December 11, 2011
Moltkes Bar Speakeasy
Then proceed up the stairs - perhaps a nice man will greet you there - if not turn right and enter one of the best kept secrets of Copenhagen: Moltkes Bar and Speakeasy.
As you leave the splendid baroque of Moltkes Palace you enter into another world. A bar that has a feeling of a 50'ies boardroom in an elegant bank.
It's a strange sensation the bar closes around it's guests. It's another world, a perfect place to put the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind you.
The cocktail menu is strong on the classics and a surefooted selection of a few modern classics.
Their motto is: Why tamper with something already perfect.
We decided to check whether or not the bar stays true to this motto, and did so by way of the Corpse Reviver II, Clover Club, Ramos Gin Fizz and Sazerac. We had three each.
All of the cocktails we beautiful creations - the two egg white cocktails - the Clover Club and the Ramos Gin Fizz - had soft magical foam that attested to the bartenders skills.
The Corpse Revivers where mixed on on a traditional London Dry Gin, but on the French grape based G'Vine which together with orange bitters gave the drink a small twist.
The Sazerac wasn't just served in a Absinthe rinsed glass, the Absinthe also came a part in it's own glass. A wonderful way to serve it.
Moltke does not go wild with garnish - it's a very focused presentation with the underlaying understanding that you come to drink cocktails, not to eat them.
Not that you starve - perhaps the biggest surprise is Moltkes bar snack: A silver platter of croutons and a dry cheese.
And of cause you are offered plenty of water to minimize the damages the next day.
I have to admit I've been a bit pig headed about this cocktail. I've considered it a gimmicky martini and only mixed it with gin flat out refusing to consider that vodka could have any place in a cocktail.
Well, then I bought a tiny bottle of vodka and gave it a shot and ended up being quite impressed, the vodka does seem to add something to the balance of this drink.
- 6 cl Tanqueray
- 2 cl Smirnoff
- 1 cl Lillet Blanc
Stir everything with ice and strain into martini glass - shaking my be James Bonds preferred method, but why bother when stirring keep the drink crystal clear?
Another way at looking at the recipe is: Two parts gin, to one part vodka to one half part dry vermouth. But Mr. Ian Flemming was quite specific and wrote Kina Lillet instead of dry vermouth in Casino Royal where the drink debuts.
Kina Lillet has gone out of production and Lillet Blanc is the closest living cousin.
November 27, 2011
Jerry Thomas organized cocktails in his bar manual 7 years before Dimitri Mendeleev organized the chemical elements in the first periodic table. So since 1862 the idea of dividing cocktails into groups like sours, flips, fizzes and punches has existed.
The whisky sour is the cocktail equivalent of carbon.
- 5 cl whisky or bourbon
- 2,5 cl fresh lemon jucice
- 1 cl simple syrup or maple syrup
November 18, 2011
Fin de Siecle
Having procured a bottle of Martin Miller's gin I looked around for something to test it with and stumbled across the Fin de Siecle cocktail. Apparently created in the 1920'ies in honor of the previous turn of the century.
This cocktail contains Picon, a orange bitter liqueur that is poured into beer in some parts of France for a very refreshing Picon biere.
Without further ado, here it is:
- 4 cl gin - Millers was great
- 2 cl Lillet Blanc
- 1 cl Picon
- 1 dash of orange bitters
Stir the first three ingredient with ice in a mixing glass until your cocktail is very cold. Strain into pretty cocktail glass, add the dash of orange bitters and a twist of orange.
November 7, 2011
Much like synchronized swimming I have a hard taking Tiki-cocktails seriously.
There's much to be giggling and pointing fingers at, but at the same time I have this strange feeling that the laugh is on me, so I do try.
And was happy to come across The Pago Pago that involves one of my favorite liqueurs Chartreuse. Also it does not seem to have that over the top amount of ingredients that sometimes make me suspect that the main attraction to Tiki-drinks is to get drunk really, really fast.
- A fresh slice of pineapple
- 1,5 cl fresh lime juice
- 1,5 cl Green Chartreuse
- 0,75 white Bols creme de cacao
- 4 cl golden rum
Strain into cocktail coupe and garnish with a piece of pineapple and a maraschino cherry.
October 28, 2011
I am trying to comprehend jelly shots as not just something for people who don't like booze can eat and get really drunk from.
I can certainly see their aesthetic appeal, when I see pictures like these. But I'm still not sure I get them.
I had a few mandarins quickly loosing their appeal and figured I had better juice them, that done I remembered Jelly Shot Test Kitchens candy corn shots and figured I could do something similar, but with only two layers.
