Cocktail-a-Day

This is my grand experiment with cocktails.

Ginger cognac sidecar

I bought some ginger brandy the other day and I’ve been looking for an excuse to use it. I found this recipe for a cognac and ginger sidecar and got inspired.

I grabbed the brandy and an inexpensive, but tasty cognac that I had lying around and mixed them together with some lemon juice. The first version of the drink was too heavy on the lemon juice, so I added more brandy and cognac to even it out.

The end result was good, but not great. It would have been much better if I had time to make a ginger-infused simple syrup or just add a little fresh ginger into the mix.

Here’s the recipe:

2 oz Marett Cognac

3/4 oz Leroux ginger-flavored brandy

1/2 oz lemon juice

Mix in a shaker and serve in an old-fashioned glass.

A Becherovka weekend

My friend Katherine and I made it our goal a couple weekends ago to come up with a cocktail that features Becherovka, a Czech liqueur that is best described as tasting like Christmas.

Katherine and I studied in Prague and had our fair share of Becherovka. It’s everywhere there. I’d often see old ladies buying a Becherovka shot at 9 a.m. on my way to class.

Though we drank a lot of Becherovka in Prague, we only had it in shot form. There has to be a way to turn it into a cocktail, we thought.

We made two different cocktails over the course of a few days.

The first was called the Existential Hero. It was the best by far because it had a ton of ingredients that balanced out the intense flavor of the Becherovka.

Here is the recipe, which we adapted from one we found here.

1 oz. silver tequila

1 oz. Bacardi or other light rum

1 oz. Cointreau

1 oz. Becherovka

1 oz lime juice

a dash of Disarono

Mix in a shaker and serve in an old-fashioned glass.

The second cocktail we made is called the Red Moon. The original recipe calls for black current juice, but we couldn’t find any so we replaced it with tart cherry juice.

Here’s the recipe, which we adapted from one we found here.

2 oz Becherovka

5 oz tart cherry juice

1 oz club soda

This was pretty good, but not great. I found that it’s better with more Beckerovka and less cherry juice. Feel free to play around with the proportions. It’s a nice summer drink. But I tend not to love cocktails that rely too much on juice for flavor.

Corpse Reviver #2

I haven’t posted in a while. But I’ve certainly been drinking.

Last week, I had my friends Kyle and Darren over to try out a new cocktail.

It’s called the Corpse Revive #2. I’d recommend it to anybody who is looking for a summer cocktail, but wants to avoid something too sugary and sweet.

But a quick warning: it’s very boozy. I personally love boozy drinks, but if you don’t, this one probably isn’t for you.

The recipe calls for Lillet blanc, which I wrote about here. It adds a nice light flavor to the drink.

Here’s the recipe I used, which I adapted from one I found in Imbibe magazine.

1 ounce Hendrick’s gin

1 ounce Cointreau

1 ounce lemon juice

1 ounce Lillet blanc

About a half ounce of Herbsaint (or absinthe)

Mix in a shaker and serve in a martini glass with a peel of orange.

The Hillside Blossom at Marvin

It’s officially summer! And that means it’s time for light, fresh cocktails.

To celebrate the season, I went to Marvin with a friend earlier tonight to try a few things.

After some hemming and hawing, I decided on the Hillside Blossom. According to Marvin’s menu, it is made with St-Germain (an elderflower liqueur I recently bought), Grgich Hills Fume Blanc (a dry white wine), Cocchi Aperitivo Americano (an aperitif wine that is apparently quite rare) and Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters.

Here’s a horrible cellphone picture. Excuse the poor quality; I’m working on finding a better way to document my cocktail exploits.

hillside

The Hillside Blossom is exactly what I’m looking for in a summer cocktail: it’s light and sweet, but bitter and tangy at the same time thanks to the grapefruit bitters.

It even inspired me to incorporate an aperitif wine into my next cocktail experiment.

I happened to have picked up some Lillet Blanc last week. Lillet Blanc is a white aperitif wine and it’s everywhere this time of year.

I haven’t decided what I’m going to use my Lillet Blanc for yet, but I’m leaning toward making the Corpse Reviver #2.

It combines some of my favorite things: absinthe, cointreau and gin. And it calls for a splash of Lillet Blanc, along with lemon juice and an orange slice. I haven’t made it yet, but it looks like the perfect summer drink — light, but not too light; fruity, but with a kick of absinthe to round it out.

We’ll see how it goes.

Rocky green dragon

I got myself some green Chartreuse and cognac at Schneider’s on Capitol Hill last week and I’ve been dying to use them.

From my research, I knew that they are often used together in cocktails. I found a recipe on CocktailDB — the so-called “Internet Cocktail Database” — that looked good.

And it really, really was. I’d say it’s probably the best cocktail I’ve ever made at home. It just goes to show you that targeted investments in a few expensive ingredients can pay off.

It’s a solid cocktail (very strong), but it has a nice herbal flavor from the green Chartreuse. Goes down smooth.

rocky green dragon

Ingredients:

  • Hendrick’s gin
  • Green Chartreuse
  • Marett Cognac

Recipe:

Mix three ounces of gin, 2.25 ounces green Chartreuse and 2.25 ounces Marett Cognac in a shaker. Pour into a chilled martini glass.

Mint-rhubarb martini

I bought mint and rhubarb bitters on a recent trip to Boston, but haven’t figured out a good way to use them yet. I thought they might be good in a vodka martini.

martini rhubarb

Big mistake.

The mint bitters (Fee Brothers) totally dominate the martini. It tasted more like candy than a cocktail. I couldn’t taste the rhubarb bitters, mostly because I have no idea what rhubarb tastes like.

All in all, it was drinkable, but I think I would have preferred a regular old vodka martini. Sometimes less is more.

rhubarb ingredients

Ingredients:

  • Mint bitters
  • Rhubarb bitters
  • Agnostura Bitters
  • Vodka (Skyy)
  • Sweet vermouth (Stock)

Recipe:

3 parts vodka

1 part vermouth

A dash of each bitters

Pour into shaker and shake.

Serve in chilled martini glass

Welcome…

So, this is my cocktail blog. Inspired by the beautiful liquor shelf that my father built me, I decided to try something new.

I’ll post pictures of the cocktails I make (no, it won’t be every day as the title of my tumblr suggests) and write a short review. Some of them will certainly fall flat. But hopefully some will be great too.

I’ve stocked my liquor shelf with the basics and have added some special treats over the last couple months, including a bunch of bitters, green Chartreuse, Lillet Blanc and Pernod.

Liquor shelf