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Bolero #2

Once upon a time in 2013 I made a cocktail of a similar name. Now I am trying another version… not only is it a different recipe, it’s an entirely different flavor profile! According to my favorite bar book this is the “fruity” version. I can get with that, but I would go with the more “robust” version. The last try got a 7/10…

  • 3 ounces of dark rum (Myers)
  • 0.75 ounce brandy
  • 0.75 ounce lime juice
  • 0.75 ounce orange juice
  • 0.75 ounce simple syrup

This is a simple one: cocktail shaker, ice, liquids, shake and strain into a martini glass. Drink.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Reading the ingredients this sounds like a fancy rum punch, and that’s exactly how it drinks… perhaps a batch version of this in my future…
  • The dark rum and brandy give the drink a sweet alcoholic base, sweetened up by the juices – serving this up makes this more sophisticated.
  • Like the aforementioned rum punch, this is a drink that can sneak up on you – be sure to go easy.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10 (this is the better version)
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • The drink for when you are craving a rum punch on the beach but you are hosting a fancy cocktail party.
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Spicey Citrus Bourbon Punch

In the desert with friends, and it’s time to roll out the Bourbon punch. I mean, it’s spicey, it’s Bourbony it’s just darn good… Just like my friends! This drink is a lot like Russian roulette, you have to roll the dice to determine how adventurous you’re gonna be. Are you looking for tex-mex levels of spice, or full on Thai food 10… Because this drink can comfortably meet each extreme.

I’ve had numerous requests for this drink, so let’s get it on the blog so we can all share in its greatness! This is an oh so slightly modified version of a Bon Appetite recipe.

  • 1 bottle (750ml) Makers Mark
  • 3 jalapeño chiles
  • 3 Serrano chiles
  • 1.75 cups dry vermouth
  • 1.75 cups grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup simple syrup

This takes a little preparation. Cut the chiles in half lengthwise and place in a pitcher with the bottle of Bourbon. Let sit for at least 25 minutes, no more than 40 minutes. Strain the liquid to remove the chiles. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Serve from the pitcher over ice and garnish with a lime and jalapeño slice. Makes 16 servings.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • When something is right, it’s right. So beware, and don’t overdo the spice.
  • Shocking that not only can you taste the dry Vermouth, but it works so well on the cocktail.
  • Drink is overall sweet, and the first sip will hit you with a nice warm finish. And then it just keeps getting better.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • Go make yourself a batch… Just make sure you have some friends with you to finish it!

Algonquin

Time for a drink named after a hotel… a 1920s New York hotel at that. Browsing through the cocktail book I came across this drink as one I could make with the limited mixers I have on hand… so there you go. It comes from my favorite drink book, so it can’t be too bad, but the combo of ingredients sounds a little optimistic for my taste buds. I’ll report back on the reality below.

  • 2 ounces rye
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 0.5 ounces dry Vermouth

Add everything to a cocktail shaker and stir over ice, strain into a chilled Martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I was expecting this to be horrific if I am being honest, and the reality is that it’s surprisingly ok.
  • Overall taste is dry pineapple juice (is that a thing?) with a kick.
  • Something to serve for those in search of a unique libation.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • Proof that the end result can be better than the sum of its parts.

Jungle Bird

Tiki time, all the time. Last drink was a simple drink, this time its time for something a little more complex. Enter the Jungle Bird. Not sure how many more drink samples I can make before selecting the winning game beverage for the party. I’m starting to really like this Smugglers Cove book. Pick one up for yourself!

I’ll take suggestions on what to bring to the party…

  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 0.5 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 ounce Demerara syrup
  • 0.75 ounce Campari
  • 1.5 ounce dark rum

Fill a shaker with ice, add everything inside and give it a shake. Serve onto a Collins glass filled with ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Sweet start, pineapple forward, but seconds later the bitter flavor of the Campari sits on your palette.
  • It’s an interesting mix of flavors, I simultaneously like it and am unsure of it… So confusing.
  • If you are a Campari fan in the mood for a sweet tiki cocktail, you should sign up for the Jungle Bird.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 3/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • I take a sip… Enjoy the sweet pineapple goodness… Then the Campari comes along to challenge my taste buds… So I take another sip and goodness returns.

When thinking of a quick and easy cocktail, I often fall back on a simple one-plus drink… Usually my standby, a Makers and Coke. So when flipping through the Tiki drink book I was excited to find a new beverage in this category – the Bombo.

It combines two of my favorite things, rum and sugar! On a more serious note, it’s an ideal sipping drink, especially if you have some quality aged rum on hand as the mixer.

  • 2 ounces Aged rum (Ron Zacapa Soledad Reserva 23)
  • Demerara Syrup

Fill a cocktail shake with ice, pour in the ingredients and stir until chilled. Pour into an ice filled Collins Glass. Garnish with fresh nutmeg.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Is a tasty sweet cocktail, the Demerara flavor makes this almost have the flavor of a rum and coke, but it’s cleaner.
  • A good rum is your friend here – don’t waste this drink on your mixing rum!
  • Sweet, short, and ice cold – a good combo.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 8/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • Devilishly simple, delectably good.

Halekulani Cocktail

The tiki experiment continues. Researching drinks it is amazing the variety of ingredients included in tiki recipes. Almost as impressive is the care with which contents are selected. I mean, you can’t just call for simple syrup, you must use the demarera version for added punch. It makes it challenging to stock a bar with everything, but overall the effort rewards you with some fun tasting, and generally very strong, beverages.

