gwalla: (Default)
1/2 oz creme de violette
1/2 oz Saint Germain elderflower liqueur
1 shot (1 1/2 oz) Pimm's No. 1
1 shot white rum
fill with about 2 parts Dry Soda cucumber soda to 3 parts Reed's ginger brew
1-2 dash(es) orange bitters

garnish with a cherry

A spur-of-the-moment concoction that turned out pretty well in one try, with just the addition of the orange bitters. OF course, Pimm's, ginger ale, and cucumber are known to be a good match, and rum goes with everything, but the two flower liqueurs were grasping at straws. This is the first drink I've concocted with Dry Soda cucumber soda that didn't just taste like cucumber soda. 1/2 oz of creme de violette is usually too much, but here its presence is fairly subtle (while still noticeable).

The "2 to 3" proportion of the sodas is an estimate. I just poured from both bottles at the same time at about the same rate, and stopped pouring cucumber soda about a half an inch from the top of the glass. The sides of the glass are diagonal, so who knows what the exact proportions were. I'm pretty sure it's altogether about 1-to-1 between boozes and mixers.

I have no idea what to call this.
gwalla: (Default)
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz Canton ginger liqueur
1/2 shot (3/4 oz) Mathilde Poire pear liqueur
1 shot Plymouth gin
1 splash Stirrings blood orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
maraschino cherry

Pretty good, a little on the sweet side (the dash of Angostura rescued it from being cloying). The pear flavor is a little hidden; I might adjust the balance between it and the St. Germain a bit. The proportion of the Canton seems just right: assertive enough to tell you it's there but not taking over. Could use a little work but honestly not bad as-is.
gwalla: (fgsfds)
Put together a pretty good cocktail last night.

1 shot gin
3/4oz Sloe gin
1/2oz Campari
1/4oz Creme de Violette
1/4oz Cointreau
1 splash orange juice

Didn't have a garnish but an orange or lemon twist seems most appropriate.

A nice balance of herbal and fruit flavors, mellower than you'd expect from the ingredients. Very easy to drink. I was aiming at a blood red color but it ended up a very nice shade of magenta instead.

I'm particularly happy with this because it's something that uses a decent amount of sloe gin, which I hadn't had much success with. I was curious about the stuff, but not impressed when I got some (and BevMo only carries it in pretty large bottles). Maybe it's just that Hiram Walker makes crappy sloe gin, I dunno. Here its sort of indistinct tutti-frutti blandness actually works in its favor, cutting the harshness of some of the other ingredients without fighting with them or really diluting their flavor either.
gwalla: (Default)
I revisited my banana concoction a couple of nights ago. Here's the latest iteration:

~3 inches of a banana, muddled
1/2 oz molasses
1/2 oz Nocello
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 oz rye
1 egg white

Definitely not too much liquid this time. Quite the opposite: this was so thick it took some coaxing to get it through the strainer, and the half banana garnish actually floated. I think next time I'll reduce the molasses to 1/4 oz, and maybe boost the Benedictine to 3/4 oz to give it more of a presence.

As for the rye, I'd say I chose it because with no bitters or citrus I needed its dryness to help cut the sweetness of the mixers...except it was really because the rye was in front in the pantry and the bourbon was buried in the back. And I'm not sure it was the right move. I'll probably go back to bourbon and see what that gets me with the proportion changes.

In other cocktail news, another experiment of mine has borne fruit. It's a fairly simple highball:

1/2 oz Nocello
1 oz calvados
fill (approx. 1:1) with Martinelli's sparkling apple cider

This balances out just right. The Nocello is there but not overpowering, it's sweet but not too sweet (probably good with a light dessert), and it masks the funkier notes of the calvados. Not too sure what garnish would be appropriate. I tried sprinkling a little cinnamon on top, but without a foam to sit on it doesn't look like much. Maybe a cinnamon stick? Or just a maraschino cherry, I dunno.

Last night's attempt used rye instead of calvados. The calvados version is clearly superior.
gwalla: (Default)
So I discovered last night that the Gemini is an excellent cocktail. Martha Stewart is good for something after all!

