Monday, September 26, 2016

Sunset Cocktail: The Devil’s Pope

1 1/2 oz. Angel’s Envy Bourbon
1/2 oz. Maurin Quina
1/2 oz. Averna Amaro
1/2 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
Rinse with H.R. Giger Brevans Absinthe

Stir everything but the Absinthe with ice and strain into an Absinthe washed cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed Orange Peel (Blood Orange if you have it)

Was looking for some kind of drink to celebrate receiving an intact copy of Popestar today, the first LP was shipped in a fucking envelope and was bent right in half my the time it got to me. Luckily that first one was an Amazon sale with a no hassle refund and I then proceeded to order the limited edition LP with the shirt directly from The Ghost Store which I should have done in the first place.

Couldn’t find a drink to match the dark soul of Papa Emeritus III so I went about making this, with a drink called Word to the Wise, a Last Word variation, as a template. There were a few things that needed to be in this drink: Angel’s Envy for the heaven, Averna for the blackening of souls and an Absinthe. Mostly, though, it needed Maurin Quina for the devil.

For the Absinthe I decided not to use Mansinthe as it’s not that interesting and it is becoming a cliché to use it in Devilish drinks. I did really want to use Brevans Crowley because, Crowley, but it’s such a limited run and I felt it would be a waste to use it as a wash. Giger it was then, not that it really matters all that much as a wash, but a lot of these drinks are built around ideas and I’m just happy if they turn out well.

I was also considering Benedictine and Chartreuse but went with the Luxardo instead. It may be worth looking into the others in the future.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Week 36: Angelique [52 Whispers From The Muse]


Overall Rating: 3.5
Appearance: 3.5
Louche: 4.0
Aroma: 3.5
Flavor/Mouthfeel: 3.5
Finish: 3.0
Overall: 3.5

Style: Verte   
ABV: 68%
Country: Switzerland      
Distillery: Distillerie Artemisia

Appearance: A light, pale green. Completely clear and clean.
Louche: Full bodies, slow to start but once it gets going it rolls out quite nicely. Itends in a nearly white, very pale green.
Aroma: Leafy and earthy before louche, quite mild with clear Wormwood after.
Flavor/Mouthfeel: The initial taste is well balanced as it hits your tongue, there is a very slight Anise sweetness, a little herbal love, and then a bitter Wormwood kick to your gums.
Finish: Surprisingly little tongue numbing... wait...there it is... hiding in the bitterness that feels like it's dehydrating the tongue.
Overall: If you like your Absinthe with a bold frontkick of Wormwood, here's your girl. Not an Absinthe for a noob, unless that noob had some experience (and somehow liked) Czechsinth* and was looking to ease into a true and well made Verte.

I didn't find the bitterness completely overwhelming, but I do like bitter. It's not Crapsinthe bitter, there is a beautiful world of well crafted herbals within every sip, it's just very post-distilled Wormwood heavy. Generally never one to add sugar to an Absinthe, if I were to add it to any, it would be to Angelique. The bitterness does hold you for a very long time after each sip.

It's interesting, I've seen Angelique labels listing it as 72% ABV but the bottle I have is 68%. I don't know the history of this particular Absinthe but I do have to wonder how many changes it has gone through compared to the bottle I have that I bought in December of 2015. I'm making a guess that they've mellowed out the bitterness some since the earlier days.

Kinda makes me wish I had a bitter ex named Angelique.

*as always, Zufanek Absinthes from Czech Republic are excluded from any list of Czech products to be avoided.

Sunset Cocktail: Sonia Green

1 1/2 oz. Berkshire Mountain Greylock Gin
1 1/2 oz. Averna
2 dashes Bénédictine
2 dashes Jerry Thomas Bitters
Rinse Lucid Absinthe

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass and garnish with a flamed Lemon Peel

This fits a little loosely into the Mythos Absinthe Cocktail set. A very quick back story… A little while back I made as very nice Lovecraft in Brooklyn Cocktail which I rather liked but didn’t especially like the song it was named after. I wanted to like it, but it was irritating, like college indy-rock from the 90’s that kept trying to out obscure everyone else. It was a song that tried to identify and identify with a xenophobic Lovecraft for the brief time he spent in Brooklyn… sort of.

