Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tequila Tuesday: Metexa

This week we are still celebrating recipes from the 'Cafe Royal' cocktail book, by W.J. Tarling and since it is 'Tequila Tuesday'  specifically a cocktail made with tequila. This beverage that we are making today is a wonderful 'Aperitif' styled cocktail that uses tequila as a modifier, rather than as a base. But before we go to far a quote from the preface of the book:

"In conclusion, I express my deep thanks to the many 
cocktail bartenders who have allowed me to use their own recipes which appear in this book. It is only with their co-operation that a unique book of this kind is possible."

I picked this quote not only because it is awesome, but this drink is an example of W.J. Tarling giving credit where credit was due. In the notes, under the name of the cocktail he wrote: Invented by J. E. Mouncer. Now I looked around in a lot of places and couldn't find anything out about Mr. Mouncer, but it still was great that Mr. Tarling felt it necessary to give him the credit.

The original recipe looked like this:

Invented by J. E. Mouncer

3/4 Oz Swedish Punch.
1 1/2 Oz Lillet

Again Tarling says to shake, but I say stir with ice till very cold, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This is a fantastic beverage, but the tequila was a bit in the background for me. Again this makes perfect sense when you take into account that the tequila they were using was probably 'at least' 90 proof, so I adjusted the recipe to this:

Invented by J. E. Mouncer
Oz ArteNOM 1580 Blanco3/4 Oz Kronan Swedish Punch1 1/2 Oz Lillet

Either way, both are great so enjoy them both depending on your mood. Also I couldn't find anything about the name so I am going to guess it was just a word play and Mr. Mouncer stuck with it.

A couple of points on the ingredients. . .. Swedish Punch was almost impossible to find in the US until Haus Alpenz started importing it. It can still be difficult, but with a little effort you can usually find some close by or a friendly Liquor Outlet to ship it to you. Barring that, you can make your own . . .. The problem with making it is some of the ingredients are as hard to find as Swedish Punch and then you still have to make it. Up to you.

Lillet: When you see Lillet in a recipe and there is no designation (Blanc, rouge etc.) it is referring to the Blanc (or more likely Kina Lillet which is the earlier version of Lillet).
***[Most people who have tasted Kina Lillet say the closest you can get is Cocchi Americano. I just used Lillet (though I love Cocchi...), it was handy and the drink was delicious.]

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mezcal Monday: Oaxacan Mule

This is such a tasty, refreshing drink--in all of its forms, I thought: "Why not expound on it". The "Mule" is a 'sub-category' of long drinks called 'Highball's, that is made with ginger beer, a squeeze of lime and a spirit of your choice. Since this is Mezcal Monday, I choose Mezcal! The name is self explanatory... Mezcal comes -primarily- from Oaxaca, and thus the name. To me it conjure lovely images of mules hauling wood / agave to the palenque to begin the process of making this wonderful spirit.

Oaxacan Mule

Build in glass over ice1 1/2 Oz Don Amado Rustico
Lime wedge, squeezed and dropped in
3-4 Oz Ginger beer (top up) / if you use ginger ale it is called a "Buck"

I like a dash of Bitters in mine, but that is totally optionall.

You can check out the other Mezcal Mondays here . . 
You can also check out and follow Don Amado on Facebook here, and on twitter here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Whiskey Wednesday: Kentucky Colonel

Well it was inevitable, my celebration of recipes from the 'Cafe Royal' cocktail book, by W.J. Tarling is now spilling over into "Whiskey Wednesday". I might as well include an awesome quote also!:

"Careful observation has shown that at the majority of Cocktail parties there is little variation in the cocktails offered, and each party is apt to have a monotonous repetition of Martini, Bronx, Manhattan, and White Lady Cocktails, all, I grant, very good cocktails indeed, but just as apt to be dull as continuous dinners at which the same soup, fish, meat and sweet are served. Therefore I ask my readers to try the modern cocktails."

This is a very tasty cocktail as it is, but I prefer it with a couple dashes of bitters... You decide and let me know.

