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.
Have a fully stocked bar, but no actual lemonade? Well, how about this alternative choice. Another Medium of Mixology Original, the bitter lemonade brings a nice balance to an already balanced mixer. If you can find a Fever-Tree’s Bitter Lemon (or any lemon tonic water), then this could be worth making for you. It has the taste of a vodka lemonade with an interesting bitter finish. It’s not my favorite original drink, but it certainly hits the spot on the right evening. If the bitter is too much for you, feel free to add in a little sweet/sour mix.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Alc. Taste Rating: 4/10
1/2 oz Citrus Vodka
1 1/2 oz Lemoncello
Top with Fever-Tree Bitter LemonLemon Wedge Garnish
Straight build in a short glass over ice. Squeeze lemon wedge over drink and drop it in.
Today we’ve got one hell of a great blending cocktail! With a few minor substitutions to the “Bacardi Tropical Dream,” you’ll find this or a variation of your own to really impress your friends. While the original recipe calls for Orange Rum and Bacardi Gold, I feel my replacement of Cruzan Aged and Parrot Bay Pineapple certainly didn’t hurt the outcome. In fact it may have made it better.
If blended well you’ll start with the icy sweet and tropical flavors of orange juice and your flavored rum. Then on your mid palette you get that flavored rum with the gold embodied in the bits of ice. Finally you get a mild sour from the underlying sweet/sour mix to really bring this drink home. I do with there was another juice component in the drink though as I found myself wanting a little more body in the drink. Although this could easily be solved with a little less ice.
Bottom line, this is a great tropical drink for any occasion, and with a big enough blender it could be a great party highlighter.
Alc. Rating: 4/10
Overall Rating 8.8/10
(Bacardi) Tropical Dream
1 3/4 oz Gold Rum
1 1/4 oz Tropical Flavored Rum (Orange, Pineapple, Citrus, or Coconut) 3/4 oz Amaretto 1/2 oz Rose’s Lime Juice 1 1/2 oz Sweet/Sour 2 oz OJ
Blend with ice, garnish with a Lime, lemon, and orange slice
A cast into the Atlantic catches you a “Blue Marlin!”
With it’s citrusy aroma, and brilliant blue color you know this one is a catch!
Ok so nautical puns aside this is an interesting and powerful drink. The Blue Marlin Cocktail features a sugar rim and feels very tropical. Unfortunately the taste doesn’t quite come up to par with the classy appearance. I feel the drink is very lacking in a more well rounded taste palette. Of course I do prefer sweeter drinks, so it might just be me.
That being said the addition of the sugar rim, really helps make the drink manageable. It’s not very sweet in the first place, so having that extra bit on your lips redeems the cocktail a bit. Also I did need to substitute a little citron vodka into the mix which may have thrown things off a little bit.
Either way the Blue Marlin is a great drink in terms of presentation, but the taste isn’t for everyone.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 6-7/10
Overall Taste Rating: 5/10
Make it Again? Maybe. Try again with all citron rum, or variation with more juice
“This is a catch! …Too bad we’re looking for Barracuda”
2 oz Citron Rum (1/2 citron vodka, 1/2 light rum used)
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
1/2 oz Sweet/Sour
Lemon Wedge and Sugar (for rim) Orange Twist (or orange blossom)
Rum lemon wedge around edge and rim with sugar. Shake and strain rum, curacao, and sweet/sour with ice. Strain into prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with Orange Twist.
Did I really think I’d be wearing shorts in April? Nope, but in case where you live it didn’t get unseasonably warm this weekend, here’s a tropical themed delight to at least fool your brain that you’re on the beach. Pedro’s Blue Island is a drink I’ve built based on the traditional Pedro Collins. With a light lemony upper drink (similar to lemonade) and a smoother tropical end toward the bottom, this one is worth making even if it’s not terrible warm out.
This drink features my new favorite ingredient (pineapple rum) and my old one (Dekuyper’s Island Punch Pucker).
Alcohol Rating 2-3/10
Overall Rating 9/10
Make it Again? Yes! Already on the Menu
Pedro’s Blue Island
2 oz Sweet/Sour
1.5 oz Pineapple (or Coconut) Rum 1/2 oz Island Punch Pucker
Club SodaLemon Wedge
Straight build sweet/sour, rum, and pucker in an iced Collins Glass, stir, add club soda. Garnish with lemon wedge.
Today’s cocktail is a great afternoon sipper! A modern twist on the traditional Whiskey Sour, the Sparkling Sweet Apple, adds just enough new flavor to make the classic drink more interesting. Citrus in its aroma, and a light sweet and sour taste makes this drink easy to recommend, even if you don’t really like whiskey.
Alcohol Rating: 3-4/10
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Make again? Yes! (Available on the Current Menu v4.5)
Sparkling Sweet Apple Sour
1 ¼ oz Blended Whiskey (Canadian Club used) ¾ oz Sour Apple Pucker 2 oz sweet/sour 7UP/sprite Lemon Wedge
Shake and strain all but sprite and lemon into a sour or cocktail glass. Splash sprite and garnish with a lemon wedge.