A comment was made on that Sunset Cocktail post “Why wasn’t it just called the Sonia Green :/”. So, I set out to make a new Sonia Green Cocktail named after the Weird Fiction loving and publishing wife of the very odd Mr. Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

I based this on a differently ratioed Merry Widow that I also riffed in making The Widow in Black. The version I riffed for that had descending amounts of Gin, Vermouth and Benedictine. The version of the Merry Widow I took this one from had equal parts Gin and Vermouth with dashes of Benedictine, Bitters and an Absinthe Wash. I’ll have to try them side by side at some point.

I am planning on making a Sunset Cocktail Calendar for 2017. Not sure if I’m going to use more traditional cocktails for it or my riffs and Mythos Drinks. Not sure. Any feedback would be cool.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Week 35: Brevans Crowley [52 Whispers From The Muse]

Brevans Crowley

Overall Rating: 4.3
Appearance: 4.5
Louche: 4.0
Aroma: 4.0
Flavor/Mouthfeel: 4.5
Finish: 4.0
Overall: 4.5

Style: Verte        
ABV: 68%   
Country: Switzerland      
Distillery: Matter-Luginbühl     

Appearance: A rich, clear green. Dark but natural.
Louche: Very quick to form with dynamic, rolling clouds. Finishes quite opaque.
Aroma: Bold, balanced and fragrant, very nice on the nose.
Flavor/Mouthfeel: Well balanced with the hint of the woody barrel aging coming through but not overwhelmingly so. The added Cognac brings a delicate uniqueness to a rather bold flavor profile which marks it as its own.
Finish: The woodiness is present in the finish as a slight Wormwood bitterness lingers. There is not much tongue numbing but the flavor that sits on the back of the mouth is still full and quite tasty.
Overall: I was initially concerned that this would taste like a slightly woody Brevans H.R. Giger but this has a flavor all its own. The barrel aging and addition of Cognac to the distillate really gives this a mellow complexity

This is unfortunately a very limited run which I don't know if they'll ever try to repeat in the future. part of me wants to cheer that they do and part of me wants very rare things to stay very rare. I was sure to grab myself an extra bottle for posterity. It's funny, when Brevans H.R. Giger came out I stockpiled it, I think I still have 3 unopened bottled from a year or 2 ago thinking it would be hard to find again. Luckily for the world it's still quite available but I should have gotten more of this. Maybe I can sqeeze out another order before it's all gone.

I've liked everything I've tried from Matter-Luginbühl (Mansinthe and the aforementioned Brevans H.R. Giger) and this makes it up to one of my overall favorite Absinthes mostly for it's subtle but distinct uniqueness. I can't say anything bad about their products and branding. I won't go into a misinformed rant on Mr. Crowley himself though...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunset Cocktail: The As-Of-Yet Unnamed Miskatonic University Arctic Expedition Martini

2 1/4* oz St. George Dry Rye Gin
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
2 dashes Hella Bitters Orange
rinse Lucid Absinthe 

Stir first 3 ingredients with ice and strain into a very chilled, Absinthe washed Cocktail Glass. Garnish with a glob of Shuggoth and run screaming into the snowy wilderness. 

A post on a very friendly drinking forum had me wanting a Gin and Tonic today after a friend was disappointingly served one instead of a much more dynamic Mule drink of some kind. This, however, triggered me into wanting a Gin and Tonic but it seemed that my Tonic went flat. A Martini was suggested and this came of it...

I was poking through some saved posts and have been wanting to make The Alaska for a while. It seems to also be synonymous to The Emerald Martini even though recipes always seem to call for Yellow Chartreuse over Green. I had Green on hand and decided to give it a go, adding an absinthe wash using Lucid (as I have some Lucid now in a small, bitters dash bottle it's been a go-to for small measures) to drag it gnashing and screaming into my abysmal list of Mythos Absinthe Cocktails.

Since it was originally named The Alaska I figured I'd keep it cold and flip it to the other side of the globe, to where the frozen Elder Things lay amid the Shoggoths and Giant Penguins. The original working title was the rather lame Mountains of Madness Martini. Miskatonic University Arctic Expedition Martini is even more tedious. So far I'm liking Starkweather-Moore Martini but that's from the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game which I have yet to play...

