Friday, May 26, 2006

Cool Carlos

In college, the dining hall had a juice dispenser. One side was OJ, one side was cranberry, and the middle was a strangely colored strawberry-orange-pinapple thing.

I also had experimented with hair color in college. It had been blonde, then it was bright pink. As the bright pink faded, I thought I'd try to cover it with coppery red. It didn't really take, so I ended up with strawberry-orange-pinapple colored hair.

That's the color of this drink. Much like how I found hats to be useful with that hair color, this drink feels the need to cover itself with large and colorful objects as well, in the form of fruit garnishes.

1.5 oz Dark Rum (Gosling's)
2 oz cranberry juice
2 oz pineapple juice
Splash simple syrup
Splash lemon juice
1 oz Orange Curacao (Potters)

Shake all but Curacao with ice. Strain into an ice-filled collins glass and float curacao on top. Garnish with pinapple and orange slices and a maraschino cherry.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I kissed my husband after having this drink. His response? "Hm, Jen is citrusy."
I think the homemade creme de menthe is losing its mint power. This drink was not really at all minty. But I rather liked it that way.

1.75 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
1 Tbsp lime juice
1.5 tsp Creme de Menthe, green (homemade, so mine was clear)
.5 tsp simple syrup

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


It's fruit, it's sugar, it's wine. Lighter and fruitier than the Burgundy Bishop, still squarely in the sangria family.

God, I love red wine drinks. And this one's pretty.

1 oz lemon juice
2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz orange juice
1.5 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
2 oz red wine (Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon)
Shake all ingredients but wine with ice. Pour into an ice-filled collins glass and top with wine. Garnish with a pineapple stick (I didn't have one, more's the pity.)

Material acquisitions

Item 1: Yet Another Juicer
Up to now I've been using a lovely, classic, wooden citrus reamer on my lemons and limes. Effective, yes. But it also results in a lot of pulp and seeds in the shaker, hands covered in acid, and much difficulty in measuring as the juice ends up everywhere. So I got one of these.
Effective, keeps my hands dry, and the juice goes where one would expect, not all over the counter.

Item 2: Silicone makes everything better (almost)
I'd almost perfected the plastic icecube tray twist and shake, just enough to upend the cubes, not so much that they end up on the floor. Almost. But since silicone seems to be the be-all-end-all in kitchenware these was time to modernize. I was not disappointed. Not only can I get four trays in the ice compartment instead of two, the cubes slide out individually with a push on the bottom.

Item 3: It's all about the bitters these days.
My dear friend Julian just arrived today for a summer-long stint on this coast. He brought with him three wonderful things: pictures of expensive accessories, pictures of cute animals (both in the Barney's New York catalogs) and a beautiful brown bottle of Regans' Orange Bitters No. 6. It's late tonight, but tomorrow there shall be Manhattans.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Chocolate Rum

The weather here is amazing. So after a tough morning biking through the hills on Sunday, I decided to kick back outside on the lawn chair with a magazine.

So a girly, chocolately, cream-based drink fit right into my afternoon plans. It was pretty strong, but wonderfully frothy and drinkable. The mint was pretty mild, actually. I imagine commercial Creme de Menthe would be more potent.

But doesn't this seem like a boozier Grasshopper?

1 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
.5 oz Creme de Cacao, brown (actually I used white, which accounts for the virginal hue of mine)
.5 oz Creme de Menthe, white (homemade)
1 Tbsp light cream
1 tsp 151 rum (Bacardi 151)

Shake with ice and strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.

Boston Caribbean Coffee

Mx Monday

The Art of Drink blog is hosting a Mixology Monday, topic: coffee.
So continuing with my blog's theme, I checked Mr. Boston for a coffee-based rum drink. In the "Hot Drinks" section, I found the Boston Caribbean Coffee.

I'm a bit late to the game here, howeer. I started this drink around 8pm, which is really too late for me to be drinking coffee, but this one sounded worth it. Dark rum has really been growing on me (this may be a result of the fact that a lot of rum drinks made with light rum in Mr. Boston are unspectacular), so this one sounded interesting.

This was a pretty good drink, actually. The dark rum and cinnamon provided a hint of spice, and the Creme de Cacao provided a decent amount of sweetness--I like my coffee pretty sweet. So even if this drink keeps me up until 2am, I'd say it was worth it.

