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Posts Tagged ‘Cocktails’

Cocktail Hour: Fancy Whiskey Cocktail

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 4, 2016

In the beginning (actually it was in the early to mid 1800s) cocktails were a simple bar drink which were put together using just a base distilled spirit, sugar, water and bitters. In those days a ‘Brandy Cocktail‘ differed from a ‘Whisky Cocktail‘, only in that Brandy was used instead of Whisky as the base spirit. The next evolution came (sometime around 1850) when bartenders began to use liqueurs (typically Orange Curacao or Benedictine) either in conjunction with or sometimes in place of the ‘sugar’ in the recipe. Soon thereafter, a sour fruit garnish was added and the more complicated bar drink was called, a Fancy Cocktail.

Fancy Whiskey CocktailThis recipe is based (loosely) upon the Fancy Whiskey Cocktail presented in Leo Engels 1878 book, American and Other Drinks.

Fancy Whiskey Cocktail

2 1/2 oz Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon
3/8 oz Orange Curacao
1/8 oz Sugar syrup
2 dashes Fees Cocktail bitters
ice
lemon peel or lemon slice

Rim a chilled cocktail glass with sugar
Place the first five ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shakes frosts
Strain into a ‘Fancy’ chilled cocktail glass
Add a slice of Lemon or as I have done a coil of Lemon peel
(The added ice shown in the photograph is entirely optional.)

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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And of course, here is a link to my review of Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon which I published a few months ago.

Review Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon

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Cocktail Hour: Mad about Saffron

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 2, 2016

Today I am mixing with Gabriel Boudier’s Saffron Gin. Saffron, for those who do not know is a Middle Eastern spice derived from the stamen of the Crocus Sativa, more commonly known as the Saffron Crocus. This is an ancient spice as written records which describe its use as a botanical were found in the ancient Mesopotamian library of Assyrian King Ashurbanipal (which is dated to the 7th century BC). Pigments which date back to 50,000 BC have also been found with telltale traces of the orange coloured spice.

Mad about Saffron SAM_2505Saffron has a peculiar flavour which is sort of like dry grassy hay with strong floral aromatics. It does in fact remind me (in a very passing kind of way) of insect repellent, and mixing a cocktail with this ingredient was very challenging. I was sent various recipes by the Canadian distributor; but every one of those servings called for other exotic ingredients which I don’t keep in my home bar. I did though, arrive at a recipe construction of my own which I found absolutely delightful.

In this recipe the saffron shines and is complimented beautifully by the bright flavour of lemon.

Mad about Saffron

2 oz Saffron Gin (Gabriel Boudier)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1)
Ice
Lemon Twist

Combine ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker chills.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a twist of Lemon

Please remember the aim is not to drink more it is to drink better!

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!

Tomorrow my Gin Binge ends with my final gin review of the springtime, Gabriel Boudier’s, Saffron Gin.

Of course one ending is another beginning as a little Tequila Madness will follow, Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Playing with the Lions

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 23, 2016

I like to experiment, and a recent trip to the grocery store gave me the perfect opportunity. For the first time in months I noticed that Blood Oranges were available again, and for the first time ever, I saw Meyer’s Lemons. Blood Oranges, for those who do not know have red flesh and their juice has a taste that is drier and perhaps more tart than regular navel oranges. The Meyer’s Lemons I bought advertised themselves as lemon’s with a touch more sweetness than an ordinary lemon. I also noticed after I tasted one that it also had an earthy quality which is absent from regular lemons.

G&JSAM_2470Here is a new serving of mine which combines Meyers Lemons and Blood Oranges with the goodness of Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin. The recipe is basically the same as Arthur Tarling’s, Red Lion Cocktail, except that I used the aforementioned citrus in place of regular oranges and lemons. Of course, the new fruit makes the cocktail taste entirely different.

I call the new libation, Playing with the Lions.

Playing with the Lions

1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin
3/4 oz Orange Liqueur (Patron Citron)
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Meyer’s Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice
3/8 oz Sugar syrup
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 of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: my review of Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin publishes tomorrow!

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Cocktail Hour: The Modern Gin Cocktail

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 20, 2016

Leo Engels, published his Bartender’s Guide, American and Other Drinks, in 1878. It is a fascinating glimpse into early mixology at a time when bar drinks and cocktails were just beginning to evolve and spread through North America and Europe. At that time, the word ‘cocktail’ was reserved for a specific serving, which resembles what we call the Old-Fashioned cocktail today. Other bar drinks had their own names, the Crusta, the Smash, and the Julep just to name a few.

