Tag Archives: mixology monday

MxMo LXIII: Retro Redemption

Well, it’s time for Mixology Monday once again. This month is being hosted by the esteemed Jacob Greer who pens the Liquidity Preference blog. His challenge this month is to take a drink from those years that yielded few respectable cocktails, but many that were bright, sweet, cloying, or just downright horrid, and to rework it into a drink that should see a revival.

In a way, I was spared by most of these drinks, as my journey into cocktails started around the time of the current cocktail revival. In fact, my first cocktails were probably made around the same time as the inaugural MxMo event. However, one of the first cocktails that I ever made was the White Russian, and so it seemed fitting to focus on that particular cocktail.

Created in 1949, probably by Gustave Tops, the Belgian barman responsible for the Black Russian, and later launched to an almost iconic status by “The Dude”, this is a cocktail that really isn’t all that bad. I for one am not opposed to a cocktail that takes the place of my dessert as long as it still remains balanced, and this seems a perfect candidate for the task. And as luck would have it, a viable rendition is currently being served at one of my favorite bars in town, the Bayou Oyster Bar.

As many people know, I am not a huge vodka fan, and since part of my goal was to cut the sweetness of the drink and maybe add a little flavor to it, I chose to go with a coffee infused bourbon as my base spirit instead of the vodka present in the Oyster Bar’s version (Sorry Jim). So here you have my twist on the Black Drop, an updated White Russian for the 21st century.

The Bourbon Black Drop
1 1/2 oz coffee infused bourbon (I used Knob Creek Single Barrel)
1/2 oz Coffee liqueur (I used Starbucks coffee liqueur because I had some)
1/2 oz Creme de Cacao
Heavy Cream

MxMo LXI: Local Color

This month’s round of Mixology Monday is hosted by Lindsay at Alcohol Alchemy; for this month’s theme, Lindsay has picked Local Color, a chance for us all to showcase our favorite local craft distilled spirits. — Here’s how she puts it:

“Pull out your favorite “local” craft spirit (for those of you not in the US, what hidden gem from your neck of the woods do you want to give some cocktail press?), tell us a little bit about it and why you love it, and let it shine in whichever way (or ways!) you see fit!”

Since the liquor market is a worldwide industry, I really consider anything produced in Washington State to be local, and Washington seems to have exploded into the craft distilling market in the last two years, thanks largely in part to a craft distilling bill introduced through the efforts of Don and Kent at Dry Fly Distilling in Spokane. In fact, there are probably a dozen or more distilleries within a 2 hour drive from my house.

For this MxMo, I have chosen to use spirits from two northwest Washington distilleries; Ebb & Flow Gin from Sound Spirits in Seattle, and Pacifique Absinthe from Pacific Distillery in Woodinville. Both products are exceptional hand crafted spirits that really showcase the distillers love for their respective products.

For my cocktail, I have chosen to go with the White Lady, as it gives me a chance to use both of these spirits, while sipping something different than the corpse reviver that I would normally pair those two spirits with. Created by either Harry Craddock or Harry MacElhone (both lay claim to the creation of the cocktail) the White Lady is a simple twist on the Sidecar. Light and frothy with just the right amount of sourness, this is a cocktail that really showcases the spirits. Don’t forget to head over to Lindsay’s site in a couple of days to check out the round up of local spirits. Cheers!

White Lady
1 1/2 oz Gin
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Cointreau
2 dashes Absinthe

MxMo LX: Come to Your Senses!

It’s time for Mixology Monday again and this month is hosted by the 12 Bottle Bar. His challenge this month is to feature a drink that excites another sense besides taste.

During the summer months, as the summer heat picks up, it’s always nice to have a cool refreshing drink to sit on the back porch and chill out with. And what better cocktail to epitomize the quintessential summer drink than the gin and tonic. Introduced to the world by the British occupying the hot and humid subcontinent of India, this is the perfect drink to ward off the heat of the summer.

Now while the traditional gin and tonic is cool and refreshing, there is really nothing to excite the senses. Our solution to this particular quandary came to me by way of one of the bartenders at the Bayou Oster Bar here in town. Infusing cascade hops into our spirit gives us both an added flavor dimension as well as some great aromas. Pairing this with a good visual presentation yielded a drink that engages the eyes, the nose, and also tastes excellent. For this particular drink we chose to use Dry Fly gin, as both hops and mint are included in the botanicals. So without further ado, we present to you the Hoptonic. Cheers!

1 3/4 oz Hop infused Dry Fly Gin
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Lime Juice
3 oz Tonic Water
Mint & Lime Garnish

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.

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.