April 21, 2012

Crimson Slippers

The last 24 hours my home has smelled deliciously of slowly cooking/evaporating spirits. Camper English got me working on sugar for grown ups - in other words evaporated liqueurs.

I now have a small stash of Campari crystals, Creme de Violette crystals and Dolin Rouge crystals.

Next challenge was finding something to try them on, and I crossed internet wires with a stunning cocktail called Crimson Slippers.

Originally mixed by A.J. Rathbun, but tried and tested by people like Tiare of A Mountain of Crushed Ice and Doug Ford of Cold Glass.

Since a Japanese mixing glass just chose to move in with me, along with a lovely twisted bar spoon, I decided to stir my Crimson Slippers:
  • 6 cl dark rum - I used Appleton Estate V/X
  • 3 cl Campari
  • 1,5 cl Triple Sec - I used Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao Ancienne Methode
  • Dash of chocolate bitters
I stirred everything for several minutes enjoying my new gadgets and then strained into a cold cocktail coupe rimmed with orange juice and evaporated Campari. A slice of orange for a garnish.

This cocktail can easily be my summer favorite.

April 13, 2012

Trinidad Sour - and a cherry twist

Looking at it, the Trinidad Sour (r) reminds me a bit of a Blood and Sand - or of something out of a blood bank in a carefully labeled laboratory bag  - and I can't decide if I find that appealing or not.

I came across it at Cocktail Virgin Slut, and found further descriptions here and here.

It's a modern cocktail with a very classic look and a pretty surprising taste created by Guiseppe Gonzales who seems on the brink of opening a new bar in New York. (Another to add to my long must-visit-list)

It might just be, that  because I'm a Dane and we have a long tradition of strong, medicinal tasting bitters before breakfast even, that the idea of using more than a dash or two of Angostura bitters wasn't that mind blowing.

But as I like medicinal tastes I gave it a shot. I also wanted to try a small twist as I read that the Angostura lends the drink a cherry note:

My adopted measures - as I was going to mix two drinks was for the Trinidad Sour
  • 2 cl Angostura
  • 2 cl Orgeat
  • 3 cl lemon juice
  • 1 cl Rye Whiskey
Shaken over ice and strained into small, pretty cocktail glass.

For my twist I took out the whiskey and added cherry wine and brandy instead. Let's call it Trinidad Cherry Sour:
  • 2 cl Angostura
  • 2 cl Orgeat
  • 3 cl lemon juice
  • 0,5 cl cherry wine
  • 0,5 cl cognac or brandy
Shaken over ice and strained into another small, pretty cocktail glass.

The original has the more elegant and simple taste, but my cherry twist is not too bad - probably need to work on the balance between wine and brandy.

But over all I have to say, that both does not really register as medicinal on my taste buds, the overwhelming taste I get is Christmas and unfortunately it's not something I really go crazy about.

But now I'm that much wiser - and out of Angostura...

April 7, 2012

La Florida

A few days ago Tiare of A Mountain of Crushed Ice dazzled me with colored ice eggs - an idea she got a few Easters back from Camper English who resurrected it this year.

I knew I wanted to make some, but was also wondering what kind of cocktail would show them off.

This afternoon as I browsed through The PDT Cocktail Book I was intrigued by the mix of white creme de cacao and white rum i La Florida while I also imagined an egg would look good in it, so I set about my mixing.

And I have to say - as someone who enjoys The 20th Century cocktail  - La Florida was almost as good. And one of those Tiki-drinks that keeps sneaking up on me.

However to my palate gin adds an extra edge to the creme de cacao - but La Florida would make a wonderful hot summer evening cocktail.

  • 6 cl white rum
  • 1,5 cl creme de cacao
  • 1 cl dry vermouth
  • 2 cl lime juice
  • teaspoon grenadine *
  • Colored ice egg **

Pour first five ingredients into cocktail shaker over ice and shake well. Place colored ice egg in chilled cocktail coupé and strain cocktail into coupé.

