March 26..time for a sponsred TDN again! this time we were ponsored by Beefeater gin, which i think is nice as i have a special relationship with this gin as its the gin i grew up with. This gin also transports me to London in my memories from times when i have visited that city and then its really just perfectly fitting that it also is made in London.


Beefeater is a London Dry gin which is a gin that is fresh, dry and light, distilled from 100% grain spirit. It ´s 47% ABV (94 proof) in the US and New Zealand, 37.1% in Australia, and a 40% (80 proof) elsewhere in the world (including the UK).

Beefeater contains 9 different botanicals -  juniper – which as we know is the basic essential for gin, seville orange peel – adding a clean citrus flavor as is the  sundried sicilian lemon peel, further – orris root for a floral aroma binding the botanicals together, corainder seeds – so fresh and spicy, angelica root with their dry woody spiciness, liquorice root – adding a woody sweetness paired with an underlying mellow spiciness, bitter almond, and finally angelica seeds for a floral edge.

Beefeater also uses use Russain coriander as opposed to Morrocan.The Russian variety has maller seeds and more intense flavour.

The founder of Beefeater gin was pharmacist and also tea merchant James Burrough who in 1876 distilled many brands of gin making Beefeater gin the Chelsea distillery´s flagship brand. Beefeater moved from its birthplace Chelsea distillery to Montford Place in 1958. Master distiller Desmond Payne replaced Brian Martin in 1995 and is the master distller of Beefeater gin today. Beefeater is the only globally known gin that is still made in London and has been produced since around 1820. It was aqcuired by Pernod Ricard in 2005.

I find that this gin has a very clean and crsip taste and i really enjoy it.



As expected this TDN was crowded and too many cocktails for me to count was submitted, i surely had my share, from a range of wonderful drinks all the way to Rick`s zombie-like drink “Romero`s Resurrection” which was the one that finally defeated me in the late night.

The best drink of the night will be voted for at the poll on the Mixoloseum blog and the winner will receive a case of fevertree soda. The Beefeater sponsored TDN was also sent live by webcam from Vessel in Seattle hosted by Paul Clarke and Stevi Deter with guests such as Robert Hess, Jamie Boudreau and others and the fine bartenders at Vessel did a great job mixing up our drinks.


Also many thanks to Dan Warner from Beefeater who answered our many questions and told us about Beefeater gin. Among the many interesting things he told us was that early gins would definately have been similar to genever and a lot of them would have been really bad tasting. For a long time it was still called genever or “Hollands” and Old Tom was the predominant style for a long time. When Coffey invented his still lighter spirit was available and the London Dry style was born.

Gin wasn’t born in Holland – its father Geneva was.When Geneva arrived in England us English are too lazy to speak anybody elses language so we shorted the name to one sylable. However genever and gin are very different tasting spirits.

Only 6 people (!!) are working at the Beefeater gin distillery producing 2.4 million cases a year.

My cocktails for this evening were mostly a little bit of Ramos style fizzes because i like their freshness and i also love how egg whites mellows a drink and makes it smooth as silk..

The first cocktail here is inspired by the beautiful vanilla orchid.



1.5 oz Beefeater gin
0.75 oz vanilla syrup
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 egg white
1 vanilla bean, 2/3 split and seeds scraped out and added to shaker
3 dashes Bob`s vanilla bitters (or other bitters)
Fevertree bitter lemon to top
Garnish 2 vanilla beans

Split the vanilla bean and crape out the seeds and add to the shaker with all ingredients except the soda. Shake without ice long and hard to mix the egg white really well. Shake again with ice, strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the 2 vanilla beans.

This one i found very yummy,light and fresh and on the sour side.



1.5 oz fresh blood orange juice
1.5 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Bourbon
0.5 oz Campari
¼ oz Cointreau
Sprinkle of fresh lime

Top with fevertree bitter lemon and a splash hibiscus grenadine
Garnish blood orange slice and mint.

