TWO COCKTAILS FOR NEW YEAR

Already 2011 very soon..time flies i must say. I`m happy for that cuz that means that the next summer is approaching..and since i`m no winter person the faster the better!

Here`s two cocktails – both with rum…what else? The first with Campari, lime and my newly made batch of hibiscus grenadine. The second with rhum agricole, Smith & Cross (or Pusser`s) and grilled pineapple-honey syrup.

I think rum and Campari goes very well together so look out for an upcoming post on that topic. This cocktail is simple but tasty:

CRIMSON KISS

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1.5 oz white Rum

1 oz Campari

0.5 oz Hibiscus grenadine

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.25 oz simple syrup

1 egg white

Shake ingredients vigorously so that the egg white mixes well into it, a good idea is to dry shake first without ice and then add ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime slice or a lime leaf.

How to male Hibiscus syrup you can read about here or order it from Trader Tiki.

The next is a tiki drink.

Here`s a mix of aged rhum agricole, Smith & Cross (or Pusser`s is good too) grilled pineapple-honey syrup, fresh lime and topped with some champagne. Its light and fresh with that grassy agricole flavor clearly coming throuh which is what this cocktail is supposed to do.

HALA KAHIKI

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1 oz aged rhum agricole (i used Clèment VSOP)

1 oz Smith & Cross (or Pusser`s )

0.5 oz grilled pineapple-honey syrup

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

Top with a little champage of a drier type (brut)

Float overproof Coruba

Shake everything except the champagne…then strain and pour into a glass and top with the champage, and last give a little float of overproof Coruba.

I guess a float of JWray would be good too! Garnish with a pineapple slice.

GRILLED PINEAPPLE-HONEY SYRUP

Grill a pineapple round until you get grill marks and cool, then cut in 4 parts . Then make a simple syrup with golden raw sugar and water 2:1 and add the pineapple pieces and let boil for a while to get the flavors in. The add a little liquid honey and mix well, and take off the stove and cool to room temp. Let the flavors settle for a while.

I was tempted to use coffee liqueur in this drink but since i wanted the agricole flavors to come through clean i didn`t. But i`m tempted to play with this cocktail and try the coffee sometimes and also Mozart Dry chocolate spirit and green Chartreuse.

Have a fantastic New Year!

DEAR CAMPARI

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The content in my glass is glistening like red rubies and i get thirsty by just looking at it. I know too well how completely satisfying a glass of Campari can be – on the rocks, with soda or orange juice.

From the land of bitter aperitifs and digestifs – Italy – we are blessed with a whole range of bitter aperifs and digestifs such as Campari, Aperol, Cynar, Ramazotti and Fernet Branca to name a few. These are all good for our digestion and has medical properties as well as wonderful flavors even though to many it`s an aquired taste. But give them a chance – you might get hooked.

These has been my companions for many years and my first accuintance with Campari was in right there in Italy where i had my first glass sitting at a restaurant in Napoli after we had a wonderful day in the beautiful island of Capri. My memories of that first glass are so (bitter) sweet.

I shall never forget the first chocking sip and then the next eventually leading to a long life love relationship with this wonderful apertif. Unusually maybe, i didn`t dislike it at all and came to love it very fast. Some people are just “bitter” types..

Italy is also the place where i also made my first experiences with vermouth, and therefore vermouth is to me also connected with that special atmosphere of Italy as well – which is a mèlange of tranquility and chaos – the lazy afternoon in the cooler shadows, the hot sun, the food, the fragrances…the chaotic traffic and the blue mediterranian sea.

Few things are to me so pleasant as a glass of Campari before a good meal and especially if that dinner was a pasta dinner with something like say – a lobster sauce. The typical and also the most tasty way to drink these bitter aperitifs and digestives is to keep it simple and enjoy them neat with ice and a slice of orange or lemon.

But they are also wonderful mixers for cocktails and there´s no limit to what you can do with them, especially Campari and Aperol are well suited for mixing. So my favorite above all – the Campari is what i used here for this post which really, is about playing with Campari.

