Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hello you rock. . .

i wanted to,
i tried--
i was hoping for 104 postings, something that would average out to 2 Posts a week, but . .
You sexy marvelous peoples-- thank you!
101 isn't bad-- and it isn't midnight--- HERE!!!
But HAPPY NEW YEARS!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

TRU2 ORGANIC GIN

Aromatic Mediterranean lavender, raffia and juniper lead the olfactory charge. On the palate these tones evolve to include an herbal bounty with an incredibly active mouth-feel that is nicely full bodied; the juniper shares center stage with citrus as each botanical reveals itself in turn to enhance the overall balance. The finish lingers in a complicated, recherché and deeply enjoyable manner.

I love the concepts that are employed by this company:

Organic: TRU spirits are certified organic, field to bottle.

The flavors are real infusions (infused by the owners, employees and friends) of whole, organic ingredients-- not extracts.

Ecological: The packaging is light and sustainable — everything is recycled, recyclable or biodegradable.

Renewable: They plant a tree for every bottle sold to replenish forests...and paper stocks.

There are so many simple ways to improve how we handle our environment, how about a drink made with scrumptious gin???

Landed TRUth

1 Part TRU2 Organic Gin
1 Part Charbay Green Tea Aperitif

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a frozen Pineapple chunk.

TRU Vesper (a take on a Bond Classic!)

3 oz TRU2 Organic Gin
1 oz TRU Organic Vodka (a fun substitute is the TRU Lemon Vodka)
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.

Bronx (A wonderful classic)

1 3/4 oz TRU2 Gin
1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Carpano Antica
1/2 oz Fresh Orange Juice

Shake with ice & strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass Garnish with ½ of an Orange wheel

Bronx Terrace (A classic that needs to be revived)

1 1/2 oz TRU2 Gin
1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 tsp Simple syrup (adjust for personal preference)

Shake with ice & strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass Garnish with a lime sliver
For even more info, and cocktails try their website:Tru Organic Spirits


This is yet another that i have rescued from muddled post land...f

Charbay Aperitifs


CHARBAY Green Tea Aperitif leads with aromas of lychee nut, gun-powder green tea and citrus flowers that build to a tantalizing allure to drink. The palate entry is debonair and beguiling; silky and redolent, there are soft fruits (red pear, lychee, papaya) and green tea herbaceous earth tones carried with a vibrant tinge of Viognier or Verduzzo wine that amplify the lingering, luscious tastiness of this excellent aperitif.

The Charbay Green Tea Aperitif starts with High Quality Green Tea infused into an excellent dry white wine, until the tea nuances are perfectly extracted, then fresh papaya, and lemon juices are added to balance all of the flavors-sugars-acidity into harmony, and finally Charbay fortifies there aperitif with some of their gorgeous eau de vie bringing up to a healthy 21% alcohol. This wonderful by itself, in a Collins glass with ice with a mint sprig for a garnish; shaken and serve up in a cocktail glass with a lemon twist or lychee nut; in a pint glass half filled with lemonade... easy and versatile. Also this works exceptionally well in a cocktail, here are a couple:

2+1+1

2 oz Charbay Green Tea Aperitif
1 oz Charbay Vodka (a wonder in it's own right!)
1 oz Charbay Meyer Lemon Vodka

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a thin cucumber slice.

Porte-Cochère

2 Part Old Forester Bourbon
1 Part Charbay Green Tea Aperitif
Dash of Regan's Orange Bitters (optional)

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a Lychee Nut, or a Pear Slice

CHARBAY Pomegranate Aperitif is made by infusing organic Pomegranates into dry white wine until all the delicious fruit flavor is extracted and finally Charbay fortifies there aperitif with some of their gorgeous eau de vie to bring it up to a healthy 21% alcohol. The soft and fruity floral tone do not even begin to reveal the big berry flavors you are about to drink, but the do entice you, and invite you to drink; Then stunning, bright and full fruit flavors burst on you palate with a tart textural complexity that is saporous, and lip smacking good! With Raspberry, currant and black Cherry shades that Pomegranate encapsulates the flavors linger, fading with toothsome fruitiness and a clean tart finish. This one is as good simply by itself on the rocks; shaken and served in a cocktail glass with a twist; mixed with lemonade, or soda water-- super easy, but in Cocktails it rocks, here are a couple:

Portière

2 Part Old Forester Bourbon
1 Part Charbay Pomegranate Aperitif
Dash of Peychauds Bitters (optional)

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a Blackberry.

