FUNKY HURRICANE

A real Hurricane Cocktail made with natural ingredients and not the chemical mix is a divine thing to the palate as we all know and have also written about. And so one day i got the chance to come up with a twist of this drink which will have to serve as an appetizer before the christmas holiday drinks that are on the way.

FUNKY HURRICANE

funky-hurricane

3 oz Smith & Cross
1 oz orange juice
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup passion fruit juice, or 1 tablespoon passion fruit syrup
1 oz simple syrup
1 teaspoon hibiscus grenadine
Stemmed black cherries, lime slice and fresh mint to garnish
Cracked or crushed ice.

Half fill a Hurricane or tall glass with crushed or cracked ice. Shake all ingredients and pour unstrained into the glass. Fill up with more ice if needed and garnish with a lime slice, fresh mint and stemmed black cherries.

Enjoy!

That`s all folks, probably the shortest blog post ever from me..but like i said, its an appetizer.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!

2010-new-year-tiki-drinks

Happy 2010 folks!

Here are three New Year tiki drinks to imbibe at the end of this year (and thereafter) Thanks for reading my blog and commenting on my posts which helps keeping the blog alive.

I`m happy to now be on the right side of the year soon – now we move towards spring and summer again even though very slowly..so here its not going to get any darker but slowly lighter, but i won`t see any change until beginning of march. For the moment it gets dark around 3pm.

I hope to mix many many drinks in the year to come..

DRUNKEN MOAI

A handful fresh pineapple chunks
Dash cinnamon powder
1t liquid honey
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz aged cachaca
A little champagne to top
Garnish hibiscus sugar rim, pineapple leaves and slice.

Crush dried hibiscus flowers into a fine powder and mix with a golden fine sugar. Rim a tall glass and fill up halfway with crushed ice – carefully to not ruin the rim, Muddle pineapple, cinnamon, honey and lime in a shaker, add cachaca and ice and shake well.

Double strain into the glass, fill up with some more crushed ice and top with a little bit of champagne.

NEHE NEHE

2 oz rhum agricole blanc
0.5 oz golden raw sugar syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
Dash Angostura bitters
Small dash hibiscus grenadine
Garnish golden sugar rim and citrus leaves

Rim the glass with golden fine sugar and fill up halfway with crushed ice – carefully to not ruin the rim,.Shake ingredients and strain into the glass and add more crushed ice to fill  Garnish with a few citrus leaves.

THE RISING SUN

2 oz El Dorado 3 year old cask aged rum
¼ oz Mozart Dry
1 oz pineapple juice
A little champagne to top
Garnish cocoa rim and mint

Rim the glass with cocoa powder, fill up with crushed ice. Shake ingredients except the champagne and strain into the glass. Carefully add more crushed ice to fill and top with a little champagne.

Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Happy New Year and Okole Maluna!

Sugarcane bar

 

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Let`s make some lovely Tahitian vanilla bean syrup

vanilla

Have anyone who knows me missed that i love vanilla? I use it all the time and i even grow 4 varietes of vanilla orchids but not to try to get any beans of course, i just find those climbing plants lovely and exotic also without flowers.

Vanilla is apart from a flavour and aroma booster both a beautiful and fun garnish, i mean really.. just look at this. I have more than once received the question how to make a good vanilla syrup, and so i decided to write about it, its really simple. First – there are different vanillas and they taste differently. The most common is the bourbon or Madagascar vanilla.It’s a nice vanilla – with that lingering warm – inviting and exotic flavor typical for the vanilla bean after its cured.

The Tahitian vanilla bean is a different variety and is highly prized among chefs for its unique lovely floral character, probably developed over many years in the rich volcanic soil in the Tahitian islands. Its believed that the Tahitian vanilla – vanilla tahitensis has evolved from the original vanilla planifolia and developed into its own species with its own flavor and character. The beans are fatter, shorter, more plump and oily than other vanilla varietes and the fragrance and flavor is really special. This is the vanilla of choice also for me. Its usually not cheap, not if grown on Tahaa also known as the vanilla island in French Polynesia.

