December 14, 2012

Suhm Heering Float

As a Dane I considered it my patriotic duty to try out any cocktail I come across with Cherry Heering.

It was first produced in 1818 in Copenhagen and have since conquered the world.

So when I stumbled upon the Suhm Heering Float at Cocktail Virgin Slut I knew I had to mix it.

Root Beer is a mystery to most Danes - the taste is recognizable from a certain brand of chewing gum but that's the extend of most of our reference.

I personally love the taste and knew I would like the Suhm Heering Float - if it's not as perfect as I hoped for it's only because Cherry Heering is not as good as it could be these days. But that is another story.

  • 6 cl Cherry Heering
  • 2 cl golden rum
  • 1 egg yolk
  • chocolate mole bitters
  • root beer
Add the first four ingredients to a shaker and shake hard without ice for 15-20 seconds, then add ice and shake until the mixture is very cold.

Strain into a highball glass and add the root beer. Garnish with some tasty Maraschino cherries.

November 19, 2012

Lavender Rum and Tonic

Firstly let it be known, that I do not usually make or drink cocktails at 1 pm on a weekday, but I had to, if I wanted to participated in this weeks Mixology Monday.

I thought it long gone, and did not discover until late last night, right before bedtime, that it had been postponed, so today was my only chance to mix and garnish.

Secondly, please disregard that for the second time the Ginhound participates with a rum drink.

I wanted to show of my first truly successful batch of tonic syrup, once that was decided the rest was simple.

On two earlier attempts I have used a recipe developed by one of my cocktail heros, Jeffrey Morgenthaler.

It's not that those two tonic brews did not turn out well really, it's just that they spoiled before I finished them, at there was just an overall too busy taste going on with them between the citrus and the allspice.

Then I stumbled across a recipe that takes tonic back to the basics. It's extremely quick and easy to make and the result is startlingly good. Without the citrus and just the balance between quinine and sugar this tonic is tart, refreshing and a darn good canvas.

It's so good in fact that I will most likely drink most of it sans booze because it's just that thirst quenching and palate pleasing.

Todays drink is a long drink - a summers drink, but the sun actually shines in Denmark on this fine day:
  • 4 cl white rum - I used Banks 5 Island Rum
  • 20 cl tonic water (I mix 1 part of my syrup with 4 parts lightly carbonated water)
  • Dash of lavender bitters
  • And a squeeze each of lemon, mandarin and lemon
In a lowball glass add ice, rum and tonic, then add the lavender bitters and squeeze the citrus over the glass so that a fine spray coats the top.

Garnish with a line of citrus rind sails on a short stick. (And if that is not grandiloquent enough I will pretend I don't know what the word means).

November 17, 2012

Three new bars in Copenhagen

My drinking companion and I had not been on a bar hop in Copenhagen for several months. Meanwhile new places was popping up all over the city and it was time for a new tour.

We visited three new bars, three basement bars in the oldest part of the city and had three really good experiences.

First stop involved navigating down a few very steep steps at Gråbrødre Torv. The journey down was worth it, we were welcomes into an oasis of nice light, mellow jazz and the most amazing Art Deco wall paper found anywhere in the city.

The attention to detail is evident in everything from the logo on the cocktail menu to delightful old photos on the loo at Strøm. Very cool and very tasteful.

We navigated to the end of the bar, where we found almost an alcove offering us some much needed back rest and a perfect view of the bartenders at work and a huge chuck of the room.

The cocktail menu was pure delight: Old favorites, new discoveries and three different cocktails on tap.

We happily ordered the first round and started planning..

My first cocktail was Death in the Afternoon, my companion ordered a Cablegram.

The fact that it's even possible to get a champagne cocktail in Copenhagen for less than 100 kr. is amazing in it self. The fact that it was made from the real stuff, and mixed with such dexterity, that it did not turn opaque from the absinthe was an extra bonus.

Hemingway - who invented the cocktail - advices that you slowly drink three to five of his tasty creations. But I had more bars to visit and wasn't done exploring what Strøm had to offer.

For the next round we both chose a Zeppelin, a whiskey cocktail with both egg white and local honey. It reminded me a bit of a Penicillin.

Finally we got to taste cocktails on tap. We split a Dark and Stormy and a Punch - nice stuff but I'm not convinced that the aging actually makes a huge difference. I can see where the bar benefits especially with more complicated drinks than Dark and Stormy.

Overall Strøm is a quality bar, a place I'll be happy to stop by on my may to dinner or after a lomg day at work.

The attention to quality and the well being of the guests is noticeable. I'm a sucker for little things like fresh eucalyptus and offering a better champagne than the one on the cocktail menu because an open bottle us available. 

**Madame Chu**
Our second bar was found next to Fugu at Gammel Strand. This time the steps led us into a luxurious harbor joint in Singapore in the 1930's.

From the long gleaming bar, over the magnificent copper lamps to the displays lit by bordello red light in carefully constructed recesses in the wall: Madame Chu is all business.

To the point where the choice of music played stands out like a sore thumb. It was modern, it was hipster cool and while not unpleasant in any way such a departure form the script that it must surely be an in the know joke. On that we did not get - but we are not the target audience.

The cocktail menu is challenging. I did not recognize a single cocktail, but between the expressive names and the listing of ingredients, we managed to place an order.

My first choice was Sabrina All Night Long (rum, maple, caramel and dill) and I was amply awarded with a gorgeous pale green drink finely balanced between the vulgar and the strident from the dill.

My companion when for an Happy Ending (Bourbon, rhubarb, mint and absinthe) and was quite happy with her drink.

Then she went for a Candy X (rum, ruby port and ginger) which turned out to be a very  cheeky rumdrink the marriage of ginger and ruby was a succes.

I happened upon perhaps the best cocktail of the day. Lost at Sea (gin, sea buckthorn, Aloe Vera and Thai basil). I had not previously had the buckthorn in a drink, it's a taste both sour and mineral at the same time and there is a reason it's such a star of the New Nordic kitchen, it's like a Nordic lemontaste.

