Tag Archive: Martini Glass


Bourbonball

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Happy president’s day!  My wife asked me today – who is your favorite president?  I didn’t have a good answer off the top of my head, and neither did she.  It makes you realize that we probably are not the students of our own history that we should be.  I could play the English card, but I have been living here since the late ’80s and I did take AP US History in high school.

We could go with the original GW, as in George Washington (nobody is going to seriously consider Bush Jr), but after reading “The History of Democracy” recently, I realized that he was pretty much just a figure head, a disaster of a president, and basically yearned for a form of monarchy to return.  Hard to root for a guy that thinks he’s smarter than the rest of us.

Then there is Jefferson – he had a cool house as I recall and was quite the renaissance man.  Wrote the declaration of independence – definite plus.  However, he was also the ultimate hypocrite as he was unable to reconcile opposition to slavery with owning hundreds of them himself.  He even had kids with one of them.  I guess we need to move on to another.

We could make an argument for Harding – the original Warren G.  Unfortunately, I think he was best known for his rap song hit “Regulate”…  Bonus points if you have any more trivial on him!

So what do I think really?  Lincoln, who freed the slaves?  John Adams, who had an HBO series about him (that must count for something)?  Nah.  For me I am going to go with King Roosevelt II, more commonly known as FDR.  Led us out the Great Depression and guided us through the most of WWII – his passion for his job accomplished much – and his unprecedented 4 terms proved it.  So, feel free to argue, but that’s what I think.

Damn it – I almost forgot this was a drink blog!  Tonight for my new book “The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book” courtesy of my brother in law, is the Bourbonball.

  • 1.5 ounces bourbon
  • 1.5 ounces Tuaca
  • 1.5 ounces crème de cacao

Shake over ice and strain into  a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Whoa – this is sweet.  The orange and the chocolate flavors really take over the drink.
  • After the initial shock, I would call this a complex sweet martini.  The bourbon adds a dimension that vodka never could.
  • After a couple of sips, its readily apparent that this should be a desert cocktail.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 9/10
  • A great alternative desert cocktail, when a boring vodka martini won’t do!

Elegant Without Number

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This is the beginning of a big week in the Dave Drinks world.  Today is Dave’s sister’s birthday, then we have my birthday on Wednesday, followed by my “first meeting” anniversary on Friday and culminating with Valentines Day on Saturday.  Is there such a thing as too much celebration?  At least there is the three day weekend at the end of it to help soften the blow.

So as we try tonight’s drink, I can’t help but wondering, what the hell the name of this drink even means… any ideas?  No?  I guess let’s just start the drinking!

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 0.75 ounces calvados
  • 0.5 ounce Grand Marnier
  • Maraschino Cherry for garnish

Shake over ice and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I’m having a hard time getting behind this one.  The Calvados is the dominant flavor, but the taste is a little off.  I cannot call this a well balanced drink.
  • While there is a hint of sweetness from the Grand Marnier, ultimately this drink is rather dry, and if I am being honest, a little flat.
  • I kept hoping that each sip would help make the taste get better, but unfortunately it just felt like a slog to get through this.  Oh well.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 4/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • I don’t think that I would serve this to someone unless they really knew what they were doing.

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!

Lollipop

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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.

Nacional

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The second drink of Christmas has arrived!  Just in time to help with a weekend of holiday shopping.  Malls full of people trying desperately to think of something creative for their loved ones.  The only problem is when they return to work in the new year, the realize that they all received the same sweater and trinket that was on sale at Macy’s.  I guess I shouldn’t be so jaded… it is a nice sweater after all,

To help with the holiday shopping, along comes the Nacional.  Drink enough of these and you too will be a creative force, turning over every pile of clothes in the mall to find that different sweater,  You know the one that somehow didn’t get marked down like the rest of them, and really looks no better.  But damn it, it’s different.  Mission accomplished.

It seems like this drink has a high standard to reach, so let’s give it a try.

  • 1.5 ounces gold rum
  • 0.75 ounces apricot brandy
  • 0.75 ounces pineapple juice
  • 0.25 ounces lime juice

Serve this once in a martini glass after shaking everything over ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The combination of apricot brandy, rum and pineapple juice make this a sweet drink.
  • Essentially a “complex” pineapple juice.  It’s hard to discern the other ingredients, but you can tell something is there,
  • When drinking this in martini sized portions, it seems like it disappears too fast.  So one leads to two… all the better to lighten your mood.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating 8/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 9/10
  • A nice gateway martini for those who are scared of “short” format drinks.

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.

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I love flicking through the pages of my bar books in search of a new cocktail that sounds unique and fun, and bonus points if it uses stuff that is (1) in my bar and (2) I am relatively unfamiliar with.  Last night I picked up some Sloe Gin for the bar, and after 10 seconds of flipping, a new possibility jumped out at me in the Charlie Chaplin.  Not only that, but it also had apricot brandy (which I only recently added) and lime juice (which our tree is producing right now).  It was destiny – but was it the good kind?

  • 1 ounce apricot brandy
  • 1 ounce sloe gin
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice

Shake everything over ice, serve in a martini glass, optionally garnish with a lime wedge.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I did not expect it to be that sweet – it lingers in the mouth a while after each sip!
  • I am not sure what a sloe berry is, but it gives the drink a nice flavor – its almost citrus-y.
  • Definitely a one drink per sitting kind of beverage.  Not in a bad way, it’s like a decadent desert.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 3/10
  • Sweetness: 9/10
  • Whatever I know about Charlie Chaplin before, I have added the knowledge that he had a sweet tooth.

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.