Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Pazuzu Tiki Cocktail


2 oz Kraken Rum
3/4 oz Jagermeister
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse

2 oz Pineapple Juice
Lucid Absinthe Wash

Shake everything with ice and strain into an Absinthe washed (misted) Collins glass (or Tiki mug) filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a straw.

I first posted this as a Sunset Cocktail back in August and have updated it a bit. I wanted to edge out the bitterness a wee bit so I upped the Pineapple Juice and also upped the Rum a little to give it a full 3 ounces of liquor. I did have to vary the Juice amounts a few times to not overpower the herbaceousness of the rest of the ingredients but I think this ratio works well.

This also gives me the opportunity to show off this one of a kind Pazuzu Tiki mug I made. I couldn't show it off earlier as it was a Yule present for the Pretty One that I didn't want to spoil. Having never made anything like this before, I'm quite proud if it, especially his Scorpion Tail handle. I'd love to be able to sell these but I wouldn't be able to manufacture them in any large quantity myself and there too expensive to have made in small quantities to make them affordable.

I'm quite surprised that my weak planning and geometry skills ended up being spot on at a full 10 fluid ounce capacity. I guess it's a set of skills I can squebb off of a master skill in drunkeness.

One challenge I did have when I came up with this drink before was how to easily do an absinthe wash in a large glass. this is made even more difficult with an oddly misshapen thing like this Pazuzu Tiki Mug. but that is easily remedied with the mister I have filled with good old Lucid. A couple of quick sprays and the whole inside is coated (then you continue to spray until there is a nice visible quantity on the bottom of the glass because, Absinthe). I highly recommend this for Sazeracs and other drinks that call for Absinthe washed glasses. I even like to use it every so often in cocktails that call for Absinthe but not necessarily a wash just to add a little extra nose to the drink.

2017 Sunset Cocktails Calendar

Here it is, by popular demand, the 2017 Sunset Cocktails Calendar. If you're wondering why this post is listed as being posted on December 1st it's because Blogger is lame and doesn't have any other way to pin posts to the top of the page.

Each month of this 2017 Sunset Cocktails Calendar has a halfway decent picture of an excellent cocktail complete with a simple recipe. Drinks included in the calendar are a pair of Sazerac variations in The Carthusian Sazerac and The Cooper's Union, a few of classics like The Skeleton Key, Monkey Gland and The Obituary, several favorites like an Eeyore's Requiem, The Mephisto, Grand Autumn, and Red head, with a couple of originals of mine in The Black Horse and my own Green Jenkin.

Along with the pictures I was able to add some important days of observance and holidays such as World Whiskey Day, both National Cocktail Day AND World Cocktail Day, Repeal Day, National Absinthe Day as well as many, many others.

This will be a limited run for a limited time. I'm probably going to have between 25 and 50 printed depending how much interest there is. I've decided to try to gather up the funds to pay for printing and shipping supplies. The link below was initially set up as a Friends & Family link so if you want the Buyer's Protection from PayPal there should be an option to select the "Goods & Services" option. I have the link below set to $20 for one calendar shipped to the lower 48 States. If you'd like more than one feel free to add the appropriate amount for however many you want to order. If you're ordering from outside the US please add $5 to cover the extra shipping. You only need to add the shipping costs once even if you want multiple copies.

Click on the banner below or this link HERE. If possible, please leave a note in the PayPal transaction for the number of calendars or any information that will help get the right things to the right place. I'll only have enough printed to cover orders so make sure you get in while you can. Thank you!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunset Cocktail: CthulYule Toddy

