December 31, 2021

What I’m Drinking: The Temporary Getaway

Goodbye crappy 2021 (I won’t go into all the reasons my 2021 wasn’t a high-roller, actually, pretty sucky, but let me say I hope dearly that your 2021 was a dreamy dose of dandy-ness), and nearly hello to 2022. Time is crazy friends! 2022, hard to imagine. Let’s give this upcoming year the benefit of the doubt, as it hasn’t even started yet, and say it’s gonna be a hum-dinger in the best ways for all. But, but, but, just in case there’s a day or two in the upcoming year where it isn’t the bestest, and where you feel you just need a break, or to break away from it for a moment, well, I want you to have this drink on hand, as it provides (as the name implies!) a Temporary Getaway, what with its juicy juices, floral notes, apple hints, and bubbles. A getaway-ing combo indeed. As a bonus! If you don’t yet have your drink picked out for this evening (New Year’s Eve and all that dontcha know), this bubble number does it right, right.

temporary-getaway

The Temporary Getaway, from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz

 

3 apple slices

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

Ice cubes

1 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur

4 ounces chilled brut Sekt or other sparkling wine

 

1. Place 2 of the apple slices, the orange juice, and the lemon juice in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, muddle well.

 

2. Fill the cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the St-Germain and, using a long spoon, stir well.

 

3. Pour the chilled Sekt into the cocktail shaker. Using that same reliable spoon, stir briefly, being sure to bring up the fruit on the bottom when stirring.

 

4. Strain into a flute glass or cocktail glass (in this instance I like the way the latter breathes, but a flute’s more traditional), through a fine strainer if you want to avoid the fruit bits. Garnish with the remaining apple slice, putting a little notch in it if needed for rim balancing.

 

 

October 29, 2021

What I’m Drinking: The Warlock

Can you believe it – it’s nearly Halloween! It’s Halloween weekend, with the day itself just hours away, and all the ghouls, goblins, witches, skellingtons, and whatever the kids are wearing these days, are about to arise (thinking safety-first, of course). And (even more important) the Warlock cocktails are about to flow, as they do this time every year, changing spooky drinkers into happy zombie magicians, thanks to the sorcerous combination of brandy, Strega, limoncello, orange juice, and Peychaud’s bitters. You’ll see the process (and learn how to make the drink if you’ve somehow missed it on past Halloweens) in the video below.

September 10, 2021

What I’m Drinking: The Painkiller

A little lesser-known than some of it’s more famous tropical tiki siblings, the rummy Painkiller is an early-summer, mid-summer, and late-summer treat (though honestly, why not bring summer into any day by having this year round? I can’t conjure up a single reason). I once wrote “old pirates say this was first mixed using Pusser’s rum by Daphne Henderson (owner and bartender) at the six-seat Soggy Dollar Bar at White Bay, British Virgin Islands in the 1970s” and still believe that to be the historical case. I used to love the Painkiller at Seattle’s much-missed No Bones Beach Club (you can see me on Seattle’s King 5 talking about it and other Seattle tiki treats if so inspired), and currently love the one at the bubbly Baker’s up this way, but I also like to sail my own ship once in a while, high winds be damned, and you should tack the same direction. Because the Painkiller isn’t tough to make, and will leave you singing sea shanties in a superior manner – which is how every day should end, right? If you’ve never had a Painkiller, it’s a near cousin to the Pina Colada (if only Rupert Holmes would have sung about a Painkiller, we might be having a different conversation), meaning it’s coconutty, creamy, fruity, strong, and lush, with a dark rum base. Historically (see: above) it should be Pusser’s rum, but I am currently, sadly, Pusser’s deficient, and so went with Ron Abuelo 12-year old dark rum and it was yummy. Sometimes to relieve the pain you have to do what you have to do! So, get tropical y’all.

painkiller

The Painkiller

 

Ice cubes

2 ounces Ron Abuelo 12-year old dark rum (or Pusser’s, if you got it)

4 ounces pineapple juice

1 ounce orange juice

1 ounce cream of coconut (I used Coco Lopez)

Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Crushed or cracked ice

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, juices, and cream of coconut. Shake really well.

