March 28, 2015

Shark


Back in October I visited PDT in New York and spend a brilliant evening at the bar watching Jeff Bell work and talking to a lot of very nice bar guests.

The visit had been planned well in advance and I knew exactly what my first drink was going to be: Shark.

My own take on this mix of Tiki and The Dark Ages of Mixology involves a homemade green Curacao and golden rum instead of butter infused rum.

Recently I tasted a butter infused cocktail in Copenhagen made by Sune Urth at No. 2. His methode leaves a completely clear liquid with no oily sheen on the surface. Until I master this proces I won't fat wash any booze.

Perhaps my changes to John DeBary's recipe are big enough to warrant a new name to the Shark, but the only sharklike creatures in the waters around Denmark are called Porbeagle in English (and has an equally unsexy name in Danish), so I hope I'm forgiven for keeping the name.

  • 4,5 cl golden rum - I used Appleton V/X
  • 1,5 cl over proof white rum - I used Wray and Nephew
  • 1,5 cl fresh pineapple juice
  • 2 cl fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cl Frangelico
  • 1 cl homemade green Curacao (or blue or how about purple? Find the recipe and explanation here)
  • 0,75 cl heavy cream
  • 0,75 cl simple syrup
  • Dash Elemakule Tiki Bitters
Measure everything into a shaker, shake well with ice and strain into low ball glass over plenty of crushed ice. Garnish with sprig from pinapple top and striped straw.


March 16, 2015

Bananas


Have I gone b...? Well just a bit. I am old enough to remember, that bananas were once a priced fruit in Denmark.

During the second world war they were completely absent from the market, and when the first banana boat arrived i November 1945 it was front page headline news. A sign that the war really was over.

No, I a, not old enough to have actually lived through that, but I remember my parents telling me about it. And I remember my father pointing out the huge warehouses that turned green bananas yellow.

All of this to say, bananas are kind of sacred to me: Even when they are old and brown you find a use for them. That is why I made some banana salt caramels a few days ago, I was afraid of wasting bananas.

And those caramels. Yes, there is both butter and cream in caramels but first and foremost there is sugar. So a caramel could be the sweet in an Old Fashioned. Right?

Laura from Sass & Gin have set this months challenge in Mixology Monday. She wants us to make the pater familias of cocktails, or as she puts it in her announcement post:

So, here's the challenge: We will be sticking to the traditional ratios of spirit, bitters and sugar, but I'm challenging you to step outside the box with your selections. In addition, how will it be chilled or garnished? Do you want to add a secondary spirit or rinse? Go to town!

I have previously mixed the Bananarac and know that banana and whiskey work together, but since Laura asked us to go to town I decided to change the base spirit. Behold the Bananas:

  • 4.5 cl Creme de Mezcal - I used Del Maguey
  • 0.75 cl banana liqueur - I used Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 2 homemade banana salt caramels - a dark simple syrup would work too.
  • 2 dashes of Eucalyptus bitter
Place the caramel in a shaker or stirring glass, add the banana liqueur and bitter and muddle a bit to get as much of the caramel dissolved in the liquid as you have patience for. The add remaining ingredients and stir with ice until well cold.

Strain into old fashioned glass over one big or two medium ice cubes. Garnish with a bit of fresh banana.

March 13, 2015

Winter Goodbye


Spring is in the air in Denmark, time to clear out the old winter greens and air out the house.

I'll leave the latter for later because right now I'm taking an early cocktail hour with a cocktail that completely surprises me.

Having looked at a gradually more sorry looking cauliflower in my fridge for a week with not devine inspiration for it's use I finally ran it through my juicer and got a vibrant, pale, milky juice with a very complex flavour.  It is both peppery, sweet and nutty.
 
I decided to mix it with summer flavours - since spring is the average of those two seasons ;) - and my old all season favorite: Gin.
  • 6 cl gin - I used Tarquin's
  • 0.75 cl banana liqueur - I used Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 1.5 cl lime
  • 3 cl fresh cauliflower juice
Add the ingredients to a shaker, fill with ice and shake hard. Strain into a cocktail coupe and garnish with a slice of lime.

February 27, 2015

Coral Snake


Time for some blogloving - this cocktail is the work of JFL of Rated R cocktails.

Since I first saw the Coral Snake, I knew I wanted to make it, I also knew I wanted to change a single thing: The ratio of the coffee syrup to the cinnamon syrup. I am simply not a cinnamon person.

So here is my very slight twist on a masterful cocktail:
  • 4,5 cl golden rum - I used Mount Gay
  • 1,5 cl over proof rum - I used Lemon Hart 151
  • 2 cl lime juice
  • 2 cl blood orange juice 
  • 1 teaspoon white creme de cacao - I used Bols
  • 1,5 cl coffee syrup - (I cooked 0,5 dl sugar with 0,5 dl water and 1 teaspoon of good coffee, let it steep for 20 minutes, strained and cooled)
  • 0,75 cl cinnamon syrup - same technique as above 1 teaspoon good, ground cinnamon substituted for the coffee.
  • 1 dash orange bitter.
Shake with plenty of ice and pour into a tall glass, garnish with a snake cut from the rind of the orange - or a gummy snake.