And with it the very common but proved combination of fresh blood orange juice, (they just go hand in hand) – its hard to fail. I was going to stop there because nothing more is needed – but just for the heck of it i decided to rinse the glass with absinthe and for freshness, a sprinkle of lime juice and then something for the nose – fresh mint wrapped in lime peel.

This cocktail celebrates my sunny memories of Capri.

CAPRI

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2 oz Campari
2 oz fresh blood orange juice
sprinkle of lime
Absinthe rinse

Fill a rocks glass half full with large ice cubes, pour the ingredients and stir, add more ice and garnish with mint wrapped in lime peel and a slice of blood orange.

I discovered that the Campari almost overpowers the Absinthe – but its there even though quite subtle, so if you want more, just add a few extra drops.To me it was ok though as the emphasis is on the Campari, the Absinthe is just there to add a little subtle tingle, something i think Absinthe is very good for.

Another classic Campari drink that never a fails is the Campari and Soda, just a splash of each, ice  and lemon or orange wedge in the glass..unbeatable! Here is another take on this refreshing drink that uses fresh mint and crushed ice.

CAMPARI AND SODA WITH MINT

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Take 10 mint leaves and muddle with 1/4 oz simple syrup, add 2 oz campari and stir with ice to mix, then strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice and top up with Soda. Add a sprinkle of fresh lime and garnish with mint and a lime wedge.

Unfortunately the old Campari (the one with cochineal) is no more produced and what is available here is the new one. Even if the flavour difference maybe isn´t that dramatical its still there – very subtle but there`s a difference. R.I.P Old Campari.

I think they also have made some new artsy labels for Campari, making it more classy and modern in style – which i don`t particularly like, i like it the old style – not too fancy but more down to earth genuine, the way it always been.

Campari is one of my absolute favorite spirits. please don`t destroy it.

TIKI DRINK NOSTALGIA

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To me there will always be something very special with Tiki drinks, they are so much more than beautiful to look at and so bloody tasty! – and a pain in the ass to make sometimes, especially if you need to make many but if you just hang on and go through with them you are greatly rewarded.

Actually the Tiki drinks doesn`t just deliver great flavours to you, often in a layered fashion allowing you to discover new flavours one after another, they also impart a feeling, a sense of “mystery” and of course the inevitable escape to far away Pacific islands which at least i need, now in these gloomy days which turns darker for each day.

The hunting down of obscure ingredients can sometimes be another problem, which can be solved by making things yourself or sub ingredients with the closest you may have at hand and making flavored syrups, pimento dram, falernum or orgeat is easier than most people think. Good recipes are also easy to find on the many cocktail blogs.

When i started this blog a year and half ago i made only Tiki drinks at the time – which has changed to be all kinds of drinks. While browsing around my old tiki drink pictures i felt i wanted to visit them again and make a few of the old ones.

Here`s a range of  drinks i made in my early blogging-days and a new twist of the Jungle Bird with demerara rum which was very tasty. In the Sumatra Kula i have added an extra oz of white agricole to spice it up a bit. I first made it with 1.5 oz white rum as it is in the original recipe  but i found it a bit tame and i think it needed that extra splash of agricole to really  come to life.

So if you grab your shakers let`s start with the “Kulas” – if anyone knows why some Tiki drinks has that kula in the name please let me know, i`m curious about it. This is supposed to be one of the first drinks served by Don the Beachcomber at his bar in Hollywood, circa 1934. But if you wanna be really genuine omit the rhum agricole.

SUMATRA KULA (From Sippin Safari)

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0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz grapefruit juice
0.5 oz orange juice
0.5 oz honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, warm up to mix, let cool and bottle, keeps in the fridge for about a week)
1.5 oz light rum
1 oz rhum agricole blanc
3 oz crushed ice

Put everything in blender, saving ice for last, blend at high speed for no more than 5 sek. Pour into a pilsner glass, add crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a mint sprig. (which i didn´t –  i used pineapple leaves.)

CUBA KULA From Sippin`Safari

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This drink is from the personal notebook of Ray Buhen dated 1935.

