The Corpse Reviver #2

The Corpse Reviver #2

The Corpse Reviver #1

Occasionally we are presented with a recipe for a drink we know and love, as is the case with the Corpse Reviver #2. Bartenders frequently recommended this bevvy when we were new to cocktail culture, and it was one of the first classic cocktails that we learned to order by name. Now that I serve drinks professionally, I too rely on this recipe as a gateway for novices. The drink is at once accessible and complex. It contains both familiar ingredients – gin and orange liqueur, and less common spirits – absinthe and Lillet Blanc. It is refreshing yet potent and citrusy enough to placate patrons who insist that they do not care for gin.

Historically the term ‘corpse reviver’ was used to describe a group of cocktails – those proverbial hair-of-the-dog drinks designed to restore the constitution after an evening of debauchery. Most of these recipes have faded into obscurity, but the #2 has enjoyed a revival in the last decade and should be available in any respectable cocktail bar.

It is interesting to note how quickly the cocktail scene has changed. In his entry on the Corpse Reviver #2, Ted Haigh notes the difficulty of obtaining Lillet Blanc in certain markets. This was in 2009! D & I live in a notoriously barren market, but in 2016 Lillet Blanc can be found in even the most uninspired of liquor stores.

The Corpse Reviver #2

And while we’re on the topic of Lillet Blanc, it has been noted elsewhere on this blog that the recipe for this product was changed in 1986, reducing the amount of quinine and thus bitterness in the fortified wine. We frequently substitute Cocchi Americano in classic recipes calling for Lillet, which offers more spice and bitterness. For this entry we tried making renditions using both Lillet and Cocchi and found that while there were subtle differences, neither was a clear frontrunner. Feel free to use either product, especially if you are trying to conserve precious refrigerator space.

 

 

The Corpse Reviver #1Though the Corpse Reviver #2 has earned iconic status in classic cocktail culture we should note that the formula for one other Corpse Reviver still exists. Purportedly the original Corpse Reviver, the recipe is included in The Savoy Cocktail Book and contains calvados, brandy, and sweet vermouth. We only had cognac and a VSOP calvados on hand so our version was decidedly high-end, but we both agreed worth drinking. It wasn’t a runaway success, (I was tempted to add a dash of bitters or an Ardbeg mist), but it was certainly on par with some of the other forgotten cocktails we have explored.

The Corpse Reviver #1

The Corpse Reviver #1

D surprised me when he professed that while both Corpse Reviver versions are pleasing, neither is acceptable morning fare. He declared, “For reviving the corpse, I’d rather have a Caesar.” This shocked me, coming from Mr. Boozy, but D has a point. He doesn’t want complexity early in the day, just a long juicy, spicy, easy-drinking beverage possibly accompanied by pickles and a peperoni stick. But after 5pm, a Corpse Reviver always hits the spot.

The Corpse Reviver #2

  • .75 ounce gin
  • .75 ounce Cointreau
  • .75 ounce Lillet Blanc/Cocchi Americano
  • .75 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Dash absinthe

Add a dash of absinthe to a chilled cocktail glass and swirl to coat the inside, discarding any excess. Shake the remaining ingredients over ice and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a cherry or a lemon twist.

The Corpse Reviver #1

  • 1.5 ounces Brandy
  • .75 ounces Calvados
  • .75 ounces sweet vermouth

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

The Corpse Reviver #2

The Corpse Reviver #2 Ingedients

The Communist

The Communist

The Communist

This simple cocktail with a strange name is charming in a girl-next-door kind of way. The ingredients are accessible and humble, but if I’m going to be perfectly honest, I want to dress them up a bit. The foremost tasting note is juicy, not surprising given that it contains orange, lemon, and cherry. And juicy can be fun – it’s certainly an easy sell – but in this instance it reads as one-note. Cherry Heering has a beautiful nutty tone, which could be enhanced with the addition of bitters. Moreover the gin could easily be swapped out for a bolder base-spirit – rye jumps to mind as it is spicy and decidedly not sweet.

The CommunistBut that’s not the game we play here. We make the cocktails as faithfully as possible and evaluate them as such. That this drink is a great base recipe open to modification is simply this girl’s opinion. As written, the cocktail would make a nice addition to a brunch menu, or would be lovely sipped on a patio near the beach. But is it memorable enough to warrant inclusion in this book?