Cheers JFL! 
(And next time I may just make it without the cinnamon syrup at all, the cocoa and coffee goes so well with the citrus and the rum - but that is just me the not-cinnamon person)

February 17, 2015

Smoky Martini


After a morning of literally hunting for a Tiki-village hidden in the woodlands just down the road I returned to discover Mixology Monday was..... yesterday.

Oh, the humanity! I thought it wasn't until next week but I did not panic, I knew exactly what I wanted to make for this most interesting of challenges, and only hope it is still Monday somewhere on the globe - preferably right around our gracious host Dagreb of NihilUtopia (just the best name for a boozeblog!).

Dagreb wanted us to make a: That's not quite a martini! Here are his thoughts:

A Telecaster’s not an Esquire. A Melody Maker’s not a Les Paul Jr. A Marauder ain’t a Crown Vic. A Blue Moon is no Martini… well, almost. Take away the dash to a quarter ounce of Creme Yvette and we’re left with gin (a must!), dry vermouth, and orange bitters. That’s a Martini! It’s at least one canonical Martini anyway. This month’s Mixology Monday theme is that which is almost, but not quite, a Martini. Perhaps there are dashes (or more) of a liqueur (or two) added to the basic structure. Perhaps a Fino Sherry (or other fortified/aromatized wine) is standing in for vermouth. Maybe there’s Oxygene instead of bitters? Gin, certainly! Use your imagination! Use your library! Make a Martini, that’s wearing a hat! 

For the first time in a very long time, I just wanted to make a tried and tested recipe - no improvement, no personal mark, just a nice Smoky Martini:

Since I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep (it's still not midday in Denmark) I made a small one:

  • 5 cl gin - I used a sample of Ophir - an orientally spiced gin.
  • 1 cl Ardbeg 10 y.o.
  • Dash of Bitter Truth celery bitters
  • a twist of blood orange peel
Stir gin, whiskey and bitters over ice, strain into nice glass and garnish with the twist (cut it over the cocktail, so the fragrance and oils hit the drink).

And the Tiki-village? Found it! Actually it's a small scale replica of a Balinese village, build in the 1930's by an eccentric millionaire in what was back the a very remote corner of this country. I imagine he had some lovely parties there.  Or perhaps not, it might just have been en ethnographic stunt.

I stopped and asked an elderly gentleman if he knew where it was, he had never heard of it in spite of having been connected to the area his whole life.  



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January 27, 2015

Round Up MxMo XCIII Blue

If for some reason you browser can't handle this go here for original. (Update Wednesday January 28th: New entries added at the bottom)

January 26, 2015

Blugu

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday is Blue, I can't complain about it because I picked it and put the goal posts as far apart as I possibly could in my announcement post.

January needs a bit of color – or perhaps the month after all the holiday mania makes you feel…blue? Either way this month’s Mixology Monday is a chance to live those emotions out. You can dazzle us with a brilliant blue drink or you can share that blue feeling with a melancholic drink.
Blue has been predicted as a new cocktail trend several times in recent years… But any mixer of blue drinks is faced with a bit of a dilemma as there is nothing “natural” about E133 – the most common of blue food colors: Do I really want to mix chemicals into my prefect mixture of fresh juices and good booze? Feel free to interpret blue as freely as you wish – if natural is the way you want to go blueberries, violets, cornflower or red cabbage could be good ingredients to work with.


My own entry this month started with the blue curacao I started 21 days ago. This recipe was my inspiration, but not one I followed.

I started with three different oranges: A navels orange, a Bergamot and a Seville orange. It would probably be more correct to say three different citrus fruits, the Bergamot my be in the lemon family.

I put them in a jar with one whole split vanilla bean, eight cardamon pods, one star anise and a bit of extra fresh peel from half a Bergamot I had lying around. I added 3 dl sugar and the filled the jar with aquavit and brandy in the ratio 4:1. The aquavit was a mild tasting brand without much dill or caraway.

I shook the jar daily for a week until the sugar was dissolved and then today after about 25 days I broke into the jar. Literally - the lid was stuck - and filtered the resulting orange liqueur through two different sieves.

Then came the moment, when I was ready to add the E133 blue food coloring. My glass bottle was rinsed out with boiling water and filled with about half the orange liqueur.  Everything was ready. Except me: No reading glasses. I reach for a bottle of color, poured and was very surprise to see a deep warm green color.

Well, guess what - green food color will do that!

Good thing I still had half the orange liqueur left. Second attempt was a succes: A deep blue color. I can dilute it with water for a lighter color and less alcohol, I will do this as needed.

To test this new marvel of a cocktail ingredient I settled on the footprints of a Pegu.  Behold the Blugu:
  • 6 cl gin - I used Bulldog
  • 2 cl blue curacao - I used my homemade undiluted
  • 2 cl white grapefruit juice
  • 1 cl banan liqueur - I used Giffard<
Measure everything into a shaker, fill with ice and shake good and hard. Strain into cocktail coupe and enjoy.







