Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Lime juice , rum, and triple sec again. Except this time with Kirschwasser.

I think I made mine too limey. It was overly tart. I had intended to do a tasting half shot of the Kirsch as well, but it's late and this drink is strong enough thtat I don't need more alcohol right now.

I finished my drink before I realized that I was supposed to garnish it with a cherry. I am very sad.


1 oz lime juice
.5 oz triple sec (DeKyuper)
1 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
.5 oz cherry-flavored brandy (Hiram Walker Kirschwasser)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


My husband and I took our honeymoon in Italy. We spent a week in Venice. We stayed on the island of Murano, the place where they make all the fancy glass, and just a short vaporetto (water bus) ride from the main island.

But outside of tourist hours, Murano is basically a residential community. Which means that there was exactly one restaurant open for dinner after the last vaporetto. I wish I remembered the name of the place, but really, if you go to Murano, you can't really miss it. The island just isn't that big.

Anyway, besides introducing us to some incredible seafood and the wonders of the Affogato tartufo, the waiter one night insisted on offering us a digestif of limoncello, on the house. It was warming and intensely flavored. So linoncello holds a special place in my heart.

So when I read this post at the ReadyMade blog, I knew that I have to try it myself soon. I'll let you know how it goes.

Casa Blanca

For this drink, I bought a bottle of Maraschino liqueur. I'd never had it before. So for this drink I also poured a tiny bit of pure Maraschino for tasting.

First, the Maraschino. It seemed to have three distinct flavors that each hit the palate about two seconds apart: first, the powerful alcohol kick. Hoo-hah! Second, a sweet cherry-like flavor. Finally, a strange complex bitter? herby? Almond? I don't know how to describe it. I guess it's slightly reminiscent of maraschino cherries, but it's really some inexplicable stuff. Nothing else tastes quite like it. Not something I think I'll be sipping straight much, but I can see how it adds a special something to a cocktail.

The Casa Blanca is of the sour family (margarita, sidecar, for example). Lime, triple sec, rum. But the addition of the tiniest bit of Maraschino makes this drink really unique. It's pretty strong, too.

2 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
1.5 tsp lime juice
1.5 tsp triple sec (DeKyuper)
1.5 tsp Maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.


I've already gone through my light rum. And I'm only in the C's of Mr. Boston's rum section. Time to stock up.

Now, I had a dilemma. I like to buy basics by the large jug, since it often costs quite a bit less than the standard sized bottles. But my pourers don't fit into those bottles. So I decided to get a bit crafty.

I had a bottle of glass etching cream leftover from a past project. I decided to make some cheapo super-easy modern decanters. Très Readymade. Here's how:

1. Wash an empty glass bottle well in hot water, peeling off as much of the labels as possible.
2. Use WD-40 to get the rest of the adhesive off. Wash off the WD-40 with dishsoap.
3. Cover surface with tape. Almost any kind will work--masking tape, scotch tape (harder to peel off), or if you want a reusable stencil get contact vinyl.
4. Sketch pattern onto tape and cut (carefully) with an exacto knife. Peel off areas you want etched.
5. Cover exposed areas with cream and leave for 5 mins.
6. Wash off cream and peel off tape. Voila!

I made two RUM bottles this way. I'm thinking I'll use a different font type for other kinds of alcohol. Like a swirly one for gin, a strong serif-ed font for vodka, etc. It will take me a while to empty out enough bottles, I guess.

Second crafty bit: it seems that most drinks that use a cocktail glass call for a "chilled" cocktail glass. I thought it was pretty unfeasible to keep my cocktail glasses in the freezer. However, since my bartending is rather slow, I've found that putting the glass into the freezer before beginning the rest of the drink (especially if it involves juicing something) usually results in a chilled glass by the time I get a drink into it. At the very least, the freezer puts a nice translucent frost on the glass. Check out the next two drinks as an example.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Caribbean Romance

I think that if you see multiple juices and grenadine in a recipe, you should be wary. (The Canado Saludo notwithstanding.) Plus Amaretto, though? Hm.

This drink, with the grenadine float, is very pretty. But it's next to undrinkable. Take a look at the ingredients: Amaretto, OJ, pineapple, grenadine...all of these are mostly sweet. There's nothing to balance this drink.
I had to stop and go brush my teeth halfway through because of the quarter inch of fuzz that had grown on them. I didn't finish.

This is where rum gets its bad name, folks. Don't encourage drinks like these. They'll only take advantage.

1.5 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
1 oz Amaretto (Disaronno)
1.5 oz OJ
1.5 oz pineapple juice
Splash grenadine

Shake all ingredients but grenadine with ice, and oour into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with grenadine and garnish with an orange slice.

(Note I unintentionally photographed this drink on top of an old-looking book to class it up. Didn't work. Especially since the book is a handyman's guide from the late 40's.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Captain's Blood

Dark rum is really an unusual substance. It tastes exotic, mysterious, and, well, dark.

This is a great drink for it. And a great name. Sounds spooky. Or piratey. Just as a good rum drink should.

It's a fairly strong drink, but flavorful. It goes with the dark, rainy day today was pretty well.

1.5 oz dark rum (Gosling's)
.25 oz lime juice
.25 oz simple syrup
2 dashes bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a spiral of lemon.

Canado Saludo

It's silly, I know, but I like the fruit salad drinks. At least when they taste as good as this one.

Given all the juice and fruit, this one is basically a Jamba Juice smoothie. I like that there isn't all that much sugar in this drink--just grenadine. And the color is beautiful. The photo doesn't do it justice. A rich, translucent dark orange.

1.5 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz OJ
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz grenadine
5 dashes bitters

Combine in a highball glass full of ice. Garnish with an orange slice, pineapple, marachino cherry, kitchen sink.

Cable Car

Ahhhh, a San Francisco classic.

I actually hadn't had one of these before. You see, I didn't know it had a sugar and cinnamon rim. I like the Sidecar (same drink, but with brandy instead of rum and no cinnamon).

Tart, sweet, with a nice interesting flavor.

2 oz spiced rum (Captain Morgan)
1 oz triple sec (DeKyuper's)
1/3 oz lemon juice

Coat the rim of a cocktail glass with sugar and cinnamon. Shake ingredients with ice, strain into glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Burgundy Bishop

Back in college, my friends and I used to frequent Viva Zapata in New Haven, CT. It was basically a dive bar, but it holds a special place in my heart for introducing me to sangria--a fruit and red wine punch. There are more sangria recipes out there than you can shake a stick at, but I've never found one to match the simple, Kool-Aid like flavor of the Viva Zapata cheapest-route-to-drunk beverage (and bonus wine-soaked fruit salad) until now.

The Burgundy Bishop is basically a simple sangria, but with added rum. Truth be told, the rum flavor is completely lost in this drink, so I assume it's just there to get you dancing on the table that much faster. Which shouldn't take too long even without the rum, as this drink goes down as easy as Welch's grape juice.

.5 oz lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup
1 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
Red wine (Turning Leaf Zinfandel--the cheapest red wine I had on hand.)

Shake lemon juice, sugar, and rum with ice. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass and top with red wine. And Boston's actually says "Garnish with fruits". So I did. Lemon slice, orange slice, cherry. And another cherry. I like maraschino cherries, so sue me.

I had to finish the bottle of wine, so I've been drinking variations of this all week. Really, it doesn't matter what fruits you add, as the sugar+wine taste is the strongest. Currently I'm trying one with passionfruit syrup instead of sugar, which is good, too.