Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cocktail Catch-Up

Well, I had this theory about writing a nice blog post about each cocktail I've tried so far in my cocktail challenge. But I've fallen behind, and starting to lose track of what I drank. So I'm going to write one big catchup post with notes, and then hopefully will be back on track to do the one-by-one...

Manhattan - Trying drinks like this is one of the reasons I set myself this cocktail challenge. Because it's a true classic, and something that any budding cocktailian (is that a word?) should be familiar with. Zingermans' version includes Jim Beam Straight Rye (which I love), Vya Sweet Vermouth, Gary Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6, and a real maraschino cherry. With no non-alcoholic mixers, I was worried that this was going to be really strong, but it was really quite delightful, and not too sweet. The housemade maraschino was a treat when I got to the bottom of the glass.

The Knickerbocker - Brugel Dominican Dark Rum, Bol's Orange Curacao, muddled fresh raspberries and freshly squeezed lemon juice. This is a girly drink if I ever saw one. It's sweet and pink, and kind of like candy. Definitely easy to drink, but fairly unremarkable.

The Bronx - Plymouth Original dry gin, Vya dry vermouth, Vya sweet vermouth, freshly squeezed orange juice, Gary Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6. I like gin, and adore Vya dry vermouth, so this was an easy pick for me. It's been a while since i tried this one, but I'm sure I liked it...

Champagne Cocktail - A touch of sugar, a dash or two of Angostura Bitters, L Mawby Blanc de Blanc. And a lemon twist, though that's not listed in the ingredients. I love sparkling wine, and wasn't sure how I'd feel about having it "adulterated" but this was just a lovely, festive cocktail, with the bitters giving it a really nice complexity.

Ward Eight - Jim Beam straight rye, freshly squeezed lemon juice, freshly squeezed orange juice, superfine sugar, pomegranate grenadine. Knowing I liked the Jim Beam rye, when I started the cocktail challenge I tended to pick the rye drinks. This bears a lot of resemblance to my favorite cocktail, the Scofflaw.

Jack Rose - Laird's applejack, freshly squeezed lemon juice, pomegranate grenadine. Another girly drink, but the lemon juice keeps it from being cloying.

Buster Brown - I tried this one on the strength of Mom's Kitchen's comment on my last post. And I was not disappointed. Maker's Mark bourbon, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup, Gary Regan's orange bitters No.6. Smooth and very easy to drink, but not too sweet.

Blood and Sand - The Famous Grouse scotch whisky, Vya sweet vermouth, cherry Heering, freshly squeezed orange juice. Not as sweet as I feared (but still pretty sweet) this had a nice complexity.

The Monkey Gland - Plymouth Original dry gin, freshly squeezed orange juice, Bénédictine, pomegranate grenadine. The Benedictine was definitely an interesting flavor component, and I'm looking forward to trying it in some of the other drinks.

So that's 10 out of 35 - making pretty good progress. However, not being a huge anise fan, I've been avoiding the drinks with Absente in them, and there are a LOT of them. I think I'm going to start working on them next, for two reasons - a) I suspect I'll like them more than I think I will, and b) if I don't like them, I don't want to have a whole lot of them piled up at the end!

1 comment:

Mom said...

I liked the Buster Brown so much I bought a bottle of Gary Regan's orange bitters from the bartender at the Roadhouse so I can make them at home. I'll post the recipe on my blog for you!