CAMPARI IN TIKI DRINKS

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I keep coming back to Campari over and over again, not too often but regularly because i really appreciate this bitter and very special tasting aperitif.

It goes perfectly with all kinda citrus fruits and traditionally its the lemon and orange that is used, naturally since that`s what`s growing in Italy – the home land off Campari. Did i say that one of my heros is Gaspare Campari?

As an aperitif with soda, orange or lemon its an aquired taste for many, but there are also many who loves it – me included. As a cocktail ingredient its both challenging and rewarding, and in the right place it can make some fantastic cocktails.

It goes very well with dark rum, gin, tequila – well most spirits actually but especially with those that also goes well with citrus. So how about Campari in tiki drinks? The classic tiki drink with Campari is of course the Jungle Bird, to be found on page 44 in “Intoxica” by Beachbum Berry but is there anything else?

There has been so much written already about Campari in other types of drinks like the negroni or Campari and dark rums but not very much about tiki drinks and there isn´t very much info to find either.

I went out to search..and ended up with the conclusion that if i want a  tiki drink with Campari other than the Jungle Bird or an occasional something i need to invent them myself. .not even in tiki central i found anything much..and that means there´isn`t anything much then.

So eventually, i ended up making these two cocktails:

ULA ULA PUNCH

campari-and-tiki-2

1.5 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum

0.5 oz aged rhum agricole, (like Clemènt VSOP)

0.5 oz Campari

1 oz pineapple juice

0.5 oz *limone rosso (or regular lemon)

0.25 oz fresh lime

0.5 oz rich demerara syrup (2:1 demerara sugar and water)

1 tsp hibiscus grenadine

crushed ice

For garnish – 2 small pineapple leaves, 1 cherry, 2 lemon quarters, speared

Shake all ingredients and strain into a rocks glass filled to the brim with crushed ice and garnish with the speared fruits.

This is a grown-up drink…the rhum agricole flavor is nicely blending with the bitterness of the Campari and the sugarcane and molasses from the Jamaican rum is steady in the background. Its much flavors in this drink, but its not no easy flavors since both Campari and rhum agricole isn´t “easy” neither of them.

*Limone rosso is a lemon variety i recently found in our nursery, it has reddish and wrinkled skin and inside it looks a bit different too from the regular lemon.

The fragrance is also stronger and slightly more perfumed. I also found out by tasting the juices from both lemons that the rosso is much more aromatic, mellower and somewhat less sour.

I´m gonna make a tincture with this lemon and its peel, would be interesting to see how that would turn out. Booze nerds are always on the hunt for new flavors..and into experimenting with the sometimes most unlikely flavors.

I like this dink but i cannot say if the limone rosso makes the mixed drink more aromatic compared to a reular lemon but i know i did the taste test before with the juices alone and the rosso was more aromatic, perfumed and also sweeter and not so astringent tart as the regular lemon.

This is a fresh drink and packs a rummy punch as well. But you gotta like both Campari and rhum agricole to really appreciate this cocktail. After a while when the drink “settles” with the ice the flavors comes through mellower and quite wonderfully.

campari-and-tiki-lemons

On the left side is the ordinary lemon and rosso on the right. I think the regular lemon looks quite boring and sleepy in comparaison..

Of course i needed to use it for my cocktails! i accuired my lemon by picking it up from the ground where it had fallen from the bush. I wish it was a staple in our grocery…but i guess i´ll need to buy one of the plants if i want to have more of it.

Cocktail number two uses rye and Campari and turned out very nice.

POLYNESIAN RED

Muddle 1 small piece of Mexican canela (cinnamon) with 0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne) and 4-5 chunks of fresh pineapple, then add:

campari-and-tiki

1 oz Rittenhouse bonded

1 oz Campari

0.25 oz lemon juice (limone rosso if possible)

a very small sprinkle of fresh lime

Shake and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon quarter and a leaf.

This drink has a balanced mellow flavor and is a very nice cocktail indeed – at least to my palate. The rye, lemon and Campari mixes wonderfully. One i will make again.

And so we come to the last tiki style drink with Campari and this one is a swizzle. Its a twist on the negroni swizzle (made by Giuseppe Gonzalez at Painkiller in New York) turning it from negroni to a rum-swizzle type drink but with both rum and gin.