I started with the opaque layer:
- 8 grams gelatin powder
- 33 ml water
- 33 ml condensed milk
- 16 ml Absolut Vanilla vodka
- 15 ml (clear) Bols cream de cacao
Barely twenty minutes later I could proceed with the orange layer:
- 8 grams gelatin powder
- 50 ml mandarin juice
- 50 ml Cointreau
- A dash of orange bitters
Once I was ready to try my creations I used the rest of my mandarin juice in a modified Blood and Sand:
- 2 cl rye whiskey
- 1 cl sweet vermouth
- 1 cl cherry wine (a wonderful Danish product from Frederiksdal )
- 4 cl mandarin juice
Since a single mandarin had showed itself to have eating qualities I turned that into a bar snack by wrapping thin strips of a good quality fried bacon around the sections.
October 21, 2011
Who wouldn't want to taste the favorite cocktail of Laurel and Hardy? I certainly would. The origins of the White Lady are - as with most cocktails - obscure, but it's down to the two Harries: It's either invented by Harry MacElhone at his bar in Paris or by Harry Craddock at the Savoy Hotel in London.
Essentially the White Lady is a sidecar, where gin replaces brandy and with an egg white add for smooth texture and wonderful soft foam.
- 6 cl gin
- 2 cl Cointreau
- 2 cl fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg white from a small egg (and don't take any pains to separate all the egg white just leave some with the yolk for a scrambled egg breakfast)
Put everything in a shaker, and shake for a minute. (Dry shake makes the emulsion of the egg to lemon juice easier) then add ice and shake for another couple of minutes.
Strain into martini glass og cocktail coupe. Garnish with lemon.
October 1, 2011
In the 1920'ies a Russian-French doctor performed a series of xeno transplantations, where he put tissue from monkey testicles into mens testicles.
He predicted that would make the men more virile, but it didn't however the procedure was popular, more than 1500 men had it performed.
Among them apparently the founding father of modern Turkey Kemal Atatürk.
The procedure made it's way into popular culture: Songs were written, cocktails mixed and articles written.
- 5 cl gin
- 5 cl fresh orange juice
- 5 cl pomegranate juice
- 1 tablespoon absinthe
September 24, 2011
Corpse Reviver II
The morning after has always given rise to alcoholic and non-alcoholic remedies.
Harry Craddock's Corpse Reviver II is by far the most tasty way to rise by the tree that felled you.
But heed his warning:
Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.
- 3 cl gin
- 3 cl Lillet Blanc
- 3 cl Cointreau
- A dash of absinthe
Shake the first three ingredients with ice, put a maraschino cherry in the bottom of a martini glass and strain cocktail over it. Then add a dash of absinthe and feel like a human being again
September 22, 2011
130 herbal extracts form this very complex and potent ingredient, made by monks since the 1740's.
As the Edwardian writer Saki had one of his protagonists say in 1904: People may say what they like about the decay of Christianity; the religious system that produced green Chartreuse can never really die.
The Last Word is a perfectly balanced cocktail, but more than two will get you in trouble as the Green Chartreuse has a whopping alcohol content of 55 percent - i.e. more than the gin also needed for the cocktail.
- 2,5 cl gin
- 2,5 cl Green Chartreuse
- 2,5 cl Maraschino liqueur
- 2,5 cl strained fresh lemon juice
September 13, 2011
When I was young - before Bacardi Breezer's - teenagers first got drunk on either beer or cheery wine.
Since then cheery wine went completely out of fashion and is not even brewed as such very many places any more, mostly its watered down spirits with artificial cherry color and taste.
But one places makes it the old fashioned way: Frederiksdal and this drink takes me way back to my teenage years:
- 5 cl cherry wine
- 1 cl Maraschino liqueur
- 25 cl Coca Cola
- Dash of chocolate bitters
September 10, 2011
For my birthday I decided to mix "my own" cocktail. I surprised even myself by not using gin as the base spirit, but I got inspired from a 300 year old Danish poem called strong coffee.
It was written by Ambrosius Stub (a very fitting name as Ambrosia is the Greek God of food and drink) at a point in his life when he had lost everything to drink - well fortunately not the ability to write poetry.
He wrote his poem not long after coffee was introduced in Denmark and with it the mixture of coffee and snaps (akvavit). Coffee without snaps was weak coffee and coffee with was strong coffee.
In his poem Ambrosius Stub laments the power of strong coffee to burn the blood and ruin your resolve.