Kentucky Colonel

2 1/4 Oz Cyrus Noble Bourbon (3 Parts)
3/4 Oz Benedictine (1 Part)

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
If you desire--as I do--a dash or 2 of Aromatic bitters.

Click here to check out other "Whiskey Wednesdays".
You can follow Cyrus Noble Bourbon on facebook here -- or on Twitter here . . ..

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tequila Tuesday: Matador

We continue our celebration of recipes from the 'Cafe Royal' cocktail book, by W.J. Tarling with this delectable treat, but first another terrific quote from the preface describing the theater of a well healed local, where the patron feel 'at home':

"And all the wit was not necessarily verbal, nor all the talk about painting and poetry. Every genius has its own ways of expression. Like the wronged young lady who turned on the man in the case and showed her skill at fencing with the end of her parasol, to be desperately warded off with a walking cane. Or the two Oriental beauties who arrived with serpents round their necks instead at the conventional feather boas. All was not wild melodrama or extravagant fantasy, they were interludes."

This 'Tequila Tuesday' the beverage we will make is an amazing evening cocktail of classic form
, with a fantastic name. The recipe looks like this:


1 1/2 Oz ArteNOM 1580 Blanco
1 Oz Orange Curacao (I used Clement Creole Shrub)
1 Oz French Vermouth (Dolin Dry)

Tarling says to shake, but I say stir with ice till very cold, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Also in the original recipe it calls for equal parts of each. While this is an enjoyable beverage, it tastes superior when the tequila proportions are raised. This only make sense when you take into account that the tequila Tarling was using was probably 'at least' 90 proof.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mezcal Monday: MxMO World Traveler

This a double treat for Mezcal Monday it will be a simulcast with Mixology Monday for the third time and it falls on 'National Mezcal Day'! This month 'Mixology Monday' is hosted by "Putney Farm" and the idea is 'Intercontinental', here is the description in their own words:
"Everywhere we travel these days we see cocktails on the menu. And not just here in the USA, but all around the world. And that’s not only the drinks, but the ingredients as well… So let’s celebrate the global reach of cocktails with an “Intercontinental” Mixology Monday challenge. Create a cocktail with “ingredients” from at least 3, but preferably 4,5 or 6 continents."
Mixology Monday

So it had to be Mezcal --of course-- it is Mezcal Monday  and National Mezcal Day--we have to celebrate it just to make sure it doesn't become silly. I was going to do something more traditional, like a shot of mezcal, but Mixology Monday only happen once a month.

World Traveler

2 Oz Mina Real Silver (North America)
1 Oz Briottet creme de Noisette (Europe)
3 Dashes Amargo Chuncho (South America)
1/4 - 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric (Asia)

Shake with ice and fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This drink was surprisingly good. The structure is solid and layered with interesting spice. It would pair well with snacks too. One down side is the turmeric could use a 'finer' fine strain. If I made a bunch of these I would infuse the Turmeric and have more control on the 'straining, because some people don't enjoy the remnants.

I want to thank Stewart at  "Putney Farm" for this challenging concept and for hosting MXMO.

You can check out the other Mezcal Mondays here . . 

You can also check out and follow Mina Real on facebook here, and on twitter here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Whisky Wednesday: Announcing Whisky Live Thursday Oct 17

Well for this Whiskey Wednesday I am getting ready for Whisky Live tomorrow (Thursday, no matter what I said previously). I thought it would a good thing to re-announce it on Whiskey Wednesday!

So here it goes:
Whisky Live is here again. To get a 25% discount on either the VIP or Standard ticket --the code is scotch25 the ticket also include a buffet and a chance to be with people who know and love Whisky. Also new to this year are unlimited pours.

It is at the Hyatt Regency in Century City which is a chance to have some great whisky. There will be HUNDREDS of whiskies and even whisky cocktails, you're sure to find something special.
I'll be there pouring Cyrus Noble to the thirsty masses, come by and say hello!