KAHILI SWIZZLE

kahiki-swizzle

1 oz  gin (Martin Miller`s)

0.5 oz Pusser´s overproof

1 oz Campari

0.5 oz lemon juice (limone rosso if possible)

0.25 oz lime juice

0.5 oz pineapple syrup

1tsp hibiscus syrup

1 oz club soda

Fill a large glass or tiki mug with crushed ice and swizzle with a swizzle stick until frosty. Garnish with lemon peel.

I would define this campariliscious and bitterly fresh with strong undertones…if that makes any sense. I believe that if you like Campari you`ll like this.

I`ve gotten to really like the combo Campari-Pusser`s – the Pusser`s goes fantastic with Campari and then in this drink, there´s a background of an almost floral flavor of the gin that is excellent. One could also use Smith & Cross in this.

Add a straw, sip and enjoy!

campari-and-tiki-glass

SINGAPORE SLING WITH A KICK

singapore-sling-close

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.

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 7 – Blue Hawaii

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Its time to take a trip to Hawaii folks – with the 7th cocktail from Grog Log – The Blue Hawaii.

Its some romantic nostalgia here – in my mind i can hear the music from that Elvis movie and remember the incredible beautiful pirogue wedding scene pictured at Coco Palms Resort and even though the name of the movie and this drink only are remotely related, its still that romantic “Blue Hawaii” vibe this drink evokes.

I haven`t had a Blue Hawaii for decades..not that i`ve lived that long but still, that`s how it feels – so i guess its about time i have one now;-) if it wasn`t for the fact that its a part of Grog Log and this post i guess i wouldn`t have it..its just that kinda drink you don`t usually make at home but rather would have on the beach in Hawaii…so i must thank the Bum that i now can relive my sweet memories.

Yeah its a drink for the summer – but seriously…who living up north wouldn`t want to escape the long cold and dark winter even if its just with a tropical drink in hand? one can always dream…and a drink like this one helps. OK, the winter is over and its spring but the warm weather isn`t yet here.

This historical drink was invented by Harry Ye in 1957 – a legendary head bartender of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, Hawaii. Bols asked him to future their blue curacao and so this drink was born. It has been a success since then and is now one of those that didn´t fade away.

The yellow pineapple juice makes the blue curacao more green actually…which i like, it looks like the greenish shallow waters of Bora Bora`s motus.

BLUE HAWAII

2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

1 oz sweet & sour ( 1:1 fresh lemon/lime juices and simple syrup)

0.75 oz Blue Curacao

0.5 tsp cream or half & half

1.5 oz vodka

Mix everything in a tall glass packed with crushed ice.

The book doesn`t mention any garnish, but the traditional garnish for a Blue Hawaii is a pineapple slice and a cherry.

Its a nice drink but in my opinion a bit plain and boring – tastes like liquid fruit bubblegum and i can`t help it..all the while i was drinking this one i kept thinking – i wonder how this drink will taste if i replace the (tasteless) vodka with a gin – like junipero? and switching the pineappple juice for grapefruit? – fresh yellow grapefruit – i had to do that..

I`m not a fan of vodka as i want to feel some flavor from the booze and so here`s a twist of it with the gin also upped a bit to 2 oz and the blue curacao taken down to 0.5 oz instead:

GREEN MOTU

green-motu

2 oz fresh yellow grapefruit juice

1 oz sweet & sour ( 1:1 fresh lemon/lime juices and simple syrup)

0.5 oz blue curacao

2 oz junipero gin

0.5 tsp cream

Mix everything in a tall glass packed with crushed ice.

Garnish with a tropical or a pineapple leaf.

I found this one much fresher due to the grapefruit juice which isn`t so sweet and more flavorful too with the gin. Next time i`m gonna mix up the Blue Reef which can be found at the same page in the  Log. But for now its enough with two blue drinks i think. Now…let`s put on that hula skirt..

This series called Mixing through Grog Log is inspired by my fellow boozeblogger Erik`s “Stomping through the Savoy” over at Underhill Lounge.

ORIGINAL NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS pt1 – Vieux Carré & Ramos Gin Fizz

vieux-carre-cocktail

Vieux Carrè cocktail

Tales of the Cocktail may still seem far away but time flies and what is more fitting prior to the Tales than mixing up some genuine cocktails from the city where the cocktail was born and where the Tales of the Cocktail is celebrated each year since eight years back now.

