‘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

 

Two Delightful Swizzles

Two Delightful Swizzles

Having recently made orgeat and falernum for a Mai Tai night we were motivated to try out a couple of recipes using our leftover syrups. This was also an excuse to acquire a swizzle. Not to be confused with plastic swizzle sticks, a swizzle is a small branch with a long handle and a head looking much like a jack from the children’s game of the same name.

Swizzle Stir Stick

Our Swizzle

The swizzle head is inserted into a beverage built over ice and twisted until the outside of the glass becomes frosty. It is hardly a necessary bar tool but it is fun and historical and a great conversation starter.

We settled on two swizzle recipes, one using orgeat and the other falernum. The Kona Swizzle, which contains spiced rum, orgeat, lime, mint, and bitters, is an elegant, invigorating beverage. The mint is prominent, as are the spicy notes of the bitters. With the gently creamy texture afforded by the orgeat I was reminded of a mild and quenching chilled chai.

 

The second swizzle recipe decided upon, The Chartreuse Swizzle, has been on my “must make” list ever since I came across it in Jason Wilson’s Boozehound. Of all the drinks we have attempted with orgeat or falernum this was the star. A bright, spicy, sophisticated beverage that offers new flavors with each sip, this drink is a revelation. I have always been a fan of multifaceted Chartreuse and the falernum and pineapple actually intensify its complexity. We served this drink to guests and all were in agreement that it was magnificent. Most likely you will not have all the ingredients for this drink on hand but it is well worth the effort to seek them out. After one taste it has soared onto my all-time favorites list.

As for the swizzle, it was a fun party trick, with our guests taking turns frosting their own beverages. Just because we are old enough to drink doesn’t mean we don’t like to play!

Kona Swizzle:

  • 2 ounces spiced rum (we used Sailor Jerry’s but next time we would make our own)
  • .75 ounces orgeat
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  • 4 sprigs mint
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Build in a Collins glass, gently muddling the mint with a swizzle. Top with crushed ice and swizzle until the outside of the glass is frosty. Garnish with mint and a lime wheel.

(source: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kona-swizzle)

Chartreuse Swizzle:

Chartreuse Swizzle

Chartreuse Swizzle

  • 1.25 ounces green Chartreuse
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice (fresh is best if you have a juicer!)
  • .75 ounce fresh lime juice
  • .5 ounce falernum

Build the ingredients in a Collins glass. Add crushed ice and swizzle until frosty. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Source: Boozehound by Jason Wilson

Mai Tais

Mai Tais

Gecko Tiki Ku Ali'i Edition

Gecko Tiki Ku Ali’i Edition

Long before The Vintage Cocktail Project and our interest in classic cocktails, D and I were infatuated with tiki drinks and culture. The first cocktail book we ever purchased was Beachbum Berry Remixed and we have an ever-increasing collection of tiki mugs.

Tiki Mug Collection

Tiki Mug Collection

Recently our focus on prohibition-era drinks has relegated tropical cocktails to the back-burner, but thanks to a recent heat wave D and I spent the weekend revisiting the Polynesian pop culture prevalent in 1950s America.

We decided to start with the most iconic drink of the era, the Mai Tai, but which one? Multiple individuals have claimed authorship over the Mai Tai and dozens of recipes exist for the bevvy. The two most likely creators are Victor Jules Bergeron Jr. aka Trader Vic and Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt aka Don the Beachcomber. The question of authorship is highly contested and seems to divide the world of tiki enthusiasts into factions. Not wanting to take a side, D and I figured we’d better test both recipes.

Trader Vic’s Mai Tai calls for orgeat, a sweet and gently floral almond syrup, whilst Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Swizzle calls for falernum, a spicy syrup made with lime, almonds, ginger, and clove. Both syrups are available commercially but most aficionados agree that these products are of mediocre quality, lacking nuance and invariably excessively sweet. With this in mind we took a day to make our own orgeat and falernum with fantastic results.

We invited several guests over to sample the fruits of our labor. We started with Trader Vic’s Mai Tai, which was met with rave reviews.

