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Posts Tagged ‘Cocktails’

Cocktail Hour: Metro Mexico

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 25, 2016

Metro Mex SAM_2605I am asked by my friends how it is that I can create so many cocktails for them to enjoy when they attend my private tastings. The answer is simple, I stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before me. (Yes, that is an homage to a Stephen Hawkins reference for those who are astute enough to recognize it). What I mean by standing on the shoulders of giants, is that many of my ‘original’ recipes are built upon the platform of other well-known bar drinks and cocktails. These ‘classic’ cocktails have stood the test of time, and by building upon them, I can arrive at new creations many of which I share here.

One of the modern classic cocktails I love to work with is the Cosmopolitan which mixes Vodka and Orange Liqueur with Cranberry and Lime juices. It is an excellent serving which never fails to please my friends when we have our Vodka Tastings. A few years ago, I came upon the idea of tweaking the Cosmopolitan using Tequila as its base rather than Vodka. I called this new recipe of mine, Metro Mexico, and I discovered it worked very well with both Blanco and Reposado Tequila.  A few weeks ago when I was introduced to the Ultra Premium Herencia Historico Tequila – 27 de Mayo 1997 Cristalino Extra Anejo Tequila (see note below), I knew that I had to mix at least one Metro Mexico with this commemorative spirit.

I am glad I did.

Metro Mexico

2 ounces Herencia Historico Tequila 27 de Mayo 1997 Cristalino
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce Cranberry Juice
1/2 ounce Lime Juice
Tsp of  Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)

Add the first six 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 lime slice

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: Herencia Historico Tequila 27 de Mayo 1997 was created by Tequilas del Senor to commemorate the recognition of the domination of origin, TEQUILA which was signed in Brussels Belgium, on May 27, 1997. Three expressions commemorate this historical event, the Extra Anejo 15 Anos, the Extra Anejo 5 Anos, and the Extra Anejo 5 Anos Cristalino. All of these expressions are 100 % Agave tequilas which have been aged in oak casks imported from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The Cristalino is aged for 5 years and is then triple filtered to produce an almost clear spirit which is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume. My review for this commemorative spirit will publish tomorrow.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Lonely Silver Rain

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 10, 2016

The The Lonely Silver Rain is the last of 21 novels in the Travis McGee series written by American author John D. MacDonald. All 21 stories have a color descriptor in the title, and when I began to make my own cocktail recipes I concluded that most of those titles would also serve as great names for bar drinks. So I decided to create a series of Tequila based cocktails based upon those Travis McGee Titles. This particular cocktail is called, the Lonely Silver Rain.

This is a short serving meant for afternoon enjoyment when sipping a strong  flavourful cocktail is preferred over tall refreshment. The theme of the drink is reflection and relaxation, and if you study the construction you can see that it is basically a Tequila Gimlet lengthened with just a touch of sparkling water. Fresh squeezed grapefruit and jemon juice give the serving a lightly tart flavour, and if white rather than pink grapefruit juice is used in conjunction with a nice reposado tequila such as Espolon, we can almost see the implied colour of silver rain.

The Lonely Silver Rain

2 oz Espolon Reposado Tequila
1 oz fresh White Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Agave Syrup
ice
splash of Sparkling Water
Lemon Slice

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain into a tall cocktail glass
add a splash of soda
Garnish with fresh lemon or grapefruit
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 of Espolon Reposado Tequila will publish tomorrow.

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Cocktail Hour: The Spanish Mule

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2016

The Spanish Mule is variant of the more familiar Moscow Mule which mixes spicy ginger beer with Vodka and uses a lime garnish. The Spanish Mule simply replaces the Vodka with Dark Rum. Now if this sounds to you suspiciously like a Dark ‘N Stormy, you would be almost right. Almost, because the aforementioned Dark ‘N Stormy is one of the few rum cocktails in existence which has been granted a Trademark license (the other that I know of is the Pain Killer Cocktail).

Creating a trademark around a cocktail is a tricky business, and in the case of the Dark ‘N Stormy, the trademark granted apparently provides Gosling’s Rum Company, and only Gosling’s Rum Company the right to set the ingredients for this particular Cocktail. Without getting into things too deeply, what this basically means is that if a this bar drink is made with Gosling’s Rum, then and only then is it properly called a Dark ‘N Stormy. If any other rum is used, the cocktail should be given a different name, especially if the bar drink is used for a commercial purpose.

Spanish Mule SAM_2349For that reason, I choose to call my version of the serving a Spanish Mule as this tends to eliminate any confusion as to what the libation is, and this stops any potential lawsuit from coming my way. (And to be fair, I expect people to respect my rights under copyright so it is only fair that I respect the trademark rights of others as well.)

