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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.

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.

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!

 

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!

Pink Fetish

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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.

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.

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.

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”.

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.