Monday, September 16, 2019

Impromptus: Lupus Dei and Golden Ratio

Lupus Dei
2 oz bourbon (High West American Prairie)
1/4 oz Benedictine
1 dash Orinoco bitters
rinse reposado mezcal
1/4 oz sloe gin

Rinse serving glass with the mezcal and chill until needed. Mix bourbon, Benedictine and bitters on ice and strain into serving glass. Sink sloe gin and serve.

A campfire nose, but turns to bright spirit (the most ethereal bourbon this side of Elijah Craig 12 Year) with a slight exotic dandy twist due to the sandalwood in the bitters. The sloe emerges on later sips - blood with an oh-so British lilt of juniper finds the tongue. Not as disjointed as the pieces might suggest.

Fitting for our friend Ethan Chandler from Penny Dreadful, riffed on the classic Derby Cocktail. (ok, not quite Ethan's bowler, but close)

Next, inspired by Venus' ingress into the sign of Virgo (yeah, I know this is late, she's now in Libra), a Triple Goddess threat (wheater - Demeter, grenadine - Perspehone, Strega - Hecate) plus Aphrodite and Apollo.

Golden Ratio
1 part Drambuie/Strega (lower proof/softer herbal liqueur)
1 part grenadine
2 parts lemon juice
3 parts calvados
5 parts wheat whiskey

Shake and strain. Lemon twist garnish. Eureka! </Square1>

The grenadine doesn't take over as much here as you might think, though it's a great companion to the calvados, as those acquainted with the Jack Rose would appreciate. The wheat whiskey is reedy and blends seamlessly with calvados' fruit; the lack of rye in the mash bill for this mix is pleasant. Drambuie's honey lies in wait in the background, inoffensive but not the wrong ingredient. Choosing Strega instead adds a bit more brightness and zest.

As you might note, we've got a Fibonacci sequence of a recipe, though it's effectively just a 4-1-1 Sour ratio. Hail Venus, flower of the 5s, Mistress of the Golden Ratio!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sandstone Cobbler

Back at it again. Sherry cobblers are perfect summer imbibing when you want something low-proof that won't dehydrate. Add to that nutty orgeats and a bit of astringent or bitter caffeine and you have something simple yet complex, which makes your tastebuds throb in delight. Amontillado is perfect for this recipe: there's a slight lightness in comparison to rich oloroso that matches with the pistachio. My berries ran out on me, but some blackberries and/or strawberries would work divine here.

Come to think, this is a very nutty Arnold Palmer between the tea and lemon.

Sandstone Cobbler
4 oz amontillado sherry
1 1/2 oz strong English breakfast tea
1/4 oz pistachio orgeat (heavily loaded with rose water)

Shake well with two small pieces ice.

Strain into a highball glass filled with ice cobbles.

Garnish with mint, a small lemon wheel, berries.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sunstone Cobbler

Mmm... Leave it to seeing what a true master can do with peanut orgeat on Twitter and suddenly you find yourself back in the game with a recipe you've been holding for some time. The balance had been tricky on this one, and the particulars of the individual ingredients and the timing of quickly-melting pellet ice made development a bit of a shapeshifter.

We have a somewhat standard Sherry Cobbler. Deepened with bittering ingredients and an oh-so-savory peanut orgeat. You might think that nuttiness on top of nutty sherry would be overkill. That would be incorrect. Still, a simple recipe, because you don't need an ingredient more than the below.

Sunstone Cobbler
4 oz dry oloroso sherry
1/2 oz peanut orgeat
1/2 oz - 3/4 oz cold brew coffee
2 dashes Mexican chocolate bitters (Bittermen's Xocolotl Mole, 12 drops)
Mint, orange wheel, berries for garnish

Combine non-garnish in a shaker with a few cubes ice. Shake to blend. Add mint and orange to tall pellet-ice-filled glass and pour in mixture. Add extra ice if needed and couch berries oh-so-cutely on top.

The rest of your summer afternoon will have a genuine summer afternoon feel in these hectic-paced days.

Your recipe balance mileage may vary depending on whether you use a dry oloroso or a sweeter amontillado. I think you can get away with up to 3/4 oz coffee despite it being such an ice-loaded drink that will take down the sweetness levels over time, but it depends on your sherry, orgeat and coffee densities.

Berries are a must, if only for the PB&J effect.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Impromptu: Mireille

Because sometimes your blueberry hand cream from Bath and Body Works just speaks to you, y'know?

3/4 oz French gin (Citadelle/St. George Botanivore)
3/4 oz reposado tequila (Partida)
1/2 oz blanc vermouth
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz blueberry liqueur*
1/4 oz limoncello
1/4 oz Suze

Shake, strain, lemon twist, sip.

Gin and tequila - that's a new one, even for me. But it wouldn't work without the other ingredients tying it all together.

*House blueberry liqueur, because I'm out of homemade:
3 parts Creme Yvette,
1 part homemade blackberry/black raspberry liqueur (for dark berry/blue raspberry notes),
1 part creme de violette (for a blue floral frisson at the back of the palate led into by the vegetal base spirits).

It hit the notes I was looking for. Track down that hand cream (this summer, while they have it in stock). You'll get what I mean.

Consider also creme de myrtille or Mirto.