Archive for the ‘vermouth’ Category

The John Wood Cocktail

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

In my quest for more Kummel drinks I came across this one. I picked it out because the recipe looked interesting and unpredictable. What was a caraway, vermouth, whiskey and bitters flavored sour going to taste like?




Allies Cocktail

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

I figured kummel, being such an assertive taste, would work well as a mere dash or two in a martini type drink. I searched around for a suitable recipe and found this one in the Savoy.



1 oz dry gin (Tanqueray)

1 oz dry vermouth

2 dashes kummel (I initially used ½ a teaspoon then upped it to 1 teaspoon)

Not in the recipe but I squeezed an orange twist over it.


Surprisingly the kummel was no more than a faint background note at ½ a teaspoon. I found a full teaspoon more to my taste. This one tastes pretty much like what you’d expect.  A pleasant martini variation.


Given that kummel originates from Holland it might be interesting to try making something like this using genever rather than standard dry gin.

Update: I later tried this using Bokma Genever, 2 tsp kummel, and a squeeze of lemon peel. It was very tasty, and perhaps better integrated than the original (hard to say though since I did not compare side to side). The milder character of the genever blends nicely with everything else.

The Allegheny (a blackberry brandy drink)

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

I decided to whip up a quick something using blackberry brandy and settled on the Allegheny. It was the first recipe to come up on CocktailDB when I searched for blackberry brandy and lemon juice. Bourbon and dry vermouth looked like they would do nicely to fill out the drink, and a dash of bitters promised to spice things up a little.




Researching Apricot Brandy cocktails

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

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…)

The Daiquiri

Monday, January 7th, 2008


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…)

Three Pisco and Galliano Cocktails

Friday, December 21st, 2007

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…)

The Vowel Cocktail

Thursday, July 19th, 2007


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…)

Two drinks with Fernet Branca

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

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…)

Tweaking the Blackthorn. . .

Friday, June 29th, 2007


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…)

Broker’s Flip

Sunday, March 11th, 2007


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

1 egg

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.