Category: Just a Drink


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!
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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.

Mocha Mint

One of my maxims when making cocktails is that creme de menthe doesn’t work with anything. A second maxim that I have is that I don’t like coffee, in cocktails or out. So what better combination than to have Kahlua and creme de menthe together, maybe throw some creme de cacao in there for fun. Today Dave is drinking on the edge, seving minty coffee drinkers everwhere at great personal cost.

  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 ounce creme de menthe
  • 1 ounce white creme de cacao

Shake over ice and serve up in a Martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Creme de menthe has a distinctive nose about it – its like cheap candy more than a refined cocktail ingredient.
  • I am surprised, this is not as bad as I was expecting, the cool mint is a pleasing aftertaste and the coffee is only hinted at.
  • Best served as cold as possible.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave Rating: 6/10 – really?!?
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • Best approximation is a chocolate peppermint candy – not bad.

Elegant Without Number

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This is the beginning of a big week in the Dave Drinks world.  Today is Dave’s sister’s birthday, then we have my birthday on Wednesday, followed by my “first meeting” anniversary on Friday and culminating with Valentines Day on Saturday.  Is there such a thing as too much celebration?  At least there is the three day weekend at the end of it to help soften the blow.

So as we try tonight’s drink, I can’t help but wondering, what the hell the name of this drink even means… any ideas?  No?  I guess let’s just start the drinking!

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 0.75 ounces calvados
  • 0.5 ounce Grand Marnier
  • Maraschino Cherry for garnish

Shake over ice and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I’m having a hard time getting behind this one.  The Calvados is the dominant flavor, but the taste is a little off.  I cannot call this a well balanced drink.
  • While there is a hint of sweetness from the Grand Marnier, ultimately this drink is rather dry, and if I am being honest, a little flat.
  • I kept hoping that each sip would help make the taste get better, but unfortunately it just felt like a slog to get through this.  Oh well.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 4/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • I don’t think that I would serve this to someone unless they really knew what they were doing.

Hemmingway Daiquiri

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Oh my word, three nights and three drinks.  What has the blogosphere come to?  Get over it – I’m making drinks again on a (somewhat) frequent basis.  And as always, past results are no indication of future performance.

This week my boss gave me a brown bag full of goodness to use in my cocktails.  The optimistic among you would anticipate that this was a bottle of some new and exciting liquor, but in fact, it was just a bag of limes.  Really good limes.  Less exciting, but equally useful.  While I have been telling you about all of the exciting new drinks in my repertoire from my new book, the real reason for the selections is that they all call for me to use up these delicious limes.  So, what better drink to use some limes with but a daiquiri!  Hemmingway’s Daiquiri in fact.

  • 3 ounces light rum
  • 1.5 ounces lime juice
  • 1.5 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce maraschino liquor

Blend with 12 ounces of ice.  Serve in a Collins glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Not sure if I have mentioned this before, but the Dave of Dave Drinks is not a big fan of grapefruit.
  • This drink is tart and refreshing.  While tonight is a cool winter San Diego evening, I can imagine this being an excellent compliment to a warm summers’ day.
  • This drink is definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  The liquor hides in it’s midst, sneaking up on unsuspecting sippers.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 4/10
  • I prefer the traditional daiquiri, but if you are sophisticated and prefer a tart drink with a bit of depth, and you are not above giving yourself brain freeze, then maybe this is your drink.

Hickory Press

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Today was a rough day.  Sometimes you just need a drink when you come home, and tonight this is a homemade concoction.  Inspiration was the cold pressed apple juice that I found in the refrigerator, so here we go.  The wife decided that rum would be a good addition, and then for fun I asdded a splash of Apricot Brandy to give a little sweetness and flavor.  I did take a stab at a name, which was probably the hardest part of the process.  Feel free to mock relentlessly.

