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Posts Tagged ‘Cocktails’

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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Cocktail Hour: The Emerald

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2017

For the next few weeks I will be mixing and tasting Whiskey from the Emerald Isle. The spirit from Ireland has been making a strong comeback as evidenced by a surge in sales worldwide including a 20% increase in sales in the United States last year (see: The Spirits Business).

In an effort to reflect this increased popularity, I am attempting to increase both in the number of reviews I publish, and in the selection of cocktail suggestions that I provide for Irish Whiskey.

With that in mind, here is a mixed drink that combines Irish Whiskey with Sweet Vermouth and Bitters. The libation is called the Emerald, and it is a close relative of the popular North American cocktail, the Manhattan. It is important, when mixing an Emerald, to consider the pairing of Sweet Vermouth and Irish Whisky as each spirit has a multitude of brands, and the flavour profiles of each can differ significantly. As I happen to be mixing with a flavourful copper pot distilled Irish Whiskey, I chose the bold Cinzano Rosso which also has a complex flavour profile, one which I felt would pair well with my chosen Irish Whiskey, Hell-Cat Maggie.

The Emerald

1 1/2 oz Hell-Cat Maggie Irish Whiskey
3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso Sweet Vermouth
3-4 drops Angostura Orange Bitters
Ice
Orange Peel & Brandied Cherries

Add the three ingredients with ice cubes into a metal shaker
Shake until chilled
Double strain into a Martini Glass
Garnish with a strip of Orange Peel and a few Brandied Cherries

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 new review for Hell-Cat Maggie Irish Whiskey will publish this coming Saturday.

Chimo!

 

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Cocktail Hour: Crimson Cane

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 31, 2017

Here is a new recipe based upon the popular Scottish Whisky Cocktail, Blood and Sand. It came about as I was experimenting with an unusual new cherry-flavoured spirit, Wisniak na Rumie which uses Jamaican Rum as well as natural cherry juice as flavouring ingredients for the spirit. When I encountered the liqueur for the first time, I thought to myself that the spirit could serve quite well as a substitute for Cherry Heering which is of course the common cherry flavoured spirit used when mixing the aforementioned Blood and Sand.

Things came together for this cocktail when I received a sample of Mount Gay’s Black Barrel Rum. The thought occurred to me that the complexity of Mount Gay Rum parallelled the complexity of Scotch Whisky. Would it be possible I wondered, to swap out not only Cherry Heering for Wisnak na Rumie, but also to swap out Scotch Whisky for Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum.

After a bit of trial and error, I settled upon my recipe. Although a changes and substitutions had taken place, my final creation bears an unmistakable resemblance to the original cocktail. It is though a rum cocktail not a whisky cocktail, and therfore deserves its own name. I have chosen, Crimson Cane.

Crimson Cane

3/4 oz Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
5/8 oz Sweet Vermouth
5/8 oz Wisniak na Rumie (Cherry Rum)
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
ice
Orange Zest
Brandied Cherry

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with flamed orange zest and a brandied cherry

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

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Note: A little later this week I will be publishing my review for Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum. My review for Wisnak na Rumie can be found here (Review: Wisnaik na Rumie).

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Cocktail Hour: The Reserved Gentleman

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 21, 2017

It is hard to believe that it was eight years ago when I began to write spirit reviews. And if I am honest, my first attempts were rather crude affairs, the popularity of which had more to do with my quirky honest style, than with the quality of the writing. One of those quirks has been the inclusion of a cocktail or mixed drink with almost every review. And just like my initial writings, many of my early cocktails were crude affairs which lacked finesse and polish.

I have been revisiting some of those early cocktails with the idea that perhaps some of them should be polished up, and perhaps some should be dropped from my cocktail section entirely. However, after reviewing these early servings, I realized that every once in a while in those early days of my blog, I got it right. And that is the definitely the case with the recipe I am sharing today.

The Reserved Gentleman was designed with a specific rum in mind, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum. The serving is a simple mixture of Appleton Rum, Fresh Lime Juice and Triple Sec with just a touch of added simple syrup. Keeping everything simple allows the rich, complex Appleton Reserve Rum to be the star of the libation. The only tweaking I had to do was to snap a new picture.

The Reserved Gentleman
a cocktail by Chip Dykstra (Aka The Rum Howler)

1 1/2 oz  Appleton Reserve Rum
1/2 oz   Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 oz  Triple Sec
dash  Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Citrus Peel for garnish

Combine ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with lime slice, or a flamed grapefruit peel

Enjoy Responsibly!

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Cocktail Hour: Sense of Sensibility

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 29, 2016

I believe that tasting and reviewing Vodka must be approached quite differently than tasting and reviewing whisky or rum. Whereas whisky and rum are generally served at room temperature and perhaps with a little water or ice; Vodka is generally chilled, and one would rarely add water or ice when drinking the spirit neat.

sensibility-sam_2849Vodka is also a drink which should not be consumed in a vacuum. A traditional Vodka tasting would normally include food and good company. The style of food is in the vein of fresh bread or buns, potato dishes, sausage or ham, and pickled foods. The style of company of course is completely up to the individuals involved.

