February 27, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Stock-in-Trade

I’m heading out to Italy again for a little vacation, and as usual when I start thinking every hour of every day about Italy (as opposed to just every day), I start thinking about when we lived in Italy, and the drinks I made and had when there. Yeah, I know, it’s a hard-a-knock life. To make up for all my musing about it, try the below drink. It’s freaky-delicious. If you can’t go on an Italian vacation this second, this’ll at least help cure a teeny bit of the ache.

stock-in-trade
The Stock-In-Trade

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces Aperol
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 ounce Strega
1 dash Bitter Truth orange bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Aperol, orange juice, Strega, and bitters. Shake well.

2. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktails glass, or a pretty wine glass if that’s what’s handy.

February 20, 2015

What I’m Drinking: Up North, Down South

This border-busting concoction combines a couple of ingredients that are from fairly different points on the compass: tequila (that’s the southern one), and Washington State’s own Skip Rock Distillery’s Spiced Apple liqueur. The former I’m guessing you know about, but the latter uses local Jonagold apples, and a little bit of sweet and spice, in a dandy manner – meaning, it’s a liqueur that lets the flavor shine through, one that makes a great pairing with tequila and other things. However, when making this cocktail with those two ingredients, I realized that the whole Mason/Dixon quandary was keeping it from fully delivering the awesome, and that I needed one or two last mediators to really make things hum. After some hemming and hawing (and by that I mean, testing and testing), two unexpected other ingredients fell into place: Lillet and Scrappy’s orange bitters. The end result is . . . well, try it and see (okay, a hint: it’s darn tasty).

upnorth-downsouth

Up North, Down South

Cracked ice
2 ounces tequila blanco
3/4 Skip Rock Spiced Apple liqueur
1/4 ounce Lillet
Dash Scrappy’s orange bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

February 13, 2015

What I’m Drinking: Ti Penso Sempre

I believe that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow – be still my beating heart. If you’ve been planning a host of heart-y things for your sweetness tomorrow, then you are in fine shape. Unless you forgot to plan out the right drink for the evening. What’s that you say? You don’t have a special drink for that special somehow. Hope you like the couch. Though, since I have a warm feeling towards you (you are pretty neat), howsabout I help you out. Serve up the below, which is a tasty mix shading just a wee bit sweet, and watch the evening commence in the proper manner. Oh, you might want to whisper that Ti Penso Sempre means, “I think of you always.” That should help your cause as well.

ti-penso-sempre

Ti Penso Sempre, from Dark Spirits, Serves 2 naturally

Ice cubes
3 ounce brandy
2 ounces Aperol
1 ounce simple syrup
2 orange slices, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the brandy, Aperol, and simple syrup. Shake well.

2. Strain the mix equally into 2 cocktail glasses. Garnish each with an orange slice. Let the romancing commence.

February 6, 2015

What I’m Drinking: I Will Give You A Thrashing

People who know me best know that as the song says, I’m a lover not a fighter. So, don’t take the sorta aggressive nature of this title to mean I’m all up in your face. I’m not! I just had a friend suggest this as a title, and it’s a dandy name for a cocktail in my mind (and that’s the only mind I got). Also, at the time I was looking for a name for this very drink, a drink I created using the swell Old Ballard Liquor Co. Riktig Aquavit (I wrote a lot about the Old Ballard Liquor Co. here), which has a strong and memorable flavor. Not so strong as to give you a thrashing, but strong enough that you’ll remember it – and hopefully this drink, too.

thrashing

I Will Give You a Thrashing

Cracked ice
2 ounces Riktig Aquavit
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (I used Cocchi Torino)
1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Drink while facing Ballard.

January 30, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Blue Train (Take Two)

I’ve had a Blue Train cocktail up here on the Spiked Punch blog in the past, and it’s a good drink. There is, however, another Blue Train cocktail I like, based on one I saw called the Blue Train Special. It’s a bubbly mix, a celebratory number, an effervescent affair, one that’s sure to provide a hint of elegance for those occasions that demand such. You should try it, whether you’re on a train or not. Though really, it might be, now that I think about it, better when actually had on a train.

blue-train

The Blue Train, from Champagne Cocktails

Ice cubes
1 1/2 ounces brandy
1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
Chilled brut sparkling wine
Pineapple chunk, for garnish, (optional)

1. Fill a cocktail shaker three-quarters full with ice cubes. Add the brandy and pineapple juice. Shake well.

2. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer into a Champagne flute. Top with chilled sparkling wine and garnish with a pineapple chunk on a toothpick.

