The Vesper is arguably the best martini you’ve never had. It’s origin is thanks to Ian Fleming’s famous character James Bond, in the 1953 Novel (and 2006 Film) Casino Royal. As Bond himself describes it the drink contains: “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”
Now unfortunately for us Kina Lillet hasn’t been in production since the mid 1980s, and Gordons Gin has also changed since then as well (and is now known for being fairly low end). Bond also usually requests a Russian Vodka, which personally I’m not a fan of. So, for a modern Vesper it’s best to stick with your favorite of the harder spirits, and pick yourself up a bottle of Lillet Blanc. The remaining instructions hold true making for a truly classy cocktail.
The drink straight out of the shaker will be a cloudy white, but eventually will turn clear as it hits the air and settles. The thin waft of a lemon peel (best used a kitchen peeler for) brings a distinct lemony aroma to the nose. On the front of your palette you’re greeted with refreshing gin flavor, a lemon and Lillet hit you quickly after that, and you’re finished with a slight burn from the vodka (depending you your choice you may get a smoother flavor). This cocktail I’d say depends quite highly on the quality of your ingredients. Granted I’m using a mild American Style Gin here as well as a cheaper American Vodka, so the flavor profile will reflect the Lillet and Lemon more than the vodka and gin. If you’re looking for a stronger flavor try mixing with Beefeater or Bombay for the gin, and/or Boyd & Blair, Kettle One, or Absolut, for the vodka.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7.4/10
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Vodka
1/4 oz Lillet Blanc
Shake all with ice. Pour into a chilled cocktail or coupe glass. Squeeze lemon peel over drink (express the oils) and drop it in.
“Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,” said Leiter
So recently I picked up a set of 4 pints with laser etched designs of the popular series Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: Legend of Korra. With these new glasses in my set I was inspired to design 4 drinks that embodied the franchise. The first in this set (today’s cocktail) is a spin on the classic long island iced tea.
In addition to the recent glassware I found myself buying a bottle of Pimm’s No. 1 Liqueur, which in retrospect was a terrible idea. Pimm’s tastes like flat cola and cheap vodka, and not in a good way. However in having it on hand it allowed me to impart the cola flavor without the unnecessary fizzy element. I also thought I’d be spending more time refining this, but I honestly don’t think it needs any more work. Sometimes you just get lucky and design something spectacular the first time around!
The cocktail itself imparts a unique yellow-green color, not unlike a generic green tea and the aroma is citrus with a hint of melon. The drink starts sweet, moves to sour and a little lemon, and finishes with an alcohol burn (but surprisingly not much of one). If you’re looking to use up some Pimm’s as I was, why not give this long island ice tea variant a try. However, I wouldn’t buy the Pimm’s just for this. Instead leave a can of cola open overnight, then use that the next day.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Alchohol Taste Rating: 6/10
Uncle Iroh’s Pai Sho Earth Tea
3/4 oz Light Rum
3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Blended Whiskey
1 1/2 oz Midori
3/4 oz Pimm’s No. 1
Top with Lemonade
Fill a pint glass to the top with ice. Straight build ingredients in order, Stir well.
“Strong enough for a Firebender, Green enough for Ba Sing Se”
It’s been a while since I’ve posted back to back days, but I figured I was over due to get some new drinks up here to the blog.
I decided to go for this shot for two reasons. First that it’s been too long since I’ve had a shot, and second because I’ve had this sampler bottle of Godiva sitting for about 10 months that I haven’t touched.
So like any shot there isn’t much savoring to do and it’s a strong “down the hatch” flavor. The aroma is that of whatever vodka you choose with a slight hint of mint. The shot itself is a strong rush of mint flavor with a slight chocolate linger. The cherry garnish at the end really helps ease the mint and cool everything off. It’s not a bad little shot and with the Halloween nut-jobs already starting to plan their events 2 months early, this would could make a good starter for everyone at a party. Made in advance of course.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Alcohol Taste Rating: 9/10
1/3 Part Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1/3 Part Vodka
1/3 Part Peppermint SchnappsSpeared Cherry
Layer in a presentation shot glass (watch your ABV percentages for a proper layer). Spear a maraschino cherry and set it on top. Down in one gulp and eat the cherry.
“Take a bite!”
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
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.
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.
“Geez Mr. Lemon, why are you so bitter?”
Today’s drink is one of many drink variations, this one I actually didn’t even know I made before. Actually it was a blue tidal wave, this however is more of a brownish rum drink.
This version has a simple appearance which could be improved with a lemon wedge to bring some life into the drink. It has bits of citrus and rum aromas and tastes as well. It starts light with a sweet cranberry flavor. Mid palette you’ll get a sweet and sour rum taste, followed up by a tart spiced rum burn. It’s a decent drink, but certainly isn’t one of my favorites. It could be improved a bit with some bitters.
Tidal Wave (2)
1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Gold Rum
1/2 oz Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
1/2 oz Sweet and Sour
Shake and strain into a chilled rocks glass.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Alcohol Taste Rating: 7.5/10
“Look out! Oh, never mind it’s pretty plain.”
Well it still might be a little early for some (myself included) to be thinking about Halloween themed drinks, so this one will work for both the holiday and all the annoying Twilight fans out there that also drink (which is probably a very small area on a venn diagram).
The drink is simple enough. Berry aromas to start, with a sweet start and a slightly sour finish with a mild bite (no pun intended). It’s a good themed drink, but it’s lacking in a lot of complexity so there’s not much to talk about. It tastes a bit like each of the constituent parts. Perhaps a drop or two of grenadine after shaking could add a little more flair to the drink, if it doesn’t get lost in the rest of the “red.”
Alc. Rating: 5-6/10
Overall Rating: 6/10
1 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Chambord (or other raspberry liqueur)
1 oz. Rose’s Lime Juice
1 oz. Cranberry juice
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (Arm yourself with a stake and a garlic necklace).
“I vant to zack yaur blahd!”