Trader Vic's Mai Tai

Trader Vic’s Mai Tai

Our friend A declared it “the best cocktail I ever had!” Unlike the Mai Tais found in places like Hawaii this drink is shaken, not built, and is thus uniform in color. When I handed D his bevvy he looked disappointed and requested a 151 floater. In the spirit of fidelity to the recipe he was denied. But once he tasted the drink his faith was restored. The bevy is a delight, sweet but tart with orange undertones and an almost creamy texture from the orgeat.

Next up was Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Swizzle. Despite the names and the fact that both drinks contain rum and lime, the two concoctions are not at all similar. The Mai Tai Swizzle is much spicier, thanks to the delectable falernum, and packs a much stronger punch. D was immediately won over, preferring the assertive flavors of this version.

Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Swizzle

Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Swizzle

Our guests were divided, with half the votes going to Trader Vic and half to Don the Beachcomber. The origins of the Mai Tai remain up there with such mysteries as who killed Kennedy, but by golly, with drinks this good we are simply happy that they exist!

I had one more recipe to try before the night was done, a contemporary spin on the Mai Tai by Brooklyn bartender Jeremy Oertel, using Campari as the predominant spirit. I had been excitedly anticipating this Bitter Mai Tai for several weeks and felt somewhat deflated by the results. The Campari dominates and refuses to marry with the other flavors.

Bitter Mai Tai

Bitter Mai Tai

D was also underwhelmed but suggested that it might have been better when not served directly opposite two stunning versions of the Mai Tai. Only one of our guests was enamored with this drink, preferring it because it is not at all sweet. She also loved the color, equating it to raspberry, whereas all I could conjure was Pepto Bismol. I feel I will need to give this drink a second chance on a fresh palate as it was not at all the masterpiece I had hoped it would be.

Trader Vic’s Mai Tai:

  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • .5 ounce orange Curacao (we used Pierre Ferrand)
  • .25 ounce orgeat
  • .25 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce dark Jamaican Rum (we used Myers’s Plantation Punch)
  • 1 ounce amber Martinique Rum (we had to substitute Angostura 1919)
Angostura 1919

Angostura 1919

Shake over crushed ice. Pour contents, including ice, into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with mint.

Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Swizzle:

  • 1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • .75 ounce fresh lime juice
  • .5 ounce Cointreau
  • .25 ounce falernum
  • 1.5 ounce Myers’ Plantation Rum
  • 1 ounce Cuban rum (we used Havana Club 7 year)
  • 6 drops Pernod (we used an eyedropper and measure 1ml)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
Myers’s Plantation Punch

Myers’s Plantation Punch

Shake over crushed ice. Pour contents, including ice, into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with mint.

Bitter Mai Tai:

  • 1.5 ounces Campari
  • .75 ounce Jamaican rum (we used Myers’s Plantation Punch)
  • .5 orange Curacao (we used Pierre Ferrand)
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • .75 ounce orgeat
Oragne Curacao

Orange Curacao

Shake over ice. Strain into a double old-fashioned glass. Fill with crushed ice.

Tiki nights we can't remember with friends we can't forget

Tiki nights we can’t remember with friends we can’t forget

Sources:

Beachbum Berry Remixed: A Gallery of Tiki Drinks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trader_Vic’s

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

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

http://www.imbibemagazine.com/Bitter-Mai-Tai-Recipe

Summer Sippers

Summer Sippers

Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

Summer is in full swing, at least in my hemisphere, and this means it’s the perfect time to sit back and relax with a refreshing frosty beverage. For most of the year I prefer a short drink, to the point that when a bartender asks me what I like I always specify no rocks and no soda before I even consider the spirits that suit my mood. But for a couple months each summer these rules fly out the window. The dog days of summer beg for a long, cool, revitalizing bevvy. My normally spirit-forward palette suddenly craves seasonal fruit and citrus. Here are a few thirst-quenching cocktails guaranteed to beat the heat!

Sour Cherry Gin Sling

(Adapted from http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sour-cherry-gin-slings)

Fresh sour cherries are only available for a couple of weeks a year so get them while the getting is good! Be sure to buy an extra pound or two to make your own maraschino cherries!!)

For the sour cherry syrup:

Cherry Syrup

Cherry Syrup

  • 1 pound sour cherries, stems removed
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • Zest of ½ orange

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat (there is no need to pit the cherries). Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth, discarding the solids. Allow the syrup to cool before use. The syrup will keep about 1 week in the refrigerator.

