Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sazerac redux

I posted about the veritable cocktail the Sazerac a few weeks ago.  I enjoyed it, but was not as wow-ed by it as others I know.  I did not achieve the citrus essence that I believe was important based on descriptions I had heard and read.

Then we went to Haddingtons for dinner 2 weeks ago, and Everett ordered a "duck fat sazerac".  It was lovely.  The citrus essence was very evident when lifting the drink to the nose, and the drink itself was a wonderful combination of spice, silk, herb and a touch of sweet.  Everett was hooked.  Well, not literally, but he really liked the drink.  He spoke of it often and with fondness.

To our great fortune, the recipe was published online at seriouseats.com

It required me to infuse my own duck fat rye whiskey.  I was up for the challenge.  I used Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, because it is well reviewed and reasonably priced, and I did not want to dump duck fat into a $30 bottle of rye for fear of things not going well.  No worries, it turned out well!  I used a few spoonful scoops of duckfat to a 750 ml bottle of the rye.  I let it infuse for about 12 hours, then placed it in the freezer for about 8 hours.  Then I strained the whiskey through a coffee filter and put it back in the original bottle.

The Sazerac was made in standard fashion.

I also flamed a lemon peel for this drink, which makes all the difference with regard to the lemon essence and nose - wow!  And it looks cool when the oils from the peel flare as they pass through the flame, too.

  We'll definitely go back to Haddingtons for the original, but for a couple with small kids, often we have to drink at home, so it is nice that this drink translates to a home version so nicely!

Salud & Cheers!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just call me Borax

Another hiatus due to illness.....Strep throat struck me down again just as I was starting to feel better!  Damn penicillin resistant bugs.  Anyways, today we had spectacular weather, not too hot, not too windy, not too humid.  March-April and October-November really are the best months weather wise in Austin.  To celebrate this fine spring day, I decided to pick up some ginger beer to make a Moscow Mule.  I had finished the Chai infusion of my Single Silo Vodka, made in WA by Project V Distillery, and to my knowledge, available in Texas only at two households in the greater Austin area.  In fact, the other household probably drank theirs a long time ago, so really I am probably the only person in Texas who has my hands on a bottle of this golden delicious elixir.  Anyways, I had never had a Moscow Mule, named for the vodka and its Russian connotation of course.  I doubt I will ever have another one (outside of my house, that is) as fine as the one I made tonight, thanks to the Chai infused vodka.  Wow.  It was refreshing, with the citrus and spice noted melding beautifully, and it was none too sweet.  This went down like one of my kids drinks a juice box, having a straw may be to my detriment.  Quite a lovely drink, and definitely a keeper, I could drink 20 of these!.  Now I will just have to figure out a way to convince Project V Distillery to sell their product in TX, or to get Steve and Lisa to keep me supplied.

Moscow Mule

Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 a lime, maybe a tiny bit more
splash of simple syrup (optional)
2 oz Chai infused Single Silo Vodka
ice cubes
4 oz or so cold Ginger Beer (I used Fever Tree brand)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring=Tequila drinks!

It is almost spring!  Vernal equinox is tomorrow, hooray!  When it stays light out later and warm temperatures take over, my mind and palate turn to tequila.  Now, a good old margarita is always welcome at our house, and we have a few spots we know of that make wonderful frozen 'ritas, but tequila deserves some exploration!

Tonight, I sipped on a lovely drink called Watermelon Sugar, courtesy of epicurious.com.

It takes some effort and patience, but is well worth the end result!!!!

2 cups of watermelon cubed
3/4 cup blanco tequila
6 tbsp simple syrup
6 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup anejo tequila
1 jalapeno

Scrape jalapeno seeds and veins into the silver tequila, let infuse ~ 15 minutes
Muddle watermelon and mix with lime juice and simple syrup
Strain tequila into watermelon mixture
Add anejo tequila, stir well, refrigerate at least 2 hours (I did 24).

Pour into sugar rimmed glasses over cracked ice


The spice and sweet go extremely well together, and the lime/watermelon balances the tequila flavor.  This is bound to be a summer favorite...sure to be served when we invite you to come visit!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another use for Chartreuse

The hiatus is thanks to strep throat.  Somehow, the two adults in a household of 6 managed to get  it but none of the kids.  Go figure.  As a friend counseled me on facebook...alcohol has analgesic and antiseptic properties, so drink for health!  And now that the worst is behind me, I shall!

Tonight marks the end of a long work week.  I was not overwhelmed by patient care, but rather the ins and outs of being "practice owner" or "administrator".  I would much rather be bogged down in patient care, truthfully.   But alas, such is my path!  It just means I get/want to drink more on my Friday nights, which is Thursday for everyone else!

I have Chartreuse, and need recipes for it.  I found one called "The Last Word" and decided to try it.  Yum!

Equal measures of the following:

Hendricks Gin
Lime juice
Luxardo (maraschino)
Green Chartreuse

Shake, strain, enjoy!

I really enjoyed this drink.  Everett remarked it seemed Mexican Martini like to him.  I could see the reference, with the lime juice juxtaposed with the sweetness of the Luxardo, but the herbiness of the Chartreuse really stood out to me.  Overall, a very lovely drink and one to keep in the recipe book!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another mean green martini

I bought a bottle of green chartreuse to match my yellow.  Now I needed recipes to try out the green chartreuse.  I found a martini of sorts called the cat's eye, which seemed apropros.