Peppermint Tea (steeped in boiling water) 3-4 Allspice Berries 2-3 Mint Leaves ½ oz. Honey 2-3 Dashes CthulYule (Homemade Allspice) Bitters 2 oz. Kraken Rum 1/4 oz. Lucid Absinthe Candycane or rock Candy Swizzle Whipped Cream (optional) Ground Nutmeg Muddle Allspice berries and Bitters with Mint while Tea Steeps. Add Honey, Rum and Absinthe. Pour Earl Grey Tea over. Stir with Candycane or Swizzle. Top with Whipped Cream (optional). Sprinkle with Ground Nutmeg A Mythos Absinthe Cocktail for the Holidays. Warm, minty and full of holidayness to distract you from all the impending doom around you. Though there isn’t really going to be a sunset tonight due to the dreary weather it is unseasonably warm so I figured I’d sneak in one more before the year’s end. Getting into the season and all.
Last night I set up a Hot Toddy station at our group’s annual Yule party (I meant to take pics but my setup wasn't as pretty as I'd hoped). I came up with a small selection of Toddy options including this one which is, of course, of my own making and does indeed fit into my Mythos Absinthe Cocktails. It was also the most requested one. I came up with this last year when I first made my CthulYule Allspice Bitters but didn’t really get a chance to do anything with it until now. In fact, I haven’t even had one since I came up with it last year. I was only hoping they turned out OK last night. I didn’t end up having one then, or really much to drink at all as I knew I wouldn’t be staying late. Today I decided to make one for myself, the only difference being that the candy cane I had at home wasn’t broken in a million pieces that all the ones I had with me last night. My hope was to make sure that what I made for everyone was ok at least and it is pretty damned good if I say so myself. Honestly, I really haven’t had much to drink in a few weeks. I know, hard to believe, but that’s what the holidays do to me. I was hoping to get all 52 Absinthe reviews in before the end of the year but it’s not going to happen. They’ll all get done, and then some, just not all in 2016. I have a lot of irons in the fire that I need to hammer into shape next year so I don’t completely lose my mind. This year was spent getting some ground under my feet, next year is for running with the plans… or, more accurately, hobbling in a quickly manner.

Xmas Movie Nine [The Twelve Xmas Movies with Yebb and Nugg]

To be sung, of course, to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas".

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Xmas Movie Two [The Twelve Xmas Movies with Yebb and Nugg]

To be sung, of course, to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas".

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Xmas Movie One [The Twelve Xmas Movies with Yebb and Nugg]

To be sung, of course, to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas".

The Twelve Days of Xmas Movies with Yebb and Nugg

To be sung, of course, to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
Starting tonight.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Things Made

I'm putting this post up here to collect some images of things I've made over the last few years. I'm quite proud of these and it's nice to put a collection together to remind myself where I'm at. Most of the items were from Mindless Heron which, for reasons I'll not mention here, I've let fade away a bit. The site and Facebook are still up but I've been working on rebranding and developing a new line.

One reason I will mention for the change is that I've been trying to make sure that the new line will be able to be completely made in house by me. Many of the Mindless Heron pieces I'll never be able to manufacture here on my own so I've needed to have another entity physically make the items from my design. I've been slowly getting all of the hardware I need to do what I can but learning everything I need to has taken longer than I'd like. Luckily I now have a dayjob with sane hours after working years at a soul crushing job on a life crushing rotating shift. Things have been much better but there has been a lot of catching up to do.

Mindless heron was a fun project that actually took in at least enough money to pay for itself. It probably could have taken in more if I was better with money and marketing. I'm not very good at selling myself and I'm even worse at dealing with money. Not just bad... it's like I have a learning disability with numbers associated with dollar signs. So, should this ever become more than a hobby it will have to make enough to be able to pay someone else to handle my books.

Don't get me wrong, I still make stuff and I still get commissions once in a while so it's not completely dead. I just want to spread out and do a lot more different things and I feel that what I want to do requires a new brand or at least a rebranding of Mindless Heron. There is a lot I do like about the name and how it came about so there is merit to keeping it so I don't know if I should even change it. Damn, these are the sandpits that keep me from moving forward.

Well, I'm still a ways off from revamping/ rebranding so I want to keep focused on the new designs that are still in their infancy. So, when I do get things set I'll even set up that Etsy storefront and make this all more official.

