Monday, February 27, 2012

Kingston Club



This is a great recipe that I found on Jeffrey Mongenthaler’s website that I had to share with everyone. I have a link to his website on the blog and if you haven’t checked it out yet you need to. This guy is a genius I’ve used so many of his recipes and they’ve all turned out amazing.

1 ½ oz Drambuie
1 ½ oz Pineapple Juice
¾ oz Fresh Squeezed Lime juice
1 tsp. Fernet Branca
2 dashes Angostura
Soda Water

Combine all the ingredients in an ice filled shaker except soda water, remember use good ice. Shake vigorously but briefly, strain into a chilled Collins glass filled with fresh ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a large piece of orange zest.

Enjoy this one, I know you will and you wont be able to stop at just enjoying one.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How Not To Make A Margarita

Ok so if you want a bad Margarita try this one I found.


Blue Margarita


Oh and did anyone else notice that they say to garnish with a slice a star fruit yet in the picture they use star anise. Talk about disgustingly sweet, very funny.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ice, Ice Baby!

All right so here it is my post that will be completely dedicated to ice. That’s right ice, it’s something that gets overlooked by those of us at home but it never gets overlooked at your favorite bar, at least for your sake I hope it doesn’t and if it does you need a new favorite bar. Ice can make or break a drink you’ve ordered, the same drink can go from an instant favorite to a total bust just because of ice. I know there are many skeptics out there but hopefully once you’ve read this post you’ll agree that ice is one of the most important elements of your cocktail.

Lets start with the obvious here, what’s the reason we use ice to begin with? The answer is very simple it’s because it’s cold and not just cold it’s very cold, it’s frozen for crying out loud. And if you’re anything like me, which if you’re reading this you are, you want a cold drink. When I order or make a drink I want it to be cold, it tastes better that way and it’s just far more refreshing that way. I can’t get that ultra cold drink I want unless I have the ice I need to do so. At this point you might be thinking, “Well I have an ice machine and that’s good enough for me”. Ok I understand where you’re coming from but having great ice is so much easier than you might think. Lets start with showing you a few examples of some great ice that’s easy to make at home.



Now that you see what I have here you might be thinking why is this ice so much better than what I’m using already. I’ll tell you why, it’s about mass, and yes sometimes size does matter and this is one of those instances. The ice I have pictured here is large, solid pieces of very hard and very cold ice. It’s nothing like what comes out of the ice machine. The ice out of the machine is small and full of air, all the machine is designed to do is make ice as fast as possible, which it does, and to do so the water it uses is filled with air. The ice I have made very easily has far less air than anything coming from your ice machine. The more air in the ice the faster the ice melts, I’m sure you can all see the science in that. You don’t want ice to melt too fast that dilutes your drink and can completely change the way it tastes. It goes the same way no matter what you’re drinking, you could have a Hendrix Martini or a Gimlet one served straight up one served on the rocks, if bad ice was used you’re getting bad results. Typically a Martini is stirred, bad ice means more dilution while it’s being stirred. A Gimlet is shaken, bad ice in bad drink out, plus even if you strained the Gimlet into fresh ice, which I pray so hard that you did, you’re more than likely using the same bad ice you used to shake it with. I really hope you can see where I’m going with this. We’re about to go through several fun and easy ways to make great ice, it will not only make a better cocktail it will make a better-looking cocktail. You know how much looks mean when it comes to food or drink. If we like the way it looks we’re going to like the way it tastes and it’s so true.



This ice is super easy to make, believe it or not the mold I used is one of those aluminum foil baking tins that you can buy in the grocery store. The ones many people use to make small loafs of bread. This is great for several reasons first you can make as many or as few as you want and all you need is a cheap ice pick and when you’re ready to serve you start chipping away at the block of ice until you get a piece that fits nicely inside your glass, this piece of ice will last for a very long time and because it’s so dense will stay very cold. The second great use for a piece of ice this big is crushed ice, you can get the perfect consistency of crushed ice with this just put the block either in a Lewis bag or if you don’t have one a Ziploc bag and go to work with a muddler. Crush until you’ve reached desired consistency.



Now these pieces of ice are also the one-piece variety, one piece in the glass is all you need, these are more ascetically pleasing pieces of ice. The round mold is super easy. It’s just two pieces of silicone you put together and fill with water. You can get them at muji.us for about $11.00. The large square mold you can pick up on amazon.com. The mold is six blocks of the same size the brand is Tovolo. The pieces of ice that look like plugs, and yes that’s what I call them, are just small 5 oz Dixie cups that I use. A little tip here, don’t let these ones freeze all the way through before taking them out of the cup, otherwise they wont come out right.