In this cocktail it was introduced in the form of sweetened jam and it was perfect. The fact that it also attributes a solid, warm sun yellow color is an added bonus. 

Our final drinks at Madame Chu was a No. 42 (vodka, Lillet Rose, tomato, rhubarb and lemon) and a Red or Dead (Gin, red bell pepper, lemon and sugar). I don't normally drink vodka cocktails, but I believe the rhubarb/tomato mixture would have been to busy with juniper from gin added.

So, in summary Madame Chu challenges the visitor and get's away with it, but it's the kind of place where you had better enter with a shoulder first, the bar likes posing and expects the same from it's guests. Not that we got anything other than great service and left happy - and a little bit zigzaging up the basement stairs.

**Ourselves Alone**
Our final destination was in nearby Badstuestræde - smack in the really old part of town, an area that has always been full of bars and beer/aquavit halls.

The first thing that distinguishes Ourselves Alone from the two other bars is that you can't just walk in. You ring a bell and are let in. Not that they necessarily want to sort people or turn certain types away, but so that each guest can have perfect service from the moment they arrive.

Your coat is whisked away and you are offered a selection of comfy chairs and small sofas grouped around low tables. Furniture from the 20'ies and 30'ies in pale pastel blues and greens.

We chose seats at the bar and got the best experience of the evening. From the moment we arrived until we left bartender Knut Randhem gave us pretty much his undivided attention. I'm sure his ears were ringing when we left from all our questions and our chatter.

But that is what Ourselves Alone expect - there is no cocktail card, so every order is a result of a conversation and discussion with the bartender.

Except for the very first tiny coctail you are served with you first glass of water, as you settle in, take in the atmosphere of the bar and let it's quiet well balanced style wash over you.

We both started with gin classics re-engineered with bourbon. A Last Word and a 20th. Century. Especially Knuts version of the latter was spectacular: Bourbon, Amer Picon and brown Creme de Cacao. So good that he has named it Middle of the 20th. Century.

Then we had a couple of cocktails with egg white: A Clover Club and a Bourbon Sour. My Clocer Club was the palest of delicate pink - since they don't smash or cook the raspberries for the juice but gently break the fresh berrys and let the liquid drain.

Our night ended with a couple of Ramos Gin Fizzes - not that morning light was breaking but just because it's sort of tradition with us.

Ourselves Alone is a place were everybody should end their evening, even if it starts out with a mediocre meal at a mediocre restaurant. Ourselves Alone will make all mal-contentment vanish and give your evening an peaceful ending. It's a bar on one hand deeply masculine and on the other hand equally feminine. Actually it's the kind of place you should keep your little secret for fear it ever changes. 

November 9, 2012

Cherry gin

Cherries, cherries everywhere I look. Cherries and gin that is.

Given that I just bought myself a lovely bottle of Old English Gin on my way home from work, I thought I would try my hand on a concoction of my own making:

  • 6 cl gin 
  • 1.5 cl cherry wine - I used Frederiksdal Nielstrupmark 2009
  • 0.75 cl Amaretto
  • 0.75 cl Maraschino liquor
  • 5 Maraschino cherries
Muddle cherries with Amaretto, cherry wine and Maraschino liquor in the bottom of a low ball glass. Then add ice and the gin and stir to make the cocktail cold.

My drink almost had too much dilution because I realized too late, that opening a bottle of Old English Gin involves cutting a think seal of the bottle and using a cork screw. But what a lovely gin it is - and this cocktail is a wonderful fall taste of summer.

Seltzers or tonic could easily be added for a highball.


November 3, 2012

New Fashioned

At the very start of my cocktail eksplorations I made an Old Fashioned. Somehow I was smart enough to know, that this the most iconic of all cocktails does not lend it self to much fiddling around.

Now I'm much dumber and decided to do just that after watching this video that convinced me that I had to try fat washing.

So to try my new skill and in honor of the up coming presidential elections in America here is the New Fashioned:
  • 6 cl bacon infused bourbon (I fried six slices of bacon and mixed the rendered fat with 10 cl bourbon. After 6 hours in my freezer it was easy to take out the hardened fat)
  • 1 cola sugar lump (I evaporated 1 cl of Coca Cola in a wide container for 12 hours in a 50C hot oven. Then I pounded the dried residue into sugar and pressed it into shape in a clean screw cap)
  • 4 dashed cherry bitters
  • 2 Coca Cola icecubes (you can figure it out)
  • 1 Maraschino cherry
Put the cola sugar lump in the bottom of an old fashioned glass, add the bitter and muddle. Then add the bourbon and ice and garnish with the cherry.

Cheers and may the best man win.

October 6, 2012

Hemingway Daiquiri

A scruffy looking man enters a bar to use the facilities, notices a lovely looking drink on his way out, asks for a sip...and the rest is history.

Because the man was Ernest Hemingway and the bar was the Floridita in Havanna, Cuba.

Rum expert Matt Robold makes a very convincing argument that a Hemingway Daiquiri and a Papa Doble is not the same in this essay.

Another great essay about the origins of the Daiquiri and the Hemingway special is found here.

I just figured, that since I had to kill a whole, lovely grapefruit for my drink, using a teaspoon full of the juice was a waste:
  • 6 cl white rum
  • 2 cl grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp gum syrup
  • 1 tsp Maraschino liqueur
Shake everything with ice and strain into glass filled with crushed ice, garnish with a wedge of grapefruit or a slice of lime and add two bar straws.

September 30, 2012

Weissen Sour

A couple of amazing high ball/Collins glasses was kindly gifted to me, and I figured at least one of them needed to be broken in. As it is Sunday and only just noon, I went for a brunch type serving.

The Weissen Sour - basically a bourbon sour with wheat beer - was developed by Kevin Diedrich.

At the moment high balls and beer cocktails seems to be everywhere - I look forward to visit the latest Jörg Meyer bar in Hamburg - The Boilerman Bar - dedicated to high balls.