Shake the ingredients except the soda and grenadine. Strain or double strain per your preference into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with mint and a blood orange wedge.

This drink is just a variation of my Bourbon and Blood cocktail which was invented one day when i luckily found a whole bunch of nice italian blood oranges after not seeing any blood oranges for a long time thinking the season was over.



2 oz Beefeater gin
0.5  oz  sourmix (1 part lime, 1 part lemon, 1 part simple syrup)
1 egg white
1 small piece of lemongrass
0.75 oz honeymix (1 part honey, 1 part water, warmed up to become liquid, then  cooled)
soda water to top
lemongrass stick for garnish

Muddle the lemongrass piece with the sourmix and honey in a shaker, add the rest of ingredients except for the soda water.

Shake vigoriously without ice, then again with ice.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, top with soda water and garnish with a lemongrass stick.

Just as light and smooth as the vanilla bean fizz but the lemongrass gives a bit of a fresh spicy crispness here and the extra 0.5 oz gin is noticeable. yet i prefer the vanilla variety, its something with the more sourness of that one that i really like.



1.5 oz Beefeater Gin
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 egg white
0.5 oz creme de cassis
0.5 oz campari
Top with Fevertree bitter lemon

Dry shake first all ingredients except the soda, then with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish lime twist.


The name Gin is an anglicised version of the Dutch genever. Gin is made from at least 96% spirit and has no flavor.The flavouring for Gin comes from Botanicals; these vary from producer to producer but includes juniper and other botanicals such as coriander, lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, angelica and cardamom amongst many others.Typically fine gin contains between six and ten botanicals.

Back  in Holland in around 1550, prof of medecine Franciscus Sylvius de la Boe (or de Bouve) tried to create a cure for stomach illness using juniper berries, and concocted an infusion he called genever, after the French term genèvrier meaning juniper.

During the Thirty Years’ War dutch soldiers boosted their courage before the battles with it, and the taste for this “Dutch courage” spirit was picked up by english soldiers who brought it back home with them. In England small distillation took place developing to a greater scale. The quality of this early gin was often quite dubious but that improved when gin started to be distilled in London and Westminster by the members of the formation of King Charles I.

In 1689 King William III aka William of Orange, came to the English throne. He encouraged the distillation of English spirits and now anyone could disill by posting a notice in public and then simply wait for 10 days. Workers were sometimes given gin as part of their wages. Beer and ale which was more expensive soon was outsold by gin.

But the consumtion of bad spirits rised due to an excise license of £20 which was introduced in 1729 and two shillings per gallon duty was levied and the retailers now also demanded a license. At this time, 1730 over 7000 spirit shops operated in London and the poor people´s abuse of alcohol was a major problem and at sept 29 in1739, the Gin Act was introduced which made gin extremely expensive.The Gin Act lasted 6 years but finally this led to riots causing this law to be broken in 1742.

Now the distillers formed a new gin policy with reasonably high prices, excise duties and licensed retailers, and many companies now establieshed themselves, like Gordon`s, and gin became the high quality spirit that it is today.

Gin was widely used as a cocktail ingredient during the golden 1920s cocktail age. Old Tom was born in London but it fell out of fashion when the London Dry style arrived.

The Gin & Tonic was originally an anti malaria concoction in colonial India. Quinine was added to carbonated water to give Indian Tonic and mixed with Gin to make it more palatable.


In the 1860s the Martini was born. At San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel, bartender Jerry Thomas mixed up a “Martinez” for a traveler bound for that town. Made with bitters, maraschino, vermouth, ice and Old Tom Gin. And adding 2 dashes of gum syrup to guests with a sweet tooth.

Americans during the prohibition produced something called ”bathtub gin” by recovering the ethyl alcohol by taking the poisons out of denatured alcohol.This was then flavored with juniper, diluted and finally bottled. This was a dangerous way to make it as there were several ways to do this and if it wasn`t done by someone knowing what they were doing, the results were even sometimes deadly.