As far as my own experiments, I have one involving St. Germain, Lillet Blanc, and calvados. Lillet and calvados are an unexpectedly good combination, as I found out one time at Absinthe, when a cocktail based on that mix was on the specials menu. St. Germain and dry vermouth are also a great combination (my own discovery, which I used in my Shanghai 1929), and since Lillet is another herbal fortified white wine (albeit sweeter, and with quinine), I figured the same principle may apply. Attempts so far, based on 1/2 oz each Lillet and St. Germain, and 1 oz calvados, have been promising but aren't there yet. My first try added a splash of Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters, and was drinkable but nothing special. My second replaced that with a dash of Angostura bitters instead, and (inspired by the recipe for the Gemini, though decided on before actually trying to make that drink) topped with prosecco. The prosecco was a good match, but something still was a little off. The floral aspect of the St. Germain was buried. Tonight I tried it again, but this time with a splash of orange flower water, on the reasoning that that had thrown off the balance of a prototype of the Shanghai 1929 too far towards the floral side. It didn't make much difference on this though. I'm going to have to fiddle with proportions. Next I'll try bumping the St. Germain up to 3/4 oz and see what happens; I hope it isn't too sweet.

Also tried tonight: a preliminary experiment with green Chartreuse and Cynar. Equal parts mixed was a little harsh: adding one part Lillet as a buffer calmed things down. I tried adding 1 oz gin (Hendrick's) and filling with cucumber Dry Soda. That was a poor choice: the cucumber soda overpowered everything. It didn't taste bad, but it tasted pretty much like cucumber soda with a little spiciness in the background. I think I may try the Chartreuse/Lillet/Cynar triad with tonic water; I'm not sure about the gin as the base spirit either. On the plus side, the resulting drink was a really unusual shade of yellow, like it couldn't tell whether it wanted to be amber or a slightly greenish hue.

EDIT: Tried 3/4 oz St. Germain, and Peychaud's bitters instead of Angostura. The extra 3/4 did not make it too sweet. I may be just about done fiddling. Probably not an instant classic, but a good drink nonetheless.
gwalla: (Default)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Velvet falernum
1/2 oz Becherovka
1 shot white rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
on the rocks

Excellent! Maybe a little on the sweet side*, I might try bumping it up to 1/2 shot Becherovka just to see what happens, but the flavor balance is very good. This may taste even better with an aged rum (I want a bottle of Montecristo 12 year, that stuff is amazing), but it's damn good with a white. A cherry seems like the right garnish.

I need an alcomahol icon.

*I doubt you'd agree, [ profile] merri_chan. It's drier than most of your creations, though I doubt anybody would accuse it of being dry.

EDIT: 3/4 oz Becherovka is indeed superior. This is a definite winner. Still haven't tried aged rum (due to limited shelf space, I still haven't gotten any).


Oct. 6th, 2010 11:12 pm
gwalla: (quantum superstate)
More fartin' around in the liquor cabinet tonight.

1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Galliano
1/2 oz Dubonnet Rouge
1 oz gin (Hendrick's)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 splash Stirrings Blood Orange bitters
1 splash soda water

I first combined the first four ingredients, estimated the amount of gin after tasting, and then added the bitters and soda after further tasting.

The results are good. Better than expected. I thought I would get (and was actually kind of aiming for) something very herby and medicinal, and instead got something light and almost flowery. I'm not sure how much the Benedictine is contributing to the flavor, though. I might want to bump it up a 1/4 oz. Maybe the Dubonnet too, I dunno. The floweriness might invite a bit of Creme de Violette (long shot). Still, fairly happy with this effort.
gwalla: (halloween)
Hey [ profile] merri_chan, I gave that banana idea I was talking about a trial run.

~3 inches of a banana, muddled
1/4 oz molasses
3/4 oz Nocello
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 shot bourbon
1 egg white

Proportion FAIL. Way too much Nocello (I always forget how overpowering that stuff is), and too much liquid overall. The fizz didn't really fizz, it just got a foamy layer on top. I knew I'd blown the proportions before I even added the egg white. Still, I wanted to see it through. Next time I'm going to try 1/2 oz each of the molasses, Benedictine, and Nocello, and maybe just 1 oz of bourbon. I think part of the liquid problem is that I muddled the banana with crushed ice, and that all melted by the time I added the egg white.

