Category Archives: MxMo

MxMo LV: Some Like It Hot!

This month’s Mixology Monday is being hosted by Nancy, aka The Backyard Bartender, and her chosen theme is: Some Like It Hot. Very simple, make anything you want, as long as it is hot. This could not have come at a more perfect time, as it has been below freezing this week, and I very much enjoyed experimenting with many variations of hot beverages.

Last week I was enjoying the Full Sail Black Gold, and I thought that with it’s rich chocolate/malt flavors that it would work well in a cocktail. So after thinking about how I was going to incorporate it, I decided to go the beer syrup route and made an imperial stout syrup. It turned out perfectly. Rich and thick with a lot of the chocolate notes I was looking for.

So now I had my sweetener, but what about the rest of the drink? Normally when crafting a drink I start with the base spirit, but since I really wanted to incorporate the beer it was a little more challenging. As I was thinking about flavor pairings, my original thoughts were apples and strawberries, but neither of those really fit with a hot beverage. However, orange would be perfect. Everybody loves those chocolate oranges, so throw some chocolate and orange together, add some rum, and you have got yourself a drink.

It was a good drink, but lacking somehow. Bitters of course, how could one forget bitters? They make everything taste better. Adding some orange and chocolate bitters really helped tame the sweetness and give a little dimension to the drink. So there you have it, a fine winter warmer for those cold chilly nights. Thanks to Nancy for hosting and Paul for organizing month after month. Be sure to head over to her site for the roundup in a few days. Cheers!

Imperial Stout Syrup
3/4 cup Black Gold Imperial Stout
1 cup Sugar
simmer on stove until sugar is completely dissolved.
Cool, and fine strain to remove the beer head.

Pirate’s Gold
1 1/2 oz Jamaican Rum
1/2 oz Demerara Rum
3/4 oz Stout Syrup
1/4 oz Creole Shrub
5 dashes orange bitters
5 dashes chocolate bitters
2-3 oz Hot Water

MxMo LIV: See You On The Flipside

It’s time for MxMo again, and this month’s event is hosted by Josh Cole at Cocktail Assembly. In explaining the theme, Josh says that while flips are a necessary part of the arsenal at this time of year, their appeal isn’t limited to the colder months:

The flip is one of those cocktails that so successfully defies the seasons. When it’s cold and the icy chill is tearing its way through to our bones, the heated flip opens it’s arms and embraces us like a warm blanket. When it’s hot, the cool flip lowers the heat and can bring back that spring day memory of a creamy shake enjoyed on a front porch. There’s never a bad time or temperature to enjoy the frothy glory that is the flip.

As a flip is not a drink that is seen often around here, lets look at what a flip is. A flip is a class of mixed drinks. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term was first used in 1695 to describe a mixture of beer, rum, and sugar, heated with a red-hot iron poker. The poker caused the drink to froth up, and it is from this frothing or “flipping” that the name was born. In the New England Almanac for 1704 we read under December:-

“The days are short, the weather’s cold,
By tavern fires tales are told.
Some ask for dram when first come in,
Others with flip and bounce begin.”

Over time, eggs were included, the sugar increased, the beer was left out, and the drink was more often served cold than not.
The first published bartenders guide, How to Mix Drinks; or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion (Jerry Thomas, 1862), is also the first guide to feature a flip. In his book Thomas includes 13 flips; 6 cold, and 7 hot, however by this time very few flips still included the ale. As to the preparation of said drink, Thomas declares that, “The essential in flips of all sorts is to produce the smoothness by repeated pouring back and forward between two vessels and beating up the eggs well in the first instance the sweetening and spices according to taste.”

As time went on, the distinction between egg nog (a spirit, egg, cream, sugar, and spice) and a flip (a spirit, egg, sugar, spice, but no cream) was gradually codified in America’s bar guides. In recent decades, bar guides have begun to indicate the presence of cream in a flip as optional.

