Archive for December, 2014


Lollipop

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Christmas drink #3.  11 days and 9 cocktails to go,  All that talk of malls yesterday inspired me to go and fight the crowds today.  By fight the crowds, I mean show up at 9am before most everyone and enjoy the “quiet before the storm”.  It was almost a pleasant shopping experience.  Parents don’t mess around though, by 10am the line to see Santa was a good 50 kids deep.  Of course, Kathryn wouldn’t let me join the line.  So bummed. At least I get a consolation lollipop,

  • 0.75 ounces green chartreuse
  • 0.75 ounces cherry brandy
  • 0.75 ounces Cointreau
  • 0.25 teaspoon maraschino liqueur

Mix, shake, serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • There is a lot going on in this cocktail.  There are so many unusual flavors hidden inside here.
  • The first sip has an almost dry complexity, but it comes on strong with sweet, sweet cherries in the finish.
  • The finish goes on and on and on.  It’s hard to get that sweetness off your tongue.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 10/10
  • This drink is very appropriately named.  It’s a sweet cherry lollipop in a glass.
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Nacional

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The second drink of Christmas has arrived!  Just in time to help with a weekend of holiday shopping.  Malls full of people trying desperately to think of something creative for their loved ones.  The only problem is when they return to work in the new year, the realize that they all received the same sweater and trinket that was on sale at Macy’s.  I guess I shouldn’t be so jaded… it is a nice sweater after all,

To help with the holiday shopping, along comes the Nacional.  Drink enough of these and you too will be a creative force, turning over every pile of clothes in the mall to find that different sweater,  You know the one that somehow didn’t get marked down like the rest of them, and really looks no better.  But damn it, it’s different.  Mission accomplished.

It seems like this drink has a high standard to reach, so let’s give it a try.

  • 1.5 ounces gold rum
  • 0.75 ounces apricot brandy
  • 0.75 ounces pineapple juice
  • 0.25 ounces lime juice

Serve this once in a martini glass after shaking everything over ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The combination of apricot brandy, rum and pineapple juice make this a sweet drink.
  • Essentially a “complex” pineapple juice.  It’s hard to discern the other ingredients, but you can tell something is there,
  • When drinking this in martini sized portions, it seems like it disappears too fast.  So one leads to two… all the better to lighten your mood.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating 8/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 9/10
  • A nice gateway martini for those who are scared of “short” format drinks.

Corpse Reviver

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It’s time for another holly jolly Christmas.  At least, it’s time that decorations full of bright colors throw themselves up all over the house.  In honor of this festive time of year, this is the first of my “12 Cocktails of Christmas”.  These may or may not be themed, but it is very likely you’ll notice some seasonal accoutrements in the pictures.

Today’s drink comes by way of the Brandy aisle.  I always thought of Brandy as my grandparents drink (or maybe that was Sherry, I digress), but I have a fascination with Spanish Brandy in particular, and I just ordered a new bottle of the stuff from New Jersey of all places.  This stuff is awesome.  The regular old E&J or whatever else the grocery store stocks pales in comparison.  The Spanish stuff is so rich and full of flavor.  It has more in common with Port than that grocery store Brandy.  So tonight I found an interesting use – the Corpse Reviver.

  • 1 ounce Spanish Brandy
  • 1 ounce Applejack
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

Combine in a shaker over ice and serve into a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • A very smooth cocktail.  Surprisingly there is not a lot of complexity in the taste.
  • Nothing really stands out in the flavor, almost like a thin port… in a good way.
  • Drink has a pleasing sweetness, not overpowering, and surprisingly does not drink boozy.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • Corpses apparently have impeccably good taste – this is a delicious cocktail.

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I love flicking through the pages of my bar books in search of a new cocktail that sounds unique and fun, and bonus points if it uses stuff that is (1) in my bar and (2) I am relatively unfamiliar with.  Last night I picked up some Sloe Gin for the bar, and after 10 seconds of flipping, a new possibility jumped out at me in the Charlie Chaplin.  Not only that, but it also had apricot brandy (which I only recently added) and lime juice (which our tree is producing right now).  It was destiny – but was it the good kind?

  • 1 ounce apricot brandy
  • 1 ounce sloe gin
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice

Shake everything over ice, serve in a martini glass, optionally garnish with a lime wedge.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I did not expect it to be that sweet – it lingers in the mouth a while after each sip!
  • I am not sure what a sloe berry is, but it gives the drink a nice flavor – its almost citrus-y.
  • Definitely a one drink per sitting kind of beverage.  Not in a bad way, it’s like a decadent desert.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 3/10
  • Sweetness: 9/10
  • Whatever I know about Charlie Chaplin before, I have added the knowledge that he had a sweet tooth.