Click here to check out other "Whiskey Wednesdays".
You can follow Cyrus Noble Bourbon on facebook here, or on Twitter here...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tequila Tuesday: The 'Jalisco'

This week is a continuation of recipes from the 'Cafe Royal' cocktail book, by W.J. Tarling. It also has a more well known contemporary version, but I will get to that, first here is a fantastic quote from the preface that describe the sanctuary that a place can have, and insights into how to make it happen:

"The Cafe had its own sort of domesticity, a home from home. The afternoon sleep of the famous musical director was gently broken by the ting-ringing of a spoon on a balloon glass. For the staff had to be confidants, friends and diplomats at times of need, experts in the straightening of curious complications and disputes, hierophants of the genius of conviviality.."

This 'Tequila Tuesday' the beverage we will make is an excellent morning/ brunch sipper--juicy, fresh and easy. The recipe looks like this:


2 Oz Purasangre Tequila Blanco
1 Oz Orange Juice
1/4 Oz Grenadine (**)

Shake with ice till very cold, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

**Make your own grenadine:4 Oz Pomegranate Juice, 4 Oz Sugar Shake until clear--simple; I usually add 2 Oz pomegranate liqueur to it to preserve it, but not needed. There are better, more complicated recipes, but this is so much better than most stuff you buy--and easy.

Now even the most uninitiated bartender will recognize this as what is currently known as a "Tequila Sunrise". Some may even point out that the "Tequila Sunrise" was invented around the same time as this cocktail, that is true, but that "Tequila Sunrise" was not made with this recipe. The original was -tequila, lime juice, creme de cassis and soda water (created by Gene Sulit at the Arizona Biltmore). The version with OJ & Grenadine was invented in the 70's by Bobby Lazoff and Billy Rice at the Trident restaurant in Sausalito California. So let's reclaim both of these originals... The original Tequila Sunrise is actually a very tasty beverage. The Jalisco is just and easy to enjoy beverage. I still float the grenadine to the bottom, I think it is pretty.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mezcal Monday: Bambu

There is a slight breeze in the air, so I thought a room temerature sipper would be lovely for this Mezcal Monday. As you may have noticed, I completely enjoy using Ron Miel in drinks, here a few reasons: 1) I love honey; 2) Ron Miel mixes so much easier than honey, and 3) there is also an aged richness that it brings. So for another simple, lovely and comforting drink, I present: 

2 Oz Don Amado Reposado
1 Oz Ron Miel (Honey Rum)
2 Dashes Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters

Take a classy spirit glass, put some warm water in it (not hot), dump the water and put in the ingredients and swirl.

You can check out the other Mezcal Mondays here . . 
You can also check out and follow Don Amado on Facebook here, and on twitter here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Whiskey Wednesday: The Noble Exchange Cocktail

For "Whiskey Wednesdays" this week I took one of the cocktails off of the Cyrus Noble Bourbon website. The drink I chose follows fairly standard ratios for a spirit forward, classic cocktail that seems sweeter than it is because of the ingredients. This drink works great before, during or after a meal, with blue cheese, grilled meats and general hearty fare.
Here it is, enjoy!:

The Noble Exchange Cocktail

1½ oz Cyrus Noble Bourbon
½ oz sweet vermouth
(Any good vermouth will work)
¼ oz maraschino liqueur
(Leopold Brothers or Luxardo)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
(or switch it up if you like)

Stir all ingredients with ice and serve in a rocks glass with an orange peel twist.

Click here to check out other "Whiskey Wednesdays".
You can follow Cyrus Noble Bourbon on facebook here, or on Twitter here...

Thanks again to Haas Brothers; check them out on facebook here . . ..

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tequila Tuesday: Tia Juano

Those of you who follow this blog know that I have a deep affection for the 'Cafe Royal' cocktail book, by W.J. Tarling, so for the next few weeks I am going to showcase its classic tequila drinks. Also I will cull some wonderful tidbits to share, like this quote from the preface:

"To those of my readers who wish to know how to make cocktails,

I offer the following advice:
Follow the recipe carefully.
Make sure that you use the exact amount of each ingredient.
Put several pieces of ice in the shaker.
Shake until the outside of the shaker becomes moist with cold.
Pour out the cocktails quickly and see that they are consumed while still quite cold."

