Posts Tagged ‘gin’
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.
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.
- 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.You should follow me on Twitter.
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.
- 45ml Gordon’s London Dry Gin
- 15ml Dry Vermouth (Cinzano is really cheap and not altogether bad)
- 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.You should follow me on Twitter.
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.
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.
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.You should follow me on Twitter.
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:
- 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.You should follow me on Twitter.
The theme for MxMo this month is Made from Scratch having never really delved into the homemade ingredients side of things before I wanted to start with something basic. I recalled seeing a post from Stevi at Two At The Most for a recipe of ginger syrup, so I got to work. I actually wanted the syrup to be a little bit more gingerbread-like so I also added a bit of ground cinnamon. That’s what you can see floating in the drink in the photo.
Now it seems like quite an easy thing to make, but I managed to forget it was on the stove and let it reduce down to a very thick treacle like substance. Adding some more water brought the consistency back but the flavour was a little bit more bitter than it probably should have been.
I then decided on some sort of rum based cocktail. I’m not entirely sure what to call it but here is the recipe
- 3/4 oz Mt Gay rum
- 3/4 oz Bombay Sapphire
- Half a lime of lime juice
- 3/4 oz homemade ginger syrup
Shake and strain over ice. Top up with soda.
Entertainingly enough the syrup wasn’t the only thing homemade used while making this, I dropped (and broke) the only boston in the house so I had to use a coffee mug as the other side of the shaker.You should follow me on Twitter.
As the first of hopefully a series of boozing and cooking related interviews Matthew Robold from RumDood.com agreed to answer some quick questions about drinking, cooking and hangovers. I’ve run into the problem here that I could keep asking more and more questions, so I might leave them for another time.
Over here at My Aching Head we love nothing more than a home cooked dinner and a bottle (or two) of wine. What’s your dinner of choice?
I’m a big fan of Asian cuisine. I cook in my wok a great deal, although lately I’ve been in a big ahi tuna phase and have been making seared ahi steaks, sushi, sashimi, and ahi salads quite a bit. I’ve been experimenting with using different rums as ingredients in marinades for the fish when I sear it. So far I’d say a good demerara rum like Lemonhart or El Dorado seems to work the best at matching with the fish. Something about the smoky richness of the demerara rums just makes it so tasty…although I’ve also enjoyed using Mount Gay Extra Old for the same purpose…and sometimes I skip the marinade and just have a dram with my fish.
I’m interested in Rum, but surely that isn’t the only thing you drink, so what else is in the liquor cabinet?
Well I don’t keep the rum in the liquor cabinet…it won’t fit. My main fallback when I’m not drinking rum is gin. I’m a big fan of Tanqueray and Plymouth gins, and a simple gin and tonic is just so refreshing. I’ve also taken to drinking whiskey more often, and have probably 2 of every style but Scotch. I keep a single bottle of vodka around for guests, but can’t remember the last time I opened it. Then, of course, there are the numerous liqueurs, vermouths, tinctures, bitters, etc.
I’m also a big fan of port and pretty much always have a bottle of ruby and 20 year old Tawney at hand, in addition to a few bottles of wine, and a refrigerator door full of beer.
I love a gin and tonic as well. The problem I have is I always suck them back way too fast but I’m always curious what other G&T drinkers have as their garnish. Personally I’m a lime man, but lemon is good and more recently people have been sneaking cucumber into them. Where do you stand?
I’ve never gone wrong with lime. I mean, it’s such a perfect garnish…you can garnish just about any drink with a lime and it works. If I don’t use a lime, I’ll usually opt for a lemon twist. I can’t say I’ve ever had a cucumber garnish in a G&T. I’ve had a G&T garnished with an orange wheel before, which was interesting. I think the most unusual garnish I’ve ever seen in a G&T was probably a sprig of mint.
And what do you drink when you are looking to get boozed up?
Rum is still my first choice when looking to tie one one. Granted, I don’t generally go for the rarer stuff for that purpose. I’d say my go-to rums for a good bender are Sailor Jerry’s Spiced rum or Appleton Estate V/X. They’re both very inexpensive and easily replaced. The Sailor Jerry is good for a rum and coke or mixed with juice…the Appleton Estate is good in anything.
If I really want to hurt the next day, I’ll even through in some J. Wray and Nephew overproof or the Lemonhart 151.
