Monday, November 27, 2006

Palmetto Cocktail

Here we have a rum Manhattan, maybe a little heavy on the vermouth. Also to note, the same recipe as a Little Princess but with the addition of bitters. I think the bitters are a good idea, but probably more a matter of taste. But although it's basically a Manhattan, no cherry. Hm, maybe I'll go get one just for fun.

But ain't it pretty?

1.5 oz light rum (Bacardi Superior)
1.5 oz sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
2 dashes bitters (Regan's orange)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

The Old Cuban


Just, wow.

I have found the Perfect Drink.

The Mojito and the Champagne Cocktail are two of my favorite drinks. The Old Cuban is both.

That's right. This drink ROCKS. I must have many, many more of them.

The photo makes this drink look rather muddy. I think that has something to do with the flash and the angle. It's cloudy, but not that murky. Sadly, I had no sugar-dried vanilla bean. Ok fine, I did, but those things are darn expensive and I intend to make cookies with them instead. So there.

.75 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
6 mint leaves
1.5 oz aged rum (Bacardi 8)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 oz champagne (Aria cava)

Muddle lime juice, simple syrup, and mint. Add rum and bitters and shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and fill with champagne. Garnish with a sugar-dried vanilla bean and mint.

New Orleans Buck

After a long day putting up Christmas decorations, a tall refreshing drink just hits the spot.

(That's a little hint to let you know that the rest of the photos in December will be taken next to the various holiday decorations around my house.)

This one is basically a collins recipe (citrus + fizz), with the ginger ale adding the sweetness. I decided to use a more standard ginger ale instead of Reed's, which is pretty intense with the ginger. This one goes down easy.

1.5 oz light rum (Bacardi Superior)
1 oz Orange juice
.5 oz lemon juice
Ginger ale (Safeway Select)

Shake all ingredients except ginger ale with ice and strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Fill with ginger ale and stir.

Bitters tasting in a Champagne cocktail

Occasionally I do take a break from rum drinks. Who can blame me?

I happen to have a opened bottle of champagne (ok, technically cava) in the fridge, so I have been trying champagne cocktails with the various bitters I have. No pictures, since one champagne cocktail looks pretty much like the rest--a flute with a half-dissolved sugar cube at the bottom. But bitters does make the difference. (If you don't know how to make one, it's simple: put a few dashes of bitters on a sugar cube, drop into the bottom of a flute. Fill with champagne and enjoy.)

Angostura: the classic, and so far still the best. Balanced herbal aromatic notes that go well with a dry bubbly.

Fee's peach: I thought this might be reminiscent of a Bellini, but not as sweet. It was, sort of, but not in the way I expected. The flavor and aroma is a bit artificial, rather as if peach perfume were added to the drink.

Trader Joe's blood orange: Tasty, adds some color and a bit of tartness. It's not as bitter or herbal as the others.

Regan's orange: complex, and a good contender against Angostura.

Fee's lemon: Really, this is more loosely based around lemon oil and other herbals than "lemon", so don't expect this to be sour, or even the equivalent of a lemon twist. And there are other notes in there too that combined with the bubbly produced a distinct "turkey stuffing" flavor. Was is celery? I don't know, but it was pretty weird to take a champagne drink and think, "Mmmm, turkey." Not completely unpleasant, but very strange. This is definitely a bitters for more savory drinks. Might be good in a bloody mary.

Monday, November 20, 2006


I've heard someone on TV or in a movie offer somebody else a nightcap and one is never actually made. Imagine my surprise when I came across a recipe for one. It was my understanding that "nightcap" was a word like "aperitif" and it wasn't a specific recipe. But if one wanted an alcoholic drink to put one to sleep, this would be it. It's sweet warm alcoholic milk, with some nutmeg.

I really like things with nutmeg. I get to use my microplane. And whole nutmegs look really cool inside.

2 oz light rum (Bacardi Superior)
1 tsp simple syrup
Warm milk (I used skim in the microwave)
Pour rum and sugar into an irish coffee glass, fill with mark milk, and stir. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.