Gin Cocktail SAM_2473Nowadays, all of these libations are part of the entire class of mixed drinks called cocktails; but back then, they were each their own serving and the cocktail was its own mixed drink, separate and distinct. How the word ‘cocktail’ evolved to encompass all classes of bar drinks is unknown to me; but if you want to go back in time and build an original ‘cocktail’, Leo Engels’, American and Other Drinks is a great starting place.

Here is a modern version of Leo Engels’ recipe for the Gin Cocktail made with Berkeley Square Gin.

Modern Gin Cocktail

2 oz Berkeley Square Gin
1/8 oz Orange Curacao
Dash of Angostura Bitters
1/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
Orange Peel

Fill the shaker 1/3 full of ice
Add all ingredients and shake well
Strain into a glass

Garnish with a strip of Orange Peel 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 Berkeley Square Gin will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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Captain’s Spiced Hurricane & a Review of the Captain’s 100 Proof

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 14, 2016

The Hurricane is a tiki-style cocktail popularized in the 1940s by New Orleans tavern owner Pat O’Brien. Apparently O’Brien had an overabundance of rum which local alcohol distributors had foisted upon him, and he needed to find a way to sell more of it to make room for other spirits including a few cases of higher priced Scotch and Whiskey. The libation he came up with mixed different styles of rum with passionfruit and citrus juice, and over time it became a local sensation. The drink is still popular in New Orleans where it is served in a Hurricane-style glass which is apparently how the cocktail got its name.

HurricaneRecently, Captain Morgan has been expanding their rum line-up beyond the spiced category, and into the flavoured and white rum categories. To promote the new spirits they send bloggers like me recipes and samples. I decided it was a good time to review more of the Captain’s line-up, and when they sent me their take on the Hurricane, I thought the recipe was interesting and worth sharing too.

Here is Captain Morgan’s take on the classic Hurricane.

Captain’s Spiced Hurricane

3/4 oz. Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum
3/4 oz. Captain Morgan White Rum
2 oz. Passion Fruit Juice
1 oz. Orange Juice
1 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup
1/4 oz Grenadine
Ice
Orange slice and cherry for garnish

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Pour into a crushed ice-filled hurricane glass
Garnish with orange and 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!

And for those interested, my original review (published in 2011) for Captain Morgan’s 100 Proof Spiced Rum can be found here:

Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum

” … This rum is smoother than its lower proof sibling even though it carries more of an alcoholic punch. The flavours which I associate with good rum like oak spices which meld into a nice rummy caramel are more apparent in the stronger version of the rum …”

Note: My review for the new Captain Morgan’s White Rum will publish tomorrow.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Gin and Tonic #2

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 11, 2016

Gin and Tonic (G&T) has arrived to us all the way from India in the nineteenth century. This was when the British Army supporting the British East India Company was in control of large parts of the sub-continent. At that time quinine was used to treat stomach ailments and tropical diseases such as malaria which were a constant nuisance (and even real medical threat) to the British soldiers stationed there. Quinine is quite bitter, so the medical personnel began to add sugar, lime and finally gin to the medicine in order to make it taste better. (The addition of gin was not surprising as British soldiers in India were given a ration of gin each day to improve morale much like the members of the Royal British Navy who were given their daily tot of rum.) Amazingly, the strange concoction caught on and over a short time evolved into one of the most quintessential summertime libations, the Gin and Tonic.

A standard Gin and Tonic is a tall serving which mixes 1 part of gin with 3 parts of tonic water and is typically served with a lime garnish. It is extremely refreshing and very easy for the home bartender to mix.

Gin and Tonic #2 SAM_2468Many variations on the theme exist, and my favourite is a recipe I stumbled into when I held my Gin and Tonic Challenge in the summer of 2014. In the lead up to my competition, I experimented with various Gin and Tonic recipes and ratios in an effort to determine which construction suited my palate and allowed the gin to shine. The recipe I settled upon uses real lime juice and a cucumber garnish mixing the gin with much less tonic water than the standard serving. This shorter serving remains my favourite G&T construction.

I call it simply, Gin and Tonic #2.

Gin and Tonic #2

1 3/4 oz Dry Gin (Empire Gin is a great choice)
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
2 oz Q-Tonic
Cucumber Chunks

Add the first three ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with cucumber

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!

I should point out that I normally use an extremely dry Tonic Water, Q-Tonic. I like this dry tonic much better than many of the sweeter alternatives, because I like to control the sweetness of the serving, and it is much easier to begin with a very good dry tonic and add sugar syrup to suit my taste, than it is to begin with a tonic water which may be overly sweet already. If you are happier with a different Tonic Water, you will probably have to use much less (if any) sugar syrup.

Note: My review for Empire Gin will publish tomorrow.