*Grenadine - In saucepan boil twice as much juice from fresh pomegranate as sugar for 5-10 minutes. Let cool and then add dash of orange blossom water (or rose water) and dash of vodka. Bottle and keep in the fridge.

** Colored ice eggs - mix food coloring with water in as many colors as your want - remember blue and yellow makes green and blue and red makes lillac - then rinse and test inflate the appropriate number of balloons. Using a funnel pour colored water into balloons and suspend them from stick across freezer drawer. Wait at least three hours. Rinse eggs as you free them from balloon to minimize risk of rubber taste in cocktails. The process looks like this:

April 4, 2012

Brandy Crusta

This cocktail reminded me, how much in awe I am of the skills of professional bartenders.

It's not really difficult to mix a nice cocktail if you follow a recipe and have the right ingredients.

What sets the professional apart is doing it quickly and repeatedly.

Between cutting the long lemon peel and making the sugar rim on this cocktail any patron would have left my bar and I hadn't even gotten around to start shaking.

A barmanager in Copenhagen told me that 2012 just might be the year of the brandy - or cognac - based cocktail, I believe he is right.

This one really has a lovely balance and is amazingly refreshing for a drink that full of booze.

And did I mention, it's also very old? David Wondrich tells the story better than I ever could:
  • 6 cl cognac
  • 0,5 cl orange curacao
  • 0,5 cl Maraschino
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 cl freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • fine sugar
  • peel of a whole lemon
  • a little more lemon juice
Start by cutting the peel. I decided it would be better to cut a little deep and then trim rather than risking break stride mid ways. The trimming can be done by laying the peel flat on cutting board and then cutting away from yourself with very sharp knife.

Next moisten the top 0,5 cl of the rim of a pretty glass - not too wide - with lemon juice and roll it in fine sugar.

Then you are ready to shake - or stir - as you please: In shaker over ice pour lemon juice, Maraschino, orange curacao and brandy. Shake and stir until cold, then strain into the sugar rimmed glass where you have placed one big, slow melting ice cube, add the two dashes of Angostura bitters  and finally place lemon peel at the top of the glass so that it sticks up.

Be careful when you drink ;)

April 3, 2012

Salon 39

In a quiet corner of Frederiksberg - the slightly upscale municipality completely surrounded by Copenhagen - close to the lakes you find a true gem: Salon 39.

One of those places where you feel right at home the moment you enter - a bar that manages to be both ambitious and casual at the same time.

My friend and I had visited a few times before, but on this visit we wanted to check out the breakfast club. A brilliant concept of food and drink.

On this Sunday morning we were practically the first guest through the door. We both ordered eggs Benedict and shared some fruit and a serving of blueberry pancakes with maple butter sauce.

We each got two beautifully poached eggs on good bread with some steamed spinach and Hollandaise Sauce..

A pretty amazing dish at only DDK 79. And I noticed that many came just for the food and skipped the cocktails.

I can understand that but have to say there is something really special about getting slightly tipsy on a Sunday Morning.

We went for the iconic breakfast cocktail, The Ramos Gin Fizz, and that challenged the bartender a bit my friend reported who had a full view of the bar.

Well it's not an easy drink to make, but we were satisfied with the drinks as they arrived in champagne flutes with a tall head of white foam. The did separate a bit before we had finished them 
but they tasted good. And in defense of Salon 39, this was on the morning of the first day of a cocktail event in Copenhagen, and it might just have been a new crew behind the bar.

The found their groove quickly - the Red Snappers vi ordered a little while later were perfect. A sister drink to Bloody Mary made with gin, orange juice along with tomato juice and spice.

This drink gave my friends sore throat some much needed relief - not a bad quality in a morning cocktail.

After our lazy, boozy breakfast we were ready for more and visited the Copenhagen Spirits and Cocktails event.

The picture is of an Ipanima - a quite perfumed cacacha based cocktail that Salon 39 mixed on their stand.