Tag Archive: Martini Glass


Halekulani Cocktail

The tiki experiment continues. Researching drinks it is amazing the variety of ingredients included in tiki recipes. Almost as impressive is the care with which contents are selected. I mean, you can’t just call for simple syrup, you must use the demarera version for added punch. It makes it challenging to stock a bar with everything, but overall the effort rewards you with some fun tasting, and generally very strong, beverages.

  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 0.5 ounce Demarera syrup
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Throw everything in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Lots of juice and lots of sugar in here – this is in no way a diabetic friendly drink.
  • You have to like sweet, but leaves you with a tart finish.
  • No one will ever guess that there is liquor in here unless they watch you make it… Or drink more than one.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 2/10 (but it’s hiding)
  • Sweetness: 10/10
  • In the tradition of a good tiki cocktail… Lots of juice and plenty of liquor to sneak up on you!
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Mary Pickford

Who is this Mary? Apparently she acted her way to start United Airlines – go figure. To enhance the legend, during Prohibition she was hanging out in Havana and this drink was a popular libation of the time. This recipe comes courtesy of Smugglers Cove – so be sure to order one up next to you take a visit to their Tiki bar in San Francisco.

  • 1.5 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 bar spoon grenadine
  • 6 drops of maraschino liqueur
  • 1.5 ounces aged rum

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and the ingredients, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Drink up! Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The drink is an interesting combination of sweet with the complication of the maraschino. The flavor is unique and something that would be fun to serve to a house guest.
  • Leaves you with the slightly bitter aftertaste of the maraschino.
  • Looks as good as it tastes, the pineapple juice helps leave a nice froth that ups the presentation.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • One thing is sure, its a hell of a lot better than any cocktail you can enjoy on the friendly skies of United today!

Alfonso Special Cocktail

One of the first entries in my favorite drink books under the Gin category is the Alfonso Special Cocktail.  As it is right there up front, I often pass it by for a cocktail that sounds a little less boozy and a little more friendly.  Just reading the ingredients makes me think that this just wouldn’t taste good.  That said, this drink has the added benefits of (1) requires no mixers – it’s all liqueur and (2) your guests are almost guaranteed to never have experienced it before.

A unique quest for me is to find the next “long island”, that is, find a cocktail that sounds like it would be okay at best when you find out what’s in it, but takes on a personality of its own when you take your first sip.  Oh, and also taste good.  Tonight I may have found one of those combinations.  For good measure, we’ll make this a Drink of the Month!

  • 3 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 1.5 ounces gin
  • 1.5 ounces dry vermouth
  • 0.5 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and all the ingredients, shake vigorously until chilled and strain into a cold martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I forgot to bury the lead – this drink is surprisingly good.  I was expecting a dry cocktail with an acquired taste, but the Grand Marnier actually sweetens the drink up immensely.
  • There is a lot of complicated flavors in here competing for your attention.  The gin and vermouth help you appreciate the complication of the Grand Marnier without being bowled over by its sweetness.
  • The aftertaste starts with a hit of the dry vermouth and gin, but quickly changes to the a thick orange brandy finish.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 6/10 – the taste belies the content
  • Sweetness: 8/10
  • When you are running short of mixers and all you have is a well stocked bar – try this one on for something different and you will not be disappointed.

Mocha Mint

One of my maxims when making cocktails is that creme de menthe doesn’t work with anything. A second maxim that I have is that I don’t like coffee, in cocktails or out. So what better combination than to have Kahlua and creme de menthe together, maybe throw some creme de cacao in there for fun. Today Dave is drinking on the edge, seving minty coffee drinkers everwhere at great personal cost.

  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 ounce creme de menthe
  • 1 ounce white creme de cacao

Shake over ice and serve up in a Martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Creme de menthe has a distinctive nose about it – its like cheap candy more than a refined cocktail ingredient.
  • I am surprised, this is not as bad as I was expecting, the cool mint is a pleasing aftertaste and the coffee is only hinted at.
  • Best served as cold as possible.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave Rating: 6/10 – really?!?
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • Best approximation is a chocolate peppermint candy – not bad.

Paradise

Do I make some pithy comment about living in paradise… or maybe quote Phil Collins… but you don’t want that. Instead I’ll drink in honor of one of my favorite paradises – Sint Maarten. Seeing the devastation caused by Irma this past week saddens me as it is truly one of the most amazing paradises that I have been fortunate enough to visit. Knowing the people of the island, I’m sure not only, will they rebuild, but they will do so with a smile! Maybe while they are at it, they could consider unifying the cell phone grid – making an international call to the other side of a small island may be charming, but I think it’s time!

So paradise in a glass it is.

  • 2 ounces Apricot Brandy
  • 1.5 ounces Gin
  • 1.5 ounces Orange Juice

Shake everything over ice and serve it up in a chilled Martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • This is surprisingly balanced, certainly on the sweet side, but the gin helps mellow things out.
  • The apricot flavor dominates with an orange compliment, but the flavor is actually quite complex.
  • Don’t be afraid of the gin, it’s not the dominant flavor.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 3/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • Consider stocking the bar with apricot brandy so you can serve this fun cocktail to your friends.

San Francisco Cocktail

What is Sloe Gin? I’ve always wondered… What makes it sloe? Is it really a type of gin? Who knows. Turns out the internet has answers. It’s made of sloe berries, that are a relative of the plum. It’s very red and looks like it could place a nice bright stain on your beige carpet!

Next job is to determine what this goes with. Tonight’s cocktail is the San Francisco Cocktail.

  • 2 ounces Sloe Gin
  • 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 ounce Dry Vermouth
  • Dash of Peychard’s Bitters

Shake everything over ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Is red, very red. And frothy – an attractive presentation for sure.
  • The mouth feel is syrupy, but it’s not as sweet as you would think, the gin and the dry vermouth help tone it down.
  • Interesting flavor, not too fruity, but lots of interesting flavor.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating – 7/10
  • Strength – 3/10
  • Sweetness – 7/10
  • Unique cocktail, to enjoy the flavor, probably best not to mix with food. Enjoy the subtlety.

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.