July 7, 2017

What I’m Drinking: The Alligator’s Orchard with Bayou Silver Rum

Summertime, summertime, sum sum rummertime. You see what I did there? I put “rum” in for “sum” at the end, because summertime is, actually, rum time (though admittedly, I think nearly every spirit could be used in a joyous hotter-weather drink if done right. However, historically, rum fits the bill perfectly, and so my song makes sense and the right level of silliness is reached). And this concoction uses a rum that was new to me, but one I’m super glad showed up in the mail.

That rum? Bayou Silver rum, from Louisiana, which is made from raw, unrefined cane sugar and molasses from Patoutville, LA – that’s all local action, which is great. It’s also made with triple filtered fresh water, and distilled in a traditional pot still outside of Lake Charles, and has a lovely gator on the bottle. Again — great. The flavor has a slight sweetness and tropical fruit notes, while maintaining an underlying strength that stands up in cocktails. It’s also won oodles of awards, if that does it for you. Also, great!

Here, I’m matching it up with another summer favorite – fresh raspberries. While they aren’t tropical per se, that raspberry zing and tang goes with the Bayou like summer goes with short shorts. To round it out, a little smidge of fresh line pizzazz, and – because fruit is a kick – a bit of Morey Narancello orange liqueur, which is made in Spain and delivers more orange flavor and citrus, and another cuddle of sweetness. The end result is a summer drink worth singing about.

alligators-garden
The Alligator’s Orchard, Serves 2

8 good-sized fresh raspberries
Ice cubes
4 ounces Bayou Silver rum
1/4 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 ounce Morey Narancello orange liqueur

1. Add the raspberries to a cocktail shaker. Muddle well.

2. Fill the cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, lime juice, and Narancello. Shake really well.

3. Strain through a fine strainer into two cocktail glasses – because when it’s sunny outside, you may be in the midst of a summer romance, which means two drinks are needed

July 15, 2016

What I’m Drinking: The Tropicaliana

Here’s an oldie (by that I mean, not very old at all, but one that has been on the blog before, which may make some run in horror, but really, those folks probably aren’t all that cool, anyway, which means run away, by all means, while the rest of us sit here drinking it up, and laughing at your antics), but a nice goodie of a refreshing and classy number. It’s hip, too, as it feature rosé, which seems to be the star of this year’s summer, in a number of ways (meaning, everyone’s talking about it). A good summer to be rosé, especially the sparkling version of rosé in this drink, as it gets to play which such a fine array of summertime stalwarts: rum, lime, ginger. Together, they manage to deliver the yumminess and the chic-ness, without any of the sometime accompanying annoying-ness. Try it, and see.

tropicaliana
The Tropicaliana, from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz

Ice cubes
1 ounce white rum
1/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Chilled rosé sparkling wine
Lime slice, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, lime juice, ginger liqueur, and simple syrup. Shake well.

2. Strain the mix into a flute. Top with the rosé sparkling wine. Garnish with that lime slice.

January 29, 2016

What I’m Drinking: The Whip of the Conqueror

It’s hard being the conquered. Stinks, even. Whether you’re Gaius Flaminius at the battle of Lago Trasimeno, or at the less-happy end after a re-org in a big company, or destroyed by a hated rival during the NFL playoffs on national TV, being in that position doesn’t tend to lead to happy days. However! The nights at least can be better when you drink the below, instead of feeling the literal whips. Maybe not much better, but a little better.

whip-2
The Whip of the Conqueror, from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz

Ice cubes
1 -1/2 ounces dark rum
1 ounce Fernet Branca
1/2 ounce apricot liqueur
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Lime twist, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, Fernet Branca, apricot liqueur, and lime juice. Shake while longing to be the conqueror.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the twist.

September 4, 2015

What I’m Drinking: Summer Near Puebla

So, it’s September I suppose, and like the very earth itself I can sense the approaching Fall in my bones, and in my drinks too – though admittedly, I’m still leaning in those drinks towards summer-ish mixers. But the drinks know the weather is changing! And the drinks themselves are changing, with new ingredients showing up on my shelves (which are sturdy, I must say). A recent addition which I’d been pining for, and which is now almost in need of restocking, is Ancho Reyes. A lovely, perhaps the lovely, chile liqueur, made of course from Ancho chilies. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of trying it, I can hear you, in my mind, muttering to yourself about how most spice-ily flavored booze-y items are either just freaky hot or taste like chemical fire. Hold on to your chairs, though – Ancho Reyes is different. Full-bodied, rich, holding an underlying spice that isn’t bite-y, but flavorful, with cinnamon, chocolate, fruit, and herbs mingling with the chili, Ancho Reyes is to be savored, solo or in cocktails.

