Vintage Cocktails #49: The Coffee Cocktail

This is quite possibly the most confusing cocktail I have come across to date.
In his 1887 book, Jerry Thomas offers this description of this beverage:

“The name of this drink is a misnomer, as coffee and bitters are not to be found among its ingredients, but it looks like coffee when it has been properly concocted.”

I’m not really sure what kind of port Jerry was using, but this drink looks nothing like coffee when it is made. You could maybe pass it off as a raspberry latte, but even that is pushing it a little. However, appearance aside, this really is a great cocktail. The brandy comes through in the initial taste, followed by the sweetness of the port wine. I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be having this one again. Cheers!

Coffee Cocktail
1 oz Brandy
1 egg
3 oz Ruby Port
1 tsp Sugar

Vintage Cocktails #48: The Twelve Mile Limit

Our next drink was created by 1930′s journalist Tommy Millard to toast the boundary of U.S. territorial waters. Although prohibition was still in force, all it took was a little distance to free yourself from the laws that you disapproved of. That and a friend with a boat of course. Cheers!

Twelve Mile Limit
1 oz White Rum
1/2 oz Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Beer of the Week: Unibroue’s Trois Pistoles

This week we are looking at Unibroue’s Trois Pistoles, and I promise that this will be the last belgian beer for a while.

Trois Pistoles is a strong dark ale, similar in style to Chimay Grand Reserve. This beer pours a very dark reddish-brown with a quickly dissipating tan head. Lacing is virtually non-existent. It has strong aromas of dark fruits such as plums and raisins, as well as roasted malt with a hint of spice. The flavors that accompany each sip mirror the aromas. Lots of dark malt, some chocolate, and Unibroue’s distinct yeast profile to round out the taste. Neither hop aromas or flavors are really present in this beer, which makes it a little lacking, and while their yeast seems to work well in most of their beers, it seems to fight the overall style in this one.

While I like most of the Unibroue offerings, this one seems to stick out a little from the rest and not in a good way. While similar in style and flavor to the Chimay, this beer doesn’t quite reach that level of awesomeness. I would drink this beer again, but there are others that I would probably choose before this one. Cheers!

Spirit Reviews: Templeton Rye Whiskey

When Prohibition outlawed the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in 1920, many enterprising residents of a small town in Iowa chose to become outlaws – producing a high caliber and much sought-after whiskey known as Templeton Rye.

After many years, Templeton Rye is once again being produced by using the original Kerkhoff family recipe. While legally rye whiskey’s grain bill needs to contain only 51% rye, Templeton uses a mash bill of around 90% rye and 10% malted barley. The whiskey is fermented with a proprietary yeast strain, is double distilled, and is aged in new American white oak 53 gallon barrels for at least 4 years.

Templeton Rye pours a deep yellow-orange in color which belies its age. Its aromas start with the spice of the rye, along with some dried grass and brown sugar flavors. The taste is full of caramel, toffee, and allspice with a peppery finish that lingers on the tongue. There is really no alcohol burn to speak of, which makes this a great whiskey to sip neat.

If you are looking for a good whiskey to mix up those classic cocktails, a rye is what you want, and this particular one fits the bill perfectly. Currently Templeton Rye has very limited distribution, but hopefully that will be expanded soon. If you find a bottle, grab it. You will be glad you did. Cheers!

Rating: ★★★★½

Vintage Cocktails #47: The Monkey Gland

It seems that Harry’s New York Bar was the center of celebration for Americans abroad during prohibition. At least most of the surviving cocktails hailing from that era seem to originate there. Owner Harry MacElhone named the following cocktail after Dr. Serge Voronoff’s controversial technique of grafting monkey testicle tissue on to the testicles of men for purportedly therapeutic purposes. While Dr. Voronoff’s monkey gland transplants fell out of style after a decade or so, Harry’s Monkey Gland cocktail lives on. Be sure to use a big bold gin such as Tanqueray in this one, and fresh orange juice is a must as well. Cheers!

The Monkey Gland
1 1/2 oz Gin
1 1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine
1 tsp Absinthe