Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mythos Absinthe Cocktail: Zaman's Hill on the Summer Solstice, F'tahgn

2 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
1 1/2 oz Plantation 3 Star Rum
1/2 oz Death's Door Gin
1/2 oz Copper & Kings American Brandy
1/2 oz Dogwood Distilling Haint Absinthe

Add everything but the Absinthe to a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into an ice filled Highball or Tiki, especially if you have the Innsmouth Fogcutter Tiki Mug, and carefully float the Absinthe on top. Garnish with an Orange wheel and a sprig of Mint.

And over Zaman’s Hill the horn
Of a malignant moon was born,
To light the weeds and vines that grew
On ruined walls I never knew.
The fox-fire glowed in field and bog,
And unknown waters spewed a fog
Whose curling talons mocked the thought
That I had ever known this spot.
Too well I saw from the mad scene
That my loved past had never been—
            Zaman's Hill - H.P. Lovecraft

Happy Solstice/Midsummer. I figured that such a day deserved a Tiki cocktail as it is the Summer and the year's longest day. So, why name a summer drink on the longest day of the year from a poem of an evening's bleak darkness and horror? Because this drink is based on the Fog Cutter for which this poem relates and I like horror and bleak darkness more than the heat and stark sunlight.

I've been really happy with both the Dogwood Distilling Haint Absinthe and Copper & Kings American Brandy in drinks. I also have the Copper & Kings Absinthe Blanche as well as a few other new Absinthe bottles I haven't even opened yet. I'm sure I'll get to them all at some point but both the Copper & Kings and the Haint both deserve a proper tasting and their own and reviews. I'm really looking forward to making time this weekend for both.

I did mean to make a homemade Orgeat for this but didn't get a chance. I'm really going to try to make an effort to have some made for National Mai Tai day on the 30th. This, and every drink that utilizes Orgeat, really benefits from a good homemade one. The Pistachio Orgeat I made for National Pistachio Day turned out great.

I also wanted to order this special Innsmouth Fogcutter Tiki Mug from Horror in Clay when I planned this drink based on the Fogcutter. I was bummed that I found it long after any chance of having it delivered in time only to realize that I had already sleep-shopped a previous edition of this very Innsmouth Fogcutter Tiki Mug in green. It was nestled in with my Cthulhu Tiki mugs, also from Horror in Clay. Sometimes insomnia makes everything a surprise and, yeah, I ordered the purple one too.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Naked Martini on National Martini Day

3 1/2 oz London No. 1 Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1 dash Hella Bitters Orange

Place all ingredients in the freezer for several hours, including the Martini Glass. Once completely chilled measure liquids into the Chilled glass and garnish with a Lemon twist.

When trying to decide what form of Martini I wanted to make for National Martini Day, Classic, Dry,  SweetPerfect, Dirty, 50/50, etc., I settled on a Naked. Unfortunately, when looking up references to how I wanted to put one together, I ended up getting a bit of mixology nerd rage.

I guess I must have taken a much harder line on Martinis in the recent past.  I know that there are wonderful variations to Martinis but it's perplexing to see at all of the  recipes online that call for Vodka in Classic Martinis, at just how many Martini recipes called for shaking them, and at so many "Naked" Martini recipes were just a base spirit (often Vodka again) chilled with ice (often shaken) and dumped into a glass by it's diluted self.

My understanding of what makes a Naked Martini 'naked' was that all of the ingredients were chilled in a freezer ahead of time so you could have a completely undiluted drink that was still as chilled as possible. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I went with. The London No. 1 Gin shined here with its rich citrus flavor undaunted by dilution.

I did reach back to see if I could get away with using Bitters at all and it does seem that Orange or Aromatic Bitters were often used way back when so I happily dashed some Orange. I opted for a Lemon twist over Olives as I never do put Olives in my Martinis. There are plenty of things that I like dirty, but a Martini isn't one of them.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunset Cocktail: Bluegrass Smash on Father's Day

2 oz Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon
3/4 oz Honey Syrup
2 Lemon quarters
2 Orange quarters
1 Rosemary sprig

Muddle the Lemon, Orange, and Rosemary in a shaker. Add Bourbon, Syrup, and ice. Shake and strain into an ice filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with more Lemon and another Rosemary sprig.

Happy Father's Day to all of you fathers out there, especially my own. Not much of a sunset but a Hell of a drink for a Hell of a guy.

While the household Whiskey of choice for the family is usually Jameson, I couldn't resist making this Bluegrass Smash in honor of the man that raised us listening to Bluegrass. It would be bad form to use anything other than a Kentucky Bourbon for such a drink.
I remember going to Bluegrass festivals when I was a kid and meeting all of the musicians with my father. I still have the albums I got signed as a kid back when vinyl was all you got when you were looking for music.

