April 19, 2015

Pink Cadillac


My shameful cocktail secret hails from the longest running cocktailbar in Copenhagen outside of hotel bars. All you need to know to see the interior in your minds eye is the bar’s name: MexiBar.

Normally I would never admit, that I have partaken and even enjoyed a drink from the Dark Ages of Mixology, but Whitney of Tipicular Fixin’s leaves me with no choice with her MxMo theme: Drink of Shame:
So, you’re a certified, mixologist, craft-tender, bar chef, or fine spirit enthusiast…now. But, there was a time when you only ordered Long Island Iced Tea. Or, maybe you always made the Jello shots for your frat? Perhaps you’re the reason that your local had an Island Oasis machine for so long? Rye & Ginger? Vodka Seven? Someone was ordering these things. Your street cred would be ruined if you ordered or (gasp) served one now, but don’t you miss it, just a little? Wouldn’t you love to have one more Jolly Rancher? A chance to drink a mudslide without shame? We all made questionable drink choices in our past, the popular drinks from 1970 to the year 2000 were a cheap, sugary mess. Now is the time to resurrect your favourite drink from the time before modern Mixology. Give a new life to the drink… maybe you need to use fresh ingredients, or you can try elevating the spirits. Make everything from scratch or remove an offending ingredient. Do whatever you can to bring back and legitimize a drink you used to love. 
So let me introduce you to MexiBar: It opened sometime in the early 1990’s, it’s still running and must be be very close to it’s 25th anniversary.

The bar serves a few old classics made with great speed but no real love and many, many drinks of the 80’s variety with lot’s of vodka, cream, garishly coloured “fruit” juice and the garnish is often umbrellas and hanging monkeys.

For a few years that was the choice you had in Copenhagen if you didn’t want to go to a hotel bar to get a cocktail.

So we chose Mexibar. And regardless of how often I tried to make “good” choice when ordering at some point during the evening I started to drink Pink Cadillacs.

According to the bar menu it’s a mix of gin, vodka, Malibu, cream, grenadine, pineapple and orange juice topped off with bitter lemon.

So that’s what I had to work with.

Since I refuse to buy Malibu on the grounds of being a snob I left a good amount of fresh coconut squares steep in Plantation 3 Star white rum for 10 days.

I also decided to get a little more taste into the drink by using a good, clean dill aquavit instead of vodka. Homemade Grenadine, check, a decent bitter lemon, check, and of cause fresh juice. And to add to my overwhelming snobbery: Organic Cream.

Time to mix:
  • 3 cl gin - I used Tanqueray
  • 3 cl dill aquavit - I used D Argentum from Den Ny Spritfabrik - you could use vodka instead
  • 1,5 cl coconut rum - if using Malibu I would say up the amount of gin to 4,5 cl
  • 3 cl fresh pineapple juice
  • 3 cl fresh orange juice
  • 2 cl grenadine - I bring fresh pomegranate juice to a boil with half the amount of sugar, strain and cool it.
  • 3 cl heavy cream
  • 5-6 cl of bitter lemon
Measure everything but the bitter lemon into a shaker, shake hard with plenty of ice, strain into a hurricane glass and top off with bitter lemon.

Garnish with orange slice and pineapple tops and every piece of 80’s drinks paraphernalia you can lay your hands on.

The taste? Sweet like candy although the bitter lemon saves it from being undrinkable to my superior and evolved taste buds. But dang we had fun at MexiBar.



April 14, 2015

Improved Whiskey Cocktail in a hip flask


If a couple of weeks ago someone had asked me to tell them what pictures the words hip flask put in my mind, I would have given them two scenarios: An elderly uncle too alcoholic to be more than a back pocket away from booze or Barty Crouch Jr. polyjuiced into Mad Eye Moody in Harry Potter, constantly swigging the potion for fear he becomes himself again.

In other words more flask than hip

But then I was directed to the webpage of the Swig flask and a completely different picture materialised: Me on the beach, the sun setting in the distance, a small snack, good company and a strong, good cocktail in the flask and perhaps a couple of nice glasses.

Suddenly I could totally see the need for a hip flask in my home bar. Hip in the hip way.

And now that one of these flasks have landed on my desk - full disclosure as a gift from the Swig Company for me to review - I’m going to test drive my latter association well in advance of warm weather and good company.

First job: To figure out which cocktails would be good out of a hip flask. Even in a spring as cool as this, I still think anything like a Martini or an Aviation would be too warm by the time I made the 10 minute bicycle ride to the beach.

So I’m thinking more along the lines of an Old Fashioned, a Manhattan or even a Negroni. I could perhaps mix them ahead of time and stick the flask in my freezer for an hour before setting of?

The downside to the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan is the sugar, will it be hard to clean from the flask?

Well as it is made from steel I do not see, why I couldn’t pour boiling water into it and swirl any leftover sugar out.

And I’ve had this idea for An Improved Whiskey Cocktail forever, so I mixed it in my mixing glass, poured it into my flask, and gathered the stuff for a cold sundowner on the beach in April.


  • 6 cl Rittenhouse 100
  • 1 bar spoon homemade pineapple syrup(bring fresh pineapple juice with slightly less than an equal amount of sugar to the boil, strain and cool)
  • 1.75 cl Maraschino liqueur
  • Dash of Eucalyptus bitter
  • Dash of Absinthe


So here are my impressions:
  • You need to take the pouch off - if you don’t go for the naked Swig flask- in order for it to stand securely while you fill it.
  • You need either the original Swig funnel or another small funnel to fill it.
  • The screw top while certainly beautiful can be a little hard to get a grib on when your hands are cold, and you need to keep track of it, it’s easily lost.
  • It kept my cocktail fairly cold during the approximately 20 minutes from being filled until I took the first swig
  • I can't wait for warmer weather and cocktails on the beach. 

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.