I tried out a range of apricot brandy drinks while selecting my entry for the recent Raiders of the Lost Cocktail. The following gives a summary of what I tried, ranked not very scientifically from best to worst. (more…)
Archive for the ‘vermouth’ Category
Ernest Hemingway, endurance drinker, greets Fidel Castro, endurance orator
Auckland is suffering in the grip of a pressing lime shortage. Unrest has been quelled so far through the imposition of martial law (Batista will be smiling in his grave), but nobody knows how long the authorities can maintain even this crude semblance of order. OK, I may be exaggerating slightly. Everything is surprisingly normal considering that there have been no limes in the supermarkets since before Christmas. This means I can’t enjoy a Daiquiri despite the summery weather. The good thing though is that I’ve been meaning to write about the Daiquiri for a while, so with Daiquiris on my mind but none to be had I may as well get writing. (more…)
I did a search on CocktailDB for pisco cocktails. Besides the well known pisco drinks, namely the pisco sour and the pisco punch, CocktailDB had just three other drinks to offer. CocktailDB is normally a good way to find a list of drinks using obscure ingredients, but when it comes to pisco it does not have much.
The peculiar thing was that all three of these pisco drinks from CocktailDB also included Galliano. Very strange indeed. I am guessing that these three drinks all come from the same source, maybe a promotional cocktail booklet published for some South American market by Galliano, or perhaps they were winning entries in some competition or other. (more…)
I saw some kummel the other week. I had only drunk kummel once before (in the since disappeared Berlin restaurant on Mt Eden Rd. in Auckland) but its herbal caraway taste left a strong impression. Since getting into aquavit, also traditionally flavored with caraway, over Christmas I had been wanting to give kummel another try. So I bought a bottle with vague plans of finding an aquavit and kummel drink to use it in. (more…)
I got hold of a bottle of Fernet Branca the other day. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while but it can be a little hard to track down. At Tara 57 in Shanghai, when Marcus was still working there, I used to drink a simple Fernet Branca cocktail (gin, Fernet Branca and Italian Vermouth) pretty much every time I went in. The bitter taste of Fernet Branca is very much my kind of thing.
Besides the simple Fernet Branca cocktail Marcus also used to make something called The Pharmacy. I think this drink was made from cognac, crème de menthe and Fernet Branca, though I’m not sure about the proportions. I’ll have to ask Marcus sometime. Anyway, the drink was rich, minty and bittersweet. It was the type of drink that could make a good introduction to Fernet Branca. (more…)
The Blackthorn cocktail is one of my favorites, a gin base with a generous splash of both Dubonnet and kirsch. Dubonnet and gin appear together in all sorts of early 20th Century drinks. In the Blackthorn the Kirsch adds an extra dimension to a well worn combination. The drink is intensely fruity, but the use of eau de vie rather than a liqueur keeps things at the dry and bracing end of the spectrum.
I am surprised this drink is not better known. Part of the reason may be confusion about recipes. (more…)
I made this one because I wanted to try something else with Anisette, and the recipe appealed due to the ‘old fashioned’ inclusion of an egg. I also figured an anisette drink with egg or cream might see the aniseed taste get mellowed out. The name is also kind of cool. It is hard to imagine bunch of stock brokers wandering into a bar and ordering this though. I guess brokers had different tastes a hundred years or so ago.
1 1/2 oz white port
1/2 oz gin
1/4 oz sweet vermouth
1/4 oz anisette
Shake with ice and strain into a wine glass. The recipe suggests using a cocktail glass, but depending on the size of the egg this may be a little small. Since 19th century eggs were smaller than eggs today, you could also consider using only half an egg.
This thing tastes more like a vermouthy wine flip than anything else. The anisette is very much in the background. I won’t be rushing to make this again in a hurry, but nothing wrong with it if you feel like something unusual. If I made it again I might try scaling down the vermouth and upping the anisette.
I found this one while searching online for cocktails using agricole rum. Apparently it was created by Philip Ward of the Pegu Club in NYC. The drink stood out to me because of the use of Chartreuse. Agicole rum has a soft, grassy flavor, not unlike the sugar cane juice it is distilled from. Chartreuse is a strong herbal liqueur but could also be described as grassy. Combining agricole rum and Chartreuse made sense to me on paper, and it works in the glass too. The use of dry vermouth introduces yet another layer of grassy, herbal flavors, and also tones the drink down and cuts the alcohol a little.
2 parts white agricole rum (I used St. James)
1 part Green Chartreuse
1 part French Vermouth (I used Martini Rossi)
Stir over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint if you happen to have one handy. Introducing a little mint scent via this garnish, or perhaps even by rubbing the rim of the glass with a mint leaf or two, could improve the taste a notch. I didn’t have any mint handy and the drink tasted pretty good without it.
This drink good should go down well with people who like Chartreuse. It is also a good one if you are looking for a complex tasting rum drink that does not require fruit juices. The aroma is mild, like sugar cane, but the taste is full of complexity from the herbals in the liqueur and vermouth. The sugar cane character of the rum, plus the large dose of sugar in the Chartreuse, help tame the strong herbal flavors and make the drink almost gentle.
I have no idea why it is called the Affinity Cocktail #2. The original Affinity Cocktail was a mixture of equal parts scotch, French vermouth, and Italian vermouth, with a touch of orange bitters, and does not seem to be a common drink. There is no obvious connection between the two that I can see.
I happened to be drinking this concoction when I received an e-mail from a good friend telling me he was now a father. I had done a search on cocktailDB for a drink containing apricot brandy, cognac and gin, and found the Une Idee Cocktail (3/4 oz cognac, 3/4 oz gin, 3/4 oz Italian vermouth, 1/4 oz apricot brandy). Since I wanted a drink that would really let me taste the Marie Brizard Apry I decided to up the apricot brandy to a 1/2 oz. Technically then the drink I had made was different to the recipe.
On opening my e-mail box I read my friend’s happy news and it seemed only appropriate to christen the drink after his newborn son given that it was, sort of, a new recipe, so the Ariel it was.
The Ariel Cocktail
3/4 oz cognac (Martell)
3/4 oz gin (Bombay Sapphire)
3/4 oz Italian vermouth (Martini)
1/2 oz apricot brandy (Marie Brizard)
This drink is smooth and rich. The cognac and apricot hold the foreground, while the gin and vermouth throwing in plenty of botanicals that make it a little bracing rather than too sweet. A refined drink. I suppose I should try it with the originally suggested 1/4 oz of apricot brandy to see how that compares. Another possibility might be using a dry apricot brandy.
This month’s Mixology Monday, kindly hosted at Jimmy’s Cocktail Hour, is all about whiskey. Note, simply whiskey, not necessarily whiskey cocktails. I should have lots to say about this month’s topic but somehow I don’t.
Of course there are many things I could cover. I could choose a favorite whiskey cocktail and write about that. I could write about my family’s ritual of drinking tea with whiskey in the morning on Christmas Day. I could write about a favorite whiskey, maybe Lagavulin or Laphroaig. (more…)