For the Slings:

Cherry Sling ingredients

Cherry Sling ingredients

  • 2 ounces Gin (we used Broker’s)
  • .66 ounce Cointreau
  • .66 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2.5 ounces sour cherry syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Soda water

Pour the gin, Cointreau, lime, and cherry syrup into a large Collins glass (12-14 ounces). Fill with ice, leaving only a couple of ounces of headroom. Top with soda (not too much or you will dilute the wonderful flavors!) and a couple of dashes of bitters. Garnish with a lime wheel and a maraschino cherry. Bask in the sunshine!

 

 

Violet Fizz

(From A.J. Rathbun’s Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz)

Our liquor cabinet is full of obscure ingredients purchased with a specific cocktail or two in mind. Recently I’ve made it my mission to find additional uses for these liqueurs. The Violet Fizz marries one of my favorite floral spirits with citrus to produce summer in a glass.

Violet Fizz:

Violet Fizz

Violet Fizz

  • 2 ounces gin (we used Broker’s)
  • .5 ounce Crème de Violette
  • .25 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • .25 ounce simple syrup
  • Club soda

Build the drink in a highball glass (8-9 ounces) by adding the gin, violette, lemon juice and simple syrup. Fill with ice until ¾ full. Top with club soda. (Tip: always use a fresh can or single-serving bottle of soda when creating fizzy cocktails. Family-sized bottles and open cans loose their carbonation quickly.) Garnish with a lemon wheel, maraschino cherry, or a violet if you have one!

Strega Fizz

(Source: http://www.cocktaildb.com/recipe_detail?id=2228)

Strega is an Italian herbal liqueur, reminiscent of a simplified yellow Chartreuse, but with more citrus notes. It is relatively inexpensive and drinks well on its own or mixed into cocktails. This simple recipe, which seems to capture the essence and color of sunshine, is delightfully light and quenching.

Strega Fizz:

  • 1 ounce gin (again we used Broker’s)
  • 1 ounce Strega
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • Club soda
Strega Fizz

Strega Fizz

Add the gin, Strega, and lemon juice to a highball glass (8-9 ounces). Fill with ice until ¾ full. Top with soda. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

The Spirits of Canada Day – Canadian Cocktails

The Spirits of Canada Day – Canadian Cocktails

Happy Canada Day leaves

Happy Canada Day

With Canada Day just around the corner we thought it would be fun to dig up some truly Canadian cocktail recipes. As a fan of Fernet Branca I knew just where to start: with the Toronto Cocktail.

Toronto Cocktail

Toronto Skyline

Toronto Skyline

It behooves me somewhat that the best-known classic Canadian cocktail is named after the city of Toronto. I grew up in Montreal and currently live in Vancouver so I harbor the usual anti-Toronto sentiment common in those who do not hail from ‘the center of the universe.’ But I know a good drink when I taste one, so I won’t hold the name against the concoction.

Interestingly enough the Toronto cocktail may not have originated in Canada. The drink first appears under the Toronto moniker in David Embry’s 1948 book The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Embry was a Manhattan attorney who aimed to make drinks accessible to the at-home cocktail enthusiast. The recipe calls for Canadian Whisky, a product that Americans became accustomed to drinking during prohibition, which offers the simplest explanation for the name. There is evidence, however, that the cocktail dates back to the 1920s. A recipe for the Fernet Cocktail found in Robert Vermeire’s 1922 book Cocktails – How to Mix Them notes “This cocktail is much appreciated by the Canadians of Toronto.” Vermeire was a European bartender and his Fernet Cocktail did not call for Canadian Whisky, further confounding the historian.

Sean Soole points out that there was a great inflow of Italian immigrants to both Toronto and New York City between 1910 and 1930. These immigrants would have brought their love of Amaro, which in turn would have influenced the drinks of the period. This, of course, offers no definitive proof of the origins of the cocktail. I say regardless of its ancestry the originator was obviously tipping his hat to Canada’s biggest metropolis, and we should too.

Toronto Cocktail

Toronto Cocktail

The Toronto Cocktail

  • 2 ounces Canadian Whisky
  • .25 ounce Fernet Branca
  • .25 ounce gomme syrup or simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Shake over ice. Strain. Garnish with an orange twist.

