Monday, 18 March 2013

Mixology Monday: From Crass to Craft

I know, I know.  I haven't done a blog post since September, but what better reason to start blogging again than Mixology Monday!  Mixology Monday has always been one of my favourite aspects of writing a cocktail blog, mostly because of its way of forcing you to think differently, and this month's theme will most likely have many playing outside of your element.

This month's theme comes from Scott Diaz of Shake, Stain, & Sip. This exert from Scott's blog sums up the basic idea of this month's theme.


"The evolution of the cocktail has been a wondrous, and sometimes, frightful journey… But with all this focus on “craft” ingredients and classic tools & form, it seems we have become somewhat pretentious.  The focus on bitter Italian amari, revived and lost ingredients such as Batavia Arrack or Crème de Violette, the snickering at a guest ordering a Cosmopolitan or a Midori Sour has propelled us into the dark realm of snobbery… Remember, the bar was created with pleasing one particular group in mind: the guest. As such, this month’s MxMo theme… will focus on concocting a craft cocktail worthy of not only MxMo but any trendy bar, using dubious and otherwise shunned ingredients to sprout forth a craft cocktail that no one could deny is anything less.  There are a plethora of spirits, liqueurs, and non-alcoholic libations that are just waiting for someone to showcase that they too are worthy of being featured on our home and bar shelves.  So grab that bottle of flavored vodka, Jägermeister, cranberry juice, soda, neon-colored liqueur, sour mix, or anything else deemed unworthy of a craft cocktail, and get mixin’!"


With the constant competition that occurs amongst bartering and cocktail community to create the most creative, most extravagant, most expensive cocktail, it's nice to take things a little less serious and simply drink something because it tastes good.

Like most bartenders, my first original cocktail was far from "craft".  It contained melon liqueur, sour apple liqueur, pineapple juice, and vodka, while this isn't something I still make, I do have my guilty pleasures when it comes to imbibing.

For this month's theme I wanted to create something simple, that anyone can make. So I present to you, Orange Ya Glad?


Orange Ya Glad?
- 2 oz Reposado Tequila
- 1/2 oz Lychee Liqueur
- 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
- Orange Soda

- Add tequila, lychee, and lemon to cocktail shaker
- Add ice and shake
- Strain into tall, thin Collin's glass
- Top with orange soda
- No garnish




Thanks again to Scott for hosting, and for giving me a good excuse to finally get a new blog post up for the first time since September!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Beefeater 24 Cocktail Competition

Metropolis 

- 3/2 oz Silk Road Alchemist's Brew Infused Beefeater 24 *
- 1/2 oz Cointreau
- 1/2 oz Lime Juice
- 1/4 oz Real Cranberry Juice (Not Cranberry cocktail)
- 1 Barspoon 2:1 Simple Syrup

- Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker
- Add ice and shake
-  Double strain into a classic "martini" (V shaped) glass
- Garnish with a flamed orange zest.




* Silk Road Alchemist's Brew Infused Beereater 24
- Infuse Beefeater 24 with Silk Road Alchemist's Brew for 45 minutes (1 Teaspoon for every 4 ounces)
- Strain Beefeater 24 through fine mesh stainer and bottle




This cocktail was inspired by the marriage of a beautiful gin, Beefeater 24, and an elegant tea, Silk Road's Alchemist's Brew. The presents of rosehip in the infused gin was very reminiscent of cranberry, so I decided to make a twist on a modern classic, the Cosmopolitan.  The use of real cranberry juice made for a drink on the sour side, so the addition of a barspoon of 2:1 simple syrup helped to balance the drink out.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Classic Cocktail Of The Month: Caipirinha

Ever spirit has its quintessential cocktail that accompanies it: gin, the Martini; rum, the Daiquiri; tequila, the Margarita, and so on. For cachaca, that cocktail is the Caipirinha. A cocktail that is believed to out date the Martini, Daiquiri, and Margarita, the Caipirinha essentially is a cachaca sour that dates back over two hundred years. Like many cocktails that old, the Caipirinha was constructed in order to round out the sharp edges of the harsh cachaca of the time.


Finally seeing popularity outside of its home country of Brazil, the Caipirinha, along with cachaca, is now becoming a popular drink in many bars.



