Monday, July 24, 2017

Sunset Cocktail: Chasing Fireflies on National Tequila Day

1 1/2 oz Espolòn Tequila Blanco
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake everything with ice and strain into an ice filled Rocks glass. garnish with a Lime wedge.

As today is National Tequila Day I went out and picked up a bottle just to make something for the holiday. I wanted to make something other than another goddamned Margarita and saw this cocktail which also uses one of my favorite things in the world, Chartreuse. It was a nice shade of glowy green without the use of any kind of crappy artificially colored liqueurs and with a little light positioned behind the glass I was trying to emulate the firefly's butt-glow.

I know that I just don't have a taste for Tequila (or Mezcal for that matter) so I went about looking for something that was a good representation of the spirit that didn't cost too much. I'm well familiar with Cuervo and Patron thanks to Chilifest on Martha's Vineyard (there are things I will never unsee...) but I wanted something better, or at least different. While I did get a few suggestions from people more learned than I, my quest ended with a bottle of Espolòn Tequila Blanco. This was a staff pick at Bottles and, lets face it, how could I turn down a skeleton riding a rooster into a fight with other skeletons wielding machetes?

I'll try once again to get into this renowned Agave spirit with this bottle here. I can's say for sure that this is my gateway Tequila yet, but it's worth trying out. I already like that tequila in the drink here more than this one...

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Week 47: Haint [52 Whispers from the Muse]


Overall Rating: 3.6
Appearance: 4.0
Louche: 3.0
Aroma: 3.5
Flavor/Mouthfeel: 3.5
Finish: 3.5
Overall: 4.0

Style: Verte
ABV: 62.5%
Country: United States
Distillery: Dogwood distilling

Appearance: A light yellow green, clear and natural.
Louche: Very slow and light louche that seems to crave very cold ice water. It did start with lovely blue swirls ending in a semi-translucent green.
Aroma: Botanical and bright, a bit of alcohol on the nose but at this healthy 125 proof it wasn't unpleasant..
Flavor/Mouthfeel: Not nearly as sweet as I expected, in fact it had a nice Wormwood and Fennel presence with a refreshing hint of mintiness. Anise was there, not as far back as being in the background but it was by no means overbearing. I expected to want to drink this at a low dilution but despite the lightness and brightness it seemed to hit my palate right at just over 3:1 water to Absinthe, I may have stopped just before 3.5:1
Finish: Lovely Wormwood finish with a bit of a bitter tingle. The mintiness tries to stretch into the lingering flavor but doesn't last very long.
Overall: Overall this is a solid American Absinthe. It may be a little light to use as just an absinthe rinse in cocktails, but as a measured ingredient it has played well with every drink I've made with it (especially Gin drinks).That being said, if I do use this as a rinse, I've just use a heavier splash and never, never consider discarding it (who am I kidding, I never discard a rinse).

While there are plenty of distilleries that produce nice Absinthes that are painstakingly recreated from a century's old recipe, I find it just as exciting to find a modern expression of this spirit that still stays true to being a true Absinthe. Haint is a modern but true Absinthe made by Dogwood Distilling in Oregon that has its roots in New Orleans which is expressed on the label and in the name. 

The label depicts one of New Orleans' distinct cemeteries with the black foil representing the wrought iron co common to the city and decorations representing the grapes of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Wormwood. The name 'Haint' is an old southern word for a restless spirit of the dead that has not passed on to the afterlife, forever wandering. Perhaps, under certain light, you'll see the one of the restless dead as you stare into the bottle of Haint.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mi-Go-Ji-To on National Mojito Day

8 Mint leaves
1/2 oz Gomme Syrup
1 oz Plantation 3 Star White Rum
3/4 oz Adnams Absinthe Rouge
1/4 oz Suze
1/2 oz Lime Juice (juice of 1/2 Lime)
Soda Water

Muddle Mint leaves and Syrup in a Collins glass. Fill 2/3 with ice and add the Rum, Absinthe, Suze and Lime juice. Give it a stir, top with Soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint and husk of half a Lime like a Mushroom head.

Following up yesterday's Piña Fhtagn for National Piña Colada Day, I made this Mi-Go-Ji-To for National Mojito Day adding yet another entry into the Mythos Absinthe Cocktails. While I never made a Mojito, or even had one before, I had a feeling I'd like it way more than the Piña Colada. I was right.

