Archive for June, 2012


Orange Blossom

It’s summer time – the summer solstice no less.  Or was that yesterday?  The weather is beautiful in San Diego, besides the ‘May Grey’ that has turned into ‘June Gloom’.  It’s about to get hectic though, with family visitors, the 4th of July and a trip to the homeland to watch the Olympics… In some ways I am looking forward to August so that I can take a break, until then…

Speaking of England – we have all been so focused on QE2’s Jubilee, but today is the 101st anniversary of King George the V’s accesnsion to the throne, QE2’s successors successors successor.  It took 3 monarchs (George V, Edward VIII, George VI) to reign for 41 years, but she’s been going for 60!  I guess if you want it done right, get a woman to do it.

On to the drink.  Browsing the archives tonight and came across something a little different – this one is absolutely in the classic martini category, but it comes with the pleasing flavor of orange – let’s try the Orange Blossom.

  • 2 ounces of gin (Bombay Sapphire)
  • 4 teaspoons of Cointreau
  • 4 teaspoons of sweet vermouth

Shake over ice and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • First sip and this cocktail is surprisingly dry – the gin really pushes through the sweetness of the Cointreau.
  • After several sips I would describe this as a classic dry martini, but with a hint of orange sweetness in the finish.
  • This is a ‘different’ cocktail from a bygone era (maybe George V’s), and while it probably wouldn’t be served in the gaslamp, it is worth a try.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 4/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • A classic drink with a subtle twist.

Bloodhound

Been off track for the last nine days.  No stories with this entry, just a recipe, some thoughts and a rating.  Maybe it’s indicative of the quality of the cocktail.  Let’s get to it.

  • 3 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 3 fresh strawberries

Place everything above into a blender and blend until smooth, pour into a cocktail shaker over ice, shake, strain and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • First sip is a tough one – as it always is when lots of dry vermouth is involved.
  • After a couple of sips, this is essentially a dry gin martini with a hint – a very subtle hint – of strawberry.
  • Altogether a bit of a let down.  Sounds better than it looks.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 3/10
  • Strength: 8/10
  • Sweetness: 2/10
  • Not my favorite drink, don’t make this expecting a fun fruity cocktail!

The Gold Rush

What have I done when the wine drinker starts moving on to cocktails?  I am at a loss, but when searching for drinks made with ginger liqueur this evening, Kathryn piped in “that sounds good” so we made her one too.  Even after serving her a martini in a big boy glass, she still was ready to dive in.  This is a strange day indeed.  In honor of this momentous day, see Kathryn’s comments below in addition to my own!

  • 3 ounces Canton Ginger Liqueur
  • 2 ounces bourbon (Makers Mark)
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice

Shake over ice and serve into a chilled martini glass (heard that before?).

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • A very well balanced cocktail, the ginger and the lemon can both be tasted, but they soften each others flavors.
  • There is a sweetness in here, which is surprising given what’s in it… delicious.
  • The aftertaste is a little spicy – no complaints here.

Kathryn’s Thoughts:

  • This is a great cocktail.  Lately I’ve been thinking about switching it up and a drink like this could do it.
  • The spicy ginger flavor blends beautifully with the bourbon, I can’t stop sipping.
  • I doubt these were available during the real Gold Rush!

Tasting Notes (Dave – Kathryn):

  • Rating: 8/10 – 10/10
  • Strength: 4/10 – 6/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10 – 5/10
  • There’s bourbon in here? –  Now I can drink bourbon with my Hubby!

Go West

Tonight’s drink comes from the “Around the World in 80 Drinks” and the country of choice is our neighbors in the great white north – Canada.  Seemed like a great place to celebrate, what with the Stanley Cup Finals in full swing… oh wait… there are no Canadian teams left, better think of some other reason.  Easy – it’s the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend – go Ferrari!

Speaking of Quebec – what is up with those students?  Protesting because they are raising your tuition rates that are lower than damn near anywhere else in the world?  Really?  I can’t even begin to understand.  Let’s drink.

  • 0.75 ounces Frangelico
  • 1.5 ounces Limoncello
  • 1.5 ounces dry white wine
  • 0.75 ounce simple syrup
  • 0.75 ounce lemon juice

Shake everything over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • This is all sweet, with added sweet for extra pleasure.  Might as well do the dew!
  • After you get past the sweet, the flavors of lemon and hazelnut are a surprisingly good combination.
  • Not exactly sure why simple syrup is in here, I have to believe that it would be sweet enough without it.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 3/10
  • Strength: 3/10
  • Sweetness: 10/10
  • Don’t even touch this thing until after dessert!

I was berated for being ordinary for last nights cocktail.  Buy you have to remember, I need to add all the boring drinks for completeness.  Its all good that you know how to make a fancy cocktail, but what if you want to know how to make something more pedestrian.  Instead of making my case – here’s another fancy one – the New Orleans Martini.

3 ounces vanilla vodka

  • 0.5 ounce dry vermouth
  • 0.5 ounce Pernod
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • mint sprig for garnish

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The first sip, phew this is strong.  Sounds so much better than the taste.
  • The undertone is vanilla, but the aniseed of Pernod also permeates the drinks.
  • Let’s look to the positive – the drink has a fun in golden tinge.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 3/10
  • Strength: 8/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • New Orleans is a fun place so I hear, this drink – not so much.

Crown & Coke

I’ve got jubilee fever!  This weekend all of England is celebrating QE2’s accession to the throne.  Such a strange antiquated thing for a first world country to celebrate.  There are only 44 countries in the world with a monarchy – and guess what – QE2 is queen of 16 of them.  So does that make her queen of 36% of the world?  Probably not, its been a couple of years since the sun hasn’t set on the British Empire.  Kind of strange that such a small country once had such a grip on the world… even more strange that they have somehow managed to hold on to as much influence as they have!  Rule Britannia!

  • 1.5 ounces Crown Royal (today we’re going with the stronger, more intriguing “Black” variety
  • 4.5 ounces Mexican Coca Cola

Grab yourself a rocks glass, add ice, Crown and coke.  Serve.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Not quite Makers, not quite rum.  Tastes like molasses alcohol with Coke.  Not so bad.
  • For some reason it doesn’t quite match the heights of a Cuba Libre or a Makers and Coke.  It’s just okay.
  • On second thought, molasses may be wrong, it’s missing the sweetness… but it does have the flavor.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • A classic cocktail – don’t be afraid to order a Crown and Coke at the bar… but remember… Makers is better.