April 18, 2014

Snow Ball

Of all the strange concoctions I have measured into a shaker the Snow Ball from the reprint of the 1935 edition of the Bar La Florida Cocktails wins hands down.

It's a mix of gin, creme de menthe, Parfait Amour and milk. Even stranger is the fact that the measurements are given as 1/3 each - not one third of an ounce or anything like that, so I just went with equal measures and hoped the creme de menthe would not overpower the other three ingredients.

It did but since I used the aptly named and super tasting glacial Creme De Menthe from Tempus Fugit it seemed fitting for a snowball or even a snow ball.

I do think that the milk to some extent pulls the drink together - both visually and taste wise. But the milk is also the weak point of the drink.

For the briefest moment in time - long enough to snap a picture thankfully - the drink looked drinkable but a short while later the booze split the milk leaving a translucent liquid in the bottom of the glass and curds on top.

I have few food hang ups and drank it regardless but it would be a disaster at a party or in a bar, so I wonder how they managed at El Foridita in Havana in 1935.

The milk I used was organic whole milk, perhaps a more processed milk will hold up better?
  • 1,5 cl gin
  • 1,5 cl creme de menthe
  • 1,5 cl parfait amour (I used Bitter Truth creme de violette - and I do know that Bols claims parfait amour is a purple curacao)
  • 1,5 cl milk
Shake everything over ice and strain into small glass - Nick and Nora type is good and just be thank full that this is a very tiny cocktail.

April 11, 2014

Colonial Gin and Tonic

I must admit Gin & Tonic is not a drink I fix myself often anymore. There are so many other cocktails and drinks I haven't tried yet, so I will rather spend my "booze budget" on them than the old familiar.

And I'm not talking about money, I'm talking about the amount of alcohol I allow myself to drink during a month. If I don't keep a tight budget one drink too easily leads to another and that is rarely a good thing.

Gin and Tonic and I have to some extend grown apart - I often find the taste a bit one dimensional.

Perhaps because I neglect to mix it with the same care I put into other drinks?

This Wednesday was international Gin and Tonic day however and Hendriks rekindled some of my old love by sending me a very nice little package. I couldn't resist and had a rare mid-week libation.

During my gentle gin-buzz I searched the interwebs for some good G&T-videos and found this, that shows how the reigning worlds best bartender Davis Rios mixes a 'gintonic' Spanish style.

A video that had me planning a fantasy trip to Barcelona for  amazing G&T's, including a visit to 41 Degrees for cocktails and bar foods the Adria way set to music.

And since the trips is all in my mind anyway why not visit Heston Blumenthal on the way home and taste one of his cucumber infused gin and tonics?

For some mysterious reason (clever product placement by spirits giants who have managed to turn the international gin and tonic day into booze lovers Mother's day, perhaps?) that very same day Gin Foundry's post about the Colonial Gin and Tonic popped up in my twitter-feed and I knew I had to mix it - actually cook it.

And what better time to do that than today?

I only tweaked it a little tiny bit.

Tonic reduction:
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 12 coriander seeds
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • The peel of one lemon and a quarter of a pink grapefruit
  • 4 thick slices of cucumber
  • 0.5 liter Fever Tree Indian Tonic
Put everything put the tonic in a heavy pot and crush it together with a pestle, add the tonic and cook for 15 minutes on a gently rolling boil. This will reduce the liquid to  0.30 liter - it will be very bitter, and I ended up adding a little simple syrup before I bottled it. I can't tell you how much, I just added a bar spoon at a time until it was to my taste.

After a quick trip to the freezer to cool the tonic down (well the tonic took the quick trip) I was ready to mix:
  • 6 cl Old English Gin - apart from the fact that I love this gin I figure it's closer to the gin used in the first G&T's.
  • 3 cl Tonic reduction
  • 1 cl lemon juice
  • Dash of rose tincture
  • 3 dashes angostura bitter
Everything in a shaker with ice and shake hard.

Then I have two suggestions:  Either strain into a icy cold stem glass - (use the winning method at the bottom of this post for quick cooling (and to find use for any cheap vodka in your bar)).

Or - and this is the path I chose - strain into a glass full of ice and some garnish - and top it off with a bit of Pellegrino Tonic Water for fizz and tonic balance.