In the US, repeal day came dec5 in 1933 and that is really a day to celebrate!

Read more on Beefeater Gin on their website!



There`s something very reachable about this bourbon, it`s  nice and “homely”, and also very reasonable priced and no doubt  of good quality. Its one of those spirits that should always be on the shelf.

Bulleit Bourbon is inspired by a recipe in the 1800`s created by Augustus Bulleit. The Bulleit Distilling Co was founded by Tom Bulleit 22 years ago – created by the idea to make his family`s recipe with best ingredients available.

Bourbon – the official spirit of the US – can legally be made anywhere in the US but must be at least 51% corn and the rest of it rye, wheat, or barley, and then it must be aged in new charred oak barrels. A rye whiskey must contain at least 51% rye. As Bulleit contains 30% rye it has the highest rye content of any bourbons.

Bulleit is a small batch premium quality 90 proof bourbon which uses Kentucky-limestone filtered water together with corn, barley malt, rye and a proprietary yeast strain. It has a rich oaky aroma with hints of vanilla from the new white oak barrels, spice and pepper, with a lingering smoky finish. The color is quite on the orangey side, like amber.

It comes in a very simple attractive bottle, robust and rounded. I also very much like the glasses with their oval form and same robust roundness as the bottle has. The flavor is warm, full bodied, round and smooth.  As it also is very decently priced its a very good all-round bourbon, made from quality ingredients with each step in production ensuring a premium bourbon which is very nice to both sip neat and mix.

I made two cocktails this time and one is fruity, the other one more spicy. The first drink – the fruity one pairs Bulleit bourbon with fresh blood orange juice and Campari.



1 oz Bourbon (Bulleit)
1/4 oz Cointreau
0.5 oz Campari
Sprinkle of fresh lime juice
1.5 oz fresh blood orange juice
Top with Fevertree bitter lemon
Add a splash of hibiscus grenadine to add a tropical floral note and deepen the color at the base.
Garnish with a half blood orange slice.

Shake over ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a half blood orange slice. Its not very often my drinks exceeds my expectations but this one turned out to be ridiculously fresh and tasty, try it! The only thing i maybe should have done is double strain it, but on the other hand i`m not bothered by some blood orange and ice chips in this drink.



2,5 oz Bulleit Bourbon
1 very thin slice of lemongrass
small sprig of fresh coriander
1 very thin slice of fresh ginger
¼ oz simple syrup
Top with Club Soda
Long wide blood orange twist/spiral + 1 lemongrass stick for garnish

(I tried it topped with Ting as well and omittted the simple syrup as Ting made a sweeter drink)

Muddle ginger, lemongrass and carefully fresh coriander with the simple syrup. Add bourbon and shake over ice, strain, pour into glass. Garnish with a blood orange twist wrapped around a lemongrass stick in the glass to release some of the flavors from the peel into the drink.

Top with crushed ice.

More spicy than fruity. I find that bourbon goes well with both fruits and spices but also grenadine. One of my favorite bourbon drinks containing grenadine is the Port Light invented by Trader Vic, that is a drink i keep coming back to over and over again, the combination of grenadine and passionfruit with bourbon is just so damn tasty.



Its not many absinthes you can buy here in my country (Sweden) in fact, there`s just ONE bottle in our state controlled liqueur shop an artificially brightly turquoise thing i never will buy, among all bad things i`ve read about it,  it even lacks louche. Then we can special order 4 other brands but to very expensive prices. Now when i heard that la Clandestine is soon going to be sold here, it`s very good news.


La Clandestine absinthe is the only absinthe that is hand-crafted in the village of Couvet in the Val-de-Travers region of Switzerland where absinthe was first born and is a 100% natural distilled absinthe free from artificial colour.

