Margarita, Won’t You Come to My Party?

For those interested in the recipe for the gallon of Margaritas which was consumed at my party yesterday, I used Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe from A Gallon of Margaritas by the Gallon. Below are the details on which tequila and triple sec were involved in this concoction.

A Gallon o’ Margaritas

Pour each ingredient in a gallon jug, then shake and refrigerate. To serve, wet the glass then roll in salt so that the outside rim is coated, then pour the Margarita over ice.

Dark and Stormy

First you should know that I am not from Bermuda. And while I once visited on a cruise, I drank only beer while I was there, so have no first-hand confirmation that the Dark and Stormy is, in fact, Bermuda‘s national drink.

Second, I now associate this drink with Spring because of Jeffrey Morganthaler’s post on the subject.

Third, I make it backwards, pouring in the rum after the ginger beer. Now it does look like storm clouds on the horizon.

Dark and Stormy

  • 4 oz. ginger beer
  • 2 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • Squeeze of a lime wedge. On second thought, make that 1/4 to 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice, to taste. Oh Hell, just garnish the damn thing with a huge wedge and let the drinker decide.

Build in a highball glass, ice, ginger beer, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a lime wedge. Allow the recipient to stir if they so desire.

I also need to get some highball glasses.

Naval Stores

Until Firefox gets the hang of tracking paths through the browser history, I can’t quite say exactly who started this idea in motion, but I can say what did: an article on using one’s discarded Christmas tree in various dishes, which crossed my transom around about the same time as Imbibe Magazine‘s 2010 Christmas card, which features a cocktail called Walk in the Woods containing Zirbenz, a Swiss liqueur made from the fruit of the Arolla Stone Pine. I doubted that anyone else in the house would like to have their lunch garnished with fir, so why not use it to make a drink?

After removing the Douglas Fir from the house, I dismembered it to simplify handling, then moved it to the garage. It was a fairly warm day, as far as the days this January went, but I’d rather not work in a foot or more of snow. There it sat until this past Monday. I then removed some of the more fragrant needles from the branches and washed them. Yesterday I put a handful or so in a 16 oz. Mason jar. This covered the bottom of the jar to about a 2 inch depth. I then added Tito’s Handmade Vodka up to the 12 oz. mark, put the top on, and let it sit for 24 hours. The result was strained through cheese cloth into an empty Tuthilltown whiskey bottle.

Some experimentation might be needed to determine the optimal infusion time: the result is bitter. And it smells just like the tree. It’s too bitter to drink straight, so what’s to be done? A cocktail!

The Naval Stores Cocktail

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until cold, then strain into your favorite glass. Serve straight up, without garnish.

I was experimenting as I built this, so the first version was built in an old-fashioned glass, and only shaken to chill. Dissolve the sugar in the vodka infusion, then add rum and lime. Add ice to your shaker, then the liquids, and shake until cold. You might want to sweeten to taste.

(This one is much better than my first attempt at making a cocktail from scratch, so some folks should prepare to be drinking it.)

What Fashion of Gimlet Might This Be?

Having acquired an essential ingredient in the Deadrise, I find myself without another: the cucumber. Well, there’s nothing to it then but to make the necessary sacrifice and drink the result anyway.

Oh, this is good. This is very good. (And without the cucumber it does not give me gas!)

In the back of Speakeasy (Ten Speed Press, 2010) there is a recipe for lime cordial.

As I also do not have Kaffir lime leaves, this prompted the substitution given below.

Untitled

  • .75 oz. lime juice
  • .75 oz. agave syrup
  • 1.5 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters

In a mixing glass, stir well to combine the lime juice and agave syrup. Add the gin and bitters, then shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Deadrise

Over the summer Legal Sea Foods offered a cocktail they call the Deadrise.

Huh? What’s a deadrise? A fishy kind of zombie?

Nope. The deadrise is the angle between the bottom of a vessel and the horizontal in the transverse plane. The deadrise is also a kind of a boat used in the Chesapeake.

Legal Sea Foods’ Deadrise looks like this, and contains Belvedere vodka, cucumber, lime, and grapefruit bitters. They were quite willing to make a sample, which was tasty, but I asked that they substitute Hendrick’s Gin for the vodka.

Hmm, I thought, this is definitely a drink I want to make at home. But what’s the recipe? I suppose one could experiment, but not I. No, experimentation is for those without elite research skills. Someone, somewhere, had published this recipe, and I would find it.

Someone had: Blast Magazine, in their article “Six Light Drinks to Sip on This Summer” (July 20, 2010). Something about this recipe is not quite right, given these remarks about, and this interview with, their cocktail program manager, Patrick Sullivan. One wonders if it was altered for wider consumption; one must buy Fee’s grapefruit bitters and find out.

Deadrise

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of cucumber (with skin)
  • 1.5 oz lime cordial
  • 1 pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1.5 oz Belvedere Vodka
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters

Method

Muddle cucumbers, lime cordial and salt in a mixing glass.
Add vodka, bitters and ice.
Top with a metal tin shaker and shake hard; strain into a martini glass.

Made today, the following were muddled, shaken, and strained as above.

  • 3 slices of cucumber (with skin)
  • 0.75 oz lime juice
  • 0.75 oz agave syrup
  • 1 pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1.5 oz Hendrick’s Gin
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters

Now that’s a remarkably close approximation of the drink I had at Legal’s.