The following flip recipes appear in Jerry Thomas 1887 Bartenders Guide.
Hot English Rum Flip.
(One quart.)
Take 1 quart of ale.
1 gill of old rum.
4 raw fresh eggs.
4 ounces of moist sugar.
1 tea-spoonful of grated nutmeg (or ginger).

Heat the ale in a saucepan ; beat up the eggs and sugar, add the nutmeg and rum, and put it all in a pitcher. When the ale is near to a boil, put it in another pitcher, pour it very gradually in the pitcher containing the eggs, etc , stirring all the while very briskly to prevent the eggs from curdling, then pour the contents of the two pitchers from one to the other until the mixture is as smooth as cream.

Hot English Ale Flip.
(One quart.)
This is prepared in the same manner as Rum Flip,
omitting the rum, and the whites of two of the eggs.

Sleeper.
Take 1 gill of old rum.
1 ounce of sugar.
2 fresh raw eggs.
½ pint of water.
6 cloves.
6 coriander seeds.
1 lemon.

Boil the cloves and coriander, with a bit of cinnamon in the water ; mix together the rum, sugar, the yolks of the eggs and the juice of half the lemon; whisk them all together, and strain into a tumbler.

Cold Rum Flip.
(Use large bar-glass.)
Take 1 teaspoonful of powdered sugar, dissolved in
a little water.
1 wine-glass of Jamaica rum.
1 fresh egg.
2 or 3 lumps of ice.
Shake up thoroughly, strain in a medium glass, and
grate a little nutmeg on top.

Cold Brandy Flip — substitute Cognac Brandy
Cold Rum Flip — substitute Jamaica rum
Cold Gin Flip — substitute Holland gin
Port Wine Flip — substitute port wine
Sherry Wine Flip — substitute sherry

Hot Brandy Flip.
(Use large bar-glass, heated.)
Take 1 tea-spoonful of sugar.
1 wine-glass of brandy.
Yolk of one egg.
Dissolve the sugar in a little hot water, add the brandy and egg, shake up thoroughly, pour into a medium bar-glass, and fill it one-half full of boiling water. Grate a little nutmeg on top, and serve

Hot Rum Flip — substitute Jamaica rum or
Hot Whiskey Flip — substitute whiskey
Hot Gin Flip — substitute Holland gin

As you can see, by Jerry Thomas’s time, the large and magnificent flip had for the most part been scaled down to a much smaller size. Gone was the ale, seldom to return, replaced instead by a quick brace of spirits, sugar, and egg. Sounds like my kind of drink. The modern flip is a drink that lends itself well to all kinds of variations and experiments. Pick a base spirit, a sweetener of some kind, and an egg. I myself will tend to stick to rum as a base for my flip, as this was probably the original spirit that flips were made with.

Dennis’s Rum Flip
2 oz Zacapa Rum
3/4 oz Allspice Dram
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 egg
Shake well with ice, strain into a glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

MxMo LIII: Like That? You’ll Love This!

This Month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Chris Amirault at the eGullet forums. Chris has suggested for the theme, “Like That? You’ll Love This!” Here’s how he describes it:

Here’s the story. At the bar where I now work, I regularly receive requests for the bar staples of the late 20th century, espresso martinis, appletinis, and other things that end inappropriately in -tini. Though these are standard-issue drinks at most bars, Cook & Brown Public House aims for a classic approach that eschews the pucker line, flavored vodkas, and bottled sour mix.

I’ve been talking with other bartenders and they, too, want to find a balance between customer service and stocking products that they can’t or won’t back. In addition, a well-made tweak of someone’s favorite can be just the ticket through the gate to the sort of quality cocktails you want to serve guests at home or at work. Hence this MxMo, devoted to sharing gateway drinks that allow you to say, “If you like that, you’ll love this!”

