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...

Friday, June 9, 2017

Negroni Week Day 5: Old Pal

1 1/2 Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whiskey
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth

Stir everything with ice and strain over rocks into an Old Fashioned glass. Express an Lemon peel over the drink and drop it in.

Here is the spicier companion to the Boulevardier, his old pal, the Old Pal. When I made the Boulevardier earlier this Negroni Week the ratio was a bit closer to the Negronis 1:1:1 than this, but, as a variant to a variant, it's still spot on. I do love a good Rye.

Every recipe I see for the Old Pal has it served up in a Cocktail/Coup glass. I put it in an Old Fashioned for consistency with everything else from Negroni Week this week.

I have been drifting along my Whiskey love for some time now. I've followed my nose from the extra-peaty Single Malts through Oaky Bourbons to settle for a while on a Spicy Rye. I'm sure it won't bee too long before my preferences will start sweeping over something else soon as I'm sure I'll come back full circle as time evolves tastes, Brandies are calling me... and Cognacs, and Armagnacs...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sunset Cocktail/Name Your poison Day Bonus: Donatien A. F.

2 oz St. George Dry Rye Gin
1 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz Suze
Rinse La Clandestine Absinthe

Rinse a chilled Coupe glass with Absinthe. Stir remaining ingredients with ice and strain into the Absinthe rinsed glass. Express an flaming Orange peel over top and drop in.

As it is Name Your Poison Day, I figured I should make a new poison and name it. This came about from my new love for Suze and the White Negroni in addition to my love of Absinthe and The Quill. Having so far made both the White Negroni and the Quill during Negroni Week and, as I mentioned then, the Quill is just a Negroni with an Absinthe rinsed glass, it made sense to try this with a White Negroni as well.

I was considering the idea of changing up the ratios to more closely match the 1:1:1 of a standard Negroni/Quill but I loved the way the White Negroni came out as it was that I kept the ratios to 2:1:3/4 and just added the Absinthe rinse (and flaming Orange because who doesn’t love a little well placed fire). I did change out the type of Gin used from what I originally used, but I stayed dry and all of the St. George Gins blend well with Absinthe so I went with their Dry Rye.

While this won't quite fit into my Mythos Absinthe Cocktails, maybe it could get an honorary addition. I’ll be curious to see who can figure out what the name of this drink refers to and why...

Negroni Week Day 4 AND Name Your Poison Day: The Quill

1 oz Death's Door Gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz Miró Vermut de Reus
Haint Absinthe rinse

Rinse an Old Fashioned Glass with Absinthe. Stir remaining ingredients with ice and strain into the Absinthe rinsed glass. Express an Orange peel over top and drop in.

Name Your poison Day falls smack in the middle of Negroni Week so the poison I'm naming for myself today is The Quill. On paper The Quill is nothing more than a Negroni with an Absinthe wash a-la a Sazerac, but that Absinthe wash enlightens the whole drink. As I was reminded by my fellow Absintheur in his own post yesterday  "To some tastes, a cocktail is much improved by the addition of two or three drops of absinthe." - C. F. Lawlor, The Mixicologist, 1895.

I am again using the Spanish Vermouth that I got this week and switched to Death's Door Gin as I like how Death's Door pairs with Absinthe. That could be from the forward Fennel in Death's Door which doesn't disappoint here. I was ecstatic to try the new bottle of Haint Absinthe from Dogwood Distilling that arrived yesterday though I haven't had a chance to try it on its own yet. It works very well here, adding just the right aroma and added edge that a Quill should have and I look forward to a proper tasting of it this weekend.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Negroni Week Day 3: White Negroni

2 oz Lucky HANS Bavarian Dry Gin
1 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz Suze

Stir everything with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Express a Lemon peel over top and drop it in as a garnish.

The White Negroni may be the least Negroni Negroni variant I make in this years Negroni Week. There is no Campari or Vermouth and the ratios are way off, but, for the love of Hell, it's a nice, nice drink.

For this I knew that I wanted a dry Gin so I went with Lucky HANS, which I knew to be nice and dry with a hint of fruitiness. I think it all worked very well and I feel like this process ticked me up a notch on my personal Gin game.