In college I used to have a thing for cream sherry. I didn't know any better so I'd just drink it whenever. I don't remember how I was introduced to it, but I blame Anthony on principle.

Anyway, I think this recipe is brilliant for using it as the sweet in this rum sour recipe. The anisette rim is an odd touch, but whatever. It tasted good. The sherry definitely adds an interesting touch. I'll probably have this one again sometime. The proportions are important, though. I didn't measure my lemon juice, and the result was really too sour. I adjusted with more sherry and a dash of simple syrup, but I think if I measured properly the next time it would work out.

1 oz lemon juice
1 oz light rum (Bacardi Superior)
.5 oz Cream sherry

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled, Anisette-timmed cocktail glass.

In Search of Cocktail/Food pairing book

Somewhere out there in the cocktail blog community I've seen a reference to a book that is specifically about pairing cocktails and food. Rather than combing through the 50 sites I read or so, I'm hoping one of you readers out there remembers, or at least has a good recommendation?

I found the book I had remembered: What to Drink with What You Eat. But I'm still open to other suggestions!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Nevada Cocktail

Oh my god.

All along I've been posting that my drinks with light rum use Bacardi Silver. Because, you know, it's white, like Bacardi Gold is yellow. Right?

No. Bacardi Silver is the malt beverage under the Bacardi brand name. The correct brand name for the light rum is Bacardi Superior.

Why didn't anybody mention this to me? I feel like I've been walking around with spinach in my teeth or something.

Anyway, back to the drinks!
I'm always excited when I get to use bitters in a drink. I have a small but growing collection of bitters. Basically, whenever I come across a bottle I don't have, I buy it. At only about $5/bottle, it's a cheap habit. And besides, there just aren't that many out there. I think I have all the Fee Bro's by now, Regan's orange bitters, Collins orange bitters, and Trader Joe's blood orange, which annoy me because they have to be kept in the fridge. Not to mention the standard bottle of angostura. I even have a liter (yes a LITER) of angostura-ripoff mexican bitters. It was left in my house by party guests that had recently been to Mexico, bought a random bottle of liquor and discovered it to be undrinkable. No kidding, who wants to drink angustura bitters straight?

I digress. The Nevada cocktail is perfect when you want something daiquiri-like, but a little more complex. The grapefruit and bitters add a nice edge.

1.5 oz light rum (Bacardi Superior)
1 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz lime juice
1 dash bitters (Regan's orange)
3 tsps simple sugar

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Moon Quake Shake

I have had previous experiences with lemon and Kahlua. They were not good experiences.

But I must have been mistaken. Something else (maybe the coconut rum, which is a crime against nature) must have been to blame.
It went pretty well with the rosemary breadsticks I made, too. Which turned out so nicely that I stuck them in the picture.

This drink was pretty good. However, I must admit I didn't use coffee-flavored brandy, but Kahlua. I had never heard of coffee-flavored brandy. But upon googling it, it seems to be the root of alcohol-related crimes in Maine. So I must be missing out.

1.5 oz dark rum (Myer's)
1 oz Coffee-flavored brandy (Kahlua)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Monkey Wrench, and Mojito revisited

The next drink in the book is the Mojito, which if you aren't familiar with you must have been under a rock for the last couple of years. But I already covered this topic about a year ago. Let me give you Mr. Boston's recipe just for good measure.
2 tsp Sugar
4 sprigs fresh mint
1 lime, halved
2 oz light rum
club soda
Muddle sugar and mint with soda water in pint glass. Squeeze both halves of lime into the glass, leaving one hull in the mixture. Add rum, stir, and fill with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.

On to the Monkey Wrench, then.

It's a greyhound with rum. And as rum actually adds flavor, unlike vodka, this drink is probably an improvement. I squeezed fresh juice for this, which added pretty pink pulp. Also, the fresh juice is a little harsh, so I ended up adding a teeny dash of simple syrup to take the edge off. Another way to go might be salting the rim.

