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.

ORIGINAL NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS pt3 – The Frappè and the Crusta

These are two gorgeous cocktails. The Herbsaint frappè is the Herbsaint signature cocktail and a frappè (fra-pay) is an iced drink where the outer of the glass is covered with a thin film of ice from the stirring. You fill the glass to the brim with cracked ice and pour in the liquid and stir until you get that film on the outside of the glass. There are recipes where this drink is shaken too but i prefer the stirring method.

Then you either keep the ice in the glass or strain out the liquid into another glass that is chilled and remove the ice from the frosted glass before pouring the liquid back again. This is so that the drink doesn`t get dilluted. Now you have an ice cold frosty frappè to enjoy by sipping it slowly.

I personally like the nice touch of adding a few dashes of Peychauds or Creole Bitters on top, it adds a nice color and a little spice.

HERBSAINT FRAPPÈ

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2 oz Herbsaint

1/2 tsp simple syrup or sugar

2 oz carbonated or plain water

And if you will – a nice touch of Peychauds (or Creole Bitters) on top

Pour the liquid in a glass and add 3/4 of cracked ice. Add the simple syrup or sugar and the carbonated water. Fill the glass with more cracked ice and stir until you get that frost on the outside.

Strain into another glass that is chilled and remove the ice from the frosted glass and pour back the liquid. Now you have a frosted herbsaint frappè. Use absinthe and you have an absinthe frappé.

Here´s an old recipe ffrom 1933 using Benedictine:

1933 LEGENDRE ABSINTHE FRAPPÈ

Fill large glass with shaved ice
One Teaspoon Benedictine
Two Tablespoons Legendre Absinthe
Four Tablespoons of water

Cover Glass with a shaker and shake until frosted-strain into a chilled small glass and serve.

THE BRANDY CRUSTA

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A true New Orleans classic and invented in 1852 by Joseph Santina who owned and operated the City Exchange on Gravier Street. It has a unique and stunning  garnish in that a large lemon peel almost entirely coats the inside of the glass which also has a sugar rim.

This drink`s formula has a base spirit (brandy) sweetened by an orange liqueur and then  lemon or lime for the sour. And is the base for many modern classics like for example the Margarita (Tequila, Cointreau, Lime Juice)

1.5 oz Brandy
0.25 oz Maraschino liqueur
0.5 oz Cointreau
0.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Lemon peel spiral and sugared rim for garnish

Start with moistening the rim with lemon and then coat the rim heavily with fine sugar. Peel ½ inch wide and long lemon peel, long enough to go around the whole glass on the inside. Shake the ingredients with ice and then strain in to the glass. Use a wine or cognac glass or a double old fashioned glass.

Its a very balanced drink where sweet and sour meets strong and the garnish peel adds another dimension as do the sugared rim, – this is a also great cocktail.

METAXA – MORE THAN A BRANDY

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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

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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

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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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