December 19, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Morning Call

morning-callEarlier on the blog, we made a lovely drink with Seattle distillery 3 Howls’ Navy Strength rum, the Midshipman Burns. But one drink with this sturdy, but tasty, rum is not enough! And as the temperature is dropping – or dropped – and drinks that warm you cause of their heat and cause of their warming fortitude are desired, this second rum drink is a hot one. It’s great on a cold morning, when you need to warm up and get going all at once. But it’s not just hot – it’s scrumptious, as the rum here’s cozied up with the great Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao, and one of the best coffee liqueurs in the world, which is also made up in the Northwest, by the sweet Seattle Distilling Company. It might seem an odd quartet when mixed with water, but it’s a wondrous combo. Trust me!

The Morning Call

1-1/2 ounces 3 Howls Navy Strength rum
3/4 ounces Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
1/2 ounce Seattle Distilling Company coffee liqueur
4 ounces hot water
Wide orange twist, for garnish

1. Add the 3 Howls rum, Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao, and the Seattle Distilling Company coffee liqueur to a mug that’s been warmed slightly with hot water. Stir briefly.

2. Add the hot water and stir again. Garnish with the orange twist.

December 12, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Long and Short

Baby, it’s cold outside. Luckily, this drink makes it warm inside (both inside you, and inside a domicile, if you happened to be drinking it inside. Though, honestly, it would be tasty if had outside as well, and probably be a welcome sight to anyone who had been outside in the cold). It uses SIA, a lovely blended Scotch that’s recently been released, and which boasts a mélange of citrus, spice, vanilla, and smoke and nuttiness. It’s a great Scotch to woo people who don’t like Scotch as well (and yeah, there are those people out there). Mix it up with the swell French aperitif Pineau des Charentes White Pineu – which is a little citrusy, too – and the always-awesome Scrappy’s orange bitters, and you have this wonderful winter warmer.

long-and-short

The Long and Short

1-1/2 ounces SIA blended Scotch
3/4 ounce Pineau des Charentes White Pineu
2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters
4 ounces hot water
Lemon twist, for garnish

1. Add the SIA Scotch, Pineau des Charentes, and the Scrappy’s to a mug that’s been warmed slightly with hot water. Stir briefly.

2. Add the hot water and stir again. Garnish with the lemon twist. Indulge yourself with every sip.

December 5, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Mean Season

Sometimes you have bad days. Sometimes you have busy days. Sometimes you have busy weeks. Here’s hoping you don’t have bad weeks that combine all the above. But if you do, well, this may well be the drink for you. But it’s also just a darn good drink, one that has layers and layers of flavors happening, and depth galore. It utilizes a lot of Seattle-area ingredients, so stock up next time you’re out this way (though many are them are available in other areas, too, and more all the time, thankfully). And one key Italian pal, too.

mean-season

The Mean Season

Cracked ice
1-1/2 ounces Seattle Distilling Company whiskey
1 ounce Seattle Distilling Company coffee liqueur
1/2 ounce Cynar
2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters
1 dash Scrappy’s cardamom bitters
Lemon twist, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add everything but the twist. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the twist.

November 28, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Pliny’s Hand Warmer

Way, way back when, (in the double digits AD), Pliny the Elder wrote the Naturalis Historia, and in that wrote about peppermint, and how it was not only used in sauces and drinks, but only in sweet-scented sprays and worn about the head. I like that! I wanna wear peppermint like a hat. Can I do that? Anyway, with all that connection between good ol’ Pliny and peppermint, I don’t believe anyone has every named a peppermint-y drink for Pliny. Please correct me if I’m wrong here, and you have, actually, come up with said drink. Hopefully this is different than yours if that’s the case. I used peppermint tea for my peppermint-y-ness, and to go along with all the Ps, I used Plantation’s Original Dark rum. No, no, I used this rum from Trinidad & Tobago because its hints of smoke, citrus, banana, and spice mingle smoothly with the tea. And then I used Averna amaro for no other reason than I thought it would taste good. Guess what? I was right! This is a swell drink for the winter months – keep warm out there.

pliny

Pliny’s Hand Warmer

1-1/2 ounce Plantation Original Dark rum
1 ounce Averna amaro
5 ounces hot peppermint tea
Wide orange twist, for garnish

1. Add the rum and the Averna to a mug that’s been warmed with hot water. Stir briefly.

2. Add the tea, stir again, and warm up. Garnish with the orange twist.

A Note: If you feel this needs an extra garnish, and have fresh peppermint available, well, you know what to do.

