Cruzan Rum at Gramercy Tavern

Posted in Editor's Notes, Events, Reviews on May 29th, 2009 by Josh

Here, Andrea is holding up the Orange Blossom – made with Cruzan rum , champagne, St. Germain, lemon juice, a sugar cube, and orange peel.

You know I don’t really do much in the way of brand-specific work here at Spirited Cocktails. I haven’t done many brand reviews (though I’ve had a lot of requests, so I may start), and I very rarely call for a specific brand of spirit in any of my recipes. I think it benefits the consumer to try different brands on their own and determine what suits their own tastes.

Earlier this week, though, @NYBarfly (whom you should be following on Twitter) was gracious enough to invite me to join him in meeting Andrea, an educator at Cruzan Rum, at Gramercy Tavern. Many brand ambassadors claim to be “educators”, but Andrea is the real deal. She knows more about rum than I think she cares to admit, and I couldn’t help but truly respect her once she went all “spirits geek” on us and the bottles of molasses came out at dinner! Read More

Tags: bitters, champagne, cruzan, gramercy tavern, grapefruit, rum

The Fitzgerald

Posted in Recipes on May 27th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for the Fitzgerald cocktailI make no attempt to hide my true love for Angostura bitters. A wonderful, proprietary blend of roots and herbal extracts, bitters are the perfect modifier to so many cocktails. They were originally used to mask the taste of quinine in tonic water. Supposedly, they’re also thought to cure a number of ailments, including the hiccups or an upset stomach. Personally though, I just love the taste, the look, and even the smell (they’re a terrific aromatic when used in cocktails such as the Pisco Sour, for example.)

The Fitzgerald, designed by Dale DeGroff, is one of the most straightforward demonstrations of Angostura bitters. This cocktail is essentially just a gin sour with bitters added. While it may sound simple, and while a gin sour on its own is great, something wonderful happens with that last little touch. Read More

Tags: angostura bitters, cocktail, dale degroff, gin, lemon, simple syrup

Corpse Reviver #2

Posted in Recipes on May 26th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for the Corpse Reviver #2So how was your Memorial Day weekend? Calm and relaxed? Or perhaps quite the opposite? Maybe one too many Flamingo cocktails at the beach? If so, another cocktail may be the furthest thing from your mind. But if you tend towards the whole “hair of the dog” approach, the Corpse Reviver #2 (aptly named) might be just what the doctor ordered (no doctor I know, but I’m sure there’s a quack out there who would prescribe this.) Read More

Tags: absinthe, cocktail, cointreau, gin, lemon, Lillet Blanc, Pernod

The Flamingo

Posted in Recipes on May 25th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for The Flamingo cocktailToday is Memorial Day in the US. Certainly above all else, a day to remember those who are no longer with us, and to pay special recognition to the men and women of our armed forces. Coincidentally though, it also happens to be the generally accepted opening day of the summer season. Shutters fly open on beach houses, shorts and sunglasses come out in full effect. Warm weather is here.

Of course, nothing celebrates summer quite like a “beach drink.” Beach drinks are the type you’d order at a beach bar, perhaps on some tropical island. They’re generally bright in color (pink works), sweet, and fruity. So in celebration of the opening days of summer, I bring you The Flamingo. Read More

Tags: cocktail, grenadine, lime, pineapple juice, rum, simple syrup, summer

Black Cherry Flavored Bourbon?

Posted in Editor's Notes, Reviews on May 22nd, 2009 by Josh

Red Stag from Jim BeamI just came across this article on a new black cherry infused bourbon coming from Jim Beam, called Red Stag. I’m intrigued.

As many of you know, I’m a pretty big bourbon fan, and I tend to be a bit of a snob about it, so my initial reaction was to cry heresy. Don’t mess with a good thing.

But the more I think about, the more anxious I am to try this. I worry that if it’s not done well, it could have an artificial, medicine-like taste. But if it really is an infusion of black cherries, that adds nice flavor without overwhelming the bourbon or being too sweet, it could be excellent.

I look forward to trying it. If any of you get your hands on some, let me know what you think!

Tags: bourbon, jim beam

The Sloe Gin Fizz

Posted in Recipes on May 19th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for Sloe Gin FizzI’ve been wanting to experiment with Sloe Gin for some time now. It seems to be making a bit of a comeback – so much so, that when I stopped by my favorite liquor store, they were limiting its purchase to one bottle per customer.

For those unfamiliar with Sloe Gin, you can read more about it on Wikipedia. The basic gist though is that it’s gin infused with sloe berries, which are the fruit of the blackthorn (a relative of the plum). It’s pretty tasty stuff!

I figured I’d start with a very standard cocktail, and one of the most prolific for sloe gin – the Sloe Gin Fizz. After researching the cocktail a bit, I was surprised to find just how controversial the recipe seems to be. It’s not at all uncommon for variation in a cocktail recipe; as we’ve discussed before, a cocktail can and should be adjusted to taste. Generally though, a consensus recipe seems to emerge to provide a starting point. Not so here. Read More

Tags: club soda, cocktail, gin, lemon, simple syrup, sloe gin

The Sidecar

Posted in Recipes on May 18th, 2009 by Josh

The Sidecar I’ve made for you in this post was my very first Sidecar ever. Anywhere. I have no idea what took me so long. This is a wonderful cocktail with a complex and interesting flavor. No wonder it’s a classic. (The Sidecar dates back to Harry’s Bar in Venice, and appears in books back to the Savoy c.1930).

Here’s what you’re going to need:

1.5oz cognac
3/4oz Cointreau
3/4oz fresh lemon juice
orange slice and sugar for the rim of the glass

Read More

Tags: cocktail, cognac, cointreau, lemon, sugar