The very first absinthe was born in Couvet  in the 1790’s. The best absinthes in the 19th century were all produced in the area around Couvet (the Val-de-Travers) and then just over the French border in Pontarlier which eventually became the capital of absinthe production. When absinthe was banned in most of Europe between 1908 and 1915, the French (law abiding citizens!) stopped producing.

Many Swiss families carried on making absinthe for themselves and their friends. It is rumoured that the Swiss decided at this time to forgo the final colouring step and so produced a clear absinthe to fool the customs officers that it was vodka or schnapps. La Clandestine’s recipe comes from this time: it was distilled by a Charlotte Vaucher (her name is celebrated on the bottle)

In the year 2000 La Clandestine started to be made by Claude-Alain Bugnon who is born in the region and he was the first maker of absinthe from the actual birthplace of absinthe to go legal – that was in 2005, two hundred years after the first birth of absinthe, and Claude-Alain went legal labelling his absinthe La Clandestine to celebrate the heritage of Swiss absinthe freedom fighters.

The first batch of La Clandestine was made in a simple 12 liter pot with a cooling device on a hotplate. Claude-Alain Bugnon gave up his job in industry to start making the local drink for his own friends in 2000. His reputation spread via the internet and his absinthes started to become famous (for American absinthe drinkers, that is). At the time, it was still illegal to produce absinthe in Switzerland and he risked a jail sentence, while fighting in his wife’s laundry for distilling space!

Claude-Alain received his license after doing a series of experiments under the control of the authorities and his first legal absinthe was shipped to Germany in december 2004. The ban of absinthe was lifted in march 1st ending the 95-year ban. And since then it has developed throughout the world, its now sold in 11 countries, including the USA, Canada, Japan, etc. It has won many fine awards and finally reached my mailbox!

What makes La Clandestine special?

The plants that are used grow in the fields around the distillery. The combination of soil, topography and climate are ideal for the plants used in absinthe. There is a lot of difference in using fresh plants, rather than ones shipped across the world.

La Clandestine is distilled in Couvet – the very birthplace of absinthe.

At a time when “hand-crafted” could become a cliché, La Clandestine is very much a hand-crafted labour of love with the whole process from plant selection through distilling to bottling all done by hand.

Claude-Alain is recognised as an amazing craftsman within the industry, having won the Golden Spoon at the Pontarlier Absinthiades for the last 4 years. I term this is the Absinthe Oscars since the winner is selected by a panel which includes his colleagues in the absinthe business.


La Clandestine absinthe family has four members:

La Clandestine – the official flagship, launched to mark the Swiss legalisation of absinthe on March 1, 2005. With a recipe made up of more than 10 plants, it has, at first nosing, a wonderful richness of aromas, followed by a lingering light bitterness. This is the blue bottle with a blue label, slightly different in the US (750 ml) bottle, with a slightly different label. It has won first prize and “Absinthe d’or” at the National Competition for Swiss spirits on September 16, 2005 and Gold Medal in the same competition in 2007.

La Capricieuse – Comes with a green label and is stronger – 72% abv 144 proof- remining of the old days before the ban. Its based on the same recipe as La Clandestine.

Recette Marianne – This absinthe was produced only 10 days before the French Absinthiades in Pontarlier, and was made to to conform to the strict French laws. Marianne was awarded the Golden Spoon of 2005, 2006, 2007 and again in 2008. Marianne has a sharper taste than La Clandestine Originale; less smooth and rather piquant and spicy, with a mild bitterness. Its 55% abv 110 proof. The bottle has a blue label.

Angèlique Verte Suisse – The newest of the absinthes from La Clandestine and its a “verte,” or green absinthe. Angélique was created to meet the demands of some customers for an absinthe with a stronger but reduced anise taste. The colour, which is completely natural, comes from the maceration of wormwood in aromatic plants. After filtration, the macerate is added to distilled absinthe and the resultant blend is stored in wooden barrels to give it a light woody, more rounded taste. Its 72% abv 144 proof.