Cockaigne

1 Part Charbay Tahitian Vanilla Rum
1 Part Charbay Pomegranate Aperitif
Dash of Regan's Orange Bitters (optional)

Stir until chilled, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon wedge with juice squeeze in, and a brandied cherry.

Pomegranate Bubbles

1 Part Charbay Pomegranate Aperitif
1 Part Sparkling Wine
Pour, cold, into a flute-- awesome!

Garnish with whatever berries you have.( a great trick is adding frozen berries-- it will keep the drink nice and cold..)

For more info, and cocktails check out the Charbay website.

This is another write up i rescued from a previous write up...

TEQUILA FORTALEZA BLANCO


Aromas on the nose reveal baked agave and minerals that is both fleshy and earthy while bold and pungent. The taste is classic citrus pith, cardamom, white pepper and more minerals with a butter/oil back note. The mouth-feel is big, elegant and classy. It is rich and balanced-- the finish is clean, full and brisk with the slightest touch of sweet agave and bold spices.


This traditional, artisan, small batch tequila is from one of the oldest, royal families of tequila; it is made in one of the most erstwhile distillery's in tequila, utilizing the 'old' methods: slow roasting the agave, stone mill crush and a pot still!

Want to taste history... here is an opportunity knocking at your door.

For more info:

Tequila Fortaleza

or

Tequila Fortaleza

DON PILAR AÑEJO

DON PILAR AÑEJO
Exquisite, delicate and luxurious aromas of perfect-clean-well baked agave fill the nose-- so gorgeous-- it is like the agave is still alive and a fresh rain just washed it. On the palate it is bright, fresh and clean, with grapefruit zest, light soft spice, straw and coriander that are wonderfully good. The finish is long and classy, showing agave, delicate spice and virgin American oak--an amazing new tequila!

Goodness what a lovely, lovely tequila. Each and every sip reveal a new and equally subtle/sublime characteristic. This is a classic waiting to be discovered, savored and enjoyed.

The website is absolutely excellent. It shows each step of the process of production, with pictures, and details-- see for yourself: Don Pilar


**This was pulled out of a previous post as an attempt to clean up some of my messes..-f

Monday, December 28, 2009

Another New Cocktail . .

So my lover wanted to decorate the dining room table with a few 'pretty' bottles in case any cool people came by and the bottles that were chosen were: Beefeater 24, St Germain, Chambord, Bauchonts Liqueur Napoleon.
This leads to a new drink-- Looks like this:

FOTA

2 Oz Beefeater 24
1 Oz St Germain
3/4 - 1 Oz Chambord
(i peferred 3/4 Oz but both were good)

Stir with ice, strain into a chilled glass
Express the oils of a swath of orange zest
roll the zest and use as garnish

Add 2- 3 Drops Bittermans Aromatic Bitters

Une Idee Cocktail

i have never heard of this drink before this afternoon... Apparently it is French for 'An Idea' (the kind usually represented by a light bulb popping over your head. . . )
i was checking at cocktaildb.com if i was accidentally taking credit for an old recipe (see . . .) and i saw this one and said "i should make that!". So i did... and it was good...Une Idee Cocktail

3/4 oz gin
[i used Beefeater 24]
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
[Noilly Prat]
3/4 oz Cognac
[Park VS-gorgeous ...]
1/4 oz apricot flavored brandy
[Stock- from Italy- who knew?]

Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
Serve in a cocktail glass

Just between us . . . i garnished this with a slice of chilled banana--
and it was awesome!

Here is a blurb i wrote about Beefeater 24 -- good stuff!:
Beefeater 24 was created by master distiller Desmond Payne. This gin features Chinese and Japanese style green teas plus grapefruit zest and Beefeaters traditional botanicals: juniper, angelica, coriander, liquorice, almonds, orris root, seville oranges, and lemon peel. These botanicals are steeped for 24 hours ('24') and then carefully distilled. On the nose, the show begins with a crisp citrus focus (white grapefruit pulp in the lead), clean soft juniper and the faintest hint of green tea. The palate is where the botanicals sparkle with vivacious flavors— citrus, coriander and delicate licorice— excitingly held together by mild juniper. Again, there is only an intimation of the tea which is more adequately expressed in the vibrant and savory mouth-feel. The finish is soft and round with a spicy, lingering aftertaste.

