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Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Bastard Child

This is a spiced and smoked variation of the Ginger Rogers, not meant for the weak at heart, those who order whiskey sours, or who can’t handle a bit of fire. Laphroaig 10 year is the backbone of this particular cocktail. If you are a Scotch drinker you’ll know that this is an intensely peaty, smokey distillate, and if you mix drinks, an interesting spirit to work with:

  • 1.5 Laphroaig 10 year
  • .5 ginger coriander syrup
  • .25 Cointreau
  • dash Lemon bitters
  • sliver of orange rind

Chill a coupe or cocktail glass, toss the Scotch, syrup, and Cointreau into an ice filled shaker, shake until there are ice chips. Wash your glass with lemon bitters, making sure to only barely coat the inside as too much of a strong bitters, like lemon, will overpower and unbalance this cocktail. Strain, making sure to get the ice chips floating, burn the orange peel and rub around the rim of the glass, then drop it into the cocktail.

The ginger coriander syrup needs to be a thin one so that you get the flavors without sweetening the cocktail too much: 3.5 cups sugar to a half gallon water, with an ounce of chopped ginger and 4 tablespoons of whole coriander on a boil for 15-20 minutes will produce a good product. Add the sugar at the end of the process so that more of the coriander and ginger flavor can steep into the liquid.

Any thoughts on this? Would you use a different scotch, a different coriander ginger ratio for the syrup, or a different bitters?

Aperol Spritzer

Aperol is an Italian aperitif and bitters, with strong orange and herb notes, being made from bitter and sweet oranges, rhubarb, gentian, cinchona, and a slew of other secret ingredients. It has been around since 1919 when it was originally made by the Barbieri company. Now it is produced by the Campari group, with their original eponymous and very similarly profiled aperitif. While we use Campari mostly in the Negroni or Americano and sometimes with soda, we more often use Aperol in a Spritz. Here is my take on the the classic Spritz:  

  • 1.25 Aperol
  • 1 Prosecco
  • 1 San Pellegrino¬†
  • .5 St. Germaine
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters
  • 1 slice each lemon, lime, and orange

Shake the Aperol, St. Germaine, bitters, and orange until the citrus has been extracted into the mix, pour into a collins or highball glass, top with the bubbles and stir once. Garnish with your remaining citrus.

This makes a bright orange tall drink that is great for brunch, early afternoons, or as a lighter cocktail hour drink before dinner, or really anytime during summer and early fall. The bitter from the Aperol takes a moment to set in as all of the floral, sweet, citrus and tart apple mixes on the palate.

The Ginger Rogers

I usually try to stay away from Maker’s Mark because there is such a selection of better quality, dryer bourbons at the same price point, also calling out Maker’s is just calling out a name that has been marketed to you in such a way that it sticks in your head. For this occasion I chose Makers though, as it happened to be the best fit for the mixings. This is a simple, easy to down, easy to pair cocktail which went over well with both my customers and coworkers:

  • 1.5 Maker’s
  • .5 Canton
  • .25 Cointreau
  • .25 fresh lime
  • 2 Dashes Regan’s Orange or Fee Brother’s West Indian Orange Bitters
  • Twist of orange for oil

Combine liquids over ice in your shaker and shake the hell out of it to get the ice chips floating on top, strain into a chilled coupe glass and burn a spritz of orange oil over the top. Serve.

The heavy shaking is important, without those ice chips on the top of the drink it seems to lack longevity and evolution through the drinking process. A good cocktail in my mind is one that matures between the first sip and the last drop, without changes in the taste, feel, or complexity we might as well just be drinking vodka shots and cheap beer and join a frat.


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