When I host a vodka tasting, I always add one additional element to the occasion. I make sure that I conclude the event with a nice cocktail. A tart fruity gimlet is a fantastic way to wrap up a Vodka tasting. And how each spirit performs in their respective cocktails always has a significant impact upon my review.

Here is a gimlet style cocktail which mixes a pure rye grain spirit, Extra Zytnia Vodka with fresh lemon and orange juice and a dash of Maraschino liqueur.

(A late night Black Adder marathon inspired the name of this tasty libation.)

Sense of Sensibility

2 oz  Vodka
3/4 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz fresh Orange Juice
dash of Maraschino
1/4  oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
ice
Orange Peel Zest

Add the five ingredients with ice into a metal shaker
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a suitable cocktail glass
Garnish with a strip of Orange Zest

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!

My review of the Extra Zytnia pure rye grain vodka will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Emissary

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 22, 2016

emissary-sam_2845I make my cocktails at home, and as a result I must be content with whichever ingredients happen to be in my cupboards and/or refrigerator. The Emissary is a tasty cocktail which came about when I was experimenting with different combinations of lemon, lime and grapefruit juice. I chose to accent the serving with just a hint of orange zest.

Although this particular cocktail is more complex to construct than a common sour cocktail, the results are well worth the effort.

The Emissary

1 1/2 oz Norvegia Vodka
3/8 oz fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
3/8 oz fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 oz fresh squeezed Grapefruit Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Orange Peel (pith removed)

Add the Vodka, the fruit juice, and sugar syrup into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Tie a long strip of fresh orange peel into a bow and drop it in for garnish
Enjoy!

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!

Norvegia is a five-time distilled potato vodka from Norway. You may read my full review of this wonderful new potato spirit when it publishes tomorrow.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Cognac Servings

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 17, 2016

If you delve into the history of Cognac, you will find that the spirit was drank in a very different manner in the 18th and 19th centuries. In fact, if you happen to enter an old bar in France you might still see blue glass bottles with handles which used to be filled with seltzer water to be used with Cognac. The grape spirit may have remained a mixing spirit had not phylloxera arrived and ravaged the European vineyards.

Because of phylloxera, Cognac all but disappeared in the 1870’s, and it remained a relatively rare spirit until the end of the 19th century. During this time, it was gradually replaced in bars and restaurants by whisk(e)y in both the United Kingdom and North America. When the vineyards recovered and Cognac became more readily available near the beginning of the 20thcentury, it had to find a new market niche to occupy. For this reason, the grape spirit came to be promoted as an after dinner sipping drink rather than as a spirit meant mixed drinks and cocktails.

Brandy Crusta (1878) SAM_1069_1

Brandy Crusta

However, if we go back to the roots of Cognac and how people originally preferred to enjoy the spirit, we find that as a cocktail spirit it has tremendous appeal. Cognac displays intense taste and aromas, great complexity, and a wonderful finish. The original bartenders knew this, and with cognac they created many classic bar drinks for their patrons. In fact, some of our favourite whisky cocktails, the Mint Julep, the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac were originally mixed with Brandy and Cognac.

The recipes I have selected below (click on the mixed drink servings to go to each recipe page) may seem heretical to today’s Cognac enthusiast; but they are all rooted in the true history of the grape spirit which was the original spirit of choice for bartenders who created mixed drinks and cocktails.

Please enjoy these cocktail servings and if you are interested in other libations, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Chimo!

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Talk Like a Pirate: Nine Tasty Spiced Rum Cocktails Matey!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 19, 2016

Aarh, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day so I thought that would be a good excuse to bring forward some of my favourite Spiced Rum Cocktails from this past summer’s Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off. Spiced Rum doesn’t have a very good reputation when it comes to cocktails. Most of my friends (when they consume spiced rum) stick to the tried and true recipe of Spiced Rum and Cola mixing the serving with lots of ice. And if you followed my 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off you have noticed that I certainly have no trouble recommending that simple libation for many of the spiced rums I review. Rum, with its obvious caramel and molasses flavours mixes very well with cola, and if that rum has been spiced, the result is a nice tall deck drink that is not only refreshing, it has a bit of welcome attitude as well.

However, if you did follow my 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off this past summer you would also have noticed that I have attempted to elevate the spiced spirit with a few new cocktail suggestions to demonstrate that spiced rum doesn’t have to be just a base spirit for tall deck drinks. It can be a spirit of sophistication as well.

I thought I would augment my efforts on behalf of spiced rum with a listing of Nine Tasty Spiced Rum Cocktails that do not require the use of cola or soda. These are short, sipping cocktails which (in my opinion) could easily grace the menus of any fine cocktail bar.