D, rarely a fan of juicy bevvies, finds The Communist to be acidic. He declares, “If I was trying to fight off scurvy this would be easy drinking!” He also notes that the portion size is small and suggests making a recipe and a half to fill a cocktail glass.

 

One does wonder at the name of this drink. Unfortunately Haigh offers little in the way of information, offering only that the original recipe first appeared in the 1933 cocktail pamphlet, Cocktail Parade. Haigh’s lack of elaboration, combined with the uninspired results of the recipe, leave us feeling that this drink was included simply to fill a page. No offense to the girl next door, but when it comes to cocktails, vixens only need apply.

The Communist Ingedients

The Communist Ingedients

The Coffee Cocktail

The Coffee Cocktail

 Coffe Cocktail-2

Due to our insistence on recreating the drinks in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails in the order they are presented in the book, this is the second shockingly pink cocktail in a row. For that we apologize.

That being said, this is the finer of the pink-hued concoctions. Let’s just get this out of the way right at the top: The Coffee Cocktail contains no coffee. Sorry to all the caffeine freaks out there, D included, looking for a little buzz with their buzz. Purportedly the cocktail is so named because it looks like coffee when properly created. Perhaps it is just the brand of ruby port we settled on but I have yet to come across a coffee of this color, even in the day of flavored Frappuccinos. But let’s get over this whole pigment thing – it’s all about the taste, right?

The recipe for this drink calls for two to three ounces of ruby port. For the first attempt we settled on 2 ½ ounces, which seemed a little out of balance.

Six grapes Port

The Coffee Cocktail

The second time around we used 2 ounces, resulting in a harmony between the brandy (in our case cognac) and the port. We also found that the cocktail had a much more homogeneous composition and a nice frothy top if we gave the ingredients a little blitz with a hand blender before shaking it over ice.

The Coffee Cocktail has several things going for it. It has a nice, milky texture, yet contains no dairy. It has a lovely, spicy aroma from the nutmeg with flavors of cherry and candied fruit. It immediately conjures a festive, holiday feel. Plus with the inclusion of a whole egg it practically qualifies as a protein shake!

Unlike the Chatham Hotel Special, which contained similar ingredients and had an analogous appearance, we can see ourselves imbibing The Coffee Cocktail again. It would make a nice brunch bevvy or mid-afternoon pick-me-up, both of which serve to confirm that the drink is aptly named.

The Coffee Cocktail

  • 1 ounce brandy (we used cognac)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 ounces ruby port
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • nutmeg (for garnish)

Place all ingredients in a shaker. If available give them a blitz with a hand blender (alternatively dry shake the container before adding ice.) Add ice and shake well. Strain into a chalice or Irish coffee glass. Top with freshly grated nutmeg.

The Coffee Cocktail ingedients

The Coffee Cocktail ingedients

Summer Shrubs

Summer Shrubs

Shrubs

Shrubs

A shrub is an old-fashioned elixir intended to preserve seasonal fruit using a combination of sugar and vinegar. Once outmoded, shrubs have seen a resurgence in popularity over the last couple of years. D and I had sampled several, both in their non-alcoholic state and mixed in to cocktails, but we had never made any until this past weekend. Perhaps we never would have tried our hand at these lovely summer sippers had it not been for Heidi.

Heidi is a purveyor of shrubs, selling her Mixers and Elixirs brand at our local farmers market. After meeting her a couple of weeks ago we added her on twitter where she promptly challenged us to try making shrubs of our own. The very next day D returned from his morning coffee run with a book on shrubs from our neighborhood culinary bookstore, Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks. D cannot walk within two blocks of this store without absolutely requiring a very important tome. And thus, with shrubs on the agenda, began our most recent Sunday Funday.

We started at the farmers market where we found lovely fresh currants and a flat of mixed berries. From this we decided on three shrubs from the book: red currant with white wine vinegar; raspberry and thyme with apple cider vinegar; and blackberries and lime (with the unscripted addition of mint because I have great difficulty sticking to a recipe), also with apple cider vinegar.

Initially I was concerned about using fresh herbs, as they may contain bacteria and mold that can rapidly multiply. However a quick Internet search affirmed that fresh herbs can be used to infuse vinegar but should not be used to infuse oil.

Shrubs

Shrubs peparations

I washed each fruit and herb separately, allowing them to bathe in a solution of 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 6 cups of water for 10 minutes and then rinsing them in cold water.