January 23, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Back of The Hand

I’m a strong proponent of the non-violent approach. So don’t think this drink is in honor of using the back of your hand in some attempt at masculinity or femininity through smacking folks around (unless it’s like Hydra, or the Nazis, or something). Oh no. This drink is in honor of the actual backside of the hand – a space on your body that you should always take care of, since it’s what shows when you’re holding a drink. This drink has a bit of a beachy lean, too, featuring 3 Howls Navy Strength rum, as well as pineapple and lime, and on the beach every single inch of skin is important, and seen. And, as people tend to gaze at your hand most (even if it’s a beach, right? Right?), especially when you’re holding said drink, that hand backside becomes very important. So important that I thought it needed a drink named after it. This is that drink!

back-of-the-hand
The Back of the Hand

Ice cubes
2 ounces 3 Howls Navy Strength rum
3/4 ounces pineapple simple syrup (see Note)
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3 ounces club soda

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, pineapple simple syrup, and lime juice. Shake well.

2. Fill a highball or comparable glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Strain the above mix over the ice. Top with club soda. Stir well. If you feel this needs a garnish, try a lime wedge.

A Note: To make pineapple simple syrup, add three cups fresh chopped pineapple, 3 cups sugar, and 2 -1/2 cups water to a medium-sized saucepan. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a boil over a medium-high heat. Lower the heat a bit, keeping the mixture at a low boil for five 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the syrup cool completely cool in the pan. Strain and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

January 16, 2015

What I’m Drinking: Let It Fly

This international (of sorts) country hopper is another that has a bit of a holiday-overload-reviving quality. It even has double bitters, and the slightly bitter vermouth Punt ‘e Mes, making it good anytime you’ve had a filling meal. It’s all underlined by the fine Irish Whiskey, Teeling, which I hope you can find in your neighborhood.

let-it-fly
Let It Fly

Cracked ice
1-1/2 ounces Teeling Irish Whiskey
1 ounce Kronan Swedish Punsch
1/2 ounce Punt ‘e Mes vermouth
2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything, and stir.

2. Strain the mix into a cocktail glass.

January 9, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Stomach Reviver

A classic cure for gastronomical distress, I’ve featured this favorite on the Spiked Punch blog before. But as it’s such a fine remedy for curing your post-holiday internal ills, and as one or two of you may have missed the earlier post, here it is again, starting your new year off in a fine, tasty, gut-happy way.

stomach-reviver

The Stomach Reviver

Ice cubes
1 1/2 ounces brandy
1 ounce kümmel
1/2 ounce Fernet Branca
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything, and stir well.

2. Strain the mix into a cocktail glass. Think less full thoughts.

Rathbun on Film

Cocktail to Cocktail Hour Series Four, Episode Five, The GizmoNovember 04, 2013
A special Cocktail to Cocktail Hour holiday episode hosted by A.J. Rathbun where very special guest Jeremy Holt stops by to teach us how to make the Gizmo, a...
See More
Cocktail to Cocktail Hour Series Four, Episode Four, The TrilbyNovember 03, 2013
The Cocktail to Cocktail Hour hosted by A.J. Rathbun has a very special guest in this episode; Alastair Edwards stops by with a drinking problem, solved by t...
See More
Cocktail to Cocktail Hour, V4, Three, Horse's NeckOctober 06, 2013
In this Cocktail to Cocktail Hour, you'll learn to make the refreshing Horse's Neck from special guest star Mark Butler, and hear host A.J. Rathbun and Mark ...
See More
Cocktail to Cocktail Hour V4, Two, Aperol SpritzSeptember 24, 2013
The Cocktail to Cocktail Hour hosted by aj Rathbun has a very special guest in this episode, who teaches you how to make the Aperol Spritz, with Aperol and...
See More