TALES OF THE COCKTAIL AND NEW ORLEANS 2011

It´s soon time for Tales of the Cocktail again! so let´s see what gonna happen this year. I hope i will be able to keep up with all that´s going on during Tales which is a LOT and at the same time enjoy everything New Orleans has to offer which also is A LOT!

If anyone wanna check out some good Tales survival tips for first-timers – go read here and all the pre-Tales posts presenting the top of the iceberg of what`s going to happen you can read at the Tales blog.

I can really recommend anyone who likes cocktails to visit the Tales of the Cocktail! it´s like a Mardi Gras for booze nerds…but also it´s so much more than that – it´s also New Orleans! a city like no other… with a rich and deep and resilient culture…that celebrates life and the moment. Music, food, colors and textures.

I`m leaving now, i might post something about New Orleans before the Tales, in any case i`m planning to participate in the next week`s MxMo but apart from that – see you at the Tales!

Let´s get dat pawty stawted..

SWIZZLES part 4 – Swordfighter Swizzle

So what do you do on a hot evening when you´re thirsty? well, if you don´t know what to mix you start digging around in either your cocktail books or on the web.

So digging around trying to find something cool to mix up on a hot evening like this i stumbled over the Swordfighter Swizzle, made by Paul Clarke and Jeff  Berry back in 2007. The drink is a wonder of yumminess per excellence and well worth digging up again i think.

This drink evolved from another drink that was created for a spirited dinner at Tales of the Cocktail and was later on when the Tales was finished changed a bit with some expert help from the Bum and renamed by Paul and used for that months Mixology Monday. On the blog you can also read how the drink got its name. The result is mouth watering and here is the recipe:

SWORDFIGHTER SWIZZLE


In a tall, 10-ounce glass, lightly muddle 6-8 fresh mint leaves, swabbing the sides of the glass with the oil.

Add:

1 ounce Cruzan Light rum
1 ounce Demerara rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/4 ounce rich demerara syrup (2 parts demerara sugar dissolved in 1 part water)
1/2 ounce Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb
1/4 teaspoon Herbsaint

Fill glass with crushed ice; swizzle with bar spoon until sides of glass are coated in frost. Pack glass with more crushed ice. Then add several dashes of this:

2-3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters

Smack a mint sprig to release the fragrance, and put in the glass along with a slice of fresh peach skewered on a cocktail sword. Insert a short straw near the mint.

Well i didn´t have peaches..so i used only mint but i think the dashes of angostura and peychaud´s does very well for both flavor and garnish.

It IS as good as it looks like…believe me. Go try it!

Southern Cross Cocktail

The Southern Cross is a cocktail that is most likely named after the star constellation Crux commonly known as the Southern Cross.

I stumbled upon a blog post by my friend Trader Magnus which featured this interesting cocktail from the book  “The Flowing Bowl” by William Schmidt’s in 1891.

I decided i needed to try this one, and then I also made a twist of it using Smith & Cross rum instead of Cruzan and Grand Marnier instead of orange Curacao and finally a pineapple infused soda water.

It`s important to not use too much soda or mineral water in this drink, it will become too dilluted I found out, so use only a little.

The recipe doesn`t call for any garnish so it`s not really necessary but since I happened to have both fresh cherries and pineapple at home I decided to use them.

There`s also a Swedish version from a book called Cocktails by Elsa af Trolle from 1927 with a slightly different recipe. I was forewarned that the Swedish version used too much sugar (1 tbsp) so it may be taken down to 1 barspoon.

But let´s start with the one using Smith & Cross Jamaican rum ( just because this rum is so damned good) I give it a new name since there´s more changes than just brand of base spirit.

SMITH & SOUTHERN CROSS


0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz homemade demerara syrup
1.5 oz Smith & Cross rum
0.5 oz brandy
Dash Grand Marnier
Dash of pineapple infused soda water to top

Shake, and strain into a double old fashioned glass with crushed ice Garnish with speared pineapple chunk.

I would say that the Smith and Cross is what makes this cocktail the most. I also tried this recipe with aged Cachaca (Abelha Gold) and equal parts fresh lime and kalamansi juices and it was quite delicious.

Here`s the original Southern Cross from “The Flowing Bowl”

SOUTHERN CROSS


The juice of 1 lime
A dash of mineral water
a spoonful of sugar
2/3 of St. Croix rum
1/3 of brandy
1 dash of curacao

Stir this well, fill your glass with fine ice, stir again and strain into a sour glass.

I didn´t have any Cruzan so i used Plantation Barbados  instead. It was a bit too sour with juice from one whole lime in my opinion, but then again our Brazilian limes here are as big as two ordinary limes.