Not heeding his warning I decided to mix my own strong coffee:
- 5 cl snaps (Brøndum is best)
- 4 cl Toussaint Coffee liqeur
- 4 cl cream
- Dash of chocolate bitters (I used Bitter Truth Xocolatl Mole)
- 1 coffee bean
Strain into ice cold martini glass, add a dash of chocolate bitters and gently grate the coffee bean on top as a garnish. Then drink to Ambrosius Stub!
September 4, 2011
For especially older Danes bitter is part of a traditional breakfast of black coffee, a soft boiled egg and half a slice of rye bread, buttered Danish breakfast rolls with cold cuts or cheese, Danish Pastry and then that little glass - same ones we drink snaps (Akvavit) from for lunch - full of a sharp, dark bitter.
One of the most famous local ones is called Old Danish, but then there are the German bitters Jägermeister and Underberg and the Italian Fernet Branca.
So I have some prejudices towards bitters, right?
But I want to understand and appreciate - and I have a bottle of Fernet Branca, in case any of my elderly neighbors come for morning coffee (Danish for breakfast.)
So I looked for a cocktail with Fernet Branca and came across Kingston Club by Jeffrey Morgenthaler.
I would have thought Fernet Branca needed to be matched with dark earthy flavors but he goes the completely opposite direction, and with great success.
- 5 cl Drambuie
- 5 cl fresh pineapple juice
- 2,5 cl fresh lime juice
- 1 tea spoon Fernet Branca
- 3 dashes angostura bitters
Shake first five ingredients over ice, strain into tall glass filled with ice and top off with the seltzer, garnish with lemon twist.
September 2, 2011
Blood and Sand
Does anyone name cocktail after movies, sports stars or other popular culture markers today? I don't know but it seemed to be very common in the golden age of cocktails.
So what to think about this cocktail that does look a bit murky? It's named after a 1922 movie starring Rudolph Valentino. In it he played a bullfighter, and the cocktail represents the mixture of spilled blood (from the bull of course not out hero) and the sand covering the bottom of the bullfight ring.
So don't strain your freshly squeezed orange juice, the bits of fruit represents bits of sand:
- 4 cl whisky
- 2 cl sweet vermouth
- 2 cl cherry wine or liqueur like Cherry Heering
- 2 cl fresh orange juice
Shake over ice and pour into a low ball glass. Garnish with maraschino cherries of fresh if in season.
August 18, 2011
In the early days of cocktails it seemed to be quite easy to invent one. Take the Gibson - the only difference between a Martini and a Gibson is that the olive is exchanged for an onion. It does have a nice little history though.
So the challenge of this cocktail is getting a good cocktail onion, and the best way is to make it yourself.
- 6 cl gin
- 2 cl dry vermouth
- 1 cocktail onion*
* Homepickled cocktail onions
- 150 grams pearl onions (while you clean them be sure not to cut the entire bottom of, they will disintegrate while boiling)
- 3 dl white vinegar - I used a mixture of Japanese vinegar, champagne vinegar and white wine vinegar.
- 2 dl cold water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pickling spice, a tiny ear of star anise and a cardamom pod.
- 150 grams white sugar
Put everything in stainless steel pot, bring to boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour into clean glass and put in fridge. Ready to use after 24 hours, but gets better over time.
August 12, 2011
It's actually an Old Fashioned with a little something special.
- 7,5 cl rye whiskey
- Dash of Peychaud's bitters
- Dash of angostura bitters
- sugar cube
- rinse of absinte
The get a low ball glass and rinse it with a few drops of absinthe, add a couple of large ice cubes and pour cocktail into glass. Stir to make it cold and garish with a lemon twist.
This is the kind of cocktail than rounds a stress full day of perfectly or lends itself to a warm summer night on the patio after sunset.
July 18, 2011
As a Harry Potter fan it seemed a must this summer to celebrate the premier of the last movie in the series with a cocktail named after one of the major characters.
Backyard Bartender have been quite busy with the shaker and the barspoon.
I have to admit what sold me one the Neville Longbottom was the Earl Gray infused gin, but he has been a favorite from the beginning. Also in my opinion the reason for the great success of the Potter universe is that there are so many different heros - most of us can find more than one to identify with.
I started by infusing the gin by putting one table spoon good, loose Earl Gray tea in a clean jar and then add 20 cl gin. I then put the lid on, shook the whole thing and sat it in the sun for a least an hour. The gin turned a lovely dark tea color and smelled divine, I strained it as I used it.