Only fly in the ointment is the fact that smoking is allowed - but a short visit is called for.
  • 6 cl bourbon
  • 2 cl lemon juice
  • 0.75 cl simple syrup
  • barspoon orange marmalade
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • Wheat beer
Add the first five ingredients to an ice filled shaker and shake until marmalade is dissolved. Strain into ice filled high ball glass and fill with a good wheat beer.

I used the amazing weizenbock Weihenstephaner Vitus. Other wheat beers like the Dutch Hoegaarden would be good too.

As for the bar snack I took my inspiration from this recipe.

September 15, 2012


A bottle of Kina L'Avion D'Or was waiting for my in front of my door as I came home yesterday.

It has taken me more than a month to find a place that would sell me this gem and send it to me in Denmark, but I finally tracked it down with help from a friend at Lion Spirits in Germany and once ordered they delivered super fast.

Today I googled for a cocktail to really show my new acquisition off and came across Jamie Boudreau and his cocktail Wallingford.

And what a lovely cocktail it is - it's tart and refreshing but also warm an welcoming, if that makes any sense.
  • 6 cl gin
  • 3 cl Kina L'Avion D'Or
  • 1 cl Orange Curacao
  • orange bitters
Stir everything with plenty of ice and then using a grapefruit twist rim a chilled martini glass. Strain cocktail into glass over the twist.

September 6, 2012

Earl Gray Marteani

I am a huge fan of Audrey Saunders. You have to admire someone who thinks that gin is the other white meat.

Also she is the creator of two of my favorite cocktails Gin Gin Mule and Old Cuban.

This is another of her creations. A friend of mine ordered it, when we visited Pegu Club last week. She let me had a taste and now I can mix my own.

The only little tweak I have made is using Earl Gray simple syrup instead of ordinary simple syrup:
  •  4,5 cl Earl Gray gin*
  • 2 cl fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1,5 cl Earl Gray - or ordinary - simple syrup**
  • Egg white
Put all ingredients in a shaker without ice and shake for 20-30 seconds. Then add ice and shake until shaker is cold. Strain into martini glass.

* Earl Gray gin steep a teaspoon of loose Earl Gray tea in 2 dl gin for at least 2 hours. Strain.

** Cook equal measures sugar and brewed earl gray tea for 2-3 minutes and cool off.

August 18, 2012

White Rum and Lemonade

Denmark is under a - short probably - tropical spell at the moment with rare temperatures around 30C. Lemonade is such a wonderful way to cope with heat and a little booze added does not ruin the effect:
  • 6 cl white rum, I used Plantation 3 star
  • 12 cl homemade lemonade *
  • Rhubarb bitters (Angostura would be good too)
Everything is stirred with ice until very cold.

Lemonade: I use a non cook recipe that I have found at Smitten Kitchen once. Basically freshly squeezed lemon juice is mixed with Maple Syrup at the ratio of 2.5:1 - maybe a little less than one actually. And then water or slightly carbonated water is added to taste. I like my lemonade strong - and my boozy lemonade boozy, but it is so easy to work out your own golden ratio.

August 10, 2012

Hello Kitty

A coworker asked me if I knew about a Hello Kitty cocktail or if such a drink even existed.

While having never come across one I had no doubt, given the Japanese affinity for both cocktails and the cartoon that somewhere someone had thought up such a concoction.

Google was not a lot of help - several mentions - but no consensus on anything. So I figured I would make one.

I've always loved the Clover Club Cocktail - the sheer pinkness of that drink is overwhelming. I love that it looks girly but packs a punch - and the fact it is named after a gentlemens club. I can just see those captains of industry getting slushed on foamy pink cocktails.

This summer the Southside has also been a lovely libation. The other day as I had a bit of homemade raspberry cordial left over from another project an idea started to develop:
  • 6 cl gin
  • 1,5 cl raspberry cordial *
  • 1,5 cl lemon juice
  • 6 leaves of fresh mint
  • Ginger Beer
Muddle the mint gently at the bottom of a shaker, add raspberry, lemon juice, gin and ice and shake until very cold. Strain into chilled high ball glass over fresh ice, top off with ginger beer and garnish with a few cherries.

And yes it's a variation on Audrey Saunders wonderful Gin Gin Mule  - so you could just call it a Raspberry Gin Gin Mule if Hello Kitty cramps your style.

* Raspberry Cordial: Cook a good handful of very ripe raspberries with 0,5 dl sugar and the juice from one half lemon for about 5 minutes until berries are falling apart. Work through fine mesh sieve to get all juice out of it. Cool.

July 28, 2012

Le Lion Bar de Paris - Hamburg, Germany

What do I expect from the perfect bar? Obviously great cocktails but also a pleasing room, comfortable furniture, competent and friendly people and good companionship.

I found all that Monday night in Le Lion Bar de Paris in Hamburg.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler had alerted me to it's existence - I have visited Hamburg several times and never knew a small slice of Paris could be found in Rathausstrasse just off the central square.

On one side of the street you find Cafe Paris a more than 100 years old cafe in true French tradition. On the other side of the street is Le Lion - and a shop where you can buy some French food stuff and cups and plates from Cafe Paris.

I had tried to email the bar for a reservation, my friend an I were afraid there would not be room for us, but when I got no reply our plan was to be there at 7 p.m. when the bar opened.

A couple was waiting at the door when we arrived and we all perked up when the clock on the town hall stroked 7 and the bartender strode across the street from Cafe Paris with a bundle of baguettes under his arms and a friendly smile on his face and welcomed us all inside.

The only thing you notice as you walk in is a huge lion casually posed behind the bar - everything else is in shadow because of the low lights and not until your eyes adjust do you notice the amazing wall paper - good enough to stroke - and the muted brown and maroon colors.

The couple who had been waiting with us headed for the bar, but we set our sights on a sofa corner until we came to our senses and approached to bar for first row seats to the amazing skill of bartender Mario Kappes.

That was out first good decision of the evening.

The cocktail menu immediately got us talking about what to choose as we saw so many things we liked or would like to try - we started out with a Twentieth Century.

