Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sloe Gin Fizz

The Sloe Gin Fizz is a great anytime drink, it’s perfect for a hot summer day, or for a cold winter afternoon. Sloe gin gets its flavor from sloe berries, which grow on Hawthorn bushes in the English countryside, they are related to plums and are sometimes referred to as sloe plums or Hawthorn plums. The berries are harvested in early winter and are soaked in gin then a small amount of sugar is added. They allow the berries to soak for up to four months and then it is bottled. The taste is sweet, fruity, and slightly floral and also has a hint of almond flavor that comes from the stone of the fruit. There are many applications for sloe gin but the Sloe Gin Fizz is a classic. It’s easy to build and trust me you won’t be able to stop at one, at least I can’t.

1 oz Gin (I use Brokers, but use what you have)
1 oz Sloe Gin (Plymouth)
1 oz Simple Syrup
¾ oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Soda Water
Mint leaves for garnish

Combine all except soda water in an iced cocktail shaker and shake hard for 10 seconds. Double strain into an ice filled Collins glass then top with soda water, and garnish with several rolled mint leaves. Make sure anytime you use mint as a garnish you either take the sprig in one hand and slap it several times against the palm of your opposite hand or you place the leaves in the palm of one hand and slap them with your other hand. This process releases the oils in the leaves and gives you that great aroma you’re looking for.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Lions Tail

You guessed it this is another cocktail classic! This drink “The Lions Tail” is made with all the classic ingredients.  The one of the many great ingredients that I’m really going to highlight here is what’s called “Allspice Dram”. And yes, Allspice Dram is made with allspice berries. From what I can gather the allspice berry, as we know it today, was discovered by eighteenth century seafaring explorers and was originally called pimento until later crowned allspice. Allspice has some hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove all wrapped into one amazing little berry. Allspice is used in many Caribbean dishes and low and behold they decided to make an amazing little drink, Allspice Dram, what they did was soak the berries in Jamaican Rum added some other herbs and spices and they had themselves something quite spectacular. Allspice Dram came into favor for some time in the 1930’s and then for whatever reason fell to the wayside and it wasn’t until recently that it emerged again. Now it can found in the form of “St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram”. The Lions Tail is a vintage cocktail that uses Allspice Dram, but it’s very important that we continue to push the limits and see how far we can take. So without further a due here is the amazing drink itself.

2 oz Bourbon (Now I’ve used both Buillet and Knob Creek and both work well)
¾ oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram (Find it at
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ tablespoon simple syrup
2 dashes angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients in iced cocktail shaker and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish by floating 8-10 whole allspice berries on top of the drink and most of all enjoy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ramos Gin Fizz

The Ramos Gin Fizz is another vintage cocktail that soared in popularity during the early 1900’s and through prohibition. Unfortunately the “Fizz” category of drinks fell off for some time until making a comeback more recently with the cocktail revival that we have thankfully experienced as of late. The “Fizz” drinks refer to a drink that contains lemon, lime or a combination of both and soda water. This drink is very easy to make and if building drinks is something you enjoy doing anyway you probably have most of the ingredients already.

1 ½ oz Gin (I use Broker’s Gin, it’s got just enough floral flavors and sweetness and works very well in this drink.)

¾ oz Simple Syrup (equal parts sugar and water combined over heat)

½ oz Fresh squeezed lime juice

½ oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 Egg white

1 oz Cream (I use heavy cream)

3 Drops of Orange Flower Water (This might be hard to find in stores I recommend going to and buying Fee Brother’s Orange Flower Water. Fee Brothers also makes several other flower waters that are really good and this allows you to mix and match)

Place all your ingredients into your shaking tin and shake hard without ice for about one minute. This allows all the ingredients to combine very well, especially the egg. After shaking place some large ice cubes in your shaker and shake for another minute.

Double strain into a chilled Collins glass, top the drink off with about 2-3 ounces of soda water and serve immediately.

If you’ve done it right you’ll get a wonderful creamy, slightly sweet, slightly tart, floral drink that has an amazing frothy foam on top that you wont be able to get until you’re through with the drink and believe me it’s worth the wait.