Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Rum and Sherry Cocktails: The DR Daiquiri and DR Manhattan

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

I recently did some experimenting with amontillado sherry and Dominican Republic rum. While I do not drink it nearly often enough, sherry might be my favorite wine – it has amazing complex flavors. Rum of course is something I ingest rather more than my fair share of. It seemed efficient to try to combine my rum and sherry drinking, hopefully to the benefit of both liquids.

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The Pegu Club

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

My latest article for DRiNK is on the Pegu Club. It’s a great drink so go check it out. Special thanks to the translator for an excellent job on the Chinese. I did not make her life easy, what with poetry and other assorted weird stuff. The art work is also nice.

DRiNK is a good magazine, and it’s mere existence shows how much the cocktail scene in China has changed since I started this blog.

Years ago I remember sitting on an airplane here and leafing through a hospitality magazine that had somehow ended up in the seat pocket in front of me. It was not bar specific – more like a general restaurant magazine that included wines and spirits info. I forget the title. Anyway, the quality of information was shocking. An article on French wines was illustrated with colorful Belgian beer bottles. Well-bred ladies were cautioned to always add the ice before pouring their wine. Doing things the other way round would be most uncouth! Another article summarized the main categories of spirits and liqueurs. Having no idea what Angostura Bitters were, the writer came up with a tale about elderly Dutch men doing shots of the stuff by the fireside during winter.

I will link to a few other articles I have written for DRiNK soon.

My occasional writing for DRiNK is one reason things have been quiet. Writing articles that get published somewhere else takes the edge off the urge to write here. Despite that though, I do have a few interesting things in store. Besides cocktail stuff, there may even be a cautionary tale or two about the bar industry.

Olympic Cocktails: China Inspired Drinks for Beijing 2008

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

This is really just a rehash of a post I made over at E-Gullet.  If you saw my post already no need to read further.

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So cute, but she can’t sing! So plain, but what a voice!  The unfortunate Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi.

There may be people out there who got all excited about the Beijing Olympics, purchased an extra big television, invited both of their friends over, then suddenly realized they had no idea what to mix up as their Chinese-themed Olympic cocktail.  Since this blog has featured a few Chinese-themed drinks, I thought I would dust them off and line them up for the world to appreciate.

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Death in the Gulf Stream: an underappreciated Hemingway drink

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899. Were he still alive, he would be celebrating his 109th birthday just as Tales of the Cocktail wraps up. No doubt he would mark the occasion with a drink, or several. It should come as no surprise then that Tales of the Cocktail will see a seminar on Ernest Hemingway – writer and drinker extraordinaire. Phil Greene, in a session entitled The Hemingway Bartender’s Companion, will introduce some of the mixed drinks associated with this prolific literary and cocktailian figure.

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Mixology Monday: Bourbon

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

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Mixology Monday (hosted at Scofflaw’s Den) has suddenly sprung on me, bringing the theme of bourbon. I feel a bit inadequate about my effort this time round. Recently I have hardly been drinking bourbon. Mostly it has all been gin, with occasional detours to explore French aperitifs. This state of affairs is a bit odd now I come to think about it. When I first got into cocktails I drank plenty of bourbon drinks (mostly Manhattans and Old Fashioneds), with rum thrown in for variety. Things seem to have changed, and consequently I am low on creative ideas for bourbon. Mind you, when it comes to bourbon I sometimes wonder how creative you need to be. Isn’t an Old Fashioned about as good as it gets? Posting about the Old Fashioned seems redundant though, so I am going to throw together a new (to me) bourbon cocktail from Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. (more…)

La Cosa Nostra

Monday, May 19th, 2008

I was trying to think of more uses for Cynar, the Italian artichoke-based aperitif that somewhat resembles Campari. I decided its bitter vegetal notes would be complemented by Kola Tonic and threw this one together. I think it works, though perhaps the Tia Maria could be toned back to 1 tsp.

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Cynar has has one of the coolest label designs out there (more…)

The Rough Rider Cocktail

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

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The Rough Riders take a break on top of San Juan Hill

Mixology Monday has rolled around and get and brought with it the theme of rum. The host of Mixology Monday XXVII is Trader Tiki. To be honest, this was never intended to be a Mixology Monday post. However, since the drink includes rum I guess I get a handy Mixology Monday entry for minimal effort.

I was rearranging my booze cupboard when I remembered I had a bottle of Kola Tonic that had never been used other than to make the Filmograph – from Ted Haigh’s Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Spirits. (more…)

The Romanza Campari Cocktail

Monday, May 5th, 2008

This one comes from eGullet, and before that from bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout at Pesce restaurant in San Francisco.

In some ways this would be good drink for introducing people to Campari. OK, the dose of Campari is kind of heavy for that purpose. Still, the classic Campari drinks (i.e. the Negroni and the Americano) are complicated by the inclusion of vermouth – another problem ingredient for many people. This drink is free of vermouth, Grand Marnier increases the sweetness, and fruit juice lightens things a little. In fact the drink is purely about rich and bitter sweet citrus. The taste is intense but free of surprises. While quite bitter, this drink reflects the current fashion for drinks that are light on spirits and heavy on juices and liqueurs.

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Experimenting with Pineau des Charentes

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

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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…)

Pineau des Charentes: an overlooked cocktail ingredient?

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Retrospective photograph of my bottle of pineau - it looked nicer full

It looked better full. . .

Pineau des Charentes is an interesting aperitif from France that I have only recently tried. It seems to be relatively unknown outside of France. Pineau des Charentes is generally drunk straight rather than being used used in cocktails. However, since I am interested in aperitif wines as cocktail ingredients I picked a bottle up to try it out. (more…)