Caipirinha
- 2 oz Cachaca
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 2 Teaspoons Raw Sugar

- Cut a lime into eighths and add 5/8 to the bottom of a rocks glass
- Muddle Lime to extract lime juice and oils
- Add Sugar and spirit to rocks glass
- Mix Cachaca, lime, and sugar until sugar is almost entirely dissolved
- Top with crushed ice and churn drink with bar spoon
- No Garnish necessary

Caipirinha


This month's twist on our classic, The Kiko (named after my favorite guitarist from Brazil), doesn't stray too far from the original.  The simple addition of a flavored syrup, and a dash of bitters adds a new layer to this Brazilian classic.


Kiko
- 2 oz Cachaca
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz Blueberry Rosemary Syrup
- 1 Dash of Bittermens Tiki Bitters

- Cut a lime into eighths and add 5/8 to the bottom of a rocks glass
- Muddle Lime to extract lime juice and oils
- Add syrup and spirit to rocks glass
- Mix Cachaca, lime, and syrup until sugar is almost entirely dissolved
- Top with crushed ice and churn drink with bar spoon
- Garnish with lime, and a rosemary sprig



* Blueberry Rosemary Syrup
- 1 Cup Blueberries
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water

- Add all ingredients to sauce pan on low-medium heat
- Let syrup simmer for approximately 30 minutes
- Macerate berries while stirring syrup
- Let cool
- Strain out seeds with fine mesh strainer
- bottle and store in fridge

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Chai-Maple Old Fashioned

Art of the Cocktail's weekly challenges continue, and week #4 was sponsored by Marker's Mark.  For this week challenge I wanted to keep things very simple, so decided to do a twist on a timeless class, the Old Fashioned.

As I may have mentioned previous blog posts, I tend to go through different phases when it comes to creating cocktails.  The particular phase I happened to be going through at the time, fittingly, was chai tea infused bourbon.  The addition of a bit of maple syrup and black walnut bitters made for a winner cocktail; literally, my Chai-Maple Old Fashioned took home 1st place in this week's Art of The Cocktail challenge!

Chai-Maple Old Fashioned
- 2 oz Silk Road Herbal Chai Infused Maker's Mark *
- 1/4 oz Maple Syrup
- 3 Dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
- Orange Zest


- Add bottle of mixing glass and gently muddle to extract oils
- Add bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters to mixing glass
- Add ice and stir for approximately 20 seconds
- Garnish with flamed orange zest



Silk Road Herbal Chai Infused Maker's Mark *
- 4 oz Maker's Mark
- 1 Tablespoon Silk Road Herbal Chai Tea

- Add bourbon and tea to air tight jar and allow to infuse for only an hour and a half
- Strain through fine mesh strainer and bottle

Note:  Do not let the chai tea infuse for any longer 2 hours at the absolute maximum, otherwise the natural bourbon flavors will be completely lost, and all you'll have is an incredibly spicy chai flavored spirit.

To see the judges' runners-up, along with their thoughts on my winning cocktail, view the video below.


Week #5 is sponsored by every bartender's favorite, Fernet Branca.

For more information of the weekly challenges and Art of The cocktail, visit www.ArtofTheCocktail.ca 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Overture of Summer

The 3rd week of Art of The Cocktail's cocktail challenge was sponsored by Victoria Gin.  A floral gin with a big hit of citrus, Victoria Gin lends its self well to both classic, and modern style of drinks.

For this past week's challenge I opted to accent the floral and citrus notes of Victoria Gin by created a refreshing summer-time cocktail.

Overture of Summer
- 2 oz Victoria Gin
- 1/4 oz Strega
- 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
- 1/2 oz Lavender Infused Honey Syrup *
- 3 Dashes Victoria Bitter and Twisted Orange Bitters


- Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker
- Add ice and shake
- Double strain into chilled cocktail glass
- Garnish with lemon twist




*Lavender Infused Honey Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 1 Cup Water
- 10 Lavender flowers


- Add all ingredients to sauce pan over low-medium heat
- Simmer for 20 minutes, while stirring and skimming any foam that may form off the top of syrup
- Let cool and strain through fine mesh strainer
- Bottle and store at room temperature.


To check out the judge's thoughts on the winner of week #3 challenge, as well as their person favorites, check out the video below.



Check back later this week for my recipe for week #4 challenge, sponsored by Maker's Mark.