Garnished with the remainder of the banana and some cinnamon on top. I think I'll stick with that.
gwalla: (dave & chester zonked)
1/4 oz Creme de Violette
1/2 oz Galliano
1 oz Dubonnet Rouge

split that in half (roughly) and mixed one half with 1 oz Tanqueray Rangpur and the other with 1 oz Hendrick's gin. After initial sips, each got a dash of orange bitters (which improved things), then a splash of soda water (also an improvement). Not bad in either version. Goes down easy. The Hendrick's version was better than the Tanqueray Rangpur before the soda water, but after dilution there was less of a difference.

This is a closet cleaner cocktail. I'm not a big licorice flavor fan so I've been trying to find something to do with the Galliano. Also, we've ended up with two bottles of Dubonnet Rouge; I like the stuff, but that's excessive. The Tanqueray Rangpur is also something that's been sitting in the closet taking up space for a while now (the Hendrick's, on the other hand, is good stuff I bought recently). The only thing I've been trying to find a way to use up that isn't in here is Cynar, which I know wouldn't mix well with the others.

I'll probably try a 1/4-1/4-1/2 proportion next. Also, try using soda water that hasn't gone flat...
gwalla: (bea arthur has a posse)
1 shot rye
1 oz Faretti Biscotti Famosi
1/2 oz Galliano
1/2 oz Becherovka
1 splash Stirrings blood orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters

Not bad at all. Maybe could use some tweaking, I dunno. Pretty good as is. Needs a garnish and a name.
gwalla: (fgsfds)
A while back I was given The Art of the Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the Classics, a cookbook by the bartenders at Absinthe, an upscale cocktail bar in San Francisco that I like. Aside from making some of the concoctions in the book, it also got me to try my hand at coming up with my own drink recipes.

I'm pleased to say that recently, these experiments have been quite successful.

George Washington:
  • 1 shot (1½ oz) bourbon
  • ½ shot (¾ oz) Maraschino liqueur
  • ½ oz Cherry Heering liqueur
  • 1 splash orange flower water
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 bourbon or maraschino cherry
Combine the liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.

This one is a rare example of a drink that didn't need any tweaking. The proportions turned out to be just right the first time. It was like Athena bursting fully-grown from the head of Zeus. The two different cherry liqueurs balance out with neither dominating, and match well with the bourbon. Orange bitters of course work well with fruit flavors, and keep the liqueurs from making it too sweet. The orange flower water adds a floral scent and some complexity.

It's named in honor of the first American President's childhood arboreal antics (and his still).

Shanghai 1929:
  • 1 oz white rum
  • ½ shot (¾ oz) St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • ½ shot (¾ oz) dry vermouth
  • 1 dash Peychaud's bitters
  • soda water
  • 3 mandarin orange wedges (canned in syrup)
Combine the rum, liqueurs, and bitters in a shaker and stir. Pour into a cocktail glass. Top off with soda water (about ¼–½ oz) and stir briefly. Garnish with the mandarin orange slices on a cocktail spear.

This is a very refreshing drink, and would probably be nice on a hot summer day.

I first encountered St. Germain in mini-bottle form, and quickly discovered that it works very well mixed in equal proportion with dry vermouth. All it needed was a base liquor, and I didn't want to use gin (because then it'd just be a St. Germain martini). The idea languished for a while (not much in those mini-bottles to work with!), but I started into it again more recently. My first try used a whole shot of rum and ½ oz each of the St. Germain and vermouth; it didn't have enough flavor. Another try used the 1-¾-¾ proportions, but also had a splash of orange flower water, and it ended up tasting just like slightly fizzy, diluted St. Germain. I was going to use more vermouth, but my mother suggested that maybe the orange flower water was throwing off the balance by accentuating the floral taste of the liqueur. I dropped the orange flower water, and it worked! Thanks, mom!

St. Germain tastes vaguely like lychee, hence the name of the cocktail.


gwalla: (Default)

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