I picked up the Suze yesterday when I grabbed some Vermouth. I've seen it pop up in a couple of cocktail recipes but never tried it before. Suze is a French apéritif made with Gentian that's refreshing and bitter, though not quite Campari or Cynar bitter, but also had a nice citrus to it. It compliments the Lillet well. I also imagine that it would work well with Absinthe though I couldn't find too many that use both together. It will be fun to experiment...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Negroni Week Day 2: Boulevardier

1 1/2 oz Burnside Oregon Oaked Bourbon
1 oz Miró Vermut de Reus
1 oz Campari

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 (trust me, it's really nice to do both).

You can't have Negroni Week without having a Boulevardier. This classic swaps the Gin for Bourbon and brings a whole different flavor profile. I do actually like this over a regular Negroni but perhaps it's because of the greater familiarity and appreciation I have with Bourbon over Gin.

I see the Boulevardier served in either Cocktail or Old fashioned glasses online and I think I've even had them served to me in either glass on the few times I've ordered them. I went with the Old Fashioned Glass here to keep with the consistency of yesterdays post and that every Negroni I've ever had has been served on the rocks. There is also the fact that I just like my bitter drinks to stay as cold as possible.

I do like how most of the ratios I see on line give the amount of Bourbon a little edge as opposed to the most common 1:1:1 ratio of most Negroni recipes. It seems to give the Bourbon a chance to poke through the sweet and bitterness of the Vermouth and Campari that Gin would seem to do with its citrus and botanicals.

As mentioned yesterday, I did need to get a nice Sweet Vermouth for the rest of the week. When I stopped by the store today I was looking to get something other than Dolin, and definitely something I've never tried before. The lovely girl behind the register at Bottles suggested this Spanish Vermouth from Miró which really compliments this Bourbon and Campari well. The bitter is balanced perfectly well and almost adds a nuttiness, but not in every sip. It definitely brings a good dimension to this drink. It's an excellent Vermouth for a nice Negroni and I'm looking forward to finally being able to make a Classic negroni with this later this week. The small size of the bottle should ensure that it won't spoil by the time it goes empty, which might be by the end of this week's drinks.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Negroni Week Day 1: Black Negroni

1 oz Martin Miller's Gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz Averna Amero
2 dashes Hella Bitters Orange
2 dashes Scrappy's Aromatic Bitters

Stir everything with ice and strain over rocks into an Old Fashioned glass. Garmish with an Orange peel.

Monday, June 5th 2017 is the start of Negroni Week. I was hoping to start the week with a Classic Negroni but it seems I ran out of freaking Sweet Vermouth. So, an Averna variation it is. As mentioned in my posts about Blackened Cocktails, this is one of the drinks that started me on my love for Averna.

Unfortunately I'm really not that savvy with Gin but I did know I wanted a citrusy, dry Gin for this one and this one seemed to fit the bill just fine. I'll probably get a bit more botanical with the Gins as the variations get more... variable.

A standard Negroni doesn't have any bitters but I'm guessing that they're added to help tame the Campari a bit which the Sweet Vermouth would have done if this version called for Sweet Vermouth. Unfortunately, the site that hosted this version seems to be down.

Since the weather continues to be shit, I guess I won't be trying to make any of these for the sunset.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sidecar on National Cognac Day

2 oz Maison Rouge Cognac
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lemon Juice

Shake everything with ice and strain into a sugar rimmed Martini glass.

Today I made a drink I haven't made since Mixology school as it's National Cognac Day and the sidecar is a classic Cognac cocktail. Also, I lack imagination and it was good to find a drink to use up the last of my lemons before they went bad.

The drink is nice if you like sour drinks. The sugared rim of the glass adds just enough sweet without adding any to the drink. I do suggest, for the love of every god, use fresh Lemon juice over bottled, it really makes a difference.

I don't actually know if there is a different classification of drinks that use bottled Lemon juice over fresh like there is with lime (Rickeys use fresh juice while Gimlets use Rose's Lime Juice), but it's worth looking into. Keeping a stock of Lemons can be a pain in the balls. 

There is, yet again, no sunset as the weather has sucked all week. I can't say it was a good week in any sense, but I'll refrain from whining any further. Aaaand vacation is over...

