La Jolla

I felt today that after a long time I was due for a brandy based cocktail, and the La Jolla is both classy and refreshing all the same. It is simple in color and presentation, but a really impressive experience all around. The drink recipe itself doesn’t call for any garnishes (which is really a shame) so I’ve opted to add in an orange peel for my aroma and tasting notes.

To the nose you get a pleasant orange (mostly from the peel added, but some from the juice too). The slight oakiness of the brandy also comes through on the nose. Its taste begins light and sweet, moves quickly to a slightly sour (but not overpowering) lemon, and finishes with a unique battle of banana and brandy. The finish is really what stands out to me here. It’s banana, then brandy, then banana, then brandy again, and it goes back and forth 2-4 times as it settles. This is a surprising event while drinking and it really makes you want to go back for more.

If you’re looking for a diversion from the standard summer cocktails, you might want to give this a try.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 8/10

La Jolla

1 1/2 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Creme de Banane
1/4 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
(Optional Orange Peel Garnish)

Shake liquid ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

“I keep wanting to put in ‘i’ before the ‘a’ in Jolla”

Au Currant Sidecar

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 with 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
Granulated Sugar
Lemon Wedge
Lemon Twist

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.

Au Currant Sidecar

“Au Perfection!”

Piranha Club Initiation

This is a great example of a very STUPID drink! The only way a drink like this will impress your friends is if they’re looking for the cocktail equivalent of a bottle of knockout drops. That said this IS a surprisingly well balanced cup of citrusy rum.

A visual spectacle (as any layered drink is) the Piranha Club Initiation (or just The Initiation) certainly seems like a “dare” awaits you for your first sip. With the aroma at the front of your choice dark rum, you can only imagine the layers of flavor to come. Deciding to go with a Black Seal over my usual Kraken, you start with a strong and rich rum flavor and move to a smooth citrus blend with a sweet finish inviting you back for more (which isn’t a good idea at all). Overall it’s actually a fairly well balanced drink if not a little strong on the edges (and in the middle too for that matter).

The Initiation is actually worth a try for it’s great blend of rum and juice…provided you don’t drink more than one of them in a night.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 8/10
Overall Rating: 8/10

Piranha Club Initiation

1 1/2 oz 151 Rum
1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
3/4 oz Blue Curacao

1 1/2 oz Sweet/Sour Mix
Fill with Orange Juice
3/4 oz Dark Rum

Straight build in an iced tumbler. Float the dark rum on top.

“You’re in!”

Straw House Hummer

Figured it was about time I got around to posting this one. This is a leftover from about 4 months ago when I was planning on doing another “blended cocktails week.” However I instead just made this for 4 days straight, because it was just that good! (Glad I wrote down my tasting notes).

A wonderfully blended and sweet drink, this one comes very close to perfect. My recipe book calls for a whipped cream and banana garnish, but honestly I feel it kinda ruins it a little that way.

For this cocktail you are greeted with a wonderful rum and banana aroma. First taste (it may be hard to pick it out) starts with citrus and sweet then moves to a creamy rum on your mid palette. After just a second or so you’re lead straight into a dominant banana flavor with subtle amaretto on the finish. This drink is absolutely worth making! For yourself or a crowd I highly recommend checking this one out!

Straw House Hummer

1 1/4 oz Light Rum
3/4 oz Creme de Banana (Torani Banana Syrup Used)
3/4 Amaretto
1 Whole (Peeled) Banana
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Sweet/Sour Mix
3/4 oz Dark Rum

Blend all ingredients except the dark rum with a cup of ice. Pour into a Pint (or other tall) glass. Float dark rum (Kraken Preferred) on top. Optional garnishes: Banana Slice and Squirt of Whipped Cream

"mmmmmmmmm"

“mmmmmmmmm”

Bourbon Slush

Yes, ok there’s tons of Bourbon Slush recipes out there, but I doubt you’ve ever had one like this! Instead of something from one of my regular cocktail books this is an old family recipe.

Sweet, a little sour, and a whole lot of bourbon this drink is the perfect summer drink for a crowd. You can’t make these in a smaller batch so get out a solid gallon tub to make this in! I’d talk more about the taste, but it’s just something you have to try for yourself. FYI though, don’t waste good bourbon on this, the cheap stuff works just fine.

Bourbon Slush

1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Can (6 oz) of Frozen Orange Juice
3/4 Can (9 oz) of Frozen Lemonade
2 Cups of Hot Tea
2 Cups of Bourbon
6 Cups of Water

Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Be sure that sugar and juice concentrate have all dissolved. Freeze overnight. Scoop out with a spoon or ice cream scoop into the glass of your choice. (Optional) Tops with Coke or another soft drink of your choice (Sprite and Ginger Ale are great options). Garnish with Orange Slice and a Cherry.

*Note do not use liquid or fresh juices. It’s designed to work with frozen concentrated juices.

Bournbon Slush

“Summer time turkey (and some hidden Evan Williams)”

Mediterranean Freeze

Today’s blending cocktail is probably my favorite thus far for the week. The Mediterranean Freeze is an interesting color, but is well complemented by the garnishes. The opening aroma is very orange-y making for a very inviting drink. It starts off with the taste of a basic screwdriver (vodka and OJ), then moves to a sour citrus, then finishes with a subtle melon that keeps you going back for more. I wouldn’t say that the peach schnapps is lost in this drink, but it does lend itself to the overall sweetness in the first few sips. This is really solid blending cocktail and worth making again, perhaps in a larger quantity for a party.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 2-3/10
Overall Rating 9/10

Mediterranean Freeze

1 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Midori
1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
2 oz Sweet/Sour
3 oz Orange Juice
Orange Slice and Cherry

Blend liquid ingredients with ice, pour into a pint glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

Med. Freeze

Chilly!

Slipped Disk

Well this is one of those cocktails that can be described as “everything but the kitchen sink.” The drink actually doesn’t have much of an aroma which starts off very deceiving. The drink starts off like snow cone…sweet and icy, you’re then greeting by the wonderful mixing of rums, and you’re left with a complex mixing of juices, and liqueurs. The Grand Marnier and Amaretto are very subtle in this drink, but they are there. If you weren’t told about them you might just say “oh that tastes like spiced rum,” but when you recognize the flavors in the drinks aftertaste you’ll want to go back for more!

Alcohol Taste Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 9/10

Slipped Disk

1 1/4 oz Gold Rum
1 oz Spiced Rum
3/4 oz Amaretto
3/4 oz Grand Marnier

1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Sweet/Sour
1 oz Coconut Cream Syrup
1 oz Pineapple Juice

Blend all ingredients with ice. Pour into a large pint, or 3-4 short glasses.

Slipped Disk Cocktail

“Drink this too fast and you might just slip a disk”