This 'Tequila Tuesday' the cocktail we are making is perfect for people who love big, dry, complex drinks. The original recipe looked like this:

Tia Juano
~1/8 Campari.
~3/8 French Vermouth.
~1/2 Tequila.

If I convert the percentages to ounces and stir it, the recipe looks like this:

Tia Juano

2 Oz Purasangre Tequila (Blanco or reposado).
1 1/2 Oz French Vermouth (Dolin or Noilly Prat--Lillet even works here).
1/2 Oz Campari.

Stir with ice till very cold, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

A few things to point out: (1.) This drink is kind of big, it could be 2 drinks. The ratios are 4 Parts, 3 Parts, 1 Part, so it could be 1 1/3 Oz, 1 Oz, 1/3 Oz . . . but you see where this goes. I personally have no problem with a 4 Oz drink. (2.) The person who named this drink obviously did not speak Spanish because the genders don't agree (the name basically means "Aunt John"). It could also be a joke, a typo or making fun of the soft pink color coupled with the strength, complexity of the drink. Why ever it is called that, it is a tasty drink.

Want to check out the other "Tequila Tuesday's" . .click here!
Follow Purasangre on Facebook here . . or on twitter here . . .

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mezcal Monday: Heart of Oaxaca

So I was checking out the Mezcal Don Amado facebook page and I saw this drink: The 'Heart of Oaxaca'. By now you all know how much I love simple, balanced drinks and this one is something I think all of us --who make drinks with mezcal-- have tried and liked, but never went all the way and named it, or owned it. So I want to begin by giving props to Dennis Schafer, I don't know who you are, but I like your style.
If you look close at this drink it is basically a Manhattan made with mezcal--which is an awesome idea. To let you in on a little secret, Carpano Antica is a little to rich for me in a Manhattan, unless it is 4 to 1 and we are using bonded whiskey. In this the Antica sings, binding to the big flavors and elongating them--the bitters are brilliant too, also I went with Don Amado Rustico for big elegant flavors and the proof to stand up to everything (I wrote a review here . . ). So for this 'Mezcal Monday'
enjoy the 'Heart of Oaxaca':

Heart of Oaxaca
Adapted from a recipe by Dennis Schafer

Don Amado Rustico
1oz Carpano Antica
5 dashes Bitter Truth mole bitters

Add all ingredients to mixing glass.
Add ice and stir.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
You can check out the other Mezcal Mondays here . . 

 You can also check out and follow Don Amado on Facebook here, and on twitter here. 

Better Cocktails at Home did a video on this drink that is well made. Check it out here.... They used a different mezcal but I think the Don Amado Rustico is perfect in this.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sipping Sunday!: RON Navazos Palazzi

A treasure, a treat, a blessing--something new . . . 'Sipping Sunday!' for when I have something special to share and it is not Monday - Thursday!

So, in 'Thirsty Thursday #5' (click to read) I tasted an amazing Spanish Brandy, the 2013 Navazos-Palazzi Single Cask release: Jerez Brandy Solera Gran Reserva Fino Cask (click for details...). If you read that you know I have a soft spot for that style of spirits and it was with excitement and anticipation that I prepared to try RON Navazos Palazzi.

RON Navazos Palazzi is aged for 5+ years where it was is distilled, in ex-bourbon barrels before being transported to Spain and transferred into fresh Oloroso Sherry barrels to rest for another 10+ years. That is where it sat, resting, aging, maturing and evolving. When it was discovered by Navazos Palazzi (who were out hunting for more brandy) they tasted it and they knew they had something special and need to release it.

As in all of their offerings, this rum is completely --un-manipulated, no additives, unfiltered-- eau natural. It is bottled that way to ideally demonstrate the most honest expression of what has been achieved in this very long process, to display all that time, craft and wood has offered to this rum.