Finally go here and stare at a must have G&T drinking vessel.

(Contrary to what it may look like, the only sponsored part of this post was the G&T box from Henricks on Wednesday - the rest is just the result of my love of name-dropping)

March 23, 2014

Spring has Sprung - MxMo

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday is a great one. Craig of A World of Drinks wants us to work with preserves. Or as he writes in his annoncement post:
The aim of the challenge is to go back to the days of the preserve, pick an ingredient, seasonal or not and treat it as if you won’t be seeing it again for quite some time. Syrups, sorbets, jam, shrubs and the like are all fair game, anything that will preserve the integral character of your favourite ingredient.
My absolutely only problem with it, is that there are very few fresh ingredients in this part of the world worth preserving at this time of year. However I did manage to lay my hands on three stalks of early and costly rhubarbs.

I've done quite a bit of mixing with rhubarb previously, like Rhubarb Rum Fizz, Balmy Rhubarb and Rhubarb Club but I realized I had never mixed it with aquavit.

So I started out by chopping the rhubarbs into pieces and adding them to a pan with some lemon juice, ground cardamom, whole black peppercorns, brown sugar, water and some vanilla.

The vanilla was what was available after turning a pod into a vanilla straw using this method from a video, I can't find anymore.

Once the rhubarb cordial was cooked, passed through a sieve and cooled off I was ready to mix:
  • 6 cl aquavit - I used Brøndum which is not that heavy on caraway but it's there
  • 1 cl Galliano 
  • 10 cl rhubarb cordial
Shake the ingredients over ice and then strain the cocktail into a double old fashioned glass over a huge ice cube. Serve with a natural vanilla straw.

March 7, 2014


A cocktail from the Savoy Cocktail I have been wanting to try out for a while. Basically since I read the comment: It will either cure Rattlesnake bite, or kill Rattlesnakes, or make you see them.

Since my unfortunate incident with too much lemon juice from test drinking two Penicillin cocktails prior to the last Mixology Monday I have been wanting to get back in the sour saddle.

The Rattlesnake while a sour is not that heavy on the lemon and since I had a hankering for Bananas Foster Beignets I figures they would act as great props: The spawn of the rattlesnake.

On top of all that the last couple of days a bizarre snake story has been unfolding in the Danish media. A many in a tiny village who had been asked to look after a mates considerable snake collection got fed up and started leaving the snakes - all constrictors - - in plastic containers in front of peoples houses during the night.

So far four of the five he has treated cruelly considering it's close to freezing at night have turned up.

They all looked dead when they were found, but a local snake rescue have manage to nurse them back to life. The owner was quoted on trying to warm one of them up on his warm belly. 

In honor of this guy I mixed myself a Rattlesnake.

The cocktail is actually very nice - a mix between a Sazerac and a Whiskey Sour.  It's surprisingly well balanced and so far the lemon has given me no trouble - perhaps the two beignets are to thank for that.
  • 5 cl rye whiskey - I used Old Overholt.
  • 1 cl lemon juice
  • 0.5 cl simple syrup
  • 1 egg white from a small egg
  • A spiff of Absinthe
Add the whiskey, lemon juice, egg white and simple syrup to a shaker and shake hard and long. Then add ice and shake hard again. Add a huge ice cube to a rocks glass coated with absinthe and then strain the cocktail over the ice. Garnish with a snake of lemon peel.

And the Bananas Foster Beignets? I followed this recipe - as I wanted them for a snack with the drink I did not make the Creme Anglaise but for a dessert that would be perfect - perhaps with a scoop of ice cream too.

February 21, 2014

All the Sours fit to print - MxMo LXXXII recap

I'm overwhelmed at the amount of drinks you have all mixed for this month's Mixology Monday. The theme was Sours with the added possibility of Fizzes and Daisies.

Few strayed from the world of the sours - but several tried new citrus or looked for alternative souring agents.

Thank you for playing - and thank you for widening my Sour-horizon, I will not want for a cocktail to try in the this category for at very long time. Also thank you to Fred for his work with keeping the party going.