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sunset cocktail: Arkham Sunrise

1 1/2 oz Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum
1 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
3/4 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lucid Absinthe
1/4 oz Blood Orange Syrup
2-3 dashes Berg & Hauck’s Jerry Thomas Bitters (top)

Mix first 4 ingredients with ice and strain into an ice filled Highball glass. Add the Blood Orange Syrup and let it seep to the bottom like a resting Shoggoth. Top with bitters so they crawl down the inside of the glass like the tendrils of an eldritch beast.

Did I not post this before? I’ve had this written up for a while but I guess I never posted it. Maybe I never got a good pic of it before and withheld putting it online. Regardless, I made it just as I originally wrote it up and have pretty much the same complaints.

Most of my Mythos Absinthe Cocktails are based on established classic cocktails so I had need to make a variation of the Tequila Sunrise. I also hadn’t come up with a drink named from Arkham yet and here we have something.

I’m not sure I’m sold on this combination but I will definitely be pursuing the Arkham Sunrise as an addition to the list. As a whole, this was pretty bland but, as a whole, it turned out like I should have expected. I ended up thinking of adding the Blood Orange Syrup well after the fact and didn’t really measure well. I was hoping to avoid using it as I didn’t want to over sweeten it and I wasn’t sure if it would settle like Grenadine does. But it settled well, gave me the color effect I wanted and I do think it was a better choice than the crappy, store bought Grenadine I have on hand (I'll have to make some more again).

I specifically used the Berg & Hauck’s Bitters because, aside from being quite tasty, they’re quite dark and travel well and darkly down the inside of the glass when not mixed. I may cut back on the Solerno next time and maybe add some Luxardo, Chartreuse or something a little more complex just to make it more interesting... and more sinister, it's too happy and bland.

Now, to call it Arkham Sunrise or Arkham Sunset…?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sunset Cocktail: Covfefe

4 oz Vodka
2 oz Gin
1 oz Rum
Orange juice

Find the most bigly glass you have and fill it with ice, make sure it’s the best ice. Use a measuring device, perfectly calibrated and super perfect, to measure out the Vodka, Gin and Rum. Measuring is very, very important and nobody measures better than me, I’m the best alcohol measurer. This ratio is known by the best in the industry, and I know, personally, the very best, they call this the Golden Ratio. I just trumped up the size which, as you know, makes everything better. Fill up the rest of the glass with Orange juice, as that’s the very best thing to make drinks with, and garnish with lots of the really best things… Fuck I don’t have any umbrellas, THE GODDAMNED HATERS AND LOSERS STOLE MY UMBRELLAS!!! After you give it a good stir, dump it the fuck all over yourself because you’re an embarrassment to yourself and everyone you represent.

Oopse, Missed National Mint Julep Day: Making It Up With A Ginger Mint Julep

2 oz Jefferson's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Very Small Batch
1 oz Art In The Age Snap Ginger Liqueur
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon juice (from about ½ lemon)
10 or so Mint leaves

Add Mint, Lemon juice and Syrup to the bottom of a Julep cup and muddle until the mint is well bruised (the torture smells delightful). Fill the cup about 2/3 with crushed ice and measure remaining spirits into the glass. Give a quick stir and over pack the cup with more crushed ice. Garnish with an untortured sprig of Mint.

Use a large rocks glass
if you have to
I'm just over halfway through a stay at home vacation and have unfortunately spent the last 2 days of it under the weather. The weekend was lovely and I spent a belated birthday with the Pretty One eating and drinking very well. I made the mistake of hungrily downing a bunch of food on a late drive home which, I guess, caught up to me. Monday was an intentionally slothish vacation day, but Tuesday would have probably been a sick day even if I wasn't already home.

So, I missed Tuesday's holiday. I wasn't going to wait until the sunset as I'm pretty sure the sky will not open up by then and, if it actually does, I plan on going out. If the weather does continue to be shit this evening I may just stay home and catch up on the many things I want to get done this week as I am a day behind.

Add Mint, Juice and Sugar
I figured I'd go ahead and do a full post from the bar and see what people think. There are a few things I do still need for the bar, not least of which may be an extension on the bar top. For people to sit at stools (which I also need) in the front of the bar, the bar surface should extend out a bit farther. I'm thinking a piece of natural wood, cut to size, finished and clamped to what I have now would work well and look nice. That's something for another day though. I have a small table with a couple of chairs for now and hope to expand on that as well.