But the species vanilla tahitensis as its called is also grown on Papua New Guinea and those grown there are less costly but they are also very flavorful with the typical character of the Tahitian vanilla bean. Still these cannot exactly compare to those from Tahaa even though very good. The difference isn´t that big though but its the soil creating a slight difference and nuance in aroma and its also about the feel. It was a while ago that I had beans straight from French Polynesia, after that I`ve had those from Papua but these are certainly not bad at all. So when i make my vanilla syrups i use the Tahitian vanilla bean almost all the time, but why not mix the two sometimes? Or even adding a third, the Mexican bean? Which is also regarded in flavor to be close to the bourbon vanilla.

I always let my syrups boil for about 2 mins and then simmer for a while before finally being taken off to cool. I prefer the boiled syrup for two reasons – one is that the 2 minute boiling helps to prevent molding, and second -–a boiled syrup has a thicker more viscous and rich mouthfeel than syrup made with the cold method (shaking the sugar and water in a jar until it disolves) At least that`s my own experience.

To make the vanilla syrup here`s what to do:

vanilla-syrup

 

Take 2-3 beans and split them lengthwise and scrape out all those wonderful tiny little black dots – the seeds. Add to a pan 2.1 or 1.1 sugar to water and add the beans and seeds. Choose a good sugar, like a finely textured light or dark raw cane sugar. Heat up and slightly boil for about a minute, then let simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes and stir sometimes.

A little trick i`m frequently using for a tasty syrup when using a light sugar is to add a pinch of light muscovado – that adds a deeper flavor. Take off the heat and cool. The longer you leave it to cool and steep the more vanilla flavor you`ll get. Then strain and pour in clean bottles. I sometimes leave the beans in the bottles as well. So what are you waiting for? Get working on the stove and before you know it you`ll have a wonderful vanilla syrup  – vanilla syrup really enhances the flavor in many cocktails.

MARTIN MILLER`S GIN & SPONSORED TDN

martin-miller

When i first tasted Martin Miller´s gin i found it had a special flavor and i really like it, it has a smooth and a bit earthy-bitter juniper flavour paired with an overall pleasant spicinress and slightly bright citrus and herbal flavours in between.

There´s one thing i specifically like with good gins and its that you can make such refreshing cocktails as gin contains both fruity, citrusy, earthy and spicy elements.

Actually gin is flavored alcohol – but it isn`t that simple.The alchol must be re-distilled and made from grains of the highest quality, there´s a lot of herbs, spices, roots and citrus peels involved which are picked from all over the globe and individually treated. All done by recipes kept secret to only a few of the makers.

And then you have the distillation which is a whole process of its own.Martin Miller`s gin is distilled by a single pot still (as opposed to most gin`s using three pots) using only the heart of the distillate, discarding the rest which isn`t re-distilled.This single pot still which seems to make the flavours more concentrated is called Angela and was made in 1904.

This is the gin that uses pure soft glacier water from Iceland because this water is said to be cleaner, softer and full of life force. I find that pretty amazing that they actually ship the gin all the way to Iceland! There its blended with more neutral spirit and glacier water, then its shipped away again.

There´s no doubt that this is very soft and i wouldn`t mind trying that glacier water sometimes just to see how it tastes by itself, i just don´t know how a bottle of pure glacier water from island would reach me unless i go there myself.

As for steeping the herbs and spices the old traditional methods are used where the botanicals are steeped overnight in spirit and hot water and this gentle maceration is what is needed to create a premium gin.The dried citrus peels are also separately distilled in order to achieve a brighter citrus flavour.

The dried bitter seville orange rind is the most important botanical after juniper in gin making and personally i love the bright seville orange flavour – it has such a refreshing aromatic aroma, and my homemade seville orange syrup always goes fast.In Martin Miller`s gin lemon and lime rinds are also used.

These are the botanicals used as far as i know, surely there are some secrets too:

Juniper, seville orange, lime, lemon, coriander, angelica, liqorice root, cassia bark and to bind it all together and impart a floral aromatic flavour – Florentine iris.