This is the simplest of Spanish Mule recipes. I am mixing a very nice Anejo Rum, Brugal Superior, with a new non-alcoholic Ginger Beer that I have recently become acquainted with, The Great Jamaican Old Tyme Ginger Beer. Old Tyme is not as spicy as many other ginger beers which makes it a perfect accompaniment for this young (but tasty) Anejo Rum.

Please enjoy the Serve!

Spanish Mule

2 oz Brugal Anejo Superior Rum
3 oz Old Tyme Ginger Beer
ice
Slice of Lime

Add Ice to a Rocks Glass
Add the Rum over ice
Top with Ginger Beer
Stir
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!

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Note my new review for Brugal Anejo Superior Rum will publish tomorrow!

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Cocktail Hour: Bitter Blood and Spice

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 20, 2016

Blood Orange Bitters

Blood Orange Bitters

Making new cocktails is fun, and when I received my sample bottle of Pusser’s Spiced Rum I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to do some experimentation. What I wanted to create was a new bar drink for spiced rum which would perhaps have a stronger ‘cocktail’ appeal than the more typical spiced rum and cola.

I began by doing a little research online, and I came upon a serving called the Cable Car which was created in 1996 at the Starlight Room in San Fransisco by Tony Abou-Ganim. Tony’s recipe (which I will be featuring at a later date) is based upon the Classic Sidecar; however the Cable Car uses spiced rum as the base of the cocktail instead of brandy.

I decided to follow Tony’s lead and began to examine the brandy-based libations in the Cocktails Section of my website looking specifically for a brandy based serving which used ingredients which would also favour spiced rum. The recipe which caught my eye was a bar drink which I had originally found on the website of Cognac producer, Hennessey called Blood Orange Bitters. It mixes Lemon juice and Blood Orange juice with Cognac and Bitters.

Hot Blooded SAM_2525

Bitter Blood and Spice

I liked the idea of using orange and lemon juice in my recipe and adding a dab of bitters would be a great way to top off the serving. So I started experimenting, and I found that the mixed drink tasted the best when I used a combination of both fresh squeezed Navel Orange and fresh Blood Orange. The lemon juice gave the libation just the right amount of tartness, and the added Angostura Bitters seemed to compliment and elevate the spiced rum which was the star of the serving.

Bitter Blood and Spice

2 oz  Pusser’s Spiced Rum
1/2 oz  Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/2 oz  Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice
1/2 oz  Fresh Squeezed Navel Orange Juice
Dash or two  Angostura bitters
1/4 oz  Sugar Syrup (1:1)
Ice
Strip of Orange Peel

Add the first five ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled rocks glass with ice
Garnish with a strip of Orange Peel

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 of Pusser’s Spiced Rum will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Picador

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 14, 2016

Today’s featured cocktail is another classic which can be found in W.J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, the Picador. What makes the Picador particularly interesting is that it represents an earlier form of the quintessential Tequila serving, the Margarita. In fact, if cocktails were dinosaurs, the Picador after it was rediscovered, might have began to replace the Margarita on cocktail menus and mixology books much the same way that the Apatosaurus began to replace the Brontosaurus in paleontology journals and science textbooks. (If you are curious just google “Apatosaurus vs Brontosaurus“.)

Picador SAM_2543Cocktails are not dinosaurs however, and the Margarita has never shown any sign of disappearing. And in fact, the two cocktails are different enough that perhaps there is room for both on the Cocktail Menu. The first difference is that Margaritas are almost always made with lime juice, whereas the Picador can be made with either lemon or lime juice (or even both). The second difference is that the Margarita is meant to be served in a salt rimmed glass. The Picador (at least in its original form) is served sans salt. So I say, in much the same way that those aforementioned paleontologists are now finally saying, there is room for both. Small differences in structure are still differences. If we make the libation with lime and salt rimmed glasses we have made a Margarita. If we serve the bar drink without a salt rim (or made with lemon juice) we have made a Picador.

If you are wondering what possible difference this all makes, I just might have an answer. In my experience, I have found that lime juice tends to favour clean, peppery (usually highland) tequila, whereas lemon juice tends to favour earthy agave-rich (usually lowland) tequila. Of course, some highland tequila brands break the mold and have strong earthy flavours, and some lowland tequila brands break the other mold and have a strong peppery side. Its the flavour profile of the tequila, not the region where it is produced, that should be your guide.

And that is the case with Cabresto Silver Tequila. It is a soft earthy highland tequila which just happens to be perfect for a lemon based Picador. (Excuse the umbrella, I was feeling giddy.)

Picador

2 oz Cabresto Silver Tequila
1 oz Bols Triple Sec
1 oz fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
Ice
Lemon Slice (optional)

Add the three ingredients to your metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Double strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a slice of lemon (optional)

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 the wonderful Cabresto Silver Tequila will publish tomorrow.

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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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