And this is another drink i made an ice mold with, i think chimney glasses are very good for these kinds of molds where the ice is supposed to raise itself up from the glass. You make these by placing preferably shaved ice in a pilsner glass in the freezer overnight, just make sure the mold is a bit thinner than the glass you`re gonna serve the drink in and that there`s space for the straw.

2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz honey
1 oz orange juice
1 oz dark rum, the recipe calls for Myers but i used Coruba12
1 oz Lemon Hart demerara
1/2 oz Bacardi 151
Dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Herbsaint or Pernod

Dissolve the honey in the limejuice and then place it all in a shaker and shake with plenty of ice.

GUATEMALA COOLER From Sippin`Safari

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I used different rums in this one as i don`t have the rums called for, so instead of a gold Puerto Rican i used my Jamaican Lemon Hart and then i used Appleton VX. I didn`t use an old fashioned glass with ice cubes either, i used a small pilsner type of glass and made an ice mold where you raise the ice up on the sides by pushing it down in the middle, finally i placed a shy orchid in the middle of the ice.

0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz Lopez coconut cream
1 oz gold Puerto Rican rum
¾ oz gold Jamaican rum
6 oz crushed ice

Put everything in blender, saving ice for last, blend at high speed for 10 sek and pour into a double old fashioned, add ice cubes to fill.

GUYANA BIRD

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This is a twist on the Jungle Bird which is one of my favorite Tiki drinks. I replaced the dark rum with demerara rum and also added a float of overproof demerara and some fresh orange juice,  it turned out really tasty. My friend thought it was too strong which allowed me to have the whole awesomeness for myself;-)

This is a drink that like the Mai Tai let the spirits shine and its that kind of tiki drinks i have found out that i prefer. The 1934  Zombie Punch is another example of such a drink, strong but well balanced.

0.75 oz campari
0.5 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz simple syrup
2 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz demerara rum
1 oz overproof demerara rum to float

Shake and pour into a highball filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime rose.

SPINDRIFT

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Here`s an old favorite, i really like this drink, its strong and fullbodied with a perfect balance of flavours.

3 oz orange juice
2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz passionfruit syrup
¾ oz simple syrup
0.5 t vanilla extract
2 oz dark Jamaican rum
1.5 oz demerara rum
1 oz light Puerto Rican rum

Blend with 2.5 cups srushed ice and pour into a large snifter.

I always come back to the tiki drinks, no matter how long i`ve been away to mix other kinds of drinks – i always return because these drinks are a part of me they`re in my blood.

How do you like tiki drinks? and what about all the mess with mixing them? is it worth the effort or not?

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CHOCOLATE SPIRIT ON MY PALATE – MOZART DRY

mozart-dry

The first thought that comes to mind when tasting this chocolate spirit is that of a very fine chocolate, in fact i`m transported back to childhood, to those x-mas dinners where the best chocolate was served and as soon as you opened the box the fragrance teased you with tempting promises.

Its that same fragrance hitting me now – its just that i`m not holding a chocolate-box in front of me but a bottle. The nose is exquisite.

Mozart Dry is made by Mozart Distillerie who has since the year 1954 produced Austrian spirits in Salzburg (where Mozart was born) and has specialized in chocolate spirits for the past 30 years. The products are made with cocoa macerate – made of two types of Forastero and Trinitario cocoa that is specially produced for the Mozart Distillerie.

This blend of fine cocoa beans is mixed with high-proof alcohol and then stored for 2 months in barrels and during this time the cocoa becomes completely sedimented and the end result is a clear cocoa-macerate which finally is skimmed.

There`s a different stage in the production of this spirit that is unlike any other i`ve ever heard of: The content of each bottle of Mozart spirit is soundmilled for 24 hours with Mozart’s music during the final storage before bottling..

This is because there´s a belief – and scientific research has actually been done by a Japanese scientist M. Emoto – that liquids are able to store information. And therefore special loudspeakers are actually fixed at the large stainless steel tanks so that the contents of the tanks is thoroughly exposed to the musical vibrations of Mozart´s music! – believe it or not, marketing thing or not, the end result is in any case fantastic.

If you want to read more in detail about the sound milling of this spirit you may continue here.

