Posts Tagged ‘cocktail’

Gingerino: Mixology Monday – Ginger Cocktails

I have a particular affinity to ginger. Whether it is in a drink or food, the not-quite-bitter flavour makes me salivate at the very thought of it. I have even been to the world’s biggest ginger factory. My favourite combination with ginger however is rum. Ginger beer, ginger syrup, or even just a finger of ginger floating in my Matuselum is fine. Fitting I suppose that Rumdood is this month’s Mixology Monday host.

Now, I have already made a ginger based drink for Mixology Monday so, the old faithful dark and stormy was off the cards. I have also been tempted by the combination of dry vermouth and rum in the past and thought this was a perfect opportunity. I’m also a big fan of ginger and coriander together so wanted to combine these in a drink. So without further rambling I present the Gingerino, inspired by the El Presidente and the Dark and Stormy.

  • Gingerino 45ml rum of your choice. I’ve used Mount Gay.
  • 15ml dry vermouth
  • 15ml simple syrup
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 5ml Campari

Muddle the ginger with the syrup and then shake the remaining ingredients with plenty of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with star of ginger and coriander leaf. Be sure to clap the coriander before serving to release the unique scent.

Jasmine Cocktail – Campari, Gin, Cointreau and Lemon Juice

The theme for this month’s Mixology Monday is the style of italian bitters known as Amaro. Having recently picked up a bottle of Campari I had an idea of what I was going to make. I had mixed Negronis a couple of times and a few variations on them but hadn’t quite fallen for them, the bitterness was overpowering but the flavours interesting. A few recipes I read balanced the bitterness with champagne and fresh orange but not having them I kept searching.

Jasmine Cocktail Finally I stumbled upon the Jasmine cocktail. I love cocktails mixed with lemon juice, the flavour is so crisp and so fresh and surprisingly it seems bring out the orange in the campari (or maybe thats the triple sec.) The other thing about this cocktail is how it takes on a new flavour, bigger than any of the individual flavours.

The Jasmine

  • 1 1/2 ounces of gin
  • 1 ounce cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce campari
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice

Traditionally shaken and strained into a cocktail glass, I prefer to shake quickly and serve in a old fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel and an olive.

Cheap and Dirty Martini Recipe

As my housemates will attest I drink a lot of gin. It doesn’t really matter, if it is Gin and Tonics, Martinis, Negronis or Gin Gimlets they all have their place on the drink menu. This becomes a problem because going through a bottle of gin a week takes a massive toll on your bank account (not to mention kidneys and liver.) Luckily, this is a problem that has solutions, earning more money, drinking less, buying gin by the container, or, and this is my current solution, drinking cheaper gin. Don’t get me wrong, I would drink Tanq 10, Hendricks (maybe not in a Martini), or Martins every day of the week, but I can’t. Gordon’s London Dry is my regular poison and I buy it by the litre.

I’m not a fan of dry martinis at the best of times but they really don’t appeal to me when made with such a harsh gin. There are 2 solutions that go hand in hand. Wet martinis and bitters. Vermouth is an amazing flavour and I’ve never figured out why people hide all of that herby goodness in their martinis. Bitters add a good dose of whatever their flavour to the libation and are brilliant at tempering the harshness and add a level of interestingness that a regular martini doesn’t posess.

Dirti Martini with BittersRecipe

  • 45ml Gordon’s London Dry Gin
  • 15ml Dry Vermouth (Cinzano is really cheap and not altogether bad)
  • Bitters
  • 1 or 3 olives

The bitters depends on your taste, orange bitters is quite mild in flavour and I recommend a few dashes of orange bitters in the glass before you add the drink as well as a dash of Peychauds. Peychauds is great by itself, the tart works well with the botanicals of the gin. Angostura is a curious flavour and more than 2 dashes is too much.

Finally, the olive flavour of a dirty martini is sufficient to mask the burn and asperity of the low quality ingredients. To some extent olive brine is similar to bitters in that it is a concentrated flavour, but they don’t quite hold the same intensity of bitters. an extremely dirty martini consists of a further 15ml of olive brine.

The Gin Gimlet and the Japanese Slipper

Of recent times I have been asked many a time about what a good introduction cocktail is, and although I’ve usually answered it with one drink or another taking this moment, courtesy of Boston Lupec, to really think about it has, if anything, solidified in my mind what a perfect gateway drink should be. Balance is mentioned in the introductory post of this month’s Mixology Monday and it is definitely one of the important traits but there are more.

Like all great cooking and mixing the most important thing is letting the ingredients speak for themselves, fresh fruit and juice in cocktails, great garnishes and most importantly quality spirits are paramount. This sounds like a whole lot of cocktail snob wishwash but it is true, noone wants stale apple juice (replete with fizz) in their drink least of all when you are introducing someone to new world of mixology.

