisky, and as I sip, impressions of ripened grain fields and dry grassy hay lands both find their way into my consciousness …”

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer Cocktail #3: The Whisky Splash

Review: Siempre (Plata) Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 14, 2017

Siempre is a new tequila brand owned by Monica Sanita and Alex Lecroix. The spirit they created has been available in the Ontario market for about 6 months and after gaining some recognition they are beginning to expand into Alberta, Quebec, California and Nevada (this coming September).

According to my correspondence with Alex, this is an ultra premium tequila produced in Tequila, Mexico from 100% Blue Weber agave. Interestingly this Plata spirit is a product of both highland agave, and lowland agave (in equal measure). In the production of tequila, highland agave brings strong fruity citrus notes and a little hot pepper into both the delivery and in the finish. Lowland tequila brings firm earthy flavours of the agave fruit into the flavour profile. Siempre Tequila, it would seem, attempts to bring the best of both agave worlds to the tequila aficionado.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Siempre (Plata) Tequila

“… I sense a duality in the glass as the earthy qualities of the lowland agave seems to be roughened by black pepper and hints of orange peel. The breezes above the glass hint at additional impressions grilled pineapple, mushy banana and green pepper corns. As I am enjoying the aroma, I begin to notice light herbal impressions as well, a hint of heather and light green grass and a dab of mint or menthol …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my cocktail recommendation, the Toreador.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Blanco Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Review: Siempre (Plata) Tequila

Summer Cocktails No 2: The Gimlet

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 10, 2017

The Gimlet is perhaps my favourite gin cocktail. This simple serving though, is not without its share of controversy as over time a growing group of ‘cocktail police’ began to insist that the libation must be made in a particular way in order to properly be called a Gimlet. Any other construction they maintained ws not the bar drink which we call the Gimlet.

At the center of this controversy is a lime cordial called Rose’s Lime, which according to those aforementioned ‘protectors of the cocktail’ must be used in the bar drink’s construction rather than sweetened lime juice. I did a bit of research, and discovered that the controversy over the Gimlet stretched back to at least 1953 when a description found in the Raymond Chandler novel, The Long Goodbye, stated:

“a real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else”

The fact that this statement made it into Chandler’s novel indicates that bartenders of the time were already arguing over the proper form of this simple cocktail, and it very well could be that the popularity of Raymond Chandler as a novelist and screenwriter fueled the belief among those Cocktail Police that this was the only construction that should be considered as proper.

However; If one goes back even further in time (all the way to 1928), we can find a different viewpoint put forward by D.B. Wesson in his book, I’ll never be Cured, where his description of the Gimlet is:

 “gin, a spot of lime, and soda.”

Apparently, in this earlier period, the recipe for the Gimlet was more generic and even included soda as the sweetener. This indicates to me that the narrative put forward by the aforementioned cocktail protectors should be reassessed.

The truth is that we have not found a definitive starting point for the recipe of the Gimlet. It is also true that almost all bar servings evolve over time as better ingredients are discovered, and newer versions of the mixed servings are put forward. Even the word ‘cocktail’ has evolved over time from its beginnings when the term referred to a very specific style of bar drink to the present when it now refers to a large variety of bar drinks.

I say, let’s avoid stagnation and allow evolution to continue!

Here is the Gimlet in it’s most basic form mixed with one of my favorite Dry Gins, No 3 London Dry Gin and fresh Lime Juice:

The Gimlet

2 oz No 3 London Dry Gin
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
Ice
Lime Slice for garnish

Add the three main ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Double strain into a Cocktail Glass
Float a Lime Slice on top
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!

You may read my review of No 3 London Dry Gin Gin here: (Review: No 3 London Dry Gin)

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Review: Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 7, 2017

Bernard and Rosemary Walsh began producing their own independent Irish Whiskey brands in 2007 with the introduction of The Irishman 70 (aka The Irishman Original Clan in the USA) and The Irishman – Single Malt. In 2009 they expanded the portfolio with the introduction Writers Tears, a boutique brand which was created to bring additional nuance to the Irish Whiskey Category. Although these brands are distilled and aged by a third-party distillery, Bernard and Rosemary recently opened the Walsh Whiskey Distillery and began to produce their own new-make spirit in 2016.