This, incidentally, is a fabulous way to clean berries to help increase shelf life. Then we went to work, muddling berries with sugar to extract as much juice as possible.

You may never have heard of a shrub before and may be wondering why that is. Shrubs were an early method of preserving fruit beyond the natural growing season, much the same way as beer preserved grain and wine preserved grapes, though in this instance without producing alcohol. (There are boozy shrubs but we’ll save those for another day.) With a shelf life of more than a year the preserved fruit flavor can then be enjoyed at any time. Shrubs are usually diluted, either with sparkling or flat water or with alcohol, before serving. But as food preservation techniques advanced shrubs were all but forgotten.

I’m not sure why shrubs are seeing a revival now, though I suspect it is a natural offshoot of our contemporary interest in antique cocktails. Whatever the reason, they add a new and fun dimension to any bar.

To be clear shrubs do have a pronounced vinegar taste. The vinegar should mellow as the solution ages but be sure to work only with vinegar that you actually like. Also if you decide to work with ‘live’ vinegar, such as Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with “The Mother,” be prepared for your shrub to be cloudy. While I use live ACV for many purposes I selected pasteurized vinegar for project shrub.

Red Currant Shrub

  • 1 ¾ cups red currants, cleaned and stemmed
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar

Using a muddler or similar gently crush the currants in a medium bowl.

Add the sugar and continue to muddle until the mixture is juicy and the sugar is mostly incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 2 hours.

Separate the liquid from the solids using a fine strainer. Discard the solids. Add the vinegar to the currant and sugar syrup, stirring well to incorporate any sugar crystals. Transfer to a glass jar and allow to rest in the fridge at least one week before using.

For a refreshing cocktail add ½ – 1 ounce of shrub and 1-3 ounces of dry vermouth to a highball glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with a twist.

Red Currant Shrub

Red Currant Shrub

Raspberry Thyme Shrub

  • 2 cups raspberries, washed and picked over
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

Muddle the raspberries and sugar in a medium bowl until the juices are released and most of the sugar has been incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2 days.

Place the thyme in a small mason jar and cover with the apple cider vinegar. Store in a cool dark place for 2 days.

Shrubs Thyme

Shrubs Thyme

Separate the liquid from the solids using a fine strainer. Discard the solids. Strain the thyme from the vinegar, discarding the thyme. Add the vinegar to the raspberry syrup, stirring well to incorporate any sugar. Transfer to a glass jar and allow to rest in the fridge at least one week before using.

 

For a refreshing cocktail shake 1/2  ounce raspberry thyme shrub with ½ ounce of elderflower liquor and 1 ounce of vodka or gin. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and top with soda or sparkling wine.

Raspberry Thyme Shrub

Raspberry Thyme Shrub

Blackberry Lime and Mint Shrub

  • 1 ½ cups blackberries, washed and picked over
  • Zest of 4 limes, pith carefully removed
  • 1 large handful fresh mint, washed
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

Muddle the blackberries, lime zest, mint and sugar in a medium bowl until the juices are released and most of the sugar has been incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Shrubs lime-blackberries

Shrubs lime-blackberries

Separate the liquid from the solids using a fine strainer. Discard the solids. Add the vinegar to the blackberry syrup, stirring well to incorporate any sugar. Transfer to a glass jar and allow to rest in the fridge at least one week before using.

 

 

 

 

 

For a refreshing cocktail shake ½-1 ounce of blackberry lime shrub with 2 ounces of tequila or rum and ½ ounce of lime juice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or serve on the rocks topped with soda.

Blackberry Lime and Mint Shrub

Blackberry Lime and Mint Shrub

Book reference:

Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times by Michael Dietsch

Shrubs

Shrubs

 

 

Chatham Hotel Special

Chatham Hotel Special

Chatham Hotel Cocktail

Chatham Hotel Cocktail

A word of warning, this cocktail is pink. Not a gentle pink blush but rather full on Pepto pink. Barney-the-dinosaur pink. Strawberry Quick pink. In the interest of full disclosure we did not invest in the dark crème de cacao called for in the recipe, substituting instead its clear counterpart. But as the recipe only calls for a dash I doubt that would have changed much.