The Mozart Distillerie has before this latest clear liqueur also made Mozart Black, White, Gold and Amadé ChocOrange.

Mozart clear chocolate spirit is made by all natural ingredients and is as the name says quite on the dry side, very pleasant with a hint of bitterness. Its strongly chocolate flavoured – but it`s not the common milk-chocolate, this is raw bitter dark real cocoa.

There are basically three different types of chocolate liqueurs:

1. Original chocolate liqueurs – these are produced with genuine chocolate.
2. Chocolate flavoured cream liqueurs – using natural or artificial aromas that are added to cream liqueurs.
3. Cocoa extract liqueurs – These are traditionally produced in France and are called “Crème de Cacao” even though they do not contain any cream.The word ”Créme” in this case only signifies a high sugar content.

What Mozart distillerie is actually doing is distilling chocolate..and thus its not a liqueur but a chocolate spirit.

In the recipe book i received there´s a drink that picked my interest, it’s a take on the Negroni, one of my favorite cocktails and of course i had to try it.

TABULA RASA (Created by Klaus St Rainer – Schumann`s bar)

tabula-rasa

30 ml Mozart Dry
20 ml Campari
20 ml Carpano Antica Formula

Build in glass and garnish with an orange zest.

As i don`t have the Antica Formula it`s of course not sold here, i had to use my Martini Rosso instead. Not the same thing but as the Rosso is commonly used in negronis its my best bet.

After trying this chocolate Negroni all i can say is that its bloody tasty and i strongly believe that a great part of why its so tasty is that this spirit is dry and just a bit bittersweet and made with this real high quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content.

This is more like a xocolatl Negroni – think dark, raw, bitter, dry and crisp with just a hint of sweetness and well, i could easily imbibe more than one. Dipping the nose into the glass when its finished is even that a pleasure, the aromas of orange peel, exquisite dark chocolate and campari is making me dizzy.

Mozart Dry is a win. Not sure about the price though, with these kind of high quality real ingredients and made the way its made with music and all it cannot be that cheap. One thing for sure, this one is staying in my bar as a staple.

MxMo XLIII: VERMOUTH

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Vermouth is the topic of this Mixology Monday – a topic that to me brings back many sweet memories from my early travels in my teens, especially it means Italy to me, not only was i introduced to Campari there but also to Vermouth namely Cinzano and Martini.

We used to drink them neat with ice, maybe a sprinkle of lemon in the lazy hot afternoon. When i drink a sweet vermouth with ice  i`m immediately transported to those memories and can mentally almost feel the warm sunny floor on the terrace of a small apartment in Napoli. It was not until many years later i learnt to use Vermouth as a component in cocktails.

Cocktailians are the host for this MxMo and i`m happy for this topic, thanks Vidiot for hosting!

The drink i got in my mind to make already before i had thought so very much about what to mix was the much beloved Negroni, it pairs 3 ingredients i really like. But i didn`t want to make the common Negroni this time so i decided to experiment with another of my favorite spirits – mezcal – instead of gin.

Really if i could have chosen i would have wanted to try Carpano Antica Formula in this drink but its not sold here so instead i had the choice between Martini Rosso or Punt e Mes. Need i say that i would love to see Carpano sold here? its really a shame it isnt.

I chosed the Martini because i find it better for this drink, a bit more neutral than Punt e Mes. And like Carpano and Punt e Mes Martini Rosso its strong enough to stand up against both Campari and the smoky mezcal (i used Ilegal joven which is an excellent mezcal)

And because it was mezcal in this i also added a small sprinkle of fresh lime, i feel that`s what this drink wanted and instead of an orange peel garnish a lime wedge went into the glass. It turned out to be a good drink, i cannot say its better than the classic Negroni but its an interesting twist.

I wish Vermouth could be stored longer than it can, even in the fridge it starts loosing its flavour after some time and therefore i usually buy small bottles because despite that i really do like vermouth i don`t use it often enough and really i should use more of it. Its a lucky thing that they are not so pricey. When the flavour isn´t so fresh anymore i usually use up the rest in cooking, its good in different pasta sauces.