I think La Clandestine has a great taste, it has a pronounced anise flavor but its not too overpowering and it has a nice little slightly bitter bite. It also has the same clean freshness in the flavor as i find in the nose. This is a nice product and i`m happy it will soon be sold in my country. The first drink that came to my mind and which is a drink i like very very much is the absinthe suissesse, and i choosed a bit of a different take on this recipe which Rick over at Kaiserpenguin kindly gave me . This drink is smooth like silk! and a good first drink of the day.



2 oz absinthe (La Clandestine)
1/2 oz orgeat
1 1/2 oz heavy cream
8 drops orange flower water
1 egg white

Shake with cracked ice long enough to get the eggwhite well mixed , strain into a chilled cocktail glass.




The TDN last thursday (march 5) was sponsored by Fernet Branca and we were honored to have Nicole Hayek from Fernet Branca with us to participate and answer our questions while we mixed up a range of cocktails containing Fernet, on this a bit mysterious “all-purpose” medecine and digestif, which doesn`t leave anyone untouched – it’s an acquired taste first and foremost, and with the ones who are real fans the fernet love is as solid as a rock.

Fernet Branca is a favorite beverage of mine so even though i was only able to attend the Fernet sponsored TDN for about an hour, that hour i really enjoyed. It doesnt hurt to say it again, Fernet is not only a digestif and a cocktail ingredient , it´s a medecine, it not only keeps you healthy, it also makes you happy!

The winning cocktail of the evening – Bully Boy (was determined by a poll on the Mixoloseum blog) and will receive a bottle of Amaro Nonino courtesy of Mud Puddle Books. Congrats Chris!


Fernet Branca hails from Italy and is quite a thing of its own and is remotely close to Gammeldansk or maybe even Jegermeister.

Produced in Milan, Italy – Fernet Branca is a bitter, aromatic grape-based spirit that is said to be made from over 40 herbs and spices and said to be among them are myrrh, chamomille, aloe, gentian root, rhubarb, red cinchona bark, galanga zedoary and saffron. The saffron is one of the key ingredients and the Branca family actually esentially controls the market price for this spice by accounting for 75% of the worlds saffron consumption. Saffron is one of my favorite spices.

Fernet Branca has a bitter and complex flavor and the taste is hard to describe, when you drink it the first time your senses litterally gets attacked by an immense array of flavors. Its widely known to both cure and prevent hangovers among other things, and was created by Bernardino Branca – a self-taught apothecary in Milan, who first offered Fernet-Branca to the public in 1845, marketing his product as a tonic to cure many kinds of illnes.

Maria, Bernardino’s daughter-in-law,helped the trade by advertising the product among high-society ladies as an excellent remedy for menstrual pain, and as a tonic for anxious people, stomach and headache, and finally digestif and aperitif. The italians definetily knows a thing or two, my first experiences with pain-relief of those kinds was given to me at a young age in Italy by a wise woman in the form of italian vermouth.

The company Fratelli Branca, overseen by the Branca family is still producing Fernet Branca in Milan. Fratelli Branca Distillerie claim that the recipe has remained unchanged since its invention in 1845.

The following products are produced at the Fratelli Branca distillery: Brancamenta, Stravecchio Branca, Grappas Candolini, Sensea specialty line, Caffè Borghetti, Punt e Mes, Carpano Bianco, Carpano Classico, Carpano Antica Formula and Sambuca Borghetti with the addition in 1985 of the Villa Branca Products (wine and extra virgin olive oil).

The two largest Fernet consuming places in the world are Argentina, where they drink it with coke (its even a national spirit!), and then San Fransisco where its usually followed by a chaser of ginger ale. The old time fernet contained an unknown (to me anyway) amount of opiates which surely must have helped to relieve pain in those times when modern medecine wasn`t yet invented, but nowadays there are only traces of those opiates is in the bottles.

Here is a very interesting article on the Fernet Branca from SF Weekly com, this drink came to the US in the suitcases of Italian immigrants – read:

The myth of Fernet.

