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Posts Tagged ‘Cocktails’

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!

______________________________________________________________

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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Cocktail Hour: The Asylum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 1, 2016

Today’s cocktail is a variation of the Ward 8 Cocktail which I introduced to my website three weeks ago (see here). The Ward 8 is basically a Whiskey Sour made with lemon and orange juice and sweetened with grenadine. My new cocktail, The Asylum, is quite similar. However rather than using grenadine to sweeten the cocktail (and a maraschino Cherry as the garnish), I instead added a small amount of Brandied Cherry Syrup and one of my home-made Brandied Cherries as the garnish (see recipe here).

If you examine my recipe for Brandied Cherries you will see that I not only soak the cherries in a mixture of sugar, water and brandy, I also add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. These pungent spices within the Brandied Cherry Syrup add a wonderful layer of flavour to both the brandied cherry and to my final cocktail.

Asylum SAM_2727I chose to call my new libation The Asylum, which is not only a reference to a place which might contain a section called Ward 8 (the original cocktail of inspiration), it also pays homage to another of my favourite writers (and a Canadian to boot), A.E. Van Vogt. His short story Asylum (Astounding Science Fiction, May 1942) was written during the Golden Aged of Science Fiction (which A.E. Van Vogt is often credited with ushering into existence with his short story Black Destroyer).

While the work of Van Vogt is unfortunately slowly being forgotten, it should be understood that his early stories had a huge impact on science fiction and pop culture. His novel The Voyage of the Space Beagle was almost certainly the inspiration for Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. His early story Discord in Scarlet, likewise inspired the novel and the movie, Alien. And the villains in the story for which my cocktail is named, Asylum bear such an uncanny likeness to villainous Wraith from the well-known television series Stargate Atlantis that it is undeniable that the hand of Van Vogt was leaving its impression once again.

The Asylum

2 oz Canadian Whisky (Forty Creek Confederation Oak)
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
1 tsp Brandied Cherry Juice
1 tsp Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Brandied Cherry (see recipe here)

Add the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a Brandied 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!

 

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Cocktail Hour: The Swift-Turtle

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 28, 2016

I enjoy watching the night sky on my back deck after sunset, and one of the highlights of the evening sky this August was the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. Watching for a meteor flash, and trying to make a wish before it winks out of existence is one of the best ways to enjoy a cool August evening, and the Perseid Meteor Shower gave me a great excuse to make a summer’s evening cocktail and do just that.

The Swift Turtle SAM_2717The August meteor shower is a result of the periodic comet named Swift-Tuttle (discovered independently by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle in 1862) which last made an appearance in our night sky in 1992. The left over debris from its comet-tail crosses the earth’s orbit, and it is the earth’s atmosphere crashing into this debris (bits of ice and space dust) which provides the fuel for streaks of meteoric light in the dark night sky.

A slip of the finger on my keyboard turning one ‘t’ into an ‘r’ provides the name of today’s cocktail which celebrates the Swift-Tuttle Comet, but is not quite named after it.

The Swift-Turtle

2 oz Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve) Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/8 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
dash Fees cocktail Bitters
ice
orange peel

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a strip of orange peel

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!

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Cocktail Hour: The Pedestrian

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 24, 2016

In 1951 Ray Bradbury wrote one of his most famous short stories, The Pedestrian. It is a tale about a man named Leonard Mead who likes to go for a stroll through the city streets every evening. Unfortunately for Mr. Mead, strolling through the city during the evening is considered such an unusual activity that he arouses the suspicions of a robot police car.

Pedestrian SAM_2723The story is based upon a real life incident in which Bradbury was questioned by police while taking a stroll with a friend in an area not often frequented by pedestrians. More importantly, this story is generally thought by literary critics to be the genesis of Ray Bradbury’s acclaimed novel, Fahrenheit 451.

My cocktail which pays homage to the Bradbury tale is a short serving which mixes Grapefruit and Lemon juice with George Street Spiced Rum. A dollop of Bols Triple Sec provides the foil for the tart lemon, and a few drops of Fees Cocktail Bitters rounds out the libation.

If you try it, you will see that it is anything but, Pedestrian.

The Pedestrian

1 3/4 oz George Street Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
3 drops Fees Cocktail Bitters
ice
Twist of Lemon

Place the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of lemon peel

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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Cocktail Hour: Ward 8

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 20, 2016

The history of the ‘Ward 8″ stretches back to 1898 when (as legend has it) the serving was created at the Locke-Ober Restaurant in Boston Massachusetts to honour the election of Martin M. Lomasney to the state’s legislature. Apparently it was the votes in Ward 8 which propelled him to victory, hence the name of the tasty libation. The cocktail disappeared during prohibition; but the restaurant revived the serving when the ‘noble experiment’ ended in 1933. Although the original recipe is subject to much speculation, the Locke-Ober Restaurant’s post-prohibition recipe for the Ward 8 Cocktail is shown below. It is essentially a Whiskey Sour which uses grenadine rather than sugar syrup as its sweetener. The libation was so popular (and so tasty) that in 1934 the serving was named one of the nation’s Ten Best Cocktails by Esquire Magazine.

Ward 8 SAM_2732For my take on the serving I made two substitutions. First I subbed out the grenadine in favour of my own Cran-Raspberry Syrup (recipe here). The tickle of raspberry works wonderfully with the star of the libation, the strongly flavoured Knob Creek Straight Rye Whisky. Then I replaced the Maraschino Cherry (which are very hard to find in my locale) with my home-made Brandied Cherry (recipe here).

The result is ridiculously good!

Ward 8

2 oz Rye or Bourbon (Knob Creek Straight Rye)
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
1 Tsp Grenadine (sub Cran-Raspberry Syrup)
Ice
Maraschino Cherry (sub Brandied Cherry)

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a Maraschino or in my case a Brandied 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!

(Note: My review for Knob Creek Straight Rye Whisky publishes tomorrow.)

Chimo!

 

 

 

 

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