 

 

 

 

Sources: http://and1morefortheroad.blogspot.ca/2012/02/toronto-cocktail.html http://www.slideshare.net/shawnsoole/classic-canadian-cocktails-seminar

The Vancouver Cocktail

Vancouver Skyline

Vancouver Skyline

I first had this cocktail on a lazy summer Sunday afternoon on the patio of The Sylvia Hotel. At the time I had no idea of the iconic nature of the drink or of the establishment. The Sylvia, originally an apartment complex built in 1912, was converted to a hotel during

The Sylvia Hotel

The Sylvia Hotel

The Depression. In 1954 it was granted the first legally licensed cocktail lounge in Vancouver. That bar still stands today, largely unchanged it is a relic of a bygone era. The cocktail was likely developed sometime between 1954 and 1955. Vancouver rumormongers allege that it was the last drink consumed by Errol Flynn before he leapt to his death from the roof of The Sylvia in 1959. The story is likely false, other reports cite that he died of a heart attack or pulmonary embolism, but who doesn’t like a good piece of folklore with their cocktail?

 

Vancouver Cocktail

Vancouver Cocktail

 

The Vancouver Cocktail

  • 1.5 ounces Victoria Gin
  • .75 ounce Punt e Mes
  • .25 ounce Benedictine
  • 2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • Stir over ice until chilled. Strain. Garnish with a lemon.

Note: You can substitute a different gin here but we used Victoria for the CanCon. You may also replace the Punt e Mes with any other sweet vermouth, but do expect it to be sweeter. Regan’s Bitters can be hard to find so any other orange bitters will do in a pinch.

Sources: http://www.upmagazine.com/story/article/summer-cocktail-recipe-vancouver-cocktail http://www.sylviahotel.com/about.htm http://and1morefortheroad.blogspot.ca/2012/06/vancouver-cocktail.html http://www.slideshare.net/shawnsoole/classic-canadian-cocktails-seminar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Errol_Flynn#Death

The Montreal Cocktail

Montreal Skyline

Montreal Skyline

As I sat down to research this article I had never heard of a Montreal Cocktail, but as it is my hometown I was desperately hoping that the Internet would provide an intriguing recipe. And it did, sort of.

Despite Montreal’s history of bootlegging, jazz, and burlesque there is no iconic Montreal cocktail. However diffordsguide, a trusted and valued source of cocktail information offers a titillating recipe named simply Montreal. While the ingredients seem as synonymous with New Orleans as Montreal the similarity between the two cities, with their French influence and joie de vivre, must be embraced. Give this drink a shot and decide whether it’s worthy of its name. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Montreal Cocktail

Montreal Cocktail

The Montreal Cocktail

  • 1.5 ounces Rittenhouse Rye
  • .75 ounce Martini Rosso
  • 1 teaspoon Pernod
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Stir over ice until chilled. Strain. Garnish with an orange twist or a cherry.

 

 

 

 

Sources: http://hour.ca/2009/09/17/sin-city/ http://www.diffordsguide.com/cocktails/recipe/3292/montreal?display=ml

The Bloody Caesar

Calgary Skyline

Calgary Skyline

No article on Canadian cocktails would be complete without the inclusion of The Bloody Caesar. My grandmother poured herself a Caesar promptly at 11:30am every day. The drink was common to me, yet I had no idea of its Canadian roots until I tried to order one on an American aircraft sometime in my early twenties. The flight attendant, a burly yet gregarious male, scoffed at my order. Looking at my seatmate he demanded “And what would you like, Ma’am, an Orange Julius?!”

The Bloody Caesar was invented in Calgary in 1969 by Walter Chell, the restaurant manager at Marco’s Italian Restaurant at the Calgary Inn (now the Westin Hotel). Schell used spaghetti al vongole as the inspiration for the drink. Early cocktail guides do contain similar concoctions. The Red Snapper, which dates back to 1921, contained gin and a juice that likely contained clam and tomato. Other clam and tomato recipes appear in the virgin section of several bartender bibles. The release of Mott’s Clamato cocktail in 1966 made the drink accessible to the home enthusiast.

