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Friday, June 14, 2013

Root Down

     Delicious root beer with an alcoholic kick, Sprecher, you've stolen my heart. This is what root beer should be. The flavors it sends your palate through are nothing less than a sensory roller coaster ride. Intensely flavorful root beer, a good undertone of "malt beverage," and finishing with a great vanilla-bourbon sweetness. I love this stuff. Now what can we do with this?
     The first thing that comes to mind is a shot we used to drink half a decade ago. Once root beer on tap came about the big thing then was to mix it with Jagermeister and slam the whole thing. Although slammers are great, it's not something savored. So why not make it a long drink? I believe Averna amaro would work great here, and it does. Give it a try.

Root Down
1 oz. Pyrat XO Reserve
1/2 oz. Averna Amaro
top with 1/2 bottle Sprecher Hard Root Beer

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stone Fence

     Patio weather is here, and what's more refreshing on a hot day than some hard cider? I do love a good carbonated apple beverage, but hard cider for me just isn't that hard. Outside of the "usual" ciders, Strongbow and Woodchuck there has been a resurgence over the last few years, and I must say that I am on board. Shock Top's Honey Crisp Apple Wheat and Angry Orchard are but just a few great ciders that have come to light with a near cult following, and I must say that they are delicious. But what's better than a cider beer to cool down?, how about a shot of rum with it? Yes, please.
     The Stone Fence or Stone Wall as it it sometimes referred is a great, simple cocktail for the warmer days of summer. Delicious, refreshing and simple. Why make it complicated after a hard day?

 Stone Fence
1.5 oz. rum (Pyrat XO Reserve)
1 bottle of cider
(I used Newton's Folly)
build in a glass
(ice and/or bitters optional)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Curious George

     A recent trip to St. Louis cultivated a cocktail enthusiasm I wasn't expecting. From the duck-fat infused scotch to the house-made allspice drams and tobacco bitters, this city surprised me. Playing off these ideas reminded me of some of the offerings in Left Coast Libations, a book chronicling some of the best drinks and bartenders on the west coast. A melange of all of this spooled around in my noodle for some time.
     Let's start then with some banana chip infused rum, homemade allspice dram, and some tobacco bitters. These sound like a great start for a curious drink that will compile upon these flavors. Waiting is the worst part, ten days to infuse the rum and steep the tobacco bitters? Two to three weeks to infuse the dram? Patience is a virtue, one I don't believe I possess in this matter.
     Finally the wait is over, and WOW! is that dram intense, like eating a spoonful of cinnamon I suspect it to be quite astringent. But alas, it's not quite so crazy. The cinnamon definitely comes through on the nose and leads to pure unadulterated allspice berry flavor. I think using a whiskey rather than a light rum really added a depth of flavor that such an intense liqueur needed. But on to the drink.
     Concocting the recipe felt effortless, a glug of this a dash of that and we have a great cocktail. Although I had originally intended to use tobacco bitters in this cocktail I found that months would be required to draw out the tobacco flavor and I knew this drink couldn't simply wait on that. But once the bitters is ready it will added into this cocktail as a garnish to entice the senses. And thus I give you;

Curious George
2 oz. banana chip-infused rum
(I used Pyrat but Bacardi 8 might be better)
1 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. spiced honey syrup
1/2 oz. Averna amaro
1/3 oz. homemade allspice dram
- shake and strain
garnish 1-2 dashes tobacco bitters

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tobago Shipwreck

     Checking out the  challenge of the month I find the "herb garden" idea a great introduction into the season. The first cocktail that came to mind was the LBC Mule, a lovely herbaceous drink I concocted upon a challenge some years ago. But why go for the easy shot, lately I have been playing around with homemade tea syrups and I had just the right blend in mind. A mix called "Tobago tea," came to mind. I had purchased a tea years back with the same name and figured the mix would work well here. Lime basil, pineapple sage, toasted coconut and lime peel all sweetened with stevia(Truvia), a great tea syrup was produced.
     Now mixing the Tobago Shipwreck, I chose rum as I usually do and mixed it with the "tea" syrup. I added a dropper of Bittermen's Jamaica #1 bitters(one I have found to love lately), some lime juice and basil leaves; muddled it all and topped it with "7Up"(Sierra Mist).

