Friday, November 25, 2016

heading to venus

3/4 oz Tamarind Syrup (*)
3/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
2 dash Fee's Molasses Bitters (optional)

Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass with or without 2 oz soda water. Fill with crushed ice and garnish with Tiki intent including citrus peels (see text below) and freshly grated nutmeg.
(*) A 1/2 pound of tamarind concentrate makes a quart of syrup (when dissolved with hot 1:1 simple). 1/8 of that container (1 oz by weight) will make 4 oz tamarind syrup. Tamarind concentrate can be found in Indian supermarkets.
Last summer, I created a mocktail that was the two syrups and two juices above for a guest. A short while later, I knew that I had hit a magical tropical combination for that drink ticket asked for not only another round of that same mocktail but could their dining companion have it with booze? The drink with booze gained an amber rum component and took the form of a Jet Pilot that I called the Final Countdown when it hit the Yacht Rock Sunday menu (and later the main menu). To name the mocktail version, I took a line from that Europe song and dubbed this one the "Heading to Venus." The little Tiki man that I garnish with is a lime wedge pre-notched for a glass rim. In the notch, I insert a long snake-like forked tongue, and to the wedge, I add a pair of clove eyes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

jungle jim

1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Chai Tea Syrup
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass with 3 oz soda water, and fill with ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and an orange peel snake.
A few weeks ago at Loyal Nine, I received a drink ticket for a mocktail and I scanned the room to figure out which seat it was. Often it is a lady or a teenager, but this time it was a 4-5 year old guest sitting with his parents at the chef's counter. One of the servers had already communicated that this kid was awesome, so I knew I had to make this special. I will post the first drink I made for him (which is one of my mocktail standards these days) later, but I needed something for his followup drink to out-do the first one. I based the flavor combination off of Don's Special Daiquiri which pairs honey and passion fruit syrups with lime juice. Instead of its rum, I opted for a bit of chai tea syrup and soda water, and I split the citrus into equal parts lime and lemon. For a garnish, I went tropical with a citrus peel snake that I mastered from making Cobra and other Tiki drinks at home. The cool part was that the snake sprang out a bit when the ice was jostled with the straw!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

new orleans coffee fizz

2 oz Espresso (approximately a double shot)
1 1/2 oz Cream (Half & Half)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Vanilla Syrup
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with ice. Strain into a Collins glass with 2 oz soda water. Rinse shaker tin's ice with more soda water and strain until Collins glass is full. Garnish with 3 coffee beans and add a straw. Optional: twist a lemon peel over the top.

One of the formats I keep returning to is the New Orleans-style Fizz, a Fizz made with dairy and egg. Often the egg aspect is egg white (New Orleans Silver Fizz), but New Orleans Golden (yolk) and Royal (whole egg) exist. The idea of mixing coffee and cream in a drink had popped into my head a few times before I actuated this concept. The host I gave the beta test product to at work quite enjoyed it, so a few days later on the sleep-deprived morning of my clopen (closed the bar the night before, opened the next day in the morning), I decided to make one for myself for medicinal reasons.
Once prepared, the Coffee Fizz shared dark roast aromas; later when the glass was partially empty, the vessel's bare walls donated a cinnamon note that crept in quite pleasantly on the nose. A creamy, carbonated dark roast sip was almost chocolatey in flavor. Moreover, the dark sip was brightened by the lemon; in fact, this caused me in my third iteration to garnish with lemon oil from a twist as is often done with regular espresso. Finally, the swallow was mostly coffee roast with hints of vanilla and lemon peel on the finish; perhaps there were subtle cinnamon notes here, but this was a bit more understated than expected.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

cola libre

1 1/2 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup (*)
1 Egg White

Shake egg white with lime juice. Add cinnamon syrup and ice, and shake again. Strain into a Collins glass with 3-4 oz cola. Add more cola to shaker tin, lightly swirl to rinse ice cubes, and strain again; repeat until glass is full. Garnish with a lime wheel studded with 5 cloves, and add a straw.
(*) Vanilla syrup, nonalcoholic falernum, or other spiced syrup would work well here too.

Earlier in the week, I tinkered with a mocktail version of my Kingston Fizz. Since I find cola to be too sweet for my palate, I took the route of the classic Cuba Libre and added lime juice to the mix. Besides the Kingston Fizz's spice elements, the egg white aspect that I repeated here aided to smooth over the drink and helped cut back on the sensation of sweetness as well. I originally did this on a smaller lime and cinnamon syrup amount and later upped it to the above recipe to make for a more flavorful and balanced libation.
The cinnamon syrup and lime donated greatly to the drink's aroma. A creamy lime and caramel sip gave way to lime and cola spice on the swallow with a cinnamon finish. Indeed, the extra lime juice here helps to cut back on the soda's sugar attack and made the drink seem less like cola itself. Besides the one that I made for myself and photographed above, I made one for Cristin, one of the servers; she commented that the flavor profile reminded her a lot of Key Lime Pie.

Friday, February 6, 2015

raspberry ginger fix

1 oz Raspberry Syrup
1 oz Ginger Syrup
1 1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz Orange Juice

Build in a Double Old Fashioned glass, stir to mix, and fill with crushed ice. Garnish elaborately with fruits and berries in season, and add a straw.

