SINGAPORE SLING WITH A KICK

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Let`s use some navy strength gin..

Here`s an old favorite that i don´t mix very often but i think i should because this classic cocktail is an art of balance and flavor when done properly. And that`s the problem – this drink is as much a victim as the Mai Tai or the Hurricane when it comes to bars taking shortcuts and thus ruining and taking away the true character of an otherwise excellent cocktail.

And of course the Singapore sling has a very old history, first made in the Long Bar at Raffles by Ngiam Tong Boon somewhere between 1910 and 1915. but i won´t go into the history here since so much has been written already – and there`s very much contradictory information.

Now, the original recipe for this drink was lost sometimes during the middle of the 20th century and so a new recipe that was close to the original was made by Ngiam Tong Boon’s nephew during the 1970s. If you search in books you will discover the recipes varies both with ingredients and ratios.

The best source to read the history of this drink is Ted Haigh`s book “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails”

I have chosen this time to mix it with a stronger gin than usual, Plymouth navy strength which gives this good old drink a kick. The navy strength is 57% abv (114 proof) and is more intense and rich tasting than the original Plymouth which i think is a good overall gin.

SINGAPORE SLING

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3 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
1.5  oz  Plymouth navy strength gin
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz Cherry brandy (like Cherry Marnier – or use Cherry Heering – cherry liqueur)
1/4 oz Bénédictine
1/4 oz Cointreau
Small splash of hibiscus grenadine
Dash of Angostura bitters
Wedge of pineapple and a maraschino cherry
Soda water to top

Shake the pineapple juice, gin, lime juice, Cherry brandy, Bénédictine, Cointreau, and bitters with ice; then strain into a highball glass. Top off with soda water and garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry on a toothpick.

This is one of those tropical cocktails that to me says “relax and sit back”. I was pondering making a twist of it but decided to let it be for this time, it`s good as it is – especially with a kick ass gin like Plymouth navy strength.

VANILLA SMASH to beat the cold

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The fragrance of the lightly bruised mint that blends so well with the fresh lemon and warm vanilla scent is heavenly..

A mix of lemon, rye whiskey and vanilla syrup topped off with fragrant mint, is a sure good drink to beat the cold of the winter.

Its friggin`minus 11 degrees F (-24C) here now, or at least it was yesterday in the morning and i am not a winter person at all, i freeze under 60 and prefer temps in the 90s so i sure need something to keep me warm and the Vanilla Smash is a good drink. Its just my take on the Whiskey Smash, adding some warm fragrant and soothing vanilla in the mix.

Many recipes uses Bourbon but i found one in Jerry Thomas 1862 “How to Mix Drinks” that uses rye instead. This drink is very close to the Mint Julep and if you add some passionfruit syrup and grenadine you get the PortLight.

The Whiskey Smash from Jerry Thomas book is as follows:

WHISKEY SMASH

2 oz rye

2 tbslp simple syrup

1-2 dashes orange bitters

6 mint sprigs

3 lemon wedges

How to mix is the same as with the Vanilla Smash.

Usually i mostly drink rum but i also like whiskey…and in any case i like spirits that`s got natural flavor and personality.

The vanilla i´m using here is a homemade vanilla syrup made with Tahitian beans which i think are the best. I would also warmly recommend Trader Tiki`s vanilla syrup which is outstanding and would do the job just as well.

VANILLA SMASH

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2 oz rye whiskey

2 lemon wedges

6-8 large mint leaves

0.5 oz vanilla syrup (mine is made with Tahitian beans and light muscovado sugar)

1 vanilla bean for garnish

In a shaker, muddle the lemon wedges to get the essential oils into the drink along with the fresh juice, then add the mint and lightly bruise the leaves but not too hard to avoid bitterness. Add rye and vanilla syrup  Shake vigoriosly  with ice and strain into a rocks glass with ice chunks. Garnish with a vanilla bean.

There´s something i particularly like with this cocktail..the fragrance of the lightly bruised mint that blends so well with the fresh lemon and warm vanilla scent is heavenly..

The flavor is ridiculously tasty, i think i have a winner here! one of those that i will keep in rotation.

Try it! Enjoy!

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Freshly made vanilla syrup with light muscovado sugar.

THE GREEN MAGIC POTION AND A CHARTREUSE DELIGHT

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Green chartreuse is really something – its the elixir of pure pleasure! a little of it and its like magic drops transforms an average drink into a potion of dreams..

This magic potion made by the Carthusian Monks since the 1740s and composed of distilled alcohol aged with 130 herbal extracts can really make you smile..