With that in mind, lets get to work. Currently I am not employed at a bar, and most of the people that come to my home bar know what kind of drinks I make. However, when I have someone new over and ask them what they would like, I often get answered by blank stares. Knowing that many of these people are used to sweeter, sugary drinks, I will ask them what they usually get. A Lemon Drop is by far the most common answer, and I think the easiest gateway cocktail to work with. Almost every bar makes at least an approximation of one, and it’s really not that bad of a cocktail. Being of the sour family, it’s formulation is about the same as a classic Daiquiri, or a Whiskey Sour, or a Sidecar. All of which I would consider great cocktails. So with that in mind, some simple tweaks of said Lemon Drop can be a great way to educate someone, and get them deeper into the world of cocktails.

We’ll take our basic sour formula of 2-1-1, and mix up our Lemon Drop.

Lemon Drop
2 oz Citrus Vodka
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice

Now we have a couple of choices for our next iteration. We could replace the vodka with gin, we could replace the simple syrup with an orange liqueur, we could add bitters, or we could do all three. I usually will do maybe two of the three, with the goal of slowly working in other ingredients slowly. So lets do that and see how it works.

Improved Lemon Drop
2 oz Citrus Vodka
1 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
2 dashes Lemon or Orange Bitters

or

Gin Sour
2 oz Gin
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Lemon Bitters

With these drinks we have taken a simple vodka sour and made it more interesting by substitution and/or addition. Neither drink is a bold departure from the original as to not scare the person away, but both are still more complex (in taste, not execution) than the original. From here we can continue down the white spirits list and introduce the Collins, French 75, Daiquiri, or we can introduce some dark spirits in the form of a Sidecar, Whiskey Sour, etc. Choosing a basic cocktail and slowly expanding it is a great way to get someone to expand their drinking sights. And when they have been to the good side, I don’t think most will want to go back. Cheers, and thanks again to Chris for hosting. Be sure to check out the eGullet Forums for the roundup!

MxMo: Forgotten Cocktails Roundup

Well, despite being a busy time of the year and a short time frame to work with, we had a good turn out for Mixology Monday this month. The theme of Forgotten Cocktails, brought out plenty of delicious drinks, some I am familiar with, some I have heard of but never tried, and some that were completely new. Thanks to all the participants for digging deep and bringing up a drink that you think we should all get to know. Lets get on with the roundup.

First up we have Mark and his version of Curacao Punch. He finds the classic recipe as provided by Ted Haigh to be frighteningly sweet, and dials back the curacao while increasing the cognac. Looks like a well balanced, delicious punch!

Next up we have Fredrick over at Cocktail Virgin Slut, who introduces us to the Golden Cadillac. A interesting twist on an Alexander using Galliano instead of the traditional gin or brandy. Unfamiliar to me, and I’m sure many others, but looks like a drink worth trying.

Then we have Ed over at Wordsmithing Pantagruel, who would like to bring our attention to the 20th Century Cocktail. He provides us with 5 different versions of the cocktail, and as a bonus gives us an original cocktail based on the 20th century, but taunts me by using obscure ingredients.

Next we have Malty Puppy, who gives us the Cameo Kirby, a martini-like variation, named after a 1923 movie.

Keith at theSpeakista brings us back to the basics and highlights the Rusty Nail, a simple cocktail that he believes will arouse an interest in a spirit that many may not appreciate or enjoy.

The SpiritedRemix brings to us the Oriental Cocktail, a classic rye based drink with a modern flavor and ingredients that artfully battle together for flavor dominance.

Next up Ereich Empey over at Musings on Cocktails, would like to bring our attention to the Automobile Cocktail, a true prohibition-era cocktail that mixes scotch, holland’s gin, and vermouth with great success.

Rowen at the Fogged in Lounge, highlights the Blue Train Special, a pineapple royale with cognac that makes an excellent alternative to the over-popular mimosa.

Doug over at the Pegu Blog, takes this opportunity to remind us once again of the Pegu Cocktail. And why not. This is an excellent drink that really does need to be brought back into the mainstream drinkers repertoire.

Raised Spirits brings us the Vermouth Cocktail, and reminds us of good vermouth handling and storage procedures as well as recommends some good brands to try. While Vermouth is not something that the general public has yet to embrace, it is something that they should try.

