October 17, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Ballets Russes

Karsavina.jpgThis is a drink from days of yore (which means, usually, with drinks, sometime in the late 1800s, early 1900s – this goes a bit on the front end) named after a beloved Russian ballet troupe that operated in Paris and sorta changed ballet and was also a fav of artist types. Also, one of the main female dancers was Tamara Karsavina, who I’m a bit fond of. What does that all mean for you, dear reader? Well, for one, now you know more about ballet, which may come in handy. Two, it means when you have a couple of these, you should plan on dancing around the room, probably in tights. Please send pics.

Ballets Russes

ballet-russesIce cubes
2 ounces Seattle Distilling Company vodka
1 ounce Sidetrack Distillery Cassis
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the vodka, cassis, and lime juice. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a small ballet shoe.

October 10, 2014

What I’m Drinking: They Shall Inherit the Earth

they-shall-inheirit-the-earThis drink sounds ominous. Who is the they here? Aliens? Dogs? The people of Prince Namor who live under the sea? That young couple that lives up the block and gets just a little loud with their parties sometimes? I mean, jeez, it’s a residential neighborhood people, we don’t need to hear your love of Katy Perry at midnight, do we? And could you clean up those cans of cheap light beer for gawd’s sake. Make this cocktail instead. Trust me. It’ll make your eventual rule of earth much tastier.

They Shall Inherit the Earth, Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz

Ice cubes
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce Bénédictine
1 ounce brandy
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Cointreau, Bénédictine, brandy, and lemon juice. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

October 3, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Fat Fisherman

I feel bad for not being much of a fisherman. Well, not usually that bad, but when I come across a bottle of one of The Fat Trout Scotches, which have fish on the bottles and which are a line of “sportsman’s Scotches,” then I feel a little bad. Until I realize there’s no need for actually going to the trouble of fishing (I realize, fishing folk, that for many it’s no trouble at all – good for you, if you’re one of them), and that I can enjoy the Scotch and just tell fish stories. One time, I caught this great white shark . . .

Anywho, a bottle of the Fat Trout blended Scotch (there are also Lowland and Speyside single malt versions) showed up the other day, and led to all this fish musing. It’s a tasty blend, too, with hints of smoke and spice and grain all mingling together. A fine thing to have neat or on the rocks. But also a fine thing when put into a drink with other items. Example A: The Fat Fisherman. To follow up a fall theme (it being fall and all), I mixed the Fat Trout with a cider, Tieton’s Dry Hopped cider (from here in WA) to be exact, which is a fine fall drink. But it was missing something . . . until I added a healthy dollop of Yzaguirre red vermouth, a type of what most would think of as sweet vermouth. Coming from Spain, this vermouth has a snazzy herbalness and a dash of balsamic flavor that went perfectly with the Scotch and cider.

fat-fisherman
The Fat Fisherman

2 ounces Fat Trout blended Scotch
1 ounce Yzaguirre red vermouth
Ice cubes
4 ounces Tieton Dry Hopped cider
Apple slice, for garnish

1. Add the Scotch and vermouth to a highball or comparable glass. Stir briefly.

2. Fill the glass three-quarters up with ice cubes. Add the cider. Stir, carefully, working to bring the bottom stuff to the top and vice versa.

3. Garnish with the apple slice. Talk about fish.

September 26, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Defensive Formation

defensiveIn an earlier post, I talked about football, football season, and having better drinks at your football parties. My suggestion there was that you call an audible over your past party selections and serve an Audible cocktail. It’s a good plan. However, the Audible (drink) is a strong mix, and after a couple, you may need to go on the defensive, so you make it until the end of the fourth quarter, and overtime, perhaps. With that in mind, at some point when the emotion is high, move to The Defensive Formation, which will refresh and perhaps balance things out. It still has a strong kick, but it’s mellowed some — but it could still hit the game-winning field goal from 45 out as time ticks down. Don’t think that it can’t.

The Defensive Formation

Cracked ice
2 ounces Woodinville Whiskey bourbon
1/2 ounce Letterpress limoncello
3/4 ounce orange juice
2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters
Ice cubes
3 ounces chilled soda water

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the bourbon, limoncello, orange juice, and bitters. Stir well.

2. Fill a highball or other comparable glass three-quarters up with ice cubes. Strain the mix from Step 1 through a fine strainer over the ice and into the glass.