An afternoon delight . . .

So take an amazing Cognac- Park VS, and add a couple of wonderfully complex aperitif's- Cocchi Americano and Carpano Antica with a touch of Apricot Brandy to sweeten and boost the earthy richness and you have- A MIX OF GREATNESS:

A.M.O.G.

2 Oz Park VS Cognac
1 Oz Cocchi Americano
1 Oz Carpano Antiqua
1 Bar spoon Apricot Brandy

Stir and strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass
2 Dashes Reagans Bitters

Amazingly delicious, with a slight bitterness...
Try it and help me with the name....

A Scotch Drink #4

The forth dink in our series of installments based on a discussion with Chip about Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban is not a cocktail because there is no water added so i call it a "snifter' drink, if you know of a 'more correct' term please let me know. . .So here is #4:

Luxury in a Glass

2 1/2 Oz Quinta Ruban
(or a Nice Scotch)
Splash Frangelico
Splash Bauchant Liqueur Napoleon
(sub with a great Orange Liqueur)
Splash Luxardo Maraschino

Warm a Snifter with hot water
Dump water and add all ingredients
and serve Garnish with grated chocolate
(or Nutmeg)

A Splash is around 1/8 Oz, but let your nose be your guide . . .

Named by Chip (from the Rum Howler Blog) and no need for a translator this time.

A Scotch Cocktail #3

The third cocktail in this series from a discussion with Chip about Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban was a bit of a lark that turned out to be a really tasty drink... (which when i looked --in preparation of this post-- i found a Bill Orr Cocktail that is kind of close on cocktaildb.com but i think the Luxardo pushes it into another drink all together so . .
as far as installments, here is the third:

Quinta Morangie Cocktail

2 Oz Quinta Ruban
1/4 Oz Luxardo Maraschino
3/4 – 1 Oz Fresh Orange Juice

Stir w/ cracked ice until chilled, Strain into Cocktail Glass
Garnish with Multiple Strips of Orange zest and a dash of Boker’s Bitters

Also named by Chip (aka Arctic Wolf), i reached out to google translate once again and noticed that Quinta also means 'fifth' (as in the fifth interval in Western music-- which is also called 'the dominant' because it solidly resolves to and from whichever tone it is referring to), and Morangie Translates -Tanquility. So here we can infer a meaning of: "The dominant, or resolution to tarnquility" as a good translation of 'Quinta Morangie'. This drink is fresh, intricate, delicate and well suited as an aperitif cocktail.

A Scotch Cocktail #2

The second cocktail from my discussion with Chip about Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban led me to a special spot in my heart: Cocktails with Sparkling Wine...
So, as an installment, here is the second:

Quinta Vino

1 1/2 Oz Quinta Ruban
1/4 Oz Luxardo Maraschino
1/4 Oz Bauchant Liqueur Napoleon
-sub Gran Gala, Grand Marnier, Royal Montaigne
1 1/2 – 2 Oz Sparkling Wine
*opt* Fee's Aromatic Bitters

Stir w/ cracked ice until chilled, Strain into Chilled Flute
Garnish w/ a twisted- thin cut- Orange Slice

This name is also straight from the mind of Chip, so i used google translate again and found out that Quinta also means villa, so there that is-- we got that going for us. This drink is wonderful, light, refreshing and still complex. Also, don't be afraid of using a less expensive Scotch (but feel free to go big!).

A Scotch Cocktail #1

Discussing (via e-mail) Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, with my good pal (and fellow booze blogger) Chip (his review here . . ), i was encouraged to mix up a cocktail with said nectar. It was so easy to mix i came up with 3 and a 'Snifter' drink... So, in installments, here is the first:

Quinta Cheri Amour

2 1/4 Oz Quinta Ruban
1/2 Oz Cherry Herring
1/4 Oz Gran Gala
Stir w/ cracked ice until chilled, Strain into Cocktail Glass
Express the oils of a flamed orange zest
Garnish with rolled zest and a cherry
*opt* add dash of Peychauds Bitters

The name, in all of its glory, is straight out of the mind of Chip, so i can't give any details on it (tho i find it wonderfully hilarious...). The drink is tasty. i tried it again with Lismore 100 proof and it still was very good, so don't be afraid of using a less expensive Scotch (but go ahead and splurge-- why not?). The "Quinta" in the name would then apply to the the draft, or a conscription of sorts (quinta, in Spanish), thus implying that the name is saying "come here my gorgeous lover" or something like that..

