Category: Well Balanced


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!

Costa del Sol

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Tomorrow is the Saturday before Christmas, and that means like each year, I will be spending the morning at the mall.  Up early and arriving before 8, it’s incredible how quiet the mall can be, even this close to the holiday.  To prepare me for the potential of crowds though, it never hurts to enjoy a cocktail.  It may be 12 hours in advance, but I have the feeling that I may need it!  Too many presents to buy and too little time.

As the temperature has dropped again here in San Diego to, gosh, in the 60s, I thought I would try a drink with an exotic sound to remind me of warm summers… or Monday when it was damn near 80.  Enjoy…

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce Apricot Brandy

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

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Gorgeous pale orange color entices you to take a sip.
  • Surprisingly light flavor, subtle hint of orange and apricot.  Slightly dry finish from the gin.
  • The flavor quickly fades away, but not in a bad way.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • A pleasant surprise, this is an enjoyable traditional martini with a fruity flavor.

Little Colonel

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There’s a new addition to the bar and its time to make something from Southern Comfort.  I have never tried this stuff before, and my only knowledge of it is that it was the favorite of my grandfather when he was younger.  I distinctly remember him drinking it, which is bizarre because I couldn’t tell you anything about any of my family’s other drinking habits.  I take that back, my uncle likes Bacardi… a lot.

What is SoCo anyway?  I looked it up, and now I am none the wiser.  Its apparently “an American liqueur made with neutral spirits with fruit, spice and whiskey flavorings”.  Hmmm.  I figured it was some type of whiskey… but apparently its some type of “whiskey flavoring”.  I guess in the near future I’m going to have to try some neat so I can tell you if the drink even tastes like Southern Comfort, whatever that is!

  • 1.5 ounces bourbon (Makers Mark)
  • 1 ounce Southern Comfort
  • 0.5 ounce lime juice

Shake everything over ice and pour into an ice filled rocks glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • There’s lime in here for sure, but its hiding, just behind the liquor.  Gives a nice hint of sweet to the drink.
  • With each successive sip, I enjoy this one a little more, a Little Colonel more.
  • Not for the faint of heart, but not so strong that you can’t enjoy the flavor.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • When you need a fix of “whiskey flavorings”, this might just be the ticket.

Bolero

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Keeping with the Bacardi and Calvados theme, here is another cocktail mixing them together.  Apparently there are two drinks called the “Bolero”, this is the first one I’ve tried – perhaps I will follow up with the second soon.

  • 3 ounces Bacardi
  • 1.5 ounces Calvados
  • 1 tsp sweet vermouth

Shake everything over ice and serve in a martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • For such a boozy drink, I was surprised how smooth the flavors are.  I was expecting to feel the healthy portion of Bacardi on my throat!
  • There is a hint of apple, but no sweetness to the drink.
  • Not for the faint of heart, but not so strong that you can’t enjoy the flavor.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 9/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • When you want the power of a martini, a little softness and no sweet.

Liberty Cocktail

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Today reminded me of the disadvantage of living in America.  With all the talk over the 4th of July about liberty and the freedom, it made me think that what I miss the most about immigrating to the United States from England is the oppression by an outdated family who lives in a castle on a hill.  At least they have good blood lines and no hereditary diseases or anything.  Well, I guess everyone doesn’t feel the same way as me, so on this the day that we added another royal, I drink to Liberty!

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 0.75 ounces Bacardi
  • 1 ounce Calvados

Muddle the sugar and lime wedge in the bottom of a rocks glass, fill with ice, add the liquor and stir. Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I was expecting sweeter, even with the sugar this remains quite a stiff drink.
  • The flavor is apple, but apple with a kick.  As the ice melts, the drink mellows nicely.
  • Surprisingly, the lime is undetectable.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 8/10
  • Sweetness: 4/10
  • A nice way to consume some apple flavor with the blessings of alcohol.