Color notwithstanding the drink is enjoyable. It is decidedly a dessert cocktail but it is pleasantly boozy and not too sweet. The cacao is restrained; adding just a hint of chocolate-y goodness on the nose and the front of the palate, with the port taking up the rear for a long finish.

I will admit that I am rarely a fan of dairy in cocktails. I dislike the richness and the unsightly residue that invariably clings to the inside of the glass. We decided on 18% cream which gave the drink a lighter weight and texture, which we both liked. As for the residue I have no solution other than to drink quickly and clear the glassware immediately.

D declared it to be “A Purple Russian!” And seemed to feel it would compliment his morning bowl of cereal.

The Chatham Hotel Special feels like a true throwback to a bygone era. It is a curious concoction that we could see having a place in a period where dessert beverages were the norm – the grappa or amaro of its day – but it is hard to figure out where it could possibly fit in contemporary cocktail culture. While we concede that the drink is enjoyable we do not feel it is a recipe we are likely to revisit.

Chatham Hotel Special

  • 1.5 ounces brandy
  • .5 ounce Ruby Port
  • .5 ounce cream
  • 1 dash crème de cacao, preferably dark

Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Chatham Hotel Cocktail ingredients

Chatham Hotel Cocktail ingredients

The Calvados Cocktail

The Calvados Cocktail

Calvados Cocktail

Calvados Cocktail

Who says drinking can’t be healthy? The Calvados cocktail contains both apples and oranges. I feel practically saint-like making this drink – almost as if I’m shaking up a salad! With the addition of a whopping ¾ ounce of bitters this bevvy has to have some health benefits, right? Right…?

At the very least this cocktail should succeed in elevating your mood, as spirits are known to do. The base here is Calvados, an apple brandy from the Normandy region of France. Calvados is a spirit I like a lot; it is strong but mellow with a pleasant apple finish. It is commonly found in the Widow’s Kiss cocktail, one of my all-time favorites.

D bought Cara Cara oranges for the juice component and when we cut in to them we were surprised to find pink flesh. However the peels were bursting with orange oil and the aroma was heavenly, so while the color was affected the taste was not.

Calvados Cocktail

Calvados Cocktail

We had several types of orange bitters on hand: Angostura, which is spicy and woody; Fee Brothers, which is bright and intensely orange; and Regans’, which is more bitter and less citrusy. For the first round I chose Angostura and D opted for Fee’s. Both versions of the cocktail were surprisingly bitter, though in a way that most cocktail enthusiasts should find pleasant.

Reading through the ingredients list we both expected this libation to be sweet, yet it is not. The Angostura version was very woody, “like gnawing on a pencil,” said D. The Fee’s variation was more pleasing and gentle. Both drinks presented pine, wood, and caramel, though in different proportions. Ted Haigh hits the nail on the head when he compares the Calvados Cocktail to an orange Negroni. Perhaps the only disappointment was the near absence of apple flavor. Neither of us is sure we would recognize the base spirit as Calvados if presented the drink in a blind tasting.

We were curious about Haigh’s use of Cointreau versus the more common-to-the-era Curacao but suspected it was probably deliberately chosen because of its higher sugar content. But true to our nature, we just had to try a Curacao variation. This time we used a Naval orange and a 50/50 mix of Fee’s and Regans’ bitters with great success. This version is much more mellow, with less wood and a greater marriage of ingredients. Both the orange and the apple are present, much to our delight.

The Calvados Cocktail is definitely a keeper, it is juicy without being sweet and a great introduction to bitter cocktails for the uninitiated. We are glad that we took the time to try several different versions, proving as always that the ingredients determine the quality of the cocktail.

The Calvados Cocktail

  • 1.5 ounces Calvados (we used a VSOP)
  • 1.5 ounces fresh orange juice, strained
  • .75 ounce Cointreau or Curacao
  • .75 ounce orange bitters (blend several if you have them)

Shake over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange wheel or twist.

Calvados Cocktail ingredients

Calvados Cocktail ingredients

The Brooklyn Cocktail

The Brooklyn Cocktail

The Brooklyn Cocktail

The Brooklyn Cocktail

This is perhaps a familiar refrain, dear reader, but the Brooklyn cocktail contains an ingredient, Amer Picon, that is not available in our fair nation. Nevertheless, the Brooklyn, subbing Punt e Mes for the French bitter aperitif, is frequently featured on menus in our vicinity. D, who likes his drinks “big, brown, and boozy” is a huge fan of this, (and the myriad other) Manhattan variations.