I try sometimes to make just one cocktail in my posts but mostly it doesn´t work, and that is simply because i enjoy making them so much! So here are four, at least its not ten! three of them was submitted to the TDN. Unfortunately they are all quite similar, that is because i like the light and fresh style of drinks with gin, like gin&tonic.

GRAIN OF PARADISE  G&T (GOP)

martin-miller-gop-gt

1.5 oz Martin Miller`s gin
0.5 oz GOP syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
Top with a good quality tonic water

Build in glass over ice and garnish with lime wedge or if you can find it – Grain of Paradise leaves.

This is a very fresh G&T with a slight peppery note, the flavor of Martin Miller´s gin shines through just perfectly – serve it with the glass loaded with large ice cubes!  This is for the moment my favorite cocktail.

GRAIN OF PARADISE  SYRUP

Make a simple syrup using 1:1 water and raw sugar, add a handful lightly toasted grains of paradise seeds and boil lightly for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes, cool and strain into a clean bottle.

The grains of paradise seeds adds a slight earthy hot peppery aromatic flavour.The plant is related to cardamom and surely looks very similar but with thinner leaves, also reminding very much of the ginger plant. Its also called Guinea pepper or Melegueta pepper.

GOP`s are found (at least here) in speciality stores and by health or herbal medecine suppliers.To substitute GOP you may use a mixture of pepper and a little ginger.

GIN CHILI

gin-chili

2oz Martin Miller`s gin
Juice of ½ lime
piece of red chili
0.5oz simple syrup
1 stalk fresh mint
Tonic.

Muddle chili, lime, mint and simple. Add gin, shake and strain and pour into ice filled glass.Top with tonic.Garnish one large red chili and mint or other green leaf.

MARTIN MILLER´S SPONSORED TDN

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As a grand finale after much gin in the mixoloseum chat room we were sponsored by Martin Miller´s gin this last thursday and there were many drinks parading. Part of the crew were doing TDN live from Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco.

This was the announcement:

TDN – Martin Miller’s Gin  Thursday Drink Night has had a love affair with gin lately, and I’m pleased to say it’s ending on a sultry note. Martin Miller’s gin is like the triple cream offering on the cheeseboard. You save that last cracker and dot of kumquat-vanilla jam for the final remaining sliver of goopy heaven.

This week, Martin Miller’s gin is that morsel of yum. Join us on TDN  where we’ll be mixing an endless onslaught of original ginny libations.  A contingent of freaky mixologists will be live at Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco, mixing up MM potions live.

There will be a webcam and Camper in the same location. Saying more would be pointless.

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As far as i could see from the webcam Bourbon and Branch is a real interesting and nice looking place.

It has an intersting history taking you back to the era of Prohibition when the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverage was outlawed.Its  an actual speakeasy that operated illegally at this location from 1921 to 1933. During prohibition it was a “cigar shop” – The JJ Russell Cigar Shop –  and operated from 1923-1935 during the height of prohibition at the very same address that today is Bourbon & Branch.

This speakeasy featured five secret exit tunnels which are still there today and the exit tunnels allowed for a quick underground getaway from the basement speakeasy.The most obscure was specifically made for the ladies exit leading a safe passage a whole block away.The speakeasy actually managed to escape the the governments prohibition agents attention for the remainding time of the prohibition.

I find this fascinating, hope to be able to visit some day.

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Its really fun to see your own and the other drinks being mixed up live and commented on in addition to the global mixing in the chat room that is TDN.

The prize for the best cocktail of the evening will be voted by a poll at mixoloseum blog and the winner will receive a bottle of Bitter Truth orange bitters courtesy of Mud Puddle Books.

Usually its about 30 cocktails per night that is made when its TDN and of course you cannot try them all, but of all the drinks that were submitted, here are a few of mine plus one whimsical late-night volcano fire drink and one tasty cocktail from cocktailnerd. Many thanks to the bartender Jon Santer for mixing up our drinks at Bourbon & Branch. He was one of the bartenders who was there when B&B opened.