3. Fill the glass almost to the top with the club soda. Stir to combine. Drink and cheer, drink and cheer.

September 19, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Audible

Are you ready for some football? No, really, are you ready? Because we’re now in the thick of it, with passes being passed and blockers blocking, and, most importantly, football parties happening in parking lots and homes alike. Don’t let your party get stuck with the same old plays (and by “plays” here, I mean drinks) being served up to defenses who will then laugh at your tired plays. Instead, call an Audible and serve up the below mix. It’s a strong one – because sometimes we need a strong drink when watching our favorite team. audibleIt’s delicious, too, because sometimes we deserve a reward for our support. Oh, it’s also a tad Italian – just cause I like Italy. And because Italian fans are, outside of you, the most rabid fans in the world, and when drinking this, you will channel all rabid fans and become the most fanatical fan in the world. Promise. I used Woodinville Whiskey bourbon, Letterpress limoncello, and Scrappy’s orange bitters here, because they’re made in Seattle, and I like to support my home teams.

The Audible

Cracked ice
2 ounces Woodinville Whiskey bourbon
1/2 ounce Letterpress limoncello
3/4 ounce orange juice
2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters

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

2. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass or smallish football helmet. Drink and cheer, drink and cheer.

September 12, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Highwayman’s Holiday

Let me start with an apology: you cannot get one of the main ingredients in this drink in the US. My bad, yo. The ingredient is the Italian amaro called Viparo, and I can’t believe with the many, many amaros now being imported that someone hasn’t brought it in, because it’s a delicious member of the amaro clan, one produced by the Morganti family since 1913, and like most, originally designed for medicinal purposes. So, pick up a bottle when you’re in Italy. Until then, you could, if you want, sub in another amaro, one that shades towards the sweetish middle of the amaro scale, something like Averna. It won’t have the same exact highwayman feel, but it’ll be close. Call it the Highwayman’s Bank Holiday.

highwaymans-holiday

Highwayman’s Holiday

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounce gin
1 ounce freshly squeezed clementine juice
1/2 ounce Viparo
1/2 ounce Aperol

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, juice, Viparo, and Aperol. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

A Note: Can’t find clementines? You could sub in orange juice instead. Call it Highwayman’s Parole.

A Second Note: You might want to strain this through a fine strainer to avoid citrus bits in teeth. But no real robber would care about that much.

September 5, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Punt e’ Mes Highball

If you’re lucky enough to be sitting outside under some late-summer sun, feeling a wee bit warm, even, and wondering how in the world life could be any finer . . . well, pour yourself one of these and you’ll see how. This is, for sure, in my top ten list of sitting-in-the-sun drinks, one that manages to cool you down without sacrificing any flavor – it has oodles of flavor, actually, an amazing amount thanks to the two ingredients, Italian bitter-kissed sweet vermouth stalwart Punt e’ Mes (from all the way in 1870, for you history buffs), and ginger ale or ginger beer (I used to use the former, but have tried the latter recently with outstanding results). The herbal and spice layers in here are only a wee bit less amazing than the drink’s power to refresh you, when you’re under that sun alluded to earlier.

punt-e-mes-highball

Punt e’ Mes Highball

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces Punt e’ Mes
3 ounces ginger ale or ginger beer

1. Fill a smallish highball glass or a big rocks glass three-quarter-ish up with ice cubes. Add the Punt e’ Mes.

2. Top with the ginger ale. Stir. Be happy.

August 29, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Pensiero

Hello late August! You might think in late August, where, for let’s say at least 85.4% of the readers of this blog, it’s pretty hot, that I wouldn’t dare suggest making a drink that means “thought.” But I will dare (as the song says), cause really, you don’t have to think too much about this drink when making it, and because it is rather refreshing and, if I may dare say, yummy. Just be sure your Brachetto d’Acqui (the slightly sweet Italian frizzante wine) is well chilled, or drop an ice cube into the glass. It is August, after all.

pensiero

The Pensiero, from Champagne Cocktails

Ice cubes
1 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 ounces Punt e Mes
1/2 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
Chilled Brachetto d’Acqui
Lemon twist, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the orange juice, Punt e Mes, Campari, and simple syrup. Shake thoughtfully.

2. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer into a flute glass. Top with Brachetto d’Acqui. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Rathbun on Film

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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 ...
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The Cocktail to Cocktail Hour hosted by A.J. Rathbun has a very special guest in this episode, who teaches you how to make the Aperol Spritz, with Aperol and...
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