And now for the line up:

Stew from 901Very Good Cocktails gave us the Amargo Agrio made with what he describes as a potable Angostura. Along with passion fruit, lemon and egg white he mixed a classic sour of this interesting sounding amaro.

Nick from The Straight Up took his cue from The Last Word and it's Fernet-brother Fernetaboutit - but he twisted it even further basing his Bittersweet Sour on rye whisky and going with orange juice and  Campari for the souring/bittering element. A very elegant composition from the look of it.

Our Playmaster Fred from Cocktail Virgin Slut offers us the Domino Sour. A cocktail based on both a hard to get rum and mezcal but also including both sherry and apricot brandy. As he describes it: There was a lot more going on here than a simple Rum Sour like a Daiquiri.

Doug of his currently renamed Tiki Blog (but otherwise know as the Pegu Blog) can say the same about his Regal Daiquiri with Creme Yvette. It is a reworked Donn Beach recipe and a very pretty drink involving an interesting technique: The straining of a flashblended drink.

The first ones to use an unusual souring ingredient are the BoozeNerds Shaun and Christa. They offer a side by side presentation of an Amaretto Sour with lemon and one with lactart. First they perfected Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Best Amaretto Sour in the World with gum syrup and maraschino  and then they mixed their perfected version with lactart only to find less foam, and a slightly unpleasant chalkiness. So lemon won this comparison.

A boozy sour with a syrup almost hinting at chai is how Elena from Stir and Strain describes her 5 spice Ti' Punch. It certainly looks and sounds like the perfect start to a dinner party.

Until I saw Jessica from One Martinis entry I never knew pink lemons existed. Her Blushing Beauty certainly is just that. A delicate looking gin sour with the clever use of Lillet and Drambuie to balance out the sour from the pink lemons. I fear that I now will spend the rest of my life longer for pink lemons.

Scott from Shake Strain and Sip manages to squeezes both Mixology Monday and Tiki Month into the glass with his Polynesian Sour. It's base is a spirit I have never heard of Okolehao distilled from the ti plant. He ends up with a pretty drink describe with a complex and strong taste with passion fruit, spiced clove, ti root, brandy notes, pineapple and tart lime.

A peanut butter and jelly whiskey sour. Laura of Sass & Gin made me laugh with her contribution: The Skippy. In a tribute to her childhood dog and her childhood favorite snack she uses cherry juice for the sour and peanut orgeat for the sweet in her whiskey sour. She has certainly convinced me to have a go at it.

FrogPrincesses from Tartines to Tikis uses pear shrub in her Vinegar Girl and in her interpretation of Toby Maloney’s Williams Fizz - the latter (pictured) being the first fizz of this MxMo.

Mike from Grow.Eat.Mix.Drink. who really wished the theme for MxMo this month was Hot Drinks settles for mixing a Caipirinha with kumquarts. His Ginger Kumquat Caipirinha has the added twist of ginger liqueur and looks very tasty.

Mike of DrinksBurgh plays around with the mighty MaiTai in his Eden Sour where two types of rums meets grenadine in a lovely wedding. I'm sure Doug will include it in his tiki round up of this MxMo.

Forrest from A Drink With Forrest let MxMo coincide with tequila Monday in his Beloved Fuzzy. Obviously mezcal based it also calls for lager and Torani Amer in a daring mixture.

Dagreb from Nihil Utopia revisits a cocktail that hold a special place in his repertoire. The Sloppy Joe is liquid Havana in a glass. I love how similar my own path to quality home mixing is: Tricks learned the hard way and a road paved with old vermouth and bad commercial products until you just get it one day.

Pear was the taste of choice for Stacy Markow when settling om a MxMo sour. Her Honey Pear Sour incorporates pear brandy, gin and maraschino in a beautiful Meyer lemon sour with the prettiest head of foam.

Joel from Southern Ash pulls out all the stops on his Balsourica. He uses homemade gin as well as homemade limoncello as well as lemon infused white balsamic vinegar. And I love his philosophy: When you have homemade limoncello, everything looks like a sour.

The good folks at e-gullet got a nice thread going for this MxMo with some lovely contributions. Rafa offers a few Daiquiris and his own Jacks Apple Trip with both citric and malic acid.

