The Satchmo Cocktail

Well here`s something right up my alley…a twist of the Sazerac containing absinthe, gin and campari…

And not only that but it also uses a strong spicy bourbon while the classic Sazerac uses rye or cognac or both.

I`m a huge fan of the Sazerac – THE quintessential cocktail of New Orleans, or shall we say one of them because we also got the Vieux Carrè, Ramos gin fizz, the Hurricane, the Crusta, the Frappè etc etc – but the Sazerac is and will always be the number one for me.

And i`m an equally huge fan of Campari – since i was 15….

So here with this interesting twist of it….brought to my attention by Warren Bobrow ‏who invented it and wrote about it on his blog DrinkUpNY – i`m gonna make it here and spread it further because this is indeed a good cocktail.

THE SATCHMO COCKTAIL

2 oz Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition Bourbon (sub any good bourbon)
1/2 shot of Tenneyson Absinthe (for the washed glass)  (sub any good absinthe or Pernod)
0.5 oz Campari
0.5 oz Death’s Door Gin ( sub a similar gin, like Hendricks)
1 sugar cube
Bitter Truth Creole Bitters (enough to soak the sugar cube)
Lemon zests – to rim the glass and a spiral for garnish

Chill a crystal glass (or other) with ½ shot of Tenneyson Absinthe, packed with ice and water, let cool for a bit then pour out – or drink up..

Rub the inside of the glass with a lemon zest – aah….the fragrance….

Add a sugar cube soaked in the Bitter Truth Creole Bitters to your glass and crush it with a wooden cocktail stick or a spoon or a muddler to release the flavors.

Add the bourbon, campari and gin and stir with a lemon zest threaded onto a cocktail stirrer.

This drink tastes like a spicy Sazerac with herbal/citrus notes and a touch of campari…it´s interesting…and definetily something to sip and savour.

Sip and enjoy…

And why not put on some music with Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong while you sip on this drink named after him?

The Creole Bitters…the left bottle is the 10 year anniversary bottle that was sold at the Tales of the Cocktail this year in limited quantity and the right bottle is the ordinary Creole Bitters by The Bitter Truth. Both bottles contains the same bitters.

The 1o year TOTC anniversary bottle is a piece of art.

Bitter Truth Pink Gin

This is a gin from the Bitter Truth that i think was launched this fall. It´s pink, it´s spiced with bitters and it lives in a real beautiful bottle.

It started with sea sickness…that`s from where the tradition of blending gin and bitters began by the Royal Navy. And that`s why i now sit here with a bottle of the “Pink Gin” which is a blend of gin and aromatic bitters.

The nose is very light and floral and very delightful, it`s like a whiff of light perfume..The taste is complex, light on the juniper but it´s definitely there, lightly spicy and floral. The mouthfeel is gentle, there´s no alcohol burn and it´s easy to drink.

It`s quite exquisite and i believe too many mixers would ruin it, best of all would be a fresh gin and tonic or a drink with fresh grapefruit juice ( or another) There isn´t very much more to say about this product than that it´s a modern gin, light and floral containing aromatic bitters and perfect for martini cocktails, gin and tonics or fruity drinks.

I`m gonna try this in a drink that is called the Bali Highball – a mix of gin, guava nectar and pomegranate syrup with the zing of fresh lime juice.To the pomegranate syrup or grenadine i`ll add hibiscus flowers thus making it a hibiscus grenadine and homemade of course – unless you can get hold of B.G Reynold´s excellent hibiscis grenadine.

Not sure why it`s called “Bali Highball” though since usually a highball is made with two ingredients and served in a high glass – the original highball was made with Scotch whisky and carbonated water. I guess this is a tropicalized highball…

BALI HIGHBALL (From the book The Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich)

1.5 oz Bitter Truth Pink Gin

2 oz Guava nectar ( or use juice if you can´t find nectar)

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz Hibiscus grenadine

4 oz chilled Club Soda

Lime wheel and orange blossom or other edible flower for garnish

Shake everything (except soda) hard with ice and strain into a highball glass with ice. I didn´t use a highball glass, i used a rocks glass instead with cracked ice.

Top up with soda and add garnish.

After the first sip i said zzzziiiiiiiing!!! how refreshing can a drink possibly be??? fruity and tart at the same time. Didn´t feel any juniper flavor though but the gin just seemed to fit perfectly in the puzzle of fruity flavors even though it almost dissappeared. And you can always up the gin with another 0.5 oz if a stronger drink is required.

It happens to still be winter but i can assure that this drink will be PERFECT later on in the hot summer, it´s the ultimate thirst quencher! That said,  of course it´s good now as well, i really enjoyed it and i certainly could have another, this one went down way to fast.

But i`m moving on to the next drink because there´s a next drink to be made, it´s never just one.

SPRING BREAK (My own)

1.5 oz Bitter Truth Pink Gin

0.5 oz green chartreuse

1 oz pineapple juice

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

Shake together with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with speared citrus leaves and cherry.

While the other drink was a refreshing and delicious fruit bomb this one takes on a much more adult flavor with pronounced flavors of the gin and the bitters it contains and the green chartreuse also was very prominent with it´s herbals. I first tried it without any simple syrup but adding just a little syrup made all the difference and took the edge off the bitterness.

My conclusion is that even though i haven´t tried this gin in any Martini for the simple reson that i happen to not like Martinis very much, it would suit perfectly for that drink but also as i have found out here it goes well with fruity drinks. It`s a given summer gin i`d say.

You can buy the Bitter Truth Pink Gin in many places and two examples are here or here.

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.

CAMPARI IN TIKI DRINKS

campari-and-tiki-3-big

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

GERANIUM GIN

 geranium_front1

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.