I don't know. I'm up for suggestions. This is more of a truer Martini than the R'lyeh Rum Martini as this is actually made with Gin so I want to keep it named AS a Martini. I have no resources to start a contest to name this, but maybe, if you're local, I can make you a drink at sunset sometime.

* I do apologize for the shitty 2 1/4 oz measurement. I actually made this with 3 oz. Gin to 1 oz. Chartreuse and 3 dashes of bitters but I have an old rule from Mixology school pinned into my brain that served mixed drinks can only contain up to 3 oz. liquor in most states. I don't even know how true that is anymore but to keep the disputable ratio of the original Alaska Cocktail of 3:1, I cut it back a bit to appease... something.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Pale Horse

I've been loosely working on a new series of drinks based on Holy Atrocities. The only one I actually seem to have nailed down is The Third Angel which, admittedly, isn't the drink it started as. It fits well to the theme but I lost the luscious drink I drunkenly fell in love with. The 4 Horsemen have been the main focus of late and until I get all 4 down I don't want to publish them. I'm pretty happy with The Black Horse (and more so the set aside earlier version of it which did go on to become the Pazuzu Tiki drink that I'll be putting up her at some point). The White and Red Horse cocktails are also fine but this Pale Horse has been giving me a problem.

The original, pictured at the top of the page was Gin (Death's Door... a must if using Gin for this drink), St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Green Chartreuse, and Mansinthe Absinthe. I obviously got a pale colored drink, which is a plus, and it was tasty and herbal like a bouquet of flowers at a funeral but it was quite green.

This next iteration was nearly identical but I switched out the Green Chartreuse with Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur to try to keep some of the herbalness without any color. The very slight green that would come from the absinthe was hopefully going to add to the paleness with a bit of Louche but also add a bit of rotting body green to the color.

It didn't really louche at all this time though, it had some promise. With a little help adjusting the ratios, maybe it would turn itself into a decent drink.

But then those annoying associations kicked in and I thought, Hmmm... Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Clint Eastwood, Western... MEZCAL! Though I can only seem to remember him drinking Whiskey in westerns but there it was, Mezcal.

So, I tried this again with pretty much the same ratios and ingredients of the second try but with Mezcal (Xicaru Silver) instead of Gin. It was the right color, an easy association, the only problem was... I haven't gotten a taste for Mezcal yet. Never liked Tequila, and while I can seem to appreciate the much richer, complex flavors of other Mezcals, I can't really say that I like it at all yet.

Soon I'll get this right and I'll type up all of the Apocalyptic Horsemen.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Week 34: Absinthe Bourgeois [52 Whispers from the Muse]

Absinthe Bourgeois
Overall Rating: 3.9
Appearance: 4.0
Louche: 4.0
Aroma: 4.0
Flavor/Mouthfeel: 4.0
Finish: 3.5
Overall: 3.5
Style: Verte
ABV: 55%
Country: France
Distillery: Emile Pernot
Appearance: A very nice, lustrous green, darker than most but natural and clean. Louche: Thick and full, not too fast, not too slow. Some nice colors in the clouds, especially in the sunlight ending in a thick light jade. Aroma: Surprising bloom as the Bourgeois is poured, Bright and fruity. Flavor/Mouthfeel: Very fresh and light with a smooth mouthfeel. A good balance of the trinity with a hint of pepper and citrus. Finish: A light and pleasant tongue numbing. A mild bitterness sneaks in under the sweet fruitiness that adds a nice bit of complexity to an otherwise mellow Absinthe. Overall: Delightfully pleasant. On a light side of the traditional tasting spectrum.

This is a really nice Absinthe for the end of the summer. Not overly complex but well balanced and easily drinkable. At only 55% ABV it served well to keep the dilution down. I kept this to under 2:1 Absinthe to water.

This is a small 50cl bottle from Emile Pernot that I don't dip into very often. It's availability here, size, and my uncertainty of current Emile Pernot Absinthes keeps me from ever drinking too much. It was purchased several years ago before their issues so I don't want to empty the bottle unless I know it can be replaced. I have this debilitating collector's disorder that puts me through a small death any time a rare piece of a collection is depleted.