The subject of this review, Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whisky, This Whiskey is a vatting of Single Malt and Single Pot Still whiskeys (60% Pot Still and 40% Single Malt), triple-distilled, and aged in American Oak ex-bourbon casks.

Here is a link to my full Review:

Review: Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey

“… I really like the nose which seems very well-balanced with just the right amounts of spice and sweetness. Although the oak and barley-like scents dominate, they do not smother the lighter nuances which continue to wind their way into the breezes above the glass …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my latest mixed drink creation, the Munster Cocktail.

Chimo!

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Review: Fonseca Bin No. 27 Finest Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 5, 2017

Although Fonseca is well-known to collectors for their outstanding Vintage Port, the flagship of the brand is Bin 27 Finest Reserve. This blend was launched in Britain about 40 years ago at a time when Port wine was evolving from a style of predominantly young immature wines.

The requirement to decant and finish the bottle before oxidation impaired its flavour meant that Vintage Port Wines were not necessarily the best choice for casual consumption. Fonseca developed a new wine the called ‘Vintage Character’ by blending across different vintages achieving a wine which was consistent in style from one bottling to the next. This new wine shared the same character of the popular Fonseca Vintage Ports; however it could be served directly from the bottle with no need to decant or strain the fines from the bottle.

Fonseca decided to call the new blend Bin 27 and within five years of its introduction it was being sold throughout the World (in almost 30 countries). Today the brand is sold as Fonseca Bin No. 27 Finest Reserve.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Fonseca Bin No. 27 Finest Reserve

“… The nose is rich and fruity with aromas of dark BC Cherries, ripe sliced plums, juicy blackberries and dark black currants. There is a spiciness in the breezes which reminds me of raisins, some twig-like tannins and grape skins as well as hints of cocoa which compliment the ripe fruitiness of the wine …”

Please enjoy this long overdue review of another outstanding Port Wine.

Chimo!

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Summer Cocktails #1: Cuba Libre’

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 3, 2017

This summer I am going to post a mixed drink series featuring some of my favourite Summer Cocktails, and I am going to start with one of my favourites, the Cuba Libre’.

It is generally believed that this rum based drink was first created in Havana, Cuba, in 1900 which makes a lot of sense as it was about the time that Coca Cola (the main mixing ingredient) was introduced upon the island. It is not a stretch to think that very soon after the soda drink was introduced, bartenders and rum enthusiasts, would be mixing rum and the new cola drink together.

As for the name, Cuba Libre’ can be translated to mean ‘Free Cuba’ which is said to refer to Cuba’s freedom from the Spanish Occupation which had been won just two years prior in 1898.

The simple Cuba Libre’ is a mixture of Coca Cola and  Rum with a Squeeze of Lime. For the purposes of this posting I am going to use a new Black Strap Rum sent to me by the folks at the Last Straw Distillery located at 40 Pippin Rd. in Vaughan, Ontario. I will be reviewing this new rum in a few short weeks, but suffice it to say my initial tasting sessions have revealed a rum which although it is not dark, nonetheless contains a wonderful backdrop of black strap molasses flavour which pairs with Cola and Lime wonderfully.

Here is, the Cuba Libre’.

Cuba Libre’
(the classic Rum and Coke recipe)

1 1/2 oz. Last Straw Distillery Black Strap Rum
4 oz Coca Cola
Lime wedge
Ice Cubes

Rub the rim of a standard rocks glass or highball glass with lime
Squeeze the lime over the glass to release some juice into the drink and fill with the glass with ice
Add Rum and fill with Coca Cola
Drop in the lime wedge and stir

As with all of my cocktail suggestions, 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!

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Happy 150, Canada!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 1, 2017

Today is Canada Day, and this year Canada Day is perhaps a little more special than usual. On July 1, 1867, the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick become Provinces of the new Dominion, and what was formerly the Province of Canada was divided into the two Provinces, Ontario and Quebec. That means that today, Canadians are celebrating the 150th Anniversary of their Country’s birth through Confederation.