Gah! You actually think about causing yourself pain? I generally let the barman sort that out for me. Do you have a favourite haunt for a few quiet (or loud) drinks?
I don’t necessarily think to myself, “Self, let’s put a hurtin’ on for tomorrow!”, but I’m usually cognizant of when I’m headed down the path to alcoimmolation, and sometimes I really just don’t care because I want the drinks – and zombies are just freaking good.
As for a favorite watering hole, it depends on who I’m with. My brother and I tend to spend a lot of time in various bars all over Downtown Fullerton – usually in Bourbon Street, Mulberry Street…any bar named after a street apparently. I also have a buddy that loves dive bars, so if I’m out with him the odds are very high that I’ll end up at the Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa. Of those bars, only Bourbon Street really has any decent rum in its selection – but when you’re a rum snob, you learn that unless you can get to places like Tiki Ti in LA or Forbidden Island in Alameda really easily, you’re going to have limited options.
And as far as waking up with a hangover, how do you sort that out? Are you a hair of the dog man or a coffee man?
When hungover, I generally maintain a strict regimin of coffee, gatorade, ibuprofin, antacids, and either pizza or Mexican food. Something about the grease in a taco stand’s offerings or a big slice of meaty pizza just seems to make the world right again. A burger and fries, animal style, from In’n’Out will also work in a pinch.
I will confess that the “hair of the dog” approach served me well in New Orleans at Tales of the Cocktail this year – though it’s not my typical approach.
I personally am a “hair of the dog” man and if I asked you to whip me up a quick rum-based cocktail that wouldn’t be too harsh on the stomach or the head. What would you give me?
That’s easy. If I’m going “hair of the dog” with rum, I usually mix up a Dark and Stormy (dark rum and ginger beer), with a few dashes of bitters. The combination of the effervescence, ginger, bitters, and the blackstrap rum all just work wonders on an unsettled stomach and headache-addled brain.
Ah, I love a Dark and Stormy, maybe with a splash of lime.
Personally, I love heading down to my local coffee shop, ordering a bacon and egg surprise. What about you?
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Are we still talking about hangovers? If I’m hungover and by myself I usually opt for pizza delivery simply because it means I get to stay in the house with the shades drawn and wait for food to come to me. Either that or I’ll call a friend and ask them to save me with a carnitas burrito. Carnitas, beans, rice, cheese, salsa, and guacamole really hits the spot when I’m trying to get my feet back underneath me.
This is going to come across badly to the purists, but a Martini isn’t a particularly “nice” drink, gin, vodka and especially vermouth are all, straight, generally offensive to the palate. In my time working behind a bar I’ve discovered that the drinkers of Martini’s are a not dissimilar to the drinkers of Champagne. While the drinkers may like the taste, and can definitely distinguish between the quality of the drinks, most of the drinking is about making a statement about who they are. Now, as a barman you can’t let that bother you, and one thing is for certain regarding the Martini, people that drink them love them and those same people tip well.
Tipping here in Australia and New Zealand is not an organised affair as it is in other locales, people are not required to tip and generally don’t unless there is a good reason to. This means that if someone orders a Martini your best smile, wit and banter should be on show, so as to convert this chance into some cold hard cash. If you are still with me, the purpose of this post is not to describe a recipe and process for making a Martini, that is for another time and another post. The purpose is to provide some tips for conversation with your potential tipper. Some of these are unsubstantiated, others may be wives-tales and others may be completely made up by me right here, nonetheless they should work for some good conversation.
- Martin’s aren’t supposed to be shaken, they should be stirred. This is because shaking them bruises the gin working with that, you could shake a vodka martini because you can’t bruise vodka.
- Further to the previous comment, I think it’s probably bullshit – that is the whole bruising of gin.
- There is a study that suggests shaking gin activates more antioxidants in it, and this might be a reason why James Bond is so healthy. (from Wikipedia)
- It’s unlucky to have an even number of olives in a Martini, so you should have 1 or 3. Never 2.
- James Bond likes his martinis dry, very dry, shaken not stirred.
- Hawkeye from MASH liked his martini’s about as dry, stating that the perfect recipe was to pour a glass of cold gin while looking at a picture of the inventor of vermouth. To translate, that’s a cold glass of gin with an olive or 3
- A martini with a cocktail onion is called a Gibson
- Methyphobia is the fear of alcohol