Finally these small square cubes, these are perfect for mixing, shaking and serving. These are my go to all purpose ice cubes that are so easy to make and they look great. Again these are Tovolo molds that can be picked up at amazon.com. These really are the most important, if you don’t take anything away from this post except one thing I hope it’s this. You, at a minimum, need to be using cubes like these to get your drinks right. Like I said no one wants a warm drink, or a watered down drink, and using these cubes will avoid that all together. Just look at any of the picture on my blog, the ice I use is ice I’ve talked about here, I wouldn’t steer you wrong. A set of two mold trays is $10.50 online and it’s the best money you’ll spend. I hope you’ve learned something and please as always leave your comments and ask all the questions you’d like. Until next time enjoy your drinks responsibly. 

Blue Blazer

video
So like I said first attempt at a video blog, hopefully there will be more to come. It was fun to make and I hope you can follow what's going on in the video, I wish there was a little less light so you could have seen the flames a little better but I think you should be able to see it and realize what's going on. Enjoy this one it's tons of fun and it always impresses.

By the way you were not supposed to see the dog but that's Gus.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Anejo Old Fashioned


This drink is yet another creation from the guys at The Gin Joint in Charleston, SC. It’s a great take on the Classic Old Fashioned which normally has some simple syrup, bitters and bourbon and is finished off with a nice big piece of lemon peel. The Classic is a great drink and if you have yet to try one you’re missing out big time. Now getting back to this Anejo Old Fashioned, which I almost always order, the thing to talk about is of course anejo which refers to the tequila that graces this amazing drink.  Anejo really just means aged in Spanish and many things are referred to as anejo, for instance cheese, rum, and in this case tequila. Now for tequila to be called anejo is must be aged for at least one year, but not more than three, in oak barrels. A word of caution before you venture into this one, anejo tequila is pricey no matter what brad you choose to buy. I use Don Julio and it runs anywhere from $52.00 a handle to $60.00. So if you’re not sure about this one right off the bat you might try to either find a place that serves it and try it that way or see if someone you know has some you can try. Enough of this lets get to what you want, the know how.

2 oz Anejo Tequila
¼ oz Agave Nectar
2 Dashes Grapefruit Bitters
1 Large Piece of Lemon Zest

Start by getting your nice piece of lemon zest and putting it right in the serving glass, I use a double old-fashioned. Then add the bitters and nectar. A little tip put the nectar in the microwave for a few seconds it makes it much easier to work with. Now you’ll need to gently muddle the ingredients so the oils in the zest release. Once you’ve done this add the tequila and stir it all together. Now add one large piece of ice and you’re ready to imbibe freely.  

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gimlet




This is another really great classic drink that anyone can enjoy. It really allows some great flavors to shine through, the gin and lime compliment each other like no other drink, but first I recommend that you make your own lime cordial rather than using either Rose’s Lime Cordial, or just lime juice and simple syrup, it makes the drink so much better and the recipe for the cordial will make more than any amount of Rose’s you can buy. Remember patience is a must if want top quality drinks.

Lime Cordial Recipe:

18 Good Plump Limes, I know it sounds like a lot but you’ll need every one of them.
2 ½ Cups of Sugar
2 ½ Cups of Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice told you you’d need 18 limes.
1 lb of fresh ginger root (optional)

Peel all 18 of the limes with either a vegetable peeler or a y-peeler, try to peel only the zest and leave as much of the pith on the lime as possible. You’ll need all the zest that you get, just set it aside you’ll use it later. Once you’ve finished peeling all the limes you’ll then need to juice them all, this should yield the 2 ½ cups you need. Put the fresh lime juice in a container that can be covered. Once you have all the lime juice add the 2 ½ cups of sugar directly to it and stir until dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved add one handful at a time of the lime zest to the mixture, squeezing the zest to release the oils before you add it to the juice. If you’re not using the ginger cover the mixture and put it in the refrigerator over night. Once you take it out strain it and put it into something that you can serve it out of. If you went the ginger route, which I recommend, the only thing you need to do differently is pulse the ginger root whole in a food processor and add it to the lime juice mixture before putting it in the fridge.

Ok now you’re ready for a drink.

2 oz Gin (I use Plymouth)
¾ oz Lime Cordial
Lime Wedge for garnish

Combine the gin and cordial in an ice filler shaker and shake hard but briefly. Strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge, but not before you rub the rim of the glass with the lime, this is very important.

Enjoy!