Up to this point it's all been the site and PayPal which seems to turn some people off. It's just at this point I don't want to add yet another middleman's fee in the mix, hence, why I want to be able to do all of everything in house. And I have a small house.

Well, you can definitely see here that I've come a long way and I will give myself the credit for learning a lot in a relatively short period of time. The picture to the side here shows my first Raven attempt and my last over the course of a few years.

My sites grow broader though and I want to make bigger, prettier things of significance.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week 43: Snow Fairy [52 Whispers From The Muse]

Snow Fairy batch #1
Overall Rating: 3.5
Appearance: 3.5
Louche: 4.0
Aroma: 3.5
Flavor/Mouthfeel: 3.5
Finish: 3.0
Overall: 3.5
Style: Blanche
ABV: 53%
Country: Israel Distillery: Golan Heights Distillery
Appearance: Quite acceptably clear and clean. It has a very slight tint to it but not detrimentally so. Louche: Nice white and blue trails that build a nice layer from the bottom up. Quite pretty. Aroma: Bold and unique unlouched. The trinity is there but there is a whole lot more going on that I wish I could break down. Not floral or perfumy but more fruity without being sweet. Louching mellows it out and reveals the Holy 3 more prominently. Flavor/Mouthfeel: There is a rich undertone that mirrors the aroma but it balances well with the Wormwood and Fennel. Anise is there but I think it's been taken in by that fruity or sweet vegetable undertone. Quite unique. Finish: Like the Verte it doesn't stay with you long but you do keep a hint of it in the back of your palate for a bit.
Overall: Pleasant and different. Although it's a bit more complex than it's Vetre sister, they both show promise.

I didn't want to put too much comparison between the 2 sister Absinthes in the breakdown above so I figured I'd put a couple of notes here. The Snow Fairy has much more forgiving Louche than The Holy Spirit, starting much stronger right from the start and easily gaining it's opacity much quicker. It has a bolder aroma and flavor and seems to have a bit more experimenting going on.

According to a posts on their Facebook, the Verte is made with 6 herbs, 3 at maceration and 3 more for flavor, while this Blanche is made with 17 and it shows. While Snow Fairy's complexity doesn't present in a way that many do with various flavors trailing into others over the course of time, it does cast a unique, homogeneous flavor.

So far these have quite a bit of potential. I hope to be able to revisit Golan Heights' future batches.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Week 42: Holy Spirit Superior [52 Whispers From The Muse]

Holy Spirit Superior
Overall Rating: 3.4
Appearance: 3.5
Louche: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Flavor/Mouthfeel: 3.0
Finish: 3.0
Overall: 3.5
Style: Verte
ABV: 68%
Country: Israel Distillery: Golan Heights Distillery
Appearance: Very pleasant medium peridot with no sediment. Louche: Slow to build ending with a very slightly translucent finish that retains much of its color. Aroma: Light and Wormwood forward. Anise takes a bit of a backseat behind the Fennel and maybe Hyssop? Flavor/Mouthfeel: Surprisingly mellow for the high ABV. Even though there was no burn on the nose I still expected a heavier bite or some burn at 68%. Much like the aroma the Holy Spirit Superior is Wormwood forward but with no unpleasant bitterness. A bit more complex with less dilution which brings out the reclusive Anise. Finish: A quick fade to a mild bitterness after all of the other flavors fade. I would have liked it to linger longer.
Overall: Not a bad Absinthe at all from the Holy Land that shows a lot of promise. I have no doubt that it will refine even more as the distillery grows. This is the first Absinthe I think I've ever tried that started with a Rum base.

It took a bit to get the dilution right as I expected this to have a heavier hand due to the relatively high ABV of 68%. I also must confess that the initial dilution I did was in the bubble glass pictured above which has such a small orifice between the reservoir and the rest of the glass that my initial louche was very weak. The slow louching nature of this particular Absinthe paired with the restricted orifice prevented a decent opacity. Luckily the sample that Golan Heights sent was more than enough for another go in a different glass.

