Another issue of DRiNK is out, and I wrote a story on the Pink Lady. This one gets unjustly neglected, and I am as guilty as anyone. Much as I really like the Pink Lady, I only rarely get around to mixing it. A White Lady just seems ‘easier’ when that way inclined. And out in a bar? I’m not sure I have ever ordered a Pink Lady for myself, though I’ve ordered it for friends a few times. This is clearly color prejudice at work. But color prejudice aside it is also easy to forget how mixable calvados is. The gin and calvados combo in the Pink Lady (original version) is just excellent, and well worth trying if you never have. This cocktail is probably the single best reason (Chicken Normandy aside) for keeping a bottle of calvados handy.
Archive for the ‘eau de vie’ Category
Pineau Experiment No. 6 was perhaps the best of the bunch. . .
The next step was to try mixing some drinks of my own using Pineau des Charentes.
Pineau turned out to slightly awkward stuff to mix with, probably on account of it having such a mild taste. My natural inclination was try substituting pineau in recipes that traditionally call for other aperitif wines (i.e. following well worn patterns like Manhattans and Martinis). This approach did not work well.
While I did not come up with anything truly exceptional, several experiments yielded one or two promising results. (more…)
My initial round of experimentation with passion fruit showed how aromatic it is. Therefore I decided to partner it with pisco, an aromatic spirit. The obvious starting point was the pisco sour.
I picked up a big bag of passion fruit and did some experimenting with passion fruit juice cocktails. I started with some ‘classical’ recipes from the early 20th Century. I have not personally checked the origins of these drinks, but I am guessing the first three are from the 1920s pr 1930s.
Having made some quality grenadine, the next step is to find some drinks to try it in. Three drinks immediately come to mind, the Clover Club, the Pink Lady, and the El Presidente. The Clover Club and Pink Lady are simply grenadine sweetened and flavored gin sours, while the El Presidente is a complex rum, orange Curacao and vermouth affair that gets a gentle lift from a teaspoon of grenadine. (more…)
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…)
I considered writing the Charlie Chaplin up for Raiders of the Lost Cocktail. I decided not to in the end though. Partly I wanted to write up a drink that combined Lillet with apricot brandy, and partly I was not sure if the Charlie Chaplin qualifies as being ‘lost’. I have occasionally seen the Charlie Chaplin on bar menus. Still, the name of the drink is rather old worldly, as is the use of sloe gin, so I won’t argue with anyone who wants to label it a lost drink.
The one bar where I have drunk a Charlie Chaplin was a little Japanese place in Shanghai. This time the bar in question was not Constellation, but rather the little bar inside the Garcon Chinois restaurant on Hengshan Rd. That bar is much smaller than Constellation, and does not have nearly the same range of spirits, but the cocktails used to be very carefully and expertly made by a Japanese woman who knew exactly what she was doing. (more…)
The theme for this Mixology Monday, hosted at Jimmy’s Cocktail Hour is ‘variations’. For once I haven’t had to think about what to throw together. This month’s theme perfectly fits something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now, namely a very straightforward and versatile variation of a Gin and Tonic. (more…)
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…)
This one may be my favorite pisco cocktail. Dave Wondrich wrote it up on the Esquire website drinks data base (now moved here). The Dulchin doesn’t have its own entry there; look for it under the Hop Toad, a lime and apricot brandy drink that is also pretty good.
The thing I really like about the Dulchin is its use of eau de vie, or dry fruit brandy. Eau de vie is fantastic stuff in cocktails. There aren’t nearly enough Eau de vie cocktails out there and the good ones deserve some attention. (more…)