As such the Brooklyn was one of the first cocktails we barrel aged. And to be perfectly frank, those drinks, while fun experiments, were overly oaked. D loved them, I tolerated them, but as we had made them in fairly large quantities, we felt the need to imbibe them.

Stirring up a fresh Brooklyn for this project reminded me just how wonderful this bevvy is (and confirmed that we probably should not be barrel aging spirits that have already been barrel aged prior to bottling – there’s a huge learning curve folks!)

The Brooklyn Cocktail

Torani Amer

The Brooklyn works just fine with Punt e Mes, though we are lucky enough to have procured a bottle of Torani Amer, an American spirit inspired by the aforementioned French liquor, on a recent trip to Oregon. Torani Amer presents intense orange notes, redolent of Cointreau, with a pleasant bitterness and a less syrupy quality than the Italian vermouth. Additionally, at 39% ABV it is shelf-stable, making it a welcome addition to our liquor collection.

The resultant Brooklyn is a bold cocktail that I would recommend to anyone wanting a change from the familiar Old Fashioned or Manhattan. “It’s a sexy beast,” says D, “with all the best aspects of spirit: strength, sweetness, bitterness, and a hint of fruit.” D believes the Brooklyn would outsell the Manhattan if it were better known. For my part I am grateful that there is room for both cocktails in our repertoire.

We should add here that we did stumble across a bottle of bonafide Amer Picon at a local cocktail bar one evening. Sitting on a shelf, in plain view, sat this glorious illegal alien. D could barely contain his glee as he requested a “true” Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Cocktail

The Brooklyn Cocktail

Unfortunately the spirit, which comes in at a mere 21% ABV, was old and had been left at room temperature for goodness knows how many months. Mixed into a cocktail it fell flat. And thus continues our search for yet another hard to procure spirit!

The Brooklyn Cocktail

  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon
  • ¾ ounce dry vermouth
  • 2 teaspoons Amer Picon (sub Torani Amer or Punt e Mes)
  • 2 teaspoons Luxardo Maraschino

Stir over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. I like to expel orange oil from a twist and discard. Garnish with a cherry.

The Brooklyn Cocktail

The Brooklyn Cocktail ingredients

‘Tis The Season: Eggnog and Coquito

‘Tis The Season: Eggnog and Coquito

Nog Drinks

One day left..

Nothing says holiday cheer better than a cup of eggnog. It was a staple of my childhood, sans alcohol of course. My brother and I knew the holiday season was underway as soon as our milkman (yes, we had a milkman) delivered the first green carton of sweet, sweet holiday bliss. We drank it by the pint, blessedly unaware of the calories we were consuming. I even used it as a milk substitute in my morning tea.

My first taste of ‘real’ eggnog, i.e. eggnog made from scratch and spiked generously with spirit, came when I spent a Christmas with my best friend and her family in rural Vermont. It was tradition in their home for my friend’s stepdad, Joe, to whip up a batch. I had heard about its glory for years and was curious enough to try it, despite my germophobic fear of raw eggs. One sip and my worries flew by the wayside. Fresh eggnog is completely worth it and generally safe as long as you take certain precautions.

This year D and I decided that we would make a large batch of eggnog to be enjoyed throughout the season. Eggnog contains a lot of sugar and enough alcohol to preserve the potion for a month at least. That being said, make sure you buy the freshest eggs you can find and wash them well.

Xmas Nog Drinks

Egg Handling

Salmonella lives on the shell and can be transferred into the egg when you crack it. I clean mine in a bowl of cold water containing a couple of drops (no more) of bleach. Dip the egg in the solution and then rinse it with cold water. Do not soak the eggs in the bleach solution as eggshells are porous. Dry your eggs well before using. Additionally, make sure all your mixing bowls and containers are pristine. I always sterilize my storage vessels in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Big Batch Eggnog

Xmas Nog Drinks

Eggnog

This recipe yields about 4 liters. Feel free to mix up the spices or spirits. We like a mix of rum, brandy, and bourbon but you could use one spirit exclusively. Joe always adds Southern Comfort to his eggnog, which adds a wonderful hint of vanilla.

