cocktail » Wonderland Kitchen
Browsing Tag

cocktail

A Cocktail for the Rest of Us: St. Festivus Flip

Festivus Cocktail: St. Festivus Flip

Popularized in the late 1990s thanks to an episode of Seinfeld, the “holiday” known as Festivus is now celebrated in varying degrees of seriousness throughout the world. Conceived by writer Dan O’Keefe as an alternative to the over-commercialization of Christmas, it has somewhat ironically bred quite an industry of its own.

Festivus Cocktail: St. Festivus Flip

The symbol of Festivus is a bare aluminum pole, an icon chosen for its stark contrast to the traditional highly decorated Christmas tree. During the holiday, the pole is displayed unadorned and praised for its “high strength-to-weight ratio.” Among the holiday’s traditions is The Airing of Grievances—a ritual during which each member of the family tells the others all the ways in which they have disappointed them throughout the year—and The Feats of Strength. Traditionally, this is where the head of the household challenges another participant in the celebration to a wresting match. Festivus is said to reach its conclusion once the head of the household is pinned to the floor.

I created this drink to contribute to the surprisingly small number of Festivus-themed cocktails; to be able to offer up something egg nog-ish but a little more quirky to holiday guests this year; and, of course, to make use of one of The Brewer’s Art‘s finest seasonal brews. What does it taste like? A Festivus Miracle, of course!

St. Festivus Flip

3 oz. Brewer’s Art St. Festivus Ale
1 oz. Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1/2 oz. Grade B Maple Syrup
1 Whole Organic Egg
Cranberries and grated nutmeg for garnish

Combine the beer, rum, and maple syrup in a mixing glass. Swirl to decarbonate the beer. Add the whole egg and dry shake for 15 seconds to allow the egg to emulsify. Add ice, shake, and strain into a chilled fizz glass. Grate the nutmeg over the top of the drink and garnish with three cranberries.

Island Classics: The Fog Cutter

fog_top

On the subject of gambling, Kenny Rogers famously sang, “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.” Riffing on that wisdom, I would say that when it comes to a cocktail, you’ve got to know when to drink it and know when to send it back. Such was the awkward position I found myself in one night at a hotel bar on the island of Kauai. The drink was the Fog Cutter and ordered, as it was, from the section of the cocktail menu offering up nostalgia (read: classic cocktails), I harbored a certain expectation, especially considering the list of ingredients. When the drink arrived, I was crushed, unlike the ice filling the stemless wine glass in which it was served. And though it did take me back, it wasn’t to the late 1940s, but rather to my undergraduate years when we considered the Screwdriver to be a cocktail.

While disappointment prevailed–and I did actually send the drink back–it got me thinking that surely there must be a “real” way to make this, not to mention a few of the other syrupy concoctions mixed at the pool bar and marketed under names I knew to be classics of the tiki/tropical genre. So when life gave me this lemon, I decided to squeeze it and mix up some classics.

Once back on the mainland, as expected I quickly unearthed some Fog Cutter recipes that would appear to yield results drastically different from the drink I’d tasted. The first came from Ted Haigh’s indispensable Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, which includes recipes from tiki cocktail godfathers Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber, though the jury seems to be out on who and where it was first conceived. (Named for a kind of diving knife and characterized by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry as the Long Island Iced Tea of exotic drinks, have one too many with a lady friend and you may find yourself wondering where something else was conceived.) For a second opinion, I consulted The PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan, finding something of a mashup between the two originals. My final bit of research came when a friend from The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. in Philadelphia generously offered me their spec for the drink. The recipe below follows The Franklin recipe most closely, though I tweaked the rums to my personal liking.

Fog Cutter

Fog Cutter

1 oz. Appleton Estate V/X
1 oz. Smith & Cross
1 oz. Macchu Pisco
1/2 oz. Plymouth Gin
1 oz. Lemon Juice
3/4 oz. Orange Juice
1/2 oz. House Orgeat
1/2 oz. Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry
Mint sprig for garnish

Measure rums, pisco, gin, orgeat, and citrus juices into a mixing glass. Shake with ice and strain into a Pilsner glass. Add crushed ice then float 1/2 oz. of cream sherry. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Easter Egg Cocktail: The Sergio Leone

edddrink_top

Since we didn’t color Easter eggs or bake an Easter ham, I was on the hunt for something to celebrate the holiday. A recent interest in exploring cocktails that make use of raw eggs led me to several recipes that had obviously been posted in advance of this weekend for people just like me.