Watching Mario mixing the cocktail was a treat - every part of the process was well thought out and completely structured and my admiration only grew as the evening progressed and more people arrived - not that the bar was ever crowded - but he did have to handle up to six different cocktails at the same time.

A job he handled with casual elegance and amazing speed.

Our first cocktail was exactly right - and completely differently from the ones I've mixed myself because of the use of a quinquina instead of Lillet Blanc.

We even got a taste of the amazing golden liquid - and I will now spend the rest of my life looking for a place to buy a bottle of my own Kina L'Avion D'Or ;)

Out next good decision was letting Mario choose out next cocktail. He suggested a Pendennis Cocktail - neither of us had ever heard of it.

He also told us the funny story about how the drink had been invented at the Pendennis Gentlemans Club in Kentucky, where Old Fashioneds were otherwise the order of the day, because ladies were visiting.

We loved it - it's something I would never have tried because of the Peach Brandy if I had just read about it. Until Monday I would have assumed that Peach Brandy would taste of bad synthetic peach. It does not. It has a wonderful almond like flavor that works with the gin, lime and Peychauds bitters.

At this point my friend and I parted cocktail ways - I ordered an Old Cuban off the drinks menu - and she asked if Mario would mix her an Aviation.

Now the bar was about as hopping as it would be during our visit and Mr. Kappes worked with another order mixed in with ours.

I noticed that he measured gin, Maraschino and lemon juice into a stirring glass but no Creme de Violette. And remembered that some mix it without, I feared she was looking at a huge disappointment.

But Mario did not let us down, he just added the Creme de Violette after he had strained the cocktail into a glass. That resulted in an amazing looking and tasting Aviation where the deep purple came rolling up from the bottom of the glass. Lovely.

At this point we would probably have had to vacate our lovely spots at the bar, if Le Lion bar did not offer canapés.

An order of 12 canapés was our third smart decision that evening.

Those lovely little rounds of baguette with cold cuts and cheese gave us our second wind.  

Since I had already started on champagne cocktails I ordered a French 75 and Mario suggested a Cucumber Collins to my friend because we had discussed muddling techniques in Mojitos. She looked very pleased with her selection as I was. Her cocktail was a luminous light green from the cucumber juice and smelled like newly mowed grass on a summers evening.

At this point we had interviewed Mario about his shaking technique and how he sees himself as a bartender and how bar guests are different i Copenhagen and in Hamburg.

Mario sees himself as a craftsman and not as a mixologist, and consider people skills as an important bar tending skill.

Which he needed on the day when he had caught a guy sitting in his car outside the bar with his nose in The Savoy Cocktail Book as Mario collected his baguettes across the street.

When the guy from the car entered Le Lion and ordered an Opal cocktail and Mario asked where he had had it before because he didn't know it the guy exclaimed: But it is in the Savoy Cocktail Book!

- Oh, so it was you outside in your car reading the book, Mario countered. And that saved the evening for both bartender and customer and they even laughed about it later.

I decided to end my evening with a Last Word - still my favorite - and my friend went for her favorite a Sazerac.

But then Mario offered us champagne and a round of the wonderful salami we had on the baguette and we learned that the people next to us both worked in Denmark and spoke really good Danish and knew the Danish bar and restaurant scene so we recommended places like Gilt that does New Nordic cocktails and Moltkes Bar Speakeasy -  a hidden gem in Copenhagen. It was still too early to leave.

When we eventually did it was after a perfect final where Mario mixed a Ramos Gin Fizz in a completely different way to the one we have seen before and the way I have tried to.

He did not start with a dry shake but with a wet and then strained the cocktail for a final shake. Otherwise the ice will knock the foam that you have build down, he explained and yes at Le Lion they have tried shaking it for the mythical 12 minutes - it makes the drink undrinkable - the cream turns to butter and the ice melts and dilutes.

Even adding the seltzers was done with a flourish - he stirred a little hole in the cream/egg white foam to pour it into and the drink rose like a high pressure cloud out of the glass.

It was the most perfect drink I have ever seen.

And the Opal? It's gin, orange juice, Cointreau and orange blossom water.

I've looked it up, in my Savoy Cocktail Book that i didn't bring to Hamburg.

No need for it in a perfect bar like Le Lion.

July 27, 2012

Cucumber Lavender Collins

In Hamburg a very talented bartender recently introduced me to a Cucumber Collins.

A perfect drink for the kind of hot weather Denmark is experiencing at the moment.

I twisted it a little by using lavender simple syrup.
  • 4 thick slices of cucumber
  • 2 cl lavender simple syrup*
  • 3 cl lemon juice
  • 5 cl gin
  • Seltzers
In the bottom of a shaker muddle the cucumber with the lemon and the lavender simple syrup. Add ice and gin and shake.

Double strain into a chilled collins glass - or another tallish glass - add seltzers and garnish with cucumber.

* Lavender Simple Syrup : Bring 1 dl sugar and 1/2 dl water to the boil with the flowers from four sprigs of lavender added. Boil for 5 minutes and let it cool of.

July 1, 2012

Rhubarb Club

Ever since the first rhubarbs broke ground in my otherwise quite unyielding garden, I have thought about this twist on a Clover Club Cocktail: Replace the raspberry syrup with rhubarb syrup.

Then a month ago during a tour of four Copenhagen cocktail bars I came across the very same idea and liked the result. Today I made my own version:

  • 5 cl gin (I used Miller)
  • 1 cl freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cl rhubarb syrup *
  • 1 egg white
Measure everything into a shaker and give it a good shake without ice. Then add ice and shake again. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with sprig of lavender.

* Cut two stalks of rhubarb into small rounds, pull flowers of two sprigs of lavender and boil with bit of water, sugar and a small nib of star anise for 6-7 minutes. Strain and cool.

June 23, 2012

Southside (fizz)

Perhaps the Southside was invented in a country club in a rich American east coast community - perhaps it was invented by a bartender in a gangster run speakeasy in Chicago to cover up the horrible taste of bathtub gin.
Regardless it is a very elegant and understated summer cocktail - at least when made with a decent quality gin.