For more information about the weekly challenges, as well as Art of The Cocktail, check out artofthecocktail.ca
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Friday, 3 August 2012

A Tiki Taboo

The Art of The Cocktail weekly cocktail contests continue, and the spirit of choice for week #2 was Okanagan Spirts Taboo Absinthe.  Absinthe is not a spirit I mix with frequently because it's such a tough spirit to integrate well.  Even when I do mix with absinthe it's a barspoon here and rinse there.  But for this challenge I wanted to show off the natural sweetness of absinthe, and what better way to do so than with a tiki cocktail!

A Tiki Taboo
- 1 oz Taboo Absinthe
- 1 oz Gin
- 1/2 oz St. Germain
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 2 oz Pineapple Juice
- 3/4 Basil Infused Simple Syrup *


- Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker
- Add ice and shake hard
- Dump entire contains of shaker into tiki glass
- top glass with crushed ice
- garnish with pineapple leaves, lime wheel, mint, paper umbrella, etc...(it is a tiki drink after all)


A Tiki Taboo



* Basil Infused simple syrup
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 18-24 basil leaves


- Add ingredients to sauce pan on low-medium heat
- let syrup simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring periodically to ensure all sugar is dissolved
- let cool and strain out basil
- Bottle and store in fridge


Here is a video on the judge's thoughts on all entries.



Week #3 spirit challenge was sponsored by Victoria Spirits

Victoria Gin. Check back monday for my recipe, and be sure to submit your own cocktail for future challenges.

Visit http://artofthecocktail.ca/ for more information. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

I'm back!

Ok, so it's been a few months since I've written anything (although I heard if you only update your blog once a year you get nominated for best cocktail blog...), but for good reason.  I've been busy with school for the last few month, and in order to get the best possible grades I have given the blog a rest for a while (all A+'s, so it certainly paid off).

Before getting back into the regular swing of things with my blog, I thought I'd just post a couple of my favorite recipes that I've come up with lately; although I haven't had time to blog, I've certainly had time to drink.

Mary Berry Sour
- 2 oz White Rum
- 1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur
- 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
- 1/2 oz Blueberry Rosemary Syrup *
- 1 Egg White

- Add egg white to cocktail shaker
- Add remaining ingredients to cocktail shaker
- Dry shake
- Add ice and shake
- Double strain into chilled rocks glass
- No garnish

Mary Berry Sour
* Blueberry Rosemary Syrup
- 1 Cup Blueberries
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water

- Add all ingredients to sauce pan on low-medium heat
- Let syrup simmer for approximately 30 minutes
- Macerate berries while stirring syrup
- Let cool
- Strain out seeds with fine mesh strainer
- bottle and store in fridge



Pacific Paradise
- 1 oz White Rum
- 1/2 oz Gin
- 1/2 oz Cherry Brandy
- 3/4 oz Plum Wine
- 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
- 1/4 oz Simple Syrup
- 2 Dashes Bittermens Tiki Bitters

- Add all in to cocktail shaker
- Add ice and shake briefly to mix ingredients
- Strain into crushed ice filled tiki glass
- Garnish with cherries, lemon wheels, paper umbrella, etc...

Pacific Paradise


Garden of Audrey
- 2 oz G'Vine Floraison
- 1/2 oz June Liqueur
- 3/4 oz Lime Juice
- 1/8 oz Simple Syrup
- 1 Dash Bitter Truth Celery Bitters
- 1/2 Inch Cucumber
- 4-6 Sage Leaves
- 1 Egg White



- Add cucumber to half of cocktail shaker and muddle
- Add remaining ingredients to half of cocktail shaker (excluding egg white)
- Add egg white to other half of cocktail shaker
- Dry Shake
- Add ice and Shake hard to ensure sage leaves are broken up
- Double Strain into chilled cocktail glass
- Garnish with Sage leave

Garden of Audrey

Garden of Audrey was my entry in the recent Art of The Cocktail G'vine contest.  While I didn't win, I did get a runner-up slot, which was very pleasing.  Check back next week for my cocktail for this week's contest using Okanagan Spirits Taboo Absinthe.


I look forward to more blog posts this summer; Unfortunately, as of september 4th, except the blogs to once again slow down, as I will be back in school ( three math classes and two science classes doesn't leave much time for blogging).