  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 0.5 ounce Demarera syrup
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Throw everything in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Lots of juice and lots of sugar in here – this is in no way a diabetic friendly drink.
  • You have to like sweet, but leaves you with a tart finish.
  • No one will ever guess that there is liquor in here unless they watch you make it… Or drink more than one.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 2/10 (but it’s hiding)
  • Sweetness: 10/10
  • In the tradition of a good tiki cocktail… Lots of juice and plenty of liquor to sneak up on you!

Mary Pickford

Who is this Mary? Apparently she acted her way to start United Airlines – go figure. To enhance the legend, during Prohibition she was hanging out in Havana and this drink was a popular libation of the time. This recipe comes courtesy of Smugglers Cove – so be sure to order one up next to you take a visit to their Tiki bar in San Francisco.

  • 1.5 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 bar spoon grenadine
  • 6 drops of maraschino liqueur
  • 1.5 ounces aged rum

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and the ingredients, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Drink up! Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The drink is an interesting combination of sweet with the complication of the maraschino. The flavor is unique and something that would be fun to serve to a house guest.
  • Leaves you with the slightly bitter aftertaste of the maraschino.
  • Looks as good as it tastes, the pineapple juice helps leave a nice froth that ups the presentation.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • One thing is sure, its a hell of a lot better than any cocktail you can enjoy on the friendly skies of United today!

Lauwiliwilinukunuku’oi’oi

A new drink book showed up in the house this weekend in preparation for a Tiki party that we will be part of next weekend. This particular book is the official Smugglers Cove guide to all things Tiki, including a number of recipes from the world famous restaurant.

While we have not had time to digest all of the advice within, we did at least take the time to flip through the pages and find a couple of drinks to sample. Look for the second cocktail in my next blog post! I wish this cocktail had the most ridiculous name in the book, but it actually isn’t!

  • 0.75 ounce lemon juice
  • 0.75 ounce pineapple juice
  • 0.5 ounce orgeat syrup
  • 2 ounce blended aged rum
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Fill a cocktail shaker with crushed ice, and add all of the ingredients. Shake vigorously and poor (ice and all) into a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • From the first taste, this is all Tiki. It’s sweet, it’s got rum and it has a distinct almond flavor.
  • Despite the long list of ingredients, it’s an easy cocktail to make, and likely would be a good candidate for a premixed drink at a party.
  • It’s a very sweet drink, leaving the sweetness in the back of your mouth long after you swallow its goodness.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10 (if you like some Tiki)
  • Strength: 4/10 (lots of juice)
  • Sweetness: 10/10
  • With a bit of practice, the name is not that hard to pronounce to order at a bar, but I’m guessing they will just look back at you with a blank stare.

Alfonso Special Cocktail

One of the first entries in my favorite drink books under the Gin category is the Alfonso Special Cocktail.  As it is right there up front, I often pass it by for a cocktail that sounds a little less boozy and a little more friendly.  Just reading the ingredients makes me think that this just wouldn’t taste good.  That said, this drink has the added benefits of (1) requires no mixers – it’s all liqueur and (2) your guests are almost guaranteed to never have experienced it before.

A unique quest for me is to find the next “long island”, that is, find a cocktail that sounds like it would be okay at best when you find out what’s in it, but takes on a personality of its own when you take your first sip.  Oh, and also taste good.  Tonight I may have found one of those combinations.  For good measure, we’ll make this a Drink of the Month!

  • 3 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 1.5 ounces gin
  • 1.5 ounces dry vermouth
  • 0.5 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and all the ingredients, shake vigorously until chilled and strain into a cold martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I forgot to bury the lead – this drink is surprisingly good.  I was expecting a dry cocktail with an acquired taste, but the Grand Marnier actually sweetens the drink up immensely.
  • There is a lot of complicated flavors in here competing for your attention.  The gin and vermouth help you appreciate the complication of the Grand Marnier without being bowled over by its sweetness.
  • The aftertaste starts with a hit of the dry vermouth and gin, but quickly changes to the a thick orange brandy finish.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 6/10 – the taste belies the content
  • Sweetness: 8/10
  • When you are running short of mixers and all you have is a well stocked bar – try this one on for something different and you will not be disappointed.

Slippery Nipple

What can I say other than George made me do it. Paging through the drink book I ran across this dessert concoction… and it has the benefit of making 13 year old boys (or those of us who never fully evolved) snicker.

So after a disappointing Sunbasket dinner of hoison chicken, let’s see if the after dinner cocktail can change the trajectory. I mean, it can’t get much worse. Oh wait, it just did, the thought of the name have me a vision of George…

  • 1.5 ounces Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1.5 ounces Sambuca

Shake vigorously over ice, fill a Collins glass with ice and pour the liquid over the top. Enjoy dessert.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Baileys is hard to go wrong with, nice and thick and creamy, like George.
  • The sambuca adds a fun flavor in the background, giving you a hint of the unexpected, like George.
  • Very sweet, and best enjoyed after a romantic dinner, like George.

Tasting Notes:

  • George’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 2/10
  • Sweetness: 10/10
  • The name is silly, but the drink turns out to be a little more sophisticated than first appearances. Like George.