Much as I have taken a fancy to assorted rum drinks, this would be the one I chose if I could only take one cocktail to a hot, desert island.

  • 6 cl gin
  • 3 cl freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 cl simple syrup
  • Fresh mint
  • Seltzer
In the bottom of a shaker muddle the mint in the simple syrup gently. Then add lemon juice, gin and ice.

Shake for a good 20 seconds and strain into a chilled Collins glass - or any tall glass you have - over fresh ice. Top off with the seltzer and garnish with a sprig of mint.

If you don't add the seltzer strain into a chilled cocktail coupe instead. 

June 14, 2012

Rum Ting (without Ting)

Even in a temperate climate like the Danish with no heat wave on the horizon a tall, cold drink can be the only thing that keeps a day from being a total write off.

Today is just such a day.

So a Rum Ting to the rescue. Only problem: I have yet to source Ting.

But I do have freshly squeezed pink grape fruit and sparkling water.

  • 6 cl rum - I used Plantation Three star White Rum
  • 6 cl freshly squeezed grape fruit juice*
  • 14 cl sparkling water *
Fill a tall glass with crushed ice - beating the h... out of the ice in a Lewis bag is very satisfying on a day like this - add the rum and the juice.

Stir until the glass is frosted and then add the sparkling water. Garnish with a sprig of mint - add straws and a green monkey. 

* Or 20 cl (2 dl) Ting

June 9, 2012


The gin hound is slowly making it's way home (and on the World Gin Day no less). This week's cocktail is a classic from Harry's New York Bar in Paris in the 1920'ies - the Opera.

It's a very old school taste - I suspected as much and had a bar snack ready as very boozy cocktails make me hungry.

It also contains a fortified wine I had forgotten: Dubonnet - that favorite of my parents in the 70'ies.

They served it over ice as an appetizer before stuff like beef stroganoff and a cheese board for their friends.

I remember the bottle - and the ad. Somehow the Dubonnet guy always struck me as being lonely - and probably drunk, the way he upends the bottle. Dubonnet is also a favorite with the English Queen, and her mother before her.
  • 6 cl gin
  • 0.75 cl Dubonnet
  • 0.35 cl Maraschino
  • Dash of orange bitters
Pour everything over ice in a mixing glass and stir until cold. Strain into cold cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel.

And the bar snack? Potted shrimp.

June 3, 2012

Four cocktail bars in Copenhagen

My cocktail loving friend and I are very efficient when we test bars. On the first day of summer which was manifesting itself with showers of intense rain and even hail we checked four places out, we had never visited before.

I'll review them in the order we visited them:

We got there a little early but found a dry bench to wait out the 10 minutes until official opening. Fugu is a relatively new place, it's in the basement in the oldest part of town on the canal at Gammel Strand.

But for next 4-5 years it won't be able to serve people on the street level as a new metro line means huge construction.

We made out way to the garden in back of the bar - but it was too wet and windy and midway through our first drink we went back inside and found a high table with a view to the bar and some comfortable benches.

We both had an Aztec Punch for out first cocktail of the night. But we didn't get the same cocktail mine was mysteriously without grapefruit juice. It tasted alright and I was in too good a mood to complain.

Next up I had a classic - the Bramble - and now I've written off Creme de Mure as a future purchase - the cocktail was way too sweet for me and the blackberry taste almost jam like. My friend was very happy with her chamomile concoction.

There is nothing wrong with Fugu, it's a perfectly nice bar and all cocktails are well crafted but over all this was the bar that left the least of an expression on me that night.

If you visit say hi to the fugu fish - he looks a lot less poisonous than he is.

I believe the oldest cocktail bar in Copenhagen except for Library Bar at the Plaza Hotel. It's right in the city center not far from Fugu on the canal facing the parliament - and not cut off from view by the high green fence facing Fugu.

For full disclosure: My friend and I are middle aged women and we do not look glamorous or important. That set us apart from the rest of the crowd at K-Bar. The staff did nothing to make us feel inferior in any way - and we didn't - but it's not a place that welcomes you with open arms.

However K-bar served the drink that impressed me the most that evening. A Phi Phi Martini - which as the name implies is a martini with a Thai twist: Gin, coconut syrup, lime juice, kaffir lime, lemon grass, coriander, chili and fresh ginger.

My theory was that the herbs were cooked with coconut water into a syrup, but my friend asked and the bartender told us, that she blended the kaffir lime leaves, the lemon grass, chili, coriander and ginger fresh and then shook it with the rest of the ingredients. Which explained why the Thai tast got stronger as I drank the cocktail. I loved it.

My second drink was a Rosehip Hibiscus magarita - much too sweet for my taste - but I should have know that. My friend loved the house espresso martini.

So overall great drinks and nice staff but K-bar is also the only bar in Copenhagen where I have ever been asked to leave my credit card with the staff when we indicated we wanted more than one drink.

I suppose I could take it as a compliment, but really how did they imagine that two middle aged women, one more than a little round, seated in a window nook with their coats behind them and one backpack between them would sneak unnoticed out?

We left the city center and ventured out to Nørrebro which is a neighborhood with a mixture of immigrants, students and young professional families. It used to be the poorest of the neighborhoods around the old town, now there has been a lot of renovation.

Gilt does not announce itself to the world. The facade is closed but a light sign beckons: Udsendelse (it's an old On Air broadcasting sign) - I liked that a lot.

Inside is a dark, warm and very cosy place. Looks like the average Danish living room in the 1960's except for the wood panels on the wall.

Only two guests and one bartender was present when we entered, they had a conversation in Swedish and Norwegian and that was perfect as we studied the Nordic part of the drinks menu.

We settled for a rhubarb/gooseberry interpretation of the Clover Club Cocktail and loved it. It was startlingly pretty and a very well crafted cocktail with a thick foam of egg white. In the darkness we used out fingers to lick out all the goodness of out glasses. Next came another perfect drink: Beets and cherries. This was a mix of white rum, Maraschino, red beet syrup, gooseberries and simple syrup.

