Habanero Tequila


Habanero Tequila
375ml Tequila
15 Habanero Peppers
48 Hours

I removed about 4 oz of the tequila to make room for the peppers. As this was my first time with such a potent infusion, rather than cutting the peppers open, all I did was remove the stem from the peppers and drop them into the bottle. I was planning for a 48 hour infusion, so I started on a thursday night. By friday night, the tequila had a pretty good smell to it, but by saturday around noon it was getting a real kick to it. Had a first taste right around the 48 hour mark. The initial sip was still very much tequila, but that quickly faded to a long lingering habanero finish. Just about right I thought. I made a couple drinks with it, that I will post up shortly.

Vintage Cocktails #16: The Income Tax Cocktail

Today is tax day.  What better day to present the next cocktail in our series.  The Income Tax Cocktail is a variation on the Bronx cocktail.  In fact, the only difference is the addition of bitters.  I compare the Income Tax cocktail to eggs with pepper and the Bronx to eggs without.  Such a small ingredient can make a world of difference. The Income tax cocktail is also a variation on the Perfect Manhattan.  Both drinks feature a base spirit, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, and bitters.

The Income Tax Cocktail
1 1/4 oz Gin
1/4 orange, squeezed into shaker
1/4 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Robert Hess from the Cocktail Spirit shows you the way to craft this beverage.

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Brandy Crusta

Vintage Cocktails #15: The Brandy Crusta

The Brandy Crusta. Perhaps one of the most important cocktails of the late 1800 to early 1900′s. This family of cocktails, a fancy version of the venerable cocktail formulation of sugar, spirits, bitters, and water, eventually faded into obscurity in favor of simpler drinks.  However, from the Brandy Crusta we were given the Sidecar, and from the Sidecar we were given the Margarita, one of the most popular cocktails worldwide.

The recipe as follows taken from Jerry Thomas’s Bartender’s Guide (1862)

Brandy Crusta
1 lemon
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
2 oz Cognac
1 tsp Orange Curacao
1 dash Boker’s Bitters

  • Cut the lemon in half
  • Pare the full peel off half and squeeze juice from lemon
  • Moisten glass rim with juice and rim with sugar
  • Insert the lemon peel into the glass
  • Mix the liquors in a cocktail shaker of ice.  Shake and strain into the prepared glass
  • Add 1 small lump of ice, and serve.

Since Boker’s Bitters has been unavailable for many years, Angostura or Orange bitters may be used.

Derby Cocktail

Vintage Cocktails #14: The Derby Cocktail

Before baseball, basketball, or football, there were 2 great sports in the United States.  One was boxing, a game of wit, skill and physical strength.  The other was the track.  The races were where the otherwise upstanding gentlemen would gamble away their hard earned (sometimes easily earned) cash, and celebrate amongst themselves with drinks and cigars.  And while the Mint Julep has become the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby, there were other forgotten cocktails named after races and their winners.  The Derby cocktail was one of them.  Trader Vic in his Bartender’s Guide (1947) lists three variations of the Derby.  I will list all three for reference, but the first one is found in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.

The Derby
1 oz Bourbon Whiskey
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
3/4 oz Lime Juice

I found the Derby to be an astounding cocktail. Well served before a meal as an apertif, the drink has a fruity sweet first sip which gives way to the bourbon and finishes with an astringently sour finish.

The Derby (#2)
1 1/2 oz Gin
2 dashes Peach Bitters
1 sprig Mint

The Derby (#3)
1 oz Brandy
2 dashes Curacao
2 dashes Pineapple syrup
1 dash Orange Bitters

New Belgium Erics Ale

New Belgium Lips of Faith: Eric’s Ale

Yesterday while browsing through the beer aisle at my local grocers, I came across a new brew from New Belgium that I had to try. Eric’s Ale is a sour peach ale, and in their own words, “a sour ale for those who don’t like sour ales, and a fruit ale for those who don’t like fruit ales.”  While I can agree with the fruit statement, I don’t think I can really agree with the sour statement.  This is definitely a sour ale.  If you don’t like sour ales, you probably won’t like this one either.  Not that it’s bad in any way.  Compared to New Belgium’s La Folie sour brown ale, this beer is mild in the sour dept, but still packs a pretty good kick.

Eric’s Ale pours a clear amber with minimal head, taste is of sour apple and honey, Acidity is present but not overpowering in any way, which is a plus for this beer.  Finishes long and dry with a taste of unripe peaches.  The Ale weighs in at 7% ABV, but doesn’t quite seem that heavy, probably due to the fact that its a sipping beer, not a chugging beer.  Eric’s Ale would pair nicely with bbq dishes, teriyaki, or any other dish that was heavier on the sweet and needs some acidity to balance it out.