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

Last Word

This cocktail evolves around a herbal liqueur that has both an amazing color and an amazing taste: Green Chartreuse.

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
Shake everything over ice and strain into martini glass - garnish with nice edible flower or a lemon twist.

September 13, 2011

Cherry Coke

Cherry wine is a really old tradition in Denmark going back to the 17-hundreds.

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
Everything in a tall glass full of ice and then garnish with a slice of lime and a couple of Maraschino cherries. A truely retro taste!

September 10, 2011

Strong Coffee

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
Mix the first three ingredients in shaker and shake long and hard.

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

Kingston Club

In Denmark we have a special tradition for drinking bitter - yes we drink it, not just as a dash in a cocktail.

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
  • Seltzer

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.