It was a gorgeous deep red and had a full and complex taste. To my taste buds the Maraschino overpowered the gooseberries but my friend said she tasted them distinctly and the drink was her favorite of the evening.

As we had another bar on our tour we left, but we could easily have stayed the rest of the evening. Instead we heartily recommended it to a group of people outside who had always wondered what the On Air sign meant, but never investigated further. I hope they did

The Barking Dog
The heart of Nørrebro is Sankt Hans Torv, a square with lot's of bars, cafes and restaurant who all have outdoor service during the summer time. The Barking Dog is in a quiet side street of this square. It's another basement bar and it's a quiet eclectic space. Over all very warm and welcoming.

Only available table when we arrived was a tall one with tall rickety chairs, but fortunately half way through our first cocktail a table in a small nook became available and we moved.

I started out with the house whiskey sour which was a very nice middle of the road drink, my friend had a Negroni-interpertation that was really nice and served over clear ice, as it was very light in color. That was a cool touch.

My only teeny little complaint is about the absence of cocktail napkins. As all drinks seem to be very well chilled with the attention to ice, pretty soon the table and we became wet. But it's nothing major and we didn't even bother to go and ask for some.

The final drink of the night was a Rum Ting - served in a lovely glass, in fact the stemware at The Barking Dog was the nicest of the evening. I likes this trendy cocktail - but didn't bother to find out if they have actually sourced the Ting soda in Copenhagen or used fresh juice and soda.

May 24, 2012

Strawberry Daiquiri

Pretty soon I will have to rename my blog Gin and Rum Hound. But the weather in Denmark at the moment is just perfect for iced rum drinks.

The Strawberry Daiquiri holds a special place in my heart. 35 years ago when I was an exchange student in the suburbs of Seattle the elder sister in the family I lived with came home for a weekend and for some reason she, her three sisters and I had a whole evening to ourselves.

As the cool college student she was, she and one of the sisters somehow in spite of being underaged sourced the stuff for Strawberry Daiquiris.

We felt very grown up, as we sipped them and made spaghetti with garlic bread and swore the youngest to secrecy.

I don't have any blood sisters but over Strawberry Daiquiri they became exactly that and this summer I'm meeting two of them in New York where I'm in charge of finding the good bars ;)

So to work - and just out of curiosity I checked in my cocktail books, not a single one of them lists this marvel:
  • 6 cl white rum
  • 2 cl lime juice
  • 4 strawberries 
  • 1 cl orange Curacao
Start by smashing the strawberries in the lime juice and the Curacao at the bottom of a nice glass. Fill it with crushed ice and the rum and stir to cool and mix. Garnish with a strawberry.

May 16, 2012

Mai Tai

I can feel my hands slightly shaking as I start to write this.

One reason is probably that I just tasted my Mai Tai with a Wray and Nephew over proof float.

The other reason is awe and fear: The history of this legendary Tiki-cocktail is fraught with intrigue and feuding.

In other words it's easy to write something somebody will take in the wrong way, and then I fear a new generation of Tiki-lovers and -connaisseur are ready to cast spells that blows the top of my shaker the next time I fiddle with egg white or replace all the bottles in my liquor cabinet with no name brands.

For Mai Tai lore read this rant.

Putting on a brave face I type what I mixed:
  • 6 cl golden rum
  • 3 cl lime juice
  • 0.75 cl Orgeat
  • 0.75 cl Amaretto
  • 0.75 cl Orange Curacao
Pour everything in a shaker full of crushed ice including one half of the juiced limes. Shake well and pour into a low wide glass.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and add a small float of either black rum or over proof rum so the first impression is rum and the almond and lime will materialize later.

May 12, 2012

Nettle Shoots

This year I somehow forgot to plant my garden, so right now rhubarb is the only thing I can harvest - strawberries, raspberries and currants will come later along with things I've probably forgotten about.

And as I cut the available rhubarbs the other day - there really wasn't any bounty to be had, at least not any I had planted, but I have plenty of stinging nettles and thought I would utilize those.

Sticking my hand in a plastic bag I picked a good handful of the young, top shoots from not very big nettles.

I poured about 2 dl of gin - Bombay was at hand - over them and let it stand for 45 minutes during which time the gin turned a lovely orange, almost Aperol color (as seen in the picture below).

When the cocktail hour rolled along I was ready to taste my stinging nettle gin in a creation I call Nettle Shoots:

  • 4,5 cl stinging nettle gin
  • 1,5 cl white creme de cacao
  • 1,5 cl yellow Chartreuse
  • 1,5 cl lemon juice
  • Dash of Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters
Using my new Lewis bag - thank you for saving med the $30-40 getting one shipped to Denmark would have cost me - I stirred my cocktail with lot's of ice and strained it into a cocktail coupe and garnished with a maraschino cherry.

If I may say so - that is one tasty cocktail.

May 5, 2012


In honor of Cinco de Mayo I chose the Margarita as this weeks cocktail.

First time I had one was 25 years ago at a Mexican restaurant in Seattle. I was overwhelmed both by the size of the thing and the taste.

When I got back to Denmark I had packets of sour mix with me and dazzled my friends with this exotic drink using the cheapest tequila I could find and topping the whole thing of with Seven Up.

Haven't had one since. Read a bit about the history of this cocktail - enjoyed David Wondrich's explanation the most and took my inspiration from the recipe in the PDT book.
  • 3 cl mezcal
  • 3 cl tequila
  • 2 cl orange curacao
  • 2 cl lime juice
  • 0,75 cl agave sirup
Shake everything with ice and serve in glass with a salt rim and a piece of citrus for a garnish.

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.

March 31, 2012

Palm Beach Special

The name of this cocktail alone was enough to grab my attention: I have a very soft spot for Florida and this cocktail did not disappoint.

It's not a contender for my all time top five, but it's a decent and enjoyable pre-dinner drink:
  • 7,5 cl gin
  • 1,5 cl sweet vermouth
  • 2 cl freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

In a glass with ice stir the three ingredients until very cold - double strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a wedge of grapefruit.

