Tag Archive: Simple Syrup


Blackberry Gin Fizz

How can I let delicious fresh blackberries go to waste… Time to have some creative license and make a cocktail. I took some inspiration from a recipe I found online, but tweaked the proportions a little too my liking. I have to say, my ice smashing mallet that a friend gifted me is the perfect implement for these fruity summer cocktails – helps the garnish sit on top!

Here’s the lowdown on my creation:

  • 2 large fresh blackberries
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 0.5 ounce simple syrup
  • Splash of soda water

Muddle the blackberries, simple syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add the gin and strain into a Collins glass. Fill half the glass with crushed ice and stir. Add soda water and fill the glass with more ice. Garnish with a blackberry.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Lots of blackberry flavor, but not as sweet as I would have expected.
  • Soda water adds some summer fizzy fun to the drink – could skip and serve up as a desert drink!
  • There is a dry finish from the Gin, but overall this is a well balanced cocktail.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating – 8/10
  • Sweetness – 7/10
  • Strength – 3/10
  • A refreshing summer alternative to the classic Gin and tonic.
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Blueberries & Bourbon

Time for another installment of DaveDrinks. Over the weekend we had friends over for a dinner party, and I broke out the old bar books to offer some drinks of the day. The hit of the party was the Bramble Smash – which I’ll cover in another post, but tonight I bake with the leftovers to make the cripticly named Blueberries & Bourbon.

So what do we find within…

  • 6 blueberries
  • 1.5 ounces Bourbon (Basil Hayden this evening)
  • 0.5 ounces lemon juice
  • 0.5 ounces simple syrup
  • Splash of soda water

Start by muddling the blueberries with the simple syrup and lemon juice. Add the bourbon and fill the shake with ice. Shake and serve over ice in a collins glass. Top off with a splash of soda water and garnish with some blueberries.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • All comes together quite well -berry flavor to start with a lemony bourbon finish. Smooth.
  • The soda water helps muffle the sweetness and add a little refreshment.
  • I have to say, this was a pleasant surprise – tasty – even a non-bourbon drinker can enjoy.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • Nice fruity way to enjoy your bourbon.

Go West

Tonight’s drink comes from the “Around the World in 80 Drinks” and the country of choice is our neighbors in the great white north – Canada.  Seemed like a great place to celebrate, what with the Stanley Cup Finals in full swing… oh wait… there are no Canadian teams left, better think of some other reason.  Easy – it’s the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend – go Ferrari!

Speaking of Quebec – what is up with those students?  Protesting because they are raising your tuition rates that are lower than damn near anywhere else in the world?  Really?  I can’t even begin to understand.  Let’s drink.

  • 0.75 ounces Frangelico
  • 1.5 ounces Limoncello
  • 1.5 ounces dry white wine
  • 0.75 ounce simple syrup
  • 0.75 ounce lemon juice

Shake everything over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • This is all sweet, with added sweet for extra pleasure.  Might as well do the dew!
  • After you get past the sweet, the flavors of lemon and hazelnut are a surprisingly good combination.
  • Not exactly sure why simple syrup is in here, I have to believe that it would be sweet enough without it.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 3/10
  • Strength: 3/10
  • Sweetness: 10/10
  • Don’t even touch this thing until after dessert!

Honolulu Lulu

I’m seventy or so posts in, and today I am having a bout of writers block.  What’s a blogger to do?  Maybe it’s because it’s Blah Blah Blah Day, maybe it’s because I just wrote a check to Uncle Sam, I dunno.  Instead of wasting your time with more words, let’s just focus on the drink – the Honolulu Lulu.

  • 1.5 ounces dark rum (Myers)
  • 1 ounce light rum (Bacardi)
  • 1 ounce Frangelico
  • 0.5 ounce Kahlua
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup

Mix everything over ice and shake, serve in a tall collins glass over ice.  Garnish with a lime wedge if desired.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • An interesting drink, nice and sweet flavor of pineapple, and the interesting taste of coffee in the background, like rum punch meets Columbia.
  • The rum disappears, although I am sure it helps the enjoyment…
  • More writers block, let’s just say its good.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 8/10
  • Try this as a great summer cocktail – you will not regret it.

Light n’ Stormy

That Dark n’ Stormy went down well.  Really well.  The problem was that it leaves me with am empty glass!  Since I just made its’ sinister cousin – let’s try a Light n’ Stormy.

