August 28, 2015
A late summer number if there ever was one – Behold, The River is refreshing, full of summer-y flavors without being near treacly, a nice color, and not too hard to make. If you’re actually having it alongside a river, well, you get bonus points for that! Not sure what the bonus points get you however, except a good time, and some undying gratitude from those you make the drink for, and my high esteem. Which may be worth something?
Behold, The River
1-3/4 ounces vodka
1 ounce Sidetrack Distillery blackberry liqueur
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Four ounces chilled club soda
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the vodka, liqueur, and lemon juice. Shake well.
2. Fill a highball or comparable glass three-quarters up with ice cubes. Strain the mix through a fine strainer into the glass. Top with the soda. Stir carefully, but thoroughly.
A Note: Having trouble finding Sidetrack Distillery blackberry liqueur? Well, you may need to take a trip to Washington, oh intrepid one!
August 21, 2015
Before you say anything – I know I’ve featured this drink-named-after-an-Olympic-fencer on the Spiked Punch blog before! I know it, and that’s okay, me thinks, because it’s such a fine drink that naturally it would be What I’m Drinking more than once. Also, a reader and drinker named sassy Scott has been hankering after more Campari drinks (even if he hasn’t directly requested it, he has talked about his love of Campari drinks, and from that I surmised he probably needs some other options). So, with all that said, here we are, the Lucien Gaudin. En garde!
1 ounce gin
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
Orange twist, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the gin, Cointreau, Campari, and dry vermouth. Stir well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange twist.
August 18, 2015
Last week, we had a little Cocktail Talking from the Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey book Whose Body?, and there I mentioned the four-pack of Lord Peter I’d picked up. Wait, what’s that you say? You missed that? Well, go read it now.
Welcome back! This week, we’re on to Busman’s Holiday, when Lord Peter and his new wife find a body, naturally, in the house they’ve picked up for their honeymoon. Bodies everywhere! And, as usual, my Lord’s wondrous butler, Bunter, is around, helping out, taking photos, and bringing the drinks. Which at one point leads to a little fun talk about sherry. Though I’m not sure I agree about these cocktails he mentions.
‘Sherry,’ he said, pleasantly, ‘had always appeared to me a most agreeable wine. I was so glad to read in the newspaper that it was coming into its own again. Madeira, too. They tell me that both sherry and madeira are returning to favour in London. And in the Universities. That is a very reassuring sign. I cannot think that these modern cocktails can be either healthful or palatable.
— Dorothy Sayers, Busman’s Holiday
August 14, 2015
This is a very Washington state drink (cause I love my local producers – you should love ‘em, too, and your local producers, no matter what your locale). It uses three Washington-state boozes, at least in its original form. However! If you’re not in Washington state (first, sorry – come visit!), you could conceivably make this subbing in non-WA rum, and sweet vermouth, instead of the Skip Rock Belle Rose rum and broVo Jammy vermouth. It’s a little trickier with the Sidetrack Blackberry liqueur. But I think subbing in Chambord (made from French black raspberries and more widely available at this moment) would still make a dandy drink. But heck, really, come on out here and do some shopping at our local distilleries. I mean, why not?
The Orchard Sea
1-1/2 ounces Skip Rock Distillery Belle Rose rum
1 ounce Sidetrack Blackberry liqueur
1/2 ounce broVo Spirits Jammy red vermouth
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, blackberry liqueur, vermouth, and lime juice. Shake well.
2. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass.
August 11, 2015
I picked up a box set of Dorothy Sayers not long ago, a four-pack of Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, and it’s been fun. I can’t plow through a bunch of Lord Peters in a row, due to there being a bit too much French in some of them (hah, I kid). No, no, it’s that, while I like them (and Whose Body? is my favorite of the bunch), I’m not so into them that I wanna read four in a row. You dig it. Whose Body? does start with a naked, unknown, body in a bathtub, and takes some interesting turns, so I can heartily recommend it. Especially because of the below quote, that reminds us what being gentlemanly means.
One of the young ladies came up to me and said, didn’t I dance, and I said ‘No,’ so she said wouldn’t I stand her a drink then. ‘You’ll stand us a drink then, darling,’ that was what she said, and I said, ‘Wasn’t it after hours?’ and she said that didn’t matter. So I ordered the drink – a gin and bitters it was – for I didn’t like not to, the young lady seemed to expect it of me, and I felt like it wouldn’t be gentlemanly to refuse when she asked.
–Dorothy Sayers, Whose Body?
August 7, 2015
Recently, as sometimes happens (don’t be jealous!), a bottle showed up in the mail. This time, it was Boodles gin (thanks Boodles!) and I couldn’t have been happier. I’d had Boodles here and there, but not at home (well, unless I’m remembering poorly and it was long long ago, and I’m not that old, really). Boodles is a very proper British gin – a variety of spirit I’m quiet fond of – made from British wheat, with a number of botanicals and herbs (though, a bit unlike a fair share of modern gins, no citrus). As you might expect, it’s dandy in Martinis and the more traditional gin drinks.
But hey, if you’ve read this blog before (and if you haven’t, where have you been, friend), you know I tend on occasion to want to push the envelope so to speak, see if I can create a drink that isn’t necessarily along the lines you might think, or which uses ingredients that at first glance make one say, “what?” An Elusive Memory, a Boodles-based cocktail I made up recently, sorta falls into that category. But darn, the end result is so dreamy. It’s just that Meletti anisette (the finest anisette, in my opinion) doesn’t necessarily seem like it’d go with Boodles at first, and especially Lillet (another key ingredient). Then I brought the new-ish Whiskey Barrel Aged Peychaud’s bitters in, and . . . not an expected “umm,” but a welcome “ah-ha!” It took a big of finagling, but trust me, folks, this is a tasty, layered, mixture that plays nice.
An Elusive Memory
1-1/2 ounces Boodles gin
1/2 ounce Meletti anisette
1/2 ounce Lillet
2 dashes Whiskey Barrel Aged Peychaud’s bitters
1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything. Stir well.
2. Strain into a cocktail shaker. Try to remember the time before you’d tasted this fine drink.
A Note: If you can’t find the Whiskey Barrel Aged Peychaud’s, you can use the normal variety. It won’t be quite as elusive, but close.
August 4, 2015
It’s time to take another turn through recent Bar Hop columns written by me for the swell Seattle magazine. Whether you live here, or are visiting (and if so, welcome!), be sure to check out the below to see where you might want to drink:
*See all Seattle magazine pieces by me
July 31, 2015
You know a drink’s good when it’s in the title of a book. Hah! See, the funny part is, I’m saying that about this particular drink that is in the title of one of my own books (Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz, that is), which probably makes me sound like a bit of a chump. But heck, when you try the bubbly below drink, you’ll forgive me I’ll bet. It’s another one that’s matches summer like a well-matched sock (I really love socks – one more little tidbit about me you were dying to know), as it’s refreshing but not too taxing to make. I suggest it for brunches, where its color and deliciously delicate flavor is sure to be a hit.
The Violet Fizz
2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce crème de violette
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Chilled club soda
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, crème de violette, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake extra well.
2. Fill a highball glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Strain the mixture into the glass.
3. Fill the glass with chilled club soda, stir well, and drink quickly, before those bubbles have a chance to fade.