Of the bunch, the Sergio Leone cocktail, caught my eye as much for its tip of the hat to the famous spaghetti Western director as for the fact that it was the only one I could mix up with the supplies currently available in our not-too-shabby-but-clearly-lacking-in-some-areas home bar collection. I love the tang produced by bourbon and fresh lemon juice. And with the maraschino acting as the bridge between the two, the result was a not-too-sweet cocktail worthy of a grown up Easter celebration. A small orange peel disk as a garnish gives the illusion of a brightly colored Easter egg hidden at the bottom of the glass.

The Sergio Leone Cocktail
Adapted from RPM Italian mixologist Paul McGee’s recipe featured online in Wine Enthusiast Magazine

1½ ounce Willett Bourbon
½ ounce Luxardo Maraschino
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
¾ ounce simple syrup
½ egg white
1 orange peel disk for garnish

Combine the bourbon, maraschino, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a shaker without ice. The “without ice” part of the equation is important. A little tip I picked up from a bartender at The Patterson House in Nashville: when working with raw eggs, it is best to do the initial shake sans ice to allow the egg white to emulsify. (I can attest from first hand experience that shaking raw egg with ice initially will lead to a result you will certainly pour down the drain.) Shake vigorously for 10-12 seconds. Next, add some ice to the shaker and shake as normal. Pour the drink through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled coupe, garnish with the orange peel, and enjoy.

Apples and Oranges: The Calvados Cocktail

calvados_top

I’m the kind of girl who tends toward secondhand stores and camping vacations, so my husband has taken up stealth note taking whenever we’re in a shop where I actually admit to a passing interest in a material object before checking the price and setting it back down. What can I say? I inherited my father’s thrift and my mother’s fear of malls; I rarely suffer buyer’s remorse as a result.

This personal, um, quirk is how I came to be gifted a lovely bottle of Calvados Boulard for Valentine’s Day, inspired by a recurring event that goes like this: I decide to make this soup, consider buying a bottle of Calvados to use as indicated in the recipe but then, after noting the price, decide to just make do without–substituting a bit of unspecialized brandy or bourbon if we happen to have it on hand.

I haven’t had the chance to lace Calvados into anything just yet, of course, but I decided to explore what cocktails might put it to immediate good use in the meantime. I settled on this one, and I am not disappointed. So much so, in fact, I might actually replace the bottle of Coin­treau that’s now empty!

The Calvados Cocktail
More or less as it appears in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, though much lighter on the bitters

1 1/2 oz Cal­va­dos
1 1/2 oz freshly squeezed orange juice (really, it’s worth it, and one orange should get you there)
3/4 oz Coin­treau
2 dashes bitters

The Calvados Cocktail process

Chill glassware. Measure ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain onto a coupe glass. Cheers!

The Calvados Cocktail process

The Violet Hour

cocktail_top2

There’s a light coat of dust that tends to adhere to the rarely used liqueur bottles that hide for long stretches at the back of our bar. Whenever I happen to get around to giving these sticky drinks a bit of a dusting, however, I remember one of my favorites in the classic cocktail canon: The Aviation.

Though there are versions of the drink that simply omit the Crème de Violette due to how difficult it used to be to find, it’s now quite procurable and this drink absent that deep purple tint just doesn’t seem right. We have a few cocktail recipe books around the house, but I also like to do a little hunting online and at my local restaurants for fresh versions and then tweak to my liking. I have yet to meet a cocktail recipe that benefits from being followed to the letter.

The Aviation

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur
1/4 ounce Crème de Violette

Chill your glassware by filling with ice and water, then discard.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and measure in all the liquid ingredients. Shake until well chilled and strain into the glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon. Cheers!

Post Prohibition

ghost_ingre2

The Baltimore kitchen is excited about mixology once again (not that it takes a great deal of cheerleading, mind you), and the internet has been kicking up all kinds of delicious sounding cocktails worth a try. (Check out Post Prohibition for more.) Plus, now that the temperature has risen to a degree suitable for evening porch-sitting, it seems like an especially good time to shelve my neat bourbon habit and break out the shakers.

The Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co. in Philly is a lovely establishment in which to enjoy a drink, and this post outlining the basics for their Ghost Hardware caught my eye in particular. Extra credit: it contained Aperol, a liqueur I had been reading about but had yet to sample, alongside one of my favorite gins.

In addition to the above, plus cucumber slices, lemon juice, salt, and bitters, the recipe calls for a 1/2 oz of demerara syrup (2:1 simple syrup made using demerara sugar). For me, this pushed things a bit too far into the sweet and syrupy; dialing that back a bit would result in a drink more to my taste, I suspect. However, though I am no fan of bitter Campari, I’ve discovered that the orange-y tang of Aperol and I get along just fine.