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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.

Cocky Yamazaki

This is the first of what I hope to be many barrel aged cocktails, I used a two liter once charred new american oak barrel for the first batch of this. As time goes on I imagine that I will have to allow for more time for this to reach its peak, but for the first go around I only had to keep this in for three weeks:

  • 1 Yamazaki
  • .5 Canton
  • .25 Fernet Branca

After this aged I re-bottled it and then added .25 coriander ginger syrup (you can find this recipe under the Bastard Child post), stirred over ice, and served up. Mind you, I didn’t just aged one drink worth of this, I used a whole bottle of Yamazaki and proportionate measures of the remaining ingredients.

This drink, before being aged, is still a good one, but does taste a little raw with so much Fernet coming through. After aging this though, everything mellows and blends into what tastes almost like an unfiltered, fresh pressed apple cider with a small pull of whiskey in it. It is light enough to be considered a spring and summer cocktail, but it can also hold up to the heavier foods served in fall and winter.

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.

Bitters #2: Black Peppercorn, Rosemary, Grapefruit

I said before that I would let you know about the addition of butternut squash into the base bitters posted some time ago. Well, that didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. Thankfully I didn’t use the whole 750 for that experiment. I batched off 250ml of the base and decided to try another combination: Black peppercorn, rosemary, and grapefruit. 

I soaked six cloves and 2 tablespoons of black peppercorns for 10 days, then strained them out; soaked the peel of one large pink grapefruit (sans pith) for another 10 days, strained it; and then put an ounce of rosemary into the bottle for a week. After straining the rosemary out the bitters are now sharp on the front from the grapefruit, have very nice aroma throughout from the rosemary, and finish with a little bit of burn on the back of the throat from the peppercorns.

These work quite well in whiskey drinks as the pepper brings out a lot of the darker flavors, especially in a good rye. I have yet to work with this in any gin or rum drinks, but soon enough it will be the right weather for that.

The Rosy Crucifixion

For the impending start of spring I figured that I would put out a champagne topped cocktail, but would keep it true to my own heart with a strong measure of whiskey:

  • 1.5 Bulleit bourbon
  • .5 Cointreau
  • 6 dashes Angostura
  • 6 dashes Peychauds
  • 4 champagne

Stir the first four ingredients over ice and pour into a white wine glass (a flute won’t hold the whole cocktail), top with the champagne, and garnish with a healthy lemon twist. Cheers.

Chloe’s Elixir

The original name for this one is much better, but I am loth to publish it for the whole world to see. If you stop by Ted’s Bulletin on a night that I’m behind the bar, and ask me really nicely, I’ll tell you:

  • 1.5 spiced rum
  • .75 white port
  • .5 Aperol
  • .5 dry vermouth

Shake, strain, and serve up with an optional twist. I made this as a way to try to push some of both our white port and our Aperol and thought at first that this wouldn’t really be an appropriate winter-time drink. I was wrong though, right behind the orange is a strong hit of vanilla on the palate, and an herbaceous bitter comes through about 5 seconds after taking a sip, which doesn’t linger too long at all. This would be a good cocktail hour drink before a heavy, creamy meal, but would also pair well with a dark chocolate cake at the other end of dining.

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.

Bitters #1

A while back I decided that I wanted to make some fall and winter bitters so that i could have some more cocktail options. I wanted to make a general aromatic base that I could portion off and work with in sections:

  • 750ml Bacardi 151
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Bitter leaf
  • 1 tablespoons, 3 dashes Boldo
  • 1 tablespoons, 3 dashes Chincona Bark
  • 6 tablespoons Uña de Gato
  • 1.5 teaspoons Rue

I soaked the cloves in the bottle for 2 weeks, at which point I could smell a hint of them, then I had my chef make a series of strong teas out of each of the herbs and reduce it from a quart and a half to between 1 and 2 cups each. Then came the fun part, I started mixing the herb teas into the rum drop by drop until I reached a bitter, exotically aromatic, but still light concoction. For ease I converted the drops to spoons and dashes with one drop being a fifth of a milliliter and a dash being 4 drops.

This is a good start to some house made bitters and can be used for a lighter Sazerac, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or anything that calls for aromatic bitters. Stay tuned for the addition of some butternut squash to the recipe.


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.


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.


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