1.5 oz Bombay sapphire
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (I used Noilly Prat)
Garnish with a twist of orange peel

This was not an unpleasant drink.  Everett mistook the Chartreuse for Absinthe, which I can see with its herby flavors.  But it was perhaps a little to sweet for my taste.  I added a few dashes of orange bitters after a few sips and that helped balance the flavor a bit.  The color is nice, a translucent green that is very ethereal.  All in all, though, I think I prefer the green vesper, made with absinthe.....

On to the next cocktail!!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's March and 77 degrees.....must be spring!

A favorite warm weather drink is a Pimm's Cup.  Simple, refreshing, dead easy to make.  And not so strong as to make you fall asleep directly afterwards (unlike a vesper martini!).

In a glass, I muddled a wedge of lemon and 3 slices of cucumber.  The I poured in the Pimms - a couple of ounces or so.....then I added ice (I prefer mine crushed).
Top off with San Pellegrino Limonata and garnish with a slice of cucumber and lemon wedge.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Casino Royale kind of night....

So, I watched the 2006 Casino Royale today.  Sadly, the reason I watched it was because of the Vesper Martini.  I was waiting to see when and where this martini was invented.  And then I made one myself.  Sort of.  I have done a fair bit of research on liquor lately, and what I have surmised is that Lillet blanc used to be called Kina Lillet, because it had cinchona bark in it, which is where quinine is derived.  The cinchona bark imparts a bitter taste, that has been lost in the newer formulation of Lillet blanc.  However, an Italian apertif called Cocchi Americano is supposedly the closest thing flavor wise to what Kina Lillet was.  So, I made the martini with Cocchi Americano.  And I used Tanqueray 10 rather than Gordons.  But hey, improvisation, right?

As far as a martini goes, this is quite nice.  It has a good balance of sweet from the vodka, citrus from the T10 and the lemon twist, and a bitter undertone from the cocchi.  Definitely would make again when wanting a strong drink!

The Vesper Martini (named after Vesper Lynd, 007's love interest in Casino Royale)
This is meant to make one drink, but I split it into two, I had work to do in the AM!!!

3 measures of gin (I used Tanqueray 10)
1 measure of vodka (I used single silo, a boutique vodka from Woodinville WA)
1/2 measure of Kina Lillet (no longer in production, I used Cocchi Americano)

Shake with ice, pour into a chilled martini glass, and serve with a twist

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Not so into the Negroni

Well, in keeping with sort of old timey simpler cocktails, I decided to acquire some Campari and try a Negroni.  A Negroni is an apertif or apertivo, meaning it is something to whet the apetite, or a before meal cocktail.  As opposed to a digestif, which is taken after dinner to aid digestion (supposedly!).

The Negroni is published anywhere from equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth to 2 parts gin to 1 part Campari and Vermouth.  I went with the latter.

So I found it extremely bitter.  I know, Campari is a bitter, but wow, very bitter.  I took a couple sips, and could not go on.  So I probably desecrated it, but I added a few splashes of San Pelligrino limonata soda.  That made it much more palatable.    I kind of like it now.  I would make it again.  
And I like martinis.  So, it is not that I needed an extremely fruity drink, but the bitterness was overwhelming.  An acquired taste, perhaps?
Campari and soda is also an apertif, maybe Campari and San Pelligrino limonata. I'll let you know!


Friday, March 2, 2012

A Gladiatorial Drink

Blood and Sand......named after an early 1900's film about a matador, but the name also applies to a current gladiatorial drama.  Either way, the name conjures a striking image, not necessarily pleasant.  The drink is much more pleasant than its namesake, I can tell you that.

I have seen this on several bar and restaurant menus recently, it seems to have had a recent revival.  It is one of the few cocktails that calls for Scotch Whisky, which sounds not so wonderful.  I will have to make it with Scotch and let you know.  I substituted Rye Whiskey for taste's sake, because I wanted to like the drink.  Now that I know how wonderful it tastes with Rye, I will try with Scotch.

As I made it:

3 oz Bulleit Rye
2 oz Cherry Heering
2 oz Fresh squeezed tangerine juice (recipe calls for orange)
2 capfuls of Martini sweet vermouth

Though served cold, this is a very warming, smooth drink.  It is complex in flavor, with notes of spice, tart, mildly sweet.  It has a turbid muted red.  Come to think of it, it looks somewhat like chronic ascites.  If you are not a medical professional, you probably do not want to know what I mean.
I suspect it tastes a lot better than ascites, though.  I should hope so!

Anyways, here is a pic - enjoy!

In another vein - I just received a box from a friend in WA.  Lisa S. has known me since I was in 6th grade.  We rode the bus together to Aspen Elementary.  I moved to TX from CA in 1987.....and as is wont to happen we lost touch.  Fast Forward to 2008 or so and my discovery of Facebook.  I have reconnected with so many people, I truly am thankful!  Anyway, Lisa and her husband Steve, in addition to being avid horse racing fans, are involved in Project V Distillery and the making of Single Silo Vodka.  They sent me a bottle of this highly regarded spirit and a kit to make Chai infused vodka.  A little bit of heaven in a bottle!  I can barely wait to start......so off I go!