  • 10 extra large eggs, washed, dried and separated
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup bourbon (we used Maker’s Mark)
  • 2/3 cup spiced rum (we used Sailor Jerry’s)
  • 1/3 cup amber rum (we used Appleton)
  • 2/3 cup brandy or cognac (we used Courvoisier VS)
  • 1 liter whole milk
  • 1 cup 35% cream

 

  1. Separate the eggs.

    Xmas Nog Drinks

    Separating eggs

  2. Using a hand or stand mixer break up the yolks by beating them on medium speed for one minute.
  3. Add the sugar and spices and continue to beat for a few minutes until the mixture is fluffy and pale yellow in color.
  4. Over low speed gradually add the spirits to the mix.

    Xmas Nog Drinks

    Secret ingredient

  5. Maintaining low speed, add the milk and cream.
  6. Pour the mixture into a very large bowl and set aside.
  7. Using a clean mixing bowl and clean beaters beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  8. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
  9. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to chill and then serve. Or else bottle the mixture in sterilized containers.
  • To serve shake the eggnog over ice and dump into a rocks glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Coquito

Xmas Nog Drinks

Coquito

While researching eggnog I came across a recipe for a traditional Puerto Rican beverage called coquito. The recipe immediately piqued my interest and, though we had 4 liters of eggnog on hand, D and I both agreed that it was too intriguing to pass up.

This recipe is not for the calorie conscious, in fact it contains ingredients I consider taboo at all but this most festive time of the year. It is, however, delicious. With both the coquito and eggnog at our disposal we find ourselves reaching for the coquito first. As an added benefit the recipe is egg-free and comes together in less than a minute. We used a jar of Honomu Hawaiian coconut butter in lieu of the Coco Lopez so I suspect you could use any good quality coconut syrup and still achieve great results.

This recipe is very rich. We used full-fat evaporated and coconut milk but next time I might substitute 2% evaporated milk and light coconut milk. Be sure to let the mixture rest before serving, the rum mellows out, the coconut shines through, and the vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks infuse the beverage as it sits.

I believe coquito will become a new holiday tradition in our household!!

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can sweetened cream of coconut (Coco Lopez, Goya, or other sweet coconut product)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 cups rum (we used Appleton)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  1. Add evaporated milk, condensed milk, coconut milk and cream of coconut to a large blender such as a Vitamix and whirl to combine.
    Xmas Nog Drinks

    Xmas Nog Drinks

    (If you are using a smaller blender you will need to do this in batches. Alternately, blend with a hand mixer in a large bowl.)

  2. Scape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the mix as well as the rum, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Blend until combined. Pour the mixture into a 2-liter container. Add the cinnamon sticks and the spent vanilla pod and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
  3. Once chilled, pour into a small decorative glass and top with a dust of toasted cinnamon.

Sources:

http://www.jeffreymorgenthaler.com/2009/egg-nog/

http://imbibemagazine.com/Homemade-Holiday-Eggnog

http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/2011/12/coquito-puerto-rican-coconut-eggnog.html

 

Hallowe’en Howl

Hallowe’en Howl

Halloween Cocktails

Hallowe’en Cocktails

One of tart

Two of sweet

Three of hard

Four of weak…

If this sounds a little like a potion or a spell, it is. It’s the basic recipe by which many cocktails are created and is the closest thing to magic that I have found on this earth.

Halloween is my favorite day of the year and I wanted to do a post in its honor. However I am not fond of the syrupy sweet liqueurs and the artificially colored concoctions that appear in most drinks created for the holiday. Call me a purest, but my allegiance to the classics trumps novelty, even on this very special day. With that in mind D suggested that we put forth a few cocktails that capture the “spirit” (sorry, it was bound to happen) of All Hallows’ Eve, whilst also being refined enough to serve at any elegant cocktail party.

Strega, an Italian liqueur produced since 1860, is a hauntingly complex spirit made with over 70 botanicals including saffron, fennel and mint. In Italian “strega” means “witch.” It is aptly named as it is produced in Benevento, a town that, according to legend, has long been recognized as the gathering ground for the witches of the world. We often enjoy Strega on its own or over ice, but it is also an excellent mixing spirit. Try it in Autumn Leaves or Macbeth #2.

Autumn Leaves 

(Jefferey Morgenthaler)

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

In ancient times the night we now know as Halloween marked the end of the calendar year. In our region this distinction seems fitting, as Halloween falls right around the end of the harvest. This is a delicious seasonal beverage perfect for the transition to the winter months.