All the drink recipes can be seen at http://twitter.com/mixoloseum

MEDITERRANIAN SUN

mediterranian-sun-21

2  oz Martin Miller´s Gin
0.5 oz seville orange syrup
1 oz Aperol
Bitter lemon soda to top

Shake all ingredients except the soda, strain and pour into a hiball filled with large chunky ice. Garnish with a orange slice and fresh mint (also in the glass)

Very similar to the GOP but with a slighly orangey-bitter flavor of both the seville syrup and Aperol instead.

DANCING ELF

dancing-elf-23

2 oz Martin Miller´s gin
0.5 oz simple syrup
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1-2 thin slices fresh ginger
Dash Bob`s cardamom bitters (or muddle a few green cardamoms with the ginger and syrup)
Prosecco to top

Muddle ginger and simple syrup in shaker. Add gin and grapefruit juice, shake hard and strain into a highball and garnish with a ginger slice or cardamom leaf.

VOLCANO QUEEN  (by Tiare and Rick)

volcano-queeen

1 oz Martin Miller´s  gin
1 oz rhum agricole blanc
0.5 ox fresh lime
0.5 oz orgeat.

Top with bitter lemon soda or other soda. Float Jwray. Garnish: Pour Jwray in a passionfruit shell, set alight and dust cinnamon on top to get those flames alive and sparkling.

This is an example of the kind of drinks that are most spontaniously invented on the spot during the late TDN hours.

And here is a original concoction from no other than Cocktailnerd – the  King of Word Replacements in the Mixoloseum chat room – the recipe calls for Creme de Framboise which i didn´t have, so i made mine with Creme de Cassis, it was also tasty but i`ll have to re-make it later as i want to mix it the way its supposed to.

LONDON BRIAR (By Cocktailnerd)

london-briar1

2oz Martin Miller’s Gin
0.5oz Creme de Framboise
0.5oz Lime Juice
0.25oz Maraschino liqueur
0.25oz green chartreuse

Shake togehter the whole thing and strain into a ice-filled glass. Enjoy!

Every week cocktail bloggers, bartenders, enthusiasts, experts, and novices get together for a virtual cocktail party mixing drinks in real time, tweaking, rearranging etc until the night is gone and well into the morning. Join us every thursday at the TDN!

http://blog.mixoloseum.com/

MIXOLOSEUM IS A CREATIVE PLACE!

prepping-for-the-tdn

BOLS GENEVER TDN

bols-genever

Picture by John Hearn – The Bastard´s Booze Blog.

Genever manages to taste like gin and whisky at the same time..Initially gin was very similar to genever, but over time it developed a distinctive style, eliminating malt wine. But the original juniper flavored spirit was genever – originating from Holland.

As always this TDN was fun and educational. Little did i know about the history and making of Bols Genever but that was soon changed when Tal Nadari started to educate us on the history of the making of genever and gin.

There are several recipes for genever but this specific recipe do not use any sugar. There`s Jonge jenever “Jonge” (young) jenever which has been in existence since the 1950`s – and there´s Oude (old) jenever, often spelt as genever, is jenever prepared according to an old recipe.] So “oude” refers to an old “style”, rather than the spirit having been aged.

The malt wine content in actual Jonge Jenevers out there in average is around 5% while oude jenever this is around 20%.The reason why the distillers made a less malt wine genever is that they had just survived two world wars and the supply of grains was low.

Genever (or “jenever”, as it is often spelled in Holland and Belgium, or “genièvre” as is common in France) may only be labeled as such and sold as such in the EU if it is made in Holland, Belgium, the departments 59 (Nord) and 62 (Pas-de-Calais) of France and the provinces Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen of Germany according to the European Union in EU declaration 110/2008.

Here´s how Bol´s Genever is made:

It starts with the malt-wine which is based on rye, wheat and corn.The whole grains are milled and treated with malt.The malt has to transfer the starch into fermentable sugars. After addition of the yeast it takes 5 days ( 5 x 24 hours) to finalize the fermentation.These 5 days are very important for the creation of all the critical taste components in the Bols maltwine. In a 3 step distillation( in copper stills) the alcohol percentage reaches 47% abv.