Tobago Shipwreck
2 oz. Pyrat XO rum
1 oz. "tea syrup" (lime basil, pineapple sage, toasted coconut, and lime peel steeped for five minutes and sweetened with Truvia)
0.5 oz. lime juice
2 basil leaves
- muddle, add 2 dashes Jamaican bitters, and top with "7Up" (Sierra Mist)

The drink presented itself as a definitive rum & 7, but shortly gave off bitter notes and slight herbaceousness .  I will say with my omission of the ice may have been premature. Some chilling is needed but the flavor structure is there and prominent.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Madagascar Sour

     The Madagascar Sour, a cocktail I have always wanted to re-manifest since I stumbled upon it in Douglas Ankrah's book cocktails, shaken and stirred. Who wouldn't want a vanilla laden daiquiri? After the many years and endless cases of Pyrat drinking, why wouldn't we try a Pyrat version? Seems reasonable enough. Looking over Douglas' recipe I noticed he used vanilla liqueur and vanilla sugar. I decided for a different route and whipped up a batch of vanilla infused simple syrup, and following the classic sour recipe.

     The result was a delicious daiquiri drink beginning with the punch and character of my epic friend, Pyrat, followed by the tart bite of the lime juice and melding out into the sweetness of vanilla syrup. A rather intriguing daiquiri I may add.... vanilla?, simple enough, but oddly compelling. A must try.

     Madagascar Sour
                                                     2 oz. Pyrat XO rum
                                                     1 oz. lime juice
                                                     0.75 oz. vanilla-infused simple syrup (turbinado sugar)
                                                    - shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Aranciata Cocktail

   Following my post from February of last year I decided to revisit the Aranciata Cocktail. Martha Stewart knows best I guess. Following her recipe I chose to use Pyrat XO rum as the "golden rum." As this was my first cocktail using aranciata I was very intrigued as the results. A carbonated orange juice, how could this go wrong? Plus add a citrus(orange) forward rum, I think we have a winner. Who's up for a carbonated rum screwdriver for breakfast?--> This guy.
Aranciata Cocktail
1.5 oz. "golden rum" (Pyrat XO)
a dash of Angostura bitters
fill with ice (I omitted, I detest ice)
top with SanPellegrino Aranciata
lime wedge garnish (optional) 

I love this drink, the right amount of citrus, and carbonation, a proper amount of rum; would I be going to far to call it a Mimosa for rummies? Either way it's a must try. 

Dirt 'n Diesel

     Love this cocktail; and who wouldn't love amari after trying this beauty? I came up with the Immigrant Mechanic Cocktail; a play on the Dirt 'n Diesel, changing only the rum used, to Pyrat XO. My boss at the time had perplexed me upon this nectar of the Gods by using one of my all time favorite bank breaking rums; Pyrat Cask 1623. The controversy on the fabled 1623 is a much heated debate. Is it a rum or a liqueur?
     Not looking for a heated debate right now as I know my standings, I'll leave it at delicious none the less. He presented the Dirt 'n Diesel as equal parts Pyrat Cask 1623, Green Chartreuse, and Cynar, all stirred with ice and served in a chilled rocks glass with a lemon twist. As this drink was rather interesting I didn't see it as the Dirt 'n Diesel recipe that the world had come to known. Finding the correct recipe I decided to play off my bosses ideas and use Pyrat XO for the rum but follow the rest of the recipe to the "T," and I give you the Immigrant Mechanic or as most know it the;
Dirt 'n Diesel
2 oz. Pyrat XO rum
0.5 oz. Fernet Branca
0.5 oz. brown sugar syrup (1:1)
0.5 oz. lime juice
0.25 oz. Cynar
- shake and strain into chilled glass