August 25, 2017

What I’m Drinking: Summer’s Charm and Courtesy

Just two short weeks ago (which can seem a lifetime during the savorable days of late summer) I had a drink here on the Spike Punch called the SPF – Silver Port Fizz. It featured Sandeman 10-year-old Tawny Porto, in what may have been an odd move for some, port not being a sunshine-y drink companion for many. But this Sandeman Tawny! It’s so fruity, and so full of flavor that it begs (not literally, as wine, spirits, and liqueurs shouldn’t really be talking to you) to be used in summer drinks, fruit being such a key element of the season’s liquid fare.

It’s so worthy that I couldn’t help myself dreaming up other drinks utilizing Sandeman Tawny Porto 10 to be had when the Mercury has risen and ol’ sol is beating down. And that leads us to Summer’s Charm and Courtesy. Less obviously a summer drink then our last refreshing port number, this drink bring out summer through a wave of fruit notes, all subtle separately but coming together in a rapturous (well, drinks can be rapturous, too, right?) layered lush sip after sip. It starts with the Sandeman, which delivers fruit and jam and a hint of nutty and oak, then moves into Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy pineapple rum (a nice note also between all the recent Dickens’ posts), which is a dream, Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao, Fee Brothers West Indian orange bitters, and a little lime. Then, as the last act of courtesy (and in my mind, one can’t be too courteous), a little fresh mint.

It’s just so darn fruity! And so darn good! Darn, give this a try before another sunrise and sunset pass along past us. You’ll be happy, I’ll be happy, the sun will be happy, and all will be well.

summers-charm-and-courtesey
Summer’s Charm and Courtesy

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces Sandeman 10-year-old Tawny Porto
1/2 ounce Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy pineapple rum
1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
2 dashes Fee Brothers West Indian orange bitters
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Fresh mint sprig, for garnish

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

2. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the mint. Enjoy.

April 22, 2016

What I’m Drinking: Finished By Midnight

Don’t, I tell you, don’t take the name of this drink overly seriously – if you’re not finished by midnight, it’s not like you’ll turn into a gin-y pumpkin, or a lovely stepsister, or a candle nearly burnt out. But hey, sometimes the midnight oil doesn’t need to be completely burned out, right? And really, just start earlier!

I started here with the new (if you haven’t seen my drink An Elusive Memory, and my write up on Boodles gin proper, don’t miss it. Don’t, I tell you) Boodles Mulberry Gin, which I’ve heard is the first mulberry gin to reach the shores of the U-S-A. More of a standard in Britain, mulberry gin (and of course sloe gin liqueur, a sort-of relative) is a UK standby, a little more light on its feet usually than you’d believe with some of the syrupy fruit liqueurs you may have grown up imbibing before you knew better.

Here, the Boodles Mulberry is quite delicious, made with natural mulberries and other natural things, and the end result is more dry-ish than expected, but blooming with flavor, berries, currents, and the gin’s rich botanicals. It’s nice and complex, and worth sipping over an ice cube or two all by itself. But it makes a dandy cocktail ingredient, too. You don’t need too many dancing partners (or other ingredients). No need to weigh things down if you want to make it to midnight – or beyond.

midnight
Finished By Midnight

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces Boodles Mulberry gin
1 ounce La Quintinye Vermouth Royal blanc
1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
Wide lemon twist, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Mulberry gin, blanc vermouth, Pierre, and set the clock back an hour (haha, kidding). Stir well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with twist – wide if you can.

July 24, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Oriental

I decided I needed a break from summer cocktails – even though it’s still sweaty time here in Seattle. But even during these sweaty times, some days, darnit, I’m not feeling bubbly. Say it’s the job (it’s the job), or just the first song I listened to today, or that malaise that creeps in like weeds on even the most jolly of us (I am the most jolly), but even in cut-off wearing summer, there are days like this, days when you need something that’s packs more umph, and delivers a respite to the world and the woes. For me, today, it’s the Oriental.

If you haven’t heard me mention it before (as I’ve written about this drink in a couple spots), I originally found the Oriental in the classic Savoy Cocktail Book, and love the drink’s balance, underlying strength, and story. Which goes, as said in that same book, like this:

In August, 1924, an American engineer nearly died of fever in the Philippines and only the extraordinary devotion of Doctor B. saved his life. As an act of gratitude, the engineer gave Doctor B. the recipe of this cocktail (the Oriental).

So, it’s a lifesaving drink – as well as a bad day saver. Get in front of a fan, forget about all the sunshine, laughter, and summertime kicks outside the window, and start sipping.

oriental
The Oriental

Cracked ice
1-1/2 ounce rye (Woodinville’s nice)
3/4 ounces sweet vermouth (I used Punt e’ Mes)
3/4 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

1. Fill a cocktail shaker half way full with cracked ice. Add everything. Shake well (as Rick reminds us in the comments below).