Plantes Vertes did two takes of a lovely sounding and looking Apple Cream Citrate. One made with gin and one made with genever and a reworked citrated for the second edition.

Heresfur worked with a product I've never come across before - Verjuice - which he coupled with cognac in a cocktail called Life Circle. He also offers a list of Ti' Puch to peruse.

A nimble rabbit is what Ian of Tempered Spirits bring to the party. There is an interesting story behind his Lapin Agile which is a twisted Applejack Rabbit. Elderflower is the sweet to lemon and orange juice in this Calvados based cocktail paying homage to a play by Steve Martin.

An all time favorite is Swizzlestick's entry. And what a great one it is: The Pisco Sour with some cool Angostura Art.

Are there competitions in Angostura Art like Latte Art I wonder?

Scraps from ScrapsOfLife uses pomegranate as the souring ingredient in her pretty Pomegranate Star Sour which also includes one of my favorite spices: The star anise. Such a simple and elegant mix.

The Putneys from Putney Farm do have a way with fotos - I just love the picture of their contribution The Hanalei Sour. It just plain makes me thirsty which is the mark of a quality cocktail photo in my humble opinion. And reading through the list of ingredients for this tiki daiquiri (are you taking notes Doug?) does not make me any less thirsty: Hawaiian rum, coconut sugar, fresh pineapple and lime. Why do I even live in Denmark when there is a place on earth where a drink like that can be assembled from local products?

As luck would have it the very next entry is also tied to Hawaii as JFL from Rated R Coctails goes volcanic on us. Martinique Rhum and Koloa Dark Hawaiian Rum are at the base of his tangerine creation Sol Volcanique. I think it's time I figure out how to get a bottle of Koloa because it sure inspires some lovely drinks.

The Mix Lab is inspired by David Wondrich and mixed a Sirroco Mixture - a very nice looking and sounding mixture of cognac, lime and maraschino.

BarFlySF took their cue from what is on offer at their local farmers market: Blood Orange. They mixed a bloody whiskey and a bloody pisco sour with the juice from the fresh fruit and some homemade grenadine.

I am green with envy over the pretty blue Margarita Ceccotti from Bartending Notes dangles in front of my eyes. Also some great advice in how to get that perfect balance in your drink.

Finally my own contribution. As only one other person did, I strayed from the sour and into the fizz. The Ramos Gin Fizz is fun to play with and rhubarb is such a traditional souring ingredient in countries without easy access to citrus, so I give you the Rhubarb Rum Fizz.

And that conclude this months round up. Do drop me a mail if I overlooked your contribution, got something wrong about your cocktail or used the wron photo.

See you all back at the MxMO LXXXIII.

February 17, 2014

Rhubarb Rum Fizz

I spent Sunday in training camp trying to figure out what sour I wanted to make for Mixology Monday. As the theme of Sours, Daisies and Fizzes is of my own making I figured for once I would stick to a recipe and made myself a Penicillin.

It's a drink I love - and have made previously. I still adore it's medicinal taste from the ginger, the honey and the peat from the float. However as I mixed number two to be absolutely sure it was going to be my contribution, I realized two things: I can't stomach two cocktails each containing 1 oz of lemon juice anymore and I don't do well with recipes for MxMo. (Realizing I'm too old for 2 ounces of lemon is almost as traumatic as being too old for raw onions, I might add.)

My mood turned further foul when my attempt to make souffléd potatoes - tasted them last year at French 75 in New Orleans when I was there for TOTC - failed spectacularly. Although I closely followed the steps shown in this video out of 11 potatoes two puffed slightly, the rest turned into very crisp rectangular potato chips. I had envisioned a brilliant picture of puffed potatoes and the golden-yellow Penicillin. (The reality is at the bottom of this post - I had to hide the potatoes behind the chipotle mayo and the cocktail)

So I decided to postpone my decision until today and drink some milk to settle my stomach.

And then this morning I knew what I wanted to make. A rum riff on The Ramos Gin Fizz with egg white and cream to mellow out the two types of citrus and some rhubarb soda and violet liqueur for taste and color. And for anyone new to The Ramos, this video is all you need to be in the know.