And savoring it is what we’ve been doing, here at the home bar, as the weather begins to think about changing. I’ve made a number of cocktails with it, but Summer Near Puebla, the cocktail below, is ideal for this time of year – still refreshing in a summer way, but with enough flavor and umph to fortify you for the following fall and winter-y months. And the taste! I am going to be a little obvious here (I mean, Ancho Reyes is made in Puebla, Mexico, from local chilies, in a handcrafted manner that’s rather swell, and award-winning Vida Mezcal, another key ingredient here, is from San Luis del Rio), but this drink goes awfully well with Mexican food. Or by itself, as you soak in some of that sunshine while you can.

summer-near-puebla

Summer Near Puebla

Ice cubes
2 ounces Vida Mezcal
1-1/2 ounces Ancho Reyes
1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Cracked ice
2 ounces chilled club soda
Lime wedge, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker up halfway with ice cubes. Add the mezcal, Ancho Reyes, curaçao, and lime juice. Shake well.

2. Fill a highball or comparable glass three-quarters up with cracked ice. Strain the mix into the glass.

3. Top it off with the club soda. Stir briefly. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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.

April 11, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Captain’s Blood

Argh, shiver me timbers, and yo-ho-ho. If the Captain’s Blood is flowing across the mizzenmast, it may be time to give up the ship. Or invite the marauders over, where you can splice the mainbrace in proper fashion–eye-patches, peg-legs, cutlasses, and black hats required. And if you think I know what that means, you are a very tipsy pirate. Which, I suppose, is the only way to be.

Oh, also, this makes a good drink if you’re watching any pirate movie, taking a bath with some sort-of floating ships in the bath with you, or watching BATTLESHIP, BATTLESHIP, BATTLESHIP. Heck, it’s just a good drink.

captains-blood

Captain’s Blood, from Good Spirits

Ice cubes
2-1/2 ounces Sun Liquor barrel-aged rum
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
2 dashes orange bitters
Lime slice, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, bitters, and lime juice. Shake matey, shake.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime slice.

October 18, 2013

What I’m Drinking: Santa Cruz Daisy (Sort Of)

So, the other night I was reclining in the big comfy chair, trying to decide what to have for my evening libation while paging through a pocket-sized book called The Standard Cocktail Guide: A Manual of Mixed Drinks Written for the American Host by Crosby Gaige, published in 1944. It’s a handy little book, if not as exuberantly fun at Mr. Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion. But well worth picking up if you ever see it. I knew, before  deciding on a drink, a couple facts. One: I wanted to make a drink using iced crushed in my new McSology Lewis bag (a dandy Lewis bag made here in Seattle out of 100% cotton canvas, and available for $48 for the professional-sized model and $26 for the home-bartender version, if after reading this you want one). Two: I wanted to make a drink I didn’t know. Three: I wanted to make a drink out of this book. Four: I wanted to use the last bit of mint from the mint plant out back. I ended up with the Santa Cruz Daisy, though admittedly I modified it perhaps nearly out of Daisy-dom, cause I went with a mint instead of fruit topping, and I used crushed and not shaved ice. But it was still massively delicious.

santa-cruz-daisy

The Santa Cruz Daisy (Sort Of)

2 ounces white rum

1/4 ounce maraschino

1/4 ounce simple syrup

Crushed ice

Fresh mint sprigs

Splash of soda water

1. Add the rum, maraschino, simple syrup to a mixing glass and stir well.

2. Crush a bunch of ice in your Lewis bag and revel in the crushing.

3. Fill a goblet or other swell glass with ice, and strain the mix gently over it, topping with more ice as needed.

4. Add a splash of soda and garnish with mint sprigs.

February 15, 2013

What I’m Drinking: Stockholm Tar

Yesterday (which means, at least for this moment, Valentine’s Day) was the day for hearts, flowers, chocolate, unicorns, and mooning under the moon. Today, well, it’s still the day for all that. But it’s also the day for Stockholm Tar, which, to me, seems almost like it could be the name of a grungy drug gotten by scraping the barnacles off a ship and then boiling them down with a mixture of formaldehyde, corn starch, and Juicy Fruit gum. This drink, however, contains none of that, and while it is strong and all, well, between us, it’s probably closer to the whole flowers and romances mentioned first. So, have one with your favorite sailor and stretch the heart-iest holiday out another day. This recipe’s from Dark Spirits.

Stockholm Tar

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces dark rum

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 ounce cranberry juice cocktail

1/2 ounce Simple Syrup

1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur

Lime slice for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, lime juice, cranberry juice, simple syrup, and maraschino liqueur. Shake well (you want to ensure it doesn’t get a tar-like appearance).

2. Strain the mix into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime slice.

Rathbun on Film