Fill 2/3 with crushed ice
I cheat and use tiny cubes
Give a quick stir
Until it's frosty
Top with ice and
garnish with mint

Saturday, May 20, 2017

4 Sunset Cocktails for World Whisky Day

For World Whisky Day I was just considering picking a nice dram and having a simple sip. Then I took a look around the new bar set up and thought I should make a cocktail. But which type of Whisky should I represent on this auspicious occasion? One would think that since it's World WHISKY Day and not World WHISKEY Day one should stick to a Scotch Whisky of some sort, but while plodding aimlessly around the web, it seems that it seems to be a day for any and all types.

I picked a classic cocktail from 4 styles of Whisk(e)y to make today since I actually have both days off this weekend and seem to have easily recovered from all the Rum and Cokes at the show last night. That being said, they're all pretty much variations on a Manhattan with some of the variations a little more varied than others. You'll quickly see the resemblances.

Revolver: Bourbon Whiskey

2 oz E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
1/2 oz Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur
2 dashes Hella Bitters Orange

Stir everything with ice and strain into a Chilled Coupe glass. Garnish with a strip of Orange peel.

I always think I'm going to like this more than I do. The blend of coffee and orange hints back at a Tootsie Roll shot and that conjures up a memory of unpleasant consequences.

Rob Roy: Scotch Whisky

2 oz Macallan "Fine Oak" 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
3/4 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
2 dashes Scrappy’s Aromatic Bitters 

Stir everything with ice and strain into a Chilled Coupe glass. Garnish with a Cherry (if you have any).

I definitely like to use a milder Scotch here as the heavily peaty ones overwhelm everything else. Just as soon just drink a heavily peaty Scotch by itself.

Blackthorn: Irish Whiskey

2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
2 dashes Berg and Hauke’s Jerry Thomas Bitters
1 wash Lucid Absinthe

Wash a Coupe glass with Absinthe. Stir everything else with ice and strain into the washed glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

The Blackthorn is essentially an Irish Manhattan with an Absinthe wash. Absinthe washes make everything better, as do Jerry Thomas bitters.

Remember the Maine: Rye Whiskey

2 oz. Whistlepig Straight Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
1 bsp Cherry Heering
1 wash Butterfly Absinthe

Wash a Coupe glass with Absinthe. Stir everything else with ice and strain into the washed glass. Garnish with a Cherry (if you have any).

Remember the Maine is by far my favorite of these. One thing I do love about Rye is that there are so many good ones out there that don't cost very much, unlike Whistlepig here and this drink is really good with a cheap Rittenhouse or even cheaper Overholt. That being said Whistlepig carries this drink into the Fucking Blissful level.

Tragically I didn't have any Cherries on hand so I had to leave those garnishes out.

If I would have thought ahead I probably should have invited a couple folks over to help drink these (and bring cherries) as I actually live in a place where I'm not embarrassed to have company. Plus, I have a full bar. Next time.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sunset Cocktail: Black Hole Sun in Memory of Chris Cornell

2 oz Angel's Envy Bourbon 
1/2 oz Cold Brew Coffee 
1/2 oz Simple Syrup 
2 dashes Hella Bitters Orange 
1 dash Angostura Bitters 
1 (heavy) dash Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters 

Stir everything on ice and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a Lemon wheel floating on top. Drink to his singularly fantastic voice. 

This Coffee Old Fashioned is credited to Houston bartender Bryan Hutchinson named after the song written by Chris Cornell and performed by his band Soundgarden

From Melody Maker, March 19, 1994: Commenting upon how the song was misinterpreted as being positive, Cornell said, "No one seems to get this, but 'Black Hole Sun' is sad. But because the melody is really pretty, everyone thinks it's almost chipper, which is ridiculous." 

From Rolling Stone. January 12, 1995: It's really difficult for a person to create their own life and their own freedom. It's going to become more and more difficult, and it's going to create more and more disillusioned people who become dishonest and angry and are willing to fuck the next guy to get what they want. There's so much stepping on the backs of other people in our profession. We've been so lucky that we've never had to do that. Part of it was because of our own tenacity, and part of it was because we were lucky.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Cocktail From Beyond: The Satellite of Love

1 oz White Rum
1 oz Spiced Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
2+ oz Strawberry Lemonade

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice filled Tiki mug, preferably one that looks like the MSTK3K planetoid). Garnish with cut Strawberries and an Orange wheel.