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thursday Drink Night . . .

So TDN was a blast, the theme was Retro Free-For-All. Here are the drinks that i made up . . .

Goulet

1 1/2 Oz Bols Genever
1 Oz Stock Orange Fernet
(sub 1/2 Gran Gala, 1/2 Fernet)
1 Oz Charbay Dessert Wine (White Port)
1/2 oz Apricot Brandy
Stir Strain into Chilled Cocktail Glass
Garnish With a Brandied Cherry

The garnish in the photo is a Lychee, but a Brandied Cherry works better. The name was inspired from Will Ferrell impersonation of Robert Goulet that was on in the background when i made the drink...

The Possum Slide

2 1/2 Oz Camus Vs
1/2 Oz Blackbery Liqueur
1/2 Oz Sweet Vermouth

Stir Strain into Chilled Cocktail Glass
2 Drop's Boker's Bitters Garnish With 3 Brandied Cherries

The name for this drink came from a possum sliding along the telephone wires in my back yard.

The Classic

2.25oz Camus VS
1/4oz Orange Fernet
(1/2 Fernet-1/2 Orange Liqueur)
1/4oz Apricot Brandy
Stir Strain into Chilled Cocktail Glass
Garnish w/Lemon Zest

i just threw out this name-- who knows why?

So if you are on the web this Thursday night, looking for a drink, come on by Thursday Drink Night [TDN]. and say hello (or if you just want to see the drinks, go here. . . -).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Flor de Caña 18

Flor de Caña is from one of the most decorated Rum distilleries (Ministry of Rum info Page is loaded with info..)in the world, and it has been that way for over a hundred years. With that legacy in mind, the 18 Year Centenario is the tip-top of their range and quite an accomplished spirit. The nose leads with wet mahogany, candied pear, dark caramel, dried fig, tanned leather, rope, tropical fruit and tea chest. The aromas evolve on the palate to include roasted nuts, black strap molasses, Ibarra chocolate (Mexican style), dried brown spices and charred oak that deliver an earthy-dry-full of flavor libation . . . it is complex and recherché. It finishes with characteristically dry elan and relish showing clean vegetal tones, dried fruit, oak spices, smoky warmth and vanilla. This is a serious rum to enjoy neat, with ice or in a rum focused beverage.

So my good pal Chip from the excellent blog, The Rum Howler and i have been e-mailing back and forth about Spirits in general and he mentioned he was going to post a review of Flor de Caña 18 { click the link to read it!} and wanted to include a cocktail. He had an idea and asked me what i thought?? So i tweaked his idea a bit and this is what we came up with:

El Padrino

2 Oz Flor de Cana 18
1 Oz Amaretto (i used Luxardo)
1/8 Oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Method:
Build on Ice in Small Rock Glass
Garnish With a Thin Slice of Lemon

Some notes on on the 'drink': Any of you who are "Cocktail Recipe" gifted will recognize that this is QUITE obviously a play on a Godfather and that play is pushed even further by the name (El Padrino is 'The Godfather' in Spanish-- i know what you are thinking-- Clever-- yeah!); all of that aside let's look at 'Duo' cocktails in general, using this drink as an example: A duo, basically is a drink with 2 main ingredients-- wow, i know there is a point coming... Everyone has a 'prefered' style of drink-- the 'duo' style drink is perfect for them because it is a simple series of tweaks to make the drink perfect for any person, the 2 main components for El Padrino are F dC 18, and Amaretto: The Rum is stronger, drier, more complex, while Amaretto is Sweeter, Milder, creamier,nutty-- etc. . Both flavors control the drink, if you prefer your drink Drier, more complex, etc. use more Rum, or conversely-- if you in the mood for something sweeter, milder, creamier add more Amaretto--easy. So the range of measurements could easily be 1 Part FdC 18 to 1 Part Amaretto, 2 Parts FdC 18 to 1 Part Amaretto or 3 Parts FdC 18 to 1 Part Amaretto (my personal favorite) leaving the citrus where it is at there just to brighten and balance the drink.

Now before i wrap this up, let me mention something else that is totally obvious: Amaretto matters! If you are using a nice Rum like FdC 18 in your drink, do it the service of adding ingredients of comparable quality, i used Luxardo Amaretto, a wonderful Almond based Amaretto (you'd be surprised most Amaretto's are not "Almond" based...) since i have rambled a bit here is a great review of Luxardo at Spirit's Review, by Chris Carlsson, i would rate it higher but his review is dead on!..

