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!

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.

Martha Washington’s Rum Punch

Rum Punch Fruit MixtureI recently threw a party and didn’t want to be tending bar the whole time, so decided to try a few punch recipes. The party was presidentially themed, so inspiration came from a friend sending me a list of presidents’ favorite drinks. My favorite of the night, however, was Martha Washington’s Rum Punch. I followed the LUPEC recipe exactly (with Kraken for the dark rum, Don Q for the white rum, and an ancient bottle of cheap triple sec for the orange curaçao), so I’m not going to reprint it here, but I can assure you it is worth drinking! The combination of citrus and spice is excellent and while I served it cold, we were pretty sure that it would happily serve as a warm drink as well.

Pictured here was a 1/3-size test batch of the juice mixture. I ended up making a double batch for the party and that was a good quantity, but took up way more space. If you leave all the fruit in the serving vessel, a single batch will want a gallon-sized container. The juice mixture needs to be made a day ahead and the leftovers of the final punch were tasty for another couple of days.