The Swedish recipe from the book Cocktails by Elsa af Trolle from 1927 follows here:

SOUTHERN CROSS (Swedish version from Cocktails 1927)

The juice of 1 lemon
Dash of soda water
A tblsp of sugar
2/3 of St. Croix rum ( Cruzan)
1/3 of cognac
1 dash of orange curacao

Stir this well, fill your glass with fine ice, stir again and strain into a sour glass. The Swedish recipe suggests shaking the ingredients and strain into a glass with some ice cubes.

A tablespoon of sugar might be too much, depending on how large your lemon is, so adjust accordingly.

To sum it up, the name of this cocktail is more exotic than the cocktail itself but since this cocktail is so simple it lends itself for playing around with – try different rums! Also it might be nice to sweeten partly with honey.

Overall a quite pleasant cocktail and worth trying out but not one of those that i keep.

NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS pt 7 – Obituary Cocktail

This little cocktail is a strong fella that could wake up the dead..

It`s a very much New Orlean cocktail…combining all that which sums up the unique ambiance of this one of a kind city.

Equal parts absinthe and vermouth paired with gin is what we have here in this old classic tipple which is the signature cocktail of the Lafitte`s Blacksmith Shop and is a brilliant twist of the gin Martini where the absinthe is King.

But it`s not just the spirits in this cocktail – it´s also the feel of it. If you have been to New Orleans and appreciate the city you know what that feel is all about. Alas this cocktail takes you back in time as does so much things in New Orleans, it takes you back to the dark foggy quarters in the 1800s.

The name is not a nice one though, it means death and how come the cocktail got that name i have yet to find out, maybe it had to do with the ban of absinthe? However it does add to the mystery so let it stay that way, it´s part of its appeal.

The name is also used in other ways, there´s both a book and a society called “Obituary Cocktail” The book is written by New Orleans photographer Kerri McCaffety, a book i would like to get my hands on.

I would recommend using real absinthe in this drink rather than herbsaint or pernod because of the prominent role absinthe plays here. With a substitute which you can use of course, it will simply become a bit too lame..so go get a decent absinthe for this cocktail.

Chuck over at Looka/Gumbopages recommend Jade Liqueurs absinthes and when Chuck recommends something i listen – and so should you – trust me. I think i would like to try their Jade Nouvelle-Orléans absinthe Definetily on my to order list later this fall.

Ice cold absinthe, vermouth and gin is perfect for the summer…i recommend two at the most. (no pun intended) The three ingredients balances each other perfectly here.

OBITUARY COCKTAIL


2 oz gin
1/4 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz absinthe or substitute ( i used a very good handcrafted swiss absinthe- La Clandestine)

The preparation is very simple:

Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with cracked ice. Stir well and train into a chilled cocktail glass.

12 Bottle Bar suggest you put both the mixing glass and cocktail glass in the freezer for at least 10+ minutes which to me is a very good idea since these kinda drinks really needs to be cold.

Chuck recommends “Shake vigorously for 13 seconds, or stir vigorously for no less than 26 seconds” – Whatever way you choose to mix this up the important thing is to get it well mixed and cold. It does benefit from some dilution of the ice i think.

This cocktail will of course look very different depending on if you use white or green absinthe.

And now step back in time and enjoy one of the great classics.

OLD CUBAN AND A HINT OF CHOCOLATE

After doing so many Mixing through Grog Log posts filled with tasty tiki drinks i now feel like doing a classic rum drink and was reminded of the Old Cuban cocktail by Douglas Ford over at Cold Glass.

The Old Cuban cocktail was invented by Audrey Saunders of New York’s Pegu Club and the original recipe used Bacardi 8 rum. But i didn´t have the Bacardi 8 either and so i reached for Smith & Cross. This is an excellent rum cocktail and very nice now when it´s summer.

Think of this cocktail as a grown-up mojito with a bit more complexity and aroma.

THE OLD CUBAN COCKTAIL


1.5 oz dark rum (Smith and Cross)
1 oz simple suger (Demerara)
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
1–2 dashes Angostura bitters, to taste
6 leaves of fresh mint
sparkling wine to top (champagne or prosecco)

Muddle mint and juiced lime hulls lightly. Add rum, syrup, bitters and lime juice. Shake until well chilled. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top up with champagne or prosecco. Garnish with mint or sugared vanilla.

I wanted to make a twist of it as well staying true to my habit of playing around with cocktails. I´m somewhat into chocolate right now for some reason and so i decided to add some chocolate flavors to the party adding a little bit of the excellent Mozart Dry Chocolate Spirit, a dash xocolatel mole bitters and a whiff of fresh chocolate mint and came up with the Chocolate Cuban.

Here´s the recipe, hope it pleases somebody:

CHOCOLATE CUBAN


1.5 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
0.5 oz demerara sugar syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz Mozart Dry chocolate spirit
1-2 dashes xocolatl mole bitters
6-8 leaves fresh chocolate mint
Prosecco to top

Muddle mint and juiced lime hulls lightly, be careful with the mint, it will become bitter if muddled too hard.