I did stick to using a White Rum here but decided to try a Rouge Absinthe instead of a Blanche to add a bit of tint, going for pinkish instead of green. From there I really wanted to try to make this a little more of a unique variation than by just adding some Absinthe to a standard recipe. I feel like that where most of my Mythos drinks are and I want to go back and revisit some to give them a little more expression than that. I decided to try the Suze as it's a new found joy and I though the rootiness would give it that earthy, spore-like tone deserving of the Fungi from Yuggoth documented in The Whisperer in Darkness.

As with all of the Mythos Absinthe Cocktails that filch on a classic, I try to go back to as close to the original version as possible and build my variation from there. Many drinks I have enough of a history with that I have a good source for a cocktail's best, true form to go off of, but with one I've never made before I have to work the Google-fu.

It's always frustrating when you look these drinks up and find the recipe for the "True", "Real", "Original", "Authentic", or "Perfect", version of the cocktail and they're all a bit different, even if they cite the same source for their recipe. The difference between muddling 3 Mint leaves as opposed to 12 can be significant. So, I usually end up using all of those as a baseline, find the most common consistencies and go from there, eventually ending up with something not too far off the standard cocktail.

Then, there are ones like this baffling recipe that has you add all of the ingredients to a glass, including the ice, and then muddle... with everything in the glass... including the ice...  Is this something that anyone does?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Piña Fhtagn on National Piña Colada Day

1 oz Plantation 3 Star White Rum
1 oz Butterfly Absinthe
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Oleo Saccharum
2 dashes Dr. Adam Elmegirab Aphrodite Bitters
1/4 cup Diced Pineapple
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 oz Chaokoh Coconut Milk
1 1/2 cup ice

Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a Cthulhu Tiki from Horror in Clay (or any other Tiki, Collins, or Piña Colada glass). Garnish with some ridiculous fruit and leaves.

Goddamnit, i wasn't going to make a freaking Piña Colada. I don't like frozen drinks and I wasn't really sure if my tiny blender was an adequate enough blender to really break up ice for a wretched smoothie. But then, as I uttered a dark curse against this drink, and  as the words in the ancient guttural tongue of the blackened depths were spoken, the name 'Piña Fhtagn' came out. The will of the nameless ones spoke, I had to make this drink.

I did come across a more modern variation on the Piña Colada that was shaken and poured over ice, but I wanted to keep this as honest a variation as possible. There was no way in Hell I was going to buy a premade mixer so I got a couple brands of Coconut Milk to try, favoring this Chaokoh. It was a bit on the heavy side, but not as much as others so I cut it to 1 1/2 oz from a suggested 2 oz. I knew I had to fit in an absinthe to fit it into the Mythos Absinthe Cocktails but I also wanted to add a little something else to give it some more depth. To help that depth, and a bit more green tint, I added the Chartreuse but also experimented with some newly made Oleo Saccharum and a couple dashes of Aphrodite Bitters which have a desired ginger-ness to them along with a bit of coffee and chocolate that I hoped wouldn't be too pronounced.

I'm not sure if I'm comfortable publicly admitting how much I enjoyed this drink going down but I did soon regret drinking it. Super fruity, sugary drinks are absolutely not for me and this one made me more than a wee bit ill. Let me know if there is a better way to make these with a better form of Coconut Milk that won't be as stupid heavy but still has that coconut richness. I don't want to use any kind of coconut water and mixers are just right out...

P.S. It's not like I don't like Coconut and Pineapple... with the leftover ingredients I made this Coconut Rice with Pineapple Chicken I'm really digging...

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sunset Cocktail: Sale of Indulgences on World Chocolate Day

2 oz Copper and Kings American Brandy
1 oz Fernet Branca
3/4 oz Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters

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

I freely admit that I was wholly unprepared for World Chocolate Day. After consuming a shit-ton more than I should have during a series of trainings at work that the instructor provided to keep us happy and awake, I took it upon myself to re-cut back on sugar again with the hopes of balancing  my terribly fluctuating diet. That and my nose breaks out when I eat too much chocolate and it's finally recovering from that goddamned training.

I was looking for a drink that used a nice chocolate liqueur but wasn't some sickening diabetic shock in a glass like most are opting for the Vodka and sugar boosts to a stomach wrenching dessert Hell. I came across this Sale of Indulgences on Kindred Cocktails. The original called for a VSOP Cognac but I wanted to use the Copper & Kings Brandy. It also called for the standard Godiva Chocolate Liqueur over the Dark but I think the Dark has a richer flavor that blended well to the complexities of the Fernet and Luxardo..

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sunset Cocktail: The Marswalk

1 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Cointreau
3 drops Rose Flower Water
Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry Champagne

Shake first three ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled Flute. Top with Sparkling Wine. 