After proudly receiving this awesome MST3K mug as a reward for the Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kickstarter I was inspired to start a new series of drinks (which I'll get into below). For this mug, I really felt like a Tiki drink was in order and, for some reason, I felt like it needed Strawberries.

One of the main challenges with making this was that I wanted to make a dynamic and unique Tiki drink with uncomplicated ingredients that most people would have lying about the place.No obscure liqueurs, rare bitters, artisan syrups, or specific spirits, just regular that they could cobble together to make something wonderful, like the show. The rarest thing I used was the Strawberry Lemonade juice I picked up at the grocery, though I'd imagine it's even better if you made your own.

I've been trying to finalize what I was going to do this year as a follow up to last year's Sunset Cocktails Calendar. I've been thinking about doing is coming up with themed, original cocktail collections in some physical medium that won't cost me a bunch of money to make, and thus lose. I am currently looking to first collect my Mythos Absinthe Cocktails in some print form (which may also include a section of Blackened Cocktails for good measure) by the end of the year and then work on other things for future projects.

As you may know, the Mythos Absinthe Cocktails are. of course, specifically Lovecraftian themed drinks but I feel that there is room to spread out to other, broader themes as well. Some of these other projects I'd like to try are Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy themed collections. I don't know if I'll lump them all together in one collection or come up with enough to spread them out over a series. I'll figure that out as it happens while trying to not overthink myself into an inability to proceed... like I often do when the creative process hits a wall.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sunset Cocktail: Mimosa on National Mimosa Day (with Jeff the Tentacle Plant)

3 oz Barefoot Bubbly Prosecco
1 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Cointreau

Pour Orange Juice into a Champagne flute. Add Prosecco and top with Cointreau. 

Hopefully at least one of you out there can enjoy a morning Mimosa today on National Mimosa Day. While this should be a sunrise cocktail, tragically, I'm one of the throng of drones that has to work at a place where, HR, the FDA, management and the regulations of a Puritan agenda prevents me from drinking on the job. I made this last night but I encourage you to indulge in the morning if you're able..

I really like using Prosecco over Champagne for, well, everything, as it seems to me to be a bit less acidic and often less sour. I think it blends well in mixed drinks a bit better as well. Many recipies call for equal parts Sparkling Wine to OJ but I like to make it at a 3:1 so it's more bubbly and boozy. Should you make these at home for yourself, I also suggest floating a bit of a Triple Sec, a Curaçao,  or some other Orange Liqueur to really brighten up an already sunny drink.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Not Actually a Sunset Cocktail: Hemingway Daiquiri on World Cocktail Day

3 oz Plantation 3 Stars Rum
1/2 oz Lime juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit juice
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass. Garnish with a Lime peel.

You may ask, "Hey, didn't we just celebrate Cocktail Day back in March?" Well, that was NATIONAL Cocktail Day, today is WORLD Cocktail day so stop asking stupid questions and make yourself a drink. Since we made a series of classic "Original Cocktails" back then. it made sense to make something a bit different and more worldly for World Cocktail Day. Since it's been raining all damned week I figured I'd take this shot on the new bar.

There is much discussion on the origin and the proper way to make a Hemingway Daiquiri but I've narrowed this one down after reading a bit of the history on Taste Cocktails. Most of the Hemingway Daiquiris listed on other sites still include a fair amount of sugar (more on that in a bit) and a lot less Rum but the origin of this drink seems to stem from his request for "...twice the Rum and no Sugar."

As a diabetic Hemingway seemed more concerned with his blood sugar level than his blood alcohol content.While he may have been a great author and thinker, his drinks were more about the quantity than the quality. This drink, as it's presented, is terrible. I'm amazed that something could be this tart and still bland. Adding a half ounce of Simple Syrup may bring out those lost, lovely flavors of the Luxardo and taper off the citrus to a palatable level. This is, of course, filtered through my lacking love of Limes so take it for what you will. Luckily this has helped polish off the stash of Limes I did have so I feel a nice long break from Limes is in order. I did buy a fuckton of Lemons for a Salmon dish though so you'll probably be seeing a wave of Lemon juice drinks soon.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sunset Cocktail (From Beyond): Shatner's Gremlin on Twilight Zone Day

1 1/2 oz Bellion Vodka
3/4 oz Maurin Quina
1/2 oz Key Lime Juice
1/4 oz Mansinthe Absinthe

Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled Cocktail glass. Garnish with a Key Lime Wheel.