 

2. Fill a highball glass or comparable glass three-quarters up with cracked or crushed ice. If you happen to have a Lewis bag (and I hope you do!), now’s a good time to use it!

 

3. Strain the drink into the glass. Garnish with fresh nutmeg. You could also garnish with an orange slice and a cherry (both or one or the other, you might see). I wasn’t feeling the fruit salad, so left them off, this time!

 

January 29, 2021

What I’m Drinking: The End Most Sweet

Decided to end the month with one more non-alcoholic delight, in honor of those taking part in the now-annual booze-skipping known as dry January. This drink’ll be like the dessert at the end of the month’s n/a meal, as it’s a rich charmingly chocolate treat, one that has enough tang to balance all that lush loveliness out. In a way, it’s based on the canonical creamy cocktail classic (a favorite of mine!) called the Alexander, which also features a trio in equal parts, one of which there and here is cream. In the Alexander, the other two are gin and cream de cacao, whereas here we have orange juice and chocolate syrup. It’s a drink that demands some good solid shaking to get the combination mix level you want, and to keep that sweetness smooth and make the mix mighty fine.

The-End-Most-Sweet

The End Most Sweet

 

Ice cubes

1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

1 ounce heavy cream

1 ounce chocolate syrup

Peppermint stick, for garnish (optional)

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add our three sweet and friendly ingredients. Shake very well, quickly.

2. Strain (though a fine strainer if you’re worried about pulp) into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the peppermint stick, if you want. I go a little back-and-forth, as sometimes that hit of peppermint is perfect, and some days I’m just not feeling it. You see how you feel, and go forth sweetly.

 

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October 30, 2020

What I’m Drinking: The Warlock

Well, tomorrow is once again Halloween, often one of the finest funtimes of the year, but in 2020, one of the lamest (not to mention tragic on many levels) years, Halloween like so many other things is different, let’s say. But what’s not different is your scrumptious duty to make a Warlock and turn into a zombie magician. Got it? Spooky good! If you’ve forgotten, the Warlock contains brandy, Strega, limoncello, orange juice, and Peychaud’s bitters, and is my favoritest Halloween special. As you can see below (and you can also learn how to make the Warlock, too)!

August 14, 2020

What I’m Drinking: Fear No More The Heat O’ The Sun with Diplomático Mantuano Rum

Okay, to be clear, I’m not telling you that you should ignore the sun’s heat, and not take necessary precautions for safety when the big ol’ yellow ball is high and hot and the Mercury has risen to precarious degrees. Be safe, friends, in all ways! However, I do think Fear No More The Heat O’ The Sun is a delicious name for a delicious summertime, heated weather drink, and if I can say so without sounding like a jerk, I think the below unveiled liquid number fits that bill like a perfect pair of summer shorts. So, now, preamble over.

 

This particular summer drink is made possible by the postal service – cause it was from their hands a lovely delivery of Diplomático Mantuano rum showed up at my house one day. This is a nice rum, in my opinion (as the kids say) at least. A blend of rums aged up to eight years, it’s fairly mellow, smooth, flavorful (with fruit notes – dried and fresh oranges, plums – vanilla, oak, and spice), a little sweet, carrying a bit of a kick, and pretty darn tasty all on its own, solo, singular, alone. I almost didn’t save enough to try in a cocktail, but those fruit flavors begged me to, and, as hot as it is today, I felt that maybe it’d be temperature-worthy to ice and tall it up some. But what to mix with it?

 

Well, I wanted to keep the summertime fruit flavors flowing, so my first choice of pals for the rum to play with was Sidetrack Strawberry liqueur. A perfectly wonderful distillery on a farm where all the fruit, spices, herbs, and such used to make their array of must-taste products are grown, Sidetrack has a bounty of fruit liqueur choices, but Strawberry went ideally (as it does with summer). Next up, more fruitiness, this time fresh from the orange’s mouth – meaning, fresh squeezed orange juice for a welcoming citrus burst. But the fruit doesn’t stop there, oh no! I also added a little Fee Brothers peachy Peach bitters, and a hint of simply syrup, which isn’t fruity, but which brings our rummy fruit salad together. You could try without, and I wouldn’t swear about it. Then, it’s on to ice and soda to keep things cool and hydrated, and voila! A sunshine’s-out-sensation!

