Tag Archive: Creme de Cassis


El Diablo

Today I was driving the mean streets of Chula Vista as I took a trip down memory lane with my ex-coworker Matt as he was looking for his next office space endeavor.  We drove out to Eastlake and then over to Sunbow past my old stomping grounds at Tivoli Villas.  Somehow we managed to avoid Lolitas, odd.  Then we went to downtown Chula Vista, where it seems to stay in business you need to be selling car audio equipment or be a 99 cent store.  We even passed by Wild Wooly’s (of Long Island Iced Tea fame).  Sounds bad, but as we drove around it was like I was touring my buddy around my neighborhood.  Funny how you keep a connection to the place you do your growing up.

In honor of being in Chulajuana, today’s drink is the El Diablo – full of tequila!

  • o.5 lime
  • 1.5 ounces tequila
  • 0.5 ounce crème de cassis
  • 4 ounces of ginger ale

Pour into a rocks glass over ice, stir and serve.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • You can certainly taste the flavor of the tequila, but the shiver factor has been removed.
  • Odd taste of blackcurrant in the background, it goes strangely well.
  • The ginger ale can’t be tasted – it just softens the rest of the drink.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 5/10
  • There’s not really anything devilish about this cocktail beyond its name.

Bonus points to the first person to name the cool cat in the picture.

Gin Cassis

Sometimes you run into a cocktail that you know is not going to taste as sweet and friendly as it sounds.  How bad can a drink taste that is gin, lemon juice and crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)?  Then you remember that there is gin in here.  Now with the pleasantries out-of-the-way, I have to say this is actually a great drink.  Not in the sticky sweet sort of way, but in a nice dry drink with a pleasing flavor.  I present the Gin Cassis.

  • 3 ounces of gin (Bombay Sapphire)
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons crème de cassis

Combine everything in a shaker over ice, shake well, and strain into a rocks glass over ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • You need to enjoy a dry cocktail to appreciate this.  Gin drinkers and classic martini drinkers should be all set.
  • The dry flavor is cut with the lemon juice and set off with the flavor of blackcurrant.
  • Almost like one those sparkling flavored water drinks… with alcohol.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating 7/10
  • Strength: 8/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • Fun alternative drink when you’re bored with all the classics.

Sunshine Cocktail

Needed a little sunshine in my life today to offset the rain that is falling down.  We might even have a thunderstorm tomorrow – the horror.  The recipe does not give me a lot of confidence with all that dry vermouth in there… we will see if the sun can shine through.

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 dashes of creme de cassis
  • 1.25 ounces of gold rum
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth

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

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I tried the first sip and it was not really that pleasant, too much vermouth flavor in the aftertaste.
  • Second sip and things were looking up I, I start to get the sense that the vermouth really helps the flavor.
  • No getting away from the fact there is a whole lime in here, the tartness stays with you after a couple of sips.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 5/10
  • Made my day a little brighter, a little.

Ballet Russe

The last couple of drinks were a wee bit strong, so time for a martini with more flavor than alcohol – the Ballet Russe.  If you like you martini’s to taste of berries and not knock you off your socks, this is a great choice.  Don’t mistake this for a sickly sweet concoction though, it turns out this is a great combination of flavors.

  • 1 ounce vodka (Grey Goose)
  • 0.75 ounce Creme de Cassis
  • 1.5 ounces of fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 ounce of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup

Shake over ice, serve in a martini glass.

Dave’s Comments:

  • But for the alcohol, you could mistake this for a kids drink, you cannot taste the alcohol!
  • Great berry flavor, but not too sweet or too strong.  If you are looking for a fun drink for a guest who doesn’t want a strong drink, this is a great choice.
  • It’s not a manly drink, but you don’t always want to get drunk do you?

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 3/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • The family gave this a sample, and everyone was surprised how nice this cocktail turned out – we have a winner for dinner parties!

Parisian Cocktail

Okay, enough with the safe cocktails – time to try something a little different – something that sounds a little scary when you read the recipe.  What makes this scary is the sheer volume of dry vermouth that goes in this drink.  If you have ever messed with dry vermouth you know that this is an ingredient to be careful with – in some cocktails even a splash can be too much – but this recipe is 1/3 of the stuff.  Uh-oh.

  • 1 ounce gin (Bombay Sapphire)
  • 1 ounce Creme de Cassis
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth

Shake the ingredients vigorously over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass, and prepare for the worst!

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I can’t tell you how different this is that what I was expecting – it’s quite balanced and enjoyable.
  • Drink starts with a nice sweet taste of the Creme de Cassis, but the sweetness is not overpowering.  Follows up with a dry finish of the vermouth, quite satisfying.
  • Can’t decide if this drink is sweet or dry, but it does not linger on the tongue either way.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 7/10 (it is a martini after all)
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • This is a surprising cocktail, very pleasant and I would recommend you give it a try.