Happy Twilight Zone Day (and yes, I did kinda purposely skip Star Wars day on the 4th as there was already a few zillion SW posts clogging the arteries of the internets and I had nothing new to add.) There are a couple of Twilight Zone drinks out there, but they seem to be tiki cocktails or godsforsaken frozen drinks. So, I figured I’d try a hand at making something new…

Whenever the Twilight Zone comes up, whether it’s the old TV show or the 80’s movie, the most iconic image is, of course, the gremlin on the wing of the airplane of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet and either William Shatner’s career best performance from the show in 1963 or John Lithgow’s near career best performance from the Twilight Zone Movie movie from 1983 (he’ll never beat his Dr. Emilio Lizardo). Since he was the first and I’m old enough to have seen the TV episode before the remake when the movie came out (though not old enough to have seen the episode when it originally aired) I named this drink for The Shatner.

The Maurin Quina takes the stage here thanks to the lack of flavor from the Vodka but it may have turned out better with Lemon juice (and maybe a little less than a half ounce). I used the Limes because to get through all of them I had before they went bad. As a whole the flavor profile worked but, to me, it did end up a bit saccharine aftertaste. That could be the Mansinthe/Maurin Quina combo or the fault of the odd Vodka with their vague "NTX Technology" which does add a bit of sweetening..

I never mix much with Vodka, it always seems like a weak way to introduce alcohol to a drink for people who don’t like alcohol. Don't get me wrong, I like a nice, clean Vodka all on its own, but unless you’re drinking it straight (especially from an ice bar) or making a classic Moscow Mule or Cosmopolitan, it’s too often used as a shortcut/cop-out that adds ABV to whatever the fuck liquid, sugar and/or food coloring people have lying around.

This particular Vodka touts its NTX Technology as a super scientific, liver saving infusion of biotechnical science that they really can't seem to explain much of the science of on their site as it must be far too sciency to understand. I admit, there was a pretty girl in the liquor store dolling out shots and somehow I ended up taking the bottle home but, if I've learned nothing else from the hi-fi industry and religion, I've learned that when something tells you how much better it will make your life without any explanation how, it's probably bullshit or Brawndo. At least it tastes quite good, wasn't expensive and doesn't claim to regrow bald spots or increase the size of my penis. All in all, it's a solid Vodka.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunset Cocktail: Absinthe Cosmopolitan on National Cosmopolitan Day

1 oz Zufanek Absinthe Amave
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
1/2 oz Key Lime Juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass. Garnish with a Lime wheel.

Despite there not being much of a sunset, I hope to be back on track with these spectacular holidays. Never made a Cosmopolitan before but, since I've been downing Absinthe since the moment I got home from work today, I decided to try to find out what a Cosmo would taste like if I swapped out the Vodka for some Absinthe. I wanted to use a light, low ABV Blanche so I went with the Spring-like 53% Amave.

I must say, while I generally don't like Lime too much, this flavor combination works very, very well. I did use Key Limes for the juice and garnish as that was the only type of lime available at the grocery today for some reason. As it turns out, I don't think I'd make it any other way if I were to make this again.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sunset Cocktail: Amaretto Gin and Tonic to make up for lost time...

2 oz. Bluecoat American Dry Gin
1 oz. Disaronno Amaretto
3+ oz Fever Tree Tonic Water

Measure Gin and Amaretto into a Collins glass filled with ice. Squeeze a Lime wedge into the glass, top with Tonic, and give a little stir.

Due to the insanity I developed over the course of moving I missed National Gin and Tonic Day an April 9th AND national Amaretto Day on April 19th (and motherfucking Steak and a BJ Day on April 14th, but no drink can make up for that). I decided to try catching up all at once and sought to find a drink that I could use for both. I didn't find one.