November 21, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Owl’s Wink

This bubbly beaut is ideal all through the fall holidays – a time which is, also, surprise, surprise, owl time. But the drink (as opposed to the feathered friend) is also bursting with some fall flavors: cranberries, bubbly, juniper, and, cherries. Okay, the latter may be pushing it, but as someone with a cherry tree, I tend to have them more in the fall after the harvest in the summer. Here, too, the cherry is represented by the Old Ballard Liquor Co.’s amazing Cherry Bounce, which is good anytime. The cranberries come in thanks to the Fee Brothers bright cranberry bitters, the juniper from our old friend gin (here, I went with Voyager gin), and the bubbly from Valle Calda Prosecco DOC (Prosecco being the wonderful Italian sparkling wine). The Valle Calda DOC is slightly fruity with a dandy effervescence, like an owl with a really serious hoo, hoo. It all adds up to a wonderful drink.

owls-wink
The Owl’s Wink

Cracked ice
1 ounce Voyager gin
3/4 ounce Cherry Bounce
3 dashed Fee Brothers Cranberry bitters
3 ounces chilled Valle Calda Prosecco DOC

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the gin, Cherry Bounce, and bitters. Stir well.

2. Strain into a flute glass or any glass with an owl on it. Add the Prosecco. Stir, carefully, working to combine all ingredients.

A Note: If your Prosecco isn’t chilled enough, feel free to add an ice cube or frozen cranberries at the end.

November 14, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Midshipman Burns

This seaworthy cocktail is an on-board twist on one of my all-time favs, the Bobby Burns. The Bobby Burns is one of those strong classics that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for umph, or get try to sub in tricksy-ness for good taste (not that many classic cocktails do). In this variant, I’ve subbed in the new 3 Howls Navy Strength rum, for the Scotch, which is a seriously strong rum, following up on their award-winning Navy Strength gin. The rum goes well with the sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica is the way to go here) and the Bénédictine, too, delivering a memorable mix, and one with a nice warm kick. I’ve upped the Bénédictine a little, because the herbalness was playing well.

midshipman-burns
The Midshipman Burns

Cracked ice
2-1/2 ounces 3 Howls Navy Strength rum
1/2 ounce Carpano Antica
1/2 ounce Bénédictine
Lemon twist, for garnish.

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the rum, Carpano, and Bénédictine. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.

November 11, 2014

Seattle Magazine Cocktail Catch Up

Hey, lucky people! It’s your turn to browse a few fine pieces I wrote recently for the fine Seattle magazine. If you happened to miss them the first time around, well, now’s your chance for a fun first read. If you read them once already, well, the second time is usually even better. And don’t let me get started about the third.

•     5 Horrifically Tasty Halloween Drinks

•     5 Cocktails to Drink While Playing Video Games

•     Local Spirit Spotlight: Sidetrack Blueberry Liqueur

•     4 Appleicious Drinks for Fall

*See all Seattle magazine pieces by me

November 7, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Royal Cocktail #4

royal-4Many say 3 is a magic number. Then there’s the rule of 3. 3 rings to bind them. Etc. Etc. 3 must have an awfully big head. Even in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Manual (1940 edition) there are 3 Royal Cocktails. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for 3s. But c’mon! Doesn’t anyone feel bad for 4? I did, and so I concocted the Royal Cocktail #4. And if that wasn’t enough, I used the lovely Sidetrack Blueberry Liqueur to do it. Deliciously 4.

Royal Cocktail #4

Cracked ice
1 ounce Sidetrack Blueberry Liqueur
1 ounce Voyager gin
1 ounce Dolin dry vermouth

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

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Drink royally.

Rathbun on Film

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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 ...
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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...
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