March 10, 2017

What I’m Drinking: The Crimson Slippers

This favorite of mine recently popped up in conversation with a pal-of-mine (about orange things, funny enough), and it reminded me just how much I like it. Like it? I love it! It’s a wonderfully-balanced mix – if I can say so without sounding too full-of-myself, since I created it – with some ingredients that you don’t naturally think would go together in dark rum and Campari. But thanks to the edge-smoothing triple sec (I’d say go with homemade, if you can – there’s a recipe in Luscious Liqueurs) and the peacemaker, Perychaud’s bitters, everything plays nice. It’s always tasty fun to re-discover an old liquid friend. And this is one of my besties.

crimson-slippers
The Crimson Slippers, from Dark Spirits

Ice cubes
2 ounces dark rum
1 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce triple sec
Dash of Peychaud’s bitters
Lime slice for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, Campari, triple sec, and bitters. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

3. Squeeze the lime slice over the glass and drop it in without any mystery.

February 10, 2017

What I’m Drinking: Up In Mabel’s Room

mabelThere’s a delicate hint of hanky panky (not the classic drink, but the activity) in the name here, for me, at least (but I am an incurable romantic, and also like things like delicate hints, and gently bawdiness, as opposed to outright lewd-itity, I suppose. Most times!). Which is why I think this drink can cover the whole “Valentine’s Day” drink need just as well as some sweeter-in-taste, more traditionally romantic-y, numbers. Though this does have a little sweet, admittedly, along with a little citrus, and a lot of rye. In my mind, that rye is for lovers, too. But like I say, I’m an incurable romantic!

Up In Mabel’s Room, from Dark Spirits

Cracked ice
1-1/2 ounces rye
3/4 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
3/4 ounces simple syrup

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add everything. Shake exceptionally well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy.

October 28, 2016

What I’m Drinking: The Warlock

Well, it’s nearly Halloween, and that means it’s time for one of the traditions here at Spiked Punch, the one where I drink a Warlock cocktail and turn into a zombie magician of sorts. Oh, the Warlock is a good drink, too, well worthy of your spooky celebrations, with brandy, Strega, limoncello, orange juice, and Peychaud’s bitters. I can’t wait to drink it, consequences be darned. You should take the same stance this October.

February 12, 2016

What I’m Drinking: The Lover’s Moon

Hey, young lovers! Do you have your Valentine’s Day drink ready yet? If not, well, did you know you only have two more days to figure it out? Don’t fret though (you’ll get wrinkles). I have you covered, with the Lover’s Moon. It’s smooth, but has a little umph (like all us romantics), and lots of flavor. A swell choice! Trust me.

lovers-moon
The Lover’s Moon, from Dark Spirits, Serves 2

Ice cubes
3-1/2 ounces bourbon
3 ounces Kahana Royale Macadamia Nut Liqueur
2 ounces heavy cream
2 maraschino cherries for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the bourbon, macadamia liqueur, and cream. Shake well.

2. Add a cherry to each of two cocktail glasses. Strain the mix into the glasses, making sure each gets its full share. Sure, the cherries will vanish for a minute, but like the moon, they’ll reappear.

A Note: Can’t find the luscious Kahana Royale Macadamia Nut Liqueur? You could try this with another nut-based liqueur. Nocino (the Italian green walnut liqueur) would be interesting. It’d be less sweet, but still . . . intriguing. Try it, and let me know!

November 6, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Sir Henry Morgan

I’m not sure why this sort-of Manhattan-on-a-island cousin (which I first saw in Here’s How: A Round-the-World Bar Guide, Signet, 1957–not the Here’s How cocktail book with wooden covers) isn’t better known. Made with the right rum and right vermouth, it’s a should-be classic. And delicious.

In my case recently (and in what should be your case, if you can make it happen), the right rum was the memorable Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva rum. Holy cow, this is a rum! From Venezuela, distilled from molasses in a copper pot still, and aged for 12 years, really, it’s a sipper in most cases. However! If you are bold, and let it shine as the main player in a cocktail like this (not overwhelmed by too many ingredient), well, feel darn special cause that’ll be a great cocktail (speaking of special, this rum arrived to me via the mail. Don’t be mad). It’s won like 20 awards, and has a serious aroma: caramels, nutmeg, nuts, allspice, hints of orange, vanilla, and more. And all of those aromas come out smooth into the slightly sweet, but nowhere near sickly, taste, with even more spices. Yummy.

Picking the sweet vermouth for the below recipe was tough, due to wanting to really find something that went with that fantastic rum. I decided on La Quintinye Vermouth Royal rouge, made with 28 spices, plants, and magical items (like all vermouths), on a base of white wines, interestingly enough, and Pineau des Charentes Rouge, and it was an ideal decision. The vermouth’s flavor also has some vanilla notes, and fruit and spice, which is why it mingles so well with the rum. Try it – you can thank me later.

sir-henry-morgan
The Sir Henry Morgan, recipe from Dark Spirits

Cracked ice
2 ounces Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva rum
1 ounce picked La Quintinye Vermouth Royal rouge
2 dashes Angostura bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add the rum, vermouth, and bitters, and stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Get your thanks ready.

May 22, 2015

What I’m Drinking: Iollas’ Itch

If you aren’t up on your ancient Greek history (shame on you – or, on us, as my memory keeps getting worse, too, making my ancient Greek, not to mention last week, a little hazy at times), Iollas was the son of a Macedonian general, and a royal youth at the court of Alexander the Great. Heavy. The story goes, when Mr. Great (as he was called) was murdered, many wanted to ascribe it to poisoning, and writers (as they’ll do) laid that serious poisoner-of-Alexander tag on Iollas, who carried the royal sipping cup during the emperor’s last sickness. How does that all tie into this drink, which isn’t poison at all, but a nectar of deliciousness? Well, for one, it utilizes mint, which was a favorite of the Greeks (still is, I suppose), and used to help folks transition into the afterlife. So, that’s a tie in. But also, I tend to think (as many do, nowadays) that Iollas wasn’t actually a poisoner, just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Which means he deserves a strong drink in his honor, and this beauty is that drink.

iollas-itch

Iollas’ Itch, from Dark Spirits

3 fresh mint leaves, plus 1 fresh mint sprig for garnish
Ice cubes
2 ounces rye
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce apricot liqueur

1. Rub (carefully but firmly) the 3 mint leaves all around the inside of a cocktail glass. Then discard them.

2. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rye, apricot liqueur, and vermouth. Shake well.

3. Strain into the minty glass from above. Garnish with the mint sprig.

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.

October 31, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Warlock

It’s Halloween, dontcha know. Which means it is time for the Warlock, and the Warlock video. The spookiest Halloween cocktail video ever. The scariest cocktail video period. Ever! Bwahahahahah.

Oh, also, it contains brandy, Strega, limoncello, orange juice, and Peychaud’s bitters. And will turn you into a zombie magician. So, there’s that, too.

Rathbun on Film