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!

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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!

Fall Toddy

Fall Toddy

I know it probably seems strange for me to post a drink called the Fall Toddy on the first of June, but it is currently 48°F and raining in Boston, so I’m just not in the mood for a sour. It is mostly a sense of indigence that is keeping me from turning on the heat, so I’ll bundle up and pour myself a hot drink.

1 oz   apple brandy (Laird's)
1 oz   New England rum (Bully Boy)
0.5 oz cranberry vodka
0.5 oz simple syrup
2 dash Jerry Thomas Bitters
4 oz   boiling water

Combine all ingredients in a mug

Comforting and smooth with a spice and complexity. The cranberry vodka is a homemade infusion. I don’t really have a precise recipe, I just start making spiced cranberry sauce, only add a small amount of sugar (a couple tablespoons instead of a couple of cups), transfer it to a bottle and top off with vodka.

Guest Post: Alphabet City – A Manhattan Variant

mxmologo
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.