March 17, 2017

What I’m Drinking: Irish Triplets

Guess what? It’s St. Patrick’s Day. You may know this? I’m guessing you know this? Sure, sure. Please tell me though that even though you are aware of this holiday celebrating Irish culture and history that you weren’t going to celebrate by drinking some noxious green beer or something like that. Don’t make me sad. Make me happy. Tell me instead, that you are looking for the right drink featuring Irish whiskey. And I will tell you that I am here to help. With a slightly modified version of a drink I recently found in the Café Royal Cocktail Book – the reprinted edition from the fine folks at Mixellany. If you wanted to send me a copy of the original, go on, do it! In said book, it says this drink called Triplets was created by J. Nash. Thanks Mr. or Miss Nash! Also, it says this book originally used Vat 69 Whisky, an old brand of blended Scotch. It’s mingled with Drambuie (makes sense, with Scotch, right?), and Lillet, in equal parts. A bit nutty! But even nuttier, because when I read that, I thought – I’ll bet Irish whisky (mellow by nature, in some ways, and not completely un-related to its cousins across the water) would be good here, too. Especially a nice version like The Quiet Man Irish whiskey, blended and bottled in Derry, Ireland. Guess what? It is good here! And will make your St. Patrick’s day dreamy. Trust me! The world is based on trust, and now it’s your turn.

triplets-tall
Irish Triplets

Cracked ice
1 ounce The Quiet Man Irish Whiskey
1 ounce Drambuie
1 ounce Lillet

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add each triplet. Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy the holiday.

August 7, 2015

What I’m Drinking: An Elusive Memory

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.

elusive-memory
An Elusive Memory

Cracked ice
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.

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.

January 3, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Lily, Two Ways

Recently, I had a query about a drink featured in my book Good Spirits, a drink called the Lily. As Good Spirits is from a few years back (but not old by any means, and still I hope darn fun and useful), I hadn’t actually made the Lily in awhile, and so was pretty excited to revisit the drink. The question came around the use of crème de noyaux, an almondy liqueur made from apricot pits, and an ingredient not as readily available – it also has a signature pinkish color. The drink-maker was having a hard time tracking it down, and wondered about subbing. My first thought was amaretto, also made usually with apricot pits or almonds. So, for fun, I tried making the Lily with both. And you know what? Both versions were darn tasty. The main difference really was the color, which is wildly different (the noyaux is the pink one naturally in the pic), but the flavor was very similar, with the crème de noyaux version a smidge sweeter, and the amaretto nuttier on the back end. I suggest you try both, and see what you think.

lily

The Lily

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce crème de noyau
1/2 ounce Lillet
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon twist for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, crème de noyau, Lillet, and lemon juice. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist after twisting it over the drink.

A Lily

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce amaretto
1/2 ounce Lillet
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon twist for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, Crème de Noyau, Lillet, and lemon juice. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist after twisting it over the drink.

November 6, 2012

Lillet and the Good Life

Well, wouldn’t you know it—even James Bond gets older. It seems his first film came out about 50 years ago. What does this have to do with anything outside of giving me a chance to make the point that Sean Connery is the finest James Bond and anyone who disagrees is a ninny? Well, it also leads to the fact that the lovely French aperitif wine-thing Lillet figures into the Bond mythos. Which also then leads to a little Lillet article I have in the most recent Good Life Report, which also has an article about Bond. And now it’s all tied up in a mystery even Timothy Dalton could solve (I kid, I kid. Dalton is aces with me).

February 29, 2012

What I’m Drinking: Great Secret

Sometimes, you have a little secret that you like to hold close like a puppy (one I have is that I actually don’t drink. Nah, I’m kidding. How does the fact that I’m a Martin Lawrence devotee work?). Sometimes, you have a larger secret that’s oodles of fun that you can’t tell but that you hold close to youself to like a favorite key (naturally I have these, but I surely can’t tell you about them). And then, sometimes you’re associated with a great big secret, like this recipe, or like when you get abducted by aliens and discover leap year is an alien plot, or when you wear a cape and fight crime at night using mystical powers. Of course, now this delicious recipe isn’t a secret at all, since I’m telling you it to you. But it’s still great. And we’re still sharing it. So, that’s something almost as good, right?

Cracked ice

2 ounces gin

1 ounce Lillet Blanc

Dash of Angostura bitters

Orange twist, for garnish

Orange slice, for garnish (optional, used instead of above twist)

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

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Twist the twist over the glass and then drop it in. Shhhhh.

PS: Though this Great Secret is featured in Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz (a beautiful book you should really have), I found it in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Manual (Alta, 1934).

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August 18, 2011

What I’m Drinking: The Earl of 15th Avenue

Here’s something long-time readers (all three of you) of the Spiked Punch don’t see very often: a drink recipe with vodka. It’s true, I find most mass-produced modern vodkas a wee smidge, well, boring. Flavorless, even. This has probably and sadly kept me away from some modern craft-y vodkas, ones I would enjoy. Until recently, that is (and that, friends, is what we call an “ah-ha” moment). Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to try some of the new local vodkas, those created around the Seattle and WA area, and I’ve been blown away–complex vodkas with intriguing flavor profiles? Amazing. I’m talking about vodkas like Bainbridge Organic’s Legacy vodka, Woodinville Whiskey’s Peabody Jones vodka, and Sound Spirits’ Ebb+Flow vodka. The latter is what I used in the below drink, because it’s flavor, which comes from using 100% malted barley, mingled well with some tasty Earl Grey syrup I received from the fine folks at Deluxe Foods. Deluxe isn’t selling their syrups yet (I don’t think–though if you’re in Seattle you should stop by a Farmer’s Market and ask), but keep checking the Deluxe Foods site for when they do. The Earl Grey syrup has a subtle-but-evident tea taste and a nice medium sweetness. Sorry to list a recipe that might have hard-to-find ingredients, by the way, but you know what they say: fate favors those who track down hard-to-find-ingredients. Or something like that.

 

Ice cubes

2 ounces Ebb+Flow vodka

1/2 ounce Deluxe Foods Earl Grey syrup

1/4 ounce Lillet blanc

1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

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

 

2. Drain the mix into a cocktail glass and enjoy to the fullest.

 

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