Tag Archive: Mint


I was berated for being ordinary for last nights cocktail.  Buy you have to remember, I need to add all the boring drinks for completeness.  Its all good that you know how to make a fancy cocktail, but what if you want to know how to make something more pedestrian.  Instead of making my case – here’s another fancy one – the New Orleans Martini.

3 ounces vanilla vodka

  • 0.5 ounce dry vermouth
  • 0.5 ounce Pernod
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • mint sprig for garnish

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The first sip, phew this is strong.  Sounds so much better than the taste.
  • The undertone is vanilla, but the aniseed of Pernod also permeates the drinks.
  • Let’s look to the positive – the drink has a fun in golden tinge.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 3/10
  • Strength: 8/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • New Orleans is a fun place so I hear, this drink – not so much.
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Have you been to a new restaurant lately?  I’ve been to a few.  Let me guess – a twist on classic comfort food with farm to table ingredients?  I’m not sure, but I would guess that 98.2% of new restaurants are using this formula and I just don’t get it.  There are only so many burgers made from a cow raised on a green hill in paradise, with cheese from France, onions from a local farm and heirloom (a.k.a. ugly) tomatoes.  But don’t forget to charge $18 for it.  Then there is the propensity for duck tacos and short ribs… don’t get me wrong – I like them – but its been done.

I just wish that restauranteurs could just grow a creative gene in their body and come up with something new.  Some new concept, some new cuisine, some new way of doing it!  I’m pretty sure that there would be less competition than trying to make an $18 burger and $15 Mac and Cheese (hey, let’s add lobster or truffles and charge $16).  Don’t forget the sweet potato fries!

Speaking of, the following are a couple of drinks from a new restaurant I went to – Sessions Public in Point Loma.  While it does meet the stereotypes above, I have to say the food wasn’t half bad, and the drinks were awesome.

Drink 1: The N0. 2

  • Crusoe Spiced Rum
  • Ginger Liqueur
  • Fresh Apple
  • Jalapeno
  • Lager

Served in a short glass over ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • A cocktail with beer… interesting.  Tastes like it was made with a Belgian wheat – not one of my favorites.
  • There is a real Jalapeno kick in the aftertaste – I like it!
  • I have to say, not a drink that you are going to want to drink when you need a refresher.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 4/10
  • Strength: 2/10
  • Sweetness: 1/10
  • This is a very different cocktail… not my first choice.

Drink 2: Berry Mint Mule

  • Bourbon
  • Berry
  • Mint
  • Lime
  • Ginger Beer

Can’t tell you what “berry” actually means, but served in that same short glass over ice.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Unlike the No. 2, this drink was definitely N0. 1 at the table – it was a hit.
  • Sweetness and flavor of berries over spicy ginger beer.
  • A great refreshing cooler – this is a winner.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • This is no generic farm-to-table recipe – this is a unique winner.

Derby

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.

Bourbon Smash

With the wife frolicking around in upstate New York, it was the perfect time for a guys night.  I don’t get together enough with my old friends from high school, but every time I do it’s always fun.  Tonight had some special news – our buddy Matt got engaged!  Even more importantly, at the bar he has all grown up and in lieu of his normal Jack & Diet he order a drink close to my heart – a Maker’s & Coke.  Matt, you are now a man.

Let’s get back to my drinking.  Turns out the bartender at Jaynes Gastropub had a past life as a bartender at Noble Experiment and all the good recipes that entails.  So it was dealers choice for a bourbon drink, and she served up a Bourbon Smash.  She even was kind enough to share the recipe.

  • 2 ounces of bourbon (Makers Mark, of course)
  • 0.5 a lemon
  • 9-10 mint sprigs
  • 0.75 ounces of simple syrup (bartender demanded 1:1 mix)

Muddle the lemon and the min leaves in the bottom a shaker, add ice and the liquids, shake it up and strain in a rocks glass over ice, garnish with mint sprig.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Well, her training served her well, this is a damn good cocktail.
  •  It has a great citrus flavor and is well-balanced.
  • Nice sweetness with a minty finish.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • Perfect drink to celebrate a buddy’s pending nuptials.