This fantastic liqueur is named after the Monks’ Grande Chartreuse monastery, which is located in the Chartreuse mountains in the general region of Grenoble in France and is one of the few liqueurs that improves with age in the bottle.

A tasty blend of aged cachaca, fresh lime, acacia honey-mix, sugar cane syrup and green chartreuse…shaken with cracked ice and what do you get? well – its a hybrid of the Pineapple Delight and the Chartreuse Swizzle..and it`s one heck of a refreshing cocktail.

In the Mixohouse in New Orleans this summer, we served green chartreuse swizzles in flower vases with a bunch of straws so everybody could get their sip of the magic potion. This drink is actually addictive – in a good way.

It blends especially well with dark rum, JWray, aged rhum agricole or aged cachaca (haven´t tried tequila yet..) pineapple and mint. Also a splash of the raw cocoa flavored chocolate spirit Mozart Dry makes wonders in it.

The Pineapple Delight has the rhum agricole, JWray and honey-cream-mix and the Chartreuse Swizzle the green chartreuse, falernum, and rum..both has pineapple and lime – and now we have a mix of the two with aged cachaca as the base spirit and where the green chartreuse act as a float.

I shall confess that i could drink bucket loads of this if only my body could cope with that. But of course that won´t work so i settle with two this time. After all the chartreuse is a strong potion.

CHARTREUSE DELIGHT

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1.5 oz premium aged cachaca ( i used Abelha Gold and then Rainhas Das Gerais)
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 barspoon acacia honey-mix (equal parts honey and water heated to dissolve and then cooled to room temp)
0.25 – 0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne)
Float green chartreuse (enough to taste the herbal flavor but i like a generous float)
1 oz pineapple juice
Crushed ice
Mint for garnish

Shake with cracked ice and strain into a highball filled with crushed ice and garnisih with mint. Float green chartreuse.

Whatever cachaca you may use – I have noticed that the choice of cachaca in this drink is of utmost importance. Premium aged cachaca – nothing else will do.

Also – you may try this with a GOOD aged rhum agricole – like Clemént VSOP

If you use Rainhas (i believe this may be for some of the cocktail bloggers) you´ll notice that after the herbal flavor of the chartreuse, there´s a very pleasant buttery aftertaste. Otherwise i think Abelha Gold is a good aged cachaca.

Sip and enjoy!

CANAL STREET DAISY

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A little bit of sour, a little bit of sweet,  a little bit of strong and finally some weak..and no, its not a Planter`s Punch i`m making – its a Canal Street Daisy!

It takes its name from the famous Canal street which was made in the colonial era and divided the downriver older French/Spanish quarter and the newer upper American part of the city.The street was built where New Orleans was supposed to get a canal to be the dividing line.The canal was never made and so instead the Canal street street was constructed.

The wide median earmarked for the canal was referred to by early inhabitants as the “neutral ground”, due to the animosities amongst culturally distant residents on separate sides of the avenue. The term is still used in NO to refer to all street medians.

It´s a wide street and here`s where they meet – New Orleans historical streetcars. I like Canal street and since i`ve never yet had any Canal Street Daisy i wanted to try it out and see if i liked it too. I found the drink in my book “Famous New Orleans Cocktails and how to mix`em” by Stanley Clisby Arthur. It was first written in 1937.

This drink does in older recipes contain orange juice but in this book it doesn´t – instead grenadine is used and this is the version i`m making so now i get a chance to try my new hibiscus grenadine as well.

A beautiful street to give name to a beautiful drink –  much due to the bright red grenadine.

A Daisy is basically a sour (citrus, sweetener and spirit). with some soda added and it should be very cold. Garnished with seasonal fruits and mint. A number of base spirits may be used and then shaved or cracked or crushed ice. And then finally it should be served in either a cocktail glass, pewter mug, Julep cup, large goblet or highball.

So i decided to mix two drinks and here´s the recipe from the book:

CANAL STREET DAISY

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0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
2 dashes grenadine syrup (you may add a little more, use homemade hibiscus grenadine)
1.5 oz rye whiskey
Top up with a little soda

Garnish with seasonal fruits and mint.

Swizzle in a julep cup or highball until frosty, then top with soda and garnish.

Its a very refreshing cocktail and should be served ice cold! i like the homemade hibiscus grenadine in it, it adds an extra tropical tang to the drink that is very refreshing. And homegrown fresh mint as garnish is not wrong either..

I like this cocktail!

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Canal Street