November 18, 2013


This months MxMo has been the most challenging thus far and I really like that.

Shaun and Christa - of Booze Nerds fame - are hosting and they have chosen Resin as a theme.

Fortunately they give us a lot of options in their announcement post and money could help me with the rest. But I'll let the nerds explain:

We thought hard about a theme that would work well for this time of year, and after contemplating the food, booze, and decor we like for the holidays, we settled on “Resin.” From savory rosemary in a stuffing, to a delicious juniper-y gin in a martini, to a fragrant fir ornament or garnish, our friends the evergreens have a lot to offer… The challenge: come up with an ingenious creation using the resin-y ingredient of your choice. Zirbenz, retsina, hoppy IPA, pine-nut puree, even? Sure! Spirit, garnish, aroma, all are fair game.  Whatever resin means to you, we want to hear it.

I had never heard of Zirbenz and had to look it up - it sound like something I would like, but not readily available in Denmark.

Next I considered making vermouth out of a bottle of Retsina and perhaps mix a martini-style cocktail but I could not lay my hands on a decent bottle of that infamous Greek wine, that everybody loves while holidaying on Crete but everybody hates a winters evening in northern Europe.

So I settled on something I have always considered overly gimmicky: A bottle of Aalborg Nordguld (means northern gold) - an aquavit made with distilled amber. It certainly has that amber hue, but I'm not completely convince actual amber is involved in the making.

However it's a nice mellow aquavit with just that hint of a bite distinguishing it from - say- vodka.

Next I jumped at the chance to utilize some of the rosemary still standing proud in my garden and settled on clementine as my base spirit.

All those ideas come together like this:
  • 6 cl Nordguld - aquavit with destilled amber
  • 6 cl freshly squeezed clementine juice
  • 1,5 cl rosemary syrup
  • 0,75 cl rosemary and black pepper infused Wray and Nephew overproof rum
  • 3 cl coconut water 
Shake the first four ingredients with ice. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice and garnish with a slice of clementine.

For the Wray and Nephew infusion - I simply cracked some whole black pepper corns with a pestle and bruised a good sprig of rosemary and stuck that in a small jar with about 10 cl of the rum.

The rosemary syrup is simple syrup with a sprig of fresh rosemary added - allowed to steep until the syrup was completely cooled and then strained.

November 6, 2013

LMG - Light Machine Gun

Cocktail history is full of tall tales and outright lies. Perhaps that's why I like it so much? And I do enjoy being part of inventing a cocktail based on a true story!

Last summer I found myself in excellent company, where the drinks were flowing and the stories got better and better.

Then we came to the point in time, when an American president visiting Denmark was invited to stay at the lovely baroque palace Fredensborg Palace. The couple I visited lived in Fredensborg, and the visit brought lot's of chaos to their community and especially to their neighborhood.

For the sake of a good story, let us say: Where their garden ended the palace grounds began. And it turns out: Where an American president visits American rule prevails.

But the man of the house had a building project running in front of his house, and no visiting dignitary was about to interrupt that.

Unfortunately he accidentally cut the power supply to his house. Fortunately he is an electrician and could splice the cables him selves, but not without a bit of help from the power company.

An unscheduled van from the power company - not expected to visit any of the house - meant the van driver was treated like an intruder attempting to gain access to the bedroom of The White House.

Meanwhile the unlucky electrician was on his hands and knees in his own front yard working to reconnect the severed cables. That attracted the attention of a helicopter. A dark figure kneeling in the open door pointing a weapon on the unsuspecting guy. His wife heard the noise - and noticed the power cut - opened her front door. Saw her kneeling husband, saw the hovering helicopter, saw the pointed weapon - which was immediately pointed at her.

She then decided she could not deal with the scene. Quietly closed her own front door and retreated into her home - a maneuver Danes are famous for.

Later her husband informed her: It was a Light Machine Gun the guy pointed at us.

We were quiet around the table for a while after the story. Then I was send into the kitchen to come up with a drink:
  • 2 cl gin
  • 0,5 cl orange Curacao - could be Cointreau or Pierre Ferrand
  • 0,5 cl Fernet Branca - on the day I used Jägermeister, but I think the FB adds a little complexity
  • 3 cl fresh, unpasteurized apple juice - I used juice from Elstar apples today and Norwegian apple juice on the day
Shake everything with ice. Serve in a cocktail coup. Garnish with Maraschino cherries - a dried apple ring would be nice too.

And as you can see from the picture, I have new cocktail books to read. Hope they are full of medium tall tales.