  • 3 ounces cold pressed apple juice
  • 1.5 ounces gold rum
  • 0.75 ounce apricot brandy

Shake over ice and serve in a ice filled rocks glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Wow, this isn’t bad.  Not saying this is the most creative combo, but it sure does blend together well.
  • It has a apple base, with a hint of sugar in the flavor from the rum and a sweet hit from the apricot.
  • Next time I will try half the apricot brandy.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10 (I know, I’m biased)
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 8/10
  • A basic drink that classes up apple juice… and its all my own.

Bronx Terrace Cocktail

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Apparently this Monday was the most depressing Monday of the year.  How do they figure that out?  I know it is the first Monday after the holidays, but you would think that people would still have the New Year’s high – you know – I made this resolution or that resolution, and just you wait, I’m gonna rule the world this year as I lose 20 pounds and cure cancer along the way.  I mean, I would think that it would be more depressing when, say, two weeks from now, you’re feeling bad about the fact that you haven’t started exercising, just polished off a bowl of ice cream and have no idea what possessed you to think that you could cure cancer.  Now that’s depressing.

Speaking of depressing, have you ever come back to something that you thought was good, but actually wasn’t so good.  Enter the Bronx Terrace Cocktail.  Back in 2008 I gave this an 8/10 – let’s see how my taste buds have changed, err, advanced since then.

  • 3 ounces gin
  • 1.5 ounces lime juice
  • 0.75 ounces dry vermouth
  • maraschino cherry

Shake over ice, serve in a chilled martini glass and garnish with that cherry.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Uhh, 8/10… are you kidding me… this is the dry tart martini par excellence.
  • You’ve got your dry gin and your dry vermouth, and then you add nothing but limes, and you get a mouthful of tart.
  • Not undrinkable, but I’m not gonna call this a winner – it looks cool though.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 3/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 2/10
  • I’m depressed.  I can’t believe I thought this was an excellent cocktail.  Rookie mistake.  Add some sugar!

 

Crimson

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It’s New Year’s Eve Eve, and for the first time in many years the Holiday Bowl will happen without me in Qualcomm Stadium.  I miss overpriced bad beer.  I miss bad pretzels.  I miss end zone seats courtesy of Hornblower.  Instead, I get to sit in the comfort of my own home, warm, with good food and a good drink.

Tonight its a cocktail with port and gin – two flavors I did not think would go together.  Let’s see what happens when we add lemon juice to the mix…

  • 3 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 0.5 ounce Grenadine
  • 0.75 ounce port

Shake the gin, juice and Grenadine over ice and pout into a chilled martini glass.  Slowly pour the port into the drink as served.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • It just looks cool.  Its a deep red cocktail with a deeper red center from the port.
  • Its a sweet drink, but you can still taste the dry gin in the background, with its pleasing floral notes.
  • Hard to say what it tastes like, you can taste all of the ingredients, but it comes together to create an altogether different flavor.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 8/10
  • Just look at it – Dexter would be proud of this one.

French Twist

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I was harassed today about the lack of posts to the blog of late, so I need to rectify this. One of our great partners signed up a deal, and there is not much better news than that needed to raise a glass to. So cheers to you both Jim and Liz – and now on to my cocktail!

Always a sucker for a bourbon drink – tonight’s foray is the French Twist.  I tried to get creative with the picture in front of the fire, although it came out a little blurry, I think the effect was still worth it!  If you don’t enjoy the picture – try the drink on for size.

  • 1.5 ounces bourbon (Makers Mark of course)
  • 1.5 ounces of brandy
  • 0.5 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 0.25 ounce fresh lemon juice

Throw everything in a shaker over ice and serve it up in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • After a few sips I am not sure how to describe it, in some ways it’s sort of flavorless.  I can taste it, it just doesn’t jump out at you and certainly doesn’t stay with you.
  • For a drink that is almost all liquor, it is surprising how smooth it is.  No one will mistake this for a non-alcoholic drink though…
  • The drink has a pleasing sweetness as you sip, you can taste the orange of the Grand Marnier for sure.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • I am having a hard time saying that I enjoy it, I just can’t say I don’t like it.  I give it a “meh”.