Ginger Pilot

mxmologoSpring Break is the theme of this month’s Mixology Monday challenge (wrap-up post), hosted by Southern Ash. I’ve been thinking more about tiki-style drinks lately, and this seemed like a good excuse for some experimentation. Also a good excuse to pick up some falernum. I should really have gotten some of this ages ago; add seltzer and it’s basically instant ginger beer. Which means I don’t have to stock ginger beer to have a Dark and Stormy. Which is dangerous.

Ginger PilotFor this challenge, I took inspiration from the Jet Pilot cocktail, which is a personal favorite of mine, though I usually don’t make things quite that complicated at home. Rather than adjust the spices too much, I decided to play with the mix of spirits at the center and bring in some other warm-weather favorites. I used a mix of golden Cachaça and silver mezcal alongside the usual 151 and I must say that it turned out very well!

1 oz    gold cachaça (Diva)
0.75 oz silver mezcal (Mina Real)
0.75 oz 151° rum (Cruzan)
0.5 oz  lime juice
0.5 oz  grapefruit juice
0.5 oz  cinnamon syrup
0.5 oz  falernum syrup (BG Reynolds)
6 dash  orange bittters (Scrappy's)
Shake well and strain over (crushed) ice
Garnish with grapefruit peel

This came together really, really well, if I do say so myself. The combination of boozy, citrusy, sweet, and spicy was remarkably balanced. This one goes down very easily, so while I garnished with a straw for the photo, I don’t recommend consuming it that way unless you actually use crushed ice. The ginger bite from the falernum is still clear even with all the other ingredients involved, so be careful not to have too heavy a hand there. The mezcal I used isn’t particularly smoky, so didn’t shift the character as much as some others would, but definitely added to the overall complexity. I considered adding a few drops of Pernod, as in a standard Jet Pilot, but couldn’t really imagine anise helping things here, so didn’t actually do so—if any of you try it, let me know how it goes!

Old Boy’s Club Cocktail

mxmologoThe theme for this month’s Mixology Monday, hosted by Putney Farm, was “hometown hooch” (update: roundup post). I had two local spirits in my cabinet: Bully Boy Boston Rum and St. Elder Elderflower Liqueur which turned out to work together quite well. I also had a bottle of Bittermens Boston Bittahs which, while not made in Boston, was actually a pretty good flavor match.

2 oz New England rum (Bully Boy)
1 oz elderflower liqueur (St. Elder)
12 drops Boston Bittahs
1 ml green Chartreuse (optional)

Stir and strain

Old Boy's ClubThe flavor is sweet and floral with the elderflower providing the primary flavor, brightened by the citrus from the bitters. The apple/lychee notes from the St. Elder really come out here. This is sweeter than many of the cocktails I make, but there’s enough complexity to ground it and keep it from being cloying. The bitters-quantity of Chartreuse helps balance it out, though it is still drinkable without it and other things such as orange bitters could fill the role if you don’t have Chartreuse handy. A squeeze of lemon juice or lemon twist garnish might also be at home here, but I didn’t have a lemon handy to test with. Decidedly refreshing on a warm summer afternoon!

Guest Post: Alphabet City – A Manhattan Variant

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This month for Mixology Monday, hosted by Cocktail VirginSlut, we tackle the Manhattan!

Until very recently, I thought I didn’t like vermouth, so I don’t know much about the Manhattan. What better reason to try it out!

I grabbed the rye and vermouth that I had on hand – Rittenhouse and Martini & Rossi dry vermouth respectively – and went from there. I don’t have an orange bitters, so angostura was the default choice there.

2 oz rye (Rittenhouse)
1 oz dry vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
1/4 oz cinnamon/clove/allspice syrup
8 drops Angostura bitters

Stir with ice until chilled. 
Serve in a cocktail glass.
Alphabet City: a Manhattan variant for MxMo May 2015

Alphabet City: a Manhattan variant for MxMo May 2015

On their own, these ingredients were too sharp and lacked warmth. I blame the dry vermouth. To restore the missing warmth and sweetness, I reached for a spiced simple syrup I had in the fridge, which I made a few weeks ago with the leftover mulling spices from the last time we had spiced cider.

The cinnamon does add warmth and sweetness, but I still feel like this is missing a “middle note”, and I wasn’t sure where else to take it. Nonetheless, the top and bottom notes are nicely balanced, and so I’m proud of this one!

This warm, spicy Manhattan variant is henceforth called the “Alphabet City”, named after the neighborhood I am currently residing in.

Updated White Russian

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This month’s Mixology Monday challenge, hosted by Tipicular Fixin’s [roundup post now up!], is to update a cocktail you enjoyed before you really got into cocktails, but would be, perhaps, ashamed to order now. I decided to take a stab at the White Russian. I think the White Russian is still a solid drink, but it’s pretty one-note. This is an attempt to add some more flavor complexity and improve the presentation while still keeping the alcoholic-iced-latte nature intact.

1.5 oz coffee vodka (see below)
1.0 oz sweet spiced milk (see below)
0.5 oz whole milk
1      egg white

Shake once without ice, shake again with ice and strain
Garnish with a grated coffee bean

Updated White RussianThe egg and milk provided a nice body and the bitter of the coffee balanced the sweetness nicely. I liked the cinnamon, but ended up adding a little non-spiced milk in the final version, as my first try was a little too cinnamon-forward. This ended up being classier than the original, and the coffee bean and cinnamon floating on the top gave visual appeal, but I think there’s room to add more flavor wow-factor.

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