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Category Archives: Citrus

The Sketchy Deal

This one came about during the election season as a way to artfully pair a shot and a beer in the same glass.

  • 1 oz bourbon of your choosing
  • .5 oz Aperol
  • .5 oz lemon juice
  • .25 Marie Brizard orange liqueur
  • 2 oz brown ale or similar roasty, malty beer

Build in order over ice in a double old fashioned or collins style glass, garnish with a wedge of lemon. The finished product is slightly bitter from the Aperol, malty and chocolaty from the ale with a nice citrus pop in it from the remaining ingredients.

In the Second Degree

Oh gin! I’ve waited all winter to pick you up from the store and order you in the bar, and it has been a long wait (Lou Reed sang a good blues about gin and how sad it is when its gone). Now your time is here though, here’s a take on a gin old fashioned:

  • 1.5 Bluecoat or similar gin
  • 2 splashes simple syrup
  • 2 splashes cognac
  • 1 splash orange juice
  • 2 dashes lemon bitters
  • 4-5 basil leaves

Muddle the basil and gin in a shaker, fill with ice, top with remaining ingredients, stir, and serve up. Garnish with a sprig of basil and orange twist for a smooth, slightly sweet creation.

Alex’s Two Wheels

With the blooming of all the dogwoods recently I felt compelled to make something that reminds me of growing up in Florida, so I grabbed some grapefruit juice and whiskey and started mixing:

  • 1.5 Rye Whiskey
  • .5 St. Germain
  • .25 coriander ginger syrup
  • 2 splashes grapefruit juice
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 dash lemon bitters

Stir over ice and strain into chilled coupe glass. No garnish is needed, and this could also be served on the rocks as a punch. This is sweeter than most of my drinks, but not cloyingly so, with light citrus, and crisp.

The Seven-Jack-Deuce

This is an interesting drink for me, its the first time that I’ve intentionally introduced smoke into a drink. This starts with a light gin and citrus base and slides into a light herbal finish:

  • 1.75 Hendrick’s Gin
  • .5 ginger coriander syrup
  • .5 basil infused limoncello
  • .5 fresh lemon juice
  • 3 dashes Regan’s Orange bitters
  • sprig of rosemary

Take a large wineglass and turn it upside-down, burn the rosemary underneath it and catch the resulting smoke, do this until smoke is cascading out of the glass, then cover it with a napkin or coaster. Stir over ice the remaining ingredients until well chilled, carefully slide the cover of the glass open just enough to strain the drink into it, re-cover and let sit for at least 30-60 seconds. Serve. 

As this drink sits on your table more and more smoke is absorbed into it taking away the intense rosemary aroma and turning it into taste. Overall, this drink should be slowly enjoyed to get the full progression of flavor and aroma.

George’s Last Word

In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a revival of classic cocktails going on for quite a while now, one of these gems is the Last Word. This is a great prohibition era drink that came from the Detroit Athletic Club and is now pretty popular in Seattle. I was charged with selling through the Galliano at my bar, which is no easy task because nobody really ever wants a Harvey Wallbanger. So I tweaked the Last Word to make it my own and toss another bottle into the recycling:

  • .75 gin
  • .75 Galliano
  • .75 Maraschino
  • .75 lime juice
  • splash Fernet Branca

Shake the first four over ice and strain into a chilled, Fernet washed, cocktail glass. This variant is much more neon in color than the original, which calls for Green Chartreuse instead of Galliano and Fernet Branca.

On a side note, Fernet is an amazing Italian Amaro, with some great notes of pretty much everything. It is the everlasting gobstopper of liqueurs, nobody quite gets the same flavor profile. For a different approach and a nice dram of healthy absurdity check out an interesting take on Fernet, from a blog focused on ferns by a friend of mine.

Lemon Haze

This here is a variation of the The Mother-in-Law, inasmuch as it uses citrus, bitter orange liqueur, and Chartreuse. This concoction is a bit lighter and more easy going though, as it can be served on the rocks or punch style if you prefer:

  •  1.5 oz white rum
  • .75 Cointreau
  • .5 Green Chartreuse 
  • .5 Lemon juice
  • .25 Aperol (or Campari if Aperol isn’t available)

Build in ice filled shaker, shake, and strain into chilled cocktail glass, float a lemon wheel on top (or pour into old fashioned glass and garnish with lemon wedge, a sprig of your favorite aromatic herb, or a few brandied cherries).

