Over the weekend I took my only supply of grenadine to a Halloween party for Tequila Sunrises, which turn a nice Halloweeny orange when stirred. I like them in concept because they are pretty, showy, and easy, but the truth is they aren't really any more drinkable than a Screwdriver with some sugar added. But in a party setting where the drinks are accompanying cakes shaped like cauldrons, all is well and everyone gets buzzed.
I also discovered this post at Cocktail Chronicles. In the comments there is a recipe for homemade grenadine that I plan to try sometime very soon, along with various recipes for homemade obscure bitters. In the meantime I had my husband pick up a bottle at the grocery store. But I figure I might as well try an El Presidente while I'm at it.
Over at Drinkboy he recommends red curacao. As far as I can tell, internet consensus is that anything called curacao is the same thing taste-wise, just colored differently. So I could make this drink with clear curacao and food coloring, in theory. I suspect that the El Presidente I will be making will be using the grenadine purely for color, so I'll go light on it.
Which reminds me, why on earth hasn't someone made a really detailed liquor database online? The best I've seen yet is the Cook's Thesaurus. What I want to see would include:
1. Overview of type of alcohol, with a general descripton.
2. List of possible substitutes, with a link to a comparison table (cost/flavors/alcohol content). Some substitutions can be made in cooking, for example, that you wouldn't want to do in a cocktail in which is it a primary ingredient.
3. Cross-references to drink recipes in which it is used.
4. A list of all common or famous brands with brief cost/reputation description
5. For each brand, further link to tasting analysis, common uses, cost, etc.
6. Trivia/history/tips/etc. Like "use this in a flambe" or "this will make dairy curdle" or "no normal bar will ever stock this, so don't order it."
A lot of work, isn't it? That's why I'm not starting my own any time soon. I'm still drinking mostly safe, established midpriced liquors until my palate is trained enough to tell the difference between that and the good stuff.
Anyway, a long way around to the main event of the night. I should probably include the recipes I try here in case my hyperlinks dry up some day. I'll also annotate which brands I use for reference.
Ok, here we go:
1 1/2 ounces white rum (Bacardi)
3/4 ounce orange curacao (Potter's)
3/4 ounce French (dry) vermouth (Martini&Rossi)
dash grenadine (Rose's)
Ok, first impressions:
Very sweet, ORANGE up front. The vermouth blends in, and then I can barely taste the rum at the very end. I feel that the orange and vermouth are in a bit of a battle here.
What is nice though, is that there is a fair amount of flavor stuff going on here that's not all just tropical-fruity, which is a bit unusual for a rum drink. I like rum quite a lot, so it's nice to see it in a cocktail glass.