Tag Archive: Cointreau



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.



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.

International Cocktail


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.

Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol

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.

Rum Sangaree


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

Orange Blossom

It’s summer time – the summer solstice no less.  Or was that yesterday?  The weather is beautiful in San Diego, besides the ‘May Grey’ that has turned into ‘June Gloom’.  It’s about to get hectic though, with family visitors, the 4th of July and a trip to the homeland to watch the Olympics… In some ways I am looking forward to August so that I can take a break, until then…

Speaking of England – we have all been so focused on QE2’s Jubilee, but today is the 101st anniversary of King George the V’s accesnsion to the throne, QE2’s successors successors successor.  It took 3 monarchs (George V, Edward VIII, George VI) to reign for 41 years, but she’s been going for 60!  I guess if you want it done right, get a woman to do it.

On to the drink.  Browsing the archives tonight and came across something a little different – this one is absolutely in the classic martini category, but it comes with the pleasing flavor of orange – let’s try the Orange Blossom.

  • 2 ounces of gin (Bombay Sapphire)
  • 4 teaspoons of Cointreau
  • 4 teaspoons of sweet vermouth

Shake over ice and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • First sip and this cocktail is surprisingly dry – the gin really pushes through the sweetness of the Cointreau.
  • After several sips I would describe this as a classic dry martini, but with a hint of orange sweetness in the finish.
  • This is a ‘different’ cocktail from a bygone era (maybe George V’s), and while it probably wouldn’t be served in the gaslamp, it is worth a try.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 4/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • A classic drink with a subtle twist.

Maidens Prayer

Keeping up with the drinks, we have a fancy sounding cocktail – the Maiden’s Prayer.  After spending the last seven years or so living with my maiden, it strikes me as odd that there is no wine in here, as that would be her prayer!

Let’s see how it goes.

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 0.5 ounce lemon juice
  • 0.5 ounce orange juice

Shake over ice, strain and serve into a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Almost a lemon drop, but with gin instead of vodka.
  • Good balance, starts tart and ends sweet.  The lemon is the main flavor, but there is a hint or orange juice.
  • The Cointreau helps give it the sweetness and a subtle complexity if you sip.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • A lemon drop with added complexity, this would not make for a good shooter like its vodka cousin.


Some drinks are easy to understand, some are not.  Take the classic Rum & Coke – what exactly are the ingredients?  Strangely enough it’s made of, get this, a measure of rum and… some Coke.  So moving on to tonight’s beverage, the XYZ.  What exactly do you think may be in there?  A xylophone?  Some Yeah-germeister?  Perhaps a zebra?  Nope, it’s rum, Cointreau and lemon juice, of course.

So it has a dumb name, but what does it taste like and should you order one?

  • 2 ounces of Jamaican rum (Myers)
  • 2 tablespoons of Cointreau
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Shake over ice, strain and serve in a rocks glass over ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • It’s the first drink that I have made with Myers rum where the harsh flavor of sugar cane is almost completely absent.  There is just a hint in the aftertaste.
  • The lemon and the Cointreau combine to make a sweet and tart base for the drink.
  • It’s almost like a strange alternative to a Rum and Coke, but one you could drink without soda on hand.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • Three 7’s does not a jackpot make, but I was expecting less with such a stupid name.


What a day.  What a week.  We closed 2 models today at work – 3 down and 3 to go on what is turning out to be a great investment.  On the flip side there is trouble in paradise on the sale of the adjacent land, this is definitely going to be my priority next week to right that ship!  Now it’s Friday, and there is nothing to be done except relax, mix a cocktail and enjoy a steak dinner with my lovely wife.  Can’t beat that.

In the spirit of the crazy week running around – tonight’s drink is the Derby, a follow-up to the Churchill Downs of last week.  I could also say that this was in honor of tomorrows Kentucky Derby, but I’d be lying – I didn’t even remember it was running.  A whiskey drink to enjoy as we haven’t done one of those in a while.  Don’t worry though, there is a bourbon alternative I’ll try next.

  • 1.5 ounces blended whiskey
  • 0.5 ounce of sweet vermouth
  • 0.5 ounce of Cointreau
  • 0.5 ounce of fresh lime juice
  • mint sprig for garnish

Shake vigorously over ice, strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the mint.  Enjoy.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Exacta box the Cointreau and the lime juice for a winner, they are clearly the dominate runners.
  • The whiskey comes in third to show – add that one to your Trifecta
  • The also rans were the vermouth and the mint sprig… better luck next time.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 5/10
  • I was expecting more whiskey, but overall, this one helped ease me into the weekend just fine.

East India

I am so happy today.  The wife is coming home from being away on business/pleasure to New York and Chicago for the last 8 days – and I have to say she is missed.  I cannot wait until tomorrow, when I no longer have to eat McDonald’s three meals a day, have to pick out my outfits unassisted and, most importantly, drink alone.  Alas, she is not arriving until later this evening – so one final solo cocktail is in order – the East India.

  • 1.5 ounces brandy (Spanish)
  • 0.25 ounce Cointreau
  • 1.5 ounces pineapple juice
  • Dash of Angostura bitters

Shake everything over ice and serve in a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist and a maraschino cherry.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Basic flavor is pineapple, but it is subtle, almost like a cocktail with infused liquor and not one containing real juice.
  • Very mellow drink, and a little on the sweet side.  Easy to sip and enjoy.
  • The finish is a mix of sweet pineapple and the complexity of the brandy.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • Exceedingly well-balanced cocktail, if you want and easy sipping martini with the friendly taste of pineapple – you should give this a try.