Beautiful Combinations: Tequila & Chartreuse

Posted in Editor's Notes, Recipes on July 29th, 2011 by Josh

I have a confession to make. I don’t love tequila.

I know. “For shame!” you shout. “Blasphemy!” But it’s true. All things being equal, I would always prefer a cocktail with gin, rum or whisky over the agave spirits (which includes mezcal as well…gasp!) It may be that my palette tends more towards the sweet or bitter vs. the savory flavor or smokiness of tequila. Or it may be that many years ago, at my 22nd birthday bash, a kind benefactor started buying my friends and I shots of tequila to celebrate (no doubt the best brand available at our college-town dive bar), and I ended the night sicker than I had ever been (or since).

So maybe my dislike isn’t fair. Of course I know that there are far superior brands than the one that ruined the day after my 22nd birthday. In my defense, I’ve been working to break myself of this dislike, and I’ve found a terrific way to easy myself back in. The beautiful combination that is tequila and green chartreuse.
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Tags: Adam Ramsey, celery bitters, dry vermouth, Green Chartreuse, lime, Mayahuel, mint, sotol, tequila

Queens Park Swizzle

Posted in Recipes on June 17th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for a Queens Park SwizzleLast week, I told you about a mistake I made in preparing the Queens Park Swizzle (I used gin instead of rum, but I learned a lesson!) Well, since I teased you with one of my favorite rum cocktails, I thought it was time we walked through it for real.

A quick aside: this is the first cocktail I ever had prepared for me at a “real” cocktail bar – Milk & Honey (of London and New York City fame). Milk & Honey is largely credited (and rightfully so) with reigniting the love for the classic cocktail in New York, and whether or not that’s true, they definitely lit the spark in me. The staff and Milk & Honey are infamous for matching their customers with their ideal cocktail. Before serving you, they ask insightful questions about preferred spirits, flavors, and even mood. The first time I went to Milk & Honey, this is the cocktail they prepared for me, so it will always hold a special place in my heart :-) Read More

Tags: angostura bitters, club soda, cocktail, lime, milk and honey, mint, rum, simple syrup

Why There’s No Such Thing as a Mistake

Posted in Editor's Notes on June 4th, 2009 by Josh

A King's Park Swizzle?Well sure, mistakes exist. But as far as I’m concerned, not when it comes to mixing cocktails. Just as in the culinary arts, recipes are templates. They’re guidelines that reflect the goals and tastes of the artist, but they’re never carved in stone. The purpose of the resulting dish (or cocktail, in our case) is to be enjoyed, and one must always adjust accordingly.

The other night, I set out to make a Queens Park Swizzle – one of my favorite rum-based cocktails – which I was preparing to introduce to you here. However, what I ended up making was a mixture of lime, sugar, mint, angostura bitters (all of which belong), and gin (which most certainly does not). I poured gin instead of rum by mistake. The funny thing about it is that I was already a sip or two into the drink before I realized it (I swear, I wasn’t drunk!) Read More

Tags: angostura bitters, experimentation, gin, lime, mint, mixology, simple syrup

Clover Club Cocktail

Posted in Recipes on May 7th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for Clover Club CocktailI’m a Philly native. I live in New York City now, but I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and the Cheese Whiz of Philly cheesesteaks runs in my veins (probably more literally than I’d care to know.) That’s one of the main reasons the Clover Club Cocktail caught my eye. When flipping through Dale DeGroff’s latest book, The Essential Cocktail, I noticed that the Clover Club (which is a pre-Prohibition cocktail), was invented in Philadelphia at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. Dale tells us that the hotel was home to the Clover Club – a social club akin to the Friars Club here in New York. What also caught my eye was a potential variation in the traditional recipe suggested by Dale, in which he uses fresh raspberries. Yum! Read More

Tags: cocktail, dale degroff, egg white, fresh, gin, grenadine, lemon, mint, raspberries, simple syrup, summer

Mint Juleps in a Bottle from Makers Mark

Posted in Reviews on May 2nd, 2009 by Josh

Makers Mark Mint JulepI had the opportunity yesterday to sample Maker’s Mark (premade) Mint Julep at Astor Wines & Spirits (@astorwines). I must admit, I didn’t expect much. If nothing else, the making of a Mint Julep is a time-honored tradition, and the idea of purchasing a Mint Julep in a bottle wasn’t particularly appealing to me. I must admit though, after tasting it, I was pleasantly surprised!

It was definitely on the sweeter side as mint juleps go, but if you’re having a Derby party this year and the idea of hand-crafting mint juleps by the dozen just doesn’t appeal, I think this would be a fine substitution (and if you make a good show of it, most people will never know!) Read More

Tags: astor wines, bourbon, julep, mint, mint julep

Apple Julep

Posted in Recipes on April 28th, 2009 by Josh

Ingredients for Apple JulepSo the Kentucky Derby is coming up this weekend, which means that everybody and their brother will be making Mint Juleps. There’s a long and storied history behind the Mint Julep – it’s preparation, and it’s relationship to the Kentucky Derby – on Wikipedia, so I won’t bore you with it here. I’m not going to make a Mint Julep either; it’s too cliché. Instead, we’re going to make an Apple Julep.

Many of my readers from the South will cry sacrilege here, but I find the Apple Julep to be a refreshing and creative adaptation. Don’t yell at me until you’ve tried it! Read More

Tags: applejack, cocktail, julep, maple syrup, mint, recipe

French Kiss Cocktail

Posted in Recipes on April 21st, 2009 by Josh

Pernod & Aviation Gin for the French Kiss CocktailIn my last post, I discussed the Earl Grey MarTEAni – an inventive cocktail from the mind of Audrey Saunders at Pegu Club. Today I’d like to cover another Pegu Club classic – the French Kiss (gotta love that name!)

The French Kiss uses an interesting liqueur called Pernod. Pernod is a pastis – an anise-flavored aperitif that was created as a substitute for Absinthe in the early 20th century. Pernod can certainly be consumed on its own – though to do so it is usually diluted with water (about 5:1). In mixed cocktails however, it lends a great anise (licorice-like) flavor, which I personally really enjoy. Read More

Tags: cocktail, gin, lime, mint, Pegu Club, Pernod, recipe, simple syrup, sour