And I swear there is a cinnamon stick in there. It dived under the cream when I went to get the camera.

1 oz dark rum (Gosling's)
1 oz Creme de Cacao, dark (Potter's)
Hot coffee
Pour first two ingredients into a sugar-rimmed Irish coffee glass. Fill with coffee. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Add a cinnamon stick to stir.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Chinese Cocktail

As I was making this, I wondered why it was called a Chinese cocktail. None of the ingredients are particularly Asian, after all.

However, the moment I poured it into the glass, the reason became clear. The color is an intense orangish red.

Otherwise, it's ok. Rather like a maraschino cherry. I was surprised that the Maraschino flavor came through so strongly. The dark rum blends nicely with it, too.

1 Tbsp Grenadine (Rose's)
1.5 oz Jamaican rum (I used Gosling's Bermuda black rum)
1 dash bitters
1 tsp Maraschino Liqueur
1 tsp Triple Sec

Cinco de Mayo Margarita Contest

For Cinco de Mayo, my work had a margarita contest. The "rules" were that we would be provided with margarita basics and were allowed two secret ingredients.

It was a little disorganized, and there weren't nearly enough limes, but here's a summary of the results.

Group 1 made a drink that had tequila, lime, and a sweetener (I don't know which, since I didn't see it made, but it was very sweet), and for their secret! So not so much a margarita, but a tequila-based mojito. The judges were unimpressed.

Group 2 made a strange concoction that was claimed to be the "real way" margaritas are made in Mexico. I do believe that a similar drink was made somewhere in Mexico, but I suspect it was a specialty drink in some resort restaurant. I observed the making, and as far as the ratios, it seemed to be a 2-3-1 rather than a 3-2-1 tequila-sweetener-lime ratio. The ingredients were as follows, as far as I remember:

Lime juice
Orange juice
Tequila (they used Patron silver instead of the provided Sauza)

All ingredients are shaken over ice, and strained into ice-filled glasses that have been rimmed in raw sugar crystals. Then grenadine is drizzled around the inside of the glass, and a thick spiral of lime is added as a garnish.

The grenadine falls to the bottom in a rather grisly-looking ring. I had a taste, and overall I think it should have been shaken with more ice, which the bartenders agreed but they had made too many servings in the shaker and so didn't get it watered down enough. It was mostly sweet, with the lime tartness finally coming through at the end. The tequila was untasteable. The judges called this one a "margarita-like tequila sunrise", and continued to be unimpressed.

Group 3 was my group, and we had two offerings.
My partner made a margarita the same way he'd had made for him in Cabo. One secret ingredient was Damiana, which is a liqueur made from a special herb. It tasted pretty good by itself, but very unusual. It also has an entertaining bottle. He also had a bottle of Controy, which seems to be a Mexican Cointreau ripoff.

The Damiana, Controy, and tequila were shaken with ice and poured into ice-filled glasses with salted rims. Then a fresh lime was squeezed over the glass. It was a pretty decent margarita, with the dominant taste being the aromatic Damiana.

I decided to wing it, and an hour before the contest I went through Whole Foods looking for secret ingredients. I considered using a fruity rice vinegar for half the lime juice, but in tasting found it to be good but rather un-margarita. So I decided to go with a pretty standard 3-2-1 margarita, but I halved the triple sec and made up the difference with orange honey. This had to be stirred into the rest of the ingredients before adding ice to the shaker, as otherwise it would solidify and not mix with the rest of the ingredients. To counter the earthiness of the honey I also added a dash of ginger juice.

Both versions were acceptably margaritay enough for the judges, and we won the prize. My share was a bottle of Patrón Añejo.

Cherry Rum

Cream-based drinks are usually sweet. I just couldn't get over the non-sweetness of this one.

It's a very dry drink, but I kept expecting it to be sweet or smooth or at least drinkable. But it was pretty awful.

1.25 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
1.5 tsp Cherry-flavored brancy (Hiram Walker Kirschwasser)
1 Tbsp cream

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. No garnish is called for, but since it was called Cherry Rum I added a cherry. Bad idea, since it made the drink taste even more dry and bitter in comparison. Perhaps this drink is just beyond my palate.