  • 2 ounces rum (10 Cane)
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • 0.5 tablespoon of simple syrup

Same as before: glass, ice, liquor, stir, serve.  Garnish with a lime if desired.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The 10 Cane certainly has the same flavor of cane sugar, but much less pronounced.  Almost smooth.
  • Looks like a glass of sparkling white wine!
  • A little lighter, maybe even more appropriate for a noon cocktail, but retains the balanced goodness of its darker friend.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • Almost as good as the original, but if given the choice, I’ll go with the classic.

Between the Sheets

It’s been almost a month now since my birthday, and I realized today that one of my great friends Jon gave me a bottle of Spanish Brandy that I have yet to crack open.  While I have not been digging the brandy drinks made so far, it got me thinking that maybe its in the brandy I was using (E&J for the record).  After 5 minutes of looking through the trusty bar book, the following drink was revealed to me.

  • 1 ounce brandy (Gran Duque d’Alba)
  • 1 ounce light rum (Bacardi)
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice (lemon juice is optional)
  • 1 dash of simple syrup

Shake everything over ice, and if feeling fancy garnish with a lemon twist.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • First sip and this is a quality drink right here.  Surprisingly balanced and delicious – makes you want to have another sip – let’s…
  • Second sip and you start to get the depth of flavor, there is a nice sweetness up front and a tart finish, all the while with the undertone of brandy.
  • After that the sipping got a little rapid and I forgot to think about what I was drinking – it was too good!

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • This was a real surprise – this is one of my new favorite drinks… thanks Jon!

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.

Daiquiri

Valentines Day!  We had great plans – Kathryn had a court date, we both had too much work to do, and our romantic dinner at Outback Steakhouse was already behind us the night before.  So it was a night of homemade cooking and a cocktail and watching “The Fighter”.  Romance!

Tonight let’s kick off another of the classics – the Daiquiri.  There are about as many versions of this drink as will fill this blog, but this is the classic.  You can serve this up or over ice… and since I have those sexy new big ice cubes from my birthday – on ice it was.

  • 1.5 ounces light rum (Bacardi)
  • 0.75 ounce lime juice
  • 0.25 ounce simple syrup
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Shake everything over ice and strain into the container of your choice – martini glass up or rocks glass over ice.  Garnish with the lime wheel.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I will admit that a Daiquiri is not my favorite drink.  Too much lime flavor for me.
  • The first taste is dominated by the lime, but once you get used to it, this is a well balanced drink which speaks to its popularity.
  • While not strong, it tastes stronger than I would have expected.

Tastings Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10 – just not my thing.
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • It was Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and J.F.K.’s favorite drink, just not mine!

New York Cocktail

It’s a New York celebration today!  Not just because the New York Giants just won the Superbowl… not because my wife is living her bi-coastal life right now with a week in New York City… and not because on this day in 1985 “New York, New York” became the official anthem of New York City… but because I found a recipe for a “new” cocktail.  What more perfect a cocktail then than the New York Cocktail?  Time to see if I can truly say that “I heart [a] NY [cocktail]”!

  • 2 ounces Canadian whiskey (Crown Royal)
  • 0.75 ounce lime juice
  • 0.5 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 tsp grenadine
  • orange peel for garnish

Shake all the ingredients together over ice, strain and serve either up or over ice, your choice.  Garnish with an orange peel.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • First taste, and this is a nice drink, very smooth.
  • A little on the sweet side, but not overly so.  It is pink too, so its got that.
  • This is a keeper and will be added to my regular bar list for friends – it tastes great and is made of common stuff that I generally always have in the house!

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness:  7/10
  • I thought New York earnerd a reputation as being full of unfriendly people, ’cause if that is true, this drink does not belong.

Venus

Fresh from the Hornblower kitchen came a plate of raspberries tonight, so I just had to take advantage.  So after 20 minutes of scouring for a recipe that called for them I found the “Venus”.  I prepared myself to enjoy and sweet beverage, fit to join yesterday’s Ballet Russe, but I couldn’t have been more wrong, and not necessarily in a bad way.

  • 2 ounces gin (Bombay Sapphire)
  • 1 once Cointreau
  • 0.25 ounce simple syrup
  • Dash of Peychaud’s bitters
  • 8 fresh raspberries

Place all the liquid ingredients in a shaker over ice plus 6 of the raspberries, shake vigorously, strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the two remaining raspberries.  You have made yourself a Venus.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • This drink is not really sweet at all, with the dryness of the gin keeping the drink well-balanced.
  • Honestly, the drink doesn’t taste that much of raspberry either, with the orange flavor of the Cointreau coming through just as much.
  • A pleasant surprise.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • A fruity drink that’s not sweet.