So I present the Rhubarb Rum Fizz (and then I close my blog as adviced by Doug over at The Pegu Blog but I hope he shows leniency when he reads of my sour troubles):
  • 4.5 cl white rum - I used Banks 5 Island
  • 1.5 cl lime juice
  • 1.5 cl lemon juice
  • 1.5 cl simple syrup
  • 6 cl cream
  • 0.5 egg white (my egg was huge)
  • Dash of violet liqueur - I used Bitter Truth's
  • Rhubarb Soda
Mix the first seven ingredient in a shaker - this is one of the few drinks I break out my Boston shaker for, as I feel I have more control over a cobbler with my short arms - start by dry shaking for as long as you can manage and then add the ice. Again shake as long and as hard as you can and then strain into a Collins glass or another tall glass. Finally add the Rhubarb Soda and enjoy.

Also remember to drink to Fred over at Cocktail Virgin Slut who keeps MxMo alive.


February 3, 2014

Mixology Monday No. 82, February 17th: Sours

Some of the most iconic cocktails are Sours. Of David Embury's core six cocktails two are sours: The Daiquiri and the Sidecar.

There is a reason for this: A perfectly balanced sour is a work of art. What has happened to the Margarita shows exactly what is at stake when mixes replace bartender skill.

For this month's MxMo I suggest that we test the sour to the limit: Are there citrus besides lemon, lime and grapefruit that works in a Sour? Is citrus the only possible souring ingredient? Could vinegar or other tart fruits or vegetables be used? Let's also include the Daisies and the Fizzes - that widens the playing field with eggs and whatever makes you fizz to play with.

Let's play with the garnish - or just take Jerry Thomas's advice from The Bon Vivant's Companion: In mixing sours be careful and put the lemon skin in the glass.

Here is how you play:
  • Find or create a recipe that somehow fits the definition of a Sour, a Daisy or a Fizz, then post the recipe, including a photo and your remarks, on your blog, tumblr, or website. If you lack one of those, feel free to post on eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
  • Include the MxMo logo in your post, plus links back to the Mixology Monday and Ginhound sites.
  • Let me know about your post before midnight on Monday night, February 17th by posting a link to your post in the comment section on this post or by sending me an email at andreadoria56 (at) gmail (dot) com.

January 22, 2014

Holmens Kanal Cocktailbar

On Friday my friend in I visited Holmens Kanal a new cocktail bar in the center of Copenhagen. I've had plenty of time since to write this review but every time I start I stop.

The reason is simple: I'm conflicted about this bar. It is certainly a very nice room: Dark wood, a generous bar, leather booths and elegant art deco wallpaper. But it's also a cliché. This is Copenhaven 2014 not New York in the 1920'ies.

I'm well aware that there are many people new to cocktails who will be attracted to the classic speakeasy look, but I long for the day that a new bar in Copenhagen looks like a new restaurant in Copenhagen - or even as avant garde as the new closed Gamsei in Munich in Germany.

Holmens Kanal is run by the people who own Salon 39 and Gilt - and since I like both of those bars very much I had high expectations.

Fortunately the cocktail menu is not dogmatic speakeasy as opposed to the decor. I ordered a Mai Tai and almost ran out of there when it was served.

It was pink - very pink as the photo proves - it's the Mai Tai on the right. And nothing say's I don't know my classics as a pink Mai Tai. The true color is yellow-green-brownish.

Which shows me as a huge hypocrite: On one hand I find the decor too traditional and on the other hand the cocktails not traditional enough.

It did however taste absolutely spot on: Tart, sweet, almondy and of good rum. My next to drinks where a completely simple Remember the Maine and a Pusser's Painkiller. The latter disappointed my friend more than it did me - she found it a bit watery.

Taking the price - about DDK 100 a drink which is not very expensive to a Dane in Copenhagen - into account it was some very nice cocktails.

But my visit to Holmens Kanal ran into the no longer existing canal the street is named after the moment the bar, which is housed in the ground floor of the oldest department store in Copenhagen, asked me to hand over my credit card as we ordered out second round.

We have experienced that before at K-Bar. I still don't like to be called a thief because I want more than one drink. (Update: That's how being asked to hand over my credit card for the bars keeping makes me feel - Holmens Kanal did not say: We think you may run out on the bill, so hand over your credit card.)