The maltwine needs a maturation period( the marriage time)of several weeks to balance the taste component.Only after this marriage time the maltwine is ready for blending in the final product.

The neutral grain spirit used in Bols Genever is base on wheat. After a 3 days fermentation and a distillation process in 6 copper columns ,the taste of this alcohol at 96% abv is very neutral.

Then the Juniperberry distillate is added. Bols Genever has a slightly juniperberry smell and taste.The juniperberries are soaked in maltwine and after some time distilled in copper pott-stills.

And  the mix of botanicals – as part of the taste profile there´s a mix of botanicals soaked in grain neutral spirit and after some time this mixture is distilled in copper pot- stills.

The final blend is adjusted to 42% abv by adding very neutral tasting de-mineralized water. A marriage time of several weeks is needed after blending to create the smooth, complex and well balanced taste of the 1820 recipe of Bols Genever.

And here are two drinks i fell in love with that night..

Craig Herman from Colonel Tiki created this concoction which i found extremely tasty and it also won the TDN:

G.V.D COCKTAIL

gvd-cocktail

2 oz Bols Genever
0.5 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz fresh lemon juioce
0.5 vanilla syrup
3 slices serrano or jalapeno peppers
Pineapple chunks
Angostura bitters – dash

Muddle pineapple & pepper with juices and add the rest of ingredients and shake, strain and serve up.

Garnish lemon twist ( well..i added a jalapeno and a pineapple wedge instead – bec i was too lazy to make a lemon twist….yes for real…it was TDN..)

Then Rick from KaiserPenguin came up with this one – equally tasty…and no joke..the JWray has power.

I like the name – Malt Gasolene = Genever + JWray

MALT GASOLENE

malt-gasolene

2 oz Bols Genever
1 oz Citadelle Reserve
0.5 oz simple syrup
Dash orange bitters
Swizzle and float JWray overproof

There were much more tasty concoctions made, you can sample them at http://twitter.com/mixoloseum

Every week cocktail bloggers, bartenders, enthusiasts, experts, and novices get together for a virtual cocktail party mixing drinks in real time, tweaking, rearranging etc until the night is gone and well into the morning. Join us every thursday at the TDN!

METAXA – MORE THAN A BRANDY

metaxa1

Hailing from Greece, this is truly a unique spirit – a blend of brandy and wine – produced from three varietes of grapes, Savatino, Sultanina and Black Corinth. These are blended with aged muscat wines from Samos and Lemnos. Then its aged for a minimum of 3 years before being flavored with a secret mix of herbs including rose leaves and distilled water. The mix is then allowed to marry for a least 6 months and is then chilled at -6C for 48 hrs and after that finally filtrered before bottled. The final product has a very complex and unique aromatic character that has aromas of pepper and roses, bay leaf, cinnamon and nutmeg, aromatic and spicy indeed and at the same time its very smooth.

Metaxa was invented by Spyros Metaxas in 1888, from the Attica region –  the province of Athens, and who wanted to make a drink that conqered the world and it has actually even survived the 2 world wars and was the first alcoholic drink consumed in space. Now its exported all over the world and is among the top 50 spirits brands in the world. So conquered the world his drink did indeed!

By just reading these taste descriptions before i tried it i could almost feel the spiciness and i wasn`t dissappointed. Its rich, smooth, warm, spicy and earthy with undertones of citrus and something i cannot put my finger on what it may be – but its very pleasant. I was also quite astonished to discover that some drinks brought out a hint of a sort of slight medical aftertaste while others didn`t. Its surely a very intriguing spirit and certainly this is more than a brandy, it sits somewhere between a brandy and a liqueur.

The one Metaxa i can find here i is the 5 star and as far as i understand from what i hear its quite different from the 7 star which everybody from the US used during the Metaxa TDN. The 5 star is a dark honey color, woody with a light fruit taste, aged in oak for 5 years. Its rich, smooth and mellow and as i described above. The 7 star is  even smoother as its aged longer and therefore i wonder if the 5 star isn`t a bit better suited for mixed cocktails. Its nice too on its own though with some ice.