  • .75 ounce rye
  • .75 ounce Calvados
  • .75 ounce sweet vermouth
  • .25 ounce Strega
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters or cinnamon tincture

Stir over ice until chilled and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

Macbeth #2

Macbeth #2

Macbeth #2

D is a huge fan of Drambuie and was immediately taken with this recipe. Enjoy this simple yet complex cocktail but please, do not say its name!!

  • 1 ounce Drambuie
  • .75 ounce Strega

Shake over ice. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice or serve straight up in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Corpse Reviver # 2

Corpse Reviver # 2

Corpse Reviver # 2

The Corpse Reviver #2 is a true classic. First appearing in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Handbook in 1930, the bevvy was devised as a hangover remedy, hence the name. It is a delicious, tart, citrusy concoction worthy of consumption any day of the year.

  • .75 ounce gin
  • .75 ounce Cointreau
  • .75 ounce Lillet Blanc
  • .75 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Dash absinthe

Add a dash of absinthe to a chilled cocktail glass and swirl to coat the inside, discarding any excess. Shake the remaining ingredients over ice and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a cherry or a lemon twist.

Zombie

Zombie

Zombie

I have always been crazy for jack-o’-lanterns. Then several years ago I started collecting tiki mugs. One day it dawned on me: they are basically the same thing – scary faces carved into an object. If you happen to have tiki mugs on hand they are the perfect vessel for Hallowe’en libations. You can put any drink in them and still look festive! If you want to go the extra mile and fill the mug with a drink continuous with the theme, allow us to recommend this simplified version of the Zombie.

  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce passion fruit syrup
  • 1 ounce light rum
  • 1 ounce gold rum
  • 1 ounce 151 rum
  • 1 teaspoon 1:1 demerara sugar syrup
  • Dash Angostura Bitters

Shake over crushed ice. Pour unstrained into tiki mug of choice. Garnish with mint

Sources:

http://cocktails.about.com/od/liqueurscordials/p/Strega-Liqueur.htm

http://www.diffordsguide.com/cocktails/recipe/2261/autumn-leaves

http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink14xy378.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpse_Reviver

 

Brandy Crusta

Brandy Crusta

Brandy Crusta

Brandy Crusta

If it seems like a while since we posted a bevvy from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails it has been. Summer caught us off-guard and we have allowed ourselves the distraction of side-projects and travels. But never fear, we will conquer all the recipes in this book, it is a marathon not a sprint.

The Brandy Crusta is a cocktail we have enjoyed before so we knew we were in for a treat. However the recipe caused some degree of uncertainty. Haigh calls for ½ teaspoon of fresh lemon juice but it is unclear whether it is only to aid in creating the sugar rim or whether the juice should be added to the mix. We researched other Crusta recipes and decided on including the lemon juice.

The mixed concoction is an attractive drink, visually and on the palate. It is balanced and strong but diluted enough by the crushed ice not to burn.

Brandy Crusta Cognac

Brandy Crusta Cognac

The curacao is in the background, offering pleasant hints of orange, while the lemon from the zest and juice takes the lead. The sugar rim keeps the drink from being too tart while allowing a degree of personalization as regards the sweetness level.

D, who likes his drinks on the strong side, would not add the ice cube to the strained drink in the future. For my part I felt the slowly melting ice made this bold drink more approachable with each sip. Both of us agreed that it would be fun to try a variation using an orange twist in place of the lemon to highlight the curacao.

Haigh notes that the Crusta, dating from 1862, is patriarch of the Sidecar and Margarita family. The recipe seems to reflect its heritage, it is simple without being simplistic and austere yet still pleasant. I look forward to recreating this cocktail mid-winter while sitting in front of a roaring fire and watching snow (or in our case rain) fall from the sky. This is the kind of drink that warms your from the inside.

Brandy Crusta

  • 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • sugar
  • 2 ounces cognac
  • 1 teaspoon orange curacao
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Start by rimming a glass with sugar by first dipping the lip in lemon juice and then sugar. Next, using a vegetable peeler remove a large swath of zest from the lemon. Line the interior of the glass with the zest. Add remaining ingredients to a shaker of crushed ice and shake until frosty. Strain into your prepared glass. If desired add one small cube of ice to the completed drink.

Brandy Crusta Ingredients

Brandy Crusta Ingredients