The closest one I found was a Disaronno Martini put together by the folks at madtini.com a while back as they prepared for the beginning of Mad Men Season 4. I figured, if Gin and Amaretto worked in a Martini variant, it could work in a G&T. It kinda did. It's not a bad drink, maybe Lemon would have worked better than Lime, but, hey, I really, really needed a drink and it's going down quickly as I type... wait... there... it's empty...

Friday, April 14, 2017

Moving On...

So, the place I'm moving to is pretty big. Built in the late 1800's, it's somewhere between 1600 and 1800 square feet. It's in a part of Providence that is recovering from a pretty bad rep but I'm hopeful that I won't get murdered, robbed or vandalized anytime soon. After talking to my soon-to-be-new neighbors, even ones that have lived there through it's worst times, I've developed a good bit of confidence that it's not bad at all and has gotten even better in the last several years. Also, the property manager lives above me and has the place pretty well wired, our parking area is enclosed with motion sensing lights all around.

Let me show you the place. I'll be living on the second floor, you can enter through a tiny stairwell on the side. It's convenient but pretty cramped.

This opens up into the main Kitchen which, as you can see, is pretty spacious. The sink and cabinets are off to the side in a secondary Kitchen, which is a bit odd, but I'm sure I'll find a way to set things up for cooking.

 I'm excited to have a gas stove for once.

There really is quite a lot of space though I feel like I need to add counter space in here.

The bathroom is o.k., oddly shaped but I'm already used to how oddly this place is shaped. I didn't get a pic of it here, but after the sink is the shower, then a random cubby next to the toilet where the window is. Maybe I'll put something there to hold towels and shit.

I haven't had a chance to really test the water pressure and heat in a full shower yet but the test I was able to do seemed o.k. The landlord said that there has never been an issue with running out of hot water. Hopefully he's as trustworthy as he seems.

I'm going to have to remember to get some new bathroom rugs.
Then we get to the living room which is very open and way too well lit for my troglodyte self.

I'll probably put the TV in this room but, despite the space, there isn't really a good place for it. We'll see. I guess I could leave this room fairly open and move the entertainment somewhere else, but, again, I'm not sure.

One interesting thing in this room is the glassed closet. I really have to do something with it but I'm not quite sure what. This may be my In-The-Wall Cthulhu Shrine.

I'll also have to get some blinds for those tall side windows, which I like, but I like privacy more.

Then... we have the bedrooms... 

Bedroom #1, off of the Kitchen. It's not a huge space but I think I want to make it a guest room. I have an old Full Sized bed that will fit in there just fine. Otherwise, it will possibly end up as a new junk room which I want to avoid.

Bedroom #2, first one off of the Living Room, just past the Kitchen. This will probably be my actual Bedroom as long as the bed and dresser fit, which they should. It has a good sized closet with lots of shelves that will lead me to folding all of my clothes instead of hanging them which I prefer anyway.

Bedroom #3, next to Bedroom #2. This will probably be my Office. It's a little smaller than Bedroom #2 but bigger than Bedroom #1. It actually seems to have a bigger closet, which is great for the office and there is a view out to the Living Room.

Then we come to Bedroom #4. Now, I guess there is a chance that this will be my Master Bedroom. It was meant to be the Master Bedroom. Aside from the fact that this is the front-most room of the apartment where all of the light and noise will be, a Master Bedroom is not what I saw when this place caught my heart.

On the side of the room, next to the lovely Bay Windows is what could easily be described as a massive walk in closet. What I see... is a Home Bar.

Imagine it, shelves in the far wall as a bar back with a bar front partially placed in the entrance to the closet. Stools in front with a couple bistro tables, some couches, artwork on the walls, gentle music playing, and maybe some fake plants. Motherfucking Private Absinthe Club.

Now, I am a bit conscious about making a lot of noise here being in the middle floor between some med students and the property manager, so I can't go hog-wild with parties. I also just don't really have the money to make any of that bar happen yet as this move will tap me pretty dry for a while. It is, however a dream and a hope to set up a little quiet oasis to enjoy some cocktails with friends... as long as I don't get murdered living in the city.

This last pic is the main entrance, which opens up into the Living Room at the top of the stairs. I'm tempted to sculpt something to place on that little curved shelf to greet people that visit.

There is a lot to do and see in the area, many fantastic cocktail bars and speakeasy's, as well as a decent live venue within staggering distance. All I know for sure is that Craigslist and Uber will be very intimate in the near future.