Of course he still goes to all the shows and all of the bands know him by name and are friends with him on Facebook. You can catch him sometimes filling in the DJ spot on Country Corner from WTCC in Springield MA, spinning Olde Time Country and Bluegrass on Saturday Afternoons.

Once or twice I've been on his show (of the show he filled in for at WRSU when we lived in NJ) and have tried to find something interesting and out of the ordinary to play. maybe I'll have to dig up some more of this wonderful culturally appropriated stuff and see if it's worth playing...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sunset Cocktail: Man's Ruin on National Bourbon Day

2 oz Booker's Bourbon
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Gomme Syrup
1 dash Elixir Vegetal de la Grande-Chartreuse
Rinse Butterfly Boston Absinthe

Rinse a chilled Old Fashioned glass with Absinthe, add a rock of ice. Shake remaining ingredients with ice and strain into the Absinthe rinsed glass. Garnish with an expressed Lemon peel.

Today, June 14th, is National Bourbon Day and to celebrate I figured I'd put together something I've been trying to get right for a while. This is based loosely on a drink called Vincent's Ruin that I came across looking for various other Whiskey/Absinthe drinks. The name flickered a memory of another ridiculously hot day...

A few years ago I took the Pretty on a trip to NOLA for her birthday along with her cousin and our good friend Muppet. Despite the heat was probably the best vacation I've ever been on. On our last night my pretty companions and I abandoned Bourbon Street for Frenchman Street once again for our revelry, visiting The Spotted Cat for a second time, pub crawling for a bit, eventually ending up at d.b.a. for some live rockabilly performed by The UnNaturals. At one point the Pretty One directed my attention towards her cousin to observe an aptly placed sign by her head... From then on she was duly nicknamed 'Man's Ruin'.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Negroni Week Day 7: Eeyore's Requiem

1 1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz OMG Gin
1/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1+ dash Hella Bitters Orange

Stir everything with ice and strain into a chilled Coupe glass. Express the oils from the three orange twists then discard them.

We end Negroni Week with something that is not a Negroni though it's much touted as a drink every Negroni lover should try. It's a phenomenal example of taking things too far to the point that too far seems nice and close... and warmly bitter. There is so many strong flavors vying for your undivided attention yet somehow they end up dancing around in your mouth, spinning around in all of their flamboyant bitterness like the waltzing damned (Hmmm... I may need to save that one for a drink name).

Maybe it's because of the Negroni overload this week, but this particular Eeyore's Requiem turned out really fantastic if I do say so myself. Generally drinks just taste better if someone else prepares them (and there is a bit of science behind that). Maybe it's the Gin since I wouldn't swap out any of the other ingredients. It is a good goddamned Gin.

That's it for Negroni Week. I hope some of you went out and had one, especially at a participating bar. Unlike me, I'm cheap and haven't brought myself to hit up too many places here in town without company.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Negroni week Day 6: Classic Negroni

1 oz Gin Sul
1 oz Campari
1 oz Miró Vermut de Reus

Stir everything with ice and strain over rocks into an Old Fashioned glass. Express an Orange peel over the drink and garnish with a full Orange slice.

Here it is, a regular Negroni. I made a variation over this Negroni Week with a Gin from Bavaria so it seemed like a plan to make this with a Gin made in Hamburg. This Gin has a nice citrus peel edge to it that blends itself well in this mix.

I'm happy to say that this little bottle of Vermouth has made it through Negroni Week with a bit left to spare. It will be nice not having a bottle go sour, not that I wouldn't drink it anyway...

I'm not really happy how these pics are coming out though. I'll have to figure out a better way to take pics, still figuring out the new place I guess.

Sunset Cocktail: Suze Gin & Tonic on World Gin Day

2 oz St. George Botanivore Gin
1 oz Suze
3/4 oz Liber & Co. Spiced Tonic Syrup
Soda Water

Pour Tonic, Gin, and Suze into an ice filled Copa de Balon glass (Or a bulbous red wine glass) Top with soda water, give a little stir and garnish with a Lime wheel.

Today is World Gin Day and what better way to celebrate than a refreshing Gin &Tonic? But wait, you say, aren't we still in the midst of Negroni Week? Why yes we are, but it's fucking hot out and a Gin and Tonic hit the spot. I'll post another goddamned Negroni next.

The drink is earthy and the taste reminds me of the smell of the greenhouse my mother used to tend when I was a kid. The Suze definitely adds that root dimension to an otherwise floral Gin. It's just dry enough to really stave off a heavy thirst while maintaining perfect refresh...ing...ness?

I feel like this deserves a more creative name, but haven't thought of one yet. Most of the other Gin &Tonics that add a little something special are just named with that extra ingredient as far as I can tell: St. Germain Gin & Tonic, Blood Orange Gin & Tonic, José's Gin &Tonic... ew...