There´s no city in the world that knows how to throw a party like they do in New Orleans and with party usually comes also cocktails. I think there are “cocktails” and there are “drinks” –  like those popular go-cups you see on Bourbon st and they may have their own charm but here i`m gonna talk about genuinely hand crafted and wonderful cocktails, some of the best that have ever been made.

I`ll have to break down my posting about these awesome concoctions  into a few posts. If you`re interested in the history of the cocktails of New Orleans and have a chance you should visit the Museum of the American Cocktail now on april 5th when Darcy from Art of Drink will make a presentation on the influence of soda in cocktails, specifically those of New Orleans. You can read more about this here.

VIEUX CARRÉ COCKTAIL

This is the signature cocktail of the famous Carousel bar in the hotel Monteleone.This particular bar is especially interesting since its made from parts of an actual old carousel that revolves around the bar which is circular. Luckily is not moving fast…but its moving…and it’s a funny experience – and of course you get well crafted cocktails there – its a must try if you are going to New Orleans and the Tales.

You`ll sooner or later most likely find yourself in one of those marvellous barstools and when you do – take your chance and try the signature cocktail the Vieux Carrè – The old square – as its called – after the French quarter which is built like a square and where Monteleone also is. It was first mixed by Walter Bergeron in the 1930s.

the-famous-carousel-bar

3/4 oz. rye whiskey
3/4 oz. brandy
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
1/8 oz. Benedictine
1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters

Build over ice, in an Old Fashioned glass

Aromatic with the vermouth and nicely boozy but not too much, this cocktail is  actually easy to drink. If you like rye then this is for you.

The next one needs no presentation, really – but for those who doesn`t know – this is one of the most famous cocktails of New Orleans – The Ramos Gin Fizz – and its a great cocktail with a history dating back to 1888. A smooth awesomeness just like the Absinthe or Herbsaint Suissesse – a dream of fluffy clouds…and if i say “easy to drink” well this one defies the word “easy”. Its maybe a good thing its a bit laboursome to mix – it may become a natural precaution of making yourself  too many…unless you cheat with the handmixer;-)

What you do then is starting it up with a handmixer in the glass incorporating air into it, mix for 20 seconds, then add ice and shake as usual for another 30 seconds. Now you`ve gained a lot of time and pain. This is also traditionally a morning cocktail – a day after refreshener. Usually i don`t start my mornings with a cocktail, i more likely have a coffee…but during Tales its more of a chance i would do that. In the right environment its a very nice thing.

The Ramos gin fizz  was invented by Henry C Ramos in his bar Meyer`s Restaurant. It was orignally called the “New Orleans Fizz”  and an armada of “shaker boys” used to take turns to shake it to the right consistency. This was before the prohibition. The poularity of this drink faded away with new times and new speeds but today when old cocktails are ressurrected again its more served also outside of New Orleans.

The fluffy dreamy texture comes from the egg whites and using raw eggs in cocktails  is nothing to fear – but if raw eggs is an issue there´s also powdered egg whites and they are simply egg whites where water has been removed. I have never tried it though. The secret in this cocktail is the combination of egg white and a touch of orange flower water.

ramos-gin-fizz

RAMOS GIN FIZZ

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. milk (half & half or cream if preferred)
1 small egg white
2-3 drops of orange flower water (careful here! you don´t want this drink to taste and smell like a bottle of perfume)
Soda

Shake all ingredients except the soda and shake very well, when you think you`re done, shake some more –  the more the better – and shake first without ice and then with ice – so that the egg white emulsifies and the drink becomes very cold and frothy. (Or use the handmixer way to do it – but really if you want to follow tradition…shake, shake, shake..)Then strain into a chilled highball glass without ice. Top with a little club soda to get some fizz. No garnish – usually, but if you like to – a thin strip of orange, lemon or lime peel/slice is nice i think.

Now that`s a nice cocktail!

GERANIUM GIN

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Geranium Gin is a new and exciting Danish gin to try out. Launched in Europe this fall and also exhibited at Bar Convent Berlin it soon makes its way over the pond. Geranium gin is  made by Henrik Hammer and his father who is a chemist and was developed by a true passion for gin and using the geranium plant as the geranium oils will increase the flavours emphasizing and enhancing the taste of the whole cocktail.