SIGNORA ROSSA

signora-rossa

1 oz Mezcal

1 oz Martini Rosso

1 oz Campari

Small sprinkle of fresh lime

Stir with ice, serve in old fashioned glass, garnish with a piece of lime.

Happy Monday everone!

Sugarcane bar

 

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MxMo XXXVIII – SUPERIOR TWISTS

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Oh how fast time flies, its time again for yet another Mixology Monday, and this time its hosted by the Wild Drink Blog.Thank you for hosting! I really like this topic, its really fun to try to make a twist of a classic cocktail thus giving the opportunity to play with ingredients and flavors. The good thing is that you also develop your palate and sense of flavors during the process of both failing and succeeding. Its a good thing i have a lot to learn which means i have a lot of cocktail mixing ahead!

Tristan also wants to know which is the favorite song to dance the twist to, so i got to say Do the twist with Fat Boys and the original with Chubby Checker.

After going through some of my books, finally my eyes fell on the Saratoga cocktail. I have seen a few different recipes out there but i choose to use the recipe from Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide which is this:

SARATOGA COCKTAIL

(Use small bar-glass.)

Take 2 dashes Angostura bitters.
1 pony of brandy.
1 pony of whiskey.
1 pony of vermouth.

Shake up well with two small lumps of ice ; strain into a claret glass, and serve with a quarter of a slice of lemon.

Now my twist on this ended up being a totally different drink, no surprise, substituting whiskey with bourbon, brandy with Metaxa and vermoth with Campari. Then adding a few new ingredients: honeymix, lime and Creme de Cassis.

LADY IN RED

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1 oz Bourbon
1 oz Metaxa 5*
1 oz Campari
Sprinkle of fresh lime
0.5 oz honeymix
Dash Creme de Cassis for deeper color

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, serve up.If you like, top with a splash of Club Soda. Garnish a pineapple leaf.

First i thought of using rye but then i realized i didn´t have any so i picked my Bulleit instead. The Angostura bitters and brandy were subbed with Campari and Metaxa and for some zing, a sprinkle of fresh lime. I didn`t find the color deep red enough so i added a splash of Creme de Cassis to deepen it. The drink was tasty, and i think Metaxa, Bourbon and Campari goes quite well together.

So while i`m at it with the bourbon, next up is the Whisky Daisy. Now for the fun of it i want a total change! I figured the Whisky Daisy had to be transformed to something with a bitter edge as well and my mind inevitably went back to my very much beloved Campari.

Then my thoughts went further to the little bottle of Bob´s vanilla bitters on my shelf and which i like very much.Vanilla and Campari? nothing i`ve tried before so why not? even though i was wondering if the Campari wouldn`t overpower the vanilla flavor i just had to try it still, after all – making a twist is all about experimenting with flavors and  if it doesn´t turn out tasty, well then at worst the drink has to be zinked and you have learnt something on the way.

There are many recipes for this drink and here is the one from Jerry Thomas again, How to Mix Drinks (1887)

Whisky Daisy

Take 3 dashes gum syrup.
2 dashes Orgeat syrup.
The juice of half a small lemon.
1 wine-glass of Bourbon, or rye whiskey.

Fill glass one-third full of shaved ice. Shake well, strain into a large cocktail glass, and fill up with Seltzer or Apollinaris water.

BITTER VANILLA

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2 oz Bourbon
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz vanilla-gomme syrup
1 barspoon grenadine
0.5 oz Campari
3-4 good dashes Bob`s vanilla bitters (or other bitters)
Crushed ice
Garnish lemon wedge speared on a vanilla bean

I first used 1 oz lemon juice but found it a tad sour so in my 2nd drink i reduced it to 0.5 oz. The 0.5 oz vanilla-gomme syrup plus a barspoon grenadine makes it sweeter. Then instead of ice cubes i used crushed ice and the addition of Campari plus vanilla bitters added a pronounced and a pleasant bitterness. The vanilla flavour was lingering subtly in the background.

VANILLA-GOMME SYRUP

I simply did split a vanilla bean and simmered it with my already made gomme syrup and then let cool.

If these are superior twists? heh.. but still tasty!

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