One of the 3 drinks i submitted for this TDN was the Pisco Branca, which is a mix of Pisco Sour and Pisco Punch with a boost of Fernet and a hint of fresh mint. This drink became really smooth and the key here is to not use any other pineapple juice but fresh, from preferably newly matured (these are not too sweet) pineapple slices.



2 oz pineapple juice, from 1-2  slices of fresh pineapple

2 oz Pisco

1/4 oz Fernet Branca

1 whole egg

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz simple syrup

1-2 fresh apple mint leaves

Dash Angostura bitters

Blend all with ice except bitters at high speed 10 sek and pour into glass. Dash bitters on top of the foam. Garnish with a pineapple wedge. The eggs mellows the fernet and the drink isn`t bitter its rather smooth.


Everyone who has tried Fernet has some kind of relationship to this mythical drink, me i love it and i mostly sip it straight in shots, what`s yours?





Tikidrinks tends to have funny and mystical names that sparks your imagination - Shrunken Skull, Suffering Bastard, Polynesian Paralyzis, Zombie, Planet of the Apes, Last Rites, Mystic Lamp etc) and i think one of the most interesting names is the Missionary´s downfall.

Where and how it was named i don`t know, but i guess it must have been provocative to some. It was made by Don the Beachcomber in cirka 1948. The name of this drink was also changed to Missionary´s Doom in the cocktail menu of the newly opened Mai-Kai in 1956 in Fort Lauderdale – at that time serving about 1000 customers a night. It`s one of the tastiest tikidrinks out there and is one of my favorites.

Its also one of the first tikidrinks i made for some reason. I first found it in Grog Log (page 52) I think what makes it so fresh tasting is the combination of fresh mint, fresh pineapple and peach brandy paired with a good white rum. The recipe calls for light Puerto Rican rum  but that can be subbed with another good white rum.


4 whole fresh sprigs of mint

1/2 slice fresh pineapple

1.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz peach brandy

1/4 oz simple syrup

1 oz white rum

Strip mint leaves from sprigs and discard stems. Place leaves in blender with all other ingresients and 14 ounces of crushed ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into a hurricane glass or tall tiki mug. This drink is a dream of freshness and its light as opposed to many other tikidrinks which are very strong.


Okole maluna!

MxMo XXXVII – The First Time


Paul over at Cocktail Chronicles has been organizing a monthly online cocktail event he calls Mixology Mondays, and this Mixology Monday calls for a good gateway cocktail.

The ladies at Lupec Boston has come up with this question: “This event was inspired by a chance encounter I had with an almost-famous Christian rock musician who, at age 32, had never had a cocktail. ‘I’d like to try one sometime,’ he said, ‘What do you think I should have?’

A good question..which got me to think about some old days…thank you for hosting this MxMo which challenges us to find a suitable cocktail for the first cocktail experience.

This has to be a drink that really is a cocktail but not too strong, it shouldn`t scare off but rather be a pleasant experience, it needs to have flavors, this compelled me to go through a few of my cocktail books at first. Finally i made a passionfruit mojito but nah…it became quite boring…

Here we need something better! something more tasty and preferable light. Going back in time to my own first cocktail experiences, i remember a cocktail that i still feel nostalgic about when i think about it and which, i think is a perfect new-beginner cocktail, namely the old Tom Collins. This is pure nostalgia!

Its a very simple recipe, gin, lemon juice, superfine sugar, club soda. But i wanted something more to it this time, so i decided to add some fresh ginger and a hint of cardamom to give it a bit of spicy freshness.



2 ounces gin

1 ounce lemon juice

1 thin slice fresh ginger

1 green cardamom pod

1 teaspoon superfine sugar

2 ounces soda water.

Muddle ginger, cardamom and sugar in shaker, add the rest of ingredients except club soda and shake with ice. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice and top with club soda.

Garnish with orange slices and cherry.