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 sunset, 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: 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...