This Verte definitely thrives with very cold water and a nice slow drip. Even the flavor was more pronounced the second time around at just around 1:2 parts Absinthe to water as opposed to the 1:3 or so the first time.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Week 41: Grön Opal [52 Whispers From The Muse]

Grön Opal

Overall Rating: 4.5
Appearance: 5.0
Louche: 4.5
Aroma: 4.5
Flavor/Mouthfeel: 4.5
Finish: 4.0
Overall: 4.5

Style: Verte  
ABV: 72%
Country: Sweden          
Distillery: Svensk Absint

Appearance: Vibrantly green and crystal clear. Richly colored while still looking quite natural.
Louche: Thick trails that build to opaque clouds ending in a heavy looking milky jade.
Aroma: Strong wormwood and perfumy herbs with an immediate follow of the rest of the trinity. Very bold and room filling.
Flavor/Mouthfeel: There is a bit of sweetness that comes in below the very well balanced Wormwood, Anise and Fennel. Floral and as strong as the aroma. The texture matches the louche in its milky mouthfeel.
Finish: A bit of mintiness remains behind with a significant tongue numbing similar to its Blanche sister if I remember correctly. The after flavors hang for a very long time and bend increasingly toward the bitter.
Overall: Stunningly complex while still remaining very well balanced. This does well with a  slightly heavier dilution than I'm used to just for the very bold flavors and the high ABV. This is one that will stay in the collection.

Would I recommend this to someone just getting into Absinthe? Sure, with the understanding that this one is a powderkeg of an Absinthe in both proof and flavor. As mentioned above, this is one of the few Absinthes I'd actually take a bit more diluted than usual and I like mine heavy and strong.

This is another example of a time I should have done this review back to back with its aforementioned Blanche sister Vit Opal to do a better comparison. Grön Opal is much bolder and a much more aggressive Absinthe than the 56% Vit Opal. Both, however, are richly dynamic and pure Swedish gold.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Week 40: Akveld's Artisanale Verte [52 Whispers From The Muse]

Akveld's Artisanale Verte 

Overall Rating: 4.3

Appearance: 4.0
Louche: 4.5
Aroma: 4.0
Flavor/Mouthfeel: 4.5
Finish: 4.0
Overall: 4.5

Style: Verte
ABV: 68%
Country: Netherlands
Distillery: Akveld's Artisanale Absinthe

Appearance: A nicely rich green with slight golden tint. The last picture I took for the previous review showed a little more yellow in the Absinthe photographed, here it seems to have turned out a little too green. I really have to learn how to take a decent picture.
Louche: Slow to build with a lot of variations in colors from yellow to blue. Ends in a perfect, thick opalescence.
Aroma: Very distinct Wormwood paired with an equal Anise that rolls through the room when the bottle is opened. There is quite a bit more going on underneath that blooms some with louche.
Flavor/Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing but still quite exciting. There is a crisp Wormwood followed by the Anise that doesn't sweeten it too much at all. I expected more of an alcohol presence due to the high ABV but I was pleasantly surprised at mellow it was with no burn at all at about 1:2-2.5 parts Absinthe/Water.
Finish: The Wormwood lingers with the Anise holding just at the back of the tongue for quite some time.
Overall: An absolutely solid Absinthe from the Netherlands which will always have a place in my collection.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I completely forgot that I bought this bottle. I got it back in March to fill out an order to specifically get a bottle of Zufanek's OMFG Gin and some other non-Absinthe things. I do now remember thinking to myself "Oooh, a Dutch Absinthe, I must try that" and that thought has been in the back of my mind for some time. When it arrived I must have promptly stored it with the wall of bottles that I have and I continued to be overwhelmed by the new job I started just a month before. Oddly enough, I just found the bottle I already had just as I started to add another to a new order specifically for another Zufanek product. Now that I've tried it, I will be getting more... and the Blanche.