March 25, 2012


I count the Negroni as one of my all times favorite cocktails - especially as a pre-dinner or pre-Sunday lunch libation.

I also subscribe to if it ain't broke don't fix it.

But then I stumbled across the Boulevardier - a spin on Negroni by Harry MacElhone of Harry's Bar in Paris-fame - and reconsidered. (Update: Or maybe a cocktail in it's own right see comments for debate)

Not least because Negroni Sbagliato is a wonderful summer interpretation of the original.

The verdict: Boulevardier is a wonderful first-Sunday-in-Spring-pre-lunch cocktail.

  • 4 cl bourbon
  • 2 cl Campari
  • 2 cl sweet vermouth - I used Dolin Rouge

Stir the three ingredients with ice and strain into particularly pretty cocktail glass as it sparkles like a jewel. Garnish with lemon.

And just a word of warning: This is a powerful apertif, so you better have the next meal on the horizon before mixing a Boulevardier.

March 8, 2012


Ever since I got The PDT Cocktail Book I have been perhaps a little starstruck.

I love the look and the feel of the book, but can also see that it is cleverly disguised to take over from that other modern cocktail bible: The Savoy Cocktail Book.

So actually I wish the book had a more innovative look but the contents are undeniably good.

And the layout with explanations of everything and a solid section of recipes is very good. It will be a go to book, I'm sure.

I settled on Paddington as my first PDT-cocktail.

I'm a huge fan of the bear and my brother and I loved the sentence: My grandmother has fallen out of the stagecoach.

Once I started chuckling at that the rest was easy:

  • 6 cl rum
  • 2 cl Lillet Blanc
  • 2 cl grapefruite juice
  • 2 cl lemmon juice
  • barspoon of orange marmalade.

Put everything in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously, strain into chilled cocktail coupe and garnish with a sliver of grapefruit peel.

March 2, 2012

Blue Smoke

Smoke seems to follow me everywhere this week. Not unwanted cigarette smoke or anything unpleasant like that - nice smoke, evocative smoke.

On Monday a friend and I had a blast at Copenhagen Spirits and Cocktails (Does not seem to be updated - they had a blast too!) We took a class on tequila and tasted nice stuff from Patròn.

Ronan Rogerson explained about the differences between tequila and mezcal and how it is made from agave, that has been smoked in the ground.

How amazing that tasted we found out during a class on drinking rituals where the tradition of pouring mezcal in a cross before serious drinking commenced was explained.

And I had a bit of an epiphany when I inhaled the smell of the mezcal and was transported back to my childhood and the smell of the Players medium navy cut tobacco my Dad smoked in his pipe.

Mezcal smells like his tobacco smelled in the square light blue tin - a bit like prunes, a bit like rubber tires and a bit like honey. A smell I had not given a second thought in the intermediate 40 years but that I suddenly missed.

As I started reading Camper English's article for LA Times about liquid smoke this morning, I suddenly knew I had to lay my hands on some mezcal for my Friday cocktail. I also knew I wanted to mix the cocktail myself and I'm quite pleased with it actually:
  • 4 cl mezcal
  • 1 cl Yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 cl Golden Falernum (wonderful product from Bitter Truth)
  • 1 cl dark agave syrp
  • 3 cl freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice
  • 6 blueberries.
Add liquids and syrup to shaker along with 5 blueberries, muddle gently, then add ice and shake. Strain into cocktail glass with last blueberry placed in the bottom. Cheers Dad!

February 25, 2012

High Kick

For some reason I have both Aperol and vanilla vodka in my liquor cabinet - the Aperol after a brief flirt with Aperol Spritz this summer - I like Campari so much better - and the vanilla vodka after a brief flirt years ago with vanilla vodka and cranberry juice - then I grew up.

Much to my surprise I stumbled across a cocktail this afternoon containing both of these ingredients and I gave it a shot. It has been developed by Camper English who writes a very nice blog:
  • 4.5 cl Absolute Vanilla
  • 2 cl Aperol
  • 2 cl fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cl simple syrup
  • 6 mint leaves
Pour everything in a cocktail shaker with ice, add the mint and shake for a good minute. Strain into chilled cocktail coupe and garnish with a mostarda cherry and a sprig of mint.

February 11, 2012

Amaretto Sour

It's fun to mix cocktails or cook food you have no history with. In other words drink or food where you have no idea how it is supposed to taste.

Amaretto Sour seems to be a cocktail that people have a history with - something sweet, bland nonthreatening served to people who really don't enjoy strong cocktails.

But then Jeffrey Morgenthaler spiced it - and spiked it - up. And he sold me with the claim that he makes the worlds best.

So promptly at 9 a.m. I stood in front of my booze seller as a somewhat tired employee opened the door to let the first customer in.

I went straight for the orange Curacao shelf, where I picked out a bottle of liquid gold: Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao Ancienne Méthode.

I tried it last night at an amazing seminar i the fine baroque manor Moltkes Palæ in Copenhagen in a Brandy Cocktail - well a Cognac Cocktail because it's base spirit was Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac.

And then I pointed at a middle of the road Amaretto and was promptly chastised: If you go for the best in Curacao, then why not for the best in Amaretto? And then he sold me a bottle of Zuidam Amaretto. So he might have looked tired but he was a good salesman.

So tonight I mixed a Amaretto Sour, inspired by Morgenthaler:
  • 4,5 cl Amaretto
  • 2 cl whisky - I used Dalwhinnie
  • 3 cl fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 egg white
Put everything in a cocktail shaker but don't add any ice yet. Dry shake for a minute then add ice and shake for another 2 minutes.

Strain in to cocktail coupe over fresh ice and garnish with a lemon twist and an Amarena cherry.

February 7, 2012

Weeping Ukulele

What is a gin hound to do when the theme for the next Mixology Monday hosted by the Pegu Blog is TIKI?

Well I could lie down and weep or be bold. I choose the latter.

