Category: Liquid Candy


Bourbonball

WP_20150216_18_21_25_Pro (2)

Happy president’s day!  My wife asked me today – who is your favorite president?  I didn’t have a good answer off the top of my head, and neither did she.  It makes you realize that we probably are not the students of our own history that we should be.  I could play the English card, but I have been living here since the late ’80s and I did take AP US History in high school.

We could go with the original GW, as in George Washington (nobody is going to seriously consider Bush Jr), but after reading “The History of Democracy” recently, I realized that he was pretty much just a figure head, a disaster of a president, and basically yearned for a form of monarchy to return.  Hard to root for a guy that thinks he’s smarter than the rest of us.

Then there is Jefferson – he had a cool house as I recall and was quite the renaissance man.  Wrote the declaration of independence – definite plus.  However, he was also the ultimate hypocrite as he was unable to reconcile opposition to slavery with owning hundreds of them himself.  He even had kids with one of them.  I guess we need to move on to another.

We could make an argument for Harding – the original Warren G.  Unfortunately, I think he was best known for his rap song hit “Regulate”…  Bonus points if you have any more trivial on him!

So what do I think really?  Lincoln, who freed the slaves?  John Adams, who had an HBO series about him (that must count for something)?  Nah.  For me I am going to go with King Roosevelt II, more commonly known as FDR.  Led us out the Great Depression and guided us through the most of WWII – his passion for his job accomplished much – and his unprecedented 4 terms proved it.  So, feel free to argue, but that’s what I think.

Damn it – I almost forgot this was a drink blog!  Tonight for my new book “The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book” courtesy of my brother in law, is the Bourbonball.

  • 1.5 ounces bourbon
  • 1.5 ounces Tuaca
  • 1.5 ounces crème de cacao

Shake over ice and strain into  a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Whoa – this is sweet.  The orange and the chocolate flavors really take over the drink.
  • After the initial shock, I would call this a complex sweet martini.  The bourbon adds a dimension that vodka never could.
  • After a couple of sips, its readily apparent that this should be a desert cocktail.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 9/10
  • A great alternative desert cocktail, when a boring vodka martini won’t do!

Lollipop

IMG_1016

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.

Nacional

IMG_1015

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.

Charlie Chaplin

IMG_1013

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.

Pink Fetish

IMG_9684[1]

So Christmas has passed.  New Years has passed.  Our series of parties has passed.  Where does that leave us?  A refrigerator full of too much beer, too many snacks, and one more bottle of champagne than we need this week.   Oh, and some left over orange juice and cran-raspberry juice taking up too much space.  In steps the Pink Fetish.  Recipe called for cranberry juice, but what the heck, Kathryn can make a meal out of leftovers fit for a king – why can’t I make a cocktail?  Enjoy.

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce peach schnapps
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces cran-raspberry juice
  • lime wedge

Over ice, shake the liquid ingredients, strain into a chilled rocks glass over ice, squeeze the lime wedge over the drink and drop it in.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • You won’t taste the vodka in here.  Lots of juice to cover it up.  But it’s not pink.
  • Really tastes like a variation of the Fuzzy Navel – the peach flavor is very pronounced.
  • This is a great morning cocktail when toasting “it’s happy hour somewhere”!

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 3/10
  • Sweetness: 8/10
  • It’s an advanced Fuzzy Navel, but the name is no less embarrassing to order at your local watering hole.

Rum Shake

WP_20130125_001

I’ve been drinking a lot of bourbon lately – my drink of the month appears to be a Manhattan, as every drink I order in a bar has a 50% chance of being a Makers Manhattan. It’s a lovely drink, but I needed some variety, so a flipped through my “World Bartender Guide” on the lookout for something that sounded very different. With that I stumbled on the Rum Shake.

At first read you might think that this was a desert cocktail with some dairy product thrown in for fun, but alas, the ingredients give way to a Caribbean themed drink with a little rum and pineapple juice. Then the curveball is Pernod. Let’s give her a whirl.

  • 1.5 ounces dark rum
  • 0.75 ounces Pernod
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice

Shake everything over ice, and strain into an ice filled rocks glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • There’s definitely some interesting flavors in here.  The pineapple and the Pernod set each other off quite well.
  • In the tradition of Caribbean rum cocktails, you can’t really taste any liquor in here.
  • It drinks heavy, its frothy and rich like a shake – now I understand the name.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • According to plan, this is a different cocktail to try when you are craving a sweet alternative.

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!

Oh Honey

It’s Tuesday Night Supper Club – except the club stayed home and only Kathryn and I were there.  We’re going with the “build it and they will come” theory – so when are you showing up?  We thought it was time we tried the über hip and especially gay Eden restaurant in Hillcrest.  On a Tuesday night apparently everyone had the same idea, as we were alone in the dining room!  Food was good and the drink was interesting, and the art, well, you can comment for yourself.

  • 42 Below Honey Vodka
  • St. Germain
  • French Muddled Strawberries
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Sprite

Serve it up in a tall glass over ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Tastes like strawberry lemonade, but without the tart and with the honey!
  • Full of bits of the muddled strawberry for extra fun.
  • There is an interesting flavor of perfume and flowers… not sure if I totally am on board…
  • Nice honey aftertaste to finish.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • This is a nice tall cooler, although I can’t quite say its refreshing.

Have you been to a new restaurant lately?  I’ve been to a few.  Let me guess – a twist on classic comfort food with farm to table ingredients?  I’m not sure, but I would guess that 98.2% of new restaurants are using this formula and I just don’t get it.  There are only so many burgers made from a cow raised on a green hill in paradise, with cheese from France, onions from a local farm and heirloom (a.k.a. ugly) tomatoes.  But don’t forget to charge $18 for it.  Then there is the propensity for duck tacos and short ribs… don’t get me wrong – I like them – but its been done.

I just wish that restauranteurs could just grow a creative gene in their body and come up with something new.  Some new concept, some new cuisine, some new way of doing it!  I’m pretty sure that there would be less competition than trying to make an $18 burger and $15 Mac and Cheese (hey, let’s add lobster or truffles and charge $16).  Don’t forget the sweet potato fries!

Speaking of, the following are a couple of drinks from a new restaurant I went to – Sessions Public in Point Loma.  While it does meet the stereotypes above, I have to say the food wasn’t half bad, and the drinks were awesome.

Drink 1: The N0. 2

  • Crusoe Spiced Rum
  • Ginger Liqueur
  • Fresh Apple
  • Jalapeno
  • Lager

Served in a short glass over ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • A cocktail with beer… interesting.  Tastes like it was made with a Belgian wheat – not one of my favorites.
  • There is a real Jalapeno kick in the aftertaste – I like it!
  • I have to say, not a drink that you are going to want to drink when you need a refresher.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 4/10
  • Strength: 2/10
  • Sweetness: 1/10
  • This is a very different cocktail… not my first choice.

Drink 2: Berry Mint Mule

  • Bourbon
  • Berry
  • Mint
  • Lime
  • Ginger Beer

Can’t tell you what “berry” actually means, but served in that same short glass over ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Unlike the No. 2, this drink was definitely N0. 1 at the table – it was a hit.
  • Sweetness and flavor of berries over spicy ginger beer.
  • A great refreshing cooler – this is a winner.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • This is no generic farm-to-table recipe – this is a unique winner.