 Cristin, one of the servers, yesterday was asking for a mocktail since she had been envious of the tales she had been hearing. I had been wanting to do something with raspberry syrup and thought about the variation we do on our Always Sunny (rum, raspberry syrup, lime juice, orange bitters, ginger beer). Our mocktail version of that is raspberry syrup and lime juice, crushed ice, and housemade ginger beer. But what if I were to tinker with that in a classic 19th style Fix? Instead of ginger beer, I could use the 2x strength ginger syrup that we dilute to make the soda. And to lengthen the drink as well as smooth it out, I opted for orange juice.
Fixes are very similar to Daisies, but Fixes are rather ornately decorated as was described by Harry Johnson when I wrote about his Brandy Fix. Here, I opted for a triple of the Luxardo cherry, orange peel, and lime peel "grass" that I have garnished Tiki drinks with in solo (along with a sprig of mint or other). Moreover, this garnish reiterates the lime, orange, and fruit notes in the drink. Overall, the Fix was tart, tangy, and spicy, and this flavor complexity made it more of a sipper (than a crushable gone-to-quick glass of juice). Cristin commented that it was "like Sour Patch Kids -- rather tart but sweet" as she gave praise to this Fix.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

orange julius

3 1/2 oz Orange Juice
1 1/2 oz Whole Milk (*)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with crushed ice, pour into a Collins glass, and top with more crushed ice if needed (shaking with cubed ice and straining into crushed ice would work well too). Garnish with an orange peel or wedge (here, a Siamese flag with 2 cherries), and add a straw.
(*) I have done this recipe without milk with good effect.

Orange Juliuses remind me of my youth when my dad would buy himself, my brother, and me these orange frothy delights at the Trumbull Mall in Connecticut. I remember my dad telling me that the froth was from egg whites which is why I included them in this drink. Initial run-throughs on this recipe with only egg white were rather satisfactory, but the addition of milk seemed to step up the creaminess of the drink. In fact, the combination of dairy and egg white is what is used in Rhiannon Enlil's Rum Julius that she crafted as a Ramos Gin Fizz variation more than a replica of the original. Moreover, while the shopping mall classic utilized a blender, my blender-free bar made me opt for crushed ice. The Siamese flag garnish came about from one of my mocktail drinkers, bartender Matthew Schrage. Well, when he isn't drinking mocktails, he is drinking Tom Collins (often, I start him with a complementary mocktail regardless). To up my game, I reflagged his Tom Collins on one visit after he ate his garnish. Another time, I doubled up his flag mid-drink so he had two. Later, I did the mental geometry to cut an orange disk down a radius and fold it to receive two cherries. To date, I have yet to out-do that Collins' garnish.
Getting past drink history and garnish theory, let's get into the glass itself! The garnish most importantly added fresh orange aromas to the bouquet, and the fruitiness from the Luxardo brand Marasca cherries did not hurt either. The sip was a delightfully tangy, creamy orange and lemon flavor combination, and the swallow continued the citrus idea with a smooth orange and vanilla medley.

Friday, January 30, 2015

tea julep

1 quart Tea Infusion (16 oz Ban-Cha Toasted Green Tea, 3 tea bags)
12 spray Fresh Mint (6 sprays)
2 Oranges (1 Orange)
2 Lemons (1 Lemon)
1/2 Medium Cucumber (1/4 English Cucumber)
1 pint Ginger Ale (8 oz Blue Sky Organic)
Sugar to taste (2 oz Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar)

Make the tea infusion and let stand for 6 minutes. When cool, pour into a bowl. Add half the mint, the oranges thinly sliced, the lemon juice, and the peeled and thinly sliced cucumber. Add sugar to taste, and let stand for an hour (I placed into the refrigerator to chill). Remove cucumber and the mint (I removed the orange slices as well). Pour 4 oz of infused tea into a glass of crushed ice. Add 2 oz of ginger ale per glass and garnish with mint and strawberries if in season. Makes 8 servings (here 4).

Back for Mixology Monday 49, the theme was "Tom Waits." I thought about what I would make this crooner who frequently sang about Manhattans and other boozy libations. However, it dawned on me that he no longer drank alcohol for he has been sober for over 20 years. It did not seem right to make a cocktail to serve in his honor, but I set about to figure out a mocktail (other than black coffee) that he might enjoy.
For a recipe, I looked in Bertha Stockbridge's What to Drink which was published in 1920 right after Prohibition started and Temperance drink recipes were greatly needed by those playing by the rules. Stockbridge has been touted as "the Jerry Thomas of the 'Nonalcoholic Drink'." Her attention to detail with measurements and her preparations of syrups and the like make her recipes stand out as elegant drinks regardless of their lack of alcohol content. Since our mint patch has come back with a vengeance, I was drawn to the Tea Julep. I scaled down the recipe and paraphrased the directions a bit (see above). While the drink took a lot longer to prepare than a regular Julep, the majority of this time was spent in the hour (I went 90 minutes) infusion time. The problem with nonalcoholic drinks is that they are often more labor intensive to produce something as satisfying, but the extra effort pays off and is quite the gift to the recipient who is often used to being poured a glass of soda or juice.

The Tea Julep's nose was filled with strawberry and freshly picked mint aromas. On the sip, sweet ginger and mint were up front, cucumber in the middle, and tea on the swallow. Indeed, I was quite surprised and pleased at how much the cucumber flavor leached out of the slices; however, I found the amount of orange notes to be disappointing. Finally, the lemon and the soda donated a refreshing level of crispness to the drink.

Originally posted on the Cocktail Virgin blog in May 2010, and adapted for this blog.