And so, in no particular order, here are 9 Tasty Spiced Rum Cocktails:
(click on the name of the cocktail to view its recipe)

Trolley Car

The Trolley Car

  1.   Spiced Darwin  (A nice libation I made specifically for Captain Morgan’s White Spiced Rum. Charles Darwin helped us understand the concept of evolution; this serving serves to signal the new evolution of Spiced Rum Cocktails.
  2.   The Pedestrian (This tasty recipe pays homage to Ray Bradbury’s tale of a not too distant future where television and video entertainment has become so ubiquitous that a lone person who enjoys an evening stroll arouses the suspicions of the city robot police car.)
  3.  The Cable Car  (The Cable Car was created at the Starlight Room in San Fransisco by Tony Abou-Ganim. Based upon the modern Sidecar, Tony’s recipe is considered by many to be a modern classic.)
  4.  The Jerrycan (I designed this short cocktail specifically for Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. The flavour profile of Sailor Jerry contains very strong impressions of Dr. Pepper soda which means similar spiced rums such as Blackheart Spiced Rum should also work very well in the new mixed drink.
  5.  The Fog Horn (Another Rum Howler creation inspired by a Ray Bradbury short story which this time features a lonely sea monster and the wail of a distant fog horn. Tony Abou’s Cable Car was most definitely a strong influence here as well.)
  6.  The Honey Badger (The media team for the spirits conglomerate Diageo sent me this great recipe which was designed for their Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. If you are a fan of that other Black Spiced Rum, you will be pleased to know it works well for The Kraken as well. )
  7. The Merry Widow (I stumbled across a recipe called the Black Widow in the cocktail book, 1001 Cocktails (Alex Barker compiler) which combines Dark Rum with Southern Comfort and Lemon Juice. Swapping out the Dark Rum for Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum, I created a delightful new indulgence, the Merry Widow.)
  8. The Trolley Car (The Trolley Car was created from a combination of High-proof Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Triple Sec, Orange Juice, Lime Juice, and Bitters.  The result is simply delicious! (Yet another recipe of mine inspired by Tony Abou’s Cable Car.))
  9. Bitter Blood and Spice (This is one of my favourite creations. Based upon a Hennessey Cognac cocktail, Blood Orange Bitters, my serving mixes 100 Proof Spiced Rum with the juice from Navel and Blood Oranges and then accents the libation with Angostura Bitters.)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Try these spiced rum cocktails and let me know your favourite.

Chimo!

 

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Cocktail Hour: Proxima b Daiquiri

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 11, 2016

On August 24, a team of exo-planet researchers (led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé of Queen Mary University of London) made an exciting announcement confirming the discovery of an earth sized planet orbiting our sun’s nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri. Making the discovery even more exciting is the possibility that this newly discovered planet is in the so-called ‘Goldilocks Zone’ where liquid water could be present on its rocky surface.

Autumn Orange SAM_2738Why is this so important? Because if life (at least as we might recognize it) exists somewhere else in the universe, then the star (Proxima Centauri) which is the closest neighbouring star to our sun has just become one of the most likely places where we might find it. In fact, the discovery of this earth-sized planet which has been given the temporary name Proxima b circling our nearest stellar companion is almost certainly the most important astronomical discovery of the current year.

Here is my new cocktail which celebrates our newfound planetary neighbour, the Proxima b Daiquiri.

Proxima b Daiquiri

2 oz Dictador Orange 100 Month Rum
1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz fresh Lime Juice
2/3 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
dash or two Angostura Bitters
Ice
Orange Peel Coil

Add the first five ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Add an orange peel coil for garnish

Enjoy!

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

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Ally’s Cocktail: The Bluebird of Happiness

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 5, 2016

This past weekend, My good friends Ally and Dennis took the plunge into the unknown and got married. I was extremely happy for them, and was also quite honoured when they asked me to design signature cocktails for the reception and banquet. One cocktail for the bride, and one for the groom.

Bluebird of Happiness

Bluebird of Happiness

Ally is partial to vodka, and so for her cocktail I dove into W.J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, and selected a serving of Tarling’s called Blue Bird. The recipe mixes Vodka, Cointreau, and Lemon Juice in a 2:1:1 ratio and then adds 3 dashes of Maraschino and 3 dashes of Blue Extract for colour.

For the wedding celebration, the recipe required only one tweak to make it easier to construct. I replaced the Cointreau and Blue Extract (food colouring) for Bols Blue (Triple Sec). Bols Blue has a very nice orange flavour which is quite similar to Cointreau however, it carries a lower alcohol content making it quite suitable for a large gathering where not everyone wants a full strength cocktail.

This is Allie’s Cocktail: I call it, the Bluebird of Happiness.

Bluebird of Happiness

1 1/2 oz  Vodka
3/4 oz  Bols Blue (Triple Sec)
3/4 oz  Lemon Juice
3 dashes (about 1/8 oz)  Luxardo Maraschino
ice
Lemon Garnish

Add the first four Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with thin slice of lemon
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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Note: I will be publishing Dennis’ cocktail in a few days.

You may follow these links for my published reviews of Bols Blue and Luxardo Maraschino.

Chimo!

 

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