Category: Well Balanced


Bombo

When thinking of a quick and easy cocktail, I often fall back on a simple one-plus drink… Usually my standby, a Makers and Coke. So when flipping through the Tiki drink book I was excited to find a new beverage in this category – the Bombo.

It combines two of my favorite things, rum and sugar! On a more serious note, it’s an ideal sipping drink, especially if you have some quality aged rum on hand as the mixer.

  • 2 ounces Aged rum (Ron Zacapa Soledad Reserva 23)
  • Demerara Syrup

Fill a cocktail shake with ice, pour in the ingredients and stir until chilled. Pour into an ice filled Collins Glass. Garnish with fresh nutmeg.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Is a tasty sweet cocktail, the Demerara flavor makes this almost have the flavor of a rum and coke, but it’s cleaner.
  • A good rum is your friend here – don’t waste this drink on your mixing rum!
  • Sweet, short, and ice cold – a good combo.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 8/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • Devilishly simple, delectably good.
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Mary Pickford

Who is this Mary? Apparently she acted her way to start United Airlines – go figure. To enhance the legend, during Prohibition she was hanging out in Havana and this drink was a popular libation of the time. This recipe comes courtesy of Smugglers Cove – so be sure to order one up next to you take a visit to their Tiki bar in San Francisco.

  • 1.5 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 bar spoon grenadine
  • 6 drops of maraschino liqueur
  • 1.5 ounces aged rum

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and the ingredients, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Drink up! Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The drink is an interesting combination of sweet with the complication of the maraschino. The flavor is unique and something that would be fun to serve to a house guest.
  • Leaves you with the slightly bitter aftertaste of the maraschino.
  • Looks as good as it tastes, the pineapple juice helps leave a nice froth that ups the presentation.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • One thing is sure, its a hell of a lot better than any cocktail you can enjoy on the friendly skies of United today!

Blackberry Gin Fizz

How can I let delicious fresh blackberries go to waste… Time to have some creative license and make a cocktail. I took some inspiration from a recipe I found online, but tweaked the proportions a little too my liking. I have to say, my ice smashing mallet that a friend gifted me is the perfect implement for these fruity summer cocktails – helps the garnish sit on top!

Here’s the lowdown on my creation:

  • 2 large fresh blackberries
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 0.5 ounce simple syrup
  • Splash of soda water

Muddle the blackberries, simple syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add the gin and strain into a Collins glass. Fill half the glass with crushed ice and stir. Add soda water and fill the glass with more ice. Garnish with a blackberry.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Lots of blackberry flavor, but not as sweet as I would have expected.
  • Soda water adds some summer fizzy fun to the drink – could skip and serve up as a desert drink!
  • There is a dry finish from the Gin, but overall this is a well balanced cocktail.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating – 8/10
  • Sweetness – 7/10
  • Strength – 3/10
  • A refreshing summer alternative to the classic Gin and tonic.

Blueberries & Bourbon

Time for another installment of DaveDrinks. Over the weekend we had friends over for a dinner party, and I broke out the old bar books to offer some drinks of the day. The hit of the party was the Bramble Smash – which I’ll cover in another post, but tonight I bake with the leftovers to make the cripticly named Blueberries & Bourbon.

So what do we find within…

  • 6 blueberries
  • 1.5 ounces Bourbon (Basil Hayden this evening)
  • 0.5 ounces lemon juice
  • 0.5 ounces simple syrup
  • Splash of soda water

Start by muddling the blueberries with the simple syrup and lemon juice. Add the bourbon and fill the shake with ice. Shake and serve over ice in a collins glass. Top off with a splash of soda water and garnish with some blueberries.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • All comes together quite well -berry flavor to start with a lemony bourbon finish. Smooth.
  • The soda water helps muffle the sweetness and add a little refreshment.
  • I have to say, this was a pleasant surprise – tasty – even a non-bourbon drinker can enjoy.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • Nice fruity way to enjoy your bourbon.

Rumrita

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Ah, it’s the weekend.  Time for another cocktail to start the evening off.  As you may have noticed, this has been quite the alcohol assisted week, so it would be disappointing that after a series of weeknight concoctions that Saturday was left out in the cold.

So tonight it’s the “sort of a margarita” drink, except that it’s made with rum instead of tequila.  The original recipe calls for Mount Gay rum, but that doesn’t feature in my bar right now, so I had to make do with some “soon not to be contraband” Havana Club.  I’ve been savoring the Havana Club for years, always picking up a bottle in Europe or the Caribbean, enjoying the fact that it is an exotic addition to my bar unavailable at the liquor store.  Now that the embargo seems to be moving towards extinction, I just want to make something clear – Havana Club is ok.  Just ok.  I wish so very much that my exotic addition to the bar was also exotic tasting, and I can serve a Cuba Libre to my friends as an exotic alternative to a rum and coke that elevates the flavor to new levels.  It doesn’t.  I’m not saying it’s bad, in fact I would say it is above average, it’s just not as fantastic as I would hope.

So now if you find that I am missing, go look for me in Guantanamo Bay, because ,if I didn’t offend Cuba, I most certainly have offended US Customs.

