Category Archives: liqueurs

MxMo LVIII: Niche Spirits

Well, it’s that time of the month again where we dust off our thinking caps and share a cocktail fitting to the monthly challenge that is Mixology Monday. This month’s party is hosted by Filip at Adventures in Cocktails, and his assignment is to showcase:

…Any cocktail where the base ingredient is not bourbon, gin, rum, rye, tequila, vodka etc would qualify. So whether you choose Mezcal or Armagnac get creative and showcase your favorite niche spirit.

So with that in mind, I decided to go for a cocktail based on Pimm’s #1.
Pimm’s #1 is a gin based drink containing quinine and a secret mixture of herbs. It was first produced in 1823 by James Pimm, and by 1859, it was being sold commercially in London. Eventually there was a whole line of Pimm’s, each being differentiated by their base spirit: gin, scotch whisky, brandy, rum, rye whiskey, and vodka. During the 1970′s Pimm’s #2 to #5 were fazed out due to poor demand, leaving only the gin based Pimm’s #1 and the vodka based Pimm’s #6 available commercially.

I chose to pair the Pimm’s with ginger and mint, as those two ingredients go well together and compliment the citrus flavors found in the Pimms’s. Some bitters and citrus juice to round it out, and there you have it. A great summertime refresher with layers upon layers of complexity. I was actually surprised at how well this drink turned out. Try it and let me know what you think. Cheers!

Evening in July
3 oz Pimms #1
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
12 Mint Leaves
1 tsp Ginger (microplaned)
4 dashes Orange Bitters
Soda Water

Vintage Cocktails #61: The Widow’s Kiss

This next drink is an interesting one. Using an Apple Brandy as the base and pairing it with an equal amount of complex herbal liqueurs, one would think that this cocktail would be a jolt of over-stimulation. This is thankfully not the case, as the combination seems to balance itself out nicely, creating a drink that is rich, earthy and complex, without being overly sweet. My personal preference would be to up the base spirit by a tad, but it is excellent just as it is. A perfect cocktail for after dinner while sitting in overstuffed chairs with friends. Cheers!

The Widow’s Kiss
1 1/2 oz Calvados
3/4 oz Chartreuse
3/4 oz Benedictine
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Vintage Cocktails #45: The Diki-Diki Cocktail

Reportedly created by bartender Robert Vermiere in 1922, this cocktail’s namesake may be a famous 1920′s circus midget. I’m not really sure why one would name a drink after a midget, but hats off to him for creating this drink as it is wonderful. A simple blend of apple brandy, rum based liqueur, and grapefruit, this drink has both me and my wife longing for the summer. I chose a ruby grapefruit for this drink as it is lighter and sparkles more than white grapefruit. Cheers!

Diki-Diki Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Calvados
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice

Vintage Cocktails #42: Have A Heart Cocktail

Originally published in Official Mixers Manual (Patrick Duffy, 1934), our next cocktail shares a name with a forgotten movie of the same year. Similar to the Doctor Cocktail, this cocktail also pairs a base spirit with Swedish Punsch and lime juice. Gin pairs excellently with rum, and as such works wonderfully in this drink. The grenadine serves to add a bit of color and some added sweetness. Go with a big bold Gin in this one. Your tastebuds will thank you. Cheers.

Have A Heart Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Swedish Punsch
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine

Vintage Cocktails #41: The Doctor Cocktail

The first cocktail using my homemade Swedish Punsch will be the namesake drink of the author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, The Doctor Cocktail. There are several versions of this particular drink, this version coming to us courtesy of Trader Vic. This drink is an amazing combination of rum, rum based liqueur, and lime juice. Delicious.

Doctor Cocktail
2 oz Jamaican Rum
1 oz Swedish Punsch
1 oz Lime Juice