    January 11, 2015

    MxMo XCIII: Blue

    January needs a bit of color - or perhaps the month after all the holiday mania makes you feel.....blue?

    Either way this months Mixology Monday is a chance to live those emotions out.

    You can dazzle us with a brilliant blue drink or you can share that blue feeling with a melancholic drink ?

    Blue has been predicted as a new cocktail trend several times in recent years, and I have seen it on several menus, but more as a ironic statment than wholeheartedly love. I will say however that the Shark I had this October at PDT tasted like love to me.

    But any mixer of blue drinks is faced with a bit of a dilemma as there is nothing “natural” about E133 - the most common of blue food colors: Do I really want to mix chemicals into my prefect mixture of fresh juices and good booze.

    Feel free to interpert blue as freely as you wish - if natural is the way you want to go blueberries, violets, cornflower or red cabbage could be good ingredients to work with.

    Me? I just started my homemade blue curacao - as seen in the photo above. And I am prepared to go all in with E133.

    Here's how to play:

    • Find or develope a recipe that demonstrates your take on the theme of blue
    • Make the drink and then post the recipe, a photo, and your thoughts about the drink on your blog, tumblr, or website or on the eGullet Spirits and Cocktails forum.
    • Include in your post the MxMo logo and a link back to both the Mixology Monday and Ginhound sites. And once the round-up is posted, a link to that summary post would be appreciated.
    • Provide a link to your submission in the comment section here, tweet me at @husejer, or send an email to andreadoria56-at-gmail.com.
    • The due date is Monday, January 26th and as I am in Copenhagen, Denmark I will interpret it as before midnight here. If your late send me and email, and I will include your entry in the round-up.

    December 27, 2014

    Universal Soldier

    On one hand this drink is a failure, on the other it is rather tasty.

    It's a failure because I wanted it to be clear to show off the lemon flavored cocktail sugar and the sour armyman that my friend brought me back from her first trip to the US.

    So I learned the hard way that even 1/4 oz or 0.75 cl lemonjuice is enough to make a cocktail cloudy.

    Other than that the taste is quite close to Tom Walker's amazing Maid in Cuba which blew me away two Tales of the Cocktails away.

    And yes it's named after Buffy Sainte-Marie's song - who by the way also co-wrote Mr. Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes' big hit Up where we Belong </showingoffwithuselesstrivia>
    • 6 cl white rum - I used Plantation Three Star
    • 0.75 cl clear creme de menthe - I used Tempus Fugit Spirits Creme de Menthe Glaciale
    • 0.75 cl lemon juice
    • 6 cl clear cucumber water - I used Qcumber 
    Shake everything with ice and strain into lowball glass with a rim of yellow cocktail sugar. Add a green sour armyman. 

    December 15, 2014

    The Banker


    This month's MxMo theme remedies a great oversight in my bar cabinet: The complete absence of any kind of apple based spirit.

    So thank you Frederic for sending me shopping. Our host describe the theme in his announcement post this way:
    Apples have been an American booze staple with Johnny Appleseed as its symbolic hero. John Chapman became that legend by planting apple tree nurseries across the northern Appalachia and the Midwest. He did not choose grafting techniques to reproduce sweet edible ones, but bred them to make sour apples perfect for cider and applejack. Michael Pollan in The Botany of Desire proclaimed, “Really, what Johnny Appleseed was doing and the reason he was welcome in every cabin in Ohio and Indiana was he was bringing the gift of alcohol to the frontier. He was our American Dionysus.” Apple products began to enter into the mixed drink literature in the 19th century with the Stone Fence appearing in Jerry Thomas’ Bartender Guide and got quite refined by the end of the century such as the Widow’s Kiss in George Kappeler’s Modern American Drinks. Indeed, apples have found their way into modern cocktails via Calvados, applejack, sparkling and still cider, apple butter, and muddled apple.
    That got me thinking. Mainly on how come Denmark, which prides it self on it's apples, never made booze from them. I'm sure households enjoyed cider back in the day, but no booze and no industry.

    We do have a great selection of fresh apple juices but that is about it.

    My drink - The Banker - is a tribute to a good friend and great barman - Henrik Steen Petersen of the sadly now closed Moltkes Bar Speakeasy in Copenhagen.

    He happens to have a background in banking. It's a great combination. He is very meticulous with his work, I take that to be part of his banking skills.

    But since he left banking to work with people instead of money he has a genuine grasp on the concept of hospitality.

    I know that he likes Laird's Applejack, I hope he likes this drink:
    • 6 cl applejack- I used Laird's
    • 2 cl raspberry syrup - I cooked a 1:2 in favor of the raspberry juice syrup from frozen berries from my garden
    • 1 cl Fernet Branca
    Shake the ingredients over ice and then strain into an Old Fashinoned glass over a huge cube of ice.