Maybe we could do an informal survey: What is your favorite ratio in the El Padrino? Comments are welcome!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Twas the Night before last . . .

Twas the Punch Before X-Mas Contest.

Great time was had by all, and by all a good night.

i originally submitted a punch that was cut in the first round (i think it was because they didn't have any of the ingredients to make the punch and try it in its glory, you try it . . ) here is the recipe:

Punch L.A. TRU Flora

[3 Parts] 12 Oz Fresh Lemon Juice (Zest first and put into punch)
[2 Parts] 8 Oz Fruit Lab Crism (Hibiscus Liqueur)
[2 Parts] 8 Oz Fruit Lab Theia (Jasmine Liqueur)
[2 Parts] 8 Oz Fresh Orange Juice (Zest first and put into punch)
[6 Parts] 24 Oz TRU Gin (i like mine stronger so i'd say [8 Parts] 32 Oz)
[2 Parts] 8 Oz Double Strength Chamomile Tea (4 Bags/ at least 5 Minutes)
[12 Parts] 2 Bottles of Sparkling wine

Mix everything but the Bubbly and chill at least 2 Hours
allowing flavors to marry. . .

Pour into Punch Bowl with frozen berries/fruit (freeze whatever you have into plastic cups packed with fruit and topped with clean water),
At last possible moment add 2 Bottles of Chilled Sparkling Wine

Ladle into a punch cup with a mint sprig In the bottom
Dash Regan's Orange Bitter on top

Awesome.

But since i was cut, i was free to make Chris Bostick's Punch (he could not make it). The glorious bowl was named: Punch You In The Eye, and it was delicious.

The winner of the night was Chuck from looka (the ever gracious and benevolent Chuck has posted the winning recipe with exciting commentary-- read it here...), and
The peoples choice was Zach Patterson from STK...

A great time and everyone's punch was awesome!
The other Punches were created by:

Jason from 320 Main,
Blair (who is Trader Tiki . .) and
Chris Bostick from The Varnish..

And of course there was yummy Kraken Hot Buttered Rum provided by Malo and Kraken-- definitely a great evening and fun times...

Thanks to Rumdood, Malo Catina and Kraken for a fantastic, fun night!

** as i find or get the recipes approved, i will post them!

Another awesome recap from Thirsty In LA-- WITH PICTURES!! Check it out...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oso del Feugo

Here is a drink that i made up the other evening at TDN. The theme was Allspice Dram-- which i love there were an amazing assortment of drink presented (CREATED) and a jovial sense of convivial exchange.. So if you are on the web on Thursday night, and you are looking for some fun cocktails pop into Thursday Drink Night [TDN]. and say hello (or if you just want to see the drinks, go here. . . -).
So here is the drink i squeezed in:

Oso del fuego

1 3/4 Oz Laphroaig 1/4 Cask (sub: Peaty Scotch)
1 1/4 Oz Allspice Dram
1/2 Oz Fernet Branca
3/4 Oz Bouchant Orange (sub: orange liqueur)

Stir strain into chilled glass
Garnish with flamed orange Peal.

Usually i reserve my Quarter Cask for sipping, but inspiration struck so who am i to argue. Oso del Fuego, the bear of Fire-- that is how it translates-- i am not sure how that name popped into my head, but i like it. The drink is rich and spicey with delicate sweet orange note and smoke.. Pretty tasty. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This more of a heads up--

Really, i just read (and re-read some earlier posts) a post on "Cocktail Science: Does Crushed Ice Dilute More?" on the 'Cooking Issues' blog and it was glorious. Something i have always believed, but never was willing to argue about-- these wonderful folks have scientifically proven. If you make drinks you should check them out..

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Evan Williams Black Label

Well if you are looking for it-- Evan Willams Black is an AMAZING value (i think i paid $15.99 for my 1.75). On the nose There is stewed fruit, clean smoke and hints of caramelized corn in a leather bowl. The flavor follows suit in an oily mouth-feel building to articulate mellow baking spices, caramel and vanilla with a slight vegetable bitterness at the back palate that adds a nice bit of complexity to fun and simple whisky. The finish is of a medium duration and enjoyable. This is a solid bourbon. If you factor in the incredible deal-- This stuff is awesome.