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”
Today’s cocktail is a whiskey sour variant with a really interesting look! The New York Sour, is a very interesting name for a drink that builds on the classic whiskey sour but adds…red wine to it? That’s right, and it really delivers!
This is an impressive cocktail both in flavor and in visual presentation. The mysterious and inviting red float over the gold whiskey sour makes serving it a true pleasure in and of itself. The aroma mostly of your red wine with subtle citrus notes. Like with any layered cocktail the flavors come in multiple parts. For the first half of the drink you’ll experience a wine with a whiskey sour finish, and the second half of the drink will be a classic whiskey sour with a unique fruits element.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 9/10
New York Sour
2 oz Blended Whiskey
¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ Dry Red Wine
Shake whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice and strain into a chilled sour glass (or lowball). Float ½ ounce of dry red wine and garnish with a lemon slice.
“What’s that floating in the east river?”
So it’s been nearly 4 Months since you heard from me last and I thought it was about time for an update. Since early December I’ve been in the process of moving which as you may have guessed has put a damper on the bar considerably. I went from a strong 36+ bottle set, to a set of 1 (and some extras that no one uses anyway…like Campari.) In the process of moving from July to December I scaled back the home bar significantly, and now I’m starting from (near) scratch once again. The time in between however has allowed me to both learn and expand what I want this blog to contain.
While I started this blog with the intention of introducing a new cocktail every week, it has become more of an outlet for culinary creativity in the “craft cocktail” realm. My exploration of good and near perfect cocktails, has lead me to pursue a set of drinks that is both fine in its quality of ingredients, as well as in its creation. From about 2015 on it has been less about “new” drinks and more about ones that I feel are worth highlighting.
This concept of the “craft” cocktail is something that has stuck with me throughout though. Part of the artistry of the drink is more than just a new recipe, but also about the ingredients that you use. Subsequently one of my favorite YouTube channels – Common Man Cocktails expand their branding into a new channel called “The Craft Cocktail” There seems to be a trend of those that make cocktails, calling their art “craft” to mimic the exponential growth of the craft beer industry. That said, I think this blog is a unique reflection on that concept. In short I think a new tagline for the blog should be “Craft cocktaisl with an artist’s touch”
[Food for thought] But I digress…
Classic with a Twist
I want to talk briefly today about the garnishes in cocktail, specifically the use of mint or fruit in some drinks. I have found over time that I really relish the maraschino cherry, or lemon wedge in a cocktail, as it adds not only color and contrast to a drink, but a unique bit of sweetness before or after finishing the cocktail. Finishing a whiskey sour (as I type) and having an orange or lemon slice and a cherry to finish the drink feels oddly satisfying. Fruit garnishes go a long way to making a drink both presentable as well as making it more well rounded.
Sucking on a lemon peel, or eating the pulp of an orange can make the taste of a drink really come to life! The “artistry” of craft cocktails is more than just spirits and bitters, but the garnishes as well! Don’t forget my fellow mixologists, that the garnish can be just as important as which whiskey you choose in your sours.
Well I would be an idiot if I didn’t post some kind of green drink for St. Patrick’s Day, so here’s a little Mojito variation to quench your thirst. The Green Whiskey Mojito works with any kind of whiskey, but if you really want to be festive get some Irish Whiskey. In my stock I’ve only got Canadian so it will have to do. Just like a regular Mojito it’s got a strong minty and lime core flavor with a bubbly start to the palette. The biggest taste difference is that where you would be looking for a sweet undertone you get a more complex whiskey finish. The mint bitters I added here (mostly for color) round out the sweet to a slightly more bitter aftertaste.
Even if you’re not Irish, I bet you’ll enjoy this!
Green Whisky Mojito
1 oz Lime Juice (Fresh Preferred)
5 Sugar Cubes
6-8 Mint Leaves (Big ones!)
2 oz Whiskey
3-4 Dashes Fee Brother’s Mint Bitters (Or any green mint bitters)
Muddle bitters, sugar cubes, lime juice, and mint together in the bottom of a Collins glass. Add ice and Whiskey. Top with club soda. Stir gently until remaining sugar is dissolved.
“OOO Weeee Meee boy!”
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
Shake and strain all but sprite and lemon into a sour or cocktail glass. Splash sprite and garnish with a lemon wedge.
“Not overly fizzy either!”
Ever wanted a Whiskey sour that tasted a little sweeter? Well that’s the “Dog Sled” in a nutshell.
It’s good… but it’s a little too simple for my tastes, and the presentation leaves something to be desired.
1 1/2 oz Canadian Club Whiskey
2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine
Shake and strain into a chilled tumbler glass.
~Arf Arf Woof
Today’s cocktail of the week is a mellow classic that tastes great shaken and poured in a cocktail glass, or straight built in a rocks glass with ice.
1 1/2 oz Canadian Whiskey
1/2 oz Triple Sec
2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz sweet ‘n’ sour
Shake and Strain Into a Cocktail Glass OR Straight Build in an ice filled tumbler.