Add rum, Mozart Dry, xocolatl mole bitters and lime juice and shake well with ice cubes.
Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with mint and/or sugared vanilla.

I think chocolate goes very well with the Old Cuban and chocolate and vanilla are as we know old lovers. I really like the chocolate version of the Old Cuban.

These two cocktails are perfect on a warm summer evening, try them!

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 21 – Eastern Sour

Here`s and old favorite…the Eastern Sour. Orange and lemon juices, sugarcane syrup, orgeat and then rye or bourbon.

It´s drink number 20 in Grog Log and is also featured in Remixed where i also found the Western Sour which contains grapefruit juice and falernum. I find yellow grapefruit juice much tastier in mixed drinks than the pink one, it´s simply fresher and has that sourness which balances so well with sweeteners yet still contains that sour freshness.

The Eastern Sour was made sometimes in the 50s by Trader Vic. He also made the London Sour (sub scotch for the bourbon) and Munich Sour ( cognac) These sours were made for the various Trader Vic`s restaurants.

The Western Sour was featured at Steve Crane`s Kon-Tiki restaurant chain operating in Sheraton hotels across the U.S. Steve Crane and Trader Vic did really compete and in the end Vic did outlast Steve and the Kon_Tiki`s.

So…bourbon or rye?

I like both..but shame on me! –  i`m out of bourbon…so it´s rye to go in both drinks, and i`m using Rittenhouse bonded.  Also i found a few fresh kalamansi limes so i`m gonna use them in both drinks to see what happens.

EASTERN SOUR

Juice of 1/2 orange

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 oz orgeat syrup

1/4 oz rock candy syrup (well, i didn´t have that, so i used Petit Canne´s sugarcane syrup)

2 oz rye or bourbon

Now i added: juice of 1 kalamansi lime and garnished also with a sugared rim

Shake well with plenty of crushed ice. Pour unstrained into a double old fashioned glass or short stemmed goblet. Sink spent orange and lemon shells into the drink.

Since the kalamansi is both sweet and sour but a bit more on the sour side i decided to make a sugared rim on the glass to add some extra sweetness. I think it was very tasty with some tangy kalamansi juice in the Eastern Sour even though it doesn´t make itself very much noticed in this drink – just subtle. That said it was very very tasty.

WESTERN SOUR


1 oz white grapefruit juice

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz falernum

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup

2 oz Bourbon (or rye)

Shake well with ice cubes and por unstrained into a double old fashioned glass.

As i suspected, white grapefruit juice and kalamansi limes like each other and plays together very well..and here the two together is da bomb! this drink is so tasty!

The kalamansi transforms the drink from quite average to one step higher. Otherwise the Eastern Sour is in my opinion better than the Western but when kalamansi is in the game it`s slightly the contrary.

Interesting how the addition of just one thing can change things around!

I think i need to go and get me a kalamansi plant so i can have fresh kalamansi limes and make these  drinks all summer!

LEMON HART TO EUROPE

Yes folks, the Lemon Hart rum including the 151 will be sold in Europe by Distillerie Kammer-Kirsch who are the exclusive distributor for Lemon Hart in Germany and Austria who will start with the reintroduction of the product latest beginning of August.

That was some great news me thinks!

Lemon Hart 151 (75.5% vol.) and Lemon Hart Original (40% vol.) are the authentic blends of select Demerara rums, distilled, aged and blended on the East Bank of the age-old, world famous colony of Demerara in Guyana.

As many of us know there were in excess of 200 small distilleries operating in Guyana in the 17th and 18th centuries which eventually were closed down and today, there remains just one distillery (DDL) situated at the historical Plantation Diamond Estate. At this distillery, the time honored techniques, standards and methods of the age-old art of rum distillation, aging and blending are maintained even to this day.

Kammer-Kirsch are one of the preeminent importers of premium spirits in Germany today, representing international brands such as Tia Maria, Seagram’s Gin, Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Benriach Single Malt Scotch.

In the world of overproof rums, there is only one legend, one that is called for by name. distilled, aged and blended in Guyana, Lemon Hart 151 is a high proof (75.5% vol.) Demerara rum, best used in moderation as a float in tiki drinks and signature cocktails alike.

According to most tiki drinks aficionados including myself, there is no substitute to Lemon Hart 151. Last available in the German market in 2009, Lemon Hart 151 was at that time a favorite of mixologists and as a result, the leading dark rum for cocktails in bars and nightclubs in Germany.

Tasting notes: hints of burnt caramel, dried apricot and baked apples with that typical a bit smoky flavor of a true demerara rum.

So folks, we thought it was going to be gone but luckily for us imbibers instead it´s now sold in the US and soon also in Europe – the legend lives on.

I´ll happily drink to that!