And considering how many people Holmens Kanal employs including a hostess who seats you and tell you goodbye as you leave I refuse to believe that many people manage to run out on their bill.

And considering that we could leave Holmens Kanal and walk into a nearby very busy steakhouse and "start" a much larger bill without handing over a credit card the praxis seems all the more absurd.

As we left I asked what I could do to avoid this praxis during our next visit, and was told: Nothing. Which simply means there will be no next visit.

January 19, 2014

Flyversjus - Pilot's highball

Generations of Danish women - and light drinkers - have entertained themselves in dance halls and through traditional lunch partys on this highball: Flyversjus.

Sjus is the Danish word for highball - from the German world for shot - so a sjus is a shot of booze mixed with soda.

Flyver is more tricky, as no one quite know how this mix of aquavit and lemon soda got it's name. It can mean either airplane or pilot.

First recorded use of the word Flyversjus is from 1937 but the way it was used in the sentence did not divulge the etymology. (scroll down for a picture of the old school Flyversjus line up)

When I read that the theme for this month's Mixology Monday is the highball, I knew I wanted to give Flyversjus a make over.

But I'll let our host Joel of Southern Ash explain his idea:

What is your favorite gin and tonic combination in the middle of summer?  Care to expound on the perfect bourbon for a bourbon and branch?  Find a new or obscure mixer that just fit with the end of your rum in the back of the bar? Maybe an ode to an under appreciated bar workhorse, like whisky and cola, deserves time in the spotlight?  Rediscover the joys of Irish Coffee in the snow and ice of winter?  Maybe you have a guilty pleasure at home when nobody is looking to ease you out of a long day. Your challenge is to give us a compelling post about a highball to ease into the New Year. Let’s give the Highball its due.
I could be completely wrong, but I think Flyver in connection with this drink means pilot - making this drink, the pilots highball.

It would make sense, that at a time where men where expected to drink beer and aquavit together - and lot's of it - whoever needed a less potent mix ordered a soda instead of the beer with the aquavit and then at some point just poured it into the soda and drank it that way.

Considering that drunk driving laws was not introduced in Denmark until the 1970, who knows if pilots could drink this and still fly airplanes?

For a new take on Flyversjus - I chose a dill aquavit, added a bit of yellow Chartreuse and mixed my lemon soda from fresh bergamot juice, rich simple syrup and seltzers:
  • 4,5 cl aquavit
  • 3 cl fresh bergamot juice (they are in season right now in Europe)
  • 0,75 cl yellow Chartreuse
  • 0,75 rich simple syrup (Bring twice the amount of sugar to water to a boil, stir until all sugar is dissolved and the cool it off)
  • Seltzers
Mix the first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until cold, pour over fresh ice into a tall glass and fill the glass with seltzer.

December 20, 2013


Some of my favorites are coming together in this cocktail: Cats and absinthe.

I'm far from the only one who sees a strong connection between the two. The brilliant poster for the endlessly fascinating Absinth Depot Berlin hangs over my chair and reminds me daily.

When Nick of The Straight Up announced anise as the theme for this month's Mixology Monday - I knew that I wanted to mix with absinthe even if that falls squarely in the playing it safe bracket.

Then when a good friend of mine send me an adorable picture (your see it at the end of the post) of her new kitten sniffing her cocktail and I suggested mixing one for the little one, my faith was sealed. The kitten is named Avalon - Ava for short.

The Ava is basically an absinthe sour:
  • 3 cl absinthe (mine is at a staggering 74 percent alcohol, if yours has a lower proof use 4,5 cl)
  • Juice from one seville orange - if you can't get them, don't make the drink.
  • 1/2 seville orange seeds removed and cut into four chunks
  • 1 table spoon organic sugar
  • 1 cl cherry liqueur - I used Frederiksdal New Nordic but Cherry Heering would work too
  • Seltzers
Put the chunks of the seville orange in the bottom of a shaker, add the sugar and the juice and muddle. Add the absinthe and ice and shake.

Fill a nice wine - or absinthe - glass with crushed ice, strain the cocktail, top with the seltzers and try to float the liqueur, mine immediately seeped into the drink.