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Cocktail Hour: Cucumber Cooler

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 8, 2016

Spring continues to struggle its way forward, and my anticipation for the warmer weather is completely whetted. And when the weather finally turns completely I plan to enjoy myself on my back deck on the weekends with my Rum Chums as we have grill burgers and dogs and combine those good times with a few cocktails and bar drinks. Those who are long time followers of my spirits reviews know that during the lazy days of spring and summer, I am most likely to be to enjoying servings of the long tall variety.

Cucumber Mint Cooler SAM_2485Here is one such tall serving which, if you happen to have a penchant for gin, is just perfect for those back deck barbecues, the Cucumber Cooler.

Cucumber Cooler

2 oz De Kuyper Genièvre
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3 slices Cucumber
4 Mint Leaves
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1)
Ice
Sparkling Water

Add the Mint, Cucumber, and Lime into a Mixing Glass
Add the Genièvre and muddle until the cucumber is thoroughly crushed
Double strain into a large glass filled with ice
Complete with Sparkling Water

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!

Note: my review for De Kuyper Genièvre will publish tomorrow!

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Apple Blossom

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 26, 2016

The Apple Blossom is another recipe found in W.J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book. (This cocktail is attributed to R.G. Buckby.) As originally published the serving calls for 2/3 Dry Gin, 1/3 Orange Juice and a dash of Calvados (Apple Brandy), to add a little character.

Apple Blossom SAM_2448My opinion is that the cocktail is perhaps a touch too dry for my liking, and the dash of Calvados which is supposed to provide a flavour accent is easily be lost especially with a flavourful gin. When I experimented with the libation, I found that the addition of sweetener in the form of a small amount of both Grand Marnier dash of sugar syrup improved the flavour considerable. I also added a touch more Apple Brandy such that its flavour could more forcefully play with my selected gin (Eau Claire Parlour Gin).

Apple Blossom

2 oz Eau Claire Parlour Gin
1 oz Orange Juice
3/8 oz Calvados (Apple Brandy)
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Orange Twist

Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Double strain into a cocktail glass
Twist on orange peel over the top to release some zest

Please 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 Parlour Gin will publish the day after Easter Sunday.

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Cocktail Hour: The Abbey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 23, 2016

Here is a recipe which arrives to us from W.J. Tarling’s, Cafe Royal Cocktail Book (Coronation Edition) which was published in 1937. An interesting point about the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book is that Mr. Tarling used the left side margin to credit the ‘inventors’ of many of the cocktails. Presumably, the cocktails which are not credited in the book were well-known servings at the time and either did not need to be credited or the creators of these cocktails were unknown to Tarling.

The Abbey is one of these cocktails whose creator was not credited, and today there is very little information about where the cocktail originated. Modern versions of the cocktail often substitute Vermouth for Lillet (as I have done) or eliminate the aromatized wine altogether from the recipe.

The Abbey SAM_2436The elimination of aromatized wine from the recipe is probably because this serving only works well with fresh vermouth. Many persons (and unfortunately many bartenders) do not realize that aromatized wines will begin to oxidize immediately after being opened and exposed to the air. They can undergo a very undesirable change in the matter of only a few weeks. This oxidized flavour has a deleterious effect upon both the vermouth and the cocktail.

However, if fresh Vermouth is used, the Abbey Cocktail is quite wonderful.

The Abbey

2 oz Pinnacle Gin
1 oz Lillet (Sub Fresh Vermouth)
1 oz Orange Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
ice
orange peel garnish

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

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 of Pinnacle Gin will publish tomorrow as the Gin Binge continues.

Chimo!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Cocktail Hour: Irish Blessing

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2016

Today is the day of St. Patrick, and in many places throughout the world, this is a day to revel in the Irish heritage which we either share by birth, or (on St. Patrick’s Day at least) we share by spirit. We wear green; we attend parades; and some of us even drink green beer in what has become more of a secular holiday which celebrates Irish culture, than a religious holiday which celebrates the Patron Saint after which the day was first named.

Irish Blessing SAM_2480And celebrating Irish culture is not a bad thing; it was after all the Irish who first distilled “uisce beatha“, which translates into English as “the water of life“. I could go into a long and detailed etymology,  but suffice it to say that “uisce beatha” is probably very close to the original form of the word which would later become “whiskey”.

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day I thought I would share an Irish Whiskey Cocktail of mine. It mixes Knappogue Castle 12 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey with Lemon Juice, Curacao, and Mint. It is a smashing libation, best enjoyed with good friends and family (and yes, the pun was intentional).

Irish Blessing

2 oz  Knappogue Castle 12 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/3 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup
3 Mint Leaves
Ice
Mint Sprig for  Garnish

Muddle the first five ingredients in a mixing glass
Strain into a rocks glass
Add ice-cubes

Garnish with a mint sprig in the glass

Enjoy this cocktail with the following Irish Blessing:

“May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live!”

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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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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