Understanding Cocktails tempts us with the oft forgotten Satan’s Whiskers. This is a complex cocktail that requires some level of measuring skill to create a balanced drink, and comes in two flavors, straight and curled.

Andy at Sybaritic Wanderings highlights his house cocktail, The Claridge Cocktail. Hailing from the Savoy Cocktail Book, this yet another delicious vintage cocktail.

Old Town Alchemy digs deep into their back bar to bring us yet another Scotch based cocktail, the Adelle Special. While his cocktail doesn’t quite have the lasting appeal of the Rusty Nail, he is able to spice it up with the addition of some bitters. Everything is better with bitters!

Science of Drink takes this opportunity to remind us of the Jupiter Cocktail, which uses his favorite liqueur, Parfait Amour.

Marc, at A Drinker’s Peace, tries out the Fourth Regiment cocktail, an intriguing blend of rye, vermouth, and not one or two, but three flavors of bitters. Like I said before, more bitters is better.

Erik, at the Underhill Lounge continues his quest of mixing up every cocktail in the Savoy Cocktail Book, and in the process highlights the Warday’s Cocktail.

Felicia’s Speakeasy would like to draw our attention to the Gin Sangaree, although she apparently has a hatred for doing floats and/or flaming zests ;)

Jacob Grier mixes up a Clubland Cocktail, for him a rare Vodka based drink that is great to have in your pocket when your vodka drinking friends come a knocking.

Scofflaw’s Den brings us the Avenue Cocktail, which blends bourbon and calvados, along with several somewhat hard to find ingredients. A great cocktail, and he provides the links to obtain those ingredients as well.

AJ, from Done Like Dundee highlights Absinthe. He brings us a couple of drinks that would make good intro’s for anyone who has yet to try this rejuvenated spirit.

Dave, at The Barman Cometh would like to encourage us to revisit the Fish House Punch. One of the best punches I have had for a while, this is a true vintage punch that should definitely be revived.

Paul at The Cocktail Chronicles highlights California Brandy, and brings us two cocktails based upon the aforementioned ingredients; The Bombay Cocktail and the Brandy Scaffa.

Stevi over at Two at the Most asks us to check out the Alaska Cocktail, a chilling blend of chartreuse and gin. Yellow Chartreuse is the preferred variety, but can be made with either.

The Backyard Bartender brings us a trio of cocktails that will either revive you from last nights hangover, or maybe just kill you.

Finally, your host brings you a duo of cocktails featuring Applejack as the base spirit, the Delicious Sour and the Jack Rose.

So there you have it. A pile of unknown cocktails that deserve to be brought back to life. So pick several and mix them up. If you enjoy them, go ahead and spread the word! Thanks again to everyone who participated and to Paul Clarke for keeping this thing going. Cheers.

MxMo LII: Forgotten Cocktails

I am excited to be hosting the next round of Mixology Monday here at Rock & Rye. This month’s event will take place on Monday, November 22nd, and the theme will be: Forgotten Cocktails. There are many cocktail books out there, and even more that are no longer in print, filled with thousands of cocktails. Some are decent, some are crap, and some might be great.

The challenge this month is to bring to light a drink that you think deserves to be resurrected from the past, and placed back into the spotlight. It could be pre-prohibition, post-war, that horrible decade known as the 80′s, it doesn’t really matter. As long as it is somewhat obscure, post it up. If possible try to keep to ingredients that are somewhat readily available. While we all appreciate the discovery of an amazing cocktail, if we can’t make it, it’s no fun for anyone.

If you would like to take part in this month’s festivities, send me an email with a link to your post (Dennis (at) adrinkontherocks.com), or post a comment to this thread by midnight on Nov 22nd. Remember to link back to the Mixology Monday site as well. If you don’t have your own blog, I would be glad to feature you as a guest blogger, as long as I receive your submission in a timely manner. Looking forward to discovering some new drinks.

Cheers!