1.5 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
Grapefruit juice

Pour rum into n ice-filled collins glass. Fill with grapefruit juice and stir.

Mississippi Planter's Punch

I have no idea why Mr. Boston decided to classify this drink as a rum drink. There is as much bourbon as rum, and twice as much brandy. But I'm not complaining, it was a nice change.

Basically, this is a boozy, fizzy lemonade. The liquors blend nicely to give it a good kick.

1 tbsp simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
.5 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver)
.5 oz Bourbon (Maker's Mark)
1 oz brandy (Raynal VSOP)
Club soda

Shake all but club soda with ice and strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Fill with club soda and stir.

Midnight Express

I caught a bit of Martha Stewart's show over the weekend. Disturbingly, she had Mo'Nique on the show, who insisted that when it comes to the recipes in her cookbook, "I like meat, baby." She kept calling Martha "baby", which was just wrong. But by far, the worst part was when Martha made a whiskey sour. Of course, it being Martha, she has to rim the glass with turbinado sugar and garnish with a dried candied orange wheel. But she shook the drink in a shaker with ice and then poured the whole thing right into the glass. No straining over fresh ice. I guess she likes her whiskey sours pretty on the outside, but watery and with broken half-melted ice on the inside.

Anyway, back to Mr. Boston. Our next drink is a daiquiri variation made with dark rum. Quite nice, and more interesting than a regular daiquiri. But not very photogenic, it appears. Made me take a blurry picture and all.

1.5 oz Dark rum (Myer's)
.5 Triple Sec (Dekyuper's)
.75 oz lime juice
splash simple syrup
splash lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain (you hear that Martha? Strain.) into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass.


Finally! We have a string of good (or at least interesting) drinks.

First up is the Miami. Simple enough--rum, Creme de Menthe, and lemon juice. Crisp, refreshing, and the toothpaste-like flavor is better than it sounds.

You might notice a lime in the photo. That's because I made this drink with lime.

I had been getting home late all week, and didn't want to make the trip to the grocery store to buy their overpriced citrus, when the bodega next door has them for a third the price. (Bodega produce around here is remarkably cheap--just usually smaller than grocery produce.) But the bodega was closed. So I went a little further down to the liquor store, which I figured might have lemons. As soon as I walked in, the proprietor walks up and greets me. I ask if he has lemons. He doesn't, but he says he has limes. He opens a fridge, pulls out a plastic bag full of limes, and hands me two. "How much?" I say. "Nothing, take them!" he says. How could I refuse? And how could I not make the drink with my free limes?

1.5 oz light rum (Bacardi silver)
.5 oz Creme de Menthe (homemade)
dash lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A New Bar, and Mary Pickford Cocktail

My new bar is done! I put together some shelves and a wine rack that I'd had previously, and made a bar top. I am very pleased.

I am not so please that the first cocktail I made on it was the Mary Pickford cocktail. This drink manages to be strong and cloying at the same time. Maraschino Liqueur is difficult to work with in general, but here there really isn't anything to balance it except sweetness. I have to admit I didn't finish this drink. Maybe Maraschino is an acquired taste.

But hey, I have a bar!

1 oz Light rum (Bacardi Silver)
1 oz pineapple juice
.25 tsp grenadine (homemade)
.24 tsp Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)

Mandeville and Mariposa

The Mandeville sounded like it was going to be an interesting drink. After all, not too many of the rum drinks have anisette in them. But in this ase, the anisette was more of a texture than a flavor, if that makes sense.

For some reason I seem to have lost my picture of the Mariposa. However, you aren't missing much.

Mandeville Recipe
1.5 oz Light Rum (Bacardi Silver)
1 oz Dark Rum (Myer's)
1 tsp Anisette (Pernod)
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Cola
.25 tsp grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into an ice-fille dold-fashioned glass.

Mariposa Recipe:
1 oz Light Rum (Bacardi Silver)
.5 oz Brandy (Raynal VSOP)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange juice
dash grenadine (homemade)

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.