Two things inspired me: A wonderful Danish cherry wine and my first batch of syrup for home made tonic water, made by pretty much following Jeffrey Morgenthaler's recipe, but with a few changes described here.
  • 6 cl (2 oz) Appleton Estate V/X rum
  • 2 cl (3/4 oz) Picon
  • 2 cl (3/4 oz) Frederiksdal cherry wine (Cheery Heering would work, but then only half as much)
  • 1 cl (2 teaspoons or 3/8 oz) Campari
  • 2 cl (3/4 oz) fresh blood orange juice
  • 1 cl (2 teaspoons or 3/8 oz) tonic syrup (or 4 cl (2 3/4 oz) tonic water)
  • 3 cl seltzers (not if tonic water is used)
  • Dash of Bitter Truth Xoxolatl Mole chocolate bitters

If using tonic syrup, shake first 6 ingredients with lots of crushed ice. Pour into generous glass, add the seltzers and the dash of bitters and garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple and couple of maraschino cherries and umbrella.

If using tonic water just shake the first five ingredients and then add tonic water, bitters and garnish.

Enjoy - or weep!

February 4, 2012

Gin and Homemade Tonic

It's a bit insulting to try to tell people how to mix a gin and tonic, right? And is it even a cocktail?

The answers to those two questions must be yes and no.

Strictly speaking a G&T is not a cocktail, unless you make your own tonic water, then it very clearly is, as both something bitter and sugar is present in the process.

I followed a recipe by Jeffrey Morgenthaler - not to the letter, I added bitter orange peel and bitter orange juice as well as dry bitter orange peel. And I sweetened it with a mixture of white sugar, honey and maple syrup.

The greatest challenge was to get a hold of the china bark, but once that was secure it takes less than an hour to make the equivalent of 3 liters of tonic water at a fraction of the cost of designer tonic water like Fentimans, Q tonic and Fever Tree.

  • 2 cl home made tonic sirup
  • 4 cl gin
  • 6 cl seltzers

Stir everything with ice and garnish with a slice of lime or lemon as you please.

January 27, 2012


Let's take a trip back to the very earliest days of cocktails. Back when Mr. Jerry Thomas worked in California and either mixed this for a guy named Martinez or for a guy headed to Martinez in Mexico.
Regardless it is a pleasure to meet the granddaddy of the martini. Like the martini there seems to be many different preferred ratios, I like this one:
  • 5 cl gin
  • 2,5 cl sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 barspoon maraschino liqueur
  • a dash of Angostura bitters

Mix everything in a mixing glass over ice and stir until cold, then strain into large martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

January 20, 2012

Old Cuban

One of my dreams is to one day visit The Pegu Club in New York and taste Audrey Saunders creations from the master herself (I know, I know she does not run the place herself).

I'm amazed that she always manages to invent cocktails that seem so simple they should have been invented a long time ago.

The Old Cuban would have been a hit at Floridita in Havana in the late 20'ies when Americans came down to drink real cocktails with first class ingredients.
  • 4,5 cl golden rum
  • 6 cl dry champagne
  • 3 cl fresh lime juice
  • 3 cl simple syrup
  • 6 mint leaves
  • A dash of Angostura bitters

In a mixing glass gently muddle the mint with the syrup and the lime juice, add ice, the rum and the Angostura bitters. Shake and strain into cocktail coupe and top off with the champagne.

Float a wheel of lime on top with a sprig of mint pushed through a slit.

January 13, 2012

Ramos Gin Fizz

I happened on a bottle of orange blossom water on a promenade through the part of Copenhagen know as Nørrebro.

It was a bit dusty, quite forgotten but gloriously visible at the back of a shelf in a green grocers that had lured me inside with a stash of fresh mint, fresh corriander and fresh okra. Not produce I normally see in my part of the world - I live 60 km north west of Copenhagen in an area of hardship and processed food.

Once that bottle of orange blossom water was in my possession the weekly cocktail was indisputable: The Ramos Gin Fizz.

I first tasted it at the 1105 cocktail bar in the center of Copenhagen a few years back, and was impressed. It might have been the very first egg white cocktail I ever tasted.

It was invented by Harry Ramos in New Orleans in 1880 at his bar Imperial Cabinet Saloon. After the Sazeraz it is the second most famous New Orleans cocktail.

According to Harry Ramos it needed a 12 minute shake to achieve the perfect smooth texture, so for the 1915 Mardi Gras he hired 32 shaker boys to do the manual work.

As I've previously stated I have no fear of unpasteurized egg white, and also have never had the slime-blob thing at the bottom of the glass happen to me, so here is what I did:
  • 6 cl gin
  • 3 cl whipping cream
  • 1,5 cl fresh lemon juice
  • 1,5 cl fresh lime juice
  • 1 egg white
  • A dash of orange blossom water
  • Seltzer

In a shaker put everything but the seltzer and no ice. Dry shake for 2-3 minutes and then rest your arms and shoulder for a minute while you get a good hand full of ice. Add to shaker and shake for another 2-3 minutes and then strain into collins glass topping it off with seltzer and a lime wedge.

January 6, 2012


Iodine and bandage might not be two tasts that most people enjoy but I do. Sometimes I find them in old French wines - Graves or Margeaux - or in Danish beer from Mikkeller.

Finding them in a cocktail made me quite elated. It happened at Salon 39 a gem of a bar just outside the city center of Copenhagen in Frederiksberg.

Penicillin was invented by an Australian, Sam Ross, and he single handedly convinced me that whisky based cocktails can be amazing.
  • 6 cl whisky
  • 1,2 cl fresh lemon juice
  • 1,2 cl ginger-honey syrup
  • 1 cl single malt whisky
  • A dash of Cardamom bitters

Start with the ginger-honey syrup: In a small sauce pan mix 1 dl honey and 1 dl water - in Denmark honey from the social project Bybi (City Bees) is an imperative. Add about a pinky fingered sized piece of ginger grated and bring to a boil.

Boil for 2 minutes and then let cool - don't strain out the ginger, let it do it's magic. Cool the syrup.

Then in a shaker add all ingredients except for single malt over ice and shake. Pour into low ball glass and over the back of a teaspoon add a float of single malt the peatier the better.