Following up on the previous Independence Day Moonwalk Cocktail post, I set my sights ahead. It's a simple swap of Cranberry Juice from the Grapefruit of the Moonwalk which I actually like much better.

As much as I hate to give a compliment to Trump (I guess a broken clock is right twice a day), I am very excited to see how much focus he seems to be putting into the Space Program. As Buzz Lightyear and Buzz Aldrin say... "To infinity and beyond!"

Sunset Cocktail: The Moonwalk on American Independence Day

1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Cointreau
3 drops Rose Flower Water
Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry Champagne

Shake first three ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled Flute. Top with Sparkling Wine. (I added a Blueberry and a Raspberry as a garnish for color that didn't show up in this pic)

When looking for a drink to make for this country's illustrious celebration of independence i was torn about what to make. I did a cursory glance through all of the godawful red white and blue drinks out there then thought I'd make some kind of Idiotocratic (not ideocratic, there's difference, bigly) statement with some kind of  trashy drink or an explosion like my Covfefe cocktail. But I gave it some thought and wanted to do something more... truly American, something from our proud past.

Lexington Common, 19th of April 1775
by Don Troiani.
The perception of what it is to be America has developed over the years, starting out as batshit crazy religious folks who fled their homes to practice their faiths in freedom (well, that's the perception anyway), to rugged pioneers and adventurers exploring and developing a new world, to innovators and artists who revolutionized industry, art and music, to a world power awakened like a slumbering giant to enter the world's battlefield and kick serious bad guy ass, to the terrifying world police with their eyes and fingers stretched into every corner of the earth, and now... back to batshit crazy religious folks, however not ones who want to pursue freedoms but ones that would rather plunge the nation into an oligarchical state of controlled ignorance. Where in this short but varied history would I find a good drink? I'd considered a Bourbon drink as it's a wholly American Whiskey, or maybe a Rum based Flip to give nod to The Shot Heard 'Round the World. No, I went with outer-fucking space.

According to Saveur:
"Joe Gilmore, legendary Head Barman at the Savoy Hotel's American Bar, invented this cocktail in 1969 to commemorate the first moon landing. The drink—a combination of grapefruit, orange liqueur, and a hint of rosewater, topped with Champagne—was the first thing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sipped upon returning to earth."

The idea to do the Moonwalk was wholly inspired by one of my lifetime heroes, Buzz Aldrin. There is little in our history that expresses how the best of America can come together to than our first Lunar Landing (and our space program in general, no thanks to Nixon, that fuck) and I'm amazed that this happened within my lifetime. Granted, I was only 74 days old when they first walked on the moon but I was here! Buzz is still a strong and viable voice in the future of space exploration in his 80s and his Twitter feed is often hilarious.

Buzz Aldin has always been an inspiration and continues to be until this day. He's amazing, kind of an asshole and a wiseass, has walked on the moon's face, and is nobody's idiot.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunset Cocktail/Cocktail From Beyond: Bio-Zombie

1 1/2 oz Appleton Estates V/X Jamaican Rum
1 1/2 oz Plantation Grande Reserve Barbados Rum
1 oz Lemon Hart 151 Rum
1/2 oz Falernum
1/4 oz Butterfly Absinthe
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat
2 dashes Scrappy's Orleans Bitters

Shake everything but the 151 with ice and strain into an ice filled Collins or Tiki. Float 151 on top and garnish with a lemon wheel and a Zombie arm swizzle. If I had mint I would have added it, but look, there's a stupid umbrella!

To make a proper Zombie variation you would actually blend all of the ingredients with a little ice before pouring into the glass but I really didn't feel like hearing the blender whine so I just used a shaker. I probably should have also used Lime juice to get a green tinge but I was out of limes just as I'm out of mint. I suck. Instead of sugar or some other syrup I used some of the Orgeat I made the other day to help use it up. I figured that if the Third Ward could use Hazelnut in their Zombies, I could use Orgeat in this here Bio-Zombie. More has to be done to this drink to distinguish it though... it's kinda generic...

I felt that this was a good drink to make today as it's really fucking hot and I just got done watching the best Bio-Zombie film, if not one of the best Zombie films I've seen in a very long time (if you don't know the difference in the 2 subgenres I don't know how we're friends). Even if you don't like (Bio)Zombie movies I highly recommend "The Girl With All The Gifts". Great story that hooks you early and finally explains everything it needs to explain after you really want need to know what the fuck is going on, mostly. Probably the best child acting I've seen in a very long time from  Sennia Nanua and probably my new favorite roll by Glenn Close. It's on Amazon Prime for free for those who have it and even if you don't, it's worth looking out for. I'm still contemplating the ending...