For me however, the most important thing in an introduction drink is booze. This baby has to knock you around, people that are coming from the world of Smirnoff Double Black’s, pre-mixed Canadian Club bottles and cheap champagne are going to wonder wether if they order this at a bar are they going to get their necessary drunk on. As we all know, the answer is probably yes but these first drinks need to drive the point home that near pure alcohol can taste great.

Without further ado, I’m submitting 2 drinks to you my cocktail loving peers, my other go to drink is a basic whiskey sours which I have posted about in the past. This is especially good if someone is a whiskey drinker, in which case they probably won’t take much convincing.

Gin Gimlet Gin Gimlet

The first is a Gin Gimlet, I was introduced to this by the venerable Jeff Morgenthaler and his Richmond Gimlet. I very rarely have any mint on hand so instead forgo it for a classic Gin Gimlet. This drink is beautiful in it’s ability to match the botanicals of the gin with the strong flavour of lime and the sweetness of sugar.

  • 60ml Gin
  • 30ml Lime juice cordial
  • 15ml fresh lime juice

Shake and serve in a cocktail glass with a mint or lime garnish.

Japanese Slipper The Japanese Slipper

The second is The Japanese Slipper, this beautiful drink is far fruitier than the Gimlet which works well in not overpowering an immature palate. Melon liqueur balances the sour of lemon juice and is perfectly topped off with the smooth flavour of Cointreau. Having not been able to actually purchase Maraschino cherries I garnish it with a small amount of grenadine which creates a cool layering effect in the glass and makes the drink slightly sweeter.

  • 30ml Midori
  • 30ml Cointreau
  • 30ml Lemon juice

Shake vigorously, serve in a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry or a bar spoon of grenadine.

The Perfect Bloody Mary Recipe

Regarded as one of the best alcoholic hangover cures the Bloody Mary might be described as a spicy tomato juice and vodka, but that would be selling it far too short. As with most cocktails the basics remain mostly the same but the interpretations vary greatly. Perfecting it is an exercise in balance and flavour, not enough spice, it becomes watered down tomato juice, too much and it is a peppery assault on the senses.

The number of ingredients pale in comparison to the number of variations of this seemingly simple drink. Worcestershire and tobasco sauce are staples as are tomato juice and vodka but that is where the similarities across recipes ends. Salt or lemon, wasabi or horseradish sauce, port or shiraz, chilli vodka or plain and this isn’t to mention celery, basil or muddled cherry tomatoes.

It is hard to know what the cause of all this conjecture is. Perhaps it is due to the number of people who have attempted to make one, or the universal popularity of the drink, or it being a testament to the versatility of tomato juice. One thing is for certain though, everyone’s recipe is the best. Including mine.

  • 45 ml vodka
  • 15 ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 4-5 dashes of tobasco (to taste)
  • 10 ml of lemon juice
  • 20 ml port or shiraz, port for a sweeter drink, shiraz for spicier
  • approx 100ml Tomato juice

Stir all ingredients with ice until super-cold, strain into a highball glass, crack pepper and garnish with an aromatic stick of celery or a lemon wheel.

Variation on the Aviation Cocktail

Having just bought a shiny new bottle of Maraska Maraschino Liqueur I quickly set to making a tasty libation containing it. My first stop was Google, which brought me this post from Kaiser Penguin which discusses the best ratio of Maraschino to Gin which I didn’t read until after making my first attempt. Now, it wasn’t even that close attempt due to the fact I had no lemon juice and I made do with lime instead. So the recipe was:

Variation on the Aviation Cocktail

  • 2 oz Tanqueray Gin
  • 1 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • .5 oz Simple Syrup

This recipe ended up extremely tart, so I added a few dashes of Angostura Bitters which managed to temper it quite nicely. My next attempt will definitely cut back on the Maraschino to a ratio more like Gary Regan’s in The Joy of Mixology which hopefully will make for much easier drinking.

The Batanga – Tequila, Salt, Coke and Lime

For this month’s Mixology Monday the theme is “Spice,” in the announcement Craig’s definition of spice piqued my interest, “Salt? Go for it.” This challenge coupled with one of my Mexican friend’s favourite drink swhich he described to me as, Tequila, salt and Coke. I got cracking, doing a quick search on Google gave it a name, the Batanga. It all fell into place when the bottle of Mezcal Tequila that I bought had a little sachet of spices and sea salt. According to another brief search apparently this spicey concoction is traditionally imbibed alongside Mezcal. The resulting drink, lime juice, tequila, spicey sea salt and coke, garnished with a lime wedge is very tasty, certainly interesting and quite unique.

Photo of Batanga with Lime Garnish