Photo courtesy of Akveld's Artisanale Absinthe

 "The Akveld's Artisanale Verte absinthe is the little sister of the Helfrich Verte absinthe, the first Dutch absinthe.

When Mr. S. Helfrich announced he was stopping distilling his Blanche and Verte at the end of 2009, the news came as a big hammer stroke for most of the absinthe lovers. That's why Ton Akveld decided to take up the torch and bring back those absinthes to life, using the same recipe. Now Ton has passed the recipe and his distillery on to his follower Sjaak, who will continue to distill the Akveld's absinthes according to Serge Helfrich's original recipe."

I wasn't lucky enough to have ever tried the Helfrich Absinthe. From all accounts it was a beautiful thing and it's been said that Akveld's Artisanale Absinthe does it justice.

I've said this before but I'm so happy to see that there are so many countries that are producing absolutely top notch Absinthes. Czech Republic has the aforementioned Zufanek, Germany's  Eichelberger, Sweden's Valkyria AND Svensk Absint distilleries, and all of the other distilleries in France, Switzerland, the US and Spain (note to self- must get a bottle of Serpis).

There is so much more to try out there. It is a good time to be a budding Absintheur.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sunset Cocktail: Ebon Obituary

2 1/2 oz. Vilya Spirits Silvertip Gin
1/4 oz Averna
1/4 oz Butterfly Boston Absinthe

Stir everything with ice and strain into a chilled Cocktail glass.

Another easy “Blackened” cocktail to add to the list that works quite well on this bleak day. I went a little heavier on the Gin than a typical Obituary because, well, I wanted more Gin at the moment.

If I actually sell any of those Sunset Cocktails Calendars I’ll start getting ideas for next year. I may do another Sunsets Calendar, maybe  a “Blackened” Cocktails Calendar or a non-sunset Mythos Cocktails thing. I don’t know yet but we’ll see if this year’s gets some love.

I was trying to find a better name than The Black Obituary for this drink. I didn’t want to name it something too terribly harsh or dismal as the drink is quite nice and could lose the sinister charm of the original name. The Eulogy was already a cocktail name so I kept it simple.

I also didn’t want to get all political with a name like Obituary for the Nation, The Republic’s Death Note or anything after this election. You don’t have to like the fact that a molotov cocktail has been thrown into the broken system but we all have to deal with it, change is fucking painful. It’s a good thing that people are giving a shit. Remember, Anger is a Gift.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sunset Contest Cocktail

2 oz James E Pepper Rye
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Lucid Absinthe
1/4 oz Gomme Syrup
2 dashes Scrappy’s Orleans Bitters
1 dash Hella Bitters Aromatic

Stir everything with ice and strain into an Old Fashioned Glass with or without a large rock of ice. Garnish with a flaming Lemon twist.

I figured it would be fun to have another cocktail naming contest for a copy of the 2017 Sunset Cocktails Calendar to the winner. There will be only a total of 50 made so if you want one head over to THIS POST or, well, win this contest.

This drink is a pretty simple recipe that is inspired by both The Improved Whiskey Cocktail and The Carthusian Sazerac. There is a decent chance this cocktail already has a name, and I guess it’s pretty similar to my own Green Jenkins Cocktail (featured in the 2017 Sunset Cocktails Calendar!) but I couldn’t find its twin online so I’m going with it.

Inspiration for the name of this drink is pretty open, the drink itself is wonderfully spicy from the Rye, herbaceous from the Chartreuse, elegant from the Absinthe, sweet from the syrup and complex from the bitters. Despite how red the drink looks from the sunset shining through it, it’s a pale brown with a very slight clouding from the absinthe. Either that or I used a dirty glass.

I know it’s not much to go on, hense why I can’t think of a name for it myself. It’s built on a pure classic and a filched classic, both very spirit forward drinks, just how I like them. Leave a comment at whatever form of social media that you see this on which you prefer or shoot me a PM on said social media if you don’t want to give away your awesome idea. The deadline will be Thanksgiving Day here in the US, on November 24th 2016.