2. Strain the mix into a cocktail glass.

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March 27, 2015

What I’m Drinking: The Montmartre-y

The Montmartre cocktail was possibly named for the neighborhood, which gets its name from the death and decapitation of a bishop, archdeacon, and priest in 1272. That’s heavy! But the drink itself is fairly light on its toes and on the tongue, while carrying a great balance of flavors. However, recently I made it but changed things up slightly, and it was even better than it has ever been throughout history. Ever. EVER! How? Well, first, I subbed in Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao for the traditional triple sec, and the slightly dry and more flavorful nature of the former was fantastic. I also changed the maraschino cherry in for a Rainer cherry right off the tree in my yard. But what may have helped most (this didn’t change the recipe, but certainly helped the flavor) was using Martin Miller gin, whose 10 botanical blend brings a great amount of friendly complexity to the layers of taste here. All together, this makes one of the best drinks I’ve had this week (or longer). I did, since I made changes, think I needed to change the name, at least a little. Hence, the Montmartre-y.

montmartre

The Montmartre-y

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces Martin Miller gin
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
Rainer cherry, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice cubes. Add the gin, vermouth, and orange curaçao. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

February 6, 2015

What I’m Drinking: I Will Give You A Thrashing

People who know me best know that as the song says, I’m a lover not a fighter. So, don’t take the sorta aggressive nature of this title to mean I’m all up in your face. I’m not! I just had a friend suggest this as a title, and it’s a dandy name for a cocktail in my mind (and that’s the only mind I got). Also, at the time I was looking for a name for this very drink, a drink I created using the swell Old Ballard Liquor Co. Riktig Aquavit (I wrote a lot about the Old Ballard Liquor Co. here), which has a strong and memorable flavor. Not so strong as to give you a thrashing, but strong enough that you’ll remember it – and hopefully this drink, too.

thrashing

I Will Give You a Thrashing

Cracked ice
2 ounces Riktig Aquavit
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (I used Cocchi Torino)
1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao

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

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Drink while facing Ballard.

April 25, 2014

What I’m Drinking: The Blue Riband

Don’t yell at me. Usually I stay away from blue curaçao, because it’s only blue due to some chemical additions, and not the addition of some secret herb only found hidden in the jungle. But here, it’s balanced out by true orange curaçao. And this drink tastes awesome, so screw it, blue curaçao. Also, I’ve heard this drink was created for an award given to the liner making the fastest Atlantic crossing; variously held by British, French, German, and U.S. ships. So, get out your white admiral’s yachting cap and white trousers for this one, friends.

blue-riband

The Blue Riband (from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz)

Ice cubes
2 ounces gin (something sorta British is best, like Plymouth)
1 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
1/2 ounce blue curaçao
Lemon slice, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, orange curaçao, and
blue curaçao. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon slice if that will make your voyage more enjoyable. And it will.

February 7, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Cara Sposa Mattina

Sometimes, you even have to change drinks you like. Heck, even drinks you wrote about. Though maybe “change” isn’t the right word, as it sounds a wee bit pejorative, and I don’t mean to say the original drink in this case, the Cara Sposa, wasn’t and isn’t super tasty. Cause it was and is. However, I just got a bottle of the new coffee liqueur from the Seattle Distilling Company, Luana Beach coffee liqueur (made with Orca Blend coffee from the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie), and wanted to try it in a cocktail, and, well, the Cara Sposa seemed a perfect match, even though the main ingredient in it, Tia Maria, isn’t necessarily a coffee liqueur. But it does have a coffee-esque quality, so I wasn’t that far afield when making the sub. And, you know what? The end result was amazing. Delicious. A worthy successor to the original. I, naturally, changed the name a stitch, since it is a different drink. You would have done the same, I hope.

cara-sposa

Cara Sposa Mattina

Crushed ice
1-1/2 ounces Luana Beach coffee liqueur
1 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao
1/2 ounce heavy cream

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with crushed ice. Add the Tia Maria, orange curaçao, and cream. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

A Note: I’ve seen this blended and then strained, but I think that makes it too watery. Using crushed ice and shaking like a machine gets things slushy but not overly watery.

July 19, 2013

What I’m Drinking: Pants in the Pants

One of my favorite old-timey books of cocktails and drinks is called Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion. It’s by Crosby Gaige (hah!), who was a bon vivant about town in the early-to-mid part of last century. The book is a gas, as well as having bunches of good recipes. Recently, I tapped into it when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to imbibe, and found a fine recipe called Ants in the Pants, in The Old Gin Mill section – which makes sense, cause I wanted some gin. There was one wrinkle, however. The recipe called for Grand Marnier, which I was somehow out of (quick, Grand Marnier people, send me a bottle. Oops, too slow). Which led to me subbing in Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao, which yeah, I know is different, but it’s so so so good. And you know what? The drink ended up delicious, and I think Mr. Gaige himself would have approved. Oh, the change did make me alter the title, as you can see if you can read, and why would you be here if you couldn’t? Because where I come from, drinks have individual names, like people. And individual gins, which here should be Alpinist Gin, from the Seattle Distilling Company, if you can find it. It’s got the juniper hopping, but also has some other herbally and botanical goodness that adds a lot to the drink.

pants-in-the-pants

Pants in the Pants

Ice cubes

2 ounces Alpinist Gin

1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand orange curaçao

1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (I used Cocchi Torino, and suggest it)

1 dash fresh lemon juice

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add it all why dontcha.

2. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass.

 

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