 

fear--no-more

 

Fear No More The Heat O’ The Sun

 

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces Diplomático Mantuano rum

1/2 ounce Sidetrack Distillery Strawberry liqueur

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

Dash Fee Brothers Peach bitters

1/2 ounce simple syrup

4 ounces chilled club soda

 

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

 

2. Fill a highball or comparable glass with ice cubes. Strain the mix from Step 1 through a fine strainer into the glass.

 

3. Top with the club soda. Stir, not mightily, but in a manner that brings everything together. Enjoy the fearing no more.

 

May 15, 2020

What I’m Drinking: What the LL

Well, as you know (if you don’t, welcome back from Mars I suppose), we have been and still are in the thick of some mad times. Said times keeping most around the world at home many more hours than usual, which has led many to muscular feats of home-organizing as a way to while away the time, or to catch up with projects that once seemed perfectly fine being set aside. If you have a fair amount of bottles of brown, clear, red, green, grey, blue, yellow, bottles glittering with the promise of delicious deliciousness, bottles that when opened have the capacity to unleash tongues in song while loosening the chains on the soul (if you’ll allow me a little hyperbole), bottles filled with spirits, liqueurs, bitters, and beauty, that is, if you have these, then, like me, those bottles fall into a “home-organizing feat” normally put off. But, due to said mad times, my wonderful wife took on this herculean boozy task (I get too distracted), and organized the shelves. When doing so, she found a few bottles that seemed to have just a sip here or there left in them, and moved them frontwards, enticing me to drink ‘em up. That, friends, is all preamble to the below cocktail, which at first glance may seem an odd combination: cherry brandy, rye, and allspice dram? But being trapped at home can take you down some paths that may at first appear odd. In this case, however, the path ended so pleasantly, I’m probably going to have to go to the store to restock the shelves so I have all these ingredients. But if you look them over and say to yourself, “what the hell,” step back, and think “what the lockdown leftovers?” Cause that’s what this tasty treat really is.

 What-the-LL

What the LL

 

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces Woodinville Whiskey Co. rye

1/2 ounce St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram

1/2 ounce It’s 5 Cherry brandy

3/4 ounce freshly-squeezed orange juice

2 ounces club soda

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rye, allspice dram, brandy, and oj. Shake well.

 

2. Add one big ice cube or a couple decent-sized ice cubes to a chalice of some glittering kind (no need to turn into savages). If none is at hand, an Old Fashioned glass, big one that is, can work.

 

3. Strain the drink through a fine strainer into the glass. Top with the club soda. Stir carefully to combine.

 

 

February 7, 2020

What I’m Drinking: Notte Rosso

So, the other day I had an urge for a Garibaldi cocktail, and then I had an urge for a Screwdriver (as one does, on both, when the sun in shining, especially, I feel, when the sun is shining on a chilly day during the winter and surrounding months, which always makes me feel that orange juice would be the treat, fresh orange juice naturally, and both of our previously-named drinks are oj-centric, naturally), and so I went to the refrigerated cabinet and checked the orange supply and, dagnabit, it was low. Not empty, mind you, but darn low. Eh gads! I thought. What am I to do? Well, since I was already thinking of the above two drinks, I made a sort-of of hodge-podge of sorts (in the good hodge-podge way) all on my very own, with just a splash of the orange juice (say that nice and slow), and some other players from those drinks, or close to it. The end result (this very drink) ended up quite lovely, full of flavor, with some fruit, some herb, notes. A swell sipper indeed for a type of day and night as described above.

notto-rosso Notte Rosso

 

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces vodka

1-1/4 ounces Martini Bitter Aperitivo

1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed orange juice

2 dashes Fee Brothers Peach bitters

More ice cubes

Orange wedge, for garnish

 

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add everything (except more ice cubes). Shake.

 

2. Fill a highball or comparable halfway full with other ice cubes. Strain the mix through a fine strainer into the glass and over the ice. Garnish with the wedge. Enjoy, any time of year!

 

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