The Cosmopolitan

Girlfriend, I present for your classy enjoyment the Cosmopolitan.

Or, rather, a variation thereof since I don’t stock citrus vodka.

The Cosmopolitan

  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1 lime wedge, for garnish

Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with flair.

This recipe differs quite a bit both from the self-styled Perfect Cosmopolitan and the Cosmopolitan mixed by Robert Hess (video below). It’s derived from the recipe at the CocktailDB, which is from The Joy of Mixology, by Gary Regan. Why? Because I happened to read it first.

About the cranberry juice, I did not use Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail. It’s sweetened, and I’m not much for the sweeteners. One might use instead the juice from those fresh cranberries just bought to make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. I used a store-bought 100% cranberry juice: Nature’s Promise Cranberry juice from Stop & Shop.

Honey Lime Toddy

We are fresh out of lemons, so I made a hot toddy this afternoon using my standard recipe but substituting lime for the lemon.

Honey Lime Toddy

  • 1 oz. honey
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • 6 oz. boiling water

Build in a mug. Stir the honey, lemon, and whiskey and a splash of hot water together until the honey is completely dissolved, then add the remaining water and stir again.

Cinzano and Lime

Cinzano’s site is all Flash, and next to useless. They did, once the craplet loaded, have some worthwhile suggestions about what to do with this bottle of Cinzano Extra Dry.

Cinzano suggested drinking their extra dry vermouth with lime.

Cinzano Extra Dry with Muddled Lime, Sugar, and Ginger Ale

Ingredients

  • 3 parts Cinzano Extra Dry
  • 1/2 fresh lime, cut in cubes
  • 3 parts ginger ale
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Crushed ice

Preparation

Muddle the lime in a highball glass and add sugar and crushed ice. Add Cinzano Extra Dry and ginger ale. Stir.

Cinzano Extra Dry with Lime

Ingredients

  • 1 part Cinzano Extra Dry
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • 1 part soda water

Preparation

Stir the above together in a rocks glass.

I used 1 lime, 3 tsp. sugar, 3 oz. of Cinzano, and 3 oz. of soda water.

The Gimlet

The Gimlet is one of those drinks, like the martini, where there’s a question of what the correct proportions are. CocktailDB uses a 2:1 ratio of gin to Rose’s lime juice. The recipes in the Wikipedia article on the gimlet use 2:1, 3:1, 3:2, 4:1, and 8:1. BULLDOG gin (our gin of the evening) suggests a ratio of gin to lime to sugar of 3:2:1. Like most things in life, it’s a matter of taste. However, an essential characteristic of a cocktail is balance, so neither the gin nor the lime should dominate.

The Rose’s lime juice one finds in the U.S. markets these days is a concoction of citric acid-flavored high-fructose corn syrup. This is a shame. But don’t worry: I have limes and sugar. Tonight we’ll be trying the 2:1 and 8:1 ratios.

The Gimlet, 2:1

  • 3/4 oz. lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. finely granulated sugar
  • 1.5 oz. gin

The Gimlet, 8:1

  • 1/4 oz. lime
  • 1/4 tsp. finely granulated sugar
  • 2 oz. gin

Shake the lime juice, sugar, and gin with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The 2:1 ratio is preferred over the 8:1. Surprisingly, the lime was harsher in the 8:1 ratio than it was in the 2:1, possibly because there wasn’t enough sugar to mellow the lime and gin. Unless the 4:1 or 3:2 ratios have something to recommend them, I’ll continue to assert that a gimlet is 2 of gin to 1 of lime.

Cucumbers

D and the children planted a nice garden this year in Gram’s front yard: tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, corn, watermelon, butternut squash, zucchini, and cucumber. We took our first batch of zucchini and cucumber off the vines the weekend of July 17th, and are coming up with some new dishes to eat.

I just happen to have a gin here that claims to taste of cucumber: Hendrick’s. And it does taste of cucumber, if you put a cucumber in the glass with the gin.

First up in the mixing cup was Hendrick’s twist on the martini.

Cucumber Martini

  • 2 1/2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
  • 1/2 part dry vermouth
  • cucumber slice

Stir Hendrick’s Gin and vermouth in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Finish with a cucumber garnish.

Then in “Ginning Things Up,” Imbibe Magazine (Sept./Oct. 2009), I ran across mention of the Eastside, a variation on the Southside which adds cucumber.

The Eastside

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 2 slices cucumber
  • Ice cubes
  • Tools: shaker, muddler, strainer
  • Glass: cocktail
  • Garnish: thin slice of cucumber

Using a muddler, lightly crush cucumber and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add liquid ingredients and shake well with ice. Strain into a chilled glass. Float garnish on top of drink.

And the Poughkeepsie Journal just happened to publish a recipe syndicated from McClatchy-Tribune: the Capulet Collins. This is basically the same as the Eastside, but in a Collins glass filled with ice and seltzer water.

Capulet Collins

Mixologist Toby Maloney prefers to make this cocktail with Hendrick’s gin, which has a crisp, cucumberlike flavor note.

  • 3 slices cucumber, each 1/2-inch thick 1 tiny pinch salt
  • 2 mint sprigs
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 5 drops rose water, optional
  • Soda water

Muddle cucumber and salt thoroughly in cocktail shaker. Add 1 sprig of the mint. Bruise gently. Add remaining ingredients. Add ice. Shake. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with remaining mint sprig