It seems that certain combination of spirits always results in endless variations of a similar cocktail. Which is not bad, as it allows you to gain an understanding of the small nuances between recipes, as well as helps you refine your palette as you look for those differing qualities.
This cocktail is just that, a play on the timeless pairing of gin, chartreuse and rosemary. Many cocktails have been made using these three ingredients, as they work so well together. Taking these flavors and adding modifiers or playing with ratios, results in cocktails with similar, and at the same time, differing qualities. This particular cocktail is currently on my menu at the Oyster Bar at Bayou on Bay and has been very popular in the last couple of months.
Vow of Silence
1 1/2 oz Rosemary Infused Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
The Manhattan. Probably one of my favorite cocktails and one that is open to almost endless tweaks and variations, while still remaining distinguishable as a Manhattan. This particular variation is one of our house cocktails at the Oyster Bar, and really shows the versatility of this classic cocktail.
While at first glance chai and bourbon may not seem like a likely pairing, the flavors of chai and vermouth pair extremely well, and a nice high proof bourbon ties the sweetness together perfectly. Cheers!
Park Avenue Manhattan
1 oz Chai-Infused Vermouth
2 oz Bourbon (90 proof or higher preferred)
3 dashes Orange Bitters
750ml Dolin Blanc Vermouth
3oz (by volume) loose Chai
Steep in covered container for 24 hrs. Strain through coffee filter and bottle. Refridgerate infused vermouth for up to one month.
One of my most recent experiments, is a twist on the Margarita. Taking the base recipe even further with the addition of cilantro and avocado, this pairs well with some blackened halibut tacos. A couple of these drinks, along with some friends and you are setting yourself up for the perfect summer afternoon. Cheers!
1 1/2 oz Tequila
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
Perhaps nothing defines a classic as much as the Mint Julep. First appearing in print in 1803, three years prior to the first defintion of a cocktail, the julep is complex and versatile, yet so simple at its core. While juleps rained supreme in the 18th and early 19th centuries, they soon gave way to the family of drinks known as “smashes”. Faster to prepare and consume, smashes meshed well with the increasing pace of American life.
While early juleps were likely mixed with cognac, the accepted spirit nowadays is bourbon. For the preparation of a proper julep, a few things are needed. Firstly, a traditional silver or pewter julep cup is essential, allowing frost to form on the outside of the cup and keeping the drink icy cold. Secondly, crushed ice is a must. I make my crushed ice by placing it into a canvas lewis bag and crushing it with a mallet. Thirdly, lots of nice fresh mint is needed both as an ingredient and as a very functional garnish.
So let’s begin. A traditional julep is made with just four simple ingredients, Spirit, sugar/syrup, ice, and mint. I switch mine up just a bit and use a sweet liqueur in place of the sugar, which adds a little bit of extra flavor to the drink. We start by gently muddling roughly a dozen mint leaves in the bottom of the cup. The goal here is to gently express the mint oils and coat the glass, not to shred the leaves to a pulp. I usually add the liqueur (Apricot in this case) at this time as I like to get the flavors incorporated. Next we will fill our cup with the crushed ice, and pour in our Bourbon. A quick stir is really all that is needed, just enough to get the cup to start frosting on the exterior. Then we will pile more crushed ice on top to give it that adult snow cone look. Then we will garnish with several large sprigs of mint, the more the better in my opinion, and place our straw nice and close, so that in sipping the beverage your nose is treated to the wonderful aromatics of the mint. And there you have it, a perfect summer sipper for those long hot afternoons. Cheers!
The Mint Julep
2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Orchard Apricot Liqueur
I do apologize for my absence of late. The past two months have been incredibly busy, and coupled with some personal stuff, I just haven’t found the time to post anything. But now I am back, and hopefully will be regaling you with all sorts of fantastic stuff!
For those that don’t know, I am now managing the bar at the Bayou Oyster Bar. Look for a new seasonally rotating menu and some other cool stuff in the coming months. If you want to come and visit me while I’m working, I am there most Friday and Saturday nights.
I also had the pleasure of attending Tales of the Cocktail on Tour Vancouver this past February, and I’ll have a couple posts about some of the sessions I attended up soon.
And last, but not least, I have a cocktail for you. This cocktail comes from the PDT Cocktail Book, but I believe is an original creation from The Raines Law Room. The pairing of gin, aperol, and cucumber is an absolute delight. Perfectly balanced and refreshing, this is one drink that you must try at least once, if not twice. Cheers!
2 oz Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz Aperol
2 slices muddled Cucumber