  • 1.5 ounces gold rum (Havana Club!)
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 0.5 ounce lime juice

Shake over ice and serve in a chilled cocktail glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • This is a great drink, and honestly I am surprised that it is not a more popular combination.  The rum makes a great substitute to the traditional choice of tequila.
  • Very well balanced, both tart and sweet simultaneously.  The rum is perfect compliment.
  • If you are a margarita fan, you owe it to yourself to try this tasty alternative.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 5/10
  • I am surprised it took me this long to discover this great alternative to the margarita.

Millionaire Cocktail

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So tonight we are celebrating with the rich folk, and enjoying ourselves a nice Millionaire Cocktail.  For me, this is a little more “act as if” than living the reality, but we can play let’s pretend at least for one evening.  Of course, we are not going to escalate this to Ben Affleck’s level in Boiler Room… a fantastic movie by the way, that takes the same theme’s as The Wolf of Wall Street, but tones things down to a more relatable level.  Where were we again?

Tonight’s cocktail is the second from the new book, and it claims to be well balanced and delicious.  I have no reason to doubt this, as the first drink was a surprising winner.  So rab yourself some rum, some apricot brandy and some gin made with sloe berries (what exactly are those???) and let’s make a cocktail!

  • 2 ounces Myers Rum
  • 1 ounce sloe gin
  • 1 ounce apricot brandy
  • 1 ounce lime juice

Shake everything over ice and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Before even the first sip, this drink has a beautiful deep pink color.  Looks amazing in the glass.
  • The deep molasses flavor of the Myers is the glue that holds this together in the background, never dominating, but always present.
  • The initial hit is sweetness that slowly transitions to the tartness of the lime.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • I am not sure that drinking one will make you a millionaire, but it tastes damn rich to me.  We have a winner.

Canteen Cocktail

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I guess the 12 days of Christmas were clearly oversold as I didn’t get to 12.  I certainly made more than 12 drinks, I just got lost somewhere in the festivities.  Next year I will have to pick up with the remaining 9 cocktails of Christmas.

Speaking of the fat guy in the red suit, today’s drink comes from one of my Christmas presents from the wife – The Joy of Mixology.  This has the potential to be another great source of recipes, and is very highly regarded – so as we continue the adventure we will have to see.

So enough banter, the drink of the night is the Canteen Cocktail.  I have to say, looking at the contents, this is a drink I would not immediately be drawn to as I am not a fan of either Southern Comfort or amaretto, but I must continue on in the name of Dave Drinks.  Let’s see how the first drink of 2015 does…

  • 1.5 ounces white rum
  • 1.5 ounces Southern Comfort
  • 0.5 ounce amaretto
  • 0.5 ounce lime juice

Combine ingredients and shake over ice, serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Except for the rum, each element of the drink can easily be identified in the taste, and I actually have to say, the taste of both Southern Comfort and amaretto are both well received.
  • A sweet drink, but far from sickly so, this has the potential to sneak up on you if you have a few.
  • If I were to describe a sip – starts with amaretto, middle is SoCo and the end is tart  lime.  The white rum is forgotten.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • I am amazed how much I like this drink – I really was expecting this to be a solid 4/10, who knew!

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.

International Cocktail

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Have you missed me? It’s been damn near 12 months without a post, and that is completely unacceptable. I know that you have all come to count on me to pick your beverage each time you need something creative. At least that’s what my ego says. But don’t worry – I’ve been drinking all along, trying new things and experimenting by myself – just need to get better with the sharing part!

So tonight, the International Cocktail – sounds nice and exotic. I am generally not a fan of Sambuca but somehow a bottle has ended up in my bar. Who knows, maybe in the right combination it’ll be better! On to the tasting…

  • 2 ounces Spanish brandy (while I did not make with other brands, I think a selection of a good brandy makes this drink)
  • 1/4 ounce Sambuca
  • 1/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/4 ounce vodka

Shake it up over ice, and throw it in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • For some reason I was expecting this to hit me with flavor, but the reality is that this is smooth and subtle drink.
  • The Sambuca is a nice touch, you can definitely taste it, but it does not overpower the drink as I had feared.
  • Overall the drink has a nice sweetness and you can still taste the complexity of the brandy.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 5/10 – all liquor, but not in your face.
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • A pleasant surprise, I am sure that if I was a Sambuca man that I would have an even higher rating for this cocktail.

Absolute Martini

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It’s an old drink, but a good drink. Before I started DaveDrinks, I had a couple of false starts trying to make a cocktail book. When searching through some old times I found a word document entitled “Cocktail Book” and it was dated March 16, 2008. That predates my first post here by over 3.5 years! Looking through the book I found a lot of the same drinks that have been included here, but more drinks that I have yet to add to the blog. So the next series of drinks are going to be remakes from that old cocktail book of mine. But don’t worry, I’ll make them all again and see if my ratings still hold up!  First stop is the letter A and the Absolute Martini.

  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 0.5 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 2-3 dashes of orange bitters

Simple martini – shaker over ice and serve in a chilled glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • My original thought was “very drinkable, lemon flavor”, and I think that holds true today.
  • For such a strong drink, you don’t notice the double shot of vodka.
  • On a second taste, this is very lemony, the lemon juice really cuts through everything else.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10 (previously was a 9!)
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 5/10
  • Not a bad drink, but I am surprised that lemon isn’t in the name!