Tag Archive: Vodka

Melon Ball

Enjoying a late summer day in San Diego inspired me to make a refreshing traditional cocktail. There was some fresh squeezed orange juice in the fridge just begging for some mixing.

I have not documented too many of the classics on DaveDrinks, but this falls into that category. Making a Melon Ball feels like I am back in the 1980s!

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce Midori
  • 4 ounces fresh orange juice

Shake everything over ice, serve into a wine glass filled with crushed ice. Enjoy.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The Midori turns the classic Screwdriver into a sweeter, funner libation.
  • Very refreshing – great easy drinking cocktail to beat the heat.
  • At your next brunch, make a pitcher to enjoy with friends!

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 1/10
  • Sweetness: 8/10
  • Just because it’s from a time gone by, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it today.

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.

International Cocktail


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.

Absolute Martini


It’s an old drink, but a good drink. Before I started DaveDrinks, I had a couple of false starts trying to make a cocktail book. When searching through some old times I found a word document entitled “Cocktail Book” and it was dated March 16, 2008. That predates my first post here by over 3.5 years! Looking through the book I found a lot of the same drinks that have been included here, but more drinks that I have yet to add to the blog. So the next series of drinks are going to be remakes from that old cocktail book of mine. But don’t worry, I’ll make them all again and see if my ratings still hold up!  First stop is the letter A and the Absolute Martini.

  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 0.5 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 2-3 dashes of orange bitters

Simple martini – shaker over ice and serve in a chilled glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • My original thought was “very drinkable, lemon flavor”, and I think that holds true today.
  • For such a strong drink, you don’t notice the double shot of vodka.
  • On a second taste, this is very lemony, the lemon juice really cuts through everything else.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10 (previously was a 9!)
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 5/10
  • Not a bad drink, but I am surprised that lemon isn’t in the name!

Pink Fetish


So Christmas has passed.  New Years has passed.  Our series of parties has passed.  Where does that leave us?  A refrigerator full of too much beer, too many snacks, and one more bottle of champagne than we need this week.   Oh, and some left over orange juice and cran-raspberry juice taking up too much space.  In steps the Pink Fetish.  Recipe called for cranberry juice, but what the heck, Kathryn can make a meal out of leftovers fit for a king – why can’t I make a cocktail?  Enjoy.

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce peach schnapps
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces cran-raspberry juice
  • lime wedge

Over ice, shake the liquid ingredients, strain into a chilled rocks glass over ice, squeeze the lime wedge over the drink and drop it in.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • You won’t taste the vodka in here.  Lots of juice to cover it up.  But it’s not pink.
  • Really tastes like a variation of the Fuzzy Navel – the peach flavor is very pronounced.
  • This is a great morning cocktail when toasting “it’s happy hour somewhere”!

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 3/10
  • Sweetness: 8/10
  • It’s an advanced Fuzzy Navel, but the name is no less embarrassing to order at your local watering hole.

White Russian

It’s Shamu’s sweet sixteenth birthday!  No, not the whale, the cat.  I know the cat is drinking out of the martini glass, Shamu themed no less, but before PETA calls – there’s no alcohol in there!  The alcohol is all in the drink up front, and he turned his nose up at that one… but not me!  So happy birthday Shamu – let’s celebrate with a White Russian!

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 ounce milk (or cream)

Pour in a rocks glass over ice, serve.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Coffee and milk with the kick of vodka, yummy.
  • Not too sweet, and the calories aren’t just limited to the alcohol!
  • Beleive it or not, it’s my first one.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • A nice drink, a little heavy to have more than one.

Black Sombrero

One of the reasons that I started this blog back in December was that I wanted to tell you how drinks taste not just how to make them.  As I have said before – some drinks sound good and taste bad and others sound bad and taste good.  Tonight’s drink is a test of that theory.  Since starting davedrinks I have leant towards drinks that sound good, because let’s face it, I have to drink them.  The Black Sombrero however, does not sound good at all.  Let’s see how this goes.

  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlua

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

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I didn’t expect that.  This drink is surprisingly well-balanced and good tasting.
  • The Kahlua is basically what you taste, with a hint of tequila in the background.
  • The taste is the coffee/cocoa flavor of Kahlua, but strong nonetheless.

Tastings Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 8/10
  • Sweetness: 5/10
  • Surprises can be good – count the Black Sombrero among them.

Moscow Mule

I have a fan!  Today I received a note on Facebook from one of my good friends about the drink they were enjoying and how it wasn’t on the blog.  Now, apparently there were six Mule alternatives where they were, but presented here is the classic original.  Developed in the late 1940s, including the obligatory copper mug, as a way to promote Smirnoff vodka, it contributed to the fact that today that is a household name.  How does it taste?

  • 2 ounces vodka (Smirnoff if you want the original)
  • 0.5 ounce lime juice
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • Mint sprig and lime wedge for garnish

Combine everything over ice in a tall collins glass, stir and garnish with the mint sprig and lime wedge.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Another great ginger beer cocktail, with a little sweetness of lime and the spiciness of the ginger.
  • There is vodka in here to add the kick, but you wouldn’t know it.  This is an easy drinking long cocktail.
  • The smell of the mint as you sip adds to the experience.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 7/10
  • A fine inspiration for a fine cocktail.

Agent Orange

Not sure exactly why I am stuck on the orange drinks over the past few days, but here is another one – the Agent Orange – and I have to say that this is the best one so far.  Up there in the picture you can also see my favorite bar drink book – which I HIGHLY recommend to everyone out there.  It doesn’t have the most original name – “Ultimate Bar Book” – but it is hands down the best recipe guide that I have ever seen.  So if you tire of my endless rants and mediocre pictures, do yourself a favor and add this one to your collection.  So how does this Agent Orange taste, page 311.

  • 3 ounces of vodka
  • 1.5 ounce of Grand Marnier
  • 0.5 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce orange juice

Shake the ingredients vigorously over ice, serve in a martini glass.  Garnish with an orange peel.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • This is a sweet cocktail.  The Cointreau and the Grand Marnier take care of that.
  • The flavor has a base of orange juice, the sweetness of the Cointreau and the complexity of the Grand Marnier.  It is amazing how each of the ingredients stars in its own way – a surprisingly complex drink.
  • If a dry martini is your thing – stay away.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 8/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 9/10
  • A deliciously complex orange treat.

Peyton Manning is a Bronco.  So of all the teams in the NFL that he could have picked, I now have to watch him twice a year, being constantly irritated by his line of scrimmage antics.  I know, I should be in awe of his amazing understanding of the game and his ability to pick apart defences and adjust the play, but all it does for me is slow down the game.  So what does this mean for me as a Chargers fan?  The pundits claim that the AFC West is no longer up for grabs and the new and improved Broncos with Peyton in tow will win easily against the competition.  All I can say is that I hope that the Chargers continue to have his number and put him in his place twice a year.  Go Chargers!

That’s not what you came here for – on to the drink.  Also, what the hell is that thing in the picture next to the glass?

  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 0.5 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 0.25 teaspoon sugar

Place everything in a shaker over ice, stir vigorously, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Triple sec, orange juice and sugar – this once should be sweet, but it isn’t.
  • The flavor of orange is surprisingly subtle, it’s there but it does not dominate the drink.
  • If nothing else, it’s a cool yellow color!

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 5/10
  • Not what I would expect, but that doesn’t make it all bad.