- 6 cl Earl Gray infused gin
- 4 cl Pimm's No. 1
- 1 cl fresh lemon juice
- 1 cl simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water boiled and cooled)
Everything in a shaker with plenty of ice (the gin was quite warm after an hour in the sun). Shake and then strained into low ball glass over new ice.
July 17, 2011
Dark and Stormy
If you get a taste for it, Jeffrey Morgenthaler has an easy recipe for making your own ginger beer, which is fun to try and impresses guests.
If you buy it, I personally like Old Jamaica Ginger Beer - it's more spicy than the other kind available here which is Fever Tree.
- 5 cl dark rum - I used Gosling's Black Seal
- 15 cl ginger beer
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Dash of Bitter Truth Creole bitters
Stir with ice in a not too fancy but comfortable glass - you are not in a cocktail bar you a sitting on the beach in a tropical paradise somewhere ;) Garnish with sprig of mint.
That makes it a little hard to believe this cocktail is an American invention. How a champion from a little know sport, who won medals well before electronic media could make world stars out of anybody is hard to understand.
And perhaps more importantly how did the inventor come by Campari, dry vermouth and Cointreau during prohibition?
Anyway it's a damn fine cocktail and without it even fewer people would know who Gaudin was - he commited suicide in 1934.
- 3 cl gin
- 1,5 cl Campari
- 1,5 cl dry vermouth
- 1,5 cl Cointreu
Fill a mixing glass with ice and add all the ingredients, stir and strain into small martini glass.
July 16, 2011
Huey, Dewey, and Louie in rain coats
I named it in honor of a guy I know who was fascinated by a comic strip in the Danish Donald Duck magazine where Donald's nephews get to share a water melon and put on rain coats before they dug in.
For a small Danish boy having never seen much less eaten a watermelon that was a very intriguing concept.
- 5 cl Absolute Vanilla Vodka
- 2 cl Campari
- 1 cl fresh grapefruit juice
- 3 sprigs of lavender
- 2 cl of water melon cordial*
In the bottom of a high ball glass muddle the flowers of 2 sprigs of lavender with the sugar and grapefruit juice.
Add ice and the vodka and the Campari, stir to chill and then top off with the cold water melon cordial. Garnish with the last sprig of lavender pushed through a wedge of grapefruit.
July 14, 2011
20th Century Cocktail
The taste of Art Deco in a cocktail glass, that is how cocktail archaeologist Ted Haigh describes the 20th Century Cocktail.
It's named after the iconic train between New York and Chicago called the 20th Century Limited. In 1938 the trains on that line was streamlined into absolute glory.
Also it was for this train service that the Pullman company invented the red carpet treatment of the passengers.
The train plays a minor part in Alfred Hitchcocks North by Northwest - where the style of the train, of Cary Grant and of Eva Marie Saint comes together. Also you would notice how small martinis were back in the real Mad Men days - it's worth renting.
And then mix this:
- 4,5 cl gin
- 2 cl Lillet Blanc
- 2 cl creme de cacao
- 2 cl strained fresh lemon juice
July 12, 2011
Once you have tried a Negroni, Sbagliato is the next cocktail to conquer.
According to Campari lore it was accidentally invented in a bar in Milan, when a bartender mistook a bottle of dry italian sparkling wine for gin .
I'm not sure I understand how this could happen, but fortunately it did and the mistake resulted in one of the best sundowners ever invented.
- 5 cl Campari
- 5 cl sweet vermouth
- 1,5 dl dry sparkling wine
Fill a low ball glass with ice, add the Campari and vermouth and top up with the sparkling wine. Add a burnt orange twist for a garnish.
July 11, 2011
This is one of my favorites - despite it's deceptive girlish color it has a real kick from the gin. Where it came from no one knows and some recipes contains no Creme De Violette - probably because it is pretty hard to get.
Whatever the origin to me it is clearly a tribute to that time in the history of flying when it was comfortable and luxurious, before the advent of "naked" airport scanners, stale peanuts and leg cramps.
- 6 cl gin
- 2 cl fresh and strained lemon juice
- 2 cl Maraschino liqueur
- 2 cl Creme De Violette
For a clean and crisp look - I got wiser since this picture was taken - stir this cocktail with plenty of ice and then strain it into a martini glass or a cocktail coupe.
Garnish with lemon.
July 10, 2011
I personally like the one, where count Camillo Negroni walks into Caffe Casoni in Florance and after a long and hard day of doing whatever Italians counts did right after the first world war askes to have his ususal apertif The Americano spiked with gin.
I can see that scene in my minds eye, he would be wearing a eggshell colored three piece suite much like Gustav von Aschenbach in Death in Venice.