The aroma is filled with baked pecans, cedar, caramelized honey, mahogany, roasted almonds, baking chocolate, dates, dried mission fig, prunes, baking spice. baked quince, dried Persimmon and reveals a multitude of varied nuance at each sniff.

The palate is surprisingly dry, especially considering the rich and lyrical flavor. The full mouth-feel shows evolved spice that is structured, layered and interwoven with dried fruits, leather and tea in an immaculate demonstration.

The finish is clean and brisk with a lingering aftertaste of dried fruits, deeply extracted tea, nuts, cooking chocolate and baking spice.

This is AMAZING rum. It is nowhere near as sweet as you would expect but it has even more intricate depth and beautiful complexity than you could hope for.   

Enjoy it neat, in a proper glass--preferably with a friend.
This, like all of the Navazos Palazzi are limited; there will other lots, but once this offering is gone. . . it is gone (click to join their email list).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Whiskey Wensday: The Gold Rush

Well like 'Tequila Tuesday' and  'Mezcal Monday', 'Whiskey Wednesday' will no longer be numbered, it seems redundant.
This week we are going to look at a fantastic cocktail that meshes perfectly with one of the stories surrounding Cyrus Noble.
Over 110 years ago, a minor caught up in the frenzy of the "Gold Rush" was at the end of his patience and he set out to find anyone who would trade his something for claim. The place was Searchlight Nevada, the desperate minor was John Coleman. The best trade he came across was in the form of the finest bourbon in town-Cyrus Noble. So John traded the claim to his mine for a delectable bottle of bourbon. Then the unexpected occurred, that mine gave up $250,000.00 in gold.
Wow, I hope whomever got the claim for a bottle of Cyrus Noble was decent enough to by him another bottle and one of these cocktails every time that they ran into John Coleman. So here is the beverage:
The Gold Rush

2 ounces Cyrus Noble bourbon

¾ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice

¾ ounce honey syrup
(3 parts warm honey, 1 part warm water)

Shake up all the ingredients and pour them over the top.
Fill a rocks glass with big ice .

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tequila Tuesday: Mexico

So to begin with, 'Tequila Tuesday' will follow the example of  'Mezcal Monday' and will no longer be numbered--for the same reason--this is the 13th week and it seems redundant.

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while will know that I have a deep affection for the 'Cafe Royal' cocktail book, by W.J. Tarling for many reasons, one of which is it showcases tequila drinks, in a glorious light, when it was published in 1937, in London. Also I like its precise concision relegating most of the details to the preface and the introduction where terms and technique are posted along with tidbits like this quote from Horace:
"Be joyous, Dellius, I pray,
 The bird of morn, with feathers gay,
 Gives us his rearwards plume;
 For mingled draughts drive care away
 And scatter every gloom."

I find that kind of depth to resonate on an elemental level. This is how the gentleman finished his preface: "In conclusion, I express my deep thanks to the many cocktail bartenders who have allowed me to use their own recipes which appear in this book. It is only with their co-operation that a unique book of this kind is possible." W. J. TARLING, American Bar, Cafe Royal

Sharing the credit with his fellow bartenders and the place he worked. It is a great book, you can find it in pdf if you can't find a hard copy.

Anyways, on to 'Tequila Tuesday': The cocktail we are making is super famous, but most people erroneously call it a 'Margarita'. I have discussed the history of the Margarita several times on this blog and suffice it to say the earliest mention of the Margarita was 1941. This version of this book was published in 1937; t cocktail was so well known in London that it was included in the Cafe Royal Cocktail book. On top of all of that, this "version' of the Margarita' has been credited to Julio Bermejo at Tommy's in San Fransico, but in reality it is what W. J. Tarling named 'Mexico' in his cocktail book 'Cafe Royal' in 1937. The recipe is:

2 Oz Purasangre Blanco (or Reposado )
1 Oz Lime (or lemon) Juice
Teaspoon of syrup (agave, honey, simple . . you pick)

Shake and strain into a chilled glass.

Want to check out the other "Tequila Tuesday's" . .click here!

Follow Purasangre on Facebook here . . or on twitter here . . .