There`s also the Private Reserve, which includes some very old distillations – roughly some 50 years old  and is said to have marvellous aromatic flavours of  cocoa, vanilla, wood, pepper and dried fruits. Fullbodied and meant to sip like you sip a fine cognac.

Further we have also the 12 year which contrary to the others do not contain any muscat wine and is more tasting like a whisky with a smoky flavour profile and with more burn. Dry, rich, but sharper than the rest, with perfumes balancing well with the fruit, wood and spices. There are also released a 15 year old “Grand Fine” and a few other exclusive anniversary bottlings such as Metaxa Centenary, Rhodes, Golden Reserve, Grand Olympian and Golden Age.

I myself wouldn`t mind laying my hands on a Metaxa Centenary Private Reserve which comes in a beautiful ceramic bottle shaped like a greek amphora and plaited with 18k gold.This bottle was launched for celebrating 100 years of success (1888-1988) and is now a unique collectors item. The content in this beautiful bottle is Metaxas oldest distillates.

metaxa-tdn

So the TDN was a always pretty crowded with all manner of cocktail related folks in the Mixoloseum chat room, and there were the SF crew too, all gathered in Erik`s house doing their best to wreck his homebar. The winning cocktail for this TDN will receive a Bitters Blueberry courtesy of Greg Boehm from Mud Puddle and it will also enter the Imbibe Ultimate Metaxa Cocktail Contest.

As always, there was an array of cocktails made and fun it was! (it always is) All the cocktail recipes you can find at twitter – Mixoloseum. Naturally Metaxa mixes very well with lemon but i also used lime in one of my recipes, it also goes well with honey.

Here are my drinks for the night:

ATTICA STAR

metaxa-attica-star

1.5 oz Metaxa
0.5 oz Tequila blanco
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz honeymix (1:1honey and water)
1:1 Sweppes lemon and Fevertree bitter lemon to top.

Shake, strain into chilled cocktail glass.Top with 1:1 Fevertree bitter lemon and  Schweppes lemon.Garnish lime twist.

This drink really was tasty and i was surprised as to how well Metaxa mixes with certain (or many) ingredients, this drink i had only one of during the evening as i had so many other tasty drinks  but i could have drunk buckloads of it. One of my rare lucks i guess, and it seems to me like Metaxa goes well with my preferred type of drinks (the fruity-spicy ones)

METAXA SMASH

metaxa-smash

1 oz Metaxa
1 oz Gin (Beefeater)
5-6 Thai sweet-basil leaves for the muddle and a bunch of sprigs for the garnish
0.5 oz honey-mix (1.1 honey and water)
Sprinkle of fresh lemon
Top with Ting or a grapefruit or lemon soda.

Muddle basil, lemonjuice and honeysyrup in glass, add ice, Metaxa and gin. Stir.
Top with Ting or a grapefruit or lemon soda. Garnish with a veritable forest of fresh Thai sweet-basil.

As the muddled basil leaves are still in the glass its no good idea to use a straw but dip your nose deep into the Thai basil garnish and let it attack your senses. This drink is really refreshing and it was way much tastier than i first expected, enjoy! (if you like basil)

SIESTA

metaxa-siesta

2.5 oz Metaxa
0.75 oz Aperol
Top with Prosecco, garnish lemon wedge. Rocks glass. Very simple and Metaxa works well with both Aperol and Prosecco, in fact i have found that it works well with a lot of things.

GOLDEN SUN

metaxa-golden-sun

2 oz Metaxa
Sprinkle of lemon
Absinthe rinse
Top with Sanpellegrino Limonata. Garnish lemon twist. Rocks glass.

Rinse the glass with absinthe and fill with cracked ice. Add Metaxa and a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice, stir. Top with some Sanpellegrino limonata or other lemon soda. Garnish with a lemon twist.

First i didn`t know what to mix this with but through all my experimenting during this Metaxa TDN i have found out one thing, and that is that it definetily mixes well with many ingredients as well as being very tasty neat. Its now a part of my drink mixing arsenal. Actually i wonder how come i haven´t tried it before? it was a pity i was a bit underage when i was in Greece.

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