And that would wonderfully off set the amazing color of the Negroni.
- 3 cl gin
- 3 cl Campari
- 3 cl sweet (red) vermouth
Pour the ingredients in a low ball glass, add ice and stir until drink is chilled.
Can be served with a lemon twist and be aware that it is a powerful aperitif - it will in other words make you powerfully hungry.
July 5, 2011
Time to behave like a proper lady and to take some southern comfort from the heat of the day.
I have no idea where that came from, perhaps watching too many movies about the American south ;)
But it works just as well on a sunny day here in the high north, and wearing a hat does wonders for red heads like me.
- 6 cl bourbon
- Fresh mint
- Demerara sugar
July 2, 2011
Blushing Tom Collins
- 5 cl gin
- 2 cl lemon juice
- 6 freshly picked ripe raspberried
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Add gin and ice and shake for a while, then strain into collins glass and top off with seltzers. Garnish with a sprig of lavender and a raspberry.
June 20, 2011
It took a complete stranger, who has previously dazzled me and my taste buds to open my eyes to this perfect marriage.
- 5 cl bourbon
- 25 cl homemade lemonade*
Pour bourbon over ice in a tall glass and top off with the lemonade.
* Homemade lemonade: Juice enough lemons to equal 2,5 dl lemon juice (it's between 6 and 8 lemons worth of juice). Add between 70 ml and 90 ml maple sirup - start slow and keep tasting until you find your preferred balance between sweet and sour. Then add 6 dl of water and put the lemonade in the fridge. Will keep for up to 2 days.
Clover Club Cocktail
It was love at first sight/taste and I remember feeling happy that it contains raspberry syrup, because I love making that.
Our very knowledgeable bartender Nick Kobbernagel Hovind told us the story of how this gorgeous pink cocktail was once the favorite of the patrons of a gentleman's club in Philadelphia back when pink was not a girly color.
It's a cocktail containing egg white, something that seems to freak out a lot of people.
I'm so old that in my childhood my brother and I was regularly given a cup with an egg and sugar and then we stirred until it was fluffy and almost white and no "sound" could be heard from sugar crystals caught between spoon and cup.
We lived to tell the tale and I have complete faith in the nice people who sell me eggs.
Others fear they can't shake it hard enough and will encounter the egg white as a blop of slime at the bottom of the cocktail glass.
Fear not, just follow the instructions.
- 5 cl gin
- 1 cl fresh lemon juice
- 1 cl raspberry syrup*
- 1 egg white
Strain into glass taking care to layer the gorgeous white foam on top.
June 19, 2011
I've never been anywhere near Burma, and have no doubt that Burma under British rule was a pretty dismal place for a majority of the Burmese.
But every Dane of my generation, have this very romantic vision of Burma, because of and a very corny old Danish hit song Mandalay (Yes, it's Kipling's poem translated into Danish).
Every Sunday I heard this song on the radio all through my childhood.
What makes this song so perfect for this cocktail is that the four gentlemen singing it all had a true fondness for drink, and most of them died from it.
They would have loved a Pegu Club Cocktail.
- 6 cl gin
- 2 cl orange curacao (or Cointreau or Triple sec or even Grand Marnier)
- 1,5 cl fresh lime juice
- Dash of Angostura bittes
- Dansh of orange bitters
Add everything to mixing glass, add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into your most beautiful glass.
June 18, 2011
I wouldn't make it with imported or - heaven forbid - frozen berries.
- 5 cl Campari
- 5 cl dry champagne or sparkling wine
- 3 big strawberries
- Fresh mint
- 1/2 lime in chunks
Muddle strawberries, mint and lime in the bottom of a high ball glass.
Add Campari, champagne and crushed ice. Stir until the outside of the glass feels very cold.
Garnish with lime and fresh mint.
June 3, 2011
This signals late spring early summer to me, when pea pods are everywhere: Discarded ones on the street, fresh ones in the shops and some in my cocktail kitchen.
- 5 cl gin
- 5 cl fresh lemon juice
- 15 fresh peas
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 bay leafs
Lightly blanch the peas in unsalted boiling water immediately transferring them to cold water. Muddle 13 peas with the honey and 2 bay leaves in a shaker. Add ice, the gin and the lemon juice and shake well.
Strain into a low ball glass and garnish with the last 2 peas and the remaining bay leaf.
June 2, 2011
- 1 3/4 oz bourbon
- 1 sugar cube
- 4 drops of Angostura bitters
Garnish with a sprig of blossoming chives place on cocktail napkin.