The Mexican Eagle

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. That’s not quite exact. Limits are.

When one is out of one’s preferred spirits, has no citrus stocked, and is looking around for a cocktail to mix, one turns to what one has to hand. In this case, what recipes are there for tequila and vermouth?

Turns out that there’s a very fine, complex one made with just three ingredients: the Mexican Eagle. It’s also appropriate for International Migratory Bird (cocktail) Day.

Mexican Eagle

  • 3/4 oz. Jamaica rum
  • 3/4 oz. French vermouth
  • 1 1/2 oz. Tequila

Combine in your mixing glass, stir with ice, then strain to serve in a cocktail glass.

In mixing these, I used Appleton Estate V/X rum, the remainder of the Familia Camarena tequila, and Dolin dry vermouth. Afterward, I was out of both tequila and vermouth.

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.)

Egg Nog

Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s and Party Guide (64th Edition) (Warner Books, 1994) has this to say on the subject of egg nog.

Eggnog can be made from scratch, but since those recipes use raw eggs, which may carry the risk of salmonella poisoning, only recipes using commercially prepared eggnog are included here.

And so they have a whole section containing recipes which basically consist of “add [spirit] to any old egg nog you find in the store.” The current edition is somewhat better.

I like egg nog, but I find the commercial preparations to be far too thick and sweet for my taste these days. Besides there’s no fun in buying a quart of something and tossing some rum in it. This year, I’ll make my own.

There are two recipes that I’ve had my eye on. One, Bourbon Eggnog from Imbibe Magazine, I haven’t made yet. The other, Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Egg Nog, I made tonight. While this is the very first egg nog I’ve made from scratch, it’s also the best egg nog I’ve ever tasted.

Mr. Morgenthaler notes that his recipe serves two, so I halved it to serve one. I substituted half and half for the milk and cream because, according to the ingredients list on the half and half I have, it contains “Milk, Cream.”

Egg Nog

  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz. rum
  • 5 oz. Half and Half

Combine the half and half, brandy, rum, and nutmeg in a measuring glass. Beat the egg in a blender for one minute. Let the blender continue to run, and slowly add sugar. Wait a minute. Add the contents of the measuring glass and blend until combined. Set in the refrigerator to chill and to let the flavors combine. Serve in a coupe, a punch cup, or a old fashioned glass as suits the occasion. Garnish with grated nutmeg. The glass will determine, to an extent, the serving size.

If you’re bad at multiplication, you can also find this recipe in The New York Times, either on-line or in The Essential New York Times Cookbook, as Blender Eggnog.

Not a Malibu® St. Lawrence Lemonade

Some friends of ours had us over for dinner last night, and, having heard of my hobby, asked me to come up with something to drink. The guideline was simple — “We like Malibu” — so I spent some time among the recipes on the Malibu Rum website. The Malibu Limbo Lady looked interesting, but I have none of the ingredients. I do have what it takes to mix this Malibu St. Lawrence Lemonade, but I didn’t want to use Sprite.

Malibu® St. Lawrence Lemonade

The Malibu® St. Lawrence Lemonade is a fresh and sweet mix of mint, lemon, and coconut.


  • ½ part Malibu®
  • ½ part Absolut® Vodka
  • 3 parts Lemon-Lime Soda
  • 2 sprigs of mint


Fill a tall glass with fresh cubed ice. Smack 2 sprigs of mint between fingers to bruise them and place them in the glass. Pour in Malibu®, Absolut® and lemon-lime soda. Stir vigorously to infuse the mint.

But that’s not what I mixed.

Sometimes one simply needs an idea of what tastes might go well together. I’m not familiar with Malibu, except to know that it’s a coconut-flavored rum. Here’s what I prepared, for two. For this I used a thick, somewhat stubby glass; I’m not sure of its name.

St. Lawrence Lemonade?

  • 4 sprigs of mint
  • 2 oz. fresh lemon juice (one lemon)
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice (one lime)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 oz. Malibu Rum
  • 1 oz. Tanqueray London Dry Gin
  • 6 oz. Apollinaris mineral water

Place one sprig of mint in each glass and fill with ice. In a mixing glass, combine the lemon, lime, sugar, rum, and gin. Shake with ice, and strain half into each glass. Top with mineral water, and stir. Smack the remaining mint springs and garnish.

Why is it called a St. Lawrence Lemonade?