Category: Just a Drink


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”.

Rum Sangaree

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Always on the prowl for a new type of drink, I stumbled upon the Rum Sangaree.  I have to admit that I have been tempted by this drink a couple of times, with its combination of dark rum and port, which are two of my favorite ingredients.  I have always been scared away however by the prospect of mixing them together with little else.  Time to put those fears aside and jump right in.

  • 2 ounces dark rum (Myers)
  • 0.5 ounces Cointreau
  • 0.5 ounces port

Combine in mixing glass over ice and stir.  Strain and serve in an ice filled wine glass and sprinkle a little nutmeg over the top. Dave’s Thoughts:

  • When looking at the recipe, I felt that the amount of rum was going to overpower the drink, and not in a good way.  Now that I am tasting it I have to say that you can taste the rum, but there is no harshness as I sip.
  • The drink certainly is sweet, and you can taste the complex Cointreau flavor, which surprisingly the rum and the port combine with to create a pleasing flavor.
  • The finish is all dark rum, with the taste of burnt sugar lingering in your palette.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 4/10
  • Strength: 8/10 (although I think it

Park Avenue Cocktail

This year for Christmas my wife treated me to a new cocktail book to expand my horizons and allow me to keep expanding my experiment in mixology that is DaveDrinks.  This book is a great one full of classic cocktails, and is appropriately named “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails” by Ted Haigh.  It’s a fascinating book, with many interesting tidbits, although unsurprisingly, many of the drinks contain a difficult to acquire ingredient not found in the modern bar.  There are exceptions of course, and tonight I tried the Park Avenue Cocktail.

According the Haigh, “This drink is synonymous with wealth, power, and luxury in New York City”.  That’s high praise for a cocktail, so let’s see how I feel after a sample…

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 0.75 ounces pineapple juice
  • 0.75 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 2 teaspoons orange curacao

Shake it all over ice and serve it up in a martini glass, simple enough.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • It starts dry, has a just perceptively sweet middle and ends dry again.  You should enjoy your gin before sampling this wealthy beverage.
  • I’m not sure how the drink earned it’s powerful moniker, as to me it tastes of a softened dry martini.
  • Don’t be confused with its three luxurious sweet sounding ingredients, there is only a hint of the sweet pineapple flavor.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 4/10
  • I tried to be witty and note its wealthy, powerful and luxurious qualities, but honestly, I didn’t think these were the best descriptors as I tasted.  On the whole, and ok classic cocktail, very middle of the road.

Sorry for the lack of a picture – just wasn’t feeling photographic tonight!

 

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!

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.