Of course Canada grew after Confederation with other Provinces and Territories joining soon thereafter beginning with the North West Territories and Manitoba (formed from what was previously Rupert’s Land and a portion of the North Western Territory). This was followed by British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Yukon Territory, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  The Dominion of Newfoundland was shy at first; but decided to join Canada on March 31, 1949.  The boundaries of the actual provinces and Territories would jiggle around a bit with the final shuffle occurring in 1999 when Nunavut was formed from the eastern portion of the North West Territories recognizing the distinct culture of the local Inuit population that resided there.

Almost everyone in Canada is celebrating our 150th Anniversary in some way. My small act of celebration on my website, shall be to share a song created 50 years ago which honoured the 100th Anniversary od Canada’s Confederation. I remember singing this song as a child, as I am sure many of my readers do as well. What they may not remember is that this humble song actually became a pop radio hit topping the weekly Canadian Pop Charts for one week in 1967 and reaching #41 in the Annual List of the Top 100 Hits of 1967 (in Canada of course.)

Happy 150 Canada; here are the Young Canadian Singers:

 

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Review: Captain Morgan Loconut (Flavoured Rum)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 30, 2017

Earlier this Spring I was sent a bottle of Captain Morgan’s newest flavoured rum, Captain Morgan Loconut. The product was described to me as a gluten-free blend of Caribbean Rum, Coconut Liqueur, Spice and Natural Flavours, and it arrived in a nifty scratch and sniff coconut shaped (and apparently scented) round rum bottle similar to the bottle used for the previously released Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Pumpkin Spiced and Captain Morgan Cannon Blast  Rums.A

According to the Captain Morgan Press Release:

After blasting into the shots category with CAPTAIN MORGAN Cannon Blast, CAPTAIN MORGAN LocoNut is shaking things up with its new coconut-flavored shot which comes in a coconut-shaped bottle, smells like a coconut and yeah, you guessed it, tastes like a coconut. It’s the perfect shot to enjoy responsibly with friends, co-workers, bro-conuts, fun in-laws, very friendly strangers and of course, coconut lovers …

The spirit is bottled at 20 % alcohol by volume and I was told to serve the spirit chilled in the form of a ‘Coconut Shot’.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Captain Morgan Loconut

“… I found the breezes above the glass pleasant and inviting, firm on the coconut with a pleasant sweetness.  This sweetness does not seem intense or overbearing, instead it seems to compliment the firm sense of coconut. I spent some time inspecting the breezes to see if I could discern any hints of spice. I noticed very light hints of baking spice (vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg) … “

Please enjoy my review, and the suggested cocktail, the Chocolate Covered Banana.

Chimo!

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Review: The Irishman Founder’s Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 28, 2017

Bernard and Rosemary Walsh began producing their own independent Irish Whiskey brands in 2007 with the introduction of The Irishman 70 (aka The Irishman Original Clan in the USA) and The Irishman – Single Malt. In 2009 they expanded the portfolio with the introduction Writers Tears, a boutique brand which was created to bring additional nuance to the Irish Whiskey Category. Although these brands are distilled and aged by a third-party distillery, Bernard and Rosemary recently opened the Walsh Whiskey Distillery and began to produce their own new-make spirit in 2016.

The subject of this review is Walsh Whiskey’s flagship brand The Irishman Founder’s Reserve. This is a direct descendant of The Irishman 70, made to the same recipe of 70 % Single Malt Irish Whiskey and 30 % Single Pot Still Whiskey (with no column distilled whiskey in the blend at all).

Here is the link to my full Review:

Review: The Irishman Founder’s Reserve

“… The immediate nose brings a nice combination of fine oak and grain spices forward with hints of ginger and orange peel in the breezes. This is quickly followed by nutty barley grain with aromas of hazelnut, almond, burlap and leather. A light sweep of vanilla with hints of baking spice (cinnamon and nutmeg) works its way into the air above the glass as do light impression of poplar and willow …”

I hope you enjoy the review, please stay tuned as next week I will take a look at the Writer’s Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey.

Chimo!

Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: The Irishman Founder’s Reserve

 
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