Today we’ve got a tasteful and tasty spin on the classic sidecar recipe. Although given your working set of ingredients you may have to substitute here and there (as I did). I want to start by highlighting my use of a VSOP Brandy in place of Metaxa (a Greek Brandy with a stronger “winey” flavor). You MAY be able to use both Brandy and some Sweet Vermouth to achieve a similar flavor to the Metaxa. The former being much easier to find than the later depending your your location, and that difference will give you a slightly different flavor profile. In addition my use of Cassis Syrup over Creme de Cassis will make my overview of it lean sweeter than it would be normally. A common variation also calls for Chambord rather than Creme de Cassis.
So, I love this drink for 2 main reasons. First is the use of the sugar rim (which is something I wish I saw in more cocktail recpies); and second is the incredible finish that keeps you going back for more. With its deep red color, you’re greeted with an incredible forward aroma of what almost smells of agave nectar. With a sip from the sugar rim you begin with a sweet and simple flavor, move to a subtle currant and lemon, then finish with a richly sweet and oaky finish. The finish is what really caught my attention with this drink. Early in your sip is just feels like a fruity sweet drink, but the complexity of the oak from the brandy to the subtle orange of the Grand Marnier makes this damn near perfect! I do wish there was more to the front and mid palette here, but I’m willing to compromise for something this good!
Alcohol Taste Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 9.8/10
Au Currant Sidecar
1 1/2 oz Metaxa (or VSOP Brandy)
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Creme de Cassis (or Chambord) 1 oz Grand Marnier
1 tsp Superfine Sugar
Rub the edge of a cocktail glass with the lemon wedge and rim with granulated sugar. Shake liquid ingredients and superfine sugar with ice (approx. 15 seconds). Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with a Lemon Twist.
Looking back through the blog recently, I was shocked to find that I hadn’t made a single Manhattan in the nearly 4 years since starting this page. I have had no excuse to ignore this quintessential classic cocktail, so I apologize for my oversight.
The Manhattan is said to have first been made (or at least) introduced in the United States by the request of Winston Churchill’s Mother in a bar in NYC. Since those days the drink has become a true classic recipe known by even the most humble of bartenders. Plus it’s a great example of how a truly masculine drink can be presented in a fancy cocktail glass.
For a drink this simple if you’re not using quality ingredients you’ll be doing yourself and your guests a disservice. A cheap whiskey (traditionally bourbon or rye) will be far too harsh on the palette, while a cheap vermouth will leave quite literally a bad taste in your mouth. No, a good Manhattan is all about the right ingredients all coming together beautifully.
With a deep reddish brown color and garnished cherry this drink feels both classy and intimidating at the same time. With sweet vermouth on the forward aroma, it’s is as inviting to the senses as such a simple cocktail can be. Masked by the mixing of flavors you’re greeted with a pleasant mellow bourbon on the front of your palette. It quickly moves into the vermouth (again get a good one, you’ll thank me), and leads to an oaky bourbon and bitter finish. If you chose rye over the bourbon I imagine you’ll get of its flavor than you do the oak of your favorite bourbon.
The bite is strong, but the flavor keeps you coming back for more! It’s hard to hate a drink like this (unless of course you’re not a whiskey lover).
Alcohol Taste Rating: 8/10
Overall Rating 9.5/10
The Classic Manhattan
2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Sweet (Red) Vermouth
2-3 Dashes of Aromatic Bitters
“It puts the MAN in Manhattan”
Stir with ice for about 45 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Well, at this point I think it’s safe to say that I can’t keep up with last year’s schedule of “a new drink every Monday,” but I will certainly try to keep getting drinks out to you guys. So, you may see a surplus of new recipes over the next week, then a bit of a break. Just remember to check back here occasionally for a new drink or two.
Ok so down to business. Today’s cocktail is certainly of a different caliber than most of the fruit based drinks you’ll find me making. The “Queen Elizabeth’s Wine” is appropriately named for both it’s color and taste. The cocktail’s main aroma comes from the dry vermouth in the drink, but unlike some other vermouth cocktails the flavor doesn’t overpower the drink. You’ll start off with a sweet wine taste (something like a Pinot Grigio), but it quickly moves to the lead liqueur of Benedictine. The finish has a nice mild vermouth taste and keeps you going back for more. It’s a rather small drink and fills a traditional small cocktail glass perfectly, but for a modern variation you could easily bump up the Benedictine to 2.5 oz and the lemon juice to 1.25 with a dash of citrus bitters. Even if you’re not huge on the taste of vermouth, this might be worth a try.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Alcohol Taste Rating: 5/10
Queen Elizabeth’s Wine
1 1/2 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
Stir and strain with ice into a chilled cocktail glass. Garish with a lemon twist (rub over edge of glass)
(Insert generic offensive Queen of England joke here)
Today comes a brand new MoM Original Cocktail. A tropical smelling and tasting sweet drink with a great overall look. Red, then blue, then red again. I couldn’t quite get a good photo of it, but trust me it’s a great looking (and tasting) drink. What’s even better is you don’t even need a shaker for this drink, so it’s pretty simple to make even for the first time mixologist.
Blood in the Water
1 oz Tropical Rum (3/4 pineapple 1/4 coconut) Splash of Light Rum (Optional, extra space filler for larger glasses and adds extra kick) 1 oz Maui Blue Hawaiian (Or Island Punch Pucker) 1 oz Sweet/Sour Ice Cube Dash Grenadine Dash Sloe Gin
Start with a single ice cube to a cocktail glass. Add Rum(s), Blue Hawaiian, and sweet/sour directly over ice cube. Stir Gently. Add dash of Grenadine (should sink to bottom). Add Dash of Sloe Gin slowly over ice cube. Should swirl and sit on top of the blue mix. Serve and enjoy responsibly.
Today’s cocktail is a very interesting mix with some dark rum (then again it may depend on your choice rum). It’s dark sea foam green color adds intrigue and mystery as a start. It has a pleasant pineapple aroma and the lime garnish makes for a rather inviting mystery. It starts light and sweet, moves quickly to a citrus mix, then to a stiff spiced rum finish. It’s pretty good overall, but it is equally mysterious in taste and looks.
Alc. Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 7/10
1 1/4 oz Dark Rum 3/4 oz Blue Curacao 3/4 oz Grand Marnier 1/2 oz Rose’s Lime Juice 1 1/4 oz Pineapple Juice Lime Wedge
Shake and Strain into a chilled cocktail glass garnish with a lime wedge.
Today I bring you one of the best drinks I’ve had since the ” ‘57 T-Bird with Arizona Plates.” The Tidal Wave has great presentation and a very inviting coconut and almond aroma. It starts tropical and sweet, moves to a stronger coconut kick, then finishes with a more alcohol amaretto and sour bite. It’s not often you get such a great mixing of flavors across your palette, but this drink delivers in every respect. On my next menu revision I’ll be doing a section of “seasonal favorites” and this is sure to make the list!
Alcohol Taste Rating: 4.5/10
Overall Rating: 9/10
1 1/2 oz Coconut Rum 1 oz Blue Curacao 3/4 oz Lime Juice 1/2 oz Amaretto 1 tablespoon Coconut Cream 1 teaspoon Sugar (Superfine if you have it) Lime Slice (Additional Garnish: Small Orchid if available)
Shake all liquid ingredients with the sugar with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish by floating a lime slice on top.