Despite the fact that Clamato is an American product, the Caesar has been slow to spread to our neighbors in the south. D recently had an exceptionally delicious Caesar at Clyde Common in Portland Oregon, which he ordered simply for the novelty of finding the bevvy south of the 49th parallel. In typical American style it was served with a beer chaser.

The Bloody Caesar

The Bloody Caesar

The Bloody Caesar

  • 2 ounces vodka or gin
  • 5 ounces Clamato juice (use the brand name here)
  • Several dashes of Tabasco (to taste)
  • Several dashes of Worcestershire (to taste)
  • Lemon wedge
  • Celery salt

Wet the outside of a beer glass with the lemon wedge then dip the rim into celery salt. Fill the glass ¾ full with ice. Add the spirit, the Tabasco, Worcestershire and horseradish. Top with the Clamato. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon, giving the mixture a good stir. Garnish with celery, pickled asparagus, beans, olives, or whatever the heart desires. Sing Oh Canada.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_(cocktail) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clamato http://www.slideshare.net/shawnsoole/classic-canadian-cocktails-seminar

Image Credits Title: toronto_skyline by vinimanoj is licensed by CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Title: The aquabus making its rounds by David J Laporte is licensed by CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Title: Montréal Skyline by Adam is licensed by CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Title: Calgary_Saddledome by JMacPherson  is licensed by  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Cocchi Americano

Cocchi Americano

 Cocchi Americano

I think we knew we were in trouble when we spent the better part of two years trying to track down a bottle of Cocchi Americano. On our first trip to San Francisco we dined at a restaurant in The Mission called Beretta. While there were many memorable aspects of that meal, the polenta fries and the meatballs are worth a return trip in themselves, it was a cocktail called The Old Pretender that caught D’s attention. D is a lifelong Rusty Nail drinker. He likes his heavy on the Drambuie in a 1:1 ratio with the scotch. The Old Pretender is Beretta’s twist on this old classic. D swears that the addition of the Cocchi Americano (pronounced coke-y), an Italian aperitif wine aromatized with orange peels, cinchona bark and a proprietary blend of herbs and spices, performs an alchemic reaction elevating the drink to new heights. And I must agree. While I tend to find D’s version of the Rusty Nail syrupy sweet and cloying, The Old Pretender is a beautifully balanced and nuanced drink with lovely citrus notes and surprising layers of spice.

Cocchi Americano

The Old Pretender

 

We should have snatched up a bottle while still in the Bay Area, unfortunately the airline’s exorbitant baggage fees meant that we were travelling with carry-on luggage and could not bring a bottle onto the plane. We arrived home and did some cursory searching, always returning empty handed. Not to worry, I thought to myself, I was secretly hoping that D would forget about the Cocchi and I could surprise him with a bottle for Christmas. Never one to leave a project to the last minute I started my search months before the winter holiday. I began with the provincial liquor stores and then moved on to the private distributors. Nada. The Liquor Board was not carrying the product and virtually no one I spoke to had even heard of Cocchi Americano. I put in a formal request with the BC Liquor Distribution Board and another at Legacy Liquor, Vancouver’s finest private liquor store and savior of this project, and then began the long wait.

A funny thing happened over the next year or so, while the product continued to be unavailable in the province, many of the local bartenders were starting to use the spirit in their cocktails. Cocchi AmericanoThese were never drinks that were on the menu, but libations provided only when we lamented the unattainability of the aperitif. It would seem that these dedicated individuals were bringing bottles back from their own travels and were willing to share with like-minded folk.

Mercifully Cocchi Americano became available here this past year – about 2 years after we started our search. It is fantastic in The Old Pretender but also a great substitute for Lillet Blanc when making classic cocktails. The recipe for Lillet (formerly known as Kina Lillet) was changed in 1986, reducing the amount of quinine and thus bitterness in the wine. Cocchi Americano offers more spice and bitterness and is our aperitif of choice when making The Twentieth Century Cocktail and The Corpse Reviver #2. But don’t believe us, try it for yourselves!

The Old Pretender

  • 2 ounces Famous Grouse Blended Scotch
  • ½ ounce Cocchi Americano
  • ¼ ounce Drambuie
  • Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cocchi Americano

 

Cocchi Info Source: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/02/what-is-cocchi-aperitivo-americano-aperitif-cocktails-drinks.html

 

Video tutorial The Old Pretender: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=602924901586