Drinking this is like having a tart lemonade in an herb garden and it goes quite well with fish and lighter fried foods. It’s also easy to batch this up to make enough for a punch bowl or a picnic. I am also going to try making this without the rum and using it either as a marinade for fish or as the base of a lemon caper sauce.

Enjoy.

Tee’s Tea

I was working on some new additions to the winter cocktail list at work and realized that I hadn’t seen any gin toddies. This seemed like a good challenge. The based is an infused dry gin: into each fifth of gin add three bags of Numi Orange Spice tea (a white tea with orange peel, lemongrass, and schisandra berries) and let sit for ~20-24 hours until a rich orange color has been attained.

  • 1.5 Orange Spiced Gin
  • .75 Cointreau
  • .5 Orgeat syrup
  • hot water
  • twist of orange

Combine all of the liquids in a heated footed mug, twist orange over top and drop in. This is a warming spiced drink that is strong on the citrus but mellowed with the almond. If you want to you can add a dash or two of some Peychaud’s or a few cloves to make it feel a little more seasonal.

The Unknown Soldier

If you like grapefruit juice you’ll like this. This tastes strangely like a fresh glass of it. This drink was created to celebrate the birthday of a good friend and went like no other. I made a gallon of it and between 15-20 people it was gone in about a half of an hour:

  • 1.5 dry gin
  • .5 St. Germaine
  • .5 lemon juice
  • .25 Campari
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitter’s
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 2-3 basil leaves

Muddle the basil into the gin, add the remaining ingredients, stir well but not vigorously, and pour over ice.

This drink ends up an amazing shade of orange and is bitter/tart with a lot of herbal punch. It works well before a meal and would go great with lighter salads.

The Mother-in-Law

To continue on my Aperol kick I wanted to make something a little warmer and sweeter to herald the coming fall, so I figured that I would work with some white port and one of my favorites, Green Chartreuse. I first made this drink and then passed it around to my Chef and some of my coworkers to name it. We finally figured that something as bitter-sweet as this ought to have a similar association, thus we named it the Mother-in-law:

  • 1 Plymouth Gin
  • .75 white port 
  • 2 dashes Aperol 
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 dash Green Chartreuse
  • lemon wheel

Lightly shake the gin, port, Aperol, and orange bitters over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass that has been washed in the Green Chartreuse. Float the lemon wheel and then dash the Peychaud’s onto the wheel so that it disperses on the top of the cocktail.

This drink maintains a very herbal aroma throughout the experience while gradually changing from bitter to sweet. The white port adds some interesting fruit notes that mellow out the already smooth gin and tie together all of the citrus from the bitters and Aperol. One could substitute Campari for the Aperol, or leave out the lemon wheel to let the Peychaud’s dive a little deeper into the glass. This is only a suggestion and of course everybody should drink their cocktails the way that they prefer*.

*Unless its Scotch. Why would somebody ever order a Caol Ila 12 year with rocks, an equal measure of water, and a twist? That’s a perfect way to ruin an otherwise tasty and enjoyable libation.

Coriander-Ginger Daiquiri

A little while ago I was reading Cask Strength and there was a call to re-educate bartenders in regards to one of the simplest drinks around, the daiquiri: a measure of rum, some lime juice, and a dash of sugar. With cachaça its a caipirinha, with tequila, a margarita, gin or vodka produces a gimlet. There’s a reason so many cultures and liquors have this combination, its simple and refreshing. I took the challenge and went to my local bars trying to find a daiquiri that was well made by a competent tender, the pickings were slim. I had to explain the drink to so many different barkeeps and also let them know that if their ‘blender is broken’ (which is a favorite saying of our ilk) that they didn’t, in fact, need a blender.

In my wanderings I figured that I should figure out a fresh take on this gem of a classic:

Build in a shaker and strain to serve up or toss in a double rocks glass, I prefer to keep the lime shell in mine, but that really gets down to personal preference. 

A note on the rum, I am not a fan of Bacardi, but at the bar I was told to sell through a bottle of Bacardi Oakheart that we had on hand. This is a spiced rum aged in charred white oak barrels that belongs on the lower end of any liquor shelf, maybe even on the rail. It did work really well for this drink though, and people drank it up like there was no tomorrow. The peak of my enjoyment of this drink though, was at home where I was able to use some Santiago de Cuba 11 Super 11 Year Old. I was lucky enough to have one of my regulars give me enough of this to sip a few neat and mix a couple of these after they returned from a trip to the islands. All told, this will work well with just about any gold or dark rum, even a spiced one. If you really want to enjoy it you ought to use a higher shelf rum, because its worth it during these last few weeks of summer.

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