This is a classic London dry yes but it`s  different – as it contains a specie of said geranium which is a a genus of 422 species of flowering plants and the oils from geranium hasn`t before been extracted with alcohol. Moreover the oils in this geranium is present in most fruits, berries, vegetables and spices and that`s why Geranium Gin blends in well with most mixers. Geranium is a plant that also is being used in therapy along with juniper and citrus oils for against depression and fatigue.

geranium

Geranium gin is also different in that its a new, slightly floral gin yet this tastes very straightforward of what it is – gin – and this is good stuff! The bottle is very nice, simple and stylish and i find the size so perfect. Its thick glass but not too thick and easy to hold and pour from.

I find the nose very clean and the flavour is surprisingly crisp, light and fresh, much citrus and much juniper without being too heavy. But of course its more than that, it contains 10 fresh and dry botanicals:  juniper, geranium, lemon, coriander, cassia, orris, angelica, liquorice + 2 secret ones as should be. The ingredients are matured for 48 hours and then distilled in a 100 year old copper pot still called “Constance” from 100% pure grain spirit (English wheat).

This gin is distilled at Langley Distillery in Birmingham – a 200 year old family owned gin distillery and which is the 3rd biggest gin distillery in the UK – G.J. Greenalls is no. 1 and Beefeater no. 2. Geranium Gin is bottled and held in stock in London.

What i most appreciate with this gin is its oldfashioned gin style yet being new, clean and crisp and i also like the pronounced citrus and faint floral notes. 

Easy to mix with  – – here are two cocktails for you to savour;

LITTLE PRINCE

little-prince

2 oz Geranium Gin
0.5 oz dry Vermouth
0.5 oz Cherry Heering
1 orange slice
1 thin apple slice
1 thin piece cucumber peel
Bitter lemon to top

Shake gin, vermouth and Cherry Heering with ice and strain into a collins glass filled with ice and the cucumber peel, apple and orange slices. Garnish with lime. Top with bitter lemon.

HONEYCOMB

honeycomb

1.5 oz Geranium Gin
0.5 oz vanilla liqueur (i used Navan)
0.5  0z fresh lime
0.5 oz acacia honey syrup
2 vanilla beans

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with 2 vanilla beans. Originally this recipe contains honey and vanilla vodka which i switched for gin and vanilla liqueur.

CITADELLE

citadelle-gin1

Citadelle is quite different from other gins – smoothe, slightly sweet and complex with juniper and citrus notes. It also has a bit of a floral quality and a more mellow gin flavour with a clean finish.Its made from an original recipe dating back to 1771 created in Gt district of Dunkirk.

19 botanicals are used and they are Juniper, coriander, orange peel, cardamom, liqorice, cubeb pepper, savory, fennel, iris, cinnamon, violets, almonds, cassia bark, angelica root, grains of paradise, cumin, nutmeg, lemon rind and star anise.

Some say this gin shouldn´t be mixed but only sipped neat but i don´t agree, i think it mixes well and makes nice and fresh gin cocktails.Its smooth character lends itself very well to sipping too of course. Its triple distilled from wheat and spring water.

The gin i received is the regular Citadelle in a very beauitful blue bottle.There´s also a Citadelle Reserve which i haven`t tried yet, its the only gin that has been refined 6 months in old oak casks.Those i know who have tried it says it’s very nice.

I like Citadelle a lot, i like its smooth and mellow flavour with its citrus notes and as i happen to like light and fresh gin cocktails with a fruity flavor this gin is perfect for that so i continue on that route.

CARDAMOM G&T

cardamom-gin-and-tonic

2 oz Citadelle

0.5 oz bitter seville orange syrup

Juice of ½ fresh lime

2-3 dashes Bob´s cardamom bitters (may be subbed by a few muddled green cardamoms)

2-3 dashes Bob´s grapefruit bitters

Top with a cardamom “quick tonic”  (steep crushed green cardamom in tonic one day and night – you won`t get much flavor but its there, subtle)

Shake over ice, strain and pour into a rocks glass with large ice cubes, top with cardamom tonic. Garnish with  a lime wedge. (Or as in the picture, a cardamom leaf and liqorice stick)

The cardamom flavour in my glass was just enough, i